Nasus Build Guide by XhisaSyco
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.
Standard + Notes
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.
Hello and Welcome to my first guide on MOBAFire!
My name is Vince. I am an experienced LoL-Player and felt like sharing my thoughts on jungling Nasus. I would like to hear other people's opinions on it and further share my own experience with it after it is working out really well for me.
I will try to make this guide as easy to understand as possible while as in-depth as possible.
Note that I am not a professional guide-writer so I am open for suggestions. =)
Please do not downvote the guide right away because you think the build sucks or whatever.
Let's start with a small explanation on summoner spells:
I don't think Smite needs any further explanation, since we are jungling we are using it, no matter what.
One could think of "Hey, I can jungle smiteless!" - Yes you can, I might say almost every common jungler can, but don't! The simple reason is that Smite gives you a 490 - 1000 damage nuke which makes it almost impossible for the enemy to steal buffs, dragons or even baron if correctly timed.
Note that it is a key skill of a jungler to be able to use smite correctly. It can cost you the game if you fail smiting and give e.g. baron to the enemy team! On the other hand it gives you exactly this power to do such game-changing steals!
As my second summoner I use Ghost. It is the best choice in my opinion because it synergises perfectly well with Wither. It gives you the ability to chase down enemies, initiate ganks, run away from danger etc. Further it is on a much lower CD as Flash.
I honestly don't see much sense in using other spells on Jungle-Nasus.
Pregame Set-Up: Runes & Masteries
The question when creating runes & masteries for a champion is: What do we want to accomplish?
So ... what do we want for ?
1) Boosting the Jungle-clear on early levels
2) Balance between farming for gold and farming for Siphoning Strike
3) Do not waste any mastery points or rune slots while maximizing its benefit over a full-length game
4) What is our aim later in the game?
Keeping that in mind I made up my runes & masteries like this:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration makes our Siphoning Strike hit harder as well as our basic attacks. I prefer them over Greater Mark of Attack Damage because only one of Nasus' spells scales with AD. The penetration is just more usefull over all.
Note that you can use Greater Mark of Attack Damage if you feel like. If won't effect your jungling.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist gives us durability against magic damage. I prefer them over Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. This is personal preference. I like the more MR later in the game.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal I changed to them because I think they fit more into my personal playstyle. Over all they give you nice boost in surviving the jungle with like max. HP.
They further help you really well then soloing dragon (--> See Advanced Tactics below).
You can use like every AD-based Quint on Nasus, after it won't effect your jungling or your presence in late.
As we want to be a tanky DPS who can disrupt the enemy team while offering some protection to our carries we get most out of 21 points in defense.
We get standard jungle with Summoner's Resolve , Bladed Armor , Hardiness and Veteran's Scars , add Safeguard for better turret-diving, Relentless because we dont like slows, Juggernaut for additional durabilty, the "one-point-wonders² Defender and Good Hands because we get a lot out of one point (5 mr and armor for one point is huge and a 10% reduced dead time can be the game)and Honor Guard .
I prefer putting the 9 remaining points in offense ... Summoner's Wrath for empowered Ghost, 3% CDR and some more damage are over all better than additional Manareg. and neutral buff duration.
As you can see my skill sequence is focused on maxing Spirit Fire while putting 2 points in Wither until level 9.
You might argue about that this will not offer the most possible damage to Siphoning Strike and honestly I might agree. But after experimenting quite a lot I feel most comfortable with this sequence. Here is why:
As said in the chapter before one aim is to find a balance between farming for gold and farming for Siphoning Strike. As a jungler you cannot afford to wait for cooldowns that much because you want to get items as fast as possible. One might argue that the CD of Siphoning Strike will decrease by leveling it BUT what does this offer to your ganks? Yes, you might get more strikes of but you as a jungler don't neccessarily want the kills and rather want your carries to get fed. With the Armor Reduction of Spirit Fire the attacks of your laners will hit harder and as it is a ranged AoE ability you will hit it almost 100%. Further you can use it to hold lanes, push lanes out or zone enemies.
Watching European LCS today EG Raidcall Snoopeh convinced me once again: Do NOT max out Siphoning Strike!
If you watched the match against SK Gaming you will see that he got nothing out of it. His ganks were even less potent and he didn't get it farmed a lot more.
Of course I cannot tell you his thought-process behind it but as he unfortunatly did poorly aswell I advice against it!
When you want to push lane asap (to deny farm, reset lane) use E and Q when possible.
When freezing lanes for one of your teammates use Q to lasthit, don't use E or you will push!
You obviously get your Fury of the Sands whenever possible!
What to max second?
Just choose whatever is best for your team in any particular situation!
Teamfights are starting and you have to disrupt the enemy carry? - Put another point in Wither
You can farm a lot? - Put another point in Siphoning Strike
The order of items shown above is meant as the core items in an average game.
Those items give you great survivability, help you keeping your team alive and last but not least a boost in damage. This is exactly what we aim for in a fight. We want to be a tanky guy, but still want our enemy carries to fear us!
Locket of the Iron Solari is almost a must buy. You get so much out of it for the price! I don't think I need to explain the epicness of this item.
I will now list some other viable items for
First of all: All three of them are viable on Nasus! And in most cases you should buy one or two of them in every game after you will most likely already have a Glacial Shroud and a Sheen!
When do I buy which?
Go for the Frozen Heart when you need the AoE AS-Reduction. It is more of a defensive item. When you have a Glacial Shroud but plan to get a Trinity Force always buy this.
Go for the Iceborn Gauntlet when you want to have the nice AoE slow and more damage while not losing too much tankability.
Note that Nasus benefits quite well from the AP: His Spirit Fire has an overall scaling of 1/1.2 (0.6 on cast and 0.12/sec over 5 seconds) last but not least his Ultimate Fury of the Sands does scale a little (+1% dmg/100AP).
Further the AoE-damage will not really prevent farming your Siphoning Strike! BUT!: Enemies killed by the AoE-damage will not give you bonus damage.
Go for the Trinity Force when you want to maximize your damage!
The enemy team is equally farmed but their AD-carry is fed? No problem: Wither him and focus him down!
This item is really viable on Nasus but more of a laning item. It gives you nice stats while being extremely cost-effecive! Although I personally prefer Runic Bulwark.
The simple reason is that you convert much money into the passive increased healing you won't need in jungle while Runic Bulwark simply is the most powerful item in the game. Every team should have one asap! I know that supports often build towards it but think about it: Do you prefer this item on a tank who survives longer in fights or on a squishy or who might be focused down and your whole team loses the aura?
Further I often realize supports building Runic Bulwark really fast but what has to suffer from this is the control of the map. I am sorry to say that but as a support you are there for this control. You better get more wards and less items. WARDS SAVE LIFES AND WIN GAMES!
If you feel like you need additional MR and over-all survivability because you are focused down by lots of magic damage while maxing out CDR this items is a perfect choice.
While I usually recommend against AD-Items this item simply rocks on Nasus. It synergizes so well with the overall AoE damage Nasus has to offer via Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands.
Note that for farming your Siphoning Strike it's the same as Iceborn Gauntlet: Kills with the AoE do NOT give you bonus damage.
But what this items gives you is ridiculous damage via AoE-damage from Q and an AA-reset with its active as well as sick healing via Lifesteal + Soul Eater
Recommended as a great late-game item.
Lately I see some Nasus-players building this item on Nasus. Honestly: I do not like it. You simply waste too much gold in damage you don't need instead of tankiness. If getting it you could consider it instead of a Sheen but seriously ... What is a Nasus without Sheen?!
I do not say The Brutalizer is a bad item on Nasus. You simply waste 1337 Gold you could use for another item you, and your team!! profit more from.
Always a good item on a frontliner. Want to disrupt the enemy team even further? Need more Armor and Health? Get this!
I am not the biggest fan of Warmog's Armor anymore but this item is always a solid choice if you want to be more tanky and feel good with the amount of Resists you already have.
Cheap 20% CDR and HP, nice Aura for your team! A very good item over all! Get it if you feel like having it will turn the table of a fight.
It's okay on Nasus however I prefer other items for HP or additional CC. You can get it if you feel like getting a lot out of it in a game.
This item is kinda funny on Nasus. If you already got a big bunch of HP this item gives you some nice Armor and adds damage and Crit. This can make your Siphoning Strike hit for ridiculous amounts of damage. I might add a build including this item.
Get this if you need MR and can make good use of the spellshield (Against etc.)
Solid late-game item! Get it when you feel like!
: What do we do with it?
First of all I recommend Spirit Stone over Madred's Razors for obvious reasons:
1) Madred's Razors can cost you Siphoning Strike last hits
2) Spirit Stone can be build into 3 items
3) Spirit Stone offers just enough Mana & HP regeneration so we can clear camps very well
When game progresses we have different ways to deal with Spirit Stone:
1) Sell it
2) Build it into Spirit of the Ancient Golem
3) Build it into Spirit of the Elder Lizard (Meeh!)
4) Build it into Spirit of the Spectral Wraith (Not recommended!)
3) and 4) are not too viable as choices because we dont need AP or Spell Vamp, and we only have our Basic Attacks and Q to make use of the Passive of Spirit of the Elder Lizard and do not scale too well with AD.
2) Is a viable choice! However: Do not build Mercury's Treads and Spirit of the Ancient Golem because then you waste money for 2*Tenacity which does not stack.
1) After you won't lose too much money you can always sell it if you feel like you dont need it anymore. But keep in mind: You lose damage against monsters!
This brings us to the next question: Boots?!
All of the following boots work well on Nasus! I will try to shortly explain when what boots are more viable:
Are the most common boots on Nasus imo. Give you better jungle-sustain and better durabilty against champs and turrets. You can always get them.
After I like building Spirit of the Ancient Golem for tenacity I usually ignore them however if you plan not to get SotAG but want Tenacity this is your choice.
I never did any maths on this but I think they might be okay if there is next to no hard CC on the enemy team. The idea is to be faster over all and have better ability to stick onto your target.
Are great for ganking! If you feel like ganking a lot in a game those are viable! You might sell them later in the game.
Are great for early CDR! I do not like them too much after I focus on getting 40% CDR at some point via other items.
For Enchantment go whatever you like the most.
Jungling as Nasus
Here are some tips for jungling as
I will add videos as soon as I find time to record and upload them!
1) You can start Blue or Red, if your team gives you a Smiteless its good, but not needed. I recommend starting Blue just for the fact that it spawns faster for your Midlaner. You won't need blue once your Spirit Stone is finished.
2) For the first clear you use Siphoning Strike whenever possible. Try to get first stacks on it by finishing a small monster with it and then AA the big monster until it's off CD again. Do not wait for it and tank avoidable damage.
3) When hitting level 2 start using Spirit Fire on a camp, position yourself so all monsters are in die AoE and keep last hitting whenever possible with Siphoning Strike. After you got your Spirit Stone you start focusing on lasthitting one small and the big creep in every camp! (Remember you get +6 damage for big monsters!)
4) Remember your Passive: Soul Eater!
This means: Don't stop hitting the big monster unless you would kill it (even if Siphoning Strike could kill it) while waiting for your Q CD to wear off. So you can avoid most of the damage while waiting! It won't cost you more time because Q resets the AA-timer.
5) Double Tap: Siphoning Strike rests your AA-timer! :P
6) When you bought first CDR-Items( Kindlegem) and have a higher-level Q you can just lasthit every monster in the jungle with Siphoning Strike. Spirit Fire will cost a lot of mana so do not use it when not needed.
7) Hold lanes whenever needed/possible!
Ganking as Nasus
- First general things; will be much more in-depth soon -
As Nasus has no hard CC (e.g. stun, snear, etc.) or a instant gap-closer (e.g. Xin's Audacious Charge or Jax' Leap Strike) --> Our ganks pre-6 are weak.
It hardly depends on the lane-composition and to what side the lane is pushed.
--> There will be a example video soon <--
When we have Fury of the Sands available our potential for ganking increases by a lot because we now get 100 bonus range on our Wither and Spirit Fire. Further we get some more damage due to the AoE arround Nasus and can tank 300 more damage.
Here is an example:
You want to gank Midlane for a or a . Pre-6 we can only get something out of it when Dark Binding or Light Binding hit the enemy. (Or the enemy misplays really badly.) We can't go in because the enemy will just walk away as soon as we show up. If they can't hit it we might wait to gank and waste lots of farming-time.
Now we hit level 6. What we can do now is go in and Wither the target from a better range. This allows our Midlaner to hit the snear much easier.
What we get is a 100% burned flash or even a kill after we can tank some more turret-damage if a dive is needed/viable.
Of course it is possible to Wither the target pre-6 but the increased range helps us a lot!
Ganking Post-finishing Locket of the Iron Solari:
We are now a turret-diving monster! The stats of the item in addition to our Ultimate allowes us to tank a lot of damage.
This is in my opinion what Nasus is strongest at, especially against champs like or . If they hard-engage on your teammate and you Wither them their damagepotential is decreased by a lot.
Imagine a getting withered after using his gap closer and wants to knock your mate up! Not happening, bro! ;)
Further your Spirit Fire will boost the damage of yourself, every teammate AND turrets due to the armor reduction.
Teamfighting as Nasus
Here I will explain what to do as Nasus when fighting as a team.
Every Champion has its particular job in a fight. For some the job is clearer as for others:
For Champions like or everybody will agree: Assasinate high-priority targets!
But what about our dear ?
As Nasus our job is partly depending on our build.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Aegis of the Legion
We have the items shown above. After we felt our team has enough damage but lacks durability we chose to build Aegis of the Legion before going for a Sheen.
What is our job in the following teamfight?
Simply: Keeping our team alive!
What this means is:
1) Use Wither on targets you think it has the most effect! (Is there somebody who might dive onto your Carries?; Is the enemy ADC fed?)
The key is to pick the target we can disable the most!
--> It's not always the best thing to use it on the ADC!
--> Wither has most effect on champs who are dependent on Attackspeed and Movementspeed!
2) Use your Locket of the Iron Solari!
And better use it too early than too late. The shield is there for 5 seconds and any damage absorbed by the shield is damage which is not on one of you!
3) Position your Spirit Fire as good as possible.
This means try to get as much enemies as possible into it OR place it below a diving enemy you want to kill asap!
4) Use Fury of the Sands!
Don't wait until you are low HP or some ****. It's tons of damage!
Further the additional range can save lives or secure kills!
5) Use your Siphoning Strike every time possible!
6) Stay in the middle of fights and try to protect your carries as much as possible!
You have no damage item, so there is no point in going too deep.
This means: You better hit the diving enemies than going for carries. As soon as those enemies are dead you can go for them!
This goes for every item build on Nasus that means to have Nasus as a protector.
Mostly used if there is another initiator/tank or assassin on the team.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
With this build you are an initiating tank!
What is our job in the following teamfight?
Initiate, tank and kill carries!
What this means is:
1) Use Locket of the Iron Solari and Fury of the Sands, Wither the target you want to focus (ADC recommended!) and get in there.
After you have Trinity Force you have the potential to kill squishy targets very easy. You will further be able to soak up good amounts of damage.
2) Use Randuin's Omen to disrupt as much enemies as possible.
3) Try to not get too far away from your team (You got the Runic Bulwark)
This may seem too simple and dumb to work, but actually this is what you do.
Of course you can use this build to play the protector but after you have Trinity Force and Randuin's Omen you are supposed to get in the fights!
- - Under Construction --
Here I will explain some things you might not be thinking of when playing Nasus for the first couple of matches. If you have any suggestions or tweaks you found out about Nasus I could add here leave me a massage as I will add more and more here after I come across with it.
1) Soloing Dragon as Nasus
As you might know there are several champions who can do this with ease.
As I will show you in a video (coming soon!) this is possible with Nasus aswell.
So when can we go for it?
Simply when there is no useful ganks possible and the enemy team lacks vision in the dragon-area!
What do we need for it?
+ + +
I first saw this on European LCS when my favourite Professional Jungler Gambit Gaming BenQ Diamondprox did it.
The action itself is pretty simple: Use your Vision Ward to clear the wards in Dragon-area and tell your botlane to push up, so the enemy botlane should not come to Dragon.
As the enemy team might think you are just clearing wards but cannot reward it after they are pushed you can start killing Dragon.
The best scenario is when you know where the enemy jungler is.
Pop your Fury of the Sands, use your Siphoning Strike and Spirit Fire whenever possible. The Health Potion is just for safety. It won't hurt using one. Use Smite to finish it off.
2) Counter-Jungling as Nasus
If you have Smite up and plan to use it on a lesser camp (Golems, Wolves or Wraths), why not use it in the enemy Jungle?
Go in use Spirit Fire into Smite then kill the creep with Siphoning Strike.
Especially the Wraths can be killed very easily with this. So if you know where the enemy jungler is: Annoy him!
But watch out! The enemy might do this aswell! :)
This is the first version of the guide.
I will update it and add more chapters as time goes by but I think it's ready for first comments and try-outs! :)
- Going deeper into Ganking
- Adding videos of Jungle-paths etc.
- Additonal viable builds