Written by: miliana#3140
Calcs by: jstern#1399
Table of Contents
Alhaitham’s kit revolves around his Chisel-Light Mirror stacks, which grant him Dendro Infusion and perform additional Projection Attacks. When Al-haitham’s Normal, Charged, or Plunging Attacks hit enemies while he has Chisel-Light Mirrors, the Mirrors will unleash a Projection Attack. Each Projection Attack has 1-3 hits, corresponding to the number of Mirrors that Alhaitham possesses when the Projection Attack is fired.
- Alhaitham’s Elemental Skill will grant him 2 Mirrors if he has none. Otherwise, E will grant 1 Mirror.
- Alhaitham’s Elemental Burst will consume all current Mirrors and deal multiple instances of Dendro damage, with the number of instances corresponding to the number of Mirrors consumed. Then, after a couple of seconds, it’ll return (3 – Mirrors consumed) mirrors. Ex: If 0 Mirrors were consumed, Alhaitham will get 3 Mirrors after the Burst.
- Burst applies dendro with standard icd (3 hits). 0 Mirror Burst applies dendro twice, 1 Mirror twice, 2 Mirrors thrice, 3 Mirrors 4 times.There are drawbacks to using a higher lvl Burst because Alhaitham wants to maintain at least 2 Mirrors during his entire field time. Note that 0 Mirror and 1 Mirror bursts are effectively the same damage since they both spread twice, meaning he typically wants to use the 0 Mirror Burst.Alhaitham has to wait 2 seconds after bursting before receiving his Mirrors. It’s possible to quickly swap off of Alhaitham and cast a quick E skill on a support, then quickly swap back to Alhaitham and get the Mirrors. However, this is not recommended because if you miss the window, you won’t get any Mirrors from bursting and you’ll lose a ton of damage.
- Burst applies dendro with standard icd (3 hits). 0 Mirror Burst applies dendro twice, 1 Mirror twice, 2 Mirrors thrice, 3 Mirrors 4 times.
- There are drawbacks to using a higher lvl Burst because Alhaitham wants to maintain at least 2 Mirrors during his entire field time. Note that 0 Mirror and 1 Mirror bursts are effectively the same damage since they both spread twice, meaning he typically wants to use the 0 Mirror Burst.
- Alhaitham has to wait 2 seconds after bursting before receiving his Mirrors. It’s possible to quickly swap off of Alhaitham and cast a quick E skill on a support, then quickly swap back to Alhaitham and get the Mirrors. However, this is not recommended because if you miss the window, you won’t get any Mirrors from bursting and you’ll lose a ton of damage.
- Alhaitham’s A1 will generate a Mirror when enemies are hit with his Charged or Plunging Attacks. This has a 12s cooldown.
- There can be at most 3 Mirrors at once.
- All Mirrors disappear if you swap off of Alhaitham.
- Each Mirror lasts 4s, and they will expire one by one. For example, if you have 3 Mirrors, you’ll have 2 Mirrors after 4s, then 1 Mirror after 8s, etc. You shouldn’t remain on him when he has only 1 Mirror.
- Gaining a new Mirror does not refresh the duration of current Mirrors if you have less than 3 Mirrors. However, if you have 3 Mirrors and you gain one more, the duration of the expiring Mirror will be reset to 4s.
Alhaitham’s Projection Attacks are on a 1.6s cooldown, but they’re only performed once Alhaitham hits an enemy. The number of hits each Projection Attack does corresponds to how many Mirrors Alhaitham has. They’re on a 2 hit ICD. What this means is that every other Projection Attack hit can Spread. When he has 3 Mirrors, his first Projection Attack can spread twice out of 3 hits, then the next one can spread once out of 3 hits, then twice, etc. When he has 2 mirrors, each Projection Attack can spread once out of 2 hits, etc.
Talent priority: E >> Q = AA
The majority of Alhaitham’s damage comes from Projection Attacks, which scale off of the E talent.
Combos & Rotations
The best attack strings will likely be N2C and/or N3D.
Alhaitham generally wants to Burst with 0 Mirrors so he can maximize 3 Mirror uptime. Since he needs to wait about ~2s to receive Mirrors (infusion) after casting Burst, he will have physical attacks for that ~2s. Thus, Q N4 is a good combo to use for bursting because he’ll receive Mirrors about exactly before when the N4 hits, which will trigger the first 3 Mirror Projection Attack about exactly when the infusion begins.
Since Projection Attacks are the majority of Alhaitham’s damage, he wants to maximize 2-3 Mirror uptime. He never wants to be at 1 Mirror. Although his burst does not do a significant portion of his damage, he still wants to burst to have uptime on 3 Mirror Projection Attacks.
Because of Alhaitham’s unconventional infusion mechanic that comes from 3 separate sources (E, Q, A1), he is able to perform a variety of interesting rotations with different uptimes, unlike many other carries. This makes his rotations extremely flexible. Here are a few potential rotations he can perform:
- One long infusion per rotation: This is your typical rotation for an on-field carry. It involves fielding him for one long period each rotation.
- Ex: Cast your supports/subdps abilities, switch to Alhaitham and do Q N4 N3D N2C N3d N1E N3, and repeat. This combo takes about 13-14s to perform. This results in 5 or 6 lvl 3 Projection Attacks.
- One short, one medium infusion per rotation: This rotation involves in 2 infusion windows
- Ex: Cast supports/subdps abilities, perform E N4 on Alhaitham, cast an ability on a subdps/support, then perform Q N4 N3D N2C N4 on Alhaitham. This gets 2 lvl 2 and 4 lvl 3 Projection Attacks. (You can extend the 2nd infusion to get an extra lvl 3 Projection Attack)
- The advantage of this rotation is you can use a SubDPS E skill in between the infusion periods. This is a good way to easily enable 2 E rotations for teammates like Yelan, Kazuha, Yae, or Fischl, which reduces ER requirements and/or increases SubDPS turret uptime. These rotations will likely take longer than doing one infusion period per rotation.
- Bursting every other rotation: By performing a combo such as E N1C N2C N2C N2C when not bursting, you can get 1 lvl 3 and 3 lvl 2 Projection Attacks without using burst. However, we are not sure if this type of rotation will be recommendable because getting lvl 2 instead of lvl 3 Projection Attacks might be a significant DPS loss.
The stuff listed above isn’t an extensive list of possible Alhaitham combos/rotations. They’re just a few examples that we explored. You don’t have to follow these attack strings exactly, since Normal/Charged Attacks are not a major portion of Alhaitham’s damage. You can simply spam Normal Attacks and E or CA every 4s to maintain 3 Mirrors. As long as you get the mirror procs, his damage will be similar no matter what attacking string you use.
Alhaitham’s flexibility can also allow for more comfortable abyss clears. While you typically want to remain on 2-3 Mirrors, you can extend his field time and still keep the Dendro infusion if you’re almost done clearing a chamber/wave and just need a little bit more damage.
Alhaitham’s constellations are frankly quite mediocre. If you love Alhaitham very much and have the budget for a few cons, it’s recommended to just save for Nahida C2, which is a massive team DPS increase for many of Alhaitham’s best teams. Nahida C2 is the best thing to pull to make him stronger.
Some notes about Alhaitham’s own constellations:
- C1: We couldn’t find any good rotations to take advantage of C1 on a sheet, but it adds to flexibility and there likely are ways to take advantage of it in game such as overworld comfort or finishing off chambers.
- C6: This constellation doesn’t really seem great for a C6 because it doesn’t add frontload to his kit, which is what usually makes or breaks C6’s. This is because at whale investment, frontloaded damage matters more than sustained DPS. However, this con allows you to double-dip into previous cons (C2, C4) and get more value out of them.
Courtesy of jstern#1399
Note: We underestimated the uptime/stacks on C2 in these calcs: it will likely be a bit better than this in reality.
Courtesy of jstern#1399
The above calcs are done in single target with KQMC standards.
Note that in mutli-target situations, Umbrella and Light of Foliar Sanction will do less damage compared to the other weapons. The exact weapon rankings will depend on your own teams, rotations, and artifacts, so it’s always best to use Genshin Optimizer (once Alhaitham releases) to determine which weapon is best for you, or if a weapon is worth pulling.
If you’re playing him as solo dendro in a hyperbloom or burgeon team, he acts as more of a driver than a significant team damage portion and will not have a Dendro battery. In these situations, he will appreciate having the energy to Burst every rotation (he would need 150+ ER in solo Dendro teams) for more Dendro application (since Projection Attacks will apply more Dendro with more Mirrors), so an ER weapon like Favonius, Festering Desire, or refined Xiphos (depending on his EM) could be the optimal weapon choices in these teams.
Artifacts and ER
Courtesy of jstern#1399
Note: If you already have someone else holding 4 Deepwood on your team, ignore the top row.
His ER requirement is about 130-140 in most teams with Nahida. You can use Yaoyao or DMC on 2E rotation to battery him instead, which makes his ER requirement a bit higher (up to 140-150). His exact ER needs heavily depend on his team, so be sure to use the ERC to determine your team’s ER requirements. He will typically want to burst every rotation for the Mirrors, but you don’t always have to.
Teams and Synergies
Unsurprisingly, Alhaitham’s best teams will likely be spread and hyperbloom teams, which look like Dendro Electro Flex. The Dendro teammate will hold 4 Deepwood. Nahida by far is his best Dendro teammate since she provides great off-field Dendro particle generation, some personal damage, and a 250 EM buff for Alhaitham. However, DMC (with 2E rotations and funneling) or Yaoyao can also battery Alhaitham (although not as well) with Fav weapons. They are the best Nahida replacements for his teams. It’s hard to get a 2E rotation on Collei, so she likely isn’t a good teammate for Alhaitham.
Generally comprised of Dendro Electro Flex
Dendro: Nahida >>> DMC or Yaoyao (only use Yaoyao if healer needed)
Electro: Kuki, Yae, or Fischl
- Kuki provides healing and great AoE electro app
- Alhaitham’s spreads don’t proc Fischl A4, making her damage much lower than usual. Thus, Yae often does more damage than Fischl in Alhaitham spread teams.
- Other Electro units aren’t listed here because they have energy issues and can’t be run as a solo Electro.
Flex: Any electro or dendro SubDPS/support, Kazuha, Sucrose, or Zhongli (Lisa may actually be a good option here!)
Hyperbloom (Double Dendro)
Comprised of Dendro Hydro Electro
Dendro: Nahida >>> DMC or Yaoyao
Electro: Raiden or Kuki
Hydro: Xingqiu or Yelan
Hyperbloom (Solo Dendro)
Comprised of Electro Hydro Flex
Electro: Raiden or Kuki >> Lisa or Dori
(Lisa and Dori would require an electro battery like Yae or Fischl)
Hydro: Xingqiu or Yelan
Flex: Xingqiu/Yelan, Fischl, or Yae
Comprised of Thoma Hydro Flex
Hydro: Xingqiu or Yelan
Flex: Xingqiu/Yelan, Fischl, Kuki, Yae
This is an interesting team because Alhaitham may be better than Nahida in this team since he likely results in less burning than Nahida because he can better control his Dendro app.
Some combination of hydros/dendros in a Nilou bloom comp.
It’s unlikely that he will be the best in slot option for Nilou, but he is definitely an option for this team (especially double dendro Nilou teams).
A lot of people ask “how strong is he?” or “is he (this other character)’s level?” There’s no good answer to that. The tl;dr answer is that Alhaitham is just another 5 star on-field carry, much like any of the other ones we have in the game. He’s good, but not anything crazy and certainly not a must pull. He doesn’t have the flexibility to become a subdps/support since he can only be played on-field. Pull him if you like him.
Compared to Nahida, it’s likely he is worse than her in solo dendro hyperbloom teams. This is because Nahida can apply dendro off-field, resulting in more hyperblooms over the course of a rotation. However, our hope is that it’s best to run him and Nahida together in double dendro teams. We’re not sure if this is actually be the case or not.
Compared to other dendro-reaction on-fielders like Cyno, Keqing, and Tighnari, he’s likely going to be quite similar in power. A notable advantage Alhaitham has over Cyno and Keqing is that it’s generally easier to slot in a healer without losing DPS for Alhaitham teams (Kuki), so he might be more comfortable to play. Alhaitham can also fill in more roles than Tighnari, since Alhaitham can be played as a dendro driver in hyperbloom/buregon or a spread carry. This is not to say he’s better than other on-fielders, but just to list some advantages that he has. However, we’re not sure how his team ceilings/DPS compare.
One relevant weakness Alhaitham has is that he has low interruption resistance for a melee character. You might end up getting knocked around a lot when playing him without shielders/Xingqiu.
The above is just our opinions based on pre-tc calcs and beta footage. Please remember that we can be wrong (shock, theorycrafters being wrong?!?!?) and the above is merely speculation based on some research.
If you’re on the fence about pulling Alhaitham, please wait for week 1 theorycrafting to be done on him before making a final decision! Remember, pre-tc is often wrong or misleading because we can’t feel out the character in the game. Also, remember Genshin is just a game (a fairly uncompetitive one as well) so GOOD FINANCIAL DECISIONS always come before pulling characters. Pulling is EXPENSIVE. Please make good life choices!
Resources & Acknowledgements
Alhaitham rotation ideas by jstern#1399
Join the discussion or ask questions at:
Kusanali Mains Discord
Kusanali Mains Reddit
jstern’s Twitch (where he makes his calcs)
Thank you to jstern#1399 for doing the Alhaitham calcs and thank you to our fellow SALT researchers at Kusanali Mains Discord for providing feedback on this writeup <3