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Nunu & Willump Build Guide by Mr. Nyahr

[9.16] Snowballing Your Team - Nunu Jungle Guide

By Mr. Nyahr | Updated on August 25, 2019
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Runes:

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Conditioning
Revitalize

Sorcery
Celerity
Waterwalking
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #4 in
Jungle Role
Win 55%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[9.16] Snowballing Your Team - Nunu Jungle Guide

By Mr. Nyahr
Introduction
EDIT: Thanks for half a million views!

Hi, I'm Mr. Nyahr, and this is the first MOBAFire guide that I ever made back in Season 5. I've played League since just a few months before Season 3 started, and I've spent a good amount of my time playing Nunu & Willump over the years. Though nowadays he's primarily a jungler, even in the support role Nunu is quite viable if you know how to utilize him to his fullest potential. He brings great poke and CC with his Snowball Barrage, solid tower killing pressure via his passive Call of the Freljord, and probably the best objective securing tool in the game with his Consume. He also brings quite a lot to team fights by way of his engage potential, and his ult, Absolute Zero. Hopefully I can help you learn or refine your play with Nunu, as he is one of my favorite champions, and in the right hands can be a huge force in games. So, let's get started!

If you enjoyed this guide, please check out the other guides on my profile!

Pros / Cons Back to Top
Pros:

+
Fairly easy to pick up and play.
+
A fairly strong objective killing buff for you and an ally through his passive.
+
Excellent for early invades and counter-jungling.
+
Strong slows with Snowball Barrage.
+
Absolute Zero packs a punch, and can be used for an instant AoE slow.
+
Great objective control with Consume, as it is effectively a low-cooldown Smite.
+
Bulky, and provides a great frontline for your team.
+
Pairs well with champions like Azir due to his passive and engage.

Cons:

-
Not very high damage, especially early.
-
Average at best scaling into the late game.
-
Absolute Zero can be hard to use effectively since it halts movement, and can be interrupted..
-
Biggest Snowball Ever! can be weird to learn and hard to control without practice.

Spells Back to Top
Flash is the quintessential Summoner Spell for every role and situation, and its value cannot be overstated. It can be used to engage fights, disengage, dodge, steal objectives, rotate quickly through terrain (infrequently), etc. Absolutely always take this as your first spell.


As a jungler, you only have one option, even as Nunu, which is Smite. It is mandatory to ensure optimal control of neutral objectives, such as buffs, Baron, and Drakes. As Nunu, your Q is essentially a second version of this spell, so you are granted the best objective control in the game.

Runes Back to Top


Aftershock is very useful on Nunu, as it gives you quite a large chunk of defensive stats, plus an additional burst of damage on your engage. Font of Life is there just so your team gets some extra health during fights, and is really the only choice on that row. Conditioning is simply free stats, and Revitalize makes your Q heal for more, which is always nice, especially during early jungle clears.

Celerity and Waterwalking are great because as a jungler, you're going to be in the river a lot more than most people, and these speed up your clear times, rotations, and enhance your objective and vision control.

Take attack speed, adaptive force, and health as your minor traits to help you clear jungle camps a little bit more quickly.


Items Back to Top
Okay, so here's the meat of the build: the items. How and when you build your items is a large portion of what determines your effectiveness in the game. If you play well and get built up quickly, you become a nightmare for the enemy team, but if you're behind, you should play it safe until later when you can add some more bulk.

Core Items:

As a jungler, this is going to be your main item, and what you're going to want to finish building first. It gives you a solid boost to health, some AoE damage for clearing jungle camps and during teamfights, and most importantly transforms your normal Smite into Challenging Smite. This is a huge boon when dueling, as they simply deal less damage, while you deal more. This is interchangeable with Stalker's Blade - Cinderhulk if you feel like the slow is more useful to you than the dueling power.


Dead Man's Plate is a very strong defensive and offensive item on Nunu, as its passive synergises very well with your W, Biggest Snowball Ever!, triggering a burst of damage on your next auto attack following that burst of movement. This also grants you bonus movement speed between fights, which is always helpful. The armor and HP are also very nice.


This is one of the best survivability options available to you, as its passive increases the healing received from your Consume substantially, as well as giving you a nice amount of health, HP5, MR, and CDR.


Situational Items:

A personal favorite of mine, this item offers you a great engage tool, more burst damage, and a wave clear option all from the active. The AP, health, and CDR are also great to have. I would recommend that you always purchase this item at some point. If I'm ahead, I may even get it before Spirit Visage if I'm not too worried about dying.


The final item you should consider building, this gives you a stupid amount of health, as well as insanely fast recovery from any damage you may take before or after a big fight. This dramatically increases your survivability, and I almost always get it as my final item.


This item adds a ton of survivability during teamfights, making you near unkillable for a short time at the cost of your damage. Seeing as how your damage isn't a priority in fights, this is very useful against damage-heavy teams, and should be strongly considered over Warmog's Armor or even Hextech Protobelt-01 as a pure tank item.


A phenominal support item for teamfights, this grants you some armor and MR, as well as a fairly powerful shield for all allies within range. Not much to be said about this item, take it if you think your carries are going to get deleted quickly by an assassin or other burst damage out of your control.


Easily one of the best defensive items in the game, Frozen Heart is a must-have if you're going against an AD-heavy comp. The 100 armor and attack speed debuff aura will put a serious damper on the damage their ADC can put out, which is nothing but good for you. The lack of health but presence of high armor is also very strong against ADCs who rush Blade of the Ruined King, where Randuin's Omen would be weaker. In addition, it gives an immense amount of CDR, which is useful if you're not already capped, which you likely are.


Big armor, a little bit of health, and a passive that destroys auto-attack based champions if they try to engage you. If you're against an ADC that uses Blade of the Ruined King, use Frozen Heart instead. If they're not using it, this is better most of the time.


Do they have a Nidalee? Do they have troublesome CC? Does AP make you cry? Well then buy
Banshee's Veil. It's very easy to know when to buy, and it can be used to soak skillshots that would cripple your ADC/APC. Obviously a very good item, and not much explanation needed.


A weird addition, and not very recommended, but I've included it for completion's sake. The HP and AP are very nice, and the slow is nice, but you already have slows from your Snowball Barrage and Absolute Zero, making the passive a little less useful. I only build this if we're so far ahead that I can afford to build some damage into my kit for fun.


Movement Items:

Boots of Mobility are generally the best boots for Nunu, as they allow you to get around the map much more quickly in order to help your teammates and/or secure objectives.


Mercury's Treads are the obvious choice if you're against a team with a lot of CC such as Leona, Thresh, or Nami. The MR is a nice bonus, and gives you a bit more survivability.


I don't commonly take Ninja Tabi, as I feel like Boots of Mobility are just better overall. That being said, if the enemy team's AD is terrifying, they're certainly a good choice, plus you'll take less damage from jungle camps. Just use your best judgement.


Consumables & Trinkets:

Taking Warding Totem at the start of the match is vital. Make sure to grab it, as vision is king. Pick up Control Wards when you can to help deny enemy vision, especially around the Drake and Baron pits. If you're already full build and have a lot of gold to throw around, grab either Elixir of Iron or Elixir of Sorcery based on whether you want more tankiness or more damage. Usually Elixir of Iron for the survivability.

Abilities Back to Top

Passive - Call of the Freljord

Nunu's passive; Call of the Freljord gives him and his team a decent buff to objective pressure, be that against towers or enemies like Drakes or Baron. The 20% bonus attack speed to you and an ally can really make the difference when trying to secure an objective.



Q - Consume

Nunu's Q, Consume is a very strong ability, and is what makes Nunu one of the best junglers in terms of clearing potential and objective security. Effectively a second Smite, it grants you nearly an instant kill against the Blue and Red buffs, as well as a lot more safety when taking Drake or Baron. The healing from this ability also allows you to stay in play for longer between buys, increasing your map pressure significantly.



W - Biggest Snowball Ever!

Nunu's W, Biggest Snowball Ever!, is arguably the main selling point of the champion outside of the jungle. Working nearly identically to Sion's ultimate, you build up speed while moving in a direction controlled by your mouse cursor, becoming immune to slows during the charge. As you roll the snowball, it increases in size, as well as gaining knockup duration and damage. When you complete the charge, if you haven't hit something or someone already, the snowball will continue to roll a short distance forward(based on charge time, you can cancel it early if you wish). In either case, it explodes upon contact with the first champion hit, dealing the damage and knockup effect to all enemies within its radius.

This is your primary engagement tool, and is quite handy for setting up kills on a target, as well as enabling Yasuo's ultimate if you have one on your team. If you're not going to hit anything with it, be sure to cancel it and walk away before you get yourself into a dangerous situation.



E - Snowball Barrage

Nunu's E, Snowball Barrage is your poke tool, as well as a source of crowd control during fights, or just for added damage to finish off a target. If a target is hit once, they are slowed by 50% for 1 second. This also applies Snowbound for 4 seconds to the target, resetting with each hit. You can re-activate this again up to twice for no cost within 3 seconds of the initial cast, but enemies cannot be slowed more than once. After 3 seconds, it becomes Willump's Turn, during which Willump roots all enemies that are affected by the Snowbound debuff, dealing magic damage to all targets.



R - Absolute Zero

Nunu's ultimate, Absolute Zero, is the most difficult ability in his kit besides his W to use to it's fullest potential. It creates a large circle around him which slows enemies over a few seconds, at the end of which an icy explosion occurs, dealing massive damage to all enemies caught inside. This damage is directly proportional to the amount of time you spent casting it, and the use of this ability halts your movement while channeling. If you move, the channeling stops, and the spell will detonate early, for less damage. This also applies to enemies displacing you. If an enemy knocks you up or back, pulls you, or uses any other manner of displacement or silence effect, your ult will be cancelled and only deal partial damage. This ability is obviously most effective when there are multiple enemy champions clustered together. Using this in the center of the enemy team will force them to run or CC you, else take immense damage, which gives your team a massive opening to lay into them. This can be difficult to place and master, but using things such as Flash or relying on a teammate's CC can help keep enemies from escaping you while ulting. I max this ability as soon as the game allows, with points at levels; 6, 11, and 16.

Warding Back to Top
General:

All throughout the game, you will be warding as the jungler. It is one of your earliest and most powerful tools in the game, and can have a drastic effect on the outcome of the match. Vision allows you and your team to know where the enemies are, and more importantly, where they are not. This knowledge allows you to make informed decisions on whether to make a play, stay safe, base, push lanes or objectives, etc. Never underestimate the power of vision in this game. At the start of the match, you're always going to want to grab a Warding Totem, as you are unable to purchase Farsight Alteration until level 9, and Oracle Lens isn't really useful until wards start going down around the Drake pit. Be absolutely sure to purchase
Control Wards whenever you have spare gold, as these are used to deny enemy vision, which is a crucial aspect of map control. If they don't know where you are, it is vastly more difficult for them to play around you.


Placement:

Laning:

The placement of your wards is VERY important to the success of your team. 90% of your wards will be placed in bushes, so that enemies hiding in them will be unveiled, as well as to hide your Control Wards from view. During the laning phase, you will generally place your wards on one of your buffs, to ensure that you aren't being counter-jungled. Be sure to place this ward as far into the river as possible (but still inside the bush (your cursor will stay green inside bushes)) to allow for maximum vision range if you are placing a ward for one of your lanes. Other spots to ward are the tribush near towers (if enemies are pushing) or the tribush near their tower (if you're pushing). Additionally, if enemies are hiding a lot in the lane bushes or have mechanics that give them bonuses in brush, you can place a ward in any of the lane brush to prevent them from getting the jump on you or your laners.

Mid-Game and Later:

During the Mid-Game and later, your control of objectives is crucial for your team. Keeping the Dragon, Buffs, and eventually Baron warded will ensure that your team can secure these, as well as deny the enemy team from doing so. Warding jungle buffs is important for junglers, so place the wards in the brush right next to the monster so that enemies coming to take it will be revealed. For Dragon, wards at the back of the bowl or outside in the jungle brush surrounding are very strong, as they provide the most vision. Be absolutely sure to use your Sweeping Lens and/or Control Wards to clear enemy vision of objectives if you have them. Wards near the mouth of Dragon pit aren't as important as they used to be since the introduction of the Rift Scuttler, which places a free ward in front of Dragon or Baron for the team that kills it. For Baron, warding is the exact same as for Dragon, but you should also try and get your team to help ward to be sure. Keep in mind that enemies can see your stealth wards for a moment after they are placed, which lets them know that you have vision there, and may allow them to clear your wards.


Extra:

Keep in mind that certain champions such as Lee Sin and Jax benefit immensely from properly placed wards. Clearing vision against these champions is even more vital, and proper placement of vision for an allied Lee Sin or Jax could save their life.

Laning Phase Back to Top
The early game is pretty nice for Nunu, as your Consume gives you a massive edge on the enemy jungler when clearing camps and taking buffs. Your sustain and speed allow you to get levels faster, which in turn means more, earlier ganks for your team. Play to your strengths and farm as much as possible, while ensuring that you gank to get kills for your team as much as possible without losing control of the jungle. Be sure to keep your vision up as you prepare for enemy ganks and skirmishes around the Drake pit going into the mid-game.

Jungle Route:



My typical jungle route is Red > Raptors > Wolves > Gromp > Blue > Scuttle. Once I complete these camps, I look for enemy camps I can steal if I'm healthy enough, otherwise clearing the rest of my jungle before going back to purchase my boots and Skirmisher's Sabre. Be sure to kill Rift Scuttlers whenever you can, as it's free vision. I usually only gank once I'm level 3 or higher, as having access to both your W and E is pretty important in fights. Be sure that you're not wasting your Refillable Potion, using it when you're around 60% or lower health if you can to get the full benefit. It makes a big difference.


Ganking:

Ganking lanes is a crucial part of jungling, so it's important that you do it right. You don't want to be that guy who blindly runs into the top lane and feeds Aatrox first blood at 3 minutes, so make sure you have a plan of attack.

The first step is ALWAYS information. This comes from both vision control and communication with your teammates. If you notice that an enemy has used a summoner spell or an ultimate, be sure to ping it to your teammates. The same goes with friendly abilities, as everyone needs to be on the same page as far as what you're able to do for ganks to be successful. For example, your top lane is an Irelia playing into an Aatrox and you want to gank for her. The first thing you should do is to see if the enemy has vision in the area. If they do, be sure to clear it unless they are over-committing already. After that, quickly hit tab and see what the items are like. Does your laner have enough damage to make this gank successful? If yes, ensure that your laner is healthy enough to engage, as you don't want to bait them into an unnecessary death. After this, make it clear to your teammate through pings and/or chat that you're coming for a gank. This will make it much easier for them to set up for a fight, vastly increasing the odds of a kill.

If your gank is successful, you should either look to put damage into the enemy tower, or take your teammate and try for an early Drake or Herald, depending on the lane.

Mid to Late Game Back to Top
General:

As in the early game, you're going to continue clearing the jungle while maintaining vision control, however now you're going to focus quite a bit more on fighting. I tend to gank for lanes that already have a lead in the early game, so my carries are generally doing pretty well by this point. You should work with your team to try and take every Drake that you reasonably can, and go for all the free kills you can on stragglers or split-pushers.

Be absolutely sure to keep track of the Drake and Baron timers, and to keep vision control over these areas at all times near when they spawn. During a fight for one of these objectives, be sure to utilize the fact that both your Consume and
Smite are there to help secure the kill, and that nobody in the game should be able to out-Smite you. If you are engaged on, and the monster isn't close to death, immediately go into defensive mode and attempt to get the enemies off of your teammates, using your E to slow and root them, as well as your ultimate to burst them down and make it easier for your teammates to clean up. If the monster is already near death, your priority is making sure it doesn't get stolen. CC enemies where possible, but be ready to Q and Smite when the time comes.


Team Fights:

So here's where you're going to be focusing a lot of your effort this game. This is the part in which you can be the star player for your team. Before initiations, be sure to stand in front of your carries, as previously mentioned, in order to dissuade engages and soak abilities from the other team. When your team is ready, you should look to make a push. The first thing to do is to create an opening. To do this, wait and poke until you can catch an enemy off guard or they make a mistake, then attempt to run into/cc one of the enemy players (preferably a carry) and proceed to lock them down for your team to jump in. Use your tools wisely, engaging with Biggest Snowball Ever! whenever possible to maximize your CC and minimizing the time enemies have to react to your push. Other things such as the active ability on Hextech Protobelt-01 will increase the likelihood of a successful engage.

If done successfully, you will create a hole in their line, and put a lot of pressure onto their team, forcing them to A) try to fight an uphill battle, or B) reposition and try to reset the fight. If they try to fight, you should have the upper hand, just maintain your control over the fight with your CC, and do your best to stay alive. If they try to run away, do your best to lock down/slow them with your Snowball Barrage, Absolute Zero, and/or your items that are off cooldown. This will enable your team to pick off those that lagged behind, giving you the momentum to secure objectives and possibly push for the win.

Conclusion & Thoughts Back to Top
*Updated from Season 5 to Season 8 on 2 March, 2018*
*Updated from Season 8 to Season 9 on 16 June, 2019*


To wrap this up, just keep in mind that Nunu & Willump is a tanky support, not a carry. You cannot 1v5 the enemy team, and most of the time, you shouldn't look to 1v1 unless it's the enemy support or someone out of position. Stay with your team, as you're going to be the backbone of the whole operation. Play safe and play smart, but don't be so afraid to die that you make no plays at all. It's very dangerous to try and take objectives by your lonesome (excluding buffs). Nunu isn't a very difficult champion to perform well with, but there are things you have to pay attention to, just like with anyone else.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this guide, and I certainly hope it was of some help to you. If you have any questions or other feedback, don't hesitate to let me know!

-Special thanks to Jovy for their assistance on improving this guide.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Mr. Nyahr
Mr. Nyahr Nunu & Willump Guide
[9.16] Snowballing Your Team - Nunu Jungle Guide