Just looking at Nordis’s awakenings, he seems to be an extremely strong farmable drop. Sadly, context is everything. While gravities have regained some legitimacy due to the Ultimate Arena, Nordis is simply outclassed by Zeus & Hera for that purpose. His awakenings are strong, but neither wood nor light have a pressing need for rows. His types are just the nail in the coffin; light-dragons are fine, but balanced may as well be useless. As a leader, he’s just a weaker version of the Awoken Chinese, resisting one less element, having a smaller ATK boost and limiting subs to dragons. As such, it’s questionable that he’ll ever find a good use.
Just How Good Are His Awakenings?
While Nordis comes with some impressive awakenings, don’t let the sheer number distract you from the fact that he really only comes with six. There isn’t an optimal team in the game that can make good use of two different row elements, meaning one set is going to go unused. In Nordis’s case it will usually be the wood rows, but a monster with two light rows, two skill boosts, a finger and a skill bind resist is still solid. It’s just unfortunate that they didn’t decide to push him and gave him TPAs or more light rows instead.
Uses on Light-Dragon Teams
Light-dragons have pretty solid support and this is the type of team Nordis would see the most use in, as a leader or a sub.
Nordis is a niche leader at best. When paired with another Nordis, you get 9x ATK for dragons and 49% light and wood reduction. This isn’t a horrible deal, but considering that there aren’t many dungeons that line up well with the resists — amusingly, his own dungeon is probably his best matchup — and that the awoken Chinese, Greco-Romans and Susano are generally better at what they do, Nordis shouldn’t see much play as a leader unless you have a thing for dragons. There are possibilities in pairing him up with something like Apocalypse or Indra for no-dupes like Sandalphon, but like I said, he’s pretty niche.
As a sub, though, you have to consider what teams are even out there for him to sub on. This will generally be limited to light-dragon teams as Zeus & Hera is generally a better option outside of that. Probably the best leads for the job are Apocalypse and Indra, although if you’re already running an Apoc team you’re likely already aware of what Nordis brings to the team. Here’s an example of an Apocalypse team with Nordis almost clearing the Ultimate Arena; at least he got past the Kali nuke:
Sadly, it appears that Kanna is simply a better leader than Apocalypse. Equally sad, Nordis doesn’t qualify for the team since he lacks god type. Even if he did, Zeus & Hera are the better choice.
The last real sub option for Nordis is Sonia Gran. She’s a bit outdated, but is still great as a farmable lead. Sun Quan is usually used to cover wood on that team, but if you don’t have one, Nordis is one of the better farmable options. It sure would’ve been nice if he came with orb enhances instead of wood rows.
Uses on Wood-Dragon Teams
Wood-dragons are clearly inferior to their light brethren, which is a bit sad since it has Zeal, GSonia and GGY, the original dragon leaders. Nordis is more of a leader here than sub, but either way his uses are extremely niche. The only YouTube video I could find of him leading was a Duel Masters Collab clear using a predominately wood team.
Well, enough focus on dragons. Does Nordis serve a purpose on other types of teams? Not really. He has a niche role as a farmable sub on light rainbow teams covering wood, but that spot is usually better filled by LValk who is cheaper to skill up and provides a more useful active. Nordis does bring a different toolset to the table, though, in that he has two skill boosts, a time extend and skill bind resist, none of which LValk has. The skill bind resist is particularly valuable for those relying on farmable subs and the finger goes a long ways toward hitting your rainbow requirement. Forgoing skill ups to use him as an awakening stick is a totally valid use. Unfortunately, if you’re scraping for an emergency sub for your light team, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to clear his dungeon to get him in the first place, further limiting his usefulness.
While not everything can be pushed as hard as Zaerog∞, it’s a shame that they didn’t push Nordis harder. It’s easy to say dark has an overabundance of toys in hindsight — it actually didn’t at the time Zaerog∞ was released, basically only Juggler whose use was already on the decline — but it would’ve been nice if they had planned for the future better and distributed the toys evenly amongst all the elements and archetypes. Light-dragons are actually really interesting and all it would take is one elite-level monster to push them over the top. Apocalypse is stronger than one might think, especially since he was basically a joke the majority of the time he was a GFE, but he’s not quite there. One might argue that Kanna is that monster, but I regard her more as a god-based team than dragon.
All in all, Nordis is fairly strong, but due to poor support he’ll be easily forgotten. I used the word niche many times in this post for good reason and that’s where he’ll remain for the foreseeable future.