Hu Tao in-depth character guide


Author: Harnas | Featured Character: Hu Tao | Element Type: Pyro | Game Version 1.4.0

Intro

  • The fact that she is a Pyro character already makers her OP in this game, with the current meta surrounding Vaporize and Melt reactions.
  • Although she is 5 star, you don't need to invest much on her to get decent damage. The only thing you need (to pay) is rolling her out from gacha :D
  • Both her E and Q are useful for dealing big damage, with Q also keeping her alive. So you might not even need a healer in some cases.
  • She is also a (decent) Support, if you consider her Passive :>
  • Her Japanese VA is Rie Takahashi aka Konosuba's Megumin VA. So have fun doing "EXPLOOOOSION" with her Q :>

Mainguide

Note: in this guide

E = Elemental skill = Guide to Afterlife

Q = Elemental Burst skill = Spirit Soother

I will give the guide based on my analysis on each of her traits/talents below:

1. Hu Tao looks like she has a second life in my opinion. Her base HP at lv90 is just huge - 15552, while normal characters only have this stats around 12k.

-> This is reasonable since her playstyle focuses mainly on this HP stat.

2. She has quite weak damage output on her Normal attack. However, her Charged attack has huge damage.

-> Mostly you would like to play her using this Charged attack.

3. Her E "Guide to Afterlife" converts a certain % of her max HP to her ATK stats, with a cost of sacrificing % of her HP. Her damage will be converted to Pyro damage till the end of this E.

4. Using a Charged attack will make a mark an enemy, dealing constant Pyro damage.

-> Using her Charged attack during the E to maximize her raw damage output + combine her with other Cryo/Hydro characters to x2 this damage using Melt/Vaporize reactions.

(This is why Xingqiu is her best teammate - both in optimizing her damage output - will explain this in Mechanics part. Funny since he is also her "best poet friend" in the game lore :> ).

5. Her Q "Spirit Soother" does a huge Pyro "EXPLOOOOSION" on mobs and also heals her (so no fallen Megumin after this).

6. If her HP is equal or lower than 50% max HP before/during the Q, this Pyro "EXPLOOOOSION" damage output will be even higher.

7. The more mobs this Q hits, the more HP she gets regenerated, max up to 5 mobs.

-> Try to keep her HP at equal or lower than 50% max HP to maximize the "EXPLOOOOSION".

(No worries since when you finish building her, the HP can go up to 40k, meaning at 50% she has ~20k HP, which equals to some characters' max HP already (/◕ヮ◕)/)

-> Since this damage is Pyro, you can build a team to basically one shot the enemies and flex your Hu Tao's big damage. I will talk about team comp in next section.

(At the time of writting this guide, I could do 232070 damage using this Q, no food and potion buffs).

-> Try to hit as many enemies (up to 5) as possible with Q, since it will heal your Hu Tao by a large amount. Say goodbye to your good old Barbabruh ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

8. Her passive "Flutter By" increases the other teammate's CRIT Rate by 12% for 8s after her E's ends

-> This is why I said from intro that she could be a Support :> even her talent is saying that you should not just use her, but pairing her with other teammates :>

9. Another passive: "Sanguine Rouge" increases her Pyro DMG Bonus by 33% when HP is equal or less than 50%

-> Another reason to not need a healer and keep her HP at 50% or lower (づσ‿σ)づ

Mechanics

1. Cancel Charged attack animation trick:

Overall, to maximize her damage, first thing you need to do is spamming her Charged attack.

But of course, as usual, Mihoyo slaps at your face and saying "we don't do that here :DD" by making her Charged attack animation long as hell + hard to control (think of Klee's normal attack animation).

However, there is a trick to cancel this animation (just like Klee cancel animation trick. Sound unfamiliar? Check our website for her guide then :> ). I will explain it how I understand the trick:

  • Step 1: You do her Charged attack like usual. Bare in mind it is considered as 1 Normal attack -> Charged attack (she swing her polearm to the front = Normal attack -> she dashes forward = Charghed attack)
  • Step 2: Right after she moves backwards (she needs to move backward to do the Charged attack) -> you see the thrusting animation of the polearm attacking forward -> press jump
  • Step 3: Rinse and repeat. Profit :D

You can check a video guide on this by this Youtuber: https://youtu.be/K2ziUMLPits

NOTE: there is also another cancel animation trick, instead of Charged -> Jump, you can do Charged -> Dash, which is much faster. However I don't consider it a good way for everyone since you lose stamina (a lot) during this trick. However, if you are a whale and have Hu Tao at C1 (no stamina consumption during Charged attack), then sure this one is way better. Here is a video guide: https://youtu.be/_kD9auq6XtM

2. Best teammates (not your terrible freeriders when you work on team :> ): 

  • Xingqiu

As I mentioned in the previous part, the fact that he is a Hydro character that triggers Vaporize for Hu Tao is already a plus. Secondly, his Q + the Charged attack spam trick I above are a perfect combination. Xingqiu's Q shoots swords rain towards enemies whenever a character does a Normal attack, and Hu Tao's Charged attack spam trick starts at a Normal attack.

Imagine you use Xingqiu's Q -> swap to Hu Tao, use her E -> do the Charged attack trick -> the swords rain will come to enemies first, applying Wet -> your Hu Tao deals Pyro with her Normal attack -> Vaporize -> next attack will have x2 damage, which is her Charged attack.

There is a reason why Xingqiu is an OP Support (and DPS), and yeah, this is one of the case :>

  • Bennett OR any Pyro character

Well I don't think I need to say much here, since Bennett is almost an Universal Support, everyone can (and should) use him on their team in my opinion.

In Hu Tao case, he is a Pyro character -> already gave a team bonus. His Q boosts her damage output, although there is a tradeoff losing the 50% HP bonus of Hu Tao. And finally he is a healer, in emergency case you can use him to heal Hu Tao fast :>

With any Pyro characters, welp the team bonus is huge, so why not try it? And also there are no trash Pyro characters in this game at the moment.

  • Sucrose

I myself do not have Sucrose at the time writting this guide, so I cannot comment much on this. But she has a huge Elemental Mastery stats + can hold Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers book, so if you play based on optimizing your elemental reactions damage output, then she is a good choice in team of course.

  • Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers (lol): another Universal "Waifu"/"Husbando" you might want to consider, judging on its availability (beacause you have salty gacha result) + cheap raising cost.

3. Some tips (and issues):

  • Use an HP Sands instead of other stats, since it gives best damage bonus to her :> 
  • Using Pyro DMG Bonus Goblet vs HP Goblet: according to my tests at the time writting this guide, Pyro DMG Bonus gives a better damage output. However you can research around to confirm this.
  • In my own opinion, using a CRIT DMG main stat Circlet is better than CRIT Rate, since you can have a bigger number per attack. Also, 50% (or more) CRIT Rate is already enough for her, which you can gain by having good CRIT Rate substats. 

Team Compositions

Allround Team


Character Selection

Rotation

Weapons

Choice Number #1 - Staff of Homa


Weapon Ability

0.8% of the wielder's Max HP. When the wielder's HP is less than 50%, this ATK Bonus is increased by an additional 1% of Max HP.

Usage Description

Staff of "Homeless", best weapon for her of course. A huge CRIT DMG substat + increase her base HP + OP passive of increasing ATK when character at 50% or lower HP.

I kept questioning about my existence during the gacha for this polearm to be honest D:


Choice Number #2 - Blackcliff Pole


Weapon Ability

After defeating an enemy, ATK is increased by 12/15/18/21/24% for 30s. This effect has a maximum of 3 stacks, and the duration of each stack is independent of the others.

Usage Description

A "kinda f2p" weapon for her, since you need enough Starglitter to buy it from shop. It has CRIT DMG substat like Homa, and a good passive.


Choice Number #3 - Deathmatch


Weapon Ability

If there are at least 2 enemies nearby, ATK is increased by 16% and DEF is increased by 16%. If there are less than 2 enemies nearby, ATK is incraesed by 24%.

Usage Description

Another I-have-to-spend-but-less-money weapon. But considering how profitable Battle Pass is on this game, I would suggest to get at least one of this polearm. It has CRIT Rate substats, which is good if you want to maximize CRIT DMG stat by artifacts. However, a meh passive, and a low Base ATK (which is a typical problem with BP weapons).


Choice Number #4 - White Tassel


Weapon Ability

Increases Normal Attack DMG by 24/30/36/42/48%

Usage Description

Don't think because this is a 3 stars weapon that means it is trash. Both a substat CRIT Rate and its Passive are good on Hu Tao. The damage output is not low at all, maybe a bit lower than the 4 stars, but you can compensate that using a good team.

Artifactsetup

Artifact Setup #1 - Maximize DMG based on reactions


Best set for Elemental Master(y)s :D

  • Elemental Mastery
  • Energy Recharge (I would say about ~130% ER is enough, since her Q costs only 60 energy, quite cheap)
  • HP (of course)
  • CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG (of course x2)
  • Flat ATK instead of ATK% - why? Because her base ATK is low. Taking a % of a low base ATK might be lower than a flat ATK number slapped on her stats

1st Setbonus (Crimson Witch of Flames)

Pyro DMG Bonus +15%

2nd Setbonus (Crimson Witch of Flames)

Increases Overloaded and Burning DMG by 40%. Increases Vaporize and Melt DMG by 15%. Using an Elemental Skill increases 2-Piece Set effects by 50% of its starting value for 10s. Max 3 stacks.


Artifact Setup #2 - Maximize Pyro DMG output


If you want to play with Hu Tao alone.

  • Energy Recharge (I would say about ~130% ER is enough, since her Q costs only 60 energy, quite cheap)
  • HP (of course)
  • CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG (of course x2)
  • Flat ATK instead of ATK% - why? Because her base ATK is low. Taking a % of a low base ATK might be lower than a flat ATK number slapped on her stats

1st Setbonus (Lavawalker)

Pyro RES increased by 40%

2nd Setbonus (Lavawalker)

Increases DMG against enemies that are Burning or affected by Pyro by 35%


Artifact Setup #3 - Tactical Nuke


To maximize her Q damage output and flex with your friends.

  • Elemental Mastery (if you want to combine her with other teammates for reaction bonuses)
  • Energy Recharge (I would say about ~130% ER is enough, since her Q costs only 60 energy, quite cheap)
  • HP (of course)
  • CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG (of course x2)
  • Flat ATK instead of ATK% - why? Because her base ATK is low. Taking a % of a low base ATK might be lower than a flat ATK number slapped directly into her stats

1st Setbonus (Crimson Witch of Flames)

Pyro DMG Bonus +15%

2nd Setbonus (Crimson Witch of Flames)

Using an Elemental Burst Increases all party member's ATK by 20% for 12s. This effect cannot stack.

Conclusion

Well, to summarize my long-as-faq guide, here is the tl;dr:

  • Her playstyle focuses around her HP stats
  • Using Charged attack during her E to maximize the damange output. Learn the cancel Charged attack animation trick for this.
  • Keep her HP at equal or lower than 50% max HP for a better huge damage.
  • Make use of a good team to both help her producing big numbers, and the teammate can gain from it her increasing CRIT Rate passive.

Overall, I would say Hu Tao is an all-in-one character. Her E is like Xiao's Q but on the ground. Her Q is a tactical nuke like Mona or Tartaglia's Q. Also, her Q heals like Barbabra, while her passive gives a buff like a Support.

Same investments, but more gains, isn't that profitable? :>