Nidalee Build Guide by blitzkrigers
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Why Nidalee Support?
Through over a year of trial and error, I have found that consistently carrying teams is quite difficult. Most lanes are "called" in champ select and it makes it hard to consistently get the same lane. Only middle can effectively carry consistently, and it is a popular lane. In order to carry, you must be able to secure objectives for your team. That means a quick tower + 2 dragons are needed to win every time.
I became increasingly aware of the inefficiencies in most solo que teams. Carrys do not always farm lanes in the mid game and much of the CS goes to waste. Teams break for team fights too early. Thus, teams are throwing extra gold down the drain.
I also realized that many supports fall off late game or are virtually useless in certain fights. With the extra gold per minutes runes, masteries, items, and base gold accrual in season 3, I feel as though supports should be more useful.
Thus, I came across Nidalee support. If you think I am lying about the effectiveness of Nidalee, keep in mind that I went from Plat V to Plat IV using only Nidalee support. This guide is indepth and will try to expand your mind out of the normal Metagame. Be patient and give it a read. It really does work.
The Third Carry or the Feeder
Nidalee's spear does an incredible amount of damage if you correctly build and are able to hit the enemy. By building correctly you will become a weaker third carry. Because you are nidalee, you will be incredibly mobile as well. During team fights you will be difficult to pin down and continually sniping people from a distance.
If you play poorly, you will die. You have less than 2k hp, no resistances, and are instakilled. Your goal is to distract the enemy team while sniping their carries. If they catch you early, you will lose most team fights. If they cannot catch you, you win.
How Your Lane Works
Nidalee is a hyperagressive support. This means that the only way to succeed late game is to completely destroy the lane. Normally hyperagression is not as strong as defensively counterattacking, but this build is my one exception.
Poke champions with Javelin Toss as many times as your mana will allow. When you see them push into the creeps, hopefully your ADC will be smart enough to poke them and/or use skills to damage them. Poke with your auto attack any chance that you get. If they fight, use your heal during combat on your ADC. Not only does this counter the damage, but it allows for a counterattack because of the increased attack speed buff.
The important part of the lane is to get damage on the enemy team. Don't worry about trying to hit your spear as long range as possible. Just hit the target. Bush control is imperative. Continually chunk spears into the bushes so that their support has to move out. From there, try to get better angles by going to the side of the creeps and throwing spears along the back line. Just keep harassing all day. The move speed buff from the bushes will help keep you safe.
Use your traps to cover you and give vision when you advance. Trap the tribush, the river bush, and as many entryways as possible. The entry from blue buff to the river is a great place if you are on the Blue side. Traps will allow you to buy fewer wards while still being safe. If you do not trap correctly, you will be lane ganked to death. Not buying the extra wards or early sightstone will save you enough money to be useful later on.
Don't be afraid of getting the kills. Your ADC should have more farm than theirs. Remember, it isn't always about how well your ADC is doing, but how well the team is doing. You will get complaints, but keep building AP and you will be 10x more useful than their support.
Mid Game+Team Fights
This build works because Nidalee will become a weak 3rd carry. If you can imagine the average team fight, the fight is about catching the enemy carries and killing them. Nidalee should be played extremely far from the group, and generally to the side of the enemy. This will allow you to poke their carries and support.
To be successful with this build you must relentlessly barrage the enemy team. On any given team 3 people usually don't have sustain. Those are your targets. Whether it is a tank, support, mid, or top, hit them with spears. This will force them to back and if your team persists almost assuredly gets you a tower. I generally like to group after all three outer towers are down. If you keep persistent pressure bot, their jungler will be forced to come bot lane. When that happens, continually ping the mid and top tower so that the lanes know to take them.
I also love nidalee because she secures dragon's. If you crush your bot lane, you will get dragon 90% of the time. Keep poking and take the small victories. It isn't always about kills, but rather about snowballing objectives with harassment and poke.
Do not get caught. Do not dive with your cougar form. Late game you have roughly 1900 HP and around 400 from your Seraphs. Many ADC's can 4 shot you. Lux's combo will one shot you. Darius can instakill you with his combo. Stay as far back as possible and hit people with spears.
Don't forget to heal your carries. Use your heal to save people that are almost dead if you have to, but try to save it for your AD champs in the game. At lvl 5 the heal increases attack speed by 60% for 7 seconds. That buff is massive and should be saved for your ADC whenever possible.
Advanced Explanations: Summoners, Items, and More!
Everyone I know is convinced that flash is the best. However, exhaust+ignite is a combo that can crush lanes. Movement is important, but an extra 110 damage at lvl 3 is too large to pass up. Nid has 450ms with her second boots and a leap in cougar form. You should be so far back that you never need to flash. Instead, use the exhaust+ignite combo in cougar form during lane to crush their bot. In lane, feel free to ignite their support. Why not, right? Just get the damage on the enemy team. Do not double ignite their ADC if your ADC has ignite as well. Ignite doesn't stack.
The items mentioned give utility and AP. Nid has a great deal of mana problems. You will not run out of mana with a fully farmed seraphs. The deathcap will get you to 350AP which is plenty to poke down enemy champions. If you don't rush AP, you won't be useful. I haven't found a need for more than 1 ward at a time because of the traps, so don't go crazy buying wards. Being frugal will allow you to snowball into late game and be that useful third carry.
If you are on the blue team (the one that first picks in champ select), you have a very good opportunity to steal blue. Throw your spears through the bushes in the river to make sure you are safe. Remember, you don't have flash. Wait at the edge of the bush on the middle side of blue. Plant your 60 second ward on the blue golem just after 1:40. For the most part, they will try to do a smiteless blue. Wait until the golem is at roughly 100 hp. Throw your spear and hit it. You just took their blue. You no longer have mana problems in lane, you are almost lvl 2, and their jungler is still lvl 1.