Genshin Impact Character Review – Raiden Shogun

The Raiden Shogun is a 5-Star Electro Polearm character from Inazuma. She can only be obtained via the “Reign of Serenity” Event banner. The epitome of the Electro element, Raiden is a Sub DPS support unit who can briefly take the field to carry her team.

For off field DMG, Raiden uses her Elemental Skill, “Transcendence: Baleful Omen” and summons the “Eye of Stormy Judgment”. For every 0.9 seconds, this icon deals coordinated AoE Electro DMG with any of your active character’s Talents. As a bonus, the Eye provides an Elemental Burst DMG Bonus to each party member in your team in proportion to the respective Energy cost of their Burst. Both the coordinated attacks and the Burst DMG Bonus provided by the Eye can have 100% uptime as Raiden’s Skill lasts for 25 seconds, more than double its 10 second cooldown.

While useful for its utilities, the Eye of Stormy Judgment is actually very weak when it comes to offense. At Lv. 13, which requires having Raiden at C5 and using a Crown of Insight, the Eye’s coordinated attack has a multiplier of 89.25%. For context, this is only 0.45% higher than the off field attacks of Fischl’s Elemental Skill at Lv. 1. Substantial investment will be required if you are to see high numbers out of Raiden’s Skill. Also detrimental is the fact that the Eye’s coordinated attack only procs if the enemy directly takes DMG. Against fully shielded enemies such as Abyss Mages, the Eye is pretty much useless until their Shield breaks. If strong Sub DPS is what you’re looking for in an Electro character, you are actually better off investing in a 4-Star alternative such as Fischl and Beidou.

Raiden can briefly act as a carry when she uses her Elemental Burst, “Secret Art: Musou Shinsetsu”. After dealing AoE Electro DMG upon activation, Raiden trades her Polearm for the weapon that you actually want her to use and gains an Electro Infusion for 7 seconds. When any of her basic attacks hit an enemy, Raiden will regenerate Energy for her team; this effect occurs every 1 second and can be triggered up to 5 times. While under this state, Raiden also gains an increased resistance to interruption and is immune to Electro-Charged’s bonus DMG and stagger effect. All of the aforementioned effects disappear immediately if Raiden dies or leaves the field. 

The DPS potential in Raiden’s Elemental Burst lies in its exclusive “Resolve” mechanic. These are stacks that increase Raiden’s Burst DMG and they are gained when her teammates use their Bursts. The more Energy spent, the more stacks Raiden gains. Up to 60 stacks can be obtained. Against most enemies, the Resolve mechanic can be overkill. However, for bosses and endgame content such as the Spiral Abyss, stacking Resolve before casting Raiden’s Burst is a crucial component to her DPS. Given how this mechanic works, you ideally want to cast Raiden’s Burst last in a rotation, after everyone else in her team has casted their Bursts and given her Resolve stacks. That’s perfectly fine, given the selfish nature of Raiden’s Burst and the fact that her entire team will need a battery by then.

While the raw Electro DMG alone can suffice, you can of course increase Raiden’s DPS further with Elemental Reactions. While Overload may seem risky due to its knockback effect, Raiden works surprisingly okay with the Reaction as her basic attacks gain seemingly larger range during the duration of her Elemental Burst and can therefore still hit enemies as they get knocked around. Nevertheless, you can instead consider Electro-Charged for potentially less chaotic gameplay. Meanwhile, Superconduct is far less ideal as it’s more for improving Physical DMG, which Raiden won’t be dealing due to her Electro infusion. It is nevertheless a Reaction you may utilize if Raiden is teamed up with a Physical carry such as Eula.

The Energy Raiden gives to her team is good but I hesitate to call it game breaking. At Lv. 6, one attack will yield you 2.1 Energy, giving you a base total of 10.5. Raiden’s A4 passive can further increase this effect by 0.6% for every 1% above her base 100% Energy Recharge stat. The final amount will vary depending on your build but it should generally be around 20-30. Getting that much flat Energy can lower a character’s Energy needs but it won’t necessarily allow you to forego building Energy Recharge entirely. For characters with high Energy needs such as Eula and Xiangling, you should still consider stacking some Energy Recharge on them and/or teaming them with another character of the same Element to act as a traditional battery, even if Raiden is on the team as well. 

Raiden’s Elemental Burst comes with a staggering cost of 90 Energy, the highest cost currently found in the game. Fortunately, Energy poses little issue for the Shogun. As mentioned earlier, Raiden’s Burst-infused basic attacks restore some Energy to the whole team. The Eye of Stormy Judgment’s coordinated attack has a 50% chance to produce one Electro particle and this proc can occur every 0.9 seconds. While somewhat of a gamble, it is nevertheless a consistent source of Energy. Raiden’s A4 passive, the same one that improves her Energy restoration, also gives her 0.4% Electro DMG Bonus for every 1% above her base 100% Energy Recharge stat. This allows her to comfortably stack Energy Recharge without losing too much on DPS. Raiden mains should also equip her with the Emblem of Severed Fate Artifact set. The 2-Piece effect of this set gives her 20% Energy Recharge and the 4-Piece effect gives her a Burst DMG Bonus in proportion to 25% of her Energy Recharge. There are no caveats to using the 4-Piece effect as both the initial hit and the Electro infused basic attacks of Raiden’s Burst count as Burst DMG and therefore benefit from the respective DMG bonus.

Given the nature of her Elemental Burst, Raiden is consequently a bit picky when it comes to her team comps. Ideally, she wants to be put in a team entirely composed of characters with high Energy costs (70-90). Those characters provide her with the most Resolve stacks and they gain the most Burst DMG Bonus from her Elemental Skill. Even with this “limit” however, there are still a handful of characters Raiden can team up with such as Eula, Kujou Sara, and Xiangling. You can team Raiden with characters with low or mild Energy costs (40-60) but they would have to be powerful supports such as Bennett where their utility outweighs the lower number of Resolve stacks they give to Raiden. Other than that, you really shouldn’t consider teaming Raiden with characters with low Energy costs. You’re frankly building them wrong if they do need her help.

An annoying thing to bear in mind with Raiden’s Elemental Burst is that its basic attacks can coordinate with certain Talents but not others. For example, it can trigger the coordinated attacks of Xingqiu’s Elemental Burst and Fischl’s 6th Constellation. Conversely, it is incapable of coordinating with Beidou’s Burst and the Electro Traveler’s Burst. This is apparently due to bullshit Raiden’s Burst being considered Burst DMG and the aforementioned Talents specifically needing Normal Attacks to deal Normal Attack DMG in order to proc. For Raiden to work with these units, their Bursts would have to be used separately. It can work but it is rotation is awkward and there’s no denying that the lack of synergy is dumb.

Like with every 5-Star character, I can only recommend getting Raiden’s Constellations if you absolutely have the money to burn. That said, Raiden does have a good set of Constellations for players to consider. Light spenders may be relieved to know that the Shogun’s best Constellations are her early ones. C1 increases the Resolve Raiden gains from her teammates, 80% for Electro units and 20% for characters of other elements. While not a direct DPS boost, it makes it easier for Raiden to gain maxed Resolve by the time she uses her Elemental Burst in a rotation. It also allows her to more comfortably team up with characters with low Energy costs. Even better than Raiden’s C1, and arguably her most famous Constellation, is her C2. This allows Raiden to ignore 60% of enemy DEF while attacking with her Elemental Burst. While I think players can make do with a C0 Raiden, I really can’t deny how good her C2 is. It’s a substantial spike to her DPS, especially early on when you’re struggling to get a solid CRIT ratio on her. 

If DPS is all you care about, you don’t need to pull any further for Raiden as her Constellations past C3 improve her utility rather than her offense. C4 provides a 30% ATK buff for Raiden’s teammates for 10 seconds after her Elemental Burst expires. While a buff that high isn’t normally something to sleep on, this particular one is pretty situational. Because you ideally want to use Raien’s Burst last in a rotation, this buff only benefits you in the second rotation onwards. Meanwhile, C6 allows Raiden to reduce her teammates’ Burst cooldowns by up to 5 seconds when she hits an opponent with her Burst. This can somewhat allow for smoother and more efficient rotations. For example, if a teammate’s Burst takes 20 seconds to cooldown, Raiden will reduce it down to 15 seconds. This makes it shorter than Raiden’s own Burst cooldown of 18 seconds, therefore guaranteeing that the whole team is ready for the next Rotation. It’s nice but the difference in rotation time is only a couple seconds and considering that it’s the final and most expensive Constellation, I wouldn’t fret over missing out on it. 

I was extremely skeptical with the Raiden Shogun when she first came out and I first reviewed her but the more I played and built her, the more the character grew on me. Her kit does have a couple of questionable quirks but it’s hard to deny her utility and especially her DPS potential. If you’re looking for a powerful Electro character with some supportive capabilities, Raiden most certainly fits the bill.

Thanks for reading!

This post was originally published on September 5, 2021

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