Nidalee Build Guide by Rinsel
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.
First to build
First to build Vs. AP
Useful Items - Vs. AD
Useful items - Vs. AP
Example Build - Standard
Vs. A Mundo
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.
Threats to Nidalee with this build
|Swain||Build a morello and don't be stupid. Respect the swain.|
About The Author
Hi, many people call me "Rinse" or "Kyon" and I've been playing League Of Legends since season 1. I'm probably an average player and throughout this time I've played on and off for years, Just recently I have been playing LoL (League Of Legends) more than anything (Not sure of the reason, just have).
Currently, I am ranked Gold Division 5. And gold 4 on my ranked 5v5 team. I may not be the best player in League Of Legends, But playing Nidalee is something I know how to do. I have nearly 3,000 games played as Nidalee and may not have the mechanical skills to play her at challenger,But I definitely have the knowledge. Currently the highest level of Solo Que / Ranked Teams I have competed at is Diamond 4 (2,010mmr) which isn't "The Pro-est" mmr but it's still a good checkmark on my journey to be one of the best Nidalee players in NA! (Yeah right.)
I love to help people learn and get better at playing the game, So I thought it would be great to create a guide that the "Noob-iest" person in League Of Legends could
3. Get a Feel and deeper understanding of the game in a whole
I would classify myself as a hardcore Nidalee player, I play her as bruiser, mid lane, and support so I have an immense amount of experience with this champion and mostly know all the ins and outs like the back of my hand. I am constantly testing out builds and game play techniques to find the best way to play successfully and win! ^.^
About This Guide
This guide is easily the most up to date guide for Nidalee you will find anywhere, with updates every week the information is top notch from things like LCS, personal gameplay, pro-player streams, spectating, experimentation, and watching A LOT of Korean and Chinese mid laners games (Faker,Xiyang,Wolf,Misaya,and Toyz] and also many NA mid laners such as Bjergsen and Link.
Whelp, For starters this guide will be written in a way that assumes that the reader is
2.) Has never played Nidalee before
3.) Has little grasp of the Mid-Lane concept
Next, This guide will mainly focus on the AP (Ability Power) side of Nidalee even though AD (Attack Damage) Nidalee is amazing right now, I prefer ap when playing Nidalee in the mid lane.
Last, This guide will cover Nidalee gameplay for Summoner's Rift, Crystal Scar, and Twisted Treeline. It will not cover The Howling Abyss, Mainly because I hate ARAM (All Random All Mid). It will also cover both Normal games and Ranked Games as well! :D
There are few dwellers, let alone champions, residing in the blasted and dangerous lands that lie south of the Great Barrier. Much of that world still bears the scars of past Rune Wars, especially the mysterious ***u ngu Jungle. There are long-forgotten treasures in these strange places which many risk life and limb to acquire. The champion known as Nidalee was only a young girl traveling with her treasure-seeking parents when they lost their way in the dense, rainy jungles. The jungle was unforgiving, and she watched her parents suffer agonizing final days as they fell victim to a mysterious and vicious disease.
As improbable as it was for a child to survive in the inhospitable jungle by herself, she did just that. Her youthful innocence and a fortunate naivete caused her to appeal to the beasts of that place and she was taken in by a family of cougars and raised as one of their own. She grew and somehow absorbed the raw magic of the dense wilds, evolving beyond both her human physiology and her feline affectation. On one pivotal day in her life, standing over the torn remnants of a Noxian squad of woodcutters, Nidalee chose to rejoin the so-called civilized world, to fight in the League of Legends so as to protect the vast woods from both Demacia and Noxus.
"Nidalee was taught to fight by her feline family, battling viciously with tooth and nail. Something in her feline ways may draw you to her, but remember that she is no pussycat."
Why play Nidalee?
Well for starters, Let's give you a good description of what Nidalee is... And here's a video that does this perfectly.
Nidalee, to me is a very powerful mid laner with a decent amount of sustain against most other mid laners. Now that the age of assassins is over the popularity in farming champions such as Orianna and Karthus are going up, But this only means that Nidalee is an even better pick. Now you will be able to harass and be your mobile self and gank other lanes without having to worry about getting randomly one shot on the way back by a Zed or Fizz.
Nidalee is by far one of my favorite champions and it's mainly because of the fact that she can
-Can range most mid-laners
-Can noob stomp
-Can become fed easily
-Can snowball if you know how
-Swap from being a ranged poker to a massive nuke within seconds
-She can turn into a freakin cat!
-Pretty much a hard carry if played right
These qualities made me fall in love with her, And i'm sure you will too! ^.^
Pro's & Con's
-Amazing Snowball Power
-Amazing Carry Power
-Pretty good nuke
-Can be very tanky
-Can take down turrets rather quickly
-Scales tremendously with skill
-Best Poke In-Game
-Can Kite Insanely Well
- Con's -
-Low damage early game
-Skill shots are easily blocked
-Hard CC Shuts her down
-Focused alot in fights
-Doesn't do any "Real" damage against tanks
- This passive gives Nidalee 10% increased movement speed for 2 seconds when passing through brush, This movement speed is increased to 30% when moving in any direction around visible enemy champions within a 5,500 radius.
Damaging enemies with a Javelin Toss or Bushwhack causes Nidalee to Hunt these targets for 4 seconds, granting vision of them and Prowl's increased movement speed bonus toward them. Additionally, her next cougar form ability is empowered.
- This skill is what Nidalee is probably most famous for, and most hated. It allows her to chuck a spear an enormous distance (She should probably enter the olympics). If the spear hits an enemy champion or minion depending on how far it traveled it does damage, the farther the spear travels it deals more damage up to a maximum of 250% more damage! The spear is a linear skill shot that deals damage to the first thing it hits, Meaning that it can be blocked by enemy tank champions or minions; So aim carefully young snipers!
-Advanced Uses- : This skill can be used for sniping enemy champions who flash over walls or if you know something is on the other end you can chuck a spear and get a kill / damage. Meaning you are capable of stealing buffs such as Blue Buff and Red Buff when you know the enemy mid laner leaves to grab the buff. You can also snipe dragon or baron if you have a ward, a trap , or simply blind sight it! Additionally you can combo a Javelin Toss's vision granted with a Pounce to get double distance to jump thicker walls such as base walls and buff walls when jumping after hunted targets.
- Going on the whole "Bestial Hunter" theme Nidalee's next skill is Bushwhack. It is a "Placement Skill Shot" that will go to the target area where you place your cursor, It will sit on the ground for 2 minutes until disappearing. The first enemy champion, minion, or neutral monster to walk on top of the trap will spring it, obtaining a debuff dealing damage, giving sight of that enemy,and dealing a percent of their current health as magic damage. This skill plays a key role in your laning phase, You are able to plop them in the brush in middle lane to act as a sort of wards to allow you to get back to your tower and evade a gank.
-Advanced Uses- : This skill is on about a 15 second cool down and costs very little mana at level 1. You can place them in the enemy jungle near their buffs to see when they spawn or to see when the enemy jungler is going to grab them. Being able to see them you will be able to get into position to snipe the buff away from the jungler or possibly kill the jungler and then take his buff from him! :D (Note - This strategy also works when the enemy jungler is counter jungling.)
- Since Nidalee is sort of like a druid she is capable of healing wounds, Primal Surge allows her to stay in her lane and gives her sustain in team fights. Primal Surge heals any ally that is targeted and also increases their attack speed by a great amount. This is pretty useful for last hitting under the turret and also for pushing turrets!
-Advanced Uses- : This skill scales pretty well with AP so if your against a team that you built Spirit Visage you should be able to bait them by getting low and then quickly healing yourself with Primal Surge and then kiting and chucking spears until they are low enough that you will be able to swap cougar and send them to the grave!.!
- This is Nidalee's first spell when she switches to Aspect Of The Cougar. It scales with AD (Attack Damage) and AP (Ability Power) and deals an additional 2.5% damage for each 1% missing health from the target; This scales up to a maximum of 250% increased damage. Hunted Targets take an additional 33% damage when hit first by this skill. This skill is incredibly useful and is your main damage source in Aspect Of The Cougar, especially when early-game last hitting or pushing a lane. This skill is also an instant cast when you auto-attack something, so it can be synced with other spells to create a threatening burst rotation to enemy champions. .
-Advanced Uses- : Takedown due to the fact that it scales with Nidalee's BASE Attack Damage makes it highly useful, meaning that if you have a Base AD (Attack Damage) of 112 your going to get +112 attack damage on this spell PLUS your extra AP (Ability Power) PLUS the bonus from missing halth. Meaning that this skill never falls off and will always be incredibly useful for your assassination kit.
- This is Nidalee's second skill in her cougar form. It basically allows you to hop the way your cursor is located a short distance dealing damage that scales with AP (Ability Power) to the enemies that you land on. Pounce is Nidalee's main mobility spell and has a 5 second cool down,but when you kill an enemy in Aspect Of The Cougar the cool down is reset to 1.5 seconds if the cool down is higher then 1.5 seconds. This allows Nidalee to jump around the battle field and get to positions where she can gank quite easily, leaving and entering her lane as she pleases. (What are you Dr. Mundo?)
-Advanced Uses- : Pounce is a move that makes Nidalee HIGHLY mobile when fighting, dodging skill shots, chasing enemies, and when retreating from fights. Something that some people don't know is that it can be used to hop over short walls such as the wall separating the bushes next to bot lane / top lane turrets in river. It is pretty tricky to do, but it is 100% a life saver. Also if you spear a target you gain DOUBLE the distance on your pounce when jumping towards the HUNTED target, meaning that you can jump over things you can't normally jump over.
- This is Nidalee's last skill in cougar form. Swipe is what makes Aspect Of The Cougar so strong when dueling. It does tremendous damage and on top of that it's a Frontal AoE (An Area of Effect that hits only enemies in front of the player). Basically meaning that if you spear enemy champions down to about half health you can swap to cougar form and assassinate them. When
-Advanced Uses- : Swipe is a highly useful skill mainly because it is your HUGE AoE, besides Takedown but it allows you to jump into team fights and dish out a massive amount of damage and then hop out with relatively little damage taken, Due to the fact that it is an instant cast cleave! :D
I use these Masteries when I play Nidalee because they give you a mix of Damage, Mana Sustain, and a bit of mobility. Since I roam the second I hit level 6 - 9 as Nidalee these masteries work wonderful for me.
Now, To explain these masteries in depth (Sort of).
Sorcery - I take 4 points in this mastery because it gives a nice amount of Coold Down Reduction which is quite helpful early game and matters ALOT when you have a blue buff. Sometimes will put a point in Butcher depending on if i'll need a bit of help last hitting or not.
Expose Weakness - This mastery pretty much just works in tangent with your Bushwhack and is nice to have when teamfighting.
Mental Force - Pretty much just the old Blast mastery, always get this.
Arcane Mastery - Straight AP and it stacks with your Mental Force , So why not get it right?
Executioner - Increased damage to targets below 50%? Can you hear this screaming Nidalee all over it? This increases your spear damage by 5% to targets under 50%... It just seems right.
Archmage - This is RAW percentage ability power, if you stack ability power runes this is the thing that will get you near 60 ability power at lv1. But no one really does that so it's just a tid-bit. :D
Dangerous Game - I like this talent especially when teamfighting because by getting a kill while using the Athene's Unholy Grail item you gain literally the majority of your mana back. So if you gank a lane and it doesn't go so well, you used a good majority of your mana but got the kill you can hop back into your lane and cs for a while longer because you got a god percentage of your mana back.
Devastating Strikes - This mastery gives magic AND armor penetration, this benefits not only your spears but it stacks with your magic pen you'll build plus your Bushwhack ability PLUS it increases your damage in cat form.
Spellsword - This is almost a required thing to have on Nidalee and some other mid laners because since has such low AD (Attack Damage) last hitting is pretty difficult early game compared to a champion like Orianna or Kayle who gain a bonus to their auto-attacks allowing them to farm incredibly safe and effectively.
Havoc - I mean... Why not have this? 3% extra damage to everything... Period.
Fleet of Foot - I take 3 points in this mastery because it gives movement speed and if I start boots it allows me to roam through the lanes for ganks rather quickly, effectively, and it allows me to get back to mid-lane without losing too much CS. It also stacks with your Pounce's range, like Riven's Broken Wings does.
Meditation - The mana resoration is nice and it stacks with a Chalice of Harmony or Tear of the Goddess.
Scout - When warding or using the blue trinket it's just nice to have so you don't have to get ALL the way in there, leaving some room for escape, mind blowage , and it's just faster.
Strength of Spirit - There's possibly a better pick for this but I like it and it works nicely when recouping with a Tear of the Goddess.
Runic Affinity - This makes counter jungling so much more beneficial and also receiving buffs from your jungler. That extra duration is definitely worth it! I mean... more buff time = more free farm time = more gold = more gg.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
These runes are wonderful to have because they give you a straight amount of ability power and it's a pretty nice amount as well. I take them mainly because these are the only AP (Ability Power) runes I have. They stack with the passive mastery Archmage which gives you an extra percentage of ability power basically giving you a decent amount of early game damage.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
I like magic resist runes because I don't take the mastery Resistance so I feel that I need to make up for that somehow, and these runes do just that. There wonderful to have and early game with a Chalice of Harmony work wonders for getting yourself a little tanky against a very heavy mid laner like Malzahar.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I like magic penetration runes because it allows you to poke enemies that do build magic resist and still actually do damage. Without these runes it feels like your hitting them with nerf darts. Seriously...
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
I mainly use these because there nice to have when you want to get early kills in cat form and basically make plays happen. The Armnor Penetration is nice to have for your Takedown's damage and the Magic Penetration is sweet to have for the rest of your kit.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Armor runes are always great to have on any champion and Nidalee is no exception. The extra armor helps out against enemy auto-attacks and those random j4 ganks.
Greater Seal of Health
Since the nerf to armor runes and the buff to base armor health runes in the mid lane will provide you a bit more defensiveness when matched up against AP (Ability Power) champions.
Early game Nidalee is something that most people won't fear and with good reason. Your auto-attack damage is pretty bad, you have one attack and it's a skill shot that gets blocked by the first thing that it hits in it's path. And basically you can become useless pretty fast by your enemy simply humping minions... Legit. Depending on what your fighting you will have two options.
Whichever choice you chose is what will define whether you win or lose, If your against a lane opponent that thrives in lane but lacks in teamfights I would say GTFO that lane and roam as early as you can. Your main goal's as early-game Nidalee is to NOT feed, keep up in CS, and get as much map coverage as possible. If you accomplish all three of these goals you will not only win your lane, but you will get fed, and you will be able to win the game.
Mid Game is described as the middle parts of the game, normally the first tower falls around this time and it's about 15 minutes in. This is the part of the game where you can make up for bad decisions made in the early game phase and make a retaliation. Nidalee is able to thrive in mid game and if you did good in early game then this is where you'll start racking kills and out scale everyone.
This is also the part of the game that your decisions really count, if your team is doing dragon and your off farming top or pushing a tower and the enemy team gets a team fight on dragon and your team loses the fight and dragon that will be 100% on you. Because your the APC (Ability Power Carry) you need to be in the team fights and always be with your team no matter what there doing. Mainly because you should be the most fed next to the ADC (Attack Damage Carry) dealing the most burst / poke damage. Mid game is pretty scary and can turn the tables of a game within a team fight or two. But nothing will compare to the scariness of late game... Ever.
Middle Game Nidalee is by far one of the most useful APC's (Ability Power Carries) in the game, She is capable of split pushing with relatively little worries, Chasing down clean-up fights (She's a janitor.), and most of all she is capable of giving a crazy amount of map coverage, Pair that with Caitlyn and you got yourself a deadly duo.
Late Game is by far the scariest part of playing League of Legends, It normally comes into effect around 25 - 35 minutes. When late game strikes most players are finished with their builds or have one item left. This is the part of the game where one death on either side of a team can mean a win or a loss within a few seconds. Nidalee excels in this part of the game because she has such high mobility and has insane amounts of poke damage, meaning when you 5 man push a lane your going to be shoving the enemy team back and also making them dodge skill shots; and if they don't then there dead and it's Game Over.
Playing the almighty Nidalee you are capable of competing at every single level of ranked. But that doesn't mean that you can simply pick up Nidalee and climb from Bronze 5 to Gold 1 with zero regard for skill.
Most low-elo players (I have first hand experience) have this sting in them that give them some random hatred for Nidalee and most will constantly tell you she is the most useless champion and is just overall a horrible pick. THIS ..............is just something you have to deal with if you want to use Nidalee to "Become A God" and carry yourself out of your "ELO Hell" , people at low MMR will constantly straight up give you sh!t for playing Nidalee but at the end of the match you end up carrying them on your back you can leave that game with pride and confidence and the satisfaction that they feel like idiots. [:D]
When playing Nidalee as your sole mid laner to carry games you need to know her counters not only in mid, but junglers, top laners , and certain ADC's / Supports. Knowing these will SIGNIFICANTLY increase your laning performance and downright lessen the burden / difficulty of some games.
Wukong is one of those junglers that offer incredible ganking potential and is pretty darn hard to get away from due to his kit being incredibly focused on stealth and catching up to an enemy. On top of this his teamfight ability is not to be reckoned with, he offers amazing burst AoE damage, you can't see it coming most of the time, and if he is ahead he can easily burst an entire team to zero health within an ult.
Vi is one of the biggest impacts you will see in solo-que due to her incredible ganking potential on any lane and her ability to camp a lane that is either behind OR ahead. On top of all of this Vi's initiation in teamfights is amazing and if she's ahead is INCREDIBLY devastating. Currently her ban rate is nearly 70%, this obviously means something.
Fizz is an incredibly strong laner and currently has the BIGGEST escape ability and is one of the most annoying champions. If you overextend even the slightest fighting this little monster he will take the bait and feed you to the fish within a fraction of a second. You need to get ganks on this lane and you can NEVER 1v1 this guy... ever. His escape is just incomparable and can dodge your everything and before you know it your dead dumbfounded how.
There will be more information on Fizz match-up's in the match-up's section below if you need to know more. ;)
Fighting a Malphite on the enemy team is normally pretty huge to low-mmr players simply because of his amazing natural tankness and his INSANE initiation. This amount of high level engagement leaves low-mmr players dumbfounded on how to outplay the Malphite basically meaning that the Malphite will probably get fed and you will have to deal with this. I highly reccomend banning him in low-mmr (Bronze 5 - Silver 5), Past Silver 3 currently he isn't picked much so I wouldn't really worry too much about it.
Due to the new Season 4 vision changes stealth champions are back in the scene with alot of hidden strength to them. And this has made champions like Akali , Evelynn, and Kha'Zix rise to a pretty high stature. Evelynn is a strong jungler who has even stronger ganks. Since you can't see her coming she can hop out of no where when you let your guard down and basically your dead. Eve has so much movement speed that she is capable of getting to you pretty quickly and then chasing you down constantly spamming her Hate Spike ability for AAAAAAAAGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS until your to safety. The most scary part is that you can't really do anything about it. I mean you can plop a pink ward in the bush, but 5 seconds later it's gone *poof*. So she can stick around and you won't even know it, making her camps pretty dawg gone annoying and really difficult to stop on your own as a mid laner. Now if you were something say.... Renektones! then it'd be another story ;)
All of those champions in the "Ban" list are good bans for you, and you should at least ban 2 every game, mainly because the skill required to fight against them is pretty high and I honestly don't recommend it when trying your hardest. They will almost ALWAYS get in your way and with little skill shove you in the back seat of their car, In a body bag.
Mind Set When Going Into Ranked.
When you go into a ranked game there are a few things you need to keep in mind no matter what role you are playing. These things lead to a positive mindset and if you complete them lead to a more positive outlook on League Of Legends, a positive atttitude , and an overall better experience.
- When entering a ranked game keep in mind that you as a player cannot win alone, So you need to rely on your team to win games. If you piss off your team then why should they help YOU win? Why would they ever listen to a word you say if you constantly criticize them on every mistake, Nobody likes a douche. Stay positive in games, Studies show that positive players win more games because of amazing comebacks from cooperation and great teamwork.
- Keep in mind that famous dyrus quote, "Did you know teams that don't feed win 100% of every games?". This is 100% true and is the answers to everyones problems. If you don't feed your lane and your playing mid lane, Say you and the enemy mid laner are both 0-0-0, but the enemy is 20 - 30 cs above you; You can easily gank bot who is getting pushed but your adc is up by about 15 cs and had already backed and is ready to engage with the jungler. You get a kill and an assist, you come back to mid more overall gold then the enemy thus allowing you to farm more getting higher cs and slowly closing the gap between you and the enemy.
If you had died to the enemy mid laner you would possibly still got the kill and assist bot, but you would have come back to mid lane relatively even or even still behind the enemy mid laner. This in turn would leave a gap for the enemy to snag at and shove you out of the "Victory" screen. The reason why high mmr and tournament games almost NEVER last 45 minutes or more is because they clench the enemies balls and put a vice grip on them, suffocating the enemy until they drop dead. Powerless, Pathetic, and with no dignity they surrender.
- Always look on the bright side of life, Most people in low-mmr have a "God Comnplex" basically making them think they are the best player in the whole game and everyone else is horrible. These kinds of people are normally not nice and will continuously down you or tell everyone that even when they do bad it is someone elses fault. Some of these people are toxic and go overwhelmingly overboard ( Alot of my friends have been banned for being "Toxic" and I have found them in the tribunal and realizing it was them hit "Punish".) and curse the everyone in the game and then either feed, troll all game, or simply leave the game / afk.
Then theres the people who consistently down themselves for the mistakes of others and themselves. (I do this too often in ranked.) These players will apologize to others even though it was clearly not their fault, I.E. -
~Jungler runs into the enemy team while they baron, jungler dies enemy team gets baron. Enemy team rushes your inhibitor turrets and get a kill off your mid laner and adc. They push to the nexus but end up getting too cocky and die your support and top laner. (#RivenThresh) Even though you just got an ace, the support apologizes for getting the jungler,mid laner, and AD carry killed even though it was in no way their fault.~
This type of mentallity is sometimes pretty annoying but in all honesty they understand that there was probably something that could have been done, even though it was probably some one else to do it. They constantly look at what went wrong and how they could have played it better, these kinds of players rise through leagues and advance in the game much faster than others. By taking the blame willingly you accept the fact that you have improvements that you can work on and will advance to become a better player overall.
How To Carry - Solo Que Edition
So, Even if this is the only thing you read this section will give you a good understanding of how to give Nidalee a name in solo que.
-Warning this is paragraph's on paragraph's on paragraph's!-
-This information is based off of 1,070 - 2,010mmr and over 1,600 games played in Solo Que-
For starters you as Nidalee are either adored or trolled all game when picking her. People play solo que and either fear Nidalee or think she's a horrible pick and is basically useless. This is from inexperience players playing her and doing bad.
This can be from alot of different factors but the most that I have seen is some Nidalee players start out with WEIRD builds like Rod of Ages and Rylai's Crystal Scepter and having no damage. This sort of build path is from people thinking that Nidalee is alot squishier then she really is and not understanding her limits. When playing Nidalee you need to understand how far you can push and just how much damage you can min-max within a certain time frame.
The second factor of Nidalee's failing is that they don't really understand which position they should take, Do they take chilling in the back of the group even farther than the ADC, Or Do they wait and swap cat form to assassinate someone? When attempting to carry in solo que IT IS CRITICAL when teamfights start to break out that you chose and make the correct decision. If you make the wrong one it will cost you either a kill, get you killed, or even throw the entire team fight.
Most of the time in Solo Que I play Nidalee as a cannon, Sitting in the back tossing spears poking the enemy team down. If my team listens to my pings I normally am able to get the enemy team to at least half or get a kill on the support or someone else who is out of position. After that I spam ping my team to jump in and continue to toss spears. When the enemy carry slayers are dead I swap cat form to gain distance to catch up to the fight and if it's worth it i'll even flash Pounce to get a kill or two.
In lane as Nidalee you have to be a sustain MONSTER basically sitting in the lane for I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG until you get level six. Once you hit level six you can start making stuff happen. Your jungler can gank for you, You can roam to other lanes, You should have just gotten a Chalice of Harmony or Tear of the Goddess. These items are the key to your sustain in lane and further throughout the game. Basically level 6 is when you gain kill potential, pre level 6 your a pathetic waste of space.
When fighting against AP champs the standard build I use is Athene's Unholy Grail into Sorcerer's Shoes into either Rabadon's Deathcap or Zhonya's Hourglass and then a Void Staff. This gives you sustain in the lane, damage for spears / all ins, and allows you to keep in fights after a kill has been picked up, If you have the 700 gold after buying a Needlessly Large Rod then totally buy it so you can buy the Seraph's Embrace right after the deathcap or zhonya's.
When fighting against AD champs like Zed or Kha'Zix then I normally build Zhonya's Hourglass into Sorcerer's Shoes and Tear of the Goddess. The main thing to remember when fighting AD Burst Assassin's is to zhonya's at the right time, otherwise your mostly dead.
To successfully carry games when you KNOW for a fact you can't engage, is to constantly spam your team to bait the enemy team into attempting to engage on you but never actually doing it. All the while you spam spears from a teasing distance, even if that means putting yourself in a spot where a annie could ult you and basically one shot you. This is a strategy that I have used many times and it almost always works, because the enemy team gets so worked up about seeing a Nidalee out in the open but not really. The main thing to remember is how close you really are from being out of position, watching your Flash cooldown, knowing how much distance your Pounce covers, and how fast you are able to get out. Even if your behind by alot, this technique can almost always get you at least 1 teamfight won. It won't work if it's a landslide, but if there's hope say 4 - 11, and you, your top laner , or your ADC has the kills you can pretty much make a comeback. The reason is, is that you will be making and setting up everything all your team has to do is go on your mark. You have to always poke, even if you can't see the enemy keep poking you're bound to hit someone and even if you don't, it will bait the enemy team into thinking your useless. Which in turn plays into your favor, they will most likely engage onto your team, when they do this the time that matters the most. Every second counts. Your team is most likely going to get melted, but with your spears they will be able to stand a chance. If you land ONE max range spear onto the enemy ADC or APC then that can change the course of the fight. After if you can do it again you will either get a kill or halve someone elses health. This is how you win, When you've poked the enemy team down to at least 2 or 3 members below half health and your team looks like they can stand about 2 - 3 seconds more, this is your time to stomp this team fight. You need to swap Aspect Of The Cougar and if you have to even Flash Pounce to gap close to get to someone and execute them it's worth it. Your damage is so out of the blue and the enemy team should have used basically everything on your tanks / w.e else you should be able to pick up at least 1 or 2 kills if the enemy team is stacked, and then help your team clean up.
^^ That right there, is the sole way to carry in Solo Que playing Nidalee in the middle lane. I've gotten myself into bronze 5 and then carried myself out of it and into silver 1 within 2 - 3 days, skipping divisions. I and my friend Brandon, who is currently in Diamond 4 at the moment have tested these theories in the Diamond and plat mmr's and it works. In solo-que Gold MMR is the only upset that we have found this to not work, mainly because there are alot of random factors like a ton of Brand or random Diana picks that really don't deserve to be in gold, but make sacrificial plays that mess with your teams head and solo-que madness happens.
Tips & Tricks
- Did you know you could hop over walls with Nidalee's Aspect Of The Cougar ability Pounce? Here's a video of all the locations that you can hop over, So now you can be just like Riven! :D
Knowing what locations you can hop walls can mean the matter of life and death, So watch that video for realz!
They key to jumping over some of the walls is to click right before the wall and then Pounce.
Using Pounce to farm minion waves is a quick and effective way to CS and allows you to either freeze the lane or shove a lane incredibly fast. Taking this into account it allows you to CS in a difficult lane rather easily and with little interruption from the enemy mid laner. Using this strategy allows you to safely farm when pushed under your tower.
"The more experienced one is, the less skill it will require to complete a task."
Match Up : 5/10
This match-up isn't one of your hardest's it really depends on how much you can keep up with her cs and basically both of you are going to minion hump until 6. So pre-6 is going to be a farm fest unless the Ahri is highly aggressive, in this case you need to range her and constantly dodge her Charm and then her Orb of Deception. If you get caught out before lv.6 and you don't have a Chalice of Harmony your going to take A LOT of damage. If you get caught after lv.6 and you have a Chalice of Harmony + Fiendish Codex you should be able to shrug off most of her damage and either back out to range her ult or jump in and deal more damage than she did due to your tanki-ness from your Chalice of Harmony and the extra AP (Ability Power) and CDR (Cool Down Reduction) from the Fiendish Codex.
The most important thing about this lane is to play safe and don't overextend when you KNOW she has charm or ult, because she can easily kill you before you can swap forms to heal. If you are ganked in this lane your almost 100% dead... it doesn't matter your skill or experience... your dead. Ask for ganks early on if you do give out a kill otherwise she's going to out trade you the rest of the game, but you should be able to out farm her by playing safe, keeping your Bushwhack's up, and dodging her abilities.
Match Up : 8/10
Akali is similar to you pre-lv.6 and can't really land a kill on you unless you play stupid or get ganked by the enemy jungler, But its similar for her. Early game try to out farm her and poke her down. Once she hits level 6 you had better watch out, because unless you hit lv.6 at the same time and she instantly dives you, she will out trade you after that due to her 3 uses of Shadow Dance. After lv6 if you got a kill and have either Chalice of Harmony or Athene's Unholy Grail you should be able to tank at least 2 - 3 of her Shadow Dance's before dying so use this to your advantage and force her to use one early on and then quickly back out and heal it off, then re-engage and you should be fine to duel her. The main thing about this lane is to not feed and to follow her when she leaves lane.
Throwing a Bushwhack down when she uses her Twilight Shroud or when you think she is going to leap to you will severely cripple her in an extended fight due to the increased damage you get on your Takedown
Match Up : 7/10
This match up is going to be difficult because she has a better poke mechanic than you and also can stop you from retreating after a rotation in Aspect Of The Cougar. The main thing to watch out for when fighting Anivia is to dodge her Flash Frost side way, your not going to out run it. If you do get hit by her Flash Frost your most likely going to get hit by her entire rotation and then get a Crystallize thrown right in front of you. Seeing as she will also be building a Chalice of Harmony your main objective in this lane is to keep up with her in CS and to not feed, by doing this you will out scale her and be able to gank other lanes and then come back to Anivia fed and out dual her.
Match Up : 6/10
Annie is a VERY strong farmer like Anivia and has INSANE dual potential, keep track of her Pyromania stacks otherwise your gonna get randomly one-shot. Annie will most likely build a Rod of Ages first so the faster you can get a Athene's Unholy Grail the fast you will be able to tank a rotation from her and actually land some damage on her. The most important thing about this lane is that Annie has VERY low cooldowns on most of her abilities and that in an extended fight she will get her cooldowns back before you and just stomp you, and then farm you over and over and over again. When your behind you need to maximize your ability to farm while shrugging off her damage, You can do this by staying ranged and building a Chalice of Harmony and then a Tear of the Goddess right after to maximize your ability to stay in the lane.
Match Up : 4/10
Winning this lane is all about dodging his grip and hiding behind minions until level 6. Similar to the lane with Ahri you both have a skill that you want to land pre-6 , your enemy being the one that will be devastating. The most important thing you can do is juke his Rocket Grab and then quickly swap Aspect Of The Cougar to burst him down and then swap back to human form when he runs and toss a Javelin Toss for the kill. If you get behind there isn't really too much you can do to catch up besides juking his abilities and then trying for a kill, if your not steady with him in CS then your probably going to get wrecked no matter what you do.
Match Up : 6/10
Playing against a Brand is hard... pre-lv6 your gonna be doing the same thing as you do with Ahri but more, You have to constantly dodge his fire on the ground otherwise he's gonna flash over the minions throw his Sear and Conflagration and then your gonna die. Not really but yea be prepared for some really angry plays coming from the brand. Once you hit level 6 if you haven't fed you can get kills if you juke his Sear and Pillar of Flame since they will be on cooldown and you will have a full Aspect Of The Cougar rotation lined up for him he will have 2 options, Die. Or Flash the hell out of there and get speared in the back. Brand has no escape and has only one disengage which is his Sear if used as a stun, and if it is used aggressively that is your key to punish him for it!
Match Up : 7/10
Well, I honestly have little encountered this lane and can't really give much advise besides dodge her Q's and snake fang things and not feed her. I imagine this lane will be easy if you can stall till level 6 and then dodge her ult and all in her for the kill, After that start ganking other lanes and snowball. Build magic resist and if you have downs I would imagine a quicksilver sash may come in handy. (Yeah... no) You can't let your team start fights with her in the back otherwise you will lose (100% she is literally a cannon) you need to either HARD imitate onto her or poke her team down so that when you do initiate onto her they will flop around her.
Match Up : 9/10
Fighting a Diana is pretty tricky business mainly because she will out scale you and is practically a "Freakin Tank". You need to range her hard and never EVER EVER EVER get close enough to her so she can do her Q ult combo, because that will most likely end in you dying, your teammates asking "Why you do dis?!?!?!?!?!?" , and you getting mad. In my honest opinion, If you have a choice don't do this match up it is highly difficult and there's only one way to not feed as I mentioned above. Build a HIGH amount of Magic Resist VERY EARLY.
Match Up : 2/10
When going against an Evelynn it shouldn't be too difficult the main thing you have to do is stay ranged of her Q spam poke and farm from afar while being able to poke her with auto's / Javelin Toss's. Once you reach level 6 you should be able to land a kill and then start ganking other lanes and win the game. Build magic resist in this lane and you should be fine.
Match Up : 8/10
This is just such an annoying lane and po's everyone off, every time you will jump onto him for the kill he's going to fear you or even better silence you right before so you never jump. Then he's going to fear you for 3 seconds and then drain life you and laugh while you walk away. (Ha, Sucker.) You need to play passive pre-level 6 and toss spears as much as you can. Once you hit level 6 you need to bait his fear and silence and then all in him using flash if you must get the kill and then snowball, If that isn't possible you need to gank other lanes and basically carry your other lanes through laning phase. :D Build Magic Resist early on and boots later on. You will definitely want to build a Morellonomicon against this felluh.
Match Up : 6/10
Fighting Fizz to me isn't as scary as it used to be, due to your range and being basically a tank minion you can easily poke him with auto attacks until he either ranges you or jumps at you with his Urchin Strike and Seastone Trident combo. You need to get out of this as soon as possible or your going to take damage that will take forever to heal off. The main thing to remember about fighting a Fizz is his cooldowns to yours and to use Primal Surge either before or after his Seastone Trident debuff has affected you or gone away. Once you get ahead of the Fizz you need to keep getting ahead by ganking other lanes, and by being ahead of him you'll be able to do this faster and become more efficient. But remember he's Fizz he has an IMMENSE amount of damage whether he is fed or not , never underestimate his power when he has his Chum the Waters up. Big suggestion for noob stomping in low elo (Plat and below) build a Chalice of Harmony and then a Spectre's Cowl --> a Spirit Visage and Sorcerer's Shoes, and then build your Athene's Unholy Grail. This not only eliminates yourself from being a prime target for Fizz but now he only should have 1 target left and that's your ADC, but since you have A RIDICULOUS amount of magic resist and you have quite a bit of HP (Plus the extra healing?) you should be able to easily block the Chum the Waters for your ADC, back out for a bit, and then re-engage right after.
Match Up : 10/10
Not only are you stupid, But your pretty dog gone stupid. Unless he's completely dumbfounded that you picked Nidalee into him he's going to throw you into a bush and do dirty things to you all game. The main thing to remember if you survive through laning phase is to never be in range of his ult, So always keep track of his flash and stay out of it's range. To win vs this monster you need to get tank, but deal some good burst. I would recommend if you get ahead / your even in cs get Sorcerer's Shoes right after a chalice for early damage or trading with the Galio. Athene's Unholy Grail into an early Void Staff will also help extremely with this guy. If you're in Ranked I would suggest lane swapping OR going Bruiser, building a Sheen --> spirit visage (Tri if you dominate him) --> gauntlet --> merc treads --> (If you didn't build spirit visage this is the time to do it) Randuins--> BOTRK. This works mainly because bruiser nid is really good and galio builds straight magic resist AND YOUR AD (Your kinda hybrid anyways... but who cares right?).
Match Up : 7/10
Since his rework he kinda lost his effect, he can all in you pretty well still but he doesn't have what he used to. As long as you walk out of his barrels, then you mainly just have to watch out for ganks and his ult after level 6. You can easily all in him once his Barrel Roll is down. His effect in teamfights is still efficient enough to out do you though, so don't overestimate his potency. Build an Athene's Unholy Grail and you should have no problem.
Match Up : Dinger/Danger
This lane is going to be either a face rape for you or him, if he gets ahead in CS or gets his turrets ahead of you then your pretty ****ed. Your main objective is to constantly kill his turrets with either auto attacks or get rid of one quickly with a spear to the face! You cannot engage him if his turrets are up but he's very vulnerable if his turrets are down. Remember to dodge his Hextech Micro-Rockets.
Match Up : 5/10
Recently I've played Karma and I had a ridiculous time playing her, She does SO MUCH BURST but after is completely useless , like a broken tool , Exactly like a broken tool (Hint Hint). So the main thing you need to do is watch her ult Cool Down and after she uses Mantra and Inner Flame if you can pretty much poke her freely with little rebuttal, So don't be scared of her stun your Primal Surge will easily out scale it.
Match Up : 5/10
Do you want this Karthus, I said do you want this Karthus? Get that Karthus! Oh why didn't you get that Karthus? Seriously though, It's not a horrible lane you just need to dodge his Lay Waste spam and your good. Don't you even worry about a thing. -Fax Incoming- Worry about everything. All you need to do is land a spear at around 75% of his health and if you both are even you can all in him with a Pounce + Takedown combo.
Match Up : 6/10
Since Kassadin's rework he is still strong and is slowly nearing top priority picks again, but he lacks a bit. Don't underestimate a Kassadin he still has a tremendous ability to carry and once he gets fed he is a train. Pretty much don't die and don't let him roam and you should be fine! :D
Match Up : 7/10
I mean it's not hard, but you can't interrupt her Death Lotus. So you need to play your cards right. She can poke you and you pretty much can poke her as much as you like with auto's until she jumps to you, then you needuh gtfo. Once you hit level 6 you can dive into her if you hit her with a spear. Otherwise only engage on her if you KNOW for a FACT her Death Lotus is down. You can Pounce away from her ult if she does ult onto you, but it won't be a second until it stops damaging you. So if your 100 hp your dead.
Match Up : 8/10
I would never do this to myself. Not only does she push the living zombie leftovers out of your lane, but SHE DOESN'T STOP! Her whole kit is designed to push every freakin lane she sees with her Righteous Fury. You might be able to engage her if her Righteous Fury is down and your level 6 but you need to get at least 2 rotations down to actually get her to pop her ult. If her ult's up and there's no minions blocking her I would step back a bit and toss a spear, see where that get's you. The main thing to remember in this lane is you need a jungler, Kayle is an EXTREMELY strong laner and if she has a Doran's Ring she can basically stay in lane for an insanely long time if she hits her cs.
Match Up : 9/10
He is strong and offers amazing assassination for a team and is an amazing champion to pick up to carry on. I almost ALWAYS go Seeker's Armguard first against him and finish the Zhonya's Hourglass as fast as possible. After I normally build tier 1 boots and a Tear of the Goddess. Kha'Zix is a difficult champion to actually lane against since he will basically push you until he can dive you and then continuously poke you down. Depending on both of your skill levels it can be EXTREMELY difficult to hit level 6 and all in him, or it'll be a cake walk. That's the thing about fighting this champion. There's not really ever going to be a "Oh hey let's just farm man, Don't bother poking please." If you get the armguard early before he has a The Brutalizer or 2 Doran's Blade and a Vampiric Scepter / Tiamat and your level 6 you should be able to duel him without worrying about getting 1 shot. The only time you will be able to all in him is after he is around 75% health and you know for a fact that he has his Void Spike is down, and you are hop into him with minions right next to you so you don't get hit from the isolated damage of his Taste Their Fear. You cannot EVER be caught out when you are alone, because it will always end in him getting a kill, or you living by a SLIVER of health... like 5 health... Not even exaggerating. - For Ranked - I can play either AP or Bruiser Nidalee vs kha, it's just a matter of your confidence in your own skill and what your team composition is. If you have a Sivir or Vayne and say a Renekton or Shyvana I would go Bruiser nidalee building a Iceborn Gauntlet first item. But if you have a Jinx or a Caitlyn and a Sejuani or Nasus AP Nidalee would be best.
Match Up : 25/10
Just don't do this match up, Seriously don't you even dare. You did it? Your stupid, Not only are you stupid but now your dead as well. Great job. Build stupid with a side of magic resist. But on a serious note, I find myself doing this match-up a lot recently in 5v5's basically you have to sustain the lane poke her down at every chance she gives you with auto's and always watch your spacing from her and you relative to your minions, Because if she flashes into a Distortion + ult Distortions hopefully your minions will be beside you / block her Ethereal Chains and you won't get one shot. You can take Exhaust versus this match-up but typically the only real summoner's I would take into this would be Cleanse or Heal currently and Cleanse only if the enemy team has A TON of cc.
Match Up : ?/10
So Lulu has incredible poke damage with her Glitterlance and the bonus damage from her passive allows her to last hit incredibly well as well as poke damage. This is going to give you a problem in lane and will leave you little room to outplay her pre-level 6. If you hit level 6 before her and her Glitterlance is down you should be able to Pounce onto her and almost certainly get a kill. Once she gets her ultimate she's incredibly hard to kill, So you will need to roam and poke her down / force her to ult by tossing max range spears. In teamfights unless she is fed to all get out you should be able to win as long as you constantly poke without actually engaging. 100% build Athene's Unholy Grail first versus Lulu mid.
Match Up : 6/10
Fighting this is either going to be a walk in the park, or a stroll with a very angry dog.(Hit Or Miss) Lux can harass you in a similar way that Brand does, but instead of stunning you she will snare you. You need to stay a minimum range behind minions to last hit, but cannot be too close otherwise she will get you with her snare and then a full rotation off. If Lux gets fed early she will end up 1 shotting you in her combo and you need a gank, play safe against Lux and mainly just don't feed you will out scale her in time and be able to squash her.
Match Up : 8/10
Due to the rising popularity in Riven in the mid lane in all Match Making Ratings (MMR) I decided to finally create a spot for the almighty lord Riven. For starters she is one of the most mobile champions in the game, The thing to remember when fighting a Riven is that she is capable of going from running away from a gank to her tower and then "randomly" flashing into you with her ult already popped and then can easily get a double kill. She is one of the few champions (Similar to Nidalee and Vayne) who can swap from kiting to all inning you within just a split second if given the chance. You need to constantly poke her with auto's and Bushwhack's to make her stay a little defensive to at least try to dodge your spears early on. Around level 8 you'll start doing some decent damage and will have kill potential on the Riven. You can't ever really all in her, so don't even try it. You always need to stay back and just poke. Also most importantly watch for her jungler ganks and her flash cooldowns, this is key to surviving and possibly winning this lane. She isn't as crazy a threat without her flash.
Match Up : 10/10
I'm not sure why but it's one of the most annoying along with Ziggs. Basically Sion will continuously try to get his rotation off when you go to CS. So here's where your skill comes in, you need to constantly bob and weave between getting the last hit and poking down the shield on Sion. You can do this by slamming a spear in his head, dropping a Bushwhack on him and then auto'ing him, or you if your level 6 you can E + Q combo him to get his shield down and then Pounce to get away after the stun. Bruiser Nid will win though, So... Do that :D Basically if he's AP you can first build a spirit visage / banshee's to give you sustain in the lane and then get a gauntlet and you can duel with him pretty easily without losing too much presence.
Match Up : 3/10
Well... apparently people watched Hai in the NA LCS and got crazy excited about Teemo in mid lane and thought it was a great idea. Fighting teemo... He's a tool, Period. He can't do anything to you, You will poke him down, and he will die jk he'll probably run away unless you snipe him cuz you're the god of spears. His mushrooms are pretty useless since you can pretty much just spam traps over them and nobody will EVER gank your lane... Ever. So yea... Not really a hard lane, he's just really annoying.
Match Up : 6/10
Fighting this match up you need to watch his cool down on his Tectonic Disruption and Plasma Fission and you will be able to easily evade his Void Rift. He shouldn't be able to kill you in lane other than his jungler getting a gank off. You should be able to heal up most of the damage you do take to sustain yourself in the lane and once you hit level 6 you should be able to land a spear and Pounce onto him when he's about 75% health when his Tectonic Disruption is down and most likely get the kill since Vel'Koz is a pretty immobile champion and if he does use his Life Form Disintegration Ray on you, you can easily jump out of the way of it. The only real problem you should have with this champion is when teamfights start to break out and you don't have enough time to get some decent poke off. Build a Athene's Unholy Grail first.
Match Up : 5/10
Yasuo is going to be either a SUPER pain or your going to face roll him. Your main job is to dodge his Steel Tempest while landing auto attacks on him through minions. He is capable of pushing in a way similar to Kayle and if that happens your going to be shoved into your tower and at level 6 he can easily all in you and walk away un-phased. If you manage to keep the lane even and out CS him you will be able to all in him when his third Steel Tempest is down. This is when Yasuo is vulnerable and can't really stop you. The best thing you can do is pick up an Iceborn Gauntlet and then start using the extra armor and sheen proc to win trades and then roam around the map for kills.
Match Up : 8/10
Going against a Zed is all about skill, you need to predict his Razor Shuriken and dodge it so you don't get poked down. Never try to 1v1 him in a fight you don't have the advantage in (Seems kinda obvious, but it really isn't) because you will definitely lose, especially after level 6. Once your both level 6 if you have armor you should be able to bait out his ult rather easily and then Pounce away taking minimal damage, giving you an advantage. After his ult is down all you have to do is not get poked down and once you land a spear or 2 you should be able to all in him rather easily. First major item is definitely going to be a Zhonya's Hourglass with a Tear of the Goddess.
Match Up : 8/10
This champion... is the most annoying champion in the game... I hate him with a burning passion. All he will do is toss his bombs at you while chilling behind minions, you can't engage onto him after level 6 because of his minefield and satchel charge. You're never going to out farm him either, So you have to out roam him. Most Ziggs will actually sit mid and farm when you roam just to push your tower and ult. You can use this to constantly gank other lanes getting them ahead, especially your top laner who will be key in dominating your opponent's team. When mid game comes you have to make sure to stay behind your tank while tossing spears against the Ziggs. If you catch him out while he's roaming depending on your items and his you should be able to 1v1 him unless he gets away with his satchel charge.
I would like to thank a few people who helped me improve this guide and who contributed to it's overall completion. These people are as follows.
-BlackTron helped me with build.
-MrJokerjenkins gave advice on how to word paragraphs.
-Darkguy helped me with dueling comprehension.
-Gravely gave advice on sections.
-Butnut5000 was there for support... Jk he quit league.
-Sammy helped me with ganking / my duo partner.
-Exhaale helped me with solo que.
-Shout outs to Google for teaching me how to use basic BBCode! ^.^
Thank you for the help.
Nidalee rework launched today and it kinda hit hard, Nidalee has lost her ability to take down tanky mid laners such as Ryze and made it nearly impossible (Without building a Void Staff 1st or 2nd Item) to kill a Galio or Diana. Currently there is a lot of experimentation being done and I will update as soon as it is complete.
~06/18/2014 - RinseO_O
So the Nidalee rework is coming along very nicely and seems to me very polished and I will be playing a ton of PBE to come out with the most up to date version of this guide by giving it a complete mnake-over throughout the follow months.
~06/13/2014 - Rinse^.^
You can find the list of changes here.
~05/21/2014 - RinseO_O
I will continuously update this guide with the weekly changes in the meta and what not, I will try to update it at least once every week from here on out and will do my best to provide the best information concerning that week.
~02/01/2014 - Rinse^.^
Be on the look out for the updates!