The Raiden Shogun is a 5-Star Electro Polearm character from Inazuma. She can only be obtained via the “Reign of Serenity” Event banner. Alternating between an off field support and a selfish carry, Raiden befits Electro’s theme of Energy by serving as a dedicated battery unit for your team.
For off field DMG, Raiden uses her Elemental Skill, “Transcendence: Baleful Omen”. This works similarly to Fischl’s Elemental Skill and sixth Constellation in that Raiden deals Electro DMG and then calls upon a deployable “turret”. For every 0.9 seconds, the so-called “Eye of Stormy Judgment” will coordinate with your active character, dealing AoE Electro DMG whenever any of their talents hits an opponent. As a bonus, the Eye provides an Elemental Burst DMG Bonus in proportion to the Energy cost of the active character’s Burst. On top of all that, Raiden’s Skill has 100% uptime with a 25 second duration against a 10 second cooldown. A C6 Fischl can have just a single second of downtime with Oz though this requires that you have sufficient enough Energy Recharge for Fischl to alternate between her Elemental Skill and Burst. Raiden meanwhile only requires a press of a button. Also unlike Oz is that the Eye does not need to be repositioned as it floats above and follows your active character.
While Raiden’s Skill certainly has better utility than Fischl’s, there are a few quirks that prevent it from being completely superior to the latter. The first is that Raiden’s fancy Eye symbol actually has less DPS potential than Fischl’s bird. At Lv. 13, which requires whaling to get Raiden’s fifth Constellation and using a Crown of Insight, the Eye of Stormy Judgment has a multiplier of 89.25%. This is only 0.45% higher than Oz’s multiplier at Lv. 1. Furthermore, and provided that Fischl is at C6, Oz’s coordinated attacks lacks the 0.9 cooldown that the Eye has and these attacks are in addition to the ones he fires by default. In other words, Oz can technically hit harder and hit very frequently. The second is that the Eye of Stormy Judgment is almost completely useless against shielded enemies as you have to directly deal DMG to an opponent in order for trigger the symbol’s coordinated attacks. Oz however could care less and will simply zap away at anything, making him better for breaking shields.
Raiden briefly takes on a more selfish role when she uses her Elemental Burst, “Secret Art: Musou Shinsetsu”. When activated, Raiden will trade her polearm for the weapon that you actually want her to use and infuse her Normal Attacks with Electro for seven seconds. These effects disappear if Raiden dies or leaves the field. This Burst is where Raiden serves as your battery unit. Each of her infused attacks can restore Energy to her team. At Lv. 6, one attack will yield you 2.1 Energy and this effect can be triggered 5 times during the Burst’s duration, giving you a base total of 10.5. Your gains can be higher however if you take advantage of Raiden’s A4 passive which increase her Electro DMG Bonus and Energy restoration for every 1% above the base 100% Energy Recharge stat. Raiden’s Burst has an exceptionally high cost of 90 Energy so you should be building Raiden’s Energy Recharge anyway. The Energy Raiden provides is neat but to be frank, I don’t find it all that impressive. It’s the same problem that I have with Electro Traveler in that it’s not enough for characters with a high Energy cost and unnecessary for characters that don’t. Those thinking they can neglect Energy Recharge on Raiden’s teammates will be sorely disappointed.
While you can use Raiden’s Burst whenever it’s ready, you ideally want to wait until Raiden has accumulated enough Resolve. These are stacks that increases Raiden’s DMG and they can be gained when other characters in the team use their Burst. The more Energy spent, the more stacks Raiden gains. Up to 60 stacks can be obtained and having all 60 can result in a massive increase to Raiden’s DPS potential. In an ideal rotation, you pretty much have to use Raiden’s Burst last, which is perfectly fine given its selfish nature and the fact that all her teammates will need a battery by then.
Were it not for the Resolve mechanic, Raiden’s Burst mode would frankly be underwhelming. Bear in mind that Raiden is an Electro character and is therefore inherently screwed for Reaction DMG as Electro is involved in some of the most underwhelming Reactions in Genshin‘s meta. Overload is generally impractical due to its knockback effect on enemies but it’s especially detrimental for Raiden as she can’t afford to waste precious seconds of her Burst sprinting over to an enemy. Superconduct is wasted on Raiden due to its low scaling and the character’s own inability to deal Physical DMG during her Burst. About the only worthwhile Reaction for Raiden is Electro-Charged.
Unfortunately, Raiden lacks strong compatibility with much of the current roster of characters in Genshin. Because of her kit’s design, she ideally wants to be put in a team entirely comprised of characters with a high Energy cost. Those characters gain the most Burst DMG Bonus from her Skill and provide the most Resolve stacks for her Burst. Even then, there’s also the fact that Raiden is an Electro character, which is limiting in and of itself. For example, I could team Raiden up with Xiangling, whose amazing Burst costs 80 Energy, but pairing them together leads me into using Overload which would be suboptimal. Xiangling would rather want to trigger Melt or Vaporize and Raiden would rather not want to use Overload. Furthermore, if we’re talking about battery support, Bennett would serve Xiangling better than Raiden as Bennett generates Pyro particles and has stronger utility as an ATK buffer and healer. For a lot of characters, Electro-related reactions isn’t the way to go.
Currently, your best and only optimal option is Eula. Eula’s Burst costs 80 Energy. As a Physical carry, she’ll welcome an Electro character for Superconduct. Being a Claymore user means that she already has enemy shields taken care of (though it is time consuming to only rely on a claymore). Even then, there’s some caveats to consider. Both Eula and Raiden demand that they stay on the field for their Bursts and that runs the risk of dragging out your rotation. You’ll also need to plan for a different reaction for Raiden to use during her Burst as Superconduct has low DMG scaling and Raiden can’t take advantage of its Physical RES debuff (nor does she need to trigger it so many times). Most importantly, you have to get Eula and like Raiden, she is only available for a limited time. Besides Eula, there really isn’t any solid choices, especially for F2Ps. Beidou would’ve been the most obvious candidate as Raiden’s Skill provides Electro particles and allows Beidou to deal Electro DMG while still saving her parry for the right moment. Unfortunately, you can’t use both characters’ Bursts at the same time, due to a technicality in which Raiden’s infused Normal Attacks are considered Burst DMG and therefore cannot trigger Beidou’s Burst.
Raiden is honestly a tough character to recommend. Her kit has some interesting and fun ideas but it has a few caveats that nag at me. In particular, I wish for her to be more effective as a battery support, especially when she’s so strongly encouraged to be paired exclusively with characters with high Energy costs. Really though, the biggest issues with Raiden don’t really involve her as a unit but rather Genshin‘s meta as a whole. There’s barely anyone who perfectly synergizes with her kit and most of the ones who do are better off in a different comp because Electro is that underwhelming as an Element. It’s entirely possible that miHoYo will one day give Electro the buff that it deserves or release new characters for Raiden to team up with. That’s also wishful thinking and that should not merit pulling for Raiden right now.
Thanks for reading!