Guide to Genius Invokation TCG
This game was teased way over in update 2.6 when Itto mentioned it. While it seemed a one-off mention, it became real when 3.0 rolled by and was released in version 3.3. It is a permanent minigame, so even new players can enjoy it. Despite its simplistic rules, it has deeper layers as your deck composition significantly influences your strategies.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you win more games and become a card game champion.
Table of Contents
Requirements and Review of the Rules
To start the quest, you must be at Adventure Rank 32 and have finished the quest “Song of the Dragon and Freedom.” Go to Timeaus near the crafting table, and a cutscene should play. If it doesn’t, you might be in a co-op world or try logging out and then back in. Finishing the quest should give you everything you need to know about the TCG.
Diona will teach you the game’s rules, but here they are again as a review.
Genius Invokation TCG pits three character cards against your opponent’s three (or more). The battle ends when either player has no more of that card type.
The game is played in rounds with three phases: Roll, Action, and End. In the first, the participants roll elemental dice, which will fuel their actions in the next phase. The second is where players can attack or do other activities such as:
- Switch active character
- Equip characters with artifacts or weapons
- Play support or event cards with various effects
Combatants take turns during this phase. When both players declare that they’re ending the round, the End phase starts, which triggers various card effects. The next round starts with the player that declared first taking the initiative. Using a mixture of character attacks and supporting cards, defeat opponents with strategy and a bit of luck.
- At the beginning of the game, you draw an initial hand of 5 cards. You can return some to the deck and pick up new ones (only once).
- You can choose to reroll some or all of your elemental dice once.
- You can transform an elemental die into one you need for an attack by discarding a card from your hand. This is called Elemental Tuning.
- Dice are 8-sided, but there are only 7 elements. The last one is the Omni Element which can stand in for any, like a wildcard.
- You can do two kinds of actions: Combat Actions and Fast Actions. Combat actions end your turn, while Fast ones do not. Attacks and switching are considered the former while playing support and equipment cards are the latter. There are some circumstances where this is not the case.
You must also be aware of the card types. There are four general categories:
- Character Cards
- Equipment Cards
- Support Cards
- Event Cards
As mentioned, character cards are the ones doing the attacking. The TCG’s battle system resembles the main game’s combat system, down to the elemental reactions. Even their skills and abilities were translated into a card game format!
Equipment cards include weapon and artifact cards. These cards boost either the damage output (weapons) or the efficiency (artifacts) of the character who equips it. Only one of either can be fitted onto a battler. Talent cards also belong to this category.
Support cards have varied effects. Those either last the whole battle or only a few turns. They can decrease the cost of elemental dice for specific actions or have some other beneficial effect.
Lastly, event cards usually take effect instantly with various consequences. Examples are transferring equipment or artifacts to another character and increasing the duration of summons. Strategic use of event and support cards are crucial for coming out victorious in duels!
Leveling Up and the Handbook
You have a level as a TCG player. You level up by winning games. Increasing it gives you various rewards such as cosmetics, invitations, and, most importantly, Primogems. Like Adventure Ranks, you must do a duel challenge on your 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 9th levels to move on to the next.
It also unlocks new people to fight in the various Teyvat countries available now.
The TCG Handbook gives you various objectives to complete for cards. The multiple tiers will also reward Primogems and cosmetics, especially the Blank Dynamic Card. The latter is a skin for character cards, giving them animation and making them move. It is blank, so you can choose which one gets the skin.
Prince will offer you the Tavern Card Challenge, which is how you obtain boss or enemy character cards. Currently, the available ones are:
- The Oceanid
- Fatui Pyro Agent
- Mirror Maiden
- Jadeplume Terrorshroom
- Maguu Kenki
- Stonehide Lawachurl
There’s also the Weekly Guest Challenge, where NPCs from various nations come to the Cat’s Tail for a game.
Tips and Tricks
Use Invitations to Get Character Cards
It is not immediately apparent that this is how you get more character cards. There was only a passing mention of using the board to invite other players for a duel. It’s easy to be mistaken that it is only for setting up games with other Travelers. However, you can also battle NPC playable characters using the board.
Use the invitations you get from leveling up or buying from the shop to get more cards. With more character cards, you can make more variations of elemental reactions or set up nifty combinations.
Elemental Reactions are Excellent for Increasing Damage Output
It cannot be stressed enough that TCG battle mechanics resemble the main game’s combat gameplay. Characters still have three abilities: a Normal (Physical) attack, an Elemental Skill, and an Elemental Burst. These cost a variable amount of elemental dice and, in the case of the Burst, Energy.
As in usual gameplay, Skills and Bursts apply an elemental aura to the target. That can be used to trigger a reaction, increasing the damage output of an attack. Swirl affects even the cards on standby, and Electro-Charged affects all with a Hydro status.
It can defeat an enemy that would otherwise survive or prevent them from attacking. Take advantage of the mechanic as much as you can!
Deck Building Tips
While it is easier to choose dice to reroll if you’re using only one element, you won’t be able to take advantage of reactions this way. The best thing to do is to balance elements and tweak your strategies to fit the current composition.
Decks are composed of 3 character cards and 30 total of any combination of support, event, and equipment cards. You can fill the latter with all valuable cards, but it will be hard to use Elemental Tuning. Too much junk, and you won’t be able to take advantage of the effects the other cards can bring.
You can take advantage of resonance cards using two characters of the same element. Leave the one for reactions, which can be optimized for a specialized deck. Of course, you can create your deck with whatever cards you want.
Best Characters to Take First
Interestingly, meta characters in the main gameplay also reflect meta in the TCG. The best character cards you can get are Ganyu, Xiangling, Xingqiu, Mona, Kaeya, and Sucrose. Okay, Xiangling and Xingqiu are among the best 4-stars, and the others are currently less popular. Mona is still a strong support character on both sides of the gameplay, and Kaeya is a hidden gem. Still, there is an interesting correspondence. Keqing is the only non-meta character who is helpful in the TCG.
Surprisingly, the Fatui Pyro Agent is mentioned in the best character card category. He’s an efficient damage dealer with a damage boost or reduction capability using his stealth.
For event cards:
- Strategize (Draw 2)
- The Bestest Travel Companion! (Convert any two dice into Omni Element)
- Leave It To Me! (Makes the next ‘switch active character’ action into a Fast Action)
- Toss-Up (Lets you reroll dice again)
- Starsigns (Add energy to the active character)
For support cards:
- Liben (on End Phase, if you have at least 3 unused elemental dice, you get 2 draws and 2 Omni Element dice)
- Knights of Favonius Library (Reroll dice)
- Liyue Harbor Wharf (Draw 2 at End Phase)
For equipment cards:
- Gambler Earrings (summon 2 Omni Element dice upon defeating an enemy)
- Exile’s Circlet (charges energy when the equipped character uses their Burst)
- Elemental artifact sets (use one less dice for skills once every round. Stronger variants guarantee 2 specific element dice on rolls.)
These have the best benefits you can get. I also recommend Dawn Winery (makes switching cost 0 dice) and Ellin (using a skill that’s been used in the round costs fewer dice). Paimon (for three same-element dice, creates 2 Omni Elements on your next two turns) is also helpful if you can afford the cost.
Find Your Playstyle
These tips and guides only serve as a baseline to form your strategy. Will you spend all your dice in one turn or carefully spend them? How will you create reactions? There are many ways to be effective in TCG, and you can play how you prefer.
While using a mono-elemental deck is not recommended, you don’t have to watch out for two or three kinds of dice, and it doesn’t matter when you do the tuning. It’s still a valid strategy, though you wouldn’t be dealing optimized damage (unless the enemy has a self-applying different elemental aura).
You can also use different elements for all three of your characters. That gives you various elemental reactions to exploit, with the suitable timings of switching and attacking. You’re only limited by the dice you get. Still, you can use any extra dice for whatever equipment, support, or event cards you want to use.
Enjoy Genius Invokation TCG!
It is surprisingly deep for its simple rules. It’s like Gwent, but Teyvat-style. It is a permanent mode, which means you can take your time getting all the rewards of the feature like other events. It’s suitable for a break from the endless grinding and farming of Genshin Impact.
More than that, it’s genuinely engaging and fun. The cards and their varied effects can make or break strategies, and winning matches is thrilling. It’s all for fun, so leave the serious business to those who have the passion for it. It’s alright if you only want to collect the cards but don’t care about leveling up.
The most important thing is that you have fun! Enjoy Genshin Impact and its TCG!