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Nunu & Willump Build Guide by Joxuu

[9.15] Nunu guide by an enthusiast

By Joxuu | Updated on August 6, 2019
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Runes: Tanky path

1 2
Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Conditioning
Revitalize

Sorcery
Celerity
Waterwalking
Bonus:

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

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #4 in
Jungle Role
Win 54%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[9.15] Nunu guide by an enthusiast

By Joxuu

Table of Contents

Quick Guide

Preface

Information

Wrapping Up


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Hello. My name is Joxuu and I am a diamond level jungler. I started playing actively in Season 2. Played actively to season 6 until I kept a break and have made return for the current season. I've played bot lane the most but not too long ago, I decided to take up the role of jungler and I have no intention of maining other role for now at least.

This guide will be for jungle Nunu & Willump whom I have mained for couple seasons now. I have around 200 ranked game experience with him over the seasons. It takes some time to understand the overall potential and feel to playing Nunu & Willump correctly but he is relatively easy to play from 0 experience. So far Nunu & Willump is one of my go to junglers for soloQ because he is a champion that denies others from having fun which is the main attraction point for playing him. He isn't a top tier jungler in my opinion if you're just looking for a meta jungler but it's really hard to be useless on him.

Current stats after starting ranked last week:

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PROS

+ Pretty simple
+ Healthy jungle clear
+ Objective control
+ Disruptive abilities
+ Solid front line

Nunu & Willump is in a decent position at the moment. Very few champions at the moment can truly deal with Nunu & Willump in the early game when contesting objectives or jungle monsters without the help from teammates. Total burst of up to almost 2000 damage to monsters and decent disruptive abilities allow him to take control over enemy jungle and objectives. You can also just build him tanky and still do considerable amount of damage on top of preventing your enemies from doing what they want.
CONS

- Predictable abilities
- Susceptible to kiting
- Weak against % damage
- Relies on teammates
- Sluggish outside of W

Nunu & Willump needs the help of his teammates to win games, let's face it. You won't be doing anything fancy or going to outplay in 1v5 like some other jungler might. One of the biggest cons of Nunu & Willump is his simplicity even though it's also one of his better points, especially for newer junglers who just picked up the role. He is very kiteable with dashes and can't really do anything about long range utility champions. It's also easy to get a read on Nunu & Willump's abilities and what he needs to do to be effective.

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Preferred Role:

Jungle

Nunu & Willump in nutshell:


Nunu & Willump is a tanky jungler with decent damage output while having great early game counter-jungle pressure and excellent control over neutral objectives. He works the best by acting as a front line while disrupting enemy champions with AoE control and CC. Nunu & Willump gives ally carries time to do their thing but can also work as an initiator. Depending on the situation of carries in the game, he can work two-ways, towards defense and offense. Nunu & Willump lacks mobility outside of Biggest Snowball Ever! so you need to choose your fights carefully. Don't laugh off his damage output with red smite and red buff as the damage over time can deal some serious damage.
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RESOLVE
Pretty straightforward keystone choice. Aftershock gives you massive buff to tanky stats. It's too hard to pass on, especially when the next choices are more focused towards laners. You can also proc it pretty easily with either Biggest Snowball Ever! or the freeze from Snowball Barrage. You get up to +150 resistances for 2.5 seconds which is a bit overtuned in my opinion. It also gives you up to 120 + 4% max hp blast but the damage is not all that important. If you can position yourself for it, of course you should take the opportunity but it's mainly just useful right after you have rolled your snowball and take the priority aggro first few seconds of a fight.

Font of Life is taken from the next branch. You can't really utilize the other ones reliably. You can make an argument for Demolish if you prefer turret pressure but I, like many others, prefer Font of Life for it's simplicity and you being able to proc it with pretty much every ability.

Take Conditioning next for it's usefulness for late game. Bone Plating is not a bad option either but you will get more value out of Conditioning fast enough to warrant taking it. It's not like you are trading blows constantly in the jungle so it's not a big deal having to wait 10 minutes for it to become online.

Last but not least take Revitalize which works really well with Consume. You get extra 10% buff on targets below 40% which adds up considerable amount when you consider how much you get health back from using Consume. Overgrowth is also decent but you get more in team fights from the bonus "lifesteal" from the other minor keystone.

Take attack speed as the first rune to help you with jungle clear and generally speaking you will be auto attacking a lot anyways. Adaptive bonus is taken next as it actually does make a difference for your first clear, saving you a bit health. Finally some bonus armor as the last option because the hp rune is really bad gold value.

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For secondary tree, you want utility and stats towards movement speed as you don't have mobility outside of Biggest Snowball Ever!. Celerity actually even gives you buffs during the snowball. The 1% movement speed bonus sounds like a filler stat but it's good to have on top of the bonus movement speed buff.

SORCERY

Finally Waterwalking. You will be spending a lot of time around river as the jungler. It's really good to have especially for scuttle crab contests early game but it's a constant buff when taking baron and dragon too. It does help you with the initiation when using Biggest Snowball Ever! through river to gank a lane too.

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DOMINATION
Domination is my recommended situational page. Predator is the only really useful keystone here. You want to do a fast clear into a recall to buy boots so you can get the best value out of it from the get go. Nunu & Willump can feel sluggish and slow for the first ganks before getting proper movement speed items so it feels really nice to have it. By all means take this situational path if you want to be more aggressive with itemization and ganks. The bonus damage it gives is a nice cherry on top of the cake.

Cheap Shot is the only mastery here you can really use as Nunu & Willump. It's on a 4 second cooldown to get the extra true damage out of it which means you can most likely proc it multiple times if you are going for extended fights which tend to be the case with Nunu & Willump unless you are ganking of course.

Zombie Ward has the most useful passive effect from this branch. Eyeball Collection's bonus adaptive damage doesn't really do much for Nunu & Willump as you don't really have abilities for it. You get more in terms of vision control that usually benefit your laners more than you. Laners are often lazy to ward so zombie wards can be a key to saving a teammate from a gank.

The recommended minor keystone here is Ingenious Hunter for the active of boots + other potential active items. I really don't see myself using active items off their cooldown but rather more opportunistically so I don't find the extra CDR that useful. This is also why I prefer tanky path more. I prefer Relentless Hunter for the passive movement speed but do take the item CDR if you use actives more often than I do.

Take attack speed as the first rune to help you with jungle clear and generally speaking you will be auto attacking a lot anyways. Adaptive bonus is taken next as it actually does make a difference for your first clear, saving you a bit health. Finally some bonus armor as the last option because the hp rune is really bad gold value.

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Continuing on the aggresive path with precision tree. Take Legend: Alacrity for the increased attack speed which does also help you for your jungle clear but also helps you apply damage over time effects like red buff or red smite in extended 1v1 fights. Tenacity minor keystone is also a good option here.

PRECISION

Round up with Coup de Grace as your final minor keystone. It gives good amounts of execute damage, especially for Absolute Zero where this minor keystone might be the key of killing someone or not. 8% sounds little but it adds up over time and it's almost +100 damage for your max channeled ultimate alone.


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|| FLASH || Flash is the most important summoner spell in the game and is also the most used. It allows you to follow enemies flashing or going over wall since Nunu & Willump has nothing to wall jump. It's also really good tool when used for Snowball Barrage freeze. ||

|| SMITE || Smite is pretty standard as you need it for jungle items nowadays. Since season 6 you can choose additional effect for the [[smite], blue for movement speed and burst damage or red smite for overall 1v1 combat value. Also heals when used on a jungle camp which is useful to keep in mind when fighting in jungle.

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asd Hunter's Talisman is the better option from it's machete counterpart. You will be doing damage to all the monsters around the jungle so the healing effect really adds up, especially around raptor camp. On longer trips the mana regen is also noticeable as you can very well run out of mana when going for fights around the map.

asd Refillable Potion saves you gold in the long run as you would spend lots of gold on normal health potions anyways. Doesn't really make sense to go for normal potions as Nunu & Willump's clear is very healthy and you shouldn't really ever be in a situation outside of first clear where Refillable Potion wouldn't be enough to get you full hp when doing full clears.

asd Warding Totem is the best trinket for starters and should stand on it through your first clear. You do see questionable counter-jungle decisions from aggressive early game junglers so you can drop it to give you vision of your other half of camps or just simply use it to cover for invades before jungle monsters spawn. Swap for Oracle Lens after first recall.

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asd Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk gives you ever so growing value as you keep amassing for health. It also helps you clear the smaller jungle monsters without really needing to use auto attacks on them anymore. Real seller of the item is the red smite debuff on enemies though. It's massive to have against enemies in 1v1 situations. Try to get in the habit of always having it up for ganks and of course remembering to use it.

asd Ninja Tabi is the go to boot choice against attack damage heavier comps which tends to be the case. Always take against champions that rely on auto attack a lot. Go for Mercury's Treads if you are up against more mages or they generally have too much CC to deal with as you don't have any built in tenacity.

asd Oracle Lens is needed to clear ganking routes of vision but also for securing objectives or to force unfavorable facechecks from enemy team. Take it after first recall while also remembering to buy a Control Ward whenever you have the gold for it. It's better to get to the habit of it sooner than later.

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asd Dead Man's Plate is the first completed item outside of jungle item. Give mediocre defense against attack damage but the real kicker is the extra movement speed it gives which really shows when using Biggest Snowball Ever!. You will also get the benefit of slowing enemy down for 50% most of the times when initiating combat.

asd Spirit Visage is the most generic magic resist item and generally the best if you're unsure what to go for in magic resist section. Gives good defensive stats while also giving utility in terms of cooldown reduction and boosting the health gained back when using Consume. All around solid item to take even if there's only 1 mage in enemy team.

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asd Warmog's Armor is really good for extended fights and tower sieges by either team. You should be getting the benefit of Warmog's Heart by the time you finish building this item which gives you insane amounts of health regen when outside of combat. 800 health works well with jungle item's bonus health perk too.

asd Randuin's Omen rounds up the build against attack damage heavier comps. It's active helps you to stick around enemies or peel for your backline. This armor item is also more suitable against traditional ad carries that build critical damage as Randuin's decreases the damage of critical hits.

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asd Thornmail is a situational tanky armor item. Good against AD teams that don't have champions that build crit items and/or rely on healing so it's superior to it's counterpart Randuin's Omen in these cases. Also generally just an extra armor item to have when you are up against a team that doesn't have a mage doing lot's of damage.

asd Adaptive Helm is the situatioal magic resist item that's good against any AP champions that have some kind of repetitive or damage over time ability. Especially good against champions that deal dot damage from same effect. Also just an extra magic resist item to have to replace one of the armor items against mage heavy comp.

asd Hextech Protobelt-01 is the aggressive start item to be a bigger threat damage wise. I don't like building this item but if you are ahead and feel like you need extra damage or the extra bit of stickiness the active provides, this can be an item for you but do mind it should be taken early.

asd Gargoyle Stoneplate is a good item against mixed teamcomp and against long cooldown burst abilities with it's active. Helps you stay out there a bit longer at the cost of some damage so preferably don't use it for ur ultimate. Worth noting is you can take Locket of the Iron Solari if you prefer to keep your teammates healthier.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q W E Q E R E E E W R W W W Q R Q Q




#1. Absolute Zero
6 / 11 / 16

#2. Consume
1 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 9

#3. Snowball Barrage
3 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 13

#4. Biggest Snowball Ever!
2 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18

Absolute Zero is maxed first like ultimates usually are. Really good base damage ultimate especially for a tank. Also gives you AoE control and you can disrupt enemy movement if they're either running away or trying to walk past you towards your backline.

Consume is maxed first from basic abilities. It's both your main damage and objective control ability. Makes you noticeably healthier during jungle clears too. Combo with Smite for almost unrivaled burst when doing dragon or baron for example.

Snowball Barrage is maxed second from basic abilities as it's more reliable and gives same amounts of damage per level compared to Biggest Snowball Ever!. Levels also increase the root time which makes it a nobrainer.

Biggest Snowball Ever! is maxed last because you don't really gain much by leveling it. It's an ability you really only need to get around the jungle for the burst damage and initiating combat. Extra levels don't really add anything.
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>> Jungling in general
Jungler's job in general is mistaken to be a gank machine though it pretty much is that these days but primarily your job as a jungler is to secure objectives. You make the calls for baron, dragon and towers after succesful ganks for example. You should always look into turning a win - small or big - into an objective.

Your primary source of income is farming jungle monsters, not lane minions as some junglers tend to think. The gap between junglers is how efficient you can be. You should look to spend as little time as possible between jungle camps. This usually means you want to take a linear path from either Gromp or Krugs and clear the jungle camps one by one as they come by when walking towards bottom or top lane while taking note of scuttle spawns to contest them.

While doing jungle camps, you have all the time in the world to see how your lanes are doing. You should always move with a clear objective in mind. Being as efficient as possible means you should think about including ganks to your jungle clear. When clearing top side jungle camp, you are able to gank it immediatly or maybe you notice enemy lane is pushing soon so you can clear the camp first and then go for a gank. If the lane closeby is not in position to be ganked, you go take next camp and look at the nearby lanes again and decide if it's gankable anytime soon.

You can also keep a general track of the enemy jungler's positioning in the jungle. Exact positioning is hard to follow the lower the elo is but generally speaking you can mirror your positioning and expect the enemy jungler to be around that area. You can help yourself a lot by paying attention where the enemy jungler starts because you know he will clear towards the opposite side of jungle to his next buff. The next time the buff spawns, you can make an educated guess the enemy jungler will be around that area soon. Also pay attention which direction jungler leaves lanes for example. You can use all this information to pass it to your teammates or countergank.

Vision control is also an important job a jungler should do but it's also the easiest one to neglect. You should always leave base with a Control Ward unless you have the exact gold for an item. You should clear vision around your ganking paths so you won't be met with a countergank but you can also provide vision for allies to prevent them from getting ganked. River brushes are good options for wards if you don't have scuttle. Also try to have either Oracle Lens or Control Ward for objectives.

Counter-jungling is dependant on how strong you are compared to enemies and where your allies are. You need to be aware which laners are the first ones to show up if you get spotted inside enemy jungle, yours or enemies? If your allies are getting pushed back, it's very likely they are the first ones to help if you are contesting a scuttle or going for enemy jungle camps. It's always your fault if you die while contesting camps in enemy jungle. On the opposite hand it's safe to assume you can take scuttle with allies if you are pushing and you can safely assume you can take enemy jungle camps if you see enemy jungler at the opposite side of map.

Kiting is a term I'm sure most of us are familiar with. It's auto attacking monsters while moving on map when auto attack is on cooldown. You should also apply this to jungle monsters and auto attack while moving towards next camp when auto attack is on cooldown. This also saves you health when clearing the jungle camps. If you are still unsure how this is done, I highly recommend watching the movement of high elo junglers during their first clear.





space >> Ganking
Ganking is a big part of jungling. It can both lose or win the lanes for teammates. It isn't as simple as people think though so many junglers end up mindlessly ganking around the map. The main point of ganking is ganking for the best potential carries for your game. Ganking early for a Riven to let her snowball is probably a good idea and then shift to ganking for mid lane Malzahar that just hit 6 and therefore has easy setup for a gank. Focusing ganks for a passive laner against mobile enemy might not be the best of ideas in the other hand.

Ganking for obviously lost cause of a lane is also a bad idea. It's asking to get counterganked in a bad position and ally laner that is 0-3 in 1v1 situations won't miraculously start winning the matchup after 1 kill. If it's clearly an easy gank, it's good to keep enemy laner in check but otherwise the rule of thumb is to play around your winning side of map because you can make more mistakes without being punished when you are ahead.

You also want to be aware of how laners are doing before initiating a gank. If your laner is low hp, no mana or has 2 waves crashing to your turret, you may want to wait a little bit and wait for a more preferable situation. If you get a succesful gank, it's ideal if you can help your laner to push the wave to enemy tower in a way that your laner gets last hits but it's no big deal if you get a few. If you are unable to push the wave to tower before next wave arrives, it's ideal to freeze the wave instead so that your ally can come back from base to a lane full of minions. You can even hold the wave a little bit yourself to avoid minions crashing to your turret if your laner is not there and you can't push it fast enough.


>> First clear
If you have Predator, clear red buff into Krugs. Level up Biggest Snowball Ever! and crash it to the camp. Kill the big Krug first using Consume and Smite. After that kill the smallest Krug available until camp is dead. From Krug camp use Biggest Snowball Ever! to raptor camp, Consume and auto the largest one to death. Kill the rest and recall for regular boots to get the benefit of [[predator] early. Do blue buff into scuttle if you are able to take it. Clear rest of the camps while keeping gank opportunities in mind.

If you aren't running Predator, just start with your bot lane. Blue side clear would be blue buff into Gromp. After Gromp roll a snowball to wolf camp, Consume the biggest one, auto each small wolves once and kite the big wolf towards raptor camp while auto attacking it. All wolves should die about the same time this way. You save some health by killing little ones first if you want to be healthier. Roll a snowball to raptor camp, practice this sharp turn if needed with practice tool. Consume large one and clear the camp. Do a red buff into scuttle crab if you are able to contest.

If you want to be the first one to gank a high pressure snowball lane or want to do fast ganks, skip Gromp from blue side clear or do red buff first before going to raptors from wolf camp. Red side clear you can skip Krug camp IF you are not running Predator but started with bot lane.


space >> General gameplay
You should look to farm efficiently throughout the game. You can get away with doing proper full clears for quite some time. Around mid game you might be pressured enough to not guarantee a full clear. You can't afford to show alone in top lane for example if nobody is showing on the map and dragon is up. Also if your team is being pushed in mid lane for example, you can still do raptor and wolf camp relatively safely as you can join the fight fast enough if one breaks out but Krug and Gromp camp are somewhat further away so you need to assess the situation if you can afford to go there without your team being dove on for example.

For fights you should look to initiate team fights and ganks with your snowball. It's your best tool to catch someone offguard. Even if it doesn't hit you can cancel it and go for Snowball Barrage instead. You might need to juggle between initiator and defender of your backline. You need to estimate if guarding your carries is more important than killing theirs. Absolute Zero is a great way of doing both. It gives AoE control and slows down enemies going either way. You should look to get it off early to give your team time to position properly. If your fed backline is under threat of being attacked, you can switch target to be at the biggest enemy threat's face to disrupt their own intentions.

On the other hand if the game is about taking fed enemy carry out the fight, you can be a massive front line to just soak the damage that would otherwise be done to your backline. It's even better if you manage to get a pick on the target with your snowball or maybe Flash snowball barrage's freeze and give your teammates time to follow up the attack. You want to be aware of your teammates capabilities of keeping up however. It's easy to get yourself deep into enemy lines without having anyone near you fast enough to back you up.


>> Objectives
Objectives are a big part of the game and one of Nunu & Willump's strengths so you should play into them. As said previously, you want to convert wins on the map for objectives. Easiest example is turning a bot lane gank into a dragon early game, I don't recommend doing so very early as recall timings are important to stay ahead in exp and in items. Personally I don't like risking anything for dragons outside of infernal which is why it's the easiest option to do dragons after you get a succesful gank near side lanes.

Turrets are also objectives and if you can stay to cash in on couple gold plates after a gank, by all means you should do so as you will be crashing the wave for a minion loss anyways to enemy laner. Mid lane turret is by far the most valueable one and rift herald is a good tool to help you do it. You can do it solo pretty fast if you have side lanes to support you or you are aware of enemy jungler location but like dragons, it's easier to do after a succesful gank. Herald's value increases if the enemy mid laner has good wave clear to keep turret healthy. You can also just pop it top lane or bot lane if opportunity shows up to use it unanswered.

Baron is among the same lines as above objectives. You should turn a team fight win for a baron when nearing late game. The decision between pushing for turrets and inhibitor or going for baron is never ending question teammates usually split 50-50 into but generally speaking the lower elo it is, the better baron is compared to getting an inhibitor. Lower elo games are usually indecisive and long so all an inhibitor down does is enemy team gets free farm coming to their base whereas you probably can get the inhibitor down anyways with the baron boosted minions.

Remember proper vision control for all the above objectives. You should always carry a Control Ward and sweep the area with Oracle Lens. Denying vision opens up plays to bait the enemy into checking from bad position or catching someone out of position when they try to place some wards down.


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Thank you for reading my guide. Hopefully you learned a thing or two about Nunu & Willump. Feel free to comment or send feedback if you found some areas to be lacking and would prefer more information. I'll try to get back to you in the comment section as I see comments come by.

My jungling blog resources (old info but general ideas are relevant): How to not fall behind, Jungle priority, General tips.

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Joxuu Nunu & Willump Guide