Nasus Build Guide by Cokewithice

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 Cokewithice

Nasus DPS/tank

Cokewithice Last updated on September 9, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 17

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 13

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The beginning of a nasus guide brings fourth the beginning of many unstoppable storms for those that learn

Now onto the bits that 99% of people don't really read :) for the 1% of you that read here it is! :)

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The defense mastery tree: You should spend mastery points in this tree first in the order outlined

3 points for both magic resistance(resistance) and armor(hardiness) for increased early game survivability
5 points for dodge and nimbleness increases survivability
2 points in harder skin particularly early game survivability, as a percent the 1.5 blocked damage is a lot greater YOU MAY HAVE ASKED: "why not 3 points?" well the answer is to use that one extra point on hp without hindering the utility tree which is very useful
4 points into veterans scars because well lets just say hp is a very handy thing early game for nasus, combined with quint runes you acheive 600 hp from the very start of any given game

The utility mastery tree: This should be the last tree you put any points into if you are not level 30

1 point into haste MAJOR survivability mechanism being able to gain the 6% edge over others and also having the extra duration of 1.5 seconds gives you the ability to shine in dire times, no matter if its escaping or pursuing
3 points into good hands reduces the time you spend dead i have found this particularly handy playing a match of 3v3, the map is small so you have to get back out there and defend as quick as possible
4 points into awareness helps with two things: I find helps you out in games where you end up switching lanes a lot and it also helps in solo lanes giving you an increased ability to overcome any two people who may be laning against you just with your higher level of abilities alone
3 points into mana regeneration(meditation) is very important for nasus because he has a naturally severely low mana regeneration rate and this mastery helps towards less basing just for mana and more fighting
2 points into utility mastery, as nasus mid game you will be able to jungle with the natural life steal abilities, this mastery is very helpfull to getting nasus pushing lanes killing champions and killing minions alot more efficiently, this makes the gap between having monster buffs shorter.

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Skill Sequence

The skill sequence for nasus I feel is important but also strange, let me explain it

Level 1: The start of the game should begin with a level in siphoning strike, this enables early game harassing and in addition the ability to work up the damage in siphoning strike right from the beginning of the game

Level 2-3: Put 2 points into spirit fire, having it at level two offers an okay nuke and damage over time to scare champions pushing your tower back and also to farm those creeps for gold, at level 2 spirit fire its easy to get the ranged minions with siphoning strike post effect.

Level 4: Learn the wither skill, from here it is easier to then kill champions (hint: use wither when they start to run NOT at the start of a fight, if they run as soon as they see you that means wither then if your intentions are to start a fight)

Level 5: Put one more level into siphoning strike, reducing the cooldown by 1 and increasing the damage by 20 makes the ability alot easier to use and becomes alot quicker in increasing its damage bonus (accumulated by killing units with a siphoning strike)

Level 6: Learn your ultimate, good tank ability to give gank survivability and incredible fighting power, using it around minions while killing a champion proves very useful

Level 7-9: another 3 points into spirit fire, this is where champion killing becomes easier as you now have your ultimate and at level 5 spirit fire reduces armor by 40, combine it with wither to keep them in the zone of reduced armor while hacking them down

Level 10: 1 point to wither, the higher the level the more the enemy champion is slow, now learn this skill before siphoning strike to increase the chances of being able to kill a champion

Level 11: Learn the second level of your ultimate

Level 12-14: Level wither up to level 5 with 3 points, having it maxed out gives you great champion chasing power, coupled with haste and its mastery point things run smoothly when killing a champion

Level 15: Now start learning siphoning strike (1 more point), reducing its cooldown and increasing its damage

Level 16: Give your ultimate its last point - now you are a true tank when you use your ultimate (provided you've gotten up to thornmail and banshee's veil in the item build)

Level 17-18: the last 3 points must go into siphoning strike, the skill then becomes a lot quicker and by this time you should have achieved about +200 on the bonus, if you have gotten this far then you now have a very powerfull nuke with only 4 seconds cooldown (My siphoning strike usually has 400-600 damage by the end game)

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This section explains reasons for buying items, it may also suggest alternate items etc that are not listed in the general build, the general build tries to cater for a dps/tank. alternate items will be listed below the main section as they are added


To start off every game we always get a rejuvenation bead and faerie charm for early game regeneration as these two items offer both health and mana regeneration

So next we purchase boots and turn them into beserker greaves... why beserker greaves? well because the extra attack speed is vital for nasus to get any early game kills at all and you would see this if you purchased any other type of boots. Note: I have seen guides with boots of tenacity instead of beserker greaves, these work if you are planning to play full tank, if your team needs a tank you should consider these.

We then build a tiamat which we already have two components for. So why do we not build it first? well because the beserker greaves are essential to early game especially with their attack speed however if you are thinking of taking the tanky pathway you should perhaps buy boots of speed only than finish the tiamat and afterwards finish your boots of tenacity because by that point in the game disables are becoming alot more potent.

Next is the sheen. Sheen is to be later turned into trinity force but the reason we must get this component first is because nasus doesn't have alot of mana so purchasing the sheen: a) MEANS NASUS DOESN'T HAVE TO BASE AS OFTEN, b) IS A GREAT WAY TO START TRINITY FORCE.

So then we turn our sheen into a trinity force. The order in which you purchase the remaining two components of trinity force is situational, if you find that you are able to chase down enemies and get those kills then go for phage first, if movement speed is a big issue then i would advise getting the zeal first to counter that.

After the trinity force it is wise to purchase a frozen heart, this gives nasus a massive advantage as an effect on frozen heart is slowing enemies while offering great armour to survive, with nasus ultimate its not completely necessary to get huge amounts of armour

Phantom dancer is optional but can be handy, to complete the build of 6 items i just threw it in there but its kind of optional you may only want to buy it if you feel you need the extra attack speed however the critical on this item helps alot

The black cleaver is the final item, it will just increase the damage that you can deal as it gives not only an attack bonus but an armour reducing effect when coupled with phantom dancer the black cleaver will readily lower any opponents armor, and with nasus spirit fire ability any AD's on your team will love you

Thornmail - replacing frozen heart
If the opposing team is heavily AD based with little magic resist, instead of purchasing a frozen heart you may want to purchase a thornmail instead, you will be heavily increasing your own dps against AD champions by doing so. Don't buy or get rid of if item slots are full phantom dancer and get items after trinity force as follows, thornmail - phantom dancer - the black cleaver

Banshee's veil - replacing phantom dancer
If theres a really really annoying AP champion you may want to purchase a banshees veil, dont purchase or remove the phantom dancer and buy this after the frozen heart.

NOTE: alternate build: tiamat, beserker greaves, trinity force, thornmail, banshees veil, the black cleaver