Genshin Impact: Keqing Guide 1
by Aether in
Genshin Impact

Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by Aether

This Keqing guide will briefly go over her skills, mechanics, weapons, and artifacts. The main focus will be doing a deep dive into the various builds possible. Later on, I will expand on the other sections of this guide. 

I will attempt to show you how to build Keqing in the early-midgame (Pre-AR40) and lategame onwards (AR40+). The reason why AR40 is considered the beginning of endgame is because this is when domains have a chance of dropping gold/legendary artifacts.

As always, there is room for flexibility in builds so do not treat every word from this guide as law.  I will offer general guiding principles to follow and try to adequately convey the pros and cons of each build. In addition, I will try to distinguish F2P vs whale tendencies.

How to effectively build Keqing?

Let’s start this out by saying that the builds and recommendations that I offer below are suggestions based on both theorycrafting and applications by the whales in the discord. A lot of math has gone into determining the viability of different builds, but at the end of the day, each build performs best under optimal conditions.

Early-Midgame (Pre-AR40)

First and foremost, whatever gear you’re using at this stage DOES NOT MATTER in the big picture because you will be discarding it in favour of 5* pieces in the endgame anyways. That being said, you still should follow a general set of rules when doing small to moderate investments so that you can comfortably clear early-midgame content such as weekly bosses and character/talent/weapon domains (yes, artifact was left out for a reason. Don’t farm them till AR40). Another reason is to complete tasks from your Adventurer Handbook. 

Before you read onwards, do consider using this resource to generally understand primary lines, substat lines, and what are the possible lines on each artifact. https://genshin-impact.fandom.com/wiki/Artifacts 

Artifact Stat Prioritisation and Investment

My guiding principle for you is this: Pick out the most decent stuff in your trash pile. 

  • You will have a lot of random blue (3*), a few purple (4*), and 1-2 yellow (5*) artifacts from normal progression through the questline. 
  • DO NOT invest in an artifact just because it’s a higher tier.
    • Maxing out a 5* artifact with %HP primary stat will likely have less of a DPS increase than maxing out a 4* artifact with %atk primary stat
  • Upgraded artifacts can be foddered (used as material) into future artifacts at a cost of 20% exp (that is, 80% of the exp will be transferred)
    • This means that it is still worth it to invest in and max 3* artifacts if the primary and substat lines are good.
    • Note that feeding 1 enhanced artifact will be cheaper than feeding a bunch of unenhanced artifacts.
  • As a rough rule, if your base attack is below 725, you are likely pre-AR40 and thus, in the early-midgame. 
  • Refer to this guide and see what you have available

Desired Primary Stat Lines

  • For early-midgame, the rule of thumb is to only use and invest in artifacts that have %atk. The exception is the goblet.
  • The flower and feather will always have flat HP and flat Atk respectively. Prioritise those with %atk and flat atk substat lines.
  • You will always want to look for %atk on your hourglass (Sands of Eon) and circlet.
  • Look for %electrodmg or %physdmg on your goblet. If none are available, use %atk.
  • Do not prioritise crit chance or crit dmg early-midgame***. Without getting into the specific math, it is likely that investing in either of those stats over %atk will either reduce your DPS or have less of an increase to your DPS than if you invested into the %atk equivalent. 
    • %atk has more impact and value for your DPS in the early-midgame. 
    • ***If you are intimately familiar with min/max ratios for %atk:ele/phys%:critdmg%, keep those concepts in mind for endgame. 
  • Do not prioritise the following primary stats
    • EM (elemental mastery): Most of your elemental reactions should be triggered by your supports. 
    • HP%: If you’re dying to stuff in WL1-3, consider switching to Barbara main.
    • DEF%: useless stat for DPS
    • Energy recharge%: Put it on your supports
    • Healing bonus%: No
    • Crit%/critdmg%: mentioned earlier

Desired Substat Lines 

  • This is of very little importance in early-midgame. Your primary deciding factors should be primary stat line and set effects when choosing what pieces to use. 
  • In order of importance:
    • %atk
    • Flat attack
    • Crit%
    • Critdmg%

Physical or Electro Keqing?

  • In the early-midgame, always go for electro Keqing if your RNG with artifact lines permits it. The reason for this is because electro-related elemental reactions have much higher damage in the early-midgame relative to endgame. 
  • Generally, this doesn’t matter in early-midgame because you don’t deal a lot of damage anyway and %atk affects both physical and electro damage. 
  • Electro-related elemental reactions only scale with EM and level.
  • We will continue this discussion in the Endgame section.

Artifact Set effects

Now that you understand which stats should be prioritised, let’s talk about artifact set effects and what I would recommend for Keqing in the early-midgame. As mentioned above, we want to prioritise %atk until endgame at AR40. 

NOTE: 2 and 4 set bonus effects can look nice on paper, but it can be a common pitfall to fall into

  • Prioritise using %atk primary stat line pieces OVER using 2 non-atk% pieces just to complete a set effect
  • For example, if you used a 4* Gladiator’s helm with HP% and 4* Gladiator’s goblet with Elemental Mastery over a 3* helm and goblet with 23.1% atk each, this results in a loss of possible DPS
    • 2 set gladiator gives 18% atk
    • The 2 random pieces will give 46.1% atk which is a massive difference in increase to DPS
    • In this case, it’s not worth it to invest the mora and artifact fodder into levelling the gladiator gear.

Sojourner’s, Heart of Bravery, and Gladiator’s are the 3 obtainable sets pre-AR40 that give +18%atk in their 2 set effect. However, there are key disadvantages to keep in mind.

  • Gladiator’s can only be obtained from weekly bosses and as rewards from normal progression. They begin to drop from map bosses (eg Anemocube) at AR35.
  • You may only obtain Sojourner’s and Heart of Bravery through quest rewards and artifact domains at AR35. 
  • In general, these sets should NOT be farmed before AR40
  • Only use pieces of these gear if you can fulfill one of these 3 conditions
    • It’s a cup that has %electrodmg or %physdmg
    • It has %atk primary stat
    • It’s a feather or flower

What about crit rate? When should I build it and is it better than %atk?

  • There’s a lot of math that goes into determining whether or not crit% or %atk will give you a greater increase in DPS.
  • In early-midgame, don’t build crit% and critdmg%. Prioritise %atk. I will further discuss the concept of optimising crit% and critdmg% in the endgame section.

Recommended artifact sets for early-midgame in order of importance:

  • This assumes that the goblet/circlet/hourglass have their respective optimal lines
    • Hourglass/Circlet: %atk
    • Goblet: %electrodmg/%physdmg > %atk
    • Feather and flower only have flat atk and flat HP respectively (don’t need to worry about the line)
  • If the pieces comprising a set don’t have optimal lines, you’re better off just using random pieces with %atk.
  • Follow these steps
    • Start from the top and see if you have any pieces of that set. 
      • If no, then move on to next option
      • If yes, then check to see if those pieces have optimal primary lines
        • If no, then move on to next option
        • If yes, then you may use this set
    • If you are unlucky and can’t build a set with optimal lines, it is better to have no set effect and use gear with optimal lines
  • 4 set Martial artist + any 1 piece with optimal primary line
    • 2 set: Increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 15%.
    • 4 set: After using Elemental Skill (E), increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 25% for 8s.
    • Advantages
      • Keqing has a 7.5s cooldown on her E so you can theoretically have 100% uptime of +40% dmg to normal and charged attacks
      • Each time you cast E, you refresh the buff duration. If you space out the initial cast with the recast, you can extend the duration
    • Disadvantages
      • Incredibly hard to form a 4 set with optimal primary stats. 
      • Does nothing to improve your E and Q damage.
      • DONT FARM FOR THIS SET PLS SAVE YOUR RESIN
  • 2 set Sojourner’s / 2 set Gladiator’s / 2 set Bravery + a different 2 set from same category OR any 2 set below OR any other 2 pieces with optimal primary lines
    • 2 set: ATK +18%
    • Advantages
      • If the 2 pieces (3* example) are able to roll for %atk, you can get 46.2% atk for a maximum of 62.2% with the set effect.
      • If you got lucky, you can form this set with a flower and feather, congratulations! You don’t have to worry about rolling the optimal line since flower and feather only have HP and flat atk. 
      • Stronger than 2MA for electro build Keqing. Refer to the theorycrafting library for evidence.
    • Disadvantages: refer to above section
      • You need to be lucky and roll the relevant optimal lines to make use of these sets. Otherwise, you’re better off using any random piece that has %atk
      • Very unlikely that you’re able to build 2 x 2 set in this category for 36% atk bonus
  • 4 set Berserker’s + any 1 piece with optimal primary line
    • 2 set: CRIT Rate +12%
    • 4 set: When HP is below 70%, CRIT Rate increases by an additional 24%.
    • Advantages
      • Easy to farm, drops from chests, elite mobs, and bosses. At a certain point, most of your artifacts in your inventory will be Berserker pieces. 
      • Because you’ll have so many pieces, it is highly likely that you will find optimal primary stats for goblet, circlet and hourglass pieces
      • At level 60/60 Keqing, your innate crit dmg should be 69.2%. This means that your optimal crit is 34.6%. The 4 set adds 36% crit rate which fulfils the 1:2 ratio.
    • Disadvantages
      • Refer to earlier section on crit rate
    • Note
      • There can be specific scenarios where using 4 set Berserker results in a small (100-200dmg difference) increase in damage over using 2 sets of 18% atk (36% atk total). 
        • When your playstyle involves constantly keeping your HP below 70%
        • When you’ve begun to upgrade 4* berserker pieces and approach the %atk threshold where crit% becomes more valuable than %atk
  • 2 set Martial artist + 2 set from below OR any other 2 pieces with optimal primary lines
    • 2 set: Increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 15%.
    • Advantages
      • For both electro and physical builds, Keqing’s optimal combo is normal attack → charged attack
      • %dmg is a separate multiplier in the damage formula so it has a greater impact than %atk as long as total %atk is greater than %dmg (electro/physical, and other bonus sources like Lion’s Roar)
    • Disadvantages
      • 3* and 4* version farmable at AR30, but this is not worth it
      • The few pieces that you will have come from quest rewards and normal progression
      • Will not affect your E and Q damage
  • 2 set Berserker’s + any 2 pieces with optimal primary lines
    • 2 set: CRIT Rate +12%
    • Advantages
      • Refer to above section on 4 set berserker
    • Disadvantages
      • Crit % is not a very impactful stat in the early-midgame
      • The set only spawns up to 4*, doesn’t scale into endgame

Endgame

Weapon Selection

  • Generally, weapons in the early-midgame do not matter. 
  • However, they do play an important role in determining whether you should go for a physical or electro Keqing build. 
  • The following statements are backed by evidence from our theorycrafting library. I will not go into detail.
  • Here is a list of the best 1H swords. Please also read this link to educate yourself on how enhancing and refining 
    • Enhancing: levelling up the weapon
    • Refining: combining the weapon with a duplicate to increase the stats of the passive abilities

F2P Selection

If you did no pulls, do not plan on getting the Black Sword from battle pass, or were unlucky in your pulls and never pulled a 4* 1H sword, you have 2 craftable options available. The recipe has a chance to drop from weekly bosses. 

  • Prototype Rancour (4*)
    • Passive: On hit, Normal or Charged Attacks increase Base ATK and DEF by 4% for 6s. Max 4 stacks. Can only occur once every 0.3s.
    • Secondary Stat: Physical DMG Bonus
    • Advantages
      • Physdmg% has good scaling into endgame. 
      • Synergises well with Superconduct (the elemental reaction that gives monsters a -40% phys res debuff)
    • Disadvantages
      • The %atk from the passive becomes more and more irrelevant in the endgame
      • Physdmg% has no effect on elemental damage (purple numbers). It will only affect your white numbers. 
      • When you use your E, you can never recast it because if you do, you convert your damage to electro which doesn’t benefit from %physdmg
    • Conditions for use
      • Aiming to go physical/superconduct build
      • You don’t want to play Keqing in a fun and interactive way.
  • Iron Sting (4*)
    • Passive: Dealing Elemental DMG increases all DMG by 6% for 6s. Max 2 stacks. Can only occur once every 1s.
    • Secondary Stat: Elemental Mastery
    • Advantages
      • Allows for fun and interactive gameplay unlike physical builds
      • Keqing deals elemental damage almost all the time, allowing her to keep 2/2 stacks
      • %dmg applies to all numbers (white and purple) and scales well into endgame
    • Disadvantages
      • Elemental mastery is usually not considered good on Keqing because she is rarely the one triggering the reactions and thus the EM used in the calculation is the support’s
      • You have to keep stacks up to maintain the %dmg buff
    • Conditions for use
      • Aiming to go electro Keqing

All the other swords

  • I’m just going to summarise what you should go for in order of performance.
  • I’d like to emphasise that we have new testing by the day and that is why the swords in the top rankings keep floating past one another.
  • If you’re going physical/superconductor Keqing (assuming fully refined)
    • BiS (Best in slot): Aquila Favonia
      • %physdmg is huge
    • Flute
      • Can stagger shield opponents from the passive
      • R1-5 Flute will outperform R1 black sword on physical build. Evidence in library.
    • Black Sword
      • Is ranked above Lion’s Roar because the passive is not conditional upon electro-debuff
      • Nice small amount of regen that is especially helpful for Abyss
    • Lion’s Roar
    • Prototype Rancour (F2P)
      • Please note that R5 Rancour beats R1 Black Sword in a physical build
    • Skyward Blade
      • At 90/90, Skyward has only 41 more base attack than a 90/90 Prototype Rancour.
      • The increased dmg is dealt separately. 
    • Royal Longsword***
      • Conditional: assuming you haven’t hit 85% crit rate
    • Iron Sting (F2P)
    • Descension
    • Sacrificial Sword
  • If you’re going electro Keqing,
    • BiS: Black Sword***
      • Is ranked above Aquila in a R1 v R1 scenario. 
      • ***Is ranked above Lion’s Roar because the passive is not conditional upon electro-debuff. Further testing is being conducted to compare DPS in a normal E-Q rotation along with autoattacks.
    • Aquila Favonia
      • Even though electro Keqing doesn’t make use of the %physdmg, she benefits from the raw stats at 90/90
    • Black Sword
      • Is ranked above Lion’s Roar because the passive is not conditional upon electro-debuff
      • Nice small amount of regen that is especially helpful for Abyss
      • Please note that R1 Black Sword beats R5 Rancour in electro
      • R1 Black Sword > R1-R4 Flute on electro. Evidence pending submission to library
      • R1 Black Sword < R5 Flute on electro, but only by a small margin. 
    • Lion’s Roar
      • Please note that R3 Roar beats R1 Aquila in electro
      • Please note that R2-5 LR MAY*** beat R1 Black Sword
    • Skyward Blade
      • At 90/90, Skyward has only 41 more base attack than a 90/90 Prototype Rancour
    • Flute
      • Can stagger shield opponents from the passive
      • Can be better than above options depending on the number of mobs.
    • Royal Longsword***
      • Conditional: assuming you haven’t hit 85% crit rate
    • Iron Sting (F2P)
    • Prototype Rancour (F2P)
      • %physdmg is not useful to Electro Keqing
    • Descension
    • Sacrificial Sword

Talent Prioritisation

  • The prioritisation should be Autoattacks (Yunlai Swordsmanship) > E (Stellar Restoration) > Q (Starward Sword)
  • The basic reasoning is that the damage boost to autoattacks is unconditional since it has no cooldown. A significant amount of damage from Keqing comes from her normal and charged autoattacks.
  • E is prioritised before Q because it is used more often and has a shorter cd. 
  • This prioritisation should be the same for both builds. 
  • Books (Prosperity) drop on Mondays/Thursdays from Taishan Mansion.

Normal/Charged Attack Combos (WIP)

A basic overview will be discussed here and the complex stuff including her other skills will be in the Combos/Mechanics section when it is finished.

Keqing Normal Attack: Yunlai Swordsmanship

Genshin Impact: Keqing Guide 2
  • Tapping M1 (Normal attack) will result in the following
  1. Jab (small step forward)
  2. Cross slash (small step forward)
  3. Wide slash (medium step forward)
  4. Cross slash and leg kick upwards into invisibility (2 hits)
  5. Do a stab dash forward that passes through smaller opponents, reappearing near the end (large step forward)
  • There are a total of 6 hits if you finish the normal attack combo
  • Holding M1 (Charged attack) will result in the following
  1. Jab (small step forward)
  2. Cross slash twice (medium step backwards)

5 Hit Normal (5N)

  • Please note that this combo actually has a total of 6 hits (refer to picture above)
  • Keqing performs 5 hits relatively quickly, kicking upwards and disappearing on the upwards kick. After a brief delay, she performs a dash attack (6th hit), reappearing near the end of the dash. 
    • The delay between the 5th and 6th hits can be controlled. You have about 0.5s leeway before clicking again to activate the 6th hit. This is useful because sometimes, Keqing will knock up the enemy such that the 6th hit misses entirely when activated too fast.
  • In the beta, the “blink” aspect between the 5th and 6th hits could be used as an i-frame. Current testing suggests that this blink no longer acts an i-frame because you can be frozen and damaged while “invisible”. It is also possible that this is due to high ping.
  • Use normal attacks only if you have no stamina at all (cryo domain Leylines) or are dealing with enemies that are constantly knocked back.

Normal Attack x 4 → Charged attack (4NC)

  • When Keqing disappears after kicking upwards, hold down M1 to convert the last attack into a charged one which will knock enemies back.
  • The charged attack hits twice so you get a total of 6 hits.
  • Use this combo when you are low on stamina or wanting to conserve stamina 
  • Use this combo when you are wanting to constantly reposition to avoid taking damage

Normal Attack x 1 → Charged attack (C)

  • When people talk about “charged attack spam”, they are really talking about this combo. It isn’t possible to perform a charged attack without the initial normal attack.
  • When holding down M1, Keqing will jab forward with 1 x normal attack, followed by a charged attack that hits 2 times while “recoiling” her back about the same distance.
  • I will refer to this combo as a cycle because technically it’s not a combo when we’re only really performing charged attacks. The normal attack is just bundled in. 
  • Use this cycle against stationary/knockback-resist enemies or when normal enemies are up against terrain/wall.
  • This combo is one of the reasons why Physical Keqing is viable. Keqing has one of the highest autoattack speeds in the game. 
  • At the cost of 25 stamina, Keqing can output 1 x normal attack and 2 x charged attacks in <1 second. This combo produces the highest DPS possible from autoattacks. (theorycrafting data to be added later)
  • Tip: You can start the next charged attack combo before the first one completely ends by releasing M1 and holding it down again when you see Keqing’s sword extended to her rear right after the cross slash. 

Electro or Physical Keqing?

Overview

There are currently 2 viable endgame styles for Keqing. AutoKeq (physical) and ElectroQueen. To understand the difference between these 2 builds, you must first fully understand Stellar Restoration. 

  • Keqing’s E: Stellar Restoration
    • The first cast can be used to apply electro debuff to multiple enemies
    • If the skil is recast within 5 seconds, it will teleport Keqing to the marked location dealing a single slash of aoe electro damage and converting her normal and charged attacks to electro dmg.
    • Otherwise, performing a charged attack after the first cast will cause the mark to explode and deal 2 slashes of electro dmg. Keqing’s normal and charged attacks are NOT converted to electro.
  • Significance
    • If your preferred playstyle involves teleporting and recasting E, then you cannot go physical Keqing. The conversion of attacks to electro dmg causes you to lose any %physdmg bonuses
    • In addition, physical Keqing’s Q mainly serves to buff crit rate and act as an i-frame. The damage is significantly reduced compared to Electro Keqing.
    • However, this does not mean that physical Keqing is necessarily weaker than electro. It simply means that Physical Keqing loses Keqing’s innate mobility.
    • The main difference between both builds boils down to whether or not you can recast E.
    • It is important to note that both builds have their respective conditions where they likely outperform the other build. I will try my best to describe these conditions later.

Now that you understand the crucial difference in both builds, let’s go over the core concepts.

What is the ElectroQueen build?

  • This build aims to maximise electro damage from normal and charged autoattacks, E, and Q. 
  • As Keqing’s E electro conversion lasts for 5 seconds and the cooldown of the skill is 7.5 seconds from initial cast, there is about a 2-3 second downtime where your autoattacks are not electro-empowered. During this period of time, it is recommended that you switch to a support to setup the next round of elemental reactions.
  • Some common combos include
    • Casting E to apply electro > swapping to a support to trigger a reaction > swapping back to Keqing to re-cast E > normal-charged attack combo until electro conversion finishes > Q burst > repeat
      • This combo casts Q after E to maximise cooldowns. However, this means that you do not benefit from the increased energy recharge and crit rate until the next cycle. 
    • With Venti: Venti Q > Keqing E cast above the Venti Q > Recast E to blink above and deal damage to enemies in black hole > M1 to perform a plunge attack with electro dmg > normal-charged attack combo or go straight to Q burst
    • When possible, Q whenever possible to maintain the +15% crit rate buff and energy recharge.
    • We will more comprehensively cover combos later
  • Advantages
    • The ElectroQueen build is probably why you wanted to play Keqing in the first place. The high attack speed and high mobility aspects of her kit are highly enjoyable, especially when paired with her 3 second i-frame Q on a 12 second CD. It rewards risky and reckless play and gives you many options to outmanoeuvre enemies. By far, ElectroQueen builds are very flashy and make for great montage videos. 
    • Keqing can maintain 90+% uptime on electro-debuffs to monsters with little effort (except to innate elemental units)
    • Has higher mobility to dodge boss/stage mechanics 
    • Generally runs well with any support (except Chongyun cause he converts your attacks to cryo) due to her high rate of application of electro-debuff
    • Performance against mobs vs single stationary target is about the same, more consistent across the board
  • Disadvantages
    • Deals 0 electro damage to innate electro enemies (Aleph the Electro Hypostasis, Yellow/Purple Electroslimes)
    • Electro-related elemental reactions do not scale very well into endgame (pyro melt and vaporise do). 
      • ELECTRO-RELATED ELEMENTAL REACTIONS LIKE OVERLOAD, SUPERCONDUCT, AND ELECTRO-CHARGED CANNOT CRIT
      • These reactions are only affected by the EM and level of the triggering character and elemental resistance.
      • In addition, overload deals 0 dmg to Pyroslimes (because it’s pyro dmg) and superconductor deals 0 dmg to Cryoslimes (because it’s cryo dmg)
    • There is currently no 5* weapon that synergises well with ElectroQueen

What is the AutoKeq build?

  • This build aims to maximise physical damage from normal and charged autoattacks (white/physical damage) and forego any electro (purple) damage. 
  • It should be noted that one of the main reasons that this build is viable is because of the 5* Aquila Favonia providing a passive %physdmg bonus. This build will still do significant damage without Aquila, but it is the weapon with the most synergy for this build.
  • This means that you are unable to take advantage of E-recast converting your autoattacks into electro damage. This also means that your Q will deal significantly less damage. Instead, your Q’s main purpose will simply serve to boost your critical rate by 15% (Ascension 4 talent) and to i-frame.
  • The ideal electro-related reaction to trigger is Superconduct.
    • Deals AoE Cryo DMG and reduces the target’s PHYS Resistance by 40% for 8-9 seconds
    • If you reduce the defence below 0%, any leftover reduction is halved. For example, if the target has 10% physical defence originally and you trigger superconduct, the target will have -15% physical defence total. 
    • You apply cryo, then switch to Keqing to trigger the Superconduct, then repeatedly cycle charged attacks. 
  • It is important to note that when you perform a charged attack, you are really performing 1 x normal attack (hits once) followed by 1 x charged attack (hits twice) for a total of 3 hits. 
  • Typically, triggering other elemental reactions aside from Superconduct is not recommended.
  • Works best for stationary targets/bosses 
  • Advantages
    • Playstyle is straightforward and easy to learn
    • You can trigger massive white numbers due to the nature of Superconduct 
    • Better versus innate elemental slimes
    • Better against Electro Cicin Mage (and any other mob with higher electro resist and lower phys resist)
  • Disadvantages
    • High consumption of stamina, may leave none for iframe/dodging
      • The notable exception is if you are using 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry, but we will discuss that later.
    • Cannot use E for mobility purposes (down smash, dodging, etc) otherwise you convert your damage to electro and you lose any phys% bonuses
    • Elemental Skill (E) and Burst (Q) do significantly less damage because they do not scale with %physdmg
    • If the target is not stationary, you will lose a lot of DPS constantly trying to walk up to hit
    • Has little to no synergy with Keqing constellations. If you get high constellations on Keqing, you are basically shoehorned into going ElectroQueen.

What about elemental mastery support Keqing?

  • 4 set Noblesse Oblige
  • This does not please the Queen.

ElectroQueen Build 

TLDR 

  • Use 4 set Thundersoother for solo focused content
  • Use 4 set Thundering Fury for coop focused content
  • Use 2 set Gladiator’s and 2 set Thundering Fury for equal performance in both solo and coop content (F2P/Casual recommended)
  • Use 2 set Gladiator’s and 2 set Thundering Fury if you are F2P/casual looking to climb Abyss.

When does this build perform well?

  • Enemy is not immune to electro dmg
  • There are many non-stationary enemies such that a single charged attack cannot hit everything.
  • There are many attacks/mechanics from enemies such that you need to remain mobile to deal damage effectively
  • When electro elemental resistance stat is low on the enemy, or the enemy can have their resistance reduced (eg Venerer set)

Artifact Set Selection

Let’s preface this section by acknowledging the fact that similar to how both the AutoKeq and ElectroQueen perform well in different conditions, different artifact sets will also be considered BiS (best in slot) depending on the circumstances. We have done extensive theorycrafting and empirical analysis for the discussed builds.

The following discussion will be a semi-deep dive into each viable set followed by my recommendation for sets with accompanying justifications. Remember that we are always open to feedback and further theorycrafting.

The following are in alphabetical order:

4 set Berserker’s

  • Set effects: 
    • +12% crit rate
    • When HP <70%, +24% crit rate (36% total maximum)
  • Advantages
    • Gaining 36% crit from set effects can allow you to dedicate more of your gear primary and/or substats to critdmg%
  • Disadvantages
    • Berserker’s set does not drop as a 5* piece. This means that the maximum possible stats are always at 25% less than any 5* equivalent.
    • Maintaining <70%HP playstyle can be tricky
  • Considerations
    • Generally not recommended late game primarily due to fact it doesn’t exist as a 5* set. 
    • Both the 2 and 4 set pieces can be considered as a transitory set in the early endgame when you have just reached AR-40 and do not have the prerequisite pieces to complete a recommended set.

4 set Bloodstained Chivalry

  • Set effects: 
    • Physical DMG +25%
    • After defeating an opponent, increases Charged Attack DMG by 50%, and reduces its Stamina cost to 0 for 10s.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing’s optimal attack combo involves spamming charged attacks. The stamina reduction may be beneficial when there are multiple weaker enemies.
  • Disadvantages
    • ElectroQueen does not benefit from %physdmg
    • The 4 set effect only affects charged damage, but a large portion of ElectroQueen DPS comes from usage of E and Q
    • Not useful for boss fights because the 4 set effect cannot be activated
  • Considerations
    • Generally not recommended for ElectroQueen because the set effects do not synergise well with the optimal playstyle

4 set Gladiator’s Finale

  • Set effects:
    • ATK +18%
    • If the wielder of this artifact set uses a Sword, Claymore or Polearm, increases their Normal Attack DMG by 35%.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing is a Sword user and she applies normal attacks at an incredibly fast rate. 
    • You get free pieces throughout normal game progression
  • Disadvantages
    • %atk is generally less valuable in the endgame because there are so many sources. Other stats such as %dmg, crit%, and critdmg% will generally have a bigger impact on DPS
    • Hard to farm as it is only obtainable from weekly bosses and map bosses (at low rate and high cost of resin)
  • Considerations
    • For a more in depth explanation of where I’m pulling the following numbers from, please read the stat optimisation section. Revisiting the earlier topic on %atk being less valuable, let’s do a bit of math. This applies even more for Electro Keqing since the maximum %electrodmg bonus that can be obtained without a Lion’s roar and set effects is 46.6%. In endgame, the ideal ratio of stats is 1:1:1 for %totalatk : %dmg :  %totalcritdmg. You can easily reach over 70% atk from just 1 primary stat %atk and about 4-5 substats worth of %atk. Therefore, if you can select for either %atk or %electrodmg in a set effect, %electrodmg generally gives a larger increase to DPS. 
    • In addition to this, ElectroQueen playstyle definitely does involve weaving as many charged attacks as possible. Not having the 35% bonus apply to charged attacks means that the 4 set effect becomes largely ineffective. 
    • Generally, this set is not optimal for electro because of the decreased value of %atk in the lategame as well as it’s dmg bonus being restricted to normal attacks.

2 set Gladiator’s/Sojourner/Bravery + 2 set Thundering Fury

  • Set effects: 
    • +18% atk
    • +15% electro dmg
  • Advantages
    • ElectroQueen wants to stack as much %electrodmg as possible because the majority of your DPS is electro damage (converted autoattacks, Q, and E)
    • Potentially easier to farm than 4 set gladiator’s 
  • Disadvantages
    • Refer to the 4 set gladiator’s explanation for why %atk is not an optimal set effect in endgame
    • %electrodmg bonuses are rendered ineffective by innate electro mobs like electroslime and Electro Hypostasis
    • Sojourner’s and Bravery do not exist as 5* sets. Refer to the Berserker explanation.
  • Considerations
    • Again, the 18% atk makes this set a less valuable contender for true endgame min/maxing. 
    • This set is also reasonably hard to farm.
      • Gladiator’s not available in domains
      • TF set lower drop rate than TS set at AR40 (rates for AR45+ unknown at this time)
    • I consider this combination to be a transitory set that will carry you through early endgame (AR40-45) as you farm the pieces for other sets
    • While this set doesn’t allow you to min/max as hard, it is a good generalist set across most content.

4 set Martial Artist

  • Set effects:
    • Increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 15%.
    • After using Elemental Skill, increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 25% for 8s.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing can theoretically maintain 100% uptime on the 4 set effect
  • Disadvantages
    • This set doesn’t drop at 5*
    • This set isn’t easily obtainable in early-midgame and is a waste of resin to obtain in the endgame
    • No effect on Keqing E and Q which comprise a large portion of ElectroQueen DPS
  • Considerations
    • If you were incredibly lucky in early-midgame with random martial artist pieces, you can use this as a transitory set before switching into recommended endgame sets
    • Do not try to use this set for true endgame as 5* pieces have 25% more primary star 4* equivalents
    • This set is only listed because there’s a tiny chance that someone might have it from early-midgame. If you don’t already have this set, ignore it completely

4 set Thundering Fury

  • Set Effects:
    • Electro DMG Bonus +15%
    • Increases damage caused by Overloaded, Electro-Charged, and Superconduct DMG by 40%. Triggering such effects decreases Elemental Skill CD by 1s. Can only occur once every 0.8s.
  • Advantages
    • If Keqing can trigger reactions, she will be able to gain increased use of her E for a significant increase in electro dps. 
    • %electrodmg is very valuable for the ElectroQueen build since we only normally have 1 source of it through the goblet (and 20% possible from Lion’s Roar)
  • Disadvantages
    • The electro bonus is lost vs innate electro enemies like electroslimes.
    • Keqing’s E skill is about equivalent to a charged attack. 
    • The biggest issue regarding 4TF is Keqing’s ability to reliably trigger reactions. As Keqing has a high rate of inflicting electro on the enemies, we find that supports are the ones triggering reactions. If Keqing does not trigger the reaction, the reactions do not gain the 40% dmg bonus. Evidence.
      • It is important to note that this issue is relatively mitigated in a coop experience where others are constantly adding in elements as well, but in a solo PvE scenario, Keqing is unlikely to trigger reactions frequently.
    • Relatively hard to farm since it’s the rarest set in Midsummer Courtyard
  • Considerations
    • A normal rotation in the electro playstyle revolves around using E downtime to switch to supports to setup the next round of elemental reactions. Even though E becomes available quicker, that time window is normally reserved for support swapping, so this may not be optimal. 
    • If Keqing cannot trigger elemental reactions, then she cannot benefit from the cooldown reduction effect either. A double whammy of sorts.
    • With what’s been stated above, a significant portion of the 4 set effect becomes ineffective. This calls into question the benefit of going 4 set TF in the first place.
    • In order for a 4TF to perform well, Keqing must be able to reliably trigger elemental reactions. If this condition is not fulfilled, then there is no point in running 4TF.

4 set Thundersoother

  • Set effects:
    • Electro RES increased by 40%
    • Increases DMG against enemies affected by Electro by 35%.
  • Advantages
    • In the ElectroQueen build, we have limited sources of %electrodmg. 4TS offers a whopping 35% increase in ALL damage dealt to enemies affected by electro. This stat is considered an additive increase in the general %dmg category. 
    • Flexible: This set can flex in between ElectroQueen and AutoKeq by simply substituting the goblet for the appropriate dmg% bonus in the primary line. Remember that the 4 set effect increases ALL damage instead of just electro damage.
    • Relatively easy to obtain compared to Thundering Fury. At AR40, the drop rate of TS > TF. You are likely to obtain TS pieces with optimal stats before TF equivalent
  • Disadvantages
    • You lose the 35% bonus against innate elemental enemies that cannot be debuffed by electro (Anemo Hypostasis, Cryo/Pyro slimes, etc)
    • The 2 set effect doesn’t help you deal any more damage which is important in a DPS role
    • In the ElectroQueen playstyle, you will trigger many reactions with supports. After an overload triggered by pyro, there is a ~0.5s time window where electro cannot be reapplied. You may lose possible DPS in this window. In addition, the first hit/skill that reapplies electro will not have the 35% bonus.
  • Considerations
    • The 4TS effect affects ALL damage including Q, E, and autoattacks. 
    • If you are unable to maintain 100% uptime on electro, you will inevitably lose DPS because you will be applying hits that do not have the 35% bonus damage
    • With a pyro support, you cannot maintain 100% uptime on the electro debuff.
    • With a hydro support, you can maintain 100% uptime on the electro debuff.
    • This set is easier to farm than 4TF.
    • In coop, it may be harder to ensure that the enemy is always electro-debuffed.

So which set should I use?

Let me first state that testing is still ongoing, but we have enough theoretical and empirical data to make certain claims about each set in different scenarios.

In solo, ranked from most recommended to least

  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • 2 set Gladiator’s / 2 set Thundering Fury
  • 4 set Thundering Fury
  • Explanation
    • 4TS is most recommended due to its versatility and large source of %dmg to all attacks/skills. In solo play, it is reasonably easy to maintain 100% electro debuff uptime by making use of swirls and support swaps. The only circumstance when 4TS suffers is when electro cannot be reliably applied to the enemy. In addition, Keqing normally suffers against electro-innate enemies. 4TS allows for ElectroQueen to still deal a greater degree of physical damage than compared to a 2 Glad / 2 TF setup. If you already know you will be fighting innate electro-mobs, it is recommended to pre-emptively swap your %electrodmg goblet for %physdmg. Then, you would switch to the AutoKeq playstyle.
    • 2 set Gladiator’s / 2 set Thundering Fury suffers because of the decreased impact of %atk on endgame DPS. In addition, 2TF %electro bonus makes ElectroQueen “all-in” on the electro element so to speak. If you encounter any electro innate mobs, you will perform poorly. In this sense, 4TS has greater versatility than the 2G/2TF set. The only advantage that the 2G/2TF set has over 4TS is that when facing pyro and cryo innate enemies, the 2TF 15% electro dmg is effective while 4TS 35%dmg is lost. However, 4TS can make up for this difference by switching to a %physdmg goblet. Recall that the maximum amount of %physdmg possible on a goblet is 58.3% whereas the maximum amount of %electrodmg possible on a goblet is 46.6%. The 11.7% difference in %dmg makes the 15% electrodmg advantage that 2TF has over 4TS insignificant. This minor difference in damage is outweighed by the fact that 4TS is much more versatile in switching between ElectroQueen or AutoKeq. Thus, 4TS is recommended over 2G/2TF in solo play.
    • 4TF is not recommended in solo play for 2 main reasons. First, as your main DPS, Keqing does not trigger reactions very often in solo play, causing the entire 4 set effect to become inconsistent. Second, the 15% electrodmg bonus is outweighed by the versatility and ability of 4TS to switch goblets. 4TF is not recommended over 2G/2TF because 18%atk is arguably more beneficial than the unreliable 4TF set effect in solo play.
  • Special note for Xingqiu Support
    • Xingqiu support is the only scenario in which I can MAYBE recommend 4TF on Keqing in a solo scenario
    • The reason is because of XQ Q (burst) which causes swords to spawn and attack the closest (or attacked enemy) a short delay after your active character’s attack. The cooldown on the sword attack is ~1 second and 2-3 swords will attack each time. 
      • At C6 XQ, every 3rd sword attack will have 4-5 swords instead of 2-3.
    • Each sword counts as a unique and separate source of damage, therefore, XQ Q can be used to repeatedly apply hydro debuff on the enemy after Keqing attack. 
    • For example, activate Xingqiue Q > swap to Keqing > convert to electro with Keqing > attack enemy and apply electro debuff > 1st water sword trigger electrocharged > 2nd/3rd water swords reapply hydro debuff > next Keqing attack/skill trigger electrocharged
    • This setup allows Keqing to somewhat reliably trigger electrocharged and thus benefit from the 4TF set effect. 
    • Considerations
      • Do note that this only works with XQ Q and not with his E which will tick periodically to apply hydro and usually be the reaction trigger. Even if you theoretically recharged XQ Q before the cooldown was up (hard if you don’t have him out), you’d have at least 5 seconds of downtime on the sword attacks.
      • Consider that depending on your Keqing playstyle, you STILL might reapply electro before the water swords can apply hydro.

In coop, ranked from most recommended to least

  • 4 set Thundering Fury
  • 2 set Gladiator’s / 2 set Thundering Fury
  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • Explanation
    • 4TF becomes the top recommendation because with multiple active party members, Keqing has a higher chance of triggering electro reactions and benefiting from the 4TF effect. Everytime Keqing attacks with electro or lands an electro skill, there is a high chance that there is a pre-existing element applied from another player. She can benefit a lot from both the increased reaction damage and E cooldown reduction.
    • 2G/2TF is not recommended because of the earlier statements regarding %atk.
    • 4TS suffers in coop because the enemies cannot be reliably debuffed with electro. The 4TS becomes inconsistent in the same manner that 4TF is inconsistent in solo play. You can’t achieve the conditions required to have consistent benefit from the 4 set effect. 
    • Note: Because TF becomes the top recommended set, it may be reasonable to invest in Elemental Mastery in some form. We do not have sufficient testing and data to make a specific statement at this time.

Special Note

  • For F2P and casual players, our top recommendation is the 2G/2TF because of how consistently it performs across solo, coop, and abyss content.
  • If more comprehensive and competitive coop content is released, then 2G/2TF set will probably become the best F2P/casual set by far because it performs equally well in both solo and coop play. This is of course assuming that you would like to take Keqing into both scenarios. 

Teambuilding

  • Archaic Petra
    • Noelle
  • Crimson Witch
    • Pyro with persistent skill
  • Noblesse Oblige
    • Fischl
  • Maiden Beloved (coop/solo)
    • Barbara 

AutoKeq Build 

TLDR 

  • Use 4 set Thundersoother for solo focused content 
  • Use 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry for general solo and Abyss content where there are multiple mobs that can be killed by charged attacks within 10 seconds.
  • Use 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry for general coop content that has mobs that can be killed by charged attacks within 10 seconds. 
  • Use 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry and 2 set Gladiator’s for any scenario not covered above or if you want a jack of all trades set

When does this build perform well?

  • A stationary, immobile target
  • Periods of time where you can focus on bursting and not have to dodge attacks or mechanics. 
  • Enemies are not spread out 
  • Dungeon mechanics do not consume stamina

Artifact Set Selection 

4 set Berserker’s

  • Set effects: 
    • +12% crit rate
    • When HP <70%, +24% crit rate (36% total maximum)
  • Advantages
    • Gaining 36% crit from set effects can allow you to dedicate more of your gear primary and/or substats to critdmg%
  • Disadvantages
    • Berserker’s set does not drop as a 5* piece. This means that the maximum possible stats are always at least 25% less than any 5* equivalent.
    • Maintaining  <70% playstyle can be tricky
  • Considerations
    • Generally not recommended late game primarily due to fact it doesn’t exist as a 5* set. 
    • Both the 2 and 4 set pieces can be considered as a transitory set in the early endgame when you have just reached AR-40 and do not have the prerequisite pieces to complete a recommended set.

4 set Bloodstained Chivalry

  • Set effects: 
    • Physical DMG +25%
    • After defeating an opponent, increases Charged Attack DMG by 50%, and reduces its Stamina cost to 0 for 10s.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing’s optimal attack combo involves spamming charged attacks. The stamina reduction may be beneficial when there are multiple weaker enemies that die within 10 seconds so you can spam empowered charged attack for free.
    • AutoKeq benefits from the significant +25%physdmg
  • Disadvantages
    • 4 set effect not useful against bosses or enemies that take more than 10 seconds to kill
    • When trying to kill the first enemy, your charged attacks will not be empowered
    • Requires careful enemy selection to optimise and extend the duration of the 4 set effect
  • Considerations
    • Can be a viable set for Abyss and domains where small mobs continuously spawn in addition to big mobs.
    • When battling a mix of weaker/smaller mobs and stronger/larger mobs, you should be weaving some attacks onto the stronger mobs. You should only aim to kill smaller mobs when the 10 second timer on your 4 set effect is about to run out. If you kill all the small mobs first, you will be unable to maintain the effect when dealing with the stronger mobs.
    • Making effective use of the 4 set effect can be moderately difficult and skill dependent.

4 set Gladiator’s Finale

  • Set effects:
    • ATK +18%
    • If the wielder of this artifact set uses a Sword, Claymore or Polearm, increases their Normal Attack DMG by 35%.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing is a Sword user and she applies normal attacks at an incredibly fast rate. 
    • You get free pieces throughout normal game progression
  • Disadvantages
    • AutoKeq emphasises repeated charged attacks. Only the initial normal attack in each cycle of charged attacks will benefit from the 35% dmg. A significant portion of your attacks will not receive the 35% bonus.
    • Hard to farm as it is only obtainable from weekly bosses and map bosses (at low rate and high cost of resin)
  • Considerations
    • Refer to ElectroQueen section on %atk being less valuable in endgame
    • Generally, this set is not optimal for AutoKeq because of the decreased value of %atk in the lategame as well as it’s dmg bonus being restricted to normal attacks.

2 set Gladiator’s Finale + 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry

  • Set effects:
    • ATK +18%
    • Physical DMG +25%
  • Advantages
    • %physdmg bonus scales well and directly buffs autoattacks which are the main form of damage for AutoKeq
  • Disadvantages
    • Read earlier sections on %atk scaling in endgame
  • Considerations
    • This is a reliable set that gives you everything you want in a physical build without any extra conditions to fulfill

4 set Martial Artist

  • Set effects:
    • Increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 15%.
    • After using Elemental Skill, increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 25% for 8s.
  • Advantages
    • Keqing can theoretically maintain 100% uptime on the 4 set effect because her E cd is 7.5s (starting when it’s first cast)
    • AutoKeq is focused on normal and charged attacks and this set empowers both
  • Disadvantages
    • This set doesn’t drop at 5*
    • This set isn’t easily obtainable in early-midgame and is a waste of resin to obtain in the endgame
  • Considerations
    • If you were incredibly lucky in early-midgame with random martial artist pieces, you can use this as a transitory set before switching into recommended endgame sets
    • Do not try to use this set for true endgame as 5* pieces have 25% more primary star 4* equivalents
    • This set is only listed because there’s a tiny chance that someone might have it from early-midgame. If you don’t already have this set, ignore it completely

4 set Thundersoother

  • Set effects:
    • Electro RES increased by 40%
    • Increases DMG against enemies affected by Electro by 35%.
  • Advantages
    • 4TS effect gives +35% bonus damage to electro-debuffed enemies and this includes physical damage
    • Flexible: This set can flex in between ElectroQueen and AutoKeq by simply substituting the goblet for the appropriate dmg% bonus in the primary line. Remember that the 4 set effect increases ALL damage instead of just electro damage.
    • Relatively easy to obtain compared to Thundering Fury. At AR40, the drop rate of TS > TF. You are likely to obtain TS pieces with optimal stats before TF equivalent
    • Whereas ElectroQueen suffers against electroslimes and can only alleviate the issue by switching their goblet to %physdmg, AutoKeq is always dealing maximum damage to any innate electro enemy. 
  • Disadvantages
    • You lose the 35% bonus against innate elemental enemies that cannot be debuffed by electro (Anemo Hypostasis, Cryo/Pyro slimes, etc)
    • The 2 set effect doesn’t help you deal any more damage which is important in a DPS role
  • Considerations
    • Maintaining electro-debuff uptime during a burst is not hard because electro applied from Keqing has a relatively high elemental status gauge and thus electro will persist close to the duration of superconduct. 
    • If you accidentally recast E and convert your autoattacks into electro, you still gain the increased damage from 4 set effect, although you will lose your %physdmg bonuses
    • This set is easier to farm than 4TF.
    • Although AutoKeq focuses on autoattacks, you will still make use of Q and E to i-frame and trigger superconduct. The 4 set effect applies to both Q and E.
    • In coop, it may be harder to ensure that the enemy is always electro-debuffed.

So which set should I use???

Similar to ElectroQueen, we have theoretical and empirical data to make certain claims about each set in different scenarios

In solo bosses without smaller mob spawns, ranked from most recommended to least

  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • 2 set Gladiator’s + 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 4 set Gladiator’s
  • 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • Explanation
    • 4TS is the superior option as long as the electro debuff can be reliably applied to a boss. In addition, 4TS boosts all outgoing damage including E and Q which is frequently used for triggering superconduct and increasing crit rate respectively.
    • 2G + 2BSC is a reliable set for AutoKeq because there are no conditions for the bonuses unlike 4TS, 4BSC, and 4G. You will always have the 18% atk and 25% bonus physical dmg unless you accidentally recast E and convert to electro dmg
    • 4G is ranked as such because ⅔ of Keqing’s optimal attack combo is not affected by the 35% bonus. 
    • 4BSC is not recommended in this scenario because you cannot trigger the 4BSC effect.

In solo content with mobs that you can kill within 10 seconds, ranked from most recommended to least

  • 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 2 set Gladiator’s + 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • 4 set Gladiator’s
  • Explanation
    • 4BSC effect is unrivalled if there are mobs available for you to continuously trigger the charged attack bonus and stamina consumption negation. You always have the +25% physdmg bonus and can maintain a 35% charged dmg bonus
    • 2G + 2BSC is a reliable set for AutoKeq because there are no conditions for the bonuses unlike 4TS, 4BSC, and 4G. You will always have the 18% atk and 25% bonus physical dmg unless you accidentally recast E and convert to electro dmg
    • 4TS ranks below 2G + 2BSC because it’s harder to keep electro debuff status applied on many enemies at once. In addition, you may find yourself running low on stamina from spamming charged attacks and then dashing to catch up to enemies that were knocked back. However, Q and E are still affected by 4TS and can be used to deal decent AoE electro damage while reapplying electro to all mobs around you.
    • 4G ranks below 4TS because its bonus only applies to normal attacks and not charged attacks.

In coop bosses without smaller mob spawns, ranked from most recommended to least,

  • 2 set Gladiator’s + 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 4 set Gladiator’s
  • 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • Explanation
    • 2G + 2BSC is a reliable set for AutoKeq because there are no conditions for the bonuses unlike 4TS, 4BSC, and 4G. You will always have the 18% atk and 25% bonus physical dmg unless you accidentally recast E and convert to electro dmg
    • 4G ranks below 2G + 2BSC because its bonus only applies to normal attacks and not charged attacks.
    • 4BSC is ranked below 4G because you can’t trigger the 4 set effect.
    • 4TS is ranked last because you cannot reliably apply the electro debuff with 3 other players triggering reactions. The exception is if you have a 4 electro or electro/anemo team. 4BSC is ranked higher because although you cannot trigger the 4 set effect, the 2 set effect gives a permanent 25% bonus physical dmg

In coop bosses with smaller mob spawns, ranked from most recommended to least,

  • 4 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 2 set Gladiator’s + 2 set Bloodstained Chivalry
  • 4 set Gladiator’s
  • 4 set Thundersoother
  • Explanation
    • 4BSC effect is unrivalled if there are mobs available for you to continuously trigger the charged attack bonus and stamina consumption negation. You always have the +25% physdmg bonus and can maintain a 35% charged dmg bonus
    • 2G + 2BSC is a reliable set for AutoKeq because there are no conditions for the bonuses unlike 4TS, 4BSC, and 4G. You will always have the 18% atk and 25% bonus physical dmg unless you accidentally recast E and convert to electro dmg
    • 4G ranks below 2G + 2BSC because its bonus only applies to normal attacks and not charged attacks.
    • 4TS is ranked last because you cannot reliably apply the electro debuff with 3 other players triggering reactions. The exception is if you have a 4 electro or electro/anemo team. 2G + 2BSC is ranked higher because you get an unconditional 25% bonus physical dmg and 18% atk. 

Artifact/General Stat Optimisation 

Let’s preface this by first stating that every character will prioritise stat differently and even individuals building the same character will prioritise differently due to weapons, artifact set effects, and artifact stats/substats. What I will attempt to do is give you some general guiding principles so you can open up your stats page and correctly identify which stat should be invested in. 

I will NOT go into detail about optimising substats because this requires introducing the concept of a gear score which is above the level of this guide.

Definitions

You must first understand basic definitions before we talk about optimisation. You may find that other guides define some of these terms differently. I will not go super in depth. If you do not understand a concept, please go to Robin’s guide for clarification. 

  • Base attack
    • The white number shown in your stat screen when you go to Attributes > Details
    • Weapon base attack + Character base attack
  • Bonus attack
    • The green number shown in your stat screen
    • Consists of all the attack you gain from %atk multipliers, feather flat attack, and artifact flat attack substat
  • %ATK
    • Multiplies your BASE attack (white number) to contribute to your BONUS attack (green number)
    • This includes sources from weapon passives like Lion’s Roar and Aquila Favonia.
    • This does not include flat attack sources such as your feather and artifact substats
    • Obtain by adding up all values of %ATK from your weapon, artifacts’ stat/substats, set effects, and pyro resonance if applicable
  • %TotalATK
    • Since %ATK does not take into account the feather and artifact substats, we create a new value that takes everything into account.
    • A measure of how much your BASE attack has increased from all sources of attack in artifact stats/substats, artifact set effects, and weapons.
    • Obtain by dividing the green BONUS attack number by the white BASE attack number
      • %TotalATK =(Bonus Attack)(Base Attack)
  • %DMG
    • If an effect has wording along the lines of increases damage then it belongs in this multiplier category
    • Examples include 4 Thundersoother set, Lion’s Roar, Aquila passive, elemental % damage in goblets, etc.
    • All sources of %DMG are additive meaning that in calculations, you will ADD them together
    • For example, if you had R1 Lion’s Roar and 4 Thundersoother set, you will receive a conditional 55%DMG bonus to electro debuffed units (20 from Roar added to 35 from 4TS)
  • %CR (Crit Rate)
    • A chance to deal bonus dmg based on your %CD (crit damage)
    • There is no soft cap for CR. You can reach 100%. Refer to the here for evidence.
  • %CD (Crit DMG)
    • Determines the amount of bonus dmg you deal when you crit
  • %TotalCD
    • When you are calculating damage with regards to CR and CD, you have to consider 2 factors
      • Bonus damage from when you successfully crit
      • Normal damage from when you do not crit
    • To calculate the average damage dealt, simply multiple CR by CD
      • %TotalCD = %CR*%CD
    • %TotalCD is a more reliable measurement of how much you will increase your DPS compared to viewing %CR or %CD individually

The Fundamentals of Stat Optimisation or “MinMaxing”

All right, you might have actually read that wall of text. What is significant about those terms? When we are optimising or “minmaxing”, what we are really trying to do is answer this question.

  • Which stat will increase my DPS by the greatest degree when upgraded? 

If we ignore elemental mastery/reactions, these are the 3 stats that are directly used when calculating total damage done.

  • %TotalATK
  • %DMG
  • %TotalCD

How did we arrive at this conclusion? Let’s look at the formula for damage calculation:

  • Damage = (base attack * %ATK buffs + artifact flat ATK including feather) * skill damage multiplier * crit damage multiplier * (external bonus damage sources + %elemental/physical damage)
  • %TotalATK is the purple component
  • %DMG is the blue component
  • %TotalCD is the red component
  • The only other component is skill damage multiplier which is not modifiable with artifacts/weapons/set effects at the moment.
  • As you can see, when we look at the big picture, there are 3 stats that we should focus on when determining which stat should be invested in.
  • All 3 multipliers are equal***.
    • For example, if you have 0 in each stat, adding 10% into %TotalATK will give you the same DPS increase as adding 10% into %DMG.
    • ***However, when you have unequal amounts of each stat, adding 10% into one stat may give you a different DPS increase than if 10% was added into another stat. We will elaborate on this further. 

A Special Note on %DMG

  • %DMG includes anything under (external bonus damage sources + %elemental/physical damage)
  • Any multiplier in this category will stack ADDITIVELY
  • Examples include, but are not limited to,
    • Lion’s Roar effect
    • Black Sword effect
    • Martial Artist set effects
    • Gladiator’s set effects
    • Food buffs
    • Thundersoothing set effects
    • Pyro resonance
    • Elemental lotions
  • For example,
    • If I am using a Lion’s Roar (+20% to enemies affected by pyro/electro with 2 set Martial Artist (+15% to normal and charged attacks), then my %DMG stat is increased by 35% (for normal/charged attacks).

The Concept of Diminishing Returns

Let me give you an adjusted dictionary definition, then show you how it relates to stat optimisation, and conclude by giving you an example.

  • Definition in the context of damage calculation
    • If one stat in the damage formula is increased while all other stats are held fixed, a point will eventually be reached at which additions of that stat will yield progressively smaller, or diminishing, increases in DPS.
  • Simple English
    • If you keep increasing only one of %TotalATK, %DMG or %TotalCD, you will reach a point where it results in relatively smaller increases to DPS.
  • Example using a normal autoattack
    • You have 0% of every stat and have 100 base attack.
      • Original damage = 100 damage
    • You add 10%TotalATK
      • New Damage = (Base attack)(1+%TotalATK)(1+%DMG)(1+%TotalCD)
      • = (100)(1+0.10)(1 + 0)(1+0)
      • = (100)(1.10)(1)(1)
      • = 110 damage
    • So what’s your degree of DPS increase?
      • DPS increase =New Damage – Original DamageOriginal Damage* 100%
      • =110 – 100100 *100%
      • =10% increase in DPS
    • Now let’s pretend that you already have 100%TotalATK and choose to add another 10% into %TotalATK. What is your DPS increase? We calculate the damage done with 110%TotalATK and at 100%TotalATK and see the difference.
      • At 100%TotalATK,
        • Damage = (Base attack)(1+%TotalATK)
        • = 100*2.00
        • = 200 damage
      • At 110%TotalATK,
        • Damage = (Base attack)(1+%TotalATK)
        • = 100*2.10
        • = 210 damage
      • How much did DPS increase by?
        • DPS increase =New Damage – Original DamageOriginal Damage* 100%
        • =210 – 200200 *100%
        • =5% increase in DPS
    • So at 0%TotalATK, adding 10% gives a 10% increase in DPS, but at 100%TotalATK, we only get a 5% increase. 
    • But what if we took that 10% and invested it into %DMG instead?
      • At 100%TotalATK and 10%DMG
        • Damage = (Base attack)(1+%TotalATK)(1+%DMG)
        • =100*2.00*1.1
        • =220 damage
        • This is a 10% increase in DPS
      • Investing that 10% into %DMG allowed us to get a 10% increase instead of 5% if we put it into %TotalATK
    • Therefore, as you keep only increasing %TotalATK, you will have diminishing returns on increase to DPS.
  • So what does that all mean???
    • It means that you need to invest in each stat equally and periodically re-examine the current state of your stats.

Let’s go back to the original optimisation question:

  • Which stat will increase my DPS by the greatest degree when upgraded? 

To answer this question, you must calculate and compare the ratio of %TotalATK : %DMG : %TotalCD 

  • The ideal ratio is %TotalATK : %DMG : %TotalCD = 1:1:1
  • General Rule
    • If one of your stats is lower than the other 2, invest in that stat if possible.

But how do I invest in %TotalCD when it’s made up of %CD and %CR?

  • I will not explain the math, but the ideal ratio is
    • %CR : %CD = 1:2
  • Therefore, if you want to increase %TotalCD, increase whichever stat such that the end result gets you closer to 1:2.
    • However, once you reach 100% crit rate, this 1:2 ratio no longer applies because additional crit rate does nothing. Invest into crit damage.
    • Keqing is special because her Q gives +15%CR. We will discuss the ramifications of this later.

Special Considerations

  • Elemental/physical resistance
    • Not all enemies take the same amount of damage from certain skills.
    • For example, the Electro Cicin Mage has 50% Electro resistance but only 10% resistance against other elements.
    • This means that if you have %electrodmg, a portion of your %DMG stat becomes less effective and the 1:1:1 ratio falls apart. 
  • Scarcity of stats
    • Not all stats can be rolled on each artifact. Refer to this link.
    • For example,
      • Only the circlet can roll %CD or %CR primary line
      • Only the goblet can roll %electro/physdmg primary line
      • But %ATK primary stat can be rolled on circlet, goblet, and hourglass
    • This means that you must consider which stats to prioritise on certain artifacts. If you invest in a %ATK circlet, you are effectively locking yourself out of a significant source of %CD or %CR
    • %ATK is generally not hard to obtain which is why we start to invest into other stats in endgame.
  • Keqing %CR and Q
    • Starting from Ascension 4, Keqing unlocks a talent where casting Q will increase your %CR by 15% for 8 seconds.
    • This is significant because Keqing doesn’t actually need to invest in %CR all the way to 100%.
    • Without food buffs, Keqing can stop investing in %CR at 85% and still have 100%CR most of the time.
    • You can gain a maximum of 20%CR from food. This means that Keqing could theoretically stop at 65%CR
    • This is insanely valuable because it opens up investment in %TotalATK, %DMG, and %CD. Your Q essentially acts as free stat allowing you to further optimise the rest of your stats.
  • Keqing’s innate %CD growth (WIP)
    • Every character has a unique stat that is automatically upgraded at certain ascensions. Keqing gains %CD (list numbers here later)
    • This is significant because it means that Keqing is able to invest less stat into %CD in late endgame at 90/90. 
  • Elemental Mastery
    • Elemental mastery is currently an unreliable stat for Keqing in the game due to the presence of Electro-Charged bugs in damage calculation. Current theorycrafting shows that in solo play, EM may be better suited on supports who are actually triggering elemental reactions (and thus dmg calculations use support EM). 
    • Keqing doesn’t often trigger elemental reactions in solo play due to her high rate of application of electro debuff onto enemies. 

How do I calculate and optimise my stats?

In the above sections, I’ve shown you everything that affects your total damage calculation in a vacuum without considering anything else. We currently have no dedicated testing dummy either to include more variables in a controlled manner. 

Follow these steps to calculate your own ratio for %TotalATK : %DMG : %TotalCD

You may choose to take screenshots of your gear for easier reference.

  1. Ensure that you have no food buffs or Elemental resonance effects active or that you remember to take them into account in the calculation.
  2. For %TotalATK
    1. Divide your BONUS (green number) attack by your BASE (white number) attack
    2. %TotalATK=Bonus (green)Base (white)
    3. As a special note, %ATK passives from weapons such as Lion’s Roar or Aquila are already calculated into the BONUS attack so you do not add these
  3. For %DMG
    1. Add up all sources of external bonus damage, %elemental/electrodmg OR %physicaldmg from all your gear and set effects.
    2. DO NOT ADD BOTH YOUR %ELE and %PHYS together 
      1. ELE and PHYS dmg are separate because there are no skills for Keqing that make sure of both at the same time. If you are dealing electro dmg, you do not get phys dmg bonuses and vice versa. (However, someone like Razor does benefit)
    3. Bonuses like 2 set martial artist (increased dmg for normal and charged attacks) are also added, but will only have an impact on those types of attacks
    4. Refer to the Special Note on %DMG section above for more examples
  4. For %TotalCD
    1. Multiply %CR by %CD and divide by 100
    2. %TotalCD=%CR*%CD100

OK I have my ratio now what do I do about it?

Before you read this following section, you must understand that every player’s situation is different. You might be an outlier in which this information does not apply. However, I am confident that this advice is relevant to 90+% of players who are trying to build Keqing

  • Check which number is the lowest. That is the stat from which you will have the most relative gain in DPS. 
  • My %ATK is too low!
    • Although there is a low chance this happens in endgame, it may mean that you don’t have any artifacts or weapons or bonuses adding to your %ATK.
    • It is generally recommended that the hourglass is used for %ATK because it doesn’t have any special stats in the primary line that can’t be rolled on other pieces
    • If you already have %ATK on your hourglass, you may need to find different Flowers or Feathers with more %ATK substat.
    • Consider that Constellation 4 Keqing gains +25%ATK upon triggering a reaction (easy in coop, harder in solo)
  • My %DMG is too low!
    • First, please check if you have correctly added up ALL sources of bonus dmg so refer to the section above and DOUBLE CHECK. It wouldn’t be good to make adjustments to your gear based on an INCORRECT ratio
    • Does your 5* goblet already have maxed %eledmg or %physdmg?
      • No: then max it out or switch to an appropriate goblet that has the right primary stat
      • Yes: The only other sources are set effects and weapon effects. 
        • A Keqing using R1 Lion’s Roar (20%), electro goblet (46.6%), and 4TS (35%) will max out at 121.6%DMG. It is not possible to get more than this unless you have Constellation 6 
  • My %TotalCD is too low!
    • There are 2 possible issues
      • You just don’t have enough %CR or %CD in general.
      • You are “crit split”, meaning that your ratio of %CR : %CD is far from 1:2
    • Please consider that although you can get %CD or %CR substat on other artifact pieces, the only piece that you can obtain primary stat %CD or %CR from is the circlet.
  • Therefore, MOST OF THE TIME, these are the appropriate primary stats for each piece
    • Hourglass: %ATK
    • Goblet: %ele/physDMG
    • Circlet: %CD or %CR
  • NOTE: This advice is not guaranteed depending on your substat rolls.
    • For example, my 5* feather got a really lucky roll and I have ~35% crit damage from its substats. 
    • When I calculate my ratio in later stages of endgame, I actually may be able to replace my circlet with a stat that is not %CD or %CR if I can maintain 65-85% CR and my Keqing ascensions give me enough innate growth of %CD

Aether has been playing World of Warcraft since 2006. In his youth he raided 7 days a week, but now just plays with friends doing Mythic dungeons and Arena. He swaps his main more often than he should.
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