Ayato wanters, rejoice. For eight long months, the Genshin Impact community has been thirsting after a character whose physical appearance hadn’t even been revealed, and their faith has finally been rewarded. HoYoverse–formerly miHoYo–will make him playable at last with the major 2.6 festival update, Zephyr of the Violet Garden. And that’s not the only long wait this update will bring to an end. Xiao now has a dedicated artifact set after over a year of his players riding the struggle bus, while Dainslief will also be returning to the main quest scenario after players waited for 11 months.
Kamisato Ayato is the head of the Kamisato clan, Thoma’s lord, and Ayaka’s older brother. His presence in the story has been teased since the Inazuma region was released last July, but leakers weren’t able to divulge his appearance until this January. He appears to be a sub-DPS character, since his Elemental Burst increases the normal attack damage of his entire team. Both his skill and his burst seem to make him a great Hydro status applicator, and he is only the second-ever melee character who can taunt enemies. Depending on how well his abilities scale, he could fit into a wide variety of effective team compositions.
However, it’s always a smart idea to save your gacha currency until the community has fully tested a new kit. The patch will also feature the high-DPS Ayaka and the AoE puller Venti. It’s been a while since either of these characters had a rerun, but they’re still meta-defining for those who care about gameplay. Both of them are incredibly solid pulls.
I fist-pumped when I saw the new artifact equipment that HoYoverse is adding to this patch. The Echoes of an Offering set boosts the power of normal attacks, and seems to be custom-made for Ayato. But what I’ve really got my eye on is Vermillion Hereafter. This is the dedicated Xiao artifact set that his mains have been asking for since February of last year. It increases the wearer’s attack when they use an Elemental Burst, and then it stacks additional attack whenever they take damage. The effect clears when the character uses their Burst again. This is perfect for Xiao, who has a relatively high cooldown for his Burst, which also damages him over time. Our stabby boy is about to get even more busted–at the effect’s peak, Xiao could gain a 48% attack boost. Goodbye, Gladiator set: I’ve got a new artifact to farm.
If you play Genshin for the story, then don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten you. It’s been 11 months since we last saw Dainslief in the main story quest, but he’ll now be returning to unveil more backstory about Khaenri’ah and the dreaded Abyss. Come for the spooky lore, but stay for the edgy anime boy.
The seasonal festival of this patch takes place in Inazuma, and it’s the most international event to date. Commissioner Ayato and his sister Ayaka are spearheading the cultural festival, but I also caught a glimpse of Klee, Albedo, Venti, and Xingqiu. If you don’t already have Xingqiu–one of the best support characters in the entire game–you can nab him for free by playing the minigame events. Theater Mechanicus has been revamped to offer shorter tower defense matches, and there’s a combat minigame that focuses on parrying the enemy’s attacks.
Zephyr of the Violet Garden is one of the last major Inazuma updates until the new Sumeru region arrives in patch 3.0. The 2.6 patch will be released on March 30.