Nunu Build Guide by Camelope
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.
I'd like to thank you all for even clicking on my guide, and I hope you stay long enough to read it through! :) Please feel free to rate, comment, and offer suggestions - all thoughtful input shall be considered. In addition, if you find any discrepancies in my guide please comment and make me aware of such blemishes! Remember, this is simply how I like to build Nunu and how I believe he is best built, this does NOT mean that I am claiming this guide to be the best. If you have decided to play Nunu, you have chosen wisely Summoner, I wish you luck on the Fields of Justice.
He's the one and only champion that can dish out ice cream and still make little children cry. From his hard-hitting snowballs, to his free health gain/smite, to his low CD bloodlust (for you WoW players), to his earth-shattering, ice cream-making ulti and back again, Nunu truly is one of my favorite champions to play. Nunu is a great champ for starters and pros alike due to his versatility and game-changing abilities. This guide will show the way I play Nunu and how I believe he should be player, but by no means do I assume the title of "Best Guide." It is simply how I do things and I would like to share this with others. The focus of this guide is going to be the first build, which is AP hard carry Nunu. This is the build I use most often and the tanky build is just for those games when the enemy is really, really good at focusing the tank (lawl).
Pour et Contre (Pros and Cons)
Very tanky (Lots of HP and resistances)
HIGH AP damage (AP is the new OP)
AOE Ult (AOE imba, duh)
Low CD heal + smite (Consume)
Fast (BB for the win!)
Versatile (Can dish the damage and take it)
Support (BB on AD carries and watch the bodies hit the floor)
Cheap (450 IP)
Compliments from the enemy team :D (Cheater, ***, Tryhard, Noob, OP Champ, etc)
Melee (Bleh, I feel as if melee characters got shafted in this game)
Ulti is very susceptible to CC (Stun, Taunt, Pushes, Knock Ups - Damage is based on time channeled, shorter channel means significantly less damage)
Costly spells early game (Mana regen makes up for this if you use your passive properly)
Hard AP Carry vs. TankiER AP
As you have all noticed, I have two builds at the top of the page. Yes, you get to look at Nunu's beautiful face on two sides of your screen! This guide is focused on the hard AP carry build and I use this build/something similar to this 95% of the time. The tankiER Nunu build is simply when the enemy team thinks attacking a Yeti would be fun while the enemy team absolutely annihilates them because Nunu is so tanky. However, while I love my team winning, I also love living, thus I need to go harder tank items sometimes. I simply put this option here for people to look at and think about. I believe that Nunu is tanky enough with the AP build, and I usually don't die until late mid-game/late-game, even when solo laning.
These runes that I use are fairly unique to my knowledge, as they are for...FIDDLESTICKS! Yes, funny story. I picked up Nunu again when my team decided not to have a tank so I had to improvise a Nunu tank and guess what? We won 4v5! :) Here's how:
: Magic Penetration - nuff said.
: Nunu is a high-cost mana-user with a unique way to overcome this. In combination with Nunu's passive, which gives him a free spell every 7 auto-attacks, these babies help to keep his mana topped off in order to blow that ulti whenever it may be needed. This well help your early game harass greatly, as well as your mid-game fighting.
: These glyphs are debatable, I use these because the early game AP output and the early snowball level-up have a great synergy as the snowball has a high base damage. Combine the two and you have one hell of an annoying harass in lane.
: These quintessences are used for the same purpose as the glyphs. The extra early game AP in addition to Doran's Ring allows you to get some huge damage going in your lane.
These are just some fairly standard tanky masteries. I believe that these masteries compensate for the lack of tanky items in early/mid game and that they far surpass the other viable specs.
DISCLAIMER: Items up to Deathcap (not including) are considered core, the rest of the items are all dependent on how well the enemy team is doing, how well you are doing, and what you need to do to stay alive if you're dying often.
: I feel that this is the absolute best starting item for AP Nunu. The health, mana regen, and ability power make his early game simply amazing - You will not be pushed from your lane and your harass will add salt to the wound, or rather snow. The only other viable item is a Health Crystal, but I feel this is much weaker in comparison to Doran's Ring.
: Ahhh, these boots. This keeps those pesky casters off of you and makes you a true nuisance to the enemy team, especially when they blow all their CC on you and you still have 3/4 of your health. I would recommend these 100% of the time.
: Dis rod. This item is amazing! Give me HP, MP, and AP all at once and have it stack over time? Sure! Great buy, keeps you alive and keeps you doing damage, get it early and stack it up.
: This is where the build starts to branch off into abnormality. If you don't feel safe getting a DC this early, think about grabbing a Rylai's or even Bveil, depending on how much damage the enemy team is doing to you. DC is quite possibly the most overpowered caster item in the game, AP out the butt! You already have decent HP and MP pools starting to build up, so this adds on to the AP portion and really helps your snowball and ult hit hard. Nunu's skills don't have the greatest AP scaling, but their insane base damage more than makes up for it.
: This item is going to make the enemy team cry in anguish. It gives a TON of health, as well as a large amount of AP. Now the slow is a mystery to me, whether it stacks with the snowball or not (any insight to this would be helpful). However, it is still a great item, whether or not the slow works in conjunction with Nunu's snowball.
: Remember when I said I play Fiddlesticks? This is one of my ult-time (/pun) favorite items on him, as well as Nunu. Decent AP, decent MR, and less MR for those enemies foolish enough to try to hug the Yeti. How ISN'T this item useful?!?! The lowered magic resistance of enemies is extremely helpful considering Nunu will be in close proximity 100% of the fighting time. This helps his snowball dish out even more pain, and his ulti....well...here comes the next Ice Age, hopefully without the annoying squirrel this time.
: Maybe not the ending item you'd expect to see on a hard AP carry, but it is damn useful. This item will give you the MR to take casters, HP to take everyone else, MP to keep your spells going, and a spell block every 45 seconds to boot. Extremely helpful when ulting in late-game, where you will more often than not be fed and focused because they realize your damage is insane.
This is the best way to build AP Nunu's skills, IMO.
is prioritized for its LARGE amount of damage and for the early game harass.
is leveled up when able to be, of course.
As for and , I believe that BB is more important because it allows you to move faster and attack faster (which means more free spells and less time in dangerous conditions). Consume is a very good skill that allows for ad lib jungling and is an amazing way to heal up in the middle of a fight or in regular laning. I feel that Consume points have been distributed appropriately throughout the levels.
SS (No, not like the Germans, like the Summoner Spells!)
: Why is this icon so big you may ask? This spell is absolutely essential, no question about it. It allows you to hop right into the midst of the poor enemy team who will be floundering around trying to get away from you, but to no avail because your ulti will be slowing them and will soon have blown them into oblivion. You are not allowed to play Nunu without this spell, I'm watching you.
: This spell is forgettable and, honestly, replaceable. I grabbed it to finish off early kills as Nunu has no DoT and sometimes I don't feel like diving their turret, just to spare them the embarrassment.
: I'm not the greatest jungle Nunu, nor is this guide based upon a jungle Nunu, however this is a must if you will be jungling.
: Great slow, great damage reduction. Nunu has a slow that deals insane damage, and he is also tanky as a mofo. Not recommended, nor is it required.
: I don't use it, but it could be useful to travel faster around the map. Although Nunu is quite fast already, especially with BB.
: Like I said, Nunu's fast. Not worth the slot, TBH.
Nunu is a great champion for his high damage, tanky physique, and is easy to play yet difficult to master. I absolutely love this champion and I hope that those poor folk who have managed to read this lengthy wall of text have enjoyed my guide. Please rate and comment as you see fit, remember - this is how I build Nunu and I find that it works for me, this does not mean it will work for everyone or that I think this is the best guide. Thank you for taking the time to read my guide and I hope you will try it out! Cheers :)