Nidalee Build Guide by MonoHearted
Not Updated For Current Season
Higher Burst, Less Poke
If against AP Top
Heavy Defense Picks
Finished Build (AD Heavy)
Finished Build (AP Heavy)
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.
Hey, thanks for reading my guide. This is how I generally like to build AD Bruiser Nidalee, if you do not agree or have better suggestions, do leave a comment.
So. Why AD Nidalee, you may ask.
Well. With the new rework to Nidalee, AD Nidalee has become much more of a viable pick, and a lot stronger due to her hunt mechanic. You can bully in lane with autos, and finish off with a Spear, Pounce, and Takedown.
Pros / Cons
-Very strong split pusher
-High Burst Damage
-Strong chase/escape potential
-Able to finish off enemies.
-Beat by ranged top laners
-Very squishy early game
-Vulnerable to crowd control
-If not careful, eats up mana.
Teleport:This spell is great on Nidalee, to get back into lane quicker or to Teleport to group with the rest of your team after split pushing. If you need to recall,you can Teleport back to your turret (note: Reduce your teleport CD by tele'ing to tower, not minions) and reduce amount of XP and CS loss, to gain an advantage over your opponent.
Flash:Such an essential spell, to escape quicker in conjunction with your Pounce, or to get into Hunt range by using Flash then Pounce. All in all, it's a great spell on Nidalee.
Ignite:If you prefer having this for extra kill pressure, or to deal with pesky healers like Mundo, go ahead. Is a great spell, and many can argue that you don't need teleport to get back into lane with Nidalee because of your Pounce, which costs no mana. This can be great for securing kills or in duels. Summoner advantage!
Heal:This is a great spell for saving yourself from certain-death situations, or if you need the extra movement speed to chase someone, or even to win duels with that unexpected extra burst of health.
Exhaust:Well, what can I say. Great for Attack Speed reliant champions, or to win duels. Great against Jax, Irelia, Aatrox, etc.
Ghost:I personally do not like this spell, but it can be great for chasing with that extra movement speed with Pounce, to ensure they suffer your wrath and don't get away.
There are many different choices for Runes on Nidalee, but these are some that I like and alternative ones that you can use, depending on what you like.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage Helps you with early power and trade damage, and helps you farm easier. Not much else to say here.
Greater Seal of Armor Helps against most top lane bruisers, so that you aren't TOO squishy.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist If the enemy team has AP, then this helps you with it. I brought Scaling, because I don't pick Nidalee into AP top laners, and if I need to deal with them, they're usually later into the game where this Glyph starts to shine.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Again, same with Greater Mark of Attack Damage.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal I would run two of these and one Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, but since the nerf of these, they aren't as great. Still helps with early sustain along with the buffed Doran's Blade.
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration / Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration If you find that you can't manage your mana in lane, then this can be great for that mana sustain.
I like to stick with this setup, as I like to play very aggressively in lane, and with that defense I can get away with it.
If you want, you can run 21/0/9, where you have more movement speed for chasing and mana regen.
Another choice is a defensive one, where you can choose 9/21/0 or 0/21/9, but I do not like these.
Skill SequenceTakedown/ Javelin Toss first, because of the extra early all-in damage with a full hunt combo, with Javelin Toss/ Bushwack, into Pounce, into Takedown. But many others like to max Primal Surge/ Swipe first, to provide more in lane sustain. Take your pick.
During laning phase, AD Nidalee excels in harassing and farming in lane. When the opponent champion comes up to farm, attack them a few times to bring down their health, but always only do this between killing minions, to prevent missing farm. If you need, you can transform into Cougar form to use Takedown to cancel your autos, to farm more effeciently. Only do this if you're sure your opponent will not punish you for doing this. If the opposing top laner does not have a stun ( Pantheon, Jax, Irelia etc), and are below 50% health, you can begin to harass them out of lane or even kill them by landing a Javelin Toss, and following up in Cougar Form with Pounce and Takedown. Once you have your Tiamat, use Cleave (Tiamat/Ravenous active), right after you takedown.
The new Nidalee excels in fighting enemies one on one, so cleaning up teamfights or picking off priority targets is great, but makes it hard to get out safely. Instead, I like to split push with her. With a Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra and Teleport, you can quickly push down minion waves in Cougar Form, and shove down turrets with your Primal Surge. If an enemy comes down to stop you, you can either kill him or get away quickly with your innate mobility with Pounce. Only use Teleport if the minion wave is pushed up to their/your turret, and you're sure you can destroy/defend it without your team getting engaged on 4v5. Save your Teleport to rejoin the fight, instead.
Item Choices (WIP)
This item is great for Nidalee, in my opinion. It vastly improves her burst, in exchange for the defensive capabilities of the Blade of the Ruined King build path. It also helps with split pushing, as you can clear waves really fast by using Takedown and Cleave to clear waves. It also gives a lot more damage to enhance your Spellblade passive with your Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet.
This item is great for an offensive Nidalee build. It provides AD for Nidalee's scalings, AP for some more heal power and spear damage, movement speed for chasing and escaping. Most importantly, the Spellblade passive works wonders with your Takedown. It makes it do a lot more damage, along with the already good scaling and base damage of it. Even in human form, a Primal Surge helps you get an empowered auto attack that helps with harass.
This the safer version of the Trinity Force buy. The AoE slow makes it work very well with the more ranged build with Blade of the Ruined King. It helps you chase and secure kills, but dampens your damage in exchange for more armor. With this item, however, it also provides with mana, so more extended fights allows you to poke and heal up.
Blade of the Ruined King:
This combined with Iceborn Gauntlet was the original core of choice for Bruiser Nidalee before the rework. With the new Nidalee, this build is also very strong. With the attack speed, you are able to harass with more auto attacks. This works really well with Primal Surge's attack speed buff to push down towers with more safety and efficiency, as opposed to the more combat based Ravenous Hydra.
Lane Matchups (WIP)
Possibly the easiest match-up. He can't really do anything to trade with you if you don't chase him in his Poison Trail. Just destroy him early, win the lane, roam.
Overall, I've had a lot of success in this match up. Try to harass him when he comes up to farm, especially early (Levels 1-3). If he decides to rush a Tiamat early, he has no defenses, but he can trade back relatively well, so just poke with autos and try to avoid him when he all ins you. When he's low enough, execute him with a Javelin Toss and Pounce Takedown. If he goes for the Sunfire Cape, he has more survivability, but less damage for trades, so you can play a bit more risky. Avoid his fury-charged Ruthless Predator(W), however!
This lane can be hard, but you have to gain the advantage early. Once he gets a Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet, you'll have a lot of trouble escaping and trading with him. Try to deny him as much farm as you can early game, and if you manage to get a kill, great. If you find you're having trouble, get your jungler to come in before he hits level 6 to shut him down! Late game Nasus isn't nice. If you see a chance, don't hesitate to roam to get ahead.
This can be a hard match up, if you let him harass you. He out-sustains you, as he can trade, heal without mana, and Primal Surge seriously drains your mana. As weird as it is, getting an early Chalice of Harmony can potentially be a good idea for the sustain and magic resist. Don't forget about Hexdrinker, however.
This matchup can go either way, easily. It really depends on who gets the advantage early, and who plays smarter. Skill match-up, if you will. Try not to let him get close enough to harass you with Overload, but when his Rune Prison is down, you can try to trade with your combo. Please, play careful in this matchup. Again, though, once he gets his Rod of Ages and Frozen Heart, your life will be miserable.
This matchup can be really difficult, you have to gain an advantage before level 6. His Subjugate, Frozen Domain, and Pillar of Ice, if you get caught, you'll have a hard time Pounceing away with that slow.
This match-up is hard, I have to say as a Riven main. If you let her go on you at level 1, she's able to out-trade you. Try to just farm, and not let her get in range to Valor, Ki Burst, Broken Wings combo you, as her passive Runic Blade seriously hurts. Also, be careful of her level 6. If she goes on your with her combo, try to Pounce away. If her Ki Burst is up, try not to Pounce on her, as she can Valor and Ki Burst to completely negate your damage and trade back towards you. tl;dr: play safe.
-If you throw an auto in human form, and switch to cougar before it hits, Ravenous's Passive will still proc, creating an AoE ranged attack. I can see where this may be useful, but it's really just gimmick. If any of you get a ranged AoE double or something, good on you.
-Be careful, old Nidalee players, because the new pounce follows your cursor. This can make leaping over walls or making flashy dodges easier, but you may forget and accidentally jump the wrong way. Oops, done it before.
-If you're pushing a tower, you can heal yourself in Human, and switch to cougar, so you can have the attack speed buff and still be able to Takedown the turret to get the extra damage. Yay, extra tower pushing damage.