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Nidalee Build Guide by STeeDofDooM

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League of Legends Build Guide Author STeeDofDooM

[S4] Nidalee - Lane Prowess [Top/Mid/Supp/3's]

STeeDofDooM Last updated on February 22, 2014
Guide Top

Welcome!

I am STeeDofDooM, aka "WookieeWaffle", and welcome to my Nidalee guide! Maybe you're here to learn Nidalee from scratch; or, maybe you're here to refine your pro skills. Either way, I offer a slightly different approach to owning your lanes with the Bestial Huntress.

Take a seat, open your mind, and soak up the knowledge-bomb I'm dropping... "Stay awhile, and listen."


(video courtesy of Murksy Murksyson)


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Recent Patch Updates

Patch 4.1

Changes to Nidalee

Bushwhack
  • Fixed a bug where Nidalee's Bushwhack traps could be placed in walls.
  • If Nidalee casts a trap that would fall in a wall, the trap will instead be placed in the nearest non-wall position less than or equal to Bushwhack's maximum cast range (900 units).



Pertinent Item Changes

Rabadon's Deathcap
  • Tooltip now displays the amount of Ability Power gained from its UNIQUE Passive.
Spirit Visage
  • Cooldown reduction reduced to 10% (from 20%).



Map Changes

Summoner's Rift
  • Outer turrets no longer gain bonus armor and magic resist for the first eight minutes of the game.
  • Top and middle lane outer turrets now have 20 damage reduction from champion basic attacks.


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Why play Nidalee?

Pros / Cons


Pros


+ Strong Poke - Javelin Toss
+ Lane Sustain - Primal Surge
+ Wave Clear - Swipe
+ Mobility - Pounce
+ Trap Wards - Bushwhack

Cons

- Weak Pre-Level 6 - Aspect Of The Cougar
- No Natural CC
- Squishy if full APC
- Mana Hungry
- Difficult to Master


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Abilities

Ability Explanation


  • Prowl: Increases Nidalee's run speed while in a bush. This ability is very useful early game to avoid ganks without boots. Always make use of this passive throughout the game, utilizing bushes as speed buffs whenever possible.
  • Javelin Toss (Q): Nidalee's primary (and famous) damaging ability. With very long range and very high damage, the Spear can be used to harass, and even execute, enemy champions under their turret safely. With a damage multiplier of 2.5xAP, her Spear maintains high damage even when built bruiser or support. When pressuring your lane, move out to either side of the minion wave to setup a lane for your spear.
  • Bushwhack (W): Free wards! I usually take this first and ward up all high-traffic areas that enemies may cross. The trap itself is visible, so try to place traps at the beginning points of bushes, so when an enemy enters they don't have time to avoid the trap. There is a slight delay between setting the trap, and it activiting. The trap reveals the surrounding area briefing during this phase. (more on traps in its own section below)
  • Primal Surge (E): Excellent heal and attack-speed steroid. When seiging a tower, always pop this on yourself to increase damage output. In team fights, make sure to pop this on your ADC whenever possible.
  • Aspect of the Cougar (R): Unlocks Nidalee's three new abilities, but not available until Level 6. Play safe until you have this ability.
  • Takedown (R/Q): This ability scales off AD, but will also do more damage the lower health the enemy has. Keep this in mind when attacking, and try to use last in your rotation, maximizing its effectiveness. (for example: when in melee range, use Swipe first, then hit with Takedown second)
  • Pounce (R/W): Nidalee's primary escape/chase ability. This ability's cooldown matches the recharge rate for Tear of the Goddess, so if that item is in your build, spam Pounce to build stacks. Also, use this whenever possible to close the gap between you and an enemy champion, or to get away...or to just travel! Pounce all the time!
  • Swipe (R/E): Great wave clearing ability. Use in conjunction with Pounce and Iceborn Gauntlet for fast lane pushing. This ability scales well off of Ability Power.
!!! Nidalee is not EASY !!!
Just to clarify: Nidalee has seven abilities to master, as opposed to most champions only having four. Aside from the sheer number of abilities to keep track of, Nidalee flip/flops from ranged to melee on a whim, making her tactics polar opposites! Once you get the hang of it, Aspect Of The Cougar can become Very deadly. This sequence is not easy to nail down. Try getting the hang of Nidalee's slow moving Javelin Toss first. Once you find you're landing those confidently, try the Pounce+ Swipe+ Takedown+ Pounce combo until it feels like second nature. Then you're ready to PWN... :)


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Laning/Roaming

Whether your going at it solo top/mid, or rocking a duo bot as support, Nidalee really shines in her ability to out-sustain and harass her opponents while in lane.

Harass


Nidalee has a decent range on her auto-attack, so make use of this as often as possible. With Hybrid Penetration Runes and Attack Damage Masteries, early game harass is powerful. It's imperative you do this because landing a good Javelin Toss is not guaranteed, as it is a first-object-hit skill shot (and slow moving too!). Be confindent in closing the gap between you and your opponent for a few auto-attacks, because a couple early points in Primal Surge will keep you healed and buff your auto-attack speed, making your chance of winning an exchange very high. Just be mindful that you don't get Aspect Of The Cougar until Level 6. Once Aspect Of The Cougar is obtained:
  • Now you can add to your harass by utilizing your Pounce+ Swipe+ Takedown+ Pounce combo to get in, Slashy-Slashy-CLAW, and get out!
  • Doing this will keep your enemies low, and keep the lane pressure up.
  • Be sure to spam Primal Surge after your Cougar Combo to keep you up in the fight.
  • Once you've harrased their health down, start roaming left or right of the minions to free up a clear lane for Javelin Toss, and watch the tears come rolling out >:]

Roam


Roaming is where Nidalee can really help her team, and Jungler in particular. Utilizing Pounce+ Swipe can clear your lane very quickly, and pressure the enemy turret. If you're dominating your lane, and see that top or bot are hurting, go help!!!
  • Activate Aspect Of The Cougar and run through the bushes, utilizing Prowl and Pounce for incredible movement speed.
  • Enter human form and toss a max range Javelin Toss if possible for instant pressure for your allies.
  • Enter back into Aspect Of The Cougar and quickly close the gap to assist your teammates in getting a quick kill, then Pounce your way back into your own lane.
  • Finally, accept your teammates' "Thank You" as they shower you with praise!


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Traps!

Where do I trap?!?




Trapping is simple to understand, but placement is key!
  • Since Bushwhack is visible to enemies, place these traps where you think your enemy will ENTER a bush (furthest from you usually), rather than at the exit point of a bush (closest to you) giving your enemy time to evade your trap.
  • Anticipate enemy Junglers' gank lanes, and trap to provide advanced warning.
  • Sometimes placing a trap in open view will deter an enemy Jungler from using a gank lane at all, so Trap! Trap! TRAP!
  • Keep in mind that springing a trap debuffs an enemy, increasing your damage output on them for a short while. Use the debuff from Bushwhack and lay a max-range Javelin Toss for epic spears!
  • There is a slight delay when placing a trap until it actually activates. Therefore, you cannot simply place a trap on top of an enemy champion and expect it to trigger on them (unless they're not moving). Keep this in mind and lead the enemies with your traps if you're trying to catch them in lane.
  • Important! Traps briefly uncover an area when placed, during the slight delay before activation. Use this as a great scouting tool!

    Summoner's Rift



    Twisted Treeline


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Proper Pouncing

Nidalee can utilize Pounce to jump over certain low walls/trees all across the map. A Big Thanks to "Nayla Nicole" for making this Awesome video covering Pounce lanes, shown below:


Very Important!
  • Nidalee jumps in the direction she is MOVING, and NOT in the direction of her mouse!
  • Can only jump over Low Walls/Trees


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Teamfights


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Summoner Spells

Flash: I go with this spell on most of my champions, as it is a powerful escape/execute ability. Whether it's avoiding a gank, hopping a wall, or going in for that last hit kill, this spell is a must-have. Ignite: The added DPS is always good, espicially if playing top lane bruiser. Combined with Flash, you can pull off some sexy executes. Teleport: Not recommended, but still a very strong utility spell. Makes recalling and getting back into lane quick and efficient. Also great for split pushing, or defending towers.


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BUILD: Summoner's Rift - TOP


Runes

Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
  • Hybrid Penetration gives Nidalee an early game harass boost. I choose this over Flat Magic Penetration as Hybrids gives you 5.5 Magic/8.1 Armor Penetration, and Flats give you 7.8 Magic Penetration. The loss of Magic Penetration is very small, and you gain a nice boost to early auto-attack damage with the added Armor Penetration.
  • Flat Armor and Magic Resist to counter a blind pick top. You can go with Scaling Armor/Magic Resist, but it doesn't come into effect compared to Flats until you've gained a few levels, and can cost you an early death.
  • Attack Damage Quints give Nidalee a nice boost to her early game harass, coupled with Hybrid Penetration Runes. An alternate choice is Movement Speed Quints, which give Nidalee good roaming/escape potential.

Masteries
4/4
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
1/1
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
  • This setup is a good balance between damage, survivability, and lane sustain.
  • The Attack Damage Masteries give Nidalee a little boost in early lane harass.
  • 9 Points in Defense and 7 Points in Utility give Nidalee just enough Health/Mana Regeneration to stay in lane against some heavy hitting champions. You'll have to find a good balance between auto-attacking, and closing the gap with a strong combo like Pounce+ Swipe+ Takedown+ Pounce to do some serious damage.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Item Sequence











Rod of Ages
2800

Iceborn Gauntlet
2900

Seraph's Embrace
2700

Spirit Visage
2750

Lich Bane
3000

Greater Vision Totem
475
> Mercury's Treads offer CC resist, but can be switched out for Ninja Tabi if needed.
> Rod of Ages allows Nidalee to stay in lane incredibly long, and helps with early game mana issues.
> Iceborn Gauntlet gives some CC and wave clear, and helps ealry tankiness.
> Seraph's Embrace adds an enormous mana pool, allowing ability spam and synergies perfectly with Rod of Ages, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Lich Bane.
> Spirit Visage beefs up Nidalee's self-heals and provides good CDR, but can be switched out for Zhonya's Hourglass if an APC threat does not exist (rare).
> Lich Bane provides late-game split push potential and added DPS.
> Void Staff for added late-game DPS presence.


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BUILD: Summoner's Rift - MID


Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
  • Magic Penetration for devastating Javelin Toss; standard.
  • Scaling Mana Regeneration to help with early game mana issues. You can replace these for Armor Yellows if you find yourself against a strong enemy AD Champion mid, with a gap closer.
  • Scalng and Flat Abliity Power to boost Javelin Toss and Bushwhack early damage. You can replace the Scaling Ability Power Blues for Magic Resist if you find yourself against a strong enemy AP Champion mid, with a gap closer.

Masteries
1/1
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
2/2
3/3
1/1
1/1
  • This setup is purely offensive, and very squishy.
  • Mid Nidalee is a Very powerful APC all throughout the game. Focusing on pure offense gives her devastating Javelin Toss hits, which is what she's known for. Take advantage of this build by forcing the enemy out from behind their minions, and setup some strong lanes to chuck your spears.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Maximizing Javelin Toss quickly makes Nidalee very scary mid game.
  • Both Javelin Toss and Swipe scale greatly with the AP, but keep in mind that Takedown scales off of AD, and you won't see any big hitting from being up close with that ability. This build centers around landing good Javelin Toss spears, and staying in the backfield out of harm's way.

Item Sequence











Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Void Staff
2295

Lich Bane
3000

Zhonya's Hourglass
3260

Athene's Unholy Grail
2700

Greater Vision Totem
475
> Sorcerer's Shoes give Javelin Toss a great damage boost.
> Rabadon's Deathcap early in the game allows for lane dominance.
> Void Staff directly after Rabadon's Deathcap gives Javelin Toss execute potential.
> Lich Bane allows Nidalee to stay out of harms way, and gives a nice damage boost.
> Zhonya's Hourglass and Athene's Unholy Grail give Nidale late-game survivability.
> Another viable choice is Seraph's Embrace as the shield can be beneficial. However, I find that the Armor and Magic Resist from Zhonya's Hourglass and Athene's Unholy Grail makes up for it, with a lot of added Ability Power.


Guide Top

BUILD: Summoner's Rift - SUPPORT


Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
  • Magic Penetration for some damage boost with Javelin Toss. I don't recommend Hybrid Penetration, because as a Support you'll find yourself dying often if you get close enough to be CC'd by the enemy Support. Stay back and chuck spears!
  • Armor for added survivability. Another good choice would be Mana Regeneration, but stick to Armor if you know you can manage your mana efficiently.
  • Scaling and Flat Ability Power to boost Javelin Toss and Bushwhack early damage. You can replace the Scaling Blues for Mana Regeneration if needed.

Masteries
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
  • This setup focuses on poke DPS, with utility support.
  • With 21 points in Utility, Nidalee will be very quick on her feet (or claws) and able to roam effectively. Use this to your advantage to Trap/Ward behind enemy lines, and Pounce your way out!
  • Without any points in the Defense tree, you'll be much squishier than other builds, so be careful. Getting caught by enemy CC will likely cost you your life before Level 6. Once you have Aspect Of The Cougar, move around the battlefield quickly to setup lanes to land Javelin Toss and to keep out of reach of the enemy ADC.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Getting two early points in Primal Surge helps to keep your ADC alive, and provides a great attack-speed steroid.
  • Maximize your Javelin Toss first though, not to last-hit execute enemy champions, but to burst them down enough so your ADC can get an easy kill.
  • Important! Don't forget to cast Primal Surge on your ADC when taking down an enemy tower!

Item Sequence











Frost Queen's Claim
2200

Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Ruby Sightstone
1600

Void Staff
2295

Banner of Command
3000

Oracle's Lens
475
> Sorcerer's Shoes give Javelin Toss a damage boost.
> Frost Queen's Claim to help with Support Gold issues, and to give Nidalee some CC.
> Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff give Nidalee some late game DPS presence.
> Ruby Sightstone for warding throughout the game.
> Banner of Command for lane pushing.
> Boots of Mobility for exceptional roaming (very fun!).
> Lich Bane for added DPS and roaming capability.
> Ohmwrecker for added utility and survivability.


Guide Top

BUILD: Twisted Treeline 3's - APC


Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
  • Magic Penetration for devastating Javelin Toss hits; standard.
  • Flat Armor and Magic Resist to counter a blind pick top. You can go with Scaling Armor/Magic Resist, but it doesn't come into effect compared to Flats until you've gained a few levels, and can cost you an early death.
  • Flat Ability Power to boost Javelin Toss and Bushwhack early damage.
  • The Flat Armor/Magic Resist can be replaced for Mana Regeneration and Ability Power if you prefer the early damage boost over survivability.

Masteries
1/1
4/4
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1
  • This setup is mainly offensive, with added points in Health/Mana Regeneration, and Armor/Magic Resist Boost. The defense boost scales well with Flat Armor/Magic Resist Runes for a bit more early-game survivability.
  • APC Nidalee is Very powerful all throughout the game. Focusing on offense gives her devastating Javelin Toss hits, which is what she's known for. Take advantage of this build by forcing the enemy out from behind their minions, and setup some strong lanes to chuck your spears.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Maximizing Javelin Toss quickly makes Nidalee very scary mid game.
  • Both Javelin Toss and Swipe scale greatly with the AP, but keep in mind that Takedown scales off of AD, and you won't see any big hitting from being up close with that ability. This build centers around landing good Javelin Toss spears, and staying in the backfield out of harm's way.

Item Sequence











Wooglet's Witchcap
3500

Athene's Unholy Grail
2700

Seraph's Embrace
2700

Lich Bane
3000

Moonflair Spellblade
2600
> Sorcerer's Shoes give Javelin Toss a great damage boost.
> Wooglet's Witchcap early in the game allows for lane dominance.
> Athene's Unholy Grail gives Nidalee some much needed CDR with great Mana Regeneration; I recommend this directly after Wooglet's Witchcap unless the enemy team is AP heavy, then get Athene's Unholy Grail first.
> Seraph's Embrace adds an enormous mana pool, allowing ability spam and synergies perfectly with Lich Bane; great shield ability too!
> Lich Bane synergies well with Seraph's Embrace, allows Nidalee to stay out of harms way, and gives a nice damage boost.
> Moonflair Spellblade is a nice mix between damage and survivability, and is always good to have.
> Void Staff gives Javelin Toss major execute potential! Get this if enemy team is extremely tanky.


Guide Top

BUILD: Twisted Treeline 3's - BRUISER


Runes

Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
  • Hybrid Penetration gives Nidalee an early game harass boost. I choose this over Flat Magic Penetration as Hybrids gives you 5.5 Magic/8.1 Armor Penetration, and Flats give you 7.8 Magic Penetration. The loss of Magic Penetration is very small, and you gain a nice boost to early auto-attack damage with the added Armor Penetration.
  • Flat Armor and Magic Resist to counter a blind pick top. You can go with Scaling Armor/Magic Resist, but it doesn't come into effect compared to Flats until you've gained a few levels, and can cost you an early death.
  • Attack Damage Quints give Nidalee a nice boost to her early game harass, coupled with Hybrid Penetration Runes. An alternate choice is Movement Speed Quints, which give Nidalee good roaming potential; but with the map being significantly smaller than Summoner's Rift, you may not see the need for this.

Masteries
4/4
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
2/2
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
  • This setup is a good balance between damage, survivability, and lane sustain.
  • The Attack Damage Masteries give Nidalee a little boost in early lane harass.
  • 9 Points in Defense and 7 Points in Utility give Nidalee just enough Health/Mana Regeneration to stay in lane against some heavy hitting champions. You'll have to find a good balance between auto-attacking, and closing the gap with a strong combo like Pounce+ Swipe+ Takedown+ Pounce to do some serious damage.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Item Sequence











Rod of Ages
2800

Iceborn Gauntlet
2900

Wooglet's Witchcap
3500

Spirit Visage
2750

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2900
> Mercury's Treads offer CC resist, but can be switched out for Ninja Tabi if needed.
> Rod of Ages allows Nidalee to stay in lane incredibly long, and helps with early game mana issues.
> Iceborn Gauntlet gives some CC and wave clear, and helps ealry tankiness.
> Wooglet's Witchcap greatly boosts DPS output and tankiness; must-have!
> Spirit Visage beefs up Nidalee's self-heals and provides good CDR.
> Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides added health and DPS for late-game.
> Void Staff for late game DPS, if required.
> Moonflair Spellblade adds the needed Tenacity if going full APC with Sorcerer's Shoes.
> Every match is different! Look at your team composition, and build appropriately. If they need a Bruiser, focus on Survivability first, DPS second. If they need a Wrecker, focus on DPS first.


Guide Top

Guide Update Log

19 February 2014

  • Added "Guide Update Log" section, to reflect previous and future changes to this guide.

13 February 2014

  • "BUILD: Summoner's Rift - TOP" ... changed recommended Quints to ATTACK DAMAGE (changed from Movement Speed).
  • Through testing, the added Attack Damage gives Nidalee better lane presence early-game.

11 February 2014

  • Reordered sections to flow better.

6 February 2014

  • Added explanatory information to cheat sheet.
  • Added "Final Build" view.
  • Added "Laning/Roaming", "Traps!", and "Proper Pouncing" sections.

27 January 2014

  • Guide created!

Thank you for taking the time to read my guide! I hope the information helps some players out there, and raises the popularity of this incredible champion!

Please feel free to comment with any tips/advice; all is welcome!


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