Is Thoma good in Genshin Impact?

A new Pyro shielder joins the Genshin cast.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Thoma is a brand new 4-star Pyro character in Genshin Impact, currently featured on Hu Tao’s banner. He fills a niche as a shield support character, alongside Zhongli, Noelle, Diona, and Xinyan, but do his shields match the strength of other characters?

Can Thoma work as a sub-DPS?

While many may wish to use Thoma as a sub-DPS, unfortunately, his numbers are too low to deal any substantial damage. He has an Elemental Burst similar to Xingqiu, dealing Pyro damage in an AoE after using a Normal Attack. However, his damage is too low to use him as a sub-DPS damage dealer reliably.

Additionally, his Pyro application in his Q is too slow. Genshin Impact has a mechanic called Internal Cooldown, which measures how quickly a character can apply a certain element. Thoma’s ICD is slow, only applying the Pyro element at a rate of three ticks. (a.k.a when you trigger his Elemental Burst effect three times.)

As a result, Thoma is unfortunately not a good substitute for comps where Xiangling is used to apply the Pyro element rapidly. For instance, you may want to pair Thoma with Tartaglia to function similarly to Xiangling. But Xiangling beats out Thoma in both damage, AoE, and ability to proc Vaporize with Tartaglia.

Thoma’s shielding potential

Numbers-wise, Thoma has the second strongest shield in the game. Thoma’s shield will surpass characters like Diona and Noelle when your shield is consistently refreshing, as his shields refresh off of Normal Attacks with his Elemental Burst.

However, outside of a Constellation 6 Thoma, his utility primarily exists as a shielder, which may lower overall usefulness. Thoma doesn’t bring the utility that a shielder like Diona does, who can also heal and has superior energy generation for Cryo teams.

Speaking of energy generation, Thoma has major Energy Recharge issues that you’ll need to work through when building him. Thoma’s Elemental Burst costs 80, among the highest in the game, but his Elemental Skill is on a long 15 seconds cooldown.

Unfortunately, his lack of utility paired with his Energy issues makes Thoma an inflexible unit that doesn’t belong on many teams. Thoma also competes with Bennett, who provides more utility overall. Bennett’s offers suitable survivability the same way Thoma does, but he brings superior Energy generation, an Attack buff, and higher damage overall.

Diona has a similar niche, only working as a shielder in Cryo teams. However, Diona excels in those roles because she can also heal and provide better Energy Generation with the Sacrificial Bow. Zhongli may be a pure shielder, but his shield is unparalleled and extremely strong, bringing some utility with his Elemental Shred on his shield and the crowd-control from his burst. Thoma’s kit is incredibly limited, and unfortunately, he’s an overall weak character.

One thing to note is the appearance of Corrosion coming in the near future. Corrosion is becoming a common mechanic, featured in the Spiral Abyss and as a trait of some of the new enemies in Inazuma. As a result, Thoma’s utility may lower even further, as he brings nothing to the table aside from shields.

Thoma’s best teams

If you want to use Thoma, the best way to use him is to pair him with a Hu Tao. Hu Tao does not want to use Bennett, as she gains more damage for being low on HP. So Thoma can provide a level of survivability for Hu Tao once she hits that HP threshold. Additionally, your team damage will go up, as two Pyro units on a team will give an Attack bonus.

Thoma may also work with other Pyro DPS characters like Yoimiya. However, Bennett is usually the stronger option in this case. The Spiral Abyss does require the usage of two teams, so if your Bennett is occupied, Thoma may work as a substitute for your second team.

Thoma may work to provide a level of safety to Sucrose teams as well, where Sucrose is run with a Xingqiu and Electro sub-DPS character. Generally, however, it’s likely better to run two Electro characters over Thoma, but you can run Thoma if you’re having trouble surviving.