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Nami Build Guide by Prenora

AP Nami the queen of the deep In depth guide

AP Nami the queen of the deep In depth guide

Updated on February 17, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Prenora Build Guide By Prenora 31 8 449,802 Views 4 Comments
31 8 449,802 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Prenora Nami Build Guide By Prenora Updated on February 17, 2023
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1 2
Cheap Shot
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Manaflow Band

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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


Well Alright there folks, A recent comment reminded me I haven't updated this build in some time, while I've still been active on the server I've let my commitment to sharing the fun slide. Anyway, It's season 13, a lot has changed, lets get to it!

Those who don't know me, I'm Prenora from NA. I'm here to bring you off-meta builds you can use to climb the ranked ladder. Life's been busy but when I get the time I'll be making and updating some of my favorite picks for you all to check out. So without further ado, let's get into AP Nami.
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Why Nami

You might be wondering, Prenora, aren't there other choices for mid lane that would be better than Nami?
well you might think that's the case but if you're looking for the single best early game trades, constant CC, and a strong team-fight presence that constantly shells out damage, you're not going to find another champion quite like Nami. You wont be able to find a champion that can win almost every mid lane match-up, start a team-fight and finish one single handedly. one who can roam and support every lane, and even when behind, can turn the tides of a game.
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When to choose Nami Mid

You'll want to choose Nami mid primarily into immobile comps and laners, Lux, Vex, Ryze, Annie, Velkoz, Malzahar the list goes on. You'll also want to play Ap Nami mid if you enjoy playing burst mages and lane bullies, nami has incredibly reliable combo's and when built and played right, can absolutely 100 to 0 most squishy champions.
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Pros and Cons

+ Incredible early game trades
+ Strong self Peel
+ High utility
+ Multi Use Ultimate
+ Self sustain
+ Can support if behind
+ Surprisingly very mobile.

- Squishy
- Item reliant
- Moderate scalings
- Low wave clear
- team mates will flame you
- reliant on CC and peel, morg yasuo, and olaf will ruin you
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Nami's Passive is Surging Tides, any time Nami uses an ability on an ally or herself they are granted 45 movement speed (+20% AP) for 1.5 seconds

Surging Tides is what makes Nami so fun, the movement speed at level one is like having a pair of boots and then some. While Nami doesn't have an actual gap closer, if used correctly this passive constantly keeps you ahead of your enemies, use Surging Tides in the early game to dodge skill shots or to rush enemies, you can also use it to roam between lanes but late game is the best because it also scales with 20% of your ap, you'll have a massive movement speed boost to chase down or escape any enemy.

Nami's Q is Aqua Prison Nami sends forth a bubble to a target location stunning and knocking up enemies for 1.5 seconds.

Aqua Prison is an amazingly versatile ability, it scales to a fairly decent 50% ap ratio which may be a little lower then some mid laners, but it's also a stun and a knockup so it cant be cleansed or lowered by tenacity, and unlike other mid-laner stuns, it can hit multiple enemies, it's wide enough to hit all 5 enemies, though it takes some practice to get used to, because of the slow missile speed, you have to lead the bubble in front of your enemy, if done correctly though can make for some amazing plays. In lane use Aqua Prison to zone your enemies away from their CS, try to make sure when you land the bubble you follow up with your other abilities.

Nami's W is Ebb and Flow Nami sends out a bouncing wave of water to either heal an ally or damage an enemy and if used correctly can do both

Ebb and Flow is a really fun ability with multiple uses. while this ability seems pretty complicated basically the first bounce deals the most damage or provides the biggest heal, then reduces for each bounce the early game.
Because of the damage reduction modifier, the more AP you have the lower the reduction goes until it actually becomes a bonus damage modifier. with around 700 AP the second bounce actually does about 35-40% more damage or healing than the first bounce
Ebb and Flow is what makes Nami the trade queen, no other champion can deal damage while healing themselves this much at level 2 even despite the recent nerfs to healing.

Always make sure you're in range of the bounce when you cast this ability on an enemy that way you take advantage of the high mana cost
don't get used to spamming this ability, it's not a great poking tool but its a great trading tool, and late game, the single best ksing spell (more on that below in tips and tricks)

Nami's best ability by far is Tidecaller's Blessing Nami empowers the next 3 auto attacks or abilties of either herself or an ally to deal bonus damage and slow the target.

Tidecaller's Blessing is nami's highest damage early game ability and is what truly makes your combo devastating. The damage you do at level one with one attack from this ability is about 80-90 depending on your Runes.
This places just one empowered proc on par with damage from other champions skill shots 55 mana... Then you get 2 more shots. at level 1 if you hit all three empowered autos you have the potential to do about 200 damage. Because of the slow it provides and the movement speed you get from your passive by self-casting it, you can almost 100% land 2 if not 3 of the attacks at lvl 1 especially if you started boots.

Nami's un-creatively titled R Tidal Wave summons a giant Tidal wave from her location, all enemies hit by it are knocked up and slowed by up to 70%
Tidal Wave provides Nami with even more team fight potential than she already has. It can be used to speed up your allies as it doubles the passive effect from Surging Tides it can be used to peel for allies in danger, or chase down enemies who are just out of reach. you can even just add it to your normal combo as it scales to a very decent 60% AP. This ability can literally turn the tides of a team fight...pun kind of intended
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Animation canceling and the Sheen

Nami is very good at spell weaving because of something called animation cancelling. you see, nearly all of nami's spells are cast in the beginning of the spells animation which is what the character does while casting the spell. Because of this you can cancel her animations early with attack moves or even her other spells, for instance
if I cast Ebb and Flow normally nami stops moving for a brief moment but if I cast Ebb and Flow then instantly self-cast Tidecaller's Blessing I can interrupt the first animation and cast two spells in the time it takes to cast one
all of Nami's spells except for her ultimate benefit from this as with her Tidal Wave we don't see the effect until the end of the animation

for Aqua Prison, issue an attack move as soon as the bubble is in the air to cancel the animation
for Ebb and Flow as soon as you see the staff begin to glow you can issue an attack move
the best part of Tidecallers Blessing is that you can self cast while casting your attack move to cancel your animation while granting yourself your Surging Tides passive

because of animation canceling Nami is exceptional at spell weaving, which makes the Sheen a great item pick up in the early game.
The sheen is simple, it grants you additional damage on your next auto-attack after using an ability...and yes Tidecaller's Blessing counts as an ability
using animation canceling you can auto-attack between spell casts to maximize damage very easily on Nami as
Tidecaller's Blessing>AA Ebb and Flow >AA Aqua Prison >AA
deals much more damage in a much shorter amount of time then
Aqua Prison > Ebb and Flow> Tidecaller's Blessing >AA>AA>AA

Generally when I play AP nami, I always grab a sheen after boots and lost chapter, but to avoid postponing my power spike, I don't finish Lich Bane until after i grab my utility item.
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start with the Stealth Ward trinket as it provides you with much needed vision to avoid early ganks

health pots provide you the early sustain you'll need to survive your lane and recover from any damage you've taken

Doran's Ring is the normal starting item you'll want to take as it provides 70 health, 15 ability power and best of all assistance when last hitting minions, Nami has one of the lowest base AD's in the game, so any help we can get last hitting is great, on top of all this it comes with mana regen to help offset some of our higher mana costs.

this is a great starting option for enemies who use a lot of skill shots Ahri Zed Orianna and basically doubles the effect from your passive at level one

*Boots are a great starting item with our lane bully build as they allow you to land all 3 shots of Tidecaller's Blessing and still allow you to kite back without taking any return damage. At lvl 1 if done correctly, this means dealing about 35% of your enemies HP bar, while taking no damage in return.
if you get the boots of speed you can afford to purchase the Refillable Potion while providing less health than the Health Potion it automatically refills every time you return to shop meaning this item is way more cost efficient.
or you could get 4 potions and make the most of your lane if you're going to be there for a while.
Starting out, the following items offer Nami great ways to offset her shortcomings and help her strong points stand out.

In 99% of cases you will want to pick up the lost chapter as early as possible, It offers 40 AP, 10 haste, and basically solves any mana issues we were having.

After the lost chapter and Tier 1 boots, I look to pick up the sheen. The spellweaver passive offers a very noticeable boost to our damage output. Once I have the Sheen, however, I will hold it until after I get my utility item. After a series of Lich Bane nerfs, the item only postpones our power spike.
The following items are AP Nami's core build and through many games of trial and error are the items that offer the most consistent best results.

Luden's is an absolute must for AP Nami, The combined 80 AP and 6 Magic pen synergize well with each other, but the 600 mana and 20 haste means we can spam our spells and rarely run out of mana.
*Primarily we need the Echo passive to stay relevant with our wave clear, with any other mythic, we tend to be unable to farm late game.

Nami's mana costs are too high to make good use out of lucidity boots, the sorcerers keep our damage relevant into mid and late-game. Finish these after Ludens and after you have your Sheen.

Once you have the Shadowflame, you'll really be able to feel your damage spike. With 100 AP and 200 health this item slingshots you into the mid game. However it truly shines with its magic pen with also synergizes with ludens.

After you have Luden's, Shadowflame, Sorcerer's boots and Sheen, it's time to pick up your Utility item. These are generally situational but offer great synergy with Nami's Kit.

Mejai's is about 90% cost-efficient on its own but with a few stacks becomes the most synergistic item for AP Nami. At only 10 stacks (which can be aquired after a single teamfight) Nami gains an additional 10% movement speed which with her passive and celerity equals a very fast fish. Then at max stacks this item offers a massive 145 AP which increases your passive MS even more. When you are ahead by even a little, Mejai's is the best utility item.

The Cosmic drive is a front-loaded mejais, you lose some comparative stats on the backend but 65 AP, 200 HP, and 30 haste is perfectly adequate to transition into late game. On top of that it offers 5% bonus speed, and like Electroctute is incredibly easy to make use of the bonus AP and speed from its passive. If you aren't ahead enough for mejais or wish to play safer, pick this item up.

Against a very immoble enemy team, the horizon focus is a great buy. It offers a nice 100 AP, and a bit of health and haste. The passive however can be procced off of 3/4 of nami's abilities meaning you have a very reliable damage increase to your combo. Pick this item up when you find yourself not having to rely on your passive to kite, peel, or chase.

Since we already have the sheen, finishing the lich bane should only cost us 2300 gold and offers everything nami wants, AP, Haste, Movement speed and Combo damage.

The stats this item provides are perfect synergies for Nami's kit, Once you have the Lich Bane, you will be able to skirmish with nearly any champion, fed or not.

In some games it happens, you fall behind, an enemy carry gets fed and you seem to be a constant target. If this happens, you can sell your sheen before you finish the lich bane to buy a defensive item instead.

Nothing feels worse than going from very speedy to frozen in stasis, this item really throws off Nami's groove, however with 80 AP, 45 armor, and 15 haste, it's a great item to counter a fed Zed, Nocturn, Talon ETC.

On the other hand, against a fed Malzahar, Annie or other AP carry, you can pick up a Banshee's veil. It offers, 80 AP, 45 magic resist and the spell shield more often than not allows you to avoid CC and burst that would have otherwise killed you.

This item is for when you're really behind, or when your team is just carrying harder than you. Nami is great at falling into a support roll in these circumstances and the Staff of flowing water offers a decent 50 AP and 8% bonus to your healing. The regen isn't really needed with luden's, but the passive means whenever you heal someone, you both get AP and haste meaning your passive gets stronger and you can get yourself and allies out of tough spots or into a better one.

With this build, you'll rarely make it to end game as your enemies will often forfeit, but if you do, pick these up to really throw Nami into overdrive.

To really hit that end-game power spike pick up the Rabadon's Deathcap it gives a huge AP boost that no other item can compete with, you'll already be able to 100-0 most squishy enemies, but with the deathcap, you can do it over and over. In most cases this should be your final item.

The void staff pacts a surprising punch against teams stacking magic resist. On the surface it only offers 60 AP which doesn't look like much, but this item feels almost as strong as the death cap since it ignores 40% of your targets magic resistance. Keep in mind it's a % bonus though, so very inefficient against enemies with no MR,

The items below are niche and offer good synergies but just don't have a solid home in Nami's core kit.

The Nashor's Tooth used to be my favorite item in Nami's build and still it's not entirely useless. It offers a great 100 AP, and 50% bonus ATK speed, which Not only helps Nami last hit but allows her to become much stickier. If you find yourself needing to be sticky, and you don't have the Hail of Blades rune, this might be a good buy, but it doesn't offer much additional damage and ends up feeling more like a stall, than a spike.

While previously useless, this item just received a buff that turns it into a decent well rounded item. With 80 AP, 200 health, it makes you a bit more resilient, the bonus mana and haste don't do much more than ludens though. The only thing that makes this worth it is the lifeline passive on its upgraded version. Nami is a great early mid-game carry though so while a decent item, it doesn't make best use of Nami's strong points.

The night Harvester makes it so Nami can 100-0 an enemy without having to include too many AA's, which makes it a decent pick against squishies. The haste and AP mean you can constantly delete targets over and over, but you trade the wave clear assistance from Ludens. If you can consistently snowball kills then this is great, but you'll slowly fall off as the game goes on if you can't.


This item provides 15 flat magic pen which is on the low side but combined with sorcerers shoes becomes 30 which is pretty decent, mainly though you buy this if your enemies have a lot of healing abilities, IE soraka, Vlad, or just anyone buying a lot of life-steal.
greivous wounds from your spells will cut their healing by 50% turning a fed illoi into a little useless green sea monkey.

Any items that are built for late game mages, off-tank mages, or AP support, generally don't mesh well with AP Nami, as a burst mage, she needs high AP items geared towards the early to mid game. Avoid such items as below.

your E won't proc it, your bubble is a stun and your ultimate slows more than rylais ever will, making this item worthless on Nami

Even after the updates, roa is a late-game item, Nami is early to mid game, the math doesn't check out, you'll end up missing out on an early snowball, and end up dealing sub-par damage later.
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laning phase and ability combos

- At level one you'll want to take a point in your Q, this will ensure that you can match an opponent's push, and peel yourself against cheeky early dives or ganks.
- When you hit level two, you'll need to decide your trade pattern. If you can land your Q easily, you'll want to take TC's Blessing as the slow makes landing the Q very easy. If you need sustain or reliable poke, take a point in W and make short trades until level 3.
** Your level 1-2 combo's should look like this**
Aqua Prison>AA> Ebb and Flow> Electrocute> AA. If you can land a bubble, you can easily proc electrocute and land ebb and flow, if timed correctly, the bouncing heal will counter any damage your opponent tried to deal in that short window.
*Alternatively with TC's lvl 2*
Tidecaller's Blessing>AA Aqua Prison> Electrocute>AA>AA The slow from TC's makes landing the bubble very easy and immediately procs electrocute, while they are in the bubble you can land 2 more Auto attacks, if you can safely land a fourth AA, always try otherwise reset for your cooldowns. Total damage~330-350

If you decided to do the Lane Bully build you will have hail of blades and a point in your W and E at level 2, your combo instead looks like this..
Tidecaller's Blessing>AA>AA>AA Ebb and Flow>AA Total Damage~ 250-270
*This should be a quick trade in which you take no return damage, any return damage you take should be healed by Ebb and Flow*

-At level 3 Nami really shines in trades. Ideally, you are looking for quick burst trades using all of your abilities and weaving in 3-4 auto's, your ideal combo should generally look like this..
Tidecaller's Blessing> empowered AA (use the slow to hit) > Aqua Prison> Electrocute empowered AA> AA Ebb and Flow >AA if you do it in that order you will be able to use all 3 TC's Procs, land your Q,W and 3 auto's before they have a chance to run. Total Damage (with Dorans ring and electrocute)~ 380-400

When on the defensive, a basic trade combo would be Aqua Prison > Ebb and Flow>AA (the final attack move cancels your Ebb and Flow animation allowing for a quicker escape) This ends up hurting them and healing yourself at the same time the heal provides you Surging Tides to run before they can even hit back. This allows you to get in and out with no chance of retaliation.

before level 6 you'll want focus on these quick burst trades to harrass your enemy as much as possible, enemies will often be surprised by your damage, try to force an opponent out of lane so you can safely farm, or even get a kill if they slip up.

at level 6 you can either look to all in your laning opponent, Nami is great a chasing enemies down so the closer they are to your own tower, the higher the likelihood of you finishing them off. Additionally, being close to your tower means you can use your high CC if by chance you get ganked and dove.
Alternatively, you can attempt to clear your wave and go roam with your passive movement speed. Whichever you choose your New combo will look something like this
Tidecaller's Blessing> empowered AA > Tidal Wave>(during knockup) Aqua Prison> empowered AA> AA> Ebb and Flow>AA
*Always try to use your Tidcaller's blessing before you use your W or R, the TC's will cause your W to slow, and your R to slow even more which makes chasing, running or landing your bubble even easier
A pure combo with no AA's weaved in would look like this..
Tidal Wave> (during the knockup) Aqua Prison> Ebb and Flow>AA (if you are close enough to use W, you are close enough to use an AA to animation cancel your W.

once you survive the early game you'll want to look to pressure other lanes, because of your utility and high amounts of CC Nami can pull off incredible ganks.

Remember while other champions get weaker as the fight goes on, Nami Gets Stronger, constantly healing herself and buffing herself while whittling down her enemies.

Mid- late game
you'll want to start the snowball rolling, be present for teamfights your role in fights is CC, Peel and Damage output, you're not a split pusher you never will be, farm as much as you can for gold but mostly you'll either want to follow around your carry or if you're ahead, you can turn into an AP assassin. You can and will be able to duel many champions with your ability to kite and lock them down.
you do much more damage then people think
when team fights start, empower yourself or your carry with Tidecaller's Blessing heal yourself or your carry with Ebb and Flow and knock everyone up with Tidal Wave while opening up the back line, your goal is to get to the backline and delete their carries, while also peeling for your own. With your speed you will find it easy to do both.

the best part about Nami is if you fall behind can still be a support, I've had games where Ive fed nonstop but still turned the game around because of the CC Nami provides, if worst comes to worst sit behind your team and just heal them, or use Tidal Wave to peel.

one v one
After team fights Nami is perfect for chasing stragglers the massive speed boost from Surging Tides allows you to chase enemies to the end of the map and slow them down with Tidecaller's Blessing to keep chasing.

with 700 AP end-game you come out of the jungle like a missile, if you see the enemy over-extended bot lane and are all alone, feel free to chase them down, use your Surging Tides passive to constantly dodge their skill shots or kite.
Kiting with Nami is extremely easy due to her passive, if they chase you, slow them until they have no choice but to run, then chase them. Bursty or not, AP Nami can be a great skirmisher. Play fights like the waves, ebbing and flowing.
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Summoner spells

Flash is the best all-around summoner spell, use it to chase, escape, dodge skill shots or even reposition. Always get flash
Ignite is the second-best spell for any mid-laner carry
add it into your all-in combo to make sure that your enemy can't survive even if they get out of your reach.

**Other Options**
99% of the time I take Flash and Ignite, but depending on your playstyle or matchup, the options below aren't the worst.

if against a champion with a strong all in such as Zed, Talon, Yasuo then you could consider running Exhaust to significantly lower their burst damage
if you're pretty sure you wont be able to kill your opponent or you think they will push you to your tower nonstop... taliah, ekko then you could run Teleport so you don't miss too much CS

Ghost's strenght lies in its ability to reset after each kill or assist. Nami already has a ton of movement speed, but ghost can be a safe or aggressive pick to help chase, escape or even reposition around fights.
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Tips and tricks

Aqua Prison is first and foremost a stun, meaning unlike other bindings or roots this stops all enemies dead in their tracks, mid jump or mid dash, anything, you can catch that pesky nidalee as she hops at you, or that Tristana as she goes to jump away
it's easiest to cast the bubble at the end of their dash range (which takes practice) to guarantee landing it.

when you know an enemy is going to jump at you for instance Jax, or Akali you (with good timing) cast Aqua Prison at your own feet, or in the case of zed or Akali, slightly behind you as to where you are also in the hitbox of the bubble, this stuns the enemy while providing you with Surging Tides to escape.

Finally, this ability is a knock-up that synergizes with champions such as Yasuo or Samira, but also means that effects such as Tenacity, or cleanse do not shorten the effects.

Ebb and Flow can bounce up to 3 times, try to position yourself to take advantage of that, it can hit enemy, ally, enemy but they have to be different champions
or it can be self-cast to heal you, hurt and enemy, then another ally.

Ebb and Flow's bounce can be used to extend the range to much farther than normal, up to double the effective range. Which makes Ebb and Flow the single longest-range Point-and-Click ability in the game. If your ally is chasing an enemy that you can't reach, cast this on your ally and it will jump to the enemy, you can steal many a kill with this trick or at the very least it will speed your ally up to help secure the kill

Tidecaller's Blessing's slow scales with 5% per 100 AP on top of the 35% slow at max rank, with enough ability power you can get this slow to ridiculous percentage for instance if you had 1000 AP that's a 50% slow plus the 35% base slow meaning you'd have 3 85% 1-second slows on a 4-second cooldown. with enough AP you can essentially perma-slow your enemies by 85% or more if you space out your AA's and abilities.

Tidal Wave when cast, automatically provides Nami with double the speed from her passive but the animation uses about half of the time, after casting Tidal Wave self-cast Tidecaller's Blessing to catch up to and essentially ride your wave.

There is an unforuntate but well-known hit-box bug with this ability as well. If an enemy champions hitbox is overlapping onto your own, your tidal wave will have no effect on them. ALWAYS space yourself from your enemies before casting this.

All of nami's abilities count as missiles for the sake of spells such as yasuo's "windwall" or samira's "blade whirl" and braum's shield. ALWAYS make sure spells like this are on cooldown before casting your abilities otherwise you will have a bad time.
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Alright guys and gals, that about wraps up my guide for AP Nami
I'm 100% serious about my guides and I don't consider them troll in any way, they're what got me to gold after all. If I left anything out feel free to leave a comment, I'd also be happy to answer any questions as well. I will make sure to check up on my guides as often as i can.
I hope you learned something new, and I hope you give it a try, I promise you'll be surprised by how good it is. Keep an eye out for my future guides if you want to learn some more ways to break the meta and catch your enemies off guard.
See you on the Rift
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