(Enchanter) Nami inflation
Quick Nami AP Support Build
Best Overall Build
Hi there, I'm Bad at Nami, an EUW Nami main since season four. I managed to peak Masters in S11 thanks to elo inflation, and have recently managed to break in to grandmaster.
I am mechanically terrible, but that's the good news. The guide aggregates my Nami (and support) knowledge, and does not require any amazing skill to pull off. I have only ever had good mental and macro on my side, and the latter will be taught in this guide.
This is not a guide for the Electrocute playstyle, I was never personally a fan of it for solo queue and it was gutted by Riot so there is no reason to run it in my opinion. Aery is stronger, more reliable, and more accessible, so you are running a suboptimal rune page if you use Electrocute.
There are minor mistakes in this guide, I know, and I apologise. Unfortunately though, due to the size of the guide it is very difficult to keep it up to date since the editor is glacially slow and prone to crashing. I’ve contacted support about it and they say they’re working on features that will help this, but for now if you read something that looks out of date, disregard it.
Feel free to keep an eye on my op.gg for what I am currently up to, I tend to stream my solo queue adventures on Twitch so I’m not utterly alone, and I also have a YouTube channel which typically has very niche Nami content such as trying to get frame perfect bubbles on enemies.
This section is to track the more important changes to the guide, so that if you are returning to try stay up to date, you do not need to re-read it entirely because that would be absurd. Obviously this won’t contain every change, but a general summary along the lines of “previously it was good to do X, but now I believe Y is better because Z”. The game evolves due to patches, so this should not be a surprise.
Electrocute is even more dead than it previously was. You are griefing if you take Electrocute. Hourglass is too expensive to buy in most games, you can only really go it if you absolutely need it now, instead of as a generally good defensive idea.
Very little substance changes for this update, instead I attempted to reorganise the matchups section in the hopes it would improve the performance of the guide.
I no longer think Shurelya’s is generally the best mythic for Nami. This is a combination of the change to
I maintain that if you are brand new to Nami, Shurelya’s is a good default option while you are learning how to play and what your limits are, but once you are more adept then Mandate will generally be better.
Itemisation is less clear cut and should now be based on the game in question.
I consider Electrocute to be well and truly dead, and you are actively hindering yourself if you take it.
At the moment, I quite like Guardian with Sorcery secondary for tough engage lanes such as Nautilus.
I believe that the following is important to understand about Nami and support in general, before we dive in to things like her runes and items:
- Nami likes CDR, not so much raw AP. She has decent base numbers but fairly weak scaling, so if you are looking to make her more effective you should generally look to prioritise Ability Haste over Ability Power (or magic pen). However...
- Nami's high mana costs are significant and need to be managed or mitigated. You will struggle if you do not itemise mana, or if you are spamming spells in the early game. If you are looking to play for the early game then AP is fine, Haste is more for scaling in to the mid/late game where you're able to get multiple spell rotations off.
- Nami does not excel at any particular thing. Her strength comes from her versatility, so if you are looking to play her as a primary healer, engager, peeler etc, you will struggle.
- In solo queue you are the only constant. You should endeavour to adopt a playstyle that consistently gives good results, and if you are good then you should aim to express your skill to have greater influence over the game.
For the time being, we'll ignore Moonstone. Riot doesn't care about their lore, so neither do we. Mythic choice will come down to either Shurelya's or Mandate in almost every game, and with respect to Nami the pros and cons are as follows:
Shurelya's: + Active and passive help to mitigate Nami's weakness as a squishy and immobile champion + Mythic passive is Ability Haste + Active enables picks + Active and passive movespeed helps carries to stay alive in fights - Due to soft caps on movespeed you no longer gain as much value as you once did since
Mandate: + Greater burst from the passive, which can trigger multiple times in drawn out fights + No active to manage + Gives a bit of movespeed when allies trigger the mark on enemies, which aids them in fights - Mythic passive gives AP instead of AH - Damage falls off if not ahead (225 damage at level 18 is nothing) unless the enemy team is very squishy - Cannot choose who gets the movespeed speed, since it is granted to the ally that consumes the Mandate mark on an enemy
In general, based on the respective strengths and weaknesses of each item on Nami, you will see more value and consistent results with Mandate instead of Shurelya's. This is because:
- The Shurelya’s playstyle is best when you and your allies need to kite. This could be because the enemy has a lot of divers, or your win condition is to play around an ADC that needs to stay alive and dish out damage particularly against a tank or bruiser. The trouble is that that is not too common nowadays. It’s long been a meme to say ADC is an irrelevant role, but there is honestly truth to it. One of the things that allowed me to become unstuck was one day I just happened to watch an ADC player doing an explanation video of the importance of not dying to the enemy jungler. When the job of an ADC is to avoid enabling an enemy playing a relevant role in the hopes they can make it to the point later in the game where they can match the other roles in strength, it’s not a stretch to say that ADC is weak (at least in terms of carry potential in solo queue). Which begs the question, why put so much effort in to enabling your ADC, when you could get better results playing around someone that is able to do more with less? And that’s generally how my games tend to go; the win condition is not to play around my ADC and instead jungle and/or mid. Generally Mandate tends to be better with the meta mid/jungle champions, and so generally it is best to go Mandate.
- Allies with First Strike are amazing with Mandate since they can apply and trigger the mark instantly with First Strike, and there are quite a lot of meta First Strike users.
- AP heavy builds tend to mean you have more impact in a game, and if you’re a good player then exerting greater influence over the game will be beneficial to your climb. You are the only constant in solo queue after all.
- You and ADCs don’t really need Shurelya’s to stay alive anymore, generally speaking. The durability patch changes mean you don’t just die if looked at wrong, so it’s not as devastating if you’re getting dove on. This is of course not to say you should be positioning recklessly, but the days of an assassin being able to kill you with a mediocre combo are largely over.
Moonstone: + Negate poke + Can help to keep allies alive if Shurelya's movespeed is unlikely to make a difference - Nami is not meant to be a dedicated healer - Healing reduction is all over the place I can probably count on my hands the number of times I have gone Moonstone since the item rework and did so because I believed it to be the correct choice. It is very niche and I would not generally recommend it, because Nami is not meant to be an exceptional healer. She has one ability in her entire kit that heals, and the only shielding you'll ever do is the tiny one from Aery. There is no reason to pick Nami with the goal of being a healer, unless you consider yourself above being a dirty Soraka abuser. It can be legitimate to flex in to being a healer if the game demands that you need to keep your allies healthy, but it is quite rare for that to be your win condition as Nami.
Conclusion You should try to consider what mythic will give you the most value in each game. The default choice should be Mandate, however you may get more value out of other mythics in the following scenarios:
- You and your allies need the on demand movespeed to avoid being picked. E.g. Bard’s is a pretty devastating pick tool for you, and a good Bard is a nightmare to play in to without Shurelya’s.Tempered Fate
- Your win condition is to play around a hypercarry ADC that just needs to kite and DPS freely, especially in to tanks. E.g. you are playing with a strong Vayne that just needs to be able to chew through the enemy team.
- The game has gone on extremely late and Mandate is not particularly impactful. Often in the extreme late game when everyone is full build, Mandate does very little and your ADC should be able to pump out damage as long as they’re safe.
- You and your allies need the on demand movespeed to avoid being picked. E.g. Bard’s
- You are playing in to a poke composition with strong disengage or reasons not to dive the backline. E.g. playing against a strong poke mage with a Janna or a Lulu that is able to shut down your allies' aggression.
- It is a priority to keep yourself and your allies healthy to prevent execute and/or reset champions.
- You are supporting someone such as a Kalista that just needs to stay alive in fights but does not benefit from Shurelya's movespeed.
Aery vs Electrocute is in two parts; the Keystone rune itself, and the other runes that the respective trees allow you to take. (This section is being removed and incorporated in to the rest of the guide, for now it is a time capsule that you can skip if you don't care for my rantings about why Electrocute was never good outside of pro play).
Keystone As already stated, I tend to value utility and consistency over extra damage. Aery provides a shield and comparable damage during lane phase to Electrocute, because the effective cooldown for Aery is much lower and Aery is easier to use. A single usage of Electrocute deals roughly triple the damage of Aery, but in practice Aery will do about 50-70% of the damage Electrocute would deal throughout lane phase.
The Electrocute damage can situationally make a difference, especially since it is burst damage, but more often than not the extra damage will not consistently make a difference. Even with a bursty ADC such as Lucian, the amount that Electrocute or Domination runes actually give is surprisingly little. I did a video looking at this if you're curious, but I think you'd be surprised at how overrated the damage Electrocute gives Nami is.
Extra damage is also not always optimal for trading patterns in lane, when compared to mitigation of return damage. A good way to conceptualise this is to consider one of the many supports that have better sustain than you, such as Yuumi, Senna, or Soraka. Because of resistances, the amount that Aery shields is more or less the same as the amount of damage Electrocute will deal, although in the early game when this matters Aery will mitigate marginally more. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that they do the exact same, with Aery preventing 30 damage and Electrocute dealing 30 damage. This means that the same trade with Electrocute will bring you and the enemy to 30 lower HP, however because they have better sustain which you cannot match, you effectively lose that trade because someone like Soraka has an easier time sustaining through that damage.
And this isn’t just for sustain supports, if the enemy has a tank support such as a Leona for example, you want to stay healthy and the Electrocute damage doesn’t mean much against them. A Nautilus can just walk up and soak the damage with his shield, and then your threat against the enemy AD is greatly diminished.
Also consider how when you typically are “meant to” take Electrocute is kill lanes, such as with a Lucian. In such lanes, you often want to max
As a pure damage rune, Electrocute offers no utility, whereas Aery offers:
- More favourable trades through damage mitigation with the shield
- An additional way to proc items like Ardent Censer and Staff of Flowing Water (Nami only has her W otherwise)
- Better options for Primary and Secondary runes that Nami likes
The Domination Primary Problem Taking Electrocute means you are not only taking an arguably less effective Keystone, but it forces you to take Domination as your Primary runes. The problem with this is that Nami likes very few of the runes in Domination, with only two actually good runes which belong to the same tier and cannot both be taken, Relentless and Ingenious Hunter. There are a few runes that are alright, Cheap Shot and Taste of Blood, but the tier which gives up to 30 AP is lackluster due to Nami's poor scaling.
Additionally Domination offers no mana at all, so for your Secondary runes you are forced to go either Sorcery for Manaflow Band, Inspiration for Cookies, or Precision for Presence of Mind, and are unable to take the best rune in the game, Future's Market.
Rigid Playstyle Taking Electrocute means going all in on the laning phase, and makes your win condition incredibly fragile. In solo queue, this is bad, and it doesn't even necessarily have anything to do with how you play.
Perhaps you get a Lucian player that picked him on the strength of the combo, only to dash in level 1 and get blown up. Perhaps you have to weakside and can't make use of Electrocute in the early levels to get an advantage, leading to you falling off hard. Or perhaps you genuinely make a misstep and lose lane control early because of a bad trade.
Whatever the reason, adopting a playstyle centered around coinflipping the game very early is not a reliable way to climb or improve as a player. I've heard some people say it is a must in high elo, but it doesn't matter. Whether or not it is correct to pick Electrocute if you're player in Challenger or Professionally, very few people are, and if you're new to Nami reading this guide then you are certainly not.
If you've read everything up until now, it should come as no surprise that Aery with Inspiration Secondary is what I consider to be her best overall page. Runes are, of course, matchup dependent, and I cannot possibly cover optimal runes for every matchup in the game, so instead in this section I explain each rune that may be worth taking (or may seem good but actually aren't) and leave it to up to you to optimise as necessary.
If you've locked Nami with 25 seconds to go until game start, pick one of the pages below now and come back for more information later.
- Standard Page
- Precision Secondary
- smd Blitz/Nau
All are rubbish.
I sometimes take this in to scaling lanes where the enemy is very threatening early, such as against a Blitzcrank.
I usually favour Attack Speed when playing aggressive in lane, since your AP ratios are low enough that you will get more value out of AA harass. It also allows you to push waves faster, kill wards a bit quicker, and having a shorter AA animation can make you a bit more slippery to engage upon by the champion you're attacking. There are several matchups where you want to properly space opponents and take short trades just outside of their range. Thresh for example will look to
If looking to scale and be more of an Enchanter, Ability Haste is the preferred option.
Usually Adaptive Force is the go to, however if you're in a lane where there is heavy threat from a particular type of damage, you can take a defensive shard to be a bit tankier. Lanes where the damage is near exclusively one type such as, Cait Senna, Draven Pyke, or Ziggs Lux, are good candidates for double defensive runes.
Armour or MR depending on what you need. Never health, you get a decent amount of health from support items, and you have healing. You get much more value out of resistances and having a higher effective health.
As I've touched on several times, I genuinely believe Future's Market to be one of the best, if not the best, rune in the game, particularly on supports (and sometimes on jungle).
Supports operate on reduced economy, and you can run in to problems with inventory space in the mid game whilst sitting on components. FM goes a long way to mitigating this, and it offers you the flexibility to buy items you otherwise couldn't which is great for acquiring or pushing a lead. Having almost 200 more effective gold on your first back is huge, especially if it's the difference between getting an important item or not.
Consider the difference between completing Mythic vs sitting on the components because you recalled with 500 gold. Yes you need to pay 50 gold to use it which seems bad as a support, but:
- You are not forced to use Future's when shopping. If you're in base and there aren't objectives coming up, or you wouldn't hit a significant spike by using FM, then you can just choose to not use it.
- The amount of pressure you can get from a FM purchase are usually far more impactful than being down 50 gold, and if it means that you get a kill or assist you wouldn't have otherwise, you and your team just earned than 50 gold and then some.
And if it means you win a teamfight you otherwise wouldn't have because you had more CDR or anti-heal? If it means that the enemy has to take a bad recall timing, or just concede a few minions? If you got a successful roam off with the tier 2 boots you managed to get on first recall?
If you're the type of Nami player that has been playing with Cookies, please give Future's Market a try for a few games instead and welcome to the world of tomorrow.
You generally want to take
If your win condition is to counter assassins/divers and/or keep a carry alive, then
Once again, there are too many variables in a game of League to pigeonhole the skill order in to such neat categories as "vs ranged" or "vs melee". Instead I will explain why you would look to make certain skilling decisions, and leave it up to you to decide when to deviate from the normal setup.
Generally, you will look to take
You would take
You would take
Generally you will get the most value of
For example, you may take
Generally you will get the most value out of a second point in to
Whatever you haven't taken so far.
As mentioned previously,
For example, you may be playing with a Samira against a bot lane duo that has little ability to poke you down. Samira tends to heal for a lot, so your healing will do very little, and she loves to all in and do damage.
Don't forget, that you can also put a few points in to
You know the drill by now. League is too variable and all that. We've also already discussed Mythic Choices, so this section will focus on discussing other items, but a summary is included for the Mythics.
In the early game, you will usually look to rush
You should not rush
- 20 AP
- 10 AH
- 50% Mana Regen
Lucidity boots gives you:
- 20 AH
- 45 MS
- 12 Summoner Spell AH
You get more Haste, are harder to catch, and will have more impact over the game.
You will generally always make your first purchase tier two boots, unless you know you will look to buy an expensive boot, or if you really need to get an early Mythic spike.
From there, assess the game state.
You are the support for the team, consider who you should play around on your team and who you need to play around on the enemy team, building accordingly.
This section is broadly organised by how useful options generally are, with the more useful items at the top of a list. Note that an item being further down the list does not mean it is bad, just that it is rarer for the item to be the optimal choice.
This section is not exhaustive, metas evolve, and some people just generally like to play off meta. Either way, it is important to know your enemy, so use resources such as op.gg to determine their likely skill order and how they'd like to play, use a Wiki to look up what their abilities do and their cooldowns, and use a service that gives live game data so you can check what their runes are. For example, a lot of melee supports are much more threatening if they have
These resources are helpful from a general perspective, even against meta champions, but I have compiled additional notes that are not necessarily obvious when reading their abilities. You can use this information to help play against them, but the best way to learn how to beat a champion is to try playing them for a few games yourself.
Because of how the site modules work and to avoid repetition, all ADC/APC matchups are included in the "Synergies" section, notes for them include insights in to how they work since it is important to know what your bot lane partner can and wants to do, and the same applies if you are facing them. If a champion is played as both a support and an ADC/APC, then they are included based on their most popular role.
Finally, note that just because I recommend a choice of item or summoner spell, does not mean you should always go it in that particular matchup. They are only one champion of five, and you also have to think about the general bot lane matchup as well as the 5v5. They are recommendations, but if you have a good reason to ignore them and make a different choice, that is completely valid.
I'm not going to do a bunch of mental gymnastics to explain why actually, Nami is a very complex champion and actually she takes a bunch of skill to master and anyone that makes fun of Nami players just doesn't how much depth she has.
She isn't quite as braindead as certain other supports, and she can be punishing if you mess up even slightly. But truth be told, most of the challenge when it comes to Nami comes from being a good support and player from a general perspective. That'll come in the next section, so for now let's look at the mechanics of Nami and things to keep in mind when using her abilities.
- Gives decaying movespeed for 1.5 seconds whenever any ability interacts with you or an ally. If your ultimate,, touches an ally, they gain double the value.Tidal Wave
- You can use this to try make skillshots easier to dodge. For example, if you see a Pyke begin to throw his hook, you can instantly gain your passive by self castingand using the movespeed to make the hook easier to dodge.Tidecaller's Blessing
- The movespeed can be useful to engage/disengage. Use it to get in range of an enemy to trade or pick them, or get away from an enemy and kite backwards.
- If you are trying to optimise movespeed granted to allies (or yourself), stagger your abilities slightly since the movespeed does not stack. If you cast an ability on someone who already is affected by, then the new application will be granted to them and the previous buff will no longer affect them.Surging Tides
- A very easily dodged ability by decent players if they are not CCd or forced to move predictably. Therefore if you are trying to land Bubble on an enemy, you should do so when they are either CCd or moving predictably.
- Bubble takes a second to cast and land.
- You do not always have to land it, it can be alright to throw it in a manner that forces the enemy to walk away from where they want to go, such as towards your allies who are able to punish them for doing so.
- It is a Suspension, not a Knockup. This means that the duration is reduced by Tenacity.
- For the purposes of hitting allies to apply, the AOE is slightly larger.Surging Tides
- Your most reliable way to land Bubble is to first knock them up with, as it knocks them up for half a second and then applies a strong slow. It is not guaranteed, since they can use a blink or a fast dash after the Knockup ends, but most champions are vulnerable to this combo.Tidal Wave
- You can use the slow fromorTidecaller's Blessingto increase the likelihood that Bubble will land, however it is not necessarily reliable. If you could be easily punished by the enemy in the time Bubble is down should it not land, then it is often better to hold it and threaten with the fact it is off cooldown.Exhaust
- Use champion specific animations to go for Bubbles. For example,'sCaitlynfreezes her in place for about half a second for the cast time and it is quite a telegraphed ability. If you look for the Bubble then, she will often be forced toPiltover Peacemakeraway, or be hit by the Bubble.90 Caliber Net
- Where possible, try to play around CC (or the stasis effect from). It is hard for enemies to avoid Bubble when they are physically unable to dodge it.Zhonya's Hourglass
- This ability bounces up to twice between allies and enemies, but must bounce from ally to enemy, or enemy to ally.
- The bounce radius is ever so slightly larger than the initial case radius. If you find yourself just out of range of an enemy then you can castto still hit them.Ebb and Flow
- Be aware that this has a small cast time, which can get you killed if you are running away and enemies are close behind you.
- The healing from this ability isn't as much as you would expect, and it has a high mana cost in the early game. You should be trying to get more value out of a cast, unless healing is urgent, such as through stacking, getting additional bounces, or stackingManaflow Band.Spellthief's Edge
- This is a targeted ability and so will cause aggression from enemy minions.
- The damage and heal are modified by up to -15% per bounce, meaning subsequent bounces are weaker. The amount that it is modified by decreases with AP, and starts becoming stronger when you have over 200 AP.
- Empowers yourself or allies for their next 3 abilities or basic attacks, and for each unique attack or ability, consumes one stack to deal bonus damage and slow. Persistent or DOT attacks, eg'sMiss Fortunewill only apply the damage and slow once.Make It Rain
- Empowered AOE abilities will apply reduced bonus damage to minions.
- The bonus damage is complicated, but the important thing to note is that whoever receives the buff matters for calculating damage, as it uses their Magic Penetration, even though it's sort of your damage. All that maters is that when it comes to situations such as doing Dragon or Baron, to maximise damage you should generally give the buff to your allies with Magic Penetration.
- Due to the instant cast and it applying, you can instantly use it to give yourself (or an ally) a burst of speed without interrupting your movement.Surging Tides
- Onlymeaningfully interacts with this, asEbb and FlowandAqua Prisonboth apply stronger CC to enemies. You can castTidal Wavefirst, then useTidecaller's Blessingto apply the slow to an enemy from up to 800 units. This is longer than your autoattack range, as well as almost every other champion in the game, allowing you to safely put a bit more distance between yourself and an enemy whilst healing yourself, or slowing an enemy to allow you to chase them down for empowered autoattacks.Ebb and Flow
- You can castwhile an autoattack or an ability are already in flight, and the attack will still be empowered. In lane, enemies will be less likely to run away if you appear to just be autoattacking them, so if you autoattack them first and then castTidecaller's Blessingwhile it is in flight, you're more likely to get a good AA ->Tidecaller's Blessing-> AA trade which uses all three empowered stacks ofEbb and Flow.Tidecaller's Blessing
- An empowered autoattack will activate, but notManaflow Band, and notScorchunless they are already CCd.Cheap Shot
- It's slow and relatively thin with a half second cast time, so it can be difficult to actually land. You never really want to ult in the open in full view of the enemy, unless you do not need to land it and using it as a zoning tool or team speed buff is sufficient.
- Offensively,should ideally be used in a chokepoint, or as a secondary engage after one of your allies has initiated.Tidal Wave
- Defensively,should be used to counter an engage or dive attempt by the enemy team. Combo withTidal Wavewhilst they are CCd to try extend the CC duration.Aqua Prison
- You cannot ult +to reposition it and negate the cast time.Flash
- It slows for longer the further it has travelled, and takes about 3.25 seconds to travel the full length. This doesn't really end up meaning anything in practice, but there you go.
This section will be more general and abstract, and not necessarily specific to Nami. It will touch upon how you as a Nami player should be looking to play, however some of it will be transferrable to other supports, especially Enchanters. Once again, League is a game of innumerable variables which I cannot cover in one concise (or as concise as I can be) guide. We will be talking mainly about concepts, and it is up to you to take what you learn and apply it to specific games.
The game starts in Draft phase, and you should take this seriously. As Draft plays out, take a look at both your team and the enemy team and consider factors like:
- Do we win 2v2 early? Are you supporting ain toDravenVayneand are able to (and need to) stomp early, or are you supporting a scaling ADC in to a dominant early lane where your goal is to survive in to the mid/late game?Alistar
- How can you beat the enemy bot lane and when? Nami's strength is her versatility, and you are generally able to adapt to any matchup and try win. Consider whether the enemy has good sustain, or you might be able to establish a lead by aggressively trading and sustaining with. Consider what the enemy needs to do to be able to kill you. Consider if there are any particular spikes you need to wait for before you win, and play arounmd them. Consider if the lane is honestly just doomed and whether the win condition is to play for roams.Ebb and Flow
- What are my best Summoner Spells? There is little point takingin to a lane you're just looking to scale in since you only get significant value out ofIgniteearly.Ignite
- How can I optimise my Runes? Would you get more value out of swapping out a particular Rune for another in the same tier, and are your Shards correct for how you will be playing?
- How do the picks of the enemy team influence how you will need to play?
Try to consider these sorts of factors, because they can drastically alter how you will need to play the game.
- In the middle lane bush in botlane. This is good against ranged matchups, since control over the middle bush generally allows you to control the wave and hit level two first.
- In the river bush. This is good in to matchups that could sit in the closest lane bush (or in tri bush if you are on blue side and need to help your jungler), and try to take a fight when you walk to lane after leashing. Against someone likeorPyke, this is a very quick way to lose the lane, since they will either chunk you and force you to concede the lane, or kill you. By placing a ward in the river bush, you are able to know that it is safe to take that route to lane. This ward is also helpful against a scary level two ganker such asNautilusorJarvan IV.Nunu & Willump
- On a camp of the enemy jungler so you get more information about their early pathing.
Nami's level one is quite potent thanks to
Your goals at level one are generally as follows:
- Establish wave control
- Establish bush control
- Take favourable trades to try gain an advantage over the enemy
- Hit level two first where possible and press this advantage
There are few situations in the game where you will lose a trade at level two if the enemy is still level one. The only time I can ever recall this happening was a game where I played
By playing around this and pressing the lead while you have it, you can obtain a significant advantage in the lane either by killing the enemy, or just getting a lot of damage on them and forcing them to expend a lot of resources. If you are yet to properly play around this in your games as a support, I promise you that games will become so much smoother early on if you just learn and implement this one strategy. So let's.
The first thing to understand is what it takes to hit level two as a bot laner. You need the experience from all of the first wave, and the three melee minions of the second wave. Therefore, step one is to have an advantage with the wave by the time the second wave arrives. This is doubly important if you are against a support that has a
Once the second wave arrives, you want to desperately try kill the three melee minions before the enemy does the same to your wave, so that you can hit level two before them. If you are confident you will hit level two first, start walking up as the third melee minion is close to dying, and begin trading. If the enemy does not respect that you will be stronger, then as you hit level two you will almost certainly win the trade.
It should go without saying that if the opposite seems to be happening and you do not think you will hit level two first, then back off and wait for the wave to push in to you. You need to learn when to cut your losses and retreat, because otherwise you can very easily lose the lane, since you're now on the receiving end of the strategy.
If the enemy bot lane does respect that you will hit level two first, then you can walk up and simply threaten them away from the minion wave because you are level two and they are not. The goal now is to deny Gold from killing minions, Experience from being near dying minions, and getting favourable trades against enemies while they are not able to fight back.
Be careful though, there's a good chance that your ADC will not walk up and threaten with you. The enemy bot duo may be level one, but you're likely 1v2 against them, and also it's never good if you get pulled under tower by someone like a
If your ADC is good, they might look to perform something called a Cheater Recall, by amassing a large wave through a slow push of the second wave, followed by a hard push when the third wave arrives in order to crash the wave at the enemy tower. You are then able to recall, get a small item such as
Chances are though that your ADC won't do this, but you should still be aware if they are trying to do this, and support them in doing so.
Playing around minion waves in lane gives numerous advantages.
- Minions do quite a bit of damage early on. If you have more minions than the enemy and trade with them, if they attack you with an autoattack or a targeted ability, then they will cause your minions to attack them and take a fair amount of damage if they do not disengage. Keep in mind that the inverse of this is true, if you are trading in to an enemy in their minions, you can end up taking a significant amount of damage in return.
- Correct management of waves can give you an opportunity to set up plays where your enemies are forced to react later than you, or they are significantly punished. This is a concept known as Tempo, and an example of this we’ve already discussed is the Cheater Recall.
- You can set up a wave state that the enemy is unable to farm, or even soak experience. In the early game, denial of experience in particular can be extremely punishing when the XP required to level up is quite low, and you’re able to properly exert your lead over the enemy as a higher level champion.
At the start of the game, minions will more or less deal the same amount of damage to each other if left alone. Throughout the game the winning side will get stronger minions that deal more damage and take reduced damage from enemy minions, but we'll focus on the early game where wave management matters the most and is almost exclusively down to the position of minions and how you and the enemy are hitting the opposing side's minions.
For obvious reasons, if you kill a minion in the opponent's wave in a neutral lane state (i.e. the minions have met each other about the same distance from their Nexus), then you will have one more minion than the enemy wave. If you did absolutely nothing from then on, your minion wave would kill the enemy minion wave and start pushing towards the enemy's side of the lane. This is because you established a wave state where your minions had more HP and damage output than the enemy's, and so will prevail in an even fight.
If the minions meet on one side of the lane, then the next minion wave for that side will reach the fight sooner, and temporarily have the numbers advantage that was talked about in the previous paragraph. Consider the image below. If equal minions met where the red line is, then they are closer to the red side, and vice versa for the blue side. When the next wave arrives, it takes less time for the red minions to reach the red line than it would the blue minions, so the red wave has several seconds of being much stronger than the blue wave. This means that over time the red wave would become larger, and end up pushing towards the blue side. (If you didn't work it out, the green line represents a neutral lane state where it would be difficult to know which way the minions would push).
Once a wave is pushing, it will usually continue to do so until it is influenced by either a champion, or a turret. Now that we understand how minion waves behave, how do we apply this as a support? there can be a lot, but we'll just go over the main ways here for now:
- Create a big wave through a slow push. If you create a big wave through slowly pushing the wave and then finally crashing it on the enemy tower, then the enemy will be stuck dealing with it and present you with a window for the immediate future. We've already discussed an example of this, the Cheater Recall. By pushing a large wave in to the enemy tower, they have to take quite a bit of time to actually clear the wave, in which time you are able to recall and get back to lane without missing much. Their next wave meets the big wave at the tower, whilst yours ends up on the enemy side of the lane, before pushing to you, causing you to miss out on very little. You can do something very similar with a large wave, but instead of recalling, you can use this time to roam or help your jungler, without being easily punished.
- Freeze the wave to deny minions to the enemy. As already discussed, waves will normally continue to push if they have the numbers advantage, and you can exploit this by allowing a wave to push towards your side, but slowly kill the minions so that it remains more or less in the same position. This means that the enemy has to walk very far up in to the lane, leaving them vulnerable to pressure from you or your allies. This forces them in to an undesirable position, because they have to choose between being unsafe, or just falling behind.
- Keep the wave on your side of the lane to deny space to the enemy bot lane. Some champions such as Leona are a lot less scary if they just cannot reach you, and if you keep the minion wave one your side of the lane close to your tower, then she is physically unable to do anything beyond diving or roaming.
- Crash the enemy wave and look for good roams. You should ideally never roam when the wave is pushing towards the enemy. It puts your ADC in a very awkward position, since they are the one that has to overextend or fall behind, and if you are not there to back them up because you're roaming, they will often just die in that 1v2.
Keep in mind that these don't just apply to bot lane. As the team's support (and you are, there are three other team members that are not the ADC who you can help) you can exert a fair amount of pressure simply by going to another lane and helping with the wave, such as to allow your mid laner to get a good reset.
Trading in lane should generally be done to gain an advantage over the enemy. There are some exceptions to this, for example if you know your jungler is pathing towards you and the enemy's is pathing away, then you can trade aggressively and take trades that are not necessarily in your favour, but make the enemy very vulnerable to a gank. But of course, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't force your jungler to apply their hands to their keyboard and mouse, so for now we will focus on how you can trade in a way to gain advantages over the opponent.
The main resources that you (and enemies) have available are:
- Time (also known as Tempo)
Keep in mind that Nami has the ability to convert mana to health through
In lane when there is no reason not to, such as that it would put you in danger, the enemy is able to trade autoattacks back, or there is something more important to do such as establishing wave control, you should be autoattacking enemies early on. Remember that it causes enemy minions to attack you, even if you were previously unseen. If possible, step out of a bush before you attack, as you can quickly enter the bush to stop minions attacking you, as long as it is not warded. Since
As mentioned earlier, you should look to speed up your trades and reduce the chance of scaring the enemy off before you get in range by casting
Unless you lose the early fight, fight for control over the bushes. Just existing in a bush unseen makes you far more threatening since it is not immediately obvious to the enemy what you are doing. Consider how much more threatening a
The last concept to talk about for trading is something called "Parallel Positioning". This means you try to stand in line with your ADC, otherwise they are unable to back you up in a trade. Granted, they may not back you up in a trade anyway, but it's better to be aware of it and present the opportunity. Otherwise, if the enemy bot lane are standing in line with each other, then they can easily focus you and you will lose the trade.
Nami is squishy and immobile, so your best bet to deny an all in is to just not be vulnerable in the first place. You shouldn't be frontlining in fights, you can attempt to manage the wave in lane to deny space for the enemy to engage on you, that sort of stuff. But of course, it's not always possible to avoid the enemy engaging on you or your allies, and what then?
Your most potent response to most forms of engage is to throw
Sometimes, it is not possible to respond to an engage with
Your last resort is to attempt to use the movespeed from
In the early game, it can be very effective to keep track of the enemy jungler based on how many camps they have done and where they started. If you know what they can do based on what they've already done, you can make educated guesses about where they'll be and when, which can inform how you play.
This is only really effective early on since jungling is at it's most linear in the early game, but that can be enough.
The two main pieces of information to keep in mind are:
- Every jungle camp that is fully cleared gives 4 CS. The 3 Wolves? 4 CS. Gromp? 4 CS. Crab? 4 CS. The 10 Krugs? Believe it or not, 4 CS. If you press tab when the enemy jungler appears on the map, you can know how many camps they have done since you last saw them.
- To hit level 3, a jungler needs to clear 3 camps with only one being Raptors or Wolves. To hit level 4, a jungler needs to clear all 6 camps (or 5 camps with a few baby Raptors and the Crab).
Given we know whether or not a jungler has done Red or Blue because they grant a buff, and in which order because we can see the buff durations if we click on them, we can guess what amps they have done, and based on that we know when they are likely to do next. For example, if we see that they have 12 CS with a Blue buff, we know that they have done all three camps on their Blue side. If the Blue side is their bot side, then we know that they do not want to be bot side for the immediate future, as there is not much for them to do unless they are looking to invade your jungler's Red side.
If we know that they are unlikely to be on the bottom side of the map, then we can play aggressive for a short time, confident that the jungler will not show up to interrupt our fun.
Likewise, if we know that the enemy jungler is pathing towards us, we know that we need to be careful and respect the threat, otherwise we could die and be in trouble.
That's the short version, since we only really need to know the basics as a support, but I would recommend looking up how to improve your awareness in this area.
Roaming should be something we prepare for, as discussed in the Wave Management section, because otherwise you can very easily end up in a situation where your ADC is getting screwed over, so even if you manage to get a successful roam it's not necessarily net positive.
We should look to roam when there is nothing to do bot lane, such as after we have recalled or died and we do not need to head bottom straight away since nothing requires our attention there. In this case, try and set up vision around mid lane, or get deep wards in the enemy jungle in high traffic areas if it is safe to do so. Do not forget that you are squishy and immobile, so if you run in to the enemy jungler or support, you could just die.
If possible, you can also look to play with your mid or jungle to try and get a kill, or execute a macro strategy such as helping the mid laner fix their wave so that they can get a good reset.
It should go without saying that these options are available to the enemy support too. Make sure you communicate with pings with your allies to let them know when they need to respect the possibility of a roam, but unless you see them before they do it and they are not significantly ahead of you in tempo, don't follow them. Help allies if the fight comes close to you, but your roams are not very potent, and you should normally instead try to punish the enemy ADC if the roam is bad.
Once you have taken the enemy bot lane tower, you should normally try to rotate and swap with either top or mid, preferably the latter. You prefer as a support to be in the mid lane, as you are able to more easily roam and influence the whole map, but this is not always possible. If you have a mage for a mid laner that cannot safely side lane, such as a
You want to identify who is strong on your team that you can play around, and who you need to avoid on the enemy team. Do not try to play around your weak allies, you are an enchanter, and it is generally a bad idea since you can just lose even with a numbers advantage against a strong enemy.
You want to try and secure objectives and allow your allies to safely do what they want where possible. Be it getting wards to allow your splitpusher to safely side lane, allowing your ADC to siege a tower, or setting up picks with on enemies. Your job is to adapt to what the team needs, control vision, and avoid death where possible.
Make sure you are setting up plays ahead of time, otherwise it can be no good. You should be looking to recall and stock up on wards about a minute before a major objective such as Dragon or Baron is going to spawn, if you think there will be a teamfight for it. Where possible, try to refrain from using big cooldowns before these anticipated fights, unless doing so means there will be no fight. For example, don't use
Think about how you win and lose teamfights, then play around it, and don't waste cooldowns if it would stop you from playing around you win/lose. This isn't anything particularly out of the ordinary, if the game has reached this point then you want to be doing more of what you've done so far. The playstyle of a squishy enchanter doesn't suddenly deviate from playing in the backline protecting and empowering your allies just because you're 30 minutes in and Elder Dragon is spawning.
How many times can a Yasuo OTP die in a match? I, and other higher ranked players, tend to get asked what can be done to allow you to improve as a player, but the truth is that it depends. A stranger who has never seen you play cannot hope to know what you are doing that is preventing you from climbing, it is primarily on you to take responsibility for your improvement.
That means reviewing your matches after you have played them and being critical about how you are playing. The only person who is losing out here if you're Silver 2 after 372 games when you placed in to Silver 4 but you're convinced it's your teams that stop you from getting higher is you. So look at your games after they happen. Think about when you take a bad trade and how it could have been better. Think about how you could have realistically avoided dying when it happens. Think about the opportunities that you missed because you were physically unable to recognise they were there, and try to be better in future.
Use Practice Tool to train how you execute on mechanics and concepts, or use ARAMs and URF to practice dodging skillshots. Play other lanes so you actually understand what they want to do, so you can play around this in your games.
If you genuinely think you're not doing anything wrong, or you cannot figure out how to improve, then you can use one of the hundreds of coaching services available where a better player will likely be able to point out numerous mistakes you are making that you didn't even realise were a problem. Those coaches will generally want monetary compensation for their time, however I will say that I do on occasion do free reviews for active viewers of my stream. Check it out if you are interested, link is towards the start of the guide.
The order within a tier matters, but they're more or less the same in terms of quality.
- URF Nami - Cozy and adorable. Summons manatees with her joke, and is only a 750RP skin. 10/10.
- Bewitching Nami - Pretty cute with neat particle effects. Also has hat.
- Cosmic Destiny Nami - I was gifted this by my boyfriend so I'm obligated to put it here. Autos feel clean and it's quite nice to play with, looks pretty good with chromas too.
- Koi Nami - Pretty dang solid, especially considering it was her release skin.
- Splendid Staff Nami - Gives her feet.
- Deep Sea Nami - Hideous, but in a good way.
- Base Nami - Respectable.
- SKT Nami - It's a 1350RP skin, and not even that good.
- Program Nami - Also a 1350RP skin, also not that good.
- River Spirit - We waited almost 2 years for a new skin for Nami, and hooooooooooooooooooooo boy, that was what we got? Yes I was salty. The skin? Trash. The VFX? Trash. The splash? Trash. The joke fish? Trash. The recall? Trash. The only redeeming feature is it makes every other skin look comparatively better.
Thanks for reading the guide if you've got this far, and good luck out there.