Nasus Build Guide by Kognition
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.
Introduction and Lore
The enigmatic creature known as Nasus came to the League from a faraway world, and served as part of a vast and learned desert empire. There he was a respected and enlightened individual, having been made the Keeper of the Great Library. However, he was also part of a race of animalistic creatures that served as the rulers and protectors of the people. Unfortunately, there were others of his kind that believed they were more than protectors. They were under the egotistical delusion that they had ascended to become gods. War on Nasus's world was never more than a breath away, as these deluded others sought to enslave the people and establish a totalitarian sovereignty. In the midst of a heated battle, just as Nasus was about to slay his treacherous brother Renekton, he was pulled through the cosmos to a summoning circle in Runeterra.
At first angered that he had been taken just as he was about to cripple the enemies of his people, Nasus' advanced intellect won out when he heard the pleas of mercy from the summoners. He learned that Runeterra was also filled with its own brand of injustice. This danger was no less threatening than what he had fought against at home, and champions were needed to protect the people of this world. Heeding the call, Nasus chose to take his place in the League of Legends, knowing that his brothers and sisters would carry on the fight back home. These days, he is the Curator of the Sands, feeling most at home in the crumbling ruins of the Shurima Desert. However, recent disturbing news has reached the Keeper's ears - rumors that perhaps his brother had not in fact been left behind. If this were the case, the destruction of Renekton would quickly become Nasus' main priority, before this world too faces the threads of his brother's forked-tongue and endless ambition.
The Curator of the Sands, though contemplative, is not to be trifled with.
These runes, I believe at least, are the best for Nasus playing a solo top role. Here is my reasoning:
x9 greater mark of desolation
This is the only logical choice, considering that everything he does is based out of physical damage and Spirit Fire can't do everything for you! It's nice to have the extra armor pen lying around.
x9 Greater Seal of Armor
Also a no-brainer. Considering you will be in thick of most skirmishes after the laning phase, you'll enjoy having that extra 13 armor. It'll come in handy.
x9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Now this little number will give you a little extra protection against those pesky AP based solo tops like Rumble, and Akali if she ever escapes the banning stage of champion selection.
x9 Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Ok now this might be a little different, but necessary in my opinion. This, in correlation with Wither is the perfect gap closer when you have to get to that Caitlyn or Graves that might be constantly firing on your carries. Also, it would make it nearly impossible to not dodge that Rake or Thundering Shuriken that may be annoying you. At level one with the Initiator defense mastery, you reach 403 movement speed. That is more than rank two boots, even Boots of Swiftness on most carries. I guess I've exaggerated a little, but now I feel more justified in using these Quints.
9/21/0 Seemed a little weird at first, but let us break it down and analyze the main points.
Why I chose to put 9 points into the offensive tree is because of the fact that you, in essence, are a Tank/DPS so you need to fulfill that DPS role. This is what will help you do that. With the 6% extra attack speed, and 10% armor penetration, you will have little trouble with a carry's armor with the runes and this mastery.
As to the 21 points in defense, Well it'll be quite difficult take down a Juggernaut when he's running full speed into your face! Consider: Mercury Treads grants you 35% reduced Crowd Control effects, and along with that extra 10% from Juggernaut at the bottom of the defensive tree...BAM, nothing will stop you. You know when that Ashe gets really lucky and hits you from the bottom lane for the entire duration of her Enchanted Crystal Arrow stun? Well, it'll look like you just got Ki Burst 'ed by Riven. Imagine how little CC will mean to you when you have to chase certain champions down. There, I think you have my point firm within your mind now.
As I already stated in a previous chapter, boots will give you an amazing advantage in top lane due to the mobility factor, so you will start with them and 3 pots right off. Next, since Nasus' only sustain lacking feature is his ever draining mana pool, would be a Chalice of Harmony. Now just boots, chalice, and his passive of Soul Eater will make you the god of sustain within the laning phase. Additionally, you will never run out of mana during team fights in mid/late game, which would be his one downfall if you didn't pick up your chalice.
Now we join the big boys with a Sheen. The idea behind sheen is that it will amplify your Siphoning Strike, which will not only let you hit like a truck, but you can now farm minions ridiculously fast for your Q stacking. Another slightly more subtle feature of this, is Siphoning Strike still behaves like a physical attack/on-hit effect, so his passive calculates life steal on the increased damage modifier of Sheen + Siphoning Strike. All this means is that you will have greater sustain, and also the upper hand in duels that the enemy might not take into account off the bat when choosing to stand toe-to-toe with you.
Of course you will work towards your mercury treads at this point, and it's obvious why you want those. Another obvious item is the Trinity Force, but the fact that it offers so many other stats than just the ability activation effect makes it the go-to item for Nasus. Not to mention that it offers movement speed as well, which has already been an accentuated theme throughout this guide. Moving on...
Immediately after that I jump into my Warmog's Armor because that extra life can make a big difference, and what else could compliment it other than Atma's Impaler. And it depends on the enemy team what you build next. If you have an AP/magic heavy enemy team, naturally build Force of Nature, but if there's a scary AD carry melting faces, or you're pretty much unstoppable anyways, build into a Frozen Heart. The cooldown reduction and passive AS slow greatly increase your ability to duel and even 2v1.
Now when you go to trade in your chalice in the REALLY, REALLY late game, you can go either the fun route(that's if you are already crushing personally and you want an extra boost) with an Infinity Edge, or the safe route and go with a Guardian Angel. Either way you will still be a wrecking machine.
So the only thing I have to explain here is the fact that you should max Siphoning Strike as soon as you hit level 9. Of course you will need at least one in Wither, and one in Spirit Fire, but that goes without saying. See the idea is that you will farm out your SS as quickly as you can, making you dominant not only in the top lane, but throughout the game. The cooldown at rank 5 is so low that you can farm out like 250+ on the damage modifier in less than 20 minutes.
Nasus strikes his foe, dealing damage and increasing the power of his future Siphoning Strikes if he slays his target.
Active: Nasus's next basic attack will deal 30/50/70/90/110 (+) (+ ) physical damage.
Passive: Siphoning Strike permanently gains 3 damage if it kills an enemy unit.
This is your lover when it comes to abilities on Nasus'. Maxing this first will not only make your damage output nothing to be messed with, it will also be your farming tool. This is what makes you a wrecking ball in every skirmish/team fight. This can be used for harassment as well since is does quite a bit of damage.
Nasus ages his target, decelerating their Movement and Attack Speeds over time.
Nasus ages his target over 5 seconds, initially slowing their Movement and Attack Speeds by 35% and increasing to 47/59/71/83/95% over the duration.
Other than a stun or taunt, this is the best CC in the game right here. It runs full duration on tenacity bearing opponents and completely shuts down a carry. Furthermore, it allows you to easily chase down an destroy squishy champions with ease.
Nasus unleashes a spirit flame at a location, dealing damage and reducing the Armor of enemies who stand on it.
Nasus unleashes a spirit flame at a target location, dealing an initial 55/95/135/175/215 (+0.6) magic damage.
For the next 5 seconds, enemies in the area have their Armor reduced by 20/25/30/35/40 and are dealt an additional 11/19/27/35/43 (+0.12) magic damage each second.
This ability is amazing at letting you rip your enemies apart. Once you land Wither throw this under your enemy and land a Siphoning Strike, as you watch their health bar disappear, instant gratification...and who doesn't like instant gratification AMIRITE?
Nasus unleashes a mighty sandstorm that batters nearby enemies. While the storm rages, he gains additional Health and drains nearby enemies' max Health and converts it into bonus damage for the duration of the skill.
Nasus becomes empowered in the sandstorm for 15 seconds, gaining 300/450/600 Health. While the storm rages, he deals 3/4/5 (+0.01)% of nearby enemies' maximum Health each second (240 damage max per second) as magic damage and converts it into bonus Attack Damage.
Wanna know why this ultimate is BOSS? Well here it is, in his lore Nasus' brother Renekton and other protectors of their realm believed that they were meant to ascend as gods... FLIPPING GODS, people...and what better way to portray that badass-ery than this ult that makes you essentially the bringer of death. Live it Nasus' players...LIVE IT AND LOVE IT.
Spells NOT to use...
I won't go rambling any more, you know what I mean.
Spells I could see working...
(only if you can't hold it as well as you might hope).
Pros / Cons
-Scales very well into late game
-HITS LIKE A TRUCK(if farmed well)
-Can hunt down carries quickly and separate them from team fights.
-CC that runs consistently even with the obstacle of tenacity
-Weak early game
-Requires a lot of farm
Overall, Nasus' abilities and gameplay make him one of the most viable solo tops in the game. His ability to anti-carry is so accentuated by his style that he is more the TERROR of the Sands as opposed to the Curator.
After reading my guide, please give me some feedback and tell me what you think. Upvote it if you like it and drop a comment if you would like. I'll definitely respond. Thank you very much for taking your time, and Enjoy my personal favorite champion Nasus, The Curator of the Sands.