Sisters of Parvos Update 30.5: Lich/Sister system is back, so this will be a version of the typical melee build that is still excellent at destroying any type of mobs in the game, but which swaps WW for P. [Smite Corpus] (or else G. Might if you don't have it) in order to improve DPS against Corpus bosses.
Feel free to drop Primed Smite for [Reach] if you that's your QOL preference at a damage cost. After the changes to Berserker, I'm changing my attack speed mod recommendation to P. [Fury] -- the requirement for a kill on Berserk [Fury], rather than a critical strike, makes it less reliable in single target fights. And I just prefer the consistency of P. [Fury]'s over the extra 15% of B. [Fury].
For Liches, use WW while grinding their missions, and use GM/smite when boss fighting them. The GM/smite version of the build might slow down against high level alloy armored enemies, but you can just go back to WW instead in a second loadout slot.
Acolytes and and Liches:
Although these enemies can now receive status procs, the number of each type of status proc is capped, so spamming slash procs won't work. To maximize flat damage, we go for 3 elemental mods which are multiplied by Crit, Damage%, and Attack Speed%, as well as improving the effect of [Condition Overload]. This is a well suited build for killing any kind of mobs, regardless of armor, faction or level, and is the most optimized build for single-target, slash-resistant boss fights.
Examples of how this build performs:
Steel Path -- Level 125 Grineer enemies plus Acolyte. Time to kill: ~6 seconds. Viral/Heat/WW build
Solo with [\[Steel Charge\]](/items/arsenal/312/steel-charge/) and Shooting Gallery, no other buffs or arcanes. Even when you are not specifically buffing the build to get extra damage, it still destroys Steel Path missions and acolytes very nicely.
Steel Path -- Level 135 Disruption Grineer enemies. Time to kill: ~2-3 seconds per target.
This is more juiced than simulacrum tests or the previous video, but it's closer to actual conditions of endgame Warframe. Uses roar, [\[Steel Charge\]](/items/arsenal/312/steel-charge/), arcanes and extra CO procs from companions/clone. This video uses the main build, but dropping Molten for Might would probably improve performance in this particular mission. These are probably the toughest normal enemies in the game right now, and we go through them very quickly.
Max Level Kuva Lich. Time to kill: ~14 seconds. Using Corrosive/Smite variant of build.
Solo with Steel Charge and Shooting Gallery, no other buffs or arcanes. For liches, corrosive is ideal because of their armor type.
Below this line, the guide may be outdated. Left in to explain the thinking behind the guide and most of it still applies, but likely only refers to an older version of the build with different mod choices. May someday go through and polish it, but for now it's left for anyone curious about melee building.
The most expendable mod in this build is [Molten Impact]. It does increase our flat damage with CO and adds in a bit of elemental, but it is sub-optimal if you are using other means of inflicting CO procs. Feel free to drop it for Smite, G. Might, [Quickening]/P. [Fury], or [Reach] depending on what you want. Another option is to go for an entirely slash-based build, which will be less effective at killing bosses, but slightly better at killing armored mobs. For this, we would drop all 3 elemental mods, and instead pick up Smite, Might, and a third mod of your choice.
This build also works great on other Nikanas, although [Nikana Prime] has the best stats. Zaws can minmax, but since we want both status and crit, the Prime version is the best option.
Also, remember about Amalgam Daikyu Target Acquired! Lifesteal is massively helpful, and 3% of damage with this weapon turns into a LOT of healing.
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.
STANCE COMBO Usage:
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.
[Nikana]'s heavy attack is very good. Although we don't use heavy attacks in this build, they 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. As an alternative to this build, a heavy attack build is very viable with the [Nikana].
HEART OF DEIMOS UPDATE:
Dash-rolling is dead, but firedashing is here. If you use [Nezha]'s [Firewalker] during the [Blind Justice] dash, you'll do a firedash. Firedashing is a long horizontal leap that uses FW's jumping animation to maintain momentum. Works with [Blind Justice], but also works with Daggers and Dual Swords, anything with a high speed dash really.