Nidalee Build Guide by C9Balls
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.
Threats to Nidalee with this build
|Vladimir||Full AD Nidalee always outtrades Vladimir. If you land a spear on him or he steps on a trap, you should be able to kill him.|
Nidalee is a champion that can be picked into anything in Solo Queue. In a competitive 5 vs 5 environment, however, you want to make sure that your team can 4 vs 4 really well while Nidalee pressures side lanes and forces the other team to send more than one player to her lane to stop her. The reason why you can still pick Nidalee into anything in Solo Queue is because she's able to do well in any matchup if you play her correctly. She has an escape to avoid ganks and she deals mixed damage, making her hard to itemise against. All in all, she's a perfect champ to play in this meta right now if you want to win games!
(Attack Damage Marks)|
Using these allows you to deal tons of damage with your autos and increases the damage on Takedown, too. It also makes it easier to last hit efficiently.
I take armor runes because I'm always harassing the other laner and I take a bit of damage from minions for doing that. Armor is a good overall stat and if I'm playing to win early game, this will help me do it.
(Magic Resist Glyphs)|
Standard choice for glyphs whenever you're laning against someone that primarily deals magic damage, as these will significantly reduce their damage.
(Attack Damage Quintessences)|
Use these for the same reason you use AD marks. Helps you harass your opponent with your auto attacks, while also having control over the lane since you can last hit easier and push whenever you want.
I go 21/9/0 because all the stats from the Offense tree benefit Nidalee and they allow her to apply huge pressure on the lane. I don't take any points in AP, because I think the Spell Weaving / Blade Weaving masteries work well with Nidalee's auto attacks and abilities. Taking Executioner and Havoc lets you finish off targets with Takedown when they are low. Nidalee also deals hybrid damage, so the last few points benefit Nidalee more than any other points in the other trees.
I played around with all kinds of different setups (like 9/21/0 or 16/14/0 masteries), but with other setups I felt that I couldn't snowball as hard as I could've compared to going 21/9/0. Nidalee is all about split pushing and going full Offense lets you utilize that strength.
Doran's Blade start allows Nidalee to harass her opponent with autos and also provides good sustain.
In most cases, you'll want to rush Trinity Force first as it's a great all around item and it'll allow you to deal tons of damage.
(Core / Laning vs AP)|
Build a Spirit Visage after Triforce if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage (double AP). The increased healing on Primal Surge and CDR the item provides make this a very strong item for Nidalee.
(Core / Laning vs AD or Tanks)|
Blade of the Ruined King is really good against tanks, because they don't generally deal enough damage to kill Nidalee while her attack speed steroid from Primal Surge combined with BotRK can take any tank down with ease.
Take this if the enemy team has several physical damage dealers that rely on auto attacking a lot. This item helps you become tankier while also giving you 20% CDR, which lets you spam cougar skills and also do more Javelin Toss -> Pounce -> Takedown executes.
As Nidalee, you want to take advantage of the brushes during the early game to increase your movement speed with Prowl, allowing you to get in range to auto attack your opponent before running back into the brush to lose (potential) creep aggro.
I start Primal Surge / Swipe on Nidalee and use that to heal the damage I take from trades and to attack faster. I grab Bushwhack / Pounce next for an escape just in case the jungler ganks early and then take Javelin Toss / Takedown at level 3 to increase my kill potential.
If you're against a melee champion in top lane, you can also choose to take a point in Javelin Toss / Takedown at level 1. If you're using Ignite and you manage to harass your opponent down quite a bit, this start could allow you to kill him if you hit level 2 first, level up Bushwhack / Pounce, and then combo your enemy with Javelin Toss into cougar Pounce and execute with Takedown & Ignite. It's cheesy, but some people still don't expect this damage from Nidalee.
In any case, you want to look for opportunities to hit a Javelin Toss after level 3 and see if the enemy is low enough for you to kill him. Other than that, during levels 1-6, just farm and harass your opponent slowly until you can kill them in lane.
This is the part where you want to split push, preferably on the side that doesn't have objectives. For example, if dragon is up, you should be pushing top alone. If dragon isn't up, you should push bottom and tell your team to group around mid/baron.
In solo queue, you just stay in top lane and apply pressure while placing wards to protect yourself. You should also try to look for Teleport plays on the other side of the map.
As far as applying pressure goes, the late game will be very similar to the mid game. However, you will generally start moving deeper into enemy territory and your team will be either pushing the other side of the map or trying to take control over baron.
Your job is to make the enemy team send more than one person to your lane, allowing your team to take objectives while your enemies try to hold you down.
Teamfights as Nidalee are kind of weird, though luckily her strong laning phase generally grants her enough of a lead to be relevant in them.
If you jump in too early as Nidalee, you'll just get CC'd and will probably end up dead. Instead, you want to look for targets with low HP, aim at them with your spear and then execute them quickly once you get the chance. If there is no low HP target, you are probably better off just playing the fight as if you are an ADC, auto attacking the enemy front line while kiting back or just peeling for your team.
Once you get some tanky items (after Trinity Force), Nidalee is almost like a bruiser in teamfights, too, so it is also a possibility to jump in in Cougar Form and just sit there attacking like a Jax.