Updated on January 16 at 12:22 p.m. GMT+8: Added Vermillion Hereafter as an artifact set.

Genshin Impact exceeded fans’ expectations on what an S-tier character truly is with the release of Xiao, the Vigilant Yaksha.

If you’ve already completed the Liyue Archon quest, you probably already know how cool Xiao is. Rocking a teal-tinged aesthetic and magical Yaksha mask, the Liyue native joined Genshin in 2021 as the third pole-arm user after Zhongli, and the fourth Anemo character after Venti.

Here are three reasons why the Vigilant Yaksha is a must-have DPS on your Genshin team.

3 reasons why Xiao is the perfect DPS

The Vigilant Yaksha is a fast main DPS

As a pole-arm user, Xiao’s auto-attacks create strong poking combos that cut through crowds of enemies.

Unlike Xiangling and Zhongli’s pole-arm attack combos, His string features a sweeping animation that ends in a sizeable smash.

His charge attack is also a short-ranged AoE knock-up that can scatter hilichurl hordes when needed.

His elemental skills define his aggressive playstyle

Xiao’s elemental skill, Lemniscatic Wind Cycling, is a quick dash that deals Anemo damage (455% skill damage at level 10). It acts as a convenient way to reposition yourself in a tough battle.

On top of that, you can cast it in the air to avoid any kind of strong attack or projectile.

Xiao’s elemental burst, Bane of All Evil, is by far one of the best bursts in the game. Once he puts the glowing mask on, the polearm master becomes the ultimate DPS.

The burst greatly increases his jumping ability, his attack AoE, and attack damage (95.2% damage bonus at level 10). Rather than just doing physical damage, he dishes out Anemo damage which cannot be overridden by any other elemental fusion.

Unlike Diluc’s static burst, Dawn, Bane of All Evil allows you to keep the action going and perform some crazy lunges alongside quick dashes to give you a Devil May Cry-like experience.

Keep in mind that your health will decrease as you use the burst, so make sure you have a quick heal ready when you’re done using it.

How to play Genshin on PC, mobile, PS4, and enable crossplay
How to unlock co-op mode in Genshin
Genshin elements and reactions explained
How to check your original resin without logging into Genshin
What is the Triple Crown in Genshin?
How to create more teams in Genshin
How to add friends in Genshin Impact
Genshin Serenitea Pot guide: Quest, location, realms
Guide to Genshin TCG Genius Invokation: How to play and win

Xiao’s biggest trump card is Anemo

The last thing that makes Xiao a cut above the rest is his element. While Anemo is very much a tricky element to utilize in battle, Xiao properly integrates it with his offensive kit.

Anemo deals Swirl damage to Pyro, Hydro, Cryo, and Electro elements and can trigger extra elemental reactions like Vaporize and Melt.

While Xiao’s moves exclusively apply Anemo during Bane of All Evil, he excels in tearing through element-heavy compositions in the Spiral Abyss.

Best artifacts and teammates

Xiao’s go-to artifact set right now is 4-piece Vermillion Hereafter, obtained from the Lost Valley domain in Liyue’s Chasm.

In addition to a solid 18%+ Attack bonus at 2-pieces, the 4-piece set works perfectly with his burst. The 4-piece bonus introduces the Nascent Light effect, which further grants an additional 8% Attack for 16 seconds.

As Xiao loses health because of Bane of All Evil, the Nascent Light effect will also increase the Attack bonus up to 40%.

It’s important to note that the effect will disappear when Xiao leaves the field, so make sure that you cast all support and healing skills before using Bane of All Evil.

If you’d like to focus on Swirl damage, you also can try 4-piece Viridescent Venerer since it increases Swirl damage by 60% and decreases opponents’ elemental resistance to the element infused in the Swirl by 40% for ten seconds.

The Yaksha is ineffective against Anemo opponents and shielded units like the Stonehide Lawachurl. It’d be best to field a Claymore user like Beidou or Xinyan to help him out on these specific occasions.

Close-up of Xiao from Genshin Impact
Credit: HoYoverse

To maximize his Anemo nature, you could also add another Anemo unit like Jean or Sucrose to get the Impetuous Winds elemental resonance. This grants your entire team 15% less stamina consumption, 10% movement speed increase, and 5% decrease in skill cooldowns.

Furthermore, Bane of All Evil will not recharge when active, so the second Anemo character could act like a battery that helps spawn elemental particles.

With all that’s been said, Xiao ultimately provides a new playing experience compared to other big S-tier names like Diluc or Childe. If you like simple, fast-paced action that lets you dive into your opponents’ heads, Xiao is the perfect character for you.

Follow ONE Esports on Facebook and Twitter for more Genshin news and stories.

READ MORE: Xiao materials: Best Genshin routes and locations