Genshin Impact: Should you wish for Shenhe?
It has now been over a week since the release of Genshin Impact's 2.4 update and Shenhe, the new 5-star Cryo polearm-wielder from Liyue.
If you're wary of digging into your primogem hoard and still on the fence about whether or not you should pull for this new character, then we've got you covered.
To help you decide, we've listed down all the reasons why you should either pull for Shenhe or save your hard-earned primogems for another character instead.
If you're not yet familiar with Shenhe's kit, then you can check out her Collected Miscellany video below:
Why you should pull for Shenhe
Shenhe is a great Cryo support character that excels in Freeze-oriented teams alongside Cryo DPS characters like Ayaka and Ganyu.
Shenhe can not only buff the Cryo damage dealt by your party thanks to her elemental skill, Spring Spirit Summoning, but also reduce enemy resistances to both Cryo and Physical damage with her elemental burst, Divine Maiden's Deliverance.
How she buffs her fellow party members is also one of Shenhe's strong suits, as her buffing capabilities scale off her attack. This means that she can shine even with relatively low investment, whether it be on her weapon or artifacts.
You don't need to have 5-star weapons — like her signature weapon Calamity Queller or the Primordial Jade-Winged Spear — to get the most out of Shenhe's kit.
Even relatively common 4-star polearms like the Favonius Lance fit her needs for adequate attack and energy recharge.
As for Shenhe's artifacts, you don't really need to grind a single domain for weeks to get usable artifacts.
The consensus best artifact configuration for her right now is two-piece Gladiator's Finale and two-piece Shimenawa's Reminiscence, which gives you the two-piece set bonus of +18% attack from both artifact sets.
You don't need to fish for Crit Rate or Crit DMG main stats either, as ATK% main stats on her Sands, Goblet, and Circlet will suffice.
Shenhe is also not dependent on constellations, working perfectly fine at C0 and with any constellations you get really just providing quality of life improvements to her gameplay.
While she excels in Freeze-oriented Cryo teams, Shenhe can also work in a physical damage lineup to buff physical DPS characters like Eula.
As a Cryo character, Shenhe can activate the Cryo Resonance effect (increases Crit Rate against enemies that are Frozen or affected by Cryo by 15%) when put in a team with Eula while also reducing the physical damage resistance of enemies affected by her elemental burst.
Of course, the reasons we mentioned above all have to do with gameplay. If you're pulling for characters based on their design or personality, then it's safe to say that Shenhe is one of the best characters in the game in terms of design, personality, and story.
Play the new Archon quest, The Crane Returns on the Wind, to see for yourself if you haven't already yet.
Why you shouldn't pull for Shenhe
Since she is designed to be a support, Shenhe isn't the best choice to be your team's DPS character.
While she can definitely work in that role, she will be outshined by other Cryo characters like Eula, Ganyu, Ayaka, or even Rosaria.
And while she is a great Cryo support character, Shenhe is more like a luxury and not a necessity if you already have a built 4-star Cryo support like Diona, Rosaria, or Kaeya.
Shenhe also does not provide utility outside of buffing your team's damage. She can't heal or provide shields like Diona and doesn't bring other things to the table like Rosaria's team-wide Crit Rate buffs.
Shenhe's energy regeneration also isn't the best, so you may need a third Cryo character in your team to act as a battery for both Shenhe and your DPS (which isn't really bad as Shenhe is great in mono Cryo teams).
Shenhe also doesn't have a place outside of Cryo or Physical damage teams, belonging in the same group of niche support characters for specific elements like Kujou Sara for Electro and Gorou for Geo.
If you don't have a Cryo team to slot Shenhe in, then it's better to build more universal support characters like Bennett, Xingqui, Xiangling, and Sucrose if you haven't already.
Lastly, Shenhe is the least beginner-friendly character in the game thus far. This is not because new players will have a hard time playing her, but because new players won't be able to ascend her beyond level 40 if they haven't reached Enkanomiya yet.
To get to Enkanomiya and acquire one of Shenhe's ascension materials, the Dragonheir's False Fin from the Coral Defenders world boss, players need to: be Adventure Rank 30 or above, reach Inazuma (which requires you to complete the Archon quests for both Mondstadt and Liyue), complete Inazuma's Archon quests, and the prerequisite world quests in both Watatsumi Island and Enkanomiya.
If you're fine with your Shenhe sitting on the sidelines while you do everything that is required to ascend her (which could take a week or more of almost non-stop gameplay), then this won't be a problem.
Otherwise, you're better off waiting for the next banner to get Zhongli or Ganyu.
With all that said however, new characters essentially being soft-locked for new players isn't a problem exclusive to Shenhe, and will be something to keep an eye on as miHoYo moves to introduce new Ascension mats as the game expands.
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