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Nasus Build Guide by Betrome

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Betrome

AP Nasus. Wait, what?

Betrome Last updated on May 15, 2012
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More damage, less tanky


Tankier, and with Ap runes

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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Many of you may be wondering how in the world AP Nasus isn't a troll build. I am here to say that it is actually quite viable, and kills everything mid and late game. Don't believe me? then read on. Otherwise, try it out.

One note: Nasus actually has about 500 AP with the first build and 425 with the second one.

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Pros and Cons


  • Melts everyone in a fight, including tanks.
  • Pretty good as a mid.
  • Great sustainability and utility.
  • You deal a healthy mix of physical and magic damage.
  • Works amazingly with other ad champions.

  • It relies on items(obviously).
  • Requires patience and caution till mid and late game.
  • You aren't the unkillable tank Nasus you used to be.
  • People will rage at you for going AP Nasus.
  • It takes time to get the hang of it.

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I go 21/0/9 to get as much Ap out of this build as I can, pretty basic, right?

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Runes are more interesting. I get 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration's to maximize Nasus's damage late game, to cut through champions' magic resist.

Next I have Greater Seal of Armors and Greater Glyph of Magic Resists for early game armor and magic resist, respectively.

To top it off I have 3 Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed's for extra movement speed. I used to question using movement speed quints, but then I realized that they are great when trying to catch up to a champion and when trying to run away.

Ability Power quintessence's are also viable, and I have them in the second build to give Nasus some extra early game damage.

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Summoner Spells


Teleport for map mobility.
Flash for mobility in team fights.

Surge to increase your Ability Power and the effectiveness of Soul Eater.
Ignite to finish off champions you can't reach.


Clarity to get some mana if you are fond of ability spamming.
Heal for extra sustainability.
Cleanse to eliminate any pesky crowd control.
Ghost to catch up to champions or escape.

Exhaust if Wither isn't good enough.


Clairvoyance since you aren't a support.
Revive since you shouldn't be dying, but y'know.

Smite because you aren't a jungler.
Promote because you don't need a super minion to be able to push.

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Skill Sequence

Below I have the reasons AP Nasus is so good. I also have all of his moves and a blurb on them.

(Innate): Nasus drains his foe's spiritual energy, giving him a natural 14 / 17 / 20% lifesteal.

Soul Eater is Nasus's early game sustain. Utilizing this will keep you alive in a fight and in lane longer.

(Active): Nasus's next attack within 10 seconds will deal additional damage. Siphoning Strike permanently gains 3 stacked damage whenever it kills an enemy champion, minion or neutral monster.
Cost: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 mana
Cooldown: 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 seconds
Physical Damage: 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+1.0 per attack damage) (+3 per enemy killed by Siphoning Strike)

Siphoning Strike relies on your ability to kill minions(or champions) with it. You can do this no matter what level it is on, and it costs less mana if you keep it at a lower level. I still level it up first, but I like to upgrade Nasus's kit as a whole, rather than just one move.

Late game, Siphoning Strike should deal about 450 damage alone, but when coupled with Lich Bane it deals almost 1000 damage! It's a literal single target nuke.

(Active): Nasus ages his target, slowing their movement and attack speed by 35%. Additionally, they are reduced further to reach an extra slow at the end of 5 seconds. If the duration of the slow is reduced, the extra slow will be applied faster for it to reach its maximum at the end of the duration.
Cost: 80 mana
Range: 700
Extra Slow: 12 / 24 / 36 / 48 / 60%
Cooldown: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 seconds

I level up Wither last because it already slows champions by 47% at level one, so I feel that it is a utility move for finishing off a champion off or escaping. And I can do that at level one. Another reason is that it doesn't deal any damage, which is something you need.

Late game it slows enemies by 95%, that's enough to shut down any AD Carry or AP Caster.

(Active): Nasus unleashes a spirit flame at a location for 5 seconds. Enemies caught in the area are dealt a burst of magic damage. Additionally, enemies in the area are dealt magic damage each second and have their armor reduced while on there and for 1 extra second.
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Range to Center of AoE: 650
Radius of AoE: 400
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana
Initial Magic Damage: 55 / 95 / 135 / 175 / 215 (+0.6 per ability power)
Magic Damage Per Second: 11 / 19 / 27 / 35 / 43 (+0.12 per ability power)
Total Magic Damage: 110 / 190 / 270 / 350 / 430 (+1.2 per ability power)
Armor Reduction: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40

I get two early points in Spirit Fire before leveling up Siphoning strike because its damage significantly increases once you get past level 1 and becomes a great deterrent for enemies and also deals quite a bit of damage.

At level 18, Spirit Fire deals an initial burst damage of 529 damage, but after that it deals 106 damage each second. That makes for a total of almost 1060 damage! Don't forget that this is all AoE.

(Active): Nasus becomes empowered in the sandstorm for 15 seconds, gaining extra health. While the storm rages, he drains a percentage of nearby enemies max health each second (max of 240 magic damage per second per enemy) and converts 6.375% of the damage done into bonus attack damage for himself until the sandstorm wears off.
Cost: 150 mana
Cooldown: 120 seconds
Radius of AoE: 350
Health Gained: 300 / 450 / 600
Max Health to Magic Damage Ratio Per Second: 3 / 4 / 5% (+0.01 per ability power)
Total Max Health to Magic Damage Ratio: 45 / 60 / 75% (+0.15 per ability power)
Total Magic Damage Possible (to a single enemy): 3600
Total Bonus Attack Damage Possible (from a single enemy): 229.5

Fury of the Sands is amazing, and that's why it is a key spell for AP Nasus. Say you're in a team fight after your build is done. You pop your ult and instantly have over 3000 hp. Additionally, you drain 10% of every enemies health around you, becoming a total of 150% through the course of your ult. Even better, you get almost 1000 Attack Damage from the damage you deal. From your ult alone, you deal about 3600 damage to each enemy you face. that's a total of 18000 damage in a team fight!

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In a team fight

As you can see, each of Nasus's spells deal a large amount of damage, or effectively shut down a champion. So, let's go through a team fight where he has his full, non tank, build.

Nasus initiates on the enemy's ad carry with Wither, then immediately catches their entire team with Spirit Fire. Since Rylai's slows them, you walk in and proc Fury of the Sands while using Siphoning Strike on their squishies. You get 4 Siphoning strikes in before they're all dead. And, because of your Hextech Gunblade you get 20% of the magic damage you deal back as health. Not to mention that the damage you deal with auto attacks and Siphoning Strike will give you 35% lifesteal. Considering the armor and magic resist of the other team would cut you damage in half, here are the stats:

Total magic damage: 11650
Total physical damage: 5448(that includes auto attacks)
Hp gained through spellvamp: 777(AoE abilities proc 1/3 spellvamp)
Hp gained through lifesteal: 1906

So, in one teamfight, under ideal conditions, AP Nasus dealt 17097 damage and restored 2683 Hp. Even if you were being focused, you would be able to tank it while your teammates helped.

Case in point: AP Nasus is a threat to be reckoned with.

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As you can see, AP Nasus not only has great sustain early game, he can dominate team fights mid and late game. If you got this far and like what you read then I implore you to try it out for a week and report back with your findings. Thanks for reading, and let's get this crazy build some attention.

All ability stats taken from Here.

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Edit 1: Revised my blurb on movement speed quints and took out my "ad" for Garen. Made the team fight more realistic. Added a second, tankier build.