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Nunu & Willump Build Guide by Hamstertamer

AP hybrid Nunu

AP hybrid Nunu

Updated on October 26, 2019
8.9
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hamstertamer Build Guide By Hamstertamer 208 30 441,501 Views 8 Comments
208 30 441,501 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Hamstertamer Nunu & Willump Build Guide By Hamstertamer Updated on October 26, 2019
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Runes: Comet

1 2
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Nullifying Orb
Transcendence
Gathering Storm

Domination
Ultimate Hunter
Eyeball Collection
Bonus:

+8 ability haste
+8 Magic Resist
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

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Jungle Role
Ranked #9 in
Jungle Role
Win 54%
Get More Stats
Jungle Role Ranked #9 in
Jungle Role
Win 54%
More Nunu & Willump Runes
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Threats & Synergies

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

Introduction

Hi guys, this is my guide to Nunu & Willump. When Nunu was reworked in 8.17, the first thing I did was look at how other people played him. I saw two different playstyles : tank/support Nunu, and full AP Nunu with Predator. Both seemed so underwhelming to me that I thought the champion was straight up garbage. Tank Nunu was very low impact and dropped off like a brick in the ocean (while no longer giving any utility to his team since he lost blood boil), while full AP Nunu had terrible clear, got outjungled, and was way too squishy to do anything but feed in teamfights.

So I theorycrafted him myself, and came up with this hybrid AP tank build. This felt way, way better already. That's why I made this guide, to show a viable alternative.
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Runes

First I'll start by addressing Predator Nunu. It's a good idea on paper, but in practice it doesn't work. The idea is that you channel your predator, then channel your snowball, and charge people. The problem with it is obvious if you ever tried it. The snowball slows you by 50% for the first 1 second. So after activating your predator (which alerts enemies), you spend 1 second basically standing still. Which leaves enemies all the time in the world to hide behind edges so you can't hit them with the snowball. Basically all the MS advantage you gain with predator is nullified by this slow.


Nunu has the best synergy with comet in the entire game. The reson is that comet's cooldown gets reduced for every snowball hit from Snowball Barrage, and the spell throws a total of 9 snowballs (3 waves of 3 each). Every individual snowball reduces the cd. This is insane. You can proc it multiple times in a short engage. Not to mention your slows, knockups and roots which guarantee that every individual comet hits.


Nullifying orb is really strong against AP teams, and if you don't need it you can go manaflow band since Nunu's mana pool is punishingly small.


AP tank items give very little CDR, which is extremely important on Nunu to have his ultimate up in every fight, so I recommend transcendence.


Waterwalking gives better river ganks, and gathering storm is always good for late game. Both are good options.


An absolute must IMO. AP Nunu is extremely ultimate dependent, and his items lack CDR, ultimate hunter solves this problem.


Both give AP and are good, depends on preference


Arcane Comet is a great idea in a theorycrafting sense but Aftershock is just busted, everybody runs it on Nunu since it gives absurd resistances. So if you want a safe option run that.


Season 9 adaptive stats : Always go cooldown reduction for offense. For flex and defense, take the defensive stats you need most in this particular game, I'm only building HP so resistances are the way to go.
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Items

Nunu has extremely high AP scalings, and his ultimate's shield scales with bonus HP. Going AP tank is definitely the way to go.



Talisman start. Nunu is a very good level 2 ganker but early ganks consume a lot of mana, you need the talisman regen. If you start machete you'll go out of mana before you can back and buy the jungle item.


VERY IMPORTANT : Never go Enchantment: Runic Echoes on Nunu. Always cinderhulk. This sounds counter-intuitive in an AP build but hear me out. Nunu's biggest weakness is his lack of AOE clear. He has no way to kill small monsters. All his abilities are single target, except for his W...which only works on *large* monsters. So cinderhulk is core. With cinderhulk, you'll literally farm twice as fast than with runic echoes, it's a must to outjungle your opponent.
Also, red smite because you'll always be in autoattack range, and you don't need more slows.


Nunu has very high base ratios, especially on his ultimate. So magic penetration = oneshots.
Merc treads don't help, you want to prevent CC's from cancelling your ult, not reduce their duration. And tabis are all right, but it's better to oneshot adc's with magic pen than survive them for a few more milliseconds.


Gives exactly the AP tank stats Nunu likes (especially CDR, invaluable early), and a positioning tool to land good ultimates.


Stack magic pen and gives survivability. Amazing item.


Nunu has sustained damage and CC, and can kite while burning people. Solid synergy. Makes him better at dueling, also amplifies his ult damage with the passive.


Full penetration is the best build for burst.


You're not a real wizard until you get a cool hat.


Nunu is one of the best carriers of this item, since he's always in melee range (the AOE is very small). Only get this if there's lots of magic damage in the enemy team and/or your team.


Upgrade Oblivion Orb if you need the anti-heal, otherwise don't unless it's your last item.


Great synergy with Nunu since it can block spells which would otherwise cancel your ultimate.


Very little synergy but still a good situational item against AD assassins.
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Gameplay tips

- Standard combo is W -> Q -> E -> R.

- Snowball Barrage sets up your ulti. Even if you have to ult in a pinch, always cast E once before it, it will root enemies in the AOE before the channel ends, plus of course deal more damage.

- On top of being your ganking tool, Biggest Snowball Ever! can also help you clear the jungle faster if used well, as well as give you tons of movement speed to move around the map. Just practice the turns before getting to a camp, it's kind of like driving a car. The longer it runs, the more damage it deals. Damage maxes out at 5 seconds (max duration is 10 seconds).

- Biggest Snowball Ever! and Call of the Freljord both activate on large monsters, but ignore smaller ones. Call of the Freljord cleaves in a circle centered on the target you're attacking, so when it procs pull the monsters (e.g raptors) to hit them all with it.

- Nunu & Willump is very good at lane ganks. Hide in a lane bush to start your W channel, and charge at your enemies. This is more reliable than flank ganks because harder to dodge.

- Absolute Zero is completely invisible to enemies if you channel it inside a bush. Abuse this, Nunu is the king of bush cheese.

- One of Nunu's big weaknesses is getting his ultimate cancelled by CC. So it's best to keep a mental list of the skills that can cancel your ult and wait for them to be used before pressing R.

- Invade aggressively. When your ult is up, you can duel most junglers with it. Even without, counterjungling is one of Nunu's big strengths since his Q is a built-in smite.
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Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the guide. Nunu is a really fun and rewarding champion to play but I've seen that it takes a bit of theorycrafting to get the snowball rolling.

Suggestions and comments are welcome. Cheers!
League of Legends Build Guide Author Hamstertamer
Hamstertamer Nunu & Willump Guide
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AP hybrid Nunu

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