Nami Build Guide by gleebglarbu
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.
Standard Nami Build
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.
About the Author: Hello, I'm Gleebglarbu, a high elo player on the NA server and have peaked at rank 4 on the ladder, but am currently sitting at rank 26 in challenger as of 12/18/13. Nami is one of my most played champions in season 3 on my diamond 1 smurf "I Dasom I" account and I currently have a 67.9% win rate with her in solo queue over 28 games.
Nami is a very powerful high risk, high reward support pick in the current meta. Her kit gives her a strong laning phase due to her ability to trade well with Aqua Prison and sustain both herself and her marksmen with Ebb and Flow. After the lane phase, her kit allows her to follow up long range initiations from afar with Tidal Wave and peel multiple targets off of her carries.
Pros / Cons
- Hard CC before level six
- High base movement speed
- Can assist in a team fight from far away with Ebb and Flow, Tidecaller's Blessing, and Tidal Wave
- Aqua Prison is hard to land
- Relatively high mana costs
- High skill cap
|...|| greater mark of hybrid penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Health
9 x Greater mark of hybrid penetration
Nami deals magical damage with all of her spells and also has a decent auto attack range to make use of which means that greater mark of hybrid penetration are a good fit for her. These runes will give you a significant increase to your damage during the laning phase.
9 x Greater Seal of Armor
These runes are very effective at mitigating physical damage. They are mandatory as a support because you will be taking physical damage from the enemy AD, the enemy support, and creeps in lane.
6 x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Getting magic resist in blues is helpful because many supports do a fair amount of magic damage, such as Sona and Thresh, and a few AD carries also do substantial magic damage, such as Corki. If you are laning vs a bot lane that has little to 0 magic damage such as Graves Janna or the enemy team as a whole is primarily AD you can switch your glyphs to either Greater Glyph of Armor or Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration.
3 x Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Nami has pretty high mana costs, especially on Ebb and Flow, so getting a few mana regenerations glyphs will help you keep your mana pool from getting dangerously low. If you are vs a very magic damage heavy bot lane like Corki and Zyra, you can drop these and opt for 9 x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist.
3 x Greater Quintessence of Health
Taking Greater Quintessence of Health is beneficial because it makes you a bit beefier in lane, the extra health makes you a bit harder to kill and helps you absorb more damage in a 2v2 fight or if you get ganked.
0/9/21 is a page that works great for utility oriented supports that benefit from CDR. This page gives you 5% CDR from masteries alone, a bit of damage reduction for improved durability, and greatly amplifies your gold flow to help you get your core items. The new Culinary Master talent also is great to have in lane phase, the instant health from biscuits can help you survive Ignite ticks as well as protect from dying to all ins.
This start is emerging as one of the most common builds for supports in the new season. The Sweeping Lens has a very long cool-down before level 9, but can still be very useful for setting up ganks and forcing the enemy to play scared by denying vision. Ancient Coin is the strongest of the 3 new support starts on almost all champions, especially ranged ones, after the nerf to Relic Shield. Getting a ward helps make sure you stay safe in lane and grabbing potions will keep your health and mana high.
These are the items you should aim to buy when you first head back to base. Sightstone will give you vision to protect yourself from ganks and the Nomad's Medallion will give you increased regen as well as gold flow. Picking up a Vision Ward at this stage of the game is nice as well because they no longer have a duration. You can usually put it down in the small bush in the middle of the river early game and often have it last for 10+ minutes because most players just walk through the river without actually checking that location.
This will be the new commonly seen core item set for most of the supports who decide to not itemize as tanks or to be heavy damage threats, neither of which make sense for Nami. Talisman of Ascension is an incredibly strong item currently, giving you a whopping 20% CDR, regen stats, and the old active that used to be attached to Reverie. Mikael's Crucible also saw a massive reduction in price in the new season which makes it almost always a worthwhile purchase for a mana hungry champion like Nami. These items will allow you to better set up engages with Crescendo, keep your mana pool afloat in longer fights, and cleanse/heal your allies with Mikael's Crucible's active.
|...||This item provides you with an easy way to start fights and get a slow onto targets from a long range. Nami doesn't have the best AP ratios though when compared to supports like Zyra and Fiddlesticks so I really wouldn't recommend this item unless you absolutely need the slow.|
|...||This item provides a great magic resist aura and active that can be useful against heavy AoE based AP teams. If the enemy team has multiple sources of magic damage or AoE damage it can be a great pick up for teamfights.
|...||Nami has relatively long cooldowns, so getting these boots will allow you to cc targets more often and ensure that you have your ult up for each fight. The benefit of these boots are usually overshadowed by the speed bonus you get from Boots of Mobility.|
Nami's ult, Tidal Wave, gains a 10 second decrease in cool down per rank along with an increase in damage and % slow, making it worthwhile to skill it at 6, 11, and 16.
I choose to max Tidecaller's Blessing first because the increased slow allows you to land Aqua Prison with ease. The mana cost also goes up less per rank than Ebb and Flow which makes it a more efficient way to harass.
I skill up Ebb and Flow second because outside of the laning phase it is much easier to make use of the bounces, especially in mid game teamfights. The damage and heal of the skill also go up significantly, making it preferable to Aqua Prison to max second.
I max Aqua Prison last because the CC duration does not increase with rank, and although the damage increases, the skill is less reliable than your other 3 skills and gets the least benefit from putting more points in it. This is the true one point wonder of Nami's kit.
Nami is a bit harder to play in the laning phase due to the importance of landing her Aqua Prison in order to win trades. Here are some tips for the laning phase to help you succeed:
1. Ward out to protect yourself from jungle ganks. Where you ward each game depends on the jungler you are playing against and the kill potential the enemy team has on you. You don't need to ward heavily pre 6 for instance if you're playing vs Janna and Shyvana, but if the enemy team has Jarvan IV and Thresh for instance, you'd need much more vision
to lane safely.
2. Use Tidecaller's Blessing while an auto attack is in mid air from either you or your ADC. The slow and bonus damage will still apply, even if the buff was applied after the auto was shot.
3. Lead the enemy with Aqua Prison. As with most skillshots, if you shoot it directly on top of the enemy they will move backwards and dodge it. Throwing it a bit behind them will let usually help you land it. Not all players react to skill shots the same though, so take note of how your opponent reacts and see if you can notice any trends.
4. Start Ebb and Flow on yourself when you want to poke with it. This will cause it to heal you and then jump to the enemy right away. If you start it on the enemy you have to stay close range to make sure it jumps back to you, which is less reliable.
Nami is a really strong support in the laning phase, her kit is just different than most supports and requires practice to master.
I hope you enjoyed my guide for Nami! This is one of my favorite heroes and her kit offers great disengage, kiting, and peeling. Her kit is high risk high reward and mastering her will allow you to dominate your lane and the game. Following the advice presented here should make you a much better Nami player and help you to perform well in lane and in team fights. If you want to see me play Nami, you can follow my stream at www.twitch.tv/gleebglarb1