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Nasus: The Secret to LoL?

Last updated on June 24, 2010
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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: 3

Strength of Spirit

Defense: 23

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

Utility: 4

Random Stuff

This is my first guide. Sorry if it sucks. Going into the creation of making it I would say DO NOT flame me if you try this build and it doesn't work for you. I haven't had much luck with it myself. But I really see potential behind posting this guide online "intended for new players" and 'high-ELO" pro players alike. Comment if you deem necessary, I am striving on pushing and breaking the boundaries between this awesome PUSHERDPSTANK champ.

1st things first

Why? Nasus?

You'll hear this alot of the time, and I think it is complete ********. Or maybe it's just me. But if you are reading this guide, you my have heard something around the same lines. Or not. Thats okay. I see Nasus as a valuable pusher, almost to the comparison of Alistar, which is quite in a different league of his own. Nasus is also of the many champions with high innate health, meaning he can survive about 6 secondsMAX of burst DPS before guaranteed hitting the sack, if you're not prepared. Also, he has one of the most interesting skills of the game, Siphoning Strike. This is one of the few skills i've been intrigued with upon entering the game, and I think others and myself can say the same thing for the beginning Nasus player, love it. (or learn to use and abuse it, hehehe...)


INNATE: Soul Eater - Nasus drains his foe's spiritual energy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% lifesteal. The lifesteal value increments at levels 1,6, and 11.

* This ability is sweet. Allows for easy frontline sustainability, but will NOT get you out of a dying situation. Still a fairly decent innate ability i guess, you ain't getting anything more broken.

Q BUTTON: Siphoning Strike - Nasus strikes his foe, dealing damage and increasing the power of his future Siphoning Strikes if he slays his target.
Nasus's next attack will deal an additional 30/50/70/90/110 damage (+). Siphoning Strike permanently gains 2 damage whenever it kills an enemy.
Cooldown 9/8/7/6/5 seconds
Cost 20/25/30/35/40 Mana
Range 300

*increasing the power of his future... yea, what? Learn to master this ability. 30 last hit creeps will net you 60damage per strike. 60 will net you 120. Anyone can obviously do the math, but not the last hitting. The trick is to observe the amount of damage you deliver per strike, and then imagine adding whatever damage you've accumulated with SS (acronym of this abil, ffr) Either way, you gotta learn to activate it before obtaining the last hit to make any use of it. OH, also great for pounding enemies in the FACE with it, especially with CRIT (we'll get to the later)

W BUTTON: Wither - Nasus ages his target, decelerating their movement and attack speeds over 5 seconds.
Nasus ages his target, slowing their movement and attack speed by 35% and reducing it further by 3/6/9/12/15% each second for 5 seconds.
Cooldown 15/15/15/15/15 seconds
Cost 100/100/100/100/100 Mana
Range 700

*this ability makes all the enemies cream their panties when its active and they see an ulted-Nasus running towards their faces. Mid-game is dedicated to maxing this ability out, it is useful for coordinating and controlling ganks altogether. This ability is flat out better offensively (chases) than defensively, but if they're rushing your turret, you bes be capitalizing on that MOTHA****

E BUTTON: Spirit Fire - Nasus unleashes a delayed spirit flame at a location, dealing damage and reducing the armor of enemies who stand on it.
After a brief delay, the target area becomes desecrated. Enemies in the area have their armor reduced by 20/25/30/35/40 and are dealt 20/34/48/62/76 (+0.2) magic damage each second.
Cooldown 12/12/12/12/12 seconds
Cost 70/85/100/115/130 Mana
Range 650

*Nasus's bread-and-butter combo (SF+SS), this is the bread. You like the bread wheatty? This aura makes all armpen runes THAT much better. This ability scales HORRIBLY with AP making AP Nasus completely unviable in the current format. This is your harassing and farming tool. (and also your costly-est spell, we'll deal with that soon) Generally, you wanna net some gold with this spell.

ULTIMATE R BUTTON: Fury of the Sands - Nasus unleashes a mighty sandstorm that batters nearby enemies. While the storm rages, he gains additional Health and drains nearby enemies' max health and converts it into bonus damage for the duration of the skill.
Nasus becomes empowered in the sandstorm, gaining 300/450/600 health. While the storm rages, he drains 3/4/5 (+0.01)% of nearby enemies' health each second (240 damage max per second) and converts it into bonus attack damage.
Cooldown 120/120/120 seconds
Cost 150/150/150 Mana
Range 20

*This ability makes Nasus one of the better characters in the game, imo. This is the equivalent of LoL's DBZ "Super Saiyan" mode of combat. Only a privileged few have this luxury. Albeit, you have to be really fricken close for the health>damage conversion to work effectively; paired with wither, this ability generally pwns alot of noobage.


First, I would like to say, you do NOT have to play like me. In fact, I encourage you to not play like me. Suck less, please. But since you ARE taking my advice, this is what I currently believe what makes Nasus capable of taking. Going defense tree has brought me much success in being able to withstand attacks from multiple targets early to mid game. I would say, this makes Nasus a MUCH less effective ganker, but for a majority of the time, your team isn't really expecting you to gank. (in fact, they think you SUCK for picking Nasus) I will now list the justification for picking the masteries that i did.

Tier 1:

Tier 1:
Tier 2:
Tier 3:
Tier 4:
Tier 5:
Tier 6:

Tier 1:


Being a hybrid character, you can't really go wrong with any particular set of runes on Nasus. I currently rock ArmPen and MagPen marks, Health seals, and CDR@18 glyphs, with MagPen quints, and not a bad success rate. I encourage you to pick something different. My ideal setup would be ArmPen marks (what im working toward), CritDmg seals (when you do crit, they will scream), and ManaReg glyphs (easier mana management,always nice) as for quints i RLY wanna hear from someone who has tried and used Movement Speed quints, but I can only believe that this adds to chase effectiveness, which helps ALOT during gank situations. BUT if you want something actually useful I heard all the pros go health quint, for the added surviability @ lv1.

Summoner Spells: written from a solo que perspective

Cleanse: I STRONGLY recommend utilizing this summoner ability NOW, BEFORE RG NERFs it. This has helped me overextend on tower pushes SO much, just because I knew I had 2+ cleanse options to save my butt. Cleanse is the new flash, the old Flash will be removed soon. Get OVR it. Its a SOLD defensive abil, thats why I put the xtra point in DEF tree, for this badboy.

Teleport: One of the most underrated smn abils out there, teleport allows you to backdoor **** and tower push at its finest. At its worst, yes a useless ability. My masteries are specced for faster teleports because I find more often than now good opportunities to use this spell well. It also helps if more people on your team have it. One of the first ones you get, with good reason at that.

Ghost: Another good smn ability. Nasus gets it when he needs to chase. I would recommend this ability for your refined pre-made team, so you dont really need cleanse and can focus more or chases and ganks. At its worst, an uncoordinated team can make you pop ghostwalk for nothing. all the time.

Exhaust: I've seen some builds putting 1 rank of mastery into this imporved abil. Its not worth it imo. I think since you already have a slow option, you should focus more on either covering your weak spots, and mobility issues. This however can bee used accordingly with wither, which can be a great thing. But MEH, I wouldn't ever pick it.

Flash: Don't use it on Nasus, ever. He has no need for flash. He is not a pixie, he need not blink momentarily to go somewhere. Get trinity or swift boots or something. As a field tank main or 2nd, you need it be visible and hittable at all times. ALL. TIMES.

Rally: Popping ult and then rallying your team can be an effective method of gank neutralization. Makes for an interesting 5v5 combat when the other team hurdles around the buff-looking guy, gaining vit. If your team has heal tricked out, dont hesitate to pick this ability.

Heal: No, thats what others are for. You need not heal. Especially when you have lifesteal and other stats to be worrying about. Don't get me wrong, you can get far with heal, but ultimately another summoner should be picking that ability for you. Other abilitys will greatly benefit you over heal.

Clarity: If you can make it work for you, by all means, pick clarity.

Ignite: Good for getting the last hit in if you want the kill steal. Generally because of your uber farming abilities you generally want other members on your team to pick this ability.

Clairvoyance: If you're the guy, you're the guy.

Fortify: Im number 4, what number are you? yes i AM encouraging 5man fortify, get OVR it)

Revive: Just say no, to revive.

Item build: for n00bies

I will say this. Nasus is a highly situational character. Meaning, he can only shine in a particular game, if he is ready to deal with all opposing factors in that game. At base level, you build for maximum farming utility at first. Then go for damage mit. Generally what I start with is:

Rejuv. Bead + Faerie Charm + H.pot

I rush Tiamat early. Why? The splash damage granted by that item allows you to out farm that items worth in 10 waves of minions if you get all the kills. With the suggested masteries your damage mit+innate ability will make you virtually invincible to minion creeps allowing for solo tanking and east farming access. and YES, you can solo lane. After farming Tiamats worth, your item list should look as the following

Tiamat + Reg Boots + Sheen (or saph crystal and/or tome of ap)

Ideally you want to spend your next heap of cash getting sheen. With Sheen you can start to deal damage. Time those strikes correctly. You standard initiating pattern should include SF into autoattack into SS. However, at this point in the game, everyone has already settled into the comfortable DPS gear or tank build, and your stuck with a farming hoe, DPS tool, and ghetto sneakers. What to do? Build Trinity Force? Maybe. If you're just the off-tank your group will need you to deal more damage and chase more targets. Speaking of which Chase targets = Swift Boots. Unless you're really pining for stun/snare reduction, go with swift boots for mobil speed.
As a solo que tank though there are generally 2 builds that you cant go wrong with. Know that late game is where your team is getting its **** together and generally raping face. K, now analyze the teams items. You are going to try countering which ever basic stat has the higher team value, with exceptions, such as player skill, behavior, primary dps target and enemy tank build. Generally you cant go wrong with the following two items.

Negatron Cloak>Force of Nature (mag res. is good and 40 mana reg. plus health resto. traits will make you invulnerable to any caster. You can really go alot of ways with mag res. Other great items include Chalice of Harmony, and Quicksilver Sash.

Chain Mail>Sunfire Cape (phy res. in conjunction with ultimate r button, this armor will deplete the enemies health gradually while yours is being risen.) Another great option is Atma's Impaler for more damage. Frozen Heart also works well for curving out a larger mana pool.

Last but not least

Vampiric Scepter>Starks (lifesteal is where you will make up for your tanking misdemeanors. This item can even be bought mid game for longer lane sustainability and easier turret pushing. Others like to use Bloodthirster for damage, but I prefer Starks for team aura. Entirely up to you.

AS we all should know, Trinity Force is a good item for Nasus in general. Any remaining money should be spent toward obtaining this lovely item.

Ability Guide: General rule of thumb

Generally speaking you want to start off by getting all abils and getting spirit fire to rank 3. thats plenty of farming capability there. Mid game is dedicated to raising wither to max level for team ganks. After every ultimate level, i like to rank up SS once. just to ensure more last hits and harder crits. SS should be the last thing to level up in retrospect. Nasus has a small mana pool and casting all these abilities can get mana-intensive.

How to play: My way IS the highway

Early Game:SS for the last hits, the SF to harass.

Mid Game:Tele around, plan ganks, PUSH n FARM!

Late Game:Help team, chase stragglers, pop ult in advantageous positions.

Conclusion: I will update this guide later