Nunu Build Guide by bXruss24
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Welcome to my Nunu guide! This is my first guide, so please bear with me and be sure to leave a comment for suggestions. This guide takes advantage of the jungling power of Nunu. I will delve into how to maximize your damage while also keeping high survivability. Good luck, and happy reading!
4/22/11 - Added a "counter-jungling" section, and did general revisions to make the guide easier to work with.
4/23/11 - Upon further contemplation, changed to boots as a starting item, rather than cloth armor, and switched Banshee's Veil with Rod of Ages.
7/11/11 - Archived.
I go with Magic Penetration
, Mana Regen per level
, Flat CDR
, and flat HP
. Not much to explain here, they're pretty basic caster runes. However, it is up to you exactly what runes you choose - I am sure that most players have come into this guide already having a runeset and a mastery tree of their own.
I go with 9-7-14 masteries. Some of you may be wondering why I chose the defensive masteries - as Sagasu points out in his EXCELLENT Ryze Build, the HP regen is ridiculous that you can rack up using your max mana. Using this build you will end up with around 25 additional HP5, which is extremely high. Also be sure to pick up the magic penetration mastery and the improved smite on the offensive end, as well as the buff boost and EXP boost on the Utility end. The rest is up to your discretion. If you decide to get , it might be a good idea to remove a Utility point so you can spend it on the Improved Ignite. Again, the runes and mastery tree are not a huge deal to me, and you can make them how you like. I am sure that most players already have their rune set for junglers/Nunu and they can build it how they like.
As for your summoner spells, be sure you ALWAYS get . It is your bread and butter skill for jungling and is not to be replaced. , however, can be replaced with the following:
Ghost is a fantastic spell. In the current metagame, it is almost a must-have for any character, but Nunu's W can be an acceptable speed boost. Secondly, flash also has myriad uses; it can be used in combination with , it can be used as an escape mechanism, or it can be used as a chasing mechanism. Whether you use ghost or flash is entirely up to preference. They are used for essentially the same purpose.
Crowd control, as we all know, is Nunu's mortal enemy. All of his attacks have a fairly short range, his attacks are close-range, and he can be caught in the enemy's CC quite easily. Secondly, his ultimate is canceled by CC, which makes you a huge target. Cleanse is a wonderful spell to counteract all of such negative effects.
This is a very viable spell for jungle Nunu. As long as you get the Ignite mastery, you will get a smorgasbord (what an awesome word) of bonuses, not limited to just the 10 extra AP when it's on cooldown. It's a great finisher early-game, it can be used to deal some true damage to jungle enemies to accelerate your pace, and it can be used to pick off pesky self-healers like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir late-game.
While Heal can sometimes be useful (it's very helpful when tower-diving or kiting an enemy to your tower), the spells mentioned earlier are a lot more useful. Secondly, you already have a self-heal (that also counts as a second Smite to boot), so it's a little bit of overkill when it comes to jungling.
Teleport is actually a pretty good jungle spell. It's wonderful for that situation when the solo laner dies and you have to go cover for the lane until he gets back; all you have to do is Teleport to a minion or tower in that lane and it's safe! The tower is likely to take little to no damage. It can also be used to gank lanes, but that is a fairly predictable means of getting into a lane and it's not advised unless the enemy is stunned/snared. Overall, Teleport is very situation-based, and your spell slot is probably better occupied by something else.
All other summoner spells are fairly useless for Nunu. Don't get them.
Your items are definitely subject to change, depending on what your team needs and what the enemy team has. I will delve into the suggested, original item choices, and then I will delve into the myriad substitutions you can use.
For boots, I almost always choose Mercury's Treads because of the nice MR and the CC reduction. However, if for some reason the other team lacks hard CC you can go with or .
Since I am not a fan of snowball items (except on faceroll champs like Karthus), Rod of Ages is an amazing item. It gives you a balance of AP, survivability, and mana. However, if you really believe in yourself and want to sacrifice some survivability for power, feel free to purchase instead.
Getting this item is almost necessary, unless the other team lacks CC. Which they won't. You will want to get this item IMMEDIATELY after your boots; AP isn't yet necessary as your damage with and will be quite high. Banshee's is great - it provides an excellent amount of survivability and blocks a negative spell which could potentially stop your proc. And that's just bad news.
The items mentioned above are your bread and butter, and should be gotten basically every game. As for the items below, there is a very large possibility that you won't get to them, and they largely depend on team composition. Basically; get the above 3 items, regardless of team composition, straight away. As a general rule of thumb, get your initial 3 items, 1 offensive item, 1 balanced item, and 1 defensive item (in that order). It will ensure plenty of damage and survivability. However, you must suit the needs of your team - depending on whether they need someone survivable or someone with damaging ability, you can build the items below as you like.
Not much to explain here. Makes your spells hit ever harder.
A great item that packs a lot of punch. If the other team is stacking MR this is a must-get. Again, not much to explain. I would more than likely choose Deathcap over this one.
This item will pack quite a punch when you have the mana bonuses of both RoA and Banshee's veil. It will solve your mana problems forever! But you will still want to pick up the blue buff whenever possible. Again, Deathcap will probably provide the most punch out of these offensive items, so it's probably the best idea to fill your slot with that. It's also a tad redundant to get the extra MP5 because your runes already cover that "weakness" in this item build.
FoN provides the most magic resistance in the game. It also gives you tons and tons of HP regen. OMGWTFBBQ GET EVERY GAME!!??! Not really. Only use this if the other team is stacking magic damage like there's no tomorrow.
Thornmail provides the most physical defense in the game. It also returns 30% magic damage to all physical attacks. OMGWTFBBQ GET EVERY GAME!!??! Not really. Only use this if the other team is stacking physical damage like there's no tomorrow.
Frozen heart is friggin' amazing on Nunu. Provides almost as much armor as (1 point less), gives 20% CDR, lowers enemy attack speed, gives mana. Not much else to say... this is generally what fills my Defensive Item slot.
Meh. Randuin's is a strong item and all, but I really think Frozen Heart gives more of what you need. The HP regen is nice, but when you have the ability power that you have by the end of the game (which is when you almost always buy your defensive item, by the way), will give you more than enough HP to stay in the fray. It has a cool active though. If you're a fan of Randuin's, take it by all means.
GA is a cool item. Since you are the target of enemy damage and CC, being an ultra-heavy damage-dealer, a free extra life isn't such a bad thing. I get this about as much as I get frozen heart - it's an excellent way to fill your last spot.
Aaaah - this is the most under-appreciated and underused item in the game. Basically, it's a cheap Cleanse that also gives you free Magic Resistance. got your tongue? Sash it away. How about ? Quicksilver sash takes care of that too. Basically, I get it every game the other team has a Mordekaiser. If 3 of their team members have hard CC and you don't have as one of your summoner spells, pick this up. You won't regret it.
Zhonya's is your dream come true. 50 Defense, 100 Ability Power, and a kickass active that makes the enemy's focus on you completely useless. More often than not, this is my "balanced" item.
This is a sweet item as well, and often overlooked. Its MPen Aura is unbelievable, and it provides quite a bit of magic resistance. I use this item as opposed to Zhonya's whenever the other team is stacking magic damage rather than physical damage. Generally, though, whenever it's balanced I stick with Zhonya's because of the active. But it's your choice.
500 HP, 80 AP, all of your offensive spells slow. OMGWTFBBQ GET IT EVERY GAME THIS IS AN UNBELIEVABLE ITEM?!?!? Not really. I think Rylai is kind of meh on Nunu as he already has a slow for his main nuke; and a slow isn't really needed for his ultimate because its goal is to do tons of damage and destroy the enemy, not to chase. The stats bonuses are nice though, and the recipe items are nice and easy to get ahold of. But there are much better items.
This item is very underused, but it's great early-game. Sometimes I pick it up before my to get a little bit of survivability and damage. Of course, since its stats pale in comparison to other "balanced" items, it should be sold as the game goes on, but it's a nice well-rounded item that is not to be overlooked.
Make sure you use your Consumables too! Wards, potions, and elixirs boost your gameplay quite a bit.
The part you've all been waiting for. Sit back and enjoy.
You are a JUNGLER! Therefore, your early game will be spent killing creeps in the jungle almost exclusively, with perhaps a gank here or there. Remember that you have 3 main responsibilities:
1. First and foremost, make sure that YOU are leveling up! If you don't stay as leveled as the lanes you will quickly fall behind in team fights and need to spend time farming lanes later on in the game. And that is NOT a good thing.
2. Secondly, you need to make sure that your team's lanes keep the advantage. That is why you are constantly looking for spots to gank. If the enemy has pushed too far it is YOUR responsibility to be aware of it and use the opportunity to get your team a kill. With Nunu, I would say that the absolute earliest for a gank is Level 4, but generally I wait until I get my ultimate at level 6.
3. Finally - I cannot emphasize enough the amount of map awareness and control of the jungle itself you need to have. You need to pick up at the very LEAST one ward each time you blue pill. Generally I pick up 2 or 3. When you have that little bit of extra money that isn't quite enough to buy your item - get wards with it. Many junglers become mediocre because of their lack of jungle awareness, so don't become one of them! Here is the priority of your ward placement:
Top Priority - Dragon and Baron. Baron is not so important until later game, but dragon is a resource that is as important as getting champion kills. Therefore, it needs to be constantly addressed and if it isn't warded... you had better be getting your *** back to base to ward it! And as the game goes on (around level 13)I would make Baron a priority over dragon.
Middle Priority - Jungle buffs. I cannot count the number of times I have Smited away a jungle buff from the enemy jungle because they were simply careless. Make sure you keep your own jungle camps warded in addition to enemy camps - you don't want to let them waltz in and steal the buff on YOUR side of the map. If you don't have wards there is a high chance that there will be no repercussions for stealing the enemy's jungle buff!
Low Priority - Ganking bushes, general jungle area. It is always a good idea to place that one extra ward in some bush in the jungle. Over the course of three minutes it's more than likely that the enemy will walk into that bush - and from there it is a SUPER easy gank. Try and get spots near lanes first, and then more inner-jungle areas.
As you can see, you have a lot of responsibility for your team as a jungler. But worry not! Nunu is a fairly easy character to jungle with and leveling will be a breeze as long as you know what you're doing.
(there may be a map here depending on the success of this build)
While there are many ways to jungle, this is generally the path I take:
1. Blue Buff
Get someone from your team to help you with the Blue Buff - it's not that it's impossible for you to get at level 1, it is just extremely precarious. It is a lot safer if you simply have an ally autoattacking it to help you along that little bit. In general, it's a good idea to have your entire team scout the jungle to start off games (especially Ranked ones!) - if the enemy team is inexperienced you will get an easy first blood. If you are not in a ranked game or if your ranked team is very, very stupid and you end up soloing Blue Buff at level 1, make sure you proc only when your health dips down 150-200 points. Otherwise, it is a waste of a very valuable healing resource. Always last hit with !
Fairly self-explanatory here... it is generally wise to wait until is off of cooldown so you can maximize its usability. Also make sure that you basically have perpetually in effect - it makes camps go a lot smoother and it's easier to move from camp to camp with that slight movespeed increase.
Consume the blue one and you are certain to survive for the rest of this camp.
Pretty self-explanatory; feel free to use Smite as you aren't going to tackle the red buff straightaway just yet. Bluepill back to your base and purchase or . With your extra money (if there is any) make sure you buy plenty of wards and potions to keep you at maximum capacity!
5. Repeat Wolves and Wraiths
6. Red Buff
Now that you are fairly leveled, red buff should be a breeze and not such a precarious object to be pursuing. Just make sure to use your and wisely!
7. Repeat Mini-Golems
As you continue to jungle, make sure that you're aware of how the lanes are doing - ganking is essential to your success! Beyond Step 7, you should be spending all your time ganking and clearing any jungle camps that you see have popped back up using the little skull-markings on your minimap.
Another of Nunu's strengths is his ability to counter-jungle, or steal enemy camps, buffs, etc. In the previous section I already capitalized on the importance of wards - well, they are integral to your success in counter-jungling as well. If you have Dragon, Baron, and buff camps warded, it is always a good idea to take the bull by the horns and STEAL the buff/gold/exp from the other side! All you have to do is get in range of smite and wait to last-hit it. If you feel ballsy enough to actually approach the enemy or flash in from the other side, keep an eye on the monster's HP bar - if it gets around 1200 you will DEFINITELY be able to safely Consume/Smite it and make a mad dash for it! However, I highly suggest only doing this when the enemy is soloing the monster, AND you need to be absolutely sure that your last-hit will steal the buff. You don't want to risk yourself and end up dying for nothing. The last thing you want to do is run into a gank.
I consider midgame to be from about level 7 to level 13. At this point you should DEFINITELY be participating in fights and ganking the enemy. There are basically 3 steps to a gank:
1. Cast to get a slight speed boost and continue to re-cast it whenever it is off of cooldown.
2a. More than 1 enemy? Make sure you wait for them to use their CC on others until you proc ; until then, spam on their squishiest members (Carry, Anti-Carry, Support).
2b. Only 1 player to gank? Just hit them with .
3. Continue to chase and autoattack, using whenever it's off of cooldown. Always refresh your boost!
Also keep in mind that you need to continue warding everywhere you can. Map awareness is key!
Lastly, whenever there is an opening in the positioning for it, it is YOUR responsibility to call your team to fight the dragon. Since Nunu is not really a solo dragon character, it's a good idea to get at least one other teammate to help you out - remember to last-hit with and !
At this point, the difference between win and loss could be one teamfight. So here are a few ground rules regarding gameplay against other champions:
1. Don't enter the fight prematurely. You are NOT a full-on tank and you shouldn't be receiving the brunt of the focus; if you are, you are certainly doing something wrong.
2. Weave in and out of the fight, taking a little bit of burden off of your tank here or there, and then when you see an opportunity (the enemy won't be able to cancel it) cast . This is definitely a GROUNDBREAKING ultimate, but it must be used with discretion! Try and team up with other champions that have AoE ultimates or multi-target taunts such as Amumu, Galio, Shen, and Miss Fortune.
3. DON'T pull away from the fight until your tank does. It's not over until your tank begins to retreat. This rule applies to ANY champion you're playing.
Also, be sure to keep Baron warded! It is the prime resource at endgame and you shouldn't let the other team get it from under your nose!
So, that's it. My first guide. I hope you all enjoyed it - feel free to leave a comment, vote, and give me suggestions! It is more than likely that I will continue to add to this guide if it is a success. Thanks!