Nunu Build Guide by mat30
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.
About the Guide
I know that the name say that you will never die but, I don't know you, or how good or bad you are. I die usually 2-3 times per game, even in an hour. Also if you are looking for a build that you will get a lot of kills with then this is not the guide for you. Nunu has decent killing ability without any AP and that's why he is getting none. Nunu is a tank, and with this build he excels at it. Now I am also not saying that he is the best tank in the game, other champs are capable of more health, or more armor, or more magic resistance. I love Nunu though and in a team fight his abilities make him unparalleled in the tank/support role.
Pros and Cons of the Yeti Rider
-Great laner in the beginning
-Very tough tank
-Ult. in a team battle can very easily cause you to instantly win
-Not great at killing quickly
-Will lose most 1v1 fights
-Easy to cancel Ult.
Nunu in a nutshell
So basically if you don't already know, Nunu is a caster Tank, ball of awesomeness. He is a great laner in the beginning of the game, his ability to eat minions and give him health make him very hard to kill early game. His ice blast does massive damage and recharges much faster than your mana pool can support, this will be an essential tool in keeping up your dps and helping your lane partner. If used correctly this ability basically makes you a manual ranged character. His third ability, , is great for chasing and escaping, This can be cast on either you or a teammate granting you the effects in either case. Nunu's ult. is awesome but difficult to use effectively. It deals massive damage (1125 at level 3) but has a 3 second cast time during which people could get out of range. However this ability is great for team fights, it causes the same damage to everyone so the more the merrier. Finally his passive, this is a life saver in the beginning, after doing his basic attack 7 times, he gets a free spell, including your ult. This means even on 0 mana you can kill eveybody!
In his land Nunu is a beast. Virtually unkillable and capable of high dps. Use and often. When pushing on a turret or getting in a tight spot, cast on your lane partner. If you spot an opportunity to kill aggressive players, run into the bushes, when they follow start your ult., they won't see it happening until they are in the bushes too, boom, 2 easy kills. Nunu can be a great ganker to mid, if they need help, go ice blast the enemy and blood boil your ally to score a quick kill. Remember that although you can turret dive this is not always the best option, keep being aggressive and make them run back away from the turret to recall, then attack, out of range. In most instances your partner will be doing more damage than you, but you need to be ready to tank for them. Get in the way of the enemy if they chase your partner and, have blood boil on almost always past level 7 or so.
Do's and Don'ts
Go into battle expecting to get a lot of ***its and no kills, use to help your squishy's escape or do extra damage, especially for champions like, Caitlyn, Vayne, and Ashe, the additional attack speed can make them monsters. Try to save your ult, until after the enemy has used their CC on you. When getting chased if you think you might win and you have your ult, stop in the bushes and start it, the enemy for the most part will not know you are doing it until they are in the bushes with you, by then it is too late. Be aggressive in your lane. It is very important that you stay on the minions to help your passive and you use ice blast often. This will weaken the enemy to make it easy to get early kills in your lane.
You should never stack Attack Damage, Attack Speed, or Movement Speed. Your basic attack is generally how you will do the last few hundred damage while chasing people down but it is not important that you upgrade these things. Doing so will weaken yourself in other ways too much to make it worth it. You wouldn't stack AD on Malphite because that doesn't make sense, same concept applies here. Don't get greedy! Although you are an insanely high HP tank, don't chase alone unless the enemy is once ice blast or less away. Nunu just simply does not have high enough DPS to expect to kill people amongst enemies. This is not to say don't be aggressive just understand that once that ice blast is shot, you have 5 seconds before you can deal real damage again.
Okay so the first ability you should always get is , this is a great weapon early game, capable of forcing champs to recall after just a few minutes in the lane. However, it eats mana and cannot keep up. Nunu has a savior for this though with his passive. After 7 hits of basic attack Nunu gets a free spell. Use this like you don't have mana. It keeps your dps up early game as well as you healed. Late game this is not really an issue. If you are chasing a hurt champ, use to catch up enough to fire an to damage and slow them, from here the only thing that can save them is a teammate or a pesky little turret. For 1v1 kills wait for the CC before you start channeling your Ult. For chasing when they still have a lot of health, or doing an ambush cast in this order, then use to get directly on top of them, or right in front of them if they are running and Ult. You will almost always get them in it and you can then use and to finish them. Using this technique you can kill almost anyone in 10 seconds or less. When ambushing, get in bushes and out to start channeling right on top of them, finish with and .
Early, Mid, and Late Game
As with any champion leveling up is the key in this stage. You are one of the most powerful champs here. You should be harrasing the enemies in your lane with and healing with . Stay on there minions build up your free spells. Try to keep them away from the minions with the threat of an , doing so will limit their economy and put you ahead. Look for opportunities to kill the enemy. As they push it is very easy to get them with and chase with your lane partner.
During this time you should be helping your team in fights and hopefully tanking baron. At this stage it is very important to keep your health up to lead pushes and carry the defense. Try not to waste your ult and use in coordination with your teammates to pick off stragglers. Although you may not have a lot of health at this point you will have a lot of resistance, abuse this. Don't be afraid to fight players, and always keep a minion nearby for a quick health boost. Kill dragon often, this will cost you almost no health and grant easy money and xp for your team. Pushing turrets should be easier now, don't be afraid to take damage either, that is your job.
This is the time when you become most vital to your team. Use your ult. for big team battles. Even if you don't get everyone in the circle, getting 1 or 2 and forcing everyone else to temporarily run away is huge in team fights. Also do not neglect on your squishies, increasing attack speed and their ability to run away can save a death and cause many more. At this stage you are just as important as your Dps carry (Vayne, Caitlyn, Brand, etc.) If you haven't gotten Baron yet do it! After testing with a full build I can reduce Baron to only 2000 hp(out of 13700), alone! Finally remember you are a tank, you are meant to take damage. Do not run away because Vayne gets in her ult. or Yi Alpha Strikes you. Fight back, buff your teammates, win the battle!
Okay so as any tank, Nunu's item build greatly depends on the enemy team. For this build the focus is to get plenty of armor and magic resistance and the health will come as secondary. Your core items are going to be, , , , , , and . The reason that thormail is in this build (an item that adds no health) is because on a champ that has so much health the 30% return of basic attack damage is a really sizeable offensive weapon. Think of champs like Teemo with 2000 hp, them killing you means they die with you doing nothing but standing there, hit them 1 time and you win, now that's smart fighting. Overall this build is going to work for a standard ap caster and ad basic teams, a mix of both. The second replaces . Now if they are going heavy caster then you can replace either or with , or if they are heavy physical damage then you can replace either or with . The last item I would suggest as a replacement for the second is becasue it does add good health and has a great passive that allows you to chase and basically stop almost any champ. I suggest this only if you are having a hard time with dps. You just have to feel out their team to see what you might need. I prefer to never go without because it can block abilities, including physical attacks! Also i try to never go without because without it, good luck killing minions. If you complete the build and continue to kill minions and champions you should be around 6000 hp. This is sure to inspire comments from the other team and at this point 1v1'ing just about anybody should not be a problem, Even high DPS champs like Vayne and WarWick are no match for you. You have officially reached the stage where initiating a 5v5 next to a turret means your team wins the fight and you can continue to lead the charge, Champs like Annie and Galio will be hardly more of a threat than minions as there nukes are nearly pointless against you. From hear on out you should never die!
Complete Tank (Recommened)
This build is going to make you indestructible. Built out with some time on your Warmog's Armor doing this will grant you 6k health. This is going to be great late game to break stalemates on turrets and to simply, "out tank" enemy tanks. When doing this build it is important that you lead a charge and take as many nukes as you can, especially CC, this way you can get off your ult, and your high dps players can actually do their job.
This build is good if the enemy team are heavy fighters, such as Xin Zhao or Jax. It will still grant you upwards of 5k health but give you about 120 or so AP, this greatly affects the damage of your and allow your to heal you that much more.
This build is going to keep you a tank but barely. With around 500 AP however you become an offensive powerhouse. This build will give you just shy of 4k Health but nearly no armor and not a lot of magic resistance. For this build don't assume the role of tank rather as the team fight initiator. Your ult will do nearly 2500 damage, and with an 800 point ice blast to follow you are guaranteed a kill. This is the most fun to play with but also the hardest to manage.
I would say use the spells that you are comfortable with, but stay away from these for sure:
Generally I try to have or and I always have .
This will help you chase and escape, pairing this with will give you 500 movement speed with this you can escape from or chase anyone
Probably the best, and hardest to use spell in the game. When using this spell use it in a strategic way rather than in a panic. Teleport through a wall to cut off an enemy or create a huge gap between a pursuer. Using this spell simply to cover distance can be effective but you might as well just use
My favorite spell ever. Use this to kill those enemies that would have just gotten away. Use then cast it for any enemy below 300 or so to guarantee a kill in your lane. Later in the game it becomes a key tool to increase your dps. I like to cast it in the middle of a fight and watch the enemy health drop. At level 18 this spell does 410 damage, don't underestimate it's power.