After Venti, Tartaglia was the second five-star archer, but overall, his general playstyle is a fairly significant departure from that of an archer. Instead of focusing on ranged attacks, Childe sports a mode swap which changes his archer attacks out for Hydro-based melee attacks.
This allows him to nearly always deal non-physical damage if so desired, and in general, offers a lot of battlefield flexibility for that factor, especially in regards to certain situations like fighting a bounty that’s immune to physical attacks.
Basic Attack String
Childe’s basic attack string is a six-input attack. Unlike Venti, Childe does not shoot multiple arrows at once, but I guess you can say on the last one he’s more or less throwing that arrow more than actually shooting it looking at his animation. Either way, I find Tartaglia’s normal attack string to be the least used to part of his toolkit, but every now and then it’s convenient and effective.
Charged Shot/Aimed Shot
Unlike his normal attacks with a bow, Childe’s aimed shot is quite interesting and effective, as once it’s been fully charged, it guarantees marking the enemy with Riptide, an effect related to his elemental burst causing an area of effect around the target in addition to dealing more damage to them than simply hitting them initially with the arrow.
While it’s not necessarily reliable, the attack can be used to launch enemies for a combo, but given the time required to actually charge the shot, it is better to be used to initiate a sequence, rather than punctuate it or provide variety in the middle of the combo, as when it’s used that way, it’s simply difficult to work in.
Elemental Skill Press:
By pressing the elemental skill button, the Childe will swap between his bow or his dual Hydro swords. The cooldown period depends on how long Childe’s in his melee mode, and in either mode, pressing the elemental skill button will swap.
If Tartaglia is in sword mode prior to swapping characters, he will not be when you change back to him.
The longer that he’s in sword mode, the higher his cooldown for the mode swap back into melee will be after turning to ranged. This is at certain thresholds and can result in a significantly varied cooldowns depending on the length it’s used, and if he’s in sword mode for long enough (thirty seconds), he’ll be booted back to his regular ranged attack mode.
The mode swap itself does deal hydro damage going from bow to swords, but not vice-versa.
Elemental Attack String:
When Tartaglia is in sword mode, he dual wields two swords shaped from water, and similar to his normal attack string, there are six inputs and therefore attacks to the combo. After the third hit, Childe briefly combines his blades into a double-ended glaive, before breaking them apart again for the final move of the combo.
Unfortunately, there’s complications by the nature of his melee attacks only being available in this mode and the cooldown associated with entering it, it’s hard to do swap cancel combos largely because it takes a significant period of time for Childe to be able to perform his melee attacks again.
Elemental Charged Attack:
Similar to most sword wielding characters, Childe’s charged attack is a double-hit swing which instantly knocks an enemy back if they’re light enough to be affected, and of course, like his basic attack string in sword mode, deals Hydro damage for the duration, and is capable of triggering Riptide.
Elemental Burst: Flash of Havoc
Tartaglia’s ranged elemental burst’s purpose is largely for marking enemies in a decently sized AoE with Riptide, signified by a large blue indicator on the effected targets. Enemies marked will produce the Riptide effect when they’re hit in Tartaglia’s sword mode, dealing damage to them and around them in an area of effect.
When an enemy marked by Riptide is killed, they will produce a Riptide Blast, which is slightly different than a regular Riptide effect, in that it is considered Elemental Burst damage, although, it can be triggered without Tartaglia not actually using his bursts.
All Riptide damage-dealing effects can mark other enemies with Riptide.
Finally, when using this version Elemental Burst, a portion of the energy used is returned.
Elemental Burst (Sword Mode): Light of Obliteration
When Childe performs his elemental burst in sword mode, he’ll put his two swords together in the shape of a glaive and swing in a wide slash. Enemies struck by this will trigger a Riptide Blast. Of the two attacks, this deals significantly greater damage, and by simultaneously triggering a Riptide Blast, it effectively does the same job as the ranged burst.
Therefore, typically, it’s better to activate Elemental Bursts in sword mode than in bow mode.
Obviously what makes Childe most interesting besides his ability to change modes – a very unique capacity in Genshin so far – is the fact that Riptide is incredibly effective at dealing damage, especially to groups of enemies who are tight together.
It’s because of that that I actually recommend the ‘BP bow’ as it’s often named, or the Viridescent Hunt. While Rust is also ideal, the battle pass bow is one of the best bows in the game and offers multiple layers of synergy with Tartaglia. Besides providing a passive critical buff which helps out significantly considering that Riptide is able to trigger on criticals because of the Ascension talent Sword of Torrents, the Viridescent Hunt’s main effect is creating a small AoE that deals physical damage and pulls enemies into its center.
This allows you to rapidly dispatch multiple enemies who are drawn into the area of effect as Riptide itself deals damage in an area of effect, and when one target dies, they trigger another Riptide Blast, which if that kills an enemy will have them trigger Riptide Blast again.
But, the main reason why I recommend the battle pass bow is that it is currently far more reliable to procure and is one of the most desirable items out of the pass, so if you’re willing to spend money, it’s probably one of the more reliable, powerful weapons to use with him.
Moving onto artifact sets, while it’s fairly obvious that Childe has effectively his own specific artifact set, Ocean Conqueror, provided by the Peak of Vandagnyr at the top of Dragon Spine mountain, if you don’t have access to that particular domain, Wanderer’s Troupe is an excellent alternative, or, if you’re orientating towards a critical build, two Berserker artifacts followed by what would best compliment your playstyle with him.
Finally, regarding synergy with other characters for Childe, what one should be most interested in is pairing him with characters like Fischl or Beidou. While Fischl is an obviously excellent support, the important factor here is her ability to provide Electro damage while off the field as Childe is on it, and Beidou is in a similar position with her Elemental Burst, especially given that both these characters deal additional damage during regular attacks with their elemental abilities.
By putting Childe in a team with characters who work off of such mechanics, he will thrive and be capable of doing frightening damage.