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Nunu Build Guide by crystalfortress

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author crystalfortress

Tanky AP Top Lane Nunu - Swallow you Whole!!!

crystalfortress Last updated on March 29, 2014
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Ability Sequence

2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 6

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 3


Guide Top

Introduction


Hi there, my name's Crystalfortress, and this is my guide to tanky AP Nunu for use in the top lane, as well as my first guide on MOBAfire! To tell you a bit about myself, I am an avid League of Legends player playing on the North American Servers and living in California. I am currently ranked in Silver V, however, I think (and hope) that you will find that my ranking doesn't reflect my ability to write guides. Please make sure to read the whole guide before you vote, and no matter whether you give me a positive or negative vote, make sure to give feedback in the comments section (I will try to keep an eye on it). In addition, I haven't had the ability to play this build much lately (haven't played top in a while), and thusly don't have much know-how to put into the Matchups section. If you can, be sure to include a comment about your experience with the build, including which champion you were against and how you fared, as well as any tips, tricks or strategies you would suggest. Now then, let's get down to business (to defeat the Huns?).


Guide Top

Pros/Cons



PROS
CONS
  • Absolute Zero channel can be stopped by some cc
  • Only one non-ult damage ability ( Ice Blast)
  • If you don't know how to use Visionary, can be mana hungry
  • Not as tanky as some other top laners


Guide Top

Masteries


Masteries
4/1
1/1
1/1
2/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
1/
1/
1/
3/1


OFFENSE

I go six in offense because I already have 21 points in defence, and I feel that I prefer these to the advantages you get from going deeper into the utility tree. The cooldown reduction from Sorcery is nice early game, I like Butcher for last hitting, and Expose Weakness is amazing with your ult in Teamfights.


DEFENSE

I like to go twenty-one points in defense because, while we certainly build a good amount of ability power in this build, your main job is still a tank. The defensive tree provides you with the ability to take more damage and the ability to ignore more cc so you can get into the middle of teamfights and ult more easily.


UTILITY

I only like to put the three points into Meditation because I'm a mana hungry newbie. If you are skilled enough with Visionary that you dont need it, you can put these points in either of the two other trees or into Fleet of Foot .


Guide Top

Runes


Runes

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Mark of Precision
8

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
1


MY PREFERRED RUNES


QUINTESSENCES




I use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed in all of my builds, because more speed is always nice. Good for chasing enemies, running away, and avoiding skillshots.

SEALS




I use Greater Seal of Armor to help out with defending against physical damage. I prefer flat armor over scaling because I prefer to have extra defenses earlier rather than later.

GLYPHS




I use Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to help out with defending against magic damage. Flat magic resist allows you to mitigate more magic damage early.

MARKS


greater mark of hybrid penetration


I use greater mark of hybrid penetration on all of my AP characters because I find that the drawback of losing about two (i believe?) magic penetration is worth it for the massive amount of armor penetration you get, since most of your early game damage comes from your auto attacks. I also take one Greater Mark of Magic Penetration just simply because it is my preferred balance of magic penetration and armor penetration, sacrificing only a little bit of magic penetration for a lot of armor penetration. The balance of magic and armor penetration could be adjusted to your preference.


ALTERNATIVE RUNES


QUINTESSENCES




One could also definitely use Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. This would provide you with more offensive power with your abilities, but less movement speed. A perfectly fine alternative.

SEALS




If you prefer, you could take Greater Seal of Scaling Armor rather than the Greater Seal of Armor that I use. It would make sense if you were against a magic damage top laner, but even then I prefer the ones I use because a lot of their damage early game will still probably come from auto attacks, and flat armor will help you mitigate more damage from minion aggro. Definitely a fine replacement though.

GLYPHS




A lot of people like using Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, considering that most top laners these days deal physical damage, and the ones that do deal magic damage usually don't really take off until late game. This is totally understandable, and they could definitely be used as an alternative to Greater Glyph of Magic Resist.

MARKS




You could take full Greater Mark of Magic Penetration if you wanted to focus more on just your magic damage. It makes a lot of sense. I haven't tried them myself, but I expect that the effect would be that you would do less damage early game, but your late game damage would be improved.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells





MAIN SUMMONER SPELLS


I use Flash 95 percent of the time on most champions I play. The ability to jump over walls, and reposition more aggressively or escape possible death is amazing. Also, Flashing then using Absolute Zero will surprise the enemy team in team fights, and allow you to potentially hit all 5 enemies. There is no better alternative on Nunu.

I like Teleport on nunu because you can use it to show up out of the blue in other lanes during the laning phase and gives you the option to split push later in the game. This one is not as mandatory as Flash, and can be replaced by others (listed below)



ALTERNATIVE SUMMONER SPELLS


Ignite could be used against regeneration-heavy or lifesteal-heavy top laners. I would use it against Dr. Mundo, Aatrox, and maybe an Olaf or a Nasus. However, I like to build a Morellonomicon anyways, so it becomes a bit redundant late game.


Guide Top

Champion Abilities




PASSIVE



This is your passive. Pretty basic, it just gives you a mana-free spell every five attacks. I use it to get free harass using Ice Blast every five attacks or free health sustain using Consume every five attacks. However, don't get so caught up autoattacking minions that you push your lane when you shouldn't.


MAIN ABILITIES



This ability is really more handy for jungle Nunu, however, it does provide you with really good health sustain in lane. While it is preferable to use it with stacks of Visionary, 60 mana isn't very much, so make sure to use it whenever it's needed (especially if it's an emergency).

This ability isn't really that handy for top lane Nunu. While a temporary speed boost is awesome for escaping bad situations or running into the middle of a team fight when Flash is down, it doesn't provide you with anything handy in lane, nor does it provide you with that much more damage. Make sure to use this on your ADC in team fights and late game skirmishes.

Your awesome, %100 AP scaling, slowing, targeted nuke. Can chunk down enemies very low, especially with some AP and cooldown reduction. However, at level 5 it costs a whopping 115 mana, so always try to use it with stacks of Visionary, but dont worry too much about it late game since we build plenty of mana.


ULTIMATE ABILITY



The ability that gives Nunu so much potential in teamfights. Proper use of this ability is difficult, requiring proper positioning and timing. Always try to use it after the enemy has used any abilities that might be able to interrupt it. However, another good idea to prevent its channel from failing is to get your team to bait the enemy team near a bush and then use it from the bush. They will suffer all of the damage, but won't be able to target you with targeted abilities, and may not even realize where you are. Also works really well with Flash to position right in the middle of the enemy team.


Guide Top

Items




STARTING ITEMS


The Doran's Shield start is quite good against most top laners these days. Provides great health sustain, the block passive is great, since most of today's popular top laners are autoattack based, and the health provides help with trades and all-ins early game. The health potion is just a bonus.
The Doran's Ring start is really good if you don't fear the enemy top laner's early game. The ability power and mana sustain from the mana regeneration and passive allow you to harass better using your Ice Blasts. The Health is always great for all-ins, trades and surviving ganks. Two potions provide good health sustain.
I rarely use Crystalline Flask, because I find that Nunu has already got enough sustain from both his Consume and his Visionary, but this start could be put to good use against top laners that have A LOT of harass, like a Heimerdinger, Kayle or Kennen. You just don't see them much these days, though.


EARLY GAME ITEMS


Boots of Speed are a good item to get early in most matchups, due to the boost in speed allowing easier escapes, chasing, and outplay potential. Highly suggested first back buy against skillshot reliant champions, but also good in almost all situations.
catalyst the protector
catalyst the protector provides you with really nice stats early game, and is helpful for building into an early Rod of Ages. The health is nice for trades and all-ins early game, the mana is nice for helping you harass more with Ice Blast and the passive regeneration on level up provides you with a lot of sustain throughout the early game.
Blasting Wand is a pretty simple early game item. AP is your main offensive stat, increasing the power of Ice Blast and Absolute Zero. Buying one early provides you a lot more damage with Ice Blast harass and more all-in damage with Absolute Zero. Also is the second ingredient in an early Rod of Ages.

Spectre's Cowl is a good early item against magic damage top laners. It provides you with some magic resist to help you mitigate some of the magic damage and health to help with early game trades and all-ins. The passive is also really good against harassment, giving you some extra regeneration every time you get hit by an enemy champion. It's also one of the ingredients of a Banshee's Veil. Glacial Shroud is a good early game item against physical damage top laners. It gives you armor to help stop some of the physical damage that they will be hitting you with, some mana to help your Ice Blast harass, and some cooldown reduction to allow you to throw out more Ice Blasts and Blood Boils. Also helps build into an early Frozen Heart. Warden's Mail is a good early game pick up against enemy top laners that deal a lot of physical damage, especially if it's mostly through auto attacks. The armor stops some of the damage, and the passive slows their attack speed, causing them to do less damage. It's also the second ingredient in an early Frozen Heart.


CORE BUILD ITEMS


I like Rod of Ages on Nunu because it provides you with so many excellent stats late game. Health is always nice for more tankiness, mana is good to allow you to harass with Ice Blast before fights, and ability power is handy to increase the power of your Ice Blasts and, most importantly, your Absolute Zero. I use Sorcerer's Shoes because you deal a LOT of magic damage later in the game, including the extremely high base damage from Absolute Zero. These shoes allow that damage to bypass more of the enemy team's magic resistance. There is an alternative choice in Mercury's Treads that I will explain further in the ALTERNATIVE ITEMS section. Frozen Heart provides us with a lot of stats that we love, and nothing that we don't. 95 Armor is huge for a single item, 400 mana helps a lot for late game harassment with Ice Blast, cooldown reduction helps keep the Blood Boils and Ice Blasts coming, and the passive is great against enemy ADCs. I suggest rushing this item after Rod of Ages against any physical damage top laners (most of them these days).
This item provides us with great base stats and an awesome passive. Health and Magic Resist are just good stats for tanks, helping you mitigate a a lot of magic damage, as well as a lot of damage in general. The spell shield passive is huge for Nunu, potentially allowing you to block a spell that would have ended the channel on your Absolute Zero. The other passive is just nice for sustain against harrassment. Get this before Frozen heart against magic damage top laners.
I like this item for multiple reasons. First of all, Ability Power is your main offensive statistic, so it's good for obvious reasons. In addition, the passive is really handy against most popular top laners these days, as they usually survive in fights through regeneration or life steal, but this passive reduces those. The main reason, though, is the mana regeneration and cooldown reduction, which allow you to spam your Blood Boils and Ice Blasts more easily. This is the main replacable core build item.
I use this item in most situations because it provides you a lot more offensive power. I usually buy it last or second to last because that is when the enemies are starting to get large amounts of magic resist. Allows your magic damage to cut through more magic resist. Especially good with the ult because it has an insane base damage, but is countered mainly through use of magic resist.


ALTERNATIVE ITEMS


I would consider getting spirit visage instead of Morellonomicon if their team has no regeneration or lifesteal-based champions. This item provides you with less cooldown reduction, but still a good amount, good tank stats in health, health regeneration, and magic resist, and a passive that increases the strength of your Consume. Could also be used instead of Banshee's Veil if the enemy team has no channel-breaking crowd control. A solid item on Nunu.
I would consider using Liandry's Torment as a replacement for void staff, but only if the enemy team has built little to no magic resist. It provides a similar amount of ability power, some health, 15 magic penetration, and a passive that more than makes up for slight decrease in ability power (especially considering that all of Nunus offensive spells slow).
I would consider getting abyssal scepter instead of banshee's veil in the rare case that the enemy team ends up with no cc that can stop your ult (very rare). This provides a lot more offensive power, but in my experience, I've always ended up missing the stats that the Banshee's Veil provides. You could also use the Spirit Visage in a situation like this. Locket of the Iron Solari is another potential replacement for Morellonomicon. Use this if the enemy team has no regeneration or lifesteal-based champions AND, most importantly, your other teammates have not and do not plan on building one. Very situational, but another good option.
I use Mercury's Treads instead of Sorcerer's Shoes when the enemy team either has lots of AP champions, lots of CC, or one of their AP champions is getting fed. A fine replacement for Sorcerer's Shoes


Guide Top

Gameplay




EARLY GAME


Nunu has a medium strength early game, focusing mostly on farming, but also on harassing the enemy laner through use of Ice Blast, and sustaining through use of Consume and Visionary. If you are against a weak laner, you have pretty good kill potential at level 6, when you get Absolute Zero and could try to all-in against them. Other than that, just farm and annoy the heck out of them.


MIDDLE GAME


By the time the middle game comes around, Nunu should probably have a few of the core early items, if not a finished item, and hopefully may have a kill or two with the help of the jungler. This is the time when you can start to take your lanes turrets, especially with the help of your jungler ( Blood Boil makes taking turrets a lot easier). If you have the chance, you can roam down to mid, or pull a Teleport gank off on bottom lane. If Absolute Zero is up, it's very likely that you may get the kills. After you have ganked, you and the members of that lane can get a lot of damage on the turret, especially if you Blood Boil yourself and the carry. You are also very good at helping control and/or steal the dragon due to the potential of Consume. Make sure to use this to your advantage.


LATE GAME


By this time, you've finished most of your core items, the outter turrets of both teams are probably gone, and teamfights are the main attraction. This is the time when Nunu really shines. Whenever a fight breaks out, use Absolute Zero as suggested in the ABILITIES and TIPS & TRICKS sections. After that, if you pulled it off properly, its just clean-up. Be sure to Blood Boil your ADC before any fights, and if their tank survived the fight and is wailing on your carries, slow him with Ice Blast and help your carries survive. You can also help chase down any runners by using your Ice Blast on them and Blood Boiling an ally. During Baron fights, try to secure the baron with Consume if you can, and also remember that ulting the enemy team right after baron is likely to just kill ALL of them due to the Baron's magic resist reducing debuff.


Guide Top

Matchups



Keep in mind, it's been a while since I've played top, so this advice is based more upon how I expect the matchup would go than personal experience for the most part. This section will also be updated more as more people comment with their experience with the build. Also, this section is still under construction, and so does not have all of the common top lane champions. In addition, I will probably not cover all of the possible top lane champions, but only the most common ones, but if you have a champion you want covered, you can include it in the comments section.


4/5
Aatrox

5/5
Cho'gath

3/5
Darius

2/5
Dr. Mundo

3/5
Gangplank

4/5
Garen

3/5
Jarvan IV

3/5
Jax

2/5
Jayce

3/5
Lee Sin

2/5
Nasus

3/5
Olaf

4/5
Renekton

4/5
Riven

3/5
Rumble

2/5
Ryze

3/5
Shyvana

3/5
Trundle

2/5
Tryndamere

4/5
Wukong

1/5
Yorick


Guide Top

Tips & Tricks




CORE GAMEPLAY TIPS & TRICKS


  • The best use of Visionary is to build up five stacks by last hitting minions, then use the free spell cast to harass the enemy using Ice Blast. This will significantly cut down on the mana cost of your harass.
  • Whenever you and an ally are attacking a tower or pushing a lane, be sure to cast Blood Boil on that ally. If there are multiple allies nearby, the ADC is always the best choice. Can also just be cast on yourself for the same purposes if you are alone.
  • The self-heal provided by Consume can be put to good use in lane by eating minions. This will help you stay in lane much longer, missing out on less minions, and thusly less gold and experience.
  • Consume is also very helpful for making sure that you last hit cannon minions. Nunu isn't always the easiest character to last hit with using his autoattacks, and this can make sure you don't miss out on the large gold income from cannon minions.
  • Consume can also be used to steal the enemy jungler's camps, including their buffs! If you plan to use this tactic, it is highly suggested that you ward the area before the enemy jungler has arrived and to try to get in and out quick when you go for it, so the enemy jungler and the nearby laners can't collapse on you and kill you. Be warned: very risky.


ABSOLUTE ZERO TIPS & TRICKS



  • While Absolute Zero's best use is most certainly against large groups of enemies, it is perfectly fine to use it against the enemy laner early game if it will get you the kill.
  • Before going into the game, try to think of all of the enemy abilities that could possibly end the channel on your Absolute Zero (this includes silences, displacement, stuns, suppression, knock-ups, or any ability that makes you move, including terrifies, and Ahri's charm), and try to keep track of whether they are off cooldown and in range before you start to cast.
  • Moving or casting one of your other abilities will end the channel early. While it is most often advantageous to let the channel get as far as possible, this can be used to your advantage. If you are channeling and the enemy you are trying to hit is about to leave the range of the spell, you can move and it will cause the damage to activate at the current charge level (better some damage then none). Also, if an enemy is about to escape at extremely low health, your Ice Blast is on cooldown, and they are in the range of your Absolute Zero, you can start channeling and then immediately move to secure the kill.
  • Channeling from the inside of a bush is very effective for helping the channel finish and making sure enemies stay in range. Enemies won't be able to hit you with targeted abilities, skillshots will be harder to hit, they cant autoattack you, and unless one of them comes into the brush and reveals you, they won't be able to see the range of the effect.
  • Using flash in conjunction with Absolute Zero (a.k.a. flash-ulting)can be used to engage on enemies in teamfights. They will be surprised, and you will likely end up right in the middle of the enemy team, allowing your ult to hit the entire enemy team. Be warned: if your team doesn't follow you in and you aren't tanky enough to make it back out again, the enemy team will just collapse on you and burst you down.
  • Using this ability while the enemy team is trying to baron can cause tremendous damage due to the magic resist reduction debuff that the baron confers. If the baron is also low, you may be able to steal it with Absolute Zero + Consume.


Guide Top

Summary



Thank you for reading my guide! I hope you liked it. Be sure to vote on how you felt about it, and comment on how you think it could be improved, or just tell me how awesome it is (I know, I know, thank you). I will try to remember to check the comments section and am always open to criticism (so long as its constructive and non-inflammatory). In addition, be sure to include your experiences with the build in the comments!!! Also, thank you jhoihoi for your excellent guide on writing guides, Making a Guide. Once again, thank you for reading, and have fun swallowing people whole with Nunu!


Guide Top

Changelog



3/20/2014 - Guide Created
3/21/2014 - Guide Published
3/22/2014 - Adjusted a few sections of text and the "Early game items" section for better clarity, added EARLY GAME ITEMS section to the Items chapter, created the Tips & Tricks chapter and the Matchups chapter, As suggested by Double_E. Matchups chapter is still under construction.
3/23/2014 - More text adjustments for clarity, and did some coding changes, including adding double rules on section dividers for more of a visible divide. Divided the Runes chapter into MY PREFERRED RUNES and ALTERNATIVE RUNES and added more alternative choices as advised by EdisonKhoo. More matchups added.
3/25/2014 - Finished the Matchups section, although if anyone has any champs they want written about, put it in the comments. Still waiting to hear about people's experiences with the guide, and will adjust accordingly.
3/29/2014 - Added c2v.