Gunfire Reborn: Xing Zhe Build Guide
Discover the newest character in Gunfire Reborn, Xing Zhe! Learn how to unlock him, master his abilities like Soul Strike and Essence Chain, and explore the best weapon choices and ascensions for a powerful build. Dominate the game with Xing Zhe's cudgel-wielding skills and unleash devastating damage on your enemies!
March 14, 2023
By: John Reeves
Other Gunfire Reborn Guides:
- Gunfire Reborn: Best Crown Prince Build
- Gunfire Reborn: Best Tao Build
- Gunfire Reborn: Best Lei Luo Build
- Gunfire Reborn: Best Li Build
- Gunfire Reborn - Best Qing Yan Build
Xing Zhe is one of the newest characters in Gunfire Reborn, released alongside Li in the Visitors from Spirit Realm DLC. He's a master of weapons who can summon clones to strike enemies with a cudgel, and he also uses his Essence Chain to extract the power within his enemies to improve his weapons and shields. If you want to play this awesome orange ape, you've come to the right place! Let's get into a build guide for Xing Zhe in Gunfire Reborn!
How Do You Unlock Xing Zhe in Gunfire Reborn?
Unfortunately, Xing Zhe is not a character in the base game of Gunfire Reborn. He is part of the paid DLC released in 2022, along with Li, the firefox. However, the DLC has a relatively low cost of $7, which brings the total cost, including the base game, to about $25. However, Xing Zhe will be unavailable if you play on Xbox Game Pass or without the DLC. Luckily, if you have the DLC, you can play with him immediately! You won't need to spend your spiritual essence or upgrade talents!
Xing Zhe's Primary Skill, Soul Strike, deals Weapon damage instead of Skill damage. It also has various effects based on the type of weapon used, which we'll outline in a section called Soul Strike Effects below. It can do massive amounts of damage and scales with the base damage of your held weapon, making Xing Zhe exceptionally skilled at wielding hard-hitting weapons commonly avoided by other characters.
The Secondary Skill in Xing Zhe's kit gives him tremendous self-synergy. Like other characters, this skill deals less damage but tends to be great at dealing with groups of enemies. For instance, it'll be your best option for strangling beetles in the Longling Tomb. However, it also gives his weapons temporary level boosts, increasing his weapon damage and, thus, his Soul Strike damage. This skill can also be upgraded to give you a max Shield boost, making it a vital utility for survivability, crowd control, and damage.
Passive Abilities (Talents)
Soul Strike Effects
Each weapon type in Gunfire Reborn offers differing effects to Xing Zhe's Soul Strike. Playing Xing Zhe competently requires you to understand how each weapon relates to his Primary Skill, so you can make the right weapon choices and upgrades throughout the run.
Using Soul Strike with a pistol equipped gives each cudgel hit the ability to inflict Essence Chain hits with a 100% damage boost. However, the effects of the Essence Chain are not activated, so this weapon type would work best on a build focused around Essence Chain damage. This will work in the early game but is far from optimal for our suggested build.
Rifles, Submachine Guns, and Injectors
The fast-firing weapon types give the cudgel hits a 500 flat base damage boost. (It'd otherwise be deficient due to their abysmal base damage per hit.) However, this does not scale well with weapon levels and tends to fall out of usability early on into a run. Of course, you can use one of these weapons in the early game, but switching as soon as possible is highly suggested.
Using a melee weapon gives the first cudgel hit from each Soul Strike a +80% Lucky Shot chance. This isn't much consolation for using one of the riskiest weapon types, but the damage can be very respectable in the early and even mid-game. Unfortunately, it's also anti-synergistic with one of the best ascensions for the build, which improves the number of total cudgel hits per Soul Strike, as the bonus only applies to the first one. It would be clever to grab a melee weapon early on and use its massive base damage and movement speed bonuses to rush through the early game, switching it to an Elemental Share weapon later.
Snipers are the first weapon class with a boost that scales well into the later parts of the run. They grant your cudgels a 40% Crit chance, and cudgel Crits get an additional 60% damage. This works well with lucky shot, CritX, and Xing Zhe's Critical Cudgel ascension. Personally, if I wanted to play with a sniper, I'd choose Lei Luo. However, these will also work great in the early game, allowing you a viable option for a secondary Elemental Share weapon later. (At least in the case of Piercing Flame and Lightning Ksana)
Shotguns give your cudgels three additional projectiles. This means they hit with as many as the weapon already had and then three more. This works best on shotguns with a higher base damage-per-projectile. Since the cudgels transfer the number of projectiles from held weapons (which cannot miss) elemental effects can be applied very efficiently. This is extremely useful and can help you apply powerful fusion effects quickly and deal significant damage overall.
Launchers are the weapon class in Gunfire Reborn with the highest per-shot damage potential. Cudgels deal explosive damage with a 6-meter AOE and a 30% damage boost. However, the true power of this is only unlocked when using a very powerful launcher such as the Bone Dragon or Tiger Cannon, both of which have ludicrous amounts of base damage.
The Cudgel Tank Build
Considering Xing Zhe's kit, the safest way to play the character will be to focus on his Soul Strike while providing him with as much max Shield as possible. This will give him capabilities in offense and defense, making for consistent runs. We won't limit your choices of weapon type too much, but you shouldn't focus on a pistol, rifle, injector, or SMG with the build. The other weapon classes scale better into the late game. The ascensions we'll choose are also based on giving Xing Zhe a strong shield buff and then buffing his damage output with Soul Strike. The essence Chain is of secondary concern and will be mainly used as a utility.
Best Weapons to use While Playing Xing Zhe
A surprise, to say the least, the Bone Dragon works incredibly well on Xing Zhe. I find myself picking it up on no other character, but the combination of high base damage and crowd control works wonders for his Soul Strike. Use Essence Chain for a weapon boost, shoot the black hole between a few enemies, and unleash your launcher-type Soul Strike upon them for massive crowd-clearing damage. If you like the idea of this weapon but have yet to find it very worthwhile, use it on Xing Zhe.
Like the Bone Dragon, the Tiger Cannon has excellent base damage and deals AOE damage with the Cudgel hits. However, it provides less utility, so you'll be more focused on using it for damage. I'd slot it below the Bone Dragon in terms of usability for Xing Zhe's launcher choices. That's nothing to scoff at, for sure!
Another launcher with unique capabilities, the Shrieker, helps Xing Zhe where he might struggle with some of his other weapon choices. This weapon allows him to hit enemies at great distances, which tends to be impossible to accomplish with shotguns and melee weapons. As a launcher, its damage is good, but below the first two weapons on this list, making it a second choice. In most cases, I'd rather have a shotgun as my primary weapon on Xing Zhe, but it's more than usable if you like the crit explosions.
Shotguns are another group of weapons the monkey loves to wield. Instead of AOE damage, his cudgels will inflict three additional projectiles, all of which will hit together. This means the shotguns with the greatest damage per projectile tend to do the most Soul Strike damage. The Argus has the most damage per projectile of any shotgun, but that's not even the end of its strengths. It also applies pushback to enemies struck within 10 meters and staggers them. This gives it a bit of crowd control usage that puts it a tier above the Wild Hunt for Xing Zhe. Its only weakness is that it has quite a limited range, but luckily Soul Strike can be cast at quite a distance and deal its damage by proxy.
Wild Hunt is a great shotgun choice for the monkey, but unfortunately, it relies more on inscriptions than the Argus. With the Magazine Share Inscription, it can be highly deadly at close range, but its accuracy at mid-range doesn't come close to the Argus'. In addition, its base damage and total projectile count are slightly lower than the Argus, making it a clear second choice.
The Pupil is a lightning shotgun with slightly weaker base damage than the Wheel Saw. However, its massive elemental effect chance (per shot and per second due to high projectile count) make it more impactful. It can be combined with a Fire weapon like the Fire Tower or Piercing Flame using the Elemental Share Gemini inscription for mass mind control. Alternatively, you can use it to inflict multiple stacks of Miasma simultaneously using Elemental Share with a Poisonous Ghost or an Aura of Venom. Notably, the Cudgel hits will take on projectile counts (with a +3 boost) and elemental effect chance, so your Soul Strike can also apply fusion effects. While not overtly the most potent weapon on Xing Zhe, it gives you many options for how to proceed through a run, which is a benefit in itself.
The Wheel Saw is a strong shotgun on Xing Zhe, but unfortunately, he favors close combat less than Qing Yan. As such, the overall utility of this weapon is considerably below that of the Argus, with this character and build in mind. However, it has a reasonably high base damage and projectile count, making it worth consideration.
Another shotgun that may be worth considering is Hell. It's not as strong as some of the other shotguns in base damage, but even the 5th most powerful shotgun is a better choice than some of the other weapon classes available, namely the pistols, rifles, and SMGs. It might be your best option if it has good inscriptions, like an elemental effect or a base damage boost!
The Goshawk is a sniper crossbow with incredibly high damage per hit. It nearly doubles the next strongest sniper, the Bloody Drill, and does so with every other sniper in the game. This means that when using a sniper build on Xing Zhe, your hits will be much larger before applying lucky shot and CritX, allowing for potentially the highest single hits on the character. However, it can be a tricky weapon, so I'd only recommend grabbing it if you're pretty comfortable shooting the weapon itself or using your other weapon slot for weapon combat. Your skills usually can't handle every enemy!
Bloody Drill or Other Snipers
While the path to the highest single hit for Xing Zhe's Soul Strike is likely through snipers, the CritX Gemini, and lucky shot scrolls, it's not usually as reliable of a build path as the launchers and shotguns. Snipers will generally do much less damage than they would with Lei Luo, and it can be tough to deal with many enemies with the best snipers in terms of cudgel damage. I'd suggest snipers as a niche option if the run keeps giving you all the tools you need to make it work. Instead, I'd go into the run with a Bone Dragon, Tiger Cannon, Argus, or Pupil at the forefront of my mind. However, you could pick up a powerful elemental sniper early on in the run, such as the Lightning Ksana or Piercing Flame, and turn around and make it your Elemental Share secondary for a shotgun in the mid-game.
Another option many consider viable for Xing Zhe is a melee weapon. The Fire Tower is the most powerful melee weapon regarding base damage, and the lucky shot boost on the first hit of Soul Strike can be nice for reliable damage in the early to mid-game. However, I'd consider switching it over later, like I suggest you use a sniper and make it your Fire Elemental Share weapon for a Pupil or another shotgun.
Ascension Tier List
The Functional Tier List
Below is a functional ascension tier list for Xing Zhe that you can leave open while playing with him. It focuses on building up his defenses, followed by going all in on his Primary Skill. The specific ascensions you should choose might vary based on your weapons, scrolls, and the choices offered during the run, but this will be a good general guideline for making consistent runs with the monkey!
Aura Protection is a fantastic defensive ascension that builds the basis for Xing Zhe's survivability. It gives him max Shield and damage reduction after killing an enemy, which can stack up to 5 times. The max Shield gained is +6, +8, and +10 per stack at the three ascension levels, and the damage reduction is 3% per ascension level per stack. That means you can have +50 max Shield (+100 with Paranormality) and 45% damage reduction with this ascension at level 3. Just be careful not to lose your Shield because you'll lose two stacks when it breaks or only one stack at level 3.
Strength Taker also builds up Xing Zhe's max Shield and damage reduction, but this time it's when you hit enemies with Essence Chain. These stacks are more temporary as they only last 8 seconds. (12 seconds at level 3) However, each stack gives you 8%, 12%, or 16% bonus skill damage and +3, +4, or +5 max Shield. It can be stacked ten times at levels 1 and 2 and 15 times at level 3. Enemies hit by the Essence Chain will also deal 30%, 45%, or 60% less damage for the same duration. This may not seem like a big deal as each stack wears off relatively quickly, but a stack is gained for each enemy hit with Essence Chain, which by default can be as many as 4 per cast. Using Essence Chain as a utility throughout regular gameplay gives you both offensive and defensive buffs, making this ascension worthwhile.
Raging Waves will be a simpler ascension to understand regarding its direct benefits. It increases the range of Soul Strike by 1 meter per level and the total number of cudgel hits by 2 per level. Raging Waves level 3 also makes each unused cudgel hit reduce Soul Strike's cooldown by 5%. The extra cudgel hits are essentially a multiplicative damage increase for the quintessential skill of this build. What's more to like?
Smash into Dust
Smash into Dust might look like a strange ascension at first, but it gives your first cudgel hit 200% damage. Then, if it defeats the enemy, the next one will also deal 200% damage. If you're reading that and thinking it only doubles at most the first two hits, you'd be mistaken. The bonus damage will apply to every hit as long as the previous one kills the enemy it hits. This makes it extremely busted when using a powerful launcher, allowing the build to snowball into a room-clearing machine in the mid to late game.
Turn into Reality
Turn into Reality is an ascension that's not as strong as it looks. It gives you 70%, 140%, and 280% bonus Soul Strike damage at levels 1 through 3. However, this damage is additive to other effects and doesn't affect the skill's base damage. This makes it much stronger early on but less when other damage bonuses are stacked up. It's still strong, though, and makes Smash into Dust more likely to proc, which is helpful.
With Reversed, killing an enemy takes 0.5 seconds per ascension level off the cooldown of Soul Strike for every enemy you kill. This helps in cycling through the skill more often and would be more potent than Turn into Reality if your cudgel is already doing a lot of damage per hit. It won't help Smash into Dust proc more consistently, but it will synergize with level 3 of Raging Waves. It also works well with other cooldown reduction effects, such as Ancient Timer.
Occult Scrolls to Look Out For
When playing with this Xing Zhe build, your primary focus will be dealing big burst damage with Soul Strike. As such, we'll want to prioritize weapon damage buffs. However, Xing Zhe also uses special ammo a lot, so we'd love to see anything that can alleviate ammo concerns. Ammo Belt and Bullet Bank come to mind. Additionally, since we're also making sure to keep a solid amount of Shield on, Paranormality and other Shield-related scrolls are quite synergistic with the build. This will also allow you to further increase your survivability and damage with scrolls like Reinforced Eggshell and Deadly Curse.
The Brutal Gloves provide a 35% weapon DMG and skill DMG boost to non-critical hits. This is particularly useful for the cudgel hits as they won't deal Crit damage unless you use the Critical Cudgel ascension or a sniper.
3rd Time Unlucky
This scroll gives you +50% weapon DMG, but it makes you gain a cursed scroll after every three peculiar chests you trade with. This can be detrimental but combines well with Evil-Devouring Sword and Evil-Banishing Talisman.
Evil-Devouring Sword gives you a 15% weapon DMG buff and a 20% skill DMG buff for each cursed scroll you hold. It's stronger on builds prioritizing skill damage, but it synergizes well with 3rd Time Unlucky to give your Primary Skill a massive buff.
Evil-Banishing Talisman is a situationally great scroll that nullifies the detrimental effects of cursed scrolls. It makes 3rd Time Unlucky and Evil-Devouring Sword incredible and incentivizes you to grab as many cursed scrolls as possible since they can't hurt you.
A modest 3% weapon damage boost for every 100 copper you own, which maxes out at 30%. Nifty!
Long Shot is somewhat situational on Xing Zhe, as it will work with some weapons better than others. However, Soul Strike has an impressive range that his ascensions can also boost, making it worthwhile for the build.
Preemptive Strike is a fantastic scroll that gives you 50% bonus weapon damage if your magazine is full. This works well on weapons with small magazines like the Bone Dragon, Wild Hunt, and Tiger Cannon, which Xing Zhe likes to use anyways. However, it can also be used to willfully boost every Soul Strike by 50% by simply casting it with a full mag. Juicy!
Double your ammo capacity! Great for using special ammo, which tends to be Xing Zhe's favorite.
Like Ammo Belt, Bullet Bank can significantly help you solve your ammo problems, especially when using special ammo. All ammo can be picked up and automatically converted to the type of the held weapon. Since special ammo boxes generally give the least, using this with a special ammo weapon is very strong since the normal and large ammo boxes will convert into an unusually high number of special ammo.
Paranormality fixes your max HP at one but doubles your max Shield. This synergizes with other scrolls and Xing Zhe's max Shield stacking ascensions, which will be doubled in effectiveness.
Reinforced Eggshell reduces damage taken by your Shield by 30% while increasing damage taken when your Shield is 0 by the same percentage. Notably, using it with Paranormality will result in a permanent 30% damage reduction.
Deadly Curse is a typically painful scroll that reduces your max HP by 75%. You get a 75% boost to weapon and skill damage in return. This can often be a run-ending choice, but when combined with Paranormality, it's a massive damage boost with no downsides!
A more defensive option, Backup Shield instantly regenerates 40% of your max Shield when it breaks. This can only occur once every 10 seconds but can prevent you from losing your singular health point when holding Paranormality. It's strong without Paranormality as well, but the Shield regenerated will be doubled, and the occurrence of a broken shield is much more dire with it as well. This synergizes with Xing Zhe's Steady Stance talent, giving you more breathing room in case your cudgel hit doesn't kill the enemy.
For Xing Zhe, weapon inscriptions don't tend to synergize directly with his kit. The most notable exception is boosted weapon base damage. This will improve the damage dealt by his Soul Strike and should be prioritized. Otherwise, look for inscriptions that will be strong with the specific weapon you're using. For a list of powerful inscriptions to look for on each weapon, check out our Gunfire Reborn Weapon Tier List!
The Best Gemini Inscription for the Build
The most unfortunate thing about Xing Zhe as a character is that none of the Gemini inscriptions really synergize with his kit. Likewise, many of them fail to support some of his favorite weapons properly. You could get some usage out of the Spore Gemini because the cudgel applies spores. Still, it won't be as strong as using a fast-firing weapon and a shotgun with spores. You can also use the CritX Gemini if you're running a sniper build, but those aren't as reliable as a launcher or shotgun.
Ultimately, the Elemental Effect Share Gemini can work decently well with a shotgun, allowing your Soul Strike to apply fusion effects if done correctly. Otherwise, your best bet would be the Magazine Share Gemini to make a Wild Hunt extremely busted. When using a launcher, it feels like even the Magazine Share Gemini is underwhelming. The developers should consider making a new Gemini inscription that synergizes with the launcher class of weapons.
Overall, Xing Zhe is an underrated character that some have considered the weakest of the roster. However, he's well nestled somewhere in the middle of the pack and one of the most entertaining heroes to play. In fact, if you're wondering who the best and worst heroes are in Gunfire Reborn, check out our Gunfire Reborn Character Tier List where we'll discuss each character from worst to best in detail!