Build Guide by Pelikins
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Not Updated For Current Season
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A Physical DPS support and aggressive tank
This build is ment to buff and support teams which have atleast one physical damage dealer.
The itemization is meant to make a sturdy tank which also provides great damage, while providing early offensive auras to make up for Nasus' lack of crowd control mechanics. It works best with atleast two physical based allies, one of which being a ranged carry.
One of Nasus's greatest weaknesses is his early game. His dps is low, he is easily harassed and his mana base is only high enough to baby his siphoning strike, giving him little mana to help harass.
To help Nasus farm, support, and to better baby his siphoning strike early on, we are going into the utility tree for cool down reduction, increased mana and mana regeneration, and grabbing improved clarity to help your partner since they will need to harass for the both of you.
We are also grabbing AK out of the offense tree for increased damage on you AoE's. I feel this is crucial because of the %based damage on your ult which converts into AD for your champion and because you will be leveling spirit fire first and this is a magic damage based ability.
With the new crit system, the crit mastery is nice, and cd reduction in the offense tree will help build up siphoning strike.
Getting your siphoning strike built up for the late game is crucial, so grabbing 1 point of it early on to spam it on minions while laning is important.
Keeping it at 1 point there after until spirit fire is maxed is best. You will still spam it to keep increasing it's damage, but you dps and farming base is going to be in spirit fire.
Spirit Fire- this is the bulk of your dps, one of the best physical damage debuffs in the game, and a great farming tool. Level it first. It's expensive and easily avoided in a 1v1 so make sure to be at the first team fight and put it down in an ideal location around someone with a solid cc (cho, eve, sion, taric, renekton, lux, alistar, ashe ect) and cc the focus target in the core of the aoe. Make sure to wither the target in the aoe if necessary to insure a kill. This will force the enemy team to come into the aoe to attempt to save the focus target or they will run and you'll get an easy kill.
Wither- this is a very good slow, but it doesn't do much except slow since usually you are focusing squishies and they are running away (not attacking). I grab one point in it for focus target slowing or chasing but basically ignore the skill until I have every other option leveled. It does mean that Nasus can effectively stay in melee range of a champion without additional MS or taking exhaust.
Fury of the Sands- the biggest reason any one plays Nasus. He gets big and mean and with some additional AS and lifesteal he gets about invincible (provided you can get to someone to attack). With CDR you should have this up every team fight, use it! Keep it at max level as the the damage scaling is beyond incredible and the bonus hp scaling protects you from focus.
Marks- desolation (Arm Pen)- most of your damage is physical, and you are stacking armor pen in the itemization and skill selection. Because of penetration scaling, the more you get the more value each addition point is worth. Because of this arm-pen marks are by far the most superior runes to get for this build.
Seals- resielence (armor)- you are a tank but you don't get armor for a long ways into the build. Since this is an issue you grab some armor in the runes to make up for it in the early game. Also you will be melee'd repeatedly in the lane phase because you're babying SS and the mitigation is nice.
Glyphs- Focus (flat CDR)- gives you extra siphoning strikes while laning and will allow your ult to be up faster later in the game.
Quints- Fortitude- you are squishy early in the game and you have little way of keeping from being harassed. The extra hp is a great asset to keep you from becoming first blood.
You build is based around your ult. You are a damage spike champion, meaning that 70%+ of your damage output against champions will be done within the duration of your ult.
Your itemization is built around that fact. And if the other team doesn't already know that about you, they will soon learn. They will call for retreat the second you pop that ult, crowd control you best they can and only come back to pick a fight while its on CD. We are also building this champion to mitigate crowd control so that his ult can be effectively used.
You are also a natural physical debuffer. We are maximizing that aspect early on to get your carries fed. If you can do that the game is over before it begins (of course they will brag about how good they are and give you no recognition...).
I like to start with a vampiric scepter. 22% life steal off the go is very nice, and the item builds straight into stark's. Of course, if you won't have a competent laning partner, you won't be able to hit creeps to lifesteal. You must identify this before the game starts and get a doran's shield first in this situation.
I then buy boots. Remember you are a character that will recieve a lot of cc when you ult. Due to this get merc treds to minimize the effectiveness of cc on you.
I then get the recurve bow for increased AS. If you don't have a jungler, this is the time to make a pass through the jungle. The red buff does wonders at the first team fight. Upgrade the bow and vamp scepter to a starks as soon as possible.
I then like to get a catalyst. You are low enough level to get good use out of it's passive and its like a mini clarity between clarities. If you are being harassed more than lifesteal can mitigate, it also will heal you. You also will have a slightly larger hp bar to keep you from being focused.
I then upgrade catalyst to a veil. The veil is a must for Nasus. It will often mitigate that one cc effect that gets you a kill. It also will protect you from common ganking skills such as ww ult, rocket grab, and eve's stun. The hp and mana on the item are very useful as well.
Next I buff up my hp further with a sunfire cloak. You are now much too sturdy to be a focus target and will get great use out of the sunfire cloak standing in the enemy formation doing tons of damage. The sunfire cloak will allow you to position yourself in a manner which disrupts the enemy formation. They will spread out to avoid the all your aoe damage and this often allows for your team to focus and kill a target. Making them move also decreases their output considerably.
I then get a phage to help with cc and get a little hp and ad as a bonus.
I get a stinger to lower my cd's and give extra AS.
I upgrade to a frozen mallet for more hp and more consistent slowing.
I upgrade to a nashor's tooth to get me up to cdr cap, more AS, some mana regen, and the ability power bonus helps dps a bit as well (especially in team fights).