Updated for Version 3.5
Shenhe is a 5-star Cryo Polearm character who provides strong buffs and good off-field damage in Cryo teams.
The full-length guide (currently being updated) is available here.
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Table of Contents
|Layla||Layla is a 4-star Cryo Sword character that benefits from Shenhe’s Icy Quill effect despite the awkward cooldown timing between the two. Layla is best used with Shenhe as a shielder in Mono Cryo or Eula teams.|
|Staff of the Scarlet Sands||Staff of the Scarlet Sands is a limited 5-star Polearm that can be used to increase Shenhe’s personal damage in Reverse Melt teams. While Shenhe can only maintain one stack of its passive at C0, the bonus Flat ATK and CRIT Rate secondary stat are still appreciated.|
|Missive Windspear||Missive Windspear is a limited-event 4-star Polearm that provides good ATK stats through its Base ATK, secondary ATK% stat, and passive. It is a good free-to-play option to maximize Shenhe’s ATK stat, granted she can meet her Energy requirements.|
Shenhe serves primarily as a Cryo buffer who also deals respectable damage through her Skill and Burst. She is universally good with Cryo DPS units, but she is less impactful in AoE scenarios due to the nature of her Icy Quill effect. Nonetheless, she remains an excellent option in any situation, providing much appreciated RES Shred, DMG buffs, and personal damage through her kit.
Skill > Burst
Shenhe’s Skill should be prioritized since it provides the greatest damage contribution through her Icy Quill. Her Burst should be leveled as well since it deals substantial damage and grants Cryo and Physical RES Shred. It is not recommended to level Shenhe’s Normal Attack Talent. Leveling Shenhe to 90 can maximize her ATK stat in order to increase the damage provided by her Icy Quill’s effect.
Additional Favonius Lance procs can lower Shenhe’s ER requirements by 10-15%. If Venti absorbs Cryo into his Burst, Shenhe is refunded 15 Flat Energy, which lowers her ER requirements by 30-40%.
Shenhe is commonly touted as having Energy issues. However, she can easily meet her ER requirements since she is always paired with at least one other Cryo unit, uses her Skill twice per rotation, and commonly uses Favonius Lance.
The Energy Recharge Calculator by Zakharov is available to calculate specific Energy requirements for your given team and rotation.
|ATK% / ER||ATK% / Cryo DMG%||ATK% / CRIT|
Substats: ER (until requirement) > ATK% > CRIT > Flat ATK
When Shenhe holds Favonius Lance, CRIT Rate is favored over CRIT DMG to increase the probability of triggering its passive. When holding 4pc Blizzard Strayer, 30-45% CRIT Rate is enough assuming enemies are Frozen.
It can be good to use an ER Sands to meet her ER requirements when holding Calamity Queller, another non-ER Polearm, or Engulfing Lightning. An ATK% Sands is better with Favonius Lance since Shenhe can easily meet her ER requirements with ER substats. In teams with sufficient Energy generation (such as Mono Cryo or Eula-Raiden), an ER Sands is usually unnecessary.
ATK% main stats are often ideal for Shenhe since they increase her Icy Quill damage and allow her Cryo DPS teammates to use available Cryo DMG% Goblets and CRIT Circlets to maximize the team’s damage. More often than not, a good ATK% Goblet is better than a leftover Cryo DMG% one.
|4pc Noblesse Oblige (4NO)||4pc Noblesse Oblige is often Shenhe’s Best-in-Slot artifact set for team damage. It provides a valuable buff for ATK-scaling DPS units while also increasing her own ATK stat. Additionally, Shenhe’s Burst can benefit from both the Burst DMG% and ATK% buff from the 2pc and 4pc set bonuses.|
|4pc Blizzard Strayer (4BS)||4pc Blizzard Strayer boosts Shenhe’s personal damage by a fair margin in Freeze and Mono Cryo teams. In teams where someone like Mona or Diona can hold 4NO, 4BS makes for an excellent option.|
|2pc ATK% + 2pc ATK%||In the case that a team member holds 4NO, Shenhe can use 2pc ATK% combinations to increase the damage from her Icy Quill’s effect. Nonetheless, 4BS is usually better in Freeze and Mono Cryo teams for its increased personal damage.|
|2pc + 2pc Combinations|
ATK%, NO, BS, or ER%
|Combinations of different valued 2pc set bonuses can be used as transitional sets until a proper set of 4NO or 4BS is obtained. These combinations generally perform worse than 2p ATK% + 2p ATK% due to Shenhe’s Icy Quill scaling.|
Shenhe generally wants a high Base ATK Polearm in order to maximize her ATK stat in conjunction with ATK% from her artifacts. Shenhe’s ER requirements can be high, so Energy Recharge secondary stats and Energy-related passives are important things to consider as well.
|Calamity Queller||Calamity Queller is usually Shenhe’s Best-in-Slot Polearm. It possesses the highest Base ATK stat of any Polearm and has an extremely useful passive. Its passive doubles when Shenhe is off-field after using her Skill, but will not reach full effect until after 6 seconds. Calamity Queller is best used in tandem with an ER Sands to meet higher ER requirements.|
|Favonius Lance||Favonius Lance is often Shenhe’s best 4-star option and is sometimes even more valuable than Calamity Queller. It has a high Base ATK for a 4-star and significantly lowers her and her teammates’ ER requirements, which allows them to invest into more offensive stats. Favonius Lance is particularly useful for batterying Burst-reliant DPS units like Ayaka or Eula.|
|Engulfing Lightning||Engulfing Lightning provides a high Base ATK stat and an often necessary ER secondary stat. Since it grants more ATK with ER investment, it can allow Shenhe to deal with her potential Energy issues while still increasing her Icy Quill damage.|
|Skyward Spine||Skyward Spine offers a high Base ATK and an appreciated ER secondary stat. While it can offer higher personal damage than Favonius Lance, it lacks team utility.|
|Vortex Vanquisher||Vortex Vanquisher has the same Base ATK as Staff of Homa and Engulfing Lightning. It can be a strong option even without a shield due to its ATK% stat. Unfortunately, its passive cannot stack off-field.|
|Staff of Homa||Staff of Homa provides high Base ATK and a decent passive for increasing Shenhe’s ATK stat even when she is above 50% HP. However, other characters may make better use of this weapon.|
|Primordial Jade Winged-Spear||This Polearm has a high Base ATK and an appreciated CRIT secondary stat. It is not worth using Shenhe’s Normal Attacks to trigger its passive.|
|Wavebreaker’s Fin||Wavebreaker’s Fin is a fine stat stick, possessing a higher base ATK than some 5-star Polearms. At higher refinements and combined team Energy Costs, it moderately increases Shenhe’s Burst damage.|
|Missive Windspear||Missive Windspear is a limited-event 4-star Polearm that provides good ATK stats through its Base ATK, secondary ATK% stat, and passive (if she triggers an Elemental Reaction). It is a good free-to-play option to maximize Shenhe’s ATK stat, granted she can meet her Energy requirements.|
|“The Catch”||“The Catch” provides a good amount of ER and a useful passive at R5, but its middling Base ATK makes it worse than other options. Additionally, “The Catch” is highly contested among DPS Polearm characters, so opting for another weapon on Shenhe is likely better.|
|Staff of the Scarlet Sands||Staff of the Scarlet Sands is a limited 5-star Polearm that can be used to increase Shenhe’s personal damage in Reverse Melt teams. While Shenhe can only maintain one stack of its passive at C0, the bonus Flat ATK and CRIT Rate secondary stat are still appreciated. However, its low Base ATK lowers her Icy Quill damage.|
This is not a comprehensive list of teams, and the inclusion or exclusion of any given team does not necessarily reflect its power level. This list is not ranked.
Shenhe is an incredibly potent support in Freeze teams. Freeze teams take advantage of the CRIT Rate buffs from 4pc Blizzard Strayer and Cryo Resonance against Frozen enemies, which allows characters to gear more toward ATK and CRIT DMG. Shenhe offers a good amount of particle generation, buffs, and Cryo RES Shred for her Cryo DPS teammate.
In Freeze teams, healing and shielding are usually unnecessary since Frozen enemies cannot deal damage. Healers and shielders can be used, but they often incur a cost to team damage.
An Anemo teammate holding 4pc Viridescent Venerer (4VV) is crucial to shredding enemy Cryo RES. Additionally, Anemo teammates can proc Shenhe’s Icy Quill effect with Cryo-absorbed Skills and Bursts, such as Venti’s or Kazuha’s Elemental Bursts. Cryo Swirls, however, do not proc the Icy Quill’s effect.
|Ayaka||Ayaka is a fantastic on-field Cryo DPS who synergizes well with Shenhe’s kit. Ayaka’s main source of damage is her Elemental Burst, which can make good use of Shenhe’s Skill in the right rotation. Even though Ayaka typically uses a mix of Normal and Charged Attacks between uses of her Skill and during her Burst, Shenhe should still use Press Skills as to not prolong the team rotation.|
|Ganyu||Ganyu makes for a strong on-field Cryo DPS with her Charged Attacks or a potent off-field Cryo DPS with her Burst. Ganyu also provides Cryo DMG Bonus for characters within her Burst’s field.|
|Kaeya||Kaeya can be an excellent battery for Shenhe or another Cryo character. He deals good off-field damage through his Burst. With Shenhe’s Icy Quill, his Burst can frontload a substantial amount of damage.|
|Rosaria||Rosaria acts as a good off-field damage dealer, a decent battery, and a potent CRIT Rate buffer. In a more supportive build, Rosaria can utilize Favonius Lance and 4NO so Shenhe can invest more into damage-oriented stats.|
|Chongyun||Chongyun provides Cryo Infusion for melee characters with his Skill, which can enable certain characters (usually Kaeya or Rosaria) to become on-field Cryo damage dealers. Chongyun’s Burst can also deal substantial damage.|
At Constellation 2, Chongyun provides CD Reduction that can allow some teammates to cast another use of their Skill per rotation. If Shenhe has Constellation 1 unlocked, she can consistently use her Skill three times in a single rotation in conjunction with Chongyun’s CD Reduction.
|Layla||Layla grants a strong shield and can take advantage of the Icy Quill’s effect if she builds more offensively. She can potentially hold 4pc Noblesse Oblige or 4pc Tenacity of the Millelith (TotM) in order to improve team damage. Layla is better utilized as a tertiary support in Mono Cryo teams since those teams are more likely to benefit from a shield.|
|Diona||Diona serves as a good Cryo battery, fine shielder, and 4pc Noblesse Oblige holder. She is better utilized in Mono Cryo teams since she and Shenhe cannot deal enough team damage by themselves.|
|Kokomi||Kokomi provides excellent AoE Hydro application and healing. She can provide further buffs when equipping R5 Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers (TTDS) and 4TotM.|
|Mona||Mona can be used similarly to Kokomi. She can provide team buffs through 4NO or 4TotM, and also hold TTDS. However, she provides lower AoE Hydro application in general. The most powerful part of her kit is her Omen buff, applied by her Elemental Burst. Mona can also extend the duration of her Omen on Frozen enemies. However, since Mona relies on her Burst, her high ER requirements may make her more difficult to build.|
|Xingqiu||Xingqiu provides excellent single-target Hydro damage and consistent Hydro application. He additionally provides DMG Reduction and minor healing with his orbital Rain Swords, which is more notable in Freeze teams lacking a healer. Xingqiu is less than ideal in AoE situations due to the single-target nature of his Burst.|
|Yelan||Yelan also provides incredibly strong single-target Hydro damage with her Burst at the cost of lower Hydro application and team utility. Her purely single-target Hydro application results in lower Freeze uptime in AoE situations. Nevertheless, her 4th Ascension Passive’s ramping DMG% buff is appreciated.|
|Ayato||Ayato can potentially be used as an off-field Burst DPS, providing AoE Hydro application. He can also buff the Normal Attacks of an on-field Cryo DPS within his Burst’s radius. An on-field or quickswap Freeze build for Ayato is also possible. If Ayato is only used for his Burst, he will need significant amounts of Energy Recharge.|
|Kazuha||Kazuha provides excellent grouping and a sizable Cryo DMG Bonus buff with his 4th Ascension Passive. He can also make use of Shenhe’s Icy Quill effect by absorbing Cryo into his Elemental Burst and Anemo-infused Plunging Attack.|
|Venti||Venti is incredibly strong in high AoE content with his Burst’s grouping ability. If his Burst absorbs Cryo, he can simultaneously utilize the Icy Quill’s effect and provide an Energy refund to Shenhe and her Cryo teammate(s).|
|Sucrose||Sucrose can supply a much appreciated DMG% buff at C6, but her EM sharing isn’t useful in Freeze teams. She can also hold TTDS to provide an ATK% buff for the Cryo DPS.|
|Heizou||Heizou fulfills a similar role to Sucrose in Freeze teams, being able to hold TTDS as well. Heizou offers higher personal damage, but he lacks the grouping utility that Sucrose offers. His ability to proc Shenhe’s Icy Quill effect is also limited.|
|Sayu / Jean||Sayu and Jean are good healers who can still provide 4VV Cryo Shred. Sayu can also absorb Cryo into her Skill, allowing a few procs of the Icy Quill’s effect. Jean unfortunately cannot absorb Cryo at all.|
Mono Cryo shines exceptionally well against enemies which cannot be Frozen. Thanks to her fantastic synergy with Cryo damage dealers, Shenhe enables a potent team archetype centered purely around Cryo damage. The abundance of Cryo particles generated lowers the team’s ER requirements, which allows further investment into damage.
An Anemo teammate holding 4pc Viridescent Venerer (4VV) is crucial to shredding enemy Cryo RES. Moreover, Cryo-absorbed Skills and Bursts from Anemo characters can benefit from the Icy Quill’s effect.
Refer to the Freeze section for Notable Teammates.
Reverse Melt teams use Cryo abilities on a Pyro aura to trigger Melt. Xiangling’s Burst and Kazuha’s Pyro-absorbed Burst can provide enough Pyro application to allow a Cryo DPS to consistently trigger Melt on enemies. Shenhe’s Elemental Burst can also Melt, resulting in higher personal damage. Not only does she buff her Cryo teammate, she also buffs the whole team through her 4th Ascension Passive.
|Rosaria||Rosaria is a great Reverse Melt Cryo DPS through her Burst’s off-field damage and CRIT Rate buff. The ticks of her Burst can all trigger Melt and proc the Icy Quill’s effect, leading to incredibly potent damage.|
|Chongyun||Chongyun serves as a powerful Cryo Burst DPS in Reverse Melt, being able to trigger Melt on every hit. His Skill also infuses Cryo into his teammates’ Normal Attacks, dishing out additional procs of the Icy Quill effect. Note that Bennett’s C6 Pyro Infusion overrides Chongyun’s Cryo Infusion.|
At Constellation 2, Chongyun’s Skill provides CD Reduction that allows some teammates to cast another use of their Skill per rotation. If Shenhe has Constellation 1 unlocked, then she can consistently use her Skill three times in a single rotation in conjunction with Chongyun’s CD Reduction.
|Kaeya||Kaeya can work in Reverse Melt due to his strong off-field Burst, but can only Melt a third of its hits. He is able to frontload the team’s damage with Shenhe’s Icy Quill since his Burst will use up the quota in a short period of time.|
|Ganyu||Ganyu’s Reverse Melt team with Shenhe can be incredibly difficult to play without a shield (this is mitigated with Ganyu’s C6). Nonetheless, Shenhe’s buffing utility is greatly appreciated for Ganyu’s Charged Attacks. Note that Ganyu cannot Melt her Charged Attacks in Kazuha’s Pyro-infused Burst if Shenhe’s Burst is also active.|
|Bennett||Bennett provides a fantastic Flat ATK buff with his Elemental Burst and potentially through 4NO; however, Shenhe (and her Icy Quill) cannot benefit from the Flat ATK buff from Bennett’s Burst while she is off-field. Bennett can also hold 4pc Instructor instead to grant additional EM to the Cryo DPS (and Shenhe). Bennett is necessary as a battery for Xiangling or as a means for Kazuha to absorb Pyro into his Burst.|
Bennett’s sixth Constellation can also help Kazuha or another on-field unit apply more Pyro by infusing their Normal Attacks with Pyro; however, this Pyro Infusion overrides the Cryo Infusion provided by Chongyun’s Skill.
|Xiangling||Xiangling is an incredibly potent Reverse Melt enabler, dealing substantial damage through her Elemental Burst while providing consistent Pyro application. Nonetheless, her high ER requirements force her to rely on Bennett’s Skill for Energy generation.|
|Kazuha||In conjunction with Bennett’s Burst which has Pyro self-application, Kazuha can absorb Pyro into his Elemental Burst. Kazuha can additionally provide Cryo and Pyro Swirls, leading to higher team DPS through the 4VV RES Shred and his 4th Ascension Passive.|
|Jean||Jean and Bennett can enable the “Sunfire” effect to take place, which utilizes rapid Pyro Swirls within Bennett’s and Jean’s Bursts to apply Pyro to enemies. However, Sunfire Reverse Melt teams with Shenhe suffer from high ER requirements, which can be mitigated with the use of Favonius weapons.|
Shenhe is a Cryo support option for a Physical Eula team. Her Cryo particle generation, DMG% buffs, and Physical RES Shred all contribute to increasing Eula’s damage. Moreover, another Cryo unit can make use of the Icy Quill’s effect and further reduce the team’s Energy requirements. Unless she is run with another Cryo unit, Shenhe would need to hold Favonius Lance in order to battery Eula (even with Raiden Shogun on the team). An Electro unit is often used to trigger Superconduct, further shredding the enemy’s Physical RES.
|Rosaria||Rosaria is a reliable Cryo battery and potent off-field DPS. While she can buff CRIT Rate with her Burst, it can be difficult for Eula to fully utilize the CRIT Rate buff due to the team rotation.|
In a more supportive build, Rosaria can utilize Favonius Lance and 4NO so Shenhe and Eula can invest more into damage-oriented stats.
|Layla||Layla grants a strong shield, but lacks the damage to compete with Rosaria. She can hold 4NO or 4TotM, and serves as a good Cryo battery. If Layla uses 2 Skills per rotation and holds Favonius Sword, she generates more Energy than Diona with Sacrificial Bow.|
|Diona||Diona is a good Cryo battery, good shielder, healer, and 4NO holder. She provides good utility and comfort for Eula during her Normal Attack strings. While Layla can produce more Energy overall, Diona generates particles that are more easily funneled to a specific character.|
|Raiden Shogun||Raiden is an incredibly potent Electro DPS who can also decrease the team’s Energy requirements through her Burst’s Energy refund. She can also increase the team’s Burst DPS through her Skill’s Burst DMG% buff. Eula-Raiden teams have a modified rotation that is longer than that of other Eula teams.|
|Fischl||Fischl deals significant off-field damage through Oz. She can also hold 4TotM for additional ATK% buffs at the cost of her personal damage. Fischl also provides good particle generation, which can slightly lower ER requirements.|
|Kuki Shinobu||Kuki provides good AoE Electro application and healing, which removes the need for a Cryo healer/shielder. However, her personal damage is often lacking. Kuki is best used holding 4TotM.|
|Zhongli||Zhongli grants the strongest shield in the game and a Universal RES Shred through his Elemental Skill. He can provide further buffs with 4TotM.|
|Bennett||Bennett provides an incredibly useful Flat ATK buff through his Elemental Burst. However, Eula’s tight rotations can make it difficult to fully enjoy his utility. Nevertheless, Bennett is a great option and is found in some of Eula’s strongest teams. Note that Bennett’s Constellation 6 is not recommended with Eula.|
Contributors: irokei#6189, Chasing Haze#3014, euphorysm#1618, leah.#2212, idkanonymized#4166, Polomo#8340, mian#8650, Nikatosaurus#5639, Davjac123#0413, Vladone ツ#9281, revy#4377, Nociii#0111, Arbutus unedo#7781
Team images courtesy of the KQM portrait generator.