If you’re planning to roll for a new character in the Genshin Impact 3.0 banner, you’re probably wondering if it should be Tighnari or Zhongli. And the answer is, almost unequivocally, Zhongli – assuming you don’t have him in your team yet already. Sure, the reclusive founder of Liyue’s biggest funeral home has been around the banner block a few times already and doesn’t have that new update flash like Tighnari, but if you think you’ll use the new Dendro element in any capacity, Zhongli is essential to your team in a way Tighnari cant quite match.
Tighnari’s big appeal is he’s the first five-star Dendro character, and appropriately, he even has Dendro damage as his secondary stat. That’s impressive, but there’s one significant limitation HoYoverse hasn’t really touched on yet. You can’t Swirl Dendro.
That means your usual strategy of using an Anemo character with a Viridescent Venerer Artifact set to reduce enemy resistance to Swirled elements just won’t work with Tighnari. It’s not a significant issue in normal play, but with the higher levels of the Spiral Abyss, any advantage you can get in battle to help shorten your completion time is welcome.
That goes double if HoYoverse continues their trend from the 2.0 updates, where they added powerful bosses to the montlhy Abyss roster.
Into this gap steps Zhongli, the only character in Genshin Impact’s current roster whose abilities reduce enemy resistance to all elements right out of the box, so to speak. The 20% reduction that Zhongli’s Jade Shield triggers is only half of what you get from Viridescent Venerer, but again, that set won’t work with Dendro anyway. Zhongli’s 20% debuff is something at least.
You may ask, why not both Tighnari and Zhongli? And there’s a pretty sound answer to that.
If you’ve played Genshin for any length of time, you know the likelihood of landing two five-star characters in a single banner is pretty slim, and even less likely when you factor in the 50-50 chance of getting hit with Qiqi instead of the character you actually want. Should you opt for Zhongli and not get Tighnari later, you’re not really missing out – and definitely shouldn’t spend money to try and get both.
Aside from the Dendro Traveler, whose skillset looks like it might actually be worth using (unlike their Electro counterpart), you can also get Collei for free during Graven Innocence, one of Genshin Impact 3.0’s events. She’s no five-star character, but her kit makes it easy to create a dynamic elemental party around her and the new branching Dendro reactions.
Tighnari is retiring to the permanent banner after September 9 anyway, so even though your chances of getting him are lower there, he’s not locked behind a two-and-a-half-week-long event.
And of course, it’s worth noting that since this is Genshin Impact, you can make practically any character combination work. Zhongli’s role in Dendro parties is just part of the ever-evolving meta. Having him on your team isn’t something you have to strive for unless you can’t live without creating the best possible combinations.