Nidalee Build Guide by Get Duppied
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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.
Hello and welcome to my first build, for AP Nidalee. There are a few ways to build her when going AP, in this guide I will cover the main build that I use (the one at the top of page) and a few alternative builds.
After watching my friend play Nidalee for a while I finally purchased her myself and have decided to share with you the way I play her.
Please read the whole guide before commenting and any criticism is welcome.
Pros / Cons
- Spears are fun to use
- Can heal herself
- Good escaper (especially in jungle)
- Can trap bushes to protect from ganks
- Can be hard to find your place in team fights
- High mana costs early game
(Innate): Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
This is what makes Nidalee great at escaping/catching up. Whenever you're running away, chasing an enemy or returning to lane, try and run through as many bushes as possible.
Of course, be sure that the bush isn't too far off route that makes the speed boost not worth it.
Q Ability -
Human: Nidalee tosses her javelin, dealing 55 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+65% of ability power) magic damage on impact (deals up to 250% damage the further away the target is).
Cougar: Nidalee's next attack deals 40 / 70 / 100 (+1.0 per attack damage) additional damage, with a damage multiplier based on how low her opponent's life is. Damage multiplier is equal to 1 + (percentage of target's health missing/100). This attack cannot be dodged.
This is your main skill. Your spears dominate any squishy when playing AP, and still take a big chunk out of most champs.
It's a skill shot, which does more damage based on how far away you are when you've thrown the spear. However it will always hit the first target it hits so beware of minions.
In cougar form, this is the last part of your main combo. This will be covered later in the guide.
W Ability -
Human: Nidalee lays a trap that deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+40% of ability power) damage over 2 seconds, reveals the target, and reduces their armor and magic resistance by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes.
Cougar: Nidalee lunges forward, dealing 125 / 175 / 225 (+40% of ability power) magic damage to enemies around her landing area.
This is much like Caitlyn Yordle Snap Trap however it doesn't immobilize them. This is great for protecting yourself from ganks in lane phase.
Also the magic resist reduction is great for hitting harder with your spears
When in cougar form, this is the first part of your main combo. It's also the quickest way you can get around the map by spamming your W key. Read more on this later in the guide.
E Ability -
Human: Nidalee heals an ally champion for 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 (+70% of ability power) and grants them 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cougar: Nidalee claws at enemies in a cone in front of her, dealing 150 / 225 / 300 (+40% of ability power) magic damage.
This is your heal. It's a click and cast spell that allows you to heal allies as well as yourself, as well as giving them a buff. Try and keep this off cooldown when in team fights to keep your carry alive.
When in cougar form, this is the 2nd part of your combo, read more later on.
Passive: Each additional rank increases the effectiveness of Nidalee's cougar abilities.
Nidalee transforms into a vicious cougar, gaining a new set of abilities, 10 / 20 / 30 bonus armor and magic resistance and 20 movement speed and losing 400 range in the process.
This combined with your passive makes you able to escape almost any sticky situation.
It has no cost to switch between Human/Cougar, plus all your abilities while in Cougar form have no mana costs.
If you find yourself needing a quick get away, change into Cougar, spam your Bushwhack / Pounce and hit any bushes you can.
My preferred Runes
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - The extra Magic Penetration will make your spears hit harder, helping you take those critical kills early game.
Greater Seal of Armor - Since Nidalee is a squishy Champion, I prefer to take Armour Seals to help her stay longer in lane. For other options for your seals, look below.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - Again this will build your spears to hit harder, as well as the rest of your abilities that rely on Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Great to build up a good early stack of Ability Power
greater seal of replenishment - If you feel you're running low on mana too quick for your liking, take these if you don't mind the lack of armour. Or of course, do a mixture of the both.
greater glyph of replenishment - Same as above, except you're sacrificing Ability Power, which I don't recommend.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - This will give you high Ability Power late game, but at the cost of lower early game. Choose wisely.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - Depends how you build the rest of your rune page if you can sacrifice the Ability Power.
- Flash is in my opinion the best escape spell. Make sure you use it to disorientate your enemy when possible, and not to just gain extra distance since your Bushwhack / Pounce is great for that.
It's also great to catch up to a fleeing enemy and finishing them off with a well thrown spear.
- I prefer this for my damaging spell, since I often find that my spears always seem to leave them with the smallest health bar possible and it's great for finishing them off.
- People like this for an escape spell, I personally do not. All it takes is a little CC to be thrown your way and you'll soon be caught up with. However, it's down to personal choice.
- This is a great spell but your DPS should be taking it and not you. Of course you can use it to aid your escape, but as I've said numerous times, your Bushwhack / Pounce is great for that.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - These will help you to spam your spears with the 15% Cooldown Reduction
Rabadon's Deathcap - A key item for any AP Champion, a huge boost in AP. Try and buy Needlessly Large Rod first if possible.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This makes you more durable with the 500 Health boost, as well as giving you some more Ability Power. Add that in with the Unique Passive of slowing your enemy makes this a great second item.
Lich Bane - More mobile, extra magic resist, with a little more AP. Also the passive is great if you can jump into cougar form and pop off a Javelin Toss / Takedown quick enough.
Will of the Ancients - You may want to build this earlier if you're laning with another AP to give them spell vamp. Other than that, it's just more AP.
Abyssal Scepter - More Ability Power, plus more Magic Resist for yourself and lower any nearby enemies Magic Resist. This is a great last item to take if you're team is struggling to pull off the win.
Mejai's Soulstealer - Great to take if you feel that you're doing well and continue to do so to build up stacks.
Morello's Evil Tome - AP, CDR and Mana Regen. Good to take if you havn't brought any Mana Regen runes and are running low quickly, or just feel like you're waiting just that bit too long for your next spear.
Banshee's Veil - Nice to take if the enemy team has a lot of CC and it's starting to bug you. Plus the health, mana and Magic Resist makes this a nice item if you want to build a bit more tanky.
Using The Cougar/Team Fights
Using the combo Bushwhack / Pounce - Primal Surge / Swipe - Javelin Toss / Takedown will quickly clear minion waves. With this in mind, Nidalee isn't a great backdoor so don't go too crazy when using this.
Use it to give lanes a little push or to pick up extra gold for your next item
Finally it's here, the explanation for your Bushwhack / Pounce. To be honest, it doesn't need much explaining, but the suspense was fun huh?
If you're moving anywhere that isn't in your current field of vision, you should Aspect Of The Cougar - spam Bushwhack / Pounce to get there quicker.
Same goes for escaping.
So you've poked at the enemy with your spears and your teams about to jump in. You can either hang back and keep poking them with Javelin Toss / Takedown and heal your team with Primal Surge / Swipe.
Or you can use Aspect Of The Cougar and spam the same combo that you use for pushing lanes.
To be the most use in team fights, you should get used to this:
- Poke with Javelin Toss / Takedown
- Heal anyone that needs healing with Primal Surge / Swipe
- Teams heading in? Aspect Of The Cougar - Bushwhack / Pounce - Primal Surge / Swipe - Javelin Toss / Takedown
- Wait on cooldowns and use the same combo OR Aspect Of The Cougar and Primal Surge / Swipe anyone who's low, maybe pop off a Javelin Toss / Takedown.
- Stay in Human form and wait for more heals that are needed or repeat from point 3.
Overall Nidalee is a really fun champion to play, especially when you master using her spears.
I've personally made both enemies in my lane leave the game at 7 minutes, with my friend making their mid leave also.
Enjoy playing Nidalee and let me know if this guide helps!
(I'm English, apologies for Americans that get confused by my date codes)
17/11/2011 - Guide Released