Kujou Sara is a 4-Star Electro Bow Character from Inazuma. She primarily serves as a support unit for her team.
Sara’s main purpose is providing an ATK buff to her teammates. When Sara casts her Elemental Skill, “Tengu Stormcall”, she teleports back and gains the Crowfeather Cover effect for 18 seconds. Firing a Charged Attack under this effect will leave a Croweather at your mark, which will then explode and give your active character a 6 second ATK buff based on Sara’s Base ATK. When Sara casts her Elemental Burst, “Subjugation: Koukou Sendou”, she deals AoE Electro DMG that then spreads out for 4 additional instances of DMG. Each of these attacks also grant your active character the same ATK buff that you would gain from the Crowfeather. Sara’s buff can’t be stacked and its duration is determined by its most recent use. Technically, anyone can use this buff but if Sara is at C6, the buff also gives a 60% CRIT DMG buff if your active character’s Element is Electro.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: no, Sara’s ATK buff is not as strong as Bennett’s. With her Elemental Skill at Lv. 6, Sara gives 60.14% of her base ATK while Bennett’s Burst at the same Lv. gives 89.6% (or a ridiculous 109.6% if Bennett is at C1). In general, Sara generally gives less ATK than Bennett. That said, she is still capable of giving a couple hundred ATK so I don’t advise sleeping on her just yet. At C6, she’s arguably better than Bennett for an Electro-centri comp due to the invaluable 60% CRIT DMG she gives to an Electro teammate in addition to her innate ATK buff.
Admittedly, buffing with Sara can sometimes be pretty annoying. To buff a teammate, you need to switch to that character before Sara’s Talents deal DMG, kind of like how you would with Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers. You also have to make sure the character you want to buff is within the radius of Sara’s Talents. The window of opportunity is something you can handle but it is undeniably a tight one. Should Sara get interrupted, she will end up buffing herself. If your active character is somehow knocked out of range, you won’t get the buff at all. Either scenario, you are forced to try again.
More baffling than that is the fact that you have to fire a Charged Attack in order to place a Crowfeather. It just feels like an unnecessary step to me. Sara’s A1 passive does reduce the charging time of her Aimed Shot by 60% though I’d argue it should instantly give her a Charged Attack instead. If you’d rather not aim with the Bow, I recommend that you have Sara at C2. This Constellation allows Sara’s Elemental Skill to drop a weaker Crowfeather at her original position, thereby allowing you to skip the Charged Attack part and immediately buff your desired character. Even if she gets interrupted while trying to use the Constellation, she’ll still have her Charged Attack in reserve. In general, Sara’s C2 makes her buff more flexible and easier to use.
The duration of Sara’s ATK buff is a bit on the short side, lasting only 6 seconds. This is however not too big of an issue. Sara’s Elemental Skill cools down in 10 seconds so the downtime is just 4 seconds. If Sara is at C1, her Skill cooldown can be shortened to 9 seconds if her Skill successfully buffs a teammate or hits an opponent. The short duration of the buff does make Sara favor teammates whose Talents either last around that amount of time or can Snapshot the added ATK. At least with Electro, most characters fortunately fall into one of these categories. For example, Fischl and Beidou have Snapshottable Talents while the Raiden Shogun’s Elemental Burst lasts just one second longer than Sara’s ATK buff; all three are therefore able to make good use of Sara’s buff.
In theory, you can further boost Sara’s buffing by equipping her with Noblesse Oblige. With the set’s 4-Piece effect, she can give a 20% ATK buff to her whole team after she casts her Elemental Burst and this can stack with her innate buff. While definitely appealing, the practicality of this set is dependent on your team comp. With an off field DPS such as Beidou, it works just fine. For a selfish unit such as the Raiden Shogun however, 4-Piece Noblesse Oblige is rather awkward to use. The combination of Noblesse and Sara’s innate buff can only be applied to Raiden. Any other units on the team would cast their Talents beforehand so that they’re in effect while Raiden goes to town and you couldn’t cast them afterwards since Raiden’s Burst disappears once she’s switched out. For a smoother rotation, you’re frankly better off having Noblesse Oblige equipped with one of the two other units in the team.
Regarding her Elemental Burst, Sara does require 80 Energy in order to cast it. If buffing is all you need Sara to do, you don’t necessarily need to bother stacking Energy Recharge on Sara. Both of her Talents apply the same buff after all. That said, having Sara’s Burst at the ready is useful as it is another opportunity to use her buff. It can also make for an effective nuke, with its initial hit having a very high multiplier while its consecutive hits possess a low one that still adds up 4 times. Fortunately, fueling Sara’s Burst isn’t terribly difficult. Her Elemental Skill can generate 3 Electro particles and paired with another Electro character, she won’t be terribly needy for Energy. If one does need Energy Recharge on their Sara, consider equipping her with 4-Piece Emblem of Severed Fate for a free 20% Energy Recharge as well as a Burst DMG Bonus in proportion to the aforementioned stat.
Sara is a very flawed but still very useful unit. Her buff isn’t as powerful as Bennett’s and pre-C2, it’s very clunky to use. That said, Sara remains a valuable unit simply on the basis that she is a buffer. She becomes especially useful for an Electro-centric comp once she’s at C6. Unless you don’t use Electro characters or miHoYo completely powercreeps her in the future, Sara is worth building and using.
Thanks for reading!