Hu Tao is a 5* Pyro Polearm DPS capable unleashing some of the highest DMG numbers in the game through effective use of Vaporize Reactions.
However, to achieve her DMG potential, you will have to pay attention to several factors while playing her, such as how low her HP is—she wants it to be low—and how quickly you apply Hydro to enemies.
For optimal DMG output, you’ll also have to master some animation canceling, but this is way simpler than it sounds.
If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to take your Hu Tao against any content in the game and always come out on top.
But, in order to do that, you’ll have to effectively manage her:
- Artifact set bonuses
- Team synergies
Table of ContentsShow
Hu Tao’s Talent Priority
|Normal Attack |
(Secret Spear of Wangsheng)
|Normal Attack |
Performs up to six consecutive spear strikes.
Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to lunge forward, dealing damage to opponents along the way.
Plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
|Hu Tao’s most consistent and most devastating source of DMG is her Charged Attack. Granted, you need to have her Pyro infusion active to make any of her attacks deal any DMG, but as far as DMG scaling is concerned she still gets the most mileage out of this talent. That’s why we consider this Hu Tao’s higher priority talent.|
|Elemental Skill |
(Guide to Afterlife)
|Only an unwavering flame can cleanse the impurities of this world. |
Hu Tao consumes a set portion of her HP to knock the surrounding enemies back and enter the 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.
• Converts attack DMG to Pyro DMG, which cannot be overridden by any other elemental infusion.
• Charged Attacks apply the Blood Blossom effect to the enemies hit.Increases Hu Tao’s resistance to interruption.
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.
Paramita Papilio ends when its duration is over, or Hu Tao has left the battlefield or fallen.
|In layman’s terms, this Elemental Skill infuses Hu Tao’s attacks with Pyro and gives them a huge ATK bonus that scales with her max HP at the cost of sacrificing 30% of her current HP. It also adds some extra damage-over-time to enemies hit by her Elemental Skill. |
The HP cost to activate this ability is actually a benefit, as Hu Tao gains many perks when below 50% HP.
This is Hu Tao’s second-priority talent.
|Elemental Burst |
|Commands a blazing spirit to attack, dealing 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.
|This Elemental Burst is Hu Tao’s only reliable source of AoE DMG. When you need to kill something quickly, you can always rely on this ability to get the job done. |
Just make sure to cast it while Hu Tao’s Elemental Skill is active and while she is under 50% HP.
All in all, this is Hu Tao’s third-priority talent—technically the least important talent but amazing in its own right and worth leveling up.
Hu Tao’s Passive Talents
|The More the Merrier||When Hu Tao cooks a dish perfectly, she has a 18% chance to receive an additional “Suspicious” dish of the same type.||This talent is inconsequential.|
|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 talent isn’t as cracked as it appears to be. |
It’s quite powerful if your Hu Tao is incapable of clearing content within one Pyro infusion window.
But, the more powerful Hu Tao gets, the less useful this talent gets, since all enemies will be dead by the time it triggers.
|Sanguine Rogue||When Hu Tao’s HP is equal to or less than 50%, her Pyro DMG Bonus is increased by 33%.||This talent is incredible. |
You should always aim to have your Hu Tao below 50% HP just to get this massive 33% Pyro DMG Bonus.
A couple of things to note about Hu Tao’s kit:
Firstly, she has the lowest base ATK stat in the entire game! This is offset by her HP scaling and her having the highest HP stat in the game. But this also means that her attacks without the Pyro infusion hit like wet noodles. Only attack when her Elemental Skill is active.
Secondly, Hu Tao’s Charged Attacks have no ICD (internal cooldown). Most DMG instances in the game have an ICD of 2.5 seconds or 3 hits. This is why Ayaka can’t Melt all of her Cryo-infused Normal Attacks, for example. However, Hu Tao can trigger Vaporize whenever she performs a Charged Attack. This is why her entire playstyle focuses around spamming Charged Attacks.
Thirdly, to maximize her Charged Attack DMG, you’ll have to master simple animation canceling. This will increase the rate at which you can deal DMG. There are two ways to animation cancel her Charged Attack—Dash-cancelling and Jump-cancelling.
- Dash-cancelling is easier and faster, but costs Stamina, which reduces the total number of Charged Attacks you can perform in quick succession.
- Jump-cancelling is slightly longer and a bit more difficult to perform, but costs no Stamina.
In either case, input the Sprint or Jump command as soon as Hu Tao begins her Charged Attack animation.
Hu Tao’s Constellations
|Crimson Bouquet||While in a Paramita Papilio state activated by Guide to Afterlife, Hu Tao’s Charge Attacks do not consume Stamina.||This may not seem that good at first glance, but this arguably Hu Tao’s best constellation. |
Let us explain:
Hu Tao’s DMG comes from her Charged Attacks, which she needs to animation cancel for efficiency.
Animation canceling is usually done through Sprinting, which also costs Stamina and makes it so that you’re able to perform fewer Charged Attacks. This effectively lowers Hu Tao’s DMG output as it limits the number of Charged Attacks she can perform in a row.
With C1, she can Sprint out of her Charged Attack animations without worrying about how this will affect her DMG output.
With proper animation canceling, this constellation increases the DMG she does in one Pyro infusion window by 15%.
|Ominous Rainfall||Increases the Blood Blossom DMG by an amount equal to 10% of Hu Tao’s Max HP at the time the effect is applied. |
Additionally, Spirit Soother will also apply the Blood Blossom effect.
|C2 offers a marginal DPS increase. Not worth it unless you’re aiming for higher constellations.|
|Lingering Carmine||Increases the Level of Guide to Afterlife by 3. |
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
|C3 is a substantial DMG increase, as it increases the ATK bonus Hu Tao received from her max HP.|
|Garden of Eternal Rest||Upon defeating an enemy affected by a Blood Blossom that Hu Tao applied herself, all nearby allies in the party (excluding Hu Tao herself) will have their CRIT Rate increased by 12% for 15s.||C4 does not affect Hu Tao at all. It only increases the CRIT Rate buff she provides for the rest of the team. While this is a lot of CRIT Rate, do note that Hu Tao’s best Supports don’t benefit from this as their abilities snapshot and need to be cast at the start of a fight. |
There’s some creative application for it for sure, but C4 is not impactful in Hu Tao’s optimal rotations.
|Floral Incense||Increases the Level of Spirit Soother by 3. |
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
|C5 is okay. |
As mentioned, Hu Tao’s Burst can hit like a truck if you use it at the right time and this constellation makes it even more powerful.
|Butterfly’s Embrace||Triggers when Hu Tao’s HP drops below 25%, or when she suffers a lethal strike: |
Hu Tao will not fall as a result of the DMG sustained. Additionally, for the next 10s, all of her Elemental and Physical RES is increased by 200%, her CRIT Rate is increased by 100%, and her resistance to interruption is greatly increased.
This effect triggers automatically when Hu Tao has 1 HP left. Can only occur once every 60s.
|C6 is powerful but gimmicky. |
Many players have attempted to build their Hu Tao without any CRIT Rate while focusing on stacking as much as 300% CRIT DMG, relying solely on this constellation to utilize their crazy high CRIT DMG.
You can play Hu Tao like this, but you’ll go back to regular CRIT ratios once the novelty wears off, at which point this constellation will lose value.
Overall, we don’t recommend going for C6.
Hu Tao’s constellations are okay but not nearly as amazing as they appear at first glance.
For example, most Hu Tao players swear by her C1, claiming that it’s a must-have. But if you know how to Jump-cancel—which isn’t all that difficult to do—C1 loses much of its luster. It’s still a good constellation that makes her easier to use and increases her DMG.
But, it’s not a must-have.
You can go for it if you’re a huge Hu Tao fan, but don’t think that she’ll underperform without it. C0 Hu Tao is still a powerful character worthy of her high A-Tier rank in our Genshin Impact Tier List.
Aside from this, C2 and C5 are marginal DMG upgrades, C4 is ineffective in her best teams, and C6 is gimmicky.
C3 is her second-best constellation, but it doesn’t provide more value than three other 5* characters.
So overall, we’d argue that Hu Tao is amazing at C0 and that there’s no reason to go past C1 even if you’re looking to maximize her DMG potential.
What’s way more important than her C1 is her weapon choice, so if you’ve got Primogems to burn, it’s best to invest them in the Weapons Banner. Speaking of…
Best Weapons For Hu Tao
|Staff of Homa |
|Staff of Homa doubles down on everything Hu Tao wants—HP and CRIT DMG. More importantly, it adds yet another HP-scaling ATK Bonus to Hu Tao that gets even more potent when she’s below 50% HP. |
The margin between Staff of Home and the other weapons on this list is immense.
Hu Tao doesn’t benefit a lot from base ATK and ATK%, which is why there are no other 5* weapons on this list.
|Dragon’s Bane |
|Dragon’s Bane is Hu Tao’s BiS 4* weapon, offering a flat DMG bonus against enemies affected by Hydro or Pyro—which they will always be affected by in her best teams—as well as Elemental Mastery to increase the potency of Vaporize Reactions.|
|Deathmatch is another solid option for Hu Tao, especially if she isn’t being used in a Vaporize team. As mentioned, she doesn’t mind the low base ATK, but she certainly benefits from the immensely high CRIT Rate substat.|
|White Tassel |
|White Tassel is effectively a poor man’s Deathmatch on Hu Tao. She doesn’t mind the lower base ATK and still benefits a lot from the CRIT Rate substat. As a stat stick, the White Tassel is a perfectly serviceable F2P weapon on Hu Tao, despite being a 3* weapon.|
|Blackcliff Polearm |
|The Blackcliff Polearm is another F2P-friendly stat stick for Hu Tao, only with a focus on CRIT DMG instead of CRIT Rate.|
Best Artifacts For Hu Tao – 4-Crimson Witch of Flames
As far as artifact set bonuses give, Hu Tao has several options to choose from, but her best one has got to be the 4-piece Crimson Witch of Flames.
Not only does this set increase Pyro DMG, but it flat out increases the DMG of Vaporize Reactions by 15%. And given how Vaporize Reactions can CRIT and multiply Hu Tao’s already humongous Charged Attack DMG, it’s easy to see why this is her best artifact set.
The main stats Hu Tao wants the most are:
- HP% on the Sands
- Pyro DMG on the Goblet
- CRIT Rate/CRIT DMG on the Logos (aim for a 1:2 CRIT Ratio)
And as for substats, you’d ideally want:
- CRIT DMG
- CRIT Rate
- Elemental Mastery
- Energy Recharge
However, if you don’t have a 4-piece Crimson Witch of Flames artifact set, you can make do with the 4-piece Shimenawa’s Reminiscence instead.
Alternatively, you can mix and match any of the following 2-piece set bonuses:
- Crimson Witch of Flames
- Wanderer’s Troupe
- Tenacity of the Millelith
Best Team Composition For Hu Tao
F2P Vaporize Hu Tao
- Hu Tao
Hu Tao is the team’s main DPS and her goal is to Vaporize as many of her Charged Attacks as possible. Using these character’s, this team’s ability rotation would go like this—Thoma applies Pyro with his Elemental Skill, Sucrose Swirls it, Xingqiu activates his Burst, and then Hu Tao goes ham.
Xingqiu is the team’s off-field Hydro applicator. He can apply Hydro on enemies quickly enough to ensure that Hu Tao Vaporizes all her Charged Attacks. His kit also provides DMG resistance and a tiny sliver of healing, which is exactly what Hu Tao needs to stay alive while still being below 50% HP. There are no alternatives for Xingqiu in this team, unfortunately. If you don’t have him, it’s best to forget about Vaporize and instead use the second F2P team option from this guide. Alternatively, you can use Rosaria or Kaeya to focus on Melt DMG, but this isn’t as consistent.
Sucrose is the team’s buffer and debuffer. Using the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set bonus, she can reduce the Pyro Resistance of enemies by 40% to massively increase Hu Tao’s DMG output. What’s more, Sucrose can also buff Hu Tao’s Elemental Mastery, which increases her Vaporize DMG even more. If you don’t have Sucrose, you can still use any other Anemo character like Sayu or Anemo Traveler to trigger the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set bonus.
Thoma is the team’s shielder and Pyro applicator. The reason you need another Pyro character is because an enemy has to be affected by Pyro for Sucrose to reduce their Pyro Resistance. And you can’t use Hu Tao to apply this first instance of Pyro since switching to Sucrose would end Hu Tao’s Pyro infusion and erase her entire DMG potential. If you don’t have Thoma, you can use Xinyan or C4 Yanfei instead. Yanfei is actually the best shielder for this team, but since she needs her 4th constellation to serve this role, we decide to make her a side-option in this F2P team guide.
F2P Triple Pyro Hu Tao
- Hu Tao
Hu Tao is the main DPS, but this time she’s not focused on triggering any Reactions. Instead, in this team, she’s relying on only her Pyro DMG to clear content.
Bennett is the team’s Support and healer. Normally, it’s not advised to run Bennett with Hu Tao since she doesn’t want Bennett’s powerful healing. But in this team, Hu Tao will get so many ATK and Pyro DMG bonuses from Bennett and Xiangling (especially as they unlock more constellations) that you can make up for this 33% Pyro DMG loss. It’s not ideal, but then again, Triple Pyro is not her ideal team—this is just something to run if you don’t have Xingqiu and you don’t want to use a sub-optimal Melt team.
Xiangling is the team’s off-field Pyro DPS, but she also provides Pyro DMG buffing through her constellations.
Sucrose is here to do the same thing as in the previous team—reduce Pyro Resistance. Only, this team gets even more mileage from this Resistance debuff since Xiangling’s Pyronado will benefit from it as well. Once again, you can use Sayu or Anemo Traveler if you don’t have Sucrose.
Whale Hu Tao Build
- Hu Tao
Hu Tao and Xingqiu form the same core we’ve shown in the F2P Vaporize team. Xingqiu provides the Hydro application that Hu Tao needs to Vaporize her Charged Attacks.
Yelan is here to provide even more off-field Hydro DMG as well as DMG buffing for Hu Tao. With Yelan, you can build Xingqiu for more DMG since he won’t need as much Energy Recharge.
Zhongliis the team’s shielder and Resistance Shredder. His shield has an aura that reduces the Resistance to all Elements by 20%. This isn’t as powerful as the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer debuff, but you can’t use this set bonus without running another Pyro character, which would result in less DMG.
Is Hu Tao Worth It?
Hu Tao is still one of the most powerful DPS characters in the entire game.
In terms of potential DMG output, she’s up there with S-Tier DPS characters like Ganyu and Ayaka.
There are only two reasons we’ve kept her in A-Tier (which is still a Tier reserved for amazing characters that are worth building teams around):
- Her DMG is mostly single-target
- Keeping her below 50% HP safely has become trickier with the introduction of the corrosion mechanic
So, if you like Hu Tao, go for it. She can clear all content in the game and feels fun to play due to her HP draining mechanic, engaging rotations, and easy animation canceling.
Moreover, she’s quite effective in a F2P setting, with her F2P Vaporize team and Dragon’s Bane weapon offering competitive results.
However, the game features a bunch of other DPS characters that are just as capable of clearing content, so don’t feel obliged to pull for Hu Tao if you want to excel at difficult content. Other characters like Xiao, Itto, and Eula can keep up with her while offering completely different playstyles.
What’s important is to use a character whose playstyle (and/or design) speaks to you.