Nidalee Build Guide by Robo Ninja Monky
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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.
Introduction - Nefarious Nidalee
Welcome to my first real guide! Okay, this guide is for a some-what unconventional, yet completely viable AD Nidalee Bruiser build I have used for a long time now. It is seen as "some-what unconventional" because it includes The Brutalizer in the early game. I ask you do not down-vote my guide or criticize the item order until you give it a try. I understand that this is not "the most preferred order", however it has served me incredibly well for I would guess hundreds of games with Nidalee. I even played her and only her for two weeks straight (Playing all day, yes nerdy, shhh). Enjoy the build and don't forget to TRY the build before commenting on the items! Thanks! =)
Nidalee is a very versatile champion and can be played as an Ability Power Poker, an Attack Damage Bruiser, or an Ability Power Support (Poke bottom combined with decent but not amazing support).
However, in my opinion, Nidalee is most effective when played as a Solo-Top AD Bruiser. What does this mean? It means you will be building a mix between Attack Damage and Health oriented items. The result is a Bursty Attack Damage Carry that is relatively Tanky at the same time; it's very effective and considerably less conditional as the other styles you could play Nidalee as.
Special thanks to Joijoi for her extensive guide on making a guide. I used a lot of his tips and tricks as well as her lovely line-dividers. Thanks again!
Predatory Pros / Carnivorous Cons
Greater Mark of Strength x9
Greater Seal of Resilience x9
|SPACE||SPACE||You're soloing top, you need armor. These runes will allow you to compete with your top lane opponent without having to return to base every time you both clash.||SPACE||SPACE|
Greater Glyph of Shielding x9
Greater Quintessence of Strength
Greater Mark of Desolation
|Greater Mark of Desolation||SPACE||SPACE||If you do not have Greater Mark of Attack Damage's or dislike the idea of them (Some people do). Then use these Marks instead. They give great bonuses for any AD champion and are definitely a completely valid alternative.||SPACE||SPACE||Greater Mark of Desolation|
Greater Glyph of Warding
|SPACE||SPACE||If you do not have Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist's then take these instead. Flat resistances vs per-level resistances are situational. However, between other runes either form of Magic Resist are definitely preferred.||SPACE||SPACE|
Greater Glyph of Focus
|SPACE||SPACE||These are definitely not your preferred Glyphs, however if you do not have either Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Magic Resist take these as they are the next next thing for AD Nidalee. (They aren't terrible either, tbh, so don't feel bad if you're low level and need to use these)||SPACE||SPACE|
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
|Greater Quintessence of Desolation||SPACE||SPACE||Again, these are just as viable as using Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage's. If you do not have the Strength Quints opt for these instead. Or, if you simply prefer to use armor penetration runes go ahead, it's plenty effective.||SPACE||SPACE||Greater Quintessence of Desolation|
Greater Quintessence of Resilience
|SPACE||SPACE||If you do not have Strength quints or Desolation quints then feel free to use these instead. They will still be very helpful making you more sustainable in your lane and able to handle more harassment.||SPACE||SPACE|
- Bonus attack damage/ability power while Ignite is on cooldown.
Weapon Expertise - Along with the rest of the armor penetration in this tree we grab this for a big boost.
Sorcery - This mastery will give you 4% cooldown reduction. Very useful for being both Defensive and Offensive purposes.
Arcane Knowledge - This will enable your Javelin Toss (Q) to do viable damage despite you building AD Bruiser. Very useful for dwindling opponents who are hard to get to.
Vampirism - Extra life steal for increased sustainability.
Executioner - The end of the tree. This will stack increased damage against hurt opponents along with your Takedown skill.
- This will decrease the cooldown of Flash by 15 seconds. A Very welcome bonus.
Expanded Mind - We take 2 points in this only because it's better than putting 2 points in Good Hands as that skills use is dependent on you dying. You shouldn't be dying often enough for this to be useful, take the slight mana regen bonus for your human form skill set.
Improved Recall - This one is straight forward, we need a certain amount of points to be able to get our next two masterys. Improved Recall is nice and can help you get back to your lane slightly faster, which isn't useless =P.
Swiftness - This mastery is the first of two reasons we started putting points into Utility. 2% increased movement speed with Nidalee is priceless. It will allow you to be much more cautious in your lane especially before you hit level 6. It will also allow you to chase people very easily.
Runic Affinity - This is the second reason we put points in Utility. During your match try to obtain Blue buff, a lot of other people need it more but sometimes it will be all yours. Also, you can steal the enemy blue buff extremely fast and relatively safely with Nidalee if done correctly. The cooldown reduction is amazing, and unlimited team heals isn't bad either (Despite you being AD).
Savage Summoner Spells
Recommended Summoner Spells
|SPACE||SPACE||Flash, again this is a spell I have grown attached to. Maybe even too attached. The uses for this spell are so expandable and virtually endless I love it. With Nidalee this spell opens up the terrain for you even more. You can do incredibly unique stunts to essentially teleport across the map. You can flash out of the team fight right as all of the nukes are hitting then jump back in as soon as they end avoiding all of the damage. You can teleport over huge walls and combine it with a jump over a wall to be un-catchable, even Rammus can't catch a good Flash+Jump combo.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Teleport, another great alternative spell. With teleport you can go to base, buy items, and return to your lane almost instantly which is very helpful. You can also split-push very effectively with this spell which is one of Nidalee's specialties. A very viable alternative if you enjoy it's benefits.||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Ghost, as usual this is for those who dislike Flash (if that group even exists =P). Ghost is a viable replacement for increased mobility/escape/chase for obvious reasons. If you do not like Flash but need more mobility take this.||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Heal, honestly, I wouldn't advise taking this spell over any of the others but if you like to heal-bait go ahead and take it. This game is for fun after all and it's still a viable summoner spell so don't feel bad about it =P.||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Mercury's Treads should be the second item that you rush. I almost always get Mercury's Treads instead of other boots. The only other set of boots I would consider would be the Ninja Tabi. However, I would only get these if the team is almost exclusively attack damage oriented. This is because we already have the Wriggle's Lantern and its armor bonus; we want to balance the two resistances so that we don't get forced out of team fights in 2 seconds.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||The Brutalizer although this item tapers off late game and becomes less useful beginning in mid-game it is Extremely powerful until around levels 15+. You can feel free to skip buying this item and instead continue rushing your Trinity Force. However, if you are not being held back monetarily I would Strongly suggest purchasing this item right after your Sheen. This is because the extra armor penetration as well as cooldown reduction combined with your Sheen will make you a complete monster. You will be able to one combo people down to half life and take 1/4 - 1/3 of their entire life pool with one Takedown (Q).||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Phage, this item will usually be your next target item when team fights begin to collapse. It just so happens that this build to this point is set up so that by the end of lane-phase you will be working on this Phage. If you already have it, good job, move on to the next item =P. If not, then it's time for you to save up the money for it. Now that lane-phase is/almost is over you need to get more tanky. People might try to focus you down and so you need the health boost this item provides, not only that but this item will enable you to chase those down who get away from your teams nuking. Everyone loves a Phage on their team =). (It also builds into the desired Trinity Force you are trying to rush.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Giant's Belt, well this one is obvious. Not much to explain other than why you need more health at this point. The Phage helped make you more tanky but seeing as you are a bruiser you need more than just a Phage for team-fights to go smoothly. Get the Giant's Belt which will later be turned into a Warmog's Armor, which you will 100% want/need later in the game, to boost your ability to absorb nukes you can't dodge. Keep in mind, however, your next purchase will NOT be pursuing any more parts of the Warmog's Armor. The belt is enough for now.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Trinity Force!! The item you've been building parts of and wanting all game! Yay! Over-excitement aside...Now that you have all the health you need for Mid-Game finish your Trinity Force ASAP. You might even want to tell your team you need to buy if you have enough and are roaming as a team. This will give you an overall boost in all areas/aspects. You will also gain new benefits you do not already possess ( Zeal) and those benefits will also be upgraded within the Trinity Force. Amazing item and now you are an even more lethal weapon =P.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Warmog's Armor has nothing special about it other than it being one of the best tank items in the game, and certainly one of the best AD Bruiser items. With your newly obtained Trinity Force you will have all the damage you need for Mid-Game so now you need to finish beefing up. You won't have much room in your inventory so if you have to choose parts to purchase before finishing it get the flat health crystal instead of the health regen pendents.||SPACE||SPACE|
These next items require one of your current items to be sold and replaced.
|SPACE||SPACE||Last Whisper will replace The Brutalizer. This is a pretty straight forward replacement. Your Brutalizer has already been lacking in it's usefulness this late in the game. If your game isn't over yet you should sell The Brutalizer and replace it with better scaled armor penetration, Last Whisper.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||The Bloodthirster will replace Wriggle's Lantern. Replacing Wriggler's Lantern with The Bloodthirster will result in a huge increase in attack damage as well as life steal (Provided you get it stacked up). A nice trick to getting that extra edge in a hard to finish match.||SPACE||SPACE|
|SPACE||SPACE||Infinity Edge will replace Atma's Impaler. This is something you would only consider if you are not really at threat of being focused too much in your match yet are having issues finishing your match. You should also ONLY take this course of action if you have built/replaced everything I mentioned before this step. This will give you obvious HUGE attack damage bonuses and you should be able to destroy any champion with any build. However, you are not amazingly tanky so don't mis-understand the power you possess.||SPACE||SPACE|
Serrated Skill Sequence
Prowl is an amazing skill that many people don't utilize, before I go into detail about skill order, note the following possibilities with this passive:
- Use it to escape. If you are being chased, run through the bushes as much as possible, this is true for all champions as it will give you cover from being targetted until they also get to the bush, with Nidalee this is even more helpful since you are waiting a couple seconds for your next pounce.
- Use it to chase. If you are hunting someone in the jungle and you see a bush you can "Clip" on the way to your target, do it, it will give you that extra speed boost you need to pounce on them.
- Use it from levels 1-5 to auto attack the enemy hero at top lane while frequently hitting the bush to get the creeps off of you. This is a pro-tip for players that wish to dominate their lane.
Don't Neglect This Amazing Passive!
How to Play AD Nidalee (Important Tips)
Tips and Tricks:
- While using the above method to harass the enemy champion use your Primal Surge on yourself just before exiting the bush to attack. This will give you enough attack speed to get multiple auto attacks off before the enemy can retreat to the tower. Coupled with your Doran's Blade and your attack runes this combo will be devastating to the enemies life pool.
- Continuously place Bushwhack traps both in the enemys top bush as well as in the surrounding bushes where a Jungler might Gank you.
- If you get the enemy to 1/4 life or so, try waiting in the bush for an assault using Primal Surge before exiting the bush and combine it with an Ignite. Using this method I get First Blood in at least half of my matches if not more. (You might have to flash and tank one tower hit for the kill sometimes. If you are experienced with Nidalee this is no problem)
- If you are getting pushed back and having issues just tower hug. With this build you have more than enough damage to sit at the tower and last hit minions (Both kinds) if you let the tower hit them first and wait for the last hit.
Tips and Tricks:
- Use your Aspect Of The Cougar skill set to jump the enemy, burst them, then jump away and heal yourself. Repeat this process for a smooth laning experience.
- Lead into a fight by throwing a Javelin Toss before transforming with Aspect Of The Cougar and bursting the enemy.
- It is important to place your Bushwhack's in places where your enemy will end up when trying to attack you. This will leave them extremely vulnerable to your burst combination and or harassment.
- If you see an enemy charging at you, place a Bushwhack directly in front of you (Almost on top of your own character). This way when/if they get to you they will HAVE to take the lowered defenses in order to attack you. A very very good tactic to give you the edge.
This section is to describe how to act with your team. It does not in any way imply you should not split-push. It simply outlines what to do should you collapse with your team for any reason.
Tips and Tricks:
- Right when the teamfight is about to begin place a Bushwhack in the pile of champions or in front of your team. This will ensure that one, if not multiple, enemies will have almost half of their resistances lowered before the team nukes.
- Throw Javelin Toss's at the enemy team if nobody is initiating, this will dwindle them down which is always helpful.
- Pay Close Attention to Your Own Health during a team fight. I can't stress this enough. A lot of people will burst you down and considering you are a melee carry you will be in the heart of the action. Know when you need to jump out and heal yourself. You are incredibly mobile so you can get back to the fight when you won't be dead in 3 seconds.
Bushwhack/Wriggle's Lantern Locations
How to Pounce (Wall Jumping)
Below are the most popular jump locations.
Note: For some reason 1-3 GIFs at any given time will not show both frames. This happens at random. So, if you experience this try refreshing the page once or twice to see the GIF, that is glitching, in proper motion.
Post-Lane Phase - Teamfights
Who am I? Why Should You Listen to me?
If you use this build and have a nice score you would like to share with the community let me know and I will create a new section just for these screenshots as soon as I get one request.
Questions? Comments? Like the Guide?
Feel free to ask questions and I will answer them here asap.
If you liked the guide please show support by Commenting and or Up-Voting the guide (I understand making an account to vote is a hassle, but I put a lot of effort and thought into this guide and would greatly appreciate the opportunity for it to be recognized).
5/5/2012- I added pictures of how each mastery setup should look when completed. I also, as implied, added a secondary mastery set for those seeking a less aggressive setup that is more farm oriented.
5/5/2012- Began adding more artistic pictures of Nidalee. I plan on having one picture for every section to close each section nicely. Will be slowly adding them as I come across good pictures. (If you have one, made one, or know of one, let me know and I will add it with the "Nafarious Nidalee" title).
5/9/2012- Added a GIF section to "How to Pounce" featuring many GIF images showing exactly where and how to complete the most popular Pounce (W) locations. (Will be adding a map with locations later as well)
5/9/2012- Added a Vladimir Counter section in "Misc. Counters" as well as a description on how to counter him + tips and tricks.
5/9/2012- Added Line-Dividers instead of my ghetto version of them. Huge thanks to Joijoi. He made these dividers as well as an amazing How-to-Make-a-Guide Guide. Props to you man! (Further credited in my Introduction)
5/17/2012- Did a complete rework of the coding for my "Impeccable Items" section. Hope you all enjoy the much nicer look of it as well as the descriptions.
5/17/2012- Hugely revamped the entire look/information provided. I make revisions based on feedback form others. I am in no way finished revising but I did change quite a bit so far. I also did a lot of coding changes to make it look much cleaner/aesthetic.
If anything is missing or should be updated/changed let me know in a comment and I will tend to it promptly!
Don't forget to Vote/Comment plese!