Nidalee Build Guide by Riektas
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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.
Introduction: Nidalee, No farm Anticarry
Well to start this off, I don't play Nidalee like most people.
From what I've seen, Most people try to run her as an ADC or a solo top. While those aren't bad ways to play her, they really aren't the most optimal roles for her.
After a long time of playing her as Bot-Support, I've learned that her role isn't so much a traditional support. The more aggressive your play style the better, I find myself constantly in the bottom pair of bushes, behind the enemy creep wave, spearing the champions to suppress them into their tower. This method works very well as it will give your ADC a level advantage, preoccupy the enemy jungler, and force the bottom lane into a tough ultimatum; get XP (and speared to death) or lose power on other lanes to keep you and your ADC down. Most teams would rather you press the tower and have you roaming, as opposed to farming their bot lane champions.
Farming: How dare you steal farm from the ADC!
Really you shouldn't do it, Kage's Lucky Pick and Heart of Gold will do better for you, and you won't steal any stopping power from your ADC.
Also both of those items turn into things that Nidalee can make great use of. (Randuin's and Morello's Tome) if you are finding the gold from assists just isn't enough, get these items.
If you find yourself lacking enough health, Sell your Haunting Guise and pick up Randuin's Omen.
Runes: Why all Magic Pen?
With 21 MPen from just runes, you walk out of spawn with the equivalent of Sorc. Treads + spell tome right off of the bat.
With the 21 Mpen, after you put that second point in your Javelin Toss (Q), you start half-shotting the enemy support or ADC. You pick up a lot of lethality after that. Mpen, I have noticed, doesn't fall out to much late game, and has a LOT of early game dominance.
The G/10 runes are just to keep you hiding in the bushes, away from your ADC's Creep Wave.
Now to the grit.
When I have a jungler I always volunteer to hard leash so the Mid can keep that early lane time. If the enemy has a jungler, I walk out with an Amplifying Tome and a sight ward.
In a normal game (No jungler on either team) I walk out to my lane with a Amplifying Tome and 2 mana potions to keep me spearing (Also have clarity for more spears and to keep the ADC spamming).
When I get enough for boots AND a Ruby Crystal I go back and grab them.
After you get your Sorc. Treads, and your Haunting Guise, it is time to roam. The other lanes don't know that you can kill them with one spear (61 Mpen at this point, so better than true damage if no one has MR) At the roaming stage you have clarity to keep your team mates in the fight, and drop some anti-initiating spears. (Most people don't like fighting after losing 40-80% of their health from a support champion.)
With Haunting Guise and Sorc. Treads and a Blasting Wand, your spear can do upwards of 1200 damage (At max range).
Most people will always tell you, "Rush Rabadon's Deathcap first." You are not an AP carry, you are an anti-carry, build Rylai's Crystal Staff first. Health is VERY important for you since Nidalee is a brawler too. With Rylai's you can land that slow while in Cougar aspect and save an Ally, and pounce yourself to safety. So it is more important than trying to burst them down.
Thornmail, while it is a very strange sight to see on Nidalee, people are going to remember those spears and try to take you out of the fight first. Most of the time you'll die first because of this, Thornmail will punish them for focusing you, and you need to protect that health.
Obviously after you get your Rabadon's Deathcap, you want to snag your Lichbane. It'll give you some MR to protect yourself from the AP carry and some massive damage output on your auto-attack (Especially in Cougar form)
If you find yourself lacking enough health, Sell your Haunting Guise and pick up Randuin's Omen
---NOTE: Upon the Addition of the new growth path of haunting guise The new Item (Not sure of the name) will replace Haunting guise for mid game.---
Skill Sequence: Don't take trap First?
Bushwhack is an AMAZING ability, % Armour and MR reduction is just cruel. This ability will set you up a lot of kills late game and give you that little bit of map awareness you need (Not to mention. grant you line of sight in the enemy base and over jungle walls to secure a couple of those "Gotcha'" Spears).
Getting that second point in spears as soon as possible will win you the lane, and you can't forget that you are a healer too, and you need to keep that ADC in the fight at all costs. So putting your first point in at level 4 will ensure that you have some security and a LOT of dominance in lane.
For those of you who are new to Nidalee, You will be tempted to face-roll the Q, W, E keys in Cougar form, Don't!
You will get the most damage output by W, E, Q. (Pounce, Swipe, and Takedown)
Pounce will land and do about 400 (With all of that delicious Mpen) Swipe will do about the same. Takedown (Also does Magic damage but grows off of Physical Attack) will do more damage AFTER Pounce and Swipe (The lower the targets health is, the more damage they will take.)
To Clean up a few kills, however, the occasional Q to empower your next attack and then pouncing to close that distance, and kill them is very useful, and can get your team mates out of some sticky situations, by intimidating the enemies with your extra burst.
Summoner Spells: Why would you use THOSE!?
Clarity is one of the less used Summoner spells in the game, and Nidalee abuses it's power to the fullest. With it you become a bottomless barrel of spears, not to mention being able to keep your ADC's mana full so they can spam as much as you are.
Teleport, this ability is to get you back to lane early game and to get you back to your team faster in late game. Also has a lot of potential in tower taking. When your team is hitting the tower and the creeps are almost gone, Teleport makes the targeted creep, invulnerable, and protects your allies health bar, while letting them bash the tower for a few more seconds (and maybe even take it).
Nidalee doesn't need Flash (Pounce can be used every 3-4 seconds). Pounce can also jump through some of the walls. Including Baron, Dragon and Blue (And a few others).
Nidalee doesn't need ignite, close enough to ignite close enough to spear.
Nidalee doesn't need Ghost, She can pounce and gets a speed bonus for going into bushes.
Nidalee doesn't need Heal, It's redundant and yours will heal for more than it by mid game.
Promote, Cleanse, Surge and Revive, Just no... You lose to much for these Summoner Spells.
Exhaust is great, but you should leave exhausting to the ADC, they should be calling the shots on your lane.
Clairvoyance is a beautiful spell since it counteracts that you didn't get your trap first. But, most people don't know how to use it right, so it is better left out of your choices unless you know how to use it, and it doesn't collect dust. (If It is off of CD you should use it.)
Summary: Give me some feed back!
I am not used to submitting templates and builds or using the scripts for Mobafire, so if you find something that can be improved please feel free to let me know!
Hope to see some new Nidalee players out there using this build.
Thanks for reading the guide!
--Riektas (Yimmura NA LoL)