Nidalee Build Guide by yoshiro3333
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.
This is a guide for experience Nidalee players only! If you are looking for a guide just to get started, i suggest looking elsewhere. With this build you have to have some of the speedy hands and quick thinking to play Nidalee effectively. This guide is made for summoner's rift! This is Built around Cool Down Reduction, which not only makes her highly effective during human form but superior in cat form. Nidalee already has some of the quickest abilities in the game in her cat form, so this makes her fast abilities harder to keep up with for beginners. This build is a challenge even for experienced players, so keep that in mind! You have 7 abilities to know and keep track of! If you can do this well, then you should be able to use this guide effectively.
You will notice there is pretty much no survivability on this guide. Play smart with this guide, or you WILL die and you WILL feed your opponents.
These patch changes are extremely important because other guides are most likely not tuned in with the new patch changes. This build would NOT work with previous patches but now they decided they want Nidalee "in the action more".
Many people hate the new changes, but i can't say enough how much i like the new Nidalee. I think she can fight so much better and she is my choice champion for a 1 on 1 fight. Nerfing her heals is worth having more survivability. (armor, magic resistance, and pounce Bushwhack / Pounce Cool-down)
Masteries & Summoner spells
Masteries are pretty self explanatory. Some people say that they would rather have good hands
instead of expanded mind,
. If you think that is a better choice, then by all means, go with good hands, and take that extra movement speed from
The choice is yours.
With this build, nidalee can drain your mana so fast, you will wonder where it all went, so i advise getting meditation
I personally get Flash because I cannot tell you how many times a combined flash, ghost and pounce saved me after I have been stunned or even died with a guardian's angle on. Without a doubt, well worth getting, even after the nerf! Always great for turret diving too!
Ghost - When flash is not up and you get in trouble, ghost combined with pounce is an amazing escape. I also use it to chase down the entire fleeing opponent team when they are running away from a team fight. Helps to catch anyone using flash or any of those tricky wall hoping champions such as Amumu , Caitlyn , Corki , Gragas , Kassadin Shen , Shaco , Renekton , Tryndamere and even other Nidalee's.
When getting Exhaust make sure to get that point in the Mastery Tree! It is great for those 1 on 1 fights and Stops those Attack damage champions from cutting you down. Remember this makes them easy pickings for lining up a deadly spear!
I personally don't use ignite, but i have seen many nidalee's use it and do very well with it. It is all up to your personal choice! Choose whatever you will do best with!
You are the target of every person's stuns after they see how many spears you are throwing, this can be a very good life saving option.
Can be useful, but I personally wont use it.
What not to get
Your supposed to have blue buff! By taking heal when you have Primal Surge is just a waste of space unless you desperately need that extra burst heal to survive, which i would say that nidalee is not your type of champion if you do, because she can be super squishy!
Nidalee used to be a decent jungle champion. Her Primal Surge has been heavily nerfed, making her early jungling skills go down the tubes. It is still possible to jungle with her, but I'd highly recommend picking other champions instead, because she is no longer up to par here!
Wait a second, your not supposed to die right?
If you pick this, you obviously didn't read the whole guide and didn't pay attention to me rant on and on about the blue buff!
You have to many other good choices to waste it in this. Let someone else worry about it.
Unless you think you have amazing skills at having opponents turret dive you and ensuring that you can still survive, then by all means get it. Otherwise, don't even bother.
Runes & Cooldown reduction break down!
CDR = Cool Down Reduction
The reason for the random CDR runes is to get CDR as close to 40% as possible. With the much needed blue buff you will have 25% from that (remember that blue buff gives you an additional .5% CDR per level, so keep in mind this is maximizing your end game potential!)
Masteries - 4%
Runes - 10.05%
Blue Buff - 25% (at level 18)
To be honest, you need CDR as fast as possible so don't think that a tiny bit extra (.05%) will go to waste either!
Starting out abilities - Study your opponents
Choose your starting abilites according to how they will best help you and your team! Look at your opponent's team setup and plan accordingly.
Although Bushwack has the lowest damage output, I still get it for the vision/map control. It gives your jungler the assurance that he will have a good chance to see a gank coming, and it can save yourself from getting ganked as well.
If you are going middle, then ensure that you have at least 2 on each bush. Whenever you have full mana, you should always be placing another trap on your rear exits. You will see any sneaky junglers coming a mile away if they try to come behind you. Your mana regeneration should allow you to have full mana as soon as the next trap is ready to be placed. Remember that you will need this ability anyway for when you get cat form at level 6, so make the most of it!
Remember you have quite a bit of time to set up traps before your game actually starts, and you should be using every second of it to set up these traps everywhere. They give damage over time to enemy champions, which can add up if they keep hitting a bunch in the brush at level 1 or 2.
If you do not have a jungler and your opponents do not have a jungler, then I would recommend something that would help you fight in your lane better. Primal Surge was a favorite pick among most nidalee players, but when the recent nerfs, I'd recommend not getting it first.
I'd get Javelin Toss upgraded at level 1, 3, and 5. Primal Surge at level 2, and bushwack
at level 4.
Choose whatever play style will fit you best!
There should be only 2 choices of boots with this kind of play style.
Mercury Treads is if you are worried you are going to be stunned a lot! Chances are these will save your life more times than you can count, because those stuns can mean your instant death.
If you can get away with not needing Mercury Treads then buy Sorcerer's Shoes. The Penetration makes those Javelin's hit harder and it doesn't hurt to have for your pounce, and your swipe either.
If you are having a hard time with this item build, it may be because of your game play style. Some people have a harder time using Guinsoo's Rageblade effectively. If this simply does not fit your play style, then don't get it because some random person on the internet told you to. Some people are amazing with this item and are able to get that boost effectively! Test it out and see how well you can keep up the stacks before you try to decide!
If you choose to get rageblade, then make sure to add the sheen! This doubles the attack damage you get off the rageblade! If you are not a fan of the rageblade, then get it anyway, because you will be turning it into a Lich Bane.
Lich Bane is the core item item for feral form for nidalee. In cat form, your cooldown time will be almost 2 seconds. Spam away cause you will always get the lichbane effect every time you possibly can with the cooldown reduction. Also use it with your spears when you need to be careful! Even if you think healing might be pointless in battle, remember this baby will boost your next attack! It destroys towers and your attack speed from healing will help it along even more.
Rabadon's Deathcap makes those spears hit extremely hard. This is the reason why you are still effective while your not in the middle of those team fights! Every game I get people complaining about how hard nidalee's are hitting, and after seeing the damage they do, I don't blame them! Although the AP ratio is nerfed hard, you still heal for a large amount at level 5 and I feel like I'm playing sona because I can throw out heavy heals on my entire team during and after team fights.
Guardian Angel, is an amazing item for nidalee. To be honest, you shouldn't need the revive from it, but that armor and magic resistance is what you want. In the case you do get in trouble by getting stunned to death, you will most likely revive in the center of the action. As soon as you revive flash and pounce combined will almost always allow you to escape from the battle. With a quick heal to yourself, you are back to helping your team by throwing those Javelin's.
I rarely ever get this far into a game, even if you skip out the rageblade, but it can happen. Zhonya's Hourglass is for those moments when your flash just isn't quite up and you know your in trouble. The armor and ability power will further help those Javelin's and heals.
Elixir of Fortitude and Elixir of Brilliance are great items for survivability and even more AP. Even if you do not have enough money to buy the items listed above, but you highly suspect that the game could be ended with one last push, then get these bad boys!
If the game still is going and you did not buy a Guinsoo's Rageblade then I would suggest a haunting guise, rylai's crystal scepter or void staff.
Your job is to have blue buff as often as possible. I know, other people might think they need it more than you, but most often they are very mistaken. With the exception of a few rare champions, you should almost always have priority over blue. Although some people might complain when you say you need it, but I promise that if you follow this guide, they will thank you later! Even with blue buff there will be the moments where you could still be low on mana!!!! This is how badly you will need it!!!! Try to steal your opponent's blue buff if you need to!!!! Once you get that blue buff, spam away. Whatever you can spend that mana on, you spend it. If there is a bush that doesn't have a trap, you trap it! If there is a champion anywhere near you, you spear it! If an ally missing a single bar of life, then you heal it! Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam! Then Spam some more! This guide does not work without the blue buff. Period! You NEED it!
Blue buff is easy pickings for nidalee at level 6. Even if you have take quite a blow from being in lane, you can still launch a full ranged spear, heal, and feral form down that blue buff!
How to use feral form like a pro!
So, this is often where I see new Nidalee players have trouble. You need to ask the main 3 questions, before entering a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 fight
1. How is your health? If you have got that amazing blue buff, you (and your lane buddy) should be at or near full health.
2. Can both enemy champions stuns? (slows will not affect you nearly as much if you take ghost and flash which are my personal picks. Pounce helps make slows not seem as bad) If they can stun/silence lock you to death, then you might be better off sitting back and chucking more spears.
3. Did you study the map? If you have wards, then you should know if it is safe. Otherwise, if their team is MIA, then DON'T GO IN. You should still have traps in the nearby bushes to give you an addition precious second of warning but that can be your downfall if you are not cautious.
Remember that sheen/lichbane is your primary source of damage in feral form!
1. Chuck a last Javelin
2. Throw out a heal (if needed)
3. Pounce Do not start if pounce if you are worried of being ganked. You might need it to escape
Repeat one more time
9. Switch out of feral form and chuck a spear
10. throw out a heal
11. (optional) throw a trap at your future exit point if one is immediately reachable. (use only if you have blue buff)
12. Switch back into feral form and repeat
This may not be your type of character if you have a hard time deciding when to run from a battle, because that is one of the most difficult parts to playing Nidalee. Since I play so many different champions, I'm very tempted to dash in and get in the middle of the team fights, but remember that 5 on 5 you will likely die instantly.
Your job is to hang back, and throw your Javelin's , Primal Surge, and even throw out traps. This is pretty general knowledge, but remember that your damage on is based upon distance. Try to aim for far away groups of champions, because if one of them does move, you still have a chance to do even more damage to the person behind them.
Do not, and I repeat do not jump in the middle of team fights!!!! New patches may have given you more armor and magic resistance, but you are still squishy! If you can safely throw off jabs with your auto attack spears to get the process off of your Lich Bane, then carefully do so.
With your cooldown reduction, you can Javelin Toss away faster than ever before! (Not to mention that a patch just reduced the cooldown by another second!) You can heal fast, and then get ready for clean up mode!
Clean up mode!
After some champions have died and the battle doesn't look quite as threatening as it used to, then it is time to throw one last Javelin in and get ready to go for the kill. Switch back into Cat Form and let the massive damage from your Lich Bane destroy your opponents as you chase them down! Spam your abilities as fast as you can but try to land your pounce and that stacks from your ability power, and have your Takedown hit last for added damage from health missing. With cool down reduction, this is where you shine, and destroy everyone who tries to escape the team fight. You should be able to keep up with anyone! Kassadin, might be able to double jump walls with flash, but a blind javelin still has a chance of finishing him off. That or you can try to flash & Ghost to continue chasing him. If you are ever about to give up on a chase, try to get a good position to let one last spear fly at them.
Dumb little trap (A must read!)
Bushwhack isn't there for the damage, because that is hardly worth mentioning. It is used to give you map control. They last for 4 minutes and give you vision for 12 seconds.
In team fights, it's there to give the enemy team a de-buff, and help your team win the fight. People in team fights are to busy with everything else that is going on to worry about a dumb little trap. Bushwhack is highly underestimated and people don't think its worth using because they don't see themselves taking any damage.
When you see how much armor and magic resistance tanks are losing, then you will never think of it as a dumb trap ever again. When it is raised to level 5 it cuts Armor and Magic Resistance by 40%! Did you realize that this dumb little trap does just as much as a Void staff? Void staff doesn't have 40% armor penetration either! Void staff also doesn't give the bonus to your entire team! Remember that it will last 12 seconds and has an area of Effect!
What to do when your in trouble
This is really general information, but might be worth looking into anyway. You just have to make the best judgement call yourself for this situation.
If you have ignite on yourself and you know you wont last another second, throw a [icon= Primal Surge on yourself. People often miss click so I highly recommend hot keys. I personally use E + F1 because I think that's the fastest way to heal rather than clicking yourself and risk healing a nearby minion instead. After that Primal Surge goes off jump back into cat form and pounce away as fast as you possibly can. If you are still being chased and you feel like you have enough of a safe distance between you, then jump back out of cat form, Javelin Toss, then Primal Surge , and decide to either start chasing them instead or continue running and wait to spear them again.
Sometimes getting away is more useful than healing , so pounce away as fast as you can with that amazing CDR. Pounce away as fast as you can and watch your health bar, because you might need to make the switch to human, and heal faster than you have ever done before. :)
If you are still dying often, then I suggest 2 things. You are either dying because of stun lock...... or your are dying because of stun lock. Nothing but stun lock's should be able to kill you! You can out run anyone! (and I do mean everyone!) If you are not dying from stuns, the you should play her more defensively, and practice better positioning.
Ok, so you might get someone with Boots of Mobility, or that rare super speedy champion who can jump walls to catch you, but 99 times out of 100, no one should be able to catch you. Even if they can catch you with those boots, poke them with a Javelin and slow Mr. Boots of Mobility down and once again you should be the fastest person alive.
So back to the stun lock problem. If you underestimated your opponents stuns, then sell those Sorcerer's Shoes for Mercury's Treads
Can you still get stun locked? Yes....
Do you have a much greater chance of surviving? Yes...
Please tell me how you think this build could be better and leave comments below
Don't say dumb stuff like saying "It didn't work", but don't say why! I am very open to constructive criticism! I challenge anyone who may think about leaving a negative comment or down-rate, to attempt to create their own guide, because I think most people do not realize how much work is put into them!
Have speedy hands and best of luck to you!