Want to learn how to create the best build for Shenhe in Genshin Impact? Cryo Polearm wielder Shenhe made her Genshin Impact debut in January 2022, the first 5* addition of the new year. While there hasn't been as much excitement around her introduction as there was for her 5* predecessor Arataki Itto, she's a solid addition to the game, just a little less flashy. Thanks to their rarity and the time and currency it takes to obtain them, it's easy to expect 5* characters to be all DPS all the time; but Shenhe, like many of the more overlooked members of her cohort, is simply at her best and most valuable in a support role. Follow our best Shenhe build guide below to get the most out of this new character.
Best Genshin Impact Shenhe build for support
Best weapon: Calamity Queller
Alternative: The Catch
While I've chosen to focus on Shenhe's support abilities in this build, rather than her possibilities as a sub-DPS, you shouldn't entirely neglect her potential to deal some damage while on the field. As such, her ideal weapon is a little rarer than I'd usually recommend for a support character: the Calamity Queller. This polearm adds a 12% DMG Bonus to Shenhe's Elemental attacks, which as the cornerstone of her build are well worth boosting whenever possible. What's more, using Shenhe's Elemental Skill with this weapon equipped also adds the Consummation effect for 20 seconds, which increases ATK by 3.2% per second for up to six stacks, doubled if Shenhe leaves the field while it remains active. This makes it an almost comically powerful weapon in the hands of an elemental support character.
Despite being such an excellent match for Shenhe, the Calamity Queller is a 5* weapon, and therefore it's a good idea to have a strong alternative choice in mind. There are a few polearms that work well, but my preference here is for The Catch. While it lacks the Calamity Queller's potential benefits to the entire party, The Catch still lets you make the most of Shenhe's Cryo talents, granting her a 16% increase to Elemental Burst DMG and a 6% increase to that talent's CRIT rate while equipped.
Best artifacts: Noblesse Oblige
- 2 piece bonus: Elemental Burst DMG +20%
- 4 piece bonus: Using Elemental Burst increases all party members' ATK by 20% for 12 seconds
Alternative: 2 pieces each from Noblesse Oblige and Blizzard Strayer sets
One way or another, you're going to want to equip Shenhe with at least two pieces from the Noblesse Oblige artifact set, giving her access to a 20% Elemental Burst DMG Bonus that very much accentuates her best feature.
From there it's a tough choice between adding more Noblesse Oblige pieces or switching to the Blizzard Strayer set. Ultimately, though, if you're looking to make the most of Shenhe as an elemental support character, it's better to stick with Noblesse Oblige, since it nets you a four-piece set bonus that significantly boosts the entire party's ATK when Shenhe uses her Elemental Burst.
However, mixing things up with a couple of Blizzard Strayer pieces instead adds another 15% Cryo DMG Bonus to Shenhe's elemental attacks. Consider going with this alternative combo if you're looking to lean a bit further into her secondary potential as a sub-DPS.
When choosing stat priorities on Shenhe's artifacts, the following stats and substats are the ones to look out for to maximise this build:
- Circlet of Logos: CRITs
- Sands of Eon: ATK
- Goblet of Eonothem: Cryo DMG Bonus
- Substats: ATK and CRITs
Talent priority: Spring Spirit Summoning (Elemental Skill)
Secondary: Divine Maiden's Deliverance (Elemental Burst)
Unsurprisingly given this build's focus on Cryo support, Shenhe's elemental talents are far more valuable than her normal attack skills. Your first priority should be her Elemental Skill Spring Spirit Summoning, since this is the talent that directly supports other party members. However, when it comes to increasing Shenhe's own damage-dealing potential, her Elemental Burst Divine Maiden's Deliverance is also extremely valuable, and shouldn't be neglected in this build which so frequently walks the line between support and sub-DPS duties.
Here's a full list of Shenhe's talents and what they do:
- Normal Attack: Dawnstar Piercer
- Normal Attack: Shenhe performs up to five consecutive spear strikes.
- Charged Attack: Shenhe consumes a certain amount of Stamina to lunge forward, dealing damage to her opponents along the way.
- Plunging Attack: Shenhe plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along her path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
- Elemental Skill: Spring Spirit Summoning - Grants all nearby party members the Icy Quill effect and deals Cryo DMG in different ways based on whether it is pressed or held. Press to rush forward together with a Talisman Spirit, dealing Cryo DMG to opponents along the path. Hold to command the Talisman Spirit to deal AoE Cryo DMG. The Icy Quill effect increases Cryo DMG dealt by any attacks (normal or elemental) based on Shenhe's current ATK. The 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.
- Elemental Burst: Divine Maiden's Deliverance - Shenhe 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.
- 1st Ascension Passive: Deific Embrace - An active character within the field created by Divine Maiden's Deliverance gains 15% Cryo DMG Bonus.
- 4th Ascension Passive: Spirit Communion Seal - After Shenhe uses Spring Spirit Summoning, she will grant all nearby party members either Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG increases of 15% for 10 seconds (if pressed) or Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attack DMG increases of 15% for 15 seconds (if held).
- Utility Passive: Precise Comings and Goings - Shenhe gains 25% more rewards when dispatched on a Liyue Expedition for 20 hours.
- Main DPS: Kaeya
- Sub DPS: Thoma
- Support: Shenhe
- Healer/Support: Barbara
5* alternative: Eula replacing Kaeya as main DPS
Pairing Shenhe with a Cryo DPS is pretty crucial if you want to get the best performance out of her, to the point where it almost doesn't matter who you pick. I've gone with Kaeya, partially because I'm a bit biased towards him, and partly because he's genuinely one of the better 4* Cryo DPS characters in the game, which is especially good news considering you unlock him for free during the prologue. However, you could easily sub in Chongyun or Rosaria if you prefer their DPS possibilities; or if you have a 5* Cryo DPS character like the recently re-run Eula, this is the perfect opportunity to put them to work.
There are a couple of options to consider when picking your sub-DPS for this team: namely, whether you want a Pyro character for maximum damage, or an Anemo character who can double up on crowd-control duties. While Shenhe's utility as a potential supporting sub-DPS might make the Anemo option appealing, I've gone for the more aggressive Pyro choice because of the Melt elemental reaction you get when Pyro and Cryo both hit an enemy. This effect increases damage by 1.5x if the Cryo character triggers it, and doubles damage if the Pyro character triggers it. Thoma is my pick for a great 4* Pyro sub-DPS, simply because that's quite a niche specialisation at the moment, but he's a worthy candidate.
Barbara is a great choice to round out any party thanks to her powerful healing abilities, but there's an extra good reason to include her in this team. Using her Hydro elemental talents applies the Wet status to enemies, allowing Shenhe and the main DPS to apply Cryo and trigger the Frozen reaction. This is one of my favourite reactions in the game, as it renders affected enemies completely powerless to hurt you or defend themselves for a period of time; and, with two Cryo characters in the party, you'll also benefit from the Shattering Ice elemental resonance that increases damage against Frozen enemies by a further 15%.
How to level up Shenhe in Genshin Impact
To fully ascend Shenhe, you'll need the following materials:
|1 Shivada Jade Sliver, 3 Qingxin flowers, 3 Whopperflower Nectars, and 20,000 Mora
|3 Shivada Jade Fragments, 2 Dragonheir's False Fins, 10 Qingxin flowers, 15 Whopperflower Nectars, and 40,000 Mora
|6 Shivada Jade Fragments, 4 Dragonheir's False Fins, 20 Qingxin flowers, 12 Shimmering Nectars, and 60,000 Mora
|3 Shivada Jade Chunks, 8 Dragonheir's False Fins, 30 Qingxin flowers, 18 Shimmering Nectars, and 80,000 Mora
|6 Shivada Jade Chunks, 12 Dragonheir's False Fins, 45 Qingxin flowers, 12 Energy Nectars, and 100,000 Mora
|6 Shivada Jade Gemstones, 20 Dragonheir's False Fins, 60 Qingxin flowers, 24 Energy Nectars, and 120,000 Mora
|1 Shivada Jade Sliver, 9 Shivada Jade Fragments, 9 Shivada Jade Chunks, 6 Shivada Jade Gemstones, 46 Dragonheir's False Fins, 168 Qingxin flowers, 18 Whopperflower Nectars, 30 Shimmering Nectars, 36 Energy Nectars, and 420,000 Mora
To collect all of Shenhe's ascension materials, you're going to need to do a bit of travelling. Shivada Jade pieces are probably the simplest to locate, simply because they're dropped by defeated Cryo enemies throughout the world (and they can also be obtained by alchemy, from weekly bosses, and from merchants at lower levels). Nectars are dropped by defeated Whopperflowers throughout the world too, and can also be bought or obtained through alchemy. For Qingxin flowers you'll need to forage around the highest elevated areas in Liyue, especially around Minlin and Wuwang Hill, or hit up the local herbalist. Finally, Dragonheir's False Fin can only be obtained from Bathysmal Vishap Herd challenge bosses found in the Dainichi Mikoshi sub-area of Enkanomiya in Inazuma.
To fully level up one of Shenhe's talents, you'll need to collect the following materials. Shenhe has three talents, and to level them all up you need to assemble the whole lot for each one individually.
|Talent Level (+ required Ascension Level)
|6 Whopperflower Nectars, 3 Teachings of Prosperity, and 12,500 Mora
|3 Shimmering Nectars, 2 Guides to Prosperity, and 17,500 Mora
|4 Shimmering Nectars, 4 Guides to Prosperity, and 25,000 Mora
|6 Shimmering Nectars, 6 Guides to Prosperity, and 30,000 Mora
|9 Shimmering Nectars, 9 Guides to Prosperity, and 37,500 Mora
|4 Energy Nectars, 4 Philosophies of Prosperity, 1 Hellfire Butterfly, and 120,000 Mora
|6 Energy Nectars, 6 Philosophies of Prosperity, 1 Hellfire Butterfly, and 260,000 Mora
|9 Energy Nectars, 12 Philosophies of Prosperity, 2 Hellfire Butterflies, and 450,000 Mora
|12 Energy Nectars, 16 Philosophies of Prosperity, 2 Hellfire Butterflies, 1 Crown of Insight, and 700,000 Mora
|6 Whopperflower Nectars, 22 Shimmering Nectars, 31 Energy Nectars, 3 Teachings of Prosperity, 21 Guides to Prosperity, 38 Philosophies of Prosperity, 6 Hellfire Butterflies, 1 Crown of Insight, and 1,652,500 Mora
Nectars are obtained from Whopperflower enemies, as detailed above. Shenhe's books can be picked up at the Taishan Mansion domain (Tuesday/Friday/Sunday only). Hellflower Butterflies are awarded for completing the Narukami Island: Tenshukaku trounce domain at Lvl 70+; and finally, Crowns of Insight can be obtained through limited-time events or by making offerings to the Frostbearing Tree and the Sacred Sakura.
Unless you're blessed with extreme amounts of luck or money, your odds of pulling Shenhe from the gacha enough times to reach her final constellation are pretty low. Fortunately, most 5* characters have Constellations that are nice to have but not exactly essential to their build. Nevertheless, just in case you beat the odds, here's a full run-down of Shenhe's Constellations and what they do:
- Clarity of Heart (Lvl 1): Spring Spirit Summoning can be used one more time.
- Centered Spirit (Lvl 2): Divine Maiden's Deliverance lasts for 6 seconds longer. Active characters within the skill's field deals 15% increased Cryo CRIT DMG.
- Seclusion (Lvl 3): Increases level of Spring Spirit Summoning by 3 (maximum upgrade level is 15)
- Insight (Lvl 4): When characters under the effect of Icy Quill applied by Shenhe triggers 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, up to a maximum 50 stacks, for a duration of 1 minute.
- Divine Attainment (Lvl 5): Increases the level of Divine Maiden's Deliverance by 3 (maximum upgrade level is 15).
- Mystical Abandon (Lvl 6): When characters trigger Icy Quill's effects using Normal and Charged Attack DMG, it does not count toward the trigger quota.
How to get Shenhe in Genshin Impact
Shenhe is an event-exclusive 5-star character, meaning that she's only available to pull from the gacha when her banner is rerun. After a long wait following her January 2022 introduction, Shenhe returned for a rerun in March/April 2023. She's now once again unavailable, but hopefully you won't have to wait as long again for your next chance to wish for her.
That's everything you need to know about the optimum build for Shenhe in Genshin Impact, but there are nearly fifty playable characters in this game for you to collect. Check out our Genshin Impact character tier list to help you decide who you might like to pull for next, or see our guide to the pity system to help you understand how to calculate your odds of getting who you want from the gacha.