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The Ultimate Nasus Guide

Run down your enemies





Quick Nasus Top Build


Summoner Spells


Starting Items

Best Overall Build

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Teaser

You probably know two types of Nasus players: Inting and hard carry.

In this guide I will show you how you become the second type in most of your games, as long as you are lower than diamond.



About me

I am a platinum toplane main (called Krygsverbrecher atm) on EUW and was in the Top1000

Nasus
players on this server in Season 11, so I hope that I can show you a thing or two about this champion.



Why you should play Nasus

In low elo, there is no need to play complex champions like

Gangplank
, while most players don't even know how to open the browser to look for proper rune pages.

That's why you should consider simpler champions like

Nasus
or
Garen
. With these champions there are less things you can do wrong, while they are just as powerful as any other laner.

With

Nasus
, you don't even need to win your lane, because you have a much better mid game than most of your lane opponents. Sadly, unlike the common opinion,
Nasus
is relatively bad in late game, because ADCs can kill tanks easier at this game stage and your stacks become less powerful (The difference in power between 600 and 700 stacks is minor). Because of this, you have to win the game or get a game winning advantage before around 30 minutes for
Nasus
to work.



The Basics

A usual game looks like this:

You get slapped until you have 100

Siphoning Strike
stacks and can afford
Sheen
, after that you can run down most of your opponents with ease. After killing your laner several times and getting to 300 stacks, you can start visiting the enemy botlane and 1v2ing them (unless they got fed by your own botlane). This breaks your enemies' mental and win the game.

But let's get more into detail:

Your weakness as

Nasus
is mobility. That's why you use
Flash
and
Ghost
as your summoner spells and max
Wither
second. Your rune page can also help you on this matter.

Stacking with

Siphoning Strike
is the most important thing in the game until you hit around 300, at which point you more or less hit the peak of your relative power compared to your opponents. After this point, you should consider either teamfighting or splitpushing, depending on the situation and your own playstyle.



Runes

There are 3 rune pages I would recommand.

  • Fleet Footwork
  • Spellbook
  • Conquerer




Stats

For your stat runes you should always take

Scaling CDR
first and either
Armor
or
Magic Resist
for the other slots, depending on the matchup.

If you don't want to change your rune page for every game (which you should always do), the safest option is

Armor
second and
Scaling Bonus Health
third.



Fleet Footwork

This should be your standard rune page, because

Fleet Footwork
gives you bonus Movement Speed when attacking. This is essential, because
Nasus
needs this extra speed to stay near his enemies. Combined with
Ghost
,
Flash
,
Legend: Tenacity
and
Unflinching
(to counter stuns and slows), only few toplane champions exist who can escape from you.



Presence of Mind
combined with
Frozen Heart
should cover all your mana needs, so you won't need
Winter's Approach
. An alternative is
Triumph
for fights against multiple opponents, but mana is more valuable in most cases.



Last Stand
is useful on most toplaners, because it gives you the best overall damage increase. With the lifesteal gained from
Soul Eater
, this also means more healing at low health.





Second Wind
is especially useful against ranged champions like
Quinn
or
Teemo
, but is always the safest option for all phases of the game. An more offensive alternative is
Conditioning
, which you can pick in easy matchups for a better mid game powerspike



Unflinching
gives you extra tenacity and slow resistance at low health and synergizes good with your movement speed buffs and
Last Stand
. The other picks in the row,
Overgrowth
and
Revitalize
, are also fine, but not as useful as
Unflinching
.



Spellbook

The

Unsealed Spellbook
rune page is quite cheesy, but in some cases it can become very useful. The goal here is to get even more movement speed than with
Fleet Footwork
and a lot more summoner spells, at the cost of less tankiness. Therefore it is a aggressive option which needs practice.

To gain the most movement speed, take

Magical Footwear
,
Approach Velocity
(which works really well with your
Wither
),
Nimbus Cloak
and
Celerity
. Not much to say here, just go fast.

In the third row of

Inspiration
you don't have another movement speed option, so just go
Biscuit Delivery
for sustain and extra mana. Another option is
Future's Market
, which comes in handy sometimes, but
Biscuit Delivery
is more reliable.

With this rune page, you should also consider changing your summoner spells to

Heal
and
Ghost
(yes, seriously), because they have low cooldown (meaning more
Nimbus Cloak
) and are great for surviving the early game, including dives. Also swap your spells with
Unsealed Spellbook
as soon as they are available, because everytime you do that the swap cooldown is reduced. This strategy provides great possibility for kills, especially when you swap to
Exhaust
or
Ignite
.



Conquerer

Even though the other two pages should cover all your needs, i will give you another option which was popular a few months ago.



Conqueror
is used to improve your overall fighting capabilities resulting in less movement speed. It can be used against a bruiser heavy team with champions like
Mordekaiser
,
Yorick
or
Aatrox
, because the keystone gives you more power in 1v1 situations when your enemies don't have a lot of mobility themselves.

The other runes are the same as the ones used for

Fleet Footwork
, with the exception of
Second Wind
being exchanged for
Conditioning
to provide further support for your fighting capabilities.



Other runes not yet mentioned



Overheal
: Don't take it, you will get damaged a lot, resulting in this rune being useless while also interfering with your
Last Stand
and
Unflinching
runes.



Legend: Alacrity
: Only use case would be combined with the
Conqueror
keystone to stack it faster, but even then
Legend: Tenacity
is most likely better.



Legend: Bloodline
: Don't take it, you already get enough lifesteal from
Soul Eater
, while having better alternatives.



Coup de Grace
: Can be useful in easy matchups and better snowballing, but not recommended.



Cut Down
: Don't take it, you are a tank, not
Yuumi
.



Demolish
: Don't take it, towers are already melting with your
Siphoning Strike
.



Font of Life
,
Shield Bash
: Not useful.



Bone Plating
: Can give you an advantage in fights, but
Second Wind
and
Conditioning
are better.

For the

Unsealed Spellbook
page, all other runes in
Inspiration
and
Sorcery
not yet mentioned can be ignored, because they do not give you movement speed.

Abilities

    Nasus

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    Pretty straight forward, level up

    Fury of the Sands
    whenever you can, max
    Siphoning Strike
    first (even sneak in a second skill point before you level
    Spirit Fire
    ), and after that
    Wither
    .

    

    Why W instead of E second?

    You might wonder why you should level

    Spirit Fire
    last.

    The reason is that this spell is mainly used for reducing enemy armor, which becomes most useful in late game. Another use case for

    Spirit Fire
    is ranged farming, but you should avoid farming with it anyway due to its high mana cost (only use it for cannon minions which you are unable to stack).

    

    Wither
    on the other hand is useful in all game stages, because it reduces enemy movment speed and attack speed, combined with
    Ghost
    you can even chase a
    Hecarim
    .

    Although movement speed is your most important stat apart from cooldown reduction, the

    Attack Speed
    reduction aswell is an important reason you want to take
    Wither
    second. It not only helps in 1v1 situations, especially against opponents like
    Irelia
    or
    Jax
    , but also in mid game fights against enemy ADCs, who have no chance against you this way. Even when the enemy support keeps you away from the ADC, the 95% movement speed reduction still make them an easy target for your team.

    

    Stacking

    Obviously, your most important spell is

    Siphoning Strike
    , because it is your main damage output and you need to gain stacks fast. Look out for these powerspikes:

    

    • 100 Stacks: Combined with sheen you can 1v1 most laners
    • 300 Stacks: Start being active on the map (roam, kill enemy botlane, splitpush etc.)
    • 600 Stacks: Win the game, you won't get any stronger

    

    To keep track of your stacking performance, there is a rule of thumb: 20 stacks per minute (meaning 200 stacks at 10min, 400 stacks at 20min etc)

    Depending on the game (and especially the visits from your enemy jungler), you might get lower than that early on, but that is not too important, because you will catch up on stacks pretty fast when you start getting strong.

    

    Summoner Spells

    For summoner spells, I would recommend 3 different sets. All of them include

    Ghost
    , because you really need the speed as
    Nasus
    .

      My recommendation depends on the chosen rune page.

      Flash
      is good for
      Fleet Footwork
      , because you gain extra mobility for the best overall experience.

      

      Heal
      is good for
      Unsealed Spellbook
      due to its low cooldown, defensive capabilities and baiting potential (nobody expects
      Heal
      in a toplane 1v1).

      

      Teleport
      is good for
      Conqueror
      , because it improves your presence on the map and puts more pressure on your lane opponent.

      Unlike many other things, summoner spells on

      Nasus
      are mostly personal preference and can be swapped however you want.

      

      Items

      

      Nasus
      are very flexible and should always be adapted to the game. In the following, I will show you different options and explain, when you should build what. If you don't care about the adaptation and just need a build, here you go:

      

      

      Mythic

      For your mythic item, it is fair to say you should always buy

      Divine Sunderer
      , because it gives you a
      Sheen
      effect while also providing tank damage and further healing. The only other option for your
      Sheen
      would be
      Trinity Force
      , which is also fine due to its speed buffs, but lacks the penetration values and the healing and is therefore only useful in edge cases.

      A more defensive alternative is not upgrading your

      Sheen
      and instead buying
      Iceborn Gauntlet
      . This item gives you a lot of tankines and can be useful against squishy targets and assassins, but due to the lack of a
      Sheen
      alternative it should only be bought in games where the enemies do not have tanks and when you got bullied hard in the early game.

      

      Boots

      As

      Nasus
      you rely heavily on you summoner spells for mobility and cooldown reduction for stacking.
      Ionian Boots of Lucidity
      are great for both of these issues and should be the prefered choice in most of your games, but in a few cases other boots also have to be considered.

      

      Plated Steelcaps
      are great when the enemy team has 3 autoattack based champions (e.g.
      Irelia
      ,
      Master Yi
      and
      Draven
      ). In this case you need the extra tankiness provided by these boots.

      

      Mercury's Treads
      can be useful against enemies with a lot of hard cc (e.g.
      Maokai
      ,
      Sejuani
      and
      Nautilus
      ), but are not quite as useful on
      Nasus
      as on other champions, because he already has lots of tenacity from
      Legend: Tenacity
      and
      Unflinching
      .

      

      Core items

      When you play against opponents who have a lot of lifesteal (e.g.

      Aatrox
      ), you have to buy an early
      Bramble Vest
      before you finish your mythic. In later game stages you will most likely need a
      Thornmail
      anyway, because nowadays only few champions buy healing reduction due to its nerfs, but
      Thornmail
      still gives good stats and applies the debuff to all enemies who attack you (especially useful in teamfights).

      For teamfighting, you might need

      Force of Nature
      to reach the carries faster. With this item you gain movement speed when getting attacked, meaning that you run faster when they try to stop you.

      To combat your mana needs,

      Frozen Heart
      mostly fixes this problem for you while also providing really good stats against AD champions. An alternative is
      Tear of the Goddess
      and
      Winter's Approach
      , but I personally do not like this item. Keep in mind that resistances are more useful on
      Nasus
      than HP, because they utilize your lifesteal more efficently.

      Bonus healing is always nice on

      Nasus
      , so
      Spirit Visage
      is a good choice when you don't know what elso to buy. It is certainly a pretty good item, even though
      Force of Nature
      is more useful on many occasions.

      

      Other viable Items

      

      Dead Man's Plate
      : Faster is always better.

      

      Gargoyle Stoneplate
      : Pretty good for teamfights.

      

      Randuin's Omen
      : Good item, but you already have a lot of armor.

      

      Hullbreaker
      : If you decide to go full splitpush, take this item.

      

      Black Cleaver
      : If the enemy team has a lot of tanks, this item can help you.

      

      Death's Dance
      : Gives you great fighting potential, but you waste quite a lot of AD.

      

      Anathema's Chains
      : When you get damaged by only one specific opponent.

      

      Playstyle

      Stay patient in the early game, wait for your powerspikes adn hope that the enemy jungler does not camp you.

      After you reach the mid game, decide whether you want to teamfight or splitpush this game and plan your item build. As a rule of thumb, teamfight when your team is equal or behind and spitpush when you can theoretically handle 2 enemies at once, while your team does not lose 4v4.

      

      Teamfights

      Your are a mixture between tank and bruiser, so try to tank skillshots for your team and engage the enemy carries when you can. A good timed

      Wither
      on the enemy ADC will make the fight a lot easier.

      

      Splitpush

      In mid game, your lane opponent can most likely do nothing against you, so just run him down with

      Ghost
      and push the towers. Keep stacking while you push the waves to not waste any resources.

      

      Matchups

      Most matchups follow the same pattern: You get slapped until the 100 Stack

      Sheen
      powerspike and then run them down afterwards.

      That's why I will only talk about the most notable matchups:

        

        TopNasus


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