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Nemesis Guide | Explained in detail

Posted by: poisoN Oct 20 2022, 12:44 PM


I'm a little bit torn on Nemesis.

On one hand, his whip is super satisfying with a lot of room for skill expression, and his Zombies are just super fun all around.

On the other hand, he kinda sucks.

He's not on the same level as Trickster or Myers, but he's down there.

He would be an A-tier killer if his power just worked at its full potential from the get-go, but the fact he doesn't start at full power and has to get three hits to down for 2/3 of his chases (when paired with his nonexistent ability to apply pressure) means he's C tier, tops.

That said, if you still want to play Nemesis, whether it's because the idea of whipping people pleases you or because you like being stepped on by survivors, read on buddy.

Numbers, Whip Physics, and pain

Okay, lets start out with numbers that relate to how quickly you can attack.

The Tentacle actually has some interesting physics behind it.

It's a projectile, but not really a projectile. There are a few ways we can take advantage of this, most of which I've already mentioned.

  1. You can move the lingering hitbox a little bit, either extending the reach by ~1 meter or "sweeping out" a 1x5 (or 1x6) meter area.
  2. If somebody is bodyblocking your tentacle hit, you can sometimes hit people through them.
  3. Thanks to the instant propogation, the tip of your attack can hit people immediately as they round a corner if you make a solid prediction.

Just keep in mind that the hitbox is a straight line, parallel to the ground, contrary to the wavy look of your whip and how you'd imagine your whip would curl down terrain.

As a result, you can't hit survivors that are crouching behind certain vaults (though which vaults do and don't work are completely inconsistent and arbitrary, even more so that what Blight/Billy can/can't slide off of), and you flat out cannot aim up/down at an angle at all (keep this in mind in places like the Basement stairs).

Also, despite the first hit giving a speed boost like a hit, it doesn't do damage (as you probably know) but it also doesn't flinch them, so they can keep performing channeled actions uninterrupted (including exit gates... which is how I figured this out. I lost that game.).

Now... the pain.

Nemesis needs to get three hits on a healthy, uncontaminated survivor to down them. This isn't entirely true, as you can ignore your power to down them in two, but any decent survivor will force you into this situation.

As compensation, you apply a 20% slow for 0.25 seconds when you first hit the survivor. This means that they move at 4.3 m/s for the first fraction of a second... and then speed off at 6 m/s for the remaining 1.25... and this doesn't do anything for the next hit. Yikes. This (along with Licker Tongue) can come in clutch in hindsight, but it's such a minor effect that it doesn't really solve the problem that "you need to get three hits".

That's already problematic, but now we get into the mutations.

T1 Nemesis is kinda pathetic. No pallet break and a reach that is just too short to play most tiles.

You need 6 charges to get T2, and 15 charges after that to hit T3.

You get 3 charges for whipping a fresh survivor, 1 for whipping contaminated one, and 1 for whipping a zombie. You get no charges if a Zombie hits somebody, and you get no charges for punching a Zombie.

To hit T2, you need to:

This is horribly painful, as it cannot be done in a single chase without wasting time zombie hunting.

This is why, in my opinion, this killer cannot be played without Marvin's Blood.

With Marvin's Blood, you get 4 charges for hitting a fresh survivor, and 2 for hitting a contaminated one.

As a result, if you do at least two tentacle hits in your first chase, you hit T2. This does not make you a god, but it does make you at the very least playable, as you can fairly reliably restrict your weakest state to your first chase.

This has a similar effect on hitting Tier 3.

It takes 21 charges to hit T3 from the start of the game. You can (by default) get a maximum of 5 charges from a single chase on a fresh survivor.

This means that (barring Zombie hunting or a ton of non-committal whips from finding a cluster of survivors) the earliest a pure M2 Nemesis can hit T3 is at the beginning of his fifth chase.

With Marvin's Blood, you can get up to 8 charges per chase, meaning you can hit T3 on the second hit of your third chase.

If Marvin's Blood was a common add-on, I would rate Nemesis a little bit higher (maybe a low B instead of a high C), but it's an uncommon, and as a result you will have dry spells where you flat run out of these and drop into the depths.

Oh right, zombies exist

Play as if Zombies don't exist. They are just too stupid.

I guess I'll run them down, though.

12 seconds into the match, 2 Zombies will spawn at random hooks and start aimlessly wandering around.

Now, I don't know how their pathing AI works, but given how often they get snagged on things, their original propensity to facecamp people, and what is likely the easiest way to code a pathing mesh, I can make an educated guess.

  1. Zombie spawns in at a random hook. It doesn't actually have collision for a few seconds, so don't try to instantly
  2. After a brief idle period, the Zombie walks in a straight line towards a random point of interest (most likely hooks or potential hook spawn locations, possibly including generators). Map boundaries are taken into consideration, but mid-map obstacles are not.
  3. If a survivor walks within a 14 meter, 190 degree cone of the Zombie's front, the Zombie will aggro onto them and pursue until LOS is broken.
  4. Once LOS is lost (or the survivor moves more than 20 meters away), the Zombie will continue walking towards the survivor's last known location for several seconds. LOS can be lost if the Zombie gets spun.
  5. Zombies can track by sound. If there is a sound within 6 meters of them, they will walk towards it. This includes screams, failed skill checks, and generator noises.

Will knowing this make you a better Nemesis? Well, kinda.

The first two points are pure speculation on my part, but past point 3 is for sure the case.

There are a few use cases for Zombies.

  1. Kill them for Mutation if you're close.
  2. Watch their auras. If their hands are up, you know a survivor's general location. If one is stunned, and you know who has flashlights, you can deduce who is there. If one dies, either somebody has Head On or they're an idiot who dropped a pallet.
  3. If one walks into a tile, they can make it harder for survivors (especially if they hang out at a window). Worst case, the survivor gets downed from healthy by a simultaneous paired Zombie Hit plus a punch/whip. If they get in your way, punch them. You get no mutation for doing so, but you have a reduced CD for punching a Zombie to death (about 0.5 seconds) so lunging to kill a Zombie doesn't lose you any significant distance.
  4. If you think a survivor will wiggle out (whether due to Sabo, an overly-ambitious carry distance, bodyblocks, DS, or a flashlight) a lucky Zombie placement can be your salvation. Survivors have a 5 second immunity to bear traps after wiggling out of your grasp to prevent Trapper from dropping people into them... but Zombies have no such restrictions.

Anything beyond that is pure ######### luck.


Nemesis has a stupidly slow early game, but once he reaches peak power...

...he's one of the stronger chase killers.

As such, the only thing we need to worry about is time. That might sound boring, but there are a few ways we can go about this with perk combos

Big Kick big boom

This build works with a flow chart.

  1. Find a 3-gen early. Defend it with your life and kick gens when it's convenient.
  2. Down somebody. If they're next to a progressed generator, try to do it with an M1. This will immediately regress it by 14% and incapacitate the survivors working on it for 16 seconds, effectively buying you 27.2 seconds (assuming solo survivor on the gen and no repair enhancement) to hook, haul ass, and get over there. Note that regression doesn't start if the survivor was kicked off the gen by Eruption.
  3. Hook ASAP (or take your time, maybe break a pallet or something if you have Thrilling Tremors to keep the gen locked down a little longer) and head over to the gen.
  4. Wait until the eruption CD is almost done and kick the gen to pop and apply eruption at the same time.
  5. Rinse and repeat. Do not overcommit to a chase, defend that 3-gen.

Oppression and Overcharge aren't the best perks, but they get honorable mentions because they slot into the build well and failed skill checks will signal zombies.

Boring, but it works

Nemesis needs time and this will give you time.

It works on Pyramid well enough, and you're very similar to him.

The problem with this build is the amount of luck required to keep the hexes up (especially since Nemesis needs them to stay up for longer than other killers do), but this is also a plus; you can get insanely lucky.

If one of your Zombies decides to chase survivors off of a generator, they might not be in any danger, but they're also actively losing progress. It gets even better if the Zombie finds a survivor doing a Totem, since not only does this likely save the Hex for the time being, it lets you know about it by the Zombie getting angry while facing the totem.



If you can stack up NWO, that's another 42 seconds you didn't have previously, and it also makes the 20 seconds it takes to open the gates harder.

Blood Warden buys you another 60 seconds if you can trigger it.

Bitter Murmur and NoED let you make the absolute most of the time bought by those two perks (just keep in mind that the presence of NoED can make it harder to bait people into Blood Warden, so consider limiting yourself to the tentacle for down number 1 if you can to keep that a surprise).

Game Start

With a couple other gen slow perks, this can help you go from person to person, chaining the multiple fresh hits you need to get to higher tiers and potentially getting vaccines out of the way early.

Failing that, this saves you a lot of time. Time you cannot afford to lose.

Whether it saves you more time than a game slow perk could is hard to say.


The rest of the loadout doesn't matter for this. Run whatever you want.

Getting from chase to chase fast helps a decent bit, but that's not why we run BBQ.

Remember that Nemesis is mediocre with Marvin's Blood, but he's virtually unplayable without it. With BBQ, we make it nearly impossible to run out of those #########.

Zombie Attractors (potentially)

I haven't tested all of these but depending on their interactions with Zombies they could work to varying degrees.

If Zombies can respond to the notifications or bonus noises from these perks, I could see some potential value in attracting Zombies to locations of interest. I know that some of them work, but not necessarily all.

Since they do respond to things like Pebble and Red Herring, I think there's a chance this could work.

add-on tier list

Marvin's Blood single-handedly makes this killer almost good. Almost.

Serotonin Injector can let you sneak up on people on the right maps. Despite how big and stompy you are, you can still sneak up on people fairly easily.

NE-A Parasite is similar to the Injector. You get up to 8 minutes of Oblivious spread across all the survivors over the course of the trial, which is something you can make good use of.

Broken Coin is boring, but it works. It lets you come fully online one whip earlier.

Jill's Sandwich is underrated. The aura reading is super long, and people like to loot vaccines pretty early in the game, so it helps you maintain tempo pretty well.

Depleted Ink Ribbon is cool, but it isn't great. It's easy to get past the zombies at the gates if you look where you're going (not to mention it's possible they might spawn at a gate that isn't being opened). The Zombie stats are nice, but not really helpful.

The Syringes are actually super powerful numbers-wise; from a 3 second reveal to a 4.5 or 6 (potentially 7.5 but you wouldn't stack them since that means no room for Marvin).

Wristbands are quietly helpful. Most of your Zombie value comes from tracking, and this helps with that significantly.

Zombie Hunting add-ons can help a bit, but your time is better spent hunting survivors. The Heart is too low to be worth running.

Zombie Speed add-ons increase the likelihood that a Zombie appears at a tile you're playing (attracted by the noises), but doesn't make them meaningfully stronger as a lethality tool outside maps like RCPD (which currently does not exist). The Shattered Badge is sad, since for as cool a concept as it could be it's just numerically weak.

Plant Vines buy you an extra 4 seconds per vaccination, for 16 extra seconds total. This is a mild annoyance to survivors.

Licker Tongue can come in clutch in hindsight, but it's such a minor effect that it's unnoticeable. It does do something consistently, but that something is an extra 1.2 seconds of a 20% hindered effect across the course of an entire match, which isn't exactly the best.

The Manual sucks, since it only helps if a Zombie downs somebody at a distance from you and you don't know who it is. Frankly this should just be baseline, like how you can see survivors who bleed out to a Deep Wound.

Umbrella Badge does nothing. Literally nothing.

Early Whipping

I see a lot of people saying to prioritize using your whip in the early game so you can hit T3 and burn through vaccines ASAP.

These people are wrong.

Do you want to know what happens if you take three hits to down your first survivor as a killer with no map mobility or (heaven forbid) you miss a Whip?

BAM Three gens are gone, along with your hopes and dreams and that BASTARD JILL.

Early game, if you can punch them, punch them.

If you have an opportunity to whip where you couldn't land a punch, or the survivor is trying to play a low tile that zones them off from moving to another area, go ahead and whip them, but you already don't have time so don't waste any.

Trick Shots & Mindgames

You'd think something with such a short reach couldn't have much in the way of tricks, but there are actually a few.

Cha cha real smooth

  1. Get closer to your target than you think you have to
  2. Quickscope whip
  3. If you missed, quickly register what side of the survivor you missed on
  4. Slide to the left (or right as applicable)

Because of the previously mentioned lingering hitbox, you can perform last-second adjustments with your Whip after you throw the shot.

Since the Whip is completely incapable of making adjustments to its direction after you press M1, you can't flick it like a Huntress can. This is your replacement for that.

Doing this can make


Huntress, Deathslinger, and Trickster can fire their projectiles through pinholes (or gamerholes) in terrain.

Nemesis seemingly can't do this in the same way. Why this is the case is unknown, but he can do something similar.

While you run through tiles, look for gaps in the terrain. Maybe it's a V-shaped gap on Autohaven junk tiles, maybe it's a gap between a standing pallet and the terrain it's next to, or maybe it's


If you've played DBD for a while, you probably have a sense for how survivors like to run structures.

Most of them do the same maneuvers subconsciously, only altering them if they see or hear you do something that requires them to change course (or if they've started to realize you're the type to do weird #########).

If you're running a survivor around some kind of window tile where they are encouraged to run past the window to make distance from you (L-T walls, jungle gyms, shack, house of pain's side window, there are a lot of these), you can capitalize on their habits.

If you expect them to run past the window... throw your tentacle through the window at the moment you think they'll run past.

Turning the Corner

The Audio cue for Nemesis starting his projectile is pretty quiet, so people attempting to juke it will rely on the visual of the tentacle in the air.

If a survivor turns a corner into a straightaway, the fact they can no longer see the tentacle for a moment is exactly what you need to get a hit.

Turn the corner while preparing your whip and whip them before they get to a pallet.

Keep in mind that this does not work if they vault a window, as using your whip into a frame at any kind of shallow angle will likely result in the whip hitting the window frame.


If you've conditioned a survivor into thinking you'll go for a whip at the pallet, and they're just holding W, try simply tapping M2.

You move at 3.8 m/s for 0.35 seconds, 4.2 for 1.5 seconds, and then can move/attack normally.

This isn't very punishing at all, so you can likely just go for a normal M1 afterwards (either on the next loop or after bodyblocking them trying to get back to the pallet).


Niche, but useful.

You move at 98% speed, while holding the tentacle, so you can't do this forever but it has its uses, especially at shack and jungle gyms.

Playing Generic Tiles

I can't go over every tile in the game, but I can go over a couple of the generic ones to get the core concepts of the killer across.

L-T Walls

These are the most unsafe maze tile in the game, and this goes your power, but will leave you with fewer chances to make plble against Nemesis.

Normally you would want to run this tile counterclockwise, as this allows the killer to make up a lot of distance from the survivor being forced to swing out from the tile to get fast vaults. You can use your power when running the tile this way, but you don't have to.

Running the tile clockwise is not ideal, but sometimes you just have to; maybe reversing it would take too much time or allow them to get to a stronger tile. Fortunately, as long as you're in Tier 3, Nemesis can handle this.

  1. The survivors approach the windows from head on when running LT walls clockwise, meaning you have an easy shot for Tentacle Strike if you're within reach. As long as you watch out for window fakes, you're golden.
  2. This tile is full of Corners where you can turn directly into a whip given the right proximity.
    1. Rounding the outside of the L-wall (pretty reliable)
    2. Rounding the tip of the L-wall (somewhat reliable, watch for window fakes)
    3. Rounding the outside of the T-wall and aiming for the tip as the survivor rounds it (unreliable)
    4. Rounding the tip of the T-wall (somewhat reliable, watch for window fakes)

Additionally, this is the perfect tile to go for Peekaboo shots. Bait the survivor into thinking you're changing the direction you're running around the tile to trick them into rounding the wide end of the tile.

If you do this on the T-wall, you need to be T3 in order for it to work, as there's a 6 meter distance between the tip of the T-wall and the window. Same deal if you're trying to do this on The L-wall while baiting them into moving around the end toward the middle of the structure. If you're baiting the L-wall while making them run across the outside, however, you can do that in T1 or T2 (though you need to commit slightly more).


So long as you are in Tier 3, Nemesis has one of the better shack games (if you discount how he may need to hit three times).

While playing the window, you want one of three things to happen.

  1. The survivor vaults out while you are inside the shack, which is an easy hit.
  2. The survivor vaults in after thinking they're safe from having vaulted where you'd have to take a shot at a glancing angle.
  3. The survivor runs alongside the outside of the window without vaulting it, allowing you to either play the window from the inside (at a head on angle) or to play the pallet from the outside.

If they attempt to round the corner with no window on it, depending on proximity, you will have two tries to make a cornershot (once as they move along the longwall, and again as they approach the pallet).

If you approach the pallet from the outside, hold the tentacle.

  1. If they hold W without dropping, move to bodyblock the window as you release the tentacle (likely getting an M1).
  2. If they predrop and run for the door/window, take the shot. Worst case, you break the pallet and pursue. Best case, you get a hit anyway.
  3. If they predrop and then hide in the corner to avoid getting hit, break the pallet and mindgame to your advantage from there. They may immediately vault (in which case you should go around the outside for the free hit) or they may go for the door (in which case you should pursue for the free M1).
  4. If they drop in your face, hit them.

If you approach the pallet from the inside, also hold the tentacle.

  1. If they hold W without dropping...
    1. ...and go towards the window, drop tentacle and hold W at them, mindgaming the vault.
      1. If they try to medium vault, tap M1.
      2. If they veer out, resist the urge to lunge in case it's a fake, then tap M1.
      3. If they hold W, you will soon get a chance to play the window from the inside, which favors you.
    2. ...and they go along the side without the window, go for a cornershot.
  2. If they drop in your face, hit them.
  3. If they predrop, you can try to hit them as they go, but will likely need to break the pallet.
    1. If they continue trying to play shack without the pallet, you can play as in 1.a