Nami Build Guide by Hunderi
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.
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.
Introduction - Why Nami?
Hello folks! This is my second mobafire guide, if you want to try out a bit more aggressive support you can check my Zyra support guide here. I've been playing LOL for about two years now and have been maining support and supportish junglers in ranked matches. This is the way I enjoy playing Nami and have been getting good results with it. I started playing Nami before it got any buffs (on Aqua Prison stun duration for example), and already at that point I found nami to be REALLY strong. My winratio with support nami hovers between 60-70%. This guide is for FULL support Nami.
WHY NAMI SUPPORT?
+ Great utility
+ Really powerful CC
+ Good ulti for teamfights/escaping
+ One well-hit Aqua Prison can win teamfights
+ Fun to play
+ Really strong once you learn the basics
THE BAD SIDES:
- Really squishy
- Some match-ups are really difficult, mainly kill lanes with support Leona/Blitzcrank/Thresh
- Long cooldowns
- Deals really low damage, can't kill anyone alone at any situation
- Learning to hit Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave takes a while
- You will quickly be out of mana if you spam your skills
- Terrible at clearing waves
Greater Quintessence of Gold: You won't be taking last hits so you will need quintessences of gold to increase your GP5.
Greater Mark of Armor: Extra armor to survive the laning phase. These really are the best marks for Nami, as she scales pretty bad with AP so you shouldn't get any kind of AP/MPEN runes.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Helps really much with your long cooldowns. With these and 6% CDR from masteries you will start off with 13,50% CDR.
Greater Seal of Armor: Standard support seals, grants +13 armor to start with.
I use 0/9/21 rune page with support Nami. Some notes on the masteries:
Meditation : Extra +3 mana regeneration per 5 secs helps you alot in the beginning. Nami can be out of mana really easily if you spam your skills but this extra mana regen will help you out a bit.
Artificer and Mastermind : I pick 2 points in Artificer as I'm huge fan of active items and use them a lot. If you don't use active items too much, you might consider moving these two points to Mastermind instead to get 10% reducted cooldown of summoner spells.
Greed and Wealth : Pretty basic for most supports. Some extra GP5 to help you keep up the vision, and that extra 50gold is just enough to pick up one more ward to start with.
Biscuiteer and Explorer : Two more important tools for early game. Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation gives you some extra sustain + mana regen to help you throu the start of the game, and Explorer's Ward grants you 1 min of free vision. Using Explorer's Ward on your own buff against counterjungler is a good idea.
Pickpocket : Gives you extra 3 golds when you use your basic attack on enemy champion (5sec cooldown). As a ranged support you can pick this gold out once in a while but keep in mind that your auto attack deals really low damage and you shouldn't try to hit for gold unless you know that enemy adc cant hit back.
Intelligence : With this 6% CDR from Intelligence and 7,5% from Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction you will start off with 13,5% reducted cooldowns. Helps you a lot with your long cooldowns. [/list]
|Flash should be always picked. Helps you a lot with positioning during fights and in case of getting caught. Usually flash should be used only for defensive purposes since trying to engage with flash+stun with Aqua Prison is risky. Sometimes you can use it offensively to position yourself better for Tidal Wave.|
|Pick ignite A) if you are planning to go aggressive B) to counter certain high-sustain champs like Swain or anyone building high life steal/spell vamp C) to counter enemy support heals against Soraka, Sona and other healers. Ignite is really strong spell and a must pick in some situations. I love playing a bit aggressive with ignite, and catching enemy squishy support with Aqua Prison with a decent follow-up by your adc and igniting right after is really easy way to pick first blood at level 1-2.|
You should always pick Flash along with Exhaust or Ignite, no other summoners are needed with the current meta.
I usually start with 1x Vision Ward, 3x sight ward, 3x Health Potion and 2x Mana Potion + you will have Explorer's Ward and Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation from your masteries. These starting items give you the most sustain for laning phase and enough wards to keep the vision up early. If you don't like starting with only consumables or are planning on rushing philosopher's stone, you can start with Rejuvenation Bead, 2x sight ward, 1x Vision Ward and 2x Health Potion.
|If you can afford you should pick this item when you first back. Grants health and free wards so you don't have to spend too much gold on basic sight wards.|
|Philosopher's Stone||If you can't afford Sight Stone, try to get Philo stone instead. GP5, mana regen and health regen, everything you need during laning phase. Remember that if you used all your wards and have just enough money for Philosopher's Stone, instead of buying it you should get only Rejuvenation Bead or Faerie Charm and a couple of wards! Keeping up vision is your job, it wins the games.|
|Sometimes I feel the need to use my skills more than I want to (mainly heal if adc takes too much poke) and it means that I'm constantly running out of mana. In such situation from time to time I pick up one extra Faerie Charm to help me out.|
|Get this item as soon as possible. 3 free wards to keep the vision up and good amount of health will help the squishy Nami to stay alive.|
|In my opinion CDR boots are best for Nami so you get a nice 15% off from the cooldowns. With these boots and your CDR from masteries and runes you will already have 28,5% CDR. If enemy team has some tricky CC you can try Mercury's Treads instead, and in case you feel like roaming a bit more it's okay to pick up Boots of Mobility.|
|Shurelya's Reverie||This is the main active item to buy with Nami. Gives you extra HP, CDR and a great active. Your main job in the team is to peel for carries and the active will help them stay more safe. Also in case of chasing the active is just amazing, and no one can run away from your team with this + good use of Surging Tides. Just remember to use the active! It has only 51sec cooldown when using my masteries.|
|Locket is needed by every team! You are not supposed to be a tank, but if no one else in your team is going to buy Bulwark, you should do it! Remember to communicate with your team, I tend to ask my teammates about building Aegis of the Legion right when the match starts.|
|You won't benefit too much from the AP, but it gives you extra MR, movement speed, and a superb active. When enemy assassin/bruiser is trying to catch your carry, using the active makes it almost impossible. Combine that with Shurelya's Reverie and they just can't get to your carries. Also great active for chasing, keeping vision of tricky champs (like akali), and you can also use the active when enemy champs are missing and you are heading to the jungle.|
|Ruby Sightstone won't provide you with enough vision. I try to get 1-2 Vision Ward every time I go back so I can have much more map control, and also keep buying sight ward even after you have completed your Ruby Sightstone. Also Oracle's Elixir is a great buy to get the map control you need.|
Remember to keep up the vision always! If you are winning, try to ward opponent's jungle and buffs, if the enemy is pushing and is ahead, keep up the vision in your own jungle to catch up lonely wanderers! This is crucial!
Abilities and how to use them
Surging Tides (Passive): Grants movement speed to allies when you cast a spell on them. Remember to spam your spells on fleeing/chasing allies to keep their movement speed up at all times! Using Aqua Prison on top of an ally will also grant this extra movement speed.
Aqua Prison (Q): The most difficult skill to land but also the most rewarding. The spell takes the same amount of time before landing regardless of how far you use it. Can stun multiple targets at once and the stun is REALLY long, 1,5sec! The cooldown is rather long at early stages but once you get some CDR items and skill points on the skill, it will be lowered to 6-7 seconds.
- Learn the delay between casting the skill and it actually hitting the spot.
- Predict enemy movement to hit more often.
- Try to use it once the fights have started as enemies will have harder time avoiding it once they are already fighting.
- During laning phase the easiest way to hit enemy adc is by using Aqua Prison a bit behind him when he is taking the last hit.
- Try using Aqua Prison after your ult knocks up enemies and slows them. Using it on top of the enemy right when your Tidal Wave hits them will always stun them.
- If melee champ is chasing you, use Aqua Prison on top of you, as it will both stun the enemy and grant you the passive movement speed from Surging Tides.
- When Aqua Prison hits enemy champ in fog of war, it will grant a vision of him for a brief moment.
Ebb and Flow (W): Heal and damage both on the same skill. If you hit it on an ally first, it will bounce to enemy carry in range for damage, and then bounce back to an ally for heal. Hitting enemy champ first means it will bounce an ally for heal, and then back to another enemy for damage.
- Try to determine wether it's better to be used for heal or damage and start the bounce from ally or enemy according to situation.
- Remember that the heal/damage 15% on each bounce, so use the skill on your main target to get max effect.
- Can hit same target only once.
Tidecaller's Blessing (E): Bonus magic damage to 3 basic attacks and slows the target when hit. Again a great tool to help your carry keep enemies away.
- Whenever a teamfight starts or your adc engages/gets engaged during laning phase, use this on him right away!
- It doesn't only do damage and slow the target, remember that it also gives movement speed cause of Surging Tides
- Your auto attack damage is really low, if your adc is back use this on yourself to get the free last hits easier ;)
Tidal Wave (R): HUGE range ultimate with knock up, slow, damage, and speed buff to allies cause of Surging Tides. Really great tool in teamfights, ganks, peeling... Everything really. The animation is pretty slow, it will be easily avoided if you use it from an obvious direction and far away.
- I suggest not to use it as a primary engage tool for the team, as it can be easily dodged. Rather try using it once the fight takes place, as then you will be hitting most if not all of the enemies much easier. IF you use it for engage, I suggest combining it with shurelya's reverie active to follow the ult really quickly!
- Use it from fog of war/over a wall and enemies will have hard time dodging it.
- Combine the ult with Aqua Prison to get the knock upped enemy stunned right after.
- Try to use it "along the map" (along the river, in line with towers). Hitting from the side is much harder, unless you are hidden behind the wall and enemy have no glue it's coming.
KEEP UP THE VISION
Everytime when you leave base you should have at least 1-2 sight ward with you and at least one Vision Ward. When you are pushing lane, make sure you have vision on river so you won't get ganked easily. Also try to keep one side brush warded all the time. If enemy jungler is invading your jungle, try to put wards on your jungle entrances to catch him alone.
DETERMINE WHO YOU ARE PLAYING WITH AND AGAINST, AND PLAY ACCORDINGLY
If you are up against low kill potential lane, for example kog/ashe combined with soraka/janna, try to make their farming as impossible as possible and maybe play a bit aggressive. When you are facing a kill lane with support leona/blitz/thresh, you must stay a bit more back and save your CC for defensive purposes. Always try to poke the enemy when you get a free chance, but never risk your life for a couple of auto attacks! Nami is really squishy, one blitz grab will pretty much kill you at early levels.
ZONING OUT ENEMY ADC
One of your jobs is to make enemy adc's last hitting as hard as possible. One key to this is having brush control. When the enemy doesn't have vision of you, you are a constant threat. Try to harrash enemy adc/support with auto attacks WHEN IT'S SAFE. If you know you are safe from ganks and won't need your Aqua Prison for defensive purposes, you can try the following:
1) Try to stay out of the vision.
2) Watch your own creeps' health and figure out enemy adc movement.
2,5) Ping the enemy adc before going in!
3) When enemy adc comes for a last hit, use your Aqua Prison a bit behind of him to make the stun land easily.
4) Use your Tidecaller's Blessing on your adc and Ebb and Flow on enemy adc. Follow up with an auto attack if your adc is with you and it's safe.
If your adc is following your stun, as he should, the enemy adc will lose a significant amount of hp and make him back for a while. The combination of your stun + the slowing empowered attack from Tidecaller's Blessing + the extra damage (and heal) from Ebb and Flow will really surprise the enemy adc early on make him think twice before coming to pick up those last hits when he has no vision of you.
NOTE: Don't use your skills for harrash unless you are sure you will win the trade and won't be surprised by a gank. Using your CC (mainly Aqua Prison) for attacking means that it won't be available for defensive purposes for the next 10 seconds!
Mid game starts at around level 7-8, basically after the first tower is down and everyone starts to move around more. This is the time when you need to keep up much more vision than during the laning phase. You should have your Ruby Sightstone finished by now to grant you 3 free wards, but remember to buy more wards along with it. I usually try to buy 2 Vision Ward whenever I back to have at least 5 wards with me when I leave base.
DRAGON - Keep dragon pink warded whenever it's up and keep up the timer for its spawn time (6min). Time it for your team so everyone knows when it's up, and give a warning 0,5-1min before it spawns so you can be ready for it.
BUFFS - If your team is pushing, keep up vision on river and inside enemy jungle. Try to put wards at enemy buffs whenever possible so you can take them away, and also time them too if possible. Buffs are really important! However, if enemy team is the one pushing, it's crucial to keep the vision in your own jungle so you can catch lonely enemies there and have a bit more safety when going further from your own towers.
Late game and teamfights
Late game main objectives are pushing and Baron. This is the time when one guy getting catched can cost the whole game, so try to move around together, and once more keep up the vision so no one in your team wouldn't get caught. Also getting Oracle's Elixir to counter enemy vision should be done now if not earlier.
Your main job in team fights as Nami is to help your carries survive and help them deal as much damage as possible. Try to stay more behind since you are not a tank. Stay near your carry and peel for him. When teamfight starts do the following:
1) If you have active items like shurelya's reverie, use it to help your team.
2) Use your Tidecaller's Blessing on your ad carry.
3) If not needed for engage, try to use your Tidal Wave when the fight has taken place and you can time and aim it to hit as many enemies as possible
4) Depending on the situation, either use your Aqua Prison to stun the high-priority enemy carry if it's safe, or stun the enemy bruiser/assassin heading for your carry. Try to combine Aqua Prison with the knock up of Tidal Wave to hit it more easily.
5) Use your Ebb and Flow mainly to heal your carry / other low hp allies.
6) As the fight goes on, use Ebb and Flow whenever it's available, Tidecaller's Blessing on your carry/bruiser whenever available, and Aqua Prison when you think you can hit it, not blindly whenever you could.
AD Carry Synergy
Because of the strong peeling abilities Nami does very well with carries who need protection in teamfights. Also champions who can take good use of her Tidecaller's Blessing have good synergy with Nami. All in all, there really aren't carries who couldn't play with Nami, but of course some AD carries have better synergy with Nami than the others.
Caitlyn is simply one of the best ADC at the moment and thou there isn't anything special synergy with Nami, it will be an amazing combination on it's own. Caitlyn's range is really long, and she has good wave clear with her Piltover Peacemaker which is good cause Nami is terrible at clearing waves.
- Caitlyn's long range combines well with Tidecaller's Blessing, take advantage of it and use it on your adc whenever she is harrashing enemy.
- If your adc is quick to react, she can place Yordle Snap Trap under enemy champ hit by your Aqua Prison to keep the enemy on place for even longer.
Vayne is a late game hyper carry and goes well together with a support who can keep her alive. Focus your plays around keeping Vayne alive and going, because her damage is just amazing late in the game.
- During laning phase make sure you have vision on side brushes when needed, so Vayne can hit and stun with her Condemn.
- Vayne's passive Night Hunter combined with the movement speed from your passive and slow from Tidecaller's Blessing makes her a chasing machine and guarantees the 3 hits on Silver Bolts. This really is a strong combination.
- If you feel confident and want to be more aggressive, try maxing Tidecaller's Blessing before Ebb and Flow.
Varus is also pretty strong carry at the moment and because he doesn't have any escape spells, your peeling skills will come in handy.
- Peel, peel, peel. Late game Varus is strong with his %-damage from Blighted Quiver, and because he has no escape spells at all, focus on keeping him alive and safe.
- Tidecaller's Blessing is again a strong tool when you are going in. Will make it easy to get 3 stacks of Blighted Quiver, and followed up with Hail of Arrows your enemy will be slowed for even longer and will take the %-damage from detonated Blights.
- Your ults can go together pretty well. If you hit a good Tidal Wave and your Varus uses Chain of Corruption right after, the only way to escape the snare is by flashing out. Follow up with Aqua Prison stun and use Tidecaller's Blessing on Varus and watch your enemies melting down.
Miss Fortune is a good all-around adc with a good ult for teamfights. Again a champ without escape skills will benefit from having you around, and you also have some good synergy for teamfights.
- You usually can win trades during laning phase. Miss Fortune is good on trades with her Impure Shots, and combined with your Tidecaller's Blessing for free stacks + heal from Ebb and Flow, you can try to zone the enemies out from getting last hits.
- If you see enemy trying to stop your Miss Fortune's Bullet Time, try using Aqua Prison to stun them before they make it.
- A good Tidal Wave followed by Bullet Time will be a game changer. Time and position your ults so it will hit as many enemies as possible, and try to keep an eye on Miss Fortune's position so she can also follow your ult easily.
Ezreal is a good adc with mobility and he has many different ways he can be built in. He is pretty safe adc on it's own and really safe to play. There isn't too much special synergy with the two of you and your peeling won't be as neccessary as with other carries, but Ezreal is strong on it's own and Nami will be a good pair with him.
- Hitting Mystic Shot will proc Tidecaller's Blessing for damage and slow.
- Your ulties go together pretty well, good Tidal Wave will make Trueshot Barrage hit easily, but some other ult combinations can be more game changing.
- If Ezreal builds "blue" ( Tear of the Goddess followed by Manamune and Iceborn Gauntlet) remember that his early game damage will be really low.
- Blue Ezreal also has much utility on it's own, so keep your eyes open if some other carry in your team needs your peeling skills more than Ezreal.
The "basic" ad carry everyone knows, thanks to tutorial :) Ashe has her strong points and she is more of an utility adc with potential to be strong in late game, but being one of the old chamions, she also lacks mobility.
- Low kill potential early, play passive laning phase pre level 6.
- At level 6 you have good kill potential with all your stuns: If you can combine Aqua Prison, Tidal Wave and Enchanted Crystal Arrow in any order, the enemy ADC should be dead before he can move after the stuns. Don't hit all the CC at the same time, chain CC one after another to get longer stun.
- Late game focus on peeling for Ashe to keep her alive.
- You will lose a bit of your potential since Ashe has a slow on her own ( Frost Shot). Your slows with Tidecaller's Blessing will stack, but the weaker slow will have only 35% of the slow effect, making it have only a little effect. Consider using Tidecaller's Blessing on your bruiser/assassin instead.
Draven's strong point is in the early game. Even after the passive nerf, you should consider playing a bit more aggressive than usually to get the early advantage. If you fail to take the early lead, you will lose half of Draven's potential.
- Spinning Axe deals good damage early and makes Draven good trader, help him with the trades with your Ebb and Flow heal/damage and extra damage from Tidecaller's Blessing.
- You have a good kill potential at level 2. Try taking your second skill point on Tidecaller's Blessing instead of Ebb and Flow. Try to get level 2 before enemy, hit your Aqua Prison on enemy adc when he comes from last hit and use Tidecaller's Blessing on draven. If he can follow up with Spinning Axe and Stand Aside, you will deal a lot of damage and can finish the enemy adc while he is slowed.
- Draven is a good chaser with his Blood Rush, combine it with your Tidecaller's Blessing to make him hit even harder.
- If you are doing good and don't need too much sustain, try making Tidecaller's Blessing first to be more aggressive.
To be honest, you don't have anything too special synergy with these champs, but they all have a good potential to be really strong late game carries your peeling skills will come in handy. Try to provide them with as safe laning phase as possible and possibility to farm up and later in the game stay with them and keep the enemy assassins away.
Corki and Graves are both more burst kind of ad carries and you could consider picking another support with them. They have more potential with aggressive support like Leona or Blitzcrank who can help to catch enemy adc and burst them down in a second. Nami will have too little damage to help out with the burst combo.
Matchups: Enemy support
Here I have listed some things you should take into consideration when playing against certain supports.
Usually I prefer NOT to pick Nami against these supports. They are all about getting kills and being as squishy as you are, you will have a lot of problems once they manage to hit you with their engage ability. However there will be times when you will face these champs as Nami, and it mostly means that you will have to take the things easy and adapt to the situation.
- Position yourself well. It usually means that you will have to stay a bit back. Just play safe early and don't do any stupid moves.
- Keep up the vision. When you have wards in the bottom brushes and have vision of the enemy support, you can play more safely and avoid their skillshots a lot easier. Also try to deny their vision of you by using Vision Ward on your bottom brush.
- Rush Ruby Sightstone. You won't need much sustain against these guys, but you will need HP to survive if you get engaged on. That's why getting an early Sightstone will help you more than Philosopher's stone.
- These supports only a little or no sustain at all, so if you can poke SAFELY take advantage of it.
- Blitzcrank: If he hits you with Rocket Grab early you will most likely die or at least have to burn your Flash. Stay safe, have vision. Rocket Grab has 20sec cooldown at level 1, and when the enemy Blitzcrank misses his grab, you got over 15sec time to hit them back before Rocket Grab is up again. Take advantage of it.
- Leona: Remember that Leona's Zenith Blade will come over the minions so you can't hide behind them. Leona can be devastating, but she also doesn't deal too much damage on her own. That's why you should try to hit Aqua Prison on enemy adc if Leona is engaging, hitting your stun will make them lose the trade. After level 6 you can also try to counter engage them when Leona attacks by using your Tidal Wave on enemy adc and support followed by Aqua Prison on enemy adc. I usually ask my adc to pick Cleanse instead of Barrier if I see Leona in enemy team.
- Thresh: Thresh's Death Sentence is a bit more easier to avoid than blitz's or leona's engages due to it's short channeling time. Stay alert and don't let him engage. It also has 18sec cooldown on level 1, so if it's missed, take advantage of it. Don't let him collect souls for free.
These tanky supports offer both sustain and hard CC. They got decent engages, but they aren't as difficult to deal with as the ones above.
- You will have a hard time killing these supports but it doesn't matter cause they don't deal too much damage on their own. Focus only on enemy adc. If a fight breaks out and you kill enemy adc before they kill yours, the enemy support can't do anything on its own anymore.
- Taric: Taric can deal a lot of burst damage with his Dazzle and Shatter followed by enemy adc auto attack. Try to stay out of the range/vision for the stun. If your adc gets hit by the stun, use your Aqua Prison to stun the enemy adc and win the trade.
- Alistar: Thou he is big, he is not tanky pre-6 and you can harrash him with auto attacks when it's safe. If he has to spam heal, it also usually pushes the lane a bit and makes him burn mana. Keep enough distance so you won't get knocked back by alistar's Pulverize followed by Headbutt towards enemy tower or you will most likely die or have to use Flash. Keep enough distance to your adc so Alistar can't knock up both you and adc if he engages with Headbutt and Pulverize combination.
These guys have both good supporting abilities, hard CC, and good poke. Their downside is that they are squishy.
- Position yourself well so you won't take free poke them. Also keep vision of them so they can't poke your adc for free. If they are poking, try to heal your adc with your Ebb and Flow, preferable when it can bounce on enemy champ also. Their kill potential is low when they can't first poke you low.
- Sona: Has good sustain but is one of the squishiest champs. If she is too aggressive and you get a good opportunity you can try to stun Sona and take him down quickly with your adc. After level 6 try to position yourself so that Sona can't hit both you and your adc with Crescendo.
- Lulu: Lulu is a solid support and a good pick against Nami. She doesn't have a heal but a shield instead, so you can try to lay down some poke on the enemies when safe. When fighting after level 6, try not to go for too risky plays if her Wild Growth is up for use. If you can prevent her from poking, you should do fine during laning phase.
Usually a bit more passive supports, not focusing on any kind of harrash, but peeling for the adc and making his play as safe as possible. They shouldn't cause you many problems but can make it hard to take down the enemy adc.
- Janna: No healing but a shield instead. When her shield is on cooldown, you can try to go for the adc as he won't get healed up afterwards and won't have the extra attack damage from Eye Of The Storm. Janna has a lot of potential to help out with jungler ganks with his Howling Gale knock up and slow from Zephyr so keep your vision up at river entrances. She is also the queen on disengage with Howling Gale and Monsoon, making it hard to kill the enemy adc even after using your Tidal Wave for engage. On the downside, she is really squishy and can be taken down quickly before level 6 when she doesn't have Monsoon yet.
- Soraka: All about sustain. Her heal has a long cooldown (20sec) and doesn't too miracles early on. She also doesn't have any way of escaping, making her an easy kill if your adc can quickly follow your Aqua Prison on badly positioned Soraka. After a while her heal will be pretty strong and can be combined with her Wish so try not to get baited in by all the heals and barrier.