I'm taking a break from my usual dunking on dingdongs who don't know how to brain for a PSA.
Somehow, people still don't know how to beat Nest, because apparently reading kits is hard. Never fear! I have assembled a handy guide to Nestbusting, for the next time she rears her oddly-shaped head in Grand Arena or Territory War. Read on!
Why Can't I Kill Nest?
Nest has a nifty little mechanic called "bonus protection." She's not totally unique in this - Traya has it too - but she is unique in that she can fairly easily stack it to infinity, thereby becoming extremely difficult or impossible to kill for a lot of teams.
Bonus protection is different from Protection Up in that it's not a buff. That means you can't get rid of it with a dispel, and you can't prevent it. Ain't no way, ain't no how.
What triggers this? Hitting her. With anything at all that does any damage. Every time you take a whack at her, she'll gain protection equal to 40% of her health. This means that basically only your first hit, and maybe the second, will do any "real" damage. After that her protection will just keep ramping up and she'll laugh at you while you flail helplessly at her and she counters you to death. So how do you get rid of this protection?
Simple. You wait. It resets back to zero at the start of her turn (any "real" protection she still had will still be there, though). That gives you an opening to hit her again. So really, you can beat her with just about any team if you just avoid hitting her more than once on each of her turns. Of course, this isn't always practical, either because you already killed the rest of her team, or because she's been modded to be really slow and her turns take forever to come up. She's countering every hit and constantly gaining more crit damage, so eventually you may still lose the war of attrition even if you understand how this works.
Okay, Cool, But How Do I Deal With Her, Then?
First, let's get those counters handled. As I said, she gains crit damage over the course of the match - 2% every time your team loses a buff or debuff, which ramps up quick - so eventually she'll start one-shotting your team if you're taking too long to beat her. How should we prevent this?
Daze: prevents any TM gain or out-of-turn attacks. The first part doesn't really help, but the second will shut down her counters and prevent her constant clapbacks.
Stun: prevents any action at all, including her normal attack when her turn comes up. The preferable solution if you have it available.
Stealth: not nearly as common, but stealthed characters can't be countered, so this can help as well - Dooku, for instance, can stealth a whole Separatist team save the tanks.
Now, of course, wily Nest users have figured out that Stun and Daze shut her down, which is why you see her modded for crazy tenacity so often. As such, ideally you'll want:
Tenacity Down: Can't be resisted, debuffs target tenacity by like a billion, and cancels out Tenacity Up.
DON'T DRAIN NEST'S TURN METER.
Again, her protection only resets at the start of her turn. So while draining turn meter is excellent against pretty much everyone else, it's the absolute worst thing you can do when facing Nest.
So let's recap: your ideal Nestbusting kit should have Tenacity Down and either Daze or, preferably, Stun. It should also not drain turn meter. Ideally, you're hitting her once after each of her turns, then leaving her alone until she takes another turn so that you aren't wasting damage on her bonus protection.
But Building Teams Is Haaaaaard. Just Tell Me Who To Use.
Fine, you lazy bag of butts. Here are some teams that can bring the smuggler low and put an end to your contraband consternation.
Sith w/ Darth Nihilus
Darth Nihilus, of course, doesn't need to care about protection at all, because he can just wind up an Annihilate and be like LOL DELETED. This is by far the easiest way to deal with Nest, as it completely circumvents the need to do damage and removes her from the board.
If used under Traya, you can also use Isolate on whatever tank is present to prevent taunts and ensure you have a clear shot at her when it's ready to go. Palpatine lead will feed you turn meter and get the Annihilate primed faster, and even a zeta Darth Maul can be useful here by keeping your team mostly stealthed and thus counter-immune. Dooku or Sith Assassin can provide stuns if needed, and the Assassin also grants bonus turn meter for rapid Annihilate priming. You'll probably have Sion and possibly also Sith Trooper, who can keep Nihilus safe while he does his thing.
Pros: Virtually guaranteed to work. Sith can also beat most teams on offense, up to and including a Malak-less Darth Revan, so whoever Nest is paired with shouldn't pose a problem.
Cons: None really. The only real downside is that using Nihilus to beat Nest prevents you from using him to delete another troublesome character.
Jedi Knight Revan
Nest enjoyed a brief period as the JKR counter of choice, until CG put a stop to it by adding a specific Nest-killer to his lead: Jedi under him will reduce the max health of targets with bonus protection. This means the protection she gains also gets whittled down, eventually to negligible amounts. This can be resisted, so a very tenacious Nest can potentially still cause issues, but you should sneak enough health reductions through that she eventually becomes crippled and goes down.
Pros: It's JKR, man. He beats **** near everything. You'd have to try to lose this one.
Cons: Being the handy Swiss army knife that he is for both offense and defense, it's kind of overkill and leaves you without one of your best squads for beating other difficult opponents.
JTR tends to get overlooked these days as she can't really stand up to any of the recent metas, but her team makes a stellar Nest killer. BB8 inflicts Tenacity Down and Daze on his basic, and R2D2 inflicts Stun. You're also very likely to get a few turns in before your opponent can act due to BB8, R2 and Rey's turn meter interactions. The other two members are flexible and depend on who Nest is teamed with, but Resistance Trooper and Stick Rey should be fine most of the time.
You're going to kill off whoever else Nest is teamed with. When she's the last one standing, hit 4x auto for BASICS ONLY. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you allow specials, JTR's lead and Mind Tricks will drain Nest's turn meter and apply Speed Down, which can prevent her ever taking a turn and cause a time-out.
On basic-only, though, BB8 and R2 will keep her stunlocked and dazed, regardless of her tenacity score, so you just need to wait it out and she'll eventually go down. If facing a fast Nest, you can drop a Mind Tricks in there if needed, but it shouldn't be necessary.
Pros: High success rate, provided you can take out the rest of Nest's team. She is often paired with Carth or Bounty Hunters, who are both easy pickings for Rey.
Cons: Nest is also often paired with Nightsisters, who Rey is extremely vulnerable to, even if they aren't particularly fast. In this case, go for another solution if at all possible.
Add Nest to the list of things the sisters can steamroll. Your standard Talzin-lead team should have minimal difficulty with her. Daka and Ventress both stun on their basic, and the Zombie provides Tenacity Down for tenacious Nests. Bonus: under Talzin lead, all specials will apply Plague, which deals 5% HP damage through protection when it's applied. So even if she never takes a turn you can still bring her down.
Pros: Direct health damage via Plague, multiple stuns, Talia can cleanse Nest's AOE daze if present. Talzin's mass assist can be used to apply Stun or Tenacity Down in a pinch. Nightsisters can beat a wide variety of teams.
Cons: Nightsisters are vulnerable to AOE-heavy teams, so a very fast Bounty Hunter or zCarth team is potentially problematic. Both pack a lot of AOE damage, have beefy tanks, and heal constantly (Bossk lead only for BH), which makes it hard to keep Plague wearing them down. Jango lead doesn't heal, but his lead cancels out MT lead's speed advantage and he prevents revives. If not using Talia, Nest's AOE daze can also be a problem. These are all still winnable, you just need to play more carefully.
You know, that team you've been throwing on defense and forgetting about since forever?
Hunters have all the necessary tools to beat Nest - your main obstacle here is going to be the team around her. As for Nest herself, Dengar can apply Tenacity Down and stuns are available from Bossk, Dengar, Cad Bane, or Aurra Sing. Jango can reduce Nest's max health, and Embo can also hit through protection once his payout is triggered, which speeds things along.
Pros: You most likely farmed this team anyway for Chewie. This gives you a way to use them beyond defensive filler, and lets you save other Nest counters for other difficult teams.
Cons: Embo and Aurra are both extremely useful here, but not commonly farmed characters. Bossk-lead hunters will be sluggish until they get their payout, which makes them susceptible to fast teams. If using Jango lead, Nestsisters can be a challenge if they get Plague going. If using Greedo, you'll need to be careful not to use his TM drain special on Nest. Dengar's Tenacity Down isn't 100% reliable, which can be a problem against the tenacious Nests.
I'm not gonna lie, this shouldn't be your first choice, but they can get the job done.
Kylo Unmasked has both Tenacity Down on his basic and a two-turn irresistable stun, which makes keeping Nest herself at bay fairly easy. Like bounty hunters, your main challenge is going to be her supporting cast. Also, once you've got it down to just Nest, you'll need to carefully avoid feeding your own team turn meter (which FO does a lot of) or draining Nest's turn meter with the Officer.
Pros: Similar to BH, these guys often get relegated to defensive fodder, so this gives you another way to use them. Loads of turn meter gain and +30 speed leadership mean they aren't as dependent on speed as some other teams, so you don't need super crazy speed mods to make them work. KRU's lengthy stun is extremely good crowd control. Can beat Nightsisters, who are arguably the most troublesome team that Nest gets tossed into.
Cons: Lots of people stop gearing them after they get BB8, so they may be underpowered. Most also skip the Stormtrooper, who is part of the optimal team. Can't throw on auto if Nest is the last one standing, as their massive TM gains + Officer's TM drain can cause a time out.
DON'T USE REBELS.
Seriously. Just don't. I know CLS/Han/Chewie/3P0/+1 works against nearly everything else, but Nest will destroy them. CLS, 3P0, and Han all have TM drain on their basic, CLS inflicts Speed Down as well, and Chewie inflicts Tenacity Down. This means even a tenacity-modded Nest will sit there, never taking a turn and amassing ever more ludicrous amounts of protection while you helplessly beat on her until the clock runs out.
You CAN beat Nest with the Rebels, but there's just no reason to do that to yourself when better options exist.
There you go. That's it. You no longer have an excuse to lose to Nest. Go forth and crush her with impunity.