Hu Tao’s Biography
Name: Hu Tao (this is her full name with ‘Hu’ as her last and ‘Tao’ as her first)
Birthday: 15 July
Constellation: Papilio Charontis
Titles: Fragrance in Thaw, 77th-Generation Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, Director Hu, “Versemonger of the Darkest Alleys” of Liyue Harbor
Hu Tao Build and Guide
Hu Tao follows the pattern of strong Pyro DPS characters. Be careful when using her, though, because her skills use a bit of her HP everytime they are used. Fortunately, she can heal herself with her Burst, so it balances out. Still, the lost HP can make it easy for a careless player to fall in battle.
Guide to Afterlife, her E skill, sacrifices a percentage of her HP and lets Hu Tao enter the Paramita Papilio state. For its duration, she gets an ATK boost based on her max HP and her attacks are infused with Pyro. Also, her Charged Attacks apply the status Blood Blossom on enemies it hits. Take note that her ATK boost cannot be more than 4 times her Base ATK (her ATK stat + her weapon’s ATK stat). This means that stacking too much HP is useless.
It’s indicated by a flower mark on the affected targets. While under its effects, enemies take Pyro damage every 4 seconds. That damage is considered Elemental Skill DMG. Blossoms last for 8 seconds and the Paramita Papilio state for 9 seconds.
Her Burst, Spirit Soother, deals AoE Pyro DMG and heals her for every enemy she hits. However, healing effects can only trigger up to 5 times, so at least 5 enemies should be there for the most amount of healing. If Hu Tao’s HP is below 50% when using this skill, damage and HP regeneration are increased.
Getting her second Ascension talent increases her damage even more, as it increases her Pyro DMG by 33% when her HP is equal to or less than 50%. This makes the 4-set Crimson Witch artifact set a good fit for her. Alternatively, you can also use a 4-set Shimenawa’s Reminiscence, which is the second best. The Noblesse set or even the Berserker ones are also good alternatives if there’s no other choice.
For increased damage, artifacts should focus on the HP, Crit Rate, and Crit DMG stats. A Pyro DMG goblet will also do, as well as an Energy Recharge timepiece, though that really depends on your preference. It’s not too recommended, but if you’re lacking in HP you can make use of Millelith’s 2-set effect. Of course, it all depends on your preferences and what you get from domains.
As for weapons, the Staff of Homa is her best-in-slot. With its passive bonus based on HP and Crit DMG as a substat, it does mesh well with her skills and builds. Other good alternatives are the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear, Skyward Spine, Dragon’s Bane, Deathmatch, and Black Tassel.
Hu Tao’s Story
Hu Tao, despite her occupation and position as the 77th Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, is a cheery and amiable young lady. In fact, she’s actually prone to mischief and other whims of fancy, something you wouldn’t expect from someone who organizes funerals.
She flits to and fro like a butterfly, confusing Liyue’s citizens with her eccentricities. She once cared for the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ stone lions as if they were living creatures. Hu Tao slapped their hands, named them Mittens and Whiskers, and even bathed them. Everyone who watched her do so watched with confused bafflement. The guards were similarly shocked, although this was more due to the fact that Hu Tao would sneak in at midnight to play with the lions.
Just when the guards and people got used to her antics, she suddenly stopped coming. The guards tasked to clean and maintain the statues felt her absence keenly. They stood guard at the entrance for a time, waiting for an opportunity to ask her why she stopped coming.
When they finally had the chance, Hu Tao only answered that the lions are now adults and can take care of themselves. She excused herself afterward, mentioning that she was late for a discussion on the meaning of life with a Statue of the Seven. Faced with that kind of answer, the guards could only send her on her way.
She had been this way since childhood. As a three-year-old, she read classic volumes while doing handstands. Three years later, her caretakers found her sleeping in coffins instead of attending class. At eight, she lived in the parlor to learn the proper etiquette of funeral ceremonies.
When she was thirteen, she performed her first ceremony. In the days leading up to it, the undertakers and consultants were rightly nervous about the whole thing. However, it was a groundless worry, as Hu Tao organized and conducted the ceremony to the highest standards. Still, she can be found playing four-player card games by herself or somehow amusing herself in odd ways.
She takes funerals seriously, despite all her quirks. It is also the only time where you’ll find her more solemn side. Even if she is an eccentric person, she has pride in her position and work. She’s always looking for methods and opportunities to further her business. It’s a rather unfortunate affair if you think about it. Nobody wants to talk about death, after all, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
When she took the mantle of director, the business became steady as funerals were performed with tact. Her efforts to respect the client’s wishes warmed the citizens’ toward the idea of funerals. Whether it’s a lively event or a peaceful ceremony, she instructs her undertakers to never push their own ideas on clients.
For her, death is a natural part of the cycle of life. Funeral rites lets the deceased pass on peacefully. That’s why she tried so hard to bury Qiqi, who she thought just needed to pass on. Later, she learned what Qiqi went through and accepted the little zombie as an exception. However, first impressions have soured the zombie’s attitude toward Hu Tao, and all her attempts to make up have failed since.
While she is Director Hu of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, Hu Tao is more popular as a poet. She wanders the harbor and the neighboring landmarks of Liyue as verse falls from her lips and pen glides through paper. Her most famous work is the ‘Hilitune’, a poem that has reached even the children of Qingce Village.
Curious hobbyists and serious critics crowded the Wanwen Bookstore in droves, hoping to find more works by this great poet. They came home disappointed, as Hu Tao’s other anthologies have yet to be published. Xingqiu, ever the bookworm, wanted to meet her and so set up a meeting on an auspicious date.
They hit it off with an impromptu poetry battle right in the middle of the parlor. They traded poetry tips, even as Hu Tao countered Xingqiu’s formal and artistic lines with a playful and mischievous one. Ever since then they meet up once in a while to compose poetry or read books together. Later on, they roped in Chongyun in their meet-ups, and their laughter rings throughout the streets. Well, it’s more on Chongyun’s expense, if his voice lines about the other two are any indication.
How She Got Her Vision
It starts with a funeral for her grandfather. Following his will, his funeral was planned to be a grand affair, conducted by his granddaughter, Hu Tao. Despite being only thirteen, she managed to subvert and exceed expectations by arranging everything without a hitch.
After the ceremonies ended, she immediately left for Wuwang Hill with only a bag of rations and supplies and a method to make a light. She went into the ‘beyond’, a boundary between the living and the dead. Its location has been secretly managed by her family and the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor for generations.
She had wanted to see her grandfather one last time before he left this world forever. However, she didn’t find him among all the spirits that lingered there. She waited for days, even as the spirits told her she wouldn’t find him. Her supplies dwindled, and when she had used them all, the spirit of an old woman finally came to her.
The wizened spirit said the words that finally broke through Hu Tao’s stubbornness. Not one of the former Wangsheng Directors had ever lingered in the beyond, so why was she still there? The spirit urged her to go home, and Hu Tao finally arrived at a conclusion herself. As he had lived without regrets, why indeed would he have reason to linger in the beyond?
She set for home with a smile on her face. After climbing the wall to her home’s backyard, she went straight to her room to unpack. With her food and water long gone and other stuff unpacked, she reached back in her bag and found a Vision.
While other Pyro Vision users have an obvious expression of their passion, Hu Tao’s is rather subtle. Since it wasn’t clear which moment, she received her Vision, there was no outward catalyst to her receiving one. Was it the fact that she entered the beyond as a living person, or her stubbornness to stay and find her grandfather? For Hu Tao she believesit’s the former, but then again she is also passionate about furthering her business.
That’s all for Hu Tao, the quirky Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor. Her banner’s up for about two more weeks, so don’t miss the opportunity to get her. Keep on enjoying Genshin Impact and watch this space for more character profiles. Have fun!