Nasus Build Guide by MgGriebZ
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.
Pros / Cons
-=Great jungle capability
-=Large DPS specially end game with SS
-=Long sustainability in lane (Life steal / AS)
-=Tankier than most any other carry / dps
-=Should easily win any 1v1 fight
-=Squishier than a more tank / hp built Nasus. (Can waste ult pretty easily if focused)
-=Must pay lots of attention to last hitting with SS for good DMG.
-=Not the best jungler until higher. (harder to play)
Introduction - [Start]
First off, when the game begins, buy a (Rejuv Bead) & (Faerie Charm) & (HP or MP potion).
- I like to start off with an MP pot for 3's / HP pot for 5's.
-= The reason for HP in 5's is blue buff should be attainable with a teammate leash.
-= The reason for MP in 3's is so when you hit level 2, Spirit Fire farming can keep you in the lane longer than normal and also harass much better than just bashing.
I like to begin games by sticking together in 3's or get blue buff in 5's.
-Please note that just because you may consider this a 'Jungle' build does not mean that you have to begin in the jungle.
Focus more on last hitting with Siphoning Strike as this should become super powerful later in the game. At level 2, Spirit Fire will allow pretty easy harassment in the game as well as farming minions low hp to finish off with a last hit SS. Save smite for jungle creeps if it is / almost up. Remember, remember, remember... Always last hit with SS! =)
I use a 21/0/9 build grabbing Havoc in offense for 4% increased dmg. The 9 points in utility allow Nasus to grab Greed for even extra gold, getting Awareness for XP along the way.
The only other really specifc points I need to mention is that the smite mastery is a must and don't forget to put a point in whatever other mastery spell you use if possible.
I work the offense tree grabbing AS / AD as much as possible but honestly I think it would be possible to have a DMG / Jungle AP Nasus if you wanted to utilize the utility tree isntead.
Rune Page Setup
I will be completely honest with this chapter. I have not had enough IP points to fully experiment with full rune page setups but I have chosen what I would assume to be the most helpful early game to profit off Nasus's life steal passive early game (AS) but also deal some massive damage end game (AD) with SS.
Again, I want to state that people should perfect their own Rune Page as I imagine mine is not the best, but will definetly work. The one thing I would suggest though is to stack a few stats. Crit dmg / chancce, MP regain, HP regain, are also great choices for dmg / jungling. Don't forget however about the ability to tank pretty well with Nasus. Magic resist / armor runes, I would assume make a difficult to kill Nasus.
Mastery Spells - [Smite & Choice]
Smite is a MUST for a jungling, even if you dont' start off getting blue buff, free minion kills with the mastery point in Smite make gold easy and fast to reach the expensive items much quicker than other champions as Nasus should not have any problem racking in the minion kills.
The other mastery spell is a player preference.
I enjoy using teleport on 5's for getting to a battle quick whether it be a large group of minions or champion fight.
For 3's I usually end up with Ghost for the same sort of reasoning along with escaping better. Flash serves as an excellent escape route for this purpose as well. Ignite is very helpful with harassing and extra DPS in the lanes / ganks.
Personally I don't usually use the other mastery spells too often, but Cleanse would be a good tanky / escape / chase option. Clairvoyance helps prevent ganks or spy on areas to help get a gank or enemy jungle kill or two. Exhaust for chasing. Heal for ganks / champion battles. Clarity to stay in the lane if mana is a huge issue I suppose. Not too sure about Rally / Revive.
Skill Sequence [SS-SF-W-Ult]
Level 1: Siphoning Strike (SS) is a must. With AS / AD runes, you should be able to carefully begin farming last hits with SS. Focus full attention on this as this will make your physical attacks ridiculously strong mid / end game.
Level 2: Spirit Fire! With the patch updates, spirit fire is very strong at harassing champions, farming minions or even finishing off a running enemy a bit out of range. Don't forget this also lowers armor so try to stick to fights inside this aoe.
Level 3: Wither will finally help get those champion kills. Awesome for chasing or escaping but also great for fights agaisn't high AS champs. I tend to always start a fight with this and most usually end them around this skill as well.
Level 4,5: Now being improving spirit fire until maxed out. This allows for great aoe dmg for jungling ease but also amazing harassment so you do not fall behind in last hits with SS in any laning phase. Your items / runes will allow SS to be the power house end game but constantly upgrading spirit fire will make it extremely harmful to champions with little to no items early game.
Ultimate: At level six, Nasus's ultimate will allow champion fights to aoe enemies to death while giving some survivability to keep from going back. Use this as a heal as it gives instant HP, but don't use it while too low to save a wasted ultimate. Half HP works pretty well for 1v2 fights but you may even get as low as 1/4 HP in a 1v1 fight allowing a pretty easy win. Level this up at 6,11,16 or every time you can simply put a point in it.
Next: Pretty simple, max spirit fire first, then max SS. Following up finally with wither. Easy and effective skill sequence.
Item Building Sequence
First, start off with Rejuv Bead & Faerie Charm.
- This allows for good HP / MP regain early game making jungling / laning last quiet some time longer than most any other champion.
Next, after going back for hopefully the first time, get your boots of speed to gain some movement chasing / escaping from enemy champions. Depending on the time spent in lane / jungle, you might have enough gold to upgrade them right away. I don't want anyone to assume a build should be the same time every time. If you think you will be doing more DPS / harassment than the enemy, go ahead and get Berserker's Greaves for AS. This is typically what I get as I tend to try to make Nasus the DPS / Jungle / Carry beast that he has the potential to be.
Don't be afraid however to get Ninja Tabi for AD heavier opponents. Also, mobility / swiftness make amazing chasing / escaping boots.
After boots, its time to turn the bead & charm into a tiamat. The long sword is only 415 gold if you do not have enough to upgrade to the tiamat right away, which allows for some extra AD to help farm some more SS last hits / jungling. When you get the tiamat, minions should be VERY simple to farm with Spirit Fire getting them low and SS to finish the last hit.
Next, I go for a phantom dancer. This may seem a bit strange but I find it very helpful because champions should never really give you a problem with Nasus's life steal and the stats you get off the phantom dancer.
- Madred's Razor might be more helpful for jungling but I like to get this after phantom dancer because spirit fire should allow you to farm minions for gold easily and phantom dancer will be much more helpful for ganks and getting place to place.
Following phantom dancer, you can now pick up madred's razor. If you have enough you might want to just make this into wriggle's lantern or madred's bloodrazor to be a nasty tank killer. But remember, the lantern will allow for better jungling with the passive and the free ward.
Next off, I suggest the sheen for mana and the passive. Honestly I might be wrong, but I believe this could be swapped out for a zeal (AS / movement) or phage (passive slow) if needed. The sheen will allow for much more damage output helping ganks and champion fights though. I would suggest sheen but zeal or phage will work as this will be turned into trinity force later.
If the game is still going, more ganking and team fights should be going on so a guardian angel will help you survive much longer and revive once every 5 minutes. Null magic mantle for MR or chain vest for armor help survival if building up gold for the guardian.
Finally, you can finish off your trinity force. I realize this is fairly late in the game but with the previous items gold / minion farming should be super simple. Feel free to swap trinity force with guardian angel if damage is needed rather than survival at the point.
-Don't forget if the game still continues to sell your berserker's greaves for another phantom dancer or some sort of survival item to fully max out your champion! =)
Farming Minions & Gold (Jungling / Laning)
Farming is super easy for Nasus after the patch buffing spirit fire. At level 2 you have a great aoe getting minions low allowing for simple last hits with SS. Soon as you get the tiamut, you should be raking in much more minion kills than anybody else. Use smite on jungle creeps first but don't be afraid to pick off a minion in the lane if its up. A well timed smite / spirit fire can throw an enemy champion off-guard in the laning phase.
If getting the lantern or using wards, make sure to protect yourself while in the jungle for ganks but also play aggresive stealing their jungle creeps before enemy champions realize the xp / gold Nasus can farm. After a few levels, always try to run through the jungle getting easy kills on the way back to the lane if you have recalled. Blue buff is pretty difficult to get a lvl 1 but very well possible with smite if you have a team mate attack first.
Remember a specific item purchase sequence is not the most important factor but rather staying alive while farming kills / gold. Always use Nasus's passive life steal to his advantage and use SS right after an auto attack so it refreshes another hit for added DMG.
Nasus is definetly able to be a strong DPS / jungler in the right hands. Even if you are not trying to max out on AS / AD, smite can help get early gold and pass up other champions in items much quicker. Nasus can only be very tanky with items and his ult so don't be afraid to give up DPS for survivability if needed.
This build / guide should allow easy 1v1 fights agaisn't pretty much any champion. Don't go off thinking your solo god or anything but don't be afraid to use AS / life steal / ult to out live enemies either.
Have fun and remember to not blindly follow anything, perfect your own style and try not to think of "best" ways but rather what works better for you. I encourage discussion and advertisement of this guide so hopefully other players will harness the amazing powers of Nasus!