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Nami Build Guide by neuroplasticity

Support [11.21] Indepth Nami Support Guide

Support [11.21] Indepth Nami Support Guide

Updated on October 23, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author neuroplasticity Build Guide By neuroplasticity 13 0 16,701 Views 0 Comments
13 0 16,701 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author neuroplasticity Nami Build Guide By neuroplasticity Updated on October 23, 2021
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Runes: Standard Scaling Rune Setup

1 2 3 4
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Font of Life

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


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[11.21] Indepth Nami Support Guide

By neuroplasticity
Hello and welcome fellow fish lovers to my indepth guide for Nami the tidecaller. I go by the name neuroplacicity and am an avid enchanter main hovering around high Diamond on the EUW server with Nami and Janna being my most played champs.

Whether you're completely new to Nami or just looking for some advanced concepts to push your Tidecalling performance to the next level this guide will provide everything you need.

If you have any questions or remarks please let me know by leaving a comment or messaging me directly.

Without further ado let's jump right into the details. I hope you'll enjoy reading my guide as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Why should you play Nami?
Overall Nami is one of the most well-rounded champions in the entire game. As a jack of all trades she offers a bit of everything while being a master of none which is what makes her such a great blindpick in SoloQ, rivalled only by Bard and Thresh.

Of course no champion is without weakness. Slippery champions as well as champs with loads of engage or pick potential can really be a nightmare to face but most matchups become doable with some practice and proper adaption.

To help you gauge whether or not Nami is for you, here are some of her most outstanding qualities and drawbacks:


+ can neutralize most lanes
+ jack of all trades
+ strong laning
+ amazing laugh animation and skins
+ good synergy with most ADCs
+ diverse rune options to enable different playstyles
+ dominant skirmishing and good teamfighting
+ awesome synergy with Summon Aery as well as Imperial Mandate

- comparatively weak late game for an enchantress
- bubble is fairly easy to dodge
- mana hungry
- susceptible to hard engage and burst
- squishy and immobile


Passive: Surging Tides

| Buff Duration: 1.5 seconds | Movement Speed Bonus: 45 (+20% AP) | Tidal Wave Movement Speed Bonus: 90(+40%AP) |
Innate: Nami's abilities grant movement speed to allied champions whenever they touch them, doubled when they are touched by Tidal Wave.

Notes: Every single of Nami's abilities can apply the effect of (ability Icon) Surging Tides to allies. Even Aqua Prison will grant the movement speed to allies that are hit by it.

Q: Aqua Prison

| Magic Damage: 75 / 130 / 185 / 240 / 295 (+ 50% AP)| Target Range: 875 | Effect Radius: 160 | Cast Time: 0.25 | Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 | Cost: 60 Mana |

Active: Nami sends a bubble towards the target location that lands after 1 second, dealing magic damage to all enemies within the area and revealing and suspending them for 1.5 seconds.

Notes: Aqua Prison is a suspension rather than a knocked airborne effect. So while it allows an allied Yasuo to use Last Breath it can be cleansed by opponents with Cleanse, Quicksilver Sash and Mikael's Blessing.

Enemy units with less than 185 Movement Speed are unable to escape an accurately cast Aqua Prison unless using mobility spells or abilities such as Flash, Distortion or Tumble. Therefore Aqua Prison works best as a follow-up rather than an engage tool.

You should always level up Aqua Prison last as it doesn't provide more CC duration but only a bit more damage and slightly lower cooldown.

W: Ebb and Flow

| Heal: 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+ 30% AP) | Minimum Heal: 42 / 59.5 / 77 / 94.5 / 112 (+ 21% AP)| Magic Damage: 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+ 50% AP)| Minimum Damage: 49 / 77 / 105 / 133 / 161 (+ 35% AP)| Target Range: 725 | Effect Radius: 725 |Cast Time: 0.25 seconds |Cooldown: 10 seconds | Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 Mana |
Active: Nami unleashes a stream of water onto the target champion or herself, which upon arrival then bounces to nearby unaffected champions up to twice, alternating between enemiesenemies and allies and Nami.

Ebb and Flow heals allies and deals magic damage to enemies, with each bounce modifying the effectiveness of the next by -15% (+ 7.5% per 100 AP).

Notes: Despite counting as Chain Area of Effect Damage casting (Ebb and Flow) onto an enemy champion will cause Nami to draw minion aggro. Casting it onto yourself or an ally first won't.

From 200 AP onwards your Ebb and Flow bounces increase in value.

This is your bread and butter ability and you usually want to max this ability first.

E: Tidecaller's Blessing

|Bonus Magic Damage Per Hit: 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+ 20% AP)| Total Bonus Magic Damage: 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 (+ 60% AP)|Slow: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% (+ 5% per 100 AP)|

Target Range: 800 | Cast Time: none | Cooldown: 11 | Cost: 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 Mana |

Active: Nami blesses the target allied champion or herself for 6 seconds, causing the target's next three basic attacks or abilities to each deal bonus magic damage and (slow) their target for 1 second.

Empowered abilities that apply area damage only deal 33% − 66% (based on level) of the bonus damage to non-champions.

Notes: Tidecaller's Blessing doesn't apply the bonus damage against structures. Also, the bonus damage uses the allied target's (penetration), not Nami's.

The majority of games you are going to level this ability seconds. You do have the option to put more points into (Tidecaller's Blessing) when you're playing a very aggressive lane with an ADC such as Lucian or Draven and find yourself snowballing.

R: Tidal Wave

| Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+ 60% AP)|Slow: 50 / 60 / 70%|Target Range: 2750 | Effect Radius: 750 | Width: 500| Speed: 800 | Cast Time: 0.5 seconds |Cooldown: 120 / 110 / 100 seconds| Cost: 100 Mana |

Active: Nami summons a tidal wave that surges forth in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies within its path, knocking them up for 0.5 seconds, and slowing them for 2 − 4 (based on distance traveled) seconds.

Notes: Tidal Wave travels ~ 3.2 seconds and casts from Nami's location (even though sometimes it looks as if it spawned behind her). The 0.5 second cast time locks Nami from using basic abilities as well as Flash.

Pay particular attention to Braum's Unbreakable, Yasuo's Wind Wall and Samira's Blade Whirl since all of them will nullify your ultimate.

Always level up Tidal Wave whenever possible.
While there definitely is some depth to Nami's gameplay her abilities are pretty straightforward so there aren't any crazy mechanical combos that you have to practice dozens of times in order to perform the champion to a decent level.

However there are some basic combos that you should get used to in order to hit your skillshots and get the most value out of Ebb and Flow and Tidecaller's Blessing.
W - AA

Standard short trade, especially during the early stages of the lane. Early on your Auto Attacks hurt significantly and since you will heal up retaliation damage from your W-bounce you're usually guaranteed to win short trades. When posturing aggressively, let your W bounce off of yourself or your carry to evade minion aggro. Only fish for AA's when it's save to do so though. You do not want to facetank a Dark Binding or Death Sentence for a quick grey screen simulation after all.

Always be smart about who to initiate your W on. Due to its high mana cost you want to avoid using it solely to sustain but look to make use of the bounces for lane pressure at the same time.
E - W - AA

Extended quick trade. Both your W and AA will consume one instance of your Tidecaller's Blessing, slowing enemies and also adding extra poke.

You can also look to apply both E and W to your carry whenever they are trading. If you move up together with them you'll probably also Receiver the 3rd bounce of your Ebb and Flow, which makes your 2v2 trading incredibly potent.
E - Q - W / E - W - Q

Rarely ever should you randomly throw out your Aqua Prison into your opponent's faces but applying the slow of your E can make catching them a lot easier.

Always make sure to weave in Auto Attacks whenever it's save to do so/during an all-in, especially in lane.
R - E - Q - W

Best all-in option when the enemy is close to you and you want to setup for a jungle gank or know you win the 2v2. Using Tidecaller's Blessing ASAP after casting Tidal Wave will also allow you to consume a stack of your E. Alternatively you can also use E on your ADC for smoother follow-up. Either way you want to catch the enemy ADC/ whoever is low depending on the situation with your Aqua Prison which should be impossible to dodge at this point unless they flash away or have other mobility tools. Afterwards you follow up with your W, always making sure to weave in AAs inbetween.
Similar to her kit, Nami can make great use of several keystones and rune setups. When deciding which options to go with, you want to examine both your and the enemy's teamcomps and identify your role in the particular game to make the optimale choice.

That being said runes and playstyle also boil down to personal preference. Nontheless I want to provide you with all the relevant information in case you're a very adaptive player like me.

Damaging an enemy champion signals Summon Aery to dash to them, dealing 10 - 40 (based on level) (+10%) (+15% Bonus AD) Adaptive damage.

Abilities targeted at allied champions signal Aery to dash to them, shielding them for 35 - 80 (based on level) (+25%AP) (+40% Bonus AD).

Aery lingers on the target for 2 second before flying back to you, and cannot be sent out again until she returns to you. Aery is initially very slow, but gradually accelerates, and can be picked up by moving near her.

If in doubt Aery never is the wrong decision. Both (Ebb and Flow) and (Tidecaller's Blessing) can apply Aery meaning they will also apply bonus buffs from items like (Shurelya's), (Ardent) or (staff of flowing Walter).

Aery also offers both decent poke in lane as well as great utility throughout the game. The shield also scales off of heal and shield power.

Do keep in mind that upon returning to you Aery can give away your location.

The sorcery tree overall gives you lots of decent options both in regards of early game power as well as scaling.

Manaflow Band should be picked on Nami every time that you're running the sorcery tree. Her W in particular is very costly and without some form of mana sustain you'll run oom after a single spell rotation.

In the next row you have to choose between Transcendence and Absolute Focus as Celerity offers very little value in comparison. It mostly comes down to whether you prefer bonus ability haste or AP.

From my experience the haste feels better in poke lanes since you'll drop below the HP threshold pretty quickly. But there really is no right or wrong to this.

The same is true for the last row in the sorcery tree where it boils down to Scorch vs Gathering Storm since Water Walking only provides very limited bonus attributes when in the river.

I'm an avid Gathering Storm user simply because there is so much lane sustain in the game with Doran's Shield, Taste of Blood etc. There is nothing wrong with amplifying your strong early even further but I enjoy the bonus AP for stronger buffs and better scaling.

Despite not being particularly strong late game and contrary to common believes Nami actually has decent AP ratios, especially on her W. The fact that her passive and the slow on her E also scale with AP make it an easy decision, at least for me.

Hitting a champion with 3 separate attacks or abilities within 3 seconds deals bonus 30 - 180 (based on level) (Adaptive ratio: +40% Bonus Attack Damage or +25% Ability Power) adaptive damage.

Cooldown: 25 - 20 seconds(based on level).

A heavily lane focused rune setup that revolves around burst by applying your E (and W) to your carry. This setup works particularly well with Lucian due to his double shot passive which can pretty much proc Electrocute ASAP. The setup also works well with Hail of Blade users.

Aside from your ADC trading you can also proc Electrocute with extended trades (AA-W-AA/ Q-W-AA) or in all-ins with your ultimate but as Nami you usually prefer bursty quick trades so unless it's an all-in you usually want to proc Electrocute off of your carry which is why I would only recommend running it with the aforementioned ADCs.

You do sacrifice some utility in exchange for more damage. Do keep in mind that you have to hit the same target thrice with attacks and/or abilities in a row in order to trigger Electrocute.

Go Cheap Shot for additional burst damage. Aside from Nami's W all of your abilities apply CC so you have an easy time triggering the true damage.

Zombie Ward, Ghost Poro and Eyeball Collection are all viable. Ghost Poro grants more stacks early but can be tough to finish since wards should rarely expire once you finish your support quest. Zombie Ward adds more vision control but probably isn't worth it below Diamond due to overall less vision control.

As for the last row Relentless Hunter is the best choice since the out of combat movement speed allows you to roam and establish vision faster. Ultimate Hunter can also be used if you don't value map control as much.

Guard allies within 350 units of you, and allies you target with spells for 2.5 seconds. While Guarding, if you or the ally take 70 - 150 damage or lethal damage in the last 2.5 seconds, both of you gain a shield for 80 - 200 (+15% of the Guardian's Ability Power) (+9% of the Guardian's Bonus Health) for 1.5 seconds.

70 - 40 seconds Cooldown (based on level). Guardian only goes on cooldown when the shield is triggered.

Guardian is your go-to rune against hard engage and bursty teamcomps where you need the bonus defense from Guardian and the Resolve tree in order to survive.

Like Electrocute it requires some practice to make good use of the rune since it can be procced randomly, even when leashing for your jungler.

Since the cooldown is quite high you should make sure not to waste it since the effective HP the shield provides can easily turn the outcome of a fight.

Just like Summon Aery Guardian also scales with heal and shield power and also applies buffs to your shielded ally.

You should always opt into Font of Life with Nami when using the Resolve Tree since three of four abilities can mark hit enemies. When allies attack marked targets the heal can also trigger the effects of buffs such as Sanctify . The healing can also make a huge difference in early all-ins.

In the next row you can choose between Conditioning and Bone Plating. Second Wind isn't necessary as you already have tons of sustain.

While Conditioning doesn't provide any value early on the bonus resistances actually make you significantly tankier, especially midgame where mages and assassins finish their flat penetration items. On the other hand Bone Plating has a high cooldown and can easily be wasted by a single instance of received damage it does help both surviving all-ins as well as winning trades.

As for the last row you could really take any minor rune. Overgrowth makes you tankier and synergizes with Font of Life, Revitalize strengthens all your healing and shielding and Unflinching can be a decent option into CC heavy comps.

The precision tree can be run secondary with any keystone. Presence of Mind is a must here and will annihilate any mana issues. Then run either Legend: Tenacity into CC heavy teams or take Cut Down for more damage output. Similar to Sona and Yuumi Nami has low base HP meaning you're guaranteed to get a ton of bonus damage against most champions.

I do not recommend running precision when facing mage or enchanter supports. Enchanters are too squishy to get much value from Cut Down and Nami has too little range to trade a lot with mages, rendering Presence of Mind useless.

A very common secondary tree for Nami, mainly because Biscuit Delivery helps with Mana issues and also provides some extra sustain to strengthen your laning phase even further.

Cosmic Insight grants some decent bonus utility with the additional haste for Summoner Spells and items. Alternatively you can also grab Time Warp Tonic which is particularly helpful into poke lanes where both Movement Speed and instant sustain can help you to make it through lane unharmed.

Any pairing of runes can work and I highly recommend you to test out some setups to see what vibes with you. In the end those are minor adjustments and you should rather spend your time improving your accuracy with bubbles, ults and efficient W bounces.

Starting Items

Spellthief's Edge
You always want to buy spellthief's edge as your support item. Even in tough lanes you'll stack it in no time and the mana regen is too important to skip

Health Potion
Never skip the two pots as they basically are bonus HP for you to trade in lane.

Stealth Ward
Yellow Trinket should be your go-to except for very few matchups until you finish your support item quest. You can also swap to sweeper earlier when you value bush control and vision denial higher than gaining vision yourself but that should rarely be the case, at least across 90% of elos.

Early Purchases

Refillable Potion
Despite Nami having sustain in her kit an early refillable will help you to conserve mana in poke heavy lanes. If you're running Time Warp Tonic it is never a bad investment as you'll gain bonus movement speed and a ton of value during intense trades. Overall you should always opt for a Refillable if you were to need more than one additional potion due to the 60 gold resell value (making it an effective 90 gold investment).

Dark Seal
A great early game item when you're sitting at an awkward amount of gold, it also lets you snowball very effectively if you got an early lead. Never really a bad option unless the enemy teamcomp has so much dive that you're likely to lose all your stacks quickly anyway.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Especially in higher elos early boots are super useful as they allow you to impact the map more quickly. The movement speed also lets you dodge skillshots more easily. I would always recommend sticking to Ionians simply because they offer amazing stats for little gold.

Mobility Boots
Mobi's make you super slow in combat and are rather pricy for only providing out of combat movement speed. They can be okay when versing Bard or Pyke if you really need to speed across the map.

Bandleglass Mirrror
Bandleglass mirror offers more offensive value than Kindlegem, both are pretty much 100% gold efficient in terms of raw stats though. The mana regeneration and the AP allow you to play more aggressively but leave you pretty squishy.

The additional HP can make the difference between dying during an all-in or surviving with just a sliver of health left. Usually the better option to rush into hard engage.


Imperial Mandate

The best Mythic for Nami by far as 3 out of your 4 abilities can proc it multiple times. Mandate works particularly well into squishy teams as well as with bursty champs - whether it's mages such as Syndra, ADCs like Lucian or assassins like Talon.

Mandate also lets you snowball the hardest due to the sheer amount of damage it adds and the bonus AP it grants also strengthen both your utility as well as damage output.

Shurelya's Battlesong
The ultimate utility item Shurelya's grants you and your allies movement speed whenever you heal or shield them. Nami's E allows her to trigger Shurelya's when running Aery, Guardian is also able to proc it.

On-top of this you have its active at your disposal which provides a massive speedboost to your nearby allies - whether you need more engage, disengage or the mobility to dodge skillshots left and right (looking at you, Xerath).The bonus haste also is nice to have even though you will lack the offensive power Mandate could provide.

Identify your role in each game and what it is that your team needs in order to destroy the enemy nexus. Decide depending on the situation - or just go with whatever you prefer. In the end it's up to you.

Moonstone Renewer

Very rarely - some would argue never - should you opt into Moonstone. Nami doesn't have much healing and shielding in her kit so the stacking heal and shield power is pretty wasted.

The only situation where I would ever recommend Moonstone is when both teams have a beefy frontline and want to play very slow controlled fights during which you actual get good value from Moonstone's sustain.

Test it yourself and see whether you like it or not. Personally I never build it on Nami but that doesn't mean it's a bad item.

Core Legendaries

Chemtech Putrifier
You'll probably end up building this item nearly every game due to everybody and their mother having some form of sustain. Its synergy with enchanters is absurd and it frees up item slots for your carries while also providing great stats.
Staff of Flowing Water
Great when paired with fed APCs, the item basically is the AP version of Ardent Censer. Also synergizes well with characters that value the bonus haste and/or have some AP scaling such as Ezrael or even Xin Zhao. Bonus points as you profit more from the haste and AP than from the onhit damage and attackspeed from Ardent.

Ardent Censer
Not a bad item but it simply cannot compete with the aforementioned Legendaries. Ardent Censer works best when you find yourself supporting hypercarries or other Attack Speed reliant champs. The loss of haste and movement speed compared to earlier seasons still hurts though.

A great item that offers purely defensive value, especially in the form of its active. Redemption provides a massive AoE heal for your teammates while damaging your opponents. Ideal when facing lots of AoE damage and teams are fighting frequently. You do sacrifice some AP and the offensive buffs alternative support items would grant but sometimes survivability is all you need for your team to win.

Vigilant Wardstone
Games rarely last this long but wardstone should always be your last item as it allows you to carry Control Wards with you and vision wins games. The stats are nothing crazy but nice to have. Never build it earlier than last though.

Situational Legendaries

Zhonya's Hourglass
Selfish mage item that provides a good chunk of AP and armor at relatively low cost. However you mostly build it for the stasis when facing fed assassins. Since you act as a multiplier for your team Zhonyas can be a perfectly justified item later on as smart players will always try to burst down enchanters ASAP.

Mejai's Soulstealer The best snowballing item in the game. The item is crazy gold efficient once you accommodate some stacks and will cause your spells to hurt quite a lot. Be mindful not to die though as losing all stacks can be a pretty huge setback.

Mikael's Blessing
Awesome item into champs with telegraphed CC such as Morgana, Ashe or Lissandra. While there are many potential uses the active has quite a reasonable cooldown and the stats offer mostly defensive value as well.

In most games you're better off getting one of your core Legendaries instead but in those particular cases denying the enemy a pick onto your carry might be all it takes for you to claim victory.

You can also selfcleanse if you time it right and use Mikael's just when the CC is about to hit you.

Banshee's Veil
MR version of Zhonyas. Can be valuable into AP heavy comps when you want more AP or don't need the cleanse effect from Mikael's.

Frozen Heart
Super niche item into Attack Speed reliant teamcomps that want to dive. Both the armor and mana are valuable but I can count the times I build the item on two hands. It has its place though.
Wow, you've made it! Thank you for reading my indepth Nami guide. I hope you had as much fun reading it as it had writing it and found the information you were looking for.

Let me know if there is anything I didn't cover sufficiently and feel free to share your opinion.

Do keep in mind that builds, playstyles and rune choices are all heavily reliant on individual preference. There is no single right way nor is there a wrong way to play Nami. Just have fun and don't forget to press CTRL+4 frequently (:
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[11.21] Indepth Nami Support Guide

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