Nidalee Build Guide by Bambi Suede
Not Updated For Current Season
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Basically this is a short and sweet guide to heavy sustain plus pushing power, along with late-game dominance. Masteries are standard for offensive with early HP and sustain, and the runes are made for heavy armor pen plus early sustain. There are several good rune options available, but the ones chosen here are more viable for early game. Early skill points on spear as opposed to the heal are a MUST because of superior pokes causing great zoning, along with the fact that you are in an AD build, and must have as much power behind your cougar-form Q as possible.
The items listed above are in fact standard for tanky dps top lane, but with a few side notes and alternative options:
Hextech Gunblade - If you choose to relinquish your early game Wriggles, based upon the lack of need for armor/wards and the fact that you suspect late game heroics are need. Plus the lifesteal and Ap boosts
Banshee's Veil - Another good choice if you face a team with a lack of hard CC. Otherwise the QSS is probably a faster option here
Bloodthirster - The alternative for subbing of wriggles instead of the gunblade. Major damage and lifesteal dealt with this choice
Spirit Visage - An alternative item that can be used when needing a bit more boost in your heal, a bit more cooldown, and a bit more HP instead of magic resist
Youmuu's Ghostblade - A great item midgame if a brutalizer is purchased early. Helps with cooldown, armor penetration, and bursts of attack/movement speed
Randuin's Omen - A nice early gp5 from HoG makes this item a fabulous option if you lack armor and face hard AD carries. Sometimes can replace Atma's or Wriggles, but isn't the best choice
I feel as though Ignite + Exhaust should easily get the job done with this build. Harrass early game with ignite and the threat of chasing down with exhaust makes nidalee and even more intimidating threat. Exhaust also allows you to escape ganks and works great with the cougar W. However you can always try other options:
Flash - The typical maneuverability spell, it's okay on her but not recommended. She already has a great move speed passive and W for escapability and chasing, it can even go thru small walls! (dont take this unless you feel you HAVE TO)
Teleport - A better option then flash, especially when you have wards down. Can teleport back to a fight if you've been outlaned top, or ganked. Also helps with surprise offensive ganks when split pushing.
Ghost - A preferred option when paired with the QSS, as a replacement to exhaust. Although i still recommend the exhaust for its overall utility and debuffs
All in all if you last hit your creeps, play conservative early, aggressive when you have your ult, and lay wards down, nidalee makes for a very hard champion to kill. Especially with this sustained build. You will also gain late game power if you buff your AD high enough. Just land a few Q's and you'll be inside their heads. Cougar Q a few faces and watch em run! Pounce hard my brothers and sisters ;)