Nidalee Build Guide by loneith
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.
Nidalee - More than a heal bot
Welcome to my Support Nidalee guide. It is my first, so please keep criticism relevant and constructive. I started this guide to combat the oh too popular opinion that Nidalee is a subpar lane support and fizzles into a late game healbot. While she is an amazing AD top she can shine just as bright elsewhere; this guide focuses on her as a bottom lane supporter. It takes practice and skill to maximize her kit but it is well worth the dedication to learn to take her to top tier support; her balance of sustain, utility and power tempered with your skill is what raises her above the rest. Rate, comment, and enjoy.
First guide, still in progress, clicked publish accidentally.
I've tested and tried many different set ups but I've found this to be the optimal way to spend your points. Even with early and late game, and constant and situational bonuses. Buffing her ghost is important enough to put one point into offense, and will serve you better than any other option.
This is the rune set I find to perfectly embody the spirit of the champion, a maximized addition to her natural talents.
x3 Greater Quintessence of Gold
x9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
x9 Greater Seal of Gold
x9 Greater Glyph of Ability Power
5.3 Gold Per 5
11 Ability Power
8.5 Magic Penetration
With this set up you start the game with an exceptionally high natural gold generation alleviating your need to last hit or, more importantly, rush a gold gen item. You also have a bit of AP which help make your early spells more effective, specifically your spears become a threat. The mres aids in keeping your damage relevant into late game.
The two spells I recommend are Cleanse and Ghost. These add to your already incredible mobility.
I would even suggest, as you become better at early laning, switching the mastery point from Veteran's Scars for Summoner's Wrath to increase the bonus movement speed to 35%. 1/8/21 would be the new spec.
[align=center]Other Tempting Options?[/align]
|Flash is game changing for burst or mobility challenged but Nidalee can do better with careful pouncing and brush jukes.||SPACE||Teleport is great but Nidalee can cross the map at super speeds with cougar form, pounce and brush.||SPACE|| Ignite, perfect to cut heals or hp regen but the damage is mediocre compared to your carry's dps.
|Clairvoyance. Wards, traps, and team work should allow you to dominate the map making the peek every 50 seconds seem not that tempting after all.|
This is where I get most of the flack for my Nidalee; the somewhat offbeat item build. I buy wards almost every trip to base and use them to control the map along with great trap placement.
I start with a mana crystal and a single ward . I rush Tear of the Goddess then basic boots no later than level 6, pouncing constantly to fill it ~20 minute mark. The next two item buys vary in order, Catalyst the Protector and Chalice of Harmony; depending on if you are taking a lot of harass or not respectively. Third major purchase is Archangel's Staff; yes before level 2 boots, Cougar Form and brush give you all the speed you need at this point. Afterwards I finish my Rod of Ages as soon as I have enough to get it's max benefit. Next I buy Sorcerer's Shoes to keep my spears chunky. By this point the game is basically a lots of scrimmages for power so I start building a little beefy; Giant's Belt in preparation for Warmog's Armor. When drawn out team fights start you should finish your Athene's Unholy Grail to refill your mana from assists and kills. If you make it this far the last item is really up to you, Rabadon's Deathcap increase your spells power, Lich Bane for extra burst or dps. Frozen Heart or Force of Nature are great defensive items and the utility of Guardian Angel can't be overlooked either.
Nidalee is unique in that she has a total of 8 different abilities! Her ultimate switches between human and courger form, each form has 3 different active skills but have the same passive. All of her abilities have their own place in her repertoire.
Passive : Prowl
An amazing 15% speed boost that allows you to delay buying level 2 boots. It activates when entering brush and lasts 2 seconds after exiting.
Ultimate R : Aspect Of The Cougar
Switches her between her two forms. While a cougar she gains movement speed, armor and magic resist but loses 425 range on her auto attack. Has a 4 second cool down.
Q : Javelin Toss
A long range collision skill shot that deals more damage the farther Nidalee is from the target when it lands; up to a 250% increase.
W : Bushwhack
Places a trap on the ground that when sprung will deal slight damage over 2 seconds and reveal targets for 12 seconds. The amazing part is that when sprung traps will reduce resists for as long as the champion is revealed, up to 40% reduction.
E : Primal Surge
Instant single target heal with a steroid effect; will buff the target's attack speed for 7 seconds.
Q : Takedown
Enhancers Nidalee's next auto attack to deal more base damage; the total damage will increase inversely based on the target's current health up to a 300% increase in damage.
W : Pounce
A short forward jump that deals damage in a small area when she lands. Can be used to chase or run away, and to jump over thin walls.
E : Swipe
Nidalee damage all units in melee range in a cone in front of her, most useful for adding burst damage to her human->cougar harass combo or clearing minion waves.
Early Game : Lane Phase
Start with a level in bushwhack and run to your lane, placing a trap at the far side of the brush closest to your tower. This will alert you if the enemy champions cross into your brush. Continue to ward the map this way by placing traps in the tri brush and river gank brush, save your ward for later. Replace the traps as they trigger or expire to maintain lane control; this will make the brush nearly impossible for a support to camp.
When you hit level 2 get your spear and start the harass game. I find that at about 70% max range is good damage and not enough time to avoid if fired from brush. Keep your opponents on their toes and try to deny last hits.
At level 3 you'll either get heal if your carry is taking any counter harass or just level spear to 2. At this point your lane may be somewhat pushed up or the enemy team will be calling for a gank so ward and trap the river especially well. Continue the spear harass to maintain lane dominance.
If you get a good spear hit on an enemy lacking escapes call your jungle for a gank, this becomes much easier at level 6 when you can close the distance and burst the target as a cougar and then chunk as a human with spear.
If you're doing well after you get cougar form, feel free to let your carry solo bot as you head to mid to help with ganks there. Often one spear from mid brush is enough for a mage to win a mid fight, and you can always cougar close burst human spear for the secure kill.
Mid Game : Scrimmage Phase
This is the deadly calm part of the game when 3-4 people generally start facing off in mid waiting for the perfect time to initiate on each other. Your spears will slowly whittle down the opposition and your heal will keep your team perky, making it your team's decision when to fight. If you are left alone in a lane you can quickly clear waves with your normal cougar burst combo, and tear down towers with your self heal AS steroid.
Late Game : Team Fight Phase
Similar to the scrimmage phase, you'll want to hit your spears and heal as needed but now you should be able to find opportunity to cougar burst enemies caught out of position in these longer, shifting fights. Often centered around buffs, dragon, or baron wards and traps will give your team the vision they need and will help melt tanks who hit the traps.
Summary : Nature's Perfect Beast
I hope I was able to describe the full potential of Nidalee, a support easily capable of securing kills most damage oriented champions would have to blow an ultimate to accomplish. Her natural survivability allows her to focus on keeping her team alive. Her naturally high damage capability allows her to buy wards and slow buildup items and still remain a threat in the now.