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Nidalee Build Guide by mistaarr

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author mistaarr

Trinity Nidalee - Top Lane Terror

mistaarr Last updated on September 9, 2014
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Ability Sequence

2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Hello guys, I'm Mistaarr, and this is my Nidalee guide. I play on the EUW server since the release of Galio, with a few longer breaks from the game here and there. I achieved gold rank during both season 1 and 2 and didn't play too much during season 3, resulting in me dropping to bronze.

I rediscovered my love for this game shortly before Nidalee was reworked in patch 4.10 and thought I would give her a try, initially as a mid laner. When I saw several pro's doing well with her in the LCS, I decided to give top lane Trinity Force Nidalee a try and fell in love with it immediately. I have always enjoyed playing lane bullies, more so if they had high mobility. As such, Riven used to be my favorite champion in season 2 and 3 and her playstyle is somewhat similar to Nidalee's.



ABOUT NIDALEE
Nidalee is a very versatile champion and can be played as a mid lane poke champion, as a support or as a top lane bully. While she gets outclassed by several other champions in the first two roles (for example Ziggs and Nami respectively), the top lane is where she really shines in her current state and meta. Many people say that her bullying potential in lane is comparable to Renekton's, only better. Built-in sustain and high mobility make her nearly impossible to kill if she's not overextended. She has decent snowballing potential and, if played correctly, will always win her lane regardless of jungler ganks.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons

Pros

+ Strong laning phase
+ Favorable match-ups against most other top laners
+ Decent snowballing
+ Great split-pusher
+ High mobility
The basic strategy when picking Nidalee is to win your lane, then start roaming to snowball the game and this checks out most of the time. Primal Surge allows you to sustain in lane and bully your opponent or even kill them with a Javelin Toss into Pounce and Takedown. Pounce also gives you mobility to quickly roam the map and to get out of sticky situations.


Cons

- Bad teamfighting, especially during the late game
- No Crowd Control (CC)
- Skillshot reliant
- Next to useless if she falls behind
Like many bruisers, Nidalee becomes completely useless, if she falls behind. She has no CC to lock down her targets - the enemy backline - and she already has a hard time reaching it, if she can't flank for a surprise Javelin Toss into Pounce.


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/
3/
1/
2/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
1/1

As Nidalee, you are out for blood. Going full offense with a bit of defense mastery-wise aids in establishing dominance in lane to start snowballing the mid-game.


space
OFFENSE TREE: 21
Tier 1 - Double-Edged Sword 's ranged bonus applies to Nidalee's human form, the melee bonus applies to her cougar form. You are pretty much in cougar form whenever you are engaging or running, so this is a good choice. I prefer Sorcery over Fury because the granted attack speed will rarely actually benefit you in trades. Take Butcher to get access to Feast .

Tier 2 - Brute Force gives a minor AD boost. Feast helps you sustain even more.

Tier 3 - Nidalee combines spells and basic attacks a lot, so pick up both Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving . Martial Mastery also gives a minor AD boost, good for last-hitting and poking. Executioner is a must for every champion that puts 21 points into this tree. Works well with Takedown.

Tier 4 - For Blade Weaving , check Tier 3. Dangerous Game is probably my favorite mastery because it allows you to make plays you could not survive if you did not have the mastery, e.g. when diving towers.

Tier 5 - Devastating Strikes ' armor and magic penetration benefit Nidalee a lot because she deals both magic and physical damage.

Tier 6 - Havoc gives more damage. That's it and that is good.


DEFENSE TREE: 9
Tier 1 - Block slightly improves your ability to trade and Recovery restores more health passively. That way you can stay in lane longer.

Tier 2 - Veteran Scars ' flat health boost is great. You can survive another tick of Ignite or something of that sort. Remember that taking Unyielding also means that you are more tanky in cougar form.

Tier 3 - Juggernaut gives more health which is always good. You can also put a point in Hardiness instead for +2 armor but since you are usually building tanky, you benefit more from the bonus health.
space


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

As with the masteries, getting damage and resistances aids in establishing dominance during the laning phase.


greater mark of hybrid penetration
MARKS
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration: Gives you armor penetration to poke your enemies with basic attacks and magic penetration to make all of your abilities hit harder.

Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage, Greater Mark of Armor Penetration or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration if you don't have hybrid penetration runes.


SEALS
Greater Seal of Armor: Enhances trading by making you take less damage from minions and the enemy champion.

Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Health against pure AP match-ups (both jungler and top are AP)


GLYPHS
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Most champions have some way of dealing magic damage when trading, so these make your trading even better.

Alternatives: Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist against match-ups with little to no magic damage.


QUINTESSENCES
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: More Attack Damage makes last-hitting easier and makes your basic attacks and Takedown hit harder. Best in slot and a must in my opinion.
space
space


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

FLASH
Flash is the best summoner spell in the game, as it allows you to instantly reposition yourself. You can use this to blink over walls, secure kills, combine it with Pounce to instantly create a huge gap between you and enemies chasing you and so on.

TELEPORT
Teleport gives you map pressure while split-pushing. Split-push, and if your team engages or gets engaged on, teleport in, clean up and start pushing for objectives with your team. Can also be used to gank overextended bot lanes, aid your team when contesting Dragon during the early game and even to make a quick escape after breaking vision. Or simply use it to get back to lane, duh.

INGITE
This should be taken instead of Teleport if you need the kill potential over the map presence. It is a good pick in soloqueue, especially if your enemy heals a lot while fighting / running, like Dr. Mundo.


Guide Top

Abilities

R - Aspect of the Cougar


HUMAN: Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, gaining a new set of abilities and melee attacks.
Triggering Hunt resets Aspect of the Cougar's cooldown if Nidalee is in Human Form.

COUGAR: Nidalee transforms back into her human form.
Each rank in Aspect of the Cougar increases the ranks of all of Nidalee's cougar abilities.

Nidalee begins the game with one rank in Aspect of the Cougar and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Aspect of the Cougar - Additional Information (click to view)

I will talk about Nidalee's ultimate first, as her entire kit revolves around it. Activating it will transform you into a cougar or back to human, whichever form you are currently not in. It has a very low cooldown and no cost, so it is almost always available.

Tips:
  • Though it's only a short time window, you are most vulnerable when this ability is on cooldown.
  • Human and cougar abilities do not share their cooldowns.
  • Leave cougar form, apply Hunt and go back to cougar form. You can pull off some nice combos like this.
  • Remember that cougar abilities scale with ranks in this skill, not with ranks in the abilities themselves. Therefore reaching levels 6, 11 and 16 will grant you a powerspike.


Passive - Prowl
PROWL: Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 10% for 2 seconds, which increases to 30% if she is moving toward a visible enemy champion within 5500-range.

HUNT: Hitting enemy champions with Javelin Toss or Bushwhack will mark them as Hunted for 4 seconds, revealing them. While moving toward Hunted, Nidalee gains Prowl's bonus movement speed and ignores unit collision. Additionally, Nidalee's first use of each of her Aspect Of The Cougar abilities against Hunted will have an empowered effect.
Prowl - Additional Information (click to view)

Two passives for the price of one! Prowl gives movement speed in brushes, giving you an edge in jungle chases or when running down the top lane. Hunt is your enabler for your cougar combos. Hunt will only trigger from Bushwhack if you are within 5500 range.

Tips:
  • Prowl lets you abuse the brushes in the top lane more effectively. Get in the brush, get out, poke, get back in.
  • Mind the wording of the Hunt description: The first use of each of your abilities will apply the empowered effect.


Q - Javelin Toss
Nidalee hurls her javelin forward in a line, dealing 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+40% AP) magic damage to the first enemy it hits.

After having traveled 525 units, the javelin's damage will be increase by 2% per 7.75 units traveled, capping at 200% bonus damage (300% total damage) after traveling 1300 units for a total of 150 / 225 / 300 / 375 / 450 (+120% AP) magic damage.
Javelin Toss - Additional Information (click to view)

This ability is your primary way of applying Hunt to follow up with cougar combos. As such, learning how to hit your spears is really important.

Tips:
  • You can use this ability to scout more safely, but not as reliable as with Bushwhack.
  • Sometimes, people will predict incoming spears and try to juke it and therefore let you come closer, giving you an easier shot. Be patient.
  • Hitting spears will often make the difference between getting a kill or not. Hitting every single one is near impossible, but the better you are at landing these, the more successful you will be on Nidalee.


Q - Takedown
Nidalee's next attack gains 75-range (200 total range) and is modified to deal 4 / 20 / 50 / 90 (+100% AD) (+24% AP) magic damage.

The damage is increased by 1.5% for every 1% of the target's missing health, for a maximum of 150% bonus damage (250% total damage), resulting in a maximum of 10 / 50 / 125 / 225 (+250% AD) (+60% AP) magic damage.

HUNT BONUS: If the target is marked as Hunted, Takedown deals 33% increased damage, for a total of 13 / 67 / 167 / 300 (+333% AD) (+80% AP) magic damage.
Takedown - Additional Information (click to view)

This ability is your primary source of burst and deals more damage based on the targets missing health, like Wind Slash or Demacian Justice. These execute abilities force extremely cautious play by the enemy, even if they are still somewhat healthy. This ability in particular has some interesting mechanics, check the spoiler above for those.

Tips:
  • Try to use this ability after your other abilities to increase your damage output.
  • Seriously, check out the spoiler above. Most of the explained mechanics are either good tips themselves or give insight on why certain builds are more effective on Nidalee than others.


W - Bushwhack
Nidalee lays a trap at a target location that arms after a very brief delay. When sprung by an enemy unit, they will take 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 magic damage plus 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of their current health over 4 seconds (max. damage 150 vs. monsters). Traps last for 2 minutes.

Bushwhack - Additional Information (click to view)

This ability is mainly used for scouting and for zoning. Like Javelin Toss, Bushwhack applies Hunt but is far less reliable because of the time the traps take to set up.

Tips:
  • Traps briefly reveal the fog of war when placed. Use this to scout for enemies.
  • Place traps in the brushes in the top lane when you are freezing the lane. This denies the enemy jungler from ganking your lane form there.
  • If someone steps on your trap, try to follow up with a Hunt empowered cougar combo.


W - Pounce
Nidalee lunges a fixed 375 units in the direction of the cursor, dealing 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 (+ 30% AP) magic damage to enemies within a 75-radius area around her landing point.

Killing a unit will reduced Pounce's current cooldown to 1 second if it's currently higher.

HUNT BONUS: If the cursor is near an enemy marked as Hunted within 750-range, Pounce becomes a unit-targeted dash.
Pounce - Additional Information (click to view)

The main source of Nidalee's mobility and your gap-closer. Really fun to use and extremely infuriating for everyone who has to deal with a cougar constantly jumping around. Useful for running, chasing and farming. Hunt empowered Pounce is your best way of getting right into someone's face and dealing massive damage.

Tips:

E - Primal Surge
Nidalee evokes the spirit of the cougar, healing a target allied champion or herself for 45 / 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 (+ 50% AP) and granting them 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.

Primal Surge - Additional Information (click to view)

This is the biggest reason Nidalee is such a dominant laner. The heal will keep you healthy in lane and the bonus attack speed boosts your damage when poking with auto attacks. Spamming it will make you run out of mana, though. The heal will also fall off late game but the attack speed steroid remains good throughout the game.

Tips:
  • Don't be afraid to use it even when you are at full health. The attack speed steroid is really useful for both poking your opponent and pushing down towers.
  • If you need healing but can't trade after using Primal Surge, popping a Health Potion instead may be smarter to conserve mana.
  • Healing priority later during the game: Allies that will die if you don't heal them > allies that benefit from the attack speed steroid > yourself > other allies.


E - Swipe
Nidalee claws at enemies in a 180-degree cone in the direction of the cursor, dealing 70 / 130 / 190 / 250 (+ 45% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit.

HUNT BONUS: If Swipe hits an enemy marked as Hunted, Pounce's current cooldown is reduced to 1 second if it's currently higher.
Swipe - Additional Information (click to view)

A good ability for shoving lanes or just farming in general. Hitting Hunted enemies will soft-reset Pounce's cooldown for a quick retreat or pursuit.

Tips:
  • If you have to shove a lane, spam this ability and Pounce on the minions.
  • When going in, use this after Pounce and before Takedown to both have an escape and to deal more damage.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

SKILLING ORDER



> > >

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
W
Q
E
E
E
R
E
Q
E
Q
R
Q
Q
W
W
R
W
W


LEVELS 1-3
You want all of your abilities available at level 3 to get your first powerspike.

Depending on your lane opponent and the enemy team composition, start the game with a point in either Bushwhack / Pounce - if your opponent is known for going all-in at level 1 or 2 (like Riven, Aatrox or Jarvan IV) so you can Pounce away or if you predict an early invade by the enemy so you can trap up - or with Primal Surge / Swipe to get an immediate edge when trading at level 1.

If you started with Primal Surge / Swipe and feel safe, put a point into Javelin Toss / Takedown. If you don't, pick Bushwhack / Pounce for scouting and mobility instead.

If you started with Bushwhack / Pounce and are not in need of sustain, pick Javelin Toss / Takedown so you can begin bursting your opponent with combos. If you need the sustain and poke, go with Primal Surge / Swipe instead.

At level 3, level up whatever skill you have not leveled up yet.

AFTER THAT...
Remember that putting points into your abilities will only improve their human version. Cougar abilities scale with ranks in Aspect Of The Cougar. This is why you should put a point into your ultimate whenever possible.

Nidalee's strongest human form ability during the early game is Primal Surge because the heal is still good here and the granted attack speed is a more reliable source of damage than Javelin Toss during the early game. That said, you should level up Javelin Toss / Takedown after Primal Surge / Swipe. The spears are very painful during the mid game, even on AD Nidalee, because not many opponents will have not invested into magic resistance by then.

Bushwhack is Nidalee's weakest human form ability and thus, Bushwhack / Pounce is the last thing you should level up.


Guide Top

Items

STARING ITEMS




WARDING TOTEM

Your early game trinket. This gives you some at least some protection against the enemy jungler. Place it as soon as your jungler finishes his second buff.


+



DORAN'S BLADE +
POTION

OR
CRYSTALLINE FLASK +
POTIONS

OR
CLOTH ARMOR +
POTIONS

This will be your go-to start in most of your games. Doran's Blade gives everything you could ask for during the early game: health for survivability, attack damage for last-hitting and poking and lifesteal for improved sustainability.


.
Against lanes where you will face lots of poke and can't sustain yourself enough, this is a good start. An example of such a matchup would be Lulu. You can buy up to three potions with this start, buy health and mana potions according to how much damage you think you will take and how much mana you will spend.
If you are facing any kind of AD champion that you think will wreck you, this is your best bet. Again, you can buy up to 5 potions, buy health and mana potions according to how much damage you think you will take and how much mana you will spend. Pantheon is a good champion to buy this start against.



SITUATIONAL EARLY BUYS

Avoid building any of these items whenever possible, as they delay your Trinity Force. In some situations, however, you have to buy them or else you will fall behind. Build Doran's Blade, if you need the cheap combat stats. Ninja Tabi may be necessary against hard-hitting AD's. Chalice of Harmony is a must if you would otherwise get bullied out of the lane by magic damage dealers.




BUILDING YOUR CORE
The infamous Trinity Force, also known as "Tons of Damage", is our main core item and the only item you should buy in every game, no exception, with this build.



FIRST PART TO BUY: PHAGE VS. SHEEN
If you are looking for more early combat stats, Phage should be your first buy because the movement speed boost and the attack damage improve your harass in lane by a good amount. It also provides more utility than the other two items. However, if you already are dominating your lane, go ahead and buy Sheen. It makes you a much larger threat because it adds damage to your already extremely hard-hitting Takedown.

Zeal should not be your first or even second buy, because it gives no guaranteed burst and the combat stats are much weaker than the ones Phage grants you.


TRINITY FORCE AND WHY IT'S GOOD
Here's why Trinity Force is such a good item on Nidalee. You literally benefit from all stats and effects that Trinity Force grants you, even the critical strike bonus, because Takedown can crit despite dealing magic damage. It builds from items that are good during the laning phase and combines them into what is the best mid-game item for Nidalee, which is around when you should finish building it.

Trinity Force is superior to Iceborn Gauntlet because the stats granted by Trinity Force are better and Nidalee does not need the slow to stick to her targets, due to the high mobility from Prowl and Pounce.



BOOTS AND ENCHANTMENTS
You may already have built Ninja Tabi. Against teams that rely a lot on auto attacks, build or keep these. If Tabi are no priority, you should almost always build Mercury's Treads instead for the tenacity. In the rare case that neither Tabi nor Merc's are needed or in the not so rare case that you are snowballing, consider building Sorcerer's Shoes. They are especially effective during the early game, when nobody has bought any magic resistance yet.

For enchantments: if you split-push a lot (and you will), enchant your boots with Enchantment: Distortion for the reduced cooldown on Flash and Teleport. If you are not split-pushing, you can pretty much pick any enchantment you want because they all work well on Nidalee.
Enchantment: Homeguard is one of the more popular ones.



BUILD MORE DAMAGE
After you have finished building Trinity Force, go ahead and buy another damage item. If you are behind, however, build tank items (see below) instead. Depending on which of the two items you build, you'll end up as either a great duelist or as a damage monster in teamfights.


BLADE OF THE RUINED KING
OR
INFINITY EDGE
This item is really good for split-pushing and dueling. Since you will mainly do these things during the late game, buying this baby is almost always a good call. Remember that it has an active ability, it can be clutch in some situations.




.
Infinity Edge on Nidalee is a high-risk, high-reward item. The only time you should ever buy this, is if both you and your team are snowballing out of control and you are looking to close out the game early through teamfights. Remember, Nidalee is a weak teamfighter. Together with Trinity Force, you'll have a 35% crit chance and a way of instantly blowing one of their backline carries up with a Takedown crit. TL;DR: This item turns you into an assassin.


TANK ITEMS
Now you have reached the point of the game where you have to start investing into defense, if you want to survive fights. These are the tank items that work well on Nidalee, pick the ones that suit your situation best.


BANSHEE'S VEIL

FROZEN HEART

SPIRIT VISAGE
Less of a pick for magic resistance and more of a pick for "I want to avoid this at all costs!". Normally outclassed by Spirit Visage but good against anything that will screw you if you get hit by it.
Grants armor, cooldown reduction and an attack speed slowing aura. Against teams that have two or more champions that heavily rely on attack speed, this item is great.
.
If you just want magic resistance, this will be your bet buy. Aside from the health and magic resistance, you get cooldown reduction and a healing boost for yourself.
.


RANDUIN'S OMEN

GUARDIAN ANGEL

WARMOG'S ARMOR
In case you need armor but there are not enough attack speed based champions on the enemy team to justify Frozen Heart, this item is better because it also gives you health. The active is makes it really hard for enemies to kite you, remember to use it in fights.
If you are carrying team or you know an important teamfight is about to erupt, is item is godlike. It is not very useful without its revive passive, though.


.
Warmog's by itself is not that great. However, if you already have a resistance item and are going to buy another one, consider buying this instead, if you gain more effective health from it.

.



SIXTH SLOT DAMAGE ITEM
If the game is still not over at this point, you should consider another damage item for your sixth slot to be a bigger threat in the teamfights that will inevitably come up.


THE BLOODTHIRSTER
OR
VOID STAFF
I consider this item as a late game pick only. During the mid game, it is not nearly as effective as its competitors Blade of the Ruined King and Infinity Edge. During the late game, you will be split-pushing non-stop, so you will also have the passive shield available when teleporting to a fight. This item also gives as much attack damage as IE does, which works well with Takedown's great ratio and Trinity Force's Spellblade passive.
If everyone on the enemy team, even their carries, has built magic resistance, you should buy this. Not only does it grant magic penetration but also gives you 70 ability power. Awesome, because all of your abilities deal magic damage and scale with AP.



.



CONSUMABLES AND TRINKETS
Almost every time you leave your base, you should spend all of your gold on consumables or on upgrading your trinket. Gold is worthless if you don't spend it!



HEALTH AND MANA POTIONS
Potions both keep you healthy and help you remain a threat. If you have a ward in your inventory, go ahead and buy some potions, it is almost never a bad idea.


WARDS
Having information on where the enemy team is the biggest advantage you can have and wards do that for you. Whenever you leave your base, buy a Stealth Ward or two and place them as needed. A map of where to ward can be found in the mid game chapter of this guide. Vision Wards are for denying the opposing team's vision, so it doesn't hurt having one of these on you, as well.

Remember kids, wards save lives. [YouTube, 0:15]



TRINKETS
You should always start your game with the Warding Totem for the early vision to protect yourself from ganks. Once you reach the mid-game, either upgrade or replace it with another trinket.

This is more of a matter of preference, but I like to have at least one Farsight Orb on my team. If no one on my team has it, I will get it. The whole purpose of this item is to scout for enemies when you have no vision. This helps you avoid ambushes and can also be used to gain vision for a Javelin Toss.

It's all about the vision! Greater Stealth Totem is really useful when you are split-pushing. Place the ward where your enemies will come from and either catch them by surprise for a free kill and make a run for it and have your team take another objective.

In some cases, mostly when you are not on your own, denying vision as more important than having vision yourself. That is Oracle's Lens' job. Particularly when you are flanking, being spotted early can and will screw you over.


Guide Top

Laning

BEFORE MINIONS SPAWN


The game has started, awesome! By now, you know their team comp and who will most likely lane against you. Buy your items as explained in the previous chapter and head into your jungle. If you have started with Bushwhack / Pounce, start placing traps on common invade paths, as shown in the pictures below. Also, place a trap where your junglers first buff will spawn for some extra damage on it.



Some junglers will ask you to place your trinket ward on their second buff, if that buff is on the top side of the map. If they do, place it at about 1:30 or else it will not be available when you need to protect yourself from the enemy jungler.

Stand guard for your jungler, then, when minions spawn, head to your lane.

THE EARLY LANING PHASE (~ LEVEL 1-6)
Brushes are your friend. Go to lane and hop into a brush. Focus on last-hitting: get out of the brush, last-hit, get back into the brush. When your opponent is going for a last-hit, poke him once or twice with your basic attacks, then back off into the brush to drop the minion aggro. Keep yourself healthy with Primal Surge.

Do this until you are level 3, then start playing more aggressively. Start going for Javelin Tosses. If one hits and you are safe enough to go in (you won't get wrecked in return and their jungler is not around), follow up with Aspect Of The Cougar -> Pounce -> Swipe -> Takedown -> Pounce out or pursue for the kill. This is your standard combo when going in for burst or a kill. If your opponent was at 60ish% before, there is a good chance that he is now either dead or so low, that he is forced to go back to base. In case you are backing off after your combo, shift back to human form, heal and continue to poke. Do not neglect your last-hitting, however.

Killed your enemy or forced him back? Sweet. Shift to cougar form and shove the minion wave into their turret so that it kills all of your minions and resets the lane. This is a lot less effective if your opponent has Teleport but oh well... Once you are done, recall, buy items and a Stealth Ward. If you don't expect any movement around dragon for the next four minutes, feel free to use Teleport to get back to your lane to miss as little CS and experience as possible.

Not looking too good? Focus on last-hitting and going for advantageous trades. Consider building one of the situational early game items when you recall, then repeat until you can force your enemy back or kill him.

Remember that if their jungler started at the bottom side of the map, he will most likely reach your lane at about 3:00. If your wave is pushing, ward the river sometime around 2:40.



THE LATE LANING PHASE AND TRANSITIONING TO MID GAME (~ LEVEL 6-11)
Remember that you get a powerspike at level 6 and 11 because all of your cougar abilities get increased damage with ranks in Aspect Of The Cougar. Go aggressive when you reach them either of these levels.

If you are ahead, position yourself between the enemy champion and his minions. Punish him whenever he goes for a last-hit.

Ideally, you freeze the lane in front of your turret, like I do in this example:

As you can see, I am ahead of Jarvan IV in both kills and CS. Therefore I try to keep his minions as close to my turret as I can without getting them into range of it. That way I can farm them without being afraid of jungler ganks and punish my enemy more easily when he tries to CS.

This is also the time where Dragon will be contested by both teams. When you see an opportunity to get a kill in mid or bot lane, roam or teleport down there, get some kills, then do dragon. If a fight breaks out around dragon before you are there, use Teleport to secure your teams win over that objective. Your opponent at top lane may not always follow you and push your turret instead but trading a turret for a dragon and possibly one or two turrets back is not bad at all.

When behind, as mentioned before, focus on farming and trading with your opponent. Should your opponent start roaming, you have two options:
  1. Push hard to get the turret. This is generally the better idea when your team is behind as well and you can't win smaller skirmishes or even a full 5v5 teamfight around dragon.
  2. Shove the lane and follow him. This will give him something to worry about while he is roaming. When the rest of your team is doing as well as the enemy team or perhaps even better than them, you can't allow the other top laner to snowball his advantage onto the other lanes. Use Teleport to be there for the fight if necessary. Nidalee shines in these skirmishes because of her burst and chasing potential.


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Mid-Late Game / Splitpushing

THE MID GAME AND WHEN TO SPLIT PUSH


The mid game usually starts after the first dragon. People will start grouping to take towers and so should you when you are not split pushing. However, since Nidalee is not the greatest teamfighter, you want to split push as much as possible.

WHEN TO SPLIT PUSH
WHEN TO STAY WITH YOUR TEAM
  • You can kill everyone on the enemy team in a 1v1. This means they would always have to send at least two people to deal with you, leaving the rest of your team in a 4v3.
  • You have Teleport available, so you can be there if a fight breaks out.
  • Your team can win a 4v4 or even a 4v5.
  • Your team can disengage safely if they get caught in a 4v5.
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  • You are the most fed on your team but the teams are even.
  • Your Teleport is on cooldown and none of the other points apply.








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(Could swear I missed a few...)


WARDING WHEN SPLITPUSHING
If there are two or more people from the enemy team missing and potential gank routes are not warded, you are forced to back off and they might not even be going for you, which means that you are just wasting time and not putting pressure on the enemy like you could have if you had warded.

To explain the following maps: the further you have pushed you lane, the more you have to ward up to stay safe. The red numbers and lines indicate how far the lane is pushed at least, the green numbers next to the Stealth Ward icon show their respective ward locations:





Note that this is the ideal scenario. You usually do not need the ward on baron or dragon when you are at their inner turret because people typically do not take the huge way around. They could, of course, but that opens you other escape paths.

Also, you typically you will only be splitpushing mid lane if your team is busy in either of the side lanes. Since you have an escape path to the other side, wards are not as necessary as they are on the side lanes. But you should at least place traps on more commonly used paths.

LATE GAME
Late game for Nidalee is not very different from mid game, except that you become less and less effective over time. At this point, the only time you should split push is if you have Teleport available because the enemy could do Baron Nashor almost anytime they want. If your team has to send someone to a different lane to shove or defend it, you should be the one to go, as it is you that has the lowest presence in teamfights.

Look for picks. If you can catch one of their carries, it is basically a free baron or inhibitor for your team. You still are a big threat in duels - though not nearly as much as during the mid game - so look for those rather than teamfights.


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Teamfighting

MID GAME TEAMFIGHTS


Before the teamfight breaks out, poke with Javelin Toss and try to get one of their carries hunted. If you succeed and your team can follow up, go in with Pounce and blow said carry up with Swipe and Takedown.

Ideally, you are not your team's main initiator and you should play more like an assassin would: wait until key spells are used, then look for an opening on their backline and kill them. You are not very tanky at this point and will likely get blown up if you can not pick someone off or go in too early.

If you have the opportunity, use Primal Surge on someone who will benefit more from the additional attack speed than you do. The buff grants more attack speed than a Phantom Dancer for 7 seconds and will be a huge damage boost to anyone who can benefit from it. (Hint: you will use this on your team's ADC 9/10 times.)


LATE GAME TEAMFIGHTS
Not much changes here, only that you should go in a lot sooner to soak damage for your team. Do your best to keep the enemy carries busy, so that your carries can wreck havoc on their team.

Since this is the time where AA-based, item-scaling ADCs like Jinx, Tristana and Kog'Maw are demi-gods, giving them Primal Surge's attack speed steroid is even more important than during the mid game. This is the least you can do, as you can not peel for them with your kit.



As much as I would love tell you more about what to do as Nidalee in teamfights, I can not. Nidalee's teamfighting is very straightforward and very ineffective, mainly due to her lack of CC and sustained damage.


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Conclusion

THANKS FOR READING


This concludes my guide on Nidalee. I hope you have enjoyed reading it and learned a thing or two about her. If you did, please consider scrolling back up and leaving a like. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

My goal is to make this the best guide on this playstyle of Nidalee, so if there is anything bothering you about this guide, - whether it is wrong or looks terrible - by all means, please leave a comment with a suggestion on how to fix it, especially if it is something grammar related, since English is not my first language.

Again, thanks guys, and have fun!

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