Fans are struggling to justify pulling for Dehya when her kit is worse compared to leaks
I'm commonly a sceptic whenever Genshin Impact fans whine an upcoming character will be underpowered. We did this song and dance with meta-definers like Kazuha, Kokomi, and Alhaitham. Now it's happening again with Dehya, a mercenary captain who has been integral to helping us save a troubled nation. Even while theory crafters denounced her leaked kit, I remained hopeful that her in-game performance would differ from the numbers that spread before her release date. It turns out she's by no means like her leaked kit. In fact, she's worse. She's so bad that some players have learned to accuse HoYoverse of being prejudiced against brown characters.
Dehya is usually a premium five-star character who uses fire-based powers in combat. She has a militaristic design to suit her background as a mercenary-for-hire. Genshin fans loved her no-nonsense attitude and stalwart loyalty towards her friends. They didn't love her ability descriptions, which were officially released a couple of weeks ago.
Here's how her kit works. Her primary skill allows her to conjure an industry that works similarly to the favourite alchemist character Albedo. Whenever an enemy takes damage within her field, the capacity also hits them with a blast of fire damage. When your active character is attacked (and Dehya is off-field), the area transfers some damage to Dehya. When she's enough energy to trigger her ultimate attack (burst), she enters a "lion" declaration that automatically attacks the closest enemies in their vicinity.
Genshin's endgame mode is centred on achieving high DPS numbers, so shielder characters tend to be considered less valuable. She absorbs damage, so most shield bonuses wouldn't connect with her. Since their attack is low, defensive characters ordinarily have additional bonuses determined by a substrate. Dehya's damage was revealed to scale off both attack and health points. This is usually a similar scenario to Xinyan, another fire user whose heavily distributed scaling rendered her non-competitive inside meta.
There continued to be fans who hoped her playstyle would atone for how rough her numbers looked. When HoYoverse unveiled her gameplay demo, they'd not displayed her damage numbers. Worse, it was clear they were struggling to kill an elementary slime.
Genshin allows players to demo new characters if they become available from the gacha. I tested Dehya for myself and can confirm that they could be better. Her fire-infused attacks dealt chip damage, and her ultimate episode was scheduled to auto. This means that they can't really dodge while she's attacking. There are ways to mitigate damage, like using shields at a different character. But that locks you into a specific team composition, and Genshin players are employed to have the freedom to construct their characters the way they like.
Dehya fans reported other issues. Her super-charged mode is cancelled if you jump with all her ultimate attacks. One player filed a bug report relating to this, and customer service told them it was an intended feature. Literally, not one other Genshin characters experience this drawback, ultimately causing another round of anger and memes.
A dedicated player might think that Dehya fits various other gameplay niches. Genshin is made on elemental reactions. Melt (ice/fire) and vaporize (water/fire) are some of the most potent meta combinationsThere'snly one problem, though: Dehya's ultimate attacks don't activate the skills of some of the most popular reaction characters. She needs to be optimized with popular support characters like Yelan or Xingqiu. Remember how people panicked over Raiden Shogun and Beidou having zero synergies collectively? This is arguably worse.
Oh, and another streamer reported that her damage transference can kill Dehya. Even poison (corrosion) damage from enemies won't bring any character to zero health points. So not just is her damage potential low, but she's drawbacks outside of any other characters from the game. Kotaku reached over to HoYoverse to determine whether or not the developers prefer to buff Dehya but would wait for a response after publication.
One leaker tweeted how they like participating in fan Discord servers for characters before release. They had never witnessed a community quite a feeling in the direction they have with Dehya.
"This is often a period of hype for Mains communities," they wrote. "It was heartbreaking."
Some fans suspect that Dehya is underwhelming on account of her darker complexion. They have pointed out she's the most minor usable five-star character, and these other brown characters have been designed poorly. To add insult to injury, Dehya is a component of the gacha's roster of permanent characters as an alternative to its more exclusive rotating roster of seasonal characters. These characters are considered "spoilers" because you hope to get a seasonal nature; the gacha effectively provides a consolation prize.
Yesterday, leakers revealed a fresh artefact set that could improve Dehya's performance. So there could still be hope to be with her kit. But for now, her underwhelming performance at launch has soured many around the idea of spending hard-earned gacha currency to be with her banner. She may possess a better time during her rerun.
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