As more players become invested in the new Genius Invokation TCG game mode in Genshin Impact, more viable decks and strategies begin to emerge. These tend to reflect common decks in traditional trading card games, including stall decks, summon decks and more. If you want to learn how to build some of these decks, you can find our guides for the Ayamiya Melt Deck, the Geo Stall Deck and the Collei Quicken Deck here.
This deck is the Freeze Shutdown (or Lockdown) Deck. Built around the Elemental Reaction of the same name, this is a disruptive deck that aims to lock down your opponent, forcing them to switch characters, wasting their turns and dice. If played right, this can be a brutal deck, capable of shutting down some of the hardest-hitting comps in the game.
Here’s how to make the Freeze Shutdown Deck in Genshin Impact.
Want more Genshin Impact and Genius Invokation TCG content? You can find more here at KeenGamer:
- Genshin Impact: Ayamiya (Yoimiya + Ayaka) Genius Invokation TCG Deck Guide
- Genshin Impact: Collei Quicken Genius Invokation TCG Deck Guide
- Genshin Impact: How to Easily Get Dynamic Skins for Genius Invokation TCG
- Genshin Impact Wanderer (Scaramouche) Best Build Guide
- Genshin Impact Faruzan Best Build Guide
What is Freeze in Genius Invokation TCG?
Freeze (or Frozen) is one of the core Cryo Elemental Reactions in both Genshin Impact and the Genius Invokation TCG game mode. It requires hitting a target with both Hydro DMG and Cryo DMG. After that, the target will be Frozen for one full round.
The power of Freeze in the TCG is its ability to shut down your opponent. When you Freeze an opposing Character Card, you lock them out of acting for that Round: they cannot attack or use any of their skills, forcing the opponent to switch characters and waste dice, Action Cards and even entire turns. Against some of the stronger, meta-defining decks, Freeze decks like this one can completely neuter them, stopping them from pulling off the OTK (one-turn knockout) strategies they often use to win.
The downside of Freeze is that it doesn’t deal any direct damage. This can make it feel weak at times, especially compared to powerhouses like Melt or Vapourize. Additionally, it requires a lot of switching around to effectively pull off – if you focus too much on one character or one element, you will often fail to inflict Freeze and the deck won’t come together. Keep this in mind when building or playing Freeze decks.
Now let’s go over what cards belong in this deck. The Freeze Deck has a lot of moving parts to make it work the way it is intended. As such, there are two sets of cards in this deck: the Essential Cards and the Non-Essential Cards. The former is the cards that you need to have in every version of this deck to make it work. Meanwhile, the latter are cards that you swap and switch freely depending on your preferences or strategy.
The Essential Cards in this deck:
- Mona (Character Card)
- Ganyu (Character Card)
- Kamisato Ayaka (Character Card)
- Kanten Senmyou Blessing x2 (Ayaka Talent Card)
- Heart of Depth x1 (Equipment Card)
- Blizzard Strayer x1 (Equipment Card)
- Sacrificial Sword x1 (Equipment Card)
- Paimon x2 (Support Card)
- Liben x2 (Support Card)
- Liu Si x2 (Support Card)
- Katheryne x2 (Support Card)
- Dawn Winery x2 (Support Card)
- Strategize x2 (Event Card)
- Toss-Up x2 (Event Card)
- The Bestest Travel Companion! x2 (Event Card)
- When the Crane Returned x2 (Event Card)
- Elemental Resonance: Woven Ice x2 (Event Card)
Meanwhile, the Non-Essential Cards in the deck are:
- Prophecy of Submersion x2 (Mona Talent Card)
- Undivided Heart x1 (Ganyu Talent Card)
- Liyue Harbour Wharf x2 (Support Card)
- Timmie x2 (Support Card)
- Changing Tides x2 (Event Card)
- Leave it to Me! x2 (Event Card)
- Quick Knit x1 (Event Card)
Every viable deck needs 30 cards. This includes 3 Character Cards and 30 Action Cards. The Essential Cards are required to make the deck work as intended, but the Non-Essential Cards can be swapped around or substituted for another card. Your decision here can help you directly counter an opponent’s deck, make your own deck more consistent or some other strategy. The Essential Cards will be what carries you through each match, though, so don’t fret too much.
Mona is perhaps the most important member of this composition because she is your sole way of dealing Hydro DMG. Hydro and Cryo are both required to cause the Freeze Reaction, but Mona will be your core way of dealing with that Reaction. She has a few other tricks up her sleeve, though.
Mona’s abilities are:
- Ripple of Fate (Normal Attack): Deals 1 Hydro DMG
- Mirror Reflection of Doom (Elemental Skill): Deals 1 Hydro DMG, summons 1 Reflection [Summon: Lowers DMG taken by the active character by 1 for 1 Usage. After that Usage is depleted, it will remain on the field and then deal 1 Hydro DMG in the End Phase]
- Stellaris Phantasm (Elemental Burst): Deals 4 Hydro DMG, creates 1 Illusory Bubble [Status: When dealing Skill DMG, remove this status and double DMG dealt]
- Illusory Torrent (Passive Skill): When you switch characters while Mona is your active character, this switch is considered a Fast Action once per Round]
Aside from her ability to deal Hydro DMG with every part of her kit, Mona can also give you some level of defence with her Skill and a damage boost with her Burst. In addition, her Passive Skill is immensely useful as this deck relies a lot on switching between your various Character Cards: anything that you will allow you to switch for free or as a Fast Action is worthy of a place in this deck. While not a powerhouse in and of herself, Mona is a great asset to this deck.
Ganyu is here primarily for the massive amounts of damage that she can deal to the entire opposing team. Alongside her Cryo DMG and the ability to induce Freeze alongside Mona, Ganyu hits hard and hits everywhere if you use the right moves.
Ganyu’s abilities are:
- Liutian Archery (Normal Attack): Deals 2 Physical DMG.
- Trail of the Qilin (Elemental Skill): Deals 1 Cryo DMG, creates 1 Ice Lotus [Status: Lowers DMG taken by the active character by 1 for 1 Usage]
- Frostflake Arrow (Normal Attack): Deals 2 Cryo DMG, deals 2 Piercing DMG to all opposing characters on standby.
- Celestial Shower (Elemental Burst): Deals 1 Cryo DMG, deals 1 Piercing DMG to all opposing characters on standby, summons 1 Sacred Cryo Pearl [Summon: Deals 1 Cryo DMG and 1 Piercing DMG to all opposing characters on standby in the End Phase, 2 Uses]
Like Mona, Ganyu’s Skill has the potential to both Freeze the opponent as well as give you a shield. Pair that with her Frostflake Arrow, allowing you to hit every single Character Card on the field, and you have a very potent damage dealer. One of the biggest weaknesses of this deck is that, in focusing so much on Freeze, you will likely sacrifice some of the heavier-hitting damage numbers seen in other decks: Ganyu helps curb this somewhat.
Finally, we have Kamisato Ayaka. While Ganyu will be dealing the most direct damage, Ayaka will be our primary source of damage and Cryo. She will be who you switch to most often to deliver the punishing Freeze Reaction onto your opponent thanks to her Cryo Infusion and low Dice cost.
Ayaka has the following abilities:
- Kamisato Art: Kabuki (Normal Attack): Deals 2 Physical DMG.
- Kamisato Art: Hyouka (Elemental Skill): Deals 3 Cryo DMG.
- Kamisato Art: Soumetsu (Elemental Burst): Deals 4 Cryo DMG, summons 1 Frostflake Seki no to (2 Cryo DMG to opposing Active Character for 2 End Phases)
- Kamisato Art: Senho (Passive Skill): When switched to be the active character, this character gains Cryo-Elemental Infusion.
When Ayaka’s Passive is active, she becomes a great source of Cryo to pair with Mona’s Hydro. Instead of having to use the higher-cost skills of Ganyu, Ayaka’s Normal Attack is perfect for the job, saving you time and Dice which can be used on other Action Cards or attacks.
There are a fair few Equipment Cards that can make their way into your Freeze Deck. Some are quite obvious in their implementation (Heart of Depths and Blizard Strayer are both used to make your Character’s abilities cost less to cast, for example) while others are a bit more tricksy.
The only required Talent Card in the deck is Ayaka’s Kanten Senmyou Blessing. At only 2 Cryo Dice, this is one of the cheapest Talent Cards in the game. When equipped, Ayaka’s Cryo Infusion (which is granted on the turn you switch to her) deals a bonus +1 Cryo DMG every time it hits. Additionally, when you switch to Ayaka with this card equipped, it’ll not cost you any Dice. Pair this with Mona’s Passive and you could hypothetically switch in, cast Freeze and deal damage with Ayaka’s Normal Attack and still have plenty of Dice left for Action Cards. This is a great option for your deck.
Meanwhile, Mona and Ganyu’s Talent Cards are similarly useful but more situational. Ganyu’s Card simply costs so many Dice (at a hefty 5 Cryo Dice) with the bonus effect only kicking in if you’ve already used Frostflake Arrow once already. If you can get it off and want it in your deck, you will benefit from big damage across the entire board with Cryo to Freeze and Piercing to lower the standby Character’s health. On the other hand, Mona’s Card is a direct buff to her own Skill damage. While nice, Mona is here for Hydro application and her shields, not her damage so some players may want some other cards in their hand instead.
Aside from the Talent Cards, the major Equipment Card in this deck is the Sacrificial Sword. This is an upgraded version of the regular Sword Equipment Card, with an extra benefit it gains from the card’s namesake. Alongside allowing any Sword character (in this case, Ayaka) to deal a permanent +1 DMG, it also creates 1 free Elemental Dice of the same type as the equipped character when they use an Elemental Skill. In the best circumstances, Ayaka’s Cryo Infused Normal Attacks will be doing the most work, but this weapon allows her Skill to become equally as viable, giving you plenty of opportunities to freeze the opponent.
Support Cards are where the deck begins to come into its own, but also where you can begin fiddling with it more. There are a lot of Support Cards in both the Essential and Non-Essential categories.
Starting with Essential, we have the combo of the Dawn Winery and Katheryne. On their own, both of these cards are great boons to have for a duel (with the former granting 1 free Switch per Round, and the latter allowing your first switch per Round to become a Fast Action), but together they are formidable. For a deck so focused on switching characters to Freeze the enemy, having both Katheryne and the Dawn Winery active (or just having one of them active) will make your life far easier. However, there is the option to swap one of these cards out for the event card variant, Changing Tides and Leave it to Me! respectively, if you want a bit more agency in your switches at a lower cost.
The other standout Support Cards are Paimon, Liu Su and Liben. Paimon’s benefits are obvious, especially in a deck with only two core elements, as it gives you more dice to work with for attacking, switching or playing Action Cards. Then, Liu Su provides an interesting bonus to your team by giving Burst Energy when you switch to a character with none. While he’s on the field, this allows you to rack up Burst Energy at a steady pace and ready your stronger Elemental Bursts. Finally, Liben is just a great card to have on hand. At 0 cost and the only ask being 1 dice per round, the 2 Omni Element Dice and 2 free cards are an immense help in any duel: the Non-Essential card Timmie essentially does the same thing, but at a lower risk and lower reward.
As with a lot of decks, Event Cards are what make things interesting. This will be what a lot of your plays are based around.
Once again, some of the benefits of these Event Cards are quite apparent. Strategize (and by extension, the Liyue Harbour Wharf Support Card) exists to give you more opportunities to pull the Action Cards you need whether that be Ayaka’s Talent Card, the Dawn Winery or just the chance at extra dice. Then, Woven Ice is just free dice for no extra effort.
After going over those, let’s go over the Essential Card When the Crane Returned. Once you play this card, the next time you use a Skill your active character will be switched for free. As previously stated, this deck relies heavily on switching between its Character Cards. While Mona’s Passive Ability and your choice of Support Cards will make this easier, When the Crane Returned is such a good card because it does everything, at once, for essentially nothing. The one dice cost when switching characters is already spent, allowing you to still get off your attack with a character like Mona, before being switched to Ayaka or Ganyu for a quick Freeze next turn.
The other eyebrow-raising inclusion to this deck is the Non-Essential Card Quick Knit. This is usually a staple of Summon Decks and while this deck does use some Summons (Ganyu’s Sacred Cryo Pearl or Mona’s Reflection), it isn’t the staple. What Quick Knit is used for here is to give you more defensive capabilities: when used on Mona’s Reflection, it will give it an additional usage, letting it block an extra point of damage. While seemingly quite innocuous, this can be a lifesaver in many situations, helping you narrowly avoid death and pull off a clutch Freeze or attack.
Last but not least, this deck only have 2 elements in Cryo and Hydro. This translates to only having 3 sides of the dice mean anything: while this does make committing to plays easier, it also increases the risk of not having the right dice at the right moment. Enter The Bestest Travel Companion! and Toss-Up, two cards which can influence your chance of getting the dice you need. The former guarantees you 2 Omni Element Dice, while the latter allows you 2 more rerolls on your entire set of dice.
Freeze Deck Playstyle
Next up, let’s discuss how to actually play the Freeze Deck in a match of Genius Invokation TCG. Combos are some of the most important things to know when building a deck, as cards which synergize together are often capable of changing the tides significantly. The following list contains combos of cards that should be used together to achieve the best result in a duel.
- Kamisato Ayaka + Kanten Semyou Blessing: When you equip Ayaka with her Talent Card, her Normal Attacks will be far stronger when infused with Cryo.
- Kamisato Ayaka + Sacrificial Sword: With the Sword equipped, Ayaka can use her Elemental Skill more liberally instead of relying on her Cryo-Infused Normal Attacks. This can be useful in the late game when her Skill is likely to do more damage.
- Mona + When the Crane Returned: Playing this card and then immediately using Mona’s Elemental Skill will switch you to one of the Cryo Character Cards, while still inflicting Hydro on the opponent. If you have enough dice left, you can follow up with a nice Freeze to stop the opponent in their tracks.
- Quick Knit + Mona’s Reflection: Using Quick Knit on the Reflection will give it additional usage, allowing it to protect your active character from another point of damage.
- Dawn Winery + Katheryne: When played together, this combo grants you one free Fast Action switch every Round.
At the start of a fight, having the right Action Cards can mean the difference between confidently striding to victory and trudging behind in defeat. As such, you’ll want to know what is viable right off the bat and what kind of starting hand you’ll want to have.
For the Freeze Shutdown Deck, you’ll likely want a mix of the following options:
- Liben: You can instantly begin setting up for his big payout right from the start of the match.
- When the Crane Returned: A cheap way of beginning the Freeze combo.
- Kanten Semyou Blessing: Ayaka quickly becomes more viable and her Infusion becomes more powerful.
- Toss-Up: Allows for an easy reroll of your dice if you get unlucky with elements.
- Dawn Winery: Allows the rest of the match to go smoother when your first switch every round costs nothing.
Here is how a general game will go with the Freeze Deck in Genshin Impact. While you may have to move certain parts around to accommodate changes in strategy or the opponent, you should try and follow this flow state as much as you can.
- When the game begins, choose Mona as your active character.
- Use Mirror Reflection of Doom to summon a Reflection and inflict the enemy with Hydro. If you played When the Crane Returned, you’ll switch to one of your Cryo characters: if you didn’t, wait until your next turn and then switch as a Fast Action with Mona’s Passive.
- During that turn, hit the opponent with a Cryo Skill to Freeze the opposing Character Card, then End Round. This likely won’t do a ton, as this is early in the match and near the end of a round, but it will help stall the opponent.
- On the next Round, switch back to Mona (preferably for free with the Dawn Winery + Katheryne set-up). Then inflict Hydro with her Skill again. Switch to one of your Cryo characters again and inflict Freeze.
- As you continue in the match, more of your opponent’s characters will be inflicted with Hydro at different points. This allows you to skip applying Hydro and go straight the to Cryo application instead, letting Freeze take place earlier on.
- Continue switching between your active characters, inflicting Freeze and popping your Bursts or stronger attacks like Frostflake Arrow at intermittent points to stall the opponent, force them to waste their turns and deal decent damage.
- Rinse and repeat until victory is yours.
The most vital part of this deck is getting your opponent ready for Freeze. This is easier said than done, especially if your opponent is aware that you’re trying to Freeze them: they may switch themselves constantly to avoid this fate. You can still exploit this, though, by using Mona to inflict Hydro on every opposing Character Card. Now, they’re all available to be Frozen and you can focus on your Cryo characters instead of switching.
Another thing to note is to watch when your switch to Ayaka. Because her Cryo Infusion is such a large part of her kit, you want to save it for longer rounds where it can take full effect. Problem is, the Cryo Infusion will activate on the Round you switch to her and then disappear the following Round – this means that if you switch at the end of a Round or when you are lacking in dice, you’ll waste her Infusion. Keep that in mind whenever you plan on switching to her.
Lastly, make good use of your Action Cards. Using cards like Liben whenever you can make later Rounds much easier to deal with thanks to the extra dice and cards, whereas playing the Dawn Winery or When the Crane Returned will make your turn-to-turn gameplay go far smoother. Use Toss-Up and The Bestest Travel Companion! if you ever get unlucky with your dice rolls and play Support cards whenever viable.
General Advice, Strengths and Weaknesses
Finally, let’s go over some general advice when playing a Freeze Deck.
Compared to some of the heavier-hitting decks, Freeze decks can feel like they take a while to get going. Getting just the right circumstance can be hard, especially if the enemy knows what you’re trying to do. However, if you’re patient and keep applying Hydro whenever you can, that golden opportunity will eventually arrive. You get to Freeze an opponent just before they cast a match-ending Burst or annoying series of Reactions.
Another downside to this deck is that it is relatively weak in terms of raw DPS. Your heaviest hitter is Ganyu, and that is primarily because of her ability to hit the entire field for damage. Meanwhile, Mona and Ayaka, while useful in applying Freeze and disrupting the enemy, serve more as distractions rather than massive damage dealers: this is especially prevalent when comparing Ayaka to her role in other compositions, like the Ayamiya Comp, where she is the main DPS. This isn’t a massive deal, but it is worth keeping in mind as matches will likely drag out longer than you expect.
The benefits you reap in return for this weakness are quite plentiful, though. With Freeze, you are a disruptive nightmare on the mat: you can block enemy Bursts just as they’re about to happen, force the opponent to waste turns switching back and forth between Frozen characters, or even just waste entire turns. If you manage to Freeze an enemy with only a single Character Card, they will be forced to end their Round as they physically cannot do anything. This troublesome capability is what lets a relatively weak deck like Freeze go up against behemoths.
Overall, the Freeze Deck is something you have to commit to. You need to be prepared to go all in on the long-lasting benefits of Freeze by switching characters nearly constantly and chipping away with low-damage attacks. Freeze is a super strong Reaction but it can be overwhelmed easily: if your opponent knows what you’re doing, they can easily switch characters and make your switches worthless. However, when that golden opportunity occurs (and it will) you can seize control of an entire match and turn everything around. Freeze Decks are about patience and set-up, commit to that and you’ll win.
That’s how to make a Freeze Shutdown Deck in Genshin Impact’s Genius Invokation TCG.