How to Break Water Shields in Genshin Impact

Key takeaways:

  • Hydro Abyss Mage shields are weak to Cryo and Electro-Charged reactions
  • Claymore attacks, especially from Cryo and Pyro characters, are effective at breaking water shields
  • Combining Cryo and Anemo attacks can quickly destroy Hydro shields

Genshin Impact is an action RPG that features a complex elemental combat system. One of the most frustrating enemies to face are Hydro Abyss Mages, whose water shields can seem impervious to damage. However, by understanding the game’s elemental weaknesses and using the right combination of characters and attacks, you can make quick work of these pesky foes.

Understanding Elemental Shields

In Genshin Impact, many enemies have elemental shields that protect them from damage. Each element has its own strengths and weaknesses:

HydroCryo, Electro-Charged

When facing a shielded enemy, using attacks of the opposing element will deal extra damage to their shield. For Hydro Abyss Mages, this means focusing on Cryo and Electro-Charged reactions.

Breaking Water Shields with Cryo

One of the most effective ways to break a Hydro Abyss Mage’s shield is by using Cryo attacks. When Cryo and Hydro elements combine, they create the Frozen reaction, which temporarily immobilizes enemies.

Some of the best Cryo characters for shield-breaking include:

  • Kaeya
  • Chongyun
  • Diona
  • Rosaria
  • Ganyu

By continuously applying Cryo with their elemental skills and bursts, you can quickly whittle down a water shield. Chongyun is especially useful as his skill infuses his attacks with Cryo, allowing him to constantly apply the element.

Electro-Charged Reactions

Another way to deal with Hydro shields is by using Electro attacks to trigger Electro-Charged. This reaction deals continuous damage to enemies affected by both Hydro and Electro.

Good Electro characters for this purpose are:

  • Fischl
  • Beidou
  • Lisa
  • Razor

Oz, Fischl’s raven companion, is particularly handy for applying Electro at range. Combine this with a Hydro character like Barbara or Xingqiu to consistently proc Electro-Charged.

The Power of Claymore Attacks

Claymore users are great at breaking shields thanks to their heavy attacks. Characters like Chongyun, Diluc, and Xinyan can make short work of Hydro Abyss Mages, especially if they have the right elemental affinity.

Chongyun and Diluc are ideal choices, as their Cryo and Pyro elements are strong against water shields. A well-built Beidou can also be effective with her Electro-infused attacks.

Anemo Swirl Combos

Anemo characters like Venti, Sucrose, and the Traveler can use the Swirl reaction to spread elements across multiple foes. By combining Cryo attacks with Anemo skills, you can quickly break Hydro shields in group fights.

Try this combo:

  1. Apply Cryo with Kaeya’s skill
  2. Use an Anemo character’s skill to Swirl the Cryo onto nearby enemies
  3. Switch to a Claymore user to shatter the frozen shields

This tactic is especially potent in domains and Spiral Abyss floors with multiple Hydro Abyss Mages.

Klee’s Explosive Tricks

Klee may be small, but her explosive attacks pack a serious punch against water shields. Her elemental skill, Jumpy Dumpty, throws bouncing bombs that deal heavy Pyro damage.

The trick is to time Jumpy Dumpty just right. When Klee throws the bomb, it’ll bounce three times before splitting into eight mines on the third bounce. These mines will explode after a short delay or when enemies touch them, dealing massive damage to Hydro shields.

Elemental Mastery’s Role

Building Elemental Mastery on your shield-breaking characters can significantly boost the damage dealt by elemental reactions. This is especially true for transformative reactions like Electro-Charged and Shatter.

Consider equipping Artifacts like the 4-piece Instructor or Wanderer’s Troupe sets to raise Elemental Mastery. The Mappa Mare catalyst and Iron Sting sword are also solid options for an EM boost.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learning to break Hydro Abyss Mage shields efficiently takes practice and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try out different team comps and strategies to find what works best for you.

With the right combination of elements, characters, and reactions, you’ll be tearing through those pesky water shields in no time. So get out there and show those Abyss Mages who’s boss!


What is the best element for breaking Hydro shields?

Cryo is generally considered the most effective element for breaking Hydro shields, as it can freeze enemies and leave them vulnerable to follow-up attacks. Electro is also useful for triggering the Electro-Charged reaction.

Are claymore characters good at breaking water shields?

Yes, claymore users are great at breaking shields thanks to their heavy attacks. Characters like Chongyun and Diluc are especially effective due to their Cryo and Pyro elements.

How does Elemental Mastery affect shield-breaking?

Building Elemental Mastery on your characters can increase the damage dealt by elemental reactions, making it easier to break shields. This is particularly useful for transformative reactions like Electro-Charged and Shatter.

Can I use Anemo characters to break Hydro shields?

While Anemo itself doesn’t directly counter Hydro shields, Anemo characters can use the Swirl reaction to spread elements like Cryo to multiple enemies, making it easier to break their shields.

What should I do if I don’t have the ideal characters for breaking water shields?

Even if you don’t have the perfect team composition, you can still break Hydro shields by focusing on elemental reactions and using heavy attacks. Experiment with different combinations of characters and elements to find what works best with the roster you have available.