I think I have a special connection with the Cryo element. My first 4-star character was Chongyun, my first 5-star character was Qiqi, and my best friend’s favorite character is Kaeya.
Time and again, I come across Cryo characters and admittedly use them quite often in the abyss. Kamisato Ayaka, Ganyu, or Shenhe, you will find me using these Cryo characters all the time.
There are hardly any characters in the game who can compete with what Cryo characters bring to the table. The Cryo resonance, Blizzard strayer artifact set, and freeze reactions, the Cryo element, is the epitome of meta.
While certain characters excel in the DPS role, others play the supporting role in the theatrics of the gameplay.
Characters like Rosaria, Diona, and Shenhe enable players to benefit from their unique off-field abilities and enhance the overall combat experience. You can get off-field Cryo application, heals, and Cryo damage buffs to boost a character’s damage.
In a high-octane abyss chamber, a character like Shenhe can buff the team’s damage and help you to achieve that 3-star status. Serene and calm as the ocean, Shenhe harnesses the power of Cryo to boost her team’s damage and reduce enemies’ resistance.
In an instant, the stagnant ocean can evolve into a tsunami of damage against your enemies. Shenhe is one of my favorite supporting characters in the game.
In this Shenhe Genshin Impact guide, I will walk you through the unique abilities, passives, artifacts, and team compositions that can utilize Shenhe’s untapped potential.
We will go through the best premium and free-to-play weapons that can be used to maximize Shenhe’s team-wide buffs. Without further ado, let’s dive straight in.
Shenhe, a Crane Haunted by Her Past
Trust, once broken, can’t be regained, a shattered mirror cannot be fixed, and the past can’t be forgotten. Carrying the heavy burden from her past, Shenhe finds herself conflicted within the threads of society.
She often finds herself troubled with the usual matters that might be trivial for someone who’s street-smart. Her story might be one of the most heartbreaking in the game because of how she was treated as a child.
Born in an exorcist family, Shenhe’s father offered her to a demonic deity in exchange for resurrecting her mother. Luckily, Shenhe managed to break free and was later found and sheltered by the cloud retainer.
At times, the Cloud retainer is talkative, but she is a very caring individual. Like the Adepti, Shenhe isn’t very accustomed to the normal lives of the people and has a rather direct way of speaking. While the common folks mince their words to convey the meaning, Shenhe prefers to be straightforward with her thoughts.
Often some people are misunderstood for their direct nature, but that doesn’t mean they have ill intentions. Some people cut to the chase, and as long as there’s an understanding, things are just fine.
All the time we spent with Shenhe gave us a glimpse into the world of Adepti and how tough it is to become their disciple. The balance has to be maintained with harsh training, a disciplined way of living, and consistent solitude.
I remember watching Shenhe’s trailer when it was revealed that she actually is Chongyun’s aunt. Though the game hasn’t revealed her parents’ identities, it’s likely that Shenhe is related to Chongyun, as both belong to exorcist clans.
At least she does have someone to call her family, and while Shenhe might not be the best person to indulge in chit-chat, she’s reliable enough to ask for help.
Ascension and Talent Level Up
Shenhe’s ascension stat and attack percentage contribute to the Cryo damage buff by her elemental skill, which can help in dealing better Cryo damage to the opponents.
I highly recommend leveling her to 90 for the flat attack bonus. You must make a few trips to Enkanomiya to get Dragonheir’s False Fins.
Here’s a list of Shenhe’s ascension materials:
- Mora x 420,000
- Shivada Jade Sliver x 1
- Shivada Jade Fragment x 9
- Shivada Jade Chunk x 9
- Shivada Jade Gemstone x 6
- Qingxin x 168
- Whopperflower Nectar x 18
- Shimmering Nectar x 30
- Energy Nectar x 36
- Dragonheir’s False Fin x 46
Here’s a list of Shenhe’s talent materials that you need to max out a single talent:
- Mora x 1,652,500
- Whopperflower Nectar x 6
- Shimmering Nectar x 22
- Energy Nectar x 31
- Crown of Insight x 1
- Hellfire Butterfly x 6
- Teachings of Prosperity x 3
- Guide to Prosperity x 21
- Philosophies of Prosperity x 38
I don’t suggest leveling up her normal attack talents; however, Shenhe’s elemental skill and burst are important. I highly recommend investing in Shenhe’s skill and burst to benefit from the Cryo damage bonus and resistance shred.
Cautiously use your talent materials because the requirements scale when you go beyond level 6. Some characters like Xingqiu or Mona have passive talents that can yield better rewards from the crafting table. It’s better to switch to those characters on the table to use their utility passives.
Normal Attack: Dawnstar Piercer
Normal attack: Shenhe strikes five times in a row with the spear
Charged attack: Shenhe deals damage to enemies along the way after consuming a specific amount of stamina
Plunging attack: Shenhe plunges from mid-air to strike the enemies on the ground with an area-wide attack.
Shenhe’s kit revolves around building her as an off-field supporting character for other characters. Thus, she has no use for Normal attacks. I don’t suggest using her Normal attack talent, as they bring no value to the table besides chopping wood off the trees.
Elemental Skill: Spring Spirit Summoning
Shenhe grants the Icy Quill effect to team members and deals Cryo damage to nearby enemies when the skill is used. You can press or hold the skill to initiate the effect.
Press: Shenhe quickly heads forward to deal Cryo damage to the enemies along the path.
Hold: Shenhe deals an area-of-effect Cryo damage to enemies
Icy Quill Effect: The Cryo damage dealt by Normal, Charged, or Plunging attacks and Elemental skills or bursts increases according to Shenhe’s current attack.
Shenhe can only increase the Cryo damage of the team members. The hold version of the skill has a longer duration and can be triggered more than the press version.
The number of Cryo damage instances is calculated separately for each team member. It can be triggered multiple times by hitting numerous enemies. The effect, however, is cleared after reaching the maximum number of hits or when its duration ends.
The main reason players get Shenhe for. Her elemental skill’s Icy Quill effect can help increase your characters’ Cryo damage. At talent level 10, you can get around 80 % of Shenhe’s attack as a damage bonus, which is a really good addition to her supporting capabilities.
On top of that, you can use her elemental skill to generate energy particles and feed them to her or other team members. This skill is the main reason players use a complete attack percentage combination on artifacts.
Elemental Burst: Divine Maiden’s Deliverance
Shenhe summons a Talisman spirit that deals area-of-effect Cryo damage to enemies around you. The enemies’ Cryo and Physical resistance decreases in the field. At the same time, the Talisman Spirit deals Cryo damage in the effective field area.
I wouldn’t rely on Shenhe’s off-field damage, as you will usually use her as a supporting character rather than an off-field or main damage dealer. Her elemental burst provides insanely valuable resistance decreases stat that can help your main DPS character to deal better damage.
The lesser the resistance on enemies, the better the damage. That’s a thumb rule I follow whenever I’m tackling enemies.
Resistance shred does have a few sources, like Zhongli’s shield, Viridescent Venerer’s artifact, and Anemo Traveler’s final constellation, but if they aren’t potent in certain team compositions, using Shenhe might be your only option.
Cryo resistance shred makes Shenhe invaluable in Cryo DPS teams, and Physical resistance shreds buffs characters like Eula, Rosaria, and Razor in Physical DPS roles.
Passive: Deific Embrace
With this passive, an active character is buffed with a 15 % Cryo damage bonus inside the Elemental burst, Divine Maiden’s Deliverance field.
A decent boost to other Cryo characters in the team while you deploy Shenhe’s elemental burst. However, Shenhe’s high 80 burst cost requires suitable energy recharge on her artifacts. To solve that, you need to have a character in the team who can funnel energy particles to Shenhe.
Passive: Spirit Communion Seal
Nearby team members get the following effects when Shenhe uses her elemental skill, Spring Spirit Summoning:
- Press: Elemental skill and burst damage increase by 15 % for 10 seconds.
- Hold: The damage of Normal, Charged, and Plunge attacks increases by 15 % for 15 seconds.
What an amazing passive! Mindblowing indeed. This passive decouples Shenhe from her usual Cryo damage teams and allows her to be used with any character irrespective of their element.
You can use Shenhe to buff their damage output. Instead of stacking attack percentage to buff the Cryo damage, utilize energy recharge attributes on artifacts to fulfill her energy requirements.
Passive: Precise Comings and Goings
Deploying Shenhe on an expedition in Liyue yields 25 % more rewards for 20 hours.
A decent passive for fellows out there who love to passively farm materials. I occasionally send my characters on expeditions to farm materials.
C1: Clarity of Heart
Shenhe’s elemental skill, Spring Spirit Summoning, gets an extra charge and can be used one more time.
At first, you might not realize the importance of this constellation; however, when you couple this constellation with Shenhe’s ascension passive Spirit Communion Seal, you can provide immense buffs to your characters.
With one charge on the elemental skill, you either buff the skill or burst damage, or normal, charged, or plunge damage with press and hold versions, respectively.
However, with an extra charge, you can use one for the press version and the other for the hold version. That allows you to benefit from passive variations to soak full-proof damage bonuses.
C2: Centered Spirit
Shenhe’s elemental burst, Divine Maiden’s Deliverance’s duration extends by 6 seconds. The characters inside the field deal 15 % increased Cryo CRIT damage.
Though the constellation grants a decent bonus to the Cryo damage, the selling point of this constellation is its ability to extend the duration of Physical and Cryo resistance shred. Once you use the Elemental burst, you can benefit from resistance shred on the enemies that can help you to deal better damage.
A standard constellation that increases Shenhe’s elemental skill level by three with a maximum limit of 15.
I usually don’t recommend standard constellations that increase the talent levels; however, this constellation is a really nice addition if you want to capitalize on Shenhe’s Cryo damage bonus. You get additional levels on her elemental skill that can help to enhance the damage bonus by the Icy Quill effect.
Shenhe gains a Skyfrost Mantra stack when characters under the influence of her elemental skill’s Icy Quill effect trigger the damage bonus effect.
With a maximum of 50 stacks that last for 60 seconds, Shenhe can consume the stacks using her elemental skill, Spring Spirit Summoning to increase the damage of that skill instance by 5 % for each stack consumed.
I don’t see much use for this constellation unless you plan to run Shenhe as a main damage dealer. Let’s be real; going against the meta by using a supporting character as a damage dealer won’t be profitable in the long run.
The constellation is a personal damage boost but not something you should center Shenhe’s build around.
C5: Divine Attainement
A standard constellation that increases Shenhe’s elemental burst level by 3 with a maximum limit of 15.
There’s a bit of technicality in this constellation. Your Physical and Cryo resistance shred percentage is the same from talent level 10 to 15, and you can easily upgrade the elemental burst to talent level 10 by using a Crown of Insight. Unless you plan to go out and get Shenhe all her constellations, C3 is where you should make a pitstop.
C6: Mystical Abandon
Triggering the Icy Quill effects using Normal and Charged attacks won’t count towards the Trigger Quota.
Whale territory. I don’t see the use of this constellation for an average free-to-play player unless they have a C6 Cryo DPS character lying in their account.
You need good technical knowledge of skill combinations to benefit from this constellation, as the Icy Quill’s maximum quota can be reached by various attacks. In a nutshell, unless you have plenty
- 2-piece effect: Increases Shenhe’s Cryo damage bonus by 15 %
- 4-piece effect: Shenhe’s CRIT rate increases by 20 % on attacking an enemy affected by Cryo. The CRIT rate further increases by 20 % if the enemy is frozen.
The set will be favorable in freeze team compositions where you can apply Cryo and Hydro on the enemies. Enemies will be immobilized in their places with the freeze reaction and can be defeated easily. I usually freeze the enemies and use Venti’s elemental burst to group them up in a single place.
Likewise, you can use Sucrose’s elemental burst to group up frozen enemies and further reduce their Cryo elemental resistance with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set. Shenhe’s personal damage and the CRIT rate will increase with the Blizzard strayer artifact, which is quite helpful in freeze team compositions.
- 2-piece effect: Increases Shenhe’s elemental burst damage by 20 %
- 4-piece effect: The attack increase by 20 % for 12 seconds for all party members after you use an elemental burst. The 4-piece effect cannot stack on top of other similar bonuses.
The more attack Shenhe has, the better the Cryo damage bonus will be. Noblesse Oblige is a standard set for supporting characters that can buff all the party members’ attack percentages.
Bennett, Shenhe, Kujou Sara, and so on. Almost all the supporting characters can rely on Noblesse Oblige for extra burst damage and party-wide buff.
2-Piece ATK % Combinations
The main focus is to maximize the attack percentage on Shenhe to benefit from the Icy Quill effect. You can use the following artifact sets’ 2-piece combinations to achieve the same:
- Gladiator’s Finale
- Vermillion Hereafter
- Shimenawa’s Reminiscence
- Echoes of an Offering
You can also use a 2-piece Blizzard strayer with an attack percentage 2-piece combination; however, that will defeat the purpose of maximizing Shenhe’s attack to boost the Cryo damage bonus.
I recommend a complete attack percentage setup on artifacts for a niche Cryo damage bonus supporting role. That will help to maximize the Icy Quill effect’s damage bonus and allow Shenhe to boost team members’ Cryo damage.
In a nutshell, go with an attack percentage stat on the Sands of Eon, Goblet of Eonothem, and Circlet of Logos.
As for general support, I suggest trading an attack percentage sand for an Energy recharge one to compensate for Shenhe’s high energy burst cost.
You don’t have the time to spare in an abyss chamber to recharge a character’s elemental burst. Maintaining sufficient energy recharge on them is recommended to keep the rotation going.
Finally, the substats you should focus on should be Energy recharge, Attack percentage, CRIT rate, or CRIT damage. I usually stick to pieces that give me plenty of Energy recharge.
As mentioned in the Artifact Attributes section above, you can either build Shenhe as a general supporting character for the team or a Cryo damage bonus buffer. If you want to maximize the Cryo damage bonus, then a weapon with an attack percentage weapon would come into play.
As for a general supporting role, a balance of Energy recharge and attack percentage should be sought. Here are the weapons with secondary stats that you can use on Shenhe:
- Calamity Queller (5-star) – Attack percentage
- Vortex Vanquisher (5-star) – Attack percentage
- Engulfing Lightning (5-star) – Energy recharge
- Skyward Spine (5-star) – Energy recharge
- The Catch (4-star) – Energy recharge
- Favonius Lance (4-star) – Energy recharge
- Lithic spear (4-star) – Attack percentage
- Missive Windspear (4-star) – Attack percentage
- Wavebreaker’s Fin (4-star) – Attack percentage
- Prototype starglitter (4-star) – Energy recharge
The Calamity Queller, Shenhe’s Signature weapon, synergizes perfectly with her abilities. Suppose the Engulfing Lightning is used by the Raiden Shogun. In that case, you can use the Skyward Spine to maintain a sufficient energy recharge.
As for the 4-star weapons, the Favonius Lance is an amazing pick to fill Shenhe’s 80 burst cost. The Favonius lance is an amazing weapon that can help you funnel energy particles to other characters. You need to maintain a decent CRIT rate to proc the weapon’s passive.
You can use Shenhe in almost all the available team compositions because of the versatile nature of her skills. However, these three teams are the most prominent ones you will use in the abyss.
You can use Shenhe in the Melt teams, but that may require you to add dedicated characters that could potentially disrupt other team compositions. Let’s review some good team compositions where Shenhe shines in the supporting role.
Mono Cryo: Shenhe Cryo Anemo Cryo/Anemo
A mono-element team focuses on dealing with a particular type of elemental damage. With Shenhe, you can pair up Cryo characters like Chongyun, Kamisato Ayaka, Ganyu, Diona, Layla, Rosaria, or Kaeya.
I’m fond of Chongyun’s abilities because they can reduce Cryo resistance from enemies and create a Cryo infusion field that converts normal attacks to Cryo damage. Scenarios where you are facing Hydro, Pyro, or Electro enemies call out for Mono Cryo teams.
Hydro abyss heralds, Hydro abyss mages, Hydro Hypostasis, Electro abyss lectars, all these enemies are prone to Cryo attacks. You can easily reproduce an optimal burst combination against these enemies and clear the abyss under the time limit.
To maximize the damage, I highly suggest using an Anemo character with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set to reduce the Cryo resistance.
You can also use a double resonance set up to benefit from both Cryo and Anemo resonance. Anemo characters like Jean, Sayu, Kaedehara Kazuha, Sucrose, or Venti can help you in grouping up the enemies or healing the injured teammates.
Physical: Shenhe Electro Flex Flex
Most of the time, you will use Shenhe in Cryo-based team compositions. However, her versatile skills enable her to buff characters irrespective of their elements.
She can reduce enemies’ Physical resistance, which helps to deal more Physical damage. The main caveat in the team compositions is Shenhe’s high energy burst cost, which will require a decent amount of energy recharge on her.
On top of that, you can have an Electro character in the team to trigger superconduct on an enemy to further reduce their Physical resistance. Electro characters like Fischl, Raiden Shogun, Yae Miko, or Kuki Shinobu can help you with an off-field Electro application.
It depends on you whether you want to add an Electro character to the team. In case the enemies have less Physical resistance, you can avoid adding Electro characters just for the sake of superconduct reactions.
It’s better to add a character like Zhongli, who can provide shield and resistance shred at the same time. Physical damage dealers like Eula, Razor, or the Crescent pike users like Rosaria can benefit from Shenhe’s elemental skill’s ability to reduce Physical resistance.
Freeze: Cryo Anemo Hydro Flex
My favorite Freeze teams! Freeze teams are underrated. Though at times, you’ll find me barging into the action, there are times when I sit back and fine-tune the characters. Similar is the case with Freeze teams, where I cherry-pick the characters to trigger the freeze reaction on enemies.
Hydro characters like Sangonomiya Kokomi, Xingqiu, Yelan, and Mona are good for off-field Hydro application. As for Anemo characters, Kaedehara Kazuha, Sucrose, Venti, or Jean are amazing choices. I suggest going with a double Cryo team composition to benefit from the Cryo resonance to buff the CRIT rate.
I don’t suggest using Hydro characters like Tartaglia or Kamisato Ayato, as they are suited for other niche roles. Though they do have massive AoE Hydro applications, using them in Shenhe’s team might handicap your other team composition.
They’re better with characters like Xiangling, who can help them trigger vaporize reactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Shenhe an S-tier Supporting Character in the Game?
Answer: Yes or no. Why? Because it all depends on your team composition. Though, in my opinion, Shenhe can still be used in almost all team compositions, however, when you compare her with other supporting characters, she lacks essential aspects like healing and shielding.
No doubt she can buff your characters, but when you are against corrosive enemies, you need healing, not damage boost.
Question: Should I go for Shenhe, Kamisato Ayaka, or Ganyu?
Answer: If you are looking for S-tier Cryo DPS characters, then by all means, go with Kamisato Ayaka or Ganyu. I would prioritize Ganyu over Kamisato Ayaka because of her ability to deal massive charged attack damage. Ganyu is the definition of an overpowered character in the game’s meta.
As for Shenhe, she can buff your characters’ damage, which makes her a really good supporting character. Ultimately, it’s up to your team’s requirements to decide which character to use to help them fill a certain role.
Question: What is a Good Stopping Point for Shenhe’s Constellations?
Answer: C1, C2, and C3 are all good. If you are a free-to-play player saving your primogems to raise Shenhe’s constellation, I suggest taking a break at C3. The first three constellations are good enough to use your primogems on.
Question: What’s a Good Free-to-play Weapon for Shenhe?
Answer: The Favonius lance, hands down, is the best weapon for supporting characters that use polearms. You can funnel energy particles to your main DPS or consume them to recharge your elemental burst.
I’ve got two refined copies of the Favonius lance to use on Xiangling and Shenhe. Though I usually switch between the Calamity Queller and the Favonius lance, it’s better to have flexibility.
A Step Forward, Trying to Move on
We meet Shenhe while constructing the new Jade chamber in the Crane Returns on the Wind Interlude archon quest. The archon quest deserves a spot in the best quests in the Genshin Impact because of its intricate storytelling and vibrant cutscenes.
Mesmerizing background music added final touches to the cutscenes where Shenhe’s past was revealed to the Traveler.
Though she might be treated as an outcast at times, the people of Liyue witnessed her resolve to protect the city. Towards the quest’s end, Shenhe uses her power to protect the Jade chamber from a tsunami wave.
She might not have the best soft skills, but her actions conveyed her thoughts to the common folk. A wave of confidence swayed the Millelith soldiers, and they eventually defeated the ferocious Beisht.
Once again, finding common ground between each other is the way to establish a healthy understanding. Introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, and all sorts of people live together and walk through the phases of life.
Shenhe’s story quest left a deep impression on me. If you could take some time to go through the dialogues, you will realize the beauty of the amazing storytelling Genshin put forth.
That was it for the Shenhe Genshin Impact guide, and I hope to see you soon in another character guide. Do check out other character guides we have. Who knows, maybe there’s an in-depth guide for the new character you just got.
- Genshin Impact Nilou Guide - June 9, 2023
- Best Fishing Spots in Genshin Impact - April 16, 2023
- Yanfei Genshin Impact Guide - April 10, 2023