Ch'en

Introduction

Rarity: 6 stars
Rarity: 6 stars
Regular Attack
Physical Damage
Position
Melee

Ch’en is a Swordmaster Guard who specializes in quick bursts of high damage against either priority enemies or groups. Like all swordmaster guards, her normal performance against common mooks is higher than average to make up for the burst-focused skills, but it falls off quickly with increasing enemy defense. In the right hands she represents a very capable unit on the battlefield, but a combination of high SP costs for her SP regeneration type, her multi-target skill suffering disproportionately against enemies with both resistance types, and her best nuking skill being best used as a single-target tool stop her from being a unit for everyone.

Trait:Normal attacks deal damage twice

Operator Stats

Health
2880
Attack Power
660
Defense
402
Attack Speed
1.3 sec
Arts Resistance
0%
Block
2
Redeploy Time
70 sec
DP Cost
23
Range
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Among her peers, Ch’en boasts the highest HP and DEF by a decent margin, and this survivability edge is only reinforced by her second talent. This is important because, even with her first talent, she prefers to stay on the frontlines to recharge her skills, as all of them use offensive recovery.

Strengths

  • Nuking skills scale exceptionally well with buffs due to very high multipliers.
  • First talent applies to all offensive and defensive recovery skills.
  • Better use of downtime compared to the rest of her branch.
  • Fairly high initial SP on skills, helidrop friendly.

Weaknesses

  • Power ceiling highly dependent on Promotion Level and Mastery.
  • SP costs for skills are relatively high, sometimes leading to uncomfortably long cycling and encouraging saving.
  • High initial and recurring cost for helidrop usage.

Talents

Scolding

Every 4 seconds when deployed, restores 1 Skill Point to all deployed allies that have an ATK Recovery or DEF Recovery skill.

This talent is a core part of her kit as it compensates for the fact Ch’en’s SP generation is tied to her attack interval, bringing it up to a little over 1 SP/sec when attacking and supplying a steady (if slow) supply during downtime. The SP regeneration is global, meaning other operators can take advantage of this talent whenever Ch’en is deployed, offering many synergy options.

Blade Art

ATK +5%; DEF +5%; Physical Dodge +10%

This talent is a relatively minor stat buff with a little Physical Evasion thrown in for good measure. This serves to further reinforce her survivability edge and ties her with Bibeak for highest base attack in the branch. Nice to have, but nothing too important.

Skills

Sheathed Strike

Offensive RecoveryAuto Trigger
Initial SP
0
SP Cost
4
Duration
0 sec

On the next attack, strike the enemy using the sheath, dealing 320% ATK as Physical damage and Stunning them for 1.5 seconds

This skill gives her a decent consistent damage option, but generally isn’t worth considering because it lags behind her other skills. Its main allure is the stun, which both lets her get a free hit in and reduces pressure. It can also be used against targets you want permanently stun-locked. Due to her talent, this skill, at M3, procs every 4 seconds and any enemy that attacks slower than that is permanently shut down. Although, if you insist on using Ch’en as a consistent DPS, it has a decent enough damage output.

Skill Mastery

Recommended Rank
None
Priority
--

For the vast majority of players, the ability to stunlock enemies is remarkably niche, and the single-target nature paired with the somewhat worse total output hurts this skill a lot compared to S2 or S3. It ends up suffering from the same problem as most other damage-focused S1s where-in the higher skills are just better investments. But for those who insist on it, it does have something useful to offer not otherwise covered by her kit.

Chi Xiao - Unsheath

Offensive RecoveryManual Trigger
Initial SP
20
SP Cost
20
Duration
0 sec

Deals 500% of ATK Physical damage and 500% of ATK Arts damage to at most 7 enemies in front of this unit

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While a strong candidate for another recommendation, this skill has serious caveats. It has relatively mediocre single-target damage compared to its high SP cost after the first usage, so you want to maximize the number of targets in her range to make the most of it. This is made somewhat easier by its decent range.

Keeping her as a helidrop lets you hit the most enemies, but requires mastery to really work well. This strategy is also expensive in terms of DP and time so its main serious use is in preventing leaks (especially since it can hit both aerial and ground targets) and as a delete button or softener where convenient. If you keep her on the field after use, downtime between waves means she can begin with it mostly charged by the time the next one comes along.

Another compromise for this skill comes in the form of hybrid damage, which is both a blessing and a curse: Although it means she can do decently against enemies that specialize in one or the other, it falls off very hard when an enemy has both. This is particularly relevant because enemies with a decent amount of both DEF and RES have become increasingly more common, making it into such a curse. Hence the old saying: “Ch’en S2 falls off.”

Skill Mastery

Recommended Rank
Mastery 3
Priority
Low-Medium

In general usage, this skill changes the most in how it plays upon hitting M3 because that allows it to be used instantly upon deployment. This unlocks helidrop capability and makes her a good panic button in case of leaks you can’t otherwise catch. Even though it’s a staple of her kit, in practice it’s underwhelming later in the game. Most players eventually migrate to S3 to combat more dangerous enemies, overcome rising resistances, and synergize better with buffers. Despite this, the skill retains relevance in more redeployment-heavy gameplay (and especially 1P relays), so if you find yourself enjoying that, it can very well prove worth investing into.

Recommended Skill

Chi Xiao - Shadowless

Offensive RecoveryManual Trigger
Initial SP
20
SP Cost
30
Duration
0 sec

Seeks the closest enemy around and launches 10 slashes in a row, each dealing 320% ATK as Physical damage and Stunning the target on the last hit for 4 seconds

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Her third skill has the highest single-target damage potential out of all her skills and represents her bread and butter when enemy HP, DEF, and RES start rising together; be it in harder content or against bosses. This skill is best used when there’s a particular enemy or small group of elite enemies you want gone fast -- which is how most people will want to use Ch’en normally.

Due to being multiple hits of entirely physical damage attached to a large multiplier, it is excellent with buffers and can do repeated strikes against the same target while only needing to contest DEF. With each strike doing as much damage as her S1 proc, it can do decently well against groups of mobs without wasting slashes (helped by her sizable seeking range) or focus on one or more elite enemies.

Worth noting is that Ch’en is absent from the map for most of the skill animation, making her untargetable. However, this also means you need to keep in mind she won’t be blocking for the duration. The decently long stun at the end is useful for getting in those extra few hits from everyone bursting down a boss or elite enemy, assuming they can be stunned.

Its downsides, compared to S2, are that it wastes slashes if she runs out of targets in range, that it has an initial charge time even with mastery (albeit a short one if hitting an enemy) making it harder to helidrop, and that it can’t hit aerial targets. While it’s no slouch against groups, S2 can still end up being the better skill to use against them.

Skill Mastery

Recommended Rank
Mastery 3
Priority
Medium

Mastery gives the multiplier a big kick in addition to significantly decreasing the skill's cooldown. It’s often used to quickly decapitate a boss or priority enemy once they enter her range, so these make a big difference.

Modules

Ch'en module

Rhodes Island Standard Combat Sword

SWO-X

Attack Power
+80
Attack Speed
+7
AddedTrait
Deals 10% more damage with skills
UPDATEDTalent 1
Every 3 seconds when deployed, restores 1 Skill Point to all deployed allies that have an ATK Recovery or DEF Recovery skill, and restores 1 additional Skill Point to this unit.

The base module provides a good boost to her nukes: It’s effectively another slash for S3, and a significant boost for S2 (equivalent to the difference between SL7 and M3). The additional attack speed is a nice bonus on top, helping her charge slightly faster. Its upgrade levels make a large difference for her as an SP battery, also giving her greatly decreased downtime even when not attacking enemies at all.

Recommended Stage
Stage 1+
Priority
Low

If using Ch’en as a one-time nuke with S3 or as a helidrop with S2, the base module by itself is enough to help with that purpose. For those keeping her on the field, the third module upgrade is recommended. It gives her relatively average cooldowns, as even S3M3 is able to charge in 45 seconds assuming she attacks nothing the entire time, which is a huge boost from the second stage at a 90 second charge time and 120 without the talent improvements. It’s a steep cost to upgrade the module all the way to make this playstyle more viable, especially with the limited amount of module materials, hence the low priority.

Synergy

Offensive / Defensive Recovery Operators

Ch’en’s first talent is the most applicable SP regeneration buff for all units with offensive and defensive recovery skills, as all similar talents generally only apply to a specific class of operators, only to one type, or with some other strings attached. In addition, as opposed to Ptilopsis and other per-second batteries, her battery will stack with others you might be using, noticeably reducing skill downtimes when used together.

Shamare

5SupporterHexer

While it may seem common sense that a DEF debuffer would benefit any physical damage unit, Swordmaster Guards, and Ch’en in particular, benefit disproportionately because of how prevalent multiple hits are in their kits. Since DEF gets applied twice during normal attacks and more times with her S3, this can have dramatic consequences for her effectiveness.

Shamare’s S2 is great for her: Most importantly, the doll can reliably deliver debuffs, both in terms of good uptime and because it can be placed anywhere you can deploy units. The additional ATK reduction accentuates her built-in survivability and lets her freely charge up another burst or drop in a group of priority enemies where you usually wouldn’t even think to deploy her.

As a cherry on top, as a dedicated Weakener she also amplifies damage taken by any enemy below 40% HP in range of her (but not her doll, as it doesn't serve as a range extension).

Aak

6SpecialistGeek

Aak has the most widely applicable general buff for Ch’en. His buff serves two roles: off-skill it allows her to charge much faster and lets her base attack overcome even high defense enemies, while on skill activation it still provides a fairly sizable buff for her multipliers to work with. His S3 has a balanced uptime, high initial SP, has a fairly straightforward targeting priority with a large range, and you don’t need to enable it with other operators because Ch’en has a base DEF high enough to tank his shots without losing too much health.

Skadi the Corrupting Heart

6SupporterBard

Skadi the Corrupting Heart is the best general-purpose buffer to use alongside Ch’en for much the same reasons as Shamare: She’s similarly convenient to apply due to the high uptime and high availability afforded by her summon, Skadi’s Seaborn, even if you can’t fit Ch’en inside her default range.

She can provide a (permanent with proper placement) mix of offensive and defensive buffs with S2 or fully focus on the offensive buffs with S3 depending on your needs.

While she doesn’t offer the strongest buff and requires the most investment, the synergy stems from the fact that it’s applied as a flat number and Ch’en and her branch have a low attack value anyway. Since buffs are amplified both on- and off-skill, her buffs are much more noticeable because of their availability.

Warfarin

5MedicSingle-target

Warfarin has the strongest ATK buff among buffers, which is a really big deal for Ch'en if you’re using her specifically to decapitate dangerous enemies. A properly placed Warfarin S2-boost can (alone) enable Ch’en’s S3 to one-shot anything that isn’t a high-end boss. If you can’t find a permanent spot to put her in, her high initial SP makes dealing with her random targeting easier than most people give her credit for. When you want to work with it that is.

Liskarm

5DefenderLongstrike

By far the most reliable source of SP for this branch currently available. Liskarm, when set up in front of her, can noticeably reduce the delay on Ch’en’s skills. By virtue of being a defender she also increases the number of targets in range which maximizes S2’s output or reduces S3 wastage.


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Last updatedSeptember 24, 2022