Nasus Build Guide by mastajdog

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League of Legends Build Guide Author mastajdog

Nasus-your time has come

mastajdog Last updated on November 16, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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So... my 4th build already. the main reason i'm writing this is because of nasus's best ability: Siphoning Strike. in my opinion, this is on par with Baleful Strike as being one of the best farming abilities in the league. left to farm it up, it can become a terror to be dealt with, at 3 secs a bonus 800 damage from a seriously strong champion. i've seen this 1 ability deal godlike amounts of damage.

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9/8/11-changed item build slightly, replacing an end-game The Bloodthirster with a Banshee's Veil. also replacing sunfire cape with atama's impailer, the latter change to add to ie's crit chance. also changed glyphs from flat mr to mr/level. and as such, revamped according sections. added why do i get these items section, and alternates.

e.g. major revamp.

10/4-5/11-sorry. massive appearance cleanup. it kinda needed it since i apparrently published it at 11pm... adding more sections

11/16/11 new masteries and explinations

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The key part. rushing Sheen does 2 very good things for you. (a) it adds to a weak mana pool (b) it adds you attack damage again to your siphoning strike, greatly increasing it's power. the ap also slightly scales with Spirit Fire, so it's not wasted.

I used to totally HATE trinity force and never used it. then i realised the POWEAAAAAA it adds to siponing strike and went :oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (insert demonic chuckle here).

Merc's treads or ninja tabi are what i normally end up going with because they just make you tougher. your role is to stay alive while dealing **** tons of damage, and these help A LOT

so then you grab a Phage and make it Trinity Force. now you should be farming like a devil with Siphoning Strike. it works great to follow up Spirit Fire.

after this, which is 8~10 minutes in, you grab only big items. B. F. Sword is a nice touch, as is the Giant's Belt. i no longer recommend grabbing the second phage before the giant's belt, as you get called a noob and trust me, just don't. (even though if you grab 5 phages it still stacks). make your Frozen Mallet and Infinity Edge next. should be about game over now.

end with double top tier defensive items, Chain Vest and Negatron Cloak. make an atama's impaler and a Banshee's Veil, respectively. ( although if you can make an atama's from a negatron cloak and a banshee's from a chain vest, feel free to. and show me proof.)

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explination of items and potential substitues

Mercury's Treads are standard off-tanking boots. they can be replaced with Ninja Tabi if the enemy has no hard cc (taunts, fears, stuns, ) and at most 5 soft cc's (silence, root, slow, ect). beware that those slows include ryali's crystal scepter red buff Phage ect. so i nearly always take them. (exception-facing jax take ninja over merc's if his counter strike is the problematic stun).

and yea. although you probably don't care, atama's impaler does add ad, not some on-hit effect like Fortify. fortify increases damage from attacks, atama increases total ad.

if you don't understand trit force on an off-tank with a spammable aa damage increase (like Crushing Blow parlay Siphoning Strike devistating blow ect... please look back to the beginning... so anyway, i'll just say you get the importance of Sheen or Trinity Force with Siphoning Strike. usually once i get my trit i can 1-shot minions with siphoning.

Frozen Mallet is a good item to have. while trit force may have some of the same stats, the slow simply isn't enough and is to random on a champ that has 1 attack per second, best. it adds necessary hp, bonus damage, and guarantees your slow.

Infinity Edge simply because crits are the best way to increase a damage increaser.

an atama'a impaler can boost your ad by 80 when you have your ult on, and adds to your lacking armor and crit chance.

and finally, a Banshee's Veil gives you mr for all those pesky % health skills/items while giving more mana, health, and a free spell block. however, in dominion i'd rather have the combo of catalist and negatron cloak made into the other item, the one that stores the magic damage dealt and can then release on command. kinda a Thornmail for ap carries.-e.g.- Odyn's Veil. kinda no chance though. wish he and viegar were still viable the same way. you can't siphon a capture point exactly...

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situational items

lets face it, no perfect guide is done the same every time. but most of this is thoughtfully put together so that both the math and gameplay work. mostly though, defensively is all you gonna be changing.

problem: team of all ad carries.
solution: heck with BV, grab a freaking Randuin's Omen Frozen Heart or a Thornmail!
but which one, you ask. well, if you have sustain problems, take the randuin's. if you need more mana, grab a frozen heart. if you just feel that they're ganking you to much and you die like instantly without a chance to fight back, (aka tryn's 2k crits), grab a thornmail.

but what, on the other hand, if they're all ap carries? as much as i hate it, if you really have to, grab a Force of Nature in place of your atama's impailer. but i prefer not to, because of a few things: if they're really all mages, they're probably all low elo. you can dish it out faster. second. i like my bonus ad and crit chance. it makes you tankier to have to go without, and much less of a threat. and finally, turrets, minions, dragon, and baron, all deal mainly physical damage (baron deals some magic damage). so loosing those gives you more problems taking the above necessary goals.

and what if the defensive items work, but they have like 300 armor? simple, something you've probably heard before, grab a Last Whisper instead of your atama'a AND a sunfire cape instead of your Frozen Mallet. or you can just make do and be glad your ap carry got free reign. the second is my preference, as that's about all the flexibility you have.

if you have any problems you want me to address, please comment with them.

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What you should be

The main idea of a tanky dps (not to be confused with off tanks) is to (a) deal enough damage to make the enemies regret focousing on your carry or (b) stay alive long enough for your carry to rape the other team. when done right, they don't agree and they all get destroyed. Why this works for you? you have an armor lowerer Spirit Fire and a nice aoe hp drain Fury of the Sands AND a nice killing blow Siphoning Strike. you have a built-in beautiful slow Wither and as a nice plus: lifesteal without itemizing for it. let the other team hate you. alternatively, you can just rape their buildings as Siphoning Strike and Trinity Force both proc on towers and inhibitors.

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marks and quintessences are attack based, seals and glyphs defensive to make you even more of a tanky dps. I always go with flat runes because are only noticed early game and also give a good advantage. the exception to this is mr. mr i get per level because it is actualy noticable and your armor already is per level(every champ's is inherently)-protip from dufftime. champs have good enough starting mr, in my opinion.

optional runes are Greater Quintessence of Health and greater glyph of replinishment. you could also go only armor pen or only ad quints and marks but this setup works best in my experience.

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What's the difference between an off-tank and a tanky dps?

general explination here

an off tank tends to be more of a disruptor (aka Alistar Cho'Gath ) with nice aoe spells and damage absorber spells. a tanky dps is a champ that can 1v1 like a boss if within range to attack. Nasus is kind of both with Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands dealing aoe. however, he is best at 1v1 and making people try and fail to run with Wither. he is a great asset in team fights.

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The masteries are mostly offense because that's what he needs more of. some more notable ones are the 3% lifesteal. this gives you a noticable base 17% lifesteal, which is quite helpful. Increased damage to minions helps you q farm, and increased tower damage helps you push towers down. bonus ad also helps. crits boost your chance to 62% and dmg to 260% if you finish the build, which is quite potent. OFC the attack speed and summoner spell improvements are obvious. in defense, i chose flat armor and mr for some early game help, and 3 hp5 to help lane sustain. should drop you in lane fairly solid. They're new, though, and feedback/help would be appriciated.

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Summoner Spells

I play mostly on TT. there, i always take flash/ignite. however, on SR i would be taking Flash/teleport because lane presence is vital, as you are one heck of a pusher.

Exhaust is pointless because of Wither, which i always start off with (if i remember to).

Heal is a noob spell. if you're playing it right, you don't need it. there's better spells for even supports, who i can at least see it as viable for.

Clarity mana tends not to me a problem, so nope

Revive i'd rather get kills and not die then come back to life

clarvoyance you aren't a support and try warding for a change ppl

Ghost speed tends not to be the option... it's the look i flashed through the walll touch me now or the look i flashed to you and withered you so all my teemates can greet you properly.

my opinions on summoner spells

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teamfight role

you don't initiate. you'll get killed. you ARE NOT THE TANK. after everybody goes rushing in, go in too, hitting everything in your path. throw an ult and Spirit Fire when you really get in it, and have Siphoning Strike and Trinity Force procs ready. then, after about 5 seconds, go find and eat their ad carry. their tank will have used all his cc's by now, or is saving one for Death Lotus. so when they come rushing, just think of it as more health for Fury of the Sands to drain. funny thing- fury can get you a bonus... 1147.5 attack damage. however, it would have to hit all 5 champions for all 240 damage/second. but it's kinda CRAZY damage right there. they would also have to have at least 4800 hp. but still, nice thought, huh? yea. so now, you can see the importance of being IN the fight. cause if you farmed right, and crit right, that could be a 1-shot from your q causing some qqing. imagine it:4800 damage from 1 hit. epicness. note... only happens if you have all items and managed to drain all 1147.5 potential ad and had a siphoning strike farmed for +450 damage and hit a crit. but still... even half of that much damage drained is sweetness, considering your 4k hp, lifesteal at 20%, 130ish armor and mr, and 60 crit chance. 70 with elixer of agility. essentially, kill the ad carry. then, go kill whoever.

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Siphoning Strike.qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq is what makes nasus. that 2000 hit from a guy with mostly defensive items because some IDIOT let NASUS last hit with Siphoning Strike. except that you can't harass nasus. he can recover from any attempts at level one thanks to Soul Eater. he can hit back. and when he hits back, since he's gotten some last hits, he HITS BACK!!! save Spirit Fire for a nice, ranged, occassional harass, or if they're at your turret. if you want to hurt the other guys.

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Unique Skills

Soul Eater isn't quite unique, as morgana's passive gives spell vamp, and ww's gives hp for consecutive hits, as do many other passives. however, very nice for early laning

Siphoning Strike is the skill that makes you you. last-hitting with it is key, butthe main reason to last hit with it is to hit champs hard with it. so don't be afraid to start a team fight with it as you should be able to toss a few more as it has a miniscule cooldown(4 seconds at level 9).

Wither is a built-in exhaust. use it to chase or stop chasers. best not used during a fight unless sombody's trying to get away, but it can be used as a mini-exhause in a 1v1... is also great if their ad carry tries to fight during a team fight

Spirit Fire is a nice armor reducer and pushing skill. this can make it easy early on to hit with Siphoning Strike, with the negative armor and the damage dealt already. it is your main harasser.

Fury of the Sands is a valuable skill to time properly. wait until the fight has really started and it's stopped being just harassment. (aka spell combos have started and people get right nest to each other). this makes people pay for grouping up, letting you easially crush your opponnent in a 1v1 or do major damage to 2 in a 2v1( which would be bad on your team). it also is a nice skill when running as the added health can save you. but an elixer of fortitude would be better.

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Hope you enjoyed it. any questions, pm me or leave a comment.