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Nami Build Guide by Meteorskies

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Meteorskies

[Nami] In-depth guide to support

Meteorskies Last updated on December 19, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
2
4
5
7
9
Ability Key W
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 22


Guide Top

Introduction

Greetings summoners!

For my first guide I would like to help you with the most recent addition to the League: Nami the Tidecaller.
As for any guide, what I say here is not absolute and only reflects my opinion and my play style. You are free to tweak, change, add or discard whatever you find wrong or missing. I am always open to critics and I will gladly discuss with you. That being said, let us begin, shall we?


Guide Top

Pros and Cons

To begin with, let's study the champion a bit. Nami is intended by Riot as an aggressive support, potentially an AP carry (to be tested). Her skills kit comprises a hard CC, a heal, a buff and a mass slow/speed debuff/buff. Overall, she appears as a very versatile support and a strong addition to any composition which lacks some engagement potential. As for now, I consider her a very strong support for any aggressive AD carry.

Pros Cons
+ Ranged champion
+ Versatile kit
+ Great engagement/disengagement
+ Useful at any phase of the game
- Very squishy
- Rather long cooldowns
- No strong synergy with an AD carry
- Hard to master


Guide Top

Abilities Overview



Let us go into the details of her skills kit now. Beside her ultimate, Nami's abilities don't have a significant range if she is alone, so she has to come rather close to the enemy which is always dangerous when you are so squishy. Landing your spells will require some practice to get used to the range and timings, but you will find it very rewarding in the end.



Surging Tides (Passive)
Nami's passive gives a significant movement speed boost to any ally she hits with one of her abilities. This passive allows extremely strong engagement, especially for ganks as most of Nami's skills can potentially hit multiple targets. In the same way, it allows a quick disengagement.

Tips


Aqua Prison
A hard CC in the form a a skill-shot, with a significant duration and a decent area of effect. Its range allows you to hit ennemies from a rather safe distance, but the short delay between the cast and the landing of the bubble requires a bit of training. The damages scale rather well with your AP, and the base damages are high enough to make Nami a viable option for taking a solo lane as AP carry.

Tips:
  • When no other option is available to you, you can hit an ally with Aqua Prison to proc Surging Tides, but you should favor the stun on an ennemy whenever possible.
  • Aim ahead of your target if you want to hit. Some practice will be needed to get used to the range and timing.
  • Aqua Prison gives a large window to engage or disengage, but due to its rather long cooldown favor it for the middle of the fight or for when the enemy is slowed or can't see you to be sure to land the bubble. Saving it that way will allow to either disengage if the fight went wrong or finish the enemy off safely.



Ebb and Flow
A one-of-its-kind ability, hard to master to optimize its efficiency, but easy to use and very useful. Placement is the key. The bouncing has a greater range than the initial cast, so you have multiple way to use it. The positions of your allies and ennemies will determine wich targets will be hit. A section will be dedicated to this spell to give you more details.



Tidecaller's Blessing
An attack buff coupled with an on-hit slow effect. This one skill combines with her passive confers an ally a very strong engagement potential. It is especially good for your jungler when he tries to gank, or for your AD carry when you decide to engage, as at its first level it will give a difference of about 70 movement speed between the ally and the ennemy.

Tips
  • Tidecaller's Blessing can be used for hit'n run situation as well as for offensive purpose.
  • Beside your ultimate, in lane phase, Tidecaller's Blessing gives a strong surprise engagement potential as you proc Surging Tides to close the distance and then slow the enemy. Talk with your carry or your jungler to plan the attack.
  • When maxed and with a bit of AP it gives a significant damage bonus, don't neglect it during teamfights.



Tidal Wave
A very powerful ultimate with a tremendous range of 2550. It has a decent base damage, a good AP ratio, and a strong debuff. Coupled with Surging Tides, it gives your team an incredible potential of engagement/disengagement.

Tips
  • Use Tidal Wave mostly to engage in or disengage from teamfights. Although it deals a decent amount of damage and knocks up ennemies, its main interest resides in the difference in movement speed it gives between your allies and your enemies.
  • Don't forget Tidal Wave knocks up enemies in the air. Use it to interrupt abilities such as Katarina's Death Lotus, Galio's Idol of Durand, etc.
  • Make use of the range of the wave, cast it from as far as you can to maximize the duration of the slow and surprise the enemies from the fog of war.


Guide Top

Ebb and Flow



Let us study a bit more thoroughly Ebb and Flow. In few words, Ebb and Flow is a versatile spell which bounces and deals damages when it lands on an enemy, and heal when it lands on an ally (including you), effect decreasing after each bounce with a maximum of 2 bounces (3 targets).

If you cast it on an enemy, it will bounce to the nearest ally, then to the nearest enemy different from the first.
If you cast it on an ally, it will bounce to the nearest enemy, then to the nearest ally different from the first.

The 2 patterns are:
enemy 1 --> ally 1 --> enemy 2
ally 1 --> enemy 1 --> ally 2

Depending on your prioritiy, you should hit an enemy first to maximize your damage output, or you should hit an ally first to maximize your healing. The positioning (of you, your enemies and your allies) is absolutely key. A little review of the cases is needed.

Two important things must be pointed out:
  • The damage side has a higher base damage and AP ratio than the heal side.
  • The bounce range is greater than the cast range.



Single target cases


Not much to say here. If you heal an ally and no enemy is in range of the bounce, you just heal your target. If you cast it on an enemy, you will damage him and heal yourself with the first bounce (as the bounce range is greater than the cast range).



Two targets cases


Harass
Ebb and Flow most direct use is to harass the enemy by healing your ally first. When the enemy comes in range of Ebb and Flow bounce, cast it on your ally. That way you can increase dramatically your harass range thanks to the positioning of your ally while keeping a safe distance.

Rescue
In the same idea, you can heal an ally and proc Surging Tide even when you are out of position. This can occur when you push your lane and you get ganked. Your carry can be targeted by the enemies, but you are left behind for some reason and you are out of range to help directly. Cast Ebb and Flow on the enemy closest to your ally and it will bounce to heal and proc a the movement speed buff which can save him.

Damage first
When you engage a fight 2vs1, you probably want to maximize your damages, so you cast Ebb and Flow on the enemy. It will bounce once and heal the closest ally, or you, depending on your positioning. Chances are you won't be the target in 2vs1 because you are supposed to keep a safe distance from the fray, so the heal will be for your ally.

Heal first
On the contrary, if you are engaged 1vs2, you probably want to heal yourself first to stay alive long enough to reach safety. Casting Ebb and Flow on yourself will heal you then bounce onto the closest enemy, while it procs Surging Tides.



Three targets cases


Those cases will happen most of the time and it is where Ebb and Flow reaches it highest. It is very likely that there will be at least 2 melee champions fighting each other, or that 2 or more champions will be in a rather close range.

Save the fray
In this case you want to maximize your heal to save allies who are in the fray. Casting Ebb and Flow on an ally will heal him, bounce to damage the closest enemy, then bounce again to heal the closest ally different from the first one. Target the ally with the lowest health first as Ebb and Flow effects will decrease with each bounce. It will also proc Surging Tides to 2 allies, allowing them to disengage more easily if needed.

Damage the fray
In this case your allies in the melee are doing well enough not to need any heal, so you want to add some damage. Target the enemy champion lowest on health and let Ebb and Flow bounce and an ally then another enemy. Surging Tides will provide a little help should the enemy try to disengage.

Finish him
Although unlikely, this case is when an enemy chases and ally who chases an enemy (you->enemy1->ally1->enemy2). Much like the two targets case "Harass", you aim to hit the enemy at the end of the line. By targeting the first enemy, provided they are all in range of the bounces, you will heal your ally a bit, give him a movement speed buff to catch up with his prey, and damage the last enemy. Be careful though, if you are closer to the first enemy than your ally, Ebb and Flow will bounce back on you.

Save the last
This case is the opposite of the previous one, your goal is to save an ally chased by an enemy, himself chased by an ally (which can be you). Cast it on yourself or your ally, let it bounce on the enemy then again on the last ally. Hopefully, the heal and Surging Tides will save him.




In a nutshell:
  • your first target will get the highest damage/heal, choose wisely
  • positioning is key, try to anticipate the bounces
  • never forget it procs Surging Tides


Guide Top

Abilities sequence

Of course these sequences are only suggestions and you are more than welcome to go for a different one if it fits the situation better. Always adapt, don't stick blindly to a build.

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


This sequence is for when your carry won't be engaging and focus on farming. You will aim at sustaining your lane with Ebb and Flow while using it to harass when the enemy comes too close. It is in my opinion the safest and most common sequence withNami, and I recommend it for your first times with her or for when you are not familiar with your partner's behaviour.



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


This sequence is pretty all-in. I had the opportunity to use it with my partner and it works very well if you are both well coordinated and can communicate with each other easily. Contrary to most lanes, it is up to your carry to engage (which can be very unexpected) but you still have to give him Tidecaller's Blessing. After landing 3 auto-attacks, it's up to him to back away and resume farming or to chase and go for the kill. You can also harass with Tidecaller's Blessing yourself, but it is less efficient in my opinion, and more risky.


Guide Top

Summoner's spells

After this analysis, let's get more into what you need during the game. Let's review the summoner spells first.

Recommended

Flash
Flash is vital to you as you don't have any instant escape. I wouldn't consider playing Nami without a Flash, whatever the matchup is.

Heal
Now viable on the support with the season 3 patch, Heal is interesting when the enemy team has a lot of AOE. Not the best summoner spell in lane, it will still give you some sustain and shouldn't be neglected.

Exhaust
Multi-purpose spell to secure a kill, rescue and ally or save yourself. Exhaust is my second favourite choice after Flash.

Clairvoyance
Viable spell, but aimed more at helping all of your team by providing vision where it is necessary. Helping your carry should be your priority, but if your team somehow really needs it, Clairvoyance can be a good choice.

To avoid
  • Revive: you should not expose yourself. Taking a spell impacting your death is not as wise choice, as you would have to die to use it.
  • Ghost: you already provide a good movement speed boost, you have flash to escape, and Ghost doesn't help your carry.
  • Barrier: again, you should not expose yourself, hence you should not be focused. Barrier helps you to survive, while your priority is keeping your carry alive. If you need it, you made a mistake.
  • Clarity: after early game, you just don't need it because you have enough mana regeneration, and I've found that Nami is mana hungry enough to justify taking Clarity.
  • Smite: you don't need to kill a single minion or creep.
  • Cleanse: same thing as Barrier, if you need it, you made a mistake.
  • Teleport: you should stay with your carry, so you don't have to teleport to other places.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Gold
3

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
9
Quintessences
Gold generation for you, unless you are planning to take all the kills and take them early. Pretty standard since you won't have any other income beside the natural gold generation (now increased to 16 per 10s since the season 3) until you get your gold generating items.


Seals
The main threat to you will come from either the jungler or the AD carry, meaning physical damage most of the time. I prefer flat armor over scaling armor since you are more likely to take more damages early game (proportionally to your health), but scaling armor is also a good option provided you don't take damage early.


Glyphs
Mana regeneration will be crucial to harass efficiently realy. Like for the armor, I prefer to use flat regeneration since your maximum mana will increase as you go further in the game, and you won't spam much more than during the lane phase, so the more mana regeneration early the better.


Marks
I am still unsure what to use as marks, but magic penetration is always a viable option to deal a bit more damage with your spells. Some more armor might be good as well, it all depends on your way to play.


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
4/1
4/1
1/5
3/5
3/1
3/5
4/1
1/5
2/1
1/
3/
1/

As a support I will of course focus on the Utility tree. I am still trying a 4/4/21 configuration, but a 0/9/21 configuration is viable of course.

Offense
Sorcery : Nami needs some cooldown reduction as her lowest cooldown is 9s, which is too high to my taste to be efficient in fight.

Defense
Durability : some health scaling on level not to fall too far behind later on.

Utilty
Here I aim at my mana regeneration, my gold generation and my cooldowns reduction.
Summoner's Insight : for the Flash cooldown reduction of 15s.
Wanderer : movement speed early to keep up with your carry without boots.
Meditation : you will need some mana regeneration during the whole game.
Expanded Mind : some more mana in your mana pool.
Greed : gold generation for support.
Wealth : a small gold bonus early game for the wards and potions
Biscuiteer : the biscuit is an interesting starting item, it helps you a bit during the first pashe of lane.
Pickpocket : harass is now worth 3 golds for you if you land an auto-attack
Intelligence : with this and Sorcery, you gain rougly 1s on your lowest cooldown, which can be critical.
Nimble : with this you don't need boots early as you have roughly the same speed as a carry with boots.

Just in case you want to know what I don't take in the Utility tree, here are the details:
Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Synergies

So far I have found that Nami works rather well with most AD carries. I play Nami a bit like I play Sona. She is versatile enough to offer sustain and control of the lane, but as she is rather squishy she can't engage directly. Your choice in which ability to max first depends on the way your carry wants to play, so try to adapt.

Synergy level: medium
Graves offers a very high burst damage but lacks the sustained damage of other carries such as Kog'Maw. I have found that a duo with Graves works very well if you play aggressively with him. Using Tidecaller's Blessing on him and letting him engage with quick Draw offers a good trade, as you can stun and slow just after if needed. I would avoid that strategy if the enemy support has a hard CC such as Taric or Leona as it would shut down his dash immediately, and I would play more passively.



Synergy level: medium
Caitlyn can synergize very well with Nami if she pokes with your Tidecaller's Blessing on her. You won't have a burst, but you will be a duo based on harass and poke, which should allow you to keep the enemy midlife and engage with a good advantage. Harass a lot but don't completely engage the fight. If Caitlyn is okay with poking with her auto-attacks, grab 2 or 3 early points in Tidecaller's Blessing. If she prefers to play passively, max Ebb and Flow for sustain or Aqua Prison for strong harass.




Synergy level: medium
Kog'Maw synergizes with Nami much like Caitlyn does. He is very squishy but can quickly become a threat. Once his range is long enough, let him poke safely with Tidecaller's Blessing, but before that play passively and get 2 or 3 points in Ebb and Flow to heal him enough to stay in lane. Kog'Maw is based on sustained damage so maxing Tidecaller's Blessing is your best option, but keep him safe and don't force a fight at close range.



Synergy level: medium
Ezreal's mobility, due to his Arcane Shift, makes him a good choice to pair with Nami. He can close the gap to the enemy instantly and take any opportunity you give him to deal damage. I would play with him like I would play with Graves: let him engage with Tidecaller's Blessing and get enough points in Ebb and Flow to give him enough sustain.



Synergy level: medium
Corki is a dangerous carry with a high burst, good poke and significant mobility. Before his level 6, his focus won't be to poke but to burst. Once he reaches level 6, he will poke as much as he can with his Missile Barrage, but during fights it will be the same as with other AD carries based on burst such as Graves and Ezreal. His Hextech Shrapnel Shells will be added to your Tidecaller's Blessing, so if you plan to play aggressively get some points in it.



Synergy level: low
Vayne doesn't synergize very well with Nami in my opinion. Vayne is a late game carry who needs a lot of farming to become dangerous, and she is too squishy to engage a fight herself. Your duo can't take a lot of damage and there will be a lot of pressure. You will have to max Ebb and Flow to sustain her during the lane phase and be extremely cautious. If she chases an enemy low on health, Tidecaller's Blessing will secure the kill as it is already extremely difficult to escape Vayne due to her Night Hunter, so don't use Tidal Wave unless she clearly can't catch up.



Synergy level: [pending]
Kayle's lack of popularity is not justified in my opinion, and in my experience she made an extremely strong hybrid carry, although I am no longer sure of that since the huge change of the Guinsoo's Rageblade in season 3. Nonetheless, her Righteous Fury coupled with your Tidecaller's Blessing does a very high amount of damage, not even considering the movement speed boost you proc with Surging Tides, her own boost with Divine Blessing and the slow of her Reckoning. On the paper I think a duo with Kayle can be one of your best choice with Nami, but I still have to assess the viability of Kayle in the new season.


Guide Top

Gameplay

Early game


G
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Y
Your early game is similar to most aggressive supports. Keep an eye on the map for potential gank, let your carry farm, and watch for openings. Play safe, you are a ranged champion with enough CC and sustain not to give any kill to the enemy if you position yourself well enough. Buy at least a ward each time you back to base and work on building your gold items. With only your masteries and the base gold generation, you should be able to buy your Philosopher's Stone around 4min10s. If possible, grab it as soon as you can. If you manage to get it at that time, you can stay in lane for a long time.

If you have Heal, Eleisa's Miracle might be a viable choice, and the following might interest you, otherwise just skip it. If you don't have heal, get the Sightstone, then a Kage's Lucky Pick, and then your Boots of Speed.

Spoiler: Click to view
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When you see a safe opportunity, land Aqua Prison or Ebb and Flow, or just harass with auto-attacks. If your carry engages, cast Tidecaller's Blessing on him. Always keep one of your skills up and ready in case you need Surging Tides. In my opinion the best engagement would be to engage with Tidecaller's Blessing only. Surging Tides should allow your carry to come in range, and the bonus damages should him the edge should the enemy carry retaliate. If he doesn't, it is likely that your carry would have landed 3 hits thanks to his speed and the slow on the enemy. If the enemy doesn't back and decided to fight, auto-attack and wait a bit for the enemies to come closer. If they are grouped close enough, land Aqua Prison. Otherwise, it is compeletely up to you and your analysis of the situation. Remember that early game, you shorest cooldown is around 8s with Ebb and Flow (with your masteries), meaning that you are unlikely to use an ability more than once in a teamfight. Unless it is absolutely unnecessary, try to save an ability for an emergency Surging Tides. If you have Tidal Wave, don't hesitate to use it to engage as it is almost impossible to dodge on a lane.
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Always start with Aqua Prison. It is a hard CC, which is always a must have early game. It can secure a first blood or save an ally, not even mentioning Surging Tides. Then depending on how your carry plays, on who the enemies are, grabe Ebb and Flow or Tidecaller's Blessing first. At level 3, you must have your 3 abilities. What you max first is, in my opinion, completely up to you. If you want to be safe, get some points in Ebb and Flow early. If you can land Aqua Prison easily and want to be agressive, max it early as it is the only spell Nami has which cooldowns decreases with each level. I've come to realize that a maxed Tidecaller's Blessing can be extremely strong if you have a good teamwork with your carry and you play aggressive.
A
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Mid game


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At that time, towers start to fall and some champions start roaming. Now you should always go where you are needed, but stay with your carry all the time. Ward the dragon and Nashor and keep an eye on the jungle. Be in as many teamfights as possible. You priority is to protect your carry and watch the map all the time for incoming ganks or ambushes. Keep buying wards and work you way to your core items. You need to adapt to the composition. Upgrade you Sightsone to Ruby Sightstone, grab an Aegis of the Legion, as it is still a good choice with the new patch (although not as good as before). You need cooldown reduction badly, so favor the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. I've found Shard of True Ice a viable choice since it keeps the gold generating effect, and the active can be interesting if used correctly (preferably on the bruiser or the tank).
G
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Y

F
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Your objective is the same as in early game: cast Tidecaller's Blessing, wait for the melee to form, aim at a group of enemies with Aqua Prison, cast Ebb and Flow when needed. Tidal Wave should be used to engage, disengage or re-engage fleeing enemies, but keep it up if you go against powerful interruptable ultimates such as Katarina's Death Lotus. Stay behind, don't enter the fray as you are very squishy.
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One of your abilities should be maxed by level 9 if you favored a type of gameplay. Maxing Ebb and Flow is a good option, but don't underestimate the potential of an Aqua Prison at max level popping twice during a teamfight. When you start roaming, do not max Tidecaller's Blessing anymore if you put some points in it before, it is no longer as strong as during the lane phase. Of course, always put a point in Tidal Wave whenever possible.
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Late game


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Your transition into late game where you no longer are a reliable source of damage and rely more than ever on your utility abilities. Always have a ward on Nashor, watch the usual paths in the jungle, and stay with your team. If you have to go ward a spot and an enemy is missing, don't go alone or simply don't go. It is crucial not to be isolated. At this point it becomes very hard to ward enough, so this task should at least be shared with your jungler.
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In late game, teamfights can mean instant defeat or victory. A well-timed ace and one can rush to the nexus, so it is absolutely crucial that you keep one of you alive. Theoretically, you should be behind with your carry, but the bruisers generally manage to clear a path to your position. If it happens, cast Aqua Prison to allow your carry to step back. Keep an eye on your allies' health and cast Ebb and Flow when needed. If one of your teammates can jump into the enemy team to engage (most likely your bruiser), use Tidecaller's Blessing on him to help him keep his target in range. I have found that disengaging with Tidal Wave is one of the game strongest disengagement possible, as as you stay behind the wave will travel a rather long distance and hit both your allies and the enemies, slowing the latter and speeding the rest of your team. Add a Shurelya's Reverie and you are almost certain of escaping safely. Engaging the whole enemy team with your ultimate is not the best move unless you have a significant advantage. You should keep it for engaging a portion of the enemy team or for the middle of the teamfight to knock enemies up and hinder their positioning.
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Nothing particular to say at this stage regarding abilities, max Ebb and Flow and Aqua Prison, and max Tidecaller's Blessing last.
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Guide Top

Matchups

Obviously, the duo lane matchups are numerous since it's 2vs2 combinations. There are too many of them to be covered with accuracy, so I will focus only on the most common compositions, those you are more likely to face. You will notice that most of the time it is the enemy support who dictates your course of actions, so I will dedicate a section specifically to summarize how to act against each support.




Threat level: maximum
Taric - Graves
The tankiest of all duo you will encounter, with an incredible burst at level 6 which can instantly kill you or your carry. The key to win against them is to watch Taric all the time, as he is the one who will most likely engage the fight by stunning one of you with Dazzle. If he comes too close, back a few steps. If they manage to engage you, focus your attention on Graves and stun him with Aqua Prison as soon as possible. Cast Ebb and Flow immediately after the first damages not to die at the burst. Cast Tidecaller's Blessing then to give more damages to your carry and allow him to back quickly if needed thanks to Surging Tides. If your carry has enough range, you should aim at harassing Taric with Tidecaller's Blessing as he doesn't tank magic damages as much as physical damages. Watch for their positionning: if Taric is far away enough from Graves then the latter won't be able to engage even if Taric stuns you, so you should take this opportunity to harass Taric. Also, keep in mind that you will be their priority target, so do not expose yourself.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Extreme burst damage
+ Tankyness and sustain
+ Most reliable stun in the game
- Short range
- Limited mobility
- Mana dependent




Threat level: maximum
Blitzcrank - Ezreal
A duo which puts a lot of pressure on your lane. If Blitzcrank hooks you with his Rocket Grab, you are dead as you are too squishy to sustain their burst. The key to win this lane resides in your positionning: Blitzcrank owns the bushes, it is his territory and there is hardly anything you can do. Put a ward in his bush and place yourself on the other side of the minions line. Always be on the other side of the minions line. Don't try to catch Blitzcrank or harass him, it is too dangerous. Focus your harass on Ezreal and dodge his skillshots. Force him to use Arcane Shift to dodge your Aqua Prison. At his level 6, Blitzcrank adds a tremendous burst to their duo with his Static Field, and it will most likely kill you if you don't pay attention. Winning your lane resides in not being hooked and forcing Ezreal to back. Be aware that they will try to catch you as you are an easy target.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Constant pressure
+ High mobility
+ High burst
- No sustain
- Countered with good positioning
- Mana dependent




Threat level:
high
Leona - Corki
This lane is also a very dangerous lane with a little less burst damage than the previous two, but they make it up with much more CC and a stronger engagement potential. Leona provides one of the most dangerous engagement early game, and she is the most dangerous when she reaches level 6. Unlike with Blitzcrank or Nidalee, hiding behind minions won't help as her Zenith Blade is not stopped by minions. Your best friends are a ward in her bush and keeping a safe distance from her. If she manages to engage, instantly stun her carry with Aqua Prison. If you manage to take down the carry, Leona won't be able to do much and will have to back. Do not try to engage the enemy carry without knowing where Leona is as she can counter-engage and turn the tide in their favor. Like with the previous two duos, you are their priority as you are squishy. Play safely.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Constant pressure
+ Turret divers
+ Strong CC
- Natural pushers
- Limited mobility
- Limited range




Threat level:
high
Nunu - Miss Fortune / Vayne
These lanes can play very aggressively or very pasively. Nunu mitigates your possibility of coming too close to his carry, while they synergize very well with their movement speed boosts to engage you. Your abilities dampen Miss Fortune's Strut and Vayne's Night Hunter passives as well as Nunu's Blood Boil, so you should have about he same speed when disengaging early game, but you will fall behind on that as the game goes on. You can interrupt both of Miss Fortune's and Nunu's ultimates with Aqua Prison or Tidal Wave, so wait for them to use them. Beside that, follow the same pattern as with Nunu - Kog'Maw (see below). As for Vayne, even if she is squishy and is a late-game champion, she can quickly kill you if she manages to land a Condemn, so watch for her positioning. Do not hesitate to use Tidal Wave to disengage as it is extremely hard to outrun them without a movement speed boost. When harassing, focus on the carry as they don't have as much range as others, but do it preferably when their abilities are on cooldown.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Very high mobility
+ Dangerous at short range
+ No strong CC
- Short range
- Not much sustain
- No good escape




Threat level:
high
Sona - Ezreal
A strong poke lane with a significant burst at level 6, a good sustain and high mobility. Fortunately, you have more CC earlier, and Sona is very squishiest of all champions. To poke you she has to come rather close and she gets in range of your Aqua Prison. Sona's movement pattern is easily readable, so use it against her: when she moves toward you with her Power Chord up, back away (be careful, Sona deals a lot of damage early game). If she doesn't have her Power Chord up, make sure she doesn't have 2 stacks on it. If not, then trap her in Aqua Prison, give your carry Tidecaller's Blessing and try to kill her. After level 6, don't regroup with your carry to avoid Sona's Crescendo. As for Ezreal, his skills shots Essence Flux and Mystic Shot are relatively easy to dodge, but he has a lor of range, so don't try to harass him if his abilities are not on cooldown, otherwise you expose yourself to his burst. At their level 6, being too close to your carry can be deadly if you take both of their ultimate, so watch for your positioning.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Good sustain
+ Strong poke
+ High mobility
- Squishy
- Mana hungry
- Easily readable




Threat level: medium
Nunu - Kog'Maw
This pair is a real pain to deal with. Nunu is tanky enough to come close and poke you with his Ice Blast, while Kog'Maw has enough range to poke from behind. However, you have a significant advantage regarding Nunu: he has only one attack spell beside his ultimate, and you have 2 abilities to interrupt his Absolute Zero. Do not focus Nunu unless his is really low on health. Save Aqua Prison to interrupt his ultimate then return your attention to Kog'Maw. He is not very tanky and Tidecaller's Blessing should give your carry enough damage to par with his attack speed. It is unlikely that you will manage to harass Kog'Maw, so grab some early points in Ebb and Flow to sustain their poke and watch for an opening.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Very safe farming
+ Strong poke
+ High sustained damage
- No engagement
- Not much sustain
- No good escape




Threat level: medium
Sona - Ashe
A duo similar to Sona - Ezreal, with no real burst though, but a much more difficult pair to run away from as they have more CC with for Ashe's Frost Shot and Enchanted Crystal Arrow. Before level 6, your priority target is Sona as it is an easy target, but after level 6 your priority target becomes Ashe as Sona is likely to land a Crescendo on at least on of you should a fight happen, so you want to kill the champion who deals the most damages first. Also remember that at level 6 they can engage you very easily thanks to Ashe's ultimate and get a double stun.Beside that, follow the same pattern as with Sona - Ezreal and you should be okay.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Good CC
+ Strong poke
+ High sustain
- No good escape
- Easily readable
- Squishy




Threat level:
low
Nidalee - Caitlyn
An extremely hard lane to counter as their poke potential is the highest of all. They are also almost impossible to gank due to their traps. They apply a constant pressure, and 2 seconds of inattention is immediately punished, but beside poking with Nidalee's Javelin Toss and Caitlyn's Piltover Peacemaker they rarely engage a fight and will aim at keeping you low on health and outfarming you. In my opinion you have only 2 solutions: you manage to get to Caitlyn with enough health, or you play passively until this happens. If you manage to get to Caitlyn, quickly engage her, but don't go in the bushes as there will be traps here. Nidalee, before level 6, can't do much should you engage her carry, but she can surprise you in her cougar form. However, like with Blitzcrank, you and your carry should stay behind the minions all the time to avoid being hit by Nidalee's Javelin Toss. If you have to recall, do it from a bit farther than your tower, you have no idea how many champions die to Nidalee, thinking they are safe under their tower.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Extreme poke
+ Long range
+ Hard to gank
- No sustain
- No engagement
- Mana hungry




Threat level:
low
Janna - Ashe / Caitlyn
These pairs are based on poke and the bonus damages Janna gives thanks to her shield. A non-defensive shield is a signal, it means the carry will come to poke. Janna offers a strong engagement/disengagement with her Howling Gale and Monsoon, but she is very squishy, so landing an Aqua Prison or a Tidecaller's Blessing hit on her is a good way to engage. These lanes don't have any real sustain, it will all depend on Janna's ability to use her shield at the right time. Watch for her cooldowns and attack just after a shield. After level 6, focus your attention on the carry, but move so as not be to pushed in a bad position by Monsoon. Your carry is more suscpetible to be targeted by their poke with Ashe's Volley and Caitlyn's Piltover Peacemaker, but there is hardly anything you can do to prevent it. Get some points in Ebb and Flow if their poke becomes overwhelming, and have your jungler gank your lane.

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Strong poke
+ Hard to engage
+ Punish bad positioning
- Limited sustain
- Squishy
- Long cooldowns





As you can see, most of your strategy during the lane phase is dictated by the enemy support as he is the one who will most likely take the initiative to engage. This is exactly the same for your duo. This is not a rule, however, and you wil have to adapt to the enemy. In general, you are at a disadvantage against a pair based on burst damage because you are squishy and will be targeted, you are on par with a duo based on poke thanks to your heal and your poke ability, and finally you have the upper hand against defensive composition. There are basic rules you can follow against specific supports.

Alistar
  • don't let him come close to you.
  • don't focus him unless he is particularly low on health.

Blitzcrank
  • ward his bush.
  • always stay behind your minions.
  • don't harass him unless he has just missed a hook (the you have a 15s window).
  • don't focus him unless he is particularly low on health.

Janna
  • harass her when her shield is on cooldown.
  • don't let her position herself between you and your carry after her level 6 to avoid Monsoon splitting your duo.

Leona
  • ward her bush and stay out of range of her Zenith Blade.
  • if she engages, don't focus her. Stun her carry with Aqua Prison as soon as possible.
  • don't harass or focus her when she has her Eclipse on.

Lulu
  • keep in mind she is an anti-burst support, her carry can suddenly gain hundreds of HP with Wild Growth.
  • force her ultimate on her carry with harass and fake engage, then focus Lulu.

Nidalee
  • ward her bush.
  • always stay behind your minions.
  • don't enter the bush if unecessary.
  • if you step on her trap, you are very vulnerable for a short duration, so move to safety.

Nunu
  • always keep Aqua Prison or Tidal Wave up after his level 6 to interrupt his Absolute Zero.
  • don't harass him in priority, he can heal himself with Consume very easily.
  • don't focus him unless he is particularly low on health.

Sona
  • focus her before her level 6.
  • watch for her moves and her Power Chord charges, and engage her when her passive is not up.
  • never stay close to your carry once she reaches level 6 to make her Crescendo more difficult to land.
  • be careful of her strong poke early game, she has a short range but deals a fair amount of damage.

Soraka
  • harass as much as possible to force her heal and deplete her mana.
  • if she comes in range, target her, she is squishy it is a mistake from her to come too close.

Taric
  • watch for when he comes at you to stun you with Dazzle and move out of reach.
  • try not to be in both his and his carry ranges at the same time.
  • Taric players rarely stack Magic Resistance, so you can surprise him with magic damage.

Zilean/ Zyra
  • both of them will harass you all the time from afar, so keep your distances and stay in the bushes.
  • they are squishy and will quickly fall behind in terms of damages without farm or kills, keep that in mind.


Guide Top

Items

Suggested builds


Standard 1
Shurelya's Reverie Shard of True Ice

Standard 2
Shurelya's Reverie Shard of True Ice

Anti-AD
Shurelya's Reverie

Anti-AP
Shurelya's Reverie


The above builds are only suggestions and you are welcome to adpat it and try some alternative builds. You just have to keep in mind that your role as support is to provide your team with utility abilities and items. You already have many utility abilities, so you will try to get a bit less squishy while still getting items to help your team. Now let us get into the details of the items.



Boots


Ionian Boots of Lucidity
In my opinion those boots are your best choice, as you realy need cooldown reduction.

Mercury's Treads
If the enemy team has a lot of AP or a lot of CC, these boots can offer a good alternative to the Ionian Boots of Lucidity.


The other boots don't offer any viable bonus for you as support.


Enchantments



Enchantment: Captain the best enchantment for Nami in my opinion, as you always stay behind and thus offer a substancial speed boost when your team disengages from a fight.[/columns]


Enchantment: Alacrity is the only other viable option in my opinion, since what matters the most for you is your presence with your team and your positioning, so getting more movement speed always help.



Core items


Philosopher's Stone Kage's Lucky Pick

Philosopher's Stone
Philosopher's Stone
The new Philosopher's Stone has been nerfed: health and mana regeneration have been reduced by 50%. However, it is now 100 gold cheaper and has become the item with the highest gold generation rate, so it is still a vital item to get, the earlier the better. It should be the first item you buy at your first back.

Sightstone
This new item offers a good way for support not to spend thousand golds in ward through the whole game. Sighstone buffs you a bit with health and allows you to use 2 wards at the same time out of 4 stocked, the stock repleneshing each time you back to base. You can consider it worth the money after using a total of 8 wards. For whatever reason, if you didn't have to ward much when you have around 800 gold at your second back and you still have 1 or 2 wards, don't buy the Sightsone and grab a ward and the Kage's Lucky Pick. Otherwise, this item is your second priority.

Kage's Lucky Pick
Kage's Lucky Pick
This item was nothing compared to the now removed Heart of Gold, but with the new season it has become the item with the second highest gold generation rate. Moreover, it has now interesting upgrades which make the Kage's Lucky Pick a must have on a support. As mentionned previously, buy it before the if you are safe and still have wards. Otherwise, it is your third priority.

Boots of Speed
When you have those 3 items, grab your Boots of Speed as soon as possible. Once it's done, you are ready for the next phase of the game. Without any kill or assist, you should reach that point around 17min.



Mid game builds


Shard of True Ice Shurelya's Reverie


For mid game you first priority is to get your tier 2 boots to be able to roam with your carry and move quickly where you are needed. Choose either the Ionian Boots of Lucidity or the Mercury Treads, depending on the necessity.
Your next priority is to get a bit tankier. The most interesting and first step toward that is to upgrade your Sightstone into Ruby Sightstone. Then multiple choices are open to you.


Must-haves:
Aegis of the Legion
This item has been nerfed with the new season, it is more expensive and gives less tankyness. However, it is still a vital item in any composition, and it now can be upgraded for late game.

Shard of True Ice
Shard of True Ice
Upgraded from Kage's Lucky Pick, it has the great advantage to keep its gold generating passive. The AP bonus is not what you really aim for but rather the mana regeneration and the active, which is an AOE slow cast on an ally. Use it whenever you can on your tank or bruiser.

Shurelya's Reverie
Shurelya's Reverie
Signature item of most supports, invaluable to engage or disengage, it becomes a ultimate tool of speed boost with Nami, especially when combined with her Tidal Wave. If required, upgrade your Philosopher's Stone early, but I prefer to keep the gold generation for as long as I reasonably can.

Oracle's Elixir
Vital for map control, but you are squishy, so see with your jungler if he can afford it. If you have one, don't use it if you retuen in lane, save it for when you will roam.


Viable options:
Locket of the Iron Solari
During season 2, I didn't like this item as Randuin's Omen offered a much better alternative as it was built off of Heart of Gold, but in season 3 Randuin's Omen isn't part of the evolution of your core build. Locket of the Iron Solari is now a good option if you feel that you lack armor and health, and for a rather cheap price. Its active can be very useful during mid game, but the shield it provides is not so powerful late game.

Mikael's Crucible
New item from season 3, it offers a rather cheap upgrade from Chalice of Harmony. It is a good option in case there are a lot of AP champions in the enemy team. Its passive will give you the opportunity to spam your abilities while its active will make it very hard to immobilize one of your ally as it is a Cleanse with an integrated heal.



Late game builds



When you enter late game, you need to be tanky enough to survive teamfights and provide map control with ward and Oracle's Elixir. At this stage you should have your tier 2 boots, Aegis of the Legion, Shard of True Ice, Surelya's Reverie and Ruby Sightstone. The only other alternative would be not to have upgraded one of your gold generation item (either Philosopher's Stone or Kage's Lucky Pick, depending on how the game goes), and to have one of the viable item from mid game.

In the first case, you have only one item slot left, and you will most likely sell Shard of True Ice at some point since you won't need the gold generation any longer. First upgrade you Aegis of the Legion into Runic Bulwark, it will max your ability to buff your allies with armor and magic resistance.
Then either you buy one of the mid game viable items, take your boots enchantment, or buy one of the late game items listed below.

In the second case, if you don't have Shurelya's Reverie, buy it, it is vital. If you have your Kage's Lucky Pick left, don't upgrade it and work your way to Runic Bulwark.
Now you have all your item slots taken. Buy your boots enchantment, and you are almost done. The last thing you have to do is sell your last gold generation item and buy a late game item.


Viable options:
Frozen Heart
If enemies are AD oriented and one or more of them uses a lot of attack speed, this item is a must have as it will drastically reduce their efficiency. However, remember that you waste the cooldown reduction if you have Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as your masteries, Shurelya's Reverie and the boots totalize 35% of cooldown reduction and it caps at 40%, so you can consider exchanging your Ionian Boots of Lucidity for Mercury Treads.

Will of the Ancients
If you have 2 or more AP in your team, this will give them a fair amount of bonus AP and spell vamp. Most of the time there will already be one Will of the Ancients if you have 2or more AP champions, but having more of them benefits every mage who has one already, as you can stack up to 2 auras on champions who have a Will of the Ancients.

Guardian Angel
Although nerfed since the season 3, it is still a good late game item which will give you more survivabilty.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
If you want to be more aggressive, this item will add some punch to your spells, and its slowing effect will add up to diffence in movement speed you already give.

Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Intended for junglers, it is a very strong item overall and will make you much tankier against AD. Only consider this item if you have bought Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as Tenacity will not stack. Build it from Giant Belt since you won't benefit that much from Spirit Stone.

Banshee's Veil
If you happen to have a lot of magic damages in the opponent team, Banshee Veil can provide you with everything you need to survive.


Uncertain options:
Some items offer interesting options, but I am not convinced by them. They might be of some use, but I won't consider them at first except for very specific situations.

Zeke's Herald
Zeke's Herald
It has been nerfed a lot in the recent patch. The bonus AD is not significant once you are in mid game or late game, and it clearly won't replace the former attack speed bonus. Furthermore it is interesting in rare situations where you have bruisers and carries based on attack speed. No longer viable in my opinion.

Morellonomicon
All the stats are really good, but I think it is more aimed at an AP carry. You are not mean to do much damage, but since it is so cheap it could work in some situation where you steam roll the opponent.

Twin Shadows
An upgrade of the Kage's Lucky Pick. The stats are good and the active is great in some situations, but you already have an great kit to slow the enemy and speed your allies. However I've had the occasion to use it in perilous situations where it saved my life, so try it and see for yourself.

Randuin's Omen
A must have in season 2, not clearly aimed at supports since there is no logical route to build this item except if you aim at it. It is still strong on melee tanks/supports, but you stay in the back so you don't really use the passive nor the active.


Guide Top

Conclusion

So, this closes my first guide. I tried to give you an in-depth analysis of Nami and how you can enjoy playing her as a dynamic support. I put in here as much of my experience as support as possible, and hopefully I am not too far from your own experience in this role. Please feel free to drop a comment to give a constructive critic, a feedback or anything useful to help me improve that guide.

Some thanks to jhoijhoi are required, her guide Making A Guide helped me with the specificity of mobafire, and I probably wouldn't have been able to create mine without hers.