That Anker is Evil
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What Nautilus brings to your team, why in the mid lane and how to win games
So, you might be wondering why one should pick Nautilus Mid - good points for him are:
- great waveclear as E gets more levels.
- good trading with a lot of CC / damage and a shield to absorb return damage
- Very tanky while dealing a lot of damage early.
- Can snowball his lane by harassing the enemy mid laner (especially melees) and or kill them since his full combo can essentially oneshot a lot of champions.
- Quite a safe laner. If you don't use your Q to fight, you can use it to anker yourself back to safety under turret - the Q being the length of half of mid lane is a definite plus for mid Nauti.
- Finally, placing Nauti in the mid lane allows him to control the side lanes more. You don't have to use your CC in your own lane, but may rather save it to get guaranteed kills in both side lines. With Teleport this map pressure only increases.
HOWEVER, Nautilus also has a few weak points:
- Most of the time you're going to have to use Q to engage on non-melees, which leaves you without an escape besides your flash if the fight turns in the enemy's favour.
- Nautilus' damage and waveclear falls off later in the game, making it harder to make solo plays and leaves you a little reliant on winning team fights in the later stages of the game.
- Very aggressive laners may abuse your shield downtime, which has an 18 second CD without any CDR. Without your shield, your trading becomes mediocre, as your DPS will go down and you will receive much more return damage.
- Finally, his ult may be Zhonyas'd to cancel its effect on the target.
In lane, you have good level 1 against melee's because of the W shield / damage. If they are ranged be a bit careful and just try to last hit going in with your W. At level 2, you become even stronger in melee matchups with E slowing them down, which will allow you to AA them for free a couple of times. If they're trading back, they're just hitting your shield. Remember that W is an AA reset, so your damage combo in the early levels is AA (which will root with your passive), then activate W, then E. Depending on whether you want to trade to continue or not (or if you need to initiate from range), you may use Q. However, it is safer to keep it off cd so you can use it to escape if you get ganked.
Once you hit 6, if the laner isn't 100% hp you can kill him. Simply Q him, then AA W R E AA and he should be dead. Be careful not to get baited by defensive summoners like Cleanse, Heal or Barrier, however.
Ask your jungler to camp you - your abundance of CC means that essentially every gank will turn in a kill for your team.
Once you force your laner back, you can either go gank a lane, go back to buy or call a dragon. If your jungler is around, you may also ask him to come invade the enemy jungle with you to ward and potentially catch the enemy jungler.
As the game goes on, your damage will fall off, but you will stay relevant as you get tankier and your CC will stay useful all game. In mid / late game teamfights, ult a carry, generally the ad carry. Since he will typically be in the back line, such an ult will also hit their front line before reaching the adc. Don't waste your ult on AP mids if you know that their Zhonyas is off cd.
How to use Banner and ZZ portal
If you're playing against an AP mid, chances are you will buy Banner. It's not recommended buying Banner if you're playing against a waveclear ADC, as he will simply rotate where the waveclear is needed. Used correctly on cannon minions, especially early game banner minions are very hard to kill and will push the wave significantly. This will give you the chance to roam - or to protect the cannon with your jungler's help and get a turret with it, as the AP mid cannot clear it. The efficiency of Banner just increases the more AP enemies you are facing.
ZZrot may be placed right behind your turret in mid lane if the enemy tier 1 mid turret is still standing and this will simply push the wave, along with your banner. Eventually the turret will fall as it gets chipped away by your items. Later in the game, you will want to place ZZrot in bushes in side lanes and splitpush there. Try to protect it as much as you can, as the item has a hefty cooldown. Also try to fight around dead / alive turrets - the item gives you a significant speed buff that one should not forget about, making it very efficient in splitpushing.