This is the ultimate Xiao guide that will cover everything from weapons, artifacts, mechanics, combos, and best team builds as well as free-to-play or budget builds and team comps. Regardless of what weapons you have or what characters you have, I’ll help you decide on how to best build Xiao to make him the most effective and enjoyable to play.
The math has all been done and everything you could possibly think about has been considered and will be talked about in this guide. So, let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
Xiao Mechanics And Combos
For a lot of players, Xiao is all about jumping and plunge attacking. This is a great way to deal damage however it’s reliant on using his burst and a very linear way to play. There’s actually a lot of nuance and mechanics that are involved with Xiao’s abilities and once you learn a couple of these and mix them up with your plunge attacks, you’re going to find yourself doing a lot more damage and also having a lot more fun with this character.
One of the biggest Xiao mechanics is actually just understanding high and low plunge. Xiao’s plunge attack increases dramatically in damage with how high he starts the animation.
A lot of players actually don’t know about this so they’re missing a lot of damage. Even if it’s a bit slower which is like a one-frame difference, you always want to let Xiao get to around the peak of his jump before executing your plunge. This is going to net you more damage overall and if you don’t believe me you can try it out for yourself.
Now with the plunge attacks themselves, you actually want to mix in some basic attacks in between. The most popular way to do this is something called plunge cancel.
Right after you land from your plunge you want to quickly execute a basic attack and then jump again. This is cutting short the plunge animation itself to cheat in extra damage. This will take some practice and for mobile players, this might be a killer to your thumbs so you might just want to stick with the naked plunge attack sequence alone.
Against a single target, it’s actually much more efficient to do something termed as jet Xiao. This is just a cool alias for the fact that we’re adding in the charge attack into canceling that animation with a jump into a high plunge. If you mastered the basic plunge cancel combo I just talked about earlier this will be very easy to pick up.
Right as the charge attack goes through, you cancel the rest of the animation right into your jump so that you gain extra time in this burst.
Combos Without Ultimate
Now let’s talk about some cool combos you can perform when you’re not in your ultimate. This first one is quite like jet Xiao but without the plunge attacks.
You charge attack into jump cancel and then use your elemental skill in midair and then do a low plunge to finish the combo up.
Depending on where you want to land in relation to your enemies, you can actually get two elemental skills off in midair and return to your starting spot. The low plunge damage is not only AoE but has an insane multiplier compared to your regular basic attacks. So this combo is definitely better than just left-clicking.
The second one is if you’re low on stamina and can’t perform the first combo. You go into a full attack sequence then jump > elemental skill > low plunge attack.
Again, like all these other combos we’re abusing the ability to animation cancel to squeeze in as much damage as possible. If you want to, you can do two elemental skills or three if you have constellation 1.
Best Weapon For Xiao
A lot of people have been asking me what weapons are best for xiao and this time with the help of some Xiao mains discord I have some math to back it up.
None of these are really free-to-play friendly so stick around and I’ll discuss the free-to-play options in terms of Xiao weapons.
Primordial Jade Winged-Spear is without a doubt the best weapon for Xiao. Not only does it give him crit rate which is one of the best scaling stats in the game but it’s also a 5-star weapon so both its secondary stat and flat attack scales harder than all the other non 5 star weapons. The passive is also very relevant and stacks up so easily with him
The Staff of Homa is second to Jadespear because the passive has less value. However, having crit damage as a secondary stat is really good for Xiao as he ascends off the crit rate already. If you’re broke from rolling for Xiao, this weapon banner is coming soon and might be something you want to look at.
Vortex Vanquisher comes after these two weapons. The secondary stat is attack percentage which isn’t as great late game compared to the weapons above. The passive is actually really decent if you play Zhongli or any geo support. However, that restricts you to play a geo character in the team, to begin with, which is a lot less versatile than the other 2 5-stars. It’s still a 5-star which makes it better than the other 4-stars.
Blackcliff Pole is the best 4-star weapon for Xiao. The Crit damage secondary stat is a lot more valuable than the crit rate since Xiao already gets a lot of crit rate and the passive synergizes so well with your plunge attacks.
Deathmatch and Royal Spear are still very decent options but I prefer Deathmatch more than Royal Spear because I believe in having a fixed crit rate instead of relying on building it up during combat and I like the passive much better.
Here are the numbers to back all this up…
As far as free-to-play options you could possibly get either Blackcliff Pole or Royal Spear but if you’re stingy like a lot of budget players I know, I like the Crescent Pike the best because the passive is uncapped which hypothetically has infinite scaling but Prototype Starglitter is decent.
Best Artifacts For Xiao
I want to cover what not to build first because I see a lot of people doing this without knowing. 4 piece Gladiator’s Finale set doesn’t work on his plunge attack so building this isn’t optimal to get the most use out of his damage. In the same manner, 4 piece Retracing Bolide also does not work with his plunge attack.
Now there are some people out there that actually don’t like playing the plunge attack style so if this is you then go ahead and run these pieces. However, I’m assuming the majority of Xiao mains just spam plunge attack so in that case don’t run these sets.
Before I get into the best set pieces for Xiao I want to continue to stress the fact that main and sub stats are more important than completing sets. I’d rather use the 4 Maiden Beloved sets on Xiao than use a bunch of random defense and hp percentage artifacts that complete the perfect set. Let’s be honest, most of us have the worst artifact rng in the world.
Flat attack increase combined with the multiplying damage that Viridescent Venerer provides you helps you with your damage and bursts exponentially. There’s not much to debate here, it gives you the most bang for your buck.
I think the perfect crit rate is about 60% to 70% and that will get you to crit more consistently especially with Xiao having a pretty fast attack speed. After that, you really want to put everything else all your resources and artifact stats into crit damage so you can get over 200% to crit damage so your multipliers really make a difference, start to kick in and make you do as much damage as possible.
Best Team For Xiao
I’ll briefly give a few of my favorite team builds and favorite budget teams. If you want a more comprehensive list I have a guide dedicated to 8 of the best team builds for Xiao. Go check that out if you haven’t already.
Xiao Team #1
Geo Resonance not only gives Xiao more durability and damage but also amplifies the damage our Albedo and Zhongli can do. Jean gives you a battery and some needed healing, her damage is actually sizeable and you can get around 30k on Jean’s elemental skill by tapping it.
Xiao Team #2
Bennett works here since you’re grouping enemies with Venti. Albedo’s AoE damage also benefits so heavily from Venti’s vortex. Why run around and waste your time on your Xiao burst when you can cluster everyone into one place and spam plunge attacks. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me.
Xiao Team #3
This is similar to the team I just mentioned but you’re replacing Albedo turret with Fischl turret and Venti group with Sucrose group. Even if you don’t get the most out of constellation 6 Fischl, you still proc lightning smite really easily for some added damage.
Xiao Team #4
You get Anemo resonance and the potential permanent freeze with Xinqui and Diona burst in sync. Xiao’s plunge attack proc shatter which is just freeze damage on top.
When it comes to talents you want to prioritize your normal attack first then your ultimate and lastly your elemental skill.
The reason being that the extra point in a normal attack over something like your ultimate will actually give you more damage. So whenever they’re even, you want to focus your next point on your normal attack.
And that’s everything you need to know about Xiao in a single guide. Xiao is a really fun character with a lot more to him than just spamming plunge attacks.