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Nilou is the latest addition to the Genshin Impact Hydro character family. And for once, Nilou is not a healer! However, like most of the healer characters, her HP is used to scale other stats. Instead, aspects of Nilou’s attack scale off of her Max HP.
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However, Nilou has some major restrictions on your team composition. She won’t perform as well if you go outside of those restrictions. You can use her however you want, but if you don’t have a Hydro-Dendro team, you’ll be missing out on some cool effects.
As Genshin Impact introduces more Dendro and Hydro characters (Hydro Claymore when), Nilou will become a bit more flexible. That being said, Nilou can be added to a F2P team with good results – just make sure you use Barbara.
Best Position – Sub-DPS
For now, it’s easier to use Nilou as an off-field Sub-DPS than an on-field Main DPS. However, if you’ve built Barbara and use her Elemental Skill before letting Nilou take over, you can use Nilou as a Main DPS.
The off-field Sub-DPS build is easier to use, especially if you’re not great with combat timing. Nilou’s greatest Talent is creating Bountiful Cores. Bountiful Cores are just Dendro Cores pumped up to 11. Essentially, Bountiful Cores affect a larger AoE, inflict more damage, and explode faster than Dendro Cores. Nilou does not need to be on the field to generate Bountiful Cores. She only needs to be on a Hydro-Dendro team.
Currently, the best strategy is to include the Dendro Traveler on your Nilou team. Dendro Traveler is fantastic, but they also have a long Elemental Burst that constantly applies Dendro to the field. Nilou can trigger the Traveler’s mushroom to bloom.
Both the Main DPS and Sub-DPS builds use the same Artifact stats, so you can swap between the two very easily and choose whichever you prefer.
5-Star – Key of Khaj-Nisut
It seems Genshin Impact is improving its signature weapons. The Key of Khaj-Nisut is Nilou’s signature weapon and her best weapon overall. The sword increases the wielder’s HP by a percentage. Its Skill Effect adds another HP% bonus, plus some more.
When an Elemental Skill hits an opponent, the wielder gains the Grand Hymn effect for 20 seconds. Grand Hymn increases Elemental Mastery by 0.12% of the wielder’s Max HP. This can be triggered once every 0.3 seconds and has a maximum of 3 stacks.
At 3 stacks, or when the third stack’s duration resets, all nearby party members will have their Elemental Mastery increased by 0.2% of the wielder’s max HP for 20 seconds.
Honorable mention goes to the Freedom-Sworn.
4-Star – Sacrificial Sword
If you want more EM or HP stats in your Artifacts, Sacrificial Sword will cut down on your Energy Recharge reliance. The Sacrificial Sword boosts the wielder’s Energy Recharge by a percentage. However, the best aspect of the Sacrificial Sword is the chance to end the wielder’s Elemental Skill CD early.
After hitting an opponent with an Elemental Skill, the Skill has a chance to end its own CD. This starts as a 40% chance and will increase with Weapon Refinement. So the higher the Refinement, the higher the chance of ending the Skill CD. At Refinement 1, this can occur once every 30 seconds. The time is cut down with each Refinement.
Since Nilou has a three part Elemental Skill, quickly ending her Skill’s CD will allow you to constantly apply Hydro. This may reduce your need for another Hydro character. If you want to build Nilou as a Main DPS, use the Sacrificial Sword on her.
Honorable mentions go to the Iron Sting and Xiphos’ Moonlight.
3-Star – Skyrider Sword
Like the Sacrificial Sword, the Skyrider Sword increases the wielder’s Energy Recharge by a percentage. When you use an Elemental Burst, the wielder receives increased ATK and Movement SPD for 15 seconds. If possible, use Nilou’s Burst before you activate her Skill. This will give you the Skyrider buffs while Nilou performs her Skill. Again, it’s about applying Hydro and increasing Nilou’s Skill damage.
Honorable mention goes to the Dark Iron Sword.
Best Artifact Sets
Yes, we have another HP% Main Stat queen! Give Nilou all of your HP% Main Stat Artifacts, especially after her 4th Ascension Passive Talent kicks in. A lot of Nilou’s damage and buffs scale off of her Max HP, so increasing her HP will increase her damage output.
Focus on Elemental Mastery, HP, and Energy Recharge Substats. Bountiful Cores do not CRIT, so Elemental Mastery will help you far more than any CRIT stat will.
2PC Tenacity of the Milileth + 2PC Gilded Memories
This is probably the best and easiest combination to equip Nilou with. At 2 pieces, Tenacity of the Milileth increases HP by 20%. 2 pieces of Gilded Memories will increase Elemental Mastery by 80.
The HP boost will help increase the damage of Nilou’s Elemental Burst and, once you get Nilou past her 4th Ascension, Bountiful Cores. The Elemental Mastery boost will help increase Bountiful Cores’ damage since they are considered part of the Bloom Reaction.
If you don’t have any decent Gilded Memories pieces, you can use Wanderer’s Troupe for the EM boost.
2PC Tenacity + 2PC Heart of Depth
Instead of getting the EM boost, 2 pieces of the Heart of Depth set grants 15% Hydro DMG Bonus. The main difference is that Hydro DMG Bonus directly increases Nilou’s Hydro DMG. Elemental Mastery affects Elemental Reactions, so that will boost damage inflicted by Bountiful Cores.
The Hydro DMG Bonus would be better for the Main DPS build since Nilou’s Elemental Skill converts her Normal Attacks to Hydro DMG. But if you plan to rely on the Bountiful Cores’ damage, then the Elemental Mastery boost would be better.
4PC Gilded Memories
You should only use this set if you have at least two Dendro characters on Nilou’s team.
At 4 pieces, the Gilded Memories set adds buffs to its equipped character based on the Elements of the other party members. Within 8 seconds of triggering an Elemental Reaction, Gilded Memories will grant its character buffs based on your team composition. For any character with the same Elemental Type as the wielder, the wielder gains a 14% ATK buff. For any character with a different Elemental Type, the wielder instead gains 50 Elemental Mastery points. Each buff can stack up to 3 times and can be triggered once every 8 seconds. The wielder does not need to be on the field.
Having two Dendro characters on Nilou’s team will increase Nilou’s Elemental Mastery by 100 points. In all, Gilded can add 180 Elemental Mastery points to Nilou. Most likely, your Nilou team will have two Hydro and two Dendro characters, so Nilou will receive 100 EM and 14% ATK from Gilded.
Best Team – Bloom Reaction
Nilou’s number one flaw at the moment is her limited team composition. To take full advantage of Nilou’s Talents, you need at least one Hydro and one Dendro character on the team. Currently, there are only three Dendro characters: Traveler, Tighnari, and Collei. Expect Nilou to become more flexible over time as we get more Hydro and Dendro characters. But for now, you will always need an all Dendro and Hydro team for Nilou.
For now, the Traveler is an essential character for the Nilou team. The Traveler’s Elemental Burst has a large AoE and a long duration – perfect for Nilou or any other Hydro character to trigger the Bloom reaction. When you trigger the Bloom reaction on the Traveler’s Burst, the mushroom will become larger and constantly churn out Dendro Cores. Dendro Cores are essential in a Nilou team because her Talents enhance their damage.
Generally, you do want a healer on Nilou’s team since you won’t be able to rely on Shields. As such, Barbara or Kokomi should be on your team as well. From there, it’s up to preference. If the Traveler’s Burst is enough Dendro for you, then use another Hydro character. If you want some more Dendro and Barbara’s Skill is enough Wet for you, then use Collei.
Team Composition Examples
Barbara, Collei, Traveler
Kokomi, Xingqiu, Traveler
Kamisato Ayato, Collei, Traveler