Genshin Impact is nearing its first anniversary, marking the first batch of characters that welcomed Lumine and Aether into the realm of Teyvat.

We’ve wished away our hearts and wallets to the Archons for those illustrious five-star recruits, but which Event Wishes were truly the best of the best?

Here are our five best Event Wish characters in the first year of Genshin Impact.

5. Venti was a catch since day one

Genshin Impact, Venti
Credit: miHoYo

Venti release date: September 28, 2020

A Mondstadt must-have, Venti lives on as the day-one catch of many veteran Genshin players.

Seen as the quintessential support from the first Event Wish, Venti provided parties with incredible crowd control that eventually became the staple schema for future Anemo characters like Kazuha.

In terms of story, Venti gave fans that first glimpse into the fantasy world of Teyvat and what it has to offer. Flying dragons, slapstick humor, and mortal vessels of elemental gods? Venti effortlessly checks all three boxes.

One of the strongest characters in canon and gameplay, Venti reminds Genshin players that there’s always time to wind down and play a few tunes in an open courtyard.

4. Klee is Mondstadt’s brightest Pyro recruit

Genshin Impact, Jean, Barbara, Klee, Midsummer event
Credit: miHoYo

Klee release date: October 20, 2020

Whether it’s the adorable elf ears or the destruction of her bombs, Klee is without a doubt one of the best Event Wish characters in Genshin Impact.

The Spark Knight single-handedly unraveled a new plot dimension about Mondstadt and its populace. While many are still fawning over Diluc and his Batman-esque presence in the windy city, Klee drops in as Mondstadt’s truest Pyro DPS.

Klee overthrows the Darknight hero by just having a more diverse combat kit at hand. Klee’s elemental burst Sparks ‘n’ Splash deals automatic homing Pyro damage for ten whole seconds, which is obviously better than a phoenix that can still miss.

Let’s also not forget that Klee’s Midsummer Island Adventure was one of the most ambitious and satisfying flagship events that miHoYo has ever created.

3. Zhongli paved the way for the Geo meta

Genshin Impact, Zhongli, Childe
Credit: miHoYo

Zhongli release date: December 1, 2020

Who needs Mora when you have Zhongli?

Though his introduction to Teyvat was padded with a ton of buffs, it’s safe to say that Zhongli’s Event Wish unveiled the true power of the Geo element.

Zhongli gave diehard veterans an unbreakable shield and a new way to play the game. Instead of throwing away those pesky HP artifacts and Black Tassel polearms, players immediately understood the patch notes and made Zhongli the go-to tank of their party.

Despite Geo and defense going hand-in-hand, Zhongli was more than just a trusty support with a shield. Zhongli’s elemental burst, Planet Befall, gives him the ability to nuke and petrify battalions for a defiant counterattack.

While more characters are set to debut and overshadow the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor consultant, Zhongli will always be the rock of successful Spiral Abyss parties.

2. Ganyu is chilling in the top ranks of Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact, Ganyu, wallpaper
Credit: miHoYo

Ganyu release date: January 12, 2021

Ganyu comes as the biggest sleeper hit in Genshin Impact. While she’s now a leading pick in Spiral Abyss, her Event Wish to the game started off enigmatically.

With all eyes on Zhongli and Albedo as the new Geo meta, Ganyu’s initial gameplay was not particularly enticing.

However, the playerbase suddenly saw value in creating melt and reverse melt compositions around the Liyue Qixing member and support Pyro characters like Xiangling and Bennett.

Since then, Ganyu became a trailblazing Cryo archer that helped bring balance to the elemental meta.

Concerning combat, Ganyu’s unique Frostflake arrow was revolutionary in applying area-of-effect Cryo and dealing critical damage. Paired with Undivided Heart’s bonus critical rate, a leveled-up Ganyu emerged as one of the strongest units in the game.

1. Raiden Shogun Baal is the Event Wish character that reigns over all

Raiden Shogun/Baal in Genshin Impact
Screenshot by Joseph Asuncion/ONE Esports

Raiden Shogun Baal release date: September 1, 2021

As one of the most recent Event Wish characters in Genhin Impact, Raiden Shogun Baal pushes the limits to what you can do to an already healthy element meta.

You’ve seen the trade-offs of elements through the releases of Zhongli and Ganyu, but Raiden Shogun Baal triumphs as the highly-awaited ruler of Electro.

Even at C0, Raiden Shogun Baal hones into her sub DPS role and provides impeccable base energy recharge and quick access to Electro reactions.

Baal’s elemental skill Baleful Omen is the most efficient buff in Genshin Impact. Working off of a nonexistent cooldown, Raiden Shogun can repeatedly cast Baleful Omen, substantially boosting your entire party’s burst damage.

With such a well-rounded kit, Raiden Shogun Baal also puts the spotlight on other Electro characters like Kujou Sara, and the previously neglected pirate Beidou.

Though Raiden Shogun Baal’s Event Wish has been replaced by Kokomi, Electro fanatics will be eyeing the return of Inazuma’s most standout native.

Follow ONE Esports on Facebook for more Genshin news, guides, and highlights.

READ MORE: The 5 best Genshin Impact events of all time