Nunu Build Guide by TotHeMax

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author TotHeMax

Jungle Nunu; Watch for Dem Ganks!

TotHeMax Last updated on March 3, 2013
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Cheat Sheet

Nunu Build

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Nunu, The Yeti Rider

Hey Max here, with my Nunu Guide. I've been fond of Nunu since I started playing him around the low levels. I normally lane with Nunu but I got into jungling. Not knowing if I should build AP, tanky, or support on him, I looked up a build here. I couldn't find one that Looked to my style, so here I am, showing you how I play him.

Sorry, I haven't really been jungling in season 3, so I couldn't tell you if this build works. From the people posting I assume it does great.

Gotta love Ciderhelm

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

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Pros / Cons


+ High AP ratios
+ Great at stealing creeps because of his Consume.
+ Absolute Zero is a great AoE ult
+ You can permaslow
+ You can play multiple roles: Support, AP Tank, AP carry
+ You ride a freaking Yeti!

- Jungle starts out slow due to lack of AoE skills other than ult
- People tend to think that they are the only ones that need help from the jungler
- Can be counter jungled by a lot of the faster junglers
- People hate the Yeti D=

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Master Those Masteries

Mastery Explanations

Here I focus a lot on defense and utility. The defense tree gives you armor, survivability, and some bonus speed for those ganks.

Tier 1 Summoner's Resolve You want the extra
gold from the smite boost. 10 Gold adds up fast.
Hardiness Gives you some extra survivability.
Tough Skin Lets you use bladed armor and helps
reduce damage in the jungle.

Tier 2 Durability Some extra health never hurts.
Vigor Helps you stay alive longer.

Tier 3 Indomitable and Veteran's Scars Give you some more survivability
Bladed Armor Very useful, helps clear the jungle faster
so you can get to those ganks faster.

Tier 4 Initiator You get this for the faster jungle times,
and the extra speed also helps with those much needed ganks.

Tier 5 Honor Guard Can be taken instead of initiator. Reduced damage never hurts.

Tier 6 Juggernaut If I need to explain, let me clarify:
this is one of the best masteries you can get.

Tier 1 Summoner's Insight Gives you a 15 second decrease on flash which could mean all the difference.
Expanded Mind You do have a low base mana compared to a lot of champions out there, and this gives you a little more mana.

Tier 2 Swiftness Gives you a speed boost in ganks and getting to the front line during teamfights.

Tier 3 Runic Affinity you are jungling, Extra buff time keeps your blue buff up a little longer than normal.

You could also do a 21/9/0 setup for extra damage, but I feel that Nunu has enough damage with his incredibly high AP ratios.

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Ooooh, Shiny: Viable Runes.


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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Smite: If you are jungling, you NEED this. Although Nunu does have his Consume, Smite is always a useful Summoner Spell to have.
Flash: It helps with everything from escaping to chasing. If you don't take this, take ghost.
Ghost: This is a replacement for flash if you don't have it yet, or think flash is useless. It lasts longer and cancels unit collision.

Ignite: This is a better spell in top lane than it is jungle, just for helping finishing a kill. But still remember, top lane is about surviving and defending the tower, not getting kills. (although a kill or 2 is nice) If you take this you take it over smite, which will make you easier to counter jungle (not by much, but it still will), or flash/ghost, which then eliminates one of your escape mechanisms.
Anything not mentioned here is in my opinion not worth it, although some of them are still viable like Exhaust. I don't take exhaust because You should be constantly slowing them, eliminating the need for exhaust.

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Ability Explanation

(Innate): After 5 autoattacks, Nunu's next spell will have no mana cost.
This passive makes it so even if you have 0 mana, you still have the ability to use a skill. You don't notice it much although it does do a lot. A top passive for AP casters in my book.

(Active): Nunu's Yeti takes a bite out of target enemy minion or neutral monster, dealing true damage to it and restoring Nunu's health.
Consume is a mini smite that heals you. What not to love? It helps steal buffs, keeps you alive. It's also on a shorter CD than smite!

Blood Boil
(Active): Invigorates an allied unit by heating their blood, increasing their attack speed and movement speed for 15 seconds. If cast on an ally, Nunu also gains the effect of Blood Boil.
This is Nunu's support skill. Give it to the AD carry in a team fight. Use it on low hp people trying to run. Use it just to get to a gank faster. Just so many uses for it

Ice Blast
// (Active): Nunu throws a ball of ice at an enemy unit, dealing magic damage and slowing their movement speed by a percentage and attack speed by 25% for 3 seconds.
This is Nunu's bread and butter. With it you can do massive damage while permaslowing an enemy champion. With a 1.0 AP ratio you can do "Tons of damage"

Absolute Zero
(Active): Nunu starts channeling and begins to sap a large area around him of heat, slowing all nearby enemies movement speed by 50% and attack speed by 25%. After channeling for 3 seconds, he deals massive damage to all enemies caught in the area. It can be canceled early for less damage.
This is Nunu's signature move. It does great damage in a pretty large area of effect, getting stronger over time. If you use this in a bush, any champion nearby won't see it but can become slowed. Use this to your advantage, such as hide in a bush and if you see them walking to the bush pop your ult when they are about to enter. It will be hard for them to get to you. If you time it well enough they won't have enough time to get out, or will waste flash to get away. As soon as it's over, hit them with your ice blast. Then it's a real easy kill. This skill has one of the highest AP ratios in the game, with a whopping 2.5:1 ratio. You won't always get the full use of it however, so know if and when to cancel it.

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Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> >

You want to almost always get Absolute Zero above all other skills. Aside from Consume at level 1, you want to max Ice Blast next. You can then level Blood Boil and Consume as needed next. I typically get Blood Boil first, but get Consume to level 3 when I get Blood Boil to level 3, for that extra health.

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Core Items


Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes

Rod of Ages

Abyssal Scepter

Athene's Unholy Grail

Zhonya's Hourglass

Banshee's Veil

Note: This is not "The Best Build" or a perfect build. There is no perfect build in any situation. (Unless the enemy did something along the lines of everyone being an ADC, then a thornmail+Frozen heart is pretty damn close to perfect)
  • : These give Mpen, a crucial item if you want to do some extra damage. You could also go with Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the cooldown reduction.
  • : This item gives a good chunk of AP and HP. A great item for a champion like Nunu.
  • : Gives you even more AP, gives some magic resistance, and has an aura that decreases enemy magic resist. Helps you all around.

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Situational Items

Situational Items

These are items you can use in different situations against different enemies.

Feel free to replace anything you deem unnecessary at the time while playing a game.

Against AD Heavy Teams

Thornmail is a great item against Attack speed champions such as Teemo and Master Yi. It returns damage as well as lowers the amount taken.

Frozen Heart is like Thornmail, but instead replaces damage to returned to an aura that lowers enemy attack speed. This + a thornmail will make that pesky Tryndamere to think twice about attacking you.

Executioner's Calling is a seldom used item. It is best against champions like Olaf or teams with Soraka because of the debuff. I would suggest having someone who can make use of the stats use it, but if needed(adc doesn't grab), you might want to grab it if they are hurting your team.

Against Crowd Controll Heavy Teams

Quicksilver Sash is great against champions like Malzahar and Brand. It will make them waste their spells if used on you since you can just activate this little item.

Banshee's Veil is great against burst champions like Annie and can block Karthus's ult. Need I say more?

Against High Health Enemies

Deathfire Grasp is a nice item for you since it gives AP and can take a % of any tanks HP out. In Veigar's case he can one shot people with it. Great against champions like Vladimir, Olaf, and other similiar champions.

If you went AD you could get Madred's Bloodrazor, but you won't benefit from the stats very much. Get your ADC to pick this up.

Against Stealth

Oracle's Elixir and Vision Ward Help you see that Twitch trying to get an easy kill.

Now there are many more items that can be used to counter champions, but it's up to your good judgement to know what to use and when to use them.

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If someone would be so kind to get me a working jungle of this path and send it to me I would give you +rep =P I'm having issues with the video. Please and thank you.

First you start at the Blue Buff. (with a leash preferably) Use Smite/ Consume to secure the buff. Then go to Wolves after grabbing your Ice Blast. Should be a cakewalk. Then go to Wraiths. Again should be easy. Go to the Small Golems. After you do you should get Ice blast again. Now why not go to red first? Because if you do, you lost precious seconds on your red buff for ganking. After the Small Golems, you grab Red Buff. Once more go to Wraiths. Grab Blood Boil here. Afterwards try and get a gank. It is all up to what you think is good.

There are times when you need to gank, and times when you can. Say for example, your top lane Gangplank is getting killed up there. Typically, he needs a gank So you go up there, and see if the enemy jungler or top laner bought some wards when the game starts to help you here. If they did, come from near their turret. If not, there's that bush.

Here is a picture from jhoijhoi's Nasus guide showing where your top lane should be. Take this into account and see which of the lanes the enemy solotop is. If he is in the middle or closer, tell your Gangplank that you will gank the enemy solotop. If you come from their turret, use Blood Boil on yourself so you can get there faster. If not, come from the bush, Ice Blast him, and buff Gangplank.

Okay, now say you are in the bottom jungle, and the same top is asking for a gank the same time bot is. Bot is doing fairly well, they are just getting pushed while Graves is away. So who do you gank? If the support Sona bot isn't getting raped like top is, help out that Gangplank. In most scenarios top would be a better choice. However if there's no one there, you might want to help bot before top, so you are able to scare them away from the turret.

Here's basically all you need to know. Initiate by flash(can substitute with blood boil + ult. Focus the AD carry down. Then anyone who is a threat. Continuously buff your Ad carry if possible with Blood Boil. Ice blast also decreases attack speed. Keep that in mind. Apathy also suggested to use Ice Blast to kite anti carries so your carry can kill them.

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Common enemy junglers

Credit to this section goes to Xenotechie. Going to make it pretty in a little bit.

Lee Sin is likely the only jungler that can fill all the niches a jungler can do. He can invade, he can control the map, he can gank like crazy. Thanks to this, dealing with him requires you to think what will the Lee Sin do. Naturally, this requires you to have played this guy a lot. However, I can offer some tips independent of your blind monk experience.

First off, you want to know where will he start. If he starts at blue or wolves, you can expect him to play like a standard, run off the mill jungler, meaning that the guy playing him is likely not skilled enough to play him effectively. However, if he starts at red or wraiths, that's a different story. He will almost certaily go in for an early gank OR counter jungle you, the counter jungler. Knowing this will give you a significant advantage, so try to persuade your support to grab Clairvoyance. Of course, if you are skilled enough, you can tell where Lee will start by the movements of the enemy players, and I can't help you there too much.

As for playing against him itself, if he goes blue, feel free to counter-jungle him with impunity. You should be able to steal his wraiths, or even his red if our Lee Sin REALLY sucks. If he finds you in his jungle, just wait for him to use his Sonic Wave, THEN ice blast him, as the slow is useless if he hits you with it. If he is being a good blind monk, tho, you want your teammates to know his movements. Tell them not to overextend too much early on, and he will likely set his sights to your jungle. Then, try to kill him while he is weakened and/or with the help of your teammates. Expect all this happening at level 2 or 3, tho.

Dr. Mundo is considered to be one of the best junglers in the game right now, and for a bloody good reason: he is easily one of the fastest junglers in the game right now and is a VERY potent invader because of his cleaver. However, his very early game is exploitable: he NEEDS a good leash to start going. I strongly recommend that you invade at level 1 and at least scare him away and mess up his leash.

Even if he does get his start, his other weakness is that he actually has NEGATIVE sustain, or, in simpler terms, he loses health while using his abilities. This means that you can shut him down early if you jump him at just the right time. This is easiest to do if you actually play this guy often, but it can happen when he rather inevitably tries to counter-jungle. He is an excellent duelist, and you do not with to take him on alone unless you have at least an 50% HP advantage, so you'll want to catch him in your jungle with a teammate.

In short, try to shut him down early game, and try not to let him get to late game, where he becomes an unkillable regenerating maching of pain and Burning Agony.

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So upvote me if you liked it, downvote if you had some issues and tell me why. Once I get a few players sending me their scores, I will be adding a section on that. I would also like if if people showed me videos of them jungling with Nunu or against a Nunu with counter jungling involved. This would allow me to start a section on good/bad matchups. I will give credit for anything sent in and posted here.

Shoutouts to my buds, jhoijhoi for her guide on creating a guide, and thanks to Matt for his guide on bbcoding here.

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

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Hall of Fame!

Send in your scores and they will be posted here!
willehawk - Good job!

Spoiler: Click to view

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Okay time to answer a few questions here that I have been asked/someone said I should explain why I did something.

Q: Why do I not go support tank Nunu?

A: Because generally I don't like support builds. If I go support Sona, I build AP items. A support build generally is the same as every other support build out there. Also, a tank Nunu doesn't do as much damage, which is why I build AP and get rylais/RoA/Zhonyas. Situational items cover me the rest of the time.

Q: Why didn't you take X item or X rune?

A: Because I thought I would benefit from something else more. You can use X item or X rune if you want, it's all preference.

Q: Why didn't you grab Gp10 items?

A: Because I find myself keeping up with everyone else's gold rates, most of the time I am one of the top people in gold earned due to crazy amounts of assists.

Send in your questions, I'll answer them here.

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Change Log

9/8/2012- Created the guide

9/9/2012- Added some tips on ganking

9/18/2012- Added FAQ

11/7/2012- Remembered I had a guide xD Removed all the double slashes.

11/7/2012- Removed solotop guide.