Example Final Build
Very Strong Item
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.
Hi everyone, welcome to my Nidalee Jungle guide. This guide focuses on a very specific play style which I find effective in the games that I play as Nidalee. The whole idea of this build is to increase the survivability when jumping in using Pounce while sacrificing as little damage as possible. I have chosen some items that give ability power and health, as well as a couple specific on-hit effect passives that we can take advantage of because of Takedown being an empowered auto-attack.
This guide is a work in progress, and I will continue to update during the preseason. I also apologize for the walls of text, but I don't see any other way to explain this build.
TLDR; Build on hit effect items, pounce in, press Q, enemies die.
This build revolves around using the Takedown ability chained with a couple of powerful on hit effects. The idea is to build items that will increase your survivability when diving into fights with Pounce while bursting champions down with bonus damage.
Since Nidalee's Q ability Takedown is considered an auto attack, it will proc the on-hit effects of items such as Spellblade from Enchantment: Runeglaive, Crushing Blow from Dead Man's Plate, Cleave from Titanic Hydra... ect. Now imagine if you were to stack the bonus damage from Takedown (33% bonus to targets marked as Hunted) and all of those actives combined.
I have been able to hit up to 1700-1900 combined damage with one good combo using Javelin Toss to get Prowl passive, Pounce, Swipe, Titanic Hydra's Crescent and Takedown (in that order).
Skirmisher's Sabre is my jungle item of choice on most champions that have to jump into the middle of a fight. The reason for this is the 20% damage reduction when smite is cast on an enemy champion. The ability alone has saved me countless times while dueling a bursty enemy mid laner or adc. The other extremely underestimated reason to buy this item is because of the second part of the challenging smite active, where damage dealt to enemies over the next 3 seconds deals true damage from your basic attacks.
Enchantment: Runeglaive is a no brainer when choosing Nidalee. The fact that Nidalee's Takedown can not only proc the spellblade effect but also use it all in one move is extremely strong. Also, the secondary effect of the Runeglaive passive restores 8% missing mana when used on a jungle monster. I have played games with Nidalee where I chose not to build a spellblade item and I always ended up regretting the decision. Even building something like Iceborn Gauntlet is worth it.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is an interesting item on Nidalee. Definitely the main reason for purchasing this item is because of it's passive ability where you can slow targets that you hit with your magic abilities. This comes in handy when you hit a spear on a running enemy to allow you to catch up almost 3 times faster, as you will also get bonus movement speed from Prowl. The other huge reason behind building this item is for the 400 health and 100 ability power granted. Those two stats alone make it the perfect item for this build.
Dead Man's Plate is an extremely underestimated item on Nidalee. This item has become a favorite among bruiser and tank champions, but I think it can find a good home in the builds of champions who are looking for the extra initial burst and a little bit of tankiness (which is exactly what this build is about).
I've had countless people yell at me for buying this item, but once I explain to them the amount of utility and damage it provides they quickly retract their statements. Nidalee's Takedown triggers the passive effect on this item, giving you a bonus 200 damage when you jump in to attack them. This item also provides a fair amount of movement speed, which is extremely useful when you are running around trying to find good angles in order to throw your spears during the late game.
Titanic Hydra is definitely an extremely powerful item on Nidalee because of it's active effect. When built with the other suggested items in this build, the active effect should be able to deal an extra 350+ bonus damage, as Nidalee will have at least 3000 health with all of the tankier items in this build. This could give you that extra little bit of damage needed to get your target low enough to finish with Takedown.
I don't plan on ever making this a fully fleshed out, formatted guide for Nidalee. I just wanted somewhere to post what I've found to be effective and hopefully help people who are struggling with surviving while assassinating enemies. If there are enough requests for a better explanation or video on how to play this build, I'll happily work on getting one made.
Please leave your questions, comments and concerns below :) And make sure to rate the guide if you win some games with this build!