Nasus Build Guide by Pedromaster
Not Updated For Current Season
Nasus, the Stackmaster
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Nasus with this build
|Nasus||If you fight against another Nasus. Try to forget fighting. The winner of this lane is whoever gets the most stacks. So if he tries to kill you with wither and E. Just walk away. He will get one Q in and do little damage while wasting most of his manapool. Also if the Lane is pushing against you you will have a mcuh better time because you are not in as much danger of a gank as he is and your minions will not kill the other minions as fast giving you more opportunites to stack you Q.|
|Yorick||Yorick is the only matchup in which I say that Nasus has a favorable Matchup since lvl 1. Yoricks ghoul on top of being his damage also give you the opportunity to get more stacks than normally possible. If a ghost hits you just run away and wait for it to lose life to get an easy stack.|
~~~~About the Author~~~~
Hi. My Ingame-Name is Pedromaster. I'm currently a Plat II player in EUW who will aim for at least Diamond V this season. Since end of season 2 I'm maining Nasus. Since i yet have to get insight on the higher level lane matchups (Diamond to be specific) it could be that my lanematchup isn't always 100% accurate but i will try to make it "perfect" throughout season 5. Imporvements and constructive criticism are very welcome!
~~~~Does Nasus fit your Playstyle?~~~~
While Nasus, in most matchups, loses in Damageoutput early he can outscale almost every Champion in the Game (Why Veigar?Why?). If you want to play a consistent Nasus you should have more of a passive bait Style. If you don't know what I mean this Video is very helpfull. Also most of the time Nasus will not be in early Dragonfights/Teamfights because of his need to stack before becoming a reconable force. So you should have a knowledge of when to push to relieve pressure for your team or when to go help them via teleport (This will also be revived in this Guide).
~~~~What does this Guide teach me?~~~~
- The Champion Nasus and his Abilities. When and in which way do I use his Abilities to get the best out of the Champion.
- The Basics of Wavemanagment. How do I manage to get the Lane to freeze on my Side? How can I make it so that the Lane pushes against me again?
- Decisionmaking with Nasus. When and where do I have to be to be of use for my Team.
For understanding the text you should no this shorforms:
aoe-Area of Effect
Pros / Cons
+Has a super strong singletarget CC
+Has AOE armor reduction
+Strong Splitpusher (Can take tower without minions superlate-game)
-Has to Farm to be strong
-Gets kitted easily
Health: 561 – 2091
Mana: 276 – 1041
Attack damage: 59 – 119
Armor: 24.9 – 84.4
MR: 32.1 – 53.4
|Soul Eater: Passive
Nasus drains his foe's spiritual enegy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% lifesteal.
This passive is what keeps you alive earlygame. You can negate weak poke and unfavorable trades by lifestealing on minions afterwards.
|Siphoning Strike: Q
This Ability is what defines Nasus. Low Cooldown, Low Manacost with the potential of unlimited Damage. You can use Siphoning Strike on everything that includes towers,inhibs,nexus and even wards. You can also use these structers to stack your Q.
What's even better, you can use this Ability for an AA-reset. In this way you can go around annoying things like pantheon passive or fiora parry. Just AA them normally to remove the ability and then hit them immediatly with an empowerd AA. You should also farm the minions this way when they are getting low. AA them then hit them again with Q. You will get the lifesteal of both AAs fully which in the long run can easily make about 150 HP (amount a Potion gives) over the course of 5 waves.
Max Movment slow over 5 sec: 35%/47%/59%/71%/83%/95%
Max attack speed slow over 5 sec: 23.5%/29.5%/35.5%/41.5%/47.5%
This ability will cripple your enemy. You will slow their movement AND attackspeed. Early game this ability will make it harder for your enemy to all in you. Also it can be used if you get towerdived. Use Wither either on the Person who makes a lot of damage with AA if you think you will survive the towerdive or use it on the person who drew agro first so you at least could get a revengekill with the help of your tower.
|Spirit Fire: E
Initial Magic Damage: 55/95/135/175/215(+60%AP)
Magic Damage per Second: 11/19/27/35/43(+12%AP)
Armor Reduction: 20/25/30/35/40
The important part of this Ability is hidden in the Armor Reduction. While the enemy is standing inside the Circle they will have their Armor reduced or in other words your Q will hit even harder if they stand inside your Q. BUT you shouldn't use this ability in every fight. One: because it has insane manacosts on level 1(130 or about 1/3 of your mana at level 4) Two: If you use it inside a Minonwave it could be that it stops pushing against you.
You should use this Ability in scenarios where you want to duel with an enemy over a longer time or when you get towerdived. Especially in a towerdive where the Tower will also hit harder this abilty can make the diffrence between you getting killed and them surviving with super low life or you getting a (double) kill and surviving.
Nasus's Ult gives him a huge buff in many ways. For once he gets HP which can surprise the enemy when they towerdive. Also he gets a range and AD bonus plus a damage aoe which can be used in either a duel or a teamfight.
I could make an endless list here for Scenarios but to save us both time I will only list the most common ones.
Most of the time the enemy Jungler will come to towerdive you with his toplaner when you are around 30-40% HP. In that case you have to think very fast and answer these two question: Who is low enough so i can kill him? Who will do less damage if i Wither them?
If your answer to Question 1 is no one then Ult(to maximize Damage and Tankiness), Wither the person who will take turret agro first and slap your E and Q on top of it. If your answer is either one person then use the same procedure on her. If it's both then use this combo on the person who will take turretagro first.
Duel in Lane:
You only want to duel the enemy Champion if you have Sheen. So if you don't have that item try to disengage. When they try to stick you use Wither this should hold them back.
When you got a Sheen and enough stacks than rape time is here. Use your Wither on them place your E so that he's on the edge of your ability with the bigger part of it being in his path of retreat and Q him as often as possible. Most of the time the enemy will try to disengage while he's witherd and if the E was placed right should be still in the Circle for a second Q. With this Combo I take about 1/3-2/3 of the enemys HP depending on how tanky they are and how many stacks I got going. Depending on the Situation you sometimes can already get a Kill with another Q and this easy Combo.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration I take this rune instead of flat AD because Nasus doesn't need extra AD except when you are not comfortable with early stacking damage. The Armor penetration will help me late to kill AD carries even faster together with my E. These two combined together can bring the ADC to around 20 Armor if he doesn't have extra Armor which translates into ca. 20% Damage reduction instead of 24% damage reduction without those runes which is a lot with an AA that hits around 800+ damage lategame (around 32 Damage 1.5 pickaxes)
I take this runes cause most popular top laners are dealing physical damage. Greater Seals of Health are also a very viable option since the armor seals got nerved.
I use these Glyphs so I can reach 15% CDR toghether with the CDR-Quints. Through this i reach 40% with just Glacial Shroud and Kindelgem.
I use these Quints to get to 15% CDR which are used to get to max CDR as soon as possible. Some People use Lifesteal Quints but those 4.5% lifesteal are more easily obtained and also aren't as essential as the CDR. On top of that if Nasus has more CDR he also has more Lifesteal in a certain sense. Cause Nasus gets to use his Q more often which does more damage so he gets more life returned. What I also see often are Movmentspeed Quints which also sounds nice cause you get kited often but Trinityforce, Boots plus Wither should give you enough to catch up to your target and stick to it (Wither on 6.6 CD with max CDR and 5 sec duration)
Just like i explained in the flash section i just tend to like flash more cause it gives you more options. But ghost is a very good spell for splitpushing.
Why the leveling order r>q>e>w?
R for obvious reason(it's your very usefull ult) has the highest priority in the levelinglist. Q is the ability you will use the most throughtout the whole game by far. Through leveling it you get lower CD and more Basedamage on it which helps you get stacks faster. E has better benefits in leveling because of the increased Armorshred(5 per Level/half a brutalizer) and Damage instead of the increased slow of W.
Why should I level Q two times before getting a point in E?
E has nearly no use in the very early laningphase. It costs an astronomical amount of mana for a bit of damage and armorshred which you can't even utilize because you don't do any damage with your Q yet. Instead I like to get a second point into Q because of the reduced CD plus the extra damage is nice for lasthiting more reliable.
This is my most common starting route. I get a cloth armor and 5 potions because the cloth armor will build into glacial shroud which saves me 300 gold till i get my full CDR and the 5 potions allow me to sustain in the lane enough to get to ~1600 gold to buy my full CDR after my first back. Also most Toplaners deal physical damage and thus their damage is reduced which makes my potion even more valuable.
Why not pick Dorans shield? because you only get one potion! This means if you got junked to hurt again after you lost your first potion you are very vunerable for a long time till your dorans shield regenerates the life your potion would heal in 15 secs.
This is a start which is very preferable against the heavy AP poke champions like Ryze, Akali, Kayle, Kennen, Lissandraor Teemo. You will need a lot of sustain and that every time you come back from base. Crystalline flask will give you 3 Charges everytime you come back from there. Which saves you about 2.5 potions in gold. If you start everything else you will have to buy 5 potions every time you go back so you can stay out as long as possible. This will add up over time because you will be backing very often against those champs (Expecially against Ryze, Kayle, Kennen& Teemo.
After getting Full CDR
After you acquire full CDR it's time for Nasus to decide if he can go build Damage or has to build tanky first.
Why do I not buy Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Trinity Force?
Why don't we compare these two items to answer this question?
What does Iceborn Gauntlet give me excactly? It gives me AP,Armor,Mana and CDR as Stats. It will also give me the ability to enhance my next AA with 125% of my base AD in a aoe that will also slow the enemy by 30%. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
What does Trinity Force give me? It gives my Life,AD,AP,Mana,Attack Speed,Crit Chance and Movment as Stats. It will also give me 2 abilities. The first one will enhance my next AA with 200% of my base AD. The second one will give me and Movmentspeed bonus every time I hit something with my AA by 20 for 2 seconds or by 60 if it was the killing blow. Also sounds nice, right?
Now comes the important Question. What do I still need in my build?
When it comes to Gauntlet there is no Base stat that you really want while Trinity will give you Crit Chance which you will not be able to acquire through your build. AP is a nice to have, but not important; same for the mana. In the future we will build enough Armor that the 250 health of trinity will be more efficient than the 60 armor of Gauntlet and the extra CDR is completly useless because we already reached max CDR with Kindelgem and Glacial Shroud.
What makes matters worse is that you can't decide when to use your slowfieldability of Iceborngauntlet. What do I mean with that? While stacking your Q after you acquire Iceborn Gauntlet you will hit all minons in a aoe with your enhanced auto and through that damaging them every time you stack. With this your minoins will be faster in killing the enemy minions or put in another way your minions will kill them before you have another Q up to stack. In my experience you will get about 2-3 minions as stack per wave if you use Iceborn Gauntlet but if you use Trinity you can get around 5 or even 6 minoins per wave if you are lucky enough.
"But with Iceborn Gauntlet I won't get kited as much"
You could prove me wrong but I would say this assumption is wrong. The reason for that being that you don't consider WHEN you will be getting kited. You will be kited as long as you try to get to your target and Iceborn Gauntlet doesn't give any benefit whatsoever to get closer to your target. Trinity on the other hand gives you movement speed already as an Stat, on top of that it gives you an ability that makes you even faster when you hit something. That doesn't have to be a champion. If you fight in the Jungle and run past a camp you could just use your Q on the small minon of the camp and get an extra 60 movment speed to run at the enemy. As soon as you are on the target both items will provide around the same amount of possiblities to stick to your target.
With all this I hope you will see why I prefer Trinity Force.
Frozen Heart is the Item that will make your life so much Easier against enemy AD Toplaners. It gives you a ton of armor some mana and a nice aura for teamfighting or even duelling.What makes it even better is that you don't have to buy it immediatly because it builds out of Glacial shroud which we will get very early to reach max CDR. So if you see that your enemy Midlaner is fed as hell and your enemy toplaner on the other hand doesn't provide any damage whatsoever you can decide to buy Spirit Visage first and complete it later on.
Spirit Visage is a core Item because it gives everything you need. It gives you health, MR and CDR. On top of that it also provides you with a passive that makes your Soul Eater stronger
Guardian Angel provides you with good MR and Armor it's a good choice if they have mixed damage cause it will provide both stats and a life as extra. But i would only buy it as last resort.
Banshee's Veil has two good points. One: you won't get hit by the first CC while the enemy tries to kite. Two: you have some defense against pokeheavy teams or even AP assasins.
Buy this item if you are getting destoyed by one special CC. Even though Banshee's Veil could also be used you don't have the freedom to choose which ability you want to negate. With this itme you can do this.(Good against Malzahar for example)
Boots and Enchantment
I buy these boots when i see that the enemy team has lots of CC and that I will get kited if I don't get some extra Tenacity(you already have 15% Tenacity from Tenacious ).
These boots are perfect when the enemy team has lots and lots of AA damage. It's also viable if they don't have much reducable CC but lots of Physical Damage(Remember Knockups can't be reduced).
BOOTS OF SWIFTNESS
I use theese boots very rarely cause they don't provide any form of tankiness for me. But if the enemy team only has slows to kite me and maybe only one hard CC these boots begin to shine. Because of your movmentspeed you won't get kited as much as with Mercury's Treads because Boots of Swiftness are more effective against slowing CC.
This is one of the most used Entchantments in the Game and that for a good reason. While providing a huge speedboost which can speed you till second tier turret it also heals you faster. With these two things it's much easier for you to decide to go back and quickly come back cause it will only take you about 30 secs to get back to base and come back in the middle of the map where the important objectives are.
Furor is a good Enchantment cause it goes well with your Trinity Force. If you have problems getting kitted this Enchantment could prove usefull.
This Enchantment is very usefull if you get the feeling you will have to use flash very often to get even close to the backline or if you are forced to splitpush nonstop because your team is losing very hard. The reduced cooldown of your summoners will be huge if this is the case.
This will sound very overdramatic but Wavemanagment is one of the most important things a good Nasus player should learn. Because Nasus has a very weak early and just wants to farm the safest place is near his turrent where he can retreat when he's getting ganked or he gets low after a combo of the enemy. If you stand in the middle of the lane you will be dead most of the times. So you want to get the lane to snowball against you and freeze it near your turret where you can stack in peace. Now many players don't care much about wavemanagment and just go with the flow. But with Nasus you have to carfully play with the wave so you can farm safely.
How do I get the Lane to snowball against me?
For this I will need some pictures cause it's not that easy to explain.The easiest way to get the wave shoving against you is this trick. Stand in front of the 3 meeleminions and let them stack up. Go into the brush and the minoins will all agro the first meeleminion. This way your meele minion dies faster and it will start to snowball against you if you only lasthit.
How can I freeze the Minionwave near my turret?Like you see in this picture you will need the ranged minions for this to work. While you let the meeleminons run into tower you will want to tank the range minions as long as your mininowave is not there. Through this the enemy wave will have more minions and with that will also kill your minionwave faster. Sometimes a meeleminion will walk into tower but if you keep it in a acceptable level and do this every wave you shouldn't have a problem to keep it at your turret.
The only problem with this method is that you eventually have to juke some skillshots of the enemy chapion because he wants to unfreeze the lane and force his wave under the turret. Also this method is not viable against Champions like Ryze, Kayle and Teemo because they can harass you even more while you try to tank the minionwave. So don't bother with trying to freeze it and just hope they just push wave after wave into your face.
If they don't you can also leave the lane shortly and go get Grump/Golems for your stacks and some gold.
Farming & Stacking
Now this is what every good Nasus player will do a whole lot. Farming & Stacking. The Question is how can I optimize this so i get the most stacks out of the minions that are coming against me. The most important thing for this is to learn how to stack under the tower. Here just some basic knowledge. Most meeleminion will die after 2 towerhits and a AA from a champion. Most rangedminions will die after 1 towershot and 2 AA or in Nasus case after 1 towershot and 1 Q-AA.
With this knowledge you will have to work out the most of how to stack effectivly.
Let's make an Example:Like you will see there are 5 rangedminion 1 cannonminion and 2 meeleminions which makes 22 possible stacks for Nasus. The Tower has a certain agro-priority this is Cannonminion > Meeleminion > Rangedminion. Meaning the ranged minion will stay alive the longest.
With this knowledge and the fact that your minions will very likely attack the meeleminon closest to the tower you should see that you will at least lose 3 stacks here with the meeleminon. You want to stack the Cannonminion with your Q because he gives you 6 stacks instead of 3. But when you use it on your cannonminion you won't have Q again when the first meeleminion gets low enough to last hit him. That's the stack you will defenitly lose. Just try to lasthit him and wait for your Q to lasthit the other meeleminon. While you wait for the second meelemininon to get low for you Q you can also AA the rangedminion that is close to dying so you can lasthit him next when the tower tries to shot him. This will buy you time because the tower will shot into "nothing".
If you can get about 18 Stacks from such a wave you made about the best you can do with this wave.
When should I back?/When should I farm?
Now this is what makes the diffrence between a good and a bad Nasusplayer. While some people stay with 200-300 HP and think "oh no there comes a huge wave I have to stack it at turret", I will just port back, buy some things and come back with teleport. Yes I will most probably lose some minions but the other way around the enemy will just dive me, I will die, he gets gold and I lose all the farm compared to 2-3 minoins. If you don't have teleport I would also go back cause it's not worth to die for it. Your job as Nasus is to stack and NOT DIE so the enemy toplaner isn't a huge threath and could snowball the whole map for his team. You will lose many stacks but help your team this way.
Another scenario could be that you are waiting for your potions to heal you at tower so you can go farm again. Sometimes it's better just to back of and do Grump/Golems. If you use your E and your Q you not lose much life but you will have some stacks and gold while you wait to get healthier.
One Scenario could also be that your lane is snowballing against the enemy and is in the middle of the lane. Against some champions it will be to risky to go for stacks just back of do Gurmp/Golems, port back and come back to lane. Most of the times the wave will be back to pushing against you. If it's not you can go to the Jungle and do Wolfs/Raptors.
As a Guidline for stacking I would use these marks:
Just to be a bit competitive. My record at 20 min is 550 Stacks(Thank you Yorick). Try to beat it and message me if you do ;).
Nasus has about 3 scenarios that happen very often.
1.Splitpushing/Porting into Teamfight
While you are splitpushing you notice on the minimap that your comrades and your enemies are about to get into a teamfight. If you have teleport up and posses a Sheen port into the fight as close as possible. Remeber things like Jarvan flag or Thresh lantern are things you can teleport to. If you don't have teleport then use your E on the wave and push as fast as you can with Q and AA. At level 5 E will almost always clear the ranged-minoins if they took the inintial burst. With your push you will either force on person to leave before the teamfight or you will get a turret if you are stacked enough.
2.Splitpushing/Getting ganked by multiple People
This Scenario is one of the hardest to explain because most of it depends on how good you can estimate your damage and the damage of the enemies that are about to gank you. but let's leave that for later.
To even enable this scenario you should buy some wards and place them in the enemy jungle so that you will see the enemies that approach you. With this you get the information needed to make a decision based on who is about to gank. If you think you will probably lose you should back of into the next brush and wait for the enemy to come out of their jungle and push the lane back. Sometimes they will even push further to your brush where you can surprise them get a kill and push again.
If you think you can win than i would reccomend you to go to the nearest brush you see because it can be used to break line of sight for a few second which helps you to get more Q's in while denying the enemy a opportunity to do damage to you.
Either way if you don't ward you will just get obliterated by the enemy forces and just die which doesn't help your team very much.
3.Grouping with your team
Grouping with your teams means you want to prepare for a Teamfight. Most of the time you will want to choose this option when you don't have teleport up. In Teamfights you will want to engage by Ulting and withering the closest Carry with your Wither and junk them/kill them with your E-Q Combo damage. If you have multiple targets to chose go for the ADC because your wither will also destroy the enemy DPS for the fight while you run in to get the kill. Just remember that your backline will also be vulnerable if you just run into the enemy team to kill their adc. So if the enemy posses many Assasins it's sometimes wiser to just wither these assasins and peel for your backline while the enemy will hit you. Afterwards you can turn around on the enemy and Wither somebody else (Wither has 6.6 sec Cooldown with max CDR at level 5)
Nasus is a tank with a lot of damage potential good farming/stacking is required to be most usefull. Killing and Snowballing the game is a thing he will try once he reaches mid/late-game.