Swimming Against The Tides
First Tier Items
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 Nami with this build
|Jhin||Jhin has a lot of lane traps and tools. His E trap will be used in bushes as a sort of cheap ward or to apply some damage to a cluster of minions. Dodge his abilities as best as you can, particularly his W as it can stun (snare? I forget), and you can gank him early if he pushes too far out. He works best from a distance, take that distance away so he cannot retreat and Jhin is done for.|
Welcome to the guide on mastering one of the best supports in the game who never seems to get banned! Within, I will explain to the best of my ability how you can be a fully supportive Nami while asserting dominance over your enemy laners. I've put a good 57.5k champion points into Nami and have so much fun just being an amazing support. That being said, if you find this build could be improved in a way, feel free to make an adjustment to your own item set and please let me know; My lingo is not that great and I would love to hear what you have to say! Enough talk, let's build!
Pros / Cons
- Best heals of Support class champions
- Can heal up to two targets or hurt two targets with one spell cast
- Lane control and champion control, against both ally and enemy
- Immense ganking potential
- The privilege to make "fish mom" jokes
- Very little attack potential early game
- Can feel quite squishy
- Needs to be in many places at once to support team best
Upon entering the Rift, get a Spellthief's Edge, a Warding Totem, and either a Refillable Potion or three Health Potion. I prefer refillable because it is mostly going to supplement your heals and I recall often.
Start with your W Ebb and Flow, help your jungler, or don't, then get yourself set in bot lane.
You have three concerns: Watch river and ward bushes, ignore creeps, and poke enemy champions. Any attack, either W or auto, will give you gold due to Spellthief's Edge and it lowers their sustain. Use your W wisely: the spell will bounce between friend and foe up to two times, so staying just within range of its bounce will return any health you lost from the enemy returning fire.
For example, while your Jhin adc is working on minions, you're behind them poking Ezreal with autos and W. As the W hits Ezreal, he hits you back and your spell bounces back to heal the damage received.
Do this until you can afford either both Frostfang and Boots or a Chalice of Harmony. Go get those, but remember that your purpose is to keep your ADC alive and kicking. Later on, Spellthief/Frostfang will not even be in your build.
For the majority of the match, about after five minutes or so, you want to focus on keeping your river warded and your allies alive. Use W more often than your Q, Aqua Prison, or E, Tidecaller's Blessing, as Nami's mana regeneration has a difficult time keeping up with more than one spell at a time until later levels. Unless you are able to gank or you/adc can get that kill, be sparing with your Q. At level 6, your R Tidal Wave makes for an excellent CC or ganking tool; use it wisely to either stop a jungle gank or to get an extra leg on landing a Q to move in and destroy an enemy.
Focus primarily on bot lane, keep the push going and keep the heals flowing! Once the first turret is down, then you can begin moving into other lanes and assisting mid or top, whoever wants the helping hand more. I recommend against pushing further into bot lane without additional support, as retreat will become more difficult the further you go.
Once you feel your mana is large and sustainable, go nuts with your spells! Heal often! Use E on allies to give additional damage and slow to their autos! Throw your Q out to stop an enemy from retreating, attacking an ally, or escaping from a sticky situation! Your job, primarily, is not to deal a significant amount of damage, it is to ensure everyone else does and continues to because they are alive! Only Nami does it best!
Also, keep in mind that both W and E can give a speed boost to allies and Nami for 1.5 seconds. I tend to use E more often as a speed booster than an attack modifier because it is a low mana cost and low cooldown.
If you find you are getting a lot of assists/kills and you are not dying often (or at all), Mejai's is a nice cheap tool to build AP but it can be tough to keep the ball rolling. A Rod of Ages is more recommended as it will build health and mana as well and you do not lose stacks upon death.
Skill Sequence/Spell Usage
Start with W, Q, E, then max out W first, E second, and Q last. W and E are your primary friendly support abilities and the powerhouse of the build. Q does the most damage, but does not build well with AP so it will be used mostly for champion control (ganking, pursuit and retreat, etc).
Until you get mana regen set up, use your W primarily and use Q/E/R sparingly. Nami can handle using W only for poking and heals, but cannot handle the mana consumption. However, if you need to use your abilities all at once to save your adc or a friendly ganker, do so. A living adc is a happy adc!
Use your R wisely; it is an incredible tool that can change the "tide" of battle! Use it to initialize a fight when grouped, to assist your Q in ganks and/or to stop a pursuing enemy. I like to use them in the jungle because there is no wiggle room: when they see the wave coming they either take the wave and break away, waste a flash, or are someone like Fizz who will dodge best they can.
Tips and Things To Keep In Mind
Nami requires movement to survive. The more you move, the better you live, the more tricks you can apply to destroy the enemy team and maintain your own. That means your biggest threats are those who have slows, snares, stuns, and invulnerability application (such as Bard's ultimate). In addition, the less your enemy champion moves the more damage you can apply. Use your R and Q successively and you can take out almost any champion, even by yourself!
If you are going to attack on your own, always use your E to do so! Nami's auto attacks alone do almost nothing, but if you're in a fight do not stop applying damage on top of your abilities. With Unholy Grail and Ardent Censer, your E will be giving over 30% slow and ~150 magic damage bonus for three whole attacks! Put it on yourself to hold your own or on someone with a faster attack speed to put that damage out quickly.
Your W and E apply Nami's passive speed boost to allies, use E more often to give speed boosts than damage effect. I don't know why, but the adc does not like to attack when the E is on them and those three water orbs are floating around them and they feel wasted. Use E for the speed, the 1.5s boost will close a gap fast.
Play With Confidence and Enjoy Your Game
There have been games where the team just isn't built to compete, where I could not land a bubble to save my life. There have also been times where we won a match and I had more kills than the ADC! Nami is incredibly powerful when fully built, capable of keeping an entire team alive while they pound away at tanks (AND WIN!). On more than one occasion have I gone into a lane solo to defend tower against a split pusher and completely annihilate them! Ekko, Pantheon, Miss Fortune; All will succumb to Nami if you put your heart into it!
Practice, find a rhythm with poke farming and build patterns, start off cautious and move in hard when your allies are ready. You are Nami, you are fish mom, you are more powerful than you or anyone else could realize! Abuse their underestimation!