Nilou is a new 5-star Hydro character introduced in Genshin Impact Version 3.0 and is playable as of Version 3.1. She is a famous dancer among the populous of Sumeru, heading up the Bazar as a force of creativity and imagination in a world of academia and ‘wisdom’.
Her dancing even carries over from her lore to her kit. Nilou has an interesting synergy between her attacks and the rhythm of a dance. Ever since her introduction in the Archon Quest of Sumeru, fans have been awaiting more information on this anticipated character.
Here’s how to best build Nilou in Genshin Impact. This includes getting to know her Talents and their priority when levelling, what materials you need to Ascend Nilou, her best weapons and artifacts and even what teams she best works in.
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Who is Nilou from Genshin Impact?
Nilou is a prized and celebrated dancer of the Zubayr Theatre in Sumeru City, and a 5-star Hydro character in Genshin Impact. There she happily performs for large crowds, entertaining them with elegant and beautiful dances that symbolise the freedom and joy many in the theatre feel. This is especially evident when compared to the archaic and dogmatic Akademiya, who look down upon Nilou and her fellow troupe members with ire.
Nevertheless, Nilou is a passionate soul who wishes to communicate to all through her dances. As a devout believer in the Lesser Lord Kusanali, Nilou was also responsible for dancing the Dance of Flowers at the Sabzeruz Festival in celebration of the Archon’s birthday.
“Although a performance stage has spatial constraints, dance always inspires infinite imagination. Amid free-spirited steps, the night sky transforms into a starry dome, becoming a stage where one can dance to their heart’s content.”
Character Demo – Nilou: Dance of the Delicate Lotus
Nilou is a carefree spirit who can enrapture all who come to watch her perform her beautiful dances. Some say that she looks straight out of a fairy tale.
How to Get Nilou
Nilou is a 5-star Hydro Sword user, the second behind the head of Inazuma’s Kamisato household, Ayato. As such, she is a limited character and is only available on her banners, unlike the regular banner 5-stars like Tighnari, Mona or Jean.
Since being introduced as a playable character in Version 3.1, Nilou has been available on the following banners:
- Twirling Lotus (Nilou’s First Banner Run): October 14th 2022 – November 1st 2022
Nilou’s Level-Up Materials
To Ascend Nilou to level 90, you’re going to need a few different resources. Those materials are:
- Padisarah Flowers (Sumeru Speciality)
- Varunda Lazurite Sliver (Hydro Element Gemstone)
- Fungal Spores (Enemy Drop)
- Perpetual Calibre (World Boss Drop)
Padisarah flowers are a Sumeru-exclusive plant. These small purple plants bloom in areas of high humidity and nearby sources of water, with many blooming in the vicinity of Sumeru City. Tales tell of these flowers once having a lush pink colour thanks to a blessing by the Gods of Flowers: a colour that their imitations cannot replicate. Nilou asks for 168 Padisarah plants to raise her to level 90. If you have Tighanri in your team, his Passive Talent Encyclopedic Knowledge will ping Sumeru Local Specialities on the map, making it easier to find. You can also find their exact locations on the Teyvat Interactive Map or the Genshin Impact Interactive World Map.
Fungal Spores are the lowest tier rarity drop from the new Fungi enemy type in Sumeru. These mushroom monsters come in all shapes and sizes, with different elements and abilities. Fungal Spores and their higher tier options can be quite hard to come across depending on your team compositions, however. If you have an Electro or Pyro character in your party, hitting a Fungi enemy will cause a higher chance of them dropping a different item instead of the Spores so be careful or use a different team instead. You can find roaming groups of Fungi using your Adventure’s Handbook and Nilou wants 18 Fungal Spores, 30 Luminescent Pollen and 36 Crystalline Cyst Dust for her Ascension.
The Perpetual Calibre drops from a new world boss in Version 3.1. That is the Aeonblight-Drake, a highly advanced piece of Khaenri’ah technology modelled after a Ruin Drake. It bears a striking resemblance to the more adept Ruin Grader and can put up quite a fight. You will find the Aeonblight Drake in the depths of the Devantaka Mountains in Sumeru. You will need to collect 46 Perpetual Calibre drops to get Nilou fully to level 90.
Finally, the Varunda Lazurite Sliver items are a type of elemental Gemstone. All characters need these in Genshin Impact and Nilou, as a Hydro character, needs the Lazurite type of Gem. You can normally gather these by doing Daily Commissions (which give a random element of gemstone upon completion) or through defeating Weekly Bosses or Hydro-aligned World Bosses like the Oceanid. You can also transmute Gemstones at the Alchemists table if you are missing a few that you need. In total Nilou needs 1 Sliver, 9 Fragments, 9 Chunks and 6 Gemstones.
Of course, you also need to have 416 Hero’s Wit EXP Books (or their equivalent) and 420k Mora saved to carry Nilou up and through her Ascension.
Nilou’s Abilities Overview
Nilou’s abilities are a very interesting mix of rhythm, timing and damage. She is going to work very well in specific compositions and is geared towards certain Elemental Reactions far more than others. Her primary role will likely be main or sub-DPS or as a source of big Bloom Reactions.
Her Normal Attack is called Dance of Samser. This is a 3-combo attack with a twirling slash Charged Attack. The Dance of Samser will be an integral part of Nilou’s dancer identity, but that is mainly due to her Skill and Burst.
Nilou’s Elemental Skill is called Dance of Haftkarsvar. When triggered it sends Nilou into the Pirouette state, dealing Hydro damage to nearby targets based on Nilou’s maximum HP. Once in the Pirouette state, Nilou’s Normal Attacks and Elemental Skill will cause her to enter one of two stances. Each use of one of the stances counts as a dance step. The effects of each stance are as follows:
- Normal Attacks result in her entering the Sword Dance Stance. When in this stance, Nilou unleashes a Luminous Illusion with her first attack that deals Hydro DMG to opponents the Illusion touches. If triggered as the third dance step, an additional Luminous Illusion will be created. This lasts for 8 seconds.
- Elemental Skill triggers result in her entering the Whirling Step Stance. When in this stance, Nilou unleashes a whirling water wheel upon activation, dealing Hydro AoE DMG and creating a Tranquillity Aura which periodically applies Wet to surrounding enemies. This lasts for 12s.
- As such, a flow state of Nilou may look like this: Elemental Skill > Normal Attack > Elemental Skill > Normal Attack Finish.
Lastly, her Elemental Burst is called Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring. When activated, it begins the dance of faraway dreams and springs, causing a Lotus of Distant Waters to bloom on the field. This explodes, dealing Hydro AoE DMG based on Nilou’s maximum HP, and it also applies the Lingering Aeon debuff to all hit targets, causing them to take delayed Hydro DMG after a short interval.
Overall, Nilou is all about timing and rhythm. Her Elemental Skill is the main centrepiece and needs to be considered most important – do you enter the Sword Dance state to increase your Normal Attack damage over a sustained period, or do you need the Wet application and instant AoE more? Nilou is not a character where you can be successful mashing buttons and needs a bit more thought put into her.
Nilou has 3 Passive Talents, like most other characters in Genshin Impact. Nilou’s second and third Passive Talents are unlocked at Ascension Level 2 and Ascension Level 4. You cannot upgrade Passive Talents.
Nilou’s first Passive is called White Jade Lotus. When Perfect Coking is achieved on food with Adventure-related effects, there is a 12% chance to obtain double the product.
Her A2 Passive is Court of Dancing Petals. If all characters in the team are either Hydro or Dendro (or there is at least one of each in the team), Nilou’s Passive Talent will alter the way that Dendro Seeds created by Bloom work and react.
- Firstly, the completion of the third step in Nilou’s Dance of Haftkarsvar (her Elemental Skill) will grant all nearby characters the Golden Chalice’s Bounty buff for 30s.
- When under this buff, all nearby characters have their Elemental Mastery increased by 100 for 10s whenever they are hit by a Dendro attack.
- Additionally, any Dendro Cores created by Bloom become Bountiful Cores when created under the Golden Chalice’s Bounty buff. These Bountiful Cores detonate very quickly and with a much larger AoE than normal – these Cores cannot be Burgeoned or Hyperbloomed.
Finally, Nilou’s A4 Passive is Dreamy Dance of Aeons. For every 1,000 points of Nilou’s max HP above 30,000, the DMG dealt by the Bountiful Cores created by her A2 Passive is increased by 9%. This can increase up to a 400% DMG increase.
Here is the order you should consider prioritising Nilou’s Talents:
- Dance of Haftkarsvar: considering that Nilou’s entire character and kit revolves around her role as a dancer, her Skill should be her most important Talent. Her Passives revolve around her Skill so prioritising this is the best thing you can do. Additionally, the benefits of more DMG and Hydro applications are a great fit for any team Nilou finds herself in.
- Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring: next to her Skill, this is Nilou’s most important asset. You will be using her Burst for instant damage and a source Wet and Hydro for Bloom. While not as universally applicable as her Skill, Nilou’s Burst is still very important and can prove to be very clutch in certain situations.
- Dance of Samser: while you can build Nilou to be a DPS, you will likely be doing far more with her Skill than her Normal Attacks. This also scales off of pure ATK rather than the HP scaling of her Skill and Burst, both of which are sure to do more damage. While it can be useful to level this up, make sure to do it after the other two Passives.
Nilou has a few options depending on how you want to build her. She has one clear winner in terms of first-choice options, however.
The Ideal Choice
The ideal choice for Nilou in terms of weaponry is the Sword launching alongside her in Version 3.1. This is the Key of Khaj-Nisut.
The Key of Khaj-Nisut has a base ATK of 524 at level 90, with a bonus addition of 66% HP. The first weapon skill benefit is increasing the user’s HP by another 20%. When an Elemental Skill hits an opponent, the user gains the Grand Hymn buff for the 20s, increasing their Elemental Mastery by 0.12% of their maximum HP. This buff can stack 3 times and when it hits 3 stacks, the EM of nearby party members will also be increased by 0.2% of the equipped character’s maximum HP.
For Nilou, the Key of Khaj-Nisut is the perfect pick. If you want to build her as a pure DPS character, a lot of that damage is going to be coming from her Skill and Burst, both of which scale off of HP. With two sources of bonus HP, you can focus your artifacts on other stats like Crit. On the other hand, Reaction support Nilou will benefit from the extra Elemental Mastery, making the Bountiful Cores she creates even stronger and more potent.
But what if you don’t have the Key of Khaj-Nisut? Have no fear, because there are plenty of other options that you can pick up for Nilou.
It is worth noting that all of the following options will be 4-star picks. Traditionally, 5-star options like Freedom-Sworn or the Primordial Jade Cutter will be far stronger. 5-star weapons generally have higher base stats alongside stronger weapon skills. Be sure to try out any 5-star weapons you have before committing.
The options available to Nilou are The Sapwood Blade, Xiphos’ Moonlight and the Festering Desire.
The Sapwood Blade is a craftable Sword which was introduced in the Sumeru Version 3.0. This sword has an Energy Recharge substat and plays more to Nilou’s strengths as a support/Bloom generator. The skill on the Sapwood Blade is called Forest Sanctuary and it spawns a Leaf of Consciousness after triggering a Dendro Elemental Reaction. This Leaf increases Elemental Mastery by up to 120 points for 10s. For Nilou, this means more Bloom damage and more Bountiful Core Reaction damage, making it a good pick if you decide to go down the Bloom-focused route.
Xiphos’ Moonlight is a new 4-star sword introduced in Version 3.1 that can be pulled from the Wish Banners. It has an Elemental Mastery substat. The weapon skill is called Jinni’s Whisper. It will trigger every 10s, even if the character is not on the field. The character who has Xiphos’ Moonlight equipped will gain 0.036% Energy Recharge for every point of Elemental Mastery they possess for 12s, with nearby party members gaining 30% of this buff too. This is another support-oriented weapon for Nilou as the bonus EM increases her Bloom damage, but the extra Energy Recharge also means that she has increased uptime on her Burst as well.
Finally, Festering Desire is a Sword released in a Version 1.2 event. This is a weapon more geared towards a DPS route for Nilou, prioritising the damaging nature of her Skill over her potential for Bloom (which is still a core part of her DPS). Festering Desire has an Energy Recharge substat and the weapon skill Undying Ambition. This skill increases Elemental Skill damage by up to 32% at R5, and it also increases Elemental Skill Crit Rate by 12%. With these benefits, Nilou can create more opportunities for her Skill’s pure DPS to shine.
Best Artifact Set for Nilou
Nilou has two main artifact sets that she can combine or focus on for different benefits. These two sets will increase her DPS and damage potential, while also boosting her Elemental Reaction damage.
These two sets are Tenacity of the Milelith and Gilded Dreams.
2-piece Tenacity of Milelith increases the wielder’s maximum HP by 20%. The 4-piece set bonus isn’t as useful, as it increases the ATK of all nearby party members is increased by 20% and their Shield Strength is increased by 30% after hitting an enemy with an Elemental Skill. For Nilou, the 2-piece is insanely useful in boosting Nilou’s Skill and Burst DMG. It also increases her Bountiful Core damage.
Meanwhile, the Gilded Dreams set is a bit more interesting. 2-piece Gilded Dreams increases Elemental Mastery by 80 points. The 4-piece bonus gives the user buffs after triggering an Elemental Reaction, based on the party setup. For each party member sharing the same Element as the user, it will increase ATK by 14%. Meanwhile, for each party member of a different Element, it will increase EM by 50. Nilou benefits from both of these, especially if you decide to go down the path of Elemental Reactions and Bloom.
The best path to go down is likely 2-piece Tenacity of Milelith and 2-piece Gilded Dreams. This combination will increase Nilou’s maximum HP by 20%, a potent increase to her playstyle, and will increase her EM by 80 for more Reaction damage.
The Stats You Want
As for what stats you want on Nilou specifically, you’ll likely want:
- Elemental Mastery
- CRIT Rate / CRIT DMG
HP is the stat that you should focus on the most. From increasing her survivability to increasing her damage and even her Reaction damage, having high HP will benefit every single part of her kit. There isn’t any excuse to not focus on HP for Nilou.
A similar situation is inherent with Elemental Mastery. Due to Nilou’s focus on Elemental Reactions, specifically Dendro Reactions with Bloom, having high Elemental Mastery is a must. Pair this with her Passives and high HP, and it will make Nilou an incredibly strong part of any team.
Aside from these two, you can focus on anything. The best thing is probably either Crit Rate or Crit Damage, as this will make Nilou’s Skill, Burst and Normal Attacks deal a lot more damage. This will not benefit her Reactions, as that only scales from Elemental Mastery, so it is mainly a buff to her DPS. As such, it is a nice option for those who want her to be a bit more front-facing rather than back-end support.
Best Nilou Team Compositions
Here are a few examples of team compositions to let focusinghine. There is a team focusing on DPS Nilou and one focused on Bloom Nilou. Additionally, there is also a F2P budget team that does not require any Gacha or Wish-exclusive characters.
Main DPS Team
This team consist of Nilou, Dendro Traveller, Bennett and Mona
This team focuses mainly on the raw damage potential of Nilou. In this team, her Skill and Burst take higher priority over her ability to cause Reactions. Although they will still massively benefit her overall DPS. With her Skill and with the Hydro Resonance with Mona, she should have enough HP to be a dangerous unit.
Dendro Traveller is here so that Nilou can still access Bloom. While not the main focus, it is still very important and will increase various parts of Nilou’s kit. Even if it isn’t the focus, you should still try to have a Dendro character alongside Nilou just so that she doesn’t lose out on any part of her kit or Passives.
Bennett is an interesting choice. While he can be a great healer, that is only a part of why he is here. The main reason is his ATK boost, which will help Nilou even if her main DPS is from her HP. The ATK boost will help her stay active and deal decent damage while her Skill and Burst are on cooldown.
Lastly, there is Mona. Her ability to debuff enemies and increase the damage of other party members, alongside her taunting skill, makes Mona great support. Pair that with the Hydro Resonance to boost Nilou’s raw DPS, and it gets even better.
Bloom Reaction Team / Budget Team
This team consists of Nilou, Dendro Traveller, Collei and Barbara. Fortunately, all of these characters are available for free in one way or another.
Nilou will focus primarily on being the team’s Bloom Reaction spawner. Her high uptime of Hydro and Wet, alongside decent damage and scaling with both HP and EM, makes her a great choice. Alongside that, with her ability to create better Dendro Cores, Nilou is simply the best for this Bloom-centric role.
Dendro Traveller and Collei both act as the sources of Dendro. Both have Dendro AoE damage abilities that will allow easy access for Nilou to spawn Bloom Cores all over the field. Another interesting part is that this team lacks a central main DPS, with Nilou, Traveller and Collei serving as the team’s main damage. With the strength of Dendro Traveller and Collei as units, this is a great pair to add to Nilou.
Lastly, we have either Barbara. She is mainly here to serve as the healer, while also giving Nilou access to the Hydro Elemental Resonance. This will give all party members an extra 20% HP, once again increasing every single part of Nilou’s kit.
That is how to best build Nilou in Genshin Impact.