Build Guide by Neurion7
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.
*For those of you that don't like to read a lot I put key words and points in bold so you can skim.
Hey fellow Summoners! This will be my very first guide and I have decided to make one on my favorite and main champion: Nasus, the Curator of the Sands. In my opinion, Nasus is one of most fun and creative champions to play in LOL. Nasus is a very balanced champion, having received few (if any) nerfs and buffs. He can played in many different ways, he has high potential DPS and many tanking qualities so people play him as DPS or Tank.
However, there are problems with bot of these builds. Even though Nasus has good potential DPS qualities, without tanky items he can be easily targeted therefore he cannot be a pure DPS. Nasus does possess a lot of tanking qualities however unlike Rammus or Shen, Nasus has no form of CC or Taunt to keep enemies focused on you. Nasus also has a smaller initial health pool (a little above average) than most tanky characters therefore he shouldn't be made pure Tank.
The truth is Nasus has the qualities of both a DPS and a Tank but going purely in one direction is just not living up to his true potential. I believe that Nasus is better played as a Hybrid DPS/Tank so that you can dish out a bunch of damage while taking a alot of punishment at the same time. This is important because if you want to bring a lot to a teamfight you get to not be so easily snuffed out. Therefore in this build I focus on health, armor, magic resist and a few DPS items.
I use this build almost all the time but sometimes you got to be flexible and change to the situation. This build is slow to start but once you get going, you literally feel like you are the Juggernaut, an unstoppable Beast of mass destruction.
Note: Nasus is not a carry, a good Nasus should have a lot of assists, medium kills and medium-low deaths. If you want a lot of kills, Nasus is not the champion for you.
When it comes to runes like seals and glyphs, I believe in what pays off the whole game especially late game, flat runes are nice but expensive, they help early and mid game but it doesn't climb as you level. Per level runes are cheaper
x9 Mark of Desolation: Armor Penetration +15
x9 Seal of Clarity: Mana Regen per lvl every 5 secs +11
x9 Glyph of Celerity: Cooldown per lvl -8.50% at 18
x3 Quintessence of Fortitude: 78 hp
Armor Penetration: Your spirit fire reduces armor by 20, with 15 more armor pent you are basically doing 35 Armor pent to anyone, with a powerful siphon strike you can devastate an enemy. Plus they help against minions and monsters.
Clarity: Nasus has a really small mana pool early game, have added mana regen helps keep you in the lane longer. These runes pay off late game and are cheaper to buy than flat regen.
Celerity: more cooldown means you can spam your Q and other abilities faster without having to get items right away. Once again these runes have a snowball effect, you won't see results right away at level 1 but you will see your investment pay off late game.
Fortitude: extra hp helps you not get snuffed early game. However since the Riot nerf has made this item almost not even worth 2000 ip, the Quintessence slot is up to you.
*Magic resist per lvl
*Armor per lvl
*Health per lvl
This is mostly your call and preference but personally I go 0/9/21 for my Nasus build.
Resistance 3/3: good for early game magic bursts
Hardiness 1/3: extra armor boost
Evasion: 4/4: dodge is always nice
Nimbleness: 1/1: extra movement speed after a dodge. Need I say more?
Good hands 2/3: join the fight faster after you die
Perservence: 1/3: extra hp and mana regen
Haste: 1/1: extra speed for Ghost
Awareness: 4/4: leveling up faster is very important for Nasus since this build is late game
Mediation: 3/3: more mana regen for early game
Greed: 1/1: extra gold helps you build faster.
Utility Mastery 2/2: longer buffs are awesome especially for the Blue buff
Quickness 3/3: extra movement speed is great for chasing and running away
Intelligence 3/3: extra cooldown stacks well with your glyphs, great for early game
Precence of the Master: 1/1: less cooldown time is great for all of your abilities.
1) Doran's Sheild: extra health, health regen and armor for early game laning. Sell mid game.
2) Mercury's Treads: a must for any tank.
3) Aegis of the Legion: one of the few items that has both health, magic resist, armor and an aura buff.
4) Sheen and Trinity Force: this is your DPS item, it has so many goodies that Nasus needs: attack damage, movement speed, base attack bonus, slow, health, crit chance, attack speed, and mana. If you don't have Sheen and Trinity in your build as Nasus, shame on you.
the rest of these can be in any order depending on the situation of the game
*Randuin's Omen: health, armor, health regen, slow debuff, active slow, and cooldown bonus. All goodies for Nasus. Get this item all the time.
*Sunfire Cape: health, armor, aoe damage per second stacks well with your ult, this item eats squishes for breakfast. Which is good for you because Nasus likes to be fed. Nom nom nom.
*Banshee's Veil:heatlh, magic resist, a shield every 30 secs? Perfect against those pesky magic casters.
*Force of Nature: Magic resist, hp regen,
*Youmuu's Ghostblade: Armor pent, attack damage, crit chance and a nice active buff, I like using this item against ChoGath, Nunu, Alistar, Mundo, and Malphite because they can take a lot of punishment.
*Hexdrinker: attack damage, magic resist and a magic damage reduction is really nice for a hybrid build. I usually use this with against a very AP heavy team.
*Hextech Revolver: attack damage, ap, Life Steal, Spell Vamp and an active killer. An interesting item but works well on Nasus. I think that because the attack damage is really good, the ap boosts your Spirit Fire and Ult, stacks your Life Steal, and gives you Spell Vamp. I had to look up Spell Vamp, apparently Spell Vamp is like Life Steal for magic users so abilities that do magic damage instead of physical damage, since your Spirit Fire does magic damage that means this should apply to that ability as well giving you two forms of Life Steal to keep you healthy. I recommend this item last in your build.
There are other items that I am exploring with and applying to different situations and I will update this guild with more as I find them.
Priority Siphoning Strike: makes it easier to stack the added attack damage from last hitting minions, it is difficult at first but once you farm past 100 you should be able to stack that baby no problem. A good Nasus should have about 200 on average late game. One time I got my Q almost to 300. Pretty much once you get your Q to 200 it is GG for the other team.
Priority Wither: the best slow in the game, great for setting up ganks and helping your teammates chase. This ability is very mana burning early game. Use sparingly. However the mana cost does not change as you level it up so it is worth the investment. Once you have a stable mana pool, this spell will be very effective.
Priority Fury of the Sands: This ability makes you a god in the game for 15 seconds. Level this baby up at 6, 11, and 16.
Last Priority: Spirit Fire, the only thing that changes when you level this ability is how much DOT you do and the mana cost, I only level this if I am struggling to farm exp and gold.
Ghost: great for chasing, running, and returning to your lane
Exhaust: great for a extra slow and saving teammates
Teleport: Use this if you are going mid. Replace mastery point to Spatial Accuracy
Do not play as
A Jungler: Nasus can jungle, but just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should, Nasus is better suited for laning. The problem with Jungling is you just are not getting as much gold or minions to farm your Q. His innate lifesteal is great for jungling but I suggest leaving the jungle to those better suited for it. Play him where he is strongest, in the lane
AP build: Okay, Nasus only has two abilities that are affected by AP and that is Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands, the AP scaling for these abilities are not that great and the fact that Spirit Fire is situational and your Ult can only be activated every once in while. Its just not viable. Its not worth it.
Pure Tank: Okay so you can absorb lots of damage, but what do you contribute to a teamfight if you can't do damage?
Pure DPS: Okay so you can do lots of damage, won't do you much good if you get snuffed in two seconds.
2 man lane: Nasus is great for this, great laning partners for Nasus are Zilean or Annie. Zilean can speed you up or slow down enemies as well as resurrecting you if you die. Annie has her stun, damage, and Tibbers in coherence with your Ult is a nightmare for the other team. If you have good partner that you can set up or who sets you up for kills, this works great. Remember to remind your partner that you need to farm your Q, so that they don't steal your minion kills.
1v2 lane: If you have a jungler on your team, Nasus is one of the best suited champions for 1v2. As long as you manage your mana and stay cautious. Don't overextend. Stay by the turret if necessary. Level up Spirit Fire to Level 2 so that you can wipe out minions waves easier.
2v1 lane: If the other team has a jungler and you find yourself going against their solo laner,push and keep pressure on their tower. Make sure you buy wards and place them in the lower brush because most likely if you put pressure on the solo lane, you will attract the attention of the jungler. By warding your area you can push the lane and prevent possible ganks by their jungler
Mid: I don't recommend this. Mid is better suited for a carry. But Nasus can mid very well, because you won't have to base often. Play cautious and safe and keep pressure on the middle lane and you will prevent their mid from leaving to get kills because if they leave, they risk letting you push the middle tower. Playing Nasus mid, really throws off the teamfight mode of the game. Its fun.
So with this build we have a Hybrid DPS/Tank Nasus, it is important to remember that Nasus is neither a pure Tank or pure DPS. As Nasus, your role on the team is too push towers, initiate team-fights, set your teammates up for ganks, save your teammates with your Wither, and turn around team-fights with your ULT. Nasus potential from many items, sometimes you just need to be creative depending on your situation. Nasus is a very fun champion and I really enjoy playing him, I hope you do too. Thank for your reading this guide, if you have any comments please be appropriate, I accept feedback on how I can improve this guide so please feel free to make suggestions or add tips for future additions.