Nidalee Build Guide by Cougar
Not Updated For Current Season
Nidalee, AP Carry. Nid Mid.
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.
Introduction and Play Style.
I have played Nidalee as my main Champion for over a year and have yet to lose a mirror match to another Nidalee. I have decided to share my build for the reason that it will not make everyone better, but it will give helpful hints as to how to tweak it for your own play style. This build works for me as someone who tends to shy away from team fights, I am capable of fighting the enemy team 1 v 5 and being able to make them flee in fear opposed to giving up on chasing Nidalee. I prefer Human form over Cougar form and I finish people in Human form more often than Cougar. I will rush in and attack the enemy team if I believe I can kill two players in exchange for dying one time. I am not encouraging people to play like me, but this build works for those goals, and may not work for other play styles.
How to Play in the Lane.
If you want to be able to stay Mid until you can buy items, you have to start off extremely aggressive with right click hitting the enemy enough to push them off, stay at the tip of your normal attack range and stand around only last hitting, run around your minions letting them miss attacks into the minion wave just enough for your lane to get pushed. You have an experience boost from Support Masteries that you will be counting on to hit 6 first. Once you level to 5, you need to hit them hard and far with your Spear. Do not throw any at half range, your mana is much too valuable to waste damage at half way. Hit them with a good one or two spears and they will go back to their tower. This point you can usually be the judge to see if it's a good idea or not to push the minion wave quickly into the turret to get a huge XP boost, or if it's time to do an unexpected Flash spear, right click, ignite under tower fire. Maybe you only need a spear? Just depends how badly you want that kill. Nidalee is a chasing champion and you need to play risky in order to make her stay effective all game. If they don't seem to be recalling and just healing up, run to the bushes in the jungle beside them and hurl some lucky spears after you place a trap for quick vision. At level 6 you will have Cougar form and have a high burst of damage that squishy champions will have trouble dealing with, she will be really dangerous from up close and from afar. Expect ganks and don't save Flash for them, you should be able to escape all ganks with using Pounce. Remember to hop over the small walls next to the side bushes on either side. It is worth it to run face first into the wall, press S and stand still to press W as pounces cooldown comes off just to get over that wall. They may waste flash but with the speed boost you get from running into the brush, you will already be closer to your tower than they will be to you. Nidalee is perhaps the best champion to be mid with, she has such high mobility, she can gank or throwing unexpected spears where your mid lane won't even think you are mia. She will be able to rush up or down to help ganks. Bottom is usually easier to gank. It depends which side you spawn on. If you are on the left side, you want to gank Top more, run to the bush on the right side above the first tower and quickly rush past the turrets fire to get beyond them, if you are on the right side, run to the left bush and do the same thing. Avoid the bush in the river as it should be warded. Get an unexpected spear and finish them with Cougar form whenever you gank.
In order to gank with Nidalee, always run in as Human form having the cooldown for Cougar fully ready to be used, wait the extra two seconds if you must. You need to be able to escape if you make a bad decision or pounce if they flash. Never rush into them, play ranged from far away and try to burst quick damage, if they run and flash away quickly switch to the other target if there is one.
When team fights begin, you do not ever want to be in the middle or in the front of the group. You need to be the farthest out, possibly even behind the enemy team alone throwing spears at them. You are a poker and need to poke their health lower than your teams health. Don't initiate after a good spear. If you see their health drop 80 percent, that's because Nidalee just used her only ability she has for damage, in another 4 seconds she may be able to do that much again to someone else, very unlikely. Keep hitting them. Target the tanks as much as possible because the tank will most likely stay there not expecting it to hit you and the damage will add up to the point where they will drop quickly into the team fight.
I prefer to kill Tanks first in all team fights, it of course depends. But an Amumu will end the game if they start a fight and stun the whole team, if I can sit back dropping everyones health eventually Amumu will be so close to dying he will either run which loses xp and ground, or else he will stay and die. If the tank isn't being targeted, the tank isn't a threat which means he doesn't have a stun. I mean if a carry runs out first I am not going to run for the tank, but I play first come first serve attacking. Just make sure you stay away from your team as if they are stunned you want to be able to throw in that spear to relieve pressure on your team and get a quick Primal Surge on the targeted player. If your team drops to 20 percent health and you have 100 percent health, I recommend you dive in behind the enemy, you will usually draw the attention of one or two of them. You now need to play with them by throwing spears, running them into traps, going over walls, waiting in bushes to turn around. You need to be the judge of when to do this, if you are running into a Malphite or Nasus you will just get yourself slowed and killed, but if you take the Amumu away you are most likely going to save your team.
If you are not good at avoiding Skill shots I recommend you don't play Nidalee as you need to understand how to avoid a skill shot in order to throw her spear.