Nasus Build Guide by
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.
Nasus is a seldom seen champion within the League today. His early game is perceived as one of the weakest among top lane champions. This is mostly because, in my opinion, his kit is misunderstood. At first glance, his kit seems like it's designed to revolved around his Siphoning Strike's damage stacking mechanic, leading to most of the Nasus play that is seen revolving around getting this number as high as possible and itemizing in a way to maximize your number of uses in a teamfight. He's seen as a tank/hyper-carry in this sense, usually building general tankiness and Trinity Force for that on-hit goodness with every cast.
What if I told you there was an easier and faster way that can take his effectiveness to a whole new level? That it is possible for Nasus to be useful at all stages of the game? That you could make it nearly impossible for opponents to itemize against you? That you could live in the enemy team and still build damage items?
And that it's the last build you would probably ever think of?
Welcome to my Midlane AP Nasus guide.
Greater Mark of Desolation x9 - I know what you're thinking. "Why the hell are we building armor penetration on an AP champion?" Despite the fact that you will be building AP, a lot of Nasus' damage will still come from his Siphoning Strike, which deals exclusively physical damage. Combined with the armor shred from his Spirit Fire, you can be dealing true damage with your autoattacks against nearly anyone that doesn't immediately build armor.
Greater Seal of Replenishment x9 - Nasus has a lot of problems holding onto his mana, moreso than a lot of other champions. Because your Spirit Fire is your go-to ability during the early game for harassing and lane pushing you need to be able to cast it constantly for longer than 2 minutes in the lane.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x9 - Even with his naturally scaling magic resistance, Nasus needs a bit of help surviving against midlane champions that have longer range than him (read, nearly everyone). These are arguably the best glyphs you can have when you're up against a typical AP carry.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power x3 - Nasus is all about the late game. Even though this build is designed to allow him to be useful throughout the early and mid game, he still shines best after the 30 minute mark. These quintessences start being more useful than their flat-bonus counterparts after level 11, which makes his late game even stronger.
I find that a mastery setup of 21/0/9 is one of the most effective ways to take advantage of this build.
3 points are put into Brute Force to assist with last-hitting and getting those oh-so-precious stacks for your Siphoning Strike. Both Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge are taken to assist with AP Nasus' mixed damage throughout the mid and late game.
Expanded Mind and Meditation will work very well with your runes to keep the mana flowing until the mid game.