Nami Build Guide by SimplyInsane
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.
Nami - The Water Badass-Bitch
Start Your Core And Get Some Shoes On
follow ups (Your choice)
Usual Final Build on a victory game
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.
Basic Nami Intro / Why AP Nami
Most players go for an item support Nami. This means they get Talisman of Ascension and Mikael's Crucible and Locket of the Iron Solari and such. Now I wont say it doesnt work , it does work if there are so many people playing Nami this way but let's just say she ain't my type that way :D
And let me tell you why.
These items give you the utility and the kit to handle a specific and unique situation.
Mikael's Crucible for example can help your adc or apc if Morgana grabs them in the cell with her Q or any other slow or stun. All is well but i personaly find it really useful in 1 / 3 games. Now why do you not need these items? Because Nami has the utility build into her by nature. Now a support like Thresh , Leona or Shen or Taric or any other tanky support , they need these utility items because they have to build tanky and get some utility as bonus . AP does not go well with them because they are tanks by nature and Nami is an AP by nature. I personaly have never played AP Thresh or Leona or Taric simply cuzz it doesnt work really good for support. But Nami is different. Nami is one of the few supports that do their job just fine on FULL AP. Sona is the other one that can go full ap and still work on 100% , cuzz she has moving speed and slow in 1 ability , she has AoE STUN- her ult , she has some damage with her Q , and she has healing spell so buying more supportive items is just useless when you already have what you need to support your team and what you need to do is to amplify the effect of these abilities with AP items. Get some CDR , some HP along with AP and you will do your job just perfectly. Yes there will be situations where if you had these supportive items you will have done your job even better but these situations are alot less than the situations where you need your already build in abilities.
So lets begin with some ability commentary
This ability is very usefull in both chasing and runing away situations.
It gives the champion it is casted on a burst of speed equal to a base stat + a portion of your ablility power( 10% ) so if you have 200 AP it gives 20 moving speed. it is a good idea to build some AP and SOME I mean QUITE SOME to make it very usefull.
This ability is what makes Nami a complete badass. What is cooler than an AoE stun ? Now it does take some practice to know how and when to land it but in a combination with a good slow or stun from someone of your team it is quite easy to land. It stuns everything in the circled area for 1.5 seconds and lifts them up in the air (just to make her unique , after all this aint yo ho from the hood niggah). Experiment with different situations and relations with your enemy and your ally. It has very good use in both chasing and fleeing actons so learn how to use it !
Max this ability last cuzz you only need the effect and not the damage from it.
check out COMBOS section to see good info on ways to use this ability
Ebb And Flow
You see this ? This is a healing ability, you need this so **** Mikael's Crucible. And thats not all ! It is also a flippin damaging ability and guess what ? It goes back to healing ! Ok now here is how it works
Cast it on an ally and it heals them for Base + 30% of your AP , if an enemy is in range it will bonce off to them and deal some damage with reduced factor , if another ally or you are close to that enemy you just struck , the wave will come back to heal with reduced factor.
Cast in on an enemy and it deals damage from Base + 50% of your AP . if you or an ally is in range of the enemy struck , they will get healed with reduced factor , if an enemy is close to you or that healed ally , the spell goes back to a damage dealing one and hits with even more reduced factor. The reduced factor goes down with 1% for every 10 AP you have.
The spell can bounce to each target ONLY ONCE !
Even if you can't hit an enemy with it , this doesnt mean ur adc should stay on 50% hp... The mana cost is a bit high but its worth. Use it when its neccesarry. Dont cast it if your adc is lvl 3 and its missing 90 health. This isnt fatal while at lvl 14 missing 900 health is something totaly different. If you have an ally close to you that needs healing DO IT ! Dont save mana for yourself , you are the support not the APC
Max this ability whenever you can.
check out COMBOS section to see good info on ways to use this ability
This ability is another piece of equipment that is what ? yes you guessed it right - its good both for chasing and escaping. What it does is that it empowers the next 3 normal attacks for 6 seconds of you or an ally champion. The damage is BASE + 20 % of your AP. These 3 shots also slow the target for BASE + 5% of your AP. So if you have 40 AP and rank 1 spell you will slow for 15% slow BASE + 2% AP in slow. Remember that your passive activates whenever u cast a spell on an ally or on yourself. Use this as self cast to catch up to runing luckers or to slow down chasers. Just turn around , hit em and keep runing.
Level this ability when you are done leveling your W.
Tidal Wave ULTIMATE
Now I do not know why it isnt called Tsunami considering the name of the champion but well Riot logic. Now this is a very interesting ability. It sends out a slow moving wave that knocks up enemy champions and slows them after that. It works very well with Yasuo as I hope you have already guessed, also it is a very nice way to slow down the entire team from runing , and you can use it to land a perfect Aqua prison and turn the tides of the battle in your favor. As any other ultimate level it ASAP.
FOR FURTHER COMBO INFO CHECK COMBO SECTION
Pros / Cons
Now as much as Nami can be effective she is quite squishy in early game. For that reason I use armor marks , armor seals , flat magic resist glyphs and moving speed quints to combine with her passive. But more about runes in the rune section
2.Deals decent damage to help out her team
3.Can be combined with any ADC and will still work great on lane
4.She is rarely picked and rarely banned
5.Very powerful in both early and late game
6.Can interrupt many ultimates and ruin someone's day
7. Excelent KS ability :D
2. Requires some time to master
3. Mana runs out quick without good mana sustain items
4. Her abilities are hard to land with perfect precision
5. Excelent KS ability can be a problem
Skill Sequence / Combos
Now this is my favorite part COMBOS!
With Nami there are alot and I mean alot of combinations to try , some of them even I havent found out yet.
Lets begin with LANE Combos>>>>
Usualy you should be an agressive support. Hide in the bush and look for a good opportunity to land a Q, if it does land, quickly self cast E and hit W on the stunned enemy , and continue with normal attacks to use up ur E. After the stun goes out return to a safe place next to your adc and behind minions or back into the brush. This way the poke on your target will be real nice and if your adc gets atleast 2 shots at that target this will be a fully successful poke.
A Combo like the last one can be excuted in a number of ways if you feel confident and you trust your ADC. >>>>self cast E and hit someone with a normal attack to slow them down , this will boost up your chances of landing a successful Q and also will alert your adc that you are starting a poke and the adc will have a little bit more time to react and come to help. Just like in the last combo after the Q lands , use W on your enemy and continue with normal hits to use up the E to the max.
You can also use your own body as a conductor to poke your enemies.
If both enemy champions are in a line and are close to each other , go within W bounce off range and try to form a triangle with the enemy so that when u cast W on one enemy , the wave comes to you , and than bounces off to the other enemy. This is really effective if you have been poked and you need to regen your health. The same works if you use your ally as a conductor.
Try to combine your ultimate with the arrival of your jungle for more effective ganks.
>>>>>>Tell your jungle to GO and start ur ultimate , come closer and use the knock up to land a perfect Q and stun the enemy , after that cast E on your self or your ADC for slow and damage and hope the gank workes . Feel free to use your exhaust because its there to be used and not to stay as an exessory. In a case of pure luck from the side of your enemy , just cast W on the closes ally to the enemy lucker and this should finish them off, it might be a KS but its better to take a kill than to leave it and regret that later. Better safe than sorry.
When you are being chased , your escape is >>Your W takes casting time which will slow you down in a chase so dont use it. Cast E on yourself to use the passive moving speed and aim the Q to stun the enemy , turn around and hit the enemy with the precasted E and slow them down after the stun ends. This should give you a clean escape from most champions who do not have excessive chasing abilites like Thresh , tristana leblanc and so on.
In team fight make sure you position yourself close to the ADC and that you have given him the Tidecaller's Blessing .
it can make a huge difference because at late game it gives more than 100 bonus magic damage per hit and thats alot. Also look for the enemy ADC ,let the tank start it off and when the enemy team is grouped up , fire the Frost Queen's Claim - cast your ultimate and use the knock-up to cast a perfect Q at the enemy ADC or a Fed Carry, than quickly return to a safe distance away from the fight and heal whoever you can. After you have done that you should be a bystander , just cast E and watch who will take most damage and who is mostly endangered of dying , so you can decide who to heal with your W . remember that your W will heal 2 allies if cast on ally , or hit 2 enemies if cast on an enemy. If the fight is going in your favor consider casting it on an enemy but if you arent feeling so confident in your team , cast it on an ally just to be safe. Dont forget that you can use the icons for your team on the left side to make sure you are healing the right person. In a team fight people often stay close to each other and it becomes hard to see who is on low hp and to heal them as well.
Now lets talk about the items and why have I chosen exactly these
Chalice Of Harmony
As soon as your gold hits 880 , recall to buy Chalice of Harmony. Ofcourse try not to endager the lane with your recall. Buying this item as soon as possible is very importaint because the more mana you use , the more mana it gives you. Its very important for Nami since she needs to cast abilities quite often to either heal or to engage.
Athene's Unholy Grail
Try to upgrade your Athene's Unholy Grail at some point in the game
Well , many people may hate on you for this but man , heals are great and the Wave hurts a bunch with this. If you are ahead you can snowball your team using a Rabadon's
Rylai's Crystal Scepter/Morollelonomicon
For the next item I let you decide what to pick. If you are ahead and leading you can affort to buy a Morollelonomicon for some CDR and its incredible passive that applies Graveous Wound to enemies below 40% HP on ability cast, This is very importaint for dealing with champions like Swain and Volibear.
If you are behind tho and you are being targeted and killed easily , try to build a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. It will give you some slow which goes well with your ultimate (even tho its only 15%) and your E. It also gives you good health to help you survive some situations. But either way you need those two items.
If the Rylai's Crystal Scepter doesnt help you and you are still an easy target get a Zhonya's Hourglass. Yes I know how it sounds , Zhonya on a support but trust me it works. Gives great AP , gives you some armor for more protection and ofcourse the Active. Make sure you only use it when you are either a dead-fish-walking , or you have used all your abilities and there really isnt much you can do to help. In all other cases try to not disable yourself for a whole 2.5 seconds because it might end up in killing your allies.
Abyssal Scepter helps your team and gives you resistance AND AP , much viable item for Nami . Buy for fun and combine with Zhonya's.
Go ahead and buy one.I feel much more safe with a Sightstone . Vision wins games. Remember that well. Ward the right places at the right time. Get Sightstone as a priority core item !! must be first or second buy.
Shoes after the 4.3 Patch
Boots of Swiftness
When I started making this guide I was definitive about the shoe choice , get Mobility shoes for mobility , obvious.
But now after the new patch 4.3 these shoes in battle are equal to this >>> Boots of Speed
And this makes them useless for Nami since you need to chase and you need to run.
But here comes the hard choice
Get shoes of swiftness and upgrade them toFor passive moving speed. That way you get quite some moving speed both in battle and outside BUT you sacriface the Homeguard and it could be troublesome if you are falling behind and you play defensive.
In that case you need Ninja Tabi and upragrade them to Homeguard.
Like I said before Nami is quite squishy in early game and a ganking udyr can make sushi out of her in seconds. This is why I have gone with the full defensive rune combination. Take Marks for armor and Seals as well , while using Glyphs for magic resistance. On lane you don't need much magic res since you should be playing againts an ADC and support so this means your pain will be the ADc tho a support like Annie could spell trouble.
Moving speed Quints give you more mobility , you are Nami so you need to be mobile . You arent a stationary object like Soraka who goes W E R and spams Q.
Counters and Troublemakers
Now you are Nami , a very mobile and hard to defend againts champion BUT , this does not mean you are immortal and you have no counters!
Basically your counters are
Lulu has no sustain.
Wait what about her ultimate its a heal right ?
Yes it is a healing ability but that does not make it a sustain ability. She can't use her ult just to regen some health to her ally while farming. She needs to save it for battles but that doesnt mean Lulu is useless againts you.O no its the opposite , she can shield her ally and polymorph you without trouble to hit you with a Glitterance later , therefor making you an easy target for the enemy ADC. While playing againts Lulu try to play passive and dont push too much , wait for ganks and save your Ult and Q , dont spam it to scare them away. And try not to pick Nami if the enemy has taken Lulu already.
Thresh is even more mobile and utilisable than you. His lantern can save the ADC from almost any gank , he can hook you and pull you towards turrets or allies , he can engage a gank with his lantern in the bush , he is evil ! But yet again , he has no sustain. Try to dodge his Q sideways and not backwards for obvious trigonometrical reasons , try to harras him while he is collecting souls , remember that he needs to be close to them and not directly above the souls in order to get them. Also Thresh can use his lantern to collect souls , this is your opportunity to poke the adc since Thresh's lantern is sitting there doing nothing! But be ware of incoming ganks , sometimes its a bluff to make you come out of the shell and be agressive.
Hide behind minions thats all I can say.
Now Annie is terrible to play againts, she can stun you and lay out quite some damage in seconds before you or your adc can even react. Her weakness is , she has no sustain and her magic resistance is very little , this is why she compensates with her shield ability. The thing is tho , she can't use the shield if she is bublled (: . Try out your Q and if you get her make her pay for being too agressive. In many games laying out my combo on early 1 2 3 level annie resoulted in 50%+ of her HP gone in just 2 seconds. So keep that in mind. One more thing Annie lacks is range , she needs to get close in order to lay out her combo tho if she does it will hurt you big time. After her lv 6 try to stay passive and defensive and wait for ganks.
Hide behind minions and try to avoid her Q , it hurts alot with her W. The one thing we hate about Morgana is her shield , it can nullify your effictivness but she can only shield one person at a time. Swtich priorities as soon as you see her E the adc or herself. When she casts her ultimate bubble her , she wont get Zhonya just yet so make sure you dont lose you this opportunity. When a fight does come out and you are losing , using your ultimate with Q is a saviour so don't go saving it for "a more importaint situation"...
Taric is like you , he can play defensive he can be passive he can be agressive , he has his heal at hand and above all its a double heal , he has his shield to protect him from the ADC and here is where the good Nami will be seperated from the Great Nami. Taric can stun your adc but you can do the same so its just freezing the lane and nothing happends. He might as well try to stun you instead and make sushi out of you so many times that you become useless later on. Do your best to try and save your health and your ADC and wait for ganks , if you play agressive you could pay a big price for your insolence.
- Miss Fortune
This is one of the ADCs I hate to play againts as a support. Her Grevious Wound is terrible and renders your healing spell useless in an actual fight.Also she has quite some health to go thru before you kill her and if she has a sustain support like Taric or Soraka (oh my god Soraka) you probably need to play defensive , otherwise you could end up feeding her. Above all this her ultimate is very punishing. Even if you manage to disingage with Q or even with your ultimate , she can execute you with her long ranged ultimate so be very careful when playing againts MF. Try to punish her before lvl 3 and get her to play defensivley , but be careful for ganks. After 6 just be passive and farm farm farm , I mean the adc ofcourse. Wait for ganks cause it will be very hard to deal with her 2 v 2 in a fair fight.
What about people who work good with you ?
Like I said almost all ADC work perfectly with Nami but some do better than others.
I personaly have found that Varus and Caitlyn and Vayne work pretty well together with Nami thanks to their stun/snare and here is why. You reach level six and you have poked your opponent to missing 20% health. So far so good. You tell your Varus , Caitlyn to try and poke them again, you give them Tidecaller's Blessing and so it begins. If the enemy is feeling confident they go at you , you ult + q , you heal someone( you or your ally) you nuke down the enemy ADC and the support starts running , he takes a few hits and Caitlyn finishes him off with her ult. Now this is a typical scenario tho things might not go as planned. But in general ADC with slows/stuns/snares work very well with Nami and you should be the one to innitiate at that point , don't be tentative, be agressive go at them , you never know how good you are untill you play with a synergy (:
BUY A WARD SAVE A LIFE
Thats what they all say but a ward doesnt always save a life. A well possitioned ward and a warry support tho can save almost any gank. Think well before you place a ward somewhere and use wards only when you actually need them , facechecking the brush could be fatal.
So here are a few ideas where to place your wards in all stages of the game to make maximum use of them.
After lvl 2 , you should have already warded the place near dragon. A ward in the brush next to bot lane is alarming you too late sometimes and you dont have enough time to escape. Place the ward further up river to get an early warning. Here is a map of good warding spotsThe red X means DONT WARD THERE
In mid game you should listen to the blue and purple dots for warding issues. Make sure none is taking your buffs and also keep an eye on the enemy buffs. Also try to ward commonly used paths to prepare and evade ganks and unexpected teamfights. Also you should start warding baron.
Now in late game it all depends on how the game goes. If the enemy is ambushing you alot but you are in charge of the game and the battle wages in their part of the map , ward their jungle , brushes near Red and Blue buffs and save 1 ward for Baron. If the enemy is ahead and the battle wages in your part of the map make sure you ward it well. Expolore what and which paths they prefer and ward them to prevent some deaths.