Nasus Build Guide by EZYoDa
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.
|Nasus is considered one of the best junglers in the game in arranged 5v5 games. Nasus has the best wave clearing in the game coupled with the most annoying debuff in the game, combined with the strongest dueling potential of all junglers. Oh yeah, and the best late game of them all, too. The only thing he's missing is area of effect crowd control, but you quickly get over that once you've solo'd dragon in under 8 seconds at level 6 with a late-game champion.||SPACE|
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- Spirit Fire is best wave-clearing spell in the game
- Wither lasts longer than almost any other CC in the game. Several AD carries have been known to consider suicide after playing a game against Nasus.
- Siphoning Strike and Fury of the Sands mean you pretty much don't ever have to build any damage items, and will still do damage late-game.
- Fury of the Sands guarantees victory in almost any 1v1 duel, and offers insanely safe/fast dragon and baron kills.
- Ganks can be hard to pull off early. All we've got is Wither for CC, and if they are close to their tower it's no good.
- Lacks hard CC
- Lacks area of effect CC
- Unable to chase through impassable terrain due to dependency on Ghost
|...|| Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Armor seals are mandatory on almost all junglers since they are so much more efficient than the other runes.
Movement speed is essential on Nasus to solve our kiting problem.
For glyphs I prefer flat magic resist, but you can take a mix or just take all scaling magic resist if you prefer. I find that the magic resist helps a lot in early skirmishes so I take all flat. Magic resistance is the most efficient stat from glyphs for tanks, so don't take anything else (you can consider CDR if you see 0 magic dmg on enemy team).
Attack speed marks are for faster clear speed. You can also mix in some armor penetration marks if you like, it's preference here - faster clear, or more late-game damage on Siphoning Strike?
Machete/5 is the standard jungle start. I would never do anything different.
Your first two items should be Spirit Stone into Boots of Speed. After finishing these basics, you want to work toward Spirit of the Ancient Golem, as it is the most efficient tanking item in the game, especially for junglers. Ninja Tabi is the natural follow-up, since we already have tenacity and we are only building tank items. You can take a Crystalline Flask early if you'd like, but I find that it's often unnecessary, especially if you took the 12 points in utility.
Once we've finished both of our mid-tier tanky items, we want to just keep building tanky. Frozen Heart is a great late-game item for us as fights can get very long which means we need a larger mana pool, and it also gives CDR which is the only offensive stat we'd ever want. The key thing to remember with Nasus is to never ever buy an offensive item. Fury of the Sands and Siphoning Strike give us more damage over long fights than any other jungler anyways.
Smite is a necessity for all junglers. Helps you kill buffs, secure objectives, etc etc.
Nasus actually needs Ghost instead of Flash. Almost all of Nasus's plays are based on running a champion down with Wither, and Flash is no good for it. Since we don't actually have any hard CC, Flash doesn't really combo with anything either. The only reason to ever take it is to counteract an enemy Jarvan IV.
We take and max Spirit Fire first since it provides the highest overall damage output. Wither comes second since we'll want it maxed for team fights, and Siphoning Strike is last since it's not actually a major source of damage until very late into the game.
You almost always want to start at the blue golem with Nasus. The red lizard buff doesn't help that much, and you really want to secure the golem so you can farm early. Generally try to stay away from ganking unless it's a completely free kill, as your lack of CC makes it easy to escape. Your options other than just farming camp after camp are to hold lanes, shove lanes when your allies want to go farm, and counter-gank.
Ganking with Nasus
Nasus has a unique early game in that it's usually very hard to pull off successful ganks. Diving is pretty much out of the question unless they're really really asking for it, so all we can really do is look for overextended lanes. And, on top of that, we don't really have that great burst damage - we excel more at chasing people down. So, try to gank one of the longer lanes (bot/top), not mid. Ghost is great here since it lets you chase them down the entire length of the lane, so just pop it early and chase em down. Remember that Spirit Fire gives vision in brushes!
When it gets to the mid-game, our ganking power actually gets real. Fury of the Sands combined with our item build means we can tank a lot of turret shots, so enemies that think they can hide under their turret will be wrong. Just walk up to the turret and make sure you have aggro, and simply beat the **** out of the enemy with your laner while you tank the turret. Be sure to drop aggro in time, usually your ally can finish off the kill once you've tanked 5 or 6 turret shots and hit the enemy champion as many times. Almost every successful gank with Nasus involves either a really stupid enemy or a turret dive and we can't control the first one so get your dive helmet on!
Other than turret diving, Nasus has insane split pushing power from Spirit Fire. If you ever see an empty lane, don't shy away from just walking up to it and pushing it. An over-farmed Nasus is one of the hardest things to deal with, and the easiest way to get over-farmed is solo lane experience. Also, if you ever see an opening, be ready to solo dragon - especially just after you hit level 6. If you're at your wraiths and you notice that the enemy bot lane just went home, boom free dragon. Just walk up, press R, and right click it until it's dead - you'll only lose like the 300 health you gained from Fury of the Sands.
Late-game and team fighting
Late game Nasus is one of the most fearsome things in the game. If you built properly and aren't behind, you're among the most tanky champions in the game. Keeping this in mind, there are three ways to play team-fights:
1) Bum-rush enemy AD. This is most effective when they have poor kiting ability. If you're running this, generally it means the enemy AD has no escape spell (this includes flash), and his team is also poor at peeling. If you do this against an AD that can jump over walls or with a proper peeler (ex: Janna) then you will be a sad dog that wastes ghost/ult getting kited. On the other hand if their team is 4 divers and a Draven, this is the best thing you can do.
2) Wither enemy AD, peel for allies. This is what you're going to do most of the time. If both AD carries go unmolested except that theirs is getting Wither cast on him/her, you're probably going to win the team-fight. This tactic is especially strong since Fury of the Sands buffs Wither cast range by 100, so you usually can't get hit without being able to cast Wither.
3) Wither enemy bruiser, peel for allies. You pretty much only do this if the enemy ADC is really really poor, yours is really really farmed, or if someone is really really out of position and you can just collapse on him without fearing damage from the enemy team.
Nasus doesn't really have any special techniques. The most important thing that separates good Nasus players from bad ones is their decision making. That said, there are a couple tactics you should be able to employ properly.
1) Double-hit with Siphoning Strike
Siphoning Strike resets your attack animation, so don't forget to always get a double-hit in when using it (attack once, and just as your attack is ending press Q and hit again).
2) Getting 9 points for Siphoning Strike from each camp
This should go without saying, but always strive to last-hit monster camps with Siphoning Strike. Generally, your combo should go Spirit Fire -> Siphoning Strike on a small monster -> attack big monster until Siphoning Strike is off cooldown --> Siphoning Strike big monster.
3) Popping Ghost early
As mentioned earlier, this isn't really a special "technique." However, mastering Ghost timing is key to many a successful gank. Usually you want to initiate the Ghost while still out of sight range, since it has a long duration and this will give them less time to react. Don't pop it too early however, as we still need the tail end of our Ghost to chase them down.
4) Brush-checking with Spirit Fire
One of your enemies' primary ways to escape will be to run into a brush to avoid your Wither until they are further down the lane. Use Spirit Fire on the brush to reveal them and cast Wither that much earlier. This can also be used to check brushes where you think enemies may be hiding.
Conclusion / About the Author
I hope you all have enjoyed my Nasus guide! His dueling potential and wave clearing are unmatched by any jungler in the game, and he is one of the few junglers that can be classified as "Hyper-carry." He is also currently (3.9 patch) considered one of the top 4 junglers in the game (along with nunu, zac, and jarvan iv), so it's definitely worth learning!
Here's an embed of my stream! www.twitch.tv/yodatv