Shenhe is a Cryo Polearm support character who focuses on buffing other party members’ Cryo and Physical DMG. This limitation to the Cryo Elements makes her a dedicated support. Unlike universal supports (like Zhongli, Bennett, Xingqiu, and Kazuha) who can support most team compositions, dedicated supports only work inside their intended niche. We’ve seen this before with Gorou and DEF-scaling Geo characters, but Shenhe is the first ever 5* dedicated support added to Genshin Impact.
This calls her viability into question. One of the main criteria we use for compiling and updating our Character Tier List is how universally viability they are. Both obtaining characters in Genshin Impact and leveling them up are huge resource investments. The universal supports we’ve mentioned get ranked highly because they will never feel like wasted investments. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for Shenhe.
This isn’t to say that she’s bad. Simply that you should be aware of when she is good and only pull for her if this narrow playstyle agrees with you. So with that in mind, let’s go over all of Shenhe’s talents, constellations, weapon choices, artifact options, and team compositions.
Once that’s done, you’ll have a much clearer picture of whether or not she is worth it for your account.
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Shenhe’s Talent Priority
Performs up to five consecutive spear strikes.
Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to lunge forward, dealing damage to opponents along the way.
Plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
|The clear intent behind Shenhe’s kit is for her to buff other Cryo characters’ DMG.|
So unless you’re testing out her main DPS capabilities, this is easily her least important talent.
(Spring Spirit Summoning)
|The frosted dew, silvery and dense, shall exorcise all demons.|
Grants all nearby party members the Icy Quill effect and deals Cryo DMG in different ways based on whether it is pressed or held.
Rushes forward together with a Talisman Spirit, dealing Cryo DMG to opponents along the path.
Commands the Talisman Spirit to deal AoE Cryo DMG.
When Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attacks, Elemental Skills, and Elemental Bursts deal Cryo DMG to opponents, the DMG dealt is increased based on Shenhe’s current ATK. The Icy Quill’s effects will be cleared once its duration ends or after being triggered a certain number of times. When held rather than pressed, the Icy Quill’s effect lasts longer and can be triggered more times.
When one Cryo DMG instance strikes multiple opponents, the effect is triggered multiple times based on the number of opponents hit. The number of times the effect is triggered is calculated independently for each party member with the Icy Quill.
|Here’s the tl;dr for this skill—Shenhe does Cryo DMG and places a debuff on enemies. Enemies affected by this debuff take increased Cryo DMG. The DMG increase scales off of Shenhe’s ATK. That being said, each character in the party can benefit from this Cryo DMG buff for only a set number of DMG instances.|
If you use the Hold variant of the skill, Shenhe does more DMG and her buff last longer and can proc more times per character.
All in all, this is Shenhe’s most important talent.
(Divine Maiden’s Deliverance)
|Unleashes the power of the Talisman Spirit, allowing it to roam free in this plane, dealing AoE Cryo DMG.|
The Talisman Spirit then creates a field that decreases the Cryo RES and Physical RES of opponents within it. It also deals periodic Cryo DMG to opponents within the field.
|Shenhe’s Burst is similar to Kazuha’s and Rosaria’s Bursts. It creates a field and enemies inside that field take DMG and have their Cryo and Physical Resistances lowered.|
It would be ideal to level up Shenhe’s Skill and Burst equally, but if we had to choose favorites we’d say this is her second priority talent.
Shenhe’s Passive Talents
|Precise Comings and Goings||Gains 25% more rewards when dispatched on a Liyue Expedition for 20 hours.||You can see how the folks at miHoYo are running out of ideas for passive talents with this one. This is entirely inconsequential.|
|Deific Embrace||An active character within the field created by Divine Maiden’s Deliverance gains 15% Cryo DMG Bonus.||This is equivalent to giving the active character a 2-piece Blizzard Strayer set bonus. It’s not amazing, but it’s never bad.|
|Spirit Communion Seal||After Shenhe uses Spiring Spirit Summoning, she will grant all nearby party members the following effects: Press: Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG increased by 15% for 10s. Hold: Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attack DMG increased by 15% for 15s.||This talent enables Shenhe to support a variety of Cryo supports and future-proofs her such that it’s hard to imagine new Cryo characters that won’t benefit from this.|
This is just the kind of talent we’d like to see more of in the game.
Some of the most powerful DPS characters in the game are Cryo characters. This includes Ganyu, Eula, and Ayaka. Thanks to the fact that her Burst also reduces Physical Resistance, as well as how the Spirit Communion Seal can buff all Skills, Bursts, and Attacks (not only Cryo ones), even Eula can greatly benefit from Shenhe’s support, although not to the same extent as Ganyu and Ayaka.
As mentioned, it is impossible to imagine a future Cryo DPS character for whom Shenhe won’t be an amazing support. In that sense, she accomplishes her intended role splendidly and comes with a great deal of future-proofing. And that’s without constellations. So let’s look at whether there’s any value to be had in obtaining dupes of Shenhe.
|Clarity of Heart||Spring Spirit Summoning can be used 1 more time.||If you like seeing buffed-up Cryo DMG numbers popping off, this constellation will make them pop more consistently.|
|Centered Spirit||Divine Maiden’s Deliverance lasts for 6 seconds longer. Active characters within the skill’s field deals 15% increased Cryo CRIT DMG.||Shenhe’s C2 is another banger. Although the extra CRIT DMG isn’t massive, it does add up, especially with the reduced Cryo Resistance caused by her Burst. While not as big a quality-of-life improvement as C1, there’s nothing to complain about here.|
|Seclusion||Increases the Level of Spring Spirit Summoning by 3.|
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
|In our talent analysis, we gave the edge to Shenhe’s Elemental Skill, so seeing it buffed first is great.|
|Insight||When characters under the effect of Icy Quill applied by Shenhe trigger its DMG Bonus effects, Shenhe will gain a Skyfrost Mantra stack: |
• When Shenhe uses Spring Spirit Summoning, she will consume all stacks of Skyfrost Mantra, increasing the DMG of that Spring Spirit Summoning by 5% for each stack consumed.
• Max 50 stacks. Stacks last for 60s.
|Whether or not you’re able to abuse this constellation will depend on your team composition. The more Cryo characters you have, the better this will get. At the moment, this won’t offset the drawbacks of running that many Cryo characters.|
This is a fun constellation, for sure, but it’s not all that impactful.
|Divine Attainment||Increases the Level of Divine Maiden’s Deliverance by 3.|
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
|The Resistance decrease provided by this ability doesn’t scale past talent level 10. In other words, you do get some benefits from this constellation, but not all aspects of Shenhe’s Burst are increased.|
|Mystical Abandon||When characters trigger Icy Quill’s effects using Normal and Charged Attack DMG, it does not count toward the Trigger Quota.||Shenhe’s C6 is a transformational constellation. At the moment, Ayaka seems like the character who benefits the most from it, but it’s easy to imagine how this will benefit future Cryo characters. And if you’re feeling up for it, you can give any melee character a Cryo infusion with Chongyun’s skill and have them go ham.|
It seems like miHoYo is getting really good at designing character constellations. Whereas early characters, like Venti and Xiao, have mostly worthless constellations with a few notable outliers, and standard banner characters have largely underwhelming constellations, Shenhe’s dupes don’t appear to diminish in value. At the same time, the character’s kit is still perfectly functional at C0.
As always, we can’t imagine a constellation being worth more than a brand new 5* character (let alone several brand new 5* characters), but those on the hunt for constellation will be perfectly content with Shenhe’s constellations.
Best Weapons For Shenhe
|It should come as no surprise that Shenhe’s signature weapon is also her BiS. To do her thing, Shenhe requires loads of ATK, and there is no weapon in the game that gives more ATK than this one. The passive also works wonders for her while off-field.|
|In addition to packing the second-highest base ATK value of all Polearms in the game, Skyward Spine provides you with extra Energy Recharge. Given that Shenhe’s Burst has an expensive 80 Energy cost, you’ll surely appreciate this as a stat stick.|
|With the right team composition, Lithic Spear can net Shenhe an absurd amount of ATK% in addition to its respectably high base ATK.|
|The passives for the Royal Series of weapons are plain bad, which is why they’re all ranked so lowly on our Weapon Tier List. That being said, even if you ignore the passive, this weapon serves as a decent stat stick for Shenhe, so we had to mention it as a F2P alternative to Lithic Spear.|
|Any Energy Recharge weapon will work fine on Shenhe, although we prefer Favonius Lance over The Catch and Prototype Starglitter due to its higher base ATK and more relevant passive.|
Best Artifacts For Shenhe – 2-Piece Gladiator’s Fury + 2-Piece Shimenawa’s Reminiscence
This sounds janky and many other resources are probably telling you to go 4-piece Blizzard Strayer or 2-piece Strayer and 2-piece Gladiator’s, but trust us when we say that the 2-piece Gladiator’s Finale and 2-piece Shimenawa’s Reminiscence is the best artifact combination for Shenhe.
This is not a hunch. The reason for it is simple. The buffs Shenhe provides to other characters scale off of her ATK (not her base ATK, as with Bennett and Kujou Sara, but her overall ATK). And just like getting as high a base ATK while maintaining good Elemental Burst uptime is the bestway to play Bennett, getting as high an overall ATK while maintaining good Elemental Burst uptime is the best way to play Shenhe. If there were artifact set bonuses that increased base ATK you know Bennett would be all over that.
This sentiment is also reflected in Shenhe’s ideal choice of artifact mainstats, namely Energy Recharge on the Sands, ATK% on the Goblet, and ATK% on the Logos. If you’ve got an Energy Recharge weapon, you can even give her ATK% main stat artifacts on all applicable slots.
The same goes for her substats—ATK% and Energy Recharge are paramount, the rest is optional. This goes for CRIT stats as well. Since Shenhe’s multipliers are relatively low, it’s best to abandon all pretenses of increasing her DMG dealing capabilities and go all-in on her support-oriented kit.
That being said, there is one 4-piece artifact set bonus that’s halfway decent on her and that’s Noblesse Oblige. This bonus will buff the ATK% stat for the entire team, including Shenhe, who can then reap additional benefits from this. If your team isn’t stacking multiple other Cryo characters, then Noblesse may even be the better option, as it will allow you to buff non-Cryo units.
This segment seems redundant due to the nature of Shenhe’s kit as a dedicated Cryo support. She is a character who was made to complement other Cryo DMG dealers. While parts of her kit, like the Spirit Communion Seal passive talent, can benefit non-Cryo users, this isn’t something you should focus on.
Shenhe will certainly end up on many teams with Pyro and/or Anemo characters, but that’s only because these characters will enable the main Cryo DPS to deal more DMG through Melt reactions and Viridescent Venerer resistance shred respectively, and not because they gel well with Shenhe.
Best Team Composition
Chongyun serves as the main on-field DPS. In addition to being able to reap the most benefit from all of Shenhe’s sources of Cryo DMG amplification due to his Cryo infusion, Chungyun can also significantly reduce the cooldown of all other party members’ abilities at C2. That being said, Chongyun is by no means irreplaceable as the main DPS in this team. Both Kaeya and Rosaria can do an amazing job in this role. Also, if you have Chongyun, feel free to team him up withmelee characters of any element, as they will be able to benefit from Shenhe’s Icy Quill DMG thanks to Chongyun’s Cryo infusion field.
Diona is there for her versatility. Lately, teams have been requiring both shielding and healing, and Diona provides both. Plus, with a Sacrificial Bow, she’s great at funneling Cryo Energy into Shenhe. What’s more, thanks to her Elemental Skill being able to instantly do 5 instances of Cryo DMG, she is the record holder for burning through Shenhe’s Icy Quill stacks against a single target. These stacks do the same DMG bonus regardless of how strong or weak the DMG instances that triggered them were, making Diona the best teammate for Shenhe when you need to unleash massive DMG all at once. No other Cryo 4* can do anything remotely similar to Diona, but Kaeya and Rosaria once again emerge as viable options due to their Cryo Element. Alternatively, you could get a Pyro character like Xiangling, Xinyan or Thoma to facilitate some off-field Melt action and replace Diona’s shield in latter cases.
Sucrose is here to proc the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set debuff on enemies, thereby increasing all Cryo DMG even further. In addition to this, her Elemental Mastery buffing and crowd control are also welcome. If you don’t have Sucrose, you can replace her with the Anemo Traveler or Sayu, who can both benefit from Chongyun’s Cryo infusion. In the case of Sayu, you’d also get a decent healer if you’re missing Diona. Alternatively, the Pyro characters mentioned in Diona’s segment could also be slotted in here.
Ayaka is the on-field DPS and the only character who can enjoy Shenhe’s buffs. With her Charged Attack, Ayaka is also able to front-load the brunt of the Icy Quill stacks granted by Shenhe almost as quickly as Diona.
Kazuha is so great at buffing Elemental DMG that you would rather have him than another Cryo character who can make use of Icy Quills. However, if you want to go all in on Cryo, you can replace him with any Cryo character. Ganyu works wonders in this kind of permafreeze team and Diona is great at batterying other Cryo characters, including Shenhe.
Kokomi is our choice of off-field Hydro applicator for this team simply due to the importance placed on healers in recent patches, but Mona does the job just as well and buffs Ayaka’s DMG even more.
Is Shenhe Worth It?
Shenhe is in a unique spot, being the first 5* dedicated support character. Also, unlike Gorou, the dedicated Geo DEF-scaling support that units like Noelle, Albedo, and Itto sorely needed, the Cryo DPS characters are already in a very good spot. You don’t need Shenhe to make Ayaka or Ganyu viable; they’re already crushing any and all content without her.
The consensus is this: She’s okay.
Genshin is a relatively easy game. Even when faced with the most difficult endgame content, you can approach it in plethora of different ways. If you like Shenhe’s kit or if her design speaks to you, get her.
However, you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, feel pressured to get her solely out of fear of missing out on a meta team. Furthermore, if you’re a relatively new player, i.e. someone without a sizeable roster of 5* characters, then we recommend checking out our Character Tier List and aiming for other S-Tier or A-Tier Characters.