In the MMO Wayfinder you can choose from one of five unique wayfinders to play as, with a sixth wayfinder coming in 2024, presumably with the end of early access and beginning of the official free to play launch. Each wayfinder in the game is flavorfully and mechanically distinct, allowing for lots of gameplay options. And with the myriad of weapons available, you can mix and match to create all sorts of fun and powerful builds. In this guide though, I want to specifically look at my personal favorite wayfinder, Niss. I want to go over the basics of playing her, and some build options for her.
Niss is known as the shadow dancer. This is an apt nickname. She not only dresses in an outfit that looks across between a classic fantasy rogue and a stylized dancer, but she has a shadowy theme and color scheme, both in her outfit and her abilities. The nickname is also apt for her playstyle, as her abilities are highly mobility focused.
Niss’ passive ability Lingering Shadow gives her a brief attack boost after dodging. Shadow Step is a line AOE that hits all enemies you dash through, both dealing damage and repositioning you. Umbral Aura gives you a buff where your next three dodges deal a literal big spike of damage to a nearby enemy. Vengeful Shade causes you to leap back in the air, throwing out a spray of daggers in front of you. This ability can also chain into a dodge (assuming you have the stamina), allowing you to reposition yourself at any angle. This all comes with a nice invincibility window. And Niss’ ultimate, Gloom Shroud gives you a several second window wherein Shadow Step can be spammed with zero cooldown.
As you can see, all of Niss’ abilities are centered around mobility and damage. This naturally leads to a run and gun (or run and stab depending on your chosen weapon) playstyle. But however you slice it (or dice it), Niss is a DPS wayfinder. In terms of raw damage potential, she is second only to Kyros. So while I will be going over a couple build variants, it will all be different strains of DPS. If you want to build Niss a different way, that’s completely up to you, but I cannot in good conscience recommend it, so I will not be discussing it further in this guide.
Niss Crit Build
I want to start off by going over the build I am currently running in the game, and quite enjoying I might add. This is my personal variant (or perhaps not that much of a variant) of the Night’s Edge build(s).
Night’s Edge is Niss’ signature weapon for a reason. That reason is that it lets you pile on the damage like nobody’s business and look like the shadowy ninja/assassin you always wanted to be while doing it. Because let’s be honest, if you chose to play Niss and you say you aren’t a weeb, you’re probably lying. Maybe I’m just projecting, but when you first saw Niss’ ultimate animation where she shrouds herself in a dark aura and does hand signs, try and tell me you weren’t drooling.
Night’s Edge’s base stats are:
- Instinct: weapon power 239, and max health 79.
- Discipline: ability power 180, resilience 144.
- Focus: crit rating and crit power both 180.
You can see why Night’s Edge is so good for this build. Now, I know what you might be saying, because I said the same thing at first too. And that is that the Harvest Moon weapon can get a base crit rating and crit power both of 239, which is a lot better than 180. And while that is true, the key difference is that Night’s Edge gets both crit rating and crit power from focus, meanwhile Harvest Moon splits them between instinct and discipline. With Night’s Edge, you can focus on focus and then pick discipline for your number two affinity to get that ability power boost. This also means that for your weapon affinity you can max out focus in order to max out your crit potential.
So now you have the basics of your build. You grab Night’s Edge, max focus, followed by discipline, then max focus on your weapon as well. But we are not done maxing our crit potential yet. Next come the echoes. The echo that you want above all others to start with is the Goblin Hunter echo which gives a crit rating boost of 141, and a crit power boost of 47. The second choice is the Deadeye Shrike echo which reverses those stats, giving you a crit power of 141, and a crit rating of 47. Personally speaking, while you want both stats high, I think crit rating is the more important stat to focus on. Since it ups the frequency of crits it will ultimately lead to more DPS.
You can probably guess where I’m going with accessories as well. I mean, this build is really simple. You want crit rating, and crit power, in that order. The Gloom Monstrosity set (Bottle of Shadows, Essence of Night, and Shadow-Inked Journal) gives crit rating, crit power, weapon power, and ability power, so it is a great pick for this build. It also happens to be very flavorful, which is a bonus. The Hazardous Quarry set (Spore Pendant, Accursed Bracer, and Spider’s Fang) is another great pick. They give crit rating, crit power, ability power, and magic defense. Spider’s Fang is especially good for us since it gives both crit rating and crit power. Ring of Absurdity and Mini Totem are the final top picks I will mention by name as they give a crit rating of 978 and a crit power of 978 respectively.
Now you might have noticed that all the defensive stat boosts so far in this build have been side notes that we just happened to pick up while grabbing more crit rating and crit power. This is (mostly) fine. Basically every ability Niss has in her arsenal is centered around avoiding damage. When she does get hit, boy does she, but if you play her right, that will rarely happen. Because of this we can largely ignore our defensive stats and still do well. As long as most enemies aren’t one-shotting you, you should be fine. This can make Niss a bit stressful to play, but also makes her very rewarding as you zip around the battlefield artfully avoiding damage. As far as leveling up Niss’ abilities go, you want to focus on Shadow Step and Gloom Shroud. This is where the bulk of your ability damage will come from. And once you get to spamming with Gloom Shroud you can really see the crit rating and crit power kick in. Obviously the crit build gets better the more attacks you can make, so use Gloom Shroud on a tough enemy and watch their HP vanish as quickly
Niss Tempest Build
Next I want to look at a rifle build for Niss. Rifles are the other weapon type I think best suits Niss, as her playstyle of high mobility is very well suited to ranged weapons. Any of the rifles are good, but for this specific build I will be using the generally agreed upon best weapon in the game, the Tempest shotgun.
Here are the Tempest shotgun’s base stats:
- Instinct: crit rating and crit power both at 180.
- Discipline: max health 159, and physical defense 198.
- Focus: weapon power 239, and ability power 119.
Again we get high crit but we also get weapon power and ability power. As you have already probably guessed, I am going to advise you to ignore Discipline entirely to focus on all that sweet DPS.
Now it is up to you if you want to start with focus or instinct, but for the sake of differentiating between this build and the last one, I am going to recommend focus in order to go more for weapon power and ability power. However all work great with the Tempest shotgun’s special ability Bullet Storm. Bullet Storm consumes all your locked and loaded charges and fires two bullets for each charge. That is a lot of hits, so great with crit rating/crit power as well as ability power.
As far as echoes go, you can add the crit ones mentioned above (Goblin Hunter Echo and Deadeye Shrike Echo). They will help. But at high level, you probably want to pick up the Bloodletter Echo, the Hollow One Echo, and the Talon Echo. The Bloodletter Echo gives weapon power of 406 and break power of 135. The Hollow One Echo gives ability power of 735. And the Talon Echo gives ability power of 184 and crit power of 551. All of these are great DPS enablers.
As far as accessories go, all the ones listed above are also solid picks here. Those being the Gloom Monstrosity set, the Hazardous Quarry set, Ring of Absurdity, and Mini Totem. The Bone Doll and Brightburn Scarf both give weapon power of 952, and the Last Breath gives weapon power of 978, so those three are great additions. Then you have the Horn of the Deceiver which gives ability power of 978. The Deceiver’s Ring gives crit power of 508, magical defense of 847, and ability power of 508. Finally Burned-Out Tracer gives ability power of 978 to round out my recommended accessories.
As far as leveling up your abilities go, I still quite like Shadow Step and Gloom Shroud. They are just very fun abilities. However, all of your abilities are strong, and I think it is more a matter of personal preference with this build as to what you want to focus on leveling up.
You can use any of the weapon types with Niss of course, but these are my top recommendations.