Nidus is one of the most loved Warframes in the game and units a great skill set with a fun-to-play play style as well as a cool theme. The acquisition of the blueprints is super annoying (you need to deal with The Glast Gambit quest and then farm Infested Salvage on Oestrus, Eris), but totally worth your time. Because Nidus is a great Warframe and his skill set makes him a great choice for every mission type. He also shines in almost every role and can be super tanky, a great damage dealer or bring good crowd control. He can even be put to work as a buffer for his allies and increase the damage output of your main damage dealer by a lot.
He is also one of only two Warframes, who doesn’t use shields (Inaros is the second one) and therefor allows to abuse the power of some mods that are normally weaker. So while he certainly has some disadvantages, playing him feels very nice and well-rounded. He also has the passive ‘Undying’ ability, which will prevent his death if he has 15 mutation stacks at the moment of receiving fatal damage.
- Great skill set
- High health pool
- High armor
- Lots of different builds
- Can carry Decaying Key without penalty
- Low energy pool
- Quick Thinking doesn’t work with Undying
- No shields
The different builds
Let’s start with the right aura mod – which is almost everything. Well, not really, but all the great aura mods are a good choice. Rejuvenation is really strong with the high health pool. Energy Siphon is a great choice, because you’re going to spam your abilities. Steel Charge will increase your damage output if you plan on doing melee damage, Rifle Amp (and all the other amp aura mods) are also somewhat viable. But in most instances you simply want the armor reduction of Corrosive Projection. That said, Nidus will still feel very strong with any other aura mod, so pick whatever you like.
Another point you should know is that Quick Thinking won’t proc if you’re at at least 15 stacks of your mutation and receive fatal damage. Because the game will reduce your stacks before energy is drained, so playing Quick Thinking as a survival mod isn’t really all that great and not recommended. In exchange you might want to take a look at Hunter Adrenaline, because you don’t have any shields, but a high health pool. So this mod will give you a huge amount of energy over the course of your mission.
Tip: If you want to know more about Nidus and his abilities, feel free to take a look at the wikia page.
The Standard Build
This version of a Nidus build tries to give you the best, most well-rounded access to all the potential this Warframe has to offer. Vitality and Hunter Adrenaline should be an auto-include in any build you’re going to use. Stretch and Streamline will give you some range and efficiency, whereas Intensify and Transient Fortitude will raise your ability strength to a high level. If you can include Umbral Intensify over the normal version then do that! But fitting that in is pretty hard and will require more forma.
If you rather have more duration or never get into any trouble with your energy pool, go ahead and use Blind Rage over Transient Fortitude. It will raise your damage output even further. You can also think about Fleeting Expertise over Streamline, but the extra duration feels very nice and smooth. So in the end, it’s up to you and your personal play style.
The Tank Build
There are a lot of reasons why you want to become super tanky: High level missions, long endless runs or assassination targets can hit quite hard and since you’re not going to have a regenerating shield, you often times need to change your build to survive the incoming damage. In addition to Vitality you’re going to pick Steel Fiber and Armored Agility to increase your armor from 450 to 915, which will greatly reduce the incoming damage. Combine that with the great health regeneration from your fourth ability and you’ll be able to facetank even super high level enemies.
In order to still deal a good amount of damage, you do need to get your mutation stacks up to 100 as fast as possible. Use your third ability ‘Parasitic Link’ to redirect some of the incoming damage to high health enemies and learn to rotate your first two skills to grow the needed mutation stacks. Other than that you simply use all your abilities and progress through the mission.
The Crowd Control Build
Playing crowd control in Warframe often times feels super weak, but there are still some situations where you want a dedicated CC build. For example: Some people still prefer to farm Endo the ‘old’ way (in the Rathuum Arena) and use a Nidus or two with some Nekros. In those situations, having a crowd control build is essential and needed. But you can also play this version in every endless mission and simply grab mob groups from far away while building your mutation stacks.
Yes, your damage output won’t be great, but you’ll be able to reduce incoming damage simply by controlling the battlefield and preventing enemies from shooting or hitting you and your team mates. You also might want to add extra duration, so picking Constitution over Streamline (or Augur Reach if you don’t need that much range) can be very beneficial. You might also want to think about Narrow Minded, but the range reduction is only viable if you know that you won’t need the range at all.
Yes, farming Nidus can be a hassle and sadly the augmented mods are not really worth the mod slot, but those things aside, Nidus does feel pretty strong. His skill set is great, he can be played in a lot of different ways and he has some nice looking abilities. The fact that he doesn’t have a shield can sometimes be an disadvantage, but most of the times you don’t even care (as long as you have a suitable build).
So feel free to experiment yourself with different builds or simply copy one of the builds mentioned here. Nidus will always be fun and can carry you through almost every mission. It doesn’t mater if you are a team player or like to solo the different challenges in Warframe, Nidus will always have your back!