As a unique hydro sword-wielder, picking the right Genshin Impact Nilou build can be pretty tricky. Her kit is highly situational, dependant on intriguing hydro and dendro interactions, and though she’s quite a situational DPS or sub-DPS, her bountiful cores guarantee an explosive stage show. So let’s take a look at Genshin Nilou‘s skills, weapons, artifacts, and more.
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Join us as we twirl through Genshin Impact Nilou‘s build guide.
Nilou is a hydro DPS or sub-DPS sword-wielder with a unique kit that unfortunately limits her team comps dramatically. Her playstyle focuses on dendro and hydro elemental reactions, and she’s great at dishing out AoE damage with her bountiful cores when used correctly.
However, she requires a fixed team of two hydro, and two dendro to really work. She also relies on having a hydro healer to recover from dendro core explosion-friendly fire and needs an on-field hydro character to enhance her utility, meaning you really need Genshin Impact’s Kokomi on your team (Genshin’s Barbara is a possible substitute in this scenario, but her weak attacks make her a less viable option for on-field hydro application).
On the dendro side, Nilou is best complimented by Genshin’s Nahida, another five-star unit. Her lack of flexibility in team builds and her situational rotation makes her a tricky character to utilize and prevents her from being considered ‘meta’.
Regardless of how you intend to use Nilou, her signature weapon Key of Khaj-Nisut is the best weapon to suit her kit. It buffs her max HP and elemental mastery, both of which help her pack more of a punch with her dendro cores.
A Sacrificial Sword is a great option for an on-field Nilou, as it allows her to use both elemental skill forms, maximizing her hydro application. As an off-field enabler, Freedom-Sworn is a good choice as it boosts her elemental reaction damage and provides buffs for the entire party when she triggers an elemental reaction. For a more affordable option, you can equip Nilou with Iron Sting, which also boosts her elemental mastery and buffs her damage after she applies elemental damage to an enemy.
|Weapon||Effect||How to obtain|
|Key of Khaj-Nisut (five-star)||Bonus effect: Increases HP
Skill: Nilou gains the Grand Hymn effect for 20 seconds when an elemental skill hits an opponent. This effect increases her elemental mastery by 0.12% of her max HP. This effect can trigger once every 0.3 seconds. When this effect gains three stacks, or when the third stack’s duration is refreshed, the elemental mastery of all nearby party members will be increased by 0.2% of Nilou’s max HP for 20 seconds
|Weapon banner (alongside Nilou)|
|Sacrificial Sword (four-star)||Bonus effect: Energy recharge
Skill: After dealing damage to an opponent with an elemental skill, the skill has a 40% chance to end its own cooldown. Can only occur once every 30 seconds
|Freedom-Sworn (five-star)||Bonus effect: Elemental mastery
Skill: When Nilou triggers elemental reactions, she gains a Sigil of Rebellion. This effect can be triggered once every 0.5 seconds and can be triggered even if she is not on the field. When you possess two Sigils of Rebellion, both will be consumed and all nearby party members will obtain “Millennial Movement: Song of Resistance” for 12 seconds. This increases normal, charged, and plunging Attack damage by 16% and increases attack by 20%. Once this effect is triggered, you will not gain Sigils of Rebellion for 20 seconds
|Weapon banner (alongside Kazuha)|
|Iron Sting (four-star)||Bonus effect: Elemental mastery
Skill: Increases all damage by 6% for six seconds when dealing elemental damage. Max two stacks. Can only occur once every second
|Forge via blacksmith|
Currently, we find that the best artifact set for Nilou is a combination of two Tenacity of the Millelith and two Gilded Dreams, or Flower of Paradise Lost, which gives her a boost to both her HP% and elemental mastery. Failing all else, a two-piece of Heart of Depth will give a boost to her hydro damage.
|Artifact set||Effect||How to obtain|
|Tenacity of the Millelith||Two equipped: Increases HP
Four equipped: Upon hitting an enemy with an elemental skill, all nearby party members gain 20% attack and 30% shield strength for three seconds. You can trigger this effect once every 0.5 seconds, even if Nilou is not on the field
|Ridge Watch domain|
|Gilded Dreams||Two equipped: Increases elemental mastery
Four equipped: Within eight seconds of triggering an elemental reaction, Nilou obtains buffs based on the elemental type of other party members. Increases attack by 14% for each member whose elemental type is the same as the Nilou, and elemental mastery increases by 50 for every member with a different type. Each of the buffs counts up to three characters. Nilou can trigger this effect once every eight seconds, even when she is not on the field
|Spire of Solitary Enlightenment domain|
|Flower of Paradise Lost||Two equipped: Increases elemental mastery
Four equipped: Nilou’s bloom, hyperbloom, and burgeon reaction damage are increased by 40%. Additionally, after she triggers bloom, hyperbloom, or burgeon, she gains another 25% bonus to the effect mentioned prior. Each stack of this lasts 10 seconds. Max four stacks simultaneously. This effect can only be triggered once per second. Nilou can still trigger its effects when not on the field
|City of Gold domain|
|Heart of Depth||Two equipped: Hydro damage bonus
Four equipped: After using elemental skill, increases normal attack and charged attack damage by 30% for 15 seconds
|Peak of Vindagnyr domain|
|Nymph’s Dream||Two equipped: Hydro damage bonus
Four equipped: After Nilou uses normal, charged, and plunging attacks, elemental skills, and elemental bursts hit opponents, one stack of Mirrored Nymph will trigger. When under the effect of 1/2/3 or more Mirrored Nymph stacks, attack increases by 7%/16%/25%, and hydro damage increases by 4%/9%/15%.
|Molten Iron Fortress domain|
|Vourukasha’s Glow||Two equipped: Increases HP
Four equipped: Elemental skill and elemental burst damage increase by 10%. After Nilou takes damage, the damage bonus is increased by 80% for five seconds. This effect increase can have five stacks. These effects can be triggered even when Nilou is not on the field.
|Molten Iron Fortress domain|
Artifact stat recommendations
When picking stats for Nilou’s artifacts, remember that crit is not as good as elemental mastery, as bountiful cores don’t crit. Generally, you want to get her energy recharge to about 170% or higher. Aside from that, your focus should be on gaining HP% through main stats and as much elemental mastery as possible through sub-stats.
- Sands: HP% and energy recharge
- Goblet: HP%
- Circlet: HP%
- Elemental mastery
- Energy recharge
Here’s a showcase of what Nilou has in terms of skills, and what they do:
|Normal attack: Dance of Samser||Normal: Perform up to three consecutive sword strikes.
Charged: Consume a set amount of stamina to perform a twirling slash.
Plunging: Plung from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the path and dealing AoE damage on impact
|Elemental skill: Dance of Haftkarsvar||Nilou enters the pirouette state, dealing hydro damage to nearby opponents based on her max HP. While in this state, her normal attacks and elemental skills cause her to enter the sword dance and whirling steps stances respectively, converting all her damage to hydro damage that can’t be overridden and is considered elemental skill damage. In these stances, Nilou’s third dance step ends pirouette and has different effects based on the type of said dance step. For sword dance, she unleashes a luminous illusion that deals hydro damage to any enemies it touches. She receives the lunar prayer effect, which converts Nilou’s normal attacks into sword dance techniques. For whirling steps, Nilou unleashes a whirling water wheel that deals AoE hydro damage and creates a tranquillity aura that follows your active character around and applies hydro to opponents within its AoE. Nilou can’t perform charged attacks when under the effect of a pirouette or lunar prayer. All effects are removed when Nilou leaves the field|
|Elemental burst: Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring||Nilou begins a dance that spawns a lotus of distant waters, dealing AoE hydro damage based on Nilou’s max HP and applying the Lingering Aeon effect to all opponent’s hit. After an interval, opponents affected by Lingering Aeon take hydro damage|
|White Jade Lotus (unlocked at ascension one)||When Nilou cooks a perfect meal with adventure-related effects, there’s a 12% chance for you to obtain double the product|
|Court of Dancing Petals (unlocked at ascension four)||When all characters in the party are dendro or hydro, and there are at least one dendro and one hydro character, the completion of the third dance step of Nilou’s skill grants all nearby characters the Golden Chalice’s Bounty for 30 seconds. Characters under the effect of Golden Chalice’s Bounty increase the elemental mastery of all allies by 100 for ten seconds when they’re hit by dendro attacks. Triggering the bloom reaction creates bountiful cores instead of dendro cores. Bountiful cores burst very quickly and have larger AoEs. Bountiful cores can’t trigger hyperbloom or burgeon, and they share an upper numerical limit with dendro cores. Bountiful core damage is considered damage dealt by dendro cores produced by bloom. If the party doesn’t meet the conditions for this passive, any existing Golden Chalice’s Bounty effects are canceled.|
|Dreamy Dance of Aeons (unlocked automatically)||Every 1,000 points of Nilou’s max HP above 30k increases the damage dealt by Bountiful cores by 9%. The maximum increase in bountiful core damage that can be achieved this way is 400%|
Constellations are buffs that improve how a character performs in battle. You can level up Nilou’s constellations when you pull more than one copy of her.
|C1: Dance of the Waning Moon||Enhances Dance of Haftkarsvare, increasing the luminous illusion’s damage by 65%, and extending the duration of the tranquillity aura by six seconds.|
|C2: The Starry Skies Their Flowers Rain||After characters affected by the golden chalice’s bounty deal hydro damage to an opponent, that opponent’s hydro resistance decreases by 35% for ten seconds. After a triggered bloom reaction deals damage to opponents, their dendro resistance decreases by 35% for ten seconds. Requires the ‘Court of Dancing Petals’ talent.|
|C3: Beguiling Shadowstep||Increases the level of Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring by three. Max upgrade to level 15.|
|C4: Fricative Pulse||After the third dance step of Dance of Haftkarsvar’s Pirouette hits opponents, Nilou gains 15 elemental energy, and damage from her Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, listening spring increases by 50% for eight seconds.|
|C5: Twirling Light||Increases the level of Dance of Haftkarsvar by three. Max upgrade to level 15.|
|C6: Frostbreaker’s Melody||For every 1,000 points of max HP, Nilou’s crit rate and crit damage increase by 0.6% and 1.2% respectively. Can increase a maximum of 20% crit rate and 60% crit damage.|
Nilou requires varunada lazurite pieces to ascend, as well as Sumeru-native Padisarah flowers. To find the fungal spores and their two evolved versions, you need to hunt down plenty of fungi enemies.
|20||20,000||One varunada lazurite sliver, three padisarah, three fungal spores|
|40||40,000||Three varunada lazurite fragments, two perpetual calibers, ten padisarah, 15 fungal spores|
|50||60,000||Six varunada lazurite fragments, four perpetual calibers, 20 padisarah, 12 luminescent pollen|
|60||80,000||Three varunada lazurite chunks, eight perpetual calibers, 30 padisarah, 18 luminescent pollen|
|70||100,000||Six varunada lazurite chunks, 12 perpetual calibers, 45 padisarah, 12 crystalline cyst dust|
|80||120,000||Six varunada lazurite gemstones, 20 perpetual calibers, 60 padisarah, 24 crystalline cyst dust|
Here’s the shopping list for upgrading Nilou’s talents. You need the praxis family of talent books, and Tears of the Calamitous God which are a drop from the weekly Raiden Shogun boss fight.
|Two||12,500||Six fungal spores, three teachings of praxis|
|Three||17,500||Three luminescent pollen, two guides to praxis|
|Four||25,000||Four luminescent pollen, four guides to praxis|
|Five||30,000||Six luminescent pollen, six guides to praxis|
|Six||37,500||Nine luminescent pollen, nine guides to praxis|
|Seven||120,000||Four crystalline cyst dust, four philosophies of praxis, one tear of the Calamitous God|
|Eight||260,000||Six crystalline cyst dust, six philosophies of praxis, one tear of the Calamitous God|
|Nine||450,000||Nine crystalline cyst dust, 12 philosophies of praxis, two tears of the Calamitous God|
|Ten||700,000||12 crystalline cyst dust, 16 philosophies of praxis, two tears of the Calamitous God, one crown of insight|
With Nilou, you want to aim for bloom reactions. That’s kind of her whole deal. Therefore, mix and match basically any hydro and dendro characters, preferably with a healer for some added benefits.
That’s everything we know about Genshin Impact’s Nilou. For more exciting adventures, check out our list of the best games like Genshin Impact. There’s another Hoyoverse game we recommend – here’s what we know about any Honkai Star Rail codes and our Honkai Star Rail tier list.