In this article, I’ll be going over everything you need to know about Nilou, including her playstyle, best artifacts, weapons, teams, and more.
Nilou is a Hydro Sword character specializing in Bloom teams in order to maximize her full kit while boasting solid AoE damage through her unique bountiful core mechanic. Her value as a general Hydro unit is quite low, however she performs well within her niche.
Do keep in mind her potential is locked to future characters that could increase the potency of her Bloom teams. Also, her teams are also still under the process of testing so do not treat this guide as an end-all be-all, but rather an early look into Nilou’s state as a unit.
- Bountiful core damage is quite good provided enemies are grouped to where you are proccing multiple instances of bloom.
- Technically able to draft her Bloom team with all F2P units [Barbara/ Dendro Traveler/ Collei]
- Relatively low investment build requiring HP main stats/subs and maybe EM subs [depending how much ownership you want from her]. High talent investment also isn’t significant.
- Beautiful animations!!
- No access to VV/ grouping within her teams and highly reliant on Abyss chambers with specific enemy spawns/movement for grouping.
- Restrictive unit at her core due to her passive on top of your Dendro options being limited at the moment. Also requires some form of healing for the self damage from Blooms.
- As a Hydro character she provides almost nothing unique due to Hydro’s trend of being one of the most flexible elements that enable reactions within multiple teams.
- Relies on future characters to improve her potential. Even then, no character will change her core limitations.
- Signature weapon eclipses all alternatives in every aspect.
Normal Attack – Dance of Samser
Performs up to 3 consecutive sword strikes along with a pretty charge attack animation. It can be ignored completely as you are never normal attacking outside of her Elemental Skill infusion, which is considered elemental skill DMG.
Elemental Skill – Dance of Haftkarsvar
Upon cast, Nilou will deal AoE Hydro DMG and enter the Pirouette state. While in this state she will enter one of two stances.
After casting your skill, you can cast your skill 3 additional times with each cast dealing AoE Hydro DMG and your last cast creating a Tranquility Aura that follows your active character around and applies Hydro to opponents within its AoE.
After casting your skill, you can perform Normal Attacks that will be converted to Hydro DMG that cannot be overridden and is considered Elemental Skill DMG.
Your most important talent as you want to be completing the last step of her respective stance in order to trigger your A1 passive. Each stance and their DMG all scale with Nilou’s max HP.
The ideal stance you generally want to be using is the Whirling Steps stance. It allows for a much more cohesive rotation while still achieving the 3rd dance step condition for your A1 passive.
The Sword Dance stance is less ideal but still an option. It promotes a more on-field playstyle which is not as optimal unless you are focused on Nilou’s bloom ownership.
Elemental Burst – Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring
Upon cast, Nilou will deal AoE Hydro DMG based on Nilou’s Max HPand applies the Lingering Aeon effect to all opponents hit. After an interval, opponents affected by Lingering Aeon will take Hydro DMG.
Very straightforward Talent that deals a decent amount of damage with 2 instances. It has no icd between the 1st and 2nd hit with each hit applying 1U Hydro.
Character Talent Priority
Here’s a quick talent priority for Nilou.
Elemental Skill > Elemental Burst > Normal Attack
Character Best Combos
Nilou’s off-field playstyle doesn’t incorporate any Normal Attack combos since you are casting your skill and swapping off. Her on-field playstyle also doesn’t have any specific combos due to her Normal Attack string being only 3 hits that you basically just spam or N3 then swap to avoid more ownership.
As you ascend Nilou, she will gain HP %.
1st Ascension: Court of Dancing Petals
Her most important passive that her kit revolves around. This passive DOES NOT WORK unless all of the characters in your party are all Dendro or Hydro, and there are at least one Dendro character and one Hydro character. Upon meeting this condition, she will grant all nearby characters with the Golden Chalice’s Bounty for 30s after you complete the 3rd step of your elemental skill.
Golden Chalice Bounty – All nearby characters’ Elemental Mastery are increased by 100 for 10s provided they are hit by Dendro Attacks. Also, triggering the Bloom reaction will create Bountiful Cores instead of Dendro Cores.
Bountiful Cores: These cores are different from Dendro Cores with how they function. Bountiful Cores burst almost instantly after being created and have much larger AoE. These cores however cannot trigger Hyperbloom or Burgeon and share an upper numerical limit with Dendro Cores. Bountiful Core DMG is considered DMG dealt by Dendro Cores produced by Bloom.
This passive is the big one. Effectively locking you to only Bloom teams if you want to maximize her full kit. Do keep that in mind when deciding to pull for her. Bountiful Core generation/ DMG is quite nice though, performing well in optimistic AoE scenarios, provided enemies are relatively grouped together.
4th Ascension: Dreamy Dance of Aeons
Every 1,000 points of Nilou’s Max HP above 30,000 will cause the DMG dealt by Bountiful Cores created by characters affected by the Golden Chalice’s Bounty (A1 buff) to increase by 9%. The maximum DMG bonus gained this way is 400%
A good passive that her whole team can benefit from provided you stack HP on Nilou. The difference between regular Bloom Cores and their damage compared to Bountiful Cores buffed by this passive is quite relevant. Generally, try to get as close to 70k HP as possible.
Utility Passive: White Jade Lotus
When Perfect Cooking is achieved on Food with Adventure-related effects, there is a 12% chance to obtain double the product.
As always for constellations, every 5 star unit is completely functional at c0. Constellations in general and what they offer are far from needed. Nilou’s constellations – along with other 5 stars – usually translate to slight increases in damage/ clear time or quality of life aspects. Do keep in mind constellation value takes into account the value you lose going for another copy of the character rather than a completely different character that could impact your account far more than a constellation would.
- C1: Medium Impact
- C2: Medium Impact
- C3: Low Impact
- C4: Low Impact
- C5: Low Impact
- C6: Medium/ Low Impact
Constellation 1: Dance of the Waning Moon
The stances within your Elemental Skill will be enhanced as follows:
- 65% DMG boost to your final hits in Sword Stance
- Tranquility Aura’s duration is extended by 6s
Quite the personal damage increase for off-field Nilou, as the extended duration allows for more blooms. Not so much of an increase for on-field Nilou, due to the DMG boost only applying to your final hits.
Constellation 2: The Starry Skies Their Flowers Rain
Opponent’s Hydro RES is decreased by 35% for 10s after Hydro DMG is dealt by characters affected by your A1. Additionally, opponents that take DMG from a triggered Bloom reaction will have their Dendro RES decreased by 35% for 10s.
RES shred is always valuable, on top of it being two elements. A significant damage boost overall.
Constellation 3: Beguiling Shadowstep
Increases the Level of Nilou’s Elemental Burst by 3.
Negligible constellation that provides little to no benefit as her burst is generally being cast every other rotation.
Constellation 4: Fricative Pulse
After the third dance step of your Elemental Skill hits opponents, Nilous will gain 15 Elemental Energy while increasing her burst DMG by 50% for 8s.
Can incentivize burst centric builds but for such a high constellation it’s not worth it.
Constellation 5: Twirling Light
Increases the Level of your Elemental Skill by 3.
As mentioned in the introduction, talent investment/ increases are not significant in how she is played within her teams
Constellation 6: Frostbreaker’s Melody
For every 1,000 points of Max HP, Nilou’s Crit Rate and Crit DMG will increase by 0.6% and 1.2% respectively. The maximum increase in Crit Rate and Crit DMG via this method is 30% and 60% respectively.
Assuming you hit the cap, this constellation provides you 120 crit value which is nice. While it is a slight improvement to on-field Nilou and her personal damage, unfortunately the same cannot be said for off-field Nilou.
Nilous has two different ways she can be played within her Bloom teams where she can be played on-field/ off-field. Off-field tends to be more optimal due to more Hydro application and less field time that benefits your team rotation, on top of her Normal Attacks being quite negligible.
Regarding her teams outside of Bloom, TLDR; it’s not worth it. While she can function in Vape comps, she is nowhere near optimal and there are a plethora of better Hydro enablers.
Nilou currently does NOT have a dedicated 4 piece set, meaning 2 piece/ 2 piece combinations are quite ideal for her. She does have 4 piece options, however the difference between them compared to her 2 piece/ 2 piece options may not be worth the additional resin spent completing a 4 set bonus. Regarding artifacts for your team, you generally will want a holder of the 4 Deepwood Memories set.
2 Piece Tenacity of the Millileth + 2 Piece:
- Heart of Depth
- Gilded Dreams
- Wanderer’s Troupe
- Noblesse Oblige
- Emblem of Severed Fate
Very straightforward mix and match scenario. Try to go for whichever combination has the best substats. Difference between combinations is quite minimal to where good substats can make up for it. Far easier to build than completing a 4 set bonus, giving you no reason to chase one unless you are planning to specialize her under that specific set bonus.
4 piece Emblem of Severed Fate
Strictly for a Burst centric build where you want to Burst every rotation. Outside of that scenario, you’re better off with 2 piece/2 piece.
- Circlet: HP%
- Sands: HP%
- Goblet: HP%
Generally, maxing out on HP will win out against Crit builds due to how much Nilou’s kit appreciates HP.
Here’s the order of sub stats to prioritize:
- ER until requirement
- Elemental Mastery
- 160 – 180 for burst every rotation with Kokomi in double Hydro
- Around 120 for burst every other rotation [recommended]
Multiple Favonius weapon holders can also lower these requirements.
Key of Khaj-Nisut
Nilou’s signature weapon that is SIGnificantly better than any alternative. This weapon is one of the only HP% stat weapons along with giving her a 20% HP increase at R1. An incredibly valuable passive that converts her HP into Elemental Mastery, which makes Bloom DMG that she owns better.
This weapon just gives her so much compared to other alternatives, making those alternatives perform similarly to each other rather than even coming close to competing with this weapon.
Primordial Jade Cutter
A great generalist 5 star for most sword characters but more of a stat stick for Nilou. Crit is only useful for her personal damage but does nothing for Bloom.
Another fine stat stick if you happen to have it. The EM is nice for her own damage but the passive is not as valuable compared to an Elegy holder on your team. A usable stat stick nonetheless.
Solid generalist option that gives her EM and a beneficial passive for her team. It gets even better with refines. If you got unlucky on the weapon banner but happen to have this one, it’s a good 4 star weapon to have.
A true F2P option with the same amount of EM as Xiphos Moonlight. Becomes a lot better at R5 but be careful with your billets as they are quite rare. Solid option with an ease of access factor.
Favonius Sword/ Sacrificial Sword
Both similar weapons in terms of the stats it gives. Favonius being far superior due to the passive being much more beneficial to her teammates, which tend to be solely burst reliant. Regarding Sacrificial Sword, incorporating the passive tends to extend your rotation significantly, which is a loss in DPS as well as being quite tricky to fit into a rotation.
Another F2P option that provides an external source of EM to your on-field character which is always appreciated especially in Bloom. A solid option if you’re focused on a more supporting role with Nilou. You get more EM from refinements as well but be careful with your billets as they are quite rare.
In this section, only variations of her Bloom teams will be recommended. Teams outside of that are simply just not optimal and ignore Nilou’s passives completely. That being said, the Bloom self DMG from your Bountiful Cores are relevant to the point where a healer is highly recommended so keep that in mind.
Nilou Double Hydro Double Dendro
Nilou’s standard team comp as of now where you generally want Hydro being the trigger and having full ownership of blooms. Testing is still being conducted to determine accurate bloom ownership.
That being said, Kokomi is ideal here being a healer that also provides Hydro Application as a potential on-fielder for an off-field Nilou playstyle. Dendro Traveler and Collei being mandatory here due to limitations with Dendro options while Tighnari as an alternative is not ideal due to his field time and application. The Bloom damage is actually quite solid/effective against the current abyss iteration.
Possible Rotation [variations still being tested]:
- [Off-field Nilou] Nilou EEEE > DMC E Q > Collei E Q > Kokomi Q, 3N2C, E > DMC E > Collei E > repeat
- [On-field Nilou] Kokomi E > DMC E Q > Collei E Q > Nilou E 6N3
- Multitarget AoE/ Mobbing 3.1 Abyss 12 all first half [emerites, kairagi multiwave/ 4x ruin enemy multitarget/ 4x bathysmal vishap hatchlings]
- Iron sting 50k+ HP C0 Nilou 2pc ToM/ 2pc EM
- Favonius Collei + Favonius Traveler 4pc Deepwood
- Prototype Amber Kokomi
Nilou Triple Hydro One Dendro
A variation of Nilou’s Bloom composition that ensures a Dendro ownership of Blooms. The downside here is you get less Blooms due to how Dendro interacts with the Hydro gauge, compared with a Hydro trigger taking up less of the Dendro gauge which gets you more Blooms.
Future Dendro characters could also change the potency of this team depending on how much damage they offer that warrants a Dendro trigger.
Nilou is quite the interesting character at her core, a limiting character that is very good at her niche nonetheless. She is a unique hydro character that offers a specific playstyle and composition in order to maximize her value rather than enabling other compositions.
Keep in mind, her teams’ potency are locked to future units, which can change the overall strength of her niche, but will not improve her pull value as a character. If you are planning on pulling for her and want the best possible team for Nilou, keep in mind the tradeoff that happens by skipping on much more valuable units just to improve 1 team with limited variations.
That being said, as always, if you like the character and you don’t care about optimization, go for them!