Nami Build Guide by mrdoedoe
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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.
Recommended Runes + Notes
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.
Masteries + Notes
Since many readers of my guide were sceptical of the reliability of this build I decided it was a good idea to show the scores that you have achieved by following this guide:
"I checked out your Nami Top guide, and decided to try it out, as I love using support champs as ap carries. It really worked out! I wanted to show you my score in this 1 hour and 10 minutes long match, in which I rocked with Nami. Thanks for the guide! Terrific."
Please send in your scores with your comments so that I am able to expand this section of the guide.
Welcome to my very first Nami top build. MANY MANY people will tell you that Nami cannot top, they are VERY wrong. Nami is a great top! This is because she is able to heal herself whilst still poking her enemy, does massive damage with her basic attacks due to her Tidecaller's Blessing and when she gets her Sheen, whilst also doing massive damage with her other abilities and also setting herself up to do massive basic attack damage at the same time. Nami is also great top champion to play as no one will expect it and so no one really knows how to counter it.
Anyway in this guide I will give you basic laning tips, the basics on her abilities and how to use them most effectively, what items, masteries and runes work best on her top and much more.
So now onto how to actually play her.
Also THIS GUIDE IS NOT A TROLL! you have to try her top I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Pros / Cons
- Great sustain whilst simultaneously poking.
- Awesome engage and disengage with Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave which means can easily avoid ganks straight from level 1.
- Lots of damage with both spells and basic attack once have Sheen.
- Very good stun.
- Abilities work well with each other to get kills and deal damage.
- Has awesome laugh. (spam it!).
- People presume you are trolling an harass you until they see your epic skills.
- Very mana dependent.
- Terrible lasthitting.
To accompany flash
or or or
Flash is pretty vital as Nami is extremely squishy and so needs an extra escape tool also Flash works very well on every champ including Nami. The second spell is really up to you I personally prefer Heal but as she already has a heal obviously you can substitute it for: Ignite for more killing potential, Teleport for more lane pressure and also the ability to zip around the map causing HAVOK, Exhaust to aid your escaping and assassinating single targets.
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I personally take the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration as this makes your improves your general damage as Nami donesn't scale too well. With the marks you can substitute them for really anything else that would work well with Nami such as, Greater Mark of Attack Speed. ALso as suggested by "Harmander96" you could also take Greater Mark of Attack Damage to improve your last hitting.
Take Greater Seal of Armor as a top laner armor is a must have, as the majority of tops are AD along with the junglers.
I recommend that you take Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist as this provides the most MR from the all runes.
For quints take Greater Quintessence of Ability Power so that you have better damage output early game, you could substitute these for 3 Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed or some other defensive quints.
Scaling or Flat?
I believe that you should only ever purchase scaling runes for magic resist as typically at the beginning of a game enemy's don't have much AP so it would just be a waste of rune slots to have flat MR. Whereas with armor even right from the beginning ALL champions have some AD and so having armor right from the beginning gives you the early game advantage.
As far as offensive runes go I believe that they should be flat so that you get the biggest early game advantage. Then with this advantage you gain via your runes it carries you through the mid and late game as you should be ahead of your lane opponent because you gained a CS and a kill advantage over them.
With my masteries I like to go go 21/9/0 instead of 21/6/3 (you would do that for mana regen) as when you get your Chalice of Harmony your mana problems become a lot more insignificant and so the mana regen pretty useless and a waste of 3 masteries. Whereas if you use those 3 masteries on defense you gain more tankiness, which is vital for Nami as she is so squishy, but you also have a better early game as you have the flat extra 30HP. This little extra HP really improves your early game allowing you to take more risks and to get fed early. Despite this 21/6/3 is still a viable pick. You should always put two points in Butcher because Nami's last hitting is terrible!
Surging Tides is Nami's passive. When Nami or one of her allies is hit by one of her abilities they gain a very brief movement speed boost. This passive is very effective in getting you back to lane quickly, as Tidecaller's Blessing is Nami's only ability that doesn't interrupt her movement you should cast this on yourself when returning to lane/moving around the map if mana is not a problem. As Nami's passive affects allies it is great at the end of team fights to aid your allies in cleaning up kills as whilst they are chasing enemies down you can give them a brief movement speed buff, allow them to get the kill and giving you an assist for nothing!
Aqua Prison, Nami's "q", is a hard to use but very effective AOE stun. The stun lasts 1.5 seconds at all ranks. Once mastered this ability is very effective as it stuns every enemy in the area. This stun is very hard to use simply because it has such a long cast time also as it has such a long cast time it is best to lead your enemies with Aqua Prison so that the enemy has to make a choice, either to turn around and face you and your team or to continue walking away but being stunned. Both of these would probably result in the enemy either dying or being forced to recall
Ebb and Flow is Nami's "w" it heals Nami and potentially an allies as well. It can also damage up to 2 enemies. If Ebb and Flow is cast on a allie/ Nami it will heal them then bounce to a enemy (if one is close by) then back to a different allie to one originally healed. But if Ebb and Flow is cast on a opponent first it will damage them, then bounce to Nami or an allie (if one is close by) then will return to a different opponent than the original dealing damage to them. Ebb and Flow provides both great sustain and poke in lane due to its ability to both heal Nami and deal damage to her opponent at the same time. It also works very well in team fights as it can affect up to 3 players all at once! But knowing whether to cast it on a allie or an opponent is vital to the success of a good Nami, which can be difficult.
Nami's "e" is Tidecaller's Blessing this is essentially a mini-phage. It buffs an allies/ Nami's basic attacks to deal bonus magic damage and to slow enemies quite severely. As this build is catered to top Nami you should get 3 points in Ebb and Flow then max Tidecaller's Blessing. You should do this because you need the extra points in Ebb and Flow in order to stay in lane as your heal will give you significant health, but you don't want to max this first as this is more catered towards multiple target damage, which you are not interested in as a top Nami, so instead you max your Tidecaller's Blessing as this is for dealing massive damage to single targets and synergies well with your early Sheen.
Tidal Wave, Nami's ultimate, is a very long range (has 2700 range!) continuous skillshot that briefly knocks up and drastically slows all enemies it hits, as well as applying Nami's passive, Surging Tides, to all allies hit by it. Tidal Wave is extremely versatile it can, initiate a fight, disengage a fight, set up a gank, stop a enemy gank, snipe off low health enemies, steal buffs, etc. also as it doesn't have a particularly long cool down (especially if you follow this build which provides you with 39% CDR!)it can be used quite often! But you will only be able to use Tidal Wave once during a single engagement so you kn owing when to use you ultimate can make or break a great Nami player. If you use it too early, before your team is in position the slow and knock up is wasted but you use it too late the enemy team may have already gotten away. So Tidal Wave can take some practice but in no time at all you'll be setting up and getting pentas!
1x +3x +3x +1x sight ward
I haven't found a good alternative to this start, as Nami is so massively mana dependent, but feel free to experiment with your start.
1x +1x (if you can afford them)
You should get a Chalice of Harmony asap to combat Nami's huge mana problems, Tear of the Goddess is also a good alternative but as Athene's Unholy Grail gives you 20% CDR i prefer that.
No matter how well its going in lane buy a Sheen, as it massively increases your damage output. If your lane is going really badly you can buy a kage's lucky pick but i don't really recommend it.
If your lanes going well go straight for your a Lich Bane as it maximises your damage output so you can continue to dominate your lane.
NOT GOING TOO WELL
Go for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter if you're having a hard time in lane. As you should already have a Sheen so you still have the big damage from your basics as well as your abilities. But now that you have a Rylai's Crystal Scepter you have loads more HP so that you can handle your lane with more ease, but you will also have some AP so you are still able to do damage. Also Rylai's Crystal Scepter is good to build on Nami because of the slow that goes along with it.
ITEMS YOU SHOULD HAVE BY MID GAME
1x +1x +1x +1x
You should aim to get these items around the 20 minute mark. You should get whichever item you missed out before and upgrade your boots to Ionian Boots of Lucidity as you are quite ability dependent so the CDR is very useful. You could also get Sorcerer's Shoes for some extra damage but i prefer the CDR.
AGAINST HEAVILY AD OPPONENTS
You could get this item earlier if your against a AD top and their really messing you up, but if you didn't need it then and you're against a very AD heavy team you should buy it now.
AGAINST HEAVILY AP OPPONENTS
1x +1x +1x
You should definitely get a Negatron Cloak next. If you feel this MR is enough for you at the moment then you can build a Haunting Guise after and then turn your Negatron Cloak into a Abyssal Scepter. But if you still want more MR you can build your Haunting Guise after your Abyssal Scepter
NEITHER OF THE ABOVE ARE APPLICABLE BECAUSE YOUR EPIC
If your doing really well and so your don't need to build much armor or magic resist yet go straight for your Athene's Unholy Grail and Liandry's Torment.
LAST ITEM OPTIONS
1x OR OR OR
You should get an Abyssal Scepter if against heavily AP orientated opponents, Zhonya's Hourglass against heavily AD orientated opponents, Banshee's Veil against opponents that deal large burst damage or finally a Rabadon's Deathcap if your enemies aren't really a threat because of your crazy skills.
At level one give your jungler a pull with your Aqua Prison then move up to lane. Once there, play quite defensively last hitting with your basic attacks. However if your opponent goes into poke you punish them by putting a Aqua Prison just behind them. Because of this they have the choice of either remaining near you, meaning they are being attack by both you and the minions, or walking away and being stunned, again meaning they will be attacked by you and possibly some minions too.
When you reach level 2 get your Ebb and Flow. If you have above 60% health do not cast Ebb and Flow on yourself at all, instead wait for your enemy to come near you and cast it on them, if you scare them off follow behind them without attacking until it bounces back to you, then return to last hitting. However if you ever find yourself below 60% health consider whether you want to health yourself, sacrificing poke to your opponent but making you safer or if its fine to remain low, either because you just saw their jungler bot and every other enemy is accounted for or your just freaking pro. But if your are ever below 20% health do not hesitate and cast it, NOW it'll save your life!
Also now that you have both Aqua Prison and Ebb and Flow you have the potential to heal and poke very easily as you can stun them with Aqua Prison then follow up by casting Ebb and Flow on them, feel free to add some basic attacks in there!
Now that you have obtained your Tidecaller's Blessing your poke potential and burst just substantially increased. You can either do the previous combo, refer to "level 2", but now add in the Tidecaller's Blessing or just use it to poke at them with basic attacks to slowly widdle his health down. When using Tidecaller's Blessing in with your combo be sure to do it after your Aqua Prison hits so that your don't waste your mana by casting Tidecaller's Blessing but not hitting anyone.
Level 4 & 5:
You should upgrade your Ebb and Flow so that you are able to stay in lane longer as your heal now gives your more health. Also by improving your Ebb and Flow it also means that your damage output is increased as Ebb and Flow deals damage as well as healing you.
Level 6 and higher:
Now that you have your Tidal Wave you are extremely save in lane, as you are able to stop enemy ganks with both your Aqua Prison and your Tidal Wave, as well as being easily able to deal massive damage to your lane opponent. As you are now so safe in lane be sure to play way more offensively as you are able to do so whilst still being safe. Tidal Wave is so great at helping you escape because not only does it knock up your enemies but also slows them massively allowing you to escape easily.
To conclude Nami is an extremely underrated top champion that has massive potential to do great in lane and in team fights. Nami has a very good early game and transitions well into late game.
Thank you for reading my first ever guide I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This guide is not done at all as I plan on adding at least 4 new sections (team fights, how to counter other tops, the story behind this guide, etc) But I wanted to release it soon so I could get the communities feedback on it, so I could adjust it accordingly.
- Jamsworld-For buying me the epic Nami and the best skin in the game (koi Nami).
- Iggyedzig-For allowing me to play Nami top with him.
- Chingoose-For being bit of a d*uchebag but cheers anyway. ;)
- Joeleo2-For Encouraging me to play Nami.
- Harmander96-For suggesting different viable rune choices.
- Torchman77-For sending me his screen shots of his great Nami game allowing me to create the "your scores" section.
-Corrected some incorrect information about Rylai's Crystal Scepter
-Slight improvements to the layout of the items section
-Added additional information to summoner spells section
-Changes to the masteries and the mastery page
-Started testing a second build, blue AD Nami
-Added "your scores" section with Torchman77's score
-Added Torchman77's name to the Thank you list