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.
Updating my Nidalee guide based on my new experimentation with Nidalee in games on being a more all around usefull support as oppose to a mainly late game support. Nidalee is a very powerful offensive support who can keep your DPS alive and contribute from a safe distance with long range spear throws.
A note to playing nidalee is that you are a support and a support is nothing without a good team composition. try and have a team built of three heavy DPS characters and at least one tanky DPS who can damage well. All harass character teams don't work well against competent enemies.
Sorta standard 9-0-21 caster with good hands and mana regeneration mostly favored. Utility speced nidalee is the most viable option as you want the max CDR possible to keep healing your allies in combat without sacrificing too much of your nuclear Ability Power. Good hands should be fully leveled in case you do die because you missed a wall jump or got hit with several Crowd control effects.
The first 5 points in your skills all depend on your preference and your comfort with nidalee's powers and how they all work. The first skill is a choice completely up to the player as everyone has their preference.
With my new game play i choose to put a point in her traps first to get the most cost effective harass out early. Spear has a chance of missing and only does around 60-150 damage at level 1. Traps once stepped on deal 80 damage guaranteed and give a MR and Armor debuff making all other damage more effective.
After taking a point in your first skill get a single point in both her other powers based on how laning is going so far.
- Team mate / self is taking a lot of damage get Heal, Javelin, Heal
- Harass is little against you take Javelin, Heal, Javelin
By level 5 you should have level 2 Javelin and Heal with level 1 traps. Once again this is my set up. other players may want to go javelin heavy for damage, or heal heavy for survival but putting a point in each is a requirement NOT AN Option.
Once you hit level 6 Nidalee must have all 3 powers up to at least level 1 or Cougar form will be awkward and Useless .
Playing Nidalee Effectively
Nidalee is by far one of the supports that is the most fun to play but also the hardest to master how to play well. Nidalee has lots of unique powers that work together in strange ways and can do some interesting tricks. All together they form a very potent support character who can change into a DPS chaser instantly to quickly catch a running opponent.
Skills[Passive] - Prowl: Nidalee gains a 15% movement speed buff for 2 seconds after moving through a bush. This passive is great for being a very mobile champion as you can get into and out of various situations by simply running through a bush instead of normal open ground. This buff stacks and only starts the timer after you have left a bush, if you can stay in the bush the speed buff remains until you leave and then the 2 second timer starts. Abuse this when trying to run away in top lane as those are the longest bushes in the map and give you a lot of speed.
[Ultimate] - Aspect of the Cougar: this is your toggle button that switches from human to Cougar mode. With a 3 second cool down this is a fairly decent change time as it really does no damage and simply flips you between human and cougar form.
A support ranged character is your starting form with mainly support powers with s single nuclear harass move.
[Q]- Javelin: this is an amazingly powerful harass move for a few reasons. It has one of the longest ranges on s skill shot in the game and gets more powerful the longer it flies. At max range the spear does 250% of the AP damage to the target hit.
While powerful this move does have a disadvantage that it literally is one of the longest skill shots in the game. the max range hit is nearly a 1 in 4 chance to connect with a champion if they are smart and dodge even by a small amount. Always use in a team fight as the chance to hit is nearly 100% with the entire enemy team bunched up.
[W] - Bushwhack: A small trap that is placed on the ground that snaps enemy units. Most people don't know about these traps full effect however. These traps give a magic resistance and Armor debuff to the enemy snared by the traps effects.
Once triggered the traps deal a minor amount of damage, give sight of the target champion for 12 seconds on snare, and reduce armor and magic resistances of the enemy.
To effectively wield these traps you essentially must put them down every time they are off cool down in key strategic locations. The river and river grass are prime locations as well as the lane grass to keep sight of enemies in the bush. keep these traps up at all times to maintain bush control and keep and eye out for ganking champions who would cause you and your partner in lane harm.
[E] - Primal Surge: A healing single target power that gives the target a attack speed increase. not too much special about this power other than that it is a heal and should be placed on the lowest health character to keep them alive in any situation.
A highly mobile and aggressive no mana CDR based melee character good for chasing down enemies. A note to make sure to abuse, Nidalee's human form uses mana and has support powers with relatively long cool downs compared to cougar form. When buying a Tear of the Godess make sure to spend lots of time pouncing every 2 seconds to spam up your tear. Cougar form does not use mana so movement and mana conserving are the bonuses of not being a support briefly.
[Q]- Takedown: A single target supper melee attack this attack does damage based on the amount of health an enemy champion is missing. When lower health enemies are trying to escape pounce after then and activate Takedown to score the killing blow.
[W] - Pounce: A short range dash / hop that does splash damage upon landing in a small radius. This is a power that must be practiced to be mastered and used to its full potential. Not only is this move a good closing mechanic but it also is a ridiculously powerful escaping mechanic as you can jump over walls.
This map has a line to represent every jump location pair that work in both directions.The main thing to remember when learning to use pounce to jump walls is that the dash is in the direction you are currently facing not a targeted ability. Angling yourself correctly at the wall is key to a successful wall jump to safety and escape from death.
[E] - Swipe: A small AOE swipe attack that hits any and all enemy units in a small cone in front of Nidalee for a decent amount of damage. Combo this move along with pounce to farm minions with relatively fast speed. make sure to swipe the caster minions as they are the most likely to die from swipe after you have some AP to back up your damage.
ALWAYS GO SIDE LANE
Some builds say nidalee needs to go mid and these are more aggressive nidalee builds that rely on a battle support to carry. Nidalee should be carrying the carry with heals and excellent ranged harass once team phase hits.
Take a point in traps and set up as many as possible in the bushes everywhere. Nidalee's traps are good sight, damage, and don't drain your mana nearly as bad as random spear guesses for damage output. Take Spear next to hit anyone unlucky enough to step in a trap and get a MR debuff. Make sure that they are not being protected by minions as the skill shot is blocked by any other unit. Take heal next to heal yourself and your ally should you take damage or be destroying that bad that you are already hitting the enemy tower for the attack speed buff. Try and farm as much as possible so once you hit level 6 you can go back and buy aTear of the Godess andBoots of Speed. After this go back to lane by pouncing as much as cougarly possible. pounce has the perfect cooldown that every time it is off cooldown it will give you 4 more max mana for 0 mana used. You need to spam this early as nidalee is a support who will eventually run out of mana in a long support effort.
Continue to farm or support your team until you have enough money to buy aGuinsoo's Rageblade and if possible completeboots of mobility in one return to fountain.
once you have both of these items you can start supporting much more effectively and keep up that support from a longer range as you now have max move speed. With Boots of mobility and her on the prowl passive nidalee gets around 500 movement speed in bushes so be sure to always run through the jungle to get max mobility when going somewhere.
Be sure to keep an eye on the lane situation. If mid leaves to go gank the other lane quickly run through the forest to defend middle tower from falling as best you can (some characters are harder to defend against than others particularly ranged AD carries).
Now that a few towers have fallen and a team fight or two have occurred hopefully your team has come out ahead and you have some gold. Save up for aMorello's Evil Tome and buy it ASAP as nidalee needs the CDR to maintain effective support in most situations.
Assuming no one has taken your teams blue buff go take it as soon as a team battle seems likely to happen within the next 2 minutes. With the CDR and Mana Regen spam all of your human powers, tosing Javelins for harass / last hits, trapping everything like a boss, and healing anyone damaged. make sure to heal the person being focused in team fight particularly if its a tanky DPS character as they will have decent resistances and health to take damage and live. keep spearing and try and lay an offensive trap to get more damage onto a particular target.
IF and only IF the team fight is going in your favor should you transform into cougar form and attempt to chase down enemy champions trying to flee. Nidalee's primary role is a support until the team fight is going well for your team and then you can pounce in and have some fun picking up a kill or 2 and getting plenty of assists.
Once you have enough forRabbadon's Deathcap go back and buy it so your AP will take a jump for the better in a large way. WithandNidalee has a very decent amount of AP, and CDR to do massive support. just make sure you get blue buff at the earliest opportunity as yo need capped CDR and lots of mana regeneration to stay in the support position.
Dragon v Cougar
When playing on the blue team pounce over the wall on the opposite side of location 1 and check if dragon is there. You can still check for dragon if on purple team but you run the added risk of being ambushed from over the wall. Place a trap at location 2 and wait a few seconds.if it doesn't go off chances are they may not have dragon warded (especially if the enemy has no jungler). if they don't have a jungler take the duty upon yourself to kill the dragon. stand in the river and place a trap under dragon and wait a second. once you hear it snap throw a spear, change forms and engage dragon. do a full combo of Pounce, swipe, take down twice and then switch back. Heal yourself throw a spear and change back. repeat until dragon is dead every other time you change back to human laying another trap to snap dragon and put the debuff on him.
I wouldn't attempt to do this solo unless you have your Deathcap for some ability power and if you want to play it safe wait till you have an archangels staff.
A solo Nidalee with no interruptions can take dragon solo and get the global 190 gold for the team. make sure your flash is up when you do dragon so you can flash over the back wall if you get ambushed. just remember if you have no flash and the enemy team is MIA don't try dragon. wait till a lot of the enemies are at top and nothing is happening at bottom. you can beat dragon solo but like I said you cant be interrupted. most of the time you are at 1/4 health after killing the dragon.
Now that the game has been going on for a while now it should be pretty clear who will be winning the game. If you are on the losing side don't lose faith and make sure your team doesn't either, defeat is never inevitable and can always be averted. Hopefully your team has been doing well and moral loss is the least of your problems and you will get the victory easily.
Continue on your build by getting aBuilt out of your Tear of the Godess that should have been at max capacity like 20 minutes ago. Make sure not to let up on trapping. By late game people may try and back door silently with skill shots or snipe low health towers solo. traps will let you catch solo enemies doing stupid things by themselves and let your team know where the enemy players are.
If the game is still going sell your doran's ring and get a sheen to build intoLitch bane if it really is lasting this long. Make sure you are always with your carry and supporting them at all times. Supports are not very useful by themselves they need to augment a carry to make them more dangerous. This late in the game and even early game your team should move as a unit and always be together to get easy kills on any solo champions caught.
Late game continue to get blue buff as it is nidalee's best friend. Nidalee with blue buff can spam her human form powers just as easily as her cougar form powers and be 10 times more effective in supporting her team.