Raiden Shogun Backstory & Vision
Warning! Spoiler alert for Archon Quest Chapter II: Acts I-III and beyond. Read at your own risk.
Name: Raiden Shogun (Raiden Ei, Baal, formerly Beelzebul)
Birthday: 26 June
Constellation: Imperatrix Umbrosa
Titles: Narukami Ogosho, Her Eternal Excellency, Master of the Euthymic Plane, Plane of Euthymia
The Electro Archon, the Ruler of Inazuma, is the enabler of the team. All her skills relate to Energy Recharge, and she can even recharge her allies’ energy. That’s her primary use and the way to make her deal damage. At this point, we should all expect the Archons will all have primarily support functions, though some builds can let them become DPS. An exception could be made for the Pyro Archon, though it’ll be a long time before this speculation is confirmed.
Still, by increasing Ei’s Energy Recharge and using the Elemental Bursts of her allies, she can deal increased damage with her Burst. By using Transcendence: Baleful Omen, her E skill, it gives the active character a buff called the Eye of Stormy Judgment. While it is active, normal attacks that hit proc the Eye’s coordinated attacks, dealing AoE Electro DMG. Coordinated attacks may proc every 0.9 seconds globally, as co-op party members can proc it as well. Also, the active character’s Elemental Burst DMG is increased by the skill’s energy cost.
Secret Art: Musou Shinsetsu, her Elemental Burst, makes her pull out her infamous sword from her chest, enabling Musou Isshin for 7 seconds. In this mode, all attacks deal Electro DMG (cannot be overwritten) and regenerate energy for allies for every hit. Raiden also gains increased resistance to interruption and immunity to the Electro-Charged reaction. All the attacks that are dealt during this mode are considered Elemental Burst DMG.
Every time an ally uses their Elemental Burst, Raiden Shogun gains Chakra Desiderata Resolve stacks for every point of Energy Cost the Burst has. Resolve stacks increase her own Burst DMG, which includes every attack done in her sword mode.
All this just means that you want to be spamming Elemental Bursts when using her. Energy Recharge should be her primary stat to raise. Of course, Crit Rate and Crit DMG are also good, but at a lower priority. Due to her unique mechanics, it’s recommended to have an Atk% goblet instead of Electro DMG. Depending on your build it might be better to have an Atk% timepiece instead of ER, as well. There also should be a balance between her ER and Atk, as bonuses from her ER diminish greatly after a certain point.
The Engulfing Lightning polearm is the best weapon for her. It’s practically made for her. The Staff of Homa, Primordial Jade-winged Spear, and Skyward Spine are good alternatives as well. For F2P options, The Catch is the best one, with Deathmatch, Blackcliff Pole, and Lithic Spear as alternatives.
That said, a 4-set Emblem of Severed Fate is the best artifact set for her. Combinations of 2-set Noblesse and Thundering Fury, Gladiator’s, or Shimenawa could also do. Some players also recommend 4-set Thundersoother or Noblesse. It all depends on whether you’d want her to be support or attack-oriented.
How Did Raiden Shogun Get her vision
Ei was once the shadow of the former Baal, Makoto. They were the twin gods of Electro, and Ei was called ‘Beelzebul’ at the time (though the populace barely knew of her). She acted like a shadow general, fighting on the front lines as her sister. They ruled together for a time until Makoto perished in the war that ravaged Khaenri’ah 500 years ago. Since then, Ei took on the name Baal, and the people were none the wiser about the truth that she had been replaced.
Ruling with her sister, Ei fought in many battles. Makoto had never been one for violence after all. She’d rather treasure the transient present, and cherish the peaceful and happy times. Ei worried more about the future and what it could bring. She’s also less emotive than her sister and was more stoic of the two.
There are moments, though, where emotion shines in Ei’s face. Such times could be winning against her friends in karuta, or eating delicious sweets. Maybe it was also the presence of her friends during those days.
Throughout her long life, she had lost many other friends. With the ideal of eternity and pained by loss, Ei sought her definition of eternity. She made a puppet to deal with mortal body degradation. The process took years before it was ready. One had been made as a proof of concept, and then set free into the world. The second is the one seen in the current time of the game.
Then she locked her consciousness into her sword to avoid spiritual erosion. Through the puppet, she enforced the Sakoku and Vision Hunt Decrees to keep her nation from changing as part of her idea of eternity. After only a year, her people had suffered against the oppressive decrees, giving rise to the Resistance.
The battle between the Shogun’s army and Resistance was taken advantage of by the Fatui, which led to the events in the Archon Quest. It also led to her reunion with Yae Miko, an old friend. Her definition of eternity turned out to be something lonely for her. More than that, it turns out that the people did not take kindly to her vision of eternity.
Thus enlightened by her old friend and the Traveler, she abolished the Vision Hunt Decree and the Sakoku Decree a bit later.
Despite being closed off and generally wary of change, she’s curious about all the new things she learned and experienced outside of her Plane of Euthymia during her Story Quest. Still, she returns to her plane to go back to meditating.
Ei is quite a different character from the puppet, the Shogun. Being a puppet, the latter cannot act outside of predetermined orders or a purpose instilled into it. Formerly, she was given the pursuit of eternity as a purpose. During Ei’s story quest, Ei shut down most of the Shogun’s functions, making the latter practically useless aside from holding Ei’s consciousness for a bit.
Curiously, this translates into not being able to cook, as that function had not been installed in her. The game reinforces this by showing a prompt ‘This character cannot cook’ when trying to select her while cooking.
Voice lines suggest that the Traveler is traveling with both, either one gives her opinion to the Traveler. The Shogun is more emotionless than Ei, with a lower register compared to Ei’s higher and gentler voice.
About Raiden Mei’s Gnosis
Nothing much is known about her Gnosis, as it was given to Yae Miko before the events of the game. Then at the Delusion Factory and meeting Scaramouche again, the Traveler passed out when the priestess came to the rescue. It is only later that the Traveler realizes that Yae had exchanged the Gnosis for their safety at the time.
Yae further explains that with the puppet and her consciousness in different planes, Ei had no way of storing it for herself. The Archon had also cut ties with Celestia at the time, and so it was practically useless to her. Ei did say that she trusted Yae enough that even if it were sold, it would only be for something with equal value.
That said, we’ll never know what kind of shape it took. Yae only said it was ‘shaped like a chess piece’. There’s a theory that says it could be the king. Yet another one says it could be a knight, due to imagery used in the Honkai x Genshin collaboration. Perhaps we’ll only know later.
Still, it doesn’t help clear up the process of granting Visions. Ei’s voice line about the topic says she has no bearing on granting Visions to people. The main factors are a person’s desire and a vague ‘another side to it too’. She must still have a bit of influence, as a Sumeru scholar notes there have not been any new Electro Visions since the time the Vision Hunt Decree started.
If Archons are not directly the ones giving the Visions, maybe they’re the conduit through which Celestia grants it. Due to Ei’s decision to hoard Visions, some portions of the process of granting Visions were interrupted. It has no proof other than this voice line, so take this theory with a grain of salt.
Let’s all look forward to solving mysteries and learning about more characters in Genshin! With three nations down, there’s four more to go, plus a confrontation with either Dainsleif or the missing twin. Perhaps by then, we can answer questions like, ‘what really happened 500 years ago?’ or ‘what is the Tsaritsa’s goal in collecting all the Gnoses?’.
Keep on enjoying Genshin Impact, there are sure to be more exciting events and characters coming up!