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Nami Build Guide by Lohpally

Support diamond

[10.8] How to Be the BEST Nami by Lohpally

By Lohpally | Updated on April 27, 2020
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Runes: Primary

1 2
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #2 in
Support Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

[10.8] How to Be the BEST Nami by Lohpally

By Lohpally

Why Play Nami?

  • Nami can be played well without specialty skills.
  • Unlike most other enchanters, Nami is able to deflect ganks AND can set up kills in lane.
  • She can provide a lot of pressure, especially with the help of her ADC.
  • Her strength is not fully dependent on her ADC doing well.
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About The Author

    Hey there, I'm Lohpally! You may already know me from other places such as Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, and Reddit where I try to create and share my educational content regularly. I'm a Support main with a large champion pool. I have reached Challenger playing as Support every season it's been available. I have also been a part of professional teams such as Curse (now Team Liquid), Winterfox, and Complexity.
Links to Socials and Professional History

About This Nami Guide

    When it comes to Nami specifically, I am writing this guide because I have an abundance of experience with her. My professional level experience on her comes from when I played her in several matches during my time as a pro player. I also have a large number of games as Nami throughout the seasons. I have utilized various builds and played her throughout all the stages of power she has been at. Whether she has been weak or strong, I know what works and what does not from firsthand experience.
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Where Nami Excels / Where Nami Fails


  • Nami scales well and does exceptionally well in prolonged fights.
  • Her ease of play is amplified by her strong synergy with Athene's Unholy Grail, whose completion gives her an extra boost of power.
  • As long as she positions behind tanks, she can stay safe and power them up by bouncing Ebb and Flow (W) to heal her teammates and damage the enemies.
  • Tidal Wave (R) makes it very easy to follow up with good engages or disengage bad fights.
  • A synergistic ADC will ensure that Nami can bully a lane with her Ebb and Flow (W) and by buffing the ADC with Tidecaller's Blessing (E).


  • Nami's Aqua Prison (Q) is very slow, making it easy to dodge and hard to land.
  • She is very squishy and cannot blindly face check brushes by herself.
  • Champions who can all-in with hard engage such as Leona, Thresh, and Nautilus are extreme counters to Nami, which can make it significantly harder for her to reach her first item.
  • Her low damage output and lack of poke means she cannot bully lanes all on her own.
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When Should Nami Be Played?

Nami should be played if there are already one or two Frontliners from other roles. These champions do not have to be considered full tanks, but should be seen as beefy bruisers like Sett, Irelia, Mordekaiser, etc.

Based on Enemy Support Pick

If you have tanky teammates and are picking after the enemy Support, you can make your final assessment on whether Nami would be good to play by looking at how difficult the matchup will be. This graphic acts as a quick and easy-to-view visual about what to be weary of as Nami when playing against a specific Support.

More Information

Based on Your Own ADC

If you are unable to see who the enemy Support is, or would rather make your decision on which ADC you'll be laning with, here's the graphic for you. This image showcases why certain ADCs pair better with Nami more than others, as well as what strengths or weaknesses the lane may encounter.

More Information

Nami Runes

When to Play with the Usual Aery Setup

The Summon Aery Rune page is the typical and default Rune setup to run. It is most ideal when Nami is against
an enemy Support that she can trade with, such as Soraka, Yuumi, or Senna, etc. For an optimal lane,
Summon Aery should be paired with Spellthief's Edge and 3 Health Potions at the start of the game.

When to Play with the Guardian Setup

The Guardian Rune page is ideal when Nami will be in a rough lane that has the potential to kill her very early. When matched up against hard engage Supports such as Leona, Thresh, Pyke, Blitzcrank, etc, choosing Guardian with Relic Shield and 3 Health Potions will give Nami more opportunities to survive engages and not force her into risky trades to generate gold.

When to Switch Flex Runes

Primary Runes Secondary Runes

You may notice in the Rune Pages above that the last portion of Runes hardly differ. When playing Nami you will want to always take the first +5.4 AD or +9 AP Adaptive Force Rune and at least one +6 Armor Rune, but the final Rune choice is dependent on the enemy Jungler.

If the enemy Jungler is primarily AD, take the extra +6 Armor Rune.

For an AP damage heavy Jungler, chose the +8 Magic Resist Rune instead.

Choosing Summoner Spells

When to Take Ignite or Exhaust

You will always have at least one Summoner Spell slot dedicated to Flash, but the other will be for either Ignite or Exhaust.

The default Summoner Spell setup would be Flash and Ignite.

You can take Flash and Exhaust instead if the enemy team has diving Melee Assassins such as Zed,
Qiyana, or Kennen, etc.

Nami's General Playstyle

  • Take advantage of Nami's sustainability by playing reasonably aggressive in the early game. Your goal should be to poke the enemy laners until they have lost half of their Health, since that usually leads to you winning the lane through your out-healing advantage.
  • A large portion of Nami's damage comes from doing this combo: Auto → Ebb and Flow (W) → Auto. The trick to preforming this smoothly is through animation canceling. In the early game, Nami's Autos do as much work as her Ebb and Flow (W), so you should be looking to Auto as much as possible. Doing this while staying close to a bush will allow Nami to provide pressure safely. Walking in and out of the bush means you can de-aggro the minions and challenge the enemies' positioning with minimal danger.
  • If your ADC is playing up with you, you can bounce Ebb and Flow (W) off them and then give them
    Tidecaller's Blessing (E). One thing to note is that Tidecaller's Blessing (E) can proc off Autos even if they are already mid-air, so to optimally utilize it wait to cast it until your ADC begins to Auto the enemy. Otherwise, poorly using it such as when the ADC is last hitting minions will encourage the enemies to back off and leave you gaining no value out of it.

Change of Pace with Guardian Runes

  • When matched up against all-in lanes, hold Aqua Prison (Q) for when the enemy Support initiates. This will cause the enemy ADC to walk up to hit whoever is being crowd controlled, so use that opportunity to Aqua Prison (Q) the enemy ADC instead of the engaging Support.
  • If you are in a winning position use Tidecaller's Blessing (E) to slow and Auto the enemies in order to land Aqua Prison (Q) a lot more easily.

Nami Basics

    Here's a quick and easy one-minute guide on things to remember to do when playing Nami

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How to Lane as Nami

Skill Leveling

Primary Skill Leveling Secondary Skill Leveling

You may notice that there is a slight variation within the level ordering of Nami's skills. This is because you should always take Ebb and Flow (W) at Level 1, and more often than not Aqua Prison (Q) for Level 2, then Tidecaller's Blessing (E) at Level 3.

This differs in the case that you are laning with an ADC that can synergize with the harass you can provide, such as Lucian or Caitlyn. With these ADCs, you can level Ebb and Flow (W) first, then Tidecaller's Blessing (E) at Level 2, and Aqua Prison (Q) for Level 3 instead.

As a general guide, you should max out Ebb and Flow (W) first, then Tidecaller's Blessing (E), and Aqua Prison (Q) lastly, while leveling Tidal Wave (R) when possible.

Laning Details

This is a small 4-minute guide on how to play Nami aggressively during the early stages of Laning Phase.

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How to Build Nami

Nami tends to have a pretty uniform build, but it can vary based on Rune choices, enemy matchups, and how the lane is playing out. Obtaining 2 to 3 items will allow you to reach 200 AP, which is very important since Ebb and Flow (W)'s damage and healing will instead increase with each bounce.

Standard Aery Build

After buying the usual starting items ( Spellthief's Edge and 3 Health Potions), purchasing a Dark Seal early will help add more pressure to the lane. This should be followed up with Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Athene's Unholy Grail. With how often Nami trades, getting the Chalice of Harmony before Fiendish Codex is usually more valuable because of the Mana Regeneration and Magic Resist it provides. If you prefer AP and Cooldown Reduction, you can prioritize Fiendish Codex instead.

Variation in Guardian Build

Switch out Ionian Boots of Lucidity for Mercury's Treads in the early game, especially against champions like
Nautilus, Leona, and Thresh. This should give you enough tenacity and make it very hard for the enemy to catch and kill you when playing reasonably safe.

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Playing Out the Mid Game

Helpful Mid Game Tips

  • Avoid going face first into brushes, especially by yourself.
  • If there is little to no vision and not a clear objective on the map, you and your team should group up Mid Lane and push out. This will force the enemy team to show themselves and give you a chance to obtain vision relatively safely.
  • For most fights Tidal Wave (R) is best used for when the enemy dives into your team or there is a good engage started by your team (like Sett's The Show Stopper (R), Sejuani's Glacial Prison (R), or
    Jarvan IV's Cataclysm (R), etc).
    Tidal Wave (R) can also act as a set up to Aqua Prison (Q), so long as using it is not forcing you to overreach beyond reasonable boundaries.
  • The main priority is to stay alive during the entire fight so you can continue bouncing Ebb and Flow (W) and buffing whoever you can with Tidecaller's Blessing (E).

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Reaching Teamfights in the Late Game

When it comes to the late game, there will be lots of, if not exclusively, teamfights. To get a more thorough approach and insight into what to do during these, refer to this video here.

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Final Words

Getting to the End

If you've made it this far - congratulations! Hopefully this guide helped you in some way! It is my first, so feedback is appreciated. In the case that you want to see how utilizing these skills can play out in a full game, you can watch this video.

If watching and listening to a lesson is more of your pace, check out this VOD Review and Lesson of a Diamond 4 Nami.

For (Even) More Information

After viewing those, if you're still feeling like you could use more Nami content, I highly recommend that you visit my YouTube channel where I have more in-depth guides, videos, and tier lists that are updated with every patch! You can also find me on twitch where I stream daily. If you have a quick question and can't catch the stream to ask it, you can also send me a tweet with what you're wondering. Stay tuned as I intend to create more MOBAFire guides after this. I'll see you all again soon!

Search Lohpally on all Social Medias!

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