Build Guide by HeAt
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hey everybody, HeAt here with something somewhat unique. A friend of mine in LoL, who goes by the name of Redds, has introduced me of a new way to play Nidalee. It is not necessarily better than AP Nidalee, it is just extremely different. Give this build a chance, I did, and against certain teams, it definitely packs a punch. This nidalee build does NOT rely on cougar form, you can do immense damage even out of it. I strongly recommend picking up lizard buff when you get your youmuu's ;), trust me, it works. This build is mainly centered around the damage created by your Q skill in cougar (yes, it can crit). If you land a crit with full build (up to infinity edge, which you should have at 30 mins) you can crit the enemy for 1k> with them at 3/4 HP. When that happens and you 1-shot their carry, it is a nice LOL moment :)
: Armor penetration marks are used for some early armor pen, and when you get cougar, applies to your Q skill (which is very essential): Mana regen seals are used because nidalee hogs a LOT of mana. In human form, if you are trying to spam her skills before going back into cougar, or in a team fight, she REALLY hogs mana. Clarity seals, though they were nerfed, will definitely help your ability to stay in fights and help support (even though on this build, you should be healing yourself for the attack speed): In the current metagame, everybody should be running magic resist glyphs. Since the release of the deathcap, any build lacking a magic resist item is shunned in my opinion. Glyphs + banshees and merc treads is a great amount to have.
I prefer running 21-0-9 masteries for many reasons. That 5% damage, when critting for 1500 adds up to about a bonus 75 damage, the 3 damage helps early last hitting, you get some armor penetration AND attack speed, as well as CDR and critical chance. Then, using 9 in utility for a slightly reduced death timer, the essential ghost buff, experience gain, and the buff duration.
You can alternatively run 9-0-21, getting CDR and magic penetration in offense, then running full utility maxing buff duration, getting the flash mastery, as well as movement speed, mana regen, and CDR on your summoner spells.
: The Doran's Ring is the best starting item for Nidalee. It gives her a good amount of base HP, a great amount of mana regen, and a small amount of AP. This lets her spam her heal and play aggressive, while keeping the mana regen to lay traps around her area for warding.
: The Mercury Treads are an essential item for Nidalee, they give her more survivability, magic resist, and a good amount of movement speed, which when combined with the Trinity Force lategame, makes her quite the ***** to catch.
: In simple terms, this item makes her Q in cougar hit like a TRUCK. Not like a pickup, like a 18 wheeler double decker truck. It also adds a lot of damage to autoattacks as you see her spamming often, but if they are at half, as soon as you hit 6 you can get her Q with sheen to hit for 400>, if that crits... it would be about 700 (you don't have crit chance yet though so don't bet on it)
: The guinsoos rageblade is the one and only AP item you will buy. This is because her AP damage is great early game, but GREATLY curves off late game when people get resistances. You only need the AP boost early game to carry you through it. 90 AP at 8 stacks, which you can get easily as the cooldown for the stacks is less than your pounce cooldown, is MORE than enough to beef your heal past 300 and your damage to an acceptable extent.
: The youmuu's ghost blade is the single point where you switch from an AP damage dealer, to an AD damage dealer. The armor penetration, with the critical chance (Yes nidalee's Q in cougar can crit), with the damage, AND the active, makes it the best item for her to pick up, Hands down.
: The infinity edge is basically the icing to the cake. You will now have 35%> crit chance, combined with a ton of damage. Your single combo could kill any carry at this point in the game (you should have I.E. by 35 minutes, ideally). The idea in a team fight is to run in when you see a hole to the carry, use your combo, kill them and get out (yes you are playing an assassin). When you get out you are basically coming out of cougar and using your melee attacks (which still deal alot) to DPS down the rest of their team.
: The banshee's veil is the best defensive item for nidalee in many aspects. Firstly, it gives her the shield, so even if you are making a cut to the carry and a CC hits you, you can take it. Second, magic resistance is always key in todays metagame (hard AP carry with rabaddons), and thirdly, some health and mana are always a great plus! :)
: The triforce is the last and final item and completes the build. It adds minute damage to the sheen, more crit chance, a nice amount of health and slow, and the movement speed we all know and love.
How to Play
Ok, so you have this champ, you have a list of items, but how the hell do you put 2 and 2 together and play. The greatest thing about Nidalee is that once she gets cougar, she can basically free farm, ANYTHING, in any lane or jungle. Farm with her as much as you can, always farm. If there are teamfights get in cougar and use pounce to get to your team faster, then go and farm some more. 100 CS by 11 minutes, 200 CS by 25, 300 CS by 45. That is your goal, they aren't perfect, not close, but that is a good farm rate :).
In team fights, your job is to assassinate the carry with your Q. Wait for your team to start the fight, get your tank to stun their CC, pounce past their team and use ghost if necessary, get to their carry, use W to pounce on them, E to chop off some of their health, and Q to hit them with the sheen proc created by the E, basically trucking them. If the enemy team doesnt turn and the carry is still alive, kill the carry and continue the team fight, if you killed the carry, turn and fight the rest of the team (they have no hard damage). If you fail, pounce away once, and either continue with your ghost, or run around a wall into a brush, or whatever is nearby to get away. Getting a kill on nidalee is not easy, don't make it easy for them
That is all
29/12/10 - Build Started
31/12/10 - Item Build Completed (Based on Guidance of Redds)
04/02/11 - Change of masteries from 9-0-21 to 21-0-9 for the bonus AD, and crit damage.
10/02/11 - Change of marks from Armor Penetration to Attack Damage per level
12/02/11 - Addition of "How To Play" section
14/02/11 - Removal of Executioner's Calling (sorry redds)
14/02/11 - Published