Nasus Build Guide by ImN0tAsian

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ImN0tAsian

They Will Die - [In Depth]

ImN0tAsian Last updated on June 21, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hey this is Asian, and this is my first guide. After TechnologicalTerror released "They Will Die," I decided to make a guide on Nasus to help the newer players learn how to manage mana, solo a lane and hold that lane, and help out in team fights without overextending. As Nasus, you have natural lifesteal (he basically starts off with an innate vampiric scepter) and minion-killing abilities that helps you stay in lane for as long as possible. In this guide I will explain the basics to maintaining a lane without having to have your jungler cover top while you recall, giving him/her less time to gank.

Before you downvote, actually try out the build/playstyle in-game. Thanks.

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Terminology [Advanced players skip]

Basic LoL acronyms:

AP - Ability Power
AD - Attack Damage
ArP - Armor Penetration (items like Brutalizer)
MrP - Magic Penetration (items like Haunting Guise or Sorc Boots)
MR - Magic Resistance
AP Carry - Champions like Annie or Malzahar, spellcasters who can nuke.
AD Carry - Champions like Ashe or Miss Fortune, usually Auto-attacking damage dealers.
DPS - Damage per second, usually reffering to AD Carries
MIA/SS/MISS - Missing In Action - means that a champion is missing from a lane and may gank.
CD - Cool Down
CDR - Cool Down Reduction

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I use the basic defensive seals and glyphs for tanks, mainly because on Nasus he already has decent cooldowns, his abilities dont scale that well off of AP, and when soloing a lane you want to buffer incoming damage as much as you can, so the extra Armor and MR come in handy.

The Armor penetration runes are used for his siphoning strike to last hit minions. Sometimes you will think you will have enough damage to kill it, but it will survive with 10 hp and these will help keep that from happening.

The Quints are Swiftness because I always reccomend these to beginners. When you are buying your first rune set, quintessences are expensive and you dont really want to buy anymore for another champion. I reccomend these because they are generic and help every champion have an extra Janna buff (these work wonders on Janna) and help you in retreating to your turret incase you overextend. They also work for when teleport is down and you need to get somewhere fast. Or for the usual run like hell away from 4 people following you while you have 16 hp and your ultimate is running out and wither is on CD.

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Masteries are basic Tank masteries because of lane survivability. It does wonders when minions are focusing you and are hitting you for 80 less sdamage collectively and you have low HP. I use Utility because you dont need the CD from Sorcery because the CD's are not that bad on Siphoning Strike as it increases in rank, and that is your main skill that you need to be worried about. Also, Archaic Knowledge is useless on Siphoning Strike as it is Physical Damage, and your support and AP carry will love you when you pop a clarity and it fills them to full mana, especially in late game when towers can be taken down in seconds and there isnt time to risk recalling.

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Riot actually did a pretty good job on guessing the right items this time. I was quite suprised. With the gameplay I use, these items work extremely well. Ninja Tabi and Chalice not only give dodge chance and Mana Regen respectively, but also give the little boost in armor and MR that helps you throughout the game. With these, you are able to hit 200 in armor and close to that in MR depending on how far you are in the build.

Next comes Sheen, which builds into Trinity Force, and this item makes Nasus shine. Since you spam your Q to deal damage, the extra 100 or 150% basic damage boost does wonders on minions, turrets, and champions. If you have been last hitting correctly, you can crit up to 1100 on minions with a Trinity Force come late game.

Then comes Frozen Heart, and I pick this over Thornmail for Armor because of the Mana boost, the CDR, and the reduced attack speed of enemies. Since your job is to be in the middle of everything looking scary (get galactic skin - it looks the best) everyone gets the debuff. You wouldnt be suprised how much it helps against AD carries. The CDR helps a bit with Siphoning strike and a considerable amount with Spirit Fire and Wither, and especially your Ult, cause thats where you really shine as Nasus.

Force of Nature because of Movement Speed (if you havent noticed, all the good items have movement speed in them: Force of Nature, Phantom Dancer, Trinity Force, BOOTS) Highest Magic Resistance in the game, Health Regen, and the unique passive of .35% max health regenerating every second.

Then I sell my Dorans Shield and get Guardians Angel, which gives a nice chunk of Armor and MR as well as a great unique passive. Then I sell my Chalice and get a Warmogs and heres why.
At this time a measely 30 MR wont do much, and team fights are over in a matter of 20 seconds so there wont be a need for regenerating mana since you dont burn all that much off since you got Frozen Heart. This time in the game you need Health. Sure, you could argue that you should get Warmogs before Frozen Heart even, but thats all in personal preference, if you think it works then go for it.

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Summoner Spells

I choose teleport and Clarity for lane control. Since the strategy is to stay near your tower as much as you can, when you back with 1740 gold to buy your boots and chalice you need to get back ASAP or else it will get a large chunk of damage dealt to it.

Clarity helps everyone, and it surely helps you in lane. In the beginning, Nasus has a small Mana pool, as in he doesnt have that much mana. So when you hit lvl 6 and you can be a bit more aggresive, your Ult costs 150 Mana, which is a large sum especially if you are only at half mana to begin with. Also, if you just used spirit fire on a minion wave and last hit a few times and youre at 100 mana and ALL OF A SUDDEN OUT COMES A GANKING WARWICK and you dont have enoguh mana to pop your ultimate to give you the extra health and dismay the enemy (because for some reason some people dont touch Nasus when he is in his ult at all, it kinda is a gtfo ultimate because it REALLY helps you in running away) so you are dead because you brought flash, but he has a flash too and red buff and now youre dead...

So in the end, Clarity is a must on Nasus when you solo. Sure, "Heal saves lives, Clarity does not" but using clarity can give you a nice "heal" in the form of max health.

If you're not soloing a lane, then feel free to bring another summoner spell like fortify if your tank didnt bring it for whatever reason.


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Now were onto how this build will work. Basically your job in soloing a lane is to FARM FARM FARM and gain levels faster than the other two enemies youre against. The objective is to stay close to your tower. You want to be in a spot where you (as nasus) are on the edge of the tower range and you are behind your caster minions only going in to last hit with SS. Then, when they push to tower, pop a spirit fire where it hits both the Caster minions and the Meele minions and you can start using SS on practically any minion starting when SS is rank 3 because they will have lower armor since they are in spirit fire.

Keep up this strategy, and if the enemy is starting to poke at you, or there is an evelynn, twitch, or shaco laning with a stunner or a rammus then back up a bit closer to your tower and play defensively.

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Early Game


Top lane tends to be pushed often when the other team does not have a jungler, and this MUST not happen. As Nasus you can kill their minions and if there is an annoying tristana or whoever trying to attack your tower from the range of the caster minions then pop a spirit fire, wither them, and siphoning strike them until they back off and just defend. If they attack back abuse the tower by withering them and running around the tower, or if they are retreating then siphon strike them and by the time 5 seconds is over, if they arent dead from you and the tower then they are on steroids (when this happens call for a fortify because even Defensive Ball Curl is pretty useless against 5 seconds of fortified tower attacks).

Early game, try to stick with leveling up siphoning strike because you dont want all the minions to die from spirit fire because then you will naturally be pushing and you dont want that. It also costs increasing amounts of mana and its better to just focus on using siphoning strike and only using spirit fire when the minions come to your tower.

If you do this well, then by the time mid game starts your tower should have over 3/4 hp if not 7/8 because Spirit Fire deals a lot more damage than you think, and whenever you recall, teleport should get you back fast.

When you do recall, make sure that before you do you have pushed a little bit, at least to half way because then you have some time to buy your items before they are back at your tower.

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Jungle Ganks

Since you are top lane alone, there must be a jungler. since you are supposed to let them push the lane, your lane is a really good choice for jungle ganks. However, please bear in mind that there are other lanes. If mid is getting his face wrecked then tell your jungler to help out there or at bottom. As Nasus you are quite competent at holding a lane by yourself, so dont hog all the ganks just because you are by yourself. Besides, a 3v2 at bottom can be a double kill while a 2v2 at top usually will lead in one kill or none at all.

And since slows stack, wither and red buff will make them so slow they may as well be standing still.

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Mid Game

After the first tower falls (which is never yours), it is your job to stick with the squishy people, aka your AP carry (because your support or main tank should be babysitting the AD carry). You and your tank should focus on being in the front of the group so that you two will be focused first because you two are more beefy than the rest. Also, this gives more time for the AP carry to nuke and the AD carry to deal damage. Nothing special mid game, just focus on preventing creeps (minions) from building up and the lanes and encouraging someone on the other team to back-door a turret. You should be the one to protect the turrets because of your minion killer and if anyone tries to tower-dive to take it out you can pop your ult and deal damage to them (because its hard to focus you down with your ult on, and if people ignore you to take down tower you can kill the squishy ones). Focus in last hitting still because there is no limit to how strong your siphoning strike can become :D

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Late Game

Usually by now the game is over, but in case it isn't just try and focus on not being aced. When you target someone, try to hit the ones that are aiming for your AP or AD carries because you are supposed to help protect them. Once you learn how to focus fire on a squishy champion, the rest is self-explainatory as every late game is different from another.

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I hope you learned a thing or two in my guide! As I said, it is my first one, so if there is anything missing/incorrect feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!