Who says you can’t have both brains and brawn? Alhaitham might have a lofty-sounding job as a Sumeru Academia scribe, but he can also hold his own in a fight. The latest Genshin Impact 5-star wields Dendro DMG-dealing mirrors that slice enemies to bits in seconds. However, like many Dendro characters, his kit revolves around the element’s reaction-based damage.
Alhaitham is a Dendro DPS without a doubt. Slapping Crit DMG and Crit Rate on him would likely deal decent damage, but it wouldn’t be as powerful as a build that boosts Aggravate, Quicken, or Bloom damage based on his Elemental Mastery. That said, it’ll be a priority to choose weapons and artifacts that boost his Elemental Mastery and Dendro DMG.
Here’s how to build Alhaitham to balance team synergy with Dendro damage.
Best weapons for Alhaitham
Light of Foliar Infusion, Alhaitham’s signature weapon, is the best pick if you decide to roll for it. It can increase the wielder’s Crit DMG by over 80 percent when fully leveled and increases damage based on Elemental Mastery. This assumes that Alhaitham will be stacked with Elemental Mastery, which many players should do when optimizing him for a reaction-based Dendro team. His Elemental Skill infuses his normal attacks with Dendro DMG, so there wouldn’t be a problem activating the weapon’s ability.
Many of the other five-star swords should also work with Alhaitham thanks to high Crit DMG and Crit Rate. Mistsplitter Reforged boosts Crit DMG and Elemental DMG, and Haran Geppaku Futsu does the same but with Crit Rate instead of Crit DMG. There are nuances between the two, but the end result is the same: more damage.
Primordial Jade Cutter also works purely because of Crit Rate. Its ability raises attack based on Max HP, which isn’t a priority to Alhaitham.
Last but not least, Freedom Sworn empowers Alhaitham’s Dendro elemental reactions with its Elemental Mastery. There are many four-star swords can do the same, even if they don’t raise the Elemental Mastery as high or have as powerful of an ability, though.
- Light of Foliar Infusion (Crit DMG) - CRIT Rate is increased by 4 percent. After Normal Attacks deal Elemental DMG, the Foliar Incision effect will be obtained, increasing DMG dealt by Normal Attacks and Elemental Skills by 120 percent of Elemental Mastery. This effect will disappear after 28 DMG instances or 12 seconds. You can obtain Foliar Incision once every 12 seconds.
- Mistsplitter Reforged (Crit DMG) - Gain a 12 percent Elemental DMG Bonus for all elements and receive the might of the Mistsplitter's Emblem. At stack levels 1/2/3, Mistsplitter's Emblem provides a 8/16/28 percent Elemental DMG Bonus for the character's Elemental Type. The character will obtain 1 stack of Mistsplitter's Emblem in each of the following scenarios: Normal Attack deals Elemental DMG (stack lasts 5 seconds), casting Elemental Burst (stack lasts 10 seconds); Energy is less than 100 percent (stack disappears when Energy is full). Each stack's duration is calculated independently.
- Haran Geppaku Futsu (Crit Rate) - Obtain 12 percent All Elemental DMG Bonus. When other nearby party members use Elemental Skills, the character equipping this weapon will gain 1 Wavespike stack. Max 2 stacks. This effect can be triggered once every 0.3 seconds. When the character equipping this weapon uses an Elemental Skill, all stacks of Wavespike will be consumed to gain Rippling Upheaval: each stack of Wavespike consumed will increase Normal Attack DMG by 20 percent for 8 seconds.
- Primordial Jade Cutter (Crit Rate) - HP increased by 20 percent. Additionally, provides an ATK Bonus based on 1.2 percent of the wielder's Max HP.
- Freedom-Sworn (Elemental Mastery) - Increases DMG by 10 percent. When the character wielding this weapon triggers Elemental Reactions, they gain a Sigil of Rebellion. This effect can be triggered once every 0.5 seconds and can be triggered even if said character is not on the field. When you possess 2 Sigils of Rebellion, all of them will be consumed and all nearby party members will obtain "Millennial Movement: Song of Resistance" for 12 seconds. "Millennial Movement: Song of Resistance" increases Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attack DMG by 16 percent and increases ATK by 20 percent. Once this effect is triggered, you will not gain Sigils of Rebellion for 20 seconds. Of the many effects of the "Millennial Movement," buffs of the same type will not stack.
Iron Sting, Toukabou Shigure, and Xiphos’ Moonlight all have Elemental Mastery as their main stats. It just matters which one works best for you — or which one you can get your hands on. Toukabou Shigure was an event weapon, so if you missed out on that, it’s already out of the running. However, Iron Sting and Xiphos’ Moonlight are fully craftable weapons.
Black Sword is a popular pick for its Crit Rate and ability, but it’s only available on the paid-for battle pass. If you already have it, great. If you don’t want to pay, don’t worry about it.
- Iron Sting (Elemental Mastery) - Dealing Elemental DMG increases all DMG by 6 percent for 6 seconds. Max 2 stacks. Can only occur once every 1s.
- Toukabou Shigure (Elemental Mastery) - After an attack hits opponents, it will inflict an instance of Cursed Parasol upon one of them for 10 seconds. This effect can be triggered once every 15 seconds. If this opponent is taken out during Cursed Parasol's duration, Cursed Parasol's CD will be refreshed immediately. The character wielding this weapon will deal 16 percent more DMG to the opponent affected by Cursed Parasol.
- Xiphos’ Moonlight (Elemental Mastery) - The following effect will trigger every 10 seconds: The equipping character will gain 0.036 percent Energy Recharge for each point of Elemental Mastery they possess for 12 percent, with nearby party members gaining 30 percent of this buff for the same duration. Multiple instances of this weapon can allow this buff to stack. This effect will still trigger even if the character is not on the field.
- Black Sword (Crit Rate) - Increases DMG dealt by Normal and Charged Attacks by 20 percent. Additionally, regenerates 60 percent of ATK as HP when Normal and Charged Attacks score a CRIT Hit. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.
Harbinger of Dawn, a free-to-play favorite for DPS characters, also works because of its high Crit DMG. It might not be too impressive at first, but a fully refined version drastically improves that. Pulling on banners over time will get you enough copies to fully refine it in no time.
- Harbinger of Dawn (Crit DMG) - When HP is above 90 percent, increases CRIT Rate by 14 percent.
Best artifacts for Alhaitham
If you’re running Alhaitham solo, both four-piece Deepwood Memories or Gilded Dreams work as viable options. Deepwood Memories is for the Dendro DMG boost and Dendro RES debuff, and Gilded Dreams is for Elemental Mastery. If you already have a Dendro character with Deepwood Memories, it’s highly recommended you equip a four-piece Gilded Dreams set, though.
Gilded Dreams raises Alhaitham’s Elemental Mastery and also increases his attack by 14 percent for each Dendro party member. This works especially well when running him on a double Dendro team with Collei, Dendro Traveler, or Yaoyao. He would also get 50 Elemental Mastery for party members of different elements. Alhaitham typically takes the role of the Dendro driver (the one causing elemental reactions), so he should be the teammate stacked with Elemental Mastery. It’s just that you can deal even more damage with the Deepwood Memories Dendro RES debuff, which activates even when the equipping character is off the field.
- Two-piece: Elemental Mastery +80.
- Four-piece: Within 8 seconds of triggering an Elemental Reaction, the character equipping this will obtain buffs based on the Elemental Type of the other party members, ATK is increased by 14 percent for each party member whose Elemental Type is the same as the equipping character, and Elemental Mastery is increased by 50 for every party member with a different Elemental Type. Each of the aforementioned buffs will count up to 3 characters. This effect can be triggered once every 8 seconds. The character who equips this can still trigger its effects when not on the field.
- Two-piece: Dendro DMG Bonus +15 percent.
- Four-piece: After Elemental Skills or Bursts hit opponents, the targets' Dendro RES will be decreased by 30 percent for eight seconds. This effect can be triggered even if the equipping character is not on the field.
Best artifact substats for Alhaitham
Alhaitham’s Dendro DMG is highly dependent on elemental reactions, so raise your Elemental Mastery as high as you can. However, like with most DPS characters, Crit DMG and Crit Rate are always welcome. If you really can’t find a good Elemental Mastery goblet, a Dendro DMG goblet is a passable substitute.