Nami Build Guide by Lohpally
[10.8] How to Be the BEST Nami by LohpallyBy Lohpally | Updated on April 27, 2020
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Primary
Threats & Synergies
Champion Build Guide
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.
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.
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.
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.
When Should Nami Be Played?
Based on Enemy Support Pick
Based on Your Own ADC
When to Play with the Usual Aery Setup
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
When to Switch Flex Runes
||Primary Runes||Secondary Runes|
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
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.
Here's a quick and easy one-minute guide on things to remember to do when playing Nami
How to Lane as Nami
||Primary Skill Leveling||Secondary Skill Leveling|
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.
How to Build Nami
Standard Aery Build
Variation in Guardian Build
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.
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).