Nunu Build Guide by Archos
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 quick dominion tutorial for Nunu. In it, you will find explanations for my item choices and gameplay decisions, as well as a few personal biases. They have provided a winning framework for me. I cannot give any guarantees for you. I'm sure you can find exceptions for all of my advice, so have fun finding those Easter Eggs. I'll be open for questions, so feel free to hit me up in game. My screen name is Archos.
What are your objectives in Dominion, and how do you accomplish them? The objectives are the turrets, and you take them by pushing waves or killing on points. Nunu is good at both of these things.
At Rank 5, Nunu can nearly one shot the big minion with true damage. You have to do this to heal anyway, so you're constantly taking advantage of your extreme pushing power against a heavily armored minion.
On point, Nunu has the strongest area of effect ultimate. If you cleanse while possessing a Moonflair Spellblade, you become immune to CC other than knock-ups. When you hit people for 1500 damage, that's a big deal.
To top it off, Nunu has the best spammable slow in game. And did I mention that he buffs the insane carries your team is bound to be packing? He won't do the most sustained damage, but you will almost never take sustained damage, you constantly buff your team, and you constantly debuff the enemy team. The sustain on this guy is sick.
I always go for health and mana crystals with boots to start. Then again, I mostly play Poppy when I'm out for a good time. Anywho, the heals you receive from the Rod, especially when combined with your Consume, is too good to pass up. As everyone knows, if you're going to buy a rod, you have to buy it first. It's the only way to ensure you receive the full rod by the end of the game, or hopefully not need it.
Next come the Ionian Boots. These are the cheapest way to get cooldown reduction, and come not a moment too soon. You don't need to stress out about CC, either, because you already have cleanse and the 21 point defensive talent. The Moonflair Spellblade remains in the build for two reasons: the first is the AP. At 1200 for 50 AP, it's by no means the brightest bulb in the box. However, when you consider the fact that you can get CC immunity by buying it at its relatively low price, it becomes the ideal transition into a Lich Bane. The extra damage comes in very handy. Otherwise, the damage passive remains a tad lackluster.
At this point, only one more item is a sure buy: Needlessly Large Rod. I rarely get to this point any more. In any case, it branches into two no-brainer items: Zhonya's Hourglass and Rabadon's Deathcap. Spirit Visage and Hextech Revolver are also a good decisions, but I would only buy them against teams that have heavy healers like Soraka and Warwick. Keep in mind, though, that your heal is already increased by a 1.0 AP ratio, and you'll be getting period heals from the Rod. If you decide to go this route, you'll want to drop the Ionian Boots in favor of Mercury Treads so you can maintain CC immunity.
Spell and Rune Choices
Exhaust needs little explanation. For the other, I'll pick cleanse for a CC heavy team to pick up immunity, and I'll go ignite for squishy or healer heavy teams. There tends to be a surprising dichotomy. When in doubt, go with ignite.
Skill order focuses on snowballs and heals, but you don't need the point in consume until level 4 at the earliest. You might as well come packing a bigger punch if there are no minions to eat until after top is captured. You could probably get away with putting two in bloodlust early on and getting your first point in consume at 5 or 8. I'll leave it up to some intrepid experimenter to tell me some time.
Runes are straightforward. You need to maximize spell damage since you have so few damaging spells, and you don't want to be deadweight in fights for your team damagewise. Armor is the best durability stat you can grab, and cooldown reduction pushes you near the cap without having to invest in expensive items.
Nunu's game plan is simple; stay out of melee range 1v1 and stay in melee range in most teamfights. There will be obvious exceptions, like when you're beating on frail little LeBlanc. The idea is to whittle down enemies by spamming snowballs on them, so you mostly want to deny them opportunities to counter-attack. If they're too weak to counter-attack in melee range, you should obviously try to hit them. After you get a Lich Bane, your poking and farming will skyrocket in effectiveness. You already have a heal to negate one of their spells, and it happens to push your objective, which is always nice on this map. Don't forget, Nunu's consume also works on Shaco's boxes, Heimerdinger's turrets, Malzahar and Annie's pets, and everything else non-champion or turret.
Landing your ultimate is most easily accomplished by having them stand or run towards you while you channel it. There are a couple of ways this happens regularly: you stand in bushes which they have no vision and start channeling once they're about halfway towards you; you stun them; they decide to fight you in melee range and don't attempt to run; or you run directly on top of them and ult. Having them double or even triple slowed by combining Exhaust, Ice Blast, and Absolute Zero makes it basically impossible to escape, even with two. I try to save exhaust for the flashers and the fighters.
Nunu has all the tools you need to be successful in dominion. His skills accentuate all levels of strategic play on the map, and will allow you to help guide your teammates to victory with decisive vigor and explosiveness. Good Hunting.