Nidalee Build Guide by lordarc
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
Patch nerfs and buffs
Lulu patch ~ no change to Nidalee herself, but plenty of game play changes such as Life steal Nerf.
The Bestial Huntress.
This guide is my way on how to build AP Nidalee. She is great fun to play as and is a very strong solo top champion. Most people now days see Nidalee as a AD Tank Bruiser and think that this is the only viable way to play her. Well this is dead wrong, AP Nidalee was a feared top lane for a reason and this guide will show you why she was one of the best top laners in the game.
Pros / Cons
Great lane sustain
Easy farming lvl 6 and above
Very slippery (not easy to gank)
Her heal scales well
Big damage with spears and cougar form burst.
Low CC (crowd control)
Low mana pool
Needs to farm well
Low damage early
- Perfect to avoid early ganks or initiate a fight with.
- Perfect to protect yourself on the turret or help to kill a enemy.
- can also be a option for Nidalee, Use this to try pick up a early kill.
- Wouldn't recommend it if you are in a pretty simple lane. But if you are in a lane that counters you or in a 1v2 lane you can take it if need be.
- can also be used, simply for getting out of ganks.
Counter picks / counters
This chapter will be about the people that Nidalee counters in lane and the people that counter pick her. This will be a rough list of all the main solo top champions you will see in the game.
Nasus is a pretty easy lane for Nidalee to deal with, Push him to the tower as much as possible so he misses Siphoning Strike farm and wont be a problem mid to late game for you and your team. Make sure to keep his turret up as-long as possible so he doesn't farm as well, Nasus will be happy knowing his safe under his tower so use the tower to your advantage and let it steal his creeps. Keeping your lane pushed so far up like this is very dangerous and leaves you vulnerable to enemy jungle ganks or a roaming mid gank. so either keep river warded or lay some traps down in the river so you get to see him before he gets to close to react. Nasus's Slow will real affect you if you get ganked and pre-6 you will basically be dead. Stick to your lane as long as possible and punish Nasus by pushing the tower while he is absent in the lane. During the late game Nasus wont have a huge affect on your team other than his slow he shouldn't be to much of a terror and you should be able to push your advantage into late game.
Cho'gath is a pretty simple lane for Nidalee. His only way to fight back against a constant Nidalee poke is Rupture into scream. But Cho has a equally low mana pool like Nidalee and shouldn't fight back at Nidalee's poke unless the enemy jungler was near or he was that desperate to get you away from the creeps. Cho'gath once he builds a frozen heart or any high mana pool items will become a bit more harder to drive out of lane for Nidalee, But the advantage of being AP Nidalee is that if he get frozen heart before any kind of Magic resist item he will be screwed. Once you hit lvl 6 you should harass with your cougar form and straight out into a heal if need be and keep the auto attack on him until he is forced back. With Cho'gath you should push the first tower down as quick as possible and have a look around to see if any lanes can be ganked or if you can take a dragon or something. Keep the creeps at Cho'gath s tower as his Q into W and auto attack is very devastating against minions, So you want to make sure he misses out on much of it as possible. Once you get your deathcap you can start becoming a more active part of the team and help in team fights. Cho'gath will be pretty far behind in creeps meaning he will be useless in a team fight if he tries to tank it for his team. If Cho is missing from his lane you should try push the tower By using your E's attack speed buff to help you. Push your advantage home as fast as you can against Cho before late game comes around and his built his resist to you and become a really powerful tank.
Gangplank is a very annoying opponent for Nidalee with his Q crits and his W for sustain it basically makes him a similar version to Nidalee. When Gangplank crits he will be trying to push you hard into your tower or try to pick up a kill on you, You need to call for some aid and back off. Try and harass gangplank as much as possible and once you hit 6 you should be finding it easier to last hit creeps at the tower. When gangplank leaves lane you need to try hit every possible creep and keep up with his lvl or try put some space between you and him. Never pounce on a gangplank unless his bad or you Have aid of a teammate, His E and R help him escape so try keep the poke on him with spears. To take a gangplank out of the game you need to watch your mana as best you can and make sure you ward river as much as possible, Gangplank is such a strong champion the best thing you can do is push the towers as hard as you can when he isn't there and force him to stick to lane. What i'm saying is, Its in the best interest to keep him busy then letting him run free on the map.
Irelia is basically considered a good pick against Nidalee and this is very true. Her great sustain and damage is hard for a poor squishy Nidalee to handle at times but a irelia isn't has hard to kill for Nidalee like some other tops, She can farm to 6 against irelia and then ask for a gank and let her push to the tower (even sacrificing it is OK in this matchup it will let you farm easier.) Try and let the dominant nature over this matchup to your advantage and pick up a early kill or 2 on her with jungler assistance.
Wukong is a basic counter pick to Nidalee and you should not pick her against him if you have the choice. If you got counter picked the best thing you can do is use your range against him. He has a gap closer and a get away which makes it easy for him to burst you but not so easy for you to attack him. If Wukong is being stupid punish him for it, Bait him into a tower dive and exhaust him on it hit your e and go to cougar for if you have it if not try pin point a spear. Nidalee can farm well without using to much mana but Wukong cant so once he get low mana get a bit more aggressive with your harass and force him out of lane and push the towers.
*Wukong is a strong counter against Nidalee, Don't be surprise if don't do to well against him.*
Skills and Abilities
A description of Nidalee's abilities
Prowl is Nidalee's passive, Nidalee gains 15% movement speed while walking through a brush.
Javelin Toss is Nidalee's bread and butter move. As human form Nidalee tosses a spear dealing 55/95/140/185/230(+65% of her ability power) Magic damage upon impact (Deals up to 250% more damage the further away she is from her taget)
Cougar form: Nidalee's next basic attack deal 40/70/100(+1.0 of her attack damage) additional damage, With a damage multiplier based on how low her opponents life is to a maximum of 300% physical damage. This attack cannot be dodged. Cooldown: 5 seconds
Human: Nidalee lays a trap that deal 80/125/170/215/260(+40% ability power) damage over 2 seconds, Reveals the target, and lowers there armor and magic resist 20/25/30/35/40 % for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes.
Cougar form: Nidalee lunges forward dealing 125/175/225(+40% ability power) magic damage to enemies around her landing area.
Human: Nidalee heals a ally champion for 50/80/125/155/190(+70% ability power) and grants them 20/30/40/50/60 % bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cougar form: Nidalee claws at enemies in a cone in front of her, dealing 150/225/300(+40% ability power) magic damage. Cooldown: 6 seconds / range: 300
Passive: Each additional rank increases effectiveness of Nidalee's cougar abilities
Nidalee transforms into a vicious cougar, gaining a new set of abilities 10/20/30 bonus armor and magic resist and 20 movement and losing a additional range in the process.
My skill sequence for Nidalee:
This chapter i will go into detail on my normal way on how to build AP Nidalee, a second way on how to build AP Nidalee, and a way on how to build AD bruiser Nidalee.
Viable boots for Nidalee
Focus items for Nidalee
- Its a must for anyway you build Nidalee
- can be swapable but with its mana, magic resist and movement speed bonuses its hard to say no to this item.
- Personally one of my favorite items for Nidalee, The AP and AD it gives helps all of Nidalees moves in human and cougar form. But is defiantly tradeable for a Void Staff or early Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
- Should always be in your build, gives good AP, Health and its passive helps chase down Nidalee's opponents.
- If you chose to go this item you should purchase it before other items like Rabadon's Deathcap Lich Bane etc. Its passive adds on more Health, Mana and AP per minute in the game. Which is why to buy it early and get the most out of it!
- Shouldn't be a focus item because its Passive gives a lot of Magic penetration so it's a lot more effective to get it as a 3rd or 4th item!
Full build Nidalee should look like
- Boots always trade able!
- A must.
- good all round item on Nidalee
- Another great item on Nidalee
- Trade able with a rod of ages but still good anoth to be in my guide.
- great last item with its armor and AP it gives. Its hard to trade this off.
or it could look something like this
- Again boots trade able
- more sustain for lane Nidalee.
- Always a must :)
- good magic penetration, Works well with a deathcap.
- make your Nidalee more beefy.
- To help against AD carry's and bruisers!
I only build my AD Nidalee 1 way and its like this
- armor helps her gets into peoples faces
wriggler's lantern - Armor, Lifesteal and AD helps Nidalee stay in lane and the True damage passive helps you counter jungle the enemy team.
- so she can use her cougar form effectively and stay in people's faces.
- the armor and passive works well with Warmog's Armor and gives her the AD she needs to hurt.
trinty force - all the small little buffs it gives helps Nidalee a lot.
- Health, Mana and Magic resist helps Nidalee against the AP carry's.
For AP Nidalee that don't care :)
These are my Runes i use for AP Nidalee and i will add in my AD Nidalee runes for you guys to take a look at. Before you start arguing over these runes remember I use these Runes. You don't Have to use these runes if you don't want to! I made this guide to educate use and to educate myself with feedback.
x9- These runes give 0.95 magic penetration and a total of 8.95 magic penetration. Its a nice little buff to start the game off. These will also make your spear's hit a little bit harder! Which is what all Nidalee want.
x9- These runes give 1.41 armor and a total of 13 armor. These protect you from some of the damage that you may face against a AD bruiser top.
x9- These runes give you a extra 3.06 ability power per level and at level 18 it gives you a extra 55 ability power. This is a very good rune for Nidalee as it adds extra AP and who doesn't want that?
AD Nidalee Runes
x9- These runes adds extra Attack damage to Nidalee which will help poke your opponent down during the early levels of the game.
x9- AD Nidalee is basically forced to get into people's faces if she wants to have a huge affect on the game. Which is why i have these runes set if i am going to be up against a AD bruiser top.
x9- Helps me during the later game as i build up into a Banshee's Veil. This means i can keep a high Magic resist level as i build my Banshee's Veil.
This is it for the Runes section. I hope these help you and give you great success. Remember these are all change able to suit how you play Nidalee.
Here are a look at my masterie's for AP Nidalee
With Nidalee a 21-0-9 setup is the best way to go in my eyes. You want to take advantage of Brute Force and Sorcery for some much needed Cooldown reduction and and some extra attack damage. You should then put points in the AP side of the offensive tree and the go and put 9 points into the utility tree, utilising Expanded Mind , Swiftness and Runic Affinity .
Nidalee can be a good and sometimes bad champion in a team fight. Her spears if they hit the right target can change a fight, Her heals can be kind of annoying for a opposing player, and the fact she can go from range to melee withing a second can be awesome! But Nidalee can be a very poor team fight champion if not in a decent team comp. A team with high CC team is a great team for Nidalee to be in because she has no stun or slow.
During Team fights Nidalee should be positioned at the back to get maximum efficiency with her Javelin Toss / Takedown move. Nidalee should aim her spears towards the AD carry or AP carry, If 1 hits and get one of them low Flash + Exhaust and burst them to death with your W - E - Q cougar form combo. Then try and support your team with heals and more damaging spears. If you get caught (ssuming you have Zhonya's Hourglass) pop it and then use your self as bait for your team.
Places to put wards
Warding is a must in competitive play, So anytime i play ranked or any game for that matter i push my lane out and use Nidalee mobility / roaming skills to my advantage and place wards to cover myself and my team.
Here is a look at it all the great places to ward on the map
sight ward These are one of the most useful items in the game. if you have a empty slot and some spare gold by a few and light your map up.
These can do everything a normal ward can do but it does one other thing, It lets you see anything invisible on the map like other wards, Teemo mushies and those annoying Twitch
This is a mobile vision ward. Its attached to you so anything invisible around you can be seen. Great for clearing out sightwards and finding Twitch and Teemo.
I would love to say thank you to jhoijhoi with his "Making A Guide" Guide. It helped me out a lot. Also a special thanks to everyone who up vote's this guide. So once again Thanks to everyone that helped!
If you didn't bother to read anything i wrote above then i am going to be nice to you and sum it all up for you :)
Nidalee is a extremely strong top as AP or AD, Has great sustain with her Primal Surge / Swipe and once she gets built up as a AP she can hurt like hell with her spears win they hit.
Nidalee is a strong laner against melee based champions that don't have ranged poke or gap closer, If you start to feel you are losing lane try build resist up for the champion you are versing and hope that works. Nidalee can be mana hungry so watch out when using moves. If Nidalee wins her lane she will go into other lanes and help push ( Primal Surge / Swipe attack speed bonus after using it makes it really easy for Nidalee to push towers]]).
Nidalee is extremely fun to play all though her spears are hard to get the hang off. If you have any questions, suggestions or queries about this guide leave a comment below and ill try get back to you about them!
Anyway that's it from me, I hope you enjoyed this guide and it gives you great successes. Ill try keep this updated through the patches and so on. Up vote this if you liked it and Happy health bar melting and clutch healing with Nidalee