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Nidalee Build Guide by Shutdown

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shutdown

Nidalee - Nail them down, one by one!

Shutdown Last updated on May 7, 2014
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Ability Sequence

3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction

Hey, this is my Nidalee Guide. (You may have already noticed that^^)
I play League of Legends since season 1, I main Nidalee and that's exactly why I've decided to write a Guide about it. It's so much more than throwing spears so this will take a while to read.


The masteries, runes and items you can see above are NOT recommended for every single game, I'll explain this below.



I would really appreciate some feedback in the comments, even if you haven't tried the guide yet. But do me a favour and don't go to the comment section and tell me how nice Hextech Gunblade on Nidalee is, because you had 7/3/5 in your last normal game vs. an AD Heimerdinger. This guide is written for ranked games and I know that you CAN have a lot of fun with Liandry's Torment, Mejai's Soulstealer, etc... but mostly these things wont work.


Guide Top

My Games

My summoner name is "Sl3iver", I play since season 1.
At the moment I'm Diamond 5 and I play mostly Nidalee.
(Sometimes i play Akali/ Kayle/ Nasus/ LeBlanc too, but only if i have to and it often ends bad^^)

Just some stats here:









Guide Top

Pros / Cons


Pros / Cons

Pros


+ Heavy Poke
+ High movement speed
+ 7 different abilities
+ Trap works as mini ward
+ Most powerful single target heal
+ High sustain
+ Can Pounce over some walls
Cons


- Squishy
- No CC
- Like a "greater minion" pre 6
- Needs a lot of mana
- Can be counter picked easily
- Laning-phase can be really hard


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

Good




Flash is the most common summoner spell, if you try to play without it, their jungler will camp your lane. Don't use Flash to kill anyone, if you are not 99% sure you will get him.

Aggressive/defensive


Ignite is very nice for the aggressive playstyle of Nidalee, it does a lot of true damage over time and the heal reduce is also nice to have.
Synergizes great with your burst from lvl 6 to 13. Almost every other summoner spell is better than Ignite in lategame but that's okay, we just need it for the snowballing.

Aggressive


Exhaust can be used very nice for champs like Katarina or Zed to weaken their ults or just for the ADC in lategame. I normally take Ignite to dominate early- and mid game even though Exhaust would be better in late game as said above.

Aggressive/defensive


Barrier is very nice. Mainly against champs like Fizz, LeBlanc or Zed. It works while you are stunned. Also nice for some kind of tower baits, so don't confuse Barrier as a defensive only spell.

Aggressive/Defensive



Since Heal removes grieving wounds effects, it's a very decent pick. Sadly the removal appears after you get the health wich means you only get 50% of it, if you had the grieving wounds debuff. But your Primal Surge then restores 100%, thats why it's cool.

Aggressive/Defensive



Average




Teleport Nice for split pushing and/or gangs bot/top. However, not a good pick since the CD is 300 seconds and it is useless on your lane.

Utility


Cleanse is very nice in some situations but you cant cleanse as much, as you can wich Quicksilver Sash.
Things that can't be cleansed:
Defensive


Ghost is very nice in some situations, but the midlane is often to short to chase.
Ghost is also not as aggressive as Flash since it hast no !SURPRISE! effect.

Aggressive/defensive




Bad





Clairvoyance is just bad, even if map awareness is nice. The CD is too long and 5 seconds of vision is not that much. Get a Sight Ward or Vision Ward.

Utility


Clairvoyance: 40% mana every 3 minutes, well,... gives you some sustain I guess.
If you have problems with your mana, get Tear of the Goddess and/or Doran's Ring but don't waste a Summoner Spell slot.

Utility


Revive: I've not tried this jet, but 9 minutes CD doesn't seem viable. Also useless on your lane. And don't forget, you have do die before you can use it *lol*.

Utility


Guide Top

Different Masteries for different Games

First of all I have to say that there are more and less important masteries, for example: Sorcery Isn't that good since 1.25% CDR per point is a very small buff.
On the other hand, Arcane Mastery is just crazy since you get 6 AP for a single skill-point.
Other must have masteries are:


This chapter is not finished yet.


Guide Top

Runes

Since I play Nidalee only, I've learned much about runes/masteries and how important they are. This is necessary because I get counterpicked very often.
With the right runes/masteries you can win every lane. Sometimes it's hard, but you can greatly improve your chances.
I will try to explain individual runes first, and show you my rune pages below.


Marks





Greater Mark of Attack Damage is great for harassing with your basic attacks.
It makes it also much easier to get minions and push. Takedown is the only ability that works with AD.

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration Greater Mark of Armor Penetration like Greater Mark of Attack Damage, great for harassing but since armor penetration can't reduce the enemies armor below 0 they are useless for pushing/last hitting. (Minions have 0 Armor and get a few points every 3 minutes)
It depends on the amount of armor your opponent has, but usually they do less damage than Greater Mark of Attack Damage.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration increases the damage of your spells percentaged. Bad for earlygame, best in slot for mid- and lategame.

Greater Mark of hybrid Penetration [Greater [Mark of hybrid Penetration]] grant 8,1 physical penetration and 5.49 magical penetration. I just discovered them and instantly fell in love. You can harass in earlygame and still get a little bit magic penetration for mid- and late-game. They seem perfect to me.

Seals





Greater Seal of Armor I normally prefer Health before AR/MR but in some case armor is better. Good against Zed, Kha'Zix or Pantheon.

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration They increase your sustain in early game, just take about 3 or 4, rest Health/AR.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health Probably the best choice, Health works against magical and physical damage, that's why I like it. You can also try flat health here.




Glyphs





Greater Glyph of Ability Power Nidalee doesn't deal much magical damage pre 6, so it's not wise to choose flat AP. However, you heal a bit more, that increases your sustain. So, if you think you are going to have a bad time on your lane, you can take Greater Glyph of Ability Power.


Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is great for lategame, they are equal to Greater Glyph of Ability Power at lvl 7.
I prefer Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power since you usually won't get a kill pre 6 anyways.



Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is great against AP champs who are harassing with their abilities, like Mordekaiser or champs who could kill you fast before lvl 6 like Fizz.




Quintessences






Whenever you pick your Quints, don't take the scaling ones. Usually flat quints are much better.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power gives you 4.95 AP at lvl 1 while Greater Quintessence of Ability Power grants 7.74 AP at lvl 18. (They are equal at lvl 11/12)


Greater Quintessence of Health are pretty nice when you play against any burst champs like LeBlanc or Fizz.


Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage make you win your lane against champs like Kassadin, combined with Greater Mark of Attack Damage a great choice for laning against any meele champs who cant burst you down pre 6.
With these runse you can win your lane pre lvl 6, either you kill your opponent or you zone him.


Guide Top

Spells




Prowl increases your movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds while moving through brushes

Prowl is among other things, the reason why Nidalee is so fast. Try to use all the brushes you can reach while you move across the map.



Javelin Toss throws a spear that deals more damage the further your target is away.

Javelin Toss is your main damage spell. Try to use it on high range to get max. damage.
It does 0% bonus damage at 0 - 525 range, then the bonus damage rapidly increases.


Tips and Tricks
  • If you think you are bad at throwing spears, just start a normal/AI game and exercise. Try to hit moving targets like minions or the AI.
  • Hide in brushes and shoot some tricky spears on your enemy while he is farming, he probably won't expect it.
  • If you lane against champs like Kha'Zix, don't max your Javelin Toss first, you will need your Primal Surge.
  • Damage is calculated from the spot you throw the spear until it hits something, so it doesn't make sense to Pounce away after the shot anymore.



Bushwhack places a trap that deals damage and reduces the enemy's MR/AR for 8 seconds when triggered.

Try to put the trap into the enemy team before teamfights, to reduce their MR/AR.


Tips and Tricks
  • At the beginning of the game, go to your lane as fast as you can and put some traps into the brushes, if the enemy jungler tries to gang you, he probably steps on a trap and you can see him.
  • Whenever you face check, put a trap into the brush, it will lit up the whole area and you can see if there is anybody in for a split second.
  • If you play against champs like Fizz or Rengar which tend to jump on you, put a trap in front of you. You can also put a whole trap-maze on your lane, if needed, they do more damage than you might expect.



Primal surge heals you or an ally and increases the AS for a short duration.

Primal Surge is probably the most powerful single target heal in game.


Tips and Tricks
  • Heal priority: You>ADC>Top/Jungle>Support
  • Try to heal your ADC before/in teamfights to increase his AS
  • If you are almost out of mana, use a heal pot!
  • Watch out for ignite, it will decrease your healing by 50%



Aspect of the Cougar toggles between human and cougar form.

The Cougar form has 3 different abilities and 20 increased movement speed.


Tips and Tricks
  • Make sure to start teamfights in the right form because switching has a few seconds cooldown
  • Always chase in your cougar form, the increased movement speed will help you a lot
  • Spam Pounce to move faster and probably stack your Tear of the Goddess



Takedown deals normal damage equal to the missing life of your target up to 300%.

Whenever you use this ability, make sure that you've already used Pounce and Swipe because Takedown will deal much more damage if the target has less life.


Tips and Tricks
  • Don't trust in this ability late, it does NOT scale with AP.
  • Use Takedown always last!



Pounce lets you jump forward and deals some magical damage to enemies in front of you.

Use this to stack Tear of the Goddess and move across the map faster.


Tips and Tricks
  • perfect for pushing large waves of minions
  • makes it easy to dodge skill shots
  • there are a few walls you can jump over (I'll explain this below)
  • pounce, pounce, pounce,...



Swipe deals huge damage to all enemies in a radius in front of you.

Scales great with AP, make sure to look at your enemy when you use it.

Tips and Tricks
  • Like Pounce, KILL ALL THE MINIONS!
  • Your most powerful cougar spell
  • Scales great with AP


Guide Top

Trinkets

Generally I start with the Warding Totem and upgrade it when my build is finished.
In my opinion it's not that good to start with Scrying Orb or Sweeping Lens because you don't need to clear any wards since ganks pre lvl 6 on a Nidalee-lane are not that good neither do you need vision for 1 second.
If you don't like the Warding Totem you can sell it later and get Scrying Orb since it's great for any kind of jungle fights, roaming and chasing.


Guide Top

Items

Just a couple of Items are "viable" on Nidalee, but I also have to say that it completely depends on the current game which Items you choose.

  • Who is your opponent on lane?
  • Who is jungling in the enemy team?
  • Are you losing your lane?
  • Do they have a lot of CC?
  • Are they already fed?
  • Do they have more magical/physical damage?


Start Items:



Either you can start Boots of Speed + 4 Health Potion or Doran's Ring + 2 Health Potion.
Generally i prefer the Doran's Ring, but if you have to lane against champs with lots of skillshots you can also start with Boots of Speed. If they have a Jungler who has strong ganks you can also start Boots of Speed.


Boots:


Great for roaming, not that good for fights. Another problem is, movement speed above 415 is decreased by 20%, above 490 by 50%.

Calculation:


Basic movement speed:
+ Boots of Mobility:
+ Aspect Of The Cougar:
+ Lich Bane/ Prowl (20%):
= Raw speed:
- hard cap (552 - 490) * 0.5:
- soft cap (490 - 415) * 0.2:
= Final speed:
= 335
+ 105
+ 20
+ 92
= 552
- 31
- 15
= 506

You can see that you lose about 46 flat movement speed because of this cap, its not that much and calculated with Prowl and Lich Bane but I still think these boots are not worth it, on Nidalee




The only thing Boots of Swiftness are good for, is running away and chasing since you don't get slowed that much. However, Mercury's Treads completely dominate them since 35% decreased duration is better than 25% decreased effect. Even if Boots of Swiftness have additional 15 movement speed. I do NOT recommend Boots of Swiftness.


If the enemy team has a lot of CC and also magical damage, it's a good idea to buy Mercury's Treads although they are very expensive.
For example:



Not bad against champs like Kha'Zix or Zed and very nice vs. the ADC in mid/late game. However, don't get hit, then you don't need them.



Im my opinion the best choice. They scale great with your Void Staff, and they maximize your damage output.


Not the best choice since CDR is limited at 40%. You get 20% from Crest of the Ancient Golem and 20% from Athene's Unholy Grail or Morellonomicon. Thats fine.
If you are not going to buy any other CDR items, Ionian Boots of Lucidity should be fine ofc.



Core Items:


Gives you everything you want: Health, AP, Manaregeneration and Mana per killed minion.
Cost effectiveness = OP!

Calculation:


15 Ability Power
3 Mana Regeneration
60 Health
4 Mana per minion
Spend: 400g
= 326g
+ 180g
+ 160g
+ 200g
Get: 866g

The 200g are calculated like that:
6 Minions per 30 Seconds, you get 5 of them, that means you get 20 Mana per 30 Seconds which is 3.33 mana per 5 seconds = 200g

Greatest Item ever.
A little disadvantage is, that you only get 40% of the gold back if you sell it, instead of 70%.
I usually buy 2 to 3 Doran's Ring, depends on the game and you should still have space for Sight ward.


You simply can't play Nidalee (AP) without this item. The AP increase is just insane and that's exactly what you want.


Well, I'm still a bit sceptic about Void Staff since magic penetration does not increase the effect of your Primal Surge. On the other hand it works like Rabadon's Deathcap and increases your damage output percentaged so you can't play without Void Staff.



Good Items:


You can stack up this Item continuously, because your cougar abilities have a low CD and cost no Mana. So you will get a huge mana pool and slightly increased mana regeneration. Whenever you move across the map, use Pounce, Swipe and Takedown to stack it.

A huge problem of Tear of the Goddess is, that you have 2 options which are both, more or less, poor:
  • You buy it very early and completely lose the ability to fight because you just spent 700g on mana only while your opponent got 2 Doran's Ring or other evil stuff.
  • You buy it later, maybe right after Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff. In this case it will take very long to stack it up (4 seconds cd on "Mana Charge"). However, the second option is mostly better.

Don't make the mistake to build Archangel's Staff before your Tear of the Goddess ist fully stacked.
In fact, you have better options than Tear of the Goddess.


If you are getting harassed by an AP champ and lose your lane hard, it's probably not that bad. However it will decrease your damage output hard, so you probably wont be able to kill anything. I don't recommend this item but in some situations it's not bad.


As the ADC needs AS, you need CDR. 20% is quite a lot and it also has 60 AP, fixes your mana regeneration and gives you some MR. I personally like this item, however Morellonomicon is cheaper, has more AP and honesty I don't like MR. Hopefully you will get blue buff since Morellonomicon has low mana regeneration.


You will love this Item. Increased % movement speed is very nice, since Nidalee has a very high basic movement speed and the effect is just awesome. The main problem is, you are squishy as hell so you can hardly use the passiv in Teamfights without dying. In combination with Zhonya's Hourglass and/or Seraph's Embrace a very good item.


If you play against a champ you know/think you can't kill or he kills you.
It makes you tanky, grants a lot of Mana and some AP.
If you win your lane, just forget Rod of Ages, the "snowball effect" is far too small.


Since your cougar abilities cost no mana, you can stack your Tear of the Goddess very, very fast. That means tons of mana/AP early.
I like Tear of the Goddess to manage my mana pool, but it has not enough regeneration so you probably need an additional Doran's Ring or the blue buff.
You should also know that Seraph's Embrace consumes 20% or your current mana if you use it, so if you are out of mana: almost no shield (150 + x). Still a good item late, for tons of AP, combined with Athene's Unholy Grail it's perfect.


Once caught you are dead. Not with Zhonya's Hourglass.
Like Seraph's Embrace it grants a lot of AP. The active effect is perfect to survive the insane burst in teamfights but don't forget that you can't use it while you are stunned/silenced.
It's also very nice against Zed, to block his Death Mark.


A must-have item against champs like LeBlanc, Blitzcrank or Veigar.
I'd always prefer Banshee's Veil over Warmog's Armor or other health/resistance items because the effect is mostly better than the extra life/resistance.


Don't touch this unless you play in platinum or higher. Without stacks it's completely useless, you won't get enough stacks except your enemies are very, very bad. And when you've bought it, you probably won't get a kill because you just spent 1200g on 20 AP *lol*.
Still, on higher leagues and when you play Nidalee very well you can buy it. Just make sure not to lose stacks by engaging stupidly.


Bad Items:



The range of the MR reduction is too small for Javelin Toss on max. range. So it's completely ****.


A lot of AP, CDR. Seems perfect, doesn't it?
The range of the active is far too small to hit anything, it's also too expensive.



Just no. Not enough AP, passive sucks since it deals damage equal to the current life of your target. Only for champs who can spread their abilities on multiple targets like Mordekaiser.


Spellvampire is probably the worst thing you can get.
Has not enough AP, neither makes you tanky nor gives you CDR or anyting else that boosts your Javelin Toss damage. Active has a too small range.



Might be nice in some situations, but generally worse than most of the other items, mentioned above. Even you want to play Nidalee as an AP Bruiser, Zhonya's Hourglass etc. are much more important.


Like Hextech Gunblade, awful item on Nidalee.


Guide Top

Who's your enemy and what does he do?

Every champion is different, so what do you do? It's simple, you play in a different way, with other masteries/runes.


Ahri will harass you hard with Orb of Deception, stay behind and try to farm. At level 6/7, force her to use her ult (shoot some spears).
Once her ult is down, she's almost useless: KILL THAT *****!

General BO: Boots of Speed - Doran's Ring - Chalice of Harmony - Sorcerer's Shoes - Doran's Ring - If you do bad, get Athene's Unholy Grail otherwise Rabadon's Deathcap

Difficulty: Hard


Akali: She will kill you within a few seconds. Stay in tower, try not to cry, cry a lot. Seriously, there are not many things you can do, place some traps in front of you, stay in tower, try to hit some spears. If she is stupid enough, she will dive you, shut her with ignite and cougar abilities and Exhaust. And don't forget: Bushwhack makes her visible!

Difficulty: Cry a lot


Anivia: Farm until level 6, dodge her Flash Frost with Pounce and kill her.

Difficulty: Easy


Annie: Be aware of her Summon: Tibbers, the burst is evil, evil, evil. However, should be no problem since her cast range is very low. Kill her with your spear.
Don't let her roam, a fed annie often means gg.

Difficulty: Medium


Brand: Like Annie, don't get in range. Just poke him down.
His castrange is a little bit higher than Annie's and he will harass you, don't trade pre lvl 6 and get a Chalice of Harmony. Later Banshee's Veil is very nice.

Difficulty: Medium


Cassiopeia will harass you with Noxious Blast and does a lot of damage with her Twin Fang since it has only 0.5 seconds cooldown when her target is poisoned. So, don't get poisoned and turn away, or Flash/ Pounce on the other side when she uses her ult. That maybe demands some skill and good reactions.

Difficulty: Hard


Cho'Gath: Tanky as hell, silence, airknock, tons of damage combined with good sustain. Hard to lane against Cho'Gath as AP nid, try to dodge his Rupture with Pounce, farm and try to roam. You simply can't kill him before he kills you.

Difficulty: Hard


Diana has lots of gap closers, so you can't run. She's also very tanky. Stay in tower or brushes and try to land some good spears or just farm. Get Chalice of Harmony or Catalyst the Protector first.

Difficulty: Hard


Elise will dodge your spears with her Rappel or her spiders block it.
Stay behind your minions so she can't hit her Cocoon and don't die.

Difficulty: Hard


Evelynn is an easy kill, harass her with your auto attacks, try to reach level 6 and kill her in your cougar form. Don't forget that your Bushwhack makes her visible.
You can also pick AD runes, I promise you'll get fed :)

Difficulty: Easy


Fiddlesticks is awful, since he almost kills you in the duration of Terrify. Stay away from him, don't get hit by his Dark Wind (stay away and if he leaves the lane be aware: he probably stays in the brush and casts his Crowstorm.

Difficulty: Hard


Fizz is a pain, he has this terrible heal reduce: Seastone Trident, he will dodge all your spears: Playful / Trickster and his Chum the Waters waters will slow you until the stupd shark kills you :)
Like Akali: Stay in tower, try not to cry, cry a lot.
Try to get some life early, probably Rod of Ages and don't fight him.
In lategame, i highly recommend Zhonya's Hourglass

Difficulty: Cry a lot


Galio is very, very tanky. Neither he can kill you, can you kill him. Try to push your lane and roam.

Difficulty: Medium


Gragas: Seriously, Gragas does nothing. Harass with your auto attacks pre 6, and kill him with your cougar at 6.

Difficulty: Easy


Heimerdinger: There is only one thing he can do: Push! Don't let him get your turret, take down his H-28G Evolution Turret, permanently auto attack and dodge his CH-1 Concussion Grenade. Shouldn't be that hard...

Difficulty: Easy


Karthus He is slow, has no burst, no heal reduce and no stun/binding. Wait until 6, and then you can easily farm him. Or pick AD runes and start killing him at lvl 2.

Difficulty: Easy


Kassadin Get AD runes and Brute Force instead of Mental Force , you will also need some flat MR runes. Try to zone him pre 6, after that: Push his lane! Don't let him roam!

Difficulty: Hard


Katarina: Harass her with auto attacks, don't stay in her Death Lotus and don't ever let her roam. Fed Katarina is bad for you :)

Difficulty: Medium


Kayle: The slow of her Reckoning is very painful, even with Pounce and Aspect Of The Cougar it is hard to chase her. She will harass you and push a lot, get some help from your jungler! Don't use your burst when she has Intervention!

Difficulty: Hard


Kennen: Stay behind your minions, don't get hit by his auto attacks and farm until 6. Don't use your burst when he is in his Lightning Rush because he will get additional MR/AR. You normally lose a 1v1 with Aspect Of The Cougar, so rather use Javelin Toss and dont engage on him as long as his current health is greater than 60%.

Difficulty: Hard


Kha'Zix: Let your minions stand by your side, or he kills you withing 2 seconds: Taste Their Fear
Get items like Rod of Ages, buy the Catalyst the Protector first.
Another good choice is Seeker's Armguard.
Start with Cloth Armor or Boots and maybe get AD runes.

Difficulty: Hard


LeBlanc has a huge burst, just don't get in range, do some sneaky spears and/or roam, she can't push anyways...

Difficulty: Medium


Lissandra She's very slow, but can teleport with Glacial Path, when she tries to engage, Pounce away, don't get stunned, throw a spear and kill her with your cougar abilities. Your will need some MR/Life because her burst is crazy!

Difficulty: Hard


Lux It's very simple, if she hits her Light Binding you die. I'm repeation myself but all you have to do is Pounce. Get Tier 2 Boots as fast as you can and she's already dead since you can dodge everything!

Difficulty: Medium



Malzahar: Get some MR/life, survive his Nether Grasp and kill him. Simple.

Difficulty: Easy


Mordekaiser: He's tanky, he does a lot of damage and pushes 24/7. Survive until level 6 and ask your jungler to help you!
Buy Chalice of Harmony to get some MR and additional sustain.

Difficulty: Hard


Morgana: Dodge her Dark Binding and kill her. If she uses Soul Shackles use your Pounce/ Flash to get away or kill her ASAP.

Difficulty: Easy


Orianna: She is slow, she is squishy. Be aware of her Command: Dissonance it makes her very fast and Command: Shockwave can kill you easily. Pounce

Difficulty: Medium


Pantheon is your worst enemy.
Aegis Protection can block basic attacks, turret attacks and also your Takedown.
Spear Shot has 4 seconds cooldown and can critically strike for 150% of the damage. (Only if he has skilled Heartseeker Strike)
Heartseeker Strike usually does not that much damage but passively grants him 100% critical strike when his target is below 15% Health.
Aegis of Zeonia stuns you for 1 second which often is enough to die, sadly.
So, whenever you have to play against Pantheon, set 3 Points in your Primal Surge first.
Start with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion, don't even try to trade pre 6, you lose.
Don't waste your Takedown when he has Aegis Protection, always use a basic attack first.
Seeker's Armguard will greatly improve your chances, build it right after Boots of Speed (Like Doran's Ring, the Cost effectiveness is OP! :D)
The most important thing, when you play against Pantheon, is: Call the miss, instantly and always!



Difficulty: Cry a lot


Ryze: I've tried many things against Ryze and it seems that it's the best if you get some AD runes and MR/life. You won't hit a single spear because he can stand in the minions since he has not a single skill shot.
Ryze has NO stun, Rune Prison is just a binding - Heal yourself and hit him down with auto attacks. Try not to fight in your minions, his Desperate Power gives him AoE abilities and a lot of Spellvamp. Pick Ignite!
3 points in Primal Surge first!

Difficulty: Hard


Swain: Stay away from this guy, he's probably slow but his damage and selfheal are insane. Pick Ignite, get some life/MR and cry to your jungler. Swain has no Escape!
You may think that the can't burst you, trust me, he can.

Difficulty: Cry a lot


Syndra: Jungler! She also has no Escape but kills you within 2 seconds if you don't play carefully.

Difficulty: Hard



Twisted Fate: Probably not the best champ for 1on1's but if he starts roaming your team will blame you! Keep your lane pushed, buy some wards. It's a bad Idea to pick Teleport since it has 5 minutes cooldown and Destiny has only 2 minutes.
Engage after he used his blue card on a minion.

Difficulty: Easy (In your lane)


Veigar: Insane burst, get AD runes and life/MR. He's also very slow, you can kill him with Javelin Toss. Harass him with auto attacks pre 6!

Difficulty: Medium


Viktor is a bit like Orianna, if he hits his abilities: you die
However, you can Pounce away from his Chaos Storm, out of his Gravity Field and kill him easily.

Difficulty: Easy



Vladimir: Pick Ignite, buy a Chalice of Harmony, survive his Hemoplague, chase and knock him out. He will probably harass you pre lvl 6, stay a bit behind and try to farm.

Difficulty: Medium


Xerath does the same thing that you do: he pokes. The difference is that he doesn't care about minions. If he uses Locus of Power, try to land Javelin Toss since he can't move then. His range is very high, be aware of his Arcane Barrage it can burst you down fast!

Difficulty: Medium/Hard



The most common way for winning games is: Ban Yasuo or firstpick him.
As AP- Nidalee there is nothing you can do against him, even with Seeker's Armguard he can burst you. And since Yasuo is not affected by ganks, we can keep dieing every 2 - 4 minutes.

Difficulty: Leave your lane, don't look back, wait for nerf


Zed: It's not funny to play against Zed. He teleports around, permanently hits you and on lvl 6 he can burst you down within seconds. Grab Barrier, get Seeker's Armguard and/or Catalyst the protector. Try to get Zhonya's Hourglass as fast as you can, it counters his ult and he will cry a lot.

General BO: Boots of Speed - Doran's Ring - Seeker's Armguard - Optional another Doran's Ring - Either Ninja Tabi or Sorcerer's Shoes - Rabadon's Deathcap or Zhonya's Hourglass - ( Rabadon's Deathcap only if you dominate him)

Difficulty: Hard


Ziggs: Pounce, Javelin Toss, kill it with fire!

Difficulty: Easy


Zyra: Her plants will probably block your Javelin Toss, she has a high burst and you hardly can Pounce out of her Stranglethorns since the area is huge and you are probably bound in her Grasping Roots. Get some life/MR, stay in your tower and farm.
Don't forget about her Rise of the Thorns!

Difficulty: Hard


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Trapping

Trapping is one of the most important things when you play Nidalee because map awareness is everything!
Also, if you have to lane against Fizz or any other champs who tend to one-shot things pre lvl 6 you can put thousands of traps on your lane to stop their harassment. He can't trade if you kite him through 5 traps.



Trap these passage between tower and wall, if he tries to run away with low life, he probably triggers them. He also can't evade your Javelin Toss since he can go in only one direction and Bushwhack increases the damage he gets.


Set some traps in these brushes to avoid gangs, works great in my opinion. But don't forget that Bushwhack only lasts for 240 seconds, you should replace them!







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Early game [1 - 6]

When the champion select is over, and you reach the loading screen, check out this site: lolNexus
Select your server and type in your summoner name.
Then you can see which masteries your enemy's have and some more stuff, like K/D/A, league...
The masteries are very important, you probably can see if they go aggressive or defensive, that will help you in choosing your starting item. It also influences your playstyle.


As the game starts, go to your lane as fast as you can and put 3 - 4 traps into the brushes (Chapter: Trappping).
The number of Bushwhack you place, completely depends on your mana regeneration.
For example: 3 Points in Meditation and Doran's Ring start ---> Infinite Traps
But if you got Boots of Speed, 4x Health Potion and no Meditation , 2 - 3 Traps are enough. You need your mana for Primal Surge.


Never help the jungler at blue/red, you will lose cs and since Nidalee is weak pre 6 anyways you can't afford to lose experience or gold.


Start harassing your enemy with your basic attacks at level 2, when you got Primal Surge.
At level 3 you usually get your Javelin Toss. (depends on opponent, etc.)
You should avoid to use your level 1 Javelin Toss, that's how you waste 50 mana sucessfully and deal as much damage as a basic attack. *lol*
On level 4 ( Javelin Toss lvl 2) you can throw a few, if your enemy has not that much sustain.


At level 5 you can start throwing some more spears, but don't waste all your mana. (Chapter: The Spear and you)


There is a nice way you can get FB/kill at lvl 5/6, provided your opponent has the same or less experience. You hopefully harassed your opponent a bit so he has < 75% health, then you start to push a bit. Make sure that the enemy's minions die before yours do. Try go get that much experience, to level up with atleast 1 more minion.
Engage on level 5 with 95% Experience (enemys usually fight against a lvl 5 Nidalee).
Kill a minion while you fight, hopefully with a single basic attack and get on lvl 6:
Primal Surge ---> Ignite ---> Pounce ---> Swipe ---> Takedown ---> Javelin Toss ---> +400g

Works great. Always.


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Mid Game [7 - 13]

Well, mid game has begun.
These are your opportunities: roam, push or farm.


Roaming is only possible if you have more than 3 points in your Javelin Toss.
It's also not bad if you have a kill or if you are just far ahead. (Level, Farm or both)
I usually like to go bot first, since they tend do be more squishy than top and you have the possibility for a double kill. (Chapter: Roaming)


Pushing is good if bot/top are also pushed, or a gank isn't worth. Try to get some wards first and don't ever try to push the second tower no matter how fed you are. (Check: Warding)
Use Primal Surge for enhanced attack speed while attacking the tower and Pounce/ Swipe/ Takedown to clear waves.


Farming: If you lost your lane, or if you are afraid of the enemy jungler (who's probably fed?!), try to farm. Take the creepwave in your lane, go for wraiths, take the 2nd creepwave, do wolfes, 3rd creepwave and so on. You maybe lose 1 or 2 minions per wave, but it's worth - trust me. If you think you can do a fight, start to roam/push.


The Dragon: Very important for sure, grants 190 gold for every team member and some experience. If your support doesn't have a Vision Ward, get one. Trap the area around the dragon and poke if the enemy team tries to interrupt you.
The best situation to do the dragon is, if the enemy jungler is dead or far, far away. (top)


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Late Game [14 - 18]

Late Game consists in 5 things:

  • Teamfights
  • Baron Nashor
  • Dragon
  • Inhibitors/Towers
  • Getting Caught


Teamfights:

Try to poke the ADC/APC before teamfights, if you sucessfully land a spear, your tank can engage.
In the teamfight itself you rarely go in, stay away and try to land spears. Set Bushwhack into your enemies, throw Javelin Toss (aim for the carries or other squishy targets), use Primal Surge (Yourself if you are low ---> ADC if he's low ---> Others if they are low ---> if everyone is okay, use it on the ADC only, since he gets 60% attack speed).

If you see an enemy who tries to flee, chase with Aspect Of The Cougar. (only if your team can win without you or the fight is already over).


Baron Nashor: There are two different situations:
  • Your team starts it:

    If your team starts baron, use Primal Surge on your ADC to kill Baron Nashor as fast as possible.
    Don't place Bushwhack below Baron Nashor , the MR/AR reduction does NOT work and the damage isn't that good.
    I often place some traps in the brushes before we even start baron, it makes it much easier to do baron nashor because you can see if the enemy team is coming and knock them out.
    Hit some Javelin Toss on max. range and use all of your Aspect Of The Cougar abilities in this sequence: Pounce - Swipe - Takedown.

    If you play Nidalee it isn't that important to help at baron, the only thing you should do is to poke enemies and don't let them steal or just kill you all.

  • The enemy team starts it:

    In this situation Nidalee is perfect.
    Even if you don't have a sight ward/ Vision Ward at baron nashor , you can place Bushwhack to get vision for 12 seconds. (if triggered)
    If you want to be sure that it will be triggered, place Bushwhack directly on baron nashor .
    Then you can start poking with your Javelin Toss, try to aim for the APC or other squishy targets. Baron Nashor does a lot of damage, even in late game, that means the enemy team already should be a bit low. I usually don't try to hit the ADC, since they regenerate their life fast with tons of lifesteal. (If they don't have much, you can also try to poke them)
    If your team is dead or you are so behind that you can't engage you can also try to steal Baron nashor with Javelin Toss, it's quite hard since you have to shoot through 5 champs who try to catch the spear while the jungler smites baron nashor .

Dragon:

Not that important than in midgame, but still nice.
The main problem of a lategame Dragon is, if your enemies notice that you do it, they maybe go for Baron Nashor and it sometimes happens that they kill it faster than you even reach them.
Don't fight for Dragon, if you are not 100% it's worth. Often it happens that members of your team die and you lose multiple Turrets/Inhibitors or even the game because you can't fight 3 versus 5.
190g wont change that. :)
But if you still want to fight for it, use the same tactics I mentioned at Baron Nashor above.


Inhibitors/Towers:

Inhibitors are the most important thing in the whole game (after the Nexus).
Once a Inhibitor is down, ALL enemy minions are getting stronger (more Health, AD, etc.) and a single super minion spawns per wave.
That means, when you have 2 Inhibitors and your enemy has still 3, all lanes are pushing to your base. That makes you lose a lot of your mapcontrol which is very important, in late game.


Getting Caught:

Happens.
If you don't want to get caught, you should buy Wards. Yep, it's that simple.
If you get caught in Late game, you often lose Baron/Dragon/Inhibitor/Turrets or your team just dies because they are forced to fight 4v5 to defend the base.
Nidalee is great for warding because she is extremely fast and can escape in almost ecery situation. However, she also is great for clearing enemy wards.


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Roaming

Nidalee is a terrifying good roamer, she's damn ****ing fast, has this high range Javelin Toss which takes >50% Health from their ADC/APC and her Aspect Of The Cougar abilities make the rest.

Whenever I start roaming, I usually prefer bot before top because the top lane often is much more tanky ( Renekton, Nasus, Irelia, etc.) than the bot lane AND you can't make a double kill :)
(Bot is mostly warded with 1 to 3 wards but usually you can go around these wards. That provides that you know where they are, just ask your support, he often knows these things because supports are very wise people^^)


This chapter is not finished yet.


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Item Sets

I really love the new Item Set feature, saves you a lot of time when you are buying something.
I highly recommend to use it, my page looks like this:



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The Spear and you

This chapter is not finished yet.


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Warding

This chapter is not finished yet.


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Stats

In this chapter I'll explain the different stats you get from masteries/runes/items/buffs etc. and tell you which are the most important.


Ability Power: The most important stat on Nidalee, it increases the damage you deal with your spells, ( Takedown does not profit) and also the amount of life you heal.


Attack Damage: Increases the damage of your basic attacks and Takedown.
Can be nice in early game, since you can harass and last hit much better.


Attack Speed: Well, we don't buy attack speed but your Primal Surge gives you some for 7 seconds. Acutally there is no real reason to get attack speed with runes/masteries or items even if it lets you lasthit more easily (the basic attack animation is faster).


Cooldown reduction: I might have already said that above: CDR is like attack speed for the ADC. Neither makes it sense to have 40% CDR and 50 AP, nor to have 500 AP and 0% CDR.
CDR is capped at 40%, that means with masteries/runes/items you should get 25% - 35% and additional 10% with blue buff. It's not smart to start with Morellonomicon/ Athene's Unholy Grail because your Javelin Toss does no damage then.
CDR doesn't only increase your damage, it also makes you more mobile/sustainable since you can use Pounce/ Primal Surge more often. Usually I buy CDR with the 2nd or 3rd item.


Critical Strike: Makes no sense. Your Takedown can strike critically but only for your base damage. That means if you have 100 AD, Takedown does 70 damage + 100 * twice the amount of his percentaged, missing health. So, if hes on 50% health it does (70 + 100) * 200% damage which is 340 Damage.
When you strike critically it doesn't do 680 damage, it does 440 because only your 100 AD can strike criticaly and not the bonus damage of Takedown.
Your basic attack can also strike critically but your AD is too low, so it won't be that much.


Spell vamp/Life steal: You've got your Primal Surge which gives you enough sustain.
Spell vamp is reduced by 66% for spells which do AoE damage.

Spellvamp:


Spellvamp does not work with item effects like Liandry's Torment or Deathfire Grasp.

Lifesteal:
Generally you can say that both is really, really bad.


Armor and Magic Resistance:

Can be good, but don't get more than 100.
If you play against champs who tend to stack loads of flat Armor penetration ( Pantheon, Zed, Kha'Zix etc.) you need more armor than you usually do, otherwise they will do true damage to you.
Nidalee starts with 11 Armor and gets +3.5 per lvl which is a total of 74 armor at lvl 18.


Magical Penetration/Reduction: Our main goal is, to get as much damage with Javelin Toss as possible, therefor we need magical penetration/reduction.



This chapter is not finished yet.


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Nerf the **** out of Nidalee

I'm not sure if you are reading patch notes, but Nidalee nerver got nerfed extremely hard but with every patch a little bit.
The first thing i remember was the removal of the MR/AR in cougar form, instead they gave her a better AP-scaling on her Swipe which wasn't a good trad for Nidalee-players.
Then they enhanced the CD of Tear of the Goddess from 3 to 4 seconds which means it takes 33% longer to stack up.
They removed that Aspect Of The Cougar triggers Tear of the Goddess, Sheen or other "Spellblade" items.
Made Bushwhack less effective on other maps than Summoners Rift, I don't really care about this, but still.
Fixed the Bug that we could perform Takedown from range. (Srsly Riot! -.-)^^
And now (3.14 | Season 4) our Bushwack duration is decreased to 8 seconds from 12 and Javelin Toss does less damage if we are close to the target.

In total Nidalee got nerfed to death, even though her winrate never was that good (overall 'bout 51.5% or so)
Meanwhile Amumu, 55% winrate which is pretty much.

I totally agree that it isn't fun to play against Nidalee, but they have to balance that in another way. Think about it.


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Updates

05. November 2013:

  • Added Chapter: "Different Masteries for different Games"

06. November 2013:
  • Reworked masteries
  • Changed starting items
  • Removed Tear of the Goddess from "Core"
  • Reworked chapter: "Different masteries for different games" and "Items"
  • Added chapter: "Item Sets"

07. November 2013:
  • Added chapter: "Stats" (Not finished yet)

22. November 2013:
  • Reworked Chapter: "masteries", still needs an update but I have to figure out what's the best now.
  • Reworked some minor things for Season 4
  • Added Chapter: "Nerf the **** out of Nidalee", was totally necessary.

29. November 2013:
  • Reworked some minor things like misspelling

02. December 2013:
19. February 2014:
07. May 2014:
  • Updated Masteries in the cheat-sheet
  • Updated Summoner Spells: Moved Heal from "bad" to "good" and reworked explaination
  • Added some minor things to various chapers, don't want to list them up all^^

TODO: Chapter: Warding/Trikets