How to Break Water Shield in Genshin Impact

Are Abyss Mages the bane of your existence? Do you dread encountering them in dungeons and the Spiral Abyss? You may feel more confident about your odds of survival if you didn’t waste all your resources on breaking those shields.

How to Break Water Shield in Genshin Impact

Sure, you can whittle them down with brute strength attacks, but it’s not the most efficient way to approach enemy shields, especially elemental ones. No matter how powerful your characters are, they won’t get past enemy shields until you understand some basic principles about them in the game.

Keep reading to find out more about breaking water shields as well as physical shields in Genshin Impact. Enemy challenges can take forever to complete, so don’t make the mistake of wasting resources early in the fight take out a few shields.

How to Break Water Shield in Genshin Impact?

Hydro Abyss Mage shields are one of the most frustrating ones in the game. Although the Hydro shield seems impervious to attack, they do have some weaknesses. You just need to strategize with the right characters when you encounter them.

Check out a couple of basic techniques to break a water/Hydro shield in Genshin Impact:

Claymore Attacks

Claymore attacks are a great way to take down water/Hydro shields if you use a character with the right element. Chongyun (Cryo) and Diluc (Pyro) are great choices when facing a Hydro Abyss mage. Xinyan (Pyro) is another good option, especially if you level her up to three. At level three, Xinyan’s Pyro shield deals damage to nearby enemies while her elemental bursts shoot flames from the ground to damage them.

However, not all Claymore attacks are created equal. Remember that we’re talking about elemental reactions here.

Using Noelle’s sweeping Claymore attacks may seem like a good idea, but she’s a Geo character. Geos are great at completing chains but not a solid choice when you’re looking for an elemental reaction to bring down a water shield.

Elemental Counters

Taking out a water shield is relatively simple once you understand how the devs at Genshin Impact structured elemental combat. It works on a “rock-paper-scissors” mechanic where one element will always beat out another. Another way to look at it is it’s a system of opposite reactions.

If you’re looking at an Abyss Mage with a water shield, you want to break out ice/cryo characters like:

  • Kaeya
  • Qiqi
  • Diona
  • Rosaria
  • Chongyun

Cryo attacks on Hydro elements can trigger a “Freeze” reaction. From there, you can complete the chain with a Geo attack to cause the “Shatter” effect. Using the Cryo-Anemo combination is one of the fastest ways to break a water shield, but it’s not the one way.

You can use fire/Pyro element characters like Diluc, Klee, Xinyan, and of course, Amber to create a “Vaporize” effect. Electro characters are another good choice when fighting against Hydro enemies because they can create the “Electro-Charge” effect.

If you don’t have an opposing elemental character in your party, you can use other elements. However, it could take twice as long to take down a shield. For example, if you’re dealing with a Hydro Abyss Mage and you don’t have a Cryo, Electro, or Pyro character, you can use other elements. Geo and Anemo characters can also work to take down a water shield, but it could take twice as many hits to accomplish it.

You may have a Pyro character, like Xinyan, who can take down a water shield in six hits. However, if you choose to use a Geo character like Noelle instead, expect to hit that shield around 12 times for the same effect.

Also, keep in mind that different character attributes, like level, mastery, and attack don’t impact how long it takes to bring down a water shield.

How to Break Physical Shields?

Players may remember the brief tutorial about breaking Mitachurl shields when you first encounter Amber. It’s a simple concept, right? You just need to set fire to the shield. However, as you advance through the game and explore new areas you may find that Pyro arrows just aren’t cutting it anymore.

If you want a new strategy for dealing with physical shields, check out your options below:


One of the fastest ways to break a physical shield is to cause an “Overload” reaction to create explosive damage. “Overload” reactions happen when Electro effects meet Pyro or vice versa. To ensure that you can create this reaction chain at a moment’s notice, make sure you always have both types of elemental characters in your party.

Electro characters in Genshin Impact include:

  • Keqing
  • Fischl
  • Beidou
  • Lisa

Pyro characters that can complete the “Overload” chain reaction include:

  • Xinyan
  • Amber
  • Yanfei
  • Klee
  • Diluc
  • Bennett
  • Xiangling

Although Amber is not a fan favorite, she is a good choice for completing “Overload” reactions because she can launch fiery attacks from a distance.

Bomb Attacks

Just like “Overload” reactions, Bomb Attacks can take down a physical shield with explosive damage. It’s much more effective than setting it on fire, but only a couple of characters can do it; Amber and Klee.

As previously mentioned, Amber can set off an “Overload” chain reaction that decimates physical shields. She has another talent, too. Most players use Baron Bunny as a convenient distraction to get some distance from enemies, but it also explodes. If a Mitachurl happens to be within an explosion radius, it’ll sustain explosive damage as well as possible Pyro damage.

Klee is a relatively new character to the Genshin Impact roster and was introduced in Fall 2020. Much like Baron Bunny, Klee has an adorable bouncing Elemental Skill that causes a big explosion and AoE (area of effect) Pyro damage.

The trick is to time Jumpy Dumpty just right.

When Klee throws Jumpy Dumpty, it’ll bounce three times. On that third bounce, it splits into eight mines. Those mines explode after a short period or when enemies touch them.

Elemental Counters

There are a variety of ways you can use Elemental chains to bring down a physical shield. The easiest is to use the “Overload” effect mentioned above. You can also use explosive damage with bomb attacks and finish it off with an Anemo attack for a fiery whirlwind of destruction.

Additional FAQs

Do All Elemental Shields Have a Weakness?

Yes, all elemental shields (and enemies) have a weakness. It’s a good idea to memorize these weaknesses and reactions to give you an edge in combat:


• Electro – “Electro-Charge”

• Cryo – “Freeze”

• Pyro – “Vaporize”


• Pyro – “Melt”

• Hydro – “Freeze”

• Electro – “Superconduct”


• Cryo – “Superconduct”

• Pyro – “Overload”

• Hydro – “Electro-Charge”


• Cryo – “Melt”

• Hydro – “Vaporize”

• Electro – “Overload”

Geo and Anemo elemental skills are “neutral” elements that cause a bigger reaction when in contact with another element. However, they’re generally not very powerful on their own.

Does Elemental Damage Depend on Level?

The short answer is “yes,” but character level is not the only determiner for elemental damage.

Base damage, as well as HP and Defense, increases when you level a character. If you’re going for the most elemental damage, though, that’s a different story. You need to focus on “Elemental Mastery,” too.

“Elemental Mastery” is a damage multiplier when creating elemental reactions or elemental chains like “Overload” and “Vaporize.” The damage multiplier depends on the Elemental Mastery of the character triggering the reaction and not necessarily the one who starts it.

For example, if you use Amber’s fire arrows to trigger an “Overload” reaction, but she has level 10 arrows, she’ll deal level 10 damage plus Elemental Reaction damage. However, if she started the chain with Pyro attacks and you triggered an Elemental Reaction with a character who has high Elemental Mastery/Ascended, the resulting damage is exponentially higher.

Keep in mind, too, that equipped weapons and artifacts can change your character’s damage output. If you use two pieces from the Wanderer’s Troup set, you’ll receive an increase in Elemental Mastery by 80. Wearing all four pieces of the set gives you a bonus of 35% more Charged Attack Damage if the character uses a Bow or Catalyst.

Equipped weapons like the polearm Dragon’s Bane can also give you extra attack buffs. For example, if you use Dragon’s Bane, you get an extra 20% damage modifier against enemies affected by Pyro or Hydro effects.

Get (Ele)Mental With Reaction Chains

Elemental shields may seem impervious to attacks, but every shield has a weakness. You just need to learn how to exploit each elemental weakness using the tools or characters you have at hand. The trick is to fight smarter, not harder. The next time you face a Hydro Abyss Mage, remember to “Freeze” with a Cryo character and then “Shatter” with a Geo one. You won’t believe how well, or how fast, it works.

Do you have a favorite Elemental Reaction combo to bring down Hydro shields? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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