Want to learn the best build for Shikanoin Heizou in Genshin Impact? Shikanoin Heizou joined Genshin Impact's ranks in Version 2.8 (July 2022). He may be the 51st playable character overall, but he's the first male character to wield a Catalyst, as well as the first Anemo vision holder to bring a magic book to a fantasy swordfight. Furthermore, since Anemo doesn't technically deal damage on its own, he's the first Catalyst user to perform melee attacks (albeit elementally-charged ones) as his normal combat technique, and indeed is the first Genshin Impact character to fight close-up with his fists rather than with a weapon.
Speaking for myself, I've always found Catalyst wielders less appealing than the other four weapon user types because of how squishy they can feel in close combat, so I've been looking forward to Heizou's introduction and the opportunity to properly pummel a few fools in between hurling Anemo spells at them. So read on for details of the best build we've seen for Shikanoin Heizou, including his best weapons, artifacts, party members, and more.
How to build Shikanoin Heizou for a sub-DPS/elemental support role
Despite his impressive martial arts performance, Heizou doesn't quite manage to avert the common wisdom that an Anemo character isn't suitable for a main DPS role. However, his elementally-backed normal attacks coupled with his ability to generate the Swirl reaction with most other elements make him a great choice for a mix sub-DPS and elemental damage support role.
Best weapon: Kagura's Verity
4-star alternative: Solar Pearl or Sacrificial Fragments
The best 5-star weapon for Heizou is Kagura's Verity, an Inazuman Catalyst that can be obtained from the Weapon Event Wish series in the gacha. Using Heizou's elemental skill with this weapon equipped will grant him the Kagura Dance effect for 16 seconds, during which time the damage from his Elemental Skill will be increased by 12%. Kagura Dance can stack up to three times, and will extend its DMG Bonus to all of Heizou's elemental attacks when the maximum number of stacks are active.
For paid Battle Pass players, the Solar Pearl is a great 4-star alternative Catalyst for Heizou, since it causes Normal and Elemental attacks to increase each other's DMG (Normal hits increase Elemental DMG by 20% for 6 seconds, and vice versa). Given Heizou's unusually even balance between the two attack types this is a real boon, although given the exclusivity of the weapon it's likely that many players won't have access to it.
If you're in the reasonable position of playing Genshin Impact for free and therefore having very limited access to 5-star weapons or the Gnostic Hymn track of the BP, no need to worry: there's still a 4-star Catalyst you can obtain easily enough with your drip-feed of free pulls on standard wishes. Sacrificial Fragments grants a simple yet desirable effect: when Heizou deals damage with his Elemental Skill, there's a 40% chance that the skill's cooldown will end instantly (up to once every 30 seconds). Given Heizou's unique status as a melee Catalyst fighter, this can be extremely useful for keeping him attacking quickly and effectively in close-up combat.
Best artifacts: Viridescent Venerer
- 2 piece set bonus: Anemo DMG Bonus +15%
- 4 piece set bonus: Increases Swirl DMG by 60% and decreases opponents' Elemental RES to the element infused in the Swirl by 40% for 10 seconds
As perhaps the first true Anemo DPS candidate in Genshin Impact's history, it's well worth giving Heizou any items from the Viridescent Venerer set you have handy; the bonuses above speak for themselves when it comes to improving both his sub-DPS and elemental support activities. If you have the luxury of shopping around for stats and substats on this set, try to aim for the following for Heizou's most effective mixed DPS/support build:
- Circlet of Logos: CRITs
- Sands of Eon: ATK
- Goblet of Eonothem: Anemo DMG
- Substats: Elemental Mastery and CRITs
Talent priority: Heartstopper Strike (Elemental Skill)
Secondary: Fudou Style Martial Arts (Normal Attack)
Ideally the lion's share of Heizou's damage should be coming from his Elemental Skill Heartstopper Strike as often as you can use it, so naturally this is the top priority when it comes to levelling up his talents. It's rare that I recommend prioritising a character's Normal Attack Fudou Style Martial Arts above one of their elemental talents, but given its importance to this mixed build (and the novelty of getting to use unarmed melee attacks!) it should take a close second to his Elemental Skill when you level up. His Elemental Burst is good too, and I don't recommend neglecting it, but it definitely takes third-place priority when levelling.
Here's a full list of Heizou's talents and what they do:
- Fudou Style Martial Arts (Normal Attack):
- Normal Attack: Heizou performs up to 5 fisticuffs empowered by a mighty wind, dealing Anemo DMG.
- Charged Attack: Heizou consumes a set amount of his Stamina to perform a sweeping kick, dealing Anemo DMG.
- Plunging Attack: Calling upon the surging wind, Heizou plunges towards the ground from mid-air, damaging all opponents in his path. Deals AoE Anemo DMG upon impact with the ground.
- Heartstopper Strike (Elemental Skill): Press to wield the swift winds to launch a Heartstopper Strike that deals Anemo DMG. Hold for charged energy to unleash an even stronger blow. Heizou will obtain the Declension effect while charging (up to four stacks), which will increase the power of the Heartstopper Strike. When you possess four Declension stacks, the Conviction effect will be produced, which will cause the next Heartstopper Strike to be even stronger and have a larger AoE. When the skill button is released or the held skill duration ends, Heizou will strike forward, dealing Anemo DMG.
- Windmuster Kick (Elemental Burst): Heizou leaps into the air and uses the Fudou Style Vacuum Slugger and kicks his opponent. The Vacuum Slugger will explode upon hit and create an Arresting Windtunnel that pulls in nearby objects and opponents, dealing AoE Anemo DMG. When Fudou Style Vacuum Slugger hits enemies affected by Hydro, Pyro, Cryo, or Electro, it afflicts them with Windmuster Iris. Moments later, Windmuster Iris explodes and dissipates, dealing AoE DMG of the corresponding elemental type. (Fudou Style Vacuum Slugger can afflict a maximum of four enemies with the Windmuster Iris. A single enemy cannot be afflicted by Irises of different elemental types at the same time.)
- Pre-Existing Guilt (Utility Passive): Decreases sprinting Stamina consumption for your own party members by 20%. Not stackable with passive talents that provide the exact same effects.
- Paradoxical Practice (1st Ascension Passive): When Heizou activates a Swirl reaction while on the field, he will gain one Declension stack for Heartstopper Strike. This effect can be triggered every 0.1 seconds.
- Penetrative Reasoning (4th Ascension Passive): After Heizou's Heartstopper Strike hits an opponent, this passive increases all other party members' Elemental Mastery by 80 for 10 seconds (excluding Heizou himself).
- DPS: Xiangling
- Sub-DPS: Xingqiu
- Sub-DPS/Support: Shikanoin Heizou
- Healer/Support: Bennett
5-star alternative: Kokomi replacing Bennett as healer
This high-DMG party set-up utilises Heizou's Anemo element to create a Swirl elemental reaction with his teammates' visions and spread the elemental damage across a wider area. In addition to their individual elemental effects, Pyro DPS Xiangling and Hydro sub-DPS Xingqiu can also work together to produce the Vaporize reaction, which doubles damage to afflicted enemies for its duration when Xingqiu deals the second attack (or 1.5x damage if Pyro is applied second). Bennett is one of the best healers in the game, not to mention a dab hand at DPS in his own right, allowing you to form an all-damage team if you want to rotate all four characters in during combat. Furthermore, placing him on a team with Xiangling applies the Fervent Flames resonance for a 25% boost to all base attack damage, which will then feed back in to Heizou's Swirl effects.
Heizou might actually be at his best on an all 4-star team, but if you have Sangonomiya Kokomi in your archive, she can be used as a replacement healer for Bennett. This is especially useful if you want to switch the elemental resonance of Heizou's team from an offensive Pyro x2 makeup to a more defensive Hydro x2, which increases incoming healing by 30%. If you want to keep your damage up in this variation, you could also consider switching out Xiangling for Fischl for a boost to take advantage of the wider AoE formed by Electro-Charged. Just be aware that in this version, there won't really be a strong DPS main, so all three DPS characters will need to switch up often.
How to level up Shikanoin Heizou in Genshin Impact
To fully ascend Heizou, you will need the following materials:
|1||1 Vayuda Turquoise Sliver, 3 Onikabuto beetles, 3 Treasure Hoarder Insignias, and 20,000 Mora|
|2||3 Vayuda Turquoise Fragments, 10 Onikabuto beetles, 15 Treasure Hoarder Insignias, 2 Runic Fangs, and 40,000 Mora|
|3||6 Vayuda Turquoise Fragments, 20 Onikabuto beetles, 12 Silver Raven Insignias, 4 Runic Fangs, and 60,000 Mora|
|4||3 Vayuda Turquoise Chunks, 30 Onikabuto beetles, 18 Silver Raven Insignias, 8 Runic Fangs, and 80,000 Mora|
|5||6 Vayuda Turquoise Chunks, 45 Onikabuto beetles, 12 Golden Raven Insignias, 12 Runic Fangs, and 100,000 Mora|
|6||6 Vayuda Turquoise Gemstones, 60 Onikabuto beetles, 24 Golden Raven Insignias, 20 Runic Fangs, and 120,000 Mora|
|Total||1 Vayuda Turquoise Sliver, 9 Vayuda Turquoise Fragments, 9 Vayuda Turquoise Chunks, 6 Vayuda Turquoise Gemstones, 168 Onikabuto beetles, 18 Treasure Hoarder Insignias, 30 Silver Raven Insignias, 36 Golden Raven Insignias, and 420,000 Mora|
Vayuda Turquoise pieces drop from Anemo bosses, are included in random levelling material rewards and purchaseable from vendors at lower levels, and become obtainable through alchemy at higher levels. Onikabuto beetles can be gathered in the wilderness around Inazuma, specifically in areas of high Electro concentration like Mikage Furnace and Mt. Yougou. Treasure Hoarder enemies at various levels drop the Insignias, while Runic Fangs are exclusively dropped by defeated Ruin Serpents at Lvl 30+.
To fully level up any one of Heizou's three active talents, you'll need to collect the following materials:
|Talent Level (+ required Ascension Level)||Materials|
|2 (2)||6 Treasure Hoarder Insignias, 3 Teachings of Transience, and 12,500 Mora|
|3 (3)||3 Silver Raven Insignias, 2 Guides to Transience, and 17,500 Mora|
|4 (3)||4 Silver Raven Insignias, 4 Guides to Transience, and 25,000 Mora|
|5 (4)||6 Silver Raven Insignias, 6 Guides to Transience, and 30,000 Mora|
|6 (4)||9 Silver Raven Insignias, 9 Guides to Transience, and 37,500 Mora|
|7 (5)||4 Golden Raven Insignias, 4 Philosophies of Transience, 1 Meaning of Aeons, and 120,000 Mora|
|8 (5)||6 Golden Raven Insignias, 6 Philosophies of Transience, 1 Meaning of Aeons, and 260,000 Mora|
|9 (6)||9 Golden Raven Insignias, 12 Philosophies of Transience, 2 Meaning of Aeons, and 450,000 Mora|
|10 (6)||12 Golden Raven Insignias, 16 Philosophies of Transience, 2 Meaning of Aeons, 1 Crown of Insight, and 700,000 Mora|
|Total||6 Treasure Hoarder Insignias, 22 Silver Raven Insignias, 31 Golden Raven Insignias, 3 Teachings of Transience, 21 Guides to Transience, 38 Philosophies of Transience, 6 Meaning of Aeons, 1 Crown of Insight, and 1,652,500 Mora|
Insignias are gained from Treasure Hoarder enemies in the same way they are for Ascension materials. Meanwhile, you can pick up the books required for Heizou's talents at the Violet Court domain in his native Inazuma on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Finally, The Meaning of Aeons 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.
While it can prove inadvisably costly to rely on Constellations to form the core of a character build, thanks to the fact that you get them by pulling duplicates of a character from the gacha, it's a less daunting prospect to do this for a 4-star character like Heizou. This is especially the case when he's featured on a Character Event Wish banner, at which point you might find you're getting him again in what feels like every 10-pull. Like most 4-star characters, Heizou's Constellations are actually pretty good, so if you find yourself playing as him a lot, it might be worth spending some of your precious Primos on duplicates so you can unlock them.
Below is a full list of Heizou's Constellations:
- Named Juvenile Casebook (C1): For 5 seconds after Heizou takes the field, his Normal Attack Speed is increased by 15%. He also gains one Declension stack for Heartstopper Strike. This effect can be triggered once every 10 seconds.
- Investigative Collection (C2): The pull effect of the Arresting Windtunnel created by Windmuster Kick is enhanced, and its duration is increased to 1 second.
- Esoteric Puzzle Book (C3): Increases the level of Heartstopper Strike by 3 (up to the level cap of 15).
- Tome of Lies (C4): The first Windmuster Iris explosion in each Windmuster Kick will regenerate 9 Elemental Energy for Heizou. Every subsequent explosion in that Windmuster Kick will each regenerate an additional 1.5 Energy for him. One Windmuster Kick can regenerate a total of 13.5 Energy in this manner.
- Secret Archive (C5): Increases the level of Windmuster Kick by 3 (up to the level cap of 15).
- Curious Casefiles (C6): Each Declension stack will increase the CRIT Rate of the Heartstopper Strike unleashed by 4%. When Heizou possesses Conviction, this Heartstopper Strike's CRIT DMG is increased by 32%.
How to get Shikanoin Heizou in Genshin Impact
During his debut in Version 2.8 (Phase I), Shikanoin Heizou was only obtainable from Kaedehara Kazuha and Klee's concurrent Character Event Wish banners. He's now briefly unavailable once again; but, as a 4-star character, he'll be joining the standard wish pool from the next version onwards (expected to launch on August 24th, 2022), after which he'll be a potential pull from all wishes on the Wanderlust Invocation (standard permanent) banner and all time-limited Character and Weapon Event Wish banners. Heizou will also occasionally get boosted drop rates again when he's featured on a 5-star character's banner.
There are a ludicrous number of characters available in Genshin Impact, and unless you're some kind of oil baron, you're going to need to be selective about which ones you wish to pull from the gacha. To help you make your choice, take a look at our Genshin Impact tier list to see who we'd rate high and who we'd recommend skipping.