Nasus Build Guide by Rob the Ruthless

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 Rob the Ruthless

Nasus: Anubis Trying to Kill Me!

Rob the Ruthless Last updated on September 22, 2012
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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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Nasus dominates top lane with his amazing sustain courtesy of his passive and has one of the strongest late games of any champion in the game. Nasus, however can be easily countered, so it is important to have alst pick if you want to play Nasus and are in a premade game. If well farmed and properly built, is actually one of the most overpowered champions in the game. As a bruiser your role is to zone out the ad carry in team fights. However, if you stick around, you're actually the biggest damage dealer there due to your ultimate. He has excellent kiting abilities, so this build is all about moving fast as hell and dealing massive amounts of damage even though you're a tank.

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So for runes I've chosen a bit of utility in the quintessences by grabbing movement speed. You might be wanting an explanation of why I don't just go for flat our damage or defence. Starting without boots tends to cost you your life because either you cant outrun the enemy solo-top or can't outrun the enemy jungler. Movement speed quints will give you a bit of a bonus early game while being even better late game because they'll go on top of the movement speed buff from Trinity Force and make you an unstoppable untouchable madman.

For glyphs and seals I go for the defense, taking armor in the seal department, and magic resist glyphs. This is purely to get the best possible bang for your buck because seals are better for armor and glyphs for MR.

Finally, I take vitality marks, giving me health per level. While this isn't much early game, it will be a large asset late game, and as I'm sure we all know, Nasus is a monster late game.

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  • Very tanky for his damage late-game
  • Good harass in the laning phase
  • He's a dog
  • Great team fight initiator
  • Can burst with one ability
  • Has OK CC
  • Amazing late game that only gets better
  • Countered very easily
  • Needs farm to be good
  • CC is only single target
  • Melee :(

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In my Nasus masteries I take 0/21/9, going for defence and utility. I get all the armor MR and health I can get, and take even more movement speed in utility along with some mana, because you've probably had to leave lane due to low mana way more than due to low health as Nasus.

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Important Things to Remember

Nasus is easily countered, if you're going top in 5v5 premade, make sure you're last in the team selection so you don't end up being denied farm. You're also to thank, so don't only play the role of damage dealer, play the role of support a bit by buying items like randuins or even an an aegis of the legion. Another alternative to the item build is an Atma's Impaler. Even post nerf, it will still give you some significant attack damage just for being tank. Notice how in the item build I only take 1 item to amplify my damage, so know that your damage is almost 100% your Q and build all tanky items so that you can be the most unstoppable thing ever.

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Shurelya's reverie

My item build for Nasus is very tank-oriented. We begin with gold per 10 items and sustain, starting the game with a Regrowth Pendant and a health pot. We'll turn this into a philo stone and buy a Heart of Gold early, and leave those 2 items alone for a little while. Immediately after this I purchase better boots (merc treads) and a sheen. By this time, people might be starting to roam and being able to kill caster minions in one blow is quite convenient.

Now we commence farming that Trinity Force, and when you do, you'll be surprised at how fast you move how hard you hit and how impossible you are to kill. Now that farming is a piece of cake (like it never was with this q), let's farm up some stacks on one of my favourite items, Warmog's Armor. Warmog's caps at 1270 health, which is pretty darn big in total. Not to mention, it offers a very nice amount of health regen, which with your Force of Nature, will make you be seeing little green numbers above your head. Got enough movement speed and health? Nasus doesn't. Buy a Shurelya's Reverie for your next item to be escaping, initiating and moving around the map easier with it's small cooldown on the movement speed buff.

So you can outrun anybody AND slow them. What's next? Well, something that will help you even more in team fights is Frozen Heart, which will automatically reduce the attack speed of nearby enemies and reduce cooldowns by 20%. Thats a lot of Q spamming. An alternative to this is Randuin's Omen. While its movement and attack speed debuff is not automatic, it is a bit greater. It gives less armor than Frozen Heart, but also gives you the advantage of having a chance to slow people who attack you, and the ability to slow everyone around you.

By now we've finished our support tank portion of the build and now it's time to focus on something we've been neglecting for a little while. The mage. Buy some MR with either a Banshee's Veil or a Force of Nature makign you even MORE difficult to kill. You can't go wrong with this build!

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Beware of Counter Picks!

So you say Nasus is easily countered, huh? Unfortunately, this is very true.

Riven: Riven is very deadly for our friendly Doberman curator. She counters Nasus by denying him farm with her consecutive melee combos which also CC, therefore denying him farm during the laning phase.

Olaf: This is just one of those champions who is difficult to win lane against no matter who you're playing. He can punish Nasus every time he comes to farm with his Q with Reckless Swing and keep him at bay with his bit of ranged attacks.

Kayle: I freaking hate playing against her top lane. With her E, she gains a lot of range and can deny anyone farm like crazy. She's also difficult to escape, with her movement speed buff to herself and allies, and slow to enemies.

Teemo: Not only is he ranged, but because of that has excellent kiting abilities, which is a mechanic that counters Nasus. One of the most annoying things on him is his blind, which will make you miss your next hit (including Siphoning Strike), making farming your Q a *****.

Garen: Another painful person to lane against. Difficult to catch and with excellent sustain unless you're ranged, very difficult to beat in lane and 1 on 1. Garen serves as a counter to Nasus because of his potential to zone (therefore denying farm), and is a very good duelist.

Rumble: This annoying yordle has a lot more harass, which isn't good if you're Nasus. Anyone who can harass and kite Nasus will destroy him in lane. If you're up against one, try to punish him by hitting him with Siphoning Strike. While losing out on a bit of farm, you could eventually end up zoning him, and becoming able to farm once again.

Kennen: Again, just too much harass for the poor guy. This is why you need to pick last as solo top because in a 1 on 1 lane counters are ridiculously important aspect of the game.

Renekton: Sadly, Nasus is countered by his arch rival. Don't worry however, because he can still win lane if he farms and keeps him slowed every time he tries to harass. The problem with Renekton is that he has no ability cost therefore is amazing for harassing people in lane with his generic combo of slicing in, using his aoe + stun, and then dicing back out. An aggressive Renekton could probably beat Nasus in lane, but a more passive one will certainly lose. Gank top early against a Renekton to give you an early advantage and force him to play more passively.

Thats great, but who can Nasus counter?

Yorick: Now this is a counter I admittedly don't understand completely myself either, but if you think about it, you could use his minions to farm your Q, so he's basically giving you extra damage. Yorick is also kind of squishy early game, so by using your Q on him every now and then rather than getting a farm or two could pay off by forcing him to farm from a range, using a lot of mana.

Irelia: Usually a good duelist, but just can't outsustain Nasus anymore. With his free lifesteal and potential to ignore some harass, Irelia stands little chance.

Tryndamere: Is just really squishy, and now that his lategame has been nerfed, has very little against Nasus. Try harassing him with your E, then hitting him with Q for even more damage due to the armor reduction. You'll be zoning him in no time.

Hecarim: Very weak against Nasus. Hecarim is another champion who has to get up close and personal to farm, and even though he has a movement speed buff, Nasus has a slow, so it's also difficult to escape his Q damage. If Hecarim wants to heal by damaging minions, he needs to do so in the middle of the fray, which can be punished with more siphoninh strikes and more zoning.

More counters and counter picking coming soon.

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Abilities and Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Soul Eater (Passive): Nasus' passive gives him a **** load of lifesteal for free. It's like starting the game with a free vampiric sceptor...but not really, because by the time you're a high enough level, it's twice as strong as one, and even starts off giving you 4% more lifesteal than one. Nasus has a pretty weak early game so this passive will be your best friend by giving enough sustain to farm until you run out of mana to use your Q.

Siphoning Strike (Q): Nasus's most used ability and farming buddy. This ability is the key reason Nasus buys a Trinity Force and needs to farm so much (convenient how it makes it easier to do so, huh?). It is also the ability which costs the least amount of mana on Nasus. So like everybody knows, siphoning strike will deal more damage the more things you have killed it with, which means only the solo lane for you! The damage on this ability is 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+1.0 per attack damage) (+3 per enemy killed by Siphoning Strike).

Wither (W): Wither can be used to either catch or get away from a single enemy. It also has a pretty damn big range, so with your bonus movement speed along with this zoning and killing ranged champions is a piece of cake. The slow and attack speed debuff is initially 35% at all points in this skill, however, this debuff will go up to higher amounts the longer an enemy has the slow on them and, the more points you have in wither, the higher that amount is at the end of it. The percentage slow and attack speed debuff are 12 / 24 / 36 / 48 / 60% (this is added on to the original 35%).

Spirit Fire (E): Spirit fire is a pretty darn good spell to have. Not only is it a ranged aoe (my favourite kind of spell!), but it's a dot and a flat armor shredder, making low level encounters easily won. Now, I've just described this as an amazing ability, why level it last? The truth is, it's not THAT great, not dealing as much damage as say your siphoning strike, and only reducing armor by a flat amount, making it less useful late game. This spell does a lot, so here's all the information on it. Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana .Initial Magic Damage: 55 / 95 / 135 / 175 / 215 (+0.6 per ability power). Magic Damage Per Second: 11 / 19 / 27 / 35 / 43 (+0.12 per ability power). Total Magic Damage: 110 / 190 / 270 / 350 / 430 (+1.2 per ability power) .Armor Reduction: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40

Fury of the Sands (R): So, Nasus' ultimate. This does a couple of things as well. It 1, turns you into a really big dog, 2, gives you bonus health (remember, this is not a heal but an increase to bonus health, so it cannot be reduced by ignite or other bleeds). Activating his ultimate will also deal magic damage to bear by enemies based on their health, and convert a percentage of that damage done into bonus attack damage, meaning that using it in the middle of the fray will not only cause you to deal aditional magic damage, but give you even more attack damage. Excellent ultimate to use in team fights. All of the details about this ability are outlined below.
Health Gained: 300 / 450 / 600
Max Health to Magic Damage Ratio Per Second: 3 / 4 / 5% (+0.01 per ability power). Total Max Health to Magic Damage Ratio: 45 / 60 / 75% (+0.15 per ability power). Total Magic Damage Possible (to a single enemy): 3600. Total Bonus Attack Damage Possible (from a single enemy): 229.5 <that number seems like a lot, but that's only achievable by building him AP.

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The Laning Phase

It's boring. I'll be the first to say it because if there's anything you should know about Nasus it's that he has a really boring laning phase. Basically what I can't stress enough is that you ignore your enemy. They're not important. Slow and deal as much damage as you possibly can during ganks but don't fight too much because you have to put farming above all else. Your passive will let you do this. Don't get zoned, but try to ignore harass and your enemy all together as much as you can. It's good to fight a little bit to show them who's boss ( Nasus) but focus on farming warding and sustaining yourself in lane, not the enemy.

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Summoner Spells

My summoner spells of choice:

Teleport: Teleport is one of my favourite summoner spells because it give your team bonus map control, the ability to countergank and makes it easier to return to your lane if it's being pushed, or any other tower.

Ghost: Ghost is a fun summoner spell to have because it makes you super fast and scary. It's also great for booking it the hell out of there! Along side Teleport, nobody will be out of your reach. This is because you can quickly get to your lane, ghost and then wither the enemy pusher to allow an easy kill (given you can take them 1 on 1 to begin with).

Other Summoner Spells:

Flash: So why no flash? well you could go for it. You can always go for flash, it's a great ss, no doubt, just not one of my favourites. Use it to be a sneaky jerk and jump over walls or close that little but of distance you need.

Heal: Like on Renekton, this ability is OK, but doesn't really do much for you considering your ultimate is a free summoner heal and since its nerf, really has become much less viable.

Exhaust: I really like this one as well. It allows you to either win any one on one fight with its damage reducing agent, escape, or chase down. Consider it as a replacement for ghost, but on this champ, I'd go with ghost.

Ignite: is a wonderful summoner spell because of its ability to reduce healing done to enemy champions (take THAT, Mundo!) or secure a kill with it's fantastic dot damage. I would take this in place of Teleport for a chasing killing lane if you like, which would work very well, but I love Teleport.

Cleanse: is something you really shouldn't need unless you're like, AD carry. It, as well is a good summoner spell to have, but you don't need it at all on Nasus.

Clarity: It's not a terrible summoner spell, but you REALLY shouldn't need it on Nasus.

Revive, Smite, Surge, Promote and Clairvoyance are all on the nono list!

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Farming Siphoning Strike

So last hitting is possibly the most important part of the game, right? What if you had an ability that made it easier to last hit, and got stronger every time you did with that ability? It sounds perfect! Every time you kill an enemy unit with your Q, it gains 3 additional damage next time you use it. This makes Nasus' early game incredibly important. As long as you farm Siphoning Strike, carrying a game into lategame will pretty much guarantee victory. The thing about this ability is that you'll be one-hitting caster minions by the time you get sheen, which is amazing, because I always feel like a boss as soon as I can one-hit anything. While you should literally be farming your q all game, don't forget that it is a team game, so if your team needs you somewhere, stop farming for a second and start helping.

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So basically, the entire point of this whole guide is high mobility, map control, farming your Q, and dealing a ridiculous amount of damage while being super hard to kill. This guide is quite new and there will be more revisions to it in the future along with more and more detailed chapters. All feedback, positive and negative in the comment section is appreciated and have a nice day!