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Nilah Build Guide by Amberdragon

ADC [13.11] Complete Nilah Guide for an Enjoyable Match

ADC [13.11] Complete Nilah Guide for an Enjoyable Match

Updated on June 1, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Build Guide By Amberdragon 258 12 669,200 Views 9 Comments
258 12 669,200 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Nilah Build Guide By Amberdragon Updated on June 1, 2023
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Runes: snowballing/winning lane

1 2 3
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Sudden Impact
Treasure Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3 4 5
for stick potential
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

[13.11] Complete Nilah Guide for an Enjoyable Match

By Amberdragon
I am an ADC main in the BR server, who mains Xayah and Kai'Sa mostly. But I also play a bunch of other ADCs!

I was really excited to play Nilah when she came out because of her unique strengths and weaknesses in the bot lane. I have played my fair share of games with her and I will share my build and playstyle with you!


Joy Unending

Nilah amplifies the healing and shielding abilities of nearby allies. Allies that heal or shield Nilah gain a bonus heal or shield for themselves. And when an allied champion heals or shields themselves near Nilah, she gives herself a bonus heal or shield.

If Nilah last hits an enemy minion, she and her nearest allied champion will gain the normal amount of shared experience, plus half of the experience that would have been lost due to sharing.

How to use it: Thanks to her passive Nilah is great with most enchanters. And although you are melee and can get zoned from farm, your passive keeps you from getting too behind. You get level 2 before the enemy if you last hit the first wave correctly and if you keep it up you can also get level 6 first and all-in the enemy before they are 6.

Formless Blade

Active: Nilah’s Formless Blade strikes in a line, damaging all enemies hit. Hitting an enemy will briefly increase Nilah’s attack range and attack speed and empower her basic attacks, causing them to splash in a cone and deal additional damage.

Passive: Attacks and ability damage against champions ignore some of their armor and heal Nilah for part of the damage dealt. This effect scales with crit chance and converts any excess healing into a shield.

How to use it: Your Q can hit turrets, so use it to take towers faster and from a safer range. Use your Q to farm minions without getting poked and to push lane when needed. It is your main form of damage so make sure you are hitting it! You can combo it with E like Samira's E+Q, but with extended range.

Jubilant Veil

Nilah shrouds herself in a Jubilant Veil and briefly gains bonus move speed, takes reduced magic damage, and dodges all incoming basic attacks.

Touching an ally champion hides them in the veil as well, but they’ll be protected for a shorter period.

How to use it: Use it to neutralize any abilities that proc off auto atacks like Twisted Fate W or Tristana E stacks, as well as empowered autos and autos in general. Tap your ally so they get the same effect. You can also use it for the movement speed.


Slipstream lets Nilah dash through a target unit, traveling a fixed distance every time and damaging all enemies she passes through. She can store up to 2 charges at once.

Cast Formless Blade during Slipstream to pull a wave in your path, dealing damage after a quick delay and granting Formless Blade's enhanced basic attack effect.

How to use it: The safest way to use it is to go in and hold the second charge to go out of a fight, but if you are in a position to commit to a kill you can use both charges to stick to the enemy, or use one to get close to an ally or minion who is close to your target and the other one to stick to the target.

Since E puts you behind the enemy it is really good to dodge certain abilities like Xayah's E. It can also be used to run away when you are ambushed, since it works like Samira's E where it travels a certain distance always. If you are close enough to the enemy and you have the right angle they can be a bridge for you to escape.


Nilah unleashes a surge of power, lashes her whip in an area around her and, with a final burst, pulls enemies in toward the center.

Apotheosis heals Nilah for part of the damage dealt, converting any excess healing into a shield. This effect scales with crit chance and is granted to nearby allies.

How to use it: Apotheosis can be used to deal AoE damage in a fight, to heal yourself and your team, or to stick to enemies. You can use it to pull enemies into an allied abilities, to not let them escape when chasing or even to pull them closer or away from turrets if you are diving or getting dove under tower. While the damage is really nice, Nilah doesn't usually depend on it since most of her DPS comes from Q and empowered autos, which means you can hold your R for its CC utility more often.


+Relatively safe
+Great follow-up
+Fun to play
+High damage
+Strong teamfighter
+Good into tanks
+High survivability
+Melts turrets and drake/baron


-Melee into ranged matchups
-Easily abused in lane
-Does better with peel support
-Limited mobility
-Vulnerable to CC
-High learning curve

Nilah is a late game melee hypercarry with huge dueling and teamfighting potential. Your main source of damage is Formless Blade and autos. Her healing, damage and armor penetration scales with crit chance so you will always want to build crit items first.

Her laning phase is weaker due to low range and her crit scaling. Your passive helps you sustain if you have the right supports and it helps you get xp leads in order to not fall too far behind the enemy bot lane. If you are not punished your passive lets you snowball harder!

Despite her having a similar kit to Samira they play to different strengths. Samira needs to play aggressive and snowball lane, but as Nilah you want to be patient, opportunistic and scale into the late game.

Focus on farming the first few levels and trade when you get your level 2, 3 and 6 before the enemy. If you can't, focus on farming and if the enemy pushes into your tower ping jungler gank because you have good follow up.

You spike at levels 2, 3 and 6, you also have good spikes after finishing your mythic and legendary items.

Early game you basically want to farm but when you fight you want to jump in and jump out if things get dangerous. If it is safe you keep going.

You are a good skirmisher and duelist. After your mythic you can start solo killing the enemy ADC in many cases, and you are also a menace to objectives (turrets, drakes, etc).

In teamfights you do not want to be the first one going in, let someone else soak up damage. You can either kite the enemy frontline (in case going in is too risky) or you can use the frontline as a bridge to reach the back line carries and pull them in with Apotheosis. Avoid going directly on the backline if they have summoner spells and important abilities still up. Your priority as a carry is still to stay alive, going in and dying is usually not worth it even if you kill someone.

Macro-wise, you can do well in teamfights if you have a frontline but you don't you are better off skirmishing, taking objectives and pressuring lanes with your strong wave clear and turret damage.

Conqueror is the best rune for Nilah. It has the best winrate, it increases your damage, you stack it fast since you are melee and you even get a little bit of healing for it. You can always default to it.

Lethal Tempo is very situational and mostly not the best option. It can be helpful if you need the extra range (in case the enemy is hard to catch due to high range) but the attack speed is not something you really need, though it can make a difference in close fights.

Triumph is the best choice for Nilah. If you use your abilities sparingly in the early game you will have no mana issues, so Presence of Mind is not necessary. Triumph is great to help you survive after getting a kill and it gives you a bit of gold as well. Overheal is not good since it is highly unlikely you will be fulll HP to use it.

Legend: Alacrity is the best option most times. You will build a lot of sustain which means Legend: Bloodline will not be necessary. Alacrity makes it so you are not dependent on AS items Berserker's Greaves and Zeal.

Legend: Tenacity is a decent choice if enemy has a lot of CC.

As a melee all-in champion in a lane dominated by ranged champions you get a lot of value from Last Stand, but Coup de Grace is also viable.

In the resolve tree we are looking for survivability - Nilah needs it because she is a squishy melee so I like it as a standard. I like taking Second Wind when against 2 ranged champions in the bot lane. Conditioning is good if you can avoid poke and scale.

Bone Plating is good in lanes against champions that rely on combos to chunk you, like Lucian and Jhin, as long as you avoid getting poked. The only issue is that you can easily lose it to poke.

Revitalize is my favorite. It has synergy with peel supports and it is also great with Immortal Shieldbow, Triumph, Death's Dance and Bloodthirster. I like taking it as a standard.

Overgrowth is okay if the other option doesn't apply, it gives you some late-game tankiness.

In the Domination tree I am usually looking for an aggressive, snowbally playstyle (which is not very consistent to be honest). I take Taste of Blood for some extra sustain, you can consistently proc it if you hit your abilities. Sudden Impact is also okay if you are plan to play aggressive in lane.

Eyeball Collection is the best option among its peers. Ghost Poro can be taken too but it takes longer to stack, and Zombie Ward is bad because your support will usually be the one to take down wards.

Ingenious Hunter is really good because it reduces cooldown of Immortal Shieldbow, which gives you an extra layer of safety!

Treasure Hunter is good to snowball and get your crit items sooner. Any gold you can get can make a difference.

Nilah's build is mainly a mix of damage, utility, survivability and stick potential. She already gets a lot of damage from building crit alone, so even if you build more sustain and utility you will do a lot of damage.

Since you are a squishy melee you benefit a lot from building a lot of burst early on, so you can kill the enemy before they kill you. But transitioning into the late game it's a good idea to build more for utility/sustain since everyone is overall harder to kill.


Mythic Item

Galeforce is currently the best mythic for Nilah because of its utility and stick potential. Despite having 2 dashes they completely depend on having units properly positioned so Galeforce can help you get in range for Slipstream. You can also use it to combo with Apotheosis.

Infinity Edge, Navori Quickblades and Youmuu's Ghostblade are viable options but aside from Youumuu's you only get raw damage from them, which you don't really need.

2nd Item

Infinity Edge is a huge item spike if you are looking for just raw damage. You will probably not need any more damage items after it, but you might as well get them anyway and become a late game monster.

Navori Quickblades is overall decent. Nilah spams Q a lot, NQ increases that damage and reduces the cooldown of her other important abilities like her dash and W.

3rd Item Options

Phantom Dancer is great for Nilah because it gives you mobility to stick to enemies and attack speed (you can take defensive boots). I take it most of my games

The Collector is a good option if you are just looking for more damage and you don't have issues sticking to enemies. It will help you snowball in the mid game especially if you are against squishies.

Essence Reaver is a good option if you are just looking for more damage and you don't have issues sticking to enemies, same as Collector. Nilah is always using autos between abilities so you can consistently proc it.

Bloodthirster is a good but situational purchase if the enemy has a lof of poke and you need more sustain in the early-mid game. I prefer it as a late game item.

Stormrazor is decent if your team has engage, it helps you make picks with the slow. Great to pair with Galeforce but I usually prefer Phantom Dancer because it is cheaper and offers more consistent stick potential.


Berserker's Greaves is great if you do not need defensive stats, attack speed is good because most of your damage comes from autos and Formless Blade.

Plated Steelcaps when you are against heavy physical damage or champions who auto a lot. It is a good early buy against champions like Caitlyn, Samira and Lucian.

Mercury's Treads is good when you are into AP bot lanes and team compositions with a lot of CC.

4th-5th item priorities

Death's Dance is a great late game item for Nilah in my opinion. As a melee champion she can abuse it to last longer and since Infinity Edge gives you a huge damage spike it is okay to not get another crit item after it.

Bloodthirster is a great late game purchase as it gives you more sustain and survivability. I usually get it before Death's Dance.

Situational Items

Lord Dominik's Regards is a very situational item because you usually don't need the extra armor penetration it provides, but it is good if you are against heavy tanks and HP stackers.

Mortal Reminder is necessary against champions like Samira, Yuumi, Yone, Irelia, Soraka, etc. If your team hasn't built anti-heal, get it.

Guardian Angel is great if you are the carry and dying could mean you lose the game. However if you have poor positioning or die a lot it is not worth it.

If enemy team has heavy AP damage Wit's End is a great option. Unlike Maw of Malmortius it gives you more movement speed to stick to targets... and you won't be able to get Maw most games anyway, because of Immortal Shieldbow.

Get Mercurial Scimitar if enemy has a Mordekaiser, Malzahar or any other hard CC champion focusing you (and you didn't take Cleanse)

Flash is a no-brainer, good for both aggression and protection. You can combo flash with Q or R, or flash to get in range for your E, to avoid CC, etc. Most champions take it for a reason.

Exhaust is very good for Nilah, mainly for the slow you get. You can use it to stick to the enemy ADC or to out-DPS them in close combat, ideally when they are about to use their burst combo on you or when Jubilant Veil not available to dodge their autos.

Ghost is joining the roster of summoner spells because it offers great utility. It helps you catch up to enemies and stick to them especially when you do not have Phantom Dancer, so it works great with builds where you have The Collector or Essence Reaver. You can also use it to get better positioning for Apotheosis

Heal is a good summoner for Nilah given her squishiness, short range and weak laning. It's speed and HP boost is good to catch up to enemies and win trades. If you get caught you should pop Heal before enemy applies Ignite on you.

Cleanse is really good for Nilah too because getting CC'ed means enemies are more likely to get out of your range and kite you. It is also really, really good if you think enemy will take both Exhaust and Ignite against you since you largely rely on mobility, high DPS and sustain to get kills. I take cleanse into Yuumi (who usually takes both exhaust and ignite), Leona, Morgana, double CC bot lanes like Xayah/ Nautilus, Thresh... You do have to evaluate if in a given lane CC can actually kill you in one go (like vs strong laners) or if you can survive afterwards.

Ignite is a situational but powerful summoner for Nilah as it highly increases your kill potential. You usually want to take defensive summoners, but if you are into a good matchup with a snowballing support (like Pyke) or if you have strong peeling supports running Exhaust or Heal (like Soraka, Lulu, Renata Glasc, Yuumi) Ignite is really good to increase your kill potential.

I will not be going into every single matchup right now (because it is a lot of work) but I will give you a general overview on how to deal with the types of champions you will find in bot lane. If you want specific insight into a matchup look up the "Threats" section at the beginning of the guide!


Mages are the worst thing you will find in bot lane for most ADCs and Nilah is no exception! Their CC makes it very difficult to stay on top of them and as a squishy champion you can die if they hit a few combos.

My suggestion against them is to take Cleanse, use Slipstream through minions to dodge CC and Jubilant Veil to soak up some of their combo (it gives you 25% magical damage reduction!).

High Range ADCs

These can often bully you away from farm and kite you if they hit their CC or slows. Take Doran's Shield, Second Wind and Revitalize to endure their poke. Since they usually get lane prio they can be vulnerable to ganks, so ping your jungler for help, try to stay healthy and farm as well as you can until you see an opportunity to catch them.

Exhaust (for slow), Heal (for speed) and Lethal Tempo (for range) can be helpful against them.

Galeforce can help you get in range but I personally think Shieldbow will usually be better, as it is likely they will get you on low health before you can catch them.

Melee/All-in/Short range ADCS

With these champions it depends a lot on their specific gimmick but Nilah has a good edge on them because they make it easier for her to get into range and they cannot punish her as hard as ADCs or mages who have higher range.

You usually want to respect their stronger early game all-in and farm as well as you can in order to get your level 2, 3 and 6 powerspike before them and get a good trade. Exhaust is often good into them.

The worst matchup you can get here, in my opinion, is Xayah. She can easily kite you and counter your engage with her E and R. Getting behind her with Slipstream is hard and even if you do she still has Galeforce (usually). What you can do is punish her when she uses her W and E on the minion wave (before 6), and before going all-in try to bait her Featherstorm. If you can't bait her R, hold on to yours until she uses it. I suggest you have Flash and Exhaust up before trying to kill her in lane. Building Galeforce can also help you greatly.


Any ADC can kite but some are particularly good at it. These champions can be really hard to deal with because if you have no CC or engage in your team they will probably out-run you if you don't kill them fast enough.

I usually try to go in when I have minions to work as a bridge. Use Apotheosis, smart E charges and Exhaust to stay on top of them.

Against them I advise you to build more "bursty" if you don't have a team who can engage and hold them down.

I will not be going into every single synergy here either (because it is a lot of work) but I will give you a general overview on how Nilah does with the usual supports you see bot. If you want specific insight into a support look up the "Synergies" section at the beginning of the guide!


Mages are not the best supports for Nilah because they often focus on pressuring the enemy ADC and using their CC to kill. They can be helpful at relieving pressure in lane by pushing waves and poking the enemy ADC but they still leave you very vulnerable to poke and if you all-in the enemy you will get focused and depend on your support hitting skillshots to kill before you get killed.

Their CC can work really well with your R though, you just need to play carefully.

Peel Supports

These are the best supports for Nilah. They often have some form of lane pressure, healing and shielding to sustain you through lane, CC/disengage and enabling abilities. They can make your laning much easier and help you survive. You do well with most of them.

Catcher Supports

They are a bit situational but usually a good match for you. They can close the gap between you and the ranged ADCs and often have damage to help you score kills, with the downside that they often don't have sustain or a lot of tankiness early on.

You can, however, often get a bit of their shields with your passive so in a way they can peel for you a bit.

Tank/Engage Supports

Some work better with Nilah than others, but no matter if they can give you a shield or not their CC and strong engage is always valuable. They can soak up damage for you and keep ranged champions stuck in place long enough for you to ditch your full combo on them and run them down. Don't underestimate their power!

If you get a tank support it does mean you are a double melee bot lane so be careful to not get constantly harassed by a double ranged enemy bot lane. Pick Nilah into tanks very carefully.

1. Use Q and autos Wisely

If you do not need the extra range to farm, don't use Q. Use it to last hit risky minions instead. Use Q and autos to thin the wave if you can, as a melee you will usually get pushed under tower so try not to let the wave grow to the point where you get dove.

2. Practice farming under tower

Before your first back you kill minions like so:

If melee minion is full health it takes 2 tower shots + 1 auto attack/Q to kill them.

If caster minion is full health it takes 1 tower shot, 1 Q and 1 auto (or 2 autos) to kill.

"But wait, my minions already dealt damage to enemy minions!"

You will have to practice a bit. Use your empowered Q AS to farm faster and get minions low enough before turret kills them. After your first back last hitting gets much easier and it will be very important to get level 6 first.

3. Farming safely

As a melee champion enemies will often try to harass you when you go for cs. If you see they will use an empowered auto you can use Jubilant Veil to farm, but most of the time you should be using Formless Blade to catch minions who are further away from you.

Be very aware of stepping up for farm. Be careful to not step in range of both the ADC and the support and don't step up if they are going to get level 2 or 3 before you. Give up minions if you have to, focus on getting the XP and farming under turret with your Q.

4. Farming mid-late game

As an ADC it is important to farm consistently. Around the time where the first tower falls you ideally want to go to the mid lane and farm there while your team is not doing anything important.

If your mid laner wants to stay mid, farm side lanes (top or bot) then rotate with the team to mid. If your tower is down, make sure the entrances to your jungle are warded. If you have no vision you have to stay closer to your tower. If there is nothing to farm, or nothing to do, or it is too risky to walk up to minions, farm jungle camps your jungler is not going to take.

At this point in the game your wave clear will be very fast and you will deal a lot of damage to turrets. If you see enemies on the opposite side of the map you can split push and take turrets very fast.

There are three main types of wave management and each have their usages and a way to accomplish: fast pushing, slow pushing and freezing.

1. Fast push

This is usually what low elo players do constantly, especially newer players. This is when you quickly kill minions, which results in a thin wave that crashes under the enemy tower.

Fast pushing is easy - you auto attack frequently and use your abilities.

Ideally you want to fast push when you want to quickly crash your wave on the enemy tower to recall, fall back and/or make the enemy laner lose cs.

Fast pushing has the disadvantage that it can actually create a freeze (which I will get into) if you don't push fast enough or at the wrong times, which makes you lose cs instead. When trying to push the wave too fast you may end up losing a lot of minions as well especially if you lack attack speed.

2. Slow push

Slow pushing is when you create a big minion wave that slowly pushes to the enemy tower.

You can create a slow push by keeping the enemy minion wave smaller than yours, but not killing them too quickly. You can achieve this by killing caster minions since they deal more damage, and last hitting melee minions. If the enemy allows this to happen you will have bought enough time to stack 2 minion waves. Once that is done you usually want to fast push to crash them or wait for another wave to stack and then crash.

Slow pushing has a few advantages.

You can use it to set up tower dives since it gives you more time to position for the dive. Your minions will also aggro enemy champions once they hit you and you are close to your minions.

You can use it to trade. If the enemy trades with you and your wave is bigger, the minions will deal a huge chunk of damage in the trade. In early levels this is especially important!

It is hard for the enemy to freeze a massive wave especially if you have the pushing power to kill the enemy minions and crash the wave.

You can zone the enemy away from cs when you have a bigger wave to back you up.

The main disadvantage is when you are away from your push. If the wave is slow pushing into the enemy tower and you cannot get close to it, your minions will kill the enemy minions too fast and deny you xp and gold. Likewise, enemies can use the advantages of slow push against you.

3. Freeze

A freeze is when the wave is stuck and doesn't push to either one side or the other.

Freezing is the hardest to get the hang of because it depends on the position the wave clashes and how healthy minions are. In laning phase ideally you want the freeze to happen just  outside of your own tower range so that it can be beneficial to you. Having a freeze happen in enemy territory is extremely dangerous for you and puts the enemy in a safe position.

To freeze the wave outside of your tower range you need to have around 3 or 4 healthy minions on the area of the closest bush to your tower. To keep the freeze you want to last hit minions, but if you see the freeze is turning into a slow push (into your tower) you will have to thin the wave by killing caster minions (since they deal more damage they will kill your wave faster and cause the freeze to break). If the wave is becoming a slow push into enemy tower, just let it happen so that you can keep denying enemy gold and xp. The enemy will stop this from happening if they auto the wave.

To freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you need only to keep an equal amount of minions on both sides.

A freeze in enemy territory usually hapens when you try to fast push, but your wave clashes with the upcoming minion wave just outside enemy tower range. This type of freeze is good for the enemy as it leaves you vulnerable, and if you recall during such freeze you will possibly lose an entire wave of gold and xp.

Freezing allows you to zone the enemy away from cs, set up for ganks and keep you protected from ganks. If you manage to freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you give more room for your support to engage or catch the enemy from the bushes or the alcove. Keep in mind the enemy support could do the same.

To break a freeze in middle or enemy territory you need to get close and fast push. If that's too dangerous, ask your jungler for help. If the enemy fights it's a 3v2 in a best case scenario. To break the freeze close to your tower you can just let the enemy wave stack and crash or you can thin it and begin a slow push towards the enemy tower.

As you can see freezing is the one that requires the most practice and attention so if you are still new to this just start by trying to avoid freezes from happening and learning fast push & slow push. Once that's more settled on your mind try to practice creating and keeping freezes!

Golden tip #1: Free Freezes

If the enemy fast pushes to recall, watch to see if their wave is going to crash. If you or your support can hold 3-5 minions and the enemy recalls you will naturally create a freeze on your side and you can safely recall as you will only lose about 2-3 minions at most while the enemy will lose an entire wave. If you do it correctly the wave will not crash on your tower.

Golden tip #2: Freezing After Losing Turret

This goes beyond laning phase. If your team is playing the neutral game and there are no objectives to contest, seek to keep a freeze on your side of the map once your tower is down.

There is a hidden minion buff when your team takes a turret which makes your minions stronger and thus they naturally tend to push into enemy territory, which gives you an easier time at pressuring tier 2 turrets but also gives the enemy a chance to farm in safer territory.

This is especially good if you are behind and needing to catch up on cs and xp. Many people just fast push at this point, but it is not always the best choice as if you have a frozen wave deep into your territory the enemy team will either
1: lose a ton of cs and xp
2: go there to stop the freeze/take turret (which puts them in perfect spot to get collapsed on)

Golden tip #3: Cheater recall

A cheater recall is basically when you create an early slow push with a cannon wave, crash it and instantly recall. This allows you to get an item advantage in early levels as the enemy will have to stay to farm under tower and then crash their wave on your tower. If they don't do this they will have to take a bad recall... and while they are forced to choose the lesser evil, you can seek to punish them using your item lead.
To have a cheater recall you need to get lane prio (ideally you want jungler to start top or leashless) and let the wave slow push into enemy tower in a way the third minion wave will crash and you can recall. You need a cannon wave to crash because this will give you more time to get back to lane and not lose cs & xp.

Golden tip #4: Instant level advantage

For this you need your jungler to start top/leashless and the enemy bot lane to leash.
Sit in the bush closest to the enemy tower, and when minions arrive, exit the bush and hold the wave there until your minions catch up.
What happens is that because the wave did not meet in the middle, your minions will focus on an enemy minion and kill it faster. So when enemy laners return, they will lose a melee and thus lose their level 2 spike. Get your level 2 earlier and pressure them!

Know your limits

You can only do so much when you have no summs, when you have had a stressful day at work/school and you can't move your fingers because it’s too chilly outside. On top of that you could be playing against your personal counter - like for instance, maybe you just can't play against Twitch with any champion because he always wins regardless of what you do and you tilt so much.

It's important to be real and understand your limits as a player - whether you are against a champion you cannot stand, how much BS you can take before tilting and running it down, how many buttons you can press at once to survive a teamfight, how aware you are of your cooldowns. Play safe/cool when you know you are at a personal disadvantage.

Know your champion's limits

You can only do so much on Nilah without your W or flash - so pay attention to your champion's limits. Don't go to a teamfight or position aggressively when you don't have the tools to defend yourself.

You can be 10/1 and still lose to the average assassin player if your self peel is down and you are surrounded by 3 enemies.

Recognize the biggest threats

This is both champions as a whole and specific champion abilities. Malphite may not be a huge threat himself, but his R is, so you want to be ready to react accordingly when his R is up. If you know you can't outplay a Zed then track him on the map and keep your distance. On champion select, instead of waiting for the game to start, stop and think about what abilities in the game can kill you and plan how you can avoid getting hit by them.


The enemy team is: Malphite top, Yasuo mid, Warwick jungle, Ezreal and Yuumi in the bot lane.

Step 1: List what can kill you in a game/teamfight

Malphite R+ Yasuo R combo
Yasuo Q+R
Ezreal combo + R
Yuumi R
Warwick R

Step 2: List how you can survive those threats

1. Bring Exhaust for Warwick and Yasuo

2. Or bring Heal to not die from Ezreal combo

3. Time your Slipstream to dodge Warwick R, Yasuo Q, Ezreal R, Yuumi R, Malphite R

4.Build Immortal Shieldbow if you think you can't dodge abilities (this goes back to knowing your limitations)

5. Time Jubilant Veil to avoid important autos.

6. Time your Flash to avoid enemy abilities

7. Build a Quicksilver Sash for Warwick R or Yuumi R (not as worth it considering enemy also has 2 knock ups you can't get rid of once you're caught).

Step 3: adapt to your game

Maybe warwick and Ezreal are not fed but Yasuo is. What do you do? Well then your priority should be holding your Exhaust/Heal and Flash to dodge Malphite R and Yasuo Q+R. You can also avoid being in the same lane as Yasuo and keep an extra eye out for him during teamfights. Maybe get a Mortal Reminder for Yuumi if your team doesn't build anti-heal.

Go into the game with a game plan on how you will survive each and every threat.

Position well in teamfights

Nilah is melee but she is still squishy, especially early on. You don't want to get focused down so try to go in once enemies have used their important spells on someone else and focus priority targets. Your range to kite divers and your mobility to reach the backline once they are vulnerable.

You don't want to be the one going into fog of war to ward. Use Farsight Alteration to not face-check.

Position well on the map

Stay away from enemy threats (usually assassins or fed bruisers, but it can also be mages or enemy ad carry). Don't sit alone in lane and avoid pushing too far into enemy territory without vision. Be in position to rotate to baron/drake skirmishes.

Use blue wards, vision plants and control wards

Adcs have to ward too. Be mindful of your wards since you don't have many - every time you want to stick to one side of the map, use vision control to make sure you are not getting flanked.

Good recall timing & Greeding

If you are sitting on a lot of gold and your team is not around, recall. You are usually a key member of the team to take objectives so it's important you are there for your team when they need you - sometimes staying to push one extra wave or take a few jungle camps will cost you a baron because you had a late recall. Sometimes you will die for being too greedy!

Try to have your recall aligned with your support in the early game. Recall when you have a lot of gold, when you need full mana/hp and when the enemy gives you an opening to do so (when you are not getting pressured/ when they are not looking to make plays on the map). Good recall timing is extremely important so that you don't fall behind and so you are not alone/mispositioned.

That's all I have for this guide. Thank you for taking interest in it! I hope it was helpful.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let me know. I will keep updating this guide and keep adding things to it.

Last updated: Patch 13.11
Last changes: Updated for current patch. Made minor adjustments to a lot of things in the guide (synergies, playstyle, items, editing, skill order), updated items section at the top of the guide. The "Items" section is NOT fully updated for recent mid-season changes.

Planned updates: Keeping the guide updated. I'll update the "Items" section once the meta settles down!

Good Luck & Have Fun playing Nilah!

My other Guides!!!

Complete Xayah Guide

Complete Kai'sa Guide

My Unbeatable Crit Sivir Guide

Complete Zeri Guide

Off Meta Kindred ADC Guide

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Teamfight Tactics Guide