Nidalee Build Guide by BenNanners

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author BenNanners

[S4] Nidalee - Well Rounded Objectives... (Solo Mid)

BenNanners Last updated on December 11, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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Introduction: The Bestial Huntress

Nidalee is a shapeshifting champions with a ranged form with high poke damage and utility, and a melee form with high mobility, low cooldowns, and high DPS/consistent damage.

Often used as a poke/sniping champion in ranged form who drops enemy health bars slowly before a fight, and then jumping in melee form to assassinate them, this guide helps take the strengths of these two forms, combining it with the utility of various items to help increase her versatility and allow her to be as effective in taking objectives as she is in fights and skirmishes.

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Playstyle: The Way the Kitty Plays

You'll notice the item build for this Nidalee guide is a bit different from your standard AP Nidalee. That's because this build is centered more around taking objectives, and focuses on the siege aspect to win games. I'm sure most know the tower pushing power of Twisted Fate/Fizz with Lich Bane, and this build helps to reproduce that power. Too often people focus too much on damage/fighting, and not enough on taking objectives.

Typically you'll see: Sorceror shoes, Athene's Unholy Grail, (another AP item)
Instead I have: Lucidity Boots, Lich Bane, Rylai's

Sorceror Shoes -> Lucidity Boots: simply to make up for lack of CDR in the build since you won't be building Athene's. Less damage to champions, but magic penetration doesn't affect turrets, so no worries. (Plus you'll still have Void Staff)

Athene's -> Lich Bane: This allows you to siege turrets much easier. With the amount of abilities you have to cast to proc Lich Bane, you can take down towers similar to Twisted Fate.

Rylai's: This is sheerly to make up for Nidalee's lack of CC and peel. Throwing spears helps to slow enemies during a siege for team mates to line up easy skill shots, and continually planting traps during a siege will help to slow chasing enemies if your team is caught in a retreat.

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Pros & Cons: Fear the Wild

- High versatility/utility
- High damage
- High mobility (can jump through thin walls)
- Long range (Q)
- Scouting tool grants vision (W)
- Strong through all phases of the game
- Has 2 Forms

- Lacks inherent crowd control
- Skillshot, Aim, & Position based
- Will be squishy
- Requires constant switching of forms, mastery of understanding/memory of cooldowns
- Has 2 Forms

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Quints: Flat Ability Power - most effective for spears & heals.

Marks: Hybrid Penetration - Aside from the magic damage you deal, you'll be trying to auto-attack a lot in lane for poke/harass, so you have roughly the same armor penetration given as a Brutalizer from these runes.

Seals: Armor

Glyphs: Flat Magic Resist

Optional changes are:
Seals - Scaling Ability Power (if against melee AP lane)
Glyphs - Scaling Magic Resist (if against AD lane)

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All standard and self explanatory. 21/0/9

Utility tree because it will out value the defense tree in the long run, seeing as you have a heal (more mana = more healing).
- I would take Cullinary Master (pots become biscuits) over Runic Affinity (buff duration) if you start Crystalline Flask, or know you'll have a rough laning phase, that one mastery point may help to get you past the early game. Otherwise, you won't be buying many pots so that mastery isn't as useful (as the mana from Tear of the Goddess should sustain both your mana needs, and your HP/healing needs).

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Items: Kitty's Toys

Most optimal start shown. Good for extended laning to farm up.

Another option is Ward/Flask/Hp Pot if you think you'll lose lane/get pushed out/be forced to recall a lot. But that's not optimal because you get Tear later (which is good enough for mana and hp from healing), so the flask becomes a useless waste after.

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Skill Sequence: Claw or Spear

W at Level 1 = scouting tool that grants vision. You can start planting it around in bushes to spot the jungler in future ganks

Max Q - your main damage tool, which can also help you last hit when needed, then max E for heal & attack speed.

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Flash. And:

Ignite next most optimal spell.

Ignite can be swapped out for Teleport if you want to try split pushing for your team, and you'll take towers pretty quickly, and have high mobility to escape which is good, but the trade off is your team loses a very strong AP mage who chunk out enemy health bars and keeps your own team healed up.

Barrier if you think you're going to get beat in lane or have a hard time (vs. Fizz)

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Early Game

After taking W, set up a defensive perimeter with your traps to protect your own jungle, and to help spot the enemy jungler routes should he try to gank you.

You have a heal, so you should be able to stay in lane much easier than many other mid champions. Your job is to farm up, as you scale very well, and will become much stronger in the mid to late game with your spears. Try to work down your opponent's health bar with auto attacks (rather than spears), as you keep yourself healed up. The goal is to slowly push them out of lane, as you farm up and stay in lane, and try to force them to recall, then take their mid tower and begin to roam.

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Mid Game

Try to take the first mid tower ASAP, and push it to the second tower.
Set up traps and wards in their jungle to help grant vision, and roam to help out whichever lane needs help. Be sure to set traps and wards in preparation for an easy dragon since you've pushed up mid as well.

Always try to land spears on enemies who poke their nose out too far, whether it be while your team is doing dragon, or while you're trying to siege more mid towers, but always remember to also have traps planted so you don't get ambushed from areas that you don't have vision.

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Late Game

Not much different from your mid game. Your job is to continually poke the enemy team down, and keep your team healthy. COntinue to win by taking objectives, and revolving through your spells in order to make sure you proc your Lich Bane as often as possible, and are making use of all your cooldowns. (Always healing, always poking, always trapping).

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Team Fights: Sharpening your Claws

Should a team fight break out, hopefully it will be in your favour that the enemy is low health if you've been spearing them enough, and your team is more or less full health because of your healing.

Your job is going to differ, depending on the enemy team composition. If they have a heavy dive comp that's going to go for your ADC, be prepared to heal your ADC, and start dishing out tons of damage in your cougar form. (Spears are for the backline/long range targets, Cougar form is for the up close and personal). Help to peel enemies off your ADC, you should be able to tank a bit of damage.

If the enemy team composition has more of a defensive composition, and your team is the one diving into attack their carries, make sure to keep your tanks healed up, as their stacks of armor and magic resist will make your healing much more effective with a larger health pool. Continue to try to land spears on the back line (or front line if you can't hit the back line), and keep healing your tanks and keeping them alive. Occasionally, you can go into cougar form (after using all your human form cooldowns) and dive in yourself to help the tanks and try to secure some kills. You may be squishy, but you deal a lot of damage in melee form.

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Tips & Tricks

- Be sure to use your cougar form and Pounce (W) in order to get across the map faster (or back into lane faster), as well as charging your Tear of the Goddess faster.
- Use the bushes to your advantage when chasing/fleeing, by trying to purposely take paths through the bushes.
- You can Pounce (W) through certain thin walls, given a bit of practice. (As well as towers too). Use this to your advantage for chasing/fleeing/getting across the map.
- Takedown (Q) in Cougar form will deal extra damage to targets, even turrets, and will also proc Lich Bane when activated. If you are in no danger to attacking the turret in melee form, use this often.
- Your heal grants attack speed, therefore you should use it when sieging towers (preferably on the ADC), or yourself if you're the only one sieging. You can then hop into Cougar Form (the attack speed steroid will carry over) and you can use your Q in Cougar form for bonus damage, and proc Lich Bane with your other spells as well, while the attack speed steroid persists.
- Though your traps apply Rylai's with a diminished slow, they deal damage over time, thus causing the diminished slow to last longer than it normally would, making for a good peeling tool when escaping or chasing. (Which is why it's important to constantly plant traps around incase a fight does break loose, be it in your favour or against)
- Traps are best used in bushes so that if people try to juke through bushes, they'll step on the trap taking damage, and it will reveal them for the next 8 seconds, making chasing them down easier.

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Final Words

Nidalee is a very strong and fun champion, with a lot of versatility to her. She's known as one of the fastest and most mobile champions in League, almost impossible to ever chase her, or get away from her as well. Aside from the lack of inherent crowd control in her abilities, which can be somewhat made up for with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, she's one of the best champions in League of Legends, which can also sometimes make her one of the most annoying...