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Nasus Build Guide by OTGBionicArm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author OTGBionicArm

Nasus: Complete Guide to the Temper of the Ascended.

OTGBionicArm Last updated on June 4, 2014
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Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0



Table of Contents


Quick Guide

Preface

Basic Information

Advanced Tactics

Wrapping Up

Items
Synergies and Counters
Summoner Spells
Runes
Masteries

About the Author
Introduction
Who is Nasus?



|

Nasus' Skillset
Skilling Order
Itemization



|

Laning
Roaming and Ganking
Teamfighting
Strategy and Tactics
|

Synergies
Counters
Epilogue



|


Starting Items


Core Build



Early Game




Mid Game




Late Game



Boots


Offensive Items


Defensive Items


Synergies and Counters

Nasus is good against:


Nasus is weak against:


Nasus works well with:

Summoner Spells


or
__
+
__

On Nasus, Ghost is generally the best summoner spell to take. It allows him to chase better and is on a pretty short cooldown. Teleport is nearly always taken over Ignite because Nasus can devastate other lanes with ganks using the spell, and he has very poor personal kill potential early on, even with Ignite. Flash is the alternative to Ghost if you are facing champions that will try to wall you off like Jarvan IV or Anivia.

Runes

My page for Nasus is designed to pad his vulnerability early on and keep him farming in lane longer. Health Regen Quints have recently been buffed and they allow Nasus to shrug off harass easier when combined with his life steal. Armor and MR for general defenses, but you can also use scaling MR against heavy AD champions. AD marks are for trading and last-hitting.


Masteries

Much like my rune page, the mastery page for Nasus is made with durability and sustained laning in mind. Recover, Perseverance and Second Wind all give you hefty sustain to keep your health topped off, and the rest of the defense masteries aim to make you tanky as hell. Tenacious helps you get red of pesky CC faster and the 9 points in offense are simply to have more AD for last-hitting.















































































































































































































































































































About the Author

I'm OTGBionicArm, a veteran here on MOBAFire and Nasus had his stint as my primary jungler in season 3, but due to meta-shifting, he has become my most coveted top lane pick. The world over have deemed him OP due to his slew of buffs in Season 3, and he is in line to be nerfed. This will not do anything to his power level. Nasus is played like a ticking time bomb, farming his Siphoning Strike until it reaches astronomical values of damage. I was drawn to Nasus by his high sustain and powerhouse late game.

GrandmasterD coded the entirety of this guides' format and YayaFTW created the amazing intro banner and dividers!

Introduction

Nasus a highly sustained and hard hitting fighter. His gameplay involves stacking damage on his ability, Siphoning Strike, meaning that he is free to build very tanky and still deal extremely potent damage. He must farm creeps heavily in order to get this damage, meaning he can be zoned and denied by skilled laners. This model of scaling means that while Nasus is very weak and vulnerable early on, he becomes one of the most frightening champions to face in the game after a certain amount of time. Nasus must mind his enemy laners as his dueling capabilities are very poor early in the game. However, the enemy must be equally aware of Nasus's power after 20 minutes and onward, otherwise they are easy prey for the hell hound.

In this guide I will showcase a less passive way to play Nasus. My build allows for a bit more teeth early game, to let enemies know you will not be pushed around. Many Nasus players tend to let their enemy bully them without retaliation. I focus on farming, forcing poor trades, securing objectives and destroying carries. Nasus Is an amazing champion for ranked solo queue, but first picking him can easily get you a very tough matchup on the other team. Caution is advised against champions such as Trundle and Kha'Zix who are currently very common picks.

Just some Nasus mood music; Listen while reading the guide!


Who's Nasus?

Pros

+ High Sustain
+ Godly Late Game
+ Armor Shred
+ Wither is Broken
+ Great Waveclear
+ Decimates Objectives
+ Snoop Dogg Dance

Nasus's primary strength is his infinitely scaling Siphoning Strike that makes him a massive late game threat, coupled with his innate lifesteal. However, he also boasts a very high degree of utility through Wither and Spirit Fire, making him a debuff machine that shuts down many auto attackers. Additionally his ultimate gives him a free massive boost in maximum health, making him very beefy without items. His "passive" AoE magical damage in team fights is also very potent between his ultimate and Spirit Fire (which also shreds armor) making him very hard to itemize against.

Nasus' Limitations

While Nasus has a very dominant late game, he's very prone to harassment early on and is a common target for ganks. Many teams will have the mentality of "Shut Nasus down early at all costs" when playing against him, so expect to be camped. Of course, as stated before, he is a poor duelist early on, and you pretty much have to bait people into bad trades, otherwise you'll lose every single one. Even once he's reached a state of extreme power, he's prone to getting kited around in team fights, and is easily stopped in his tracks by CC. He has no natural mobility, so without Ghost he generally gets lapped by quick moving characters with dashes.

Cons

- Low Mobility
- Extremely Farm Reliant
- Weak Early Damage
- Gets Kited
- Can be Gimped Early
- Low Kill Potential before Lvl 6
- Wow. Such hate for Susan. Much focus

Nasus' Skillset


Soul Eater
Nasus has a very simple passive, simply giving him life steal. It's simplicity is also broken when you add in his non-capped scaling Siphoning Strike working fully with life steal. This passive allows Nasus to pretty much farm eternally against many enemy top laners, and stay healthy in fights if he's allowed to wail on people.



Siphoning Strike
Siphoning Strike will gain additional damage if you kill a target with it. 3 damage for each normal creep or small monster and 6 damage for every cannon creep, big monster, or champion. Nasus' entire laning phase is dedicated to building up a massive bonus on this ability until you can break a carry's back in half with one use of the ability. It's also why Nasus is so good at splitpushing, because you can use it to shatter turrets in 2-3 uses later on in the game.



Wither
This ability is a total cripple. The attack speed and movement speed slow from this ability severely gimps champions that rely on auto attacks such as Marksmen and specific melee characters like Tryndamere. Nasus will likely win any 1v1 against an auto attacker in an all out fight due to this ability alone. However, this ability is far less useful against high mobility AD-Caster type enemies such as Lee Sin or Riven.



Spirit Fire
Spirit Fire gives Nasus great power in both waveclearing and straight up slug fests. If someone chooses to fight Nasus in it, they are likely suicidal IRL and his Siphoning Strike will likely snap their neck with it's raw power against their frail unarmored bodies. It's got a pretty good base damage on it too and can be used to last hit if being zoned. This may push the lane out of your favor even more, however.



Fury of the Sands
Nasus' ultimate gives him a massive boost in maximum health and causes him to deal AoE magic damage. The damage this ultimate deals is converted into some bonus AD which makes Nasus even more terrifying. Additionally, this ultimate is great for diving turrts, baiting or securing objectives. The health gain can be thought of as a "heal" after its use as Nasus does not lose any current health when the effect ends.

Skilling Order



1




Q
2




W
3




Q
4




E
5




Q
6




R
7




Q
8




W
9




Q
10




W
11




R
12




W
13




W
14




E
15




E
16




R
17




E
18




E

Siphoning Strike is maxed first to lower it's cooldown and increase its base damage. You want the cooldown to be as low as possible early on to get as much bonus damage as you can. You can max either of his other abilities second. If you're against someone who primarily uses auto attacks to fight, or you can't keep up with them well enough, max Wither second. Spirit Fire can be maxed against other slow characters such as Cho'Gath or Yorick, who don't really use auto attacks to fight.


Itemization

When itemizing Nasus, you should focus on Durability, CDR and utility. Attack Damage can also help Nasus but isn't entirely needed. other welcome stats are movement speed and mana.
Let's go over some items that are arguably the best you can buy for Nasus as well as a few interesting picks.


Early Game

Glacial Shroud is your primary armor purchase in lane. Also providing you with mana and CDR, it is the perfectly early purchase for Nasus. However, when fighting a magical damage laner, you will want to get Spectre's Cowl and Kindlegem instead. Warden's Mail and Glacial Shroud both build into Frozen Heart and will let you ignore most physical damage.


Mid Game

Frozen Heart will be your heavy defensive item against AD's. The CDR, Mana and armor go a long way towards your goal of farming as much as possible, and it helps to passively gimp AD champions trying to fight you. Spirit Visage gives you very healthy servings of CDR and increases all healing effects on you. In other words, it makes your lifesteal even more epic. It's basically the perfect defensive item on Nasus. Spirit Visage can be rushed instead of Frozen Heart against a magical damage laner, or against a mainly AP team. Mercury's Treads can be built as needed during mid game.


Late Game

Trinity Force is your main damage item and it is built because every part of the item synergizes with Nasus's kit. Particularly, the movement speed boost from the Phage and the Sheen effect are the main selling points. This helps you to stick to targets and hit them even harder with Siphoning Strike. Randuin's Omen is a complementary armor item that has an amazing active and passive to abuse. The active can be used to protect allies, or slow people between your Wither cooldown. Finally, Banshee's Veil is largely a filler health item with a free spell shield to abuse. It's great for blocking Nidalee spears and annoying CC engages like Glacial Prison.


Offensive Buys

As an alternative to both Frozen Heart and Trinity Force, Iceborn Gauntlet is a cost effective mid game item that is both offensively and defensively good. It also provides a slowing field on your Q's to help you stick to people. I often get this item if I feel like I will not be able to finish my Trinity Force in a timely manner. Thornmail is an amazing purchase against teams with multiple auto attacker threats like Tryndamere or Yasuo along with Marksman champions. You'll make them kill themselves by attacking you. Talisman of Ascension is a very niche purchase. Think back to the golden days of Philosopher Stone. Shurelya's Reverie used to be core for Nasus. I still like the items active on him, and I like to buy it if my team is all doing well and my support doesn't have one already. Use it to rally your team to engage or retreat.


Defensive Buys

Locket of the Iron Solari is another supporty pick for Nasus, and is very useful against heavy AP compositions with it's MR aura and active shield. Warmog's Armor gives to a big chunk of health and health regeneration. This health regeneration combines nicely with Spirit Visage and your various other healing sources to make you even more sustained in a fight, and even more of a pain to try and kill. Guardian Angel is even better when you are fed because a fed Nasus is threatening in general, but a fed Nasus you have to kill twice? Terrifying.

Laning

Nasus' weakest point is early laning phase. He has poor early game damage and is entirely dependent on farming to succeed. This means that he usually attracts a lot of aggression to stop him from farming Siphoning Strike. But fear not! Nasus is not entirely defenseless at this point and can fight back if he has to. A mistake many Nasus players make is that the focus entirely on farming and allow their enemies to simply push them around in lane. If someone comes into your creep wave to harass you, Wither and/or use Spirit Fire and Siphoning Strike them. You may not fully win the trade, but it lets the enemy know you won't be messed with for free. Nasus can also just return to farming to restore his health back.

The best course of action against aggressive champions is to allow them to push. Nasus is very good at last hitting under the turret and this usually muzzles the enemy from attacking you in fear of turret shots, especially after level 6 when diving Nasus will likely result in a kill for him. If the enemy takes the turret early (pre 10 minutes), this is actually a benefit to you as you get to freeze at your second turret and farm, and they can no longer farm safely. They will be roaming and trying to kill your allies in desperation, however, so be ready to follow them with Teleport. In fact, once he hits level 6, Nasus can preform devastating ganks on bottom lane if he so pleases in this manner as his Wither is amazing in skirmishes and his ultimate allows him to tower dive.

Nasus has massive sustain in lane unless he's being harassed harder than his lifesteal and regeneration can handle, or if he's being bursted. He's also prone to being ganked if you are not careful to control the creep waves. A problem you may run into is using Spirit Fire too liberally and pushing the lane. When pushed and engaged on by a gank, your only chance at living is to Wither the most threatening enemy and book as, usually with Ghost on if you have it. Ult if you have to to live. You can't take one two people alone this early in the game. Nasus is a very easy gank target early on if he pushes as he has poor mobility. Try to keep the lane at the center, or preferably near your turret to remain safe and continue farming.

Warding and Ganking

In lane, you'll wanna use your Warding Totem to ward the river leading to your lane. if you are on purple side, it might be a good idea to ward your Tri-Brush instead, as this is a very common gank path. Junglers often assume the river is warded. Later on you can help your team with the vision ward by using your trinket and extra Stealth Wards to litter the map in vision!

Nasus will seldom roam to mid, like many top laners like to do, as he is very concerned with his farm. However, as mentioned previously he can supplement devastating ganks at bot or mid lane providing they have a ward behind the enemy laners. When ganking bot specifically with Teleport, wait until the enemy bot laners commit to a fight. Let your bot lane know you're coming! Otherwise they may run and mess up the gank. Once you arrive try to stand behind the focused target so they have to move past you and Wither them in Spirit Fire and break their spines. This will guarantee at least a flash, but can still usually result in a kill or even two. After a successful gank, try to push down bot tower and/or get Dragon. If your top laner got top tower in the mean time, it's worth so long as you got Dragon or a tower as well.

Teamfighting

Nasus is an amazing team fighter, provided he is not the one initiating fights. He has no strong crowd control to lock people down for good. Instead, Nasus excels at singling out key auto attackers (Marksmen, usually) and making sure they die with his abilities. Ghost will usually be required to hunt down your prey and kill them.

Try to avoid big CC on your way to your intended targets, as a CC'd Nasus isn't exactly dealing damage. If you do get CC'd and peeled off a carry, at least make sure it's harder for them to fight back by Withering them. You can fight any tanks blocking your path due to Spirit Fire shredding their armor, and your lifesteal and healing keeping you alive for a bit. This is a better plan than desperately trying to get to a carry to simply die from focus fire.
Nasus should use his ultimate early on in team fights to soak up damage while dealing respectable AoE DPS and gaining additional AD. The very sight of seeing a farmed Nasus in his ult usually causes anything squishy to run if he comes anywhere close to them. You can use this to your advantage if your allies are fed, such as a mage or marksman, as this will usually force enemy tanks and bruisers to focus sorely on peeling you. As mentioned early many teams usually have the single minded approach to dealing with Nasus of "Shut him down/make sure he dies" at all costs, meaning they will pay less attention to your team if you're threatening enough.

This can become an issue however, if you are under-farmed. A zoned and malnourished Nasus is not threatening at all. If this happens, you are actually a detriment to your team in fights and should attempt to instead farm your way back into the game. Let your team know you're behind, and try to farm. Ask them to stall as long as they can and defend the turrets. When you feel like you're ready try to rejoin your team, but be weary that if you get this behind as Nasus, the enemy team will try to press the advantage as fast as possible to end the game before you can make a comeback.

Another alternative is to start acting as a peeler rather than a damage dealer. Wither bruisers and assassins attacking your squishier allies and use Spirit Fire to soften them up. If you can't be the carry, do everything you can to make sure your other allies can win the fights. This is also a great tactic when you are against teams that will kite you heavily.

Strategy and Tactics

In a nutshell, we've covered Nasus' core gameplay, follow up initiations, seek and destroy squishies, and farm Siphoning Strike like mad. But now I will go over some more advanced tricks and nifty hints.

Farming Mindgames

As Nasus' main goal is to farm his Q, you can often use this to your advantage because many players have a very predictable approach to trying to stop you. They will try to attack you with abilities for going to CS, so walk up like you're going to CS earlier than intended, then back away when they try to attack you. Once their abilities are on cooldown, feel free to farm. Note that the buff for Siphoning Strike lasts for a considerable amount of time, so doing this with Q active won't hinder you in any way.

Baiting

As previously stated, Nasus generally has to bait people into poor situations to win trades. He can use this ability to get kills as well. At level 6 people often still hold the misconception that Nasus is incredibly weak at this point and often will try to dive him anyway, or even have their jungler help them dive. Wither the person taking turret shots and use Fury of the Sands and Spirit Fire and beat them as hard as you can with Siphoning Strike. This can usually get you a kill or even a double. If you succeed at this, they will never attempt to dive you again.

Siphoning Strike

Farming Siphoning Strike should always be your top priority. My general rule of thumb is that if you're at least 10 bonus damage per minute (IE; 200 bonus damage at 20 minutes) you're doing "ok". You aren't a liability to your team if you keep that up. ideally you should be using Q to last hit every chance, and the possibilities of numbers for this can be much higher at 20 minutes.

Vanquisher of Objectives

Nasus' ultimate can be used to easily secure objectives early on. It deals %Health damage meaning he can help to melt Dragon or Baron quickly. This can be useful for a sneaky steal when the enemy has no wards on these. Additionally, he can use to bonus health to simply tank towers and destroy them himself later on. Nasus is a very frightening splitpusher due to his Q and ultimate.

Synergies

Nasus deals decent AoE magical damage innately and very heavy single target physical damage. He synergizes well with AoE comps, especially comps containing other AD champions who can capitalize off his Spirit Fire. Additionally anything that can hard engage for Nasus is welcome. In lane hard ganking junglers can also snowball off a Nasus lane, or snowball him extremely well, such as Lee Sin, Vi or Jarvan IV.

Champions with their own %Armor shred abilities stack nicely with Spirit Fire as well. Some examples are Jarvan IV's Dragon Strike or Vi's Denting Blows.


Counters

Nasus suffers heavily when matched against bloodthirsty champions with very good early games. Trundle, Garen and Darius stand out as the most annoying. They apply extreme damage pressure for very low to no cost to them, and can easily snowball off any mistake you make in lane. Garen will silence you as you go to CS and use Judgment to further zone you. Darius will Decimate you and yank you if you run to force more bleeding stacks on you. Trundle can mess with your last hitting with his Chomp and he eats your tank stats with his ultimate. He renders you entirely unable to fight him in lane. Darius specifically is looking for first blood on you, so you have to play extremely cautiously and ask your jungler for assistance.

Additionally, Nasus is kited very easily by champions with dashes. A specific champion you should watch for is Lucian, as his Relentless Pursuit completely removes your Wither, making it even harder to catch him. Don't fall for bait on champions you know you can't catch.

On the flip side; Nasus does extremely well against poor early laners or people that have to auto attack to deal damage due to his Wither. This makes him a pretty good check to champions like Yasuo ( Wither also hinders his Q's) and Tryndamere.

Epilogue

This concludes my guide to Nasus, the Curator of the Sands. He is easy to pick up and play but proper farming and lane control must be preformed to excel with him! I hope you enjoyed reading my guide, and playing Nasus as much as I do.

OTGBionicArm, agent of the Dark Lord Susan.