Nidus commands the voracious Infestation to fuel his abilities and consume his enemies. He is uncommonly adept at dealing with powerful, resilient opponents and has excellent survivability despite his lack of Shields. He scales well into the late stages of endless missions, and is a perfect frame for solo content due to his ability to replenish his own energy and health.
Passive: Adaptive MutationEdit
Nidus uses a unique secondary resource, Mutation, which is tracked in a counter on his HUD. His abilities grant one mutation stack for each five enemies damaged, and his third and fourth abilities consume Mutation for powerful effects. Nidus takes on a more 'Infested' appearance as he gains more stacks. Nidus' damage potential through his first and fourth abilities also increases exponentially as he gains more stacks.
If Nidus would be killed with 15 or more Stacks of Mutation, instead 15 stacks are consumed and he avoids death, restoring himself to half health and gaining a few seconds of invulnerability.
Nidus also adapts as he levels up, gaining increasing armor, passive health regeneration, and power strength in addition to his normal rank bonuses.
Nidus' first ability and primary source of damage. Nidus stomps the ground, germinating a linear field of infestation which extends in a direction. Enemies caught by the field will contribute toward Mutation stacks. The infestation will pass over small obstacles such as crates, but will not cross changes in terrain level. Nidus must be on the ground to cast this ability.
Virulence deals damage based on power strength. However, Nidus' current number of Mutation stacks also greatly increases the damage. This property is what gives Nidus his extreme strength against high-level foes, as he can build Mutation throughout a mission allowing his damage with Virulence to climb almost limitlessly (Nidus is capped at 100 stacks of Mutation).
Virulence has a significantly higher cost than other primary abilities, especially when corrupted mods such as Blind Rage are used. However, Nidus will always refund one-fourth of this ability's cost for each enemy affected, even if the cost has been increased. If four enemies are hit, the cost will be completely discounted. Hitting five or more actually allows a net gain of energy. For this reason, it is important to make each cast of Virulence count; regularly using it on single enemies will quickly deplete Nidus' energy pool. To assist this, the '1' key can be held down to see an outline of Virulence's cast range and line up enemies. To cancel the cast, jump before releasing the '1' key.
Crowd Control such as Vauban's Vortex or Nidus' own Larva have complement this ability nicely. Clusters of enemies quickly build Mutations stacks and can easily fill Nidus' energy pool.
Nidus' second ability is a powerful but fleeting crowd-control AoE effect. Nidus releases a small infested growth which floats above terrain. Upon landing, the larva sprouts a number of tentacles which latch onto nearby enemies. Affected creatures are yanked toward the larva and mashed together in a mass around its center.
Larva is a powerful CC ability that incapacitates enemies and groups them together. Nidus himself can take advantage of this with Virulence to hit many enemies at once, and other frames with powerful AoE effects can use them to their full potential against the grouped enemies.
When no nearby enemies are left to hold on to, the larva withers and dies. Even if enemies remain, Larva lasts for a fairly short amount of time, so take advantage of it.
Nidus' third ability allows him to attach an infested tendril to another creature which creates a biological bond between them. The bond breaks after a short time or when Nidus chooses to end it by moving too far away or reactivating the ability. Parasitic Link costs no energy to activate, but will consume a stack of Mutation.
When cast upon an enemy, the affected enemy will be incapacitated and immobilized. Whenever Nidus takes damage while the tendril persists, a portion of that damage will be dealt to the enemy instead. Any negative status effects will be transferred to the victim instead. Critically, knockdown effects are transmitted, rendering Nidus temporarily immune.
When cast upon a fellow Tenno, Parasitic Link will amplify the power strength of both Nidus and the ally, increasing the effectiveness of abilities. Cast this on a support frame to increase your cell's survivability, or on a damage frame to quickly eradicate foes.
Whether cast on an ally or enemy, A second instance of Virulence will spawn from the location of the target. The path of this second wave will converge toward Nidus' target along with the first. The fact that the second cast has no energy cost allows great energy gains and quick Mutation stacking.
Nidus' final ability. Nidus expends three stacks of Mutation to deeply infest the surrounding area, filling it with a grotesque field that restores the health of allies while spawning waves of wriggling Maggots that feed on his enemies.
Maggots that manage to attach to an enemy deal ongoing damage while immobilizing their target. When their host is killed or hit by Virulence, the maggots detonate to deal a large amount of damage. Both the ongoing and explosion damage are greatly increased by Mutation like Nidus' first ability. In addition, enemies hit by the explosion contribute toward Nidus' Mutation. The healing of allies in the radius is also increased by Mutation.
Ravenous is not used as commonly as other final abilities. The high cost in Mutation stacks decreases the damage of Virulence, and the damage output of the maggots is not as useful. Larva is a more reliable crowd control ability that has the benefit of clustering enemies together. Still, this ability can be used to quickly restore a huge amount of health to an injured squad, and bring the map more in line with Nidus' Infested aesthetic.
Nidus takes some time to evolve into his true power. Early in the game, try to hit as many enemies as possible with Virulence in order to accumulate Mutation. Enemies stuck in choke points are a good target, as well as large groups that have been grabbed by Larva. Later in the game when you have accumulated enough stacks, Put a Parasitic Link on an ally to increase power strength, and toss Larva into the middle of large platoons of Grineer marines. Follow it up with a 20,000 damage Virulence and repeat.
A normal build for Nidus Prioritizes range (for Virulence and the grab range on Larva) as well as duration for Nidus' third and fourth abilities. Keep in mind, however, that Nidus will be unable to cast a second instance of Virulence until the previous one reaches its maximum range. This effectively increases the 'cooldown' of Virulence at long ranges. Power strength should not be negative, but don't prioritize it. Much of Nidus' damage comes from Mutation stacks. Power efficiency is of least concern, given that only his first two abilities use energy and Virulence can restore energy.