Name: Zhongli (a.k.a. Rex Lapis, Morax)
Birthday: 31 December
Constellation: Lapis Dei
Titles: Vago Mundo, Geo Archon, the Warrior God, God of Contracts, God of Commerce (by merchants), God of History (because he's the oldest of the Seven and knowledgeable on many things)
As a primarily defensive-oriented character, Zhongli is best used as a tank. He has various bonuses concerning his HP, and his shield is the best in the current meta.
His E skill, Dominus Lapidis, summons a stone pillar. Upon skill activation, it produces AoE Geo DMG. The construct remains in the field for a time, regularly sending a Geo pulse. It damages enemies and resonates with other Geo constructs within range. Holding the button produces a Jade Shield as well as a pillar.
Using his skill and a Geo-attuned Traveler (and his first constellation upgrade) creates something like a minefield for enemies. The Traveler can summon up to 3 Meteor constructs, plus what is generated by their Elemental Burst. That's a total of 6 constructs to resonate with Zhongli's Stone Stele. It's only limited by the 3-construct limit on the world (Traveler's Burst doesn't count). That's only about 5 constructs to resonate with, 4 if with the upgrade.
The limitation is that only the Stele can resonate with other constructs. If a Geo object is not within range of the pillar, it will not resonate.
Still, that's more than other Geo characters can produce. Albedo and Ningguang can only create one construct at a time, and Noelle doesn't make any.
Zhongli's Elemental Burst, Planet Befall, calls down a meteor onto an area in front of him. Upon landing, the meteorite deals Geo damage and petrifies enemies caught in the blast. These aren't considered Geo constructs, so the Stele won't resonate with them. It's a good crowd control tactic and has a big AoE. With the right build, it can deal massive damage.
Genshin Impact Zhongli Builds
This prioritizes strengthening his shields, with a small bonus to overall damage. His fourth ascension passive increases damage by a percentage of HP, which gives a slight boost. However, the only significant multiplier is the 33% of HP increase for Planet Befall. The build can work on a Burst DPS Zhongli, but its main focus is still shielding. You can also use Noblesse Oblige for an ATK boost when using his Burst.
Possible Sets: Tenacity of the Millelith, Noblesse Oblige (Burst DPS/ATK boost support)
Main Stats: 3x HP%, or Energy Recharge for the timepiece and 2x HP%
Substats: HP, ATK, Crit Rate/DMG
If you want Zhongli to deal damage, here are the best ways. They come in three flavors: sub-DPS, Burst DPS, or Phys DPS. The first two would need Geo DMG bonuses as the sources would come from abilities. In contrast, the last one needs Physical DMG to maximize the normal and charged attacks.
Geo Sub-DPS or Burst DPS: 2x Archaic Petra and Noblesse (or, as mentioned above, full Noblesse)
Phys DPS: 2x Pale Flame and Bloodstained Chivalry
Main Stats: ATK%, Geo DMG Bonus, Crit Rate/DMG
Substats: Crit DMG/Rate, HP, ATK, Energy Recharge
His signature weapon is the Vortex Vanquisher, though most players prefer the Staff of Homa on him. As usual, your choice of weapon depends on what build and the role you want for Zhongli. Here are other alternatives:
- Calamity Queller
- Primordial Jade Winged-Spear
- Skyward Spine
- The Catch
- Favonius Lance
- Lithic Spear
- Wavebreaker's Fin
- Black Tassel
Genshin Impact Zhongli Lore (Backstory)
Zhongli is the esteemed consultant of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor. He is knowledgeable in all kinds of matters, from commerce and the flow of products to fashion and snacks and teas. Along with that, he is one of the few beings who still knows all about various ceremonies concerning adepti.
Having all kinds of knowledge at his disposal, the people of Liyue sometimes call him 'living history.' Zhongli only deflects and confesses he has a good memory.
Despite knowing much about commerce and the economy, he spent Mora like it was a limitless resource. Where other people might love haggling and bargaining, Zhongli would not hesitate to pay the full price of anything that catches his eye. Yet, he keeps on forgetting his wallet. Friends pay off some of the smaller bills, and he always finds ways to write off bigger ones.
Some may brush this behavior off as a quirk of his, but it hides a big secret. Zhongli is the vessel or human guise the Geo Archon had taken. It explains his broad, expansive knowledge, having lived for several millennia. Being the originator and producer of Mora, it never occurred to him that he couldn't just produce more Mora now that he's retired and given up the source of his power.
As the Geo Archon, he has outlived other Archons who have since been replaced (save for the Anemo Archon). Feats throughout his long life include felling evil gods and the creation of Guyun Stone Forest, being one of the winners of the Archon War, and saving a young yaksha adepti, among others.
He also had a hand in creating and watching the land of Liyue in its entirety. He watched as his city and land prospered, even taking some opportunities to walk among them in the guise of a human. However, the winds and storms can wear down even the sturdiest rocks as time passes. Once, while walking the city streets in his mortal guise, he heard an employer tell an employee that they're finished with work and can rest.
That sparked a moment of reflection for the Archon. Has he finished his duties? Can he leave his beloved city in the hands of his subjects? He bet with the Tsaritsa, the Cryo Archon to answer his question. While the Traveler was not privy to all the details, the wager was about whether Liyue could survive without the intervention of its Archon.
In any case, the Tsaritsa won, and Morax handed over his Gnosis as per the contract. The Geo Archon Morax has retired, though he's still observing and watching as Zhongli.
Later, Dainsleif will tell the Traveler the Archons had a hand in the destruction of Khaenri'ah 500 years ago. Zhongli was mum when asked by the Traveler about his involvement, saying he's under contractual obligations not to say anything about it.
Despite retiring to a more mundane life, Zhongli still works in the interest of Liyue. He sealed Azhdaha again as the ancient creature broke free from its restraints. Then in the Chasm arc of the Archon Quests, he helped Xiao (who sacrificed himself to get everybody else out) also escape the dream-like space they were trapped in. Zhongli denies that last bit, though, if the Traveler confronts him.