Nami Build Guide by Xavyan
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.
Full AP-style Core
vs heavy AD (exaggerated)
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.
Heya! I'm Xavyan87NL on EUW and I'm currently Bronze-2. Last and pre-season I was Silver-2. This said, I shouldn't say anymore about myself as I'm irrelevant. Yet, I do still hope my views on Nami will gain some appreciation.
Assassin Nami. Why Assassin? Because Nami is KS-y as hell. Heal your low ADC? BOOM KS. Stun to prevent that slippery assassin from running? KS! It happens. It happens a lot. Better get used to it already. Might as well inform your team of it too.
Regardless, I believe Nami is one of the strongest supports at my elo. I have pretty decent winrates on her, but, of course, a LOT depends on your carry as well. Stay respectful, keep trying.
Pros / Cons
I like Nami a lot, and think she is strong, because ...
- Decent Poke (even high ranged if you W your adc)
- More Utility.
Reasons why Nami isn't banned in ranked games my league
- Nobody plays Nami (That's actually a pro)
- Nami is squishy
- Nami goes OOM quickly if she thinks she is Soraka (or your carry does)
- Nami requires actual skill.
Anyways, let this guide begin.
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
I'm guessing there's better runes to be had than these, but they work for me. The reasoning behind them is as follows:
- Greater mark of hybrid penetration I've been told these are quite desirable on supports. It's mostly aimed on your earlygame where basic attacks still make up quite a big share of your total damage. In early, this should make all you do hurt just a bit more.
- Greater Seal of Health Nami is squishy. This should help her stay in lane a little longer.
- Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration I've added these because Nami is very dependent on her mana in the earlygame. Lategame your item choices will help combat this, but expect to frequently go OOM until that point.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power This helps with both your early heals and your early damage. I did not choose MR here, as my core items always include a small amount of MR.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Again, this helps your heals and damage in early. Do feel free to suggest better Quints if you can think of something reasonable.
Lastly, again, do not get CDR. It is pointless to get CDR if you aim for 40% through items.
These masteries I use specifically for Nami. I don't think the 21 in support for Wanderer is worth it. I, on purpose, skipped CDR in both the util and offense trees. I took Fury in offence to use with E (the only aspd you'll ever get) and worked up till Dangerous Game for the mana restoration. These masteries will make you depend on items heavily.
Alternatively, if you insist on CDR from masteries, you can go 9/0/21, getting a total of 10% cdr from both Sorcery and Intelligence . (Don't get 5% unless you want to either overcap or get the (useless) Ionian Boots of Lucidity). Then, you would want one of my core 20% CDR items and another 10% CDR item. Whatever you do, do not pick Mikael's Crucible. You are a healer (in mid-late), you do not need even more heals.
Aqua Prison second. Ebb and Flow first unless invading or being invaded, then you use Aqua Prison. Stick to the plan otherwise. Your Ebb and Flow is your bread and butter in lane. (Unless, of course, you mastered landing Aqua Prisons, which I until now still have not).
Here we are, finally. Before anything else, allow me to make two things perfectly clear, which are vital in my masteries, runes and items:
- Mid-Late Nami insists on having 40% CDR. Good game or bad game. 40%!
- Early Nami doesn't even want CDR. 0% at start, please. CDR gets you OOM. Carry died? Sorry, heal was still on CD after saving your *** a few seconds ago. Your health is your problem, I am not Soraka.
Now that that's said, allow me to emphasize 40% CDR is absolutely vital.
Nami vs heavy AD (Who fed their carry!?)
Nami vs heavy AP (Who fed their Katarina!?)
In next spoiler we find a huge list of all items that could be considered at least remotely viable on Nami. Found a new item I mentioned nowhere that synergizes amazingly with Assassin Nami? Find my thoughts on it here.
An interesting passive. Surely not as OP as, say, Sona's, but it has its uses. After you hit an Ally with one of your spells, he has a subtle move speed increase. (This works on ALL abilities).
This is handy in lane. W an enemy, get hit with the splashback, and get movespeed to GTFO again till it's off CD. It's also handy when escaping. Cast W and E (in 1.5s intervals) on the team member that's furthest behind. It doesn't perform miracles, but you do provide them with a slight speed boost.
Probably the most awkward stun in the game. A skillshot with a long animation and a small area of effect. You will need to practise this skill before "reliably" landing it. Even then it will still not be reliable, but heh. There are four situations in which you will want to cast this:
- You are being chased and can easily predict where they will be in 1.5s. The cheesiest use of this ability, but it so often saved my life.
- You just ulted. Their move speed is decimated. They cannot dodge without using a dash or a flash. Almost as easy to hit as when you are chased. This secures kills or further guarantees an escape. (or it steals kills).
- You are the only one nearby a turret that's falling to minion damage, weeping at the irrelevant damage you do to the minions. Once you have Luden's, this actually deals damage.
- **** THIS **** WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!1!! (no comments).
Nami's bread and butter. Splash, splash! Repeating myself, please keep in mind you are not Soraka. You do not want to use this on your carry, unless his health is critical, or it guarantees you'll hit an enemy. Again, your carry is responsible for his own health and can/should choose to go back if he feels it's too dangerous.
In lane, from lv1 and on, I constantly use this ability to be in my enemies faces as much as I can. Hit their carry, add one AA, get the splash back for a heal, and back off. 2 charges on Spellthief used, harassed some, healed some. If your carry is in range of theirs (and they attack each other or whatever), splash your carry and hit theirs for free.
In teamfights, I usually let chaos dictate who gets hit. If we are on the losing side, I use it on *any* teammate with low health, trusting it will hit an enemy too, and then splash back to whomever on our team has lowest health. If we are winning or it is even, I usually cast this on some enemy, knowing I'll also heal a teammate if not myself, and hoping the last splash is for another enemy. Splash, splash, splash.
A very interesting ability. Use this to increase an ally's move speed (through your passive) and make his next 3 hits deal extra damage and slow his target. This skill has too many uses to list here, but obviously it helps a lot in securing kills. You should mostly use this on your carry whenever he's engaging (or you are). Finally, you may also use this on yourself to apply the slow to an enemy, to then be able to more accurately land your Q.
The ultimate engage/disengage ability. Summon a huge wave to damage your enemies (Yay Luden's) and apply a devastating slow. This can be used to secure a Q on their team (so satisfying to stun 3 at once). Make sure this is ready for every single teamfight. Your team will love you for it, the enemy team will try to make sushi out of you for using it (unless it's back off cooldown). This ult changes teamfights.
Sorry, I just had to.
So in this chapter I'll try to explain which enemies are tough to go against, but will also try to comment on which ADCs I prefer laning with. This can never be truly complete, as you could more or less play any champ as carry or adc, but some are just seen more often than others, of course.
Explanation: Against Alistar I'd personally say much depends on the carry. Alistar has decent sustain and utility, but to be effective, he has to be in melee range, which makes him somewhat easier to punish. Respect his util, stay out of his range and drain his mana. Shouldn't be too hard.
Explanation: I consider Annie as one of the scarier supports. You got your sustain and some poke and all, sure, but once her stun is ready, you do not want to take any risks at all. Bait her stun, then punish her and her carry. This forces a much more passive play than I'd like to as Nami.
Explanation: This is an absolute horror. Cower behind your minions until his hook is on cooldown, then punish. The harder you punish the better. Then hide behind your minions again.
Explanation: So this guy has slows and if you get hit enough, you get stunned. Sure, sounds cool, but besides easily dodging his Q, they should never be allowed to even dream of hitting your four consecutive times in the laning phase. Past lv6 he gets mildly scarier, but if he ults you, you can still disengage with yours.
Explanation: Alrighty, this one can throw her *****torm at you for minimal damage and oft-neglected utility, but that's about it. Use your W as often as you can when either her shield is down, or on an unshielded target. You'll easily force her out of lane. Once she hits lv6 she gets a little scarier as she has the ability to knock you and your carry apart. However, her overly agressive movement should alert you something would happen.
Explanation: One of the scarier supports. This is mostly a skill matchup. If Karma knows what she's doing and lands her Qs 2 out of 3 times, you and your carry will take so much damage, you'll be pushed out of lane. Also, she has a shield with a speed boost, and a root (which you can 'counter' through your passive, or Q). You'll have to sit this one out defensively and not harass unless you feel it's safe enough.
Explanation: Tough one. You either dominate Leona or she dominates you. If she's with a Graves, they have a pretty strong kill lane and her combo should be respected. However, she is very vulnerable to harassment when her combo is on cooldown. Punish her as often as you safely can, then get ready to dodge her combo again.
Explanation: This one you should still be careful with. With her Q, she can harass the living hell out of you, if you insist on consistantly catching them. Dodge her Q and punish them. Your utility and damage should be stronger than hers.
Explanation: The scary version of Morgana with a shield that also blocks physical damage, a much more useful root and an outrageous ult. Yet, she has no sustain at all. If you can properly dodge her spells, you can deliver great punishment. If you catch a Q, get ready to be punished yourself.
Explanation: The easier version of Lux, as mentioned before. When facing her, you constantly keep her Q in mind with the intention of juking it. Beg her to try to Q you, dodge it, and punish her. Needless to say, try not to cast abilities on whoever was shielded by her, even though that shield can be brought down just fine. She ults you? No problem. Stun/slow and move away. Or heal through if it you dare.
Explanation: Nidalee support is a joke, unless her skill level is about double yours and she hits every Q. Respect the spears and deal out as much punishment as you can. Eventually she'll go oom much before you do, and you either execute them or toss them out of the lane. A support Nidalee should never get as strong as a jungler or laner, so even if you catch a spear and get pounced by her cat, you usually live long enough to stun her and withdraw.
Explanation: Although many might disagree with me, I consider Sona to be Nami's weaker counterpark. Both heal, both deal damage, both stun, and both have a speed boost. Also, both slow. I once read the advice on playing against Sona that said "Kill her carry and she's utterly useless". While this to some extent applies to Nami as well, she often turns out stronger anyway. Oh, and avoid her AAs once she's on steroids. That's about the only thing she can do that actually hurts, in lane phase.
Explanation: This is probably the easiest support you can ever face. Unless you fail to dodge her Q (and E to some extent) time and again, Soraka is utterly useless against Nami. Focus her or focus her carry, and laugh hard when at lv4 neither dares come close to you and is denied both farm and xp.
Explanation: So this guy as a stun, a heal and some fabulous sparkles. Scary huh? Try to "respect" his stun and abuse its long travel time by moving out, then punish them. The one difficulty I have with Taric is deciding to feed on him or his carry first. Focusing Taric has the advantage of draining his mana faster if he heals himself, but if you do, the adc still lives and might be trying to snoop at yours.
Explanation: Doubting between a four and a five here. This guy is nowhere near as scary as Blitz, even though his hook should be respected as well. Harass hard and try to not eat too many of his AAs. Also, keep a close eye on how and when he uses his lantern. If he throws his lantern at his adc behind him, then moves close to you, there's probably a jungler incoming and you'd like to position defensively.
Explanation: Alright, so this guy brings no sustain at all, but he has a stun comparable to your own, a slow superior to yours, and amazing poke damage, especially post lv6. Be on your toes at all times, dodge, dodge, dodge and you might stand a chance here. Let your jungler know you'll have it hard if Vel'Koz proves to be any good. You'll need it.
Explanation: Not really sure what to add ... This guy is so easy to counter. His Qs never hit you, or shouldn't, he rarely lands his stun and his speed boost/slow, well, it's about the only thing save his ult that he's good for. The tricky part, his ult. Often cast when an ally of his faces certain death. If only more carries could realize this and stop doing damage to its target, I'd score him less than 2/10.
Explanation: By far the scariest support I've ever faced. If you have locked Nami and see them lock Zyra support, you might as well dodge your queue (just kidding here). Still, she's going to force you to be extremely defensive and reduce your skillset to pretty much Soraka's until external help finally arrives. Most of all, run from her plants and dodge her roots (I wish I did this more succesfully).