The five-star character Cryo Shenhe has been proven to boost Cryo damage with her Elemental Skill while lowering enemies' Cryo Resistance with her Burst. Even with all of those buffs suited for a Cryo Support playstyle, she has a lot of things that make her excel as a physical DPS. Looking at different artifacts and team compositions, Shenhe turned out to be a good physical striker.
Reduce physical resistance
Shenhe naturally has the ability to lower the enemy's physical resistance through the use of her Burst elemental, Divine Maiden's Deliverance. After using it, a large field erupts from the Talisman Spirit it spawns, lowering both Cryo and Physical Resistance of all opponents within. It's six percent at talent level 1 and 15 percent at talent level 10. Gathering enemies in the Elemental Bursts area of effect like Shenhe can be done easily with the help of an Anemo character such as Sucrose or Kazuha.
Paired with an Electro character, Shenhe can unleash Superconduct on enemies to further reduce their physical resistance by 40%. Superconductivity will also deal a good amount of cryogenic damage, which is further increased by its naturally high attack and elemental burst. Raiden and Beidou can apply Electro quickly and reliably while dealing massive damage. Fischl is also a good Electro applicator but won't deal as much damage as a support character.
Zhongli and Rosaria are also great options for any physical DPS team. Zhongli's elemental skill, Dominus Lapidus, will cause a jade shield to be created that reduces the elemental and physical resistance of all nearby enemies by 20%. Rosaria's debuffs only apply to Constellation Six, as she also unlocks the ability to reduce physical resistance. This causes his Burst elemental, Rites of Termination, to reduce the physical resistance of all enemies hit by 20%. Rosaria is also a good source of energy so Shenhe can keep using her Elemental Burst as much as possible off cooldown.
Related: Best Sucrose Build in Genshin Impact
Physical DPS Artifacts
For a Physical DPS build, Crit Rate, Crit Damage, Physical Damage, Offense, and Offense Percentage are all important to deliver the most damage possible. Getting crit damage over 150% and crit rate over 50% can be a challenge, so sacrificing physical damage for a better crit ratio can end up happening. Even with these setbacks, Shenhe's normal and charged attacks will deal a lot of damage to players wishing to use her as their primary DPS.
There are many artifacts that Shenhe can use to increase his physical damage output. Pale Flame and Bloodstained Chivarly's 2-Piece Set Bonuses both increase physical damage by 25% for a total of 50% when equipped together. As the bonus is high, this may remove the need for a physical damage percentage cup, allowing players to opt for an attack percentage cup instead.
Gladiator's Finale and Shimenawa's Reminiscence 2-piece set bonuses both increase attack stat by 18% for a total of 36% when equipped together. Mixing and matching these sets can be good for Shenhe to use as she is able to put these stat bonuses to good use. Holding his elemental skill, Spring Spirit Summoning, will increase his normal and charged attacks by 15% while also increasing Cryo damage from all sources thanks to his icy quills.
Gladiator's Finale four-piece set increases attack by 18% and increases Shenhe's normal attack damage by 35%. This is the easiest set to use and farm and offers surprisingly high damage potential. This damage bonus is additive and multiplicative with all other damage bonuses to the total damage dealt by Shenhe's normal and charged attacks.
Souvenir de Shimenawa
Although Shenhe's Elemental Burst is necessary to further diminish opponents' physical resistance, the bonus of a four-piece Shimenawa's Reminiscence should not be underestimated. A full set will increase Shenhe's attack by 18% and increase his charged attack damage by 50% for 10 seconds after using his elemental skill in exchange for 15 energy. The energy drain makes using Shenhe's Elemental Burst unlikely, but trading a maximum of 15% physical resistance reduction for 50% charged attack damage might be worth it.
Due to Shenhe's elemental skill cooldown of 10/15 seconds depending on whether she presses or holds it, the four-piece bonus for this set is unobtainable. If Icy Quills' bonus were to count as Shenhe using her elemental skill, then this set could easily be her best, however, it's not and therefore not a good option for her.
Related: Shimenawa Reminiscence Artifact Set: Stats, How to Get It & Who Can Use It in Genshin Impact
There are several weapons that allow Shenhe to be used as physical DPS and can be categorized by their cost.
- Crescent Pike – With 565 kills and a 34,5% physical damage bonus, the Crescent Pike is a great free-to-play option for players to invest in. His passive ability also increases the damage of normal and charged attacks by 40% at refinement five.
- Dragonspine Spear – At 454 attacks with a 69% physical damage bonus, the Dragonspine Spear is another free option for players looking to further increase their physical damage bonus over their base attack. Crescent Pike is usually a better option due to its passive, but this weapon can drop icicles on opponents based on Shenhe's attack stat.
- Deathmatch – One of the Battle Pass weapons that has 454 kills and a crit rate of 36,8%. The weapon also increases Shenhe's attack by 32 or 48% depending on whether there are more or less than two enemies nearby.
While Eula can take out DPS Shenhe in most cases, Shenhe can scratch that physical DPS itch that players who haven't shot Eula may have. She is fun as both Cryo Support or Physical DPS and players should play her in whichever option is most fun for them.
For more character guides for Genshin Impact, check out the best Venti build in Genshin Impact on Pro game guides.