(This page is for Shennong strategy guide. For the standard Shennong page, click here.)
- 1 Overview
- 2 Highlights
- 3 Gameplay Role
- 4 Stats and Seed Usage
- 5 Team Synergy
- 6 AR Equipment
- 7 Checks and Counters
- 8 Teambuilding Options
- 9 Gameplay examples
Shennong is an interesting moveslut as he introduces the new status effect Poison Reversal. After the first turn of each phase and having applied Poison to allies, he can give Poison Reversal to allies by moving, and it has the effect of boosting attack by 2x, boosting defense by 0.6x, and healing for 400 HP, thereby counteracting the detrimental effects of Poison by 200 HP. Although these multipliers are relatively low compared to other buffs, this is an extremely powerful effect since it's an offensive and defensive buff rolled into one and has the guarantee of stacking with almost every other unit's kit released beforehand. Since Poison Reversal only lasts one turn, Shennong functionally acts like a low-cost Snow/Aizen/Surtr. While he loses out on defense since their buffs have a better multiplier (0.45x), he has the advantage of boosting allies' attack by a 3x multiplier through the effect of both Poison Reversal and Nourishment while having a similar net healing factor. Finally, he also has the nice ability of applying Evasion for the first turn of each phase, either only to self or including allies depending on the rarity.
Disadvantage-wise, his main issue lies in needing Poison in order to trigger Poison Reversal. While Poison is not a particularly debilitating status effect, Shennong's skill effectively negates most forms of buff negation from allies. On the flip side, if his allies negate the Poison debuff, they won't be able to benefit from Poison Reversal immediately. Most importantly, this opens up the entire team to other debuffs which could be detrimental, so a team with Shennong will not be able to handle debuffs very well unless planned accordingly through some other means. Finally, Shennong carries all the associated problems/challenges of a moveslut such as weakness to Fear and the like.
While regular Shennong serves his purpose as a support unit well, Shennong (Summer) takes that same support role and expands upon it, fulfilling many other niches. If you are familiar with how Astaroth, Gyumao (Valentine), and Tomte function, Summer Shennong plays much like a combination of those cards.
Shennong (Summer) has three main roles. His first is as a support unit and healer by cleansing two debuffs from your team each Phase with Remove Debuff, by boosting their attack and defense through Poison and Poison Reversal, and by healing them each time he attacks and launches a Charge. His second role is as an enemy disruptor and debuffer through his infliction of Charm, Dazzle, and one of five stackable Fatal Poisons each time he attacks. Finally, his third role is as a high damage dealer/screen nuke; due to his bonus damage to each stackable Fatal Poison he inflicts and his on-struck Arousal and Acceleration, Summer Shennong will be able to reach Charge fairly quickly, dealing potent damage up to that point, and can unleash a Charge that hits the entire enemy field and inflicts every stackable Fatal Poison at once (essentially giving him a character-unique Crit+).
Class: Tank, Support
Gameplay Role: Mixed Buffer, Healer, Moveslut
+ Gives Poison Reversal on move to self and allies, raising attack/defense and healing
+ Gives Nourishment on move to allies, further boosting attack and healing
+ Gives Evasion with fat heal on first turn to self (+ allies for ☆4)
+ Tenacity to self increases tanking abilities
+ Applies Poison to enemies
- Applies Poison to self and allies, making the team vulnerable to debuffs
- Ranges of skill activation can be restricting
- Slightly inconsistent procs without skill seeds, especially for ☆3 form
- ☆3 form only protects self on first turn and can't give Poison Reversal until turn 3
- Needs to move
Class: Support, DPS
Gameplay Role: Healer/Support, Debuffer, Damage Mitigator, Damage Dealer
+ Serves numerous and distinct gameplay roles: a healer/support through Poison + Poison Reversal and his on-attack/Charge healing; a debuffer through Poison, Fatal Poison, Dazzle, and Charm; a damage mitigator through Dazzle and Charm; a DPS through bonus damage to Poison and Fatal Poison.
+ Doesn’t have to move to activate any of his skills.
+ Offers wide ranges for all of his skills.
+ Long Slash range lets him perform his roles at nearly any frontline position, and his attack range gives him many chances to trigger any of his on-attack skills.
- Long Slash strictly relegates him to a frontline attacker, limiting his positioning options to fully make use of his skillset.
- Many of his skills activate when he attacks. If he is out of range or unable to attack anything due to a status debuff, he cannot offer much to your team.
For clarification regarding the timing of Shennong's skills, Shennong only triggers his Evasion on the first turn of each phase. On the other hand, Shennong only triggers his Poison Reversal skill on every turn except the first turn of each phase. So they are essentially mutually exclusive effects which will never stack if they come from Shennong.
As mentioned before, the effects of Poison Reversal make Shennong comparable to movesluts like Snow/Aizen/Surtr. While the latter three mentioned all have unique aspects to them, they all have in common a skill which gives a defensive buff with a 0.45x multiplier, +16 CP, and +500 HP to self and allies on move. Poison Reversal, on the other hand, gives a defensive buff with a 0.6x multiplier, an offensive buff with a 2x multiplier, and a net +200 HP to self and allies on move after taking the effect of Poison into account. Since Shennong also gives Nourishment to allies, this increases the offensive multiplier to 3x and brings back the healing to +500 HP. So for allies, Shennong can be seen as trading some defense and CP charging for a 3x attack multiplier. Since Poison Reversal and Nourishment to a lesser extent are rare effects, Shennong can also stack these effects rather easily with other preexisting offensive/defensive buffs.
Another point of comparison to be made is between other previous offensive buffers such as Babalon (Jiangshi), Tomte, and Tangaroa (Canaan). Jiangshi Babalon and Tomte both give Ardor, Nourishment, and Blessing in some way, where Jiangshi Babalon also gives Immobility for extra CP while Tomte does not need to move. Summarizing, Jiangshi Babalon has a net effect of an offensive buff of 3.6x to allies, +17 CP, and +900 HP while Tomte has a net effect of an offensive buff of 3.6x to allies and +1200-1500 HP. These two trade defense for more offense, healing, or CP but also have some sort of caveat with Jiangshi Babalon restricting movement and Tomte having subpar proc rates. Canaan Tangaroa, on the other hand, is more defensive and closer to Shennong, boasting a potential offensive buff multiplier of 3.6x, a potential 0.19x defensive multiplier, and healing of around +1200 HP, although this value can increase rapidly since it depends on how many enemies hit him. The major downside however is that Canaan Tangaroa needs to be hit for these effects to spread and his procs are inconsistent. Due to skill activation order, this also means that the offensive buffs do not have a 100% uptime since the effects only apply for the following turn, unlike defensive and healing effects.
In a similar vein, Shennong as an offensive buffer also carries a similar major flaw and that regards needing Poison on allies as previously discussed in the overview. First, it should be mentioned that the 70% proc rate of Shennong's Poison activation skill is not a major issue since Shennong's Poison Reversal only applies to the second turn of the phase and onwards. In matters of first application, there is a 91% chance of allies having Poison for an unseeded Shennong and a 96% chance when seeded, which is consistent enough. Since Poison also has a high uptime of five turns, refreshing the debuff is also less of an issue.
What is more pressing of an issue is debuff mitigation. The presence of Poison can mess with attempts to remove or nullify debuffs, making the team open up to potential debuffs. Moreover, it makes it so that an ally will not benefit from Poison Reversal since Poison has been negated. To give an example, consider Wakan Tanka (Fashionista). Since he has a Nullify Debuff on [Turn Start], Shennong must precede him in team order in order to give the debuff. However, the Poison infliction will also remove Nullify Debuff for every subsequent turn as noted in the skill's description. The main result is that unless tested and planned around properly, using Shennong should be avoided in situations that call for debuff mitigation.
The following table attempts to summarize the previous discussion. Ranges are used to indicate inconsistent procs (<70%).
|Summary of Movesluts/Previous Offensive Buffers|
|Unit||Status effects for allies||ATK multiplier||DEF multiplier||HP gain||CP gain||Range||Moveslut||Flaws||Notes|
|Poison, Poison Reversal, Nourishment||3x||0.6x||+500||+0||Directly adjacent||Yes||Needs Poison, removes debuff immunity.||Applies only after first turn of each phase.|
|Protection||1x||0.45x||+500||+16||One square away||Yes||Has Guts.|
|Tenacity, Adamantine||1x||0.20-0.45x||+500||+16||One square away||Yes||Can Bind enemies.|
|Protection, DEF Up||1x||0.20-0.45x||+500||+16||Cross range||Yes||INFERNAL typing and occasional Berserk weaken survivability.||Has Evasion on first turn.|
|Ardor, Nourishment, Blessing, Immobility||3.6x||1x||+900-1200||+17||Directly adjacent||Yes||Immobilizes teammates.||Effects do not apply to self.|
|Ardor, Nourishment, Blessing||1.5-3.6x||1x||+1200-1500||+0-5||Directly adjacent||No||None type, inconsistent procs especially for Ardor.||Assumes that Blessing and Nourishment trigger.|
|Vigor, Nourishment, Unction, Protection||3.6x||0.19-0.425x||+>1200||+0||Directly adjacent||Somewhat||Needs to be hit, inconsistent procs.||Assumes that first three status effects trigger and are spread.|
|Nourishment, Limit, Acceleration||1.5-3x||1x||+700||+8||Directly adjacent - 1 square around||Yes||Low damage.||Effects do not apply to self.|
As demonstrated in the table above, the net healing effect of Shennong's kit is comparable to movesluts of the ☆5 variety. However, it is small compared to units who specialize in healing such as Jiangshi Babalon or Tomte. Still, it can be concluded that Shennong's HP drain from Poison is not something to be worried about. As an additional note, the healing from Shennong's first turn skill and his CS is somewhat large, improving overall the team's sustainability.
Outside of Poison Reversal, Shennong also has the ability to provide Evasion on the first turn of each phase to himself and, in his ☆4 form, also to allies. Sitri (Christmas) also effectively had this ability, and it's worth mentioning here for ☆4 Shennong as well for the same reasons. Most of the time, this skill gives the team a free turn for putting out damage and activating skills. In particular, it's worth mentioning that units who have skills which activate [When/After Receiving Damage] are helped by this effect greatly, which includes units like Canaan Tangaroa, Oz, and Maria. Unlike Christmas Sitri, Shennong is also more of an active damage mitigator through Poison Reversal as well, so he enables team compositions geared around such skill timings more easily.
The ☆3 form of Shennong loses out on this ability so he won't be able to perform the same way. Since he functionally still does everything regarding Poison Reversal however, it is not too huge of a loss so this first turn can be used to move a unit who only needs to move periodically like Christmas Sitri. On the other hand, if the number of turns taken to clear each phase is low, the ☆3 form will be more of a dead weight.
Much like his regular card, Shennong (Summer)’s gameplay revolves around his bestowal of Poison and Poison Reversal, which gives himself and your team an attack and defense boost and slight net healing. He automatically bestows Poison to allies in a 2-square diamond radius around himself each Phase, and Reversal 1 square around him each Turn. Compared to his regular card (which applies Poison each Turn and must be moved for Reversal), Summer Shennong can bestow his signature debuff/buff combo when left to his own devices, freeing him up for team positioning, activating AR effects, or serving other purposes.
A more nuanced explanation is that the one-time status and the continually-refreshed status have been swapped between the two cards; Shennong constantly applies Poison whereas Summer Shennong constantly applies Reversal. This seemingly simple change also gives the player a wider room for error for using Summer Shennong over his regular card. If the base card cannot move, for example, the player is stuck with Poison and none of the benefits, but if Summer Shennong cannot move, they are simply given Reversal (which is harmless by itself).
Summer Shennong cannot apply Nourishment like his base card, but makes up for it by offering debuff cleansing and quite potent healing capabilities. Each Phase he will apply Remove Debuff twice to himself and the teammates around him, similar to one of Tomte’s roles. This helps guarantee a fresh Poison to use with his Reversal at the start of each new Phase, and helps team survivability by neutralizing any potentially dangerous debuffs that they might have carried over.
Summer Shennong also offers notable healing, and does so in a fashion similar to Gyumao (Valentine); much like that card, he too can heal through his easily-accessible buffs and his All-range Charge. In addition, Summer Shennong can restore teammates’ HP by simply by attacking enemies; due to his somewhat limited but wide attack range, this avenue for healing should come into play often.
In general, Poison and Fatal Poison aren’t particularly threatening debuffs by themselves; that being said, Summer Shennong’s ability to inflict multiple copies of Fatal Poison lets him gradually drain enemies’ health in the instance where his offense is reduced down or he temporarily cannot attack. Overall, his ability to inflict multiple debuffs (Poison, five total Fatal Poisons, Charm and Dazzle) lets him synergize well with any other unit who benefits from or whose skills trigger with the application of debuffs.
Charm and Dazzle can be inflicted each time Summer Shennong attacks. While the proc rate is average for Dazzle and fairly low for Charm, these two debuffs (combined with the defense buff from Poison Reversal) allow Summer Shennong to easily and effectively reduce the damage your team takes. If Dazzle procs, the damage from nearby enemies is reduced to a fraction of what it once was; if Charm procs, Summer Shennong prevents them from attacking outright.
While Charm and Dazzle’s chances to proc are affected by every square Summer Shennong hits, the effective range for those debuffs is limited to enemies in Slash and Thrust range. Because of this, an optimal position for Summer Shennong would be in the middle of the field. His Long Slash attack range lets him hit across the entire front enemy row regardless of wide or regular map width, and centering Summer Shennong lets him inflict his debuffs on the greatest number of enemies.
One of Summer Shennong’s strengths is his bonus damage against Poison and stackable Fatal Poisons. The two debuffs don’t do much on their own, but each time they are inflicted on an enemy, Summer Shennong’s damage is multiplied further. In practice, this means that Summer Shennong’s damage output will constantly increase each time he attacks (up until he inflicts all possible Poisons + Fatal Poisons), ending with an innate x15 multiplier at maximum.
This ability most notably comes into play with his Charge, where he inflicts every stackable Fatal Poison simultaneously. The debuffs are inflicted before the damage is actually dealt, meaning that he is able to inflict nearly all of his bonus damage every single time he Charges. If he has methods for rapidly gaining CP, Summer Shennong can frequently and easily nuke the entire enemy field.
Stats and Seed Usage
For consistency purposes, it is highly recommended to skill seed Shennong due to the presence of multiple 90% procs. Following that, since the purpose of Shennong is to tank and support the team as much as possible, HP and Level seeds should be favored. Finally, ATK seeds are nice since they actually influence his damage per square by a rather large percentage.
Summer Shennong benefits from Skill and Attack seeds the most. With the additional 10% activation rate from Skill seeds, his Poison Reversal bestowal and Fatal Poison infliction both become guaranteed, his on-attack healing and Phase-start debuff cleansing become nearly guaranteed, and his Arousal and Acceleration proc chances are notably improved. As a damage dealer, the extra stats from Attack seeds will make his damage output considerably higher, both through his regular attacks and his Charge.
Units who do not need to move
Shennong is a moveslut so it goes without saying that his allies generally should not have to move. There is an exception if using his ☆3 form since his first turn skill is not as useful, so units who only need to move periodically can also be useful here.
Units who do not remove/nullify debuffs/immune to Poison
As mentioned previously, the main appeal of Shennong functions only if Poison is up, so using units who don't negate/remove the debuff actively is important. Since Poison Reversal is rather unique, the buff will stack with most units' kits as a result. This isn't a hard and fast rule since there may be exceptions with regards to skill activation timing, etc.
No Dark Lords AR, No Jambavan.
Units with [After Debuff] skill timing
Speaking of exceptions, units with skills with [After Debuff] timing generally have some sort of debuff removal, but they can pair well with Shennong since he can force their skills to activate, something that is otherwise not always guaranteed to happen. In particular, Breke and Hanuman (Journey) greatly benefit. On the other hand, Gullinbursti does not benefit as much since his skill evolution immediately removes Poison most of the time, not allowing him to enjoy the benefits of Poison Reversal.
Units with [When/After Receiving Damage] skill timings
Units with extra damage to Poison
As of writing, the only units that apply here are both forms of Astaroth. Astaroth particularly benefits the most due to their role as an attacker and for having a higher damage multiplier than their ☆3 form.
Like his regular card, Summer Shennong’s only method of providing defense for himself and his team is through Poison Reversal. While he can also reduce damage taken by inflicting Dazzle, it isn’t guaranteed, so it’s recommended to supplement his abilities with someone who can provide defense either passively or on-move, such as Triton or Marchosias.
Summer Shennong lacks the Nourishment that his base card offers, meaning he cannot boost his or his team’s damage further past Poison Reversal. Using an offensive-oriented unit such as Babalon (Jiangshi) or Claude will supplement that, making his regular attacks that much more potent and his Charge even more devastating.
One option for Summer Shennong is to function as a board nuke, but in order to play that role, he must be given adequate CP. Units who can do so, such as Ryota (Christmas) can help him fire off more frequent Charges.
Much like Summer Shennong, Astaroth functions as a very potent damage dealer, who has bonus multipliers against all Poisons and Fatal Poisons. Having Astaroth attack after Summer Shennong inflicts those debuffs compounds Astaroth’s damage output considerably, which should make short work against most enemies and bosses.
Kalki’s recent Skill Evolution changes his attack type to All-range when debuffed. Due to Summer Shennong’s application of team-wide Poison every Phase, Kalki will swap weapon ranges and can immediately function as a second team nuke.
Combo is a status effect that Summer Shennong benefits greatly from, as many of his skills trigger when he attacks. Of particular note are his Fatal Poisons; with Combo, he can effectively stack two of them per turn as opposed to the usual one, ramping up his damage output much quicker than he could normally. Consider using Volos or Seth (Beachside).
Gyumao (Valentine) covers many of the gameplay roles that Summer Shennong needs help with or benefits additionally from. Gyumao (Valentine) bestows additional attack power through Nourishment and Limit, additional CP through Acceleration, draws enemies into Summer Shennong’s attack range through his Charge, provides additional healing to Summer Shennong’s, and does all of these things in a range that still allows Summer Shennong to fully make use of his skillset and Long Slash attack typing.
There aren't too many options to choose from here, but Sunset Youth would be ideal for increasing Shennong's durability. If using ☆3 Shennong, opting for Summoners Christmas or Sun and Oil! is not a bad idea.
There are many ARs that supplement Summer Shennong’s skillset.
One option is to deal more damage to enemies inflicted with his debuffs. For example, both Which of Us is Your Real Friend?! and Success Must Be Sought After boost Summer Shennong’s damage against Dazzle; the latter bestowing Glint every Phase, which also helps him trigger his on-attack or when-struck skills.
Another option is to focus on his high damage output through his Charge by giving him speedier CP generation. Both Single Bulls Club and Corrida de Toros grant Summer Shennong different methods of rapidly reaching Charge. The former grants him additional CP through every buff he is given and a +2 CS multiplier, boosting his Charge damage; while the latter lacks the CS multiplier, it grants him an arguably easier, more self-sustaining method for gaining CP by doing so every time he attacks, which is something he should be doing very, very often.
A third option is to grant him additional supporting roles, in case he has to move or his Poison and Poison Reversal cannot be triggered. A Cup of Good Quality grants Summer Shennong the ability to bestow himself and his team Nourishment Strengthening, which effectively boosts both their attack and defense if they are given Nourishment from another unit. Because the AR gives Summer Shennong Nourishment regardless of your team’s individual access to the buff, it at the very least will boost his own survivability and offensive powers, cementing his role as a team support and steadfast pillar.
Checks and Counters
Movement inhibiting debuffs
As Shennong is a moveslut, any debuff that restricts movement such as Fear will be a problem for him and the entire team. Moreover, as stressed previously, Shennong inherently makes warding off such debuffs difficult, so he will be easily susceptible to such an effect.
Units which pierce Evasion
Since one of Shennong's main abilities is the access to Evasion, units which pierce said Evasion will give him a much harder time. Shennong also can't give Poison Reversal in the turns he would usually give out Evasion, so it's particularly threatening to the defense created by Shennong.
Much of Summer Shennong’s support role is reliant on his Poison and Poison Reversal bestowment. If your team has frequent access to Reflect Debuff for Nullify Debuff, those statuses can render Summer Shennong’s own buffs moot. Be wary when using units like Triton or Horkeu Kamui.
While he does not have to move to activate his skills, if Summer Shennong is out of attack range, much of his skillset cannot be used. Watch out for enemies that can inflict forced movement or change weapon types.
As is with most other units, being inflicted with Skill Lock renders Summer Shennong a sitting duck.
This section consists of user-submitted builds that may not necessarily be viable for high level quests.
|Team Details (submitted by milk)|
【Mixed Buffer, Healer】
This is a joke team designed to make using Oz as painless of a process as much as possible. However, it is useful for demonstrating how Shennong can help units with skill timings such as [When/After Receiving Damage] and [After Debuff].
Oz has a straightforward kit: he gets hit, buffs himself and allies, and traps enemies with Oppression. The problem is that Oz's skills have awful proc rates such as 40% and 60%, so he needs to be hit as much as possible to compensate. Moreover, one of his offensive buffs is Berserk which makes his survivability poor. Finally, his damage output is still mediocre despite such efforts. This is demonstrated in the following table:
|Unit||(Effective) HP||Base ATK||ATK per square||CS ATK per square (SALV1)||Notes|
|3362||3608||21194||32126||6409||8995||19226||26986||With Brawn, Berserk|
|5030||6013||62903||96378||19226||26986||57677||80958||With Brawn, Berserk, Poison Reversal, Nourishment|
With Shennong however, Evasion provides the opportunity for triggering the offensive buffs more safely and the health drop is not as dramatic with the latter issue also being addressed by the presence of Seth. Moreover, Shennong's own buffs provide the support needed for Oz to dish out respectable damage for a Magic spread. Of course, for a more serious team, one can simply replace Oz with a different offensive magic unit like Typhon (Make Sail) or Astaroth whose stats are displayed in the table below.
|Unit||(Effective) HP||Base ATK||ATK per square||CS ATK per square (SALV1)||Notes|
|11500||15614||32223||50947||10988||14265||15696||20379||With Vigor, Poison Reversal, Nourishment|
|6236||8143||44988||69799||14652||19544||43957||58631||With ATK Up, Weakness, Fatal Poison|
|10106||13572||25893||39658||8325||11104||24975||33313||With Poison, Poison Reversal, Nourishment|
|10106||13572||266085||418794||87914||117262||263741||351787||With ATK Up, Weakness, Fatal Poison, Poison, Poison Reversal, Nourishment|
Outside of Oz, Breke is the other damage dealer of the team and has good synergy with Shennong. In particular, Breke's [After Debuff] skill grants him Vigor and +30 CP, which he can immediately get through Shennong's application of Poison. Moreover, he can refresh the skill by either moving to activate Drifter+ or by activating his CS which removes all debuffs. As a result, Breke almost always has both ATK Up and Vigor up, and he charges his CP rather quickly although it should be noted that his CS negates the effects of Poison Reversal by virtue of removing Poison. This is presented in the table below.
|Unit||(Effective) HP||Base ATK||ATK per square||CS ATK per square (SALV1)||Notes|
|6915||8881||20573||31006||10163||13952||30489||41857||With ATK Up, Vigor|
|11038||14801||60779||93017||30489||41857||45734||62786||With ATK Up, Vigor, Poison Reversal, Nourishment (CS nullifies effects of Poison Reversal)|
Finally, Seth is used to round out the team and provide extra defense. Regarding defense, Breke is actually the powerhouse of the team since he also has Tenacity which stacks with Seth's Protection and Shennong's Poison Reversal. Furthermore, due to his ability to shrug off debuffs, Breke circumvents the debuff issue concerning Shennong. Breke can be used to lure enemies with problematic debuffs, soak those effects up, and retaliate while the other three units avoid them. If the situation is appropriate, Seth can also be used to give Skill Lock to enemies whose debuffs trigger [After Attacking], since Seth's skill activates [When Receiving Damage] and will win out as a result.
Barou Sen's Defense Team
【Mixed Buffer, Healer】
See the example gameplay section for more details and the commentary in the video's description. In place of skill seeds, Lucifuge is used to bolster Shennong's activation rates. Since Dagon excels both in offense and defense already, Shennong is used to complement this and further boost these areas.