Hu Tao is a main DPS character (or burst DPS character) that the players have long been waiting for. Lots of people found her design cute and quite a few of them have an adoration of her, to put it lightly. She’s an extremely popular character and a lot of people are using her just to salt people left without, but if you’re actually planning to use her, I’m here to give you all some foundation on how to build your Hu Tao so you can guide those lost souls to the afterlife.
Before I get to the meat of this guide, you may want to check out some of the other Genshin Impact articles on the site:
- Genshin Impact: Tips for Team Building – You might need this one later when I arrive to team compositions for Hu Tao
- 6 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Genshin Impact
- Top 5 Date Destinations in Genshin Impact
- Genshin Impact: Spiral Abyss General Tips and Tricks
- Things You Need to Know About Genshin Impact: Dragonspine
Before I start spewing stuff here, let me just lay down Hu Tao’s main talents.
- Secret Spear of Wangsheng – Her Normal and Charged Attacks
- Guide to Afterlife (Elemental Skill) – Hu Tao consumes a part of her HP, knocking nearby enemies back and entering the Paramita Papilio State.
Paramita Papilio State:
Increases Hu Tao’s ATK based on her Max HP at the time of entering this state. ATK Bonus gained this way cannot exceed 400% of Hu Tao’s Base ATK. Hu Tao’s attack DMG is converted to Pyro DMG, which cannot be overridden by any other elemental infusion.
Increases Hu Tao’s resistance to interruption.
Paramita Papilio ends when its duration is over, or when Hu Tao has left the battlefield or fallen.
In the Paramita Papilio state, Hu Tao’s Charged Attacks apply the Blood Blossom effect to enemies it hits.
Blood Blossom Effect:
Enemies affected by Blood Blossom will take Pyro DMG every 4s.
This DMG is considered Elemental Skill DMG.
Each enemy can be affected by only one Blood Blossom effect at a time, and its duration may only be refreshed by Hu Tao herself.
- Spirit Soother (Elemental Burst) – Hu Tao commands a blazing spirit to deal Pyro DMG in a large AoE. Upon striking the enemy, regenerates a percentage of Hu Tao’s Max HP. This effect can be triggered up to 5 times based on the number of enemies hit.
If Hu Tao’s HP is below or equal to 50% when the enemy is hit, both the DMG and HP Regeneration are increased.
Building Hu Tao’s talents depend on what you want to do with her. If she’s going to be a main DPS that’s constantly on the field, the priority would be:
- Secret Spear of Wangsheng & Guide to Afterlife
- Spirit Soother
If you’re building her as a burst DPS the priority will, of course, change to:
- Spirit Soother
- Guide to Afterlife
- Secret Spear of Wansheng
To be completely honest, I don’t see Hu Tao being built as a burst DPS. I feel like she should be a sustained DPS meant to be in the field as much as possible, only switching out when Guide to Afterlife is on cooldown.
- Flutter by – When a Paramita Papilio state activated by Guide to Afterlife ends, all allies in the party (excluding Hu Tao herself) will have their CRIT Rate increased by 12% for 8s.
- This skill right here is a nice add-on for Hu Tao as the crit rate increase is beneficial for the other party members to keep the damage going. What makes this passive talent neat is that Guide to Afterlife has a 16-second cooldown but the Paramita Paplio state has a 9-second duration. This would mean that after Paramita Paplio has run out, you can switch to another character for about 7 seconds for the crit rate increase before switching back to Hu Tao and doing it over again. You’d also have a 1-second allowance since the crit rate increase stays for 8 seconds.
- Sanguine Rouge – When Hu Tao’s HP is equal to or less than 50%, her Pyro DMG Bonus is increased by 33%.
- Having this talent would mean that Hu Tao’s prime HP to deal the most damage would be equal to or less than 50% of her HP. Most of her moves have something to do with her HP so you need to keep an eye on that. What I’ve also noticed is that she can get a little beat up because of Guide to Afterlife’s 30% current HP activation cost.
- The More the Merrier – When Hu Tao cooks a dish perfectly, she has an 18% chance to receive an additional “Suspicious” dish of the same type.
- Nothing really to say here. It’s her cooking talent.
Personally, I think the Crimson Witch is a neat artifact set for her if you’re constantly going for reactions. Other people found Retracing Bolide a good one as well, so I’m just going to list here artifact sets that you should keep your eyes on.
- Crimson Witch 4x – Personal fave
- Retracing Bolide 4x – If Hu Tao is paired with a shielding support like Zhongli or Noelle
- Gladiator 4x – Might be a thing if you really want it to be.
- Crimson Witch 2x Gladiator 2x – Not sure about the viability of this one, but you’re gonna get a hybrid build that’s not as good as a pure Crimson set.
- Lavawalker 4x – Similar to Gladiator 4x, it might be a thing if you really want it to be.
Let’s talk about Retracing Bolide for a bit. This one is an interesting piece as a lot of Genshin Impact content creators think that Hu Tao should be paired with a shield character and I understand where they’re coming from. She can get a little squishy at times especially because you want to have her at less than or equal to 50% HP at all times so why not cash in on that shielding and have the additional damage that comes with it?
While that makes sense, I think that the Crimson Witch will still beat Retracing Bolide when it comes to overall DPS as it’d be hard to contend with its boost in elemental reaction damage. Both builds are viable, so it will only come down to what characters you have or what playstyle you have. Personally, I like a more berserker playstyle so I like my Hu Tao with no shields and on 25% HP dancing around the battlefield. (And dying most of the time.)
Primary and Secondary Stats to look out for
- CRIT DAMAGE
- PYRO DAMAGE
- CRIT RATE or DAMAGE
Pretty standard ones except for the HP part. You need to remember that Hu Tao’s kit has a lot to do with her HP scaling. That’s why I usually keep a nice balance of ATK, HP, and CRIT DAMAGE/RATE artifact sets for her.
Similar to the artifacts section of this article, I’m going to list a few weapons for Hu Tao that might be viable for her.
- Staff of Homa – This is the Hu Tao weapon. Nothing’s much better than this.
- Primordial Jade Winged-Spear
- Prototype Starglitter
- Blackcliff Pole
There’s nothing much to say about this section as these weapons all work well with the artifact sets in their respective section. You can just mix and match some weapons with the artifact sets and create a set that you’re comfortable with.
Tips and Tricks
Hu Tao is an interesting character due to her HP to ATK scaling and a lot of stuff that’s kind of new to the game. So this section is made to talk about some of that.
Charged Attack Animation Cancelling
Charged Attack is an important part of Hu Tao’s kit as it applies Blood Blossom when she’s in Guide to Afterlife, and If you’re really keen on having the highest DPS possible for Hu Tao, animation canceling might be something you’re interested in. The polearm’s charged attack displaces you and sometimes sends you far enough from the monster where you need to run back just to hit them again.
You don’t want this to happen if you’re under Guide to Afterlife as you’ll be missing precious seconds that should’ve been damage. Enter animation cancelling, the video above shows you how to do it and it’s not really that hard.
Like all main DPS, Hu Tao can be quite dependent on the character that’s supporting her for elemental reactions. I found some characters that would really help her do some real damage and I’m gonna list them here:
These characters have something for Hu Tao, such as Xingqui’s elemental burst that follows up every attack with a rain sword for an instant vaporize reaction. Qiqi’s elemental skill and Kaeya’s elemental burst do the same but with the melt reaction. If you want to have shields, there’s Noelle and Zhongli to give them to you. Hu Tao can be very versatile and these were only some of the characters that she works well with.
This guide is made for lost people who got Hu Tao but don’t know what to do with her. I hope this has given you an idea as to how she works and what she can do for you. Good luck and have fun guiding those monsters to the afterlife.