When it comes to a character like Ganyu, I’m not particularly interested in making a real post for her because she’s really just straight, raw, unadulterated damage-dealing and there’s not much else to her – even if there are some things I can think of to use her in a combo for.
Eula, however, straddles roughly the same line a character like Venti does: she has at least one crucially important trait that makes this entire affair have a little bit of value besides her simply being a melee character. Hence, here I am.
Before continuing, I should specify that typically I keep my characters’ damage low enough to do combos. In Eula’s case, given her overall moveset and the ease in which one can ramp up her damage, I’ve had to purposefully sandbag Eula because she just deals so much damage in order to record the clips with actual enemies. As well, same with Zhongli’s overview, a C1 Eula was used for some footage but functionally that makes absolutely zero difference for our purposes.
Don’t get me wrong, nuking things is fun, useful, and nice, but that’s not what we’re here for.
Basic Attack String
Eula’s basic attack chain is a five input attack; on the first attack in the chain, Eula swings above her head and can connect with targets above her. The third and fifth attacks in the chain hit twice.
The fifth hit in this attack chain hits lighter enemies like regular hilichurls at a significantly sharper angle than most attack chain finishers, allowing Eula to easily slip under a target with a single evasion. As always, a neat and useful trick if you’re working her into a combo, same as the Traveler who also performs this easily.
As already mentioned, Eula’s first swing is an overhead attack which like Beidou’s actually does strike above her head. Absolutely one of Eula’s most useful traits overall for combos, making her one of the few that can follow up from Jean’s Charged Attack. It’s synergy like this that makes you question all that “tea time,” and “quiet sparring,”.
Eula’s Charged Attack is the same as every other adult claymore using character as of this writing (Diluc, Beidou) – although, functionally, it’s perfectly identical to every claymore using character regardless of age. Not much to really say here, of course, but as well with all claymore characters, the final attack deals knockback.
Elemental Skill Press: Icetide Vortex
Pressing the Elemental Skill button rather than holding will result in a wide swing with fairly minimal windup. If this ability connects with an enemy, Eula will gain a Grimheart stack – buffing her resistance.
Grimheart stacks up to two times, and you can tell Eula’s current state by the sword or swords that appear above her head when she connects with Icetide Vortex: if a single sword appears above her head, she has one stack, if you see crossed swords, she has two stacks.
Considering that the swords only appear as Eula connects, if you’re looking for another indicator of her current state, note her cloak: at one stack, it has a soft white glow, particularly noticeable near the lower edges. At two stacks, there’s a significantly brighter white shine. Both are demonstrated above.
Elemental Skill Hold: Icetide Vortex
Ah, here’s where things get complicated:
When holding Eula’s elemental skill, she swings as before, but if any Grimheart stacks are present, she will consume them. If there are any, doing so will reduce the resistances of nearby enemies, and each stack “Icewhirl Brand” (falling sword) which deals further damage to enemies.
But wait, that’s not all.
The Roiling Rhyme passive talent creates a half-damage Lightfall Sword from Eula’s burst when consuming two Grimheart stacks, establishing the punctuation to Eula’s attack rotations.
Elemental Burst: Glacial Illumination
Things didn’t get less complicated from the elemental skill. Glacial Illumination starts off with another swing like her skill, but additionally summons a floating sword called a Lightfall Sword. This floating sword moves with Eula and eventually explodes dealing physical damage, dependent upon how many stacks (up to a total of 30) she’s gained over seven seconds or until Eula leaves the field.
By hitting enemies with Eula’s attacks, another stack is gained, functionally every time a single attack connects with at least one enemy. Unfortunately, this means that hitting multiple enemies at the same time doesn’t build up, hence why increasing Eula’s attack speed is a core aspect to getting more damage out of this attack.
Also, from the talent Wellspring of War Lust, Eula’s cooldown on her skill is reset upon using her burst in addition to granting a stack of Grimheart. This establishes a fairly obvious rotation of Elemental Skill Press -> Elemental Burst -> Elemental Skill Hold -> Basic Attacks. It may be more desirable to use Eula’s charged attack simply because of the slightly faster hits instead of basic attacks at the end, but this isn’t something I’ve tried yet.
Eula ostensibly appears to be a show-off character with her heavy spike damage, but there’s some more to her than just that. The overhead swing on her initial basic attack is fairly useful for combos and the way in which she deals damage can potentially be invaluable in the future.
As far as powerful characters go, Eula is entirely unique in that her main source of damage is physical damage, and this emphasis is important: if we take a character like Ganyu, while she is undoubtedly capable of better DPS, with even less effort as she doesn’t even really need any sort of rotation (not that Eula’s is even complicated) – Ganyu is rendered impotent the instant an opponent is immune to Cryo.
Now, you can say the same thing about physical damage, but for obvious reasons it’s highly unlikely that crucial content will revolve around enemies who are immune to, or have more than a decent resistance, to physical damage. Sure, we run across this with bounties and enemies who have specific modifiers, but it’s highly unlikely that any piece of content that has actual sustained value (which for better or worse the Reputation and bounty system simply doesn’t have) will feature an enemy that’s either immune or has a high enough resistance to physical damage to make Eula undesirable.
As far as general build things go, Eula’s best weapon is most definitely the Song of Broken Pines. Wolf’s Gravestone is obviously one of the best claymores and because of that, still stands as a more-than-decent runner-up. I do typically like the Sacrificial weapons as far as rolled four stars go, and on Eula it has its perks, but in her case, I find the timing of when I actually get a cooldown reset to interfere with the Spindrift Knight’s ideal rotation. Snow-Tombed Starsilver is my preferred craftable weapon, but any scenario where a better weapon isn’t available, Prototype Animus is still a great claymore.
The best artifact set to go with her is obvious: the Pale Flame set is absolutely made for her, and it’s not a particularly hard domain to clear, either. Getting one piece with a physical damage bonus will certainly make sure she’s no slouch. Otherwise, it’s all about attack, like most characters.
That said, building a team to go along with her is a fair bit more difficult. In order to pull off Eula’s rotation, most enemies will hit her because she really needs to be constantly attacking to fully exploit Glacial Illumination, and once her burst is used, until her Lightfall sword explodes, that attacking absolutely can’t really stop or you’re sacrificing your damage build-up. What she needs is a shield: Diona, Noelle, Xinyan, or Zhongli’s, which is probably in large part why various players see her as clunky in order to get to her high damage. Of these characters, Xinyan and Zhongli stand out for the debuffs their shields can provide.
It is worth mentioning Rosaria’s C6 could make her an ideal teammate, but that’s a lot of investment, and requires Cryo resonance to be a part of your desired build. Either way, since Eula’s inevitably going to be taking a hit or two, healing also feels important for her, even if she’s shielded as there’s still likely going to be windows of downtime where the player can’t necessarily swap from Eula, lest their Lightfall Sword explode immediately as she leaves the field.
For all that, though, I really have to complain: Eula’s basic attack animations are actually pretty damn cool, but her elemental skills and burst all use what appears to be the same animation or a set that’re all functionally identical and it’s boring as hell. Sure, she’s powerful, her attack chain is neat, and she’s got some very nice utility given her physical damage orientation. It’s frustrating to have such a really cool character weighed down by seeing the same boring thing for not two but three of her different attack options, and in all honesty, Lightfall Swords just aren’t as aesthetically awesome as Chongyun’s Cloud Parting Star, and claymore users all have the same boring heavy attack that honestly really isn’t even useful in-game.
It’s just frustrating to see such a nice looking character with a lot of effort put in, suddenly run short there towards the end.