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Nasus Build Guide by lilwheezin

Top [12.22] Essence Reaver Nasus, not even trolling (Updating for Preseason)

Top [12.22] Essence Reaver Nasus, not even trolling (Updating for Preseason)

Updated on November 22, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author lilwheezin Build Guide By lilwheezin 23 6 96,699 Views 5 Comments
23 6 96,699 Views 5 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author lilwheezin Nasus Build Guide By lilwheezin Updated on November 22, 2022
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Runes: Standard

1 2 3 4 5
Fleet Footwork
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Biscuit Delivery
Approach Velocity

+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


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

[12.22] Essence Reaver Nasus, not even trolling (Updating for Preseason)

By lilwheezin
About me
Hi guys, I'm a Platinum player in the Vietnamese server and I make off-meta builds. I have never really been a Nasus enthusiast, but this build pretty awesome. Before you try this build, do keep in mind that it is (kinda) off-meta and requires strategies to work well.

Also, check out my main off-meta build - Hail of Blades Pantheon! It is in-depth and very comprehensive.

Let's get into the guide, shall we?
Why Essence Reaver?
Aight, let's solve the elephant in the room here: Why Essence Reaver?

Now, obviously, the Sheen procs are reasonable, but as Nasus has so much mana issues, especially in the early game, he struggles to survive the laning phase. Most people ''try'' to solve this problem by either using mana runes ( Presence of Mind, Manaflow Band, Biscuit Delivery) or buying mana items ( Winter's Approach), but in my humble opinion that severely cripples Nasus, limiting him from buying better items and using better runes for teamfights and farming.

To create a panacea for his mana issues, Essence Reaver really came into it's own by having attack damage, ability haste, Sheen AND a mana-regen passive. In details, his Q - Siphoning Strike only costs 20 mana to use, while by the time you have Essence Reaver, the item already regenerates an approximate of 45+ mana.

Combined with the short cooldowns of both Siphoning Strike and the mana-regen passive, you can infintely regenerate mana without having to resort to any kind of Tear of the Goddess items or unnecessary mana runes (I'm talking about you, Presence of Mind). And, last but not least, the critical chance can sometimes come in handy, synergizing with your Siphoning Strike to deal a bunch of damage. This scales, so it's even better in the late game. I've had a couple of clutch 1v2 with this, so it's much more valuable than you would think. In a nutshell, it's a huge, HUGE powerspike.

Obviously, the mana issues stills persists before you can buy Essence Reaver, so the solution is to use items/runes that can both help you survive in lane and sustain mana. That includes Biscuit Delivery (one of my favorite runes on Nasus and Doran's Ring. These two items are an absolute staple in almost every game of mine, helping Nasus survive throughout the laning phase.

But... Essence Reaver is already a Sheen item, you can't buy Divine Sunderer anymore! Well, I'll tell you what, you don't need Divine Sunderer. Yeah, it's a very strong item, but no more. So what mythics can you replace it with? Well, that brings us onto the next part, Mythics.
Aight, so this is the second elephant in the room. It's equally as big.

Why not Divine Sunderer?
My brother in Christ, this is obvious. The item got gutted a bunch of patches ago. It's time to move on. The armor pen passive is unnecesaary since your E - Spirit Fire already offers 45% armor penetration, the stats are kinda mid, and the damage is just...aight. It's overrated.

On the other hand, you got the holy combo Essence Reaver and Iceborn Gauntlet. It has everything you need by mid game. AD? Yes. Health? Yes. Resistance stats? Yes. Ability haste, something all Nasus mains ********* over upon seeing? Obviously yes. Aditionally, the size upgrades synergizes with the buffs to Nasus ultimate in patch 12.19. Well then, what could you ask for?
I mean, there are certain limitations. The most notable one being the burn passive, which can severely **** up your CSing and stacking. But keep in mind 2 things:
1. Essence Reaver is rushed, and Iceborn Gauntlet is the second item. So throughout your laning phase, you won't have to deal with this issue. By the time you have Iceborn Gauntlet, your damage, stacks and ability haste is already enough to efficiently farm and make the burn damage insignificant.
2. In the long run, Iceborn Gauntlet is better than Divine Sunderer. The slow, burn damage and resistances can help you tank a lot better, while providing an extra layer of utility for you and your team. Combined with your buffed Wither in 12.19 and Ghost, kiting a late-game Nasus is almost impossible.
Conclusion: Iceborn Gauntlet > Divine Sunderer.

About Duskblade of Draktharr and the reason why I refuse to build it second, it's simple. The item deals a **** ton of damage, gives you invisibility and a bunch of ability haste/extra movespeed. If you get fed, this item is super oppressive. However, building 2 damage items in mid game is not really optimal since you can get bursted down pretty easily. So, to make Nasus more tanky, Anathema's Chains is my item of choice. The item has health, ability haste, a passive to make their carry less scary (bars) and allows you to be tankier. The reason why you might not need armor/magic resist at this point is because your ultimate, Fury of the Sands, already provides a decent amount of resistances early on. And, as you already have your Sheen item, the mythic is no longer a powerspike. Also, you can change your mind at any time, by building either Iceborn Gauntlet or Duskblade of Draktharr, depending on the trajectory of the match.
Keystones and Runes
The runes for this build are quite similar, if not identical to the meta runes. There are certain changes, and I will explain them below.

Fleet Footwork: In my opinion this is the absolute BEST runes for Nasus in general. It gives you sustain and a burst of movement speed which can help you follow up or disengage. It is also a very safe option when you are not sure which opponent you are against. This is almost a staple or even a MUST in a lot of scenarios for Nasus.

Grasp of the Undying: Used to be the meta runes for Nasus, but as the game progresses, the runes has fallen out of favor due to its inconsistency and not being particularly useful. The reason is rather simple: League Of Legends over the past few seasons have generally prefer champions with burst damage and short trades, hence why items such as Divine Sunderer and Eclipse are so popular. To use Grasp of the Undying efficiently, you will have to constantly engage in potentially unfavorable trades, especially for Nasus, which gives your opponent the edge.
That being said, Grasp of the Undying is still very much viable against tanks or matchups that you generally have little to no kill pressure with or against. This means you can repeatedly poke them for Grasp procs and further utilize the runes. Moreover, despite having received nerfs, the Resolve branch in general is still very good for Nasus, specifically Second Wind which can help him sustain the enemy's damage.

Phase Rush: This rune is extremely situational, and is only fully utilized in matchups that can outrun you with their abilities (i.e. Jax, Tryndamere, Mordekaiser, ...) In the late game, the rune can also be fully maximized, allowing you to speed through the enemy without the fear of being kited to death. However, Phase Rush gives you 0, and I mean ZERO sustain, which means you have to fully rely on the second rune branch to do so. To conclude, it is very situational and should be considered carefully before being brought into a match.

Unsealed Spellbook: A rotating rune that allows you to cycle through a selection of Summoner's Spells. This can be super useful in a myriad of situations, but, similar to Phase Rush, it provides barely any sustain. Along with the hefty nerf in Season 11, the rune has fallen out of the meta. As of now, it can still be pretty fun to use it, but I definitely do not recommend it.

Second Wind: As I have mentioned, this rune is arguably the best health sustain rune in general. Combined with Doran's Shield, the rune can be an absolute powerhouse when it comes to sustaining and prolonging in lane.

Biscuit Delivery: My personal favorite sustain rune for Nasus. The reason being this rune has mana and health sustain, both of which are crucial to Nasus's early game. In addition, you can use the Biscuit Bait strategy, which can bait the enemy into all-ining or diving you under turret, only to realize that you still have the Biscuit equipped. In a nutshell, it is undeniable that Biscuit Delivery is one of the most consistent and safe choices for Nasus.

Presence of Mind, Manaflow Band: Decent mana runes, but they are not as good since you already have a bunch of mana regeneration from Essence Reaver. Manaflow Band is honestly still pretty decent, but taking Presence of Mind instead of Triumph - a rune that can come in clutch many a time - is too much of a sacrifice, one that I'm not willing to and not going to make.
This is the part where I explain each items of choice. Essence Reaver and mythics will nto be mentioned since they already have their own section above.

Frozen Heart: A really good item that helps you deal with ADCs and solo-killing an AD enemy. It also provides a lot of armor and ability haste, as well as a decent amount of mana to make sure you don't compltely run out of it.

Spirit Visage is, contrary to common belief, situational. To fully utilize the item, you must build either Sterak's Gage or gargoyle's stoneplate. Don't build both of those items since you will have an excessive amount of shield. However, I believe Sterak's Gage is a much better option. Since your ultimate - Fury of the Sands - already provided a bunch of resistances, it is recommended that you invest in a bit more damage and health to survive the teamfights.
Laning Phase - A truly depressing experience and how to get through it
Well, where should we start?

Ah yes, the starting items.

If you are against a chill matchup, then it's easy. Farm your lane, get Doran's Ring for better mana sustain, and prioritize ability haste instead of Sheen or health items. Ionian Boots of Lucidity is amazing, and if you can get away with buying it early (not being punished for not buying AD/MR boots), definitely go for it.

If you are against a lane bully/ranged toplaner, then you are going to need all the sustain you got.
- Fleet Footwork is a must for the reasons named above.
- Take Resolve and opt for Second Wind. In a situation where you have to pick between early mana sustain ( Biscuit Delivery) and health, the latter wins.
- First of all, buy Doran's Shield since it helps a lot with laning and sustaining.
- Let the wave push in. You don't need the gold - you can farm that back under turret and later on in the game. What you want is the exp. Stay in range to earn exp and not get punished for overextending.
- On your first back, don't buy Sheen. Back in Season 10, when it provided mana, Sheen damage proc and ability haste, it was an absolute must. Nasus and Gangplank had to have it by the time they first back. Now all of that is gone, so you should prioritize other items.
- Always rush boots/an extra Doran's Shield against a hard matchup. You know the rules, and so do I. Plated Steelcaps against AD/Auto-attacks oriented matchups; Mercury's Treads against AP/CC oriented opponents. Not only does it help you survive, it allows you to run away from the enemy everytime they retaliate/try to punish you for walking up to CS, and run away/catch up to junglers' gank.
- Next, if things get rough, buy items/components that is specifically designed to counter your enemy laner. For example, Quicksilver Sash against Mordekaiser, or Bramble Vest against Aatrox and Warwick.
- Your ultimate goal is to reach level 6 - when you have your Fury of the Sands. This abiltiy allows you to all-in your enemy and retaliate, or CS if things get really rough (thanks to the reduced cooldown from Siphoning Strike).
- After this, instead of joining in Drake or Baron Nashor contests, it is best that you buy Hullbreaker and stay in the side lanes, constantly applying pressure on the enemy team to be aware of your split-pushes. Use your Fury of the Sands whenever you are clear to split-push in order to maximize the damage. Use Ghost to run away or, better yet, retaliate when the enemy comes to clear the waves.
- That being said, it is still better that you regroup with your teammates whenever an important objective is being contested, namely the Drake 's soul.

And there you have it! You survived depression! Good job:D
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League of Legends Build Guide Author lilwheezin
lilwheezin Nasus Guide
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[12.22] Essence Reaver Nasus, not even trolling (Updating for Preseason)

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