Are you looking for a nice, rounded Warframe to act out your reign of terror against the Corpus? Are you in need of a strong, varied Warframe capable of dealing with any Grineer? Are you interested in a Warframe with a can-do attitude? Well, my friends, Nidus is for you! Call 8000 SPUF now, make a small payment of $20 and we’ll send a Nidus your way!
But Nidus is an amazing character. He’s got a wonderful kit that doesn’t cost you all your energy, nor does it become weak and useless at high levels, nor is it even particularly hard to use. Also Nidus and his kit are cool and infested-y and he fits his theme perfectly. Nidus even has the awesome gimmick of becoming more infested the more you play him and use his abilities, turning from what looks like a rather organic-looking suit of armour to an organic suit of armour with large openings filled with tendrils that you wouldn’t really want to meet in a dark alleyway. There are even a ton of cosmetics that go really well with Nidus, matching his infested look.
The way Nidus works is quite simple. Your first two abilities use energy as normal. Your third and fourth abilities use Mutation Stacks, which are mainly earned by using your first ability, Virulence, on enemies. Virulence makes Nidus stamp on the ground to create a wave of infested matter, which damages all enemies it contacts. Any enemy it hits will earn you a bit of Mutation, and every 5 enemies hit earns you a Mutation Stack.
Of course, enemies run around and things like that, so you can use Larva, Nidus’s second ability, to conveniently grab nearby enemies (within line of sight) and pull them all into one spot so you can nice and easily get more mutation stacks. Any enemies grabbed can’t move and are thrown out afterwards. Really a pretty horrid ability, since these poor enemies are pulled towards and mashed into a nasty mass of infested flesh.
Now, once you’ve got a bunch of Mutation Stacks, you can use Parasitic Link and Ravenous. Parasitic Link connects you to an ally or an enemy, for the cost of one Mutation Stack. When connected to an enemy, any damage you take is directed at them, and you gain some damage reduction. When connected to an ally (a Warframe normally), you both get damage reduction, but they also get extra power strength, making their abilities stronger. This is beneficial almost everyone apart from Speed Novas – the additional power strength turns their speed ups into slows.
Ravenous though is where things get weird. Casting Ravenous costs three stacks of Mutation and creates a lovely infested garden around you. This garden heals allies that stand in it and spawns lots of little maggots that go around biting enemies and killing them. The maggots blow up when you cast Virulence on them or when the effect ends, and they stun enemies and draw aggro away from you. The weird sacks that spawn maggots also look like large, wobbly phallic things, which is pretty amusing.
But the great thing about Nidus is that the more Mutation Stacks you earn, the more powerful you become. Get yourself around 30 stacks and everything starts dying very quickly. The more stacks you get, the more infested you become as well. Even better than that, if you have more than 15 stacks and you hit zero health, you don’t die. Instead, you lose 15 stacks, get immortality for a few seconds and regain half your health.
Oh, and Nidus also allows you complete access to the Infested Room in your ship. The only other way in is to have a fully grown cyst on your Warframe.
Well, there’s a downside to Nidus. And it involves obtaining him. Nidus’s blueprint is obtained via the pretty awful Glast Gambit quest, 99% of which is Index missions. Then you need to head to a node called Oestrus on Eris and do a mission ripped straight out of the Jordas Verdict raid, where you wait around filling up machines to decrypt code so you can get loot. You need to do 4 rounds of this to get a 25% chance of getting ONE random part of Nidus. It took me SIX MONTHS, on and off (doing four rounds minimum every day), to get the three parts I needed. The fucking Neuroptics refused to drop.
Really though, Nidus is worth it. He’s useful almost everywhere except for Spy missions, and he’s climbing up my list of most played characters. Heck, these days, I play him more than I play Frost.
Shame he’s SO FUCKING HARD TO OBTAIN.
But at least it doesn’t involve a Spy mission, like Harrow.