Basic Team-building and Meta Nikkes | NIKKE | Prydwen Institute (2024)


This guide has been created by awesome21snake. If you have any feedback about the guide, catch him on our Discord!


In SP Arena, no defense works. Essentially, defense is trash. CP gap is the best defense. Attackers will always have the advantage. Use the below template as a starting point for your defense team setups. It's not the best setup, but it'll work if the opponent isn't experienced (i.e. lacks general PvP knowledge).

  • T1: 2-2.5RL Scarlet Jackal
  • T2: Noah/Blanc Biscuit stall with SAnis
  • T3: Do your best, Alice/Maiden/Power/Privaty are good main B3s.

Read everything if you want a better understanding on PvP team-building, especially the Basic PvP building section.

Point to Remember: There are no perfect teams for Arena. All you can do is try to win in defense by "knowledge checking your opponent", but if you have the units, investments and no CP Deficit: you SHOULD ALWAYS be winning in attack. However, PvP without key units is essentially just suffering. Refer to our Arena Mechanics guide for basic understanding of how PvP works.

This guide was only made possible because of cleancascade. His insight towards PvP matchups along with his dedication towards testing is something I consider to be the best of anyone I have discussed PvP with. I thank him for being a huge help in the Nikke Community Discord and being an inspiration to complete a full PvP guide for everyone. A lot of what you see in this guide is by him.

Not A Tier List

The big three are Jackal, Biscuit, and Scarlet. SAnis is a close fourth.

Order of importance: left to right within tiers.

  • Warps the Meta: Most essential units in PvP. You should be trying to make the most of all these units on your setups. Missing any of them puts you at a disadvantage.
  • Strong Picks: Good units who range from big play-makers to consistent filler. You can easily fit these units into your teams.
  • Good Picks: Units that are usually used for burst gen, or can be useful as main units if you lack critical units.
  • Situational/Replacements: useful every now and then, but generally get outclassed or are held back by noticeable flaws.
  • Specialists: they have one or two serious use-case scenarios, which we will discuss later.
Warp The Meta - B1

Warp The Meta - B2

Warp The Meta - B3

Strong Picks - B1

Strong Picks - B2

Strong Picks - B3

Good Picks - B1

Good Picks - B2

Good Picks - B3


Situational - B1

Situational - B2

Situational - B3

Alternatively, check out Keripo’s Tier List for PvP: Keripo’s Tier List

Basic PvP Team-building

This section is for essential for everyone trying to understand PvP team building - PvP teams are very different from your usual campaign/raid teams.

Here are three major points to keep in mind when teambuilding, try to keep as many true as you can for your PvP teams. The third aim is very important. Make sure your team has at least 1 B1, 1 B2, and 1 B3. Positioning matters a lot.

Aim 1: Protect your P1 Position.

This is due to almost all weapon types focusing on the P1 position. Hence P1 is usually where your tankers go. This may not be important for setups in rare cases. Note: If you are going up against defending SGs, you may need to protect P5 instead of P1.

You can try to Protect your P1 in the following ways:

  • Use of Rapunzel or Anne:MF to revive P1 Nikke, [Additionally: Point 1 of Aim 2]
  • Use of Defender+Biscuit, with the Defender being in P1.
  • Use of Taunt to deflect damage away from P1, for example Noah or Ludmilla in P5.
  • Use of Jackal link to provide Nikke in P1 extra HP.
  • Use of Makima to make P1 or P5 indomitable.
  • Use of Emma or Diesel in P1 to counter Machine Guns.
  • Use of target skipping to allow P1 Tankers (Noise and Noah) to survive (if they cannot). By using an extra unit of the same burst type to allow for full burst (for example: Noah P1 + Viper P2; or Noise P1 + Pepper P2, so that Viper or Pepper die instead of Noah, Noise or a DPS that might have died in P3/P4/P5).
Aim 2: Protect your Main Damage Dealer(s).

These units are called DPS commonly. This can be done in the following ways:

  • If you are using your major DPS in P1, make sure the Nikke still has means of outputting damage. If it’s an AoE like Scarlet, you do not usually need to protect it in revive strats or Jackal strats. However if you need Damage over Time, e.g. like with SAnis or Alice, you will need extra protection for them, for example by using Blanc to make DPS indomitable, or by providing SAnis self heal through Biscuit.
  • Use of healers such as Rapunzel/Folkwang to boost HP or give constant healing.
  • Use of Max HP buffers like Noise to boost max HP.
  • Use of Damage negaters like Noah to allow DPS to not take damage for some time.
  • Use tanking strategies such as Defender(or Taunting Defender)+Biscuit
  • Use of Privaty’s stun to give your DPS a window to do free damage in.
  • Combination of two or more strategies listed to ensure DPS do not die.
Aim 3: Ensure that your teams have Good Burst Gen.

For defense, try to ensure that at least 2 teams out of 3 are 3RL or faster. If not 2, try to at least make 1 fast team. For Attack, try to match or outspeed your opponent’s teams. There are some cases where the slower team will win however.

A 0.5RL faster burst will outspeed opponent B2s. A 1RL faster burst speed will outspeed opponent B1s.

Note: There are slight delays between the Burst stage showing up and the burst getting triggered. This can affect the point given in the previous statement.

Meta Nikkes in PvP

This section will discuss and show (with videos where applicable) how Meta Nikkes in PvP work, and how you may use them. Nikkes like Jackal or Scarlet have a versatile skill set, so I cannot show everything that they can do. However I will try my best to encompass everything they can do in the most basic terms I can.

I thank the following users from Nikke Community Discord and Prydwen's Official Discord for sharing their videos with us: shuryo_, zixk98, lazyremy, Kyd#7256, makurisu, mandingo1822, Keripo and of course, cleancascade!

Warp The Meta


Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 1: For every 10 shots that Jackal or Jackal-linked Nikkes get hit with, Jackal applies a debuff on opponents as a counter attack which gives extra Burst Gen to her team, equal to Jackal’s base burst gen value (3.55). Hence, Jackal has the power to significantly boost Burst Gen of your team.
  • Skill 2: Links 2 Nikkes and shares damage taken, essentially giving all 3 units 3 HP bars. Synergises with Skill 1. All linked Nikkes will count "hits" on any of the 3 linked Nikkes as hits made against themselves. Hence Nikkes like Jackal or Scarlet/Emma have a chance to get extra burst gen or damage/heal if hits are made on any one of the linked Nikkes.

Important: Due to this skill, you want Jackal linked nikkes to be on P1/P2 (or P5 if against defending shotguns)

Strength: Best Burst Gen in the game. Great synergy with Scarlet (and Emma). Can increase the Burst Gen Speed of a team (e.g. from 2.5RL - > 2RL) through her S1. Burst buffs 2B burst. Her S1 can restrict Weapon Type Usage against her. The Queen of PvP in Nikke. High flexibility, fits in virtually every team.

Weaknesses: Rosanna can remove Jackal link. 2B can nuke Jackal-link to do high amounts of damage if the Highest HP unit is linked. If Alice focuses on Jackal linked Nikke, she can kill off the Jackal linked nikkes very quickly due to her high single target damage.


Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 2: Makes defenders invincible for 5 seconds when they reach 50% HP. This activates twice.
  • Burst: Gives ATK buff and gives "Heals x% of damage dealt" to Support Type Nikkes e.g SAnis

Strengths: Good Burst Gen. Counters Alice. Buffs SAnis with Burst. Can be paired with defenders to soak up damage.

Weaknesses: Only works with SAnis and Defenders, limiting flexibility.


Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 1: Gives herself an insane ATK buff every 10 bullets shot which can stack to be > 100% in total
  • Skill 2: Whenever Scarlet is hit, there’s a 30% chance of doing 138% of ATK as damage to the opponent who attacked. This effect is more clear when Scarlet is paired with Blanc or Jackal. This effect is magnified a lot when facing SGs or any Nikke with a high fire rate. However since the chance is 30%, RLs can also get affected by this with enough bad luck.
  • Burst: A very high damage AoE nuke.

Strengths: High Damage Nuke. Can do significant damage outside of Burst. Highly flexible, can fit in any team. Her S2 can restrict Weapon Type Usage against her. The God PvP DPS.

Weaknesses: Loses HP constantly. AoE can be blocked by Noah or survived by the use of Noise. Scarlet S2 may need high investments at higher synchro levels.

Summer Anis

Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 1: Several offensive buffs given to Electric Code Nikkes at the start of Full Burst.
  • Skill 2: Main source of DPS; sends 2 missiles that do a lot of DPS to 2 enemies with highest ATK, but after every last bullet shot.
  • Burst: Reduces ammo. Synergises with S2, allowing Anis to trigger her S2 more times against opponents. Hence her major DPS output is during her burst.

Strengths: Ultimate counter to stall comps. If paired with Rosanna, Biscuit and Noise, she possesses the power to beat even her fiercest rival: A Scarlet-Jackal comp.

Weaknesses: Feeds into Scarlet S2 and Jackal S1. Her S2 can be taunted and she will most likely lose if both of her missiles get negated. Hence, if damage during burst is nullified, she will probably lose the fight.

Strong Picks


Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 2: Self Heals and Taunts after a fully charged shot hits opponents. Taunt has no cooldown but Self Heal essentially has a once every 2 second cooldown timer. She taunts all opponents she manages to hit, which means she will usually taunt 2, and possibly 3 opponents, depending on how many enemies she hits.
  • Burst: Team-wide Max HP buff that allows the team to survive AoE. Also heals the team for the next 10 seconds.

Strengths: Good Burst Gen since RL unit. Burst allows the team to survive AoE attacks. Self Heal allows her to act as a tanker. One of the strongest B1 units.

Weaknesses: Burst may need to be leveled against High Damage AoE Bursts. Self Heal has a technical cooldown. Need to reach Burst to block AoE attacks.

Additional Notes: You can do some quirks with Noise and SAnis together, e.g Noise can be made higher ATK than SAnis so that opponent SAnis targets her over your SAnis.


Noise (higher ATK than SAnis) tanking for SAnis so that our SAnis has more time to kill opponent

Noise tanks AoE and then allows Biscuit to Burst so that SAnis becomes pseudo invincible


Important skills to know about:

  • Skill 2: Noah taunts on fully charged shots just like Noise does.
  • Burst: Completely nullifies any damage dealt to your team for 3 seconds at the start of her burst. Additionally, she has a constant 10 second long taunt which taunts all enemies (except Alice since she just ignores it sometimes)(1 of the 3 long taunt durations).

Strengths: Major use is in negating AoE damage completely. Her taunt, if paired with biscuit, straight up leads to a long duration where Noah will make your team immune from ANY damage being done to your team for 10-13 seconds.

Weaknesses: Needs to reach burst to negate AoE damage. Since she is B2, her burst can be outsped by a 0.5RL difference usually, since a 0.5RL faster Burst Speed AoE attack can outspeed a B2 Burst.

Rapunzel / xAnne

Rapunzel Strengths: More of a defensive reviver and a strong B1 Unit choice. Provides constant heals and has teamwide heal on full burst. Additionally, revives the highest ATK unit at full burst. Rapunzel has a special use sometimes in which the team is set up such that Rapunzel is Burst after the 2nd round of Burst. The classic rookie god comp is set up this way (Noise Noah Scarlet Rapunzel Jackal).

xAnne Strengths: More of an offensive reviver and is a B2 unit. Her major buffs are strictly for Attacker type Nikkes only. Her burst significantly buffs the ATK and heals Attacker units only. After that she revives one Attacker Unit randomly. She can also lower enemy team’s healing with her skill 2

Both of these units can be used strategically to gain advantage. There is no real weakness of using them, except that xAnne only provides her buffs to Attacker type units.


Blanc is special. Blanc provides heals, attacking buffs, and a very clutch indomitability. But everything is locked behind her burst. The main aim is to reach her burst. This can allow your Main DPS to go wild, even if all of your other team is dead. Scarlet, SAnis and Alice are key users of this indomitability. She can be paired with Biscuit for survival.

Weaknesses: Low burst gen. ARs may feed into Jackal and Scarlet.


Blanc with Scarlet

Blanc with Alice

Blanc with SAnis

Centi / Anis

These Nikkes are used for the very high burst generation that they can provide to teams.


Strengths: Straight up a single target damage dealer. Alice’s Burst allows her to do insane damage. While attacking, Alice is still as wild as she used to be, especially because of her wild targeting (explained in Arena Mechanics Guide). Just don’t fight against Biscuit teams preferably.

Weaknesses: Biscuit just allows all of her damage to straight up get soaked up by a defender in P1 or in general a taunting defender. May require buffers like Blanc or Maxwell to beat some comps.


Alice murdering God Comps

Alice being countered by Biscuit+Defender

Maiden / Harran / 2B

All 3 exist as weaker Scarlet replacements, but have serious drawbacks.

Maiden Strengths: Decent AoE on burst if she manages to proc Revenge (her skill 1). High Burst Gen. Can work as a sub B3, especially in the Flex spot for SAnis teams since her code is Electric.

Maiden Weaknesses: Feeds into Jackal and Scarlet. Damage outside of burst can be hard countered with Makima in P5. Her AoE is weaker than Scarlet’s, and is hence negated extremely well by Noise.

Harran Strengths: Strong AoE burst.

Harran Weaknesses: No damage outside of Burst. Her High burst gen is based on RNG (25% chance to activate skill 1). Her AoE is weaker than Scarlet’s.

2B Strengths: Very strong AoE burst which has an extra nuke for Highest HP opponent. Uses unusual buffers to buff her damage (Noise and Jackal are ideal). Can counter Jackal link very well if the highest HP unit is linked to Jackal.

2B Weaknesses: 2B can be absolutely destroyed by Rosanna, who removes 2B’s self ATK buff that she gets from her skill 2, and also by Biscuit+Ludmilla/Nero, who can cause her AoE to do basically 0 Damage. This is due the nature of how Distributed Damage works. 2B’s burst is distributed damage, which is calculated based on the designated enemy’s damage taken, and it is then evenly distributed according to the number of enemies on the field. Since the designated enemy in this case was Ludmilla, and she was immune to damage due to Biscuit’s Skill 2, 2B does 0 damage. Huge thanks to Keripo for finding both of these counters to 2B and publicizing them.


2B burst being blocked by Biscuit+Ludmilla

2B damage plummeting after using Rosanna

Pepper / Drake / Noir

These Nikkes exist as Burst Gen Batteries while also doing damage, however they each provide one or two small additional perks. Noir and Drake provide teamwide ATK buffs. Noir provides it constantly as long as she has enough HP, while Drake provides it during Full Burst. Noir also has ammo buffs that she provides. Pepper is commonly known as a healer in PvE. However in PvP Arena, she is straight up used as a “Harmacist” damage dealer. She will nuke the highest ATK opponent when she Bursts (a great pair to Power’s nuke, which does the same), and being a shotgun, she will also output decent DPS.

Major weaknesses: Feed into Jackal and can get blocked by Makima from doing damage. Pepper’s nuke can be taunted away.


Usually used to bully slow comps, Privaty is used in PvP for her stun mechanic which literally stops the enemy from doing anything and everything for 3 seconds. This allows DPS in your team to do damage freely for the said time duration. Can be used in very specific situations to kill off opponents who may have left their Main DPS unprotected. Can also be used to ‘waste’ time of opponent Nikkes who have major DPS output during Burst (e.g. Alice), or can allow Ally shotguns to target skip a Makima who is keeping them stuck in P1.

Major weaknesses: Low Burst Gen, Depends on other Nikkes to output DPS. Usually very simple to counter due to low survivability of Privaty based comps.

Privaty countering Makima

Power / A2 / Laplace

All 3 exist as Good Burst Gen batteries. Power and A2 have decent quirks but Laplace is solely for Burst Gen as her Burst seems to not do a lot in PvP.

Power Strengths: Burst is a powerful single target nuke which nukes the highest ATK enemy.

Power Weaknesses: Hard countered by slower revive teams, who can just revive their Main DPS who died from the nuke. In general, very easily countered as her nuke can be taunted or blocked as well.

A2 Strengths: High Burst Gen for some Burst Speeds. Hits 3 Nikkes normally. Can hit 5 Nikkes during burst, hence can be used as a main DPS option.

A2 Weaknesses: Requires babysitting by healers since she kills herself. Slower than other RL to shoot, lowers burst gen in some Burst Gen speeds. Her damage output is slow and can be countered with proper use of Noise or other healers.



Rosanna has a special Skill 1, which was purely designed for PvP. She dispels buffs that opponents have, and hence is used for two major fights:

  • To remove Jackal link from Nikkes, so that our team does not feed into the opponent team. This can save the likes of SAnis from feeding into Scarlet and dying, and will also ensure that the enemy team is not getting extra burst gen. Just make sure she isn’t linked to Jackal while facing a Scarlet, or she will kill everyone in your team due to activating Scarlet’s S2 too many times.
  • To completely shut-down 2B by dispeling her Skill 2’s ATK buff. She quite literally just dispel’s 2B’s ATK buff, making 2B go from Riches to Rags. (explained in 2B section)
Rosanna killing scar jack link


Makima is the ULTIMATE counter to Defending SGs. Due to her indomitability, which lasts for 8 seconds, she gives more than enough time for our team to burst. Just place her in P5 when attacking and see the magic happen as defender SGs struggle to shoot at anyone but Makima.


Makima blocking Alice in attack

Makima blocking SGs in attack

Emma / Diesel

What Makima is to SGs, is what Emma is to MGs. Emma’s Skill 1 is a unique skill which has a 5% chance of healing 10% HP of all allies when attacked. Due to the insanely high fire rate of MGs (and sometimes even SMGs and ARs if there is a Jackal-Emma link) they allow Emma to proc (activate) her skill 1 to heal allies multiple times per second. This keeps the whole team extremely healthy and you simply become immune from taking damage against MGs. This effect is exaggerated if there is an Emma-Jackal link, a team which was seen a lot in the old meta. Diesel needs to burst to get the same effect, in which her skill 1 allows her to self heal when she takes damage.

Example video:


Folkwang is a special Nikke which gives self heal to your DPS for 10 seconds. This allows for some comps where your B3 is essentially invincible (but really not). She can also be paired with Biscuit, who provides invincibility to Folkwang, allowing her to tank in P1, in addition to supporting Main DPS.


Nero is a taunter like Noah except that she does not block AoE or provide invincibility. She is one of the 3 long taunts. She is more or less required to be paired with Biscuit as using her as a solo B2 can be dangerous, and this will not allow her to soak up damage properly.


Ludmilla is the third long taunt, but she is a B1. However, her taunt is at full burst as it is a passive skill. Hence, she can also act as an off burst taunter. She is usually used to allow Biscuit to Burst to support SAnis. Both Nero and Ludmilla provide damage reduction to themselves, however Nero provides it to her healer as well. Do not forget that she can be paired with Biscuit to completely shut down 2B!


Ludmilla as an off Burst taunter

Ludmilla allowing Biscuit to Burst to make SAnis invincible

Tia / xRupee

Tia and xRupee are replacements for when you do not have Ludmilla. They both are not as viable as Ludmilla, and they both need another B1 to be used. An example team comp would be Tia/xRupee Biscuit SAnis Anis Noise/Pepper. Tia provides Attack Damage buff while xRupee provides Reload Speed buff. Both are being used to block off damage at P1 with Biscuit, and also allow Biscuit to burst to buff SAnis, but cannot defend against AoE. Tia’s taunt is at 5RL (i.e when her 5th shot lands) while xRupee has taunt on Burst. Both of them may be possibly used to block 2B just like Ludmilla.

Next step

We will now move on to Introducing Attack and Defence Teams in the Current Meta as the final article for the PvP learning experience. Remember that the 3 aims of Basic Team-building are very very important.

Meta Teams and Archetypes
Basic Team-building and Meta Nikkes | NIKKE | Prydwen Institute (2024)


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