Nasus Build Guide by ZeroWinged
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.
*Note: Please leave as much feedback as possible, positive or negative, but don't turn to foul language and insults.
This guide was inspired after randomly being put as Nasus while in the kitchen during champion select, and using my collected knowledge of builds I have previously seen while adding my own touch and adjustments to what I Feel works best.
Welcome. This is my first guide on mobafire and I chose to show and explain Nasus, a true Tanky/Hard Hitting AD[*] /DPS, and how to build/play him to his fullest capability in my eyes, taking down AP Nukes, AD Carries, Tanks, Supports and everything in between.
Why Choose Nasus?
There are many different reasons to choose Nasus..
Has an exhaust in his normal abilities
Can solo anyone
One of the best solo lanes
Eats turrets for breakfast
Q-Qs you to death
The runes for Nasus can be thrown around quite a few different ways for this build, but I have found that these are the best combination for him.
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness: One of these provides Nasus with early game and total game movement with his boots and trinity force boosts to successfully chase down enemies or escape ganks.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude: Two of these gives Nasus a little more survivability early game when laning (Works great on practically any champ).
Possible Rune Swaps
For your Quintessence I would recommend sticking to Fortitude and Swiftness, the biggest change you can/should make depending on how you feel early game is taking two Swiftness and one Fortitude instead of two Fortitude and one Swiftness.
Greater Mark of Desolation: Armor penetration works great on all AD champions, especially Nasus when hitting with his Q, works well early-mid-late game.
Possible Rune Swaps
For your Marks you can make a few different changes depending on how you feel when playing Nasus. If you want to be more tanky early game change half or even all nine out for armor marks. If you decide you really like early game critical strikes with Nasus change them out for critical chance marks, again either half or all nine, but DO NOT play Nasus without having armor runes somewhere in one of the categories (Glyphs, Seals, Marks).
Greater Seal of Malice/Greater Seal of Resilience: Splitting half of your seals between Critical chance and Armor allow Nasus to reduce a lot of auto attacks from minions and enemy champs (combined with his Cloth Armor) early game, and possibly devastate enemy champs with a critical strike (I take crit chance seals over full armor just for the occasional crit, it has been more useless than adding a bit more armor).
Possible Rune Swaps
As mentioned before you can change your Seals from crit chance/armor to full armor. Other than that you should leave them alone.
Greater Glyph of Warding: Plain and simple, Nasus IS an offtank and he needs to have good sustainability early game, so we must take magic resist glyphs.
Possible Rune Swap
I do not recommend changing these Glyphs from Magic Resist as often times in game you will build little to no magic resist as it is, where these will fill in about as much magic resist you need for a typical match.
Summoner Spells to Use
Flash: Flash works well on practically any champion, there is no reason you shouldn't take flash, especially since Nasus has an exhaust ability of his own. Its great for escaping or hunting down an enemy.
Exhaust: Exhaust works well with Nasus because with his Wither ability he now has virtually two exhausts. You should take exhaust when you see the enemy team with heavy AD/DPS champs.
Ignite: Like flash, ignite works well on practically all champs especially Nasus early game who may not be able to put out the most damage with auto attacks and his Siphoning Strike. You should take ignite in a typical game with Nasus.
Ghost: Ghost and Flash are usually the two Summoner Spells that are interchangeable and sometimes are both taken on champs who want to run in with the team and get out when things get shaky. With Nasus you should choose one or the other, ghost works well with Wither, slowing enemies and running to them quickly. Try them both, then make your own preference.
Teleport: In a lot of matches when your team has a jungler, Nasus will be assigned to a solo lane. When soloing with Nasus taking teleport can be extremely helpful with commuting to your base and back and also teleporting in on minions who are already attacking or are about to be attacking an enemy turret because Nasus, plain and simple, eats turrets with his Siphoning Strike.
*Note: You should typically stay away from the other Summoner Spells, with the exception of Fortify if you have good map awareness and/or practice using it offensively.
Skill Sequence and Why
Siphoning Strike is Nasus's Q ability and should ALWAYS be taken first.
When playing Nasus you want to farm with him like a Ranged AD Carry would farm in a typical lane, but you want to make sure you deal the final blow to each minion using your Q ability Siphoning Strike, which deals bonus damage to an auto attack. You want to do this because each time you kill something with Siphoning Strike it permanently increases the damage of it by three, and this does not have a Cap on stacks. You also want to max out Siphoning strike as quick as possible while still taking at least one in each of your other abilities.
Wither is Nasus's W ability and should be taken second.
When playing as Nasus you want to mainly focus on his Q ability, but you should definitely take Wither at level two incase your lane partner engages and needs help killing/being saved or the enemy engages you and you want to kill/save yourself from them because this ability slows an enemies movement and attack speed for a small duration of time. A lot of people will argue taking Spirit Fire over Wither for farming/bullying purposes, but the mana consumption is not cost effective when you want to save as much mana as you can for farming rapidly with your Q.
Spirit Fire is Nasus's E ability and should be taken third after Siphoning Strike is level two.
Using Nasus's E ability becomes more handy the more you level it up, but it is not a priority over his Q ability. Early game Spirit Fire is mainly used to scare enemy champs away from a certain area, taking up a circular area on the ground and damaging all units in the circle every second it is active. Although it will not do much damage early game, it forces enemy champs away from you or particular areas, ruining their farm or openings to engage in combat.
Fury of the Sands
Fury of the Sands is Nasus's R ability, which like all champs, is his Ultimate Ability.
Nasus is one of the most underestimated champs in the game. One of the biggest things that proves this wrong and makes Nasus extremely scary is his Ultimate, Fury of the Sands. Like all Ultimates (Not counting Karma's) it is available to use at level six and like all Ultimates (Not counting Karma's) you should take it at level six. Nasus's Ultimate increases his physical size and grants him a large chunk of HP while creating a sandstorm that constantly damages all enemies near him, making him a giant threat in team fights.
Passive: Soul Eater
Soul Eater is Nasus's passive ability which grants a decent amount of lifesteal.
What's there to say about this? Natural lifesteal is awesome, increases survivability and sustainability through the game, enough said.
Ninja Tabi: Ninja Tabi's are the perfect boots for Nasus, early, mid and late game. They provide armor for tankiness and dodge to void out auto attacks from minions/champs. A lot of people will argue that Merc's Treads are far better for Nasus with the magic resist and tenacity, but in all honesty, what team is going to focus their CC on Nasus? And if they do then HA, gg.
Trinity Force: Trinity Force is another MUST HAVE in Nasus's core build and it must be completed ASAP, as soon as you get your Tabi's jump on Sheen first, then build that into Trinity Force. Nothing is going to empower Nasus more than Trinity Force because it grants everything needed to fill his role: attack speed, movement speed, critical strike, health, mana, attack damage, ability power and the awesome passive's from Sheen and Phage. If you do not buy this item while playing him then you are wasting your time.
Warmog's Armor: Warmog's Armor is another ESSENTIAL part of Nasus's core build. It provides tons and tons of health and health regeneration which greatly improves sustainability and survivability and combos with the next item in Nasus's core build, Atma's Impaler, which truly fulfills his Tanky/Hard hitting AD/DPS role.
Atma's Impaler: Atma's Impaler is the final item in Nasus's core build and once this item is bought after Warmog's Armor he becomes an unstoppable force. Atma's grants Nasus both armor and critical chance, which you will now say, "Hey, why is that so great with Warmog's?!" Well I'll tell you. Atma's passive grants the user attack damage equal to two percent of their max health, so with Nasus's Warmog's Armor, he is now a hard hitting, tanky beast that will slow you down and Q you to death.
*Note: This core build MUST be stuck to, it is a CORE BUILD for a reason, its a must, always, forever, End.Of.Story!
Other Items and Why
What I usually build and why
*Note: To further Nasus's tanky position, you want to build something with a lot of armor immediately after unless their AP ratio is higher or their AP carries are just doing the damage, then go for magic resist. Atma's Impaler.
Randuin's Omen: Randuin's Omen is usually the best way to go with Nasus for a few reasons. It provides a high amount of armor along with a decent amount of health and health regeneration, which we know adds to Atma's passive. Along with this includes Randuin's active, which when activated, slows the movement speeds and attack speeds of all enemies in a relatively close range of Nasus, making it the perfect defensive item for him in most situations.
Force of Nature: When playing Nasus I almost ALWAYS choose Force of Nature. The reason being that it grants movement speed, which plays along with his Trinity Force movement speed for hunting down enemies. It also has health regen which goes great with the Warmog's Armor regen and it just has the highest magic resist output of all of the magic resist items.
*Note: After Nasus's core build you ALWAYS want to build an item that has heavy armor.
Guardian Angel: This item has almost become cliche to build with on Nasus because you will see it on practically every Nasus build, and to be honest it does work very well because of the armor, magic resist and passive that revives you to 750 HP if you die, but in my opinion, this only works well in certain settings. You should take Guardian Angel over Randuin's Omen if: You are the focus in team fights, the AP ratio is a bit greater than AD ratio on the opposing team, or Randuin's active is virtually useless fighting the other team (i.e They're more tanky and hard hitting rather than DPS).
Thornmail: Thornmail is the item that gives the largest amount of armor in the entire game and its the cheapest defensive item in respect to armor for gold. Usually Thornmail should not replace Randuin's Omen. Although it gives more armor output, Randuin's health and health regen and active ability outweighs the benefits of Thornmail. The reason Thornmail would ever replace Randuin's would be if the enemy team was heavy in AD, say they had a Xin Zhao, Ashe, Garen and Caitlyn. The reason being Thornmail's passive deals 30% of the physical damage dealt back to the champ who dealt it. So with an AD heavy team, you could take on 3 AD champs alone with Nasus and defeat them all.
*Note: Sometimes the enemy team has a lot of champs that are AP heavy (Ability Power), so it would be acceptable to take a magic resist item along with your armor item or even replace your armor item with the magic resist item.
Banshee's Veil: Banshee's Veil is one of the most common magic resist items that almost all champs would consider buying during a match. It can work great on Nasus in place of a Force of Nature or with a Force of Nature if the team has high AP ratios. It grants health for his atma's passive and mana which helps Nasus because he can become mana starved very quickly. It also has a great passive every 45 seconds of blocking one unfriendly spell, so if a team has a lot of CC moves, grab banshees.
That's what's up ^
Overall, I think Nasus is one of the most fun champs to play and he is not very difficult to learn. I also feel like he is one of the most underrated champs, when he truly is one of the best and there is also almost no team composition that couldn't use Nasus on it.
***Please leave me lots of feedback~***
See you all on the battlefield!