Nunu Build Guide by Dorian182
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Late game situational items
This build will tell you which items to build, which runes to use, and what masteries to take. I also try and give an in depth guide on how to play Nunu effectively.
I have played over 500 normal games as Nunu.
I have changed quite a lot since the start of season 4 and will hopefully be changing more in the future.
If you have any ideas on making the guide better, or if you just want to tell me that it's good, then don't be afraid to comment!
Pros / Cons
- Scales well throughout the game
- Good survivability thanks to Consume
- Strong slows and damage
- Absolute Zero is his amazingly powerful ultimate
- Has the potential to get multi-kills if you have good timing/positioning
- He is an under appreciated laner, causing people to let their guard down
- Excellent at finishing/slowing weak enemies with his Ice Blast
- Absolute Zero is easily interrupted in team fights
- Can be difficult to solo lane against two ranged heroes
- Absolute Zero can be hard to master
Primary summoner spells
Teleport is very helpful if you're solo'ing as it allows you to quickly get back to your tower. It also allows you to get around the map, a well placed ward can get you lots of kills. A good example would be a ward placed in a brush, you teleporting behind the enemy and using Absolute Zero when they retreat, I have picked up lots of double kills using this method.
Flash is a must for Nunu, not only because it allows you to escape ganks pretty easily. You should view Flash + Absolute Zero as one move, you can flash in and activate your ultimate causing the enemy to scatter and do massive amounts of damage to anyone who does not make it away.
Ignite is a useful replacement for teleport, if you're not laning alone then take ignite, it's useful for those situations when your Ice Blast just doesn't do quite enough damage. It's also good when laning against some of the more difficult heroes for Nunu such as Mordekaiser and Vladimir.
Secondary summoner spells
These are spells you could take, I would recommend always taking them coupled with Flash.
Exhaust is a good spell to couple with Absolute Zero as they will be moving so slowly they will nearly always be hit by the ultimate.
Clairvoyance is a good choice if no one on your team has taken it, along with the regular positive aspects such as being able to check the brush/Nashor/Dragon it also allows you to scout an area before an Absolute Zero + Flash combo.
I would not advise any other spells, but this is just a guide, not a strict set of rules, find two spells that you're comfortable with and try them out.
Runes and Masteries
I get some magic pen for the early game damage and I take AP per level to help Nunu to scale better as the game goes on. The armour yellows help him survive in lane.
I take 21/0/9 to give you the damage you need to dominate your lane and the extra damage helps with last hitting creeps. The 9 in utility helps with mana costs and is good for when you get a buff. If you find that you're running out of mana a lot then you can also go 9/0/21 and take all of the points that relate to mana in the utility tree.
I will show you some techniques that work well in games and some that don't:
Zhonya's Hourglass and Absolute Zero
As you can see from the above it doesn't work sadly although Zhonya's isn't too bad if you want some armour and AP.
Stealing the dragon:
If an enemy attempts to gank as above stay under the tower and ice ball and ultimate.
Stealing blue buff:
Blue buff is always good to have on Nunu so try and get it as often as you can.
How to counter a gank:
This has to be one of my favourite moves to do, I must have over 200 double kills from this method it works so well it scares me, running into the brush and immediately activating your ultimate takes them by surprise every time.
Note: I did all of these moves in a game with bots against 3 friends so that I could show you how to do them, I have done them many hundreds of times in normal games. I did it this way here so I could get footage faster, the two people I am playing against are not intentionally feeding me and the techniques I use all work in normal games.
Despite what many people may think Nunu is an exceptionally good solo laner. When his punches are timed correctly Nunu can farm with the best of them, it takes some time to learn how much health the minion must be on to kill it but this will come with practice. You can use Ice Blast to harass your opponent and Consume to stay in the lane longer. I usually go back when I have enough gold for my second Doran's Ring and Boots of Speed - 825. The slow from your Ice Blast can be excellent for ganks and escaping ganks, when coupled with a hero such as Amumu the gank is almost always guaranteed if played well with their Ice Blast + Bandage Toss combo.
- Nunu can be an efficent farmer if you learn his damage and practice your timing
- Ice Blast is an excellent spell for harassment/escape
The same as solo laning applies as for the basics but there are a few extra tips that should be applied when laning with someone else:
- Push harder and harass more, this is relatively easy once you have your second Doran's Ring
- Use Blood Boil on your ally, an AD carry with Blood Boil can make all the difference
- Consume gives you good longevity so you can stay and hold the lane while your ally shops
It is hard to split the game into clear and distinct sections, I would say that the mid game starts when you have the 3 Doran's Rings and Boots of Speed.
Once you have these 3 you can really start to harass you will have good health and mana regen, you can spam Ice Blast and wear your opponents down. If you are really dominating those on your lane then you can roam and help other lanes by ganking. If not then continue to farm your lane until you have 1675 then you can get Needlessly Large Rod and a sight ward, place it in the top brush if you're top lane or at the dragon if you're bottom.
You will want to take dragon if you can, I would say that you should aim to take the dragon at least once before the 20 minute mark.
If you find that after buying Needlessly Large Rod you are not fast enough into team fights then get Sorcerer's Shoes, if you can get about okay then I would suggest finishing Rabadon's Deathcap as soon as you possibly can. If you have Rabadon's Deathcap at the 20-25 minute mark then you are doing very well.
- Mid game starts when you have 2 x Doran's Ring + Boots of Speed
- Try to take the dragon at least once before 20minutes
- Rabadon's Deathcap between 20-25 minutes and you're doing great
It is difficult to predict how a game will play out late game, so try and adapt as best you can, practice makes perfect in most cases.
The most important aspect of late game is working well with your team mates, don't go solo into unchecked bushes, try and get one or two wards every time you go back to base, they will usually pay off.
Also for what I would call 'super-late game' 45 minutes+ it is really down to team work and team composition,some heroes are gods late game Vayne/ Xerath others are very weak such as AP Teemo or AP Kennen.
Late game is all about adapting to your enemies team build and strategies I will try to address some of these issues in the section below 'Adapting for success'.
- Warding is underrated not only can it give you an easy kill it also protects Nashor and Dragon, and in many cases stops you and your team mates from being ganked.
- Don't be afraid to defend it's better to hug the tower and not die than feed your enemy
- Team work is key, always be aware of your team and what they are doing! The mini-map is there for a reason.
- Don't get angry at yourself/team mates, we all have bad games even the highest Elo players in the world have loss streaks, it's about pushing on through and learning from your mistakes.
- If a team mate is flaming ignore them by typing '/ignore [Player name here]'.
Nunu's friends and enemies
In general heroes with area of effects and stuns all help with Nunu and his ultimate.
Special mentions go to:
Blitzcrank His ultimate can help prevent people from flashing out of your ultimate or from casting a spell to stop it.
Malphite - he is also a good laning partner for both your ultimate combos and to keep up the harass.
All of the above heroes ultimates work amazingly well with Nunu's.
Morgana Black Shield is amazing on Nunu when you're using your ultimate.
In general enemies are those heroes with strong stuns or ones that are especially strong also laning against ranged heroes can be pretty difficult at times.
Janna is the nemesis of AOE heroes, her ultimate will stop you dead in your tracks, make sure her ultimate is on cool down before using Absolute Zero.
Swain is also a tricky one, I find his ultimate and stun can be very difficult to counter when laning against him.
Adapting for success - Situational Items.
This is where you can mix the build up depending on how things are going, many of us will play hundreds of games on LoL, no two are quite the same. Here I will talk about different items to build dependent on the enemy team and how the game is playing out.
If you are having trouble farming then get a Philosopher's stone instead of the second Doran's Ring.
If the enemy team is crowd control intensive and AP heavy (they have lots of stuns and slows) then take Mercury's Treads instead of Sorcerer's Shoes.
If they are stunning and AD heavy then I would suggest still taking Sorcerer's Shoes but getting Philosopher's stone in place of the second Doran's Ring and then upgrading it to Eleisa's Miracle after about 10 minutes of having the stone.
If your team is especially squishy then I would suggest taking Aegis of the Legion to give them that extra longevity in team fights.
If you have an AP intensive team then consider taking Will of the Ancients, this is especially good if you have a Vladimir, Kennen or Katarina on your team.
Most importantly: Use your own judgement, there are thousands of combinations of teams on LoL, do your best to judge what will best counter the enemies specific team. As I have said before this is a guide not a strict set of rules, the more you play the better you will get! (Hopefully).
Recently (July 2012 Patch) Nunu got buffs on his Q and his Magic Resist per level, these make him even better in lane increasing his sustain and his performance against AP mids. I shall be making changes to his build in the near future that I believe help make him even stronger with these buffs.
Another buff which benefits Nunu is the change to his Q, if you take it first you can now consume a Golem, Wraith, or Wolf for a different type of buff, these buffs help Nunu throughout the game so make sure to read the Q tool tip and understand what consuming the different camps does.
This is my first Mobafire guide, I decided to do it because I enjoy playing Nunu so much and I hope that by helping others with my guide they can also enjoy playing him as much as I have.
If you have any feedback do not hesitate to add me in game or comment below, I am always trying to improve the way I play so your comments will be very much appreciated.
I will change the build to be the best it can be from the feedback you give.
Edited the item build as to have a better late game.
Added a short 'Runes and Masteries' section.
Extended the friends and enemies section. (I will do this more in the future.)
Added 'Change Log'.
Added 'Your Videos' section.
Fixed some details
Changed the mastery tree for Season 2.
Updated Mastery tree, now uses summoner insight
Updated the Rylai's Scepter question.
Added a short section on recent buffs.
Redone Masteries and Item build for Season 3
Added a new Video in Tips section.
Will be updating the other Videos soon.
Updated the Video Guide for Season 3.
Re-worded large sections of the guide to make things clearer.
Changed the order of the Chapters.
Changed runes from Mana per level to flat Armour
Added information on changes to Nunu's consume in the 'regarding buffs' section.
Updated the item section.
Removed Bulwark and updated item set.
If you have any game play footage of you using my guide then feel free to PM me and if it's good I will add it into this section. Please remember to credit me where possible. :)
Here is another Vid of someone pulling off a really nice ultimate: