NIKANA PRIME - Million Damage Blade -- Light/Heavy +115% speed (Melee 3.0) Good for Kuva Lich

Million Damage Blade -- Light/Heavy +115% speed (Melee 3.0) Good for Kuva Lich

by last updated (Patch 27)


An ancient blade predating the fall of the Orokin Empire. Forged using techniques lost over the centuries, the edge remains sharper than that of any modern Nikana.



3 / 70






 CORROSIVE (⚡ + 🕱)
Focus Energy

Focus Energy

+40% Melee Combo Efficiency

+60% ⚡Electricity




+40% Attack Speed

+20% Combo Count Chance


Blood Rush

Blood Rush

+60% Critical Chance stacks with Combo Multiplier


Amalgam Organ Shatter

Amalgam Organ Shatter

+85% Critical Damage

+60% Heavy Attack Wind Up Speed


Primed Fever Strike

Primed Fever Strike

+165% 🕱Toxin




+30% Attack Speed (Max: 75%) for 24s on Critical Hit


Primed Pressure Point

Primed Pressure Point

+165% Melee Damage


Sacrificial Steel

Sacrificial Steel

+220% Critical Chance (x2 for Heavy Attacks)

+33% Damage to Sentients


Enhance mods in this set.


Blind Justice

Blind Justice

Reverse grip style emphasizing slashing and impaling strikes.





Builds by hampstr


All-rounder build that is good for crowds, great for solo targets (liches, disruption, juggernauts, etc), and has no weak spots, and is strong even from 0x combo. No buffs or arcanes required. Would recommend for use in arbitrations, murmur farming, kuva flood, lich hunting -- basically all high level content that is currently in the game can be carried with this weapon.

Some melee 3.0 videos are coming out, and they use phrases like "hybrid light/heavy efficiency build" and "burst combo" build. Those descriptions would apply to this build. Mod choices support a playstyle with high damage light combos (with guaranteed slash procs), high damage heavy attacks (with a big guaranteed slash proc), and damage that is intended to burst from 0x, instead of maintaining duration. This is a very aggressive weapon build, your attacks will be mobile, close range and chaotic, so a frame with good survivability is recommended.

This guide will walk you through how the build works, and also serve as a tutorial on Nikana gameplay post-Update 26.0.

Examples of how this build performs:

Level 165 Elite Lancers. Starting from 0x combo. No melee arcanes, 1CP aura. Using main build.

Level 70-80 Grineer enemies. No melee arcane buffs, no CP aura. Lower damage variant of this build, replacing P. Fever Strike with P. Reach. Our main build doesn't go for range, but I wanted to show how much of a difference it makes, so that you can decide.

Kuva Lich, max level. Time to kill: 16 seconds.

Starting from 0x combo. No melee arcanes, 1CP aura. Mesa, only buffs are Shatter Shield and Shooting Gallery. Using main build.

HIGHLY recommended for Kuva Lich fights. Kuva Liches are status-immune, weak to corrosive damage, and are mainly defeated with crit builds. This is a crit build that serves up high amounts of corrosive damage. It also destroys Juggernauts for the same reason.

Dash Attack (w, m2, e)

New Nikana move as of Update 26.0!

A huge reason I enjoy this build and want to share it is because of the dash attack in Blind Justice. The dash is perfection. Charge forward 10m with the sword extended, striking anyone you reach. The important part here is that when your attack speed increases, so does your warframe's travel speed during the dash.

Dash move at 40% speed, after a bullet jump.

  • Here's what your 115% dash moves look like: Again, this is not from any Warframe or Operator abilities, you can move this fast because of the 115% attack speed on your Nikana.

At 40% speed, it's already faster than bullet jumping. At 115% speed, the dash is so fast that it's basically a teleport. We don't just attack fast, this dash with this build actually makes your warframe move around faster. Here are how the existing game mechanics interact with it:

  • You can turn left and right with the mouse, allowing you to zip around corners, or steer into enemies.
  • Roll during the dash, and you'll roll further than normal, because of the dash's inherited momentum. A dash-roll is way faster and further than a normal roll, and it goes even faster if you dash-roll off a ledge. Dash-rolling is faster than any parkour, and ledge dash-rolling can almost keep up with archwing afterburners.
  • Press the sprint button to slide during the dash, which extends the distance of the dash. Good for making your 115% dashes go further. While pressing the slide button, you'll have a sliding hitbox and can slide under obstacles, even if you're still in the dash animation.
  • If you dash off a ledge, you still have your bulletjump or double-jump. This means that when crossing a gap, you can dashroll off the ledge, then aimglide, then use your bulletjump at the end of the combo. Try it on the Jupiter tileset, you'll cross the big gaps so easily.
  • Although you can't dash continuously, you can chain dashes together with any melee attack. The best for chaining seems to be dash, (aim melee), dash. You can also dash, bulletjump, dash. Alternatively, you can time your dashes correctly to dash, pause, dash. The timing at 40% is when the sword re-enters the sheathe.

You can:

  • Add it into your bullet jump routine to navigate maps even faster.
  • Use it to zip around during fights, dodging attacks and closing on enemies
  • Combine it with your aerial slam attack to cover ground fast, while cancelling out of your slam's recovery animation.
  • Ivara players can benefit from it a lot, since it won't break Prowl.
  • Against Kuva Liches, it's good for quickly getting away from their grab attack.
  • Dashing into a MOA Shockwave's attack will cause you to block the shockwave, and then ramp into the air in the direction of your dash. It looks cool, and it's better than falling on your butt.

Once you get used to using this dash, and all the parkour and combat options it opens up, you're going to be very fast and very strong. Expect to regularly outrun your bullet-jumping teammates once you get dash-rolling down. Looks a bit like Parkour 3.0!


The basic idea is to constantly be spamming melee, but switch between different types of combos. Switch between combos using W and Mouse2 as a combo selector. Use heavy attacks on heavy enemies to kill them in one hit. Also, this build is really spammy because of the high attack speed, so I recommend using mousewheel as a melee bind. I use scroll down for light attacks, scroll up for heavy attacks.

- Blind Justice combos:
Use all your combos. It looks cooler that way, and all of them are useful. Add some slide attacks and dash attacks to get mobility, and use aerial heavy slams for crowd control.

  • Standing combo (melee -- no movement)

    Low damage, but it builds combo fast. It's also got a lot of horizontal range, so use this if you're getting swarmed from all sides by light enemies (ie, infested levels).

  • Walking combo (melee -- while moving)

    Ok damage, good range, good movement. Compared to the blocking combo, this has less damage, but more range. Use when you need more aoe. Fast and fluid. Great room-clearer for maps where you're going to one-shot everything.

  • Blocking combo (aim + melee -- no movement)

    Main damage dealer. Does a lot of swings fast, has guaranteed slash procs, this is your DPS combo. Best on single targets, or on tightly clustered groups. Also has guaranteed knockdown procs, which can sometimes ragdoll your target away.

  • Dashing combo (aim + melee -- while moving)

    While the dash is amazingly good, the rest of the dashing combo isn't great. The overhead slam in this move has good damage, but it's got a tiny hitbox that can't be used reliably on more than one enemy. The radial attack has a bigger hitbox, but it's weak. If you just want to zip in and hit one enemy, it's an ok move, but you'd be better off dashing in and then switching to a blocking/walking combo. For style points though, this combo lets you kick enemies in the face.

  • Heavy Attacks

    Nikana's heavy attack is very good for instant kills. Imagine: you swing on a Bombard just once with a heavy attack. Bombard takes about half HP in damage instantly, then gets knocked down. While trying to get back up, it's taking massive bleed ticks, and dies before it can stand on its feet.

    Heavy attacks will always inflict a slash proc and a knockdown proc, on every enemy hit by the attack. On top of that, the bleed damage scales with the attack that inflicted it, meaning that this bleed proc will benefit from your combo multiplier, and the 5x heavy attack multiplier, and your red/orange crit multiplier.

    You can get up to decent combo, then just start mashing heavy. Heavy has good forward movement, making heavy attack spam look like a slow march forward. It absoutely destroys clogged hallways, and CCs everything it touches. The attack itself is a big diagonal slash after a short dash. Move around while charging up the heavy attack to control where it will go. Aim this at Heavy Gunners, Scorch, Bombards etc, and if you've got a good combo going, you'll probably kill them with the slash proc, if not the outright damage.

    And if that's still not enough, you can use the knockdown proc to get ground finishers, which also inflict guaranteed slash proc at a 4.4x finisher multiplier. In fact, this could easily be a Skiajati build, using heavy attacks to setup finishers, to give yourself invisibility. Also note that heavy attacks go through enemy guards, such as shield lancers, guardsman units, etc. Enemies who would typically force you to stagger when you attack them with a light attack will not cause the stagger if you hit them with a heavy attack. Also, since you are immune to knockdown during heavy attacks, you won't "block" knockdown attacks, like you would with a parry or Sure-footed, you just ignore the attack.

Last thing: many old/meta builds focus on combo counter, and emphasize never dropping combo. Our build doesn't have duration, so you're going to have to work your ass off to avoid dropping combo, right? No, because we can REFILL our combo duration by simply using a heavy attack. It drains 10% of our meter, but it also refreshes the combo decay window, extending it by 5 seconds every time the heavy attack is used. You can keep a combo going forever with this method. And if you accidentally drop it (or if this gets nerfed), you can just regain combo super fast with high attack speed light swings.

Here's what happens to our combo meter during standing attack spam against 1 target:

And it's faster against a group. Plus, because of our high elemental and base crit, those 0x attacks are really strong. So this weapon is strong out of 0x combo, hits 12x combo very fast, and can maintain combo forever by using efficient heavy attacks.


LIGHT STRIKES: For every light attack, you're dealing around 7k damage (average of yellow crit and orange crits). And at max berserker stacks, you're swinging at 232% base attack speed. With blocking combo, you're bringing out 14 attacks worth of damage. Your blocking combo is going to be dealing around 97k damage, in less than half a second, plus guaranteed slash procs -- before even factoring in Blood Rush stacks. With orange crits, it's pushed up to 186k per combo, and with red crits, it's 267k per combo.

HEAVY STRIKES: On average, at zero stacks, 52k damage per heavy strike (again average of yellow and orange crit). As you increase stacks, you'll get a multiplier for your heavy damage, and extra crit tiers from Blood Rush. At 12 stacks, you'll be at 336% crit chance, guaranteeing getting a 3x red crit at minimum.

  • (5 heavy multiplier X 12 max combo X 11.2 critical multiplier on 3rd tier red crits) = 672 times your modded damage. Our modded damage is 1703, giving us a total of 1.1 million (or 1.5 million for tier 4 red crits). And then, because of efficiency, you still have 90% of your combo left to use on anyone who survived the first hit. That's an average of 1.26 million damage per 12x heavy attack.

What's in the build?

High value elemental mods, because elemental mods are multiplied by everything else. Damage, critical, combo counter and attack speed all serve as multipliers for elemental damage, so we can make a powerful crit damage build with just 2 mod slots. That's why we have Primed Fever Strike. We also combine it with Focus Energy to create corrosive damage. This isn't for corrosive procs, it's just a side effect of going for high value elemental mods, and also using heavy strikes. It also gives us that nice +75% bonus against ferrite/fossil, and no negative bonus against anybody.

Heavy attack efficiency to increase the sustained damage output of our heavy attacks. With the Zenurik school, this puts us at the 90% cap, allowing us to refill our combo duration at the price of only 10% of our meter.

Attack speed: Quickening and Berserker deliver lots of attack speed fast. Primed Fury is faster than Quickening, but I don't have it yet. And the extra combo counter doesn't hurt us. This increases our DPS enormously, enables our dashing attack, and speeds up our heavy attacks.

Steel is high value in this build, because it powers up heavy attacks and light attacks. It also makes us stronger out of 0x combo, and gets us to higher crit tiers faster. For light attacks, it's like being at 4x blood rush all the time.

The rest are obvious: Blood Rush for crit, Organ shatter for crit/heavy, PPP for damage.

Short discussion about what's NOT in the build:

  • No duration. This build is strong out of 0x, builds combo fast, and can extend combo by spending heavy strikes. To be honest, I kinda hated Melee 2.0 combo builds because they needed duration. Running around and needing to tag a new enemy every 12 seconds was boring and stressful. It also meant that you had to play in a melee-focused way, or it wasn't worth using. I don't think combo duration is dead at all, but I'm glad Melee 3.0 has a LOT of non-duration based options. This build is one of them. It does not need combo duration because 5.0 seconds should be enough, plus efficiency to extend combo when needed and our fast recovery from 0x thanks to attack speed. But if you really want to keep duration, look into Swift Momentum.

  • No True Punishment: We want to build combo, but Quickening is better. If we swapped quickening for TP, we'd only get a 8% increase in combo build rate, and we'd lose 34% of our attack speed. I love the concept of this mod, but it's too low value in its current state, at least for this build.

  • No Killing Blow: Even though this build prioritizes heavy attacks, we don't need the windup speed, and the damage is outclassed by other mods. Killing Blow does increase your bleed damage, but Smite Grineer increases it more.

Short discussion of mods that could go into this build:

  • Primed Reach: Nikanas are a bit short. And besides, more enemies per swing = more deeps. As of Update 26.0, P. Reach is better than ever. However, it's worth pointing out that the base range of Nikanas received an Update 26.0 buff as well. Between our high attack speed, the forward movement of our attack combos, the dash, and the newly implemented Follow Through mechanic, a non-range Nikana shouldn't struggle to land hits.
  • Smite Grineer: This isn't a bleed build, but you'll be getting guaranteed bleed procs from heavy attacks, stance combos, and finishers (all of them have guaranteed slash procs) plus our 28% status chance. Faction mods are the best way to amplify bleed damage.
  • Weeping Wounds: WW is very good. Here's a link to my WW build. You could definitely use it as an all-rounder build. It's very strong against grineer, and slash is generally effective against everything. It gets results, but I prefer the main build.

Variants of the build

No heavy attacks: remove Focus Energy to free up a mod slot. This will remove your ability to reset combo duration with 10% heavy attacks, and you'll lose a chunk of your damage.

Elemental damage: remove Focus Energy and P. Fever to open up two slots. This drops your actual damage output from strikes by about 70%, but it opens up two whole slots. This is how we get the WW bleed build. However, elemental damage is still high value, so look into faction-targeted elemental builds. Single elemental builds are very strong, especially when combined with faction mods. Overall, I recommend Elec/Smite for corpus, and WW/smite for Grineer.

Less attack speed: While a lot of builds would drop Quickening, I prefer to drop Berserker. A large chunk of the build's value comes from being able to use it for parkour, and I personally find that Quickening-only is better than Berserker-only when trying to time rolls and use your dash. Either way, committing only 1 slot to attack speed opens a spot for Reach.

Other Nikanas: because the only base stat this build really requires is crit chance, and because all Nikanas have pretty respectable crit stats, you can apply this to other Nikanas quite easily. Dragon Nikana for a riven build, Zaws for exodia trigggers (as long as you build crit), or Skiajati for invis on finishers. Like other build variants, you'll probably lose damage and gain flexibility.

tl;dr it's fast and it does a million damage

I hope I've explained why Nikana has so much potential in Melee 3.0, and why it's my favorite weapon coming out of this rework. A melee playstyle with high crit damage, strong scaling, parkour moves, good procs, fast clear speed, and engaging gameplay! Plus you get to look like a proper space ninja. This is what Melee 3.0 was made for. Enjoy your million damage and your ninja dash.