The first playable Inazuma character, Kaedehara Kazuha, has finally arrived in Genshin Impact!
The main star of the "Leaves in the Wind" banner that arrived on Tuesday (29 June), Kazuha is a 5* Anemo sword-user billed as a support character. But is that all he can be?
The first thing you may notice about Kazuha is that he has several elements that are similar to other Anemo characters - he's a sword-user like Jean, he can go up in the air and gather enemies like Venti, and he heavily relies on plunge attacks like Xiao.
The next is that Kazuha is here at a sort of weird time - miHoYo already announced Ayaka (5* Cryo sword-user), Yoimiya (5* Pyro bow-user, RIP Amber) and Sayu (4* Anemo claymore-user), and a whole bunch of other characters have been leaked.
With hopes of an Electro buff still on the horizon together with Inazuma, some of you might want to hold on to your precious primos, especially since we haven't had a new Electro character just yet. In addition, the power creep is real. From recent experience, the newer characters, especially the ones that can act as main damage dealers, seem to outperform some of the original Elemental DPS characters (case in point, Hu Tao vs Diluc).
So is wishing for Kazuha worth it, especially if you have other Anemo characters? The answer pretty much depends what you are looking for. Also, if you like the character or are a megawhale, then you do you.
Kazuha weapons and artifacts build
While miHoYo has labelled Kazuha as a support (no doubt to temper expectations after the whole fiasco with the CEO of Geo), the Inazuma swordsman can make a decent damage dealer, albeit one that works better in rotation with other characters. For a full DPS Kazuha, you really need his constellations (especially the 6th), and that's going to cost you potentially a new 3070 Ti GPU and then some.
Besides the current banner's Freedom Sworn, DPS Kazuha works well with other 5* weapons such as the Skyward Blade, Jade Cutter and even Summit Shaper. The Aquila Favonia, with its Physical DMG boost, may not work as well for him.
When it comes to 4* weapons, there's a diverse array depending on how you want to play him. Festering Desire, the Sacrificial Sword, the Favonius Sword and the craftable Iron Sting are all fairly decent options for a support Kazuha, while The Flute, the Black Sword, Royal Longsword and Blackcliff Longsword will work for a DPS Kazuha.
If you intend to play Kazuha with either Pyro or Electro characters, you might find the Lion's Roar to be an interesting choice, especially for those who may have unfortunately C6'd their Bennett. Combine Bennyboy's C6 and turn all Kazuha's damage to Pyro, and suddenly that Lion's Roar seems a viable option.
Along those lines, the 3* Dark Iron Sword (that you can only get one of from Chen the Sharp in Liyue) may prove to be somewhat acceptable, if more copies could ever be found to refine it with.
When it comes to artifact sets, it's quite straightforward for Kazuha - the Viridescent Venerer four-piece will be his set of choice. Swirls are such a large part of Kazuha's kit that this set easily outperforms others.
That said, the main stat of the helm, sands and cup depend a fair bit on how you want to build him. For damage dealers, Anemo DMG% on the cup is pretty standard, unless you are going for one of the builds that relies more on another element (such as the above-mentioned Kazuha + C6 Bennett build), followed by ATK% and Crit DMG%. For a support build, Elemental Mastery and Swirls go very well together, but you could also bring in Energy Recharge. HP% may also benefit you if you're using the Jade Cutter.
Kazuha Ascension materials
We hope you've been picking up those Sea Ganodermas (you know, the "what are these random blue jellyfish plant things for" that were scattered around the Golden Apple Archipelago. There are (to our knowledge) 57 spawn locations, and like all mineable Ascension materials, these take two days to respawn. And you need 168 of them to get Kazuha to level 90.
You're also going to be needing the Marionette Cores from the Maguu Kenki world boss, so... get farming, if you already haven't.
Kazuha also requires the Insignias from the Treasure Hoarders, but if you've been beating them up regularly as part of your daily commissions, you should be good here.
Kazuha will also need the Liyue Diligence books to level up his skills, which are books also used by Chongyun, Ganyu, Hu Tao and Xiangling, as well as the Guilded Scale, one of three possible boss drops from the weekly Azhdaha challenge. Fortunately, with Dream Solvent, this should be less of an issue compared to previously.
Kazuha vs Venti/Sucrose
So now that we're done with Kazuha himself, how does he compare to the anemo characters already on the roster?
If you've already got Venti... let's face it, Venti is (spoiler) the Anemo Archon, after all. There was no way Kazuha's ability to crowd control enemies was going to match Venti's. Even against Sucrose, for the purpose of crowd control, Kazuha still feels a bit lacking.
That said, when it comes to dishing out damage in addition to those Swirls, this is where Kazuha pulls ahead. Once you've unlocked his Weathering Blade passive, both his Elemental Skill and Burst have their own Elemental Absorption. While it may take some practice to get used to, this does mean Kazuha can pretty much make his own non-Swirl Elemental reactions depending on who he's paired with.
Kazuha vs Jean
While they are both sword-users, Kazuha and Jean play very differently. As mentioned earlier, Kazuha depends on his Swirls, plunge attacks and Elemental Absorption, while also lacking the self-sustain and cleanse that Jean brings with her kit.
That said, Kazuha is likely to be able to burst down your enemy faster, so it really depends on the fight. However, in terms of gameplay, Kazuha definitely wins out with his dynamic animations and seriously fun plunging attacks.
But then again, Jean has a summer outfit...
Kazuha vs Xiao
It's plunge vs plunge when you compare Kazuha to Xiao. While Xiao will definitely win in terms of dishing out pure damage when he uses his Elemental Burst, there is the not-so-minor fact that he's also losing health while doing so.
In a reversal of the Kazuha vs Jean comparison, Xiao will likely take down enemies faster, though he might need to rely on healing or food if the enemy is tankier than average.
All that being said, Kazuha is a very versatile character, perhaps even more so that miHoYo initially revealed. Sure, he is a decent support, but he also has good damage potential depending on the build and team composition.
The great thing about the new Inazuma character is that he can easily fit into most team compositions, and brings with him extra damage shred and boost. If you're aiming for the Spiral Abyss and wish you had Venti for both teams, Kazuha could be the answer you're looking for. If you don't have Venti, Kazuha is a decent Anemo support that can also act as a damage dealer.
Just don't expect him to put out the raw damage you might have been used to seeing from characters like Hu Tao and Eula.
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