Last updated on Nov 17, 2023
Pre-TC is volatile and, as always, perpetually subject to change until release (and sometimes later!). Please note that these are theoretical suggestions. Everything described in this FAQ is a good faith analysis based on the little information about the character’s kit that we know. Team calcs, additionally, are not established yet, and as with everything in TC, the content in this FAQ should be taken with a grain of salt.
Authored by kolvii
Lyney is a Pyro Bow user whose kit revolves around summoning Grin-Malkin Hats with his Charged Attacks or Burst, then subsequently detonating them to trigger high-damage Pyrotechnic Strikes. His damage is primarily single-target, though this can be mitigated by running a powerful grouper or a sub-DPS with AOE damage.
Because he takes up much of his teams’ field time, his teammates are typically characters who buff or supplement his damage in some way while occupying relatively little field time. However, his teams are limited by his Aimed Shot gameplay, making popular options like Xingqiu a hassle to use. Furthermore, his Ascension 4 Talent highly encourages Mono Pyro and other mostly reaction-less teams by greatly rewarding maintaining a Pyro aura on enemies and stacking multiple Pyro teammates.
Authored by kol
Leveling Priority: Normal Attack > Elemental Skill = Elemental Burst
All Pyrotechnic Strike damage scales off of Lyney’s Normal Attack talent, and his Charged Attacks themselves do a significant amount of damage, so maxing Lyney’s Normal Attack talent is first priority.
After his NA talent, leveling either of his Skill or Burst talents provide similar returns, so they should be leveled in tandem. Leveling Lyney’s Skill talent is slightly more valuable if Bursting only once every 2 rotations, and leveling his Burst talent pulls ahead slightly if Bursting every rotation.
Normal Attack: Card Force Translocation - Lyney has a Charged Attack mechanic similar to the likes of Ganyu or Tighnari, where Charged Attacks can be charged past the typical fully-charged state for a unique attack. In Lyney’s case, a Charge Level 2 Attack fires a Prop Arrow, which summons a Grin-Malkin Hat upon hitting anything.
The Grin-Malkin Hat is a taunt much like Amber’s Baron Bunny, and shares many of Baron Bunny’s mechanics. It is detonated at the end of its duration (4s), or if it is destroyed early by an enemy. However, there are a few more methods to detonate Grin-Malkin Hats. Only one Grin-Malkin Hat can exist on the field at C0, and if Lyney summons another Grin-Malkin Hat while one is already on the field, the previous one will detonate. Players can also detonate Grin-Malkin Hats with Lyney’s Skill.
When a Grin-Malkin Hat is detonated by any method other than Lyney’s Skill, it unleashes a Pyrotechnic Strike that targets a nearby enemy. These Pyrotechnic Strikes have a relatively small radius and so are mostly single-target, but can actually hit multiple enemies if they are grouped closely enough.
Additionally, if he is above 60% HP, when Lyney fires a Prop Arrow, he consumes 20% of his own max HP in order to obtain a Prop Surplus stack. These Prop Surplus stacks increase the damage of his Skill, and can stack up to 5 times. Note that even without taking external damage, Lyney will only be able to build 3 stacks without a healer, as he will reach the 60% HP threshold within 3 Charged Attacks. This means it is important to run Lyney with a healer, even when overlooking the obvious question of survivability.
Finally, Lyney’s Prop Arrows summon an instance of Pneuma-aligned damage every 6s, which has negligible damage but crucially, triggers an Annihilation reaction when hitting an Ousia-aligned enemy that may make enemies significantly easier to fight. This will be hugely beneficial in the early patches of Fontaine, during which there are a limited number of characters that can deal Pneuma-aligned damage.
Elemental Skill: Bewildering Lights - Lyney’s Skill heals himself for 20% of his Max HP and deals a single instance of AoE Pyro damage that increases with each Prop Surplus stack he has at cast in a fashion similar to Heizou’s Skill. With stacks, his Skill becomes a potent AoE nuke, but its 15s cooldown means he can only cast it once per rotation.
Elemental Burst: Wondrous Trick: Miracle Parade - Lyney’s Burst turns himself into a giant Grin-Malkin Cat (not to be confused with the Grin-Malkin Hat!) for 3s that can prance around. When the Grin-Malkin Cat gets close to enemies, it deals a maximum of 1 instance of Pyro damage to them.
Lyney’s Skill button will be transformed into a special button while in his Grin-Malkin Cat state, and pressing this special button will end the Grin-Malkin Cat state early. Pressing this special button will not cast his Skill.
When Lyney’s Grin Malkin Cat state ends — whether naturally or through the special button — Lyney will unleash yet another AoE Pyro nuke.
Ascension 1 Passive: Perilous Performance - Lyney’s A1 further incentivizes running a healer by increasing his damage and refunding flat Energy if he consumes HP while firing a Prop Arrow, which is only feasible after a point with a healer. The damage increase is minor but appreciated. The flat Energy refund can be quite substantial as Lyney fires about 3-5 Prop Arrows per rotation, netting him about 9-15 flat Energy.
Ascension 4 Passive: Conclusive Ovation - Lyney’s A4 is where his kit becomes especially interesting. A4 grants Lyney an absolutely massive buff (60% DMG at base) if he attacks enemies affected by Pyro that increases with every Pyro teammate (20% DMG per teammates, up to a maximum of 100% DMG total). Lyney effectively never runs solo Pyro, so he will always have at least a whopping 80% DMG from this passive.
This passive greatly incentivizes teams that can maintain a constant Pyro aura, especially mono Pyro teams, which tend to have a greater number of Pyro units. It also discourages teams that utilize reactions that may interfere with a Pyro aura, such as Overload or Vaporize.
While Lyney can technically still be played in teams that don’t maintain a constant Pyro aura on enemies, it will come with great loss to his damage and not much in return in most cases.
Utility Passive: Trivial Observations - Displays Fontaine-specific resources in the minimap. Useful passive for exploring Fontaine.
Authored by kolvii
In practice, C1 allows Lyney to detonate one additional Grin-Malkin Hat per rotation. C1 gains little value in teams where Lyney does not max out Prop Surplus stacks naturally, but ultimately is a relatively modest increase in damage.
DPS Increase from C0: 6.7%
C2 is a relatively straightforward stacking buff to Lyney’s CRIT DMG. Thanks to buffs from his teammates, his BiS artifact set, and his A4 Talent, among other things, Lyney tends to be oversaturated in all manner of offensive stats. However, Lyney can only obtain CRIT DMG from artifact stats and his weapon, making it a little more difficult to come by than most. As a result, C2 provides a substantial boost to Lyney’s damage.
DPS Increase from C0: 18.6%
DPS Increase from C1: 11.1%
The first ever Constellation to increase Normal Attack Talent levels, Lyney’s C3 provides a strong boost to all of his Charged Attack and Pyrotechnic Strike damage. C3 is Lyney’s 2nd strongest Constellation for personal damage, falling behind only C6.
DPS Increase from C0: 33.2%
DPS Increase from C2: 12.3%
C4 is a solid increase to all of Lyney’s damage in all teams, but its value increases further if running a character in Lyney’s team who can additionally take advantage of the Pyro RES shred it provides, most notably Xiangling. With Xiangling in his team, C4 is a 9.4% DPS increase in team damage over C3.
DPS Increase from C0: 45.8%
DPS Increase from C3: 9.5%
C5 is a mostly negligible damage increase, especially in teams where Lyney only Bursts once every two rotations.
DPS Increase from C0: 48.1%
DPS Increase from C4: 1.5%
Lyney’s C6 is his best Constellation, with the additional attack on every Charged Attack being a relatively straightforward but significant boost to Lyney’s damage.
Overall, Lyney’s Constellations increase his damage while changing little about his playstyle. It is worth noting that teams that focus on directly buffing Lyney’s damage benefit the most from his Constellations, since they further increase the damage gain from each Constellation.
DPS Increase from C0: 96.9%
DPS Increase from C5: 33.0%
Authored by kolvii
Lyney’s rotations generally will look like the following:
Zhongli hE if using him > Bennett EQ > Setup with offensive supports e.g. Kazuha tEQ > Setup with shielder or defensive supports e.g. Yanfei EQ > Lyney combo (~15s)
Zhongli hE if using him > Bennett EQ > Setup with offensive supports e.g. Xiangling EQ > Setup with shielder or defensive supports e.g. Yanfei EQ > Lyney combo > Bennett E > Supports cast E or Lyney CA (~20s)
With the exception of with 4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence, Lyney wants to cast his Skill at the very end of his combo to maximize stacks. When running 4pc Shime, Lyney wants to cast his Skill at the beginning of his combo or after one Charged Attack instead of at the end of his combo.
Casting Lyney’s Burst at the start of the combo allows Lyney to obtain Energy in the first rotation, while casting Burst at the end allows it to receive the fully stacked 4pc MH bonus. Players may also cast Lyney’s Burst after two Charged Attacks as a compromise, and to ensure that the 4pc VV effect is active during Lyney’s Burst.
It is recommended that players cancel Lyney’s Burst early so as to not waste time in his Grin-Malkin Cat state.
If Bursting every other rotation, in rotations during which Lyney does not Burst, insert a Charged Attack where he would otherwise Burst.
Lyney will usually fire 3-4 Charged Attacks per combo, not including any Charged Attacks he does in place of a Burst. Generally speaking, as long as everything fits into the primary window of buffs, it’s worth slightly extending rotations to get in another Charged Attack.
Authored by kolvii
Lyney generates 5 particles per Skill, but only casts a single Skill per rotation, which leaves his Energy situation with much room to improve. Thankfully, his A1 grants some much-needed flat Energy everytime he consumes HP through his Charged Attack, an effect that is easily achieved with help from a healer. Lyney also runs alongside at least one other Pyro unit, further lowering his ER requirements.
However, even with all that, Lyney’s 60-cost Burst means he needs a substantial amount of ER to Burst every rotation, except in the most Energy-heavy of teams. As a result, more often than not, Lyney prefers to not build any ER and instead Burst every other rotation.
Energy requirements will vary based on your team and rotation. For a more accurate estimate, please use the Energy Recharge calculator linked here.
Authored by kolvii
Sands: ATK% Goblet: Pyro DMG% Circlet: CRIT DMG% / (CRIT Rate% only if not using 4pc MH)
Substats: CRIT DMG% >= CRIT Rate% until cap > ATK% >= ER to requirement > Flat ATK
4PC Marechaussee Hunter
4pc MH is Lyney’s BiS artifact set by a sizable margin, as he can easily and quickly stack and maintain its 4pc effect for 36% CRIT Rate, as well as 15% CA DMG Bonus from its 2pc set effect. Combined with his CR ascension stat, Lyney ends up with a whopping 60% CR in practice without any artifact main stats or substats. This makes it very easy for Lyney to overcap on CR assuming a modest number of CR substats, greatly diminishing the value of CR weapons on him. For the same reason, it is not recommended to run a CR circlet with 4pc MH. It is highly recommended to farm 4pc MH for Lyney, as it is significantly stronger than the next best option.
A solid and very consistent option for Lyney if players happen to have a spare set lying around.
2PC Pyro / 2PC MH / 2PC ATK
A similarly solid albeit slightly weaker option, with the added benefits of being easier to obtain. Any combination of 2pc sets performs similarly, so players should use the combination with the best substats.
4PC Retracing Bolide / Wanderer’s Troupe / Desert Pavilion’s Chronicle
Other decent, consistent alternatives to 4pc Lavawalker, but only affecting Lyney’s Charged Attacks. Retracing Bolide requires good shield uptime.
4PC Shimenawa’s Reminiscence
4pc Shime should only be used in teams where Lyney casts his Burst once per two rotations. Otherwise, Lyney’s ER requirement will increase to the point where 4pc Shime becomes a DPS loss. In the situations where it does work, 4pc Shime is slightly stronger than 4pc Lavawalker, although still markedly weaker than 4pc MH.
4PC Vermillion Hereafter
In direct opposition to 4pc Shime, 4pc VH should only be used in teams where Lyney casts his Burst every rotation. In the situations where it works, it can be about on par with 4pc Lavawalker.
Authored by kolvii
The First Great Magic
Tailor-made for Lyney, TFGM provides CRIT DMG% and CA DMG%, as well as ATK% that increases with each additional Pyro unit in Lyney’s team. TFGM is his BiS even in teams with only 2 Pyro units (including Lyney himself). It is about 7% better than the next best option when fully stacked, and 3% better with only 2 stacks.
Aqua Simulacra / Thundering Pulse
Aqua’s passive is slightly dubious for Lyney given that his Charged Attack playstyle allows him to maintain distance from enemies, and TPulse’s stacking passive is entirely useless, but they are nonetheless his strongest weapons after TFGM just by being 5-star bows with a CRIT DMG% secondary stat. Aqua pulls ahead slightly if its passive is maintained; otherwise, TPulse is slightly stronger.
Despite Lyney potentially overcapping on CR because of Harp’s CR secondary stat, its 5-star stats and CRIT DMG in its passive allows it to be a strong option nonetheless.
Song of Stillness
The recommended F2P weapon of choice. SoS’s ceiling is slightly lower than Prototype Crescent when accounting for refines, but it is more reliable than its craftable counterpart.
An alternative to SoS but only if players can reliably trigger its passive. At max refinement and with its passive active, PC has the highest ceiling of any 4-star weapon for Lyney (not by much), but it suffers massively without its passive.
Amos’ Bow is a decent choice for Lyney: stronger than 4-star options, but not exceptionally so.
Polar Star / Hunter’s Path
The 5-star CR bows are strong assuming players are not running 4pc MH on Lyney, but that assumes players are, in fact, not running 4pc MH. In the recommended scenario in which Lyney is using 4pc MH, the 5-star CR bows suffer greatly as Lyney quickly overcaps on CR.
Lyney is unlikely to get stacks on Blackcliff in most situations given that his single-target focus means his best use case is bossing. Without stacks, Blackcliff is a very boring but decent option. Not worth buying for Lyney.
Scion of the Blazing Sun
The new BP bow has a useful passive, but suffers the same problem of overcapping CR as 5-star CR bows do. Players might find themselves better off just using Song of Stillness.
Authored by kolvii
Lyney | Bennett | Defensive Flex | Offensive Flex
Thanks to his HP consumption mechanics, Lyney wants at least one healer to keep him alive and allow him to build Prop Surplus stacks and activate his A1. Bennett provides this, but additionally provides a massive ATK boost and 4pc Noblesse Oblige to greatly improve Lyney’s damage. Furthermore, as a Pyro unit, Bennett counts towards stacks on Lyney’s A4 and signature weapon. To top it all off, he helps generate Pyro particles to fund Lyney and other energy-hungry Pyro units. Because Bennett is able to provide so much utility in just one slot, it is highly recommended to run him alongside Lyney in every one of Lyney’s teams. Players may opt to replace him with another healer, but will do so to much worse effect.
It is recommended to run a healing-focused build on Bennett (HP%/HB artifacts) in Lyney teams, in order to ensure that Lyney receives sufficient healing to stay above the 60% HP threshold. The damage lost on Bennett from building for healing instead of damage is not significant in Lyney teams.
Bennett aside, because Lyney’s Charged Attack playstyle makes him highly susceptible to interruption as well as his damage suffering greatly from being interrupted, Lyney appreciates a shielder or character who can provide interruption resistance.
Lastly, Lyney wants a more offensively oriented unit in his team to buff and/or supplement his damage. Generally speaking, teams that focus on buffing Lyney’s personal damage are preferred in single-target scenarios, where Lyney excels. Conversely, in multi-target situations, it is more beneficial to bring Venti or a unit who can deal AoE damage to compensate for Lyney’s relatively low amount of AoE damage.
While not recommended, if players feel confident in their ability to play Lyney without a shielder, they can opt to bring a second offensive flex unit instead.
It is essential that Lyney’s teammates do not interfere with maintaining a constant Pyro aura on enemies, and are compatible with his Charged Attack playstyle, which somewhat limits his options.
Defensive Flex Options:
Zhongli: Zhongli is a very strong candidate for the defensive flex position, providing a hefty shield that can maintain full uptime and syncing with Lyney’s 15s cooldowns. He even gains an offensive edge with his universal 20% RES shred. He can hold 4pc Tenacity of the Millelith or 4pc Archaic Petra, although Archaic Petra may be inconvenient to use.
Yanfei: Yanfei’s C4 makes her a strong Pyro shielder that Lyney can make use of. Being Pyro allows Yanfei to contribute to stacks on Lyney’s A4 and signature weapon. Furthermore, if Yanfei can obtain enough ER without Prototype Amber or an ER weapon, and players are willing to sacrifice shield strength for offensive power, she can hold Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers to buff Lyney. However, it is worth noting that Yanfei’s C4 shield being tied to her Burst forces rotations to be extended to upwards of 20s.
Dehya: Even though Dehya isn’t a shielder, her A1 talent allows her to provide the interruption resistance Lyney wants, and her damage mitigation similarly increases Lyney’s survivability. She can also hold 4pc Tenacity of the Millelith to buff Lyney. Because she is a Pyro unit, she can also contribute to stacks on Lyney’s A4 and signature weapon. However, she forces rotations to be extended to a minimum of 20s and has poor uptime.
Xinyan: With C2, Xinyan can build high ER (around 230%) to Burst every rotation to fit into 15s rotations, guarantee a Favonius Greatsword proc, and hold 4pc Tenacity of the Millelith. As a Pyro unit, she can also contribute to stacks on Lyney’s A4 and signature weapon. However, without C2, she loses the ability to guarantee a Level 3 shield and the benefits that come with it, and extends rotations with her 18s Skill cooldown.
Layla / Kirara / Diona / Baizhu: All viable shielders, none of whom are especially notable in Lyney teams. Layla can provide some additional chip damage, while Diona and Baizhu provide a little extra healing, but otherwise all four mostly perform similarly. Note that Baizhu extends rotations.
Offensive Flex Options:
Kazuha: Kazuha’s ability to buff Lyney’s Pyro DMG% and use 4pc Viridescent Venerer all while syncing up with Lyney’s 15s cooldowns makes him the ideal unit for maximizing Lyney’s personal damage. He additionally provides a considerable amount of personal damage, and some grouping of debatable usefulness.
Venti: Venti’s powerful grouping uniquely allows Lyney to take advantage of the small AoE on his Pyrotechnic Strikes, allowing Lyney to deal with groups of enemies as long as they can be lifted by Venti’s Burst. Venti also does significant damage in his own right in such situations, and he can use 4pc Viridescent Venerer to shred enemy Pyro RES. Additionally, he can refund 15 Flat Energy to Lyney and all other Pyro units in the team, which is hugely beneficial to reducing ER requirements. However, Venti struggles in single-target situations or against enemies that his Burst cannot lift, so it is not recommended to bring him against those lineups.
Xiangling: Xiangling is a powerful Pyro sub-DPS who provides strong AoE damage from off-field while also allowing Lyney to max out on his A4 and signature weapon passive effects. Bennett is more essential than ever with Xiangling the team, as she greatly appreciates his Pyro particle generation and is able to take full advantage of his ATK buffs. However, her Burst requires Lyney to play at point-blank range, which players may find unpleasant to play. If players are struggling to pilot Lyney because Xiangling forces them to play at point-black range, causing Lyney to miss out on Charged Attacks, then any damage gained from running Xiangling may be canceled out. In such cases, it is recommended that players opt not to run Xiangling with Lyney.
C2 Klee: An expensive buffing option who can provide DEF shred, Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayer, and allow Lyney to max out on his A4 and signature weapon passive effects.
Heizou / Sucrose: If Kazuha is otherwise occupied, players can also use Heizou or Sucrose as a generic Anemo support by equipping them with 4pc Viridescent Venerer and Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayer. Heizou gains a slight advantage by being able to contribute some extra damage, and Sucrose’s EM share is entirely useless in Lyney teams (unless running double offensive flex with Rosaria), so her talents may be better utilized elsewhere.
Other Anemos: Other Anemo characters such as Lynette, AMC, Jean, and Sayu can all be used to hold 4pc Viridescent Venerer’s. None of them are particularly standout otherwise.
Albedo: Albedo can be run as an easy-to-play sub-DPS. With Zhongli, Lyney and himself can gain some buffs from Geo Resonance; otherwise, Albedo simply provides off-field damage while not interfering much with the Pyro auras Lyney wants.