Nasus Build Guide by Silhou8
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.
BTW, quick apology, I hit the publish button instead of the view button on accident, so i will be updating this as quickly as possible.
When I began to delve into the world of ranked competition, I began to notice certain champions that nearly always succeeded simply because they were incredibly difficult to kill. Singed, Mordekaiser, and Gangplank being a few. I also noticed that ganking in ranked matches was much more important and (assuming a half-competent jungler) much more frequent. With that in mind, I decided to try to find a character that would allow me to successfully deal with both of those issues while not sacrificing damage potential or survivability. After much experimentation, I found that Nasus was the godsend for which I had been searching.
Now, having perused through the different builds and guides around the internet, I have discovered that many people seem to prefer Nasus as either a pure tank or a moderately tough dps. While both have some merit, neither actually uses the full potential that Nasus has to offer in my opinion.
Pros and Cons
Ultra-Beefy while still having high damage
In essence, has no damage cap
Can control a lane
Has excellent chasing/escaping potential
Passive grants long laning potential
No effective ranged damage
Very Mana Dependent
VERY Farm Dependent
Susceptible to characters with SLOWS (His abilities allow him to shrug off a few stuns, but a slowing character, i.e. Ashe, Gankplank, anyone with a Frozen Mallet, give him issues.)
Alright, let's begin with the basics of Nasus BEFORE you get into the game.
I prefer a hybrid run page early on. It allows for some early lane sustainability while still allowing Nasus to crush those pesky, overly-aggressive ranged lane pushers that believe that, just because he is a melee, he can't obliterate their world. Flat armor glyphs and flat magic resist seals give Nasus a bit of a boost early. The armor penetration marks and quintessences make that siphoning strike hit that much harder even into late game.
Preference does take some sway here. Most other early game quintessences will work. Personal play style will dictate much, but I can't bring myself to sacrifice the glyphs or seals. The lane phase survivability is a must.
For masteries, I prefer heavy defense with a point in exhaust and the remaining eight in the utility tree. This gives early game laning durability. The four points in awareness allow you to keep up in experience even if you have to return once or twice.
Some people prefer using offensive masteries on Nasus. There is credence in their arguments, but unless you plan to get a Doran's Item or a Regrowth pendant as your first item, I find that he begins much too squishy to be effective.
Summoner spells are extremely important for Nasus, because they allow him to dictate the tempo of his lane.
Exhaust: Exhaust is one of my favorite summoner spells regardless of which champion I play. It allows a measure of defensive and offensive utility unequaled by anything else in the game. Yet, why with Nasus? Remember that mastery point I put into the Exhaust? The extended exhaust, coupled with Nasus ungodly slow and the reduction in armor from the mastery, give you approximately 12 seconds of slow potential and 35 armor penetration with my recommended runes. Adding the fact that he can slow both a ganker and a lane attacker at the same time is an added bonus. Easy defense and easy chase. Why not take it?
Ghost: I use ghost because it allows Nasus, with his slow/exhaust and ult, to basically keep up with any champion in the game. I can kill an ulting singed with this combo. Fear the ghost.
Flash: Not my favorite but can get you into/out of situations fast.
Ignite: I would take this instead of Exhaust if you choose to. It is helpful, but exhaust works better for Nasus.
Teleport: If you are solo lane, this can be acceptable: however, assuming you take ghost and use the boots of swiftness/trinity force, you won't need this to get places quickly.
If You Really Want To:
Honestly, I don't care for any other spells for Nasus. Heal, Clarity, Fortify, Rally.....why? They won't serve you nearly as well as any of the aforementioned spells. Just leave them alone.