low pressure start
Final Build 2 ( fed af)
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.
Threats to Nasus with this build
Each Nasus game is an underdog story
Before continue reading, play this one for background music:
For me, each Nasus game is an underdog story, you started weak, looked down by not only the enemy, but also your teammates.
"Nasus is weak", they said. "You'll only feed" they said, and as if your laning phase isn't hard enough, the enemy's jungler will constantly camp you, the enemy's mid laner will camp you, even their support will gank the hell out of you. All that to keep you down, to bury you deep, to make sure that your Nasus will never sees the sunlight, ever again. But You will endure.
You'll be left in an island by your teammates to suffer. You'll be their sacrificial lamb for their objective gains. You'll be the receiving end of the blame when your team is losing.
However, when all the odds are stacked against you. If you can keep your heart strong and keep getting stronger with every Q, you know that there is always a chance, that you can lead your team to a dramatic comeback.
It's 40 mins into the game, all of your teammates are dead. Behind you are the 2 turrets and the Nexus. 3 fed enemies are coming along with their minions. They're laughing hysterically on their way as they are certain that their victory is near. Your back is against the wall now. You know that. Your teammates know that. 10s into the last stand, you close your eyes, take a deep breath. Oh....! How you love it! the calm right before a battle. You know that if you lose this fight, everything will be over, and yet, fearlessly, you open your eyes in a sudden, uses your ghost and your ult, your roar shakes the earth, charging straight to the enemy team. Their faces all turn pale, the god of death is coming. You're unstoppable, leaving dead bodies in your wake, their adcs start running for his life, but it's too late, you chop down him with 2 Qs, and not much his 4 turrets and Nexus can do either against a full build ,Elixir, 800+ stacks Nasus.
.... Their nexus is destroyed.
You won, the enemy can't believe what just happened. Your team can't believe what just happened, even yourself can't believe it. But you won the game. After all that, after your team has accomplished the impossible: destroying enemy's nexus, will you receive the applause from your teammates then? Sometimes, yes, but most of the times no. The question is: do you need recognition from the like of them? The people that left you to suffer, the ones that looked down on you when you were weak, when you needed help the most, the ones that would not stop verbally harassing you even though they were not doing any thing useful to win the game back?
No. Hell no! But you know that deep down, they knew that you carried the game hard, you were the reason that the team was even had the slightest chance of coming back, and their silence in the last few minutes of the game, the proof of all that... is enough.
P/S: don't forget to report them for verbal harassment though.
An introduction to Nasus
So, have you ever feel that you're stuck in your current elo simply because you can't carry your constantly feeding team? Do you like the "like a boss" feeling after getting multiple kills in a 1v3 or 1v4, forcing the enemy team to surrender, while flaming their top?
Then Nasus is the champion for you, and this guide is written specifically to instruct you how to do that.
I am DreamHackerThder, reached Diamond 5 at beginning of season 5, having nasus as my most played and only champion in toplane in NA and VN sever(i'm actually a jungle/support main). I've switched to OCE sever recently however and is leveling up my new acc for now.
This guide is quite extensive, i don't suggest you to read everything in one go, that would only reduce the effective of the guide while making you bored, start with the basics first (Chapters up to "things to know before playing Nasus"), play some normal games to understand the basics, then continue to go deeper with the rest of the chapters as you gain more experience with Nasus. After that, theory and practice combined, you'll be able to consistently do everything in the guide without the need to remember. Finally, should you have any problems, you can go back to my guide to see if i have an answer for that, if not, feel free to leave a question.
Nasus is easy to learn but hard to master, is very suitable for one trick ponies, very reliable to carry, and can consistently do well against nearly anyone.
You don't have to be technically gifted to play nasus well. All you need is time to experience different match-ups and team comps, and you should then do well in every single game.
You, however, need a calm and collective mind set when playing nasus. Losing your cool when playing Nasus at any point often results in severe consequences. Nasus is not a flashy champion that can create highlights, but is a champion that you can, with the right decision making, gradually become the carry force that win games.
Nasus is a champion that you can learn to be your reserved pick if you have to play outside of your comfort roles, and he works surprisingly well for me, a guy who is relatively weak at mechanics. I strongly believe that learning nasus can help you gain elo, achieve higher rank in a much shorter time than learning other champions.
The downside of Nasus is that he is very susceptible to CC and kite comp, especially since the god-forsaking Rylai's Crystal Scepter buff and Boots of Swiftness nerfs, as he does not have a built-in gap-close, and therefore, will have a very hard time in teamfights against heavy CC or kite comps. He ,however, can make up for this by having wither to massively slow a target, effectively single that one out for your team to focus, with armor shred from E to quickly take out a target to turn the fight into 5v4 for your team.
You'll still need your teammates to win, therefore, always work with your team, let them know what you want, need. If you want them to hold for you to split, say so, and always be specific about your request. For example, instead of saying: "don't fight,me stack", say something like: " I want to push my lane pass the river, then i'll group with you guys mid, don't fight til then".
Nasus is not having the best time in recent patches, especially after the nerfs to Teleport and buffs to several other top laners. We may have to wait until Nasus' core items receive buff (300 off frozen heart would be freaking awesome), for now , only pick Nasus when you have a good match-up, like against Illaoi, Yorick,( stack their summon) or Ryze, Garen, Tryn, Vlad or any match-up that you have history of doing well against and haven't got buffed in recent patches.
Before the game start
If you're not familiar with the champion you're going to play against, quickly look up their skills in lol wiki. Remember their mana cost and cd, this info will come in handy later.
+If the opponent you're facing have fairly long cd skillshot with high base dmg(like cho'gath, morgana, consider rushing some mobility and try to bait their skillshots before getting your cs ( walk up to the dying cs, then walk back/ turn immediately to dodge the skillshot).
+If your opponent relies on mana and have high mana cost, get a lot of sustain every time you back, after a few rotation of skills, they'll ran out of mana and will be able to do a lot less to you.
+If your opponent has high burst, build Health early ( start with a + 2 ), upgrade it to a giant belt if you're facing the like of Darius.
In ranked matches, do some research about your teammates and your opponents (using op.gg).
Knowing your teammates is really important, letting them play their comfortable role generally allows you to win easier. Also, knowing whether they're experienced or not on the champion and role they're playing can help you greatly to adjust your game plans and strategies to win.
Knowing whether your lane opponent and enemy's jungler are experienced or not is crucial for your laning phase. You'll want to play a lot more safe, recall earlier if they're experienced in their role.
Your main purposes for runes are:
1. Survive the laning phase (High pressure match-ups)
2. CDR for quick stacking (Low pressure match-ups)
Apart from the basic AD marks, Armor seals, MR glyphs, you should have:
1. Armor quints x3
2. MR quints x3
3. CDR quints & CDR glyphs (for a total of 10% CDR)
Their priority is in that order (because, typically match-ups against AD champs are a lot more difficult than AP champs in the early game).
Since Trinity Force gives 20% CDR as of Patch 6.11, with 10% CDR from runes, you can skip Frozen Heart / Glacial Shroud and go straight for the Trinity Force right after the Kindlegem, Randuin's Omen and Dead Man's Plate are better against most common mixed dmg team comps anyway.
If the enemy team is a full AD team comp , then you can skip Spirit Visage, 10% CDR from runes are optional in this case, however, it can help you stack a bit faster and you won't need the MR from glyph anyway (7.5% CDR from glyph and 2.5% from Quint)
If you guys are having problem figuring out the best combination for 40% CDR, i guess that you don't worry about that too much and focus on the stacks instead.
Special thanks to IN A JAR OF NINJAS and space cat
Good for teamfight against immobile and squishy carries, dodging skillshots,jumping over walls, instant gap close to their carries. Flash also allows you to survive/outplay better when you're hugging turret. Take this one if the enemy's jgler has a knock back/ trap and/or top+jungler has huge burst (j4, gragas, lee, nid, darius ..v..v..) or the laner you're playing against has a burst skillshot that you can dodge with flash.
Good for split pushing, escaping, this sum is also favorable in teamfight when you're playing against a mobile adc like vayne, kalista.
This sum is highly preferred if you intend to spend most of your time split-pushing, and/or the enemy's top laner have escape/ low cd cc abilities and/or is a dps with good kiting potential ( like ryze, liss, vlad)
It's important to note that, the longer the game, the better ghost will be when compared to flash, not only that it has lower cooldown, it also scales up as the game progresses, also, as you get tankier, it's guaranteed that you'll be able to make full use of your ghost.
Important for getting back to lane, this sum helps nasus's laning phase by a lot.
However, with nerfs after nerfs, this sum is not the only option for the second spell slot anymore.
Trick: place deep wards, tp for instant gap-close to flank/ catch.
You can take flash + ghost, use ghost to get back to lane faster, which has much lower cooldown than teleport (180 vs 300), get a boot early with these sums, with tier one boot and level 5 ghost, you will get to lane in 20s, in case you have to ( when the wave is about to hit the turret, if the wave is slow pushing, you won't need to ghost or tp if you take tp). Also, having 2 mobility sums make your teamfight stronger as well. You'll have to plan ahead for objectives (travel down for dragon, baron) if you choose this option.
The main downside is that you can't join teamfight half a map away which sometimes can be game changing, but since tp channel time got nerfed to 4.5s since 6.13, teleport is not really good anymore, the fights are likely over by the time your tp channel finished.
Having ignite may help you to deal with champions that rely on lifestealing/health regen like vladimir, irelia, swain, mundo and sometimes help you trade kills, which can help overcome the hard laning phase by having more gold.
Nasus actually has kill pressure if you hit 2 or 3( level E in this case) before your opponent, start Ruby Crystal/ dorans if you plan to do this, also, remember to run toward bushes to stop minions aggro, they do quite a lot of dmg early.
Remove CC and ignite/exhaust. This sum is fairly useful in teamfights, helping to ease nasus' weakness against hard CC. Cleanse take some practice to fully utilize, the easiest way is to wait for the stun icon to appear (above your head) then react instantly, otherwise, you'll likely mess up and cleanse before the stun hit.
There are, however, quite a lot of disadvantages compare to taking teleport/ ghost like missing farm, not being able to participate in fights somewhere else on the map/ lower mobility, buying qss instead is usually the better choice.
Things to know before playing nasus
There are a few important things that you must know if you want to play nasus well.
Keep your minions close to your turret, doing this by simply only last hitting minions. If the enemy recall and you want to recall soon after to shop, leave the enemy caster minions behind, sacrifice those caster minions is so that the wave will remain close to your turret. Another way is to push the wave all the way to enemy's turret if he doesn't have tp, don't just push the lane half way, the minions will slow push and end up freezing near the enemy's turret and you will get f*ked, unless your jungler realize the situation (or if you ask them nicely) and come top to babysit you( which can also be pretty risky, especially if their mid roams top).
+Last hitting under turret
So, it's ideal to freeze the wave just before your turret, not under it, however, against aggressive poke ( especially ranged ones), freezing the lane there is usually not possible, as you will take chunks of dmg everytime to try to go for a last hit.
Early game, it can be difficult for Nasus to last hit everything under turret. Overall technique :
Caster minion : hit once, wait for it to take 1 hit from the turret then last hit. You can also hit it once, Q for aa reset then stack it (do this to lifesteal more off the same numbe of minions).
Melee minion: wait for tower to hit it twice, then last hit.
As your stacks grow and your cd shrinks, you'll have a much easier time last hitting later on, but early last hitting is quite crucial for early game survivability, you can practice this by playing against 5 AIs, so that the wave will constantly pushed to your tower).
- This is the advanced part of freezing: when you're certain to win 1v1 against their top, and the wave is pushing toward your turret, you should zone your opponent off minions, meaning that everytime they try to get a last hit, make them pay with their health bar, they will have to either recall, or stay away from the wave, starving from minions' gold and experience.
Spend some time researching about freezing, last hitting and zoning on youtube, they're the must know techniques for climbing, and only take you 15 minutes or so.
+ Teleport usage
For most of the first 15 mins, you'll want to use your tp to get back to lane and keep farming, after getting a decent amount of stacks, you can tp bot lane for dragon teamfights (or walk to dragon then tp top), bot lane counter ganks + turret, try to TP only when a teamfight is winnable and especially when the enemy team doesn't have good dis-engage.
+ Objective-based decision making.
For late game, make decision base on objectives, those are the things that win games, not kills. If the dragon timer is 45s, push your lane quickly and go down to dragon, after getting dragon, look for towers that your team can kill quickly, then go back to your lane to farm. Look for chances to sneak baron, with wards and sweeper lenses, nasus with ult can kill baron easily and quickly, a baron can make a comeback possible ( not only the 1k5 team gold but also because the enemy team tends to play cowardly when your team has barron, even if they are waaaaaaay ahead of your team, many will not be willing to engage and retreat when one of their teammate is caught out of possition --> space to comeback, also, they will flame each other like hell should this happens -> time to show how friendly you are by chat all to help them flame each other better :)) ), if you have a carry jungler, buy pink ward, ask your jungler to duo baron with you at ~25, should be easy, most of the time.
Constantly planning ahead, especially if you take Flash + Ghost combo
The below items the the popular ones that i've seem on nasus, the first line is their pros, the second line is their cons.
Depend on the situation, you may want to get your items in different orders. You may want to get your if their yasuo is fed, you want if you want to deal with a xerath/ brand that keep stunning you every time you try to walk up to him. You may want yomuu's ghostblade if assassinate their adc and dodging skillshots is all that you have to do to win fight.
Those items are the core on nasus, they give you tankiness, CDR and sustain. Rush either depend on match-up.
Try to rush this item early, after the basic CDR items if you're fed, it will give you a massive power spike in the early and mid-game, which can help you carry the game hard during those periods, eventually, in the late game, their support and tanks will do much better in protecting their carries, peeling (better teamfight goals, more items, higher skill level ..v.v..), and your lead also aren't that big compare to them anymore. However, if you're not fed, get the Sheen and finish a defensive item first.
This is your main dmg item, in most situation, will also be the only dmg item that you'll ever need. Without armor pen however, you won't be able to do much dmg against armor stacking champs, consider getting LW in that case.
Important secondary tank items. Pick 2 of them depend on the situation.
If there ADC is fed, rushing thornmail first is better than Randuin's.
-Good against all ad comp + AOE slow, much cheaper than Trinity Force ,good for peeling, can be rush early against AD top as a defensive item, also, the aoe slow is quite useful early, when your W is not leveled yet.
-Lower dmg and mobility compare to , lower cost efficient.
-Increase overall dmg dealt by a lot through armor pen, best time to buy this is when you notice both their top and jungler are stacking armor ( thormail, Randuin's and such)
-Is a mid to late game item, no point buying this early. Also, neither of the upgrades are very useful to Nasus, you can keep your Last Whisper until you finished all other items.
-Good stats, increase dmg/ tankiness through lifestealing, good for 1v1.
-Too expensive, need to do dmg to be usueful, therefore, is not as useful as a pure tank item in teamfights, where you are the focus of enemy's CC, you usually would lifesteal better with armor pen if you have to hit tanks.
-Pretty awesome item in case you need 10% more CDR, quite similar to bloodthrister, however, this item is slightly better since you don't have to stack your Blood shield before to get all the tankiness provided by the item, and is slightly cheaper.
-Also expensive, heal less than bloodthrister, and you generally don't have a slot for this item anyway.
-Useful vs AOE magical dmg.
-Overkill CDR/ can stop at aegis of legion just for the AOE MR aura, low cost efficient if your support or jungle buy the item, or you tends to split push for most of the game.
-The movement speed burst is really useful for chasing down ADC/ escaping, especially if you take flash. The flat armor pen on top of your E makes you hit like a truck.
-Can overkill CDR, not cost efficient when the active is on cd, also nasus can't make full use of the attack speed stats, and is not as effective as Last Whisper if the enemy team is stacking armor.
-Give a decent amount of bonus health, health regen, cheap, can be really useful in stand-offs. Good against true dmg burst like darius, chogath + ignite.
-Since the recent reduction of bonus health from 1000 to 800, warmorg is not a slot efficient item if you don't need the 10% CDR.
The item is totally worth it if you need 10% more CDR and enemy doesn't have %hp dmg champs, if you got chunked in teamfight, you can always stay behind, throw your E and W out while waiting for warmog's passive to heal.
-Great for cleansing annoyingly long cc, and debuffs( like exhaust), can be upgraded to ,which isn't bad either.
-Require good decision making, and good reaction time to make full use of, which is really tricky.
-Useful stats and passive. The movement speed from this item's passive can help you to make faster rotation, escape, engage, chase.
-This item got nerf quite a bit, not as efficient as Randuin's Omen
-Can help you hit harder with 50% base attack dmg increase (this benefits both aa and passive of Trinity Force/ Iceborn Gauntlet , the 30% max health shield is also valuable as Nasus usually builts a lot of health.
-Quite a decent item for initiating fights, it helps catching people out of position as well as provide ms boost if you decided to choose flash over ghost, and is really good against team comps without any tank.
- After several nerfs, this item is quite cost inefficient after already having and or .
-This item is actually solid right now at 2,4k gold, you can totally get this item as your third major purchase, enemy tends to ignore you when they see you have this item.
-During the 5 mins cd of the passive, the item is quite useless, sell it if you have the gold and need the slot.
-Good for tower diving/ hugging. Get this when you want to dive your lane opponent hard., useful stats.
-Not cost efficient, not slot efficient.
-Weird item to be put here. This is a situational item which can be picked when you have an all AD team comp, late game can actually output a decent amount of dmg.
ITEMS THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BUY
- Quite expensive, Overkill CDR, can't stack the passive quickly on multiple targets, not anywhere as good as Last Whisper.
-If you want the AOE magic dmg +some tankiness, gonna do more dmg than this. Also, the AOE burn dmg tends to mess up your stacks.
-Expensive, the passive is not very useful since you already have W for 95% ms slow.
What to do during each phase of the game
Early laning phase:
+ Play extra careful during the first few levels, especially level 2, if the enemy hit 2 first, fall back to your tower and wait for the wave to reach it, staying for an extra cs can get chunked down heavily and risk dying, especially if your lane opponent has ignite. The lane can snowball really fast from that, so, be patient and calculated.
+ Farm as much as possible, avoid fighting. Ideal stacks would be time x30 ( 750 at 25 mins, well, this is only possible when you're playing against bot, with CDR runes or you're playing against really passive opponents). good amount is timex20 ( 500 at 25 mins). You should generally try not to roam or teleport for teamfight too much before reaching at least 400 stacks before 25 mins, if you die without killing 2 or more, you'll just be a liability for your team, and each death will cost around 2-3 minutes of stacking (50-90 stacks), well, you can easily calculate how much 5 deaths will cost .
+ Get a lot of sustain, try to survive the laning phase, not giving away any kill if possible.
- Don't worry too much if you fall behind in stacks in the first 15 mins, the main purpose of this period to survive, you'll catch up in stack really quickly if left in lane without too much pressure because of how low your Q's cd is at this point. Tell your team to avoid unnecessary fights when you're catching up.
+ Rush CDR items.
+ Ping other lanes when top is mia
Gank/ Countergank bot with teleport:
This is a viable option especially when you know that your botlanes are good players, giving a slight advantage can snowball into a winning lane. You can also get a dragon afterward. However, if they are not only behind, but is also new to the role, you better not wasting your time there, you may even end up giving them another kill, which can be disastrous.
To do this, ask your support to get a 3 mins ward deep in the second bush.
For whatever the purpose and result of this tele, don't die, beware of their bot's burst dmg ,retreat whenever you suspect you may die, even if you can trade 1v1. The reason is that the enemy's bot will receive a kill from you, which make them slightly ahead of your bot, while you, even though got a kill, lost time that you could use to stack.
+ If your lane opponent tele and you decide to stay, remember to always wither and do as much dmg to him as possible.
Quick tip to guess where the enemy jungler is :
+ Other lane's ganking potential: if your mid is LB against enemy kataria, or your kalista & thresh bot against ezreal and soraka, it's highly unlikely that the enemy's jungler will spend much time gank those lanes, since it's very unlikely that ganking any of those lanes will result in kills. Therefore, you should expect a lot of ganks in this situation.
+How snowbally is enemy's top & diving potential: against a late game champ like Nasus, you'll often see enemy's jungler dive your turret really often, epsecially if you're playing against the like of Elise, Tryn, Kayle, Pantheon. Sometime, you'll even get 3-4 men dive. Therefore, if you playing against those champions, expect a dive, buy and place it in nearest tri-bush
+Where was the last time you've seen the enemy jungler: If you've seen them recently ganking bot, it's likely that top lane will be his next target. The reason is that before ganking, he most likely cleared his bot side jungle, and recall after the bot lane gank. It's only reasonable that he will farm his top side jungle later and gank either mid or top.
If he ganked mid recently and still at full-health or so afterward, it's also likely that he will give top lane a visit as well.
Only play aggressive in when you know you can comfortably 1v2, else, inform your jungler and mid to set up a counter gank.
If your lane is not being pressured and is pushing towards enemy's turret constantly, buy a ward and place it between enemy's Gromp and Blue buff if you're on purple side and at red buff's bush if you're blue side. It'll provide your team with a lot of information about the enemy's jungler whereabouts, ping your bot if you suspect a gank in bot lane soon ( gromp is intact, your bot is overextending).
-If your lane is frozen near enemy's turret, and that guy has a lot of kill pressure, don't sit in a bush and simply wait, an experienced player can freeze his lane more than 5 mins and you'll be absolutely f*ked, try to farm the jungle, or gank other lanes during that time, seeing you roam, that guy will normally try to push the lane back, if not, play as a second jungler and put more points into your W.
-A neat mind trick to make your opponent push the lane is to fake a recall, when you're kinda low, but certain that the enemy can't dive( you still has your sums and ult up), you can go back behind your turret and start recalling or went out of sight for about 10-15 seconds( your opponent will think you recalled), after that, you can safely farm a bit more before actually recalled, remember to leave a few minions behind as usual to avoid slow push and enemy freezing.
-If you're real serious about gaining dem elo, after each death, question yourself why did you die there? ( didn't expect the burst, didn't expect the dive because the lack of vision, the enemy is way too fed and you didn't know he is about to dive you ...v.v.), and think of a solution, things that you could have done differently ( ward deep, look at mini after each cs to look for mia, expect the potential dive and walk waaaaay back before your opponent can easily dive your ***, or get hit by a skillshot CC that if you dodged, you would have lived( quick tip: try to move perpendicularly or backwards a bit when you feel that they're about to throw their skillshot), etc. ). You can probably blame your teammates for feeding, or not pinging your lane for mia, or not ganking your lane, etc, however, if you want to gain elo, if you truly deserve a higher rank, you have to be the better player, not your teammates, don't expect them to win the game for you, think of what you can do to win the game( that does include asking your teammate nicely to ward, to play safe, to buy defensive items in hard match-ups and to ask for ganks/counter-ganks, etc., and remember to ask nicely and try not to sound patronizing, better, make them think that it's their idea:
-hey, rammus is freaking fast, Braum, how can i avoid getting ganks?
-ward deep, don't over extend?
-OK, thanks. -> then occasionally, " i think you should ward at drag and their jg over the drag pit, rammus ranking and all, you know." whenever they forget to ward.
Mid game ( usually when tier 1 turrets are destroyed)
-After ~25 mins, you should try to spend more time with your team for objectives, this is the time that nobody really knows what to do, your teammates and enemies alike, they'll all spend 4,5 people chasing you without hesitation (because they has nothing else to do anyway) and your team wouldn't even accomplish a thing in the mean time because they're busy taking camps from your jungler. If there are objectives to be take, you need to tell your team in advance, like:"If 3 or more show up top, take their bot/mid turrets, keeping pressuring bot/mid in the mean time".
-Keep farming if no objective can be easily taken. Push your lane out if you suspect a fight may happen soon (especially dragon, baron fights), try not to miss any major teamfight, you can't really win the game if your whole team is behind, and people in low elo tends to fight even though they're at clear disadvantage, and not only that, they'll blame you afterwards as well, so, if you need them to stall or give them objective, tell them well in advance. Upgrade your trinket and place ward whenever you can in the enemy's jungle. Otherwise, freeze your lane or farm jg.
-Starting from this phase, always use w to single a target out for your team to focus
-Try not to die, if the trade is 1v1, it's preferred that you don't take the trade and stay alive, dying = losing time which can otherwise be used to farm/ take objectives.
-Beware of the enemy's diving potential.
-Group, look for teamfights or Split for towers+inhibs.
When to teamfight and when to split
Depend on team comp and current situation.
+You want to split when your team is behind and you're ahead, try to drag as many people top as possible without dying. You're on a one man mission here, but still, ask for wards and cooperation from your teammates, you cannot win the game alone. Be aware of enemy's mid laner and jungler position on the map all the time by warding in the jungle and constantly look at the mini-map. If you already pushed the wave past the mid point of the map, look at the mini-map and ask yourself questions:
1. Can your team gain anything if 2 people or more show up at the lane you're split pushing (tower/ drag/baron)? If not, wait for enemy to show up elsewhere on the map in the fog of war/ go back to buy/ go to other lanes for tower or kills( dive if possible, nasus can dive really well against low mobility champs, because of CC, dmg and tankiness) .
2. Can you escape or 1v2 or 1v3 ?
Usually, when you split pushing, you want to draw 2 or more people to your lane to give your team advantage elsewhere, however, you must be able to escape or 1v2 or 1v3 to be able to do so. If your flash/ghost is down + you most likely die 1v2 without gaining anything, you better group with your team.
Note: on many occasions, you'll want to overextend to drag several people to your lane, focus on buying time and getting objective rather than kills there, you may be tempted to take a 1v2 because you can easily take them both, but it is fully possible that there will be more people collapsing in just a few more seconds as well, because as i said, they don't really know what else to do most of the time, therefore, unless you can take them down really quickly, don't commit too hard, don't chase if the enemy is out reach and don't dive.
3.Have your team got any Mountain drag? As it can increase your dmg on tower tremendously.
+You want to teamfight when you have a teamfight comp, espically if you have fed hyper carries on your team that you can peel for easily and morg or a dive support that can lock enemy carries down.
How to team fight
+Be the front line.
+Don't pop your ult and ghost right at the beginning of the fight, you'll waste most of them that way, use your ults when their tanks is diving in, and your ghost when chasing their carries. ( or for running away, i won't judge :D)
+Look for the most fed one and make the decision. You can flank the enemy's fed carries, or wither and focus enemy's fed dive champs with your carries or be the front line for your fed carries and fend off anything thing that may harm them.
+Think about what may stop you, or stopped you in past fights from complete your fight objectives and have a solution for that: a certain CC( dodge, bait, cleanse, ask support to buy Mikael's Crucible), your carry wasn't able to do dmg (no peel -> peel, get item for peeling, get caught --> ward), you died too fast (a carry is too fed -> try to pick that one out before the fight, build defensive items against that carry, ask your team to help you take down that carry first).
+The most common way to teamfight is to slow the closest target, focus him down with your carries, then continue to chase down the rest 5v4. Don't dive their carry hard if you don't really have to, also don't try to dive alone, unless the enemy team is really behind. You can always W one target, E then fending off anything that may harm your carries and will win the fight.
+Remember that you're more of an AD caster than a DPS champ, therefore, if you're getting focus, Q then fall back for 2 seconds, wait for your cd, then go back in. Also, you can take objectives down the fastest, possibly only second behind your adc, therefore, it makes the most sense for you to stay alive after the teamfight.
+Mind your mana pool, always have at least 1k mana before a late game teamfight start.
+Stay close to your teammates in a formation for most of the fights, only split to chase someone when to fight is mostly over and already broken down to slaughtering.
To understand the match-up better, you should learn the information about those champions in detail, especially their dmg and cd, a quick way is to visit http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/League_of_Legends_Wiki and search for the champ.
Playing against the guy with ignite is usually more difficult and you'll have to go back when you're at half health and ran out of health pots to avoid dying.
Start ruby crystal + 2 health pots against early aggressive champs with ignite, you'll have to go back earlier, but you're much less likely to die. If the enemy nonetheless try to all-in you at lv 2 or 3, you can recall early, then teleport back to lane later. If enemy's top decides to stay, you will face a much weaker enemy ( no ignite, empty mana pool), if the enemy recall, you'll have roughly 45s to farm up. When the enemy shows up again, i highly suggest you to fall back immediately unless you know where the enemy's jungler is (recently gank bot or at dragon). If not, either ward the river bush or recall, the enemy's jungler is most likely be at a pushed up lane ( yours) at that point.
Quick tip: If the enemy's top chasing after you, ignoring his cs, it definitely means that, at least, another enemy is top with them, start to run back to the wall and prepare to dodge skillshots.
Beware of enemy's , this spell reduces healing by half and does true dmg against a resist stacking build. Keeping the cd of enemy's ignite and attack when this sum is down is crucial to win 1v1.
The below are the ones that can be tricky to play against.
-Her ult is about to get a buff in 6.17, be extra careful when she hits 6 then.
-Go for the first Q, stand in the middle of your minion wave, riven will go in for the combo, and push the lane, pop a health pot and wait at the turret for the minion wave to push to you. This one is similar against most AOE dmg dealer to make the wave pushed to you faster.
-Farm safe, try not to give any kill, recall when hitting 6 if you got a lot of gold, staying in lane at this point is rather risky because riven can flash combo to burst you down. Rush frozen heart + ninja tabi.
-When going for a last hit, run toward the minion, and then run back to bait out her Q first, then go back for the last hit.
Experienced riven will rush or , if she goes for items like and/or , you will most likely win against her after getting even if she had kill or cs lead. Wait for her to use her combo to harass you, then run her down, beware of enemy's jungler however.
-in teamfight, wither riven and focus her down with your carries, she is usually very squishy. Her flash is the main way for her to jump on your carries, remember to time her flash, when it is down, it will be easy for your team to win fight against her. Ask your carries to get some armor/ Guardian Angel if they're getting deleted by her.
Well, you may have noticed that i mentioned Darius quite a lot earlier . It is because this is the match-up that keep giving me nightmare at night. After the recent rework, darius doesn't do magic dmg anymore which means that you can have an easier time stacking health and armor, and can also use cdr glyph runes, and his ult does less dmg as well. However, his overall dmg is still really high, and this guy can 1v2 a lot easier now with the heal from his Q and his instant 5 stacks passive.
- I highly recommend not to pick Nasus when you already see Darius picked and/or when you suspect a Darius counter from the enemy team. After the rework, Darius is extremely hard to handle even in the hand of inexperienced players and his late game is pretty good. If you plan to main top, i suggest practicing Kayle/ Wukong/ Illaoi/ Pantheon as counter pick to Darius if you see him being picked.
- If you have time, i also recommend watching high elo players playing this champion, and try him in normal for couples of games to get the idea of his range and potential.
If you got countered:
-You'll need a jungler that can deal with Darius, something like Yi (need a skilled one, after he finished his jungle items and botrk or close to finishing it, need to beware of countergank as well, if you and Yi die 2 for 0, your lane is definitely lost unless other lanes help), Olaf, Pantheon, Lee sin( need a skilled one as well, who can kite Darius's damage). If you're playing with a low dmg, strong CC jungler, and your carries are not smurfs, i highly recommend that you dodge.
If you cannot dodge:
-Ask for a lane swap. This bastard has "Nasus destroyer" carved all over his axe and is op af 1v1, can and will make your laning phase a living hell, but will not be able to do much 1v2. Ask your jungler to camp and ward for your adc and sp since the enemy's jgler will most likely go top really often. It's not a good idea, however, when your adc's aa range is short ( sivir, graves) or not mobile (jinx, kogmaw) and the support can't peel well. A lv6 darius can single handedly kill both your lv 5 bot laners if they can't kite him effectively and can 2v3 easily should your jungler show up.
-If your bot refuses to do so, rush ninja tabi + health ( kindle gem, giant's belt). Try to bait his grab and Q before going for a cs (you'll want a boot for that). Pos 6, that guy can pull you and 100-0 you with a full combo+ignite, this can be even more brutal if he is diving along with his jungler. Darius, however is easy to gank, if you manage to stay at relatively high health, you can ask your jungler for a gank. Try not to die in this match-up, if you give him 2 or more kills during laning phase, this guy can start diving you under turret, maxing W second if this is happening.
-MUST have flash in this match up.
Learn Darius' Q hitbox, if Darius' Q hit you with the handle, his Q dmg is reduced by half, doesn't apply his passive and doesn't heal him.
He can roam early and destroy your team. Darius fall off a little late game, if you have strong carries, protect them as long as possible in teamfight against Darius.
If your team doesn't have a strong carry that is capable of taking down Darius quickly yet, buy wards, make picks, Darius doesn't have escapes.
- One of the most annoying match-ups: Irelia isn't necessarily a big threat in lane. She doesn't have good poke, her burst at level 6 is quite good, but if you already have Kindlegem and some armor by then, it should usually not be a big problem, and you usually win against her after getting Sheen and 2 basic CDR items + 200-250 stacks. You should usually get one kill at this point, when she doesn't expect your damage and try to all-in you, be careful however, experienced Ire will hit and run, waiting for her E and W to come off cd, as well as avoiding your ult, with a boot and her passive, she should usually be able to buy enough time for 2 rotations of skils and outplay you when her E is off cd again. Therefore, time her E, if she is out of reach, don't try to chase (her jungler is quite often top as well, especially if she died once already), come back to lifesteal off minions, she will have to either recall, or risk losing the next fight, either way, you win.
- Irelia has much bigger early and mid game impact than yours, she will tp bot and roam mid quite often to look for kills, especially when you keep freezing the lane near turret. She is at her strongest after finishing her Trinity Force, it's really easy for her to get kill once she has the item, she can easily dive turrets with her teammates, remember to ping mid and bot every time she is missing and tp in advance if they're about to dive turret, if you don't have your tp up, ask your team to play extra safe/ fall back. If her roams don't result in any kills, she will fall behind and become irrelevant in late game.
-In late game teamfights, Ire's job is to take down your carries, drop your cane on her every time she tries to do anything silly.
-Try to dodge her Q as much as possible by avoid standing in a straight line with her and your minions.
-Rush and merc treads.
-She has limited mana resource, after getting 200+ stacks, all in when she is low on mana, try to bait her E first if possible.
-She can set up gank, tower dive really well with the amount of CC that she has, therefore, ward deep (scuttle crab), or else, you won't be able to react. The enemy jungler can also wait in lane bush to gank as well. Therefore, it's recommend not to chase her, focus on your farming, the only time that you can really kill her is when she uses all her abilities to all-in you.
-Teamfight against liss can be tricky, she can destroy your carry easily and quickly if your carries don't have MR and is impossible to peel. Therefore, if your carries are getting deleted by her, ask them to get MR first before teamfighting. If she is behind, she can also CC you for days for the enemy's carries to focus you down, don't dive straight into the enemy's team without your teammates backing you up.
-Full tank gnar is an easy match-ups. Offtank offensive Gnar (Black Cleaver + Frozen Mallet + Youmuu's) ,on the other hand, is extremely difficult to deal with, especially if their jungler camps your lane.
-Avoid letting him procs the 3rd stacks of his W
-Maxing W second if gnar's going The Black Cleaver-> Frozen Mallet
-Consider getting some mr early, his main harass is his W which does a lot of magic damage.
-All-in when you have a decent amount of stacks + he is about to transform from mega gnar to mini gnar (when the rage bar is running out), this is the time when he is about to lose his tankiness and is still slow.
-If gnar got black cleaver and frozen mallet, you'll very unlikely be able to catch him( unless he makes mistake and jump toward you, it's also possible that their jungler is there), try not to fight him in this case, wait for gank, otherwise, just stack.
-His teamfight is pretty strong, avoid teamfighting in jungle and near corners, in narrow areas, it can be brutal if he can stun multiple members of you team, chains with massive AOE like Kat, Viktor, Kennen, Jinx..v.v.., your team will get deleted instantly . Engage when he is about to transform from mega to mini.
-Beware of his Q stacks, his Q does double dmg after he used it 3 times( there is a red bar below his health that decay quickly when this happens).
-Ask for ganks
-Rush spirit visage, all-in when you have ~200+ stacks.
-Vlad teamfight is really strong, especially if he has AOE dmg dealer on his team to follow his ult, if your team is losing teamfight after teamfight, try to split/kill him before teamfighting. Get Aegis/Locket, ask your teammates to get Morellonomicon/[Mortal Reminder]] to reduce his healing.
-A rather tricky, but not popular matchup. Full AP teemo is quite an easy match-up, AD teemo ( Botrk, Frozen Mallet, Runaan's ..v.v.) ,on the other hand, is really hard to deal with as he does insane poke damage and is really hard to catch, if you play against an AD, you'll need your jgler for a few early ganks.
-Start Ruby Crystal + 2 Health Potion
-Rush and keep it there.
-Only go up for Q last hitting, stay under turret, it's hard for teemo to harass you under your turret because of his posion (although, when he has enough AS, he can harass you for free under tower between turret shots). All-in when getting 200+ stacks and he used his Q trying to deny you farm, if you have a lead big enough and you know that their jungler is nowhere nearby, all-in whenever convenient before he can harass you to too low.
-In teamfight, teemo is rather annoying, his shrooms can make it really difficult to engage, ask your team to get sweeper/oracle lenses and focus more and dragon and baron, force their team to run to your team instead of yours running into theirs (dragon, baron). Also, don't ever dive straight into their team, the shrooms and blind can render you useless, while their carries are able to do free dmg, wait for your support to make a pick first, or peel whoever is trying to dive your team.
-Rush frozen heart.
-Go back when low on health, because he can dive you easily because of his passive, he crits when you're below 15% health.
-Ping mia + careful on bot lane when panth is missing pos6 (this guy will only look for roam at this point)
-This match-up will be easier if you have 22 armor rune page. panth will most likely run out of mana.
-He falls off hard late game, wither and focus him down if he builds dmg or ignores him if he goes full tank.
-You should be able to win against him ~lv 9, he has no reliable escape as well, remember to proc his passive with an aa then Q, since his passive can block your Q dmg.
-Avoid standing in the area of his Q and ult, try to dodge his E, he has 2 shots each time.
-Bait him to use his Q to harass you to push the wave to your turret.
-All-in when you got 200+ stacks and he is in danger zone( his secondary resource bar is red), try to walk in front or on his side to make it hard for him to kite.
-Don't teamfight in narrow passages against Rumble.
-Avoid letting him hits you when he is at full rage, if he spins in try to harass you.
-Maxing or spending at least 3 points on W for as + ms slow
-Recall when low heath pos6, he can dive really well, especially with help from jgler because of his ult.
-Rush fronzen heart/ninja tabi/ thornmail.
-when fighting him, unless you're very far ahead, fight as follow: W + E+ Q --> run back, make him chase (basically, hit and run) --> Q --> run back. The reason for doing this is because nasus depends on Q to do dmg (ad caster), while tryn is a dps aa. Therefore, run while Q is on cd, doing this will win you every fight even if tryn is fed late game. Do this against other aa champs like jax, fiora if they are fed.
-This guy can dive you extremely well with his jungler pos6 due to his mobility and 5s death defying ult.
-Late game tryn will usually try to split pushing against you, maxing W against him will make it really hard for tryn to escape from you, especially if you have flash. In teamfight, just wither him and he is next to useless.
-Rush ninja tabi, maxing W second or at least 2 points early into W.
-Get Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Trinity Force, and prioritize armor + lifesteal over health in this match-up.
-Pay close attention to her riposte, it can parry your Q and the cd of the skill can be reduced to 9s with cdr build (black cleaver, cdr boot), meaning that she can parry up to 2 Qs of yours in a fight, along with her high dmg output, you'll most likely lose the fight should that happens. What you should do is to keep auto-attack until you see her riposte being used first, then Q, otherwise, it's likely that she will be able to parry your Q.
-When fiora uses her ult, run backward or forwards in 1 single direction the whole fight and/or has your back against a wall(so she can't proc the vitals on the side facing the wall) to avoid fiora from procing her ult, if fiora finished her ult, you're very likely to lose, unless you're waaaaaaaay ahead of her. Her ult + passive can do up to 50% of your health as true dmg, while healing her >1k health when she has 2 major offensive items and can go up to 80%.
-In team-fight, wither her and kite with your team, fiora is quite squishy, but can do a massive amount of dmg in an instance.
-Rush Ninja Tabi + Frozen Heart, consider getting a doran shield on first back.
-Ask for ganks, quinn can kite 1v1 really well, but not so much 1v2.
-All-in if you can find a flank and already have the mentioned tank items, try to walk to her side or in front of her, so that she cannot E away.
-She is a secondary adc in teamfight, which means that their team will most likely lacks a tank. Look for a flank/ consider getting righteous glory +randiun's omen or ask your supp to get the item or talisman. Their team will not be able to survive if you manage get on top of their carries.
You may have noticed that i've included an AP nasus build.
Because of and , Nasus does have decent AP scaling, assuming that multiple enemies stay in your E for an extended amount of time.
The problem of ap nasus is that has a relatively short cast range of 650, compare to 900-1100 of most mid laners. Moreover, Nasus doesn't have a hard CC, which make it really hard to kite. This means that, for whatever reason, you're fed, you'll still have a really hard time carrying if your team is behind because there isn't an easy way to do dmg without putting yourself in danger, and if you happen to fall behind, you're pretty useless.
I consider this build as a for fun or ARAM build rather than a serious ranked build. AP nasus can possibly be viable if your opponents are all melee.
With the slow from and armor shred from , Nasus can bring a lot to the table in the laning phase. Afterward, Nasus can serve as an effective peel, tank support against low mobility and auto-attack dive champs. Moreover, the %health dmg from can help taking down the baron quickly.
The disadvantage of Nasus support is that he doesn't have hard cc, if your team falls behind, it's quite hard to comeback, you'll also struggle quite alot in laning phase against poke duo bot and it's really difficult to save your adc from ganks.
0. Go to youtube and search for nasus top lane, watch a few videos of gameplay to get the general idea of how you should play nasus. I recommend watching Sirhcez.
1. Play ~20 normal games or more on nasus before playing him in ranked to try different match-ups and team comp as well as situations, or you will most likely feed a lot, (i would say ,at least, 3/5 games). Try getting a good amount of stacks on any match-up and avoid dying as much as possible.
2. Don't be arrogant, you may be a demi-god, but you can still be killed 1v3 and lose the game, know your limit, work with your team and aim for the win. The more down to earth you are, the faster you'll climb.
3. Never give up. There were games that my team was down to the naked nexus, and still manage to comeback to win with pure perseverance and teamwork, the game is only lost when your nexus is destroyed. Nasus can destroy towers and building extremely quickly, if your team manage to win a late game teamfight, you can take the 3 turrets, 1 inhib and the nexus within 50s.
However, it's preferable to end to games at 30~40 mins into the game. As the game drags on, the enemy will get enough items to deal with you.
4. Spend at least 3 minutes after each game reviewing your last game, what you did well, what you did wrong, what could have you done, why. Also, do this to avoid meeting people from last game, knowing a nasus main is on the other team will either draw a nasus ban, or a massive amount of camping top/ counter.
5. It you got ninja tabi, consider buying elixir of iron in late game teamfights (35+ mins or so), it gives tenacity, slow resistance, and the size that only suit the god that you're. It also increase your hitbox( block skillshots for teammates) and give path of iron to help your team stay close with you in teamfight. Sometimes, i buy this elixir just so that i look like a god when i ult.
6. Always ask yourself " what happens if the enemy jungler and/or mid shows up right now?". Answering this question will help you significantly reduce your loses.
7. Avoid picking Nasus when you already have an AD mid. Usually, when picking an all AD team comp, you would prefer the game to end early, as the enemy will simply stack armor and your team won't be able to do much dmg to them. Nasus, however, doesn't have the tendency to finish the game quickly. Therefore, it's unlikely that nasus would work in such comp. If your mid insists on picking an AD mid, consider a
8. Mute your teammates if they're starting to verbal harass you.
This is the end of the guide.
Nothing worth having comes easy, high rank means hark work and dedication.
Whatever your targeted elo is, i wish you the very best of luck.