[Top 5] Dead By Daylight Best Sadako Builds That Are Excellent

Top 5 Sadako (the Onryō) builds
Sadako emerges from the well and enters the Fog. One by one, the Survivors will fall…

In March 2022, Dead by Daylight introduced a new Killer: the Onryō (also known as Sadako Yamamura). You may know her from the western adaptation of the movie called The Ring. When I was little, I’d be absolutely terrified of the movie. Thankfully, I survived after one week despite watching the tape. Or did I…

Jokes aside, Sadako is an interesting Killer. Though her Power is a mish-mash of Wraith’s, Spirit’s, and Demogorgon’s Powers, her playstyle is unique. One of the most mobile Killers in the game, she is capable of teleporting to TVs scattered across the map. Although she is nowhere near S-Tier, she is very fun to play. Right now, I’d say she is my favorite Killer.

Whether you’re new to Sadako or you’ve been haunting the Trial Ground for a while now, take a look at these 5 best Sadako (the Onryō) builds that are ridiculously OP. 


5. The Jump-Scare Build


Although she is a stealth Killer, Sadako emits a lullaby when she’s Demanifested. Unfortunately, that makes your approach as stealthy as the siren of an ambulance vehicle. Thus, you’re forced to play around your TVs in hopes to catch Survivors off guard. 

The Jump-Scare build removes this handicap. Through specific events, you can remove your Terror Radius entirely. And because Sadako is the shortest Killer in the game, she can use inanimate objects to hide her approach. Without any audio clues, Survivors will be oblivious to their impending doom.

As an Onryō main, I’ve had lots of fun using this build. Pulling people off generators is much easier than you think if you do it right. In one match, I’ve even made two Survivors rage-quit this way.

What the Jump-Scare Build Excels In:

  • Lots of fun to use: Few things can match the satisfaction of pulling a Survivor off a generator (except perhaps for Boon nerfs). True to its name, the Jump-Scare build will allow you to give Survivors the scare of their lives. Just make sure you hide your approach.
  • Has an element of surprise: Your great mobility allows you to make some unexpected plays. Other than pulling people off generators, expect Survivors to run right into your loving arms. I’ve had many games in which I teleported during a chase only for the Survivor to vault right into me. Definitely a must-try build. 
  • Great pick-off potential: A Nurse’s Calling provides you with even more opportunities. Sadako performs best when using the hit-and-run playstyle. You can pretend to drop chase, linger nearby, and ambush a healing survivor. This saves you a lot of time.

Build details:

  • Lethal Pursuer: At the start of the match, you can see the aura of every Survivor for 7/8/9 seconds. All aura reading effects last 2 seconds longer. Lethal Pursuer allows you to locate your first victim once you enter the Trial. Additionally, it will extend the duration of A Nurse’s Calling. 
  • A Nurse’s Calling: Whenever Survivors are healing or being healed within 20/24/28 meters from you, you can see their aura. As a stealth Killer, Sadako excels at landing the first blow. However, she doesn’t have strong chase potential. A Nurse’s Calling allows you to leave the Survivor and ambush them later. 
  • Dark Devotion: Whenever the Obsession loses a health state, Dark Devotion activates for 20/25/30 seconds. During this time, you transfer your Terror Radius to your Obsession. You become Undetectable for the duration. Dark Devotion adds a little flavor to your arsenal. Although you can Demanifest as Sadako, you still emit a lullaby. This gives away your approach to nearby Survivors. Once you activate Dark Devotion, you can remain Manifested and even pull Survivors off generators. Just make sure you leave the Obsession once you injure them to make the most out of this Perk.
  • Tinkerer: Whenever a generator reaches 70 % repair progress, it triggers a loud noise notification. For the next 12/14/16 seconds, you become Undetectable. Similarly to Dark Devotion, Tinkerer helps you sneak up to a Survivor and grab them from a generator. Sadako is the shortest Killer in the game so make use of the ambient objects to hide your approach. I also recommend using a TV that’s farther away from the generator to keep your approach hidden for as long as possible. 


4. The Best Beginner Build

STRONG BUILD for New Sadako Mains - Dead By Daylight Killer Gameplay Ringu DLC

Unlocking Sadako is definitely worth it. However, she’s not the easiest Killer to play. While she doesn’t require much mechanical skill (no M2), the Onryō is still difficult to play. You must rely on strategy and planning to win consistently on her. 

Her main strength lies in map presence and ambush. In the beginning, you should lean on Perks that allow you to use your Power to its best effect. Namely, information Perks. Seeing where the Survivors are will help you teleport to them via TVs and maintain your pressure. 

As far as chases go, don’t expect any miracles. Like most M1 Killers, she is easy to loop. But in the current Meta, you must commit to chases even if they are bad. This build will make them a little easier for you. 

What the Best Beginner Build Excels In:

  • Easy to use: As its name suggests, this build is beginner-friendly. The Perks are intuitive and you don’t need much game knowledge to make use of them. 
  • Covers your weaknesses: Sadako is weak when she doesn’t know where to teleport to. But once she does, she can be a menace. As an M1 Killer, she lacks chasing potential. However, this build address that as well. 
  • Powerful tracking: Remember, TVs only light up when there’s a Survivor near it. With three additional information Perks, you’ll be able to keep track of all Survivors for most of the game. 

Build details:

  • Barbecue & Chilli: When you hook a Survivor, you can see the aura of every other Survivor 60/50/40 meters away from the hook for 4 seconds. Barbecue & Chilli synergizes well with your power. After you hook a Survivor, you’ll know immediately where to teleport next. If you’re good at chasing, this Perk can help you snowball the game. 
  • Call of Brine: When you damage a generator, this Perk activates for 60 seconds. The generator regresses at 150/175/200 % of its normal regression speed and you can see its aura in yellow. Whenever a Survivor hits a good skillcheck on this generator, you’ll receive a loud noise notification. Call of Brine both applies pressure and provides information. The bonus regression speed can help you stay in the game longer. And because Survivors won’t hit great skillchecks consistently, you’ll know when they return back to the generator. Thanks to your TV, it’s easy for you to activate this Perk. 
  • Bamboozle: You gain 5/10/15 % vault speed when vaulting windows. After the vault, the Entity blocks the window for 8/12/16 seconds for all Survivors. Bamboozle affects only one window at a time. As an M1 Killer, Sadako can’t do much to shut down loops. Bamboozle helps you win chases by blocking powerful vault locations. These include most main buildings and Killer shacks. 
  • Dead Man’s Switch: Dead Man’s Switch activates whenever you hook a Survivor. For the next 20/25/30 seconds, any generator that stops being repaired becomes blocked until this Perk runs out. You can see the aura of affected generators in white. Dead Man’s Switch is valuable on all Killers who can force Survivors off generators. Sadako is no exception. Since every TV spawns near a generator, you only have to teleport through it to activate this Perk. Survivors can hear a groan whenever you teleport to a TV and will likely let go of the generator. Thus, you can track their whereabouts even if you teleport blindly. 


3. Ghost in the Machine Build

My FAVORITE Sadako Build! - Dead By Daylight

Sadako does exceptionally well at patrolling generators. Each TV spawns near a generator and she can teleport to it within seconds. Why not take this omnipresence a bit further?

The Ghost in the Machine build milks the most out of your mobility. It’s essentially a regression build. Throughout the game, your focus will be to damage as many generators as you can before you down a Survivor. This results in total domination of the game.

Although the build is strong, you must understand the strategy behind it. Your main objective is to set up all generators for Eruption and then down a Survivor. While you do this, you’ll keep ramping up Save the Best for Last stacks. If you execute it well, this build is deceptively OP.

What the Ghost in the Machine Build Excels In:

  • Insane pressure: The Ghost in the Machine build is incredibly oppressive. Once you gain momentum, Survivors will sweat hard to complete all generators. Any extra time on your side can tip the scales in your favor. 
  • Great snowball potential: This build grows stronger the longer the game goes on. If you manage to drag the game out, it will be virtually impossible for Survivors to make a comeback.
  • Consistent: The build works across all maps and remains relevant at all skill levels. However, it might take you a few matches to get used to this playstyle. 

Build details:

  • Call of Brine: When you damage a generator, this Perk activates for 60 seconds. The generator regresses at 150/175/200 % of its normal regression speed and you can see its aura in yellow. Whenever a Survivor hits a good skillcheck on this generator, you’ll receive a loud noise notification. Since you need to kick as many as generators as you can, the bonus regression from Call of Brine will be invaluable for you. Additionally, this Perk will tell you when the Survivors return back to it. Then, you can travel via your TV and intercept them. 
  • Eruption: Whenever you kick a generator, Eruption activates. You can see the aura of affected generators in yellow. Whenever you down a Survivor, all affected generators lose 10% of their progress and begin to regress. Any Survivors who repair an affected generator will scream and become incapacitated for 15/20/25 seconds. This Perk has a cooldown of 30 seconds. Incapacitated Survivors can’t use items, cleanse Totems, repair generators, or interact with other Survivors. Eruption is a game-changing Perk when it works. The 25 seconds penalty makes all affected Survivors virtually useless for the duration. If you manage to explode multiple generators simultaneously, you’ve practically won the game. This Perk works well with the other ones in this build and turns Sadako into a force to be reckoned with. 
  • Brutal Strength: You break pallets, breakable walls, and generators 10/15/20 % faster. The Ghost in the Machine build requires you to keep kicking generators all the time to get value from it. This can be quite time-consuming. With Brutal Strength, it will be much faster. Remember, time is the most important resource of every Killer. Additionally, this Perk helps you in chases since it applies to pallets as well.
  • Save the Best for Last: When you hit a Survivor who isn’t your Obsession, Save the Best for Last gains a stack up to a maximum of 8. Each stack reduces your successful basic attack animation by 5 %, up to a maximum of 40 %. Hitting the Obsession with a basic attack causes you to lose 4/3/2 tokens. Although Sadako doesn’t have an M2 ability that can preserve her Tokens, she excels at securing first hits. For this reason, you can ramp up your stacks quickly. Just make sure you ignore your Obsession. Having maximum stacks puts you in a strong spot and it’s often enough to win you the game. 


2. The Grim Reaper Build

The Most TOXIC Onryo Build in Dead by Daylight!

In the movie, Sadako emerges from the TV and pursues her victim inexorably. Once she reaches them, they die in agony, their faces disfigured. Sadly, Dead by Daylight is no movie. Instead of a struggle between humans and the supernatural, your experience will resemble a game of tag you’re it. Once you finally hit a Survivor, they will scurry away and heal in peace.

But what if you could experience Sadako as the deadly phantom she is in the movie? With the Grim Reaper Build, you can. You’ll become a spirit of vengeance and all Survivors will fall before you like sacks of potatoes. Combined with your stealth, you’ll strike fear in their hearts. 

Just like all Exposed builds, the Grim Reaper build is incredibly fun to use. It’s by no means the strongest but the satisfaction you get when it does work is worth it. This is easily my favorite Sadako build in the game and you should give it a try at least once.

What the Grim Reaper Build Excels In:

  • High risk, high reward: Just like every Devour Hope Build, this one is also incredibly fun to use. Although it may not always work, it’s incredibly satisfying when it does. 
  • Helps you end chases quickly: Sadako excels at ambushes. Thanks to the constant Exposed status effect, you’ll only need to find a Survivor to get a down. No marathon runs are involved. 
  • Counters healing: Though Boons and Med-kits are OP, they’re useless against Exposed builds. Since Exposed builds aren’t that common, many people use them. If they run into you, they’ll be bitterly disappointed. 

Build details:

  • Scourge Hook: Floods of Rage: At the beginning of the Trial, 4 random hooks become Scourge hooks. You can see their aura in white. Whenever a Survivor is rescued from a Scourge hook, you can see the aura of every other Survivor for 5/6/7 seconds. Survivors like to play it safe against stealth Killers. Since they can hear both your lullaby and manifestation, they’ll likely scurry away from a generator in time. Once you gain three stacks of Devour Hope, they’ll be even more cautious. Floods of Rage will help you find them faster. It also synergizes well with Make Your Choice. When the Survivor is rescued, you’ll see where the Exposed rescuer went immediately. 
  • Hex: Devour Hope: As long as its associated Hex Totem stands, Devour Hope remains active. Whenever a Survivor is rescued from a hook and you are at least 24 meters away from it, this Perk gains a Token. At 2 Tokens, you gain a 3/4/5 % Haste after hooking a Survivor. It lasts for 10 seconds. At 3 Tokens, every Survivor becomes Exposed. At 5, you can kill Survivors with your own hand regardless of their hook state. Devour Hope is an extremely fun Perk to use and every Killer has a build revolving around it. Its only flaw is the Hex Totem. Once it’s cleansed, this build falls apart. Fortunately, Sadako is a mobile Killer and she can protect it to an extent. 
  • Hex: Undying: You can see the aura of every Survivor within 2/3/4 meters of a Dull Totem. When a Survivor cleanses a Hex Totem, it won’t deactivate. Instead, its effect will be transferred to the Undying Totem. Hex: Undying is one of those straightforward Perks. Its only purpose is to keep other Hex Totems in the game longer. In this case, it protects Devour Hope.
  • Make Your Choice: Make Your Choice activates when you are at least 32 meters from the hook where a Survivor is rescued. The rescuer screams and becomes Exposed for the next 40/50/60 seconds. The Perk has a cooldown of 40/50/60 seconds. You’ll rely on Make Your Choice before you ramp up enough stacks of Devour Hope. It’s also your insurance policy in case the Survivors manage to break the totem. Given the mobility you gain from your TVs, tracking chasing down the Exposed Survivor should be easy. 


1. The High MMR Build

Sadako's BEST BUILD At Rank 1 - Dead by Daylight Ringu

As you climb the well, each match will become harder and harder. You might even lose some nails in the process! To adapt accordingly, you’ll need powerful Perks that can deal with the strongest of Survivors.

Meet the High MMR Build. Though its Perks are relatively simple, they benefit the Onryō well. They make your weak early game much more bearable while slowing the game down. Additionally, you’ll have a lot of information. That will make using your power even easier. 

Even though this build is not particularly riveting to use, it will help you win more often. Keep in mind that these Perks won’t carry you on their own. For this build to work, you’ll have to plan ahead and play around them. 

What the High MMR Build Excels In:

  • OP even against veteran Survivors: Unlike most builds, this one doesn’t rely on facing dummy Survivors. All Perks are some of the strongest ones in the game and you’ll always get at least some value out of them. 
  • Consistent: This build works on both small and large maps. It remains relevant against many Survivor builds too. 
  • Maximizes the potential of your Power: Sadako needs information to be efficient. Once she has it, she can quickly act on it. With this build, you’ll be able to track Survivor at generators and halt their progress. 

Build details:

  • Corrupt Intervention: At the beginning of the match, the three generators farthest from you become blocked for 80/100/120 seconds. The effect ends prematurely if you put a Survivor into the dying state. Corrupt Intervention is one of the best slow-down Perks in the game right now. Since it doesn’t require any special conditions to activate, it’s valuable on any Killer. As for the Onryō, you’re at your weakest at the start of the match. For the first minute, you can’t teleport to TVs. Corrupt Intervention forces Survivors into your clutches, allowing you to start your first chase early. 
  • Call of Brine: When you damage a generator, this Perk activates for 60 seconds. The generator regress at 150/175/200 % of its normal regression speed and you can see its aura in yellow. Whenever a Survivor hits a good skillcheck on this generator, you’ll receive a loud noise notification.
  • Pop Goes the Weasel: When you hook a Survivor, Pop Goes the Weasel activates for the next 35/40/45 seconds. When you damage a generator, it will immediately lose 20 % of its progress and begins to regress. The Perk then deactivates. Pop Goes the Weasel is a simple-to-use slow-down Perk. With Sadako’s mobility, you’ll always get value out of this Perk. Just make sure you use it on a generator with a lot of progress to get the most out of it.
  • Scourge Hook: Floods of Rage: At the beginning of the Trial, 4 random hooks become Scourge hooks. You can see their aura in white. Whenever a Survivor is rescued from a Scourge hook, you can see the aura of every other Survivor for 5/6/7 seconds. Floods of Rage is one of the best information Perks right now. Sadako can react to new information almost immediately thanks to her Power. Though Floods of Rage’s activation can be random, it applies to all Survivors no matter the distance. If you prefer reliability over power, you can swap it out for Barbecue & Chilli which serves a similar purpose. 

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