Background

Nilou Quick TL;DR DPS Build Guide

PSA #1: A DPS is that kid who knows how to breakdance and looks cool while doing it 😎. Give them the spotlight and they’ll shine!

PSA #2: Both Nilou’s abilities scale off Max HP. While she is a DPS, she’s more of a hyperbuffer for a reaction comp!

I’m also trying a new, more detailed format for the guides! I’ve added things like Constellation breakdowns, calculation sheets, etc…!

So please let me know in the comments (or in the Discord) which format you prefer!


Elemental Skill – Dance of Haftkarsvar

Nilou enters her Pirouette form, allowing her to pick her Dance technique. Really confusing but I’ll explain below!

When using Nilou’s E, you enter her Pirouette stance. What you do next decides which dance technique she will enact.

  • E has an 18 second CD
  • Does a small AoE Hydro DMG attack around her that scales off her Max HP and activates Pirouette Stance
  • Pirouette Stance lasts for 10 seconds
  • Infuses her Normal Attack with Hydro, but CANNOT Charged Attack
  • Using Normal Attack or Elemental Skill will stack Pirouette Stance
  • 3rd Attack choice is what matters

You can tell when you’re in the Pirouette stance by a symbol that appears on top of Nilou’s Head.

Using your Normal Attack or Elemental Skill for the next 2 attacks will stack the Pirouette stance (as shown on the left).

It does not matter what you decide to use for the first 2 stacks. You could Normal attack twice, tap Elemental Skill twice, or do each once. The important decision is the 3rd choice.

However it is recommended to Normal Attack twice as it does more damage than tapping E twice!

Nilou’s E will trigger one of the two forms she can inhabit depending on what your 3rd attack choice will be. Doing a Normal Attack will trigger Sword Dance, while using your Elemental Skill will trigger Whirling Steps.

Normal Attack – Sword Dance

Doing a Normal Attack for your 3rd attack will cause Nilou to enter Sword Dance. Nilou gains the Lunar Prayer buff, which changes her Normal Attack combo into the Sword Dance combo.

Lunar Prayer lasts for 8 seconds and allows her Normal Attacks to deal Hydro DMG instead of Physical. Her last NA of her 3 NA combo shoots out a large slash, dealing Hydro DMG to enemies in it’s path.

Within the 8s buff window, you can do a total of 5 full 3 NA combos. It has an internal CD (meaning how often can it proc reactions) of 3 seconds, or basically every 3rd hit.

Sword Dance is really recommended for only main DPS Nilou, as the damage can only really shine when paired with Hydro DMG% and CRIT Values. Even then, Whirling Steps tends to perform a lot better due to the bonuses from her passives (I’ll go in detail below)

Elemental Skill – Whirling Steps

Doing an Elemental Skill for your 3rd attack will cause Nilou to enter Whirling Steps. Nilou deals one instance of Hydro DMG in an AoE around her, and gains the Tranquility Aura buff.

Tranquility Aura summons a giant ring of Hydro around the active character. IT DOES NOT DO DAMAGE, BUT INSTEAD CONSTANTLY APPLIES HYDRO. It has an internal CD of 4 seconds, or can trigger elemental reactions every 4th proc. Think of Barbara E, except larger and procs Hydro faster/better.

However, it removes the Hydro infusion from Nilou’s NA and allows her to CA again.

The aura lasts 12 seconds and can proc Wet quite reliably/frequently. It’s the core ability of Nilou’s reaction prowess, and should 100% be chosen over Sword Dance in her tailored team comp.

So which is better? Sword Dance or Whirling Steps?

9 times out of 10, it is decisive that Whirling Steps is better purely due to two reasons:

  1. Nilou’s passives (which will be explained below) are hyperbuffs to Dendro + Hydro reactions that turn Bloom’s tiny explosions into megaton nukes. They provide way too much AoE and Nilou will be able to 100% ensure it’s her proc’ing the reaction with her E’s constant Hydro application.
  2. Max HP for main DPS is odd to calculate. While it is one of the easiest stats to en masse, it’s also infamous for providing low multipliers for DPS characters. Sure, 36% of 25,000 HP sounds good, but doesn’t 600% of 2,000 ATK with high CRIT sound better? Due to this reason, running main DPS Nilou is less effective to gear and optimize compared to her hyper-reaction buff comp.

Other than those two reasons, the final factor is the CD of her E. Having a CD of 18s, it means her Sword Dance will have a downtime of 10s — while Whirling Steps has 6s. A 4s difference doesn’t sound like much, but that’s precious time you’re wasting other ability’s duration on.

Even vs. single target nukes, a little bit of good positioning (and little knowledge on enemy attack patterns) will beat out Sword Dance’s single target DPS.


Ascension 1 Passive: Court of Dancing Petals

Basically if you have a team of ONLY Dendro and Hydro, your characters gain 100 EM and spawn Bountiful Cores that deal massive AoE Dendro DMG!

Nilou’s A1 Passive has a lot of words, so I’ll break it down clearly:

1. Team must consist of ONLY Dendro and Hydro characters

However, there is a specific condition that there must be at least 1 of each Dendro and Hydro on the team. So you could run a team of any variation below:

  • Nilou + 3 Dendro
  • Nilou + 2 Dendro + 1 Hydro (MOST OPTIMAL)
  • Nilou + 1 Dendro + 2 Hydro

The Nilou + 2 Dendro + 1 Hydro is the most optimal as you can run Collei + Dendro Traveler for extensive coverage on Dendro application to combo into Nilou’s Whirling Step. You can run Kokomi or Mona (who can spawn Hydro enablers), or Xingqiu/Yelan if you want the Hydro RES/DMG buff.

It’s a blessing and a curse because it makes her super efficient in her specific comps, but essentially turns her into a passive-less character outside of them. The moment you run anything besides Hydro + Dendro comps, Nilou loses both of her strong passives!

2. Passive only activates AFTER Nilou triggers either Sword Dance or Whirling Step (3rd attack for E)

You will know when you have the Golden Chalice buff when you see those bubbles spawning around your character (depicted on the right).

The buff has a duration of 30 seconds, and stays even if you swap characters. It’s an extremely generous duration and allows for two (maybe even three) rotations of your team in certain cases.

3. Bloom will spawn Bountiful Cores and grant 100 EM to your team

On the right, you will see what a Bountiful Core looks like. Here are their attributes:

  • Bountiful Cores have a larger AoE explosion radius than normal Dendro Cores and explodes immediately
  • Cannot trigger Hyperbloom or Burgeon, but this is extremely useful as it helps apply Dendro
  • Shares Core count of 5 with regular cores. Meaning if you have 5 regular Dendro Cores on the field, it will replace the oldest core
  • Bountiful Core DMG is the same as Dendro Core explosion DMG. However, the A4 Passive lets you do more DMG based on Nilou’s Max HP!

So as detailed, Bountiful Cores having a larger radius and exploding immediately is actually very beneficial for 1 reason: it applies Dendro like crazy

This is a good thing as when Dendro is applied during Golden Chalice, your characters will gain a 100 EM buff. Which makes Nilou a Dendro-reaction hyperbuffer!


Ascension 4 Passive: Dreamy Dance of Aeons

Essentially more HP = More Bountiful Core DMG

30,000 HP+ is not too hard to obtain with Nilou as her 4th Ascension Stat is Max HP% — at level 90/90, she receives a 28.8& Max HP bonus.

That being said, here’s the math: Max HP = Base HP x (1 + HP%) + Bonus HP

Nilou can achieve a whopping 58,653 HP if she were to run a full HP build and her BiS weapon.

This means that her A4 Passive would gain 28x stacks, or essentially 252% additional Bountiful Core DMG (28 x 9).

I have easily hit around 38k – 40k+ Bountiful Core DMG with this, and can probably push much higher if I further optimized the build!


Elemental Burst: Dance of Abzenedi

Nilou dances so hard it does massive AoE Hydro DMG to nearby enemies. Enemies hit will be marked, which explodes doing Hydro DMG!

Pretty straightforward burst. The only real notable thing is that the Lingering Aeon proc triggers roughly 2 seconds after it’s applied.

Meaning you can use it to delay proc a Hydro-reaction. As an example, you could mark someone with Dendro using Collei’s E, swap to Nilou and Q to proc the first Bloom reaction. Then as the Collei’s E returns and marks Dendro again, Nilou’s Lingering Aeon proc can trigger another Bloom reaction.

It’s not the most optimal reaction, but it’s a neat thing to know.


CONSTELLATIONS AND TALENTS

So her Constellations importance varies on whether or not if you’re running her for EM Reaction or main DPS

C1 and C2 are extremely strong for EM Reaction Nilou as they enhance her ability to proc and deal reaction DMG. If you plan on running Reaction Nilou, and want to keep rolling, then aim for C2 as a minimum!

C1 increases her Sword Dance 3rd NA DMG and increase her Tranquility Aura duration by 6s.

This is extremely helpful for both main DPS and Reaction Nilou, but having Tranquility Aura extended by 6s mean it will have zero downtime as the new 18s duration matches the E CD of 18s.

This essentially means Nilou can permanently inhabit her Wet application, turning her into a 24/7 Hydro applicator

C2 is a massive resistance shredder for both Hydro and Dendro DMG. It turns Nilou into a walking 4x Viridescent set basically…

So the way it works is as long as you hit someone with your 3rd attack from Elemental Skill, you will shred their Hydro RES by 35%. Then if you hit them with Bloom reaction (which is 100% guaranteed btw), it will then shred their Dendro RES by 35% as well.

So in theory, not only is this a direct buff for both main DPS and Reaction Nilou, but also further enhances Nilou’s impact with her A4 Passive Bountiful Core DMG!

Unfortunately, main DPS Nilou players will have their full potential locked behind a C6 paywall as her DPS significantly spikes upon hitting the C4 and C6 points.

C4 alleviates Nilou’s energy problem quite a bit, while also boosting her burst DMG.

If your 3rd Attack from Elemental Skill hits an enemy (whether it’s for either Sword Dance or Whirling Steps), it will give Nilou 15 Energy. That is 15 out of 70, or essentially 22% of your Burst every 18s (E CD).

It also boosts your burst’s DMG by 50%, this covering both the initial DMG and the delayed DMG from Lingering Aeon.

C6 is like Nilou’s A4 Passive, except for CRIT values. She gains 0.6 CRIT% and 1.2 CRIT DMG per every 1,000 HP. Caps at 30% CRIT Chance and 60% CRIT DMG.

So if we take the HP from prior example of 58,653 Max HP, that means Nilou will gain 21% CRIT Chance and 42% CRIT DMG…

This effectively allows Nilou to run a CRIT DMG Circlet (or just heavily optimize for CRIT DMG substats) or run a HP% Circlet as well, granting her not only damage but also build options!

Talent Leveling Order: E = Q > NA (honestly E level doesn’t matter for reaction comp!)


WEAPON #1 (Recommended for best DPS): Key of Khaj-Nisut

How do I get it D: ? – It’s time to roll boys (gacha)

Has base HP% scaling and boosts Nilou + team’s EM

Key of Khaj-Nisut is the new 5-star Sword signature sword introduced with Nilou, and currently serves as her BiS. The first major bonus being that it can provide a whopping 66.2% HP bonus to Nilou at level 90, who scales her damage off Max HP. Then the weapon’s effect can be divided into three separate buffs:

  1. Nilou gains a 20% HP bonus at all times, which directly buffs her E, Q, and A4 Passive DMG.
  2. Then whenever her E hit’s an enemy, she’ll gain EM based off .12% of her Max HP and stacks 3 times. This also counts when her Whirling Steps’ Tranquility Aura tags enemies with Hydro (doesn’t have to do DMG to count). So if we take the Max HP from the previous example, Nilou can gain 70 EM per stack, totaling 210 bonus EM (58653 x .0012 x 3)!
  3. When she reaches max stacks, then her teammates also receive an EM buff equal to .2% of her Max HP — so they’ll receive 117 EM in this case

So in her signature team comp for Hydro-Dendro reactions, you can see how lethal this weapon can get due to the raw EM buffs it can provide!

Freedom-Sworn may seem good for the EM it provides, but the weapon effect bonuses for NA DMG and ATK% buff are useless for Nilou (and her team in this case as well).

Other than that, other 5-star Sword options fall short for EM Reaction builds on her. However, if you are planning on running Nilou main DPS, there are a few options:

Skyward Blade is great due to the ER% it provides and the CRIT% the weapon effect allows for. The ATK SPD buff is also really nice, and can help get an additional NA combo during her Sword Dance duration. However, the NA buff that scales off your ATK is useless since Nilou won’t build ATK

Primordial Jade Cutter is great for the CRIT%, and helps allocation for CRIT DMG artifacts. The bonus 20% HP it provides is a great addition to boosting Nilou’s E and Q DMG as well. You do gain some ATK% based of Nilou’s Max HP, but it only benefits her regular NA/CA (since it’s the only thing that scales off ATK in her kit).

WEAPON #2 (Recommended for 4-star DPS): Sacrificial Sword

How do I get it D: ? – It’s time to roll boys (gacha)

Has base ER% scaling and provides a chance to re-cast her E

Sacrificial Sword is an extremely strong 4-star option for Nilou as it helps resolve her energy problems. Due to her team composition, it is extremely hard to run a battery. Dendro and Hydro characters aren’t the greatest batteries, so Sac Sword offers a lot to the table with it’s 61.3% ER at level 90. It also helps refresh Nilou’s E CD, so she has the option to immediately use it after a team rotation ends.

Xiphos’ Moonlight is a new 4-star introduced with the weapon wish banner and works like Favonius Sword (except replace CRIT% with EM). It provides 165 EM at level 90, and the weapon skill at R5 grants .072% ER for every point of EM Nilou has. If my Nilou has around 765 EM after buffs, then that means she would also receive a 55% ER bonus. That’s quite substantial as it basically means building EM is equivalent to building 2 stats at the same time.

Festering Desire is a great hybrid option, as it allows Nilou to both on-field during her rotation as well as alleviates her energy issues. It provides 45.9% ER at level 90, and at R5 boosts her E damage by 32% and provides it a 12% CRIT chance. If you want to run Nilou DPS, but don’t have the 5-star options, then Festering or Xiphos’ can help fulfill that role.

Sapwood Blade is a craftable Sumeru Sword that provides ER% and an EM buff that spawns when you trigger any Dendro-related reaction. This means basically a free buff in Nilou’s case, as she’ll be shooting out Bloom reactions like mad. At R5, it’s a free 120 EM buff every 8s basically, so you can see why it’s strong for a reaction-based driver like Nilou.


ARTIFACTS (Recommended for best DPS): Tenacity of the Milleth + Gilded Dreams

How do I get it D: ? – Tenacity at Ridge Watch Domain (AR 30 Locked, 20 Resin per run). Gilded Dreams at Spire of Solitary Enlightenment Domain (AR 22 Locked, 20 Resin per run).

Boosts Nilou’s E + Q + A4 Passive DMG
Boosts Nilou’s Reaction DMG

2x Tenacity + 2x Gilded (or 2x Wanderer’s) is the ideal artifact set for Nilou as it provides the best of both worlds for her kit. The 20% HP bonus directly boosts her E, Q, and A4 Passive DMG (since they scale off Max HP), while the 80 EM assists with enhancing her Bountiful Core Explosion DMG. It’s also extremely friendly to farm for, as if you don’t want to grind Spirre of Solitary, you can just replace it with 2x Wanderer’s — allowing you to have some options for better stat allocation!

If you want to run her main DPS, you can alternative replace 2x Gilded with 2x Heart of Depth instead for more on-field DPS with her E’s Sword Dance. Keep in mind that artifact sets that boost NA DMG DO NOT AFFECT NILOU’S SWORD DANCE NA’S as they are counted as Elemental Skill DMG — thus only things that can buff it are Max HP, Elemental DMG bonuses, and Elemental Skill bonuses!

For early level players, you can run 2x Exile + 2x Instructor to balance energy generation and some EM. Keep in mind that until you reach Sumeru, you will fail to meet the A1 Passive requirement of only Hydro-Dendro teams (unless you rolled for Tighnari and Collei), as you won’t have Dendro Traveler until Sumeru.

Main stats:

SandsGobletCirclet
HP%HP% (Hydro DMG for main DPS)HP (CRIT Values for main DPS)

Substats: HP% > EM > CRIT Values = ER% (if you are main DPS, then focus CRIT Values > HP% > EM > ER%)!

If you want other characters let me know. Hope this helped. Bye.

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I spend too much time filling out spreadsheets for incoherent data, but at least I can turn them into guides :P

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the post! I do like the new format more, it gives a better idea for what the character can do and what expectations I should have.

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