Genshin Impact made an impact when it released in 2020, with its “Breath of the Wild” like open world and fully voiced characters to be gacha’ed. Personally, I stopped during the Liyue update right before Zhongli’s release. However, being the card game enthusiast of the team, I could not pass up the chance to play Genshin’s own trading card game (TCG), Genius Invocation, that was released in December 2022.
So I grinded my way to unlocking the game and tried it out after obtaining every single card in existence. Although it was reminiscent of the Pokémon TCG where the cards in your deck are “set-up” or meant to support your Pokémons — or in Genshin’s case, the three Character cards you choose to field — the game has more nuance with its dice mechanics and I was overall very impressed by the gameplay.
Nonetheless, let’s not dwell on the game that every Genshin player already knows, and instead dive into the Version 3.5 update which teases new cards for the Genius Invocation TCG and my opinions on them.
The first card being Eula, the Dance of the forgotten Gacha.
A Cryo Character Card with only 2 Energy for the Elemental Burst (EB). The card at first glance reminds me of Diluc’s Character card where the Elemental Skill (ES) gets better and better the more it is used. Unlike Diluc’s ES where the bonus damage comes only on the third use, Eula’s ES gets a bonus on the next use. Overall Diluc’s ES deals 11 total damage for 3 uses while Eula’s deals only 8 damage after 3 uses (with the assumption that you don’t gain Grimheart after the second use; if it does, you will deal a total of 10 which is still lower).
What makes Eula better is her EB which only requires 2 Energy and compliments her ES. Although her initial EB only deals 2 damage, each use of her ES increases the End of Turn (EoT) damage of Lightfall Sword. Thus, it is better to use her EB at the start of the turn and use her ES as much as you can to deal more EoT damage. When used with her Signature card, Wellspring of War-Lust, the EoT increases even further with each ES uses, thus making her EB better.
Overall, I believe she is a very good “Beat Stick” that can stand on her own without the need to trigger any Elemental Reactions which are strong even in the TCG. I am excited to test her out with Diluc and Razor, in a deck that does not rely on switching characters and without triggering Elemental Reactions.
The next card on the list is Sangonomiya Kokomi, the Pearl of Hydro.
A Hydro Character Card reminiscence of Mona. Just like the first released Mona Character card, all of Kokomi’s skills deal hydro damage. Even Kokomi’s ES deals EoT hydro damage just like Mona, though Mona’s ES has damage reduction, while Kokomi heals 1 hp. Kokomi’s ES, however, has 2 uses which deals hydro damage twice when trying to trigger Elemental Reactions over two different turns. Whether damage reduction or heal is better depends on the deck and other characters, but in general, damage reduction would still be better.
Unlike Mona, Kokomi only requires 2 Energy for her EB which means it’s easier to attain with the card Starsigns in one turn, unlike Mona who requires 3 Energy. Kokomi’s EB is rather unique in that it supports Normal Attack Characters, like Xingqiu, another hydro character whose EB supports Normal Attack. Unlike Xingqiu that reapplies the hydro status with each Normal Attack, Kokomi’s doesn’t as it only deals 1 extra damage and heals 1 hp for each character.
Overall, Kokomi is another great hydro applicator like Mona and Xingqiu but is more defensive than offensive. Though I might not replace her with my Mona and Xingqiu decks as I believe the characters have better application in those decks, she would make a great replacement for Barbara decks, as her EB is more offensive than Barbara’s.
The last character card on the list is Kujou Sara, “Quicken Everywhere” Kaburaya.
An Electro Character with an interesting Elemental Skill. The comparison I can make would be to Fischl’s Character card where both their ES deals only 1 Electro damage, but summons that deal 1 EoT Electro damage. Unlike Fischl, Sara’s summon has only 1 usage but gifts a buff for the active Character, the Crowfeather, which gives any ES and EB additional 1 damage with 2 usages. This buff is very hard to evaluate since the buff does not apply any Elemental but a +1 may sometimes prove enough to push that last damage to kill opposing Characters.
Her EB, although only requiring 2 Energy, does require 4 Electro Dice which could prove hard to roll with the dices. The EB is a better version of her ES, where the summon has two usages and deals 2 EoT Electro damage; those extra damages can go out of hand in Quicken decks. Since the summon has 2 usages that leaves a buff with 2 usages, it would require you to switch characters to leave the buff or use two skills in a turn to not waste the buff timer (unless the buffs get added on instead of refreshed).
Overall, I feel Sara will find a perfect home in Quicken decks that already deal extra damage with each Electro hit. She may be a good replacement for Keqing or Cyno as the third Electro Character in Quicken decks and might prove to be the best Character for Quicken decks.
The final cards are two Artifact Equipment cards, the General’s Ancient Helm and the Ornate Kabuto.
Let’s go over the first Artifact Equipment which is the General’s Ancient Helm. This is the first instance of an Artifact card that directly gives a buff to Characters, in the form of Shield buff which negates 1 damage for each instance of Shield. This is in my opinion an A tier equipment that goes into every deck, as most skills deal a maximum of 3 damage (except EBs and Elemental Reactions) and the equipment refreshes the buff at every Action phase. This gives every Character more survivability without relying on Food Buff cards.
Ornate Kabuto is another Energy acceleration Artifact Equipment card similar to Exile’s Circlet, but unlike Exile’s Circlet that gives each standby Character an Energy, Ornate Kabuto only gives the equipped Character an Energy. Although in my opinion the Equipment is a little lacking, it does work in tandem with Exile Circlet to supercharge a character that only requires 2 Energy to EB. However, it would take a lot of your card slots just to supercharge 1 Character.
All and all, my ranking of excitement to try the new cards have to go in the following order: –
- General’s Ancient Helm;
- Kujou Sara;
- Sangonomiya Kokomi;
- Ornate Kabuto;
I hope the new cards would open up new deck ideas and reinforce some of the already established decks like Kujou Sara in Quicken decks. What are you most excited for in Version 3.5?