The numbers her Elemental Burst can throw out… well, you’ll see later.
Genshin Impact Mona guide
Mona excels at controlling mobs while also bringing impressive damage and elemental set-up. The question really comes down to whether you want to lean towards her utility and set-up or her damage and burst when you’re choosing her Catalyst.
The premier choice for a damage-focused Mona build. Mona’s damage is tied beautifully into every one of the stats Debut can provide, and the Crit DMG The Widsith offers innately is also great.
Even if you don’t want to run her as a DPS choice, The Widsith is also exceptional for a more utility-focused role purely because of how well it amps the power of her Elemental Burst if nothing else, even if it’s less focused around empowering Elemental Reactions.
On the other hand, Mappa Mare is exactly that. Elemental Mastery empowers all the reactions Mona could hope for (read: Vaporise and Freeze), while the Infusion Scroll ability also amps her Elemental DMG.
It’s arguably the best choice of Catalyst if you want to run Mona as an enabler, and it’s still good if you want to run her as a DPS or burst option. Better yet, Mappa Mare is forgeable so you don’t even need to roll for it.
Lost Prayer to the Sacred Winds
Lost Prayer is another good choice for a DPS Mona. What it lacks in versatility and raw burst potential compared to The Widsith, it more than makes up for in its scaling damage from the Boundless Blessing ability alongside the Crit Rate.
That said, it does require Mona to stay out in the field for extended periods of time - which is fine, but it does mean a harder time setting up for the reactions Stellaris Phantasm sets up for so beautifully. Build team comps accordingly.
Lastly, Favonius Codex also synergises very well with Mona’s kit. Energy Recharge is always a strong choice for Mona builds because a), it means more Elemental Bursts and b), she converts 20% of her Energy Recharge into Hydro DMG with Waterborne Destiny which means it also packs a punch.
Consider this for any build outside of a pure DPS route - there just isn’t the Crit required to really make this Catalyst sing in that role.
Other good options outside of the ones listed include Magic Guide (3* and easily obtainable) and Solar Pearl.
Much like with her weapon choice, what artifacts you run on Mona really depends on your end goal: utility or damage. Even with that in mind, a really strong option that plays into both concepts is 2-piece Noblesse Oblige with 2-piece Wanderer’s Troupe upping her Burst DMG by 20% and her Elemental Mastery by 80.
Remember that even in a DPS/sub-DPS role, a lot of Mona’s damage potential is tied into how easy it is for her to proc Elemental Reactions and her awesome Elemental Burst - hence the Noblesse Oblige 2-piece. However, replacing Noblesse Oblige with a 2-piece Gladiator’s Finale is a more consistent DPS option. Mona’s abilities all scale very well off the +18% ATK it provides and it means less reliance on waiting for her Elemental Burst to come off cooldown.
At the other end of the spectrum, 4-piece Noblesse Oblige was tailor-made to make Mona into the Queen of Elemental Bursts. +20% Elemental Burst DMG and a party-wide +20% ATK amp for 12s is a synergy made in heaven for Stellaris Phantasm and the Omen debuff it inflicts.
Other options include full Wanderer’s Troupe and a focus on the buffed charged autos it provides for a DPS Mona, or The Exile, Scholar and Instructor as 2-piece sets to fill in gaps where 5* artifacts haven’t been acquired yet (particularly with Noblesse Oblige), or even as full sets if necessary.
On that train of thought, some Mona mains recommend going for 2-piece Berserker and 2-piece The Exile if you’re struggling for good 5* artifacts for a DPS Mona - you can't go too wrong with Crit Rate and Energy Recharge on Mona!
While there’s been some overlap in which weapons and artifacts favour which playstyle, when it comes down to stats you do have to be a bit more stark in your choices for Mona:
DPS and Burst stat priorities
- Hydro DMG Goblet (Key)
- Crit Rate (+50~%)
- Crit DMG
- Energy Recharge
Enabler and Support stat priorities
- Energy Recharge
- Elemental Mastery
- Hydro DMG
For all that you do have differing priorities, Hydro DMG, Energy Recharge, and ATK all synergise with both sides of Mona’s playstyle: all amp her damage, all empower her skills.
(It’s worth reiterating Waterborne Destiny converts 20% of her Energy Recharge to Hydro DMG!).
Mona’s play patterns all revolve around using her skills to amp damage and control mobs.
Her Elemental Skill, Mirror Reflection of Doom, summons a Phantom of Fate that taunts enemies and deals consistent AoE Hydro DMG. Think in terms of a better version of Amber’s Baron Bunny. Similarly, her Elemental Burst, Stellaris Phantasm, immobilises weaker enemies, giving the astrologist extraordinaire a raft of crowd control options.
That said, the main attraction to using Mona is the damage her Elemental Burst provides, not its cc.
Popping the Illusory Bubble deals massive Hydro DMG, and applies Omen which buffs the damage source that popped the bubble and gives an ongoing damage buff against afflicted opponents.
If you’re prioritising Mona as a source of Elemental Reactions and debuffs, you’ll want to make sure this skill is up as often as possible. If you want Mona to really hit those 5-figure damage numbers, you’ll be wanting to make sure to index into making sure Stellaris Phantasm has as much raw power as possible.
A perfect Elemental Burst combo involves applying a non-Hydro element to an enemy → using Stellaris Phantasm, which procs an Elemental Reaction and applies wet in its place → switch to DPS → hit the enemy with elemental damage to amp both the Elemental Reaction and the base damage thanks to the Omen debuff.
In practice, that means Pyro users are incredible choices to pair up with Mona. Vaporise is the highest base-damage Elemental Reaction in the game alongside Melt, and it’s possible to cycle through the reaction twice very quickly with Mona. That means applying Pyro, then proccing Vaporise with Mona’s Burst, then switching to Pyro user and popping the Illusory bubble with their element for unbelievable damage numbers.
Some people have reported that in order to get Vaporise to activate on the bubble pop you need to wait three seconds after you use Mona’s Burst before it can happen!
Bennet is top of the list right now for abusing this combo; there are videos floating around of 500k damage one-shots in Abyss.
Cryo and Electro users also make for good combos with Mona, as do Anemo users with Viridescent Venerer who can reduce Elemental RES with swirl.
As a final thought, if you are fortunate enough to roll Mona multiple times, you’ll want to start prioritising charged attacks more from Constellation Level 2 onwards where she can start getting the occasional charged attack for free!
With that your fate is in your own hands, Traveller. Fortunately, you have a great astrologist on hand to help.