Nautilus Build Guide by Foolamancer
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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.
The Fool Speaks
Hello and welcome to Papa's House - A Guide to Support Nautilus, otherwise known as The Fool's Orientation Speech for Big Daddies: A Rapture Public Service Seminar.
Before we get started, you are, of course, going to want to know who I am. Well, to put it simply, I'm nobody. This is my first guide here on MOBAFire, and I don't pretend to be particularly skilled at this game. In fact, when you get right down to it, I'm still very much a newbie. But I do feel as though I have a good grasp on the theory behind the game, I very much enjoy playing all kinds of champions, and I usually do well enough to think that I have at least some idea of what I need to be doing.
It is important that you know, however, that this is not a guide intended for use in competitive play. Maybe it's viable in ranked games - hell, maybe it's going to carry the next professional team to victory during the next big tournament - but all I know for certain is that, in the casual games that I play, it works pretty well. I do encourage you to give it a try in higher-end play and let me know how it does, but don't go into it expecting this build to completely change the way you look at Nautilus.
When all's said and done, I'm just here to entertain, and, in the process, give you the means to entertain yourself further with a build that I have a lot of fun with.
- The Fool
As one final note, this guide is very new and subject to review as I polish it up. Just keep that in mind. I'll be keeping a change log down at the bottom.
Big Papa Naut - An Introduction
- BioShock 2
So, just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, it's time to give you an overview to the biggest, baddest, manliest man on the block. There are those who whisper his true name in awed, hushed voices in the backs of the local Buffalo Wild Wings on game nights, when he's laid claim to the best table and is sharing bottomless wings with a few lucky fans. Then there are those who refuse to speak his name at all; whether out of fear or respect, none of them can really say. Perhaps it is both.
In the end, everyone just calls him Papa Naut.
Women want him. Men either want him or want to be him - sometimes it's both, because we all know how that can get. Even twisted abominations that live only to eradicate all life from the universe in elaborate and painful ways have been quoted as saying they'd be honored to share a beer with him. Those who have been fortunate enough to receive a brotherly fist-pound from him have been known to sever their arms and put them in ornate display cases for all the world to see.
But why is Papa so revered?
Ask any of his kids, and they'd say it's because he's the coolest dad in the neighborhood. He's always the ones driving the neighborhood rugrats everywhere and buying them soda and burgers and promising not to tell their parents, and he always buys the best birthday presents. His wife... well, what his wife would say about him can't be repeated in polite company, so we'll just talk about how his neighbors say he makes the best damn barbecued ribs in the state, and how his Super Bowl parties are the stuff of legends.
But ask anybody who's seen him on the Fields of Justice, and they'll tell you the real reason.
Ain't nobody messes with Papa.
On the Field, Papa Naut is a force of nature. Foes cower at the sound of his clanking steps. The sight of his metal fist crashing down on one of the multitudes of minions is enough to send grown men crying for their mothers. And the sight of his raised anchor is a wordless rallying cry for his allies, because all of them know Papa protects his teammates.
Papa Naut loves all his children.
Why Play Papa Naut
Aside from the fact that he's incredibly badass while still being down-to-earth and awesome enough to buy you a beer without ever asking for repayment, on the Fields of Justice, Papa Naut is an incredibly tanky champion who, when built right, can allow his team to absolutely dominate every team fight. He offers an amount of crowd control that can only be described as ludicrous. His potential for disrupting the enemy team is almost unmatched. And, to top it all off, he's got several extremely powerful escape mechanisms to let him avoid getting the tables turned on him.
Papa is, in short, a team player. You don't play Papa because you want to be the hero. You're not going to be hitting like an AD carry, or running around and getting crazy kills like the jungler. You're going to be the anchoring point of your team's battle lines, first in and last out when the fight rolls around. You're going to be the guy your teammates will count on to initiate in a big way. You're going to be the rally point, the standard bearer, the last bastion of defense.
You won't get as many kills as some other champions, but you'll be the one making the crazy disruptive plays against the enemy and utterly shattering their defensive lines. You'll be the one setting up each and every one of those kills. You'll be the one giving passive buffs to your entire team so they can take that much more punishment. You'll be the unsung hero of the game, making your entire team's victory possible. And you'll let them have the spotlight, 'cause Papa doesn't need big applause to get satisfaction out of a job well done.
In short, you're playin' Papa Naut because you're a bro. You're the player everybody wants to group with but doesn't want to actually be, the one who gets no credit for all the miracles they work. You're a Good Guy, a Team Player, the kind of person the League community needs more of.
Papa salutes you, summoner. Read on.
Papa's Primer - The Basics of Papa Naut
The Fields of Justice, despite outcry from Papa's many fans, have decided that having a single champion capable of flattening entire teams constitutes an unfair advantage to whoever is on Papa's side that round. As such, despite his infinite badassery, Papa is forced to hold back when actually fighting, lest he accidentally destroy the entire playing field.
This means that there are a few pros and cons to playing Papa with this build that you need to be aware of.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Pros+ Naturally tanky, with abilities to make you more so
+ Absurd amounts of crowd control capability
+ Can punish even slightly overextended enemies
+ Impressive area of effect abilities and damage
+ Massive team fight presence
+ Incredible disruption ability
Cons- No built-in sustain
- Abilities have high cooldowns at low levels
- Forced to choose between damage and durability in early game
- Initially low movement speed
- Low damage output when flying solo
All of this adds up to one thing: Papa sets up the plays. He makes his entire team more dangerous by an order of magnitude because of his ability to control the flow of a battle, but he doesn't have the sustained damage output or burst necessary to actually win fights himself.
He is, in short, a support. An awesome support, but still a support. He's there to, surprise surprise, support his team, and without a team behind him, he's not going to be doing much.
But that's all right with Papa. Papa knows he's awesome. He's a big enough man to realize that not being the big damage-dealer doesn't make him any less integral to the team or less important on the field. He's just got a different role.
As a support champion, Papa's the one doing the grunt work for his team. He's the one setting up the plays for the other champions. He's the one making sure his allies are alive, usually by standing in the line of fire and soaking up the damage (it is hypothesized that said damage is actually entirely ineffective on Papa due to his sheer, immeasurable ballsiness protecting him at all times, and that he simply feigns injury on the field, but this is unproven as of yet). He's the one forcing the enemy carries out of position and interrupting all their precious channeling. He's the one, in short, who's making victory possible.
So remember that. You're setting up the plays, making it possible for the other players to dive in and get the kills they need. Your job is to keep them alive and set up their attacks, to initiate the battles and paralyze all of the enemy heavy hitters before they can burst down your own. You're trying to take the hits intended for your carries.
It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. And Papa knows enough to realize that, and he's quite content with letting others have the spotlight.
Masteries and Runes
Now that you know what you're going to be doing as Papa Naut, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty, the tools of the trade. We'll start with Masteries and Runes.
As this particular build for Papa Naut is obviously a support build, we're going to be using a 0/21/9 Mastery Point distribution.
The Offensive tree doesn't really benefit support champions, so that's a no-brainer. The Utility tree being the nine-pointer, on the other hand, might surprise some people. Quite a few support champion builds, after all, use 0/9/21.
Papa Naut, however, doesn't really gain any substantial benefit from higher-level Utility Masteries like Nimble or Pickpocket . They're not what he's about, as a champion. The Defensive tree, on the other hand, emphasizes Papa's strengths - namely, his natural tankiness. Going 0/21/9 makes him much more durable, which means that he's alive more during team fights, which means that his team gets to benefit from the passive buffs included in this build for that much longer. It also means that Papa can make slightly more daring moves than usual, and helps to compensate for his weak early game.
The main issue with playing Nautilus in the early game is that he has no built-in sustain, and, as such, can get forced out of lane very quickly if the enemy champions have any substantial poke or harass capability. This is obviously a bad thing, as Papa needs to get built up as quickly as possible to give his team an edge in fights. As such, we build our Masteries around this.
Honor Guard in particular helps Papa to stay in the lane longer than he normally would. It doesn't make up for the lack of innate sustain that he suffers from, but it does mean that the health hedoes have goes a lot farther. This is the main reason for the 0/21/9 distribution; this Mastery is just too good to pass up.
Defender , Block , and Unyielding all explicitly strengthen Papa's game when going up against other champions. These are all particularly helpful, once again, in the early game, and make Papa much less susceptible to harass when put together.
Juggernaut , Veteran's Scars , Durability , and Summoner's Resolve are all there for the same reason: to increase Papa's store of health. Given the amount of health that Papa can build up from his items, Juggernaut in particular gives him a ridiculously huge amount of tankiness, which, given his role as initiator and defender for the team, is never a bad thing.
The real thing to note in the Defensive Mastery tree is that three points are invested in Hardiness , while only one point is placed in Resistance . This is because, again, this is a support build, so Papa's likely to see play in the bottom lane. The bottom lane is the playground of AD carries, so the bonus armor helps him more than bonus magic resistance would.
In the Utility tree, Summoner's Insight and Mastermind are both there to give Papa more access to Flash and Heal. Both summoner spells are extremely useful for him, and having the capability to use them that much more often is an amazing advantage.
Wanderer , meanwhile, is really just there as filler so that we can reach Artificer . A support champion is only as good as their items, after all. If your Shurelya's Reverie isn't up when your team needs it to be, well, that's a team wipe that's on your head. Don't leave home without two points in that one.
Biscuiteer rounds out our Utility tree, with a small potion-analogue that provides a nice little boost to Papa's early-game sustain. It isn't much, but every little bit helps.
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Gold
Once again, we're going to put our runes together around the idea that Papa's playing support to the other champions. As such, we need to look at what a support champion, and Papa Naut in particular, needs to be successful.
The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is gold. As supports don't get much farm, they're dependent on items like Philosopher's Stone to give them the gold income they're missing out on otherwise. To try and give a boost to our economy, then, the obvious answer is the Greater Quintessence of Gold.
As mentioned above, supports are played in the bottom lane, and bottom lane is the realm of the AD carry. As such, our runes need to give us some early-game resistance to harassment from enemies that are capable of dishing out the physical damage. The Greater Mark of Armor and Greater Seal of Armor sets give Papa a nice defensive boost that'll help him put the pressure on during the early stages of the game.
The gap in Papa's defenses, then, is magic resistance. AP carries won't be as much of an early problem as AP carries, but they still need to be dealt with. The Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist gives him a much-needed boost in defense against them.
I have yet to try many other rune combinations with this particular build for Papa Naut, but from what I can tell, there are only a few other noteworthy instances that you might want to substitute for one of the above.
The Greater Seal of Scaling Armor and the like - meaning, any counterparts of the above which scale - all certainly seem viable, but it's a trade-off. Scaling runes only overtake their flat counterparts once the level seven point is passed, which means that you're trading early-game defense for late-game defense. I think Papa already has more than enough defense later in the game, but it's up to you.
Substituting the Greater Quintessence of Gold for the Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration is an intriguing option. As noted multiple times previously, Papa's one big weakness is his lack of early-game sustain. An added 8.1 health regenerated per five seconds is nothing to sneeze at, and might serve to keep him in the lane long enough to make up for the gold lost from the trade. It isn't something that I'm entirely sure of, but who knows? Give it a shot, if you're in the mood, and let me know how it goes.
Runes to avoid, on the other hand, are far more plentiful. Anything that deals with increasing your damage output is largely pointless on this build, as you're going to be playing Papa for his crowd control and the passive buffs he can pass on to his teammates when built, not his ability to burst down enemy champions. Cooldown reduction and movement speed increases are likewise largely pointless, as the build fixes Papa's naturally slow movement speed on its own, and his cooldowns both get shorter as he levels up and are reduced by several items in the core set.
Just keep your goal in mind when building your rune page: you're a big wall of metal that exists to push enemy players out of position with crowd control, initiate fights, and stay alive as long as possible so that your teammates can get the most benefit from your buffs. Go big, go beefy, and get built fast.
Summoner Spells and Abilities
So you've got your runes and Masteries all set up. Papa's ready to rock the house. Now, though, you're faced with the choice of what to take for the game itself - namely, what summoner spells to bring along, and what order to level your abilities in.
Don't worry, kid. Papa's not gonna leave you hanging. Let's take a look.
Flash shouldn't really need any explanation, but just in case you haven't heard yet, this spell is the bomb. It can be used for everything: initiating team fights, escaping ganks, creating ganks, escaping team fights gone bad... it's got so many uses that it's practically an automatic include on all builds out there. It can make the difference between a triple kill and a horrible death. Papa Naut accepts no substitutions.
Heal is yet another tool we have to get around Papa's admittedly lackluster early game. This little bit of sustainability in the lane can help you to stick around just long enough to get the gold necessary for your next item - or even a kill. It can also, like Flash, make the difference between glorious victory and humiliating defeat in a pinch (not that Papa ever even comes close to defeat). This one isn't as set in stone as its counterpart, but it still comes highly recommended.
Less-viable summoner spells abound. Certain examples, like Revive and Promote, should need no explanation. A few others that you might be tempted to include, however, should be addressed.
Ignite can, as always, be handy for securing early kills. But, once again, the focus of this build is not to deal damage. You're a barrier for your allies to hide behind while they do the damage-dealing for you. Ignite does you no good.
Ghost is a very helpful spell, and if you absolutely can't stand the idea of taking Heal, I would recommend using this as a replacement. It's useful both for chasing and escaping, much like Flash, and essentially acts as poor man's version of it.
Exhaust is also a very useful spell, but as you aren't one that's going to be doing much chasing, and you should be naturally tanky enough to withstand any damage coming your way (at least, long enough for your team to turn the tide), it doesn't have much place in this build.
Awwww yisss. This is where we get to the good stuff, the stuff that makes Papa the big man on the playing field that he is. Papa is packing some ludicrously powerful stuff in his kit, so let's not waste any time.
Staggering Blow is one hell of a passive, and one of those things that makes Papa such a terror to the enemy team. The extra damage isn't anything particularly notable, but that's not what Papa's here for anyway. Staggering Blow is Papa's way of saying that you're not goin' anywhere until he's finished with you. Never underestimate the power of this passive. Combining this with your other abilities can take an enemy champion from "slightly out of position" to "right in the line of fire and getting bursted down with no way to defend" in the blink of an eye.
Dredge Line is one of Papa's most powerful skills, not for the damage it does, but for the sheer amount of utility and disruption it offers. From the very first point invested in it, Dredge Line gives you a way to close the gap to the enemy, connect with a Staggering Blow from a terrifying distance away, initiate team fights in a big way, drag enemy players out of position, and escape from dangerous situations. Unfortunately, the League has its regulations, and so Papa has had to introduce some weaknesses into the skill: namely, that it's a skill shot, and thus not guaranteed to connect, and can collide with minions to throw off what looked like a perfect toss. It also doesn't scale well with points invested in it. The only thing that really gets too much better (for this build, at least) is cooldown, and you usually won't need more than one anchor toss per battle anyway.
Titan's Wrath is Papa Naut's way of sayin' "You done crossed a line, boy. Now ya get the belt." While it's active, Papa's hitting people so hard that the shockwave from his punches spreads out and hits their friends, too, giving Papa massive team fight presence despite his low attack damage. It's pain for the whole family! Plus, at higher levels, his rage is so strong that he becomes practically invulnerable. When Papa gets mad, it's a sign that somebody's about ta get beat like they made his little girl cry. And the best part? The shield strength scales with your health.
Riptide is yet another bit of crowd control Papa brings to the field. Here, he shows off his sheer badassery by stomping the ground so hard that its atoms rearrange themselves and become water. The subsequent nuclear fission causes a chain reaction that spreads outward from the Big Papa's angry boot, causing a series of localized explosions that blast his enemies into the air. Why doesn't the force of it harm Papa's allies? Because it's too ****ing scared to. Not only does this apply a good chunk of damage to all nearby enemies, it can damage them multiple times if they're too scared to hold still. And it applies a slow effect, which means they're still caught next to Papa even if they only get hit once.
Depth Charge means somebody's gonna die. Once Papa gets a target in his sights, ain't nothin' they can do to get away. In fact, the more they run, the more they're likely to hit their teammates in the blast. This is Papa's ultimate game-changer. A Depth Charge aimed at a squishy target in the back spells doom for the entire team, because the blast is going to rip through their entire team and stun them all while Papa's children take them to pieces. It can also prevent seemingly guaranteed escapes, create unstoppable ganks, and everything else. When Papa gets serious, **** gets done.
Using Your Skills
Looking at Papa's skills, it's very obvious that he's focused on controlling where the enemy goes. He's very effective at controlling the flow of battle, as he can pull enemy champions out of position and onto the chopping block with Dredge Line. He also has massive team fight presence due to his area-of-effect damage from Riptide and, to a lesser extent, Titan's Wrath.
Riptide in particular is a very powerful ability when used in team fights, as it spreads a decent chunk of damage all around the enemy team while simultaneously slowing them so that they can't retreat. A Dredge Line followed by a Riptide is essentially a death sentence for the chump who was stupid enough to step in front of Papa Naut, as they're stuck next to a huge metal hunk of man with no means of retreat. This makes for an exceptionally powerful initiation tool, as Papa can drag an enemy champion into his allies' attack range and have them cut down before anyone gets a chance to respond.
Titan's Wrath is Papa's self-preservation tool. The area of effect damage bonus it gives him is nice, but it isn't what you're going to be using it for. It keeps you alive, plain and simple, and lets you tank absurd amounts of damage once you get to the late game, due to the fact that it scales both with its own level and the amount of health you have in your pool.
Depth Charge, as stated above, is a huge game-changer, as well as being massively versatile. Getting knocked into the air is a big problem in team fights, almost as bad as getting stunned. A Depth Charge aimed at a squishy carry in the back of the enemy team doesn't just mean that their carry is about to take a massive chunk of damage to the face and be stunned for a few seconds, but that several other members of their team are either about to get stunned or forced out of their ideal positions to avoid it.
So, as you can see, Papa doesn't need massive amounts of damage output to be dangerous. He forces the enemy to fight on your terms rather than the other way around, and can keep them from ever getting into position with his massive disruption capabilities. Entire teams can crumble under the pressure of his Riptide alone. The fact that he's a massive tanky monster is just the icing on the cake.
Well, now you know what Papa brings to the table. It's time to learn what he expects to take away from it. Time to talk about the goodies Papa likes to deck himself out with while he's crushing his enemies under his corroded iron heels.
These are the items that are Papa's favorites, the ones that really turn him into a powerhouse that can bring his team to victory. It's not a good idea, in my experience, to stray too far from this core build.
Boots of Mobility are very handy on Papa. See, Papa has some trouble waking up in the mornings, so people might get the impression he's slow. It isn't true. Papa just needs to find some really comfy shoes, and then he can be anywhere he needs to be, any time. Seriously, the movement speed boost these give to Papa Naut is invaluable. Not only does it let you actually chase down the enemy, but it lets you keep up with your teammates when split pushing or rapidly-moving battlefronts become important, and get away from your enemies in a pinch as well.
Ruby Sightstone is an essential part of Papa's daily breakfast. A nice chunk of health plus free Sight Wards? Yes, please. Sightstone may be enough for most support champions, but Papa needs his vitamins, and given the opportunity, a Ruby Crystal that doesn't take up an item slot is something he loves to have.
Shurelya's Reverie Shurelya's Reverie is a core item on pretty much every support champion, since it builds out of Philosopher's Stone. It's great for Papa Naut as well, since it gives him a very welcome boost to his health regeneration, thus alleviating his sustain problem. The active is invaluable as well. Not only can it save Papa's kids from getting steamrollered when they're caught in the wrong place, it's absolutely hilarious to watch the enemy's expression as a walking wall of iron slams into their face at mach three - especially if it's followed up by the kids opening fire.
Locket of the Iron Solari is another core item for most supports, and Papa's no different. More health, armor, and sustain? Yeah, that sounds very nice, thanks. Plus, the active ability gives your team an extra two hundred or so health apiece in a team fight, which can easily turn the tide. Papa always takes care of his children.
Runic Bulwark is one of the premiere tank items out there at the moment, and for good reason. A substantial chunk of health, magic resistance, and armor, with the latter two applied to your whole team, along with a health regeneration buff. The strength of this item cannot be overestimated. Entire team fights can hinge on the damage that ends up getting soaked by the added defense this item gives to your allies. If they want to hurt the kids, they're gonna have to get through Papa first - and that ain't easy.
Randuin's Omen is the capstone of the invincible tower of man that is Papa Naut. Between the five hundred health and seventy armor this gives him (which, don't forget, scales with Titan's Wrath) and the passive debuff applied to attackers, Papa essentially becomes invulnerable unless the entire enemy team focuses on him for a long time. AD carries have been known to **** themselves at the mere thought that Papa might be building into one of these. And the active can allow your allies to either make good their escape or chase down those last few members of the enemy team, securing the Ace.
There aren't really too many alternate choices to consider in this build. Papa wants to build big, beefy, and tough, with lots of passive buffs for his kids and debuffs for the enemy. If you really want to consider alternate builds, though, here are some items to consider.
Guardian Angel is a very viable choice for Papa. A nice chunk of both armor and magic resistance, plus the ability to get up after he's knocked down? Papa like. If the enemy team is heavy on AP damage, you should replace Randuin's Omen with this.
Frozen Heart is great choice if you're up against an AD-heavy team. The range on it is substantial enough to destroy the enemy AD carry's damage output while still keeping Papa squarely between them and their targets. The issue here is that, while Frozen Heart does offer better armor and a better passive than Randuin's Omen, Randuin's Omen gives a five hundred health boost that makes a massive difference to Papa's durability, particularly when Titan's Wrath is factored in.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem provides a nice boost to your health regeneration, armor, health pool, and mana regeneration. However, neither of its passive abilities is really helpful to this build. The tenacity boost is nice, but overall, Randuin's Omen is a more viable late-game item due to its passive. Papa already has all the health regeneration he needs from other items, and mana isn't really a problem for him at any point.
Sunfire Cape provides Papa with a nice chunk of health and armor, as well as a passive that makes him more of a threat during team fights. This was something that I toyed around with when initially starting out with this build, but in the end, I think it loses out to Randuin's Omen and Runic Bulwark, and can't really replace Shurelya's Reverie or Locket of the Iron Solari due to their active abilities. Still, very viable if you're willing to take a substantial hit to your durability to crank up the pressure applied during team fights.
Warmog's Armor solves all of Papa Naut's sustainability issues in one fell swoop, as well as providing him with a frankly ridiculous amount of health (which, in case you've forgotten, stacks with Titan's Wrath). The only reason it isn't a core item is its lack of armor, magic resistance, or passive buffs to the team. It's a situational item. Feel free to experiment; if you feel you've got the armor or magic resistance to tank the incoming damage through raw beefiness alone, Warmog's Armor is entirely viable.
Sight WardSight WardSight Ward
This is a fairly standard initial buy for support champions, but substituting Rejuvenation Bead for Faerie Charm to try and mitigate the lack of sustain that Papa struggles with in the early game. Mana isn't so much a problem for him, so the Charm isn't as important, and both of them still allow for an early Philosopher's Stone.
Philosopher's StoneShurelya's Reverie
Again, fairly standard for a support champion. An early Shurelya's Reverie ensure that you have the gold income to keep up into the late game, as well as the ability to rescue your carry from a bad situation. Boots of Speed help to reduce your difficulties from low speed, and Sightstone, as is expected, supplies Sight Wards.
By this point, people are starting to move around the map more, and Papa's kids are spending more time with the old man. Fortunately, most of Papa's sustainability issues are taken care of, thanks to some handy health regeneration coming from his early game items. Since team fights, whether partial or complete, are starting to come into play, it's start to build up Papa's ability to keep his kids upright by giving them passive defensive buffs from Aegis of the Legion and a nice defensive boost from Locket of the Iron Solari. Boots of Mobility allow Papa to keep pace with the younger crowd, so he's always where he needs to be.
Now's when Papa really becomes a powerhouse. Ruby Sightstone is a cheap upgrade to Sightstone that allows for extra Sight Wards around the map as well as a nice boost to Papa's health pool. Runic Bulwark makes the entire team more formidable during team fights, and Randuin's Omen (or Guardian Angel, depending on how the enemy team looks for AP damage) turns Papa into a truly unstoppable force of nature.
Papa's Wakin' Up - The Early Game
Early game is when Papa Naut is gonna have some trouble dealing with the enemy, due to a lack of sustain. He'll come out swinging, of course, and he'll be a powerhouse while he's there - but without any ability to stay in the lane under heavy harass, it's unlikely to last if the enemy takes the time to poke him down.
Like any other support champion, Papa Naut is there to keep the kids safe. He's going to be warding all the relevant bushes and keeping an eye out for ganks as per usual, while trying to keep the area clear for his carry to farm. That's all very generic stuff, though, and this isn't a guide for learning how to support. It's time to talk about how Papa himself works in the early game.
The key here is to coordinate with your team's AD carry. At this point in the game, Papa Naut's strength is, as always, his ability to make plays. Big plays. The level one Dredge Line can let him pull an enemy champion into range of a friendly carry's attacks, and he can follow up with an immobilizing strike from Staggering Blow and a Riptide to keep them there while they're shredded.
At this point in the game, Papa's damage output is still pretty good, as the enemy hasn't had much time to build up defenses. Pull the enemy out of position and keep them still while your carry takes them down.
Due to his unparalleled ability initiate fights, Papa synergizes well with high-damage, low-health carries that need a tanky support to start the fight for them. Vayne, and champions like her, love Papa, and Papa loves his little girl. Punish anybody that dares to lay hands on her with a Dredge Line -> Staggering Blow -> Riptide combo, and she'll do the rest.
Since Papa can so heavily punish any enemy who steps even a centimeter out of line with his combo, and is very hard to win trades against due to his crowd control and Titan's Wrath, he has incredibly powerful zone influence. It's very easy to force enemy carries out of the battle and make them miss out on all of the gold and experience they so desperately need while your own carry farms. That's going to be your strategy here; Papa has unparalleled zone control, so exploit that and deny your enemy their tasty, tasty minion kills. Hit them with Dredge Line and help your carry to burst them down if they take a step in the wrong direction. Dodge any skill shots the enemy might have (looking at you, Caitlyn), and try not to take any damage you don't have to.
Even Papa's got his limits, after all, and nowhere are they more apparent than the early game. He's vulnerable to poke harass, but he's got incredibly powerful zone control to make up for it, and he can initiate fights like no one else. Exploit that, build into your health regeneration items as fast as possible, and you'll be fine.
Family Reunion - The Middle Game
By the time people start to really roam around the map, Papa should have his Shurelya's Reverie up, which means his sustain issues are pretty much over. Now it's time to start building into Papa Naut's real items, starting with Aegis of the Legion. Once mid-game starts, and the teams start to group up, Papa really comes into his own.
See, Papa loves all his children. Vayne might be his special little princess, but Papa's never been one to play favorites. He treats all his kids well, by spreading around tasty, tasty buffs that make team fights swing heavily in their favor.
The thing to remember once the middle game is underway is that Papa Naut's items like Aegis of the Legion get more powerful the more teammates there are nearby. Always, always, always stick with the kids. It's Papa's job to keep 'em safe, after all. Besides, at this point the enemy is starting to build armor and magic resistance, so Papa's not so much a one-man powerhouse any more, and needs to start relying on his teammates for damage output while he tanks the hits coming from the other team.
With Riptide starting to max out, it's time to start making Papa more capable of withstanding the increased damage coming his way, so Titan's Wrath is going to start getting leveled up. Don't underestimate Papa's ability to tank when Titan's Wrath is off cooldown. He can absorb truly absurd amounts of damage, and that amount's only going to get bigger as the game goes on.
Because of his tankiness and crowd control, Papa's going to be the one making the big plays and initiates for his team. Kids've got to learn some day, but for now, they can just sit back and take notes. As during the early game, try to catch an enemy out of position with Dredge Line, then follow up with Staggering Blow, Riptide, Titan's Wrath, and a couple autoattacks for good measure. If the kids are paying attention at all, they'll have added their own burst to the combo, and any team fight resulting from this is going to end up being a five-on-four in your favor. Don't forget to deploy Depth Charge during extended fights, aimed towards someone in the back. It can also be used to chase down any escaping enemies.
Once an initiation has been made, it's Papa's job, like any good tank, to get right in the thick of it and take as many of those hits as he can. Don't forget to use the active on Locket of the Iron Solari, as it can save the kiddos as well as yourself, and always remember that your team has a mobility advantage due to Shurelya's Reverie; if you have to fall back (pah! Papa Naut never has to fall back!), you've got the movement speed to get everybody out alive so long as you can activate it.
Aside from just generally getting right up in the enemy's faces and asserting dominance, though, Papa Naut excels at dragging enemy carries into the thick of things - which is exactly where they don't want to be. With Dredge Line, Staggering Blow, and Riptide, Papa can easily drag an enemy carry into the line of fire for the rest of your team to burst down.
If things do go pear-shaped, Papa's got the tools to handle that, too. Locket of the Iron Solari and Shurelya's Reverie give his team the ability to disengage at a moment's notice while surviving any last-minute attacks, and Dredge Line is a powerful escape tool if aimed at terrain.
Playing Papa Naut effectively requires active awareness of what's happening in a team fight and what are the best targets for a Dredge Line drag. If you do it right, though, your team should be capable of absolutely slaughtering the enemy any time there's a battle. Papa's in the house now, and the whole family loves Papa.
Super Bowl Sunday - The Late Game
At this point, Papa Naut's got frankly ridiculous amounts of health, and is building into more with Ruby Sightstone and Randuin's Omen. He's got armor enough to withstand pretty much anything, and the crowd control to dictate the flow of any battle. With a full build and Titan's Wrath active, he can easily break four thousand health, which isn't going down quickly no matter how much burst the enemy has.
It's time to put all of that to use. Papa's too big and beefy for the enemy to deal with in a timely manner, which means they basically just have to sit there and take whatever he dishes out. This is where he really comes out and starts to shine. He's got the ability to make big, big plays for his family with Dredge Line and Depth Charge in his arsenal, and the massive health pool to back them both up. You own the battlefield now. Shurelya's Reverie and Locket of the Iron Solari let you dictate the terms on which the battle is fought. Dredge Line lets you force the enemy into a fight whether they want it or not. Boots of Mobility make sure you're always where you need to be. And to top it all off, as long as you're alive, your entire team is getting massive buffs to their own defenses.
In short, you have ludicrous amounts of presence everywhere on the map, but particularly during team fights. You can easily force the enemy out of practically anywhere, and turrets are barely a speed bump due to Titan's Wrath. As always, initiate with Dredge Line, burst down the target with the help of your team, then tank it up and soak the damage that would be going towards your carries. Force the enemy to react to you whether they want to or not, but always be sure your kids are there to follow you in.
Papa Naut is a force of nature. Make them feel it.
Post-Game Kegger - A Quick Review
So. What have we learned, aside from the fact that Papa Naut is the most awesome guy to ever live?
Well. He's got ludicrous amounts of crowd control and initiation capability, backed up by natural tankiness. He's got a lot of synergy with fragile, bursty AD carries in the early game due to his ability to punish even slight positioning errors by the enemy with a well-placed Dredge Line. He exerts a ridiculous amount of influence during late-game team fights due to his Riptide, Depth Charge, and Dredge Line, and he's practically unkillable thanks to Titan's Wrath. So long as he's alive, your team has the ability to dictate where and when a battle takes place, and has the defensive power to disengage and fall back if they bite off more than they can chew thanks to Shurelya's Reverie and Runic Bulwark. Dredge Line provides him with a handy escape mechanism as well.
His weaknesses, on the other hand, are a lack of sustainability during the early game, which can be mitigated by the Masteries and items that we've selected, and a lack of substantial damage output on his own. Papa Naut likes to let his kids have the spotlight, you see, so it's important that you stick with your team. As an extension, it's important that your team have some idea of what your strategy is, and know to react when you go in for a Dredge Line to force an enemy into their line of fire.
Here's hoping you all enjoy your time with Papa as much as I do.
- The Fool