Nami Build Guide by Kamirusan
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.
Hello and welcome to my second build here on Mobafire!
I have covered a build for one of the best carries in the game (please visit my Vayne guide availible here). Today I give you the League's latest addition - Nami, the Tidecaller.
It is, by default, a support star that will enable your team's carry to play even better. She has amazing abilities, a great potential and is really fun to play, which should be most important for you!
You have to be aware that playing as a support means that you will not be the vanguard of your team and you will not be in the center of attention. What is more, you will possibly be the most underappreciated player in your team. But, at the same time, you are the sole core of your team and without you their chances of wining are really slim. You have to react quickly, make wise decisions, set up kills for your teammates and protect your allies at all costs.
You, my dear Summoner, are the support of your team.
Surging Tides (passive) Each time your abilities hit your friend (is it while healing, buffing or casting your ultimate), the friendly unit gains a short movement speed boost. Time your abilities right and you may help your friend get the kill.
Aqua Prison Nami throws a bubble towards targeted area, which will deal some small amount of damage and stun every enemy in its radius. A really useful skill that can help your lane partner damage a defenseless enemy or stop an enemy that has sworn his vengance upon you or your teammates. I recommend taking a point in this skill at levels 2, 14, 15, 17 and 18.
Ebb and Flow Your main weapon. Your Excalibur, Your Andúril, Your Hammer of Thuders. Casted on an ally heals him, casted on an enemy damages him. What makes it special, though, is that it bounces off champions. Cast it on an ally (or you) first, and it will go to him/you, healing, then bounce to the enemy, damaging, and bounce back to another ally (or you). Cast it on an enemy, and it will damage him, come back to an ally (or you), healing, and bounce back to an enemy, damaging. Note that it always bounces off a champion once. ONCE. So if there is no ally or enemy in range, the skill will simply stop. Take one point in this ability at levels 1, 4, 5, 7 and 9.
Tidecaller's Blessing It is a very useful buff that empowers your ally for five seconds (or three autoattacs), granting him some additional magic damage and applying slow to an enemy. I advise taking point in this skill at levels 3, 8, 10, 12 and 13,
Tidal Wave Your ultimate. Nami summons a small tsunami that will speed up your allies hit by the wave and knock up enemies and slow them. The further the wave has travelled, the longer the slow will last. Take a point in it everytime you can - at levels 6, 11 and 16.
Pros and cons
+ decent healing potential
+ very good at early game harrassment
+ stunning bubble able to keep even all enemy team
+ very good initiator
+ extremely fun to play
+ very mobile even without Boots of Speed
- late game more utility than threat
- really slow ultimate
- kinda squishy
I have decided that the best option for Nami would be 1-8-21. I intend to explain this decision in a nutshell below:
From the Offense tree I take one point in Summoner's Wrath . One of my Summoner Spells is Exhaust and with this point not only does it slow your opponent down, but reduces their armor and magic resistance, too.
The Defense tree offers some masteries that could be useful. My main goal was to take points in armor. It is mostly necessary because you are not much of a use to your ally dead. And you need survivability. But to take points in this, you need to spend some earlier - from the first available masteries I believe that health regeneration from Perseverance is the most useful. You can't waste your mana healing yourself - you need this to cast Ebb and Flow on your AD carry, so when you avoid taking damage, you can regain some hit points without wasting mana. Then, after spending 3 points, you have to spend at least one more, so - as a sort of a wasted point - I use it on Durability . Now it is up to you - either spend another point in additional HP per level or invest one point in magic resistance from Resistance . You can finally take three in Hardiness .
You should be, certainly, most interested in the Utility tree. Grab three points for mobility in Wanderer ; you could use mana regeneration from Meditation ; Expanded Mind will give you more mana to spam your abilities. Greed is especially important - it earns you additional gold, and unlocks your way towards Wealth . It will allow you to buy three Health Potions, three Sight Wards and a Faerie Charm in the beginning of the game. Strength of Spirit grants you even more mana regeneration so that you don't have to spend money on mana regenerating items. As a support, you only get gold from assists and gold granting items (masteries and runes, too). So you need Pickpocket , too. Finally, take one point in Intelligence and one point in Nimble , for increased cooldown reduction and mobility.
Utility tree masteries that we don't need
I don't take points in Scout , because three seconds of increased Ward range is not worth one whole point. Mastermind and Artificer are also not so good - the latter one is virtually useless, as we don't buy that many items, and the previous one, although might be tempting, is also not worth it in a broader perspective. Runic Affinity is completely out of discussion - you let your allies take the buffs. As you are not the damage dealer, you don't need Vampirism , you should relly on your health regeneration and potions, or even heal to regain health. Biscuiteer and Explorer are also not necessarry, as you have a bit more gold on start, so you can buy yourself an additional ward and a potion.
Alternative set of masteries
My fellow League of Legends Summoner, Arivald, suggested a slightly modified version of masteries choice.
He suggests 5 - 0 -25. Why?
Offense tree: one point in Summoner's Wrath . No argument there. Four points in Sorcery - for additional 4% cooldown reduction. It seems valid enough. Now to the Utility tree.
Summoner's Insight for shorter Flash cooldown. Improved Recall and Wanderer . Three points in Mastermind , Greed and Wealth maxed out, Biscuiteer and Explorer . Four points in Awareness for an increased experience - this could be really useful since you will miss some of the minion kills due to warding. And three points in Intelligence for even greater CDR.
I have to admit, that although we disagree on some topics, there are some strong points behind this set up. Therefore I decided to put it here, should you question my masteries' choice and look for an alternative. After all, you always have to sacrifice something to get something else; we can't have them all, can we now?
- Greater Quintessence of Gold: As I mentioned in the chapter above, you shall not kill. You will assist, but since the most profitable ways of income are out of your reach, you need to replace kills with other sources of money.
- Greater Mark of Armor: As a support, you will most probably fight on a bottom lane along an AD carry. And so will the opposing team. In order not to be smashed into ground by an enemy carry, you need more armor to withstand his harrassment.
- Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration: To cast spells you need mana. And if you will encounter a tough lane against yourself, you will need some healthy bunch of mana regeneration.
- Greater Seal of Armor: The most valid danger to you during early game will be the enemy AD carry. Stacking armor will diminish his DPS greatly.
I started playing Nami without support runes. I had some more Abiility Power, some Magic Penetration and resistance. And it proved pretty useful, too. I had less money, true, but I healed a bit better, harrassed a bit stronger, and could withstand more beating thanks to greater survivability. I could suggest exchanging gold seals for cooldown reduction ones - but personally, I think money is more worth it.
EDIT: I have taken morrkevi's comment into consideration and needless to say, he was right about thing for sure. My previous build granted Nami over 40% of Cooldown Reduction, and since it caps at 40%, going above that number is pointless. So I've decided to change my runes to the ones visible above. Thanks for the comment!
Flash - A must-have. You can close a gap between you and the enemy to Aqua Prison him or you and your ally to heal him in a critical moment. Or you could jump over a wall to join a teamfight, or to escape a severe beating. Or just make the distance between you and the enemy greater if they chase you.
Exhaust - Laning against another AD carry + Support duo is always a challenge. A well placed Exhaust can turn the tides in 2 vs. 2 fight, almost literally excluding an enemy carry from the fight. And it is another crowd controlling method, extremely useful in mid-late game teamfights, slowing a fleeing enemy or the one that chases you or your teammate.
Other viable options:
Clairvoyance - Commonly referred to as CV, this spell used to be more popular some time ago. But it is still a good option on a support, especially when laning with Ezreal or Ashe who can shoot their ultiamates through the whole map to an escaping enemy. If you are not sure where the enemy is, use Clairvoyance to reveal him to your carry.
Personally, I wouldn't advise any other Summoner Spells. Heal is the one that should be taken by an AD carry - you already have a great healing ability. Barrier doesn't help your teammates, and that is your role. Clarity might be useful, but it is better to time your spells right and not waste mana. Cleanse may be taken into consideration only against heavy CC eemy team (and perhaps Quicksilver Sash would be a better solution then).
It is only natural to max your ultimate as soon as it is possible. It is, as always, your most powerful skill.
Ebb and Flow is the most useful of your skills, allowing you to heal and harrass - without this ability your usefulness would be severely limited.
Since you are laning with an AD carry, you need to do all it takes to heal him and help him deal enormous damage. Maxing Tidecaller's Blessing is important in the latter. Not only will your buff increase his damage (adding some magic damage that will completely ignore enemy armor), autoattacks will also slow the enemy - do I really need to tell you how important is that?
Aqua Prison is extremely useful, but since the stun lasts exactly the same amount of time on all levels there is no real point in maxing it earlier.
- Philosopher's stone: This item grants you some decent mana regeneration, health regeneration and a regular gold income. Basic item that, if need be, can be upgraded into Shurelya's Reverie.
- Sight ward: As a support, along with protecting your teammates, your main goal is to ward. Ward a lot and ward hard. More on this subject later.
- kage's lucky pick: This item is another one granting you even more gold. In addition, it presents you with a small boost to your Ability Power, hence your skills work a bit better. It can be upgraded into Shard of True Ice.
: In my oppinion these boots are supposedly best for a support. Basic Tier 2 movement bonus and some Cooldown Reduction seem pretty good on a support character.
- shurelya's reverie: This item can be build up from the Philosopher's Stone. Some additional hit points, 10% Cooldown Reduction and an active that will allow you and your teammates chase the enemy.
- Zeke's herald: This item is a very good supporting item for your AD carry, so you might consider switching the purchase order a bit.
- shard of true ice: This item is another one granting you gold. What is great about it is that you build your Kage's Lucky Pick into it and you do not lose your gold income from this item! The boost to your AP is also slightly increased, but more importantly, you get aura that quickens your allies mana regeneration. And it's active, casted on a melee dps, can effectively slow down fleeing enemies.
- : Four times out of five you will not even complete this item. Although if you have all those gold generating items, runes and masteries, and also grabbed a couple of assists, you may be able to buy it between spamming Sight Wards. Some armor, hit points and magic resistance (also availible in area of effect form, to affect your teammates) is always nice. Plus, it can be upgraded into Runic Bulwark, a bit more powerful version.
EDIT: Meiyjhe has pointed out to me that I forgot to include the new items. He (or she, as a matter of fact) had a valid point. I have absolutely forgotten about the new upgrade to Aegis of the Legion - Runic Bulwark. This item is far more better than the basic one and not having it would be a shame, if you can afford it!
EDIT 2: Following morrkevi's suggestions I have renamed sections of this chapter. Now it is divided into "Core" and "Additional" parts. I sincerely hope this will work better.
As I have stated a bit earlier, your secondary, yet not less important, role is to ward the map. Certainly, in an responsible team every single member should carry at least one ward. But you cannot always count on this, so you need to double your efforts. With every recall to base pick at least a couple of wards. Recall possibly soon after your wards go dark.
Obviously, in the early game phase you do not need to roam around the map spamming wards. For one thing, you won't be able to afford it, for the other, you will lack the required experience. So in the beginning you need to worry mostly about your own vicinity.
However, as soon as you enter the mid-game phase, your area of warding grows. A map below, presented by JhoiJhoi, shows the most valid warding spots.
The blue markers show areas vital in protecting your own lane.
The red markers are one of the most important spots that help you protect the Dragon and Baron Nashor .
Yellow markers show spots that allows keeping your jungler safe, while orange ones are useful when attempting to counter-jungle.
Remember that you can always use Vision Wards if you want to detect an opponent's wards. Then you can destroy their wards and limit their vision. But there is another option - you can always buy an Oracle's Elixir that will last until you die. It allows you to detect stealth units just like Vision Wards (so e.g. Twitch, Evelynn and Akali beware) and your opponent's wards. It's worth remembering that destroying a ward is worth ca. a killed minion.
Even more places to ward!
Of course, the amount of places to ward is much, much greater. For more details, I recommend Panglot's Warding helper - More than your eyes can see. It covers virtually all aspects of warding and it's a mandatory read for you if you consider playing as a support.
EDIT: Meiyjhe has pointed out that I didn't mention about using the new warding item Sightstone.
Correction: My assumptions have been proved wrong. Somehow I failed to recognize there is also Ruby Sightstone availible in the shop now. By the calculations provided by Meiyjhe it proves to be a really good investment of your gold. So when while recalling to base you happen to have 1300 gold, I sincerely advise to buy Ruby Sightstone. But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to buy additional wards (especially Vision Wards).
Start with Faerie Charm, three Health Potions and three Sight Wards. Stick with your carry and heal him whenever he looses a fair amoung of health. Always try to time your heal when the opponent is within range, so that you will not only heal, but also harrass the enemy. If you need yourself and the carry healed, cast Ebb and Flow on the carry first, let the skill bounce off him towards the opponent, and if you stay in range, you will also be healed.
In the similar fashion, if you attack the enemy, the spell will bounce off of him towards your or your ally - it is vital to stay in range if you want their support to be hurt, too.
Remember to make good use of Aqua Prison if your opponent loses focus for a moment - even if you do not manage to finish him off together (help your carry with Tidecaller's Blessing), you will hurt him a lot and force him to withdraw, or even recall. This will deny him both farm and experience.
Bear in mind to ward the Dragon and the bushes next to your lane - if you are in the Purple Team, ward the ones by the river; if in blue team, it is a good idea to ward also the tri-bush above your turret.
Oh, if you happen to recall and have enough gold for an item, but you are out of wards, always put the Sight Wards as your priority. Always.
If everything went well, you will now have two gold generating items ( Philosopher's Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick), and perhaps Ionian Boots of Lucidity. It is the time when first teamfights begin to occur.
Your role has switched now, making your playthrough a bit harder. Still, protecting your AD carry is of a grave importance, but now you also have to watch out for your AP carry and others. Now you should try to use Ebb and Flow on your allies first to ensure more survivability - your damage is pretty weak in comparison to other champions in your team, but you are probably the only one who can heal.
Do not be affraid to use Tidal Wave in teamfights. If you are certain your teammates will follow, cast it first to surprise the opponents and slow their escape attempt. Use Aqua Prison on the most valuable targets (or the most dangerous ones), like their carries.
Aqua Prison is also a very good way to stop annoying ultimates like Katarina's Death Lotus, Nunu's Absolute Zero, Galio's Idol of Durand or Karthus' Requiem (citation needed).
Ward strategic places, like jungle entrances, Ancient Golem 's and Elder Lizard 's buffs and, of course, Baron Nashor .
This part is not much different from the mid-game phase, with the difference that now you will rarely keep to your original lane. You will be required wherever your teammates will be. You will take part in teamfights, while doing Baron Nashor - namely, where something is happening, you are needed there.
Keep warding all the key locations (map awareness is a power that is too often belittled). Keep protecting your teammates and keep trying to disable most dangerous enemies (again, this will most often mean their AD and AP carries and, on occasion, junglers). Make good use of all your arsenal - heal, stun, slow down, buff...
As your role suggests - you have to support your team in their efforts to kill and not be killed.
I am enclosing a screenshot of my recent ranked games with Nami to prove that I have some background behind what I preach in this guide.
All this because I decided to spend 6300 IP on a new champion just to "test her out". This testing ended in my love for this character. She is easy to play, really fun to play and really useful. :) I have no problems to play with her, because on ranked games people often are relieved that someone wants to play as a support. :) And her versatility is really astonishing - you would be surprised how easy it is to steal a kill from an ally (although do your best not to do this and kill ONLY when you are sure nobody else can).
I hereby encourage her to test her out during oncoming free champions rotation and buy her. You will not regret it!
Oh, I almost forgot - I would like to express my gratitude towards Jhoijhoi, who created the Making a Guide, which was really helpful in creating my both guides here on Mobafire.
And another "thank you" goes to Panglot for his Warding helper - More than your eyes can see. It really taught me the meaning of warding and now I have the required know-how.
Please rate this guide and comment - all constructive criticism is welcome, I will try to update this guide as often as possible and reply to all comments!
Thank you, and till we meet on the battlefield, Summoner!
- Added a note in the Warding section about the new item Sightstone;
- Added a note about new items (namely Runic Bulwark) in the Items section;
- Added a few items that might, evetually, be bought during a longer game with more income in the Items section;
- Corrected a bug in the masteries section;
- Added an alternative set of masteries;
- Added a few words about Oracle's Elixir in the Warding section;
- Changed my rune settings in accordance with morrkevi's suggestions;
- Renamed sections in the Items chapter, no longer dividing them into more and less important or vital;
- Reconsidered the new warding items in the warding section;