Nidalee Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gott der 7 Meere

/|\/|\ .... Silvan-Beast Supporting .... /|\/|\

Gott der 7 Meere Last updated on June 2, 2012
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Hello Summoners,

Nidalee is a very unusual Champion and out of the classic role definition. She has support and utility skills, great AP ratios, a huge AD nuke and a second set of skills that make her very versatile, but also hard to itemize and play properly.

You can find guides on tanky-AD or AP-carry builds that work well here on Mobafire, so there is no need for another guide concerning these.

My guide is about a very unusual and strikingly different build; it will draw teammate aggro and might not work on your first attempt. I don't pretend that everyone else is wrong and that I have the only true Nidalee build, but I do claim it to be viable and I would be happy to hear reasonable arguments, when you talk about Support-Nidalee.

Feel free to contact me for questions and feedback,

my IGN is "Gott der 7 Meere" on EUW.

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About this Build

Every build has its ups and downs. Playing Nidalee like discribed in this guide works best, when your understand how it is supposed to work.

  • You will have ...
  • ... awesome map control.
  • ... jungle presence.
  • You will lack ...
  • ... AP or AD.
  • ... you won't be able to tank a lot.
Why max Bushwhack first ?

This is very controversal, but here are some resons...
  • Warding ?
  • Damage ?
  • Debuffing ?

Of course you may take her Q/E first... but then this guide is not the best for you.


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Abilities and Skillorder

- improved by: Bushes, MS
Prowl (Mobility, Chase/Escape): This makes you uncatchable in jungle, combined with Pounce you won't even need boots to come around. Always remember how much you love bushes and skim them.

> > = - MPen, AP, level, CDR
Javelin Toss (Finisher, Poke, Damage): At maximum range, this skill has the highest damage of any skills. To compensate, its a difficult skillshot easy to dodge - if you can see it comming.

> > = - level, CDR, AP, MPen
Bushwhack (Debuff, Reveal, Damage): Another high value skill. Traps last long, the reveal is huge and the debuff just incredible. At maximum level you can ignore half their Resistances. On top of that, you get some decent damage, too. If a jungler runs into 3 of these without thinking... It has a long CD and a high Mana cost to balance the benefits.
But: they will never replace wards. They only allow to catch invading enemies, but never to scout savely. It reveals the target area when placing...

> > = - AP, CDR, level, Increased Healing Effects, AS (target)
Primal Surge (Heal, Buff): This used to be the most OP Heal in the game, but now the low scaling on ranks and the huge Mana cost make this unsuited for early game sustained healing. The AS buff is still strong late game and it might still save allies in emergencies, but it shouldn't be leveled up first and spammed. To become a decent healer, rather than levels, Nidalee would need AP.

> > = - level, HP, MS
Aspect of the Cougar (Buff, Shape-Shifting): While her human form is an AP-support-caster, who needs a lot of Mana and profits the most from AP giving your team utility and poke, the Cougar form can do nothing with Mana, needs HP, AD and CDR to work properly and is her melee-bruiser part.

  • Takedown (Damage, Finisher) - APen, AD, level, HP (enemy), CDR
    Even without AD, this is pretty strong and allows you to finish someone off easily. Medium CD of your Cougar abilities. Single target damage !
  • Pounce (Gap-Closer, Damage) - MPen, level, CDR, AP
    This is your Flash replacement. It goes through certain walls and its CD is incredibly short, meaning that its overall damage is the highest of your Cougar abilities.
  • Swipe (Damage) - MPen, level, CDR, AP
    Damage to anyone in front of you, longest CD of your Cougar abilites.
Now, while the passive benefits from Aspect Of The Cougar give you durability (in Cougar Form), the skillset is pure damage based and the only thing it gives you apart from that is the awesome jumpstyle of your Pounce.
Don't turn into Cougar if you don't intend to dish out damage or jump away (Shape shifting takes away 4 seconds).

Concerning my skillorder: Bushwhack is the question.

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Summoner Spells

If your team lacks CC or vs , ... get Exhaust. SPACE Ignite can be used for a more offensive setup.
Even thoug you have nice scouting tools, Clairvoyance never goes astray. SPACE Clarity allows her to completely skip Mana items and still have enough Mana in human form and for mana-hungry allies.

You have , and a perma- Ghost. You lack a decisive ultimate that would justifie taking (You can push very effectively though). As explained later, you also don't want Tenacity or . Other summoner spells are champion specific ( , ) or underpowered ( , ).

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Champion Statistics

In this section, I will talk about the most important stats for Nidalee. I will specifically outline the differences between Cougar and Human form stat requirements. In my oppinion, there is no one item or mastery that is set in stone, you should adapt to your team and enemy anyway. Therefore I list them all, and you can choose what you want accordingly.

AD, Crit, AP, MPen, APen, AS

Gold (g/10): - - - For one thing above all: warding.

- Philosopher's Stone

Starting Gold: 475 + 20/40 - - [475-515g]
Gold gain: 13 on SR/TT + 0.25 + 1 + 0.5/1/1.5/2 + 5 Philosopher's Stone / / Kage's Lucky Pick - - [13-35.25 g/10s]
Assist Gold: 58% of the bouty (15 - 600g) split on all assisting +8/16/24 - - [8-375g]
Try to not waste your money, seeing as you as a support are so short on it.

Cooldown Reduction (CDR): - - - Rush 40%

- Zeke's Herald

You need CDR from lvl 6 on, when your cougar abilities become strong.

Mana / Mana Regeneration (MReg): - - - ~20 MReg early game.

- - - - Philosopher's Stone

You do need Mana, but a Philosopher's Stone has to be sufficient, you won't get more since Mana items don't help your Cougar form at all.

Utility / Team Support: - - - Your team comes first!

- Zeke's Herald

Aura items are your duty as support. Remember to build tanky and get only Aura items that allow you to use your Cougar form. Soul Shroud is actually a very good item for her.

Hit Points (HP): - - - ~500 bonus HP

- Zeke's Herald

You need HP more than any other stat because you have a low base HP and your resistances are already pretty good. Luckily most Aura items have some HP on them... Getting one or two Ruby Crystals early is a good idea.

Magic Resistance (MR): - - - ~150 MR


Your will mostly need only one MR item. Only when you face heavy magic damage will you take another Negatron Cloak or the like, usually Aegis of the Legion or Mercury's Treads should suffice.

Armor: - - - ~150 Armor


Armor is vital for surviving bot lane unharmed as well as fighting in melée range. It is good that you get some passive boost from your ultimate, but that is not enough. Get one big or two small Armor items, Ninja Tabi and Aegis of the Legion is a good combination.

Movement Speed (MS): - - - should suffice.


Nidalee doesn't need boots as Pounce and Prowl allow her to be faster than anyone. Get Boots of Swiftness as they increase your mobility dramatically, but don't upgrade them until you feel you really need to.

Stats not listed here are truly ineffective on Nidalee (AS) or go against the logic of this build (Mana).

Get as many - cheap - tire 1 items and gold/10 items as you can. Good upgrades will give you auras that synergize with you and your team.

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Runes and Masteries


Marks: Armor (MR/AD). Do not take any defense penetration runes, as your traps should provide you with that. This is a good place for Armor if your take gold Seals. I like one Crit Mark for good luck.
Seals: Gold (Armor). You want Armor, but Gold migt turn out to be of more use. Experiment with both to find what works best for you.
Glyphs: MR/lvl (MR/CDR/lvl). Take some MR here, its hard to get else, this is also a nice spot for CDR if you lack some.
Quints: Gold (HP). Up to you, I prefer gold.


0/9/21 - You love the utility and the defense trees. I tend to get 21 points into utility for the experience and gold gain.

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Game Walkthrough

Starting item choices (475-515g):

Sight Ward

Sight Ward These will prepare and prevent jungle invasion and make good decision in ganks and can avoid zoneing from bush-hugging enemies.
Start building your Philosopher's Stone with this.
Your heal is very ineffective, so getting this is paramount.
Effective for preventing ganks and against stealthed champions, can also make counterjungling easy.

Early game - Gold Items (2025g):

Philosopher's Stone

Clear enemy wards at dragon. This is to be prefered to an early because you just die to quickly before you get your core build.
Philosopher's Stone This item is only for additional Gold gain and what little Mana you may need before you get your ultimate. The HPreg is nice.
Get them early or you will involuntarily feed the enemy a lot of kills. Prioritize Boots when a game is going bad.
Save poking tool, but don't waste them when you notice your enemies know to dodge them. Save them for the moment where this matters and you might get a kill or two.
You need HP now, get a Ruby Crystal and upgrade it to the gold item.
Sight Ward Allthough you will need less of these if you place your traps right, you will still need them.

Mid Game - Core Build (4515g):

Zeke's Herald

The moment you got your Cougar form, you buy these. Mercury's Treads are unnecessary, because if you get CC'd having your Pounce quicker is way more valuable than beeing able to walk faster, also Mercs are way too expensive for supports and provide only a small amount of MR.
Zeke's Herald Lifesteal is vital for Cougar. Wriggle's Lantern is nice but, Zeke's provides the team support and CDR you want.
This is another vital item. You need resistances and this item gives them - skip it if someone else gets it.
This is what defines Nidalee in mid and end-game. Remember to change into human form for some traps every ten seconds or so.
Urge your jungler to get it, else you will have to buy Vision Wards / Oracle's Elixir.

End Game - Triforce (8000 - 10000g):

Sight Ward

This is a cheap item, when you notice your Q is too weak.
You may only get parts of this, mostly Phage or Sheen, but if you ever get to the point when you get this, you can dish out some real damage.
Burst heal replacement for you and your team when you need more defense. Get this vs. AOE burst damage ( Fiddlesticks, Victor, Gragas, Annie ...).
If you need Armor, Warden's Mail is a very chap and usefull item turning into the Omen later.
Should there really be some sort of CC that makes you worry, get this.


Get gold and aura items. Don't ward too much, but ward important objectives (baron, dragon, buffs). Urge your teammates to focus on smaller things like save farming and avoiding death.


Protect your main carry with every possible action. Always remember that you are supposed to support - get a Trinity Force and carry your team.

In the end your builds will look like these Example Builds:

Philosopher's Stone Zeke's Herald Sight Ward
(This should be the general case.)

(This is a build vs heavy magic damage.)

Philosopher's Stone Zeke's herald Sight Ward
(Here I face a strong physical damage team.)

I hope by now you realize that a clever build needs to be flexible. Every game has its own requirements and obviously teamplay is better than any build. Don't dismiss items just because you have never seen them on Lux, you might just never have witnessed the situation where they come in handy.

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Unveiling the Fog of War

Wards win games:

  • Buying wards. Every player should spent the rest of his money on Sight wards. Supports should always have enough wards in the inventory to cover at least 2 important spots always and prioritize them over items. Have a Vision Ward whenever you can, you need "true vision" for specific areas, to destroy enemy wards, discover stealthers or bait the enemy! Recall when you are OOW and don't think your traps replace wards. "A truly outstanding support will win games with only basic boots, having spent the rest of his money on wards. He will have prevented every enemy gank, stolen every enemy neutral champ, totally defeated their jungler and goten every single dragon and baron for his team. He will never have died facechecking as opposed to his enemies."
    You can type funny comments into the chat... like this true story, to make your teammates buy wards.
  • Where to place wards. Placing wards on lane bushes, jungle entrances and bufs, enables your team to gank and steal bufs properly. Still, they are only as good as their placement. Read this summary on warding and learn to place your wards better with every game you play - just buy some wards for "learning" purposes and place them on "new" spots every game.
    Warding also includes the wards of your teammates. One isolated ward helps far less than a line of two or 3 wards spread across the map. Tell your Mid/Top/Jungler to ward if they don't, explain to them if they place wards poorly. This helps a lot if done correctly and ganks will become virtually impossible for the enemy.
  • Destroying wards. Getting an Oracle's Elixir is a high risk-reward action. It has the potential to totally cripple enemy map awareness and prevents the enemy team from ganking and steal buffs effectively. If you notice you never die with Nidalee you can savely take an Oracle early. Else, let someone who is more tanky and comes around more take one (your jungler).
  • Reacting to enemy Oracles. Everyone has been angry about the enemy getting an Oracle, but you should just continue with your job, never let them prevent you from warding. Rather, place your wards in unexpectd locations and bushes. And bring that enemy Oracle-Bearer down! Remember that he has wasted 400 gold and his advantage is only temporary.
  • When to place wards. You are supposed to know the spawn and respawn times of major neutrals by heart and type them in the chat so your warding is timed well!
    • Baron Nashor will spawn at 15:00 and respawn every 7 minutes, his kill will give 300 gold AND 900 xp to each player of the successful team.
    • Dragon Ebenmaw will spawn at 2:30 and respawn every 6 minutes, his kill will grant 190 gold - but NO xp - to each player of the successful team.
    • Big Golem and Elder Lizzard (Blue and Red Buf) will spawn at 1:55 and respawn every 5 minutes.
    If you achieve ward dominance over these spots and your team abuses this, you will win. Placing a Trap in cleared neutral camps also lets you know when they spawn.
  • General summary of warding locations:
    • Early game: River and - if asked - buffs, dragon (dragon always with a ).
    • Mid game: Mid cross-sections and buffs/dragon when respawn is imminent.
    • Late game: Defensive or offensive warding of jungle cross-sections and of Baron - but avoid soloing.

    Remember that you will only become a good support if you master warding.

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Guidelines for decent Gaming

Honor the Code and behave like decent Ladies and Gentleman should...

  • "That heal/stun/slow/attack/ult saved my life, that was soo close, thank you very much."
  • "I underestimated my enemy, it was my mistake, it won't happen again, I promise."
  • "Kind Sirs, getting Mercs against that team is a decent thing to do."
  • "[all] Talk kindly to your fellow gentleman, it is hard for them too."
... if you get my drift :D

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As with almost every mobafire guide, credits go to jhoijhoi for learning about BBCode. I hope you learnt something from this guide, I wrote it to clear my thoughst on Nidalee and to let others look at my conclusions.
I am happy with this guide as it is. If you have something to add to my line of thoughs write to me. I greatly appreciate discussion and arguments about builds, I don't want you to adapt my style, I see it as an experiment that yields good results and should be appreciated as such.

Thank you for reading!