The Inazuma region of Genshin Impact is heavily inspired by Japanese culture. With a land filled with samurais, shrine maidens, and other crafty yokai, having a playable ninja is all but certain. Usually hidden in the darkest corners of the Chinju Forest, players can meet Sayu—the resident ninja of the Yashiro Commission’s Shuumatsuban.
Sayu is a sub-DPS support character that has a lot of great utility in and out of combat. She uses her ninjutsu to improve the exploration experience, allowing you to travel faster and catch elusive creatures. In battle, this little ninja literally comes rolling into the battlefield, shredding enemy resistances and healing teammates along the way.
Although she’s a 4-Star character, this sleepy-head ninja can grow up to be your all-around utility and comfort character with the right investments to her artifacts and talents.
The Best Artifacts for Sayu
Building an Anemo character is fairly easy since their gameplay revolves around causing Swirl reactions. We highly recommend going for artifact sets that would enable these reactions.
The Viridescent Venerer artifact set gives its wearer these bonuses:
- 2-Piece Bonus – Anemo DMG +15%
- 4-Piece Bonus – Increases Swirl DMG +60%. Decreases opponent’s Elemental RES to the element infused in the Swirl by 40% for 10s
For every Anemo character, this is their best-in-slot artifact due to having one of the best debuff effects in the game. Its full set bonus gives Sayu the ability to shred the enemy’s elemental resistances by triggering the Swirl reaction of any given element. Sayu can easily keep the debuff’s uptime with her Elemental Skill or her Elemental Burst.
The Gilded Dreams artifact set grants the following effects:
- 2-Piece Set: EM increased by 80
- 4-Piece Set: Within 8s of triggering an Elemental Reaction, the character equipping this will obtain buffs based on the Elemental Type of the other party members. ATK is increased by 14% for each member whose Elemental Type is the same as the equipping character, and EM is increased by 50 for every member with a different Elemental Type. Each of the buffs will count up to 3 characters. This effect can be triggered once every 8s and even when not on the field.
If you already have a character on your team that’s using the full set of Viridescent Venerer, Gilded Dreams is a viable option. This set grants your Sayu ATK% and Elemental Mastery, both of which amplify Sayu’s overall damage and healing.
Artifact Stats to Prioritize
For an all-around playstyle, Sayu would love you to roll and prioritize these stats on her artifacts:
- Elemental Mastery (Sands or All Artifacts)
- ATK% (Sands or substats)
- Energy Recharge (substats)
- Healing Bonus or Anemo DMG Bonus (Optional)
- CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG (Circlet or substats)
Depending on your playstyle, stat prioritization may always vary. In general, Sayu’s most important stats are Elemental Mastery, ATK%, and Energy Recharge, as this affects her elemental reactions’ damage, heals, and Burst uptime, respectively. Players can build Sayu to their preference with regard to these three. A minimum of 550 Elemental Mastery will be best for Sayu’s damage. 1500 ATK will give her sufficient healing. Lastly, you’d want to reach 180% Energy Recharge to cover her Burst’s high energy cost.
Using a Healing Bonus on circlet on Sayu is alright but can be compensated for with more ATK stats. Equipping an Anemo DMG goblet makes Sayu deal more raw Anemo DMG but does not affect your Swirl reaction’s damage. CRIT rate and CRIT DMG are optional if you want to play her as a sub-DPS or use the Favonius Greatsword.
Best Weapons for Sayu
Sayu is a 4-Star character that didn’t get a dedicated weapon. Even in her character trailer, she is seen wielding a 3-Star weapon. That doesn’t stop you from giving her some premium weapons, though.
Here are some of the 5-Star weapons that she can effectively use.
- Skyward Pride (Energy Recharge) – Increases all DMG by 8%. After using an Elemental Burst, a vacuum blade that does 80% of ATK as DMG to opponents along its path will be created when a Normal or Charged Attack hit. Lasts for 20s or 8 vacuum blades.
The Skyward Pride is easily the best 5-Star claymore for a support character like Sayu. While its effects can be made to make her playable as sub-DPS with the elemental Skill bonus, it also has a decent Energy Recharge second stat that can help with the uptime of her Elemental Burst. Bonus points for looking good on her.
- Wolf’s Gravestone (ATK%) – Increases ATK by 20%. On hit, attacks against opponents with less than 30% HP increase all party members’ ATK by 40% for 12s. Can only occur once every 30s.
Sayu’s abilities and healing scales with ATK, so with the Wolf’s Gravestone’s great stats and its ATK-increasing passive, Sayu can focus solely on building Elemental Mastery on her artifacts. There’s also the weapon’s effect which also improves the team’s overall damaging capabilities and enables her to be played as a sub-DPS.
While it’s easy to slap a 5-Star weapon on any character and call it a day, sometimes the budget option actually does work better than the premium one. There are a lot of 4-Star claymores that are tailored to suit Sayu’s specific needs.
Here are the best budget weapons worth using:
- Katsuragikiri Nagamasa (Energy Recharge) – Increases Elemental Skill DMG by 6%. After Elemental Skill hits an opponent, the character loses 3 Energy but regenerates 3 Energy every 2s for the next 6s. This effect can occur once every 10s. Can be triggered even when the character is not on the field.
For our ‘Free to Play’ players out there, this is one of the best weapons you can craft upon reaching Inazuma. It passively increases your Elemental Skill’s DMG while granting another effect that nets you more energy than the cost of using it. Considering that Sayu has a large energy requirement and that you won’t be able to roll around as much to catch your Anemo particles, it is a good weapon to regenerate Energy even off-field.
- Favonius Greatsword (Energy Recharge) – CRIT hits have a 60% chance to generate a small amount of Elemental Particles, which will regenerate 6 Energy for the character. Can only occur once every 12s.
This is a classic choice for support characters that want to maximize their Elemental Burst’s uptime. Not only will it give her a large amount of Energy Recharge, but the weapon will also generate white energy particles that grant a decent amount of Energy for any character.
- Makhaira Aquamarine (Elemental Mastery) – The following effect will trigger every 10s: The equipping character will gain 24% of their Elemental Mastery as bonus ATK for 12s, with nearby party members gaining 30% of this buff for the same duration. Multiple instances of this weapon can allow this buff to stack. This effect will still trigger even if the character is not on the field.
Makhaira Aquamarine is one of the newest 4-star weapons that was released during one of the Sumeru updates. It gives Sayu the Elemental Mastery that she wants while also giving her bonus ATK for every Elemental Mastery point she has. This double-scaling weapon is perfect for reaction-based characters that have abilities that scale with ATK.
- Mailed Flower (Elemental Mastery) – Within 8s after the character’s Elemental Skill hits an opponent or the character triggers an Elemental Reaction, their ATK and Elemental Mastery will be increased by 12% and 48 respectively.
For active players that managed to grab this Special Event weapon and its refinements during the Windblume’s Breath event, you are in luck because this is actually a great option that’s similar to Makhaira Aquamarine in effect. It grants Sayu a good amount of Elemental Mastery and ATK and was given away for free during the duration of the event.
Skill Priorities for Sayu
Sayu’s gameplay revolves around her just rolling around to swirl an element and then placing her burst down before fleeing the scene like a ninja. For better team-building efficiency and good skill rotation, we wouldn’t recommend leveling her Elemental Skill first (unless of course you really want to), especially if you are running low on resources.
Maximize her skills in this order for building and utility efficiency:
- Yoohoo Art: Mujina Flurry (Elemental Burst) – Sayu heals all characters and damages nearby enemies. Then she summons Muji-Muji Daruma (a daruma doll) that will continuously heal allies or deal damage at specific conditions and intervals. This can only Swirl elements at every other attack interval due to an in-game internal cooldown.
- Yoohoo Art: Fuuin Dash (Elemental Skill) – Her skill is what Sayu is mostly known for and comes with a Tap and Hold version. The Tap version will make her do a flying kick, dealing moderate Anemo damage. The Hold version will make Sayu roll, infusing her with the first Element she comes in contact with, gaining a bonus Elemental DMG depending on the said infusion while ending it with a stronger kick, inflicting more damage.
- Shuumatsuban Ninja Blade (Normal Attack) – Sayu performs a basic 4-attack move with her claymore. When held, she’ll do a spinning attack that continuously consumes stamina.
A useful tip when playing Sayu would be to hold her Elemental Skill for a short while and end it as soon as she starts rolling. This gives her the scaling that comes with the Hold version of her Skill while spending minimal floor time. This can optimize your team rotation, especially if you have another character that demands more floor time than Sayu.
Sayu Team Compositions
Sayu has a wide variety of playstyles and many potential team comps. As an Anemo support, she can take on the role of a medical ninja that uses minimal floor time to support her carries with healing and resistance shredding. This petite ninja can also act as the team’s driver for elemental reactions as she can absorb other elements to continuously apply with her Swirl reactions.
Below is the list of characters Sayu can synergize very well:
- Dori (Sayu can self Electro swirl, turning her into a lightning ball, enabling Electro based reactions with a built-in defibrillator to keep her alive and a constant energy recharge)
- Bennett (Sayu can self Pyro swirl, turning her into a fireball of menace with a big damage boost from Bennet’s buff)
- Xinyan (Xinyan’s Pyro shield can proc Pyro while spinning)
- Kaeya (A great constant Cryo applier for Sayu Freeze teams and reverse Melt enabler)
- Mona (Great Hydro applier and massive damage amplifier, great for Sayu Freeze teams)
- Yae Miko (Premium off-field Electro applier and carry)
- Nahida (Great Dendro applier, great combination in Aggravate teams with Sayu)
- Dendro Traveler (Easiest access to Sayu’s Aggravate reaction teams)
One of Sayu’s more innovative teams as of late is a variation of an Aggravate team, one of the new Dendro reactions that was released alongside Sumeru. Sayu is particularly used to continuously apply Electro to Dendro-affected enemies through Swirl reactions, shredding enemy resistances, and amplifying Electro damage. She may not be the most popular Anemo pick for any team, but this proves that with the right team and build, this little ninja can still roll with the big hitters.