Yanfei Is Exactly What The Pyro Element Needs In Genshin Impact
Pyro is my favourite element in Genshin Impact, but that’s mostly because fire is (paradoxically) cool, and my free-to-play butt has been relying on Xiangling since the start. Because I know I’m never going to have a team of big guns in my Genshin Impact party, I care a lot more about the aesthetics of the new characters than I do their abilities – if I can’t have a bunch of S-Tier wonders, I’d rather have my favourites than try to devise the best way to dominate with my free pulls. Ignoring tactics completely, my preferred team then would be Xiangling, Xinyan, and the original prankster Hu Tao alongside the Traveler – all Pyro Vision wielders. For that reason, I feel especially invested in new Pyro characters, even though I’ll likely never get to use them. To that end, it seems like Yanfei could be exactly what the Pyro element needs.
According to leaks, Yanfei will be joining the game in the 1.5 update, although since what we know of her primarily comes from leaks and datamines, we don’t have a concrete date for that yet. Her leaked stats place her somewhere between Mona, Lisa, and Sucrose, planting her firmly in the good-but-not-great category. While her status as a four-star character means that the most hardcore players won’t give her a second glance, she’s tantalisingly attainable for the free players like me. However, I’m not that interested in her. That’s just because of personal preference; her design doesn’t strike me as anything special, and I’m more than happy rotating through Xianling, Xinyan, Barbara, Lisa, and Noelle. I have no Hu Tao and it pains me.
So Yanfei isn’t really for me, but I still recognise her as a hugely important character for the Pyro element in Genshin Impact as a whole. I love Xinyan, for example, but I don’t think the game loses anything if you take the fiery rocker out of there. Yanfei though brings something new to the table – organisation.
The Pyro element is probably the messiest element in Genshin Impact. This chaos is part of the reason why I love it, but it can get a little ridiculous at times. When Klee was first introduced, her wild firebombs led to her downfall, as she would initially set the whole battlefield alight, catch on fire herself, and slowly die from her own immolations. Meanwhile, Xinyan, Bennett, and Xiangling’s attacks sweep across the whole arena in fiery cuts, while Hu Tao slashes and dashes her way through her opponents. Diluc is probably the most refined, and even then, not by a lot – and besides, you need to either be incredibly lucky or invest a lot of time and money to pull Diluc in the first place.
Yanfei seems to have a much more precise style so far, and that means you can approach battles differently while still using Pyro effects to your advantage. It also means that she can be useful for any puzzles that require you to light up torches in a precise order; Xiangling and co are significantly harder to solve these with, since they tend to go rogue and just start burning anything vaguely near to them.
I know Amber has her bow, but Amber sucks. She’s not even a bit unpopular, or not for me… she’s maybe the worst character in any game anywhere. I’m not exaggerating, there are roughly one million and six tier lists for Genshin Impact, and all of them have Amber at the bottom. Most even have her alone in her own tier, to make it clear that she is by far the worst choice in the game. The only explanation for Amber I can think of is that she exists to push you into pulling banners and getting new heroes in your party as quickly as humanly possible.
So while Amber seems to already offer a solution to this, nobody ever wants to use Amber (nor should they), and it’s not just for puzzles that a more precise Pyro fighter would be appreciated. I’m not sold on Yanfei yet, but I’m very happy with what she brings to the party, especially if it means greater variety in Pyro fighters in the future. Of course, the next Pyro fighter after Yanfei will probably be an ultra rare five-star precision warrior that I’ll never get to play as, but still. I’m rooting for my Pyro squad.
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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey
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