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.
Nidalee is probably not going to make any high tier lists. One of the reason she isn't on a high tier list is because she isn't much of a "team hero" as much as an assassin. Thus, Nidalee is one of my favorite character used in Solo-Q because she performs very well with people you don't know since she doesn't rely on perfect timing CC or perfect team coordination.
Let me get this out of the way first, I am not promoting bad playing or "solo" playing, but I am just saying high tier carry champions (according to elementz) like Twitch, MF, Ashe, WW, etc all requires a pretty well coordinated team or you will get toasted really fast. This is where Nidalee stands out. With Ghost and Cleanse, you can get out of almost every single gank situation if you have enough experience. Although with traps, it's hard enough to gank you to begin with.
Ok, enough of that, let's get to this Build.
As you can see, this is an "AP" build. Since almost every single one of her abilities scale with AP, especially her heal in later game can heal upwards of 600+ which is pretty game changing itself for some squishy hero that just needed that extra HP to do their job.
This build is a "straight" carry build, but I usually play like a support-carry. with her high mobility, going for high danger targets like ashe, ww, twitch, etc. Especially if you soften up the fight before hand with your spear. With just the "Core Item" (Lichbane + Zhonya) your spear will do about 25%-50% of most high tier carries' health. Later game, popular support like Janna, Sona, Zilean will almost fall instantly to a well aimed Spear.
Nidalee is also a very good 1v2 laner, with heal and trap, you can stay in a lane for a long time.
Rune Choicese: Red and Quints adds Magic Pen. Yellow and Quints add health which is greatly needed with Nidalee. Blue is debatable between Cooldown Reduction or Mana Regen/Level. Mana Regen is desirable if you like to spear toss and support type. I personally use Cooldown Reduction because I only have 2 rune pages ^^;
Mastery: 9/0/21 pretty straight forward. reduced timer on Ghost and Cleanse allow you to get out of sticky situation.
Game Start items:
This is what I usually start with in 5v5 games. If you are solo, and a little scared, you can start with Doran Ring instead, but will delay your core build a little.
Early Game Items:
then turn the boots of speed into either:
Depending on opponent team, if you feel you need the extra early MR go ahead. If you don't, Ninja Tabi is a solid choice since it works well with your Cougar Stance's innate Evasion.
Mid Game Items:
At this point, you should farm as much as you can and gank as much as you can with Cougar. is an AOE so is . Pounce->Swipe into mage mob = instant gold, and they have no cost and cool down really fast.
You should have your core build no later than 25 minutes if you are solo, and no longer than 35 minutes if you are in lane. From here you have many different choices.
Core Build: or
Items of Choice 1: For more health and easier to chase you can get . Btw, your trap will also slow them with Rylai ^^
Items of Choice 2: IF you are against heavy tank team who is stacking MR and burning you with Sunfire like Garen, or Rammus. Or against Galio you should get as soon as you can and followed by either or
Items of Choice 3: If you have a heavy AP team with great burst like Vlad and Morgana on your team is a great choice.
Items of Choice 4: If you want to go for more hybrid feel, is a fun item to play around with. And Couple that with you become a very good hybrid support.
, , as well as are all good choices. Although, you shouldn't need these until VERY VERY late in the game.
Lastly, tips on some skill "bugs"
when you Pounce a direction (especially against mobs), you have a tendency to turn backward after pounce, make sure you face the mobs before you Swipe.
Cougar skills ALL COST NO MANA.
Swipe has SOME range, you can see it when you move mouse over it.
Takedown works with Pounce and Swipe. Doesn't have to be a normal attack.