Many tough characters have stepped onto the stage since Ayaka first arrived back in Genshin Impact 2.0, but she still manages to be one of the best Cryo characters in the game. Her powerful AoE Cryo abilities and infusion let her freeze foes faster than any other character, with the sole exception of Ganyu. Now Ayato and Venti's banners are finished, it's Ayaka's time to shine once more.
But with Ayato's recent arrival and Xingqiu available for free with the Irodori Festival, it's actually the perfect time to grab Ayaka and create yourself a frozen party. Yelan will also be arriving in Genshin Impact 2.7, and as a Hydro archer, she might be another great character to combo with Ayaka's Cryo arsenal.
Either way, if you want to make the most of her, you're going to need a decent setup. In this Genshin Impact Ayaka build guide, we'll explain the top-tier weapon and artifact set for the Cryo sword princess, as well as some no-spend options that offer decent value without you having to waste wishes on that pesky weapon banner.
The best Genshin Impact Ayaka build
Ayaka's main strength is her alternate Senho sprint that reapplies Cryo to her weapon, and to enemies around her every time she uses it. When you also take into account her powerful Hyouka skill and Soumetsu burst that both cause AoE Cryo damage, you have a character who excels at applying Cryo to enemies and is extremely good at Freezing them.
In this sense, the ideal Ayaka build buffs her Cryo damage, her critical damage, and critical rate. This set-up should give her some energy recharge so she can use her expensive burst as much as possible.
- Weapon: Mistsplitter Reforged
- Artifact: (4) Blizzard Strayer
Mistsplitter Reforged is Ayaka's five-star sword and is featured alongside her in the Epitome Invocation weapon banner during her rerun. It boosts critical damage as a substat, and buffs elemental damage by 12 percent. You can increase this even further with Mistsplitter Emblems, gained by dealing elemental damage with normal attacks, using an elemental skill, or having less than 100 percent energy. For each stack up to three, elemental damage is increased by 8/16/28 percent. Since Ayaka is almost always dealing elemental damage, this provides a huge amount of value.
A four-star alternative is a Black Sword. You can only get this through the paid battle pass, but it boosts the critical rate and increases normal and charged attack damage by 20 percent. When you deal a crit with either of those you'll also regenerate 60 percent of attack at HP, which is a fun little side effect. For artifacts, you'll want four pieces of Blizzard Strayer. Two pieces boost Cryo damage by 15 percent, which buffs Ayaka's damage across the board. Four pieces increase the critical rate by 20 percent when you attack an opponent affected by Cryo, or 40 percent if they are frozen. Seeing as Ayaka can apply Cryo with every single attack, this effect is pretty much always active.
In terms of stat priority, you'll want a Cryo damage bonus artifact, and then critical damage, critical rate, attack, and energy recharge for her costly burst. With Blizzard Strayer and the Black Sword, you definitely won't need as much critical rate, so you can put those extra stats into critical damage or attack. On the whole, the Cryo buffs will boost Ayaka's entire damage output, while the critical rate and critical damage will help her do numbers with her speedy normal and charged attacks.
Genshin Impact Ayaka F2P build
If you aren't too eager to throw wishes into the weapon banner, there are also a few free-to-play weapon options for Ayaka:
- Weapon: Cool Steel, Harbinger of Dawn, or Amenoma Kageuchi
- Artifact: (4) Blizzard Strayer
Cool Steel is a three-star sword that boosts attack and buffs damage by 12 percent when you're attacking opponents affected with Hydro of Cryo. Ayaka applies Cryo almost constantly so this weapon should provide a decent value. If you have a solid shielder in your party or are masterful at evading, Harbinger of Dawn might also work. This sword increases crit damage, but also buffs critical rate by 14 percent when HP is above 90 percent.
Finally, there's the forgeable four-star Amenoma Kageuchi from the Farmer's Treasure quest in Inazuma. This weapon not only looks the part but provides great energy recharge so you can use Ayaka's burst lots. It's simple: when you use a skill, you get a Succession Seed, up to a maximum of three. Then, when you use your burst, these seeds regenerate six energy each. Seeing as the sword can be made, you can also refine it to boost that energy regeneration.
Again, for artifacts, you'll want four pieces of Blizzard Strayer and the same stat priority: Cryo damage bonus, critical rate, critical damage, attack, and energy recharge. That said, if you're using the Amenoma Kageuchi, you could switch out two pieces of Blizzard Strayer for Noblesse Oblige and its 20 percent burst damage boost. This would make sense seeing as you'll be relying on Ayaka's burst for the damage a lot more than regular attacks.
And that's our best Genshin Impact Ayaka build. Good luck with getting her!