Thinking about adding Nia the Shaper champion to your warband? Find out how in this Ultimate Guide.
Included in the Eternal Glade Starter Set, Nia is one of the first Shaper* champions you’re likely to meet.
(*Not sure what this means? You can find an explanation of this and the other three champion classes on the Godtear page.)
With one of the most unique kits in the game, it’s no wonder Nia is considered a niche pick. Although tough to play well, a competent Nia can dominate the banner game, and may even be the most effective champion when it comes to controlling godtears.
Nia might come with a steep learning curve but if you can master her playstyle, you’ll be taking regular steps up the battle ladder.
Nia’s Stats and Traits
As a Shaper, Nia gains bonus steps on the battle ladder whenever she plants her banner.
With her speed stat of 1 in the Plot Phase and 2 in the Clash Phase, it’s obvious she won’t be zipping around the battlefield. She is a dwarf, after all—they're not natural sprinters, but can be very dangerous over short distances.
Nia’s dodge, protection, and health all make her a pretty durable champion. She won’t survive a prolonged fight but she can step into the mix when she needs to.
This is handy, given Nia needs to be close to the godtears so she can plant her banner and make use of her Quartzling followers and ultimate. And, naturally, the godtears are often the centre of the action.
Speaking of action, if you’re a fan of ‘action economy’ then you’ll love playing as Nia.
With her Rock Concert trait, Nia can take a bonus action if all her Quartzling followers are on the battlefield when she activates. So, where another champion might be limited to advancing and planting their banner in the Plot Phase, Nia could advance, use a skill, and plant her a banner.
To get the most out of this trait, make sure all Quartzlings are ready to rock and roll before Nia activates. Lucky for us, followers can activate before their champions. After all, someone’s got to roll out the red carpet!
Top Tip: Recruit with your Quartzlings before activating Nia to make sure Rock Concert is active.
Nia’s Skills and Ultimate
Nia’s skills have a beautiful duality to them. In the Plot Phase, she’s invested in planting her banner and making sure friendly champions and followers are buffed up with boons. In the Clash Phase, she flips the script to dish out blights to all enemy champions instead.
Nia’s Skills In the Plot Phase
As we covered earlier, Nia isn’t the fastest champion in Godtear, but she does have some tricks up her sleeve.
For example, with March she can move one additional hex. This effectively puts her speed at 2, letting her reach the godtears on turn one in the Chaos Scenario.
March may focus on Nia’s own boons but Crystal Mirror is where she can start to spread the love. A skill with many possibilities, Crystal Mirror has a range of 2 and lets Nia duplicate a boon from any model in range and place it on a friendly champion or follower.
In the early rounds of the game, this is best used to duplicate your own boons—typically speed—to help reach the godtears quicker.
However, from turn three onwards, you can use this skill to put pressure on your opponent. Because you’re able to replicate their boons, they’ll have to think twice about who they give what!
In this sense, Nia plays best as a reactive champion who goes second or third in the turn. That way, she can best manipulate the battlefield.
Finally, Nia can always give herself an accuracy boon with Meditation, which will help her in the Clash Phase when she gains access to her aggressive skills. Use this in conjunction with Crystal Mirror to grant an accuracy boon to a friendly champion.
Top Tip: Put pressure on your opponent by copying their boons with Crystal Mirror.
Nia’s Skills In the Clash Phase
‘Clash Phase’ is right! This is where we see Nia’s skills become more aggressive.
Her Crystal Mirror flips to become Crystal Glare, replicating a blight on any model in range 2 and applying it to an enemy. As with Crystal Mirror, use Glare to put your opponents off blighting your champions—after all, you can reflect it right back at them!
Erosion gives Nia an accurate medium-range protection blight, perfect for setting up an allied Slayer to take down a pesky enemy champion. For a double whammy, combo this with Crystal Glare to reflect the same blight onto a second enemy—maybe that annoying, high dodge champion you can’t usually land a hit on?
Blinding Light is Nia’s only damaging skill. It won’t set the world on fire but just hitting your target will also land them with an accuracy blight, something you should take full advantage of. The skill itself isn’t the most accurate, but hopefully the time you took to meditate in the Plot Phase will make it more likely to hit.
Top Tip: Apply Nia’s blights to low dodge champions and use Crystal Glare to replicate them onto high dodge champions your skills might not otherwise hit. Practice your target priority and you’ll be claiming turns in no time!
Nia’s Ultimate: Geode
Geode is one of the most powerful ultimates in Godtear. So devastating is its effect that it can only be used in the Plot Phase.
With a little forward planning, you can make great use of the Quartzlings in turns one and two to set up for this game-changing ultimate in turn three, and bag those 3 precious victory points.
To get the most out of this ultimate, you’ll need a lone Quartzling adjacent to an objective hex. If you can set this up (you should be able to), you can replace the Quartzling with an objective hex, effectively growing the area which you can control.
If Nia is within two hexes, you can plant your banner on that objective hex and claim the godtear.
It’s a lot to take in. But if you can get this set up right, you can guarantee two immediate steps on the battle ladder—and with good positioning, you’ll be able to keep the banner safe for an additional four steps in the End Phase.
What’s more, this is only one of three actions Nia can make in the Plot Phase thanks to Rock Concert—so you can always move Nia (with an advance or March) to make sure she’s in range.
Top Tip: Think ahead with this ultimate! Grow the objective hexes with the Quartzlings in the turns one and two, then unleash Geode in turn three. Your opponent won’t know what hit them.
Nia’s Followers: the Quartzlings
Whilst all Godtear followers are unique to their champion, the Quartzlings fulfill a very specific role. They’re also an ever-present threat due to Rock Formation, because they can recruit whenever Nia’s banner is removed from play—including in the End Phase, when all banners are routinely cleared.
Talk about action economy!
Quartzlings in the Plot Phase
Nia’s followers are, unsurprisingly, defensively solid. After all, they are animated rocks. Nimble rocks, apparently, given their move stat of 2.
Shimmer lets the Quartzlings apply a speed blight to an enemy follower or champion with decent accuracy, especially when two or three Quartzlings are together. And here’s something interesting:
The accuracy of Shimmer doesn’t increase when there are more than two Quartzlings in a hex. Of course, that’s because you’ll usually be removing one of them in aid of another skill (Geode, anyone?).
Calcify is, by far, the Quartzling’s most interesting and powerful skill. If a lone Quartzling is adjacent to an objective hex then it may be replaced by an objective hex, growing the area on which your champions can plant their banners.
Use Calcify skill to bring the objective hexes towards Nia, away from the fight—and, if you’re feeling devious, to block the route of enemy followers!
Top Tip: On the turn you’re planning to use Geode, have two lone Quartzlings adjacent to each other with one beside the objective hexes. Use Calcify before Geode and you’ll stump your opponent by planting Nia’s banner two hexes away!
Quartzlings in the Clash Phase
During the Clash Phase, the Quartzlings have a move stat of zero, meaning that without a speed boon they’re unable to make an advance.
However, a rolling stone gathers no moss, and these followers hate moss! With their Rolling Stones skill they can move up to three hexes in a straight line, which makes them pretty fast (if a bit linear).
Because it’s the Clash Phase, the Quartzlings are willing to throw bits of themselves at their opponents with Stone’s Throw. Much like Nia’s Blinding Light, this isn’t going to set the world alight, but it’s a nice pocket skill to knock a health or two off a champion before a Slayer steps in to finish the job.
Top Tip: Try to position your Quartzlings so you can immediately use Calcify in the following turn. And don’t forget to make your recruit action in the End Phase with Rock Formation!
Nia Tips and Tricks
Use Crystal Mirror and Crystal Glare: These are Nia’s primary way of moving boons and blights around champions. Because there’s no hit effect, these skills can land regardless of the opponent’s dodge value, which makes them invaluable for bringing down hard-to-hit champions like Sneaky Peet and Lorsann.
Know who counters Nia: Heavy hitters like Rangosh and Halftusk will make short work of Nia if she stays in a prolonged fight. Use her ranged abilities and let other champions take a beating in her place.
Pick champions that synergise: If there’s one thing to take away from this guide, it’s that Nia fights well with allies around her. Make sure you choose champions that give out powerful boons and blights going into the Clash Phase, so Nia can replicate them.
Nia’s Pros and Cons
Rewards forward thinking
Incredible action economy
Can’t stay in a fight
Unlikely to contribute to knock outs
Not a solo artist