Nunu Build Guide by Grill Me A Cheese
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.
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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.
Pre-nerf Nunu was my favorite support and even after he can still be effective. Pre nerf he was my most played support and I had over a 60% win ratio.
Though Nunu can do other things this guide will only cover nunu as a support and not as an AP carry, jungler or anything else.
I try to explain everything since I wanted this to be in depth and not vague or brief. If it's more than you need or want to read, stick to the section you want to learn more on or just he top part before the table of contents.
I'm good but I'm not a proffessional player nor do I know everything. If you dissagree with something or find a mistake please leave a comment explaining why you dissgree so people can learn rather than just down voting.
Pros & Cons
-Amazing Sustain with Consume.
-Tanky due to large health pool and personal heal.
-Extremely versatile slow that reduces move and attack speed.
-One of the best support buffs in the game, Blood Boil.
-Ult is an aoe slow and hits like a truck.
-He's riding a yeti...how awesome is that.
-Ultimate is very easy to stop, making teams with a lot of cc a nightmare.
-Learning how to position and when to use Absolute Zero takes a good deal of practice.
-Can only heal self.
-Commonly picked in ranked, meaning you may not always get him when you want him.
Acronyms and Abreviations
AD = Attack Damage
ADC = Attack Damage Carry
AP = Ability Power
Bot = Bottom Lane
CDR = Cool Down Reduction
CS = Creep Score
KS = Kill Steal
MP = Magic Penetration
MR = Magic Resist
Ult = Ultimate
Why pick Nunu?
The reason I choose nunu more often than any other support is there really isn't much he can't do. Between Ice Blast and Blood Boil he can put out a lot of damage, peel or keep enemies from running away, slow the enemy ADC's attack speed while uping your ADC's attack speed and generally bully a lane.
Between his large health pool, mini sprint and personal heal he can stay out in front of his adc to soak up any damage from harrass and ganks or punish anyone who tries to go past him. His survivability also means you can often go through the lane phase without dying once, making it very hard for the enemy ADC to snowball.
When it comes to team fights nunu can be a great off tank to stay out in front of carries or even be the teams tank if your top and jungle are assassin type champions.
Passive: This is your never go oom ticket.
Q: This move heals nunu and does massive damage to minions/monsters. It gives nunu some incredible sustain.
W: This is the buff that makes your ADC take out enemy champions incredibly fast and garruntees you assists.
E:This is your slow and harrass. Slows the enemy so they cant fight back effectively or run quickly. Its an amazing way to help shut down the enemy ADC.
R: One of the hardest hitting move in the game. Its hard to land but it hits hard and is an aoe slow during the channel.
If you want to learn how to utilize all nunu's abilities read the "Tips for Improving Gameplay" section.
Masteries, Runes and Skill Sequencing
I've messed around with these runes/masteries and these are what I prefer. However not everyone plays exactly the same, you can always try changing a rune type or a few mastery points to personalize it to your own play style.
Your main tree is the Utility tree for the CDR, Gp5, item CDR, pickpocket and the sexy starting items. For second tree I like to get the base health in defense, from there you can continue on for the traditional extra armor and +30 hp or get the extra 4% CDR and improved exhaust in offense.
Why not the offensive tree?
Anything more offensive Mastery/Rune wise would be crossing over from support to more of a AP carry imo. Specing into the offenseive tree over utility would mean hitting harder and healing for more but you run into problems. You lose out on Gp5 which is painful as a support and you can run into more KS problems. Your ult will hit harder as AP but if its interupted all that extra AP/MP is just there as a small boost to ice blast damage and the CD on your ult becomes painfully long. With CDR your ult still hits hard but its up for almost every team fight and you run into less KS issues. Also while your heal is alittle weaker you can use it more often.
TLDR: AP Nunu is fun but not ideal for a support role.
Marks: I prefer the flat armor for early game defense against the opposing ADC. is also viable if you want to swap some survivability for poke.
Seals: Same as marks I prefer the flat armor for early game defense against the opposing ADC. / are ok if you really want more gp10 or CDR but I'd suggest sticking to the armor for seals.
Glyphs: For these I like the MR per level for late game defense in team fights. Its also nice to have some MR for the opposing support's harrass, especially against champions such as Nidalee or Sona. is also good if you're more worried about early game poke than the AP carry later on.
Quints: The Gp5 Quints mean with your masteries you get an even 5 Gp10 which is very nice, especially considering the removal of heart of gold.
Build One: Main, prioritizes Ice Blast
Build Two: Main, prioritizes Blood Boil
Build Three: Same gear and can use either ability priority, masteries more like the ones from s2
Build Four: Same gear and can use either ability priority, masteries go hybrid for if you're stuck as the main tank and want a big health boost.
Build One vs. Build Two
The first two builds are the same in everything except for skill sequencing. They are both my prefered support tank build. However depending on what ADC you're paired with you my prioritize leveling your attack speed buff or your harrass/debuff. Say you're playing with attack speed based champion like Kog'Maw, then you will want to level up Blood Boil first, but if you're playing with a more poke based champion like Miss Fortune the harrass will be better.
These are in my opinion the two best summoner spells for support and the two you should take.
Basically everyone takes this spell. You can gap close to secure a kill, escapse ganks, and blink through walls. It is also a great spell for quickly getting in position for using Absolute Zero.
This is the most common choice for support since it effectivly shuts down an enemies damage and movement. You can use it to slow for a kill, give your ADC the advantage when they go head to head, escape a gank, or peel for a team mate.
While this spell isn't bad I feel that Flash is superior. Nunu allready runs fast, ignoring unit collision isn't really needed, and flash can instantly get you out of a bad spot where ghost speeds you up but doesn't create that instant gap.
A good spell for a support but the health given back can be undone very quickly. Where Exhaust can shut down any further damage and give you the slow to escapse, as well as having offensive uses. I still prefer exhaust even with the recent changes.
Good for seeing where the enemy is. Where did the jungler just dissapear to? Is the enemy team going to invade? Don't want to face check that bush? It has its perks but simple warding covers most of this and it means losing out on Exhaust.
This is more for solo tops that have to base a lot or champions that need to move around the map for suprise ganks. You could utilize it but ganking isn't your job.
This is for carries or solo top, you dont want to KS them.
Nunu is not mana hungry, learn how to manage your mana with Visionary and don't use this spell as a crutch.
For jungler only.
For champions that are squishy and don't have an escapse like Kog'Maw aka not you.
You shouldn't be dying much on Nunu, nor is this a very good spell.
While this is nice it doesn't contribute to your adc or team at all, heal or exhaust are better choices.
Buy Order Explained
The Core Sightstone so you can start warding and Aegis of the Legion.
They will both eventually upgrade into the Ruby Sightstone for more wards and Runic Bulwark. These two items will make you very tanky.
The Boots Mercury's Treads. This is due to the fact that Nunu will get CC'd a lot since teams don't want him to get off Absolute Zero. However if the opposing team has very little or no CC then they aren't nesseccary. So if thats the case here is a run down of all the possible upgrades. For the enchants I prefer the basic alacrity speed increase for fast innitiations and safe warding.
Good choice against AD heavy teams since you'll be out in front or if you're really struggling in lane against the enemy ADC.
Between speed 2 boots and the movement speed off Blood Boil and the alacrity enchant these boots are a waste and you don't need attack speed as support.
Additional Support Mikael's Crucible is a nice for cleasing an ADC or boosting someones hp some. Zeke's Herald and Shurelya's Reverie have always been two of the best and most used support items and are the ones I find suit nunu best.
Late Late Game
If the game goes long enough you will be able to afford all these items or drop one in lue of having a slot for additional wards. Having the map warded is important but if the game has gone late enough sometimes you can get away with just the Ruby Sightstone for wards and getting another aura. This would also be the time to finally get a boot enchant, since they aren't vital to nunu, due to his high move speed. However if the game goes long enough they're deffinitely great to have.
Game Specifics & Other Auras
Keep in mind that what items you need the most depends on your team and what you're up against. Your team may want you to get the auras in a different order or the enemy team may be AD or AP heavy meaning you need to focus on MR over armor Abyssal Scepter or vice versa Frozen Heart. I've listed the normally chosen aura items in the buy order but you may want something different depending on the situation.
Warding and Oracles
Warding is important so your team can see in bushes and to clear fog of war so you can keep track of the enemy players. Warding bot during the lane phase is on you, not the adc, not the jungler, but you as the support. Always prioritize having wards down over gearing yourself.
Sight vs Vision
Sight wards are only 75g but they only see visible targets. Vision Wards can see invisible targets, however they cost 125g but sometimes they are a must.
For example if the enemy team has a stealth champion jungling like Rengar/ Shaco, you're laning against a stealther like Twitch or even even a laner that could roam like Evelynn, you will want these so you can see them coming. Another benefit is that they see other wards so if your opponant has a ward in the same spot, which chances are they will during lane phase, you can break their ward. This can make the difference between junglers getting ganks and you winning a lane or losing the lane because they enemy always saw your ganks coming.
Where to ward during the early game/lane phase
You always want to have marker 1 warded, this is where ganks are going to come from the vast majority of the time. Marker 2 is helpful to ward if they enemy is constantly harrassing from the bushes. Marker 3 is good if the enemy jungler is counter jungling or just likes to back door gank. Also its good to keep up a ward infront of dragon as soon as people are able to start downing him.
Where to ward once the lane phase is over
Really anyplace where a there are choke points/intersections of multiple paths in the jungle. Also keeping wards in the middle of a lane once towers are gone can tell you if a group of enemies is pushing. It is very important to keep baron warded. Do not let the enemy team sneek in a baron kill because you were to cheap or lazy to go over and drop a ward on him.
It's important to note that once the lane phase is over not all the warding is on you. However it's still your responsibility to keep up most of the warding. On a good team everyone will contribute but often its just you and the jungler warding, sometimes just you. Suck it up and do what you can to clear the fog of war. It makes a big difference if you know where the entire enemy team is at all times.
More In Depth Warding (Righ click, view image to enlarge)
Oracle's Elixir is great if the enemy has stealth champions and for clearing out enemy wards. Typically the support or jungler will buy an oracle during the end of the lane phase or early team phase. Clearing out the enemies wards is a great way to get an ambush opener for a team fight or sneek a baron/dragon kill. However if you die, you lose Oracles so make sure that whoever gets it isn't getting ganked or consistantly dying in team fights. Sadly Oracle's now has a duration, you don't just have it til you die. This will mean more watching when people are buying/replacing wards and clearing them out then, as you may not always have free gold to keep buying oracle's every time it wears off.
Tips for Improving Gameplay
Visionary so you never go oom
Keeping up Visionary solves your mana problems but you don't want to take away from your ADC's CS or put yourself in a spot where you get poked down just trying to stack it up.
Instead of hitting the same minion five times try to hit five minions one time or hit one of the bigger minions. If you're getting harrassed try hitting them with your Ice Blast and either pushing them back alittle with your ADC or just back off, wait for E to come back off cd and the move back in. This way you can sort of combine your harrass with stacking your passive. You never want to just be standing around in the open.
When to Blood Boil
You don't want to just randomly throw up blood boil when you feel like it or when its conveniant for you. Your ADC shouldn't have to wonder when you're going to put it up. Late game you can just keep it up non-stop but early game spamming can give you mana problems. So try to do it when you ADC is about to try and harrass, when you're trying to push a lane quickly, in a fight (duh), or downing a tower. Don't burn the mana if you're the ADC is just farming or if you don't want the lane getting pushed.
When and Where to ult
Nothing is more frustrating on Nunu than seeing your ult stoped because of CC or enemy champs simply all walking out of it. This is the most complicated part of playing Nunu and is something that will take practice.
When: If its a team fights don't just run in and ult. Make a note of what champions have CC and can stop your ult. Depending on how much CC they have try to wait til you see atleast some of it used. If they're CC heavy you're going to have a difficult time but patience is key. Worst case in waiting is you don't get to ult and the enemy team loses out on CC because they're all waiting on you. Also starting when they're cc'd by something like amumu's ult can help a lot. The more you practice the more you'll get a feel for the timing.
The amount of players around is also important. You want to deal damage to as many people as possible, however sometime you may want to secure a kill on just a carry or get the first kill in a team fight on an over extending enemy. Think about how you want to use your ult, its a powerful factor in team fights.
Where, aka positioning
Where you want to stand and position yourself depends a lot on what you're ulting for.
Offensive/Gank: You may be trying to stop an escape during a gank and want to be behind a target so they have to walk through the entire ult and take the damage to get to their tower.
Team Fight Stand in the middle of the enemy team if you can without completely over extending. This way to get out chances are they will scatter in every direction making it easier to pick them off and get kills.
Defensive/Peel Maybe you're losing a team fight and your team is trying to fall back, your ult is a slow and can be a great peel or even deterant to chasing. Put yourself in a spot so the enemy players have to walk into or through the majority of your ult if they want to chase your team.
How to get into position
Somtimes Flash is a great tool to surprise the enemy team and get into a good position to ult and start before they're able to react. You can flash behind someone, into a group, or even away to start the channel. If flash isn't up make use of the sprint on blood boil and just try to get where you want quickly. The longer you take to move the more time your opponants have to react by moving or focusing you.
What to Do
-Poke with Ice Blast, prioritizing the ADC over the support.
-Keep up visionary but be careful to not steal CS.
-Stay infront of your ADC if the enemy is Harrasing, you can't heal him but you can tank the damage and heal yourself.
-Bully the lane, if you wanted to sit back and not have to poke much Nunu is not the champ for you.
-Keep Consume on cd if you're not at full hp
-Pay attention to your ADC, keeping up Blood Boil when needed or clutch slows can be all the difference in getting a kill.
-Pay attention to when your jungler shows up for ganks, sometimes they just run in without pinging.
-Keep up your wards, tell your ADC to back off and go buy more if you run out.
What not to do
-Over extend when harrassing, know your limits.
-Ignore wards dropping off and losing map vision.
-Accidentaly KS because you just wanted to see somthing die, only take kills when it will save your ADC or the ADC can't get the kill himself.
-Forget to keep up visionary and go oom.
-Only use Blood Boil once in awhile.
-Get poked down faster than you can heal.
Nunu is such a strong support he can play with any ADC but these are some I've found he works well with.
Champions that are mostly auto attack damage. They need attack speed and this means Blood Boil is great for them.
Examples: Kog'Maw Vayne Ashe
Champions with strong abilities that can harrass a lane well.
Examples: Graves Miss Fortune Ezreal
If you did well in the lane phase you should do well here. This is basically just a repeat on lane phase tactics.
-Keep up your wards and clear theirs, you want the element of surprise.
-Don't let your wards drop off.
-Keep Poking, buffing and working well with your team (esp your adc).
-Don't get caught off by yourself or miss a team fight.
-Get a feel for how fast the enemy team can kill you, so you know when to keep buffering damage and when to get out.
-You don't want to stay to long and feed or run away to soon and leave your team down a member if you can help it.
-Get good at watching enemy cc and getting off your ult.
Share the Success
If this guide helped you out and you want to share some of your pro games as Nunu, send me a screen shot and I'll add it here.
Summary & Credits
Hopefully this guided helped you out with whatever aspect of Nunu support you came to learn about. If it did please rate it up, if not leave a comment about what I missed or was confusing/poorly done. I'll update it if I get valuable input. Anyways, thanks for reading.
jhoijhoi's guide to making a guide.
Google Images for the ward maps.
All the ADC's who contributed to my games in the screen shots.
Anyone who shares their wins.