Nasus - Stick It To 'Em
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.
Soul Eater (Passive): Natural life steal is a fantastic attribute for a candidate who would like to jungle, or solo top. This passive allows Nasus to stay in lane forever, as it requires only one auto-attack, or powered up Siphoning Strike to boost his health bar. Coupled with Vampirism and 3x Quintessence of Life Steal, Nasus' aggressive health regeneration is quite high, allowing him to sustain himself in 1v1 fights.
Siphoning Strike (Q): Siphoning Strike is a phenomenal ability. It heals you for a huge chuck of health and when a creep, tower or champion is killed with it, stacks damage. So each time you successfully last hit with Siphoning Strike, 3 points of damage are added to the damage of the next Siphoning Strike. This damage can snowball crazily; on the other hand, a Nasus who doesn't last hit is not going to scale well at all into late game.
Wither (W): This ability was the highest level slow in the game until the arrival of Thresh. If you're in a 1v1 fight, pop Wither on the enemy, and their attack speed and movement speed become crippled, giving you the instant upper hand in the skirmish. This ability cannot be used on creeps, baron or dragon.
Spirit Fire (E): This ability is not great, to be honest. Like most AoE abilities, champions know better than to stand in it. In lane however, it is very useful for clearing creep waves, and it can help to lower creep health in order to get the last hit with Siphoning Strike. Since a recent patch, the ability does initial damage on cast, so that has improved it's status quite a bit. At level 3, Spirit Fire can kill the caster minions in a wave.
Fury of the Sands (R): Absolutely LOVE this ultimate. Not only does it make Nasus look uber cool as he suddenly transforms into a HUGE *** MENACING UPRIGHT DOG, but he gains more damage depending on the enemy champions around him and gains a huge chunk of health.
Back to Basics
The most basic rule of farming while playing Nasus is to always last hit with your Siphoning Strike. This is because, as you may know, your Siphoning Strike gains 3 additional damage each time you get the Killing Blow on a minion. If you use Siphoning Strike to get the Killing Blow on a Large Minion, Large Jungle Camp, Dragon, Baron or an Enemy Champion, the bonus is doubled, and your Siphoning Strike receives an additional 6 damage.
It is sometimes acceptable to use your Spirit Fire when eliminating a wave of minions, purely because it does so little damage that it doesn't really affect the farming of your Siphoning Strike.
The bonus damage on your Siphoning Strike is shown in blue, so you can easily keep track of the amount of damage that you have gained from farming.
Stopping The Madness
You should try to farm for the first 25-30 minutes of your game and avoid leaving your lane unless your team is getting their butts kicked in fights. Once the 30 minute mark hits, you should be so ridiculously well farmed that you'll be a real game-changer in Team-Fights.
Going it Solo
When you're soloing someone, say, in Top lane, you'll want to make sure you pop Wither at the start of the fight, and follow up with as many Siphoning Strike hits as you can muster. It's up to you whether or not you cast Spirit Fire underneath your enemy, because it doesn't really have much of an effect until it's maxed out. Keep refreshing Wither on your target until they drop and try to get the Killing Blow with your Siphoning Strike, as it gives you double the bonus damage.
There shouldn't be a need to use Fury of the Sands in solo fights, unless your target has large amounts of lifesteal, or is close to killing you.
Take it to Team-Fights
Things are slightly different in Team-Fights, as you'll want to make sure that you focus the Carry that is nearest to you, while still doing damage to everyone else. Either you or your tank will initiate the fight, and Wither should be immediately popped on the ADC, with a Spirit Fire placed under the majority of the enemy team. Now that the enemy Carry is withered, you and your team will be able to focus him/her with ease. After landing your first Siphoning Strike on the Carry or whoever you may be focusing, it is probably a good idea to pop Fury of the Sands, so that your team has an easier time taking down the rest of the enemy team.
Again, if you don't think it is necessary to use Fury of the Sands during the Team-Fight, then don't use it, and save it for a later fight.
Rummaging for Runes
As a Nasus player, I find that the best rune pages are the ones that allow you to take more damage, and hit harder, which is true for most champions.
If you're like me, and you like the assurance that you'll kill a minion, or that extra damage against the armor-stacking Malphite when playing Solo-Top, you'll probably want to stick to these runes:
- Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: Life Steal Quintessences are particularly helpful when you need to sustain your lane, or when you're tanking a wave of minions to keep them off your turret.
- Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: The Armor Penetration is great for getting harass on the enemy champion, particularly champions such as Malphite and Darius, who often build a large amount of armor.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Pretty much a must-have for any Solo-Top champion, as it helps you to hold your lane against any non-AP Solo-Top champions you may come across.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Again, pretty much a must-have for any Solo-Top champion, as it helps you to hold your lane against any AP Solo-Top champions you may come across.
Other viable options for a good Solo-Top Nasus are: