Nami Build Guide by LaurenxLilly
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Nami with this build
|Nidalee||Nidalee...shouldn't even be considered a support. However, I see this commonly enough to make a matchup for it. Remember that "support" Nidalee is just an excuse to play an AP champ when denied mid, and that she is extremely squishy. Winning this lane takes little effort, and depends highly on dodging skillshots. If you cannot dodge spears, this will be a very hard matchup, especially if you allow her and her ADC to snowball off of it. The key to beating her is to just force fights with her and her ADC, but just be careful of her level 2, because her clutch heal can mean the difference between you or them getting a double kill. With the rework, her spears do less damage (albeit with a shorter cooldown), but she is even more annoyingly mobile, but if you lock her down and are paired with an ADC that has a decent to strong early game, then you should be able to kill her no problem. She can deal a fair amount of damage with her ADC however, so just be cautious. If you shut her down, she is useless and basically the game will be a 5v4.|
Hi there, I'm im a waffle, a Season 4 Diamond 1 Support Main and Season 3 Diamond 4 Support Main. I also am known by the names of Letras, Illyana, Lavinia, Aureate Lilly, Anna, Aeris Liethe, LF HOT BBQ GRILL, and ilysweetheart. I've been playing since the end of Season 1, and although I have published 2 guides on solomid.net, this is my first guide on Mobafire. I rediscovered Nami's power toward the end of Season 3, and loved how she was so versatile a support, one capable of both peeling and making aggressive plays. I have been playing her ever since, and have practiced her to the point where I can play her by instinct.
Hopefully in this guide, you will learn to play Nami at 100% of her potential and come to love her as much as I do.
I APOLOGIZE for the lack of real updates. The new information that I can think of is how to play against new support champions, but the basic techniques are still the same. I will try to update the matchups soon!
Pros / Cons
-Insane Lane Sustain
-Has the Potential to 2v3 Early On
-Can Easily Force Trades/Early Fights
-Massive Amounts of Utility
-One Bubble Can Change the Tide of a Fight
-Very Good Chasing/Peeling Power
-Many Tools for Escape/Initiation
-Fun to Play
-Best Laugh Universe
-High Skill Cap (Bubble is hard to land when you first start playing her)
-Lots of Skills/Item Actives to Manage
Through this build, we are looking to cap CDR.
Flash Flash is a MUST take. Its utility is invaluable in getting away, or making flash saves/initiations.
Exhaust is my generally preferred secondary summoner spell. It makes it easy to land spells, and make its hard for the enemy to escape, even if they flash. An exhaust on the right target can make or break a fight, and allows for potential 2v3s at level 3. If they have an assassin such as Zed or Talon, definitely take it if your team does not have an Exhuast already, and you can shut down the majority of their damage. It also works well for a random ADC in solo queue, because it compensates for mistakes.
Ignite is the next best spell. It is generally used more in high elos, because of the greater kill pressure it provides. I take it on Nami whenever I haven't a use for Exhaust (meaning they lack assassin or autoattacking based ADC's such as Vayne or Draven) or if the team has a particular healing or tanky sustain comp (e.g. Soraka or Mundo). It is useful because you do more damage while Ignite is ticking and it can help you secure the kill that would have gotten away. Overall, it's a better spell if you have coordination with your ADC and like to use it.
Heal is the most situational out of Exhaust and Ignite. It is a good summoner spell to take when you are especially scared of the enemy botlane, and are confident that their support won't take Ignite. Generally, if they aren't supports like Thresh, Leona, Braum, or Blitzcrank, they won't take Ignite in lower elos. The downside is that you lose the utility the other spells provide and most ADCs already take heal. It could work well as a complement to your ADC's Barrier, or if they lack Assassins or have a non-bursty ADC such as Ashe. Tread with caution on this summoner spell, because in my opinion, it is the weakest of the three right now.
This section is for the many items that did not make it into the Build Orders.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity These boots are now pretty much obsolete on Nami because other items will cap your CDR, but still offer you increased early game utility, especially because of the Nami Ebb and Flow Cooldown increase. These boots are a must buy if you do not plan on maxing your CDR through other items. These boots are good early in the fact that it may allow you to get in a clutch heal or bubble.
Ninja Tabi Grab Ninja Tabi if you are behind in lane, or consider it if their team is full AD. These boots mitigate a lot of the damage from autoattackers and AD champions, so look to pick it up in the early game if you need to buy it.
Boots of Swiftness This is a VERY situational item. Purchase these boots only if you win lane and the opponent has a team with a lot of slows, but few or no stuns. They are very useful in getting around the map, countering champions with slows, and synergizing with your passive. I'd recommend these if the above conditions are met, and you prefer to push with your ADC deep into enemy territory. Just to give you an idea of how rarely you buy these, it's probably about 1 in 40 games, given how common hard CC is nowadays.
Enchantment: Homeguard This is the absolute best upgrade for boots you can get on Nami. It allows her to get out of base much faster, so it is especially good for defense and getting to a fight. Homeguards are amazing in all situations and should be the enchantment you take almost every game.
Enchantment: Captain Captain is a very underused upgrade on supports. It gives the allied minions and champions a decent movement speed boost, which can help follow up on an engage, or make it easier to get to their base and push. I would recommend these if you want to go for late game pushing power, and you have no need for the homeguard upgrade.
Enchantment: Alacrity These give you extra movement speed, but the Homeguard speed in base and captain's pushing power generally are much better picks in terms of utility. Get these if you really want.
Elixir of Iron This is one of 4 new elixirs designed to replace the old ones. It gives you Tenacity which you likely won't have from other items, but the real usefulness of this elixir is that it leaves behind a trail that boosts allied movement speed. In this way, it acts like a mini Talisman, and is great when you don't have Talisman. It allows for your teammates to follow up on your engage, or escape. However, I believe it does increase your hitbox size, so be cautious.
Elixir of Ruin This is one of 4 new elixirs designed to replace the old ones. It is a good item in that it serves a functionality similar to Enchantment: Captain. It gives you extra health, and bonus damage to turrets, but the real power of it is that it gives minions around you increased movement speed and extra damage to towers. This is invaluable for a group push to end the game, and affords Nami the ability to solo push if her team is dead.
Elixir of Sorcery This is one of 4 new elixirs designed to replace the old ones. I don't recommend this one, simply because I believe the others offer more versatility and utility. This elixir is good if you want extra AP endgame, but the good thing about this item is that it gives you a tiny bit of extra true damage when attacking enemy champions or towers, which may prove helpful. Get this if you really want to.
Doran's Shield This item used to be a core start on Nami, but is now outdone by Spellthief's Edge. It provides a lot of early protection against their ADC and jungler, with the passive and provides a decent amount of health and regeneration. After its nerfs, it is still good, but not ideal. Buy this only if you are behind.
Doran's Ring Doran's Ring is a fantastic item if you are looking to stay in lane for an extended amount of time, and coupled with Doran's Shield and your GP5 item, you have great lane sustain. I wouldn't buy this item often personally, because other items are generally just better, but if you need the extra early game regen and power from AP, go for it. ONLY buy one of these at maximum if you do, however.
Morellonomicon Morellonomicon is a great, cost-efficient early buy on Nami if you are doing very well. The grievous wounds passive combined with your heal allow your ADC to outduel theirs with no effort, and the 20% CDR it gives is amazing if you do not plan on buying Frozen Heart or another item to max out your CDR. Although the grievous wounds make it a valuable purchase in itself, don't bother buying it late game if you already have max CDR, unless they have someone like Mundo who heals a lot.
Twin Shadows The "spooky" as my friends like to call it. It gives you great late game catching power with its active, and it provides a good amount of AP and movement speed. I am personally not a fan of buying this item, because I believe others can offer much more utility, but if you like to buy it, there's no real bad parts about it.
Ardent Censer Ardent Censer is a new item that was introduced in patch 4.10. It gives a decent amount of AP, decent mana regeneration, and 10% CDR. It also gives 8% movement speed, and attack speed if you heal or shield an allied champion. I have not tried this item very much, but I do not like it as much as other items based on what I have already seen. It seems like a decent item if you are already ahead, and are laning with an ADC that scales off attack speed, such as Jinx or Vayne. However, it is definitely an early game item, and should be picked up early game, substituting for Mikael's if you do so choose to purchase it. Personally, I think that Mikael's and other items such as Locket are much more useful in terms of team functionality, but if you have multiple autoattackers such as Vayne or Yi on your team, it can be a viable purchase.
Zhonya's Hourglass Zhonyas is a very situational item, but is very good at what it is used for. It allows you to engage hard, and allows you to live if they are focusing you for some reason. The armor is a welcome bonus, but the active is what you buy the item for. It is good as a last item, if you find the need to survive a hard engage team.
zeke's herald This item is really good if you have a lot of AD champions on your team who would benefit from lifesteal. It is situational, because you need 2-3 AD champs for this to be cost efficient, but even having this for your fed ADC is a good idea.
Thornmail Thornmail is good if the enemy has a lot of autoattackers, or an almost full AD comp. You should look to buy this if this is the case, and you want to survive longer or are losing. This is a very situational item, and unless these conditions are met, I wouldn't buy this item.
Spirit Visage This is a really good item on Nami for several reasons, one it improves self healing through Nami's W, and second it gives a decent of CDR, even after its nerfs. This item helps you survivability a lot with the MR, and I would recommend buying it the enemy has a lot of AP on their team, but you do not need Banshee's Veil to counteract hard engage.
Randuin's Omen I know what you're thinking, why would I get Randuin's, because doesn't that mean I'd have to be in the middle of them? Yes, this is true in some cases, but the overall functionality of this item is great. The movement speed slow and attack speed are really good, and if you have the chance to use the active (usually comes after Nami's ult) it will be hard for them to get away. In addition, this item is superb for peeling for your ADC if a bruiser or someone jumps them. However, it is situational, and I would more readily take Frozen Heart instead.
Rabadon's Deathcap Deathcap is really good if you are running an AP oriented Nami support. It amplifies your damage by a ton, and also amplifies your heal/slow ratio. It is good as a fifth or sixth item on a support Nami if there is no other items that you absolutely need to buy.
Liandry's Torment Liandry's is one of the best items on Nami, but it is situational. Only buy this item if the enemy has health stacking tanks, or just a really tanky comp in general. Combined with Morellonomicon, this item is highly effective against tanks, and you'll notice yourself dealing a lot more damage to all champions with this item. I haven't built this item in a while, but the damage is very worthwhile.
Banshee's Veil Banshee's is good if they have champions such as Amumu or Malphite, or if you find yourself getting focused for some reason. The spell shield may save your life, and in the case of your team being AOE CC'ed, you can be able to act with your wave, Mikaels, and perhaps Talisman. this item is also good if they have a lot of AP casters. Don't buy it in most cases, however.
Talisman of Ascension Talisman is a very strong option. You can sell your Spellthief's for an ancient coin and build it into Talisman mid game for strong disengage/chasing power. This item synergizes beautifully with Nami's ult, passive, and E slow. However, by purchasing this item, you lose out on some defensive stats that you woulIt is especially good if your team has problem sticking to their team or if their team is especially mobile. d have if you bought a tankier situational item.
Skill Descriptions and Usage
Surging Tides Nami's passive is kinda understated, but very useful and in my opinion a pretty strong passive. The speed it gives you allows you to give chase to enemies or run away effectively, and the movement speed is for sure noticeable. This passive synergizes really well with ADCs through Nami's E because not only do you get the slow from E, but it also speeds them up, and sticking to the enemy is a breeze. This passive has saved my life numerous times, because I was able to run away from pursuers. Lastly, as a general statement, I believe to play Nami to her fullest extent, you need to play her with smartcasting (or quickcasting) on, as it makes her combos much more efficient.
Aqua Prison This is Nami's bread and butter skill. If you cannot land this, don't play Nami (or at least practice until you get the hang of it). I cannot emphasize it enough that to be a successful Nami player, you must be able to consistently land bubbles, because it has a huge impact on whether you win the teamfight or not, or save yourself or your teammates from pursing enemies. At first it may seem like the bubble has an awkward or extremely small hitbox, but after you get used to it, you'll know pretty much where it will hit. Extra Tip: If you hit enemies with the very edge of the bubble, the knockup is not consistent, it may or may not knock them up.
Ebb and Flow This is a very interesting skill. It has the potential to bounce up to three times, either healing your allies twice, or damaging your enemies twice. With this ability, you can pull off some amazing saves in lane and in fights. There are two uses for this skill. You can use this skill offensively during lane to poke the enemy, combining it with an autoattack, or you can use it to heal your ADC in trades. As you level up her W, the skill becomes progressively more powerful, as the damage increases by a decent amount, but the heal is dramatically higher than at earlier levels. Be careful not to spam this skill too much, as it costs a lot of mana, and a Nami without mana is a dead Nami. Don't be afraid to use this to damage an enemy in a fight in lane, even if your ADC has lower health, because it will most likely bounce to your ADC, and heal them as well, albeit with less health healed. Additionally, another good harass is to cast W on your ADC when they are near them, both healing your ADC, and damaging the enemy. Remember that your ultimate goal it to successfully weave autoattacks in with W harass.
Tidecaller's Blessing Like Nami's Q, the use of Nami's E sets apart the good Namis from the bad Namis. It is an extremely powerful skill, that I feel is underestimated, or at least not known much about. Using it on your ADC gives them more chasing power, and generally gives more damage output. Putting it on yourself means that if your ADC is lagging behind a bit of the engage, they can catch up, and with Nami's Q, W, E combo, she can actually deal a respectable amount of damage.It is crucial that you use smartcasting for this skill, otherwise it'll be highly inefficient to use. A little known trick is that if you cast E on yourself in the middle of your autoattack, the slow and effect still proc. I've found that it is better to prioritize casting E on your ADC, because it increases your ADC's kiting/chasing potential immensely.
Tidal Wave This is Nami's signature and most iconic move, the big wave. In my opinion, this ult is on par with Janna's ult. They both are insanely good peel for your team, and this ult is truly game changing. It has a range of 2750, which means that even if you are not in the teamfight, you can cast it from far away and it will still have a huge impact. Casting it from afar also gives you time to get into the teamfight, and I have won many of these fights where I was not originally there. Nami's wave synergizes with Nami's Q, as landing your ult makes it a hell of a lot easier to land your bubble on their team. Nami's ult was slightly fixed in patch 4.1, which made it so that if she died while casting it, it would not go on a cooldown, and this is a welcome change. Her Q and R also synergize very well with Yasuo, so that's also a bonus. This is a slow moving, but very wide skillshot, so it is not very hard to miss, although it sometimes does happen. The ideal time to use this would be to initiate a teamfight and allow your teammates to catch up, or after the enemy jumps on your team, and then you can cast it. At level 6, it does a nice amount of damage, so consider that as well. If you miss this, it is not the end of the world, but it makes the teamfight much harder to win. Nami's ult is the only skill I would not take smartcast on, because you want to be able to see the range and direction of the wave before you cast it, or you can put on range indicators.
How to Play with a Nami
If you are an ADC looking for tips on how to utilize Nami's skillset to maximum potential, look no further. Nami is a jack of all trades support, mastering and being proficient in many areas. She can provide strong peel in lane and especially in teamfights, and can force engages even from behind under the right circumstances. If you are playing with a good Nami, trust them and always make sure to follow up on their engages. The worst thing you can do is not respond to a Nami setting up kills for you. If the Nami plays aggressive, play aggressive with them unless they are going in recklessly. Nami's entire kit is committed to keeping you alive, with her bubble preventing them from doing damage while giving you time to give free damage, her W which can simultaneously heal you while damaging them, and an E that gives you incredible kiting and chasing power. Do not let these things go to waste. Capitalize on the fact that you can trade and harass really well, and that Nami can compensate for a bad trade with her heal.
Early game you should be looking to poke/harass them as much as possible. The main combo for poking them is Q followed immediately by an autoattack and then W. An alternate combo for harass is W into an autoattack, but i feel that you do not trade hard enough with this combo for the amount of mana used. If they come close to you, always make sure to autoattack them. Do not underestimate the power of your autoattacks, especially since we take runes and masteries to specifically augment your autoattack/spell damage. The main playstyle is to stay in your bush, and when they come close, autoattack and W them, and if they wander too far out, bubble them from the bush. After practicing with Nami, you learn that you can force fights at level 2-3. If you find yourself ahead, don't be afraid to walk up near them, and use a W-autoattack harass combo. Even if they attack you, the W bounce back on you will heal you. Throughout laning phase however, you do not want to spam too much, as you need to conserve your mana pool. A manaless Nami is a useless Nami. If you are behind, harass them, but keep a respectable distance for the most part, and wait for a jungler gank. One gank while behind can bring you back into the game, or if you are even, can put you super far ahead of the other bot lane. If you do kill them, and the jungler is in the vicinity, go do dragon. This is safe, even early on, because you have heal. If you win lane, you can have a great amount of control over the lane, and zone out the enemy by yourself with your presence, autoattacks, and poke through W.
Many people do not know how to use Nami's E, and do not know whether to put it on yourself or the ADC. The general guideline for using E is if you are closer, cast E on yourself and autoattack them, or if you ADC is close or if you are already in a fight, cast it on them. Don't forget that E procs on your autoattack even if you are mid autoattack.
Lastly, as a general rule, if your jungler is coming to gank, and you know that there are wards, engage before hand, so they are already committed, and then proceed to destroy them. It is easy to do this with Nami, especially if you have ult.
Mid game you should be pushing with your team, and looking to catch people out of position, or 4 or 5-man ganking one of the enemies who is alone. After that you should proceed to push. Don't be afraid to gank/help out other lanes and roam the map if you win bot lane hard. Another strategy, which I prefer now, is to just continue pushing bot with your ADC (inspired by my friend John Q Adams and his all game split push strategy). This allows you to continue putting pressure on the map, and take objectives, which is your main goal. This also allows you ADC to get really farmed and powerful, and works extremely well when your team is ahead and can deal with their team by themselves, or if you win lane hard and can 2v3 or 2v4 them.
In VERY RARE cases, if you have extremely good synergy with your ADC, you can even 2v5 them, depending on the ADC you are laning with (best one in my opinion is Vayne). Follow the teamfight guidelines for fighting. One last thing to notice is, DO NOT, and I repeat, do not attempt to dive them under their tower unless you are very far ahead and know what you are doing. This is the easiest way to throw a big lead.
Late game, you should always stick with your team, and if you catch anyone on their team out of position, bubble them. Keep map vision up, and watch Baron accordingly. At this point in the game, you should look to teamfight if you are ahead, or look to defend your base if you are behind. With your ultimate and the multiple item actives you will have acquired by now, you are a potent force in teamfights, and can quickly make the difference between closely winning a teamfight, or losing the game outright. Your main objectives are to seize towers and inhibitors. If behind, you will most likely be trying to defend your base, which means the optimal area to fight in would be under your towers. Fighting here sets you up with a good location if you need to quickly heal, and also gives you the power of your turrets.
Do not underestimate the power of turrets, even in the late, game because I have seen many a team lose because they chose to dive at the wrong time. With Season 4 changes, games last much longer than in Season 3, which means that there are more opportunities to throw. The way to prevent this is, if you are ahead, just continue to pressure objectives and take towers all over the map, and to try to force favorable fights. If you are losing, the mentality to have is to be willing to take risks, but do not overestimate your ability to fight them and win, which happens all too often. This skill however, is learned mostly from game experience. The most important thing to note is to stay focused on your main task, which is to make the enemy's nexus explode, and not to get kills. Always be conservative in that regard. Your secondary objectives in late game are to get Dragon and Baron. Dragon is the least important objective of all, but you can still take them to deny the other team the gold, or to grab it if the other team has taken Baron and has backed. Baron is one of the most important objectives, but is also the single easiest way to throw games. I have seen many teams throw away the win because they decided to Baron at the wrong team, due to the easiness of Smite stealing. The correct time to Baron, and only time to Baron if you are ahead is if you have killed 3 or more of the opposing team or have aced them, or if you know that they are in a position where they cannot contest the baron. I recommend, if you are newer to the game, that you only do Baron under the first condition I have specified. Conversely, if you are losing and the other team is doing Baron, unless you are extremely behind to the point where almost nothing you do can win you the game, then it is usually a good idea to try to steal the Baron. Many games can be turned around just by stealing Baron. The buff is just that powerful. See the teamfights section for more about fights.
Before a teamfight, if you are with your team, and you notice any one of their carries walking the slightest bit away from their team or close to you, try to bubble them. If you land it, feel free to follow it up with your ult. During the fight, you want to to be able to put some damage on their team, but your main goal is to peel for you ADC/mid. If anyone tries to jump on your ADC, bubble them as they land, and W them. Make sure to keep E proc'ed on your ADC, or sometimes yourself when you need to personally keep them away from your team. If you ADC/mid is CC'ed Mikael's them. You should be using each of your skills as they come off cooldown, and landing bubbles is crucial. Landing bubbles means free damage on them from your ADC, and in some situations, it turns the entire teamfight around. At this point, if you are losing, and being chased, use Frost Queens to run away, or if you are winning the fight and they are trying to flee, pop your Frost Queen's to chase them. Any additional item actives, feel free to use when appropriate (e.g. Zhonyas or Locket).
If your team follows up on engages, victory in a fight is almost assured. If you are not with your team and a teamfight breaks out, but you are close, ult a group of them, and basically follow the same guidelines as above, but focus on the peel. Your goal in fights is to land ult on as many enemies as you can, and don't forget to use your E on your ADC. It really helps to chase them down, and grants a lot of damage. Heal whoever is low, and you should be good.
In all honesty, Nami is decent to good with all ADCs, but she synergizes better with some than others.
Best to Lane With:
Vayne This is the lane I specialize in, and it, in my opinion, is the best lane for both Nami and Vayne. Your Q makes it ridiculously easy to force fights early on, and your W compensates for her early weakness, which is squishiness. Your E ensures that she can do more damage, and catch up with her target, and R makes for an amazing engage. Every aspect of Nami synergizes with Vayne. With a Nami support, Vayne's weak early game is nullified, and you can kill them at level 1, level 2, and level 3.
Ezreal Nami's W poke synergizes with Ezreal so well. Her Q sets him up for an easy kill and also ult, and E gives his Q more damage and slow, because it procs on-hit effects. This lane is the inspiration for "Mommy Nami".
Caitlyn The classic Nami lane. Nami's E synergizes so well with Caitlyn's autoattacks, and q sets her up for easy Q snipe and attacks.
Twitch Nami synergizes well with Twitch because her E augments Twitch's slow and gives him extra damage on his autoattacks. Q sets him up for free autoattacks, and when he has his ult, can allow damage from afar. She can heal him to compensate for his squishiness.
Miss Fortune Nami's E adds to MF's W, and allows MF to output tons of damage. Both Nami's Q and R give MF's ult a free channel on your opponents.
Draven Draven's W combined with Nami's E slow and movement speed buff allows him to stick to enemies, and the bubble sets him up for free attacks. Ult synergizes well with his ult.
Varus Nami and Varus together have really good poke. Nami's Q sets up for Varus's auto-auto-Q. Nami's E gives varus sticking power and extra damage, and is deadly with Varus's E. Nami can heal Varus, counteracting his inherent squishiness. Varus and Nami ult together from chain cc. Just a super strong combo.
Tristana Tristana is now a popularly played ADC, and upon trying Nami out with Tristana, I realized that the combo has good potential. Bubble, heal, and E synergize really well with Tristana, and allow you to peel for her while she shoots them.
Really Good to Lane With:
Graves Nami synergizes well with Graves, but not as well as with others. All of the things Nami does applies here, including bubble setting up for Q/ R, E giving good chasing potential, and Ult as well.
Jinx Nami is also very good with Jinx. Bubble combined with traps -> Chain CC, and bubble/ult sets up for Jinx ult.
Lucian To me, Lucian and Nami seem cluncky together, I don't know why. Lucian and Nami synergize well though, with the movespeed boost, bubble, and ult.
Sivir I haven't had enough experience playing Nami with Sivir, but it is alright. You provide nice peel for her and lane sustain which she lacks. Your E gives her good chasing power and your ults synergize really well to run them down. They will not be able to escape you at level 6.
Ashe Ashe is a iffy pick with Nami, and I would almost put her in the do not pick list. There is very good utility in this combo, with heals, massive kiting potential, and amazing slows, with chain cc ultimates, but Ashe does not have the early game damage to synergize with Nami, and is thus not as compatible.
Kog'Maw Kog'Maw has fallen out of favor, but he works really well with Nami. Nami can peel for Kog, which is what he really needs as he has no escape, and her bubble and ult will set up for free attacks on the enemy, and her E will help him to kite and give chase, compensating for his immobility.
Kalista I personally am not a fan of this lane, but Nami does work decently with Kalista. Your autoattacks work really well with Kalista's W proc, and your E works well with her passive and E to chase enemies down. Her ult is good to allow you to get close to initiate with your ult, but also puts you in danger so be careful.
Don't Lane With:
Quinn Nami and Quinn are decent with each other, I'm just not a fan of the matchup because until mid game, Quinn's damage is not consistent.
Nami is great with any team composition, but works especially well with a couple of champions. Nami pretty much works well with all champions with a form of hard crowd control, but I will list just a few here:
Amumu Needless to say, Amumu and Nami ult set up really well for each other, and complement each other very well. With the ults combined, you have the possibility of disabling the enemy team for 4 to 6 seconds, and if you factor in bubble too, it adds another 1.5 seconds. These two can lock down opponents and can potentially win a teamfight with their combined CC.
Annie The ultimates are very potent together, and have good potential for burst.
Cassiopeia Same as Annie ult. Any champion with AOE CC works well.
Fiddlesticks A good Nami ult with allow Fiddle to get his ult off on their whole team, which will pretty much win you the teamfight.
katerina Very Similar to Fiddlesticks.
Nautilus Nautilus has trouble chasing after he has burned his spells. Nami's combination of bubble and E will ensure that his ganks are successful, and that enemies will not get away.
Orianna This combo is a potent force in teamfights, and Orianna ult can set up for a great follow up wave.
Udyr Nami's chain CC can compensate for Udyr's weakness in being easily kited. She can lock down priority targets in a gank or teamfight, allowing him to wreak havoc and either bring the game in your favor or advance your lead. Her E is truly deadly on him, as it gives even more chasing power by way of speed up and slow.
Yasuo Nami ult and bubble both provide knockups for Yasuo's R, which can win you the teamfight easily if Nami hits more than one target.
Nami really has so many good synergies, it's not possible to list them all. You'll find that Nami can provide a boost to ANY champion with her versatile kit.
Advanced Nami Tactics and Mechanics
Some of this information is covered in other sections, but I will explain them in-depth here.
~Tip 1: Weaving Autoattacks and W to Harass
This skill demands that you are capable of executing the skill known as orbwalking. This involves moving immediately after every autoattack, which cancels the animation and gives you a faster attack rate, smoother animation, and re-positioning. The trick to this skill after orbwalking is to come out of the lane bush, autoattack once, orbwalk forward, use W on an enemy, autoattack, and orbwalk backwards towards your original position. Not only does this give you the maximum amount of harass damage, but it also minimizes the amount of damage you take. If you can execute this quickly enough, you can get away with only taking two autoattacks and perhaps a spell, which the bouncing heal will help to nullify. Another variation that is more mana-intensive, but hurts a lot more is to self-cast E by either clicking on yourself or using Alt-E and then execute the combo. Learning to do this takes practice.
~Tip 2: Early Ward in Opponent Lane Brush
This strategy involves arriving at lane before your opponent and warding the enemy side lane brush from your bush. Most enemies won't have the map awareness to notice you doing this or will be focused on leashing, so they assume it is unwarded. When the enemy support walks in bubble range in their bush, you can ambush them when they try to harass or place a ward in your lane bush. By doing this and landing a bubble, you can easily secure a first blood, summoners, or at the very least be able to zone them out. A variation of this for expert players is to use a blind bubble after they get to lane. By doing this, you save your trinket and if you know that the enemy has a support such as Sona who like to camp the edge of the bush, you can throw a blind Q in to knock them up and engage. Either method works well.
Tip 3: Learning to Lane Bubbles Consistently
Although this isn't really an advanced trick, it is still something many Namis need to get better at. Hell, even I don't land my bubbles 100% of the time. The best way to consistently land bubbles is to try to predict where the enemy will go. This involves watching enemy movement patterns. The easiest way to accomplish this is to throw out a bubble and see where they dodge. Most people, when you walk forward will move directly backwards to try to dodge your bubble. Thus, in most cases I will aim right behind them, accounting for the travel time of the bubble. However, in high elo, or when playing against Vayne/Lucian players, many enemies will juke to the left or right, assuming that you will try to bubble behind them. If you notice someone doing this, try aiming the bubble where you last saw them go. Eventually, you will begin to develop a gut feeling for landing bubbles, but that is something that comes with time.
More will come when I think of explicit things I can teach.
General and Specific Ranked Strategies
When playing Nami, you want to ban or watch out for champions that have a gap closer to you, have shields, or have a ton of peel. These types of champions are very hard to play against and make it hard to lock them down or kill them. Examples of these types of champions include Janna, Lulu, Karma, Braum, Tristana, Leona, Rek'Sai, Lee Sin, Pantheon, and Yasuo. These are only a few, and not all of them are always banworthy, especially if you know how to play against them.
Pick Nami against a team that is immobile, or cannot handle hard engages. Nami is good at counter-engaging and fits in well with a team with AOE or a team that needs extra utility. You fit in with every comp so it is almost never a bad time to pick Nami.
If you win lane hard, you can either rotate mid after taking bot tower, or shove bot and take the second tier tower. Either way, you exert tons of pressure, but only choose the latter route if you are experienced with Nami or have good map awareness. Deep warding, in their jungle is key.
Remember that you are the glue to holds you team together and you are the one that can make a difference. Your kit holds the power to turn fights around, so it's up to you to lead your team. No one else can do this for you. Always remember to close out games if you can, and have fun.
1/1/15 - Guide Published
1/2/15 - Minor editing
3/22/15 - Fized some grammatical errors, Nami hasn't been changed in a long time and this is still in my opinion the optimal build for her, so nothing has changed.
8/23/15 - Updated item build to include Zeke's Harbinger. Added matchups for Bard, Tahm Kench, Trundle, Zilean, Shen, Mordekaiser, and Kennen.
9/14/15 - Added Talisman of Ascension as a situational item
I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read my guide.
I have spent a lot of time writing this guide, because I want to share what I believe is the best way to play Nami, my favorite champion. A lot of Nami skills come from playing her a lot, and it takes time to learn her, but she is well worth the effort.
I currently have plans for streaming sometime in the future, but nothing anytime soon. If requested, I can try to put up some videos of my Nami gameplay, and perhaps even do some commentary.
Lastly, please feel free to comment with any comments or questions on my build, and constructive criticism/advice on writing a guide is very welcome! I want to get better at it, and hopefully release another guide. If you do downvote, please post below on why you don't like the guide.
Have a great day on the Rift fellow summoners!