Nami Build Guide by jeloman
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.
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.
Hi there, my name is Jeloman and I want to thank you firstly for taking the time to read my very first guide ever, on Nami. If you have any compliments or constructive criticism, I'd love to hear it as I'm planning on writing more guides and almost any advice will help! Now onto Nami...
I still remember back towards the end of 2012 when Nami first came out, I mained support and was ecstatic that Riot was finally releasing a new Support that I could play.
I was skeptical when I first played her since her Q was almost impossible to hit at the time but when you did, it stunned for a crazy long time since time stunned increased by level. It struck me as a boom or bust support and I was somewhat disappointed. Many changes have been made since then and they've made Nami a much more balanced support that could be great with practice. She's one of my favorite supports and I still play her constantly to this day.
Nami is great in that she is everything an AD Carry could want in a support. She has engage, disengage, hard CC, sustain, and an AA buff. She isn't the tankiest of supports but what she brings to the table in terms of team-play is too tempting to pass up.
This guide will go over what runes/masteries to use on her, items that will maximize her potential, and using her skills properly. Hopefully, by the end of this guide you'll have learned as much as I did over the past year and a half!
P.S. The Gameplay Section and the Warding Section will be completed later this week as I want to spend a good amount of time delving into each section.
Pros / Cons
Flash is a great Summoner Spell as it can save your life by allowing you to dodge a skillshot, reposition yourself, or jump a wall and out of a sticky situation. Flash can also help you close the distance between you and an enemy champion to land a Q. Always take Flash and I guarantee it'll save you life and/or set you up for a kill.
Exhaust is another great option for most supports as it'll basically make the AD Carry useless for 2.5 seconds. It reduces attack damage as well as movement speed and attack speed making it a great summoner spell for when you're chasing someone down as well as slowing down someone that might be chasing you.
Heal is a viable option since it can be used to bait an enemy champion into thinking they have a free kill when really, your AD Carry is lurking in the brush. It can also save you or your AD Carry's life. However, typically the AD Carry will have it but it's always a good option to keep in consideration.
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor
I picked a relatively standard rune page when it came to playing Nami. 9 Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration will help in the laning phase as they'll add damage to basic attacks as well as your spells. You can also replace these with Greater Mark of Armor or Greater Mark of Armor Penetration depending on the matchup and your personal preference.
9 Greater Seal of Health gives you 72 HP greatly increasing your survivability in lane early game.
Like the 9 Greater Seal of Armor, the 9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist will increase survivability and keep you in lane longer against other support casters. Having Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration is another viable option if you have a tendency to spam your spells early.
Having the 3 Greater Quintessence of Armor will make you more tanky in lane with 12.78 extra armor. Other options include Greater Quintessence of Ability Power or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.
Defensive: 13 Points
Block Reducing incoming champion damage by 2 will help with early harass and reduce poke.
Recovery Having the extra health regen allows you to both stay in lane longer and use your Ebb and Flow less thus saving you mana.
Unyielding More reduction to incoming damage means less poke.
Veteran's Scars +36 health along with the +78 from your runes gives you a substantial health total early.
Juggernaut The extra health helps even more with a 3% increase in max health.
Hardiness 5 extra armor makes you even more annoying for the ADC and makes you that much more tanky.
Resistance Just a little bit of extra magic resist doesn't hurt.
Utility: 17 Points
Phasewalker I have been saved multiple times by the second you save when Recalling. A very useful mastery.
Meditation Mana Regen is great for Nami. A must-have.
Summoner's Insight Lowers the CD's for both your Summoner Spells.
Alchemist Increases the healing of your potions and Elixirs.
Greed No support can complain about an extra 1.5 gold every 10 seconds. Will help you keep up with the rest of the team.
Culinary Master Super useful mastery as they'll increase the healing of your potions as well give you 10 mana which is great for Nami.
Scavenger Another gold generating mastery that'll help you keep up with the rest of the team.
Wealth +40 starting gold that'll allow you to buy an extra Health/Mana Potion.
Inspiration Just standing next to your ADC will get you more experience. Sign me up!
Bandit Free 5 gold every time you poke the enemy support or ADC in lane.
Defense: 9 Points
Utility: 21 Points
Intelligence An extra 5% CDR as well as 10% CDR on Activated Items which this build utilizes quite a bit.
Wanderer Allows you to move a bit quicker as well as roam if that fits your playstyle
Surging Tides (Passive): A useful passive that makes Nami a great engager/disengager. If you're looking to engage, giving your allies 40(+10% Ability Power) Movement Speed helps a lot as well as if you're trying to disengage, that Movement Speed will come in handy when running away.
Aqua Prison (Q): Nami's bread and butter skill. Landing a well-placed Q can usually instagib any ADC or Support in lane as well as being a great disengager when being chased. Knowing the timing of the bubble as well as the range will separate the good Nami players from the great Nami players.
I max this last as the stun duration is the same at lvl 1 as it is at lvl 5. Getting Q at lvl 1 is good enough until much later in the game.
Ebb and Flow (W): Nami's main sustain in lane. This is an awesome ability as you can use it to poke AND heal at the same time. Typically, bouncing it off your opponent and then having it bounce onto you or your fellow ADC maximizes the effects of it.
I max this first since leveling up the skill raises the amount of poke as well as heal that you deal. However, be careful with this ability as the mana cost increases with each level so use sparingly until you have your Chalice of Harmony.
Tidecaller's Blessing (E): A buff for your ADC that deals magic damage as well as slows the enemy champion. Great to cast if you're chasing/being chased to give yourself or your ally the speed boost. Also, you can cast this on your ADC to set up your Q as the enemy will be slowed.
I max this after Ebb and Flow is maxed because leveling the skill will increase both the amount of bonus magic damage as well as the slow %. There is also the option of maxing Tidecaller's Blessing first if you're playing with an AD Carry that will poke often and won't take too much poke themself such as Caitlyn.
Tidal Wave (R): A tidal wave that deals damage, knocks up enemies hit by the wave, and slows them afterwards. A great follow-up after you've landed a Q and can also set up a Q if you've hit an enemy with the Tidal Wave. Also, another great engager/disengager.
Max this whenever you have a chance to like all ults.
I've found these starting items to make up the most standard and ideal start as well as give you an income item, sustain in lane, as well as two wards.
Another optional start build is to skip buying a ward and instead buy 2x Mana Potion instead letting you stay in lane even longer. I would only suggest this build if you're playing against a jungler that doesn't have a strong early game presence and/or you're expecting to get poked down a lot in lane.
When you first head back to base, your two main goals are Frostfang and Sightstone. If you have enough money for Sightstone(800 gold), then go ahead and buy it and swap out your trinket for a Sweeping Lens. If you have less than 800 gold when you first back, opt for the Frostfang instead and buy a couple Stealth Ward as well as consumables.
Frostfang gives you ability, gold generation, and mana regen. It is an amazing item for Nami and should definitely be bought either the first back or second back.
Sightstone gives you health which a squishy Nami can definitely use while also allowing you to place down fours wards thus saving you a good amount of money.
By around the time you leave laning phase/mid-game, you should have at least a couple of these items finished. Having Chalice of Harmony, Sightstone, Frostfang, Boots of Speed, and Fiendish Codex when you leave laning phase would be fine. Of these four items I would prioritize Sightstone> Chalice of Harmony> Frost Queen's Claim> Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Grabbing Boots of Speed is a must though.
Chalice of Harmony gives you some useful Magic Resist but the most important part is the mana regen it gives along with its passive giving you even more mana regeneration.
Frost Queen's Claim is useful since it gives you 50 ability power, upping your damage, gives you 10% CDR and more mana regeneration. Also, it's active is useful since the 80% slow can set up an Aqua Prison or Tidal Wave.
Boots of Speed will help you potentially escape from a chasing enemy or allow you to just get in range for an Aqua Prison. +25 movement speed will be useful.
Ruby Sightstone gives you more health and an extra ward. Not a high priority but a good item to get after your other items have been finished.
Mikael's Crucible will be the end point of your Chalice of Harmony. It's relatively inexpensive for the amount of saving it could possibly do. You'll receive an extra 15 magic resist as well as 5 more mana regen. The active will remove all stuns, roots, taunts, fears, silences, and slows on an allied champion as well as heal them. This could turn the tide of any teamfight and is an extremely useful item.
I chose to use Ionian Boots of Lucidity in my build but Mercury's Treads as well as Sorcerer's Shoes are both viable options as well. Mercury's Treads work better when the enemy team utilizes either a lot of CC, AP, or both. Sorcerer's Shoes are mainly for more aggressive Nami players and I typically do not like to take it. I like Ionian Boots of Lucidity because an extra 15% CDR is always useful and typically, you won't be the target of too many CC's in a teamfight.
So after finishing your late-game build, you still have two extra slots for whatever items your heart desires. However, some items are better than others depending on the enemies' team composition as well as how the game is going at the moment.
Locket is a great item since it gives you even more CDR, Health, and Magic Resist. The active is also amazing as it'll shield all of your surrounding allies and could "turn the tide" of a teamfight. (See what I did there? :)) However, it can be a bit pricey and typically, the tank of your team will build it instead. It's not a bad item to have but there are better alternatives.
Deathcap gives you a whopping 120 Ability Power as well as a 30% increase from its passive. That being said, it's really expensive and I don't typically like to build pure AP items on Nami when instead I could be using the gold on an item that will help the team.
Frozen Heart is actually a pretty good choice if the enemy AD Carry or any enemy DPS is starting to snowball. The Attack Speed reduction aura will be very helpful during teamfights and you'll get armor, CDR, and mana for 2600 gold.
Rylai's is another good option as it'll give you 80 ability power as well as 500 health. The passive also synergizes with Nami really well since you can use Ebb and Flow to proc the movement speed decrease to set up your Aqua Prison.
Some players like to build Athene's instead of Mikael's Crucible but I like the active of Crucible too much to get Athene's. Athene's will give you a lot of AP and CDR but most likely you'll have enough CDR from other items and the extra 60 AP it gives isn't worth the extra 1000 gold it costs.
Another solid choice for late game Nami. The spell shield it gives you can easily save your life and it also gives a good deal of health and Magic Resist.
Zhonya's is another option for more aggressive Nami players. It gives you 120 AP, 50 armor, and a useful active but it costs 3260 gold making it gold inefficient.
Abyssal can be a great choice if your team has a lot of AP damage and the other team is stacking Magic Resist. The Magic Resist Reduction Aura can prove to be dominating in teamfights.
Morellonomicon gives a good bit of mana regen and CDR and also gives 75 Ability Power. However, it works best against enemies with heavy regen such as Swain or Dr. Mundo due to the Grievous Wounds passive it equips.
Liandry's gives you health, ability power, and magic penetration making it a pretty good item for Nami. It synergizes amazingly with Nami's Tidal Wave and is a very viable option late game.
A viable option starting at the very beginning of the game. However, since Spellthief's Edge and Frostfang allow you to do more in lane than just stand around and farm. Talisman gives you more utility in the late-game with its active but I still like Frost Queen's Claim more in this situation.
A good item to buy in the case that you need Magic Resist. Spirit Visage gives you Magic Resist, Health, and more CDR. The passive also synergizes well with your Ebb and Flow.
Another item that you must get if the enemy AD Carry is starting to get out of control. Having the armor will help you survive as well as the passive reducing the attacker's Attack Speed and lower the movement speed too. Great item to get when the enemy team has a lot of AD damage.
Twin Shadows is another great support item giving your 80 ability power, 10% CDR, 6% movement multiplier, and a very useful active that will allow you to scout multiple objectives as well as chase down enemies. A great option when looking to buy for the late-game.
In summary, I hope this guide has helped make you a better Nami player whether it be learning what skills to max first, what items to build on her, or even how to play her. I want to thank you for reading through the entire guide and that I'd appreciate any constructive criticism you had for me. This is my first guide ever so I'm still learning!
Nami is a really great champion to support with since she offers sustain as well as hard CC. Any player can pick her up and play her since she can be played both passively and aggressively and with practice, she can carry any AD carry to victory!
If you have any further questions don't be afraid to send me a PM on Mobafire.