Kujou Sara’s Training Manual

Written by: CQLQRS#7853

Updated for: 2.2

Art by Pナツ

Preface

Hey there! Welcome to the Sara Guide brought to you by CQLQRS#7853 from KeqingMains! Feel free to DM me if you have any questions regarding the guide! I will be updating it regularly to keep it up to date.

I would like to thank:

  • elijam#7142 for providing Sara’s weapons’ calculations and helping with editing the guide. This wouldn’t be possible without you!
  • kol#1593, Ai#7362 and Sir_pick_the_prick#2209 for spotting mistakes and correcting them. 
  • BowTae#0141 and NZPIEFACE#8439 for helping out with the Mechanics section.
  • Everyone else at KeqingMains who has helped and supported me for the guide.

I hope you guys will enjoy reading this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Introduction

Kujou Sara is an Electro-fying 4 star bow user with the ability to buff teammates and deal considerable damage using her Elemental Burst. Though niche, she shines where she has synergy.

TL;DR

Why should you play Sara?

Pros

  • Significant AoE Electro damage from her Elemental Burst
  • Strong ATK Buff
  • Can act as a battery in some teams
  • Unique Crit DMG buff to Electro damage from her C6

Cons

  • Most of her buffing potential is locked behind Constellations
  • Short ATK Buff duration weakens her versatility
  • 80 energy cost on her burst requires energy management and batterying

Talents

Talent Priority: Elemental Skill ≥ Elemental Burst > Normal Attack

Talent Overview

Tengu Bowmanship

Normal Attack: Perform up to 5 consecutive shots with a bow.


Charged Attack: Perform a more precise Aimed Shot with increased damage. While aiming, crackling lightning will accumulate on the arrowhead. An arrow fully charged with the storm’s might will deal Electro damage. 


When in the Crowfeather Cover state, a fully-charged arrow will leave a Crowfeather behind after it hits.


Plunging Attack: Fires off a shower of arrows in midair before falling and striking the ground, dealing AoE damage on impact.

Undoubtedly the least important part of Sara’s kit. Leveling it is not recommended as it does not increase her damage significantly, even in teams which use her fully-charged Aimed Shot or as an on-field driver for Beidou’s Elemental Burst.

Tengu Stormcall

Retreats rapidly with the speed of a tengu, summoning the protection of the Crowfeather. Gains Crowfeather Cover for 18s, and when Kujou Sara fires a fully-charged Aimed Shot, Crowfeather Cover will be consumed, and will leave a Crowfeather at the target location. 

Crowfeathers will trigger Tengu Juurai: Ambush after a short time, dealing Electro damage and granting the active character within its AoE an ATK Bonus based on Kujou Sara’s Base ATK.


The ATK Bonuses from different Tengu Juurai will not stack, and their effects and duration will be determined by the last Tengu Juurai to take effect.

This is arguably the most important talent to level up and the highlight of her kit. Unlike Bennett, the ATK Buff from her Elemental Skill can only be triggered by the player manually using a fully-charged Aimed Shot which can make her feel clunky at times, but this is addressed by her A1 ascension passive and Constellation 2. Note that the ATK buff can be extended by hitlag as well.

Subjugation: Koukou Sendou

Energy Cost: 80. 

Casts down Tengu Juurai: Titanbreaker, dealing AoE Electro damage. Afterwards, Tengu Juurai: Titanbreaker spreads out into 4 consecutive bouts of Tengu Juurai: Stormcluster, dealing AoE Electro damage.


Tengu Juurai: Titanbreaker and Tengu Juurai: Stormcluster can provide the active character within their AoE with the same ATK Bonus as given by the Elemental Skill, Tengu Stormcall.


The Attack Bonus provided by various kinds of Tengu Juurai will not stack, and their effects and duration will be determined by the last Tengu Juurai to take effect.


This is where the bulk of Sara’s damage comes from. Subjugation: Koukou Sendou does substantial AoE damage that can be further amplified by Sara’s own ATK Buff from her Elemental Skill. Levelling up her Elemental Burst together with her Elemental Skill will allow players to have access to a buffer and a damage dealer, thus giving Sara more versatility in general play. On average, Tengu Juurai: Stormbreaker will hit each enemy once while Tengu Juurai: Stormcluster will hit each enemy 2-3 times.


Apart from dealing damage, it is also possible to utilise Sara’s Elemental Burst to apply and refresh the duration of her ATK Buff. To do this, a character has to be inside the AoE of the initial cast to where the Stormcluster ends. This means that switching characters during the burst duration while remaining in its AoE allows the player to buff multiple characters.

Successful Buff Video by Bobrokrot#0111

Unsuccessful Buff Video by Bobrokrot#0111

Ascension 1 Talent: Immovable Will

While in the Crowfeather Cover state provided by Tengu Stormcall, Aimed Shot charge times are decreased by 60%.


Neat improvement to her Elemental Skill. Her A1 passive reduces the clunkiness of her kit quite significantly.

Ascension 4 Talent: Decorum

When Tengu Juurai: Ambush hits opponents, Kujou Sara will restore 1.2 Energy to all party members for every 100% Energy Recharge she has. This effect can be triggered once every 3s. 


The wording of this talent is misleading. The talent actually means Sara restores 0.012 flat Energy to all party members for each 1% ER she has.


Sara is an Energy hungry character who needs quite a large amount of Energy Recharge. Her A4 passive allows her to reduce the amount of ER needed for her to function optimally and serve as a better battery to other units, most importantly Beidou.

Innate Talent: Land Survey

When dispatched on an expedition in Inazuma, time consumed is reduced by 25%.


This talent allows Sara to speed up expeditions in Inazuma by a few hours, which is always a nice bonus to have. She is the 5th unit with this passive which is nice for everything lining up if players have all 5. The other 4 units with this passive are Bennett, Fischl, Chongyun and Keqing.

Constellations

C1: Crow’s Eye

When Tengu Juurai grants characters Attack Bonuses or hits opponents, the CD of Tengu Stormcall is decreased by 1s. This effect can be triggered once every 3s.


This constellation reduces Sara’s skill cooldown upon utilizing her kit properly, which is helpful in maintaining her buff uptime and allowing her to function as a better battery.

C2: Dark Wings

Unleashing Tengu Stormcall will leave a weaker Crowfeather at Kujou Sara’s original position that will deal 30% of its original damage.


A very significant QoL constellation. This ability allows players access to her ATK buff without having to use a fully-charged Aimed Shot. It can also be used to buff an additional unit with a fully-charged Aimed Shot. Note that in order to generate particles, a fully-charged Aimed Shot will still need to be used. However if the player does not care about generating more particles, the Aimed Shot can be skipped.

C3: The War Within

Increases the Level of Subjugation: Koukou Sendou by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.


Levels on Sara’s main damage source are very welcome.

C4: Conclusive Proof

The number of Tengu Juurai: Stormcluster released by Subjugation: Koukou Sendou is increased to 6.


The increased number of Tengu Juurai: Stormcluster allows Sara to hit more enemies when casting her Elemental Burst due to an increased AoE. This has the added benefit of allowing players to be able to use her Elemental Burst as a buff trigger with much more ease.

Sara C0 (left) and Sara C4 (right) comparison

C5: Spellsinger

Increases the Level of Tengu Stormcall by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.


This constellation gives a significant increase to the main purpose of her kit, the ATK buff, which is very appreciated.

C6: Sin of Pride

The Electro damage of characters who have had their Attack increased by Tengu Juurai has its Crit DMG increased by 60%. 


The Main Star of Sara’s kit as a buffer. This unique constellation gives Sara more value in Electro comps, as can make building Electro damage dealing characters more forgiving to a certain extent as it allows players to focus more on building other stats. It must be noted that this buff cannot be snapshotted. This means that this constellation is best utilized in teams that can frontload all of their Electro DMG, such as Raiden-Bennett-Kazuha-Sara. However, it still has value with snapshotting sustained damage dealers like Fischl and Beidou as long as the buff is periodically reapplied.

Art by whgkdud_d

 “To strike your foe takes unity between mind, arrow, and bow.” – Kujou Sara

Sara’s Playstyle

Sara’s primary role in teams is to act as a potent buffer to complement short duration but high impact skills and skills that snapshot, provided the player can properly manage her C6, most notably the Raiden Shogun’s Elemental Burst. This makes her build somewhat standardized across many team compositions, making her relatively easy to gear. With that being said, players should keep in mind that Sara’s Elemental Burst does a good amount of damage and should opt in to invest in both her Elemental Skill and Burst if they are able to, so as to maximize her potential.

Gearing

Artifact Stats

Building the General of the Tenryou Commission is a rather straightforward task, but it is still not without its twists and turns. Generally speaking, you would want to run a ATK%/DMG%/Crit build on her if you are running ER substat weapons though Sacrificial Bow may require an ER sands due to its lower secondary stat value, or ER/DMG%/Crit build on her if you are running any other weapon. The recommended ER for Sara are as follows:

  • ~170% when paired with the Raiden Shogun or any other appropriate battery.  
  • ~230% otherwise.

Artifact Sets

4 Emblem of Severed FateSara’s BiS set. It provides everything Sara looks for: ER on 2 piece and ER to Burst DMG% conversion on 4 piece. The 4 piece alone provides Sara with 20% ER and 30% Burst DMG% even before building the ER Sara requires anyway. There should be no reason not to run this set unless players are looking to maximise her buffing potential.
4 Noblesse ObligeSupport set. Very good option for players who want to maximise Sara’s buffing capabilities and do not have a 4NO holder in the team yet. Provides 20% Burst DMG% on 2 piece and an additional 20% ATK Buff to the whole team after casting her Elemental Burst.
4 Tenacity of the MillelithSupport set. A more niche alternative for players who want to maximise Sara’s buffing capabilities but already have a 4NO holder in the team. However, because of Sara’s long Elemental Skill cooldown, the ATK Buff bonus from the 4 piece set will not be procced consistently, and the duration of the buff is not very good. For this reason, it is viable only specifically when players are snapshotting her buff from her C2 or fully-charged Aimed Shot Crowfeather already.
HybridAlternative sets. As usual, if you do not have a good 4 piece for the sets mentioned, picking a combination of any 2 sets here can be a good substitute. 2 piece sets of TF, NO, Glad/SR and EoSF are all viable options.
Assumptions: Sara C6 LVL80/90 T6/12/12, Weapons LVL90/90, 4EoSF ER or ATK%/Electro DMG%/CR or CD, 200 ER requirement, 20 fluid subs KQMC standards, Sara E ATK buff on her Elemental Burst only and Sara E ATK buff on her Elemental Burst only, Bennett 1000 ATK buff and 4NO buff. 

5 star weapons and 4 star weapons that have passives that Sara cannot utilize are assumed to be R1. Rankings are done with ATK Buff taking priority, followed by Burst Damage if ATK Buff given is the same. 

Weapons

Weapon
vs. Sacrificial Bow R1 Burst Damage (4EoSF, Sara E ATK buff)vs. Sacrificial Bow R1 Burst Damage (4EoSF, Bennett 1000 ATK buff, Sara E ATK buff and 4NO buff)vs. Sacrificial Bow R1 ATK Buff Notes
Skyward Harp R1129%126%115%Sara’s best weapon for a combination of personal damage and buffing. It maximises her ATK buff and allows her to do very high damage with her Elemental Burst.
Elegy for the End R1114%108%106% without passive  
131% with passive (calculated for 20% ATK buff on a 80/90 Raiden with The Catch)
Sara’s best buffing weapon. It does not do as much Elemental Burst damage compared to Skyward Harp but more than makes up for it with the 20% ATK and 100 EM buff for all party members.
It can be difficult to proc the passive if Sara is not C2, and this bow can desync rotations by 1-2s due to the 20s CD on its passive in comps with shorter rotations. Furthermore, the ATK buff here will not stack with Freedom Sworn. This means that if you have it equipped on the same team and do not value the EM buff, Skyward Harp is better. 
Check the Mechanics section for a rotation that allows you to proc this passive consistently with no drawbacks.
Polar Star R1134%132%106%It will usually be a loss to spend time stacking the passive for Sara, so pre-C2 will not allow her to receive stacks for her burst. The rotation for C2 Sara would be E>Q>Swap. Nevertheless, the Elemental Burst damage increase passive and Crit Rate secondary stat are still very valuable.
Thundering Pulse R1125%121%106%Sara cannot make use of the Normal Attack DMG% passive at all. The only consolation here is the Crit DMG secondary stat and ATK% passive which allows it to be a good stat stick for buffing and damage.
Amos’ Bow R1114%108%106%The passive is useless on Sara but works as a base ATK and ATK% statstick.
Mouun’s Moon R5
 
136%133% at 290 team Energy capacity100%This has the ability to be a very strong option if your team’s Energy capacity allows for it. That will likely be the case in many of Sara’s teams which generally have high Energy capacity but this bow is very difficult to get, compared to Blackcliff Warbow and Sacrificial Bow.
Alley Hunter R5122%119%100%This bow has a strong passive but like Mouun’s Moon, this bow is very difficult to get.
Mouun’s Moon R1
118% at 290 team Energy capacity116% at 290 team Energy capacity100%
Alley Hunter R1112%109%100%
Blackcliff Warbow R1-R5102%104%100%Its passive is useless on Sara as she will not be on field, making it unrealistic to assume she will build stacks. Still one of her better 4 star options due to its high Base ATK and Crit DMG secondary stat. However, Sacrificial Bow is competitive and does not cost Starglitter, which makes this undesirable if you have pulled Sacrificial Bow.
Sacrificial Bow R1100%100%100%Although Sara does not benefit from this passive in most teams, it can make her a better battery for Beidou and it also has the highest Base ATK among 4 star bows, is relatively easy to get, and comes with an ER substat that Sara very much needs. This is Sara’s most accessible and recommended 4 star option.
The Stringless R5107%111%93%Its passive buffs Sara’s Elemental Burst damage by a large margin. However, this bow is very sought after by many other supports such as Venti and it gives a lower ATK buff. As such, it is not desirable.
The Viridescent Hunt R1-R5105%108%93%This weapon only serves as a stat stick if you need the Crit Rate. Sara will not be on field and will not proc the passive in most teams unless the player intentionally takes time to do so, which is not worth it except when used for grouping purposes.
The Stringless R197%100%93%
Prototype Crescent R1-R599%97%93%Sara’s best F2P option. This weapon was calculated without its buff as in most teams it will be a loss to spend time on Sara trying to headshot. 
Windblume Ode R596%96%93%Its passive will buff her Burst in an E>Q rotation, but not enough to make up for the unhelpful EM secondary stat. 
Favonius Warbow R1-R5100% at 190% ER requirement due to its passive98% at 180% ER requirement due to its passive85%This weapon allows Sara to go all out as an Utility Support. She can battery, buff and deal damage with this bow but needs some investment into Crit Rate and the lower base ATK hurts her buff.

Note: Any set that boosts Normal or Charged ATK DMG are not recommended. 4Glad, 4Bolide, 4Shimenawa are all useless for the majority of Sara’s damage.

Art by 九条さん

“The Shogun’s Army might as well just be me!” – Kujou Sara

Team Compositions

Team images generated using Muakasan’s Team Portrait Generator

Raiden-Sara-Kazuha-Bennett

Raiden is the primary on-field DPS, and has a 9-10s Elemental Burst uptime. As Sara’s Elemental Burst has multiple lingering hits, this allows for an extension of the ATK buff on Raiden to last almost the same duration as her Elemental Burst. This team is built around buffing Raiden as much as possible, maximising her damage output in a short amount of time. Kazuha uses 4VV for resistance shred and buffs Raiden’s Elemental DMG%, while Bennett and Sara combine to give a hefty ATK buff. Sara’s C6 also enables Raiden to get an additional 60% Crit DMG buff. The frontloaded nature of this comp allows it to handle threats before they become a problem and makes it a premier pick for speedruns.


Check the Mechanics section on how to extend the ATK buff duration.

Beidou-Sara-Anemo-Bennett

Unlike Raiden’s team comp which focuses on frontloading damage, Beidou’s team revolves around her ability to snapshot stacked buffs, allowing her to deal sustained damage from her Elemental Burst. This team comp would be similar to that of Raiden’s, involving an Anemo unit to provide the 4VV resistance shred and Bennett for his healing and ATK buff but with Beidou substituting Raiden. Sucrose can be used instead of Kazuha to carry TTDS and drive Beidou’s burst. Alternatively, Kazuha can be used for his Elemental DMG% buffing and personal damage provided the player can manage timing his skill to lose as few procs of Beidou’s burst as possible. Sara is a reasonably good Beidou driver, battery, and buffer all in one, allowing this comp to perform very well.


Check the Mechanics section on how to extend the ATK buff duration.

Tartaglia-Sara-Beidou/Fischl-Bennett

or

A twist on the well known Electro-Charged archetype. While this team can be clunky compared to the Beidou-Fischl variation, it does give increased net team DPS due to Beidou being able to snapshot Sara’s buff. The team has a high number of buffs from Bennett, Sara, 4 NO and 4 ToTM. Due to Sara taking increased field time, Tartaglia does have lesser field time in Bennett’s ATK buff, but he is still able to maintain the level of DPS you would see in the original fireworks comp. For multiple targets (2 or more), Beidou would be a better option, but in single target situations, Fischl is the better option. For more in-depth information on this comp, click here for the Tartaglia guide by Risuke.


Team demonstration by Risuke#6743

Ningguang-Albedo-Sara-Bennett

This team can be dubbed “Two Stones, One Bird”, but jokes aside, Double Geo should be nothing new to most players. With Sara’s arrival, players can take the standard Ning-Albedo pair up a notch by making use of both Sara and Bennett to buff the team members. Ningguang and Albedo in particular are two units who appreciate external ATK buffs; Ningguang has low base ATK and Albedo wants to build DEF for his skill damage so external ATK allows him to maintain strong Elemental Skill damage without sacrificing his Elemental Burst. This team might not match the output of Sara’s other teams but is a fun and decent option nonetheless.

Team demonstration by loriental#0040

Sara-Electro-Electro-Flex

Electro-centric teams are where Sara shines. Many other Electro units are very suited for quickswap rotations, which ties in very well with Sara’s short buff duration and allows for some exciting, fast-paced gameplay. Such teams also make full use of Sara’s C6. The teams here will generally consist of 3 Electro units, including Sara and a flex slot, ideally an anemo for VV shred.

Flex Spot Option

KazuhaKazuha’s Elemental DMG% buff and VV shred are very valuable pairings with Sara’s ATK and Crit DMG buffs in most teams, especially in Mono Electro teams.
SucroseSucrose is generally the best Anemo option after Kazuha. She brings EM sharing, VV shred and she can also hold The Thrilling Tales of Dragonslayers (TTDS) which can buff the team’s Main DPS.
VentiVenti’s A4 talent refunds 15 flat energy to all teammates of the element his Elemental Burst absorbs, including himself after the duration ends. He also brings major CC and VV shred, while being able to buff teammates with Elegy for the End.
JeanJean is a generally strong anemo unit, but isn’t the best option in many of Sara’s teams. She is only able to provide some healing and damage while being a 4 piece VV holder, which is much less valuable than other Anemo units that can battery and buff.
MonaMona is a decent partner when it comes to buffing teammates thanks to her Omen debuff that can increase the damage dealt to enemies. Similar to Sara, Mona has a short buff uptime so they work well with the same DPSes.
ZhongliZhongli’s shield is generally not needed in most of Sara’s team comps. However, he does allow for more comfortable gameplay while bringing a smaller shred compared to the 4 piece VV set.
BeidouBeidou boasts high damage with her Elemental Burst as well as some survivability with her constellations. She should be on the top of the list when choosing units for teams that are centered around Electro, at the cost of needing a battery.
FischlFischl is lower maintenance than Beidou, but comes with a price of a lower damage ceiling in AoE. This can be overcome by pairing them together as she has particularly good synergy with Beidou and can both drive and battery her.
Raiden ShogunRaiden is able to dish out large amounts of damage in a short amount of time and benefits directly from everything Sara provides, especially at C6. This duo is similar to Bennett and Xiangling and should definitely be paired together for the best results.
KeqingOld but not obsolete, Keqing is a top contender in quickswap teams. Sara is able to buff Keqing, maximising the amount of damage she can do in the short rotations. Although her damage output alone is nothing impressive, when paired with other Electro units and Sara, Keqing can be deadly.
Hu TaoA surprise on the list. Hu Tao is able to make use of Sara’s ATK buff, especially when she is paired with Beidou in an Overvape comp. However, it is very technical and difficult to pull off, making Fischl a better option in most cases.
BennettHis ATK buff is second to none, brings healing as well as damage to the table. Bennett and Sara buffing the same target is just an insane boost, nearly doubling the damage for most of the targets able to utilise the buffs effectively while allowing the player to go for other necessities such as EM or ER.

Other Teams

Generally, Sara can be put in many teams as her ATK buff is valuable, albeit being short. If you are looking for a unit to occupy the flex slot when building teams, Sara is definitely worth considering.

Art by Mcpie#8672

“Power duly assimilated. Ready to receive instruction.” – Kujou Sara

Mechanics

Fully-Charged Aimed Shot Crowfeather

Sara’s Elemental Skill will leave a Crowfeather behind after the player releases a fully-charged Aimed Shot and the arrow hits an enemy, the floor or a wall. Note that to generate energy particles, a fully-charged Aimed Shot must be released after casting her Elemental Skill and the Crowfeather it leaves must hit an enemy upon exploding. It will buff the character standing in the AoE of the explosion.

Video by NZPIEFACE#8439

Raiden/Beidou Burst Buff Extension

Raiden’s Elemental Burst can have its buff duration extended via reapplication using Sara’s Elemental Burst. The rotation would be Sara E>Sara Q>Swap to Raiden and dash backwards slightly>Raiden Q. The successive Stormclusters from Sara’s Q will reapply the ATK buff, making sure Raiden has it for the whole duration of her Elemental Burst.

Proccing Elegy

As mentioned previously, it will be difficult to proc the buffing passive on Elegy for the End consistently while avoiding desynced rotations without constellations. However, if the player does have at least C2 and preferably C4 or higher, here is the rotation to do so in a Raiden-Sara-Bennett-Kazuha team by Greyhound#7836.

Elegy Rotation by Greyhound#7836

Snapshot

Many abilities will snapshot on cast or at a certain point during their skill animations. This records their current stats which will be used to determine the damage done for the whole duration of the skill, even if there are changes to it. Sara’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst can snapshot, but due to their short duration in most cases this will not have a significant impact on gameplay. The ATK buff Sara provides can be snapshotted; however, it must be noted that her 60% Crit DMG buff from her C6 cannot.

Escaping from Traps

Sara’s Elemental Skill has a unique mechanic that allows her to teleport a distance away from her original position. Players can utilise this to escape from the Mirror Maiden’s traps, to avoid getting hit a second time.

Video by Mcpie#8672

Double Buff

Sara’s Elemental Skill can be used to buff 2 separate characters other than Sara herself, once with a Crowfeather from her C2 and once more with a fully-charged Aimed Shot, without having to swap back to Sara in between. While this can smoothen rotations by cutting out one swap, the timing for it is extremely difficult to get right as the player will need to use ARCC or do a well-timed hold aim on the attack button (or the left mouse button) which allows the player to cancel the finishing animation. With that being said, this is unlikely to be useful in actual combat. Furthermore, ARCC auto targets enemies, meaning the floor will not be a target and the buff will be wasted if the Crowfeather ends up too far from the character meant to be buffed.

ARCC Video by NZPIEFACE#8439

Hold Attack Button Video by BowTae#0141

Afterword

Thank you again for being the readers to the first character guide I’ve ever written. If you’ve reached this point, it means that your training has been completed. But to ensure that your blade never dulls, remember to check back regularly for more training exercises! 

References

Calculations by elijam#7142:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-56Ikab7NvVBYofpjvFz1-hnqKZtdfIq6K0Jsd_lVZI/edit#gid=256455580

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-HhCS_GFd7FU1v5ckclRFY1sVNRWlTth4n2RcneJPaQ/edit?usp=sharing

 

6-Minute Video Guide to Sara by KQM