Want to learn how to create the best build for Kuki Shinobu in Genshin Impact? Kuki Shinobu has the distinction of being Genshin Impact's 50th playable character, introduced in Phase II of Version 2.7 (June 2022). In-story you might already recognise her as Arataki Itto's second-in-command of the Arataki Gang, where she generally keeps her headstrong boss and his less critically capable trio of minions in line.
On a practical level, Shinobu is Genshin's first 4-star Electro sword character, giving you a more accessible and permanent alternative to trying against miniscule odds to pull Keqing from the gacha or switching the Traveler's element in order to try out this combo. Most importantly, though, Shinobu is a rare Electro character built specifically for support, and takes the cake as the game's first Electro healer. Read on for details of the best build we've seen for Kuki Shinobu, including her best weapons, artifacts, party members, and more.
How to build Kuki Shinobu for a healer/sub-DPS role in Genshin Impact
Best weapon: Sacrificial Sword
Alternative: Lion's Roar
Since Shinobu is a 4-star character and her DPS capacities are mainly focussed around her elemental talents, I haven't recommended equipping her with a 5-star sword. Instead, she'll do quite nicely with one of a couple of 4-star swords that make the most of her elemental attacks. My top pick is the Sacrificial Sword, which at its base level has a 40% chance to end the cooldown of Shinobu's enviable Elemental Skill whenever the latter is triggered (up to once every 30 seconds).
Alternatively, the Lion's Roar increases damage against enemies affected by Electro (or Pyro) by 20% at its base ascension level. The advantage of equipping this sword to support Shinobu's sub-DPS activities is fairly obvious, even if it lacks the Sacrificial Sword's capacity to improve her healing skills at the same time.
Best artifacts: Ocean-Hued Clam 4-piece set
- 2-piece set bonus: Healing Bonus +15%
- 4-piece set bonus: When the character equipping this artifact set heals a character in the party, a Sea-Dyed Foam will appear for 3 seconds, accumulating the amount of HP recovered from healing (including overflow healing). At the end of the duration, the Sea-Dyed Foam will explode, dealing DMG to nearby opponents based on 90% of the accumulated healing.
Alternative: Maiden Beloved 4-piece set
- 2-piece set bonus: Incoming Healing +15%
- 4-piece set bonus: Using an Elemental Skill or Burst increases healing received by all party members by 20% for 10 seconds
Because Shinobu's best talent scales off of her max health, your artifact selection should focus on upping her HP and healing as much as possible. There are actually quite a few 1- to 3-star sets that will do in a pinch — try a mix of Traveling Doctor and Adventurer if you're really stuck for good stuff — but since I'm here to recommend her best possible loadout, I'm going to focus on higher-tier gear.
Ocean-Hued Clam makes for the obvious choice, as its 4-piece bonus allows Shinobu to heal the party while getting a few shots off at any nearby enemies, which is her speciality. Maiden Beloved makes a surprisingly good back-up, though, and is only in second place because its 2-piece bonus doesn't aid the party as much as its Ocean-Hued Clam counterpart. Equip the 4-piece set, though, and you can just keep feeding Shinobu's Elemental Skill back into itself in what amounts to an endless loop.
Naturally, you want the stats on these artifacts to further enhance Shinobu's max HP first and foremost, although it's a good idea to use the substats to improve her elemental attacks as well if you're making the most of her potential in a mixed healer/sub-DPS build. Here's an example of the stats to aim for on each piece:
- Circlet of Logos: Healing Bonus
- Sands of Eon: HP
- Goblet of Eonothem: HP
- Substats: Elemental Mastery, Energy Recharge, HP
Talent priority: Sanctifying Ring (Elemental Skill)
Secondary: Gyoei Narukami Kariyama Rite (Elemental Burst)
Without a doubt, Shinobu's linchpin talent is her Elemental Skill Sanctifying Ring, since it deals decent damage to enemies while healing both Shinobu and her party members at the same time. Her Elemental Burst Gyoei Narukami Kariyama Rite is also decent, working well with her Elemental Skill and propping up any sub-DPS/Electro support duties you want her to perform. Unsurprisingly, her normal attacks are not quite so flashy, and should be the last ones you focus on levelling up no matter what exact role you're planning for her on your team.
Below is a run-down of each one of Shinobu's talents and what they do:
- Shinobu's Shadowsword (Normal Attack):
- Normal Attack: Shinobu performs up to four rapid strikes with her sword.
- Charged Attack: Shinobu consumes a certain amount of Stamina to unleash two rapid sword strikes.
- Plunging Attack: Shinobu plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along her path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
- Sanctifying Ring (Elemental Skill): Shinobu reates a Grass Ring of Sanctification at the cost of part of her HP, dealing Electro DMG to nearby opponents. The Grass Ring of Sanctification follows your current active character around and deals Electro DMG to nearby opponents every 1.5 seconds. It also restores HP for the active character(s) within the ring's AoE based on Kuki Shinobu's Max HP. (The HP consumption from using this skill can only bring her to 20% HP.)
- Gyoei Narukami Kariyama Rite (Elemental Burst): Stabs an evil-excoriating blade into the ground, creating a field that cleanses the area of all that is foul, dealing continuous Electro DMG to opponents within its AoE based on Shinobu's Max HP. If Shinobu's HP is less than or equal to 50% when this skill is used, the field will last longer.
- Breaking Free (1st Ascension Passive): When Shinobu's HP is not higher than 50%, her Healing Bonus is increased by 15%.
- Heart's Repose (4th Ascension Passive): Sanctifying Ring's abilities will be boosted based on Shinobu's Elemental Mastery. Healing amount will be increased by 75% of Elemental Mastery; DMG dealt is increased by 25% of Elemental Mastery.
- Protracted Prayers (Utility Passive): Gains 25% more rewards when dispatched on an Inazuma Expedition for 20 hours.
With a 5-star DPS:
- Main DPS: Arataki Itto
- Sub-DPS: Any suitable Geo character
- Healer/Sub-DPS: Kuki Shinobu
- Support: Gorou
With a 4-star DPS:
- Main DPS: Rosaria
- Sub-DPS: Chongyun
- Sub-DPS: Xingqiu
- Healer/Sub-DPS: Kuki Shinobu
Appropriately enough given her role in-story, Shinobu seems to have been designed with the idea of supporting her canonical boss Arataki Itto and his existing mate Gorou. Teaming those two up has been popular since their joint launch, but at lower Constellations they have a notoriously bad time healing. Shinobu therefore fits nicely into their team as a healer, with the fourth position taken up by your best Geo sub-DPS. Noelle is an obvious pick because she's basically guaranteed even on an F2P roster, can provide shield support and assist Shinobu on healing (although she'll interfere with Shinobu's health sacrifice at times if you're not careful), and is honestly one of my own favourite characters thanks to her jack-of-all-trades skill set. But it really doesn't matter, just as long as you keep a Geo character in the sub-DPS position to amplify Gorou's abilities.
Of course, with Itto being a 5-star event-exclusive character, many players won't have him. Unfortunately there aren't many 4-star Geo DPS alternatives available, and Ningguang (the best among them) doesn't quite have the synergy with Shinobu and Gorou that Itto enjoys. Therefore, if you're building a 4-star and/or F2P-focused team around Shinobu, you might want to consider throwing the whole Geo meta out the window and trying something else.
While it lacks the immediate crushing power you'll get from the Geo team, you can have a lot of fun with Shinobu on a team primarily made up of Cryo characters, where she makes a great replacement for Diona as a healer thanks to her improved elemental reactions and self-powered damage potential. The sample composition I've recommended above teams up Shinobu with the 4-star Cryo DPS duo of Rosaria and Chongyun, and rounds out with 4-star Hydro DPS Xingqiu, allowing you to stop opponents in their tracks, wear down their defences, and deal them continuous AoE damage with the combined power of the Freeze, Superconduct, and Electro-charged reactions.
How to level up Kuki Shinobu in Genshin Impact
To fully ascend Shinobu, you will need the following materials:
|1||1 Vajrada Amethyst Sliver, 3 Naku Weeds, 3 Spectral Husks, and 20,000 Mora|
|2||3 Vajrada Amethyst Fragments, 10 Naku Weeds, 15 Spectral Husks, 2 Runic Fangs, and 40,000 Mora|
|3||6 Vajrada Amethyst Fragments, 20 Naku Weeds, 12 Spectral Hearts, 4 Runic Fangs, and 60,000 Mora|
|4||3 Vajrada Amethyst Chunks, 30 Naku Weeds, 18 Spectral Hearts, 8 Runic Fangs, and 80,000 Mora|
|5||6 Vajrada Amethyst Chunks, 45 Naku Weeds, 12 Spectral Nuclei, 12 Runic Fangs, and 100,000 Mora|
|6||6 Vajrada Amethyst Gemstones, 60 Naku Weeds, 24 Spectral Nuclei, 20 Runic Fangs, and 120,000 Mora|
|Total||1 Vajrada Amethyst Sliver, 9 Vajrada Amethyst Fragments, 9 Vajrada Amethyst Chunks, 6 Vajrada Amethyst Gemstones, 168 Naku Weeds, 18 Spectral Husks, 30 Spectral Hearts, 36 Spectral Nuclei, 46 Runic Fangs, and 420,000 Mora|
Vajrada Amethyst pieces are easy enough to get hold of, since they're dropped quite freely by Electro area bosses; included in random levelling material rewards and purchaseable from vendors at lower levels; and obtainable through alchemy at higher levels. Naku Weeds also come from a few different sources, but the easiest way to farm them is to literally farm them from areas of Inazuma with high Electro concentration (Seirai Island is a great example). Spectral pieces are dropped by defeated Specter enemies of increasing difficulty, while Runic Fangs are exclusively dropped by defeated Ruin Serpents at Lvl 30+.
To fully level up any one of Shinobu's three active talents, you'll need to collect the following materials:
|Talent Level (+ required Ascension Level)||Materials|
|2 (2)||6 Spectral Husks, 3 Teachings of Elegance, and 12,500 Mora|
|3 (3)||3 Spectral Hearts, 2 Guides to Elegance, and 17,500 Mora|
|4 (3)||4 Spectral Hearts, 4 Guides to Elegance, and 25,000 Mora|
|5 (4)||6 Spectral Hearts, 6 Guides to Elegance, and 30,000 Mora|
|6 (4)||9 Spectral Hearts, 9 Guides to Elegance, and 37,500 Mora|
|7 (5)||4 Spectral Nuclei, 4 Philosophies of Elegance, 1 Tears of the Calamitous God, and 120,000 Mora|
|8 (5)||6 Spectral Nuclei, 6 Philosophies of Elegance, 1 Tears of the Calamitous God, and 260,000 Mora|
|9 (6)||9 Spectral Nuclei, 12 Philosophies of Elegance, 2 Tears of the Calamitous God, and 450,000 Mora|
|10 (6)||12 Spectral Nuclei, 16 Philosophies of Elegance, 2 Tears of the Calamitous God, 1 Crown of Insight, and 700,000 Mora|
|Total||6 Spectral Husks, 22 Spectral Hearts, 31 Spectral Nuclei, 3 Teachings of Elegance, 21 Guides to Elegance, 38 Philosophies of Elegance, 6 Tears of the Calamitous God, 1 Crown of Insight, and 1,652,500 Mora|
Spectral pieces are gained from Specter enemies in the same way they are for Ascension materials. Meanwhile, you can pick up the books required for Shinobu's talents at the Violet Court domain on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Finally, Molten Moments are awarded for replaying Raiden Shogun's boss fight as part of the End of the Oneiric Euthymia trounce domain at Lvl 70+; while Crowns of Insight can be obtained through limited-time events or by making offerings to the Frostbearing Tree and the Sacred Sakura.
Constellations are the premium level-ups in Genshin Impact, in that (in all but a few exceptional cases) they are gained by pulling duplicate copies of a character from the gacha. 4-star characters like Shinobu tend to have better Constellations than 5-star characters, and fortunately you're much more likely to roll the required six duplicates without spending ridiculous amounts of money to do so. That being said, I can't recommend relying on Constellations to form the core of a character build. Fortunately, in Shinobu's case, her Constellations offer nice boosts if you happen to duplicate her, but really nothing that ought to change the way you build her.
Below is a full list of Shinobu's Constellations:
- To Cloister Compassion (Constellation 1): Elemental Burst Gyoei Narukami Kariyama Rite's AoE is increased by 50%.
- To Forsake Fortune (Constellation 2): Grass Ring of Sanctification's duration is increased by 3 seconds.
- To Sequester Sorrow (Constellation 3): Increases the level of Sanctifying Ring by 3 (up to the level cap of 15).
- To Sever Sealing (Constellation 4): When the Normal, Charged, or Plunging Attacks of the character affected by Shinobu's Grass Ring of Sanctification hit opponents, a Thundergrass Mark will land on the opponent's position and deal AoE Electro DMG based on 9.7% of Shinobu's Max HP. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.
- To Cease Courtesies (Constellation 5): Increases the level of Gyoei Narukami Kariyama Rite by 3 (up to the level cap of 15).
- To Ward Weakness (Constellation 6): When Shinobu takes lethal DMG, this instance of DMG will not take her down. This effect will automatically trigger when her HP reaches 1 and will trigger once every 60 seconds. When Shinobu's HP drops below 25%, she will gain 150 Elemental Mastery for 15 seconds. This effect will trigger once every 60 seconds.
How to get Kuki Shinobu in Genshin Impact
As of Version 2.8, Kuki Shinobu has joined Genshin Impact's standard wish pool. This means that, like all 4-star characters, you have a chance of pulling her any time you wish on the Wanderlust Invocation banner, Weapon Event Wish banner, or Character Event Wish banner. She'll also occasionally feature with boosted drop rates on the latter, although right now your odds of pulling her are set at a flat rate across the board.
Remember how I said Shinobu is Genshin Impact's 50th playable character? Well, if you're wondering how she stacks up against all the others, you can begin by checking out our comprehensive Genshin Impact character tier list to see where she rates. And to help you keep costs down no matter how many character and Constellations you want to wish for, be sure to see our guide to getting more Wishes in Genshin Impact.