Nasus Build Guide by Farel17
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+10% Attack Speed
Threats & Synergies
Champion Build Guide
Welcome to my version of jungle Nasus. While top lane Nasus is currently the meta for him and jungle has a lot of other and probably better options, I enjoy Nasus the most and have been playing him for a while. So, here we go!
First up we have our passive. Free life steal. This is one of the parts of Nasus that makes him insane jungling since you basically never take crippling damage from jungle camps, even at level 1.
Siphoning Strike (Q)
This is WHY you play Nasus. It empowers your next auto attack that deals increased damage. The extra range is nice but not really needed. Whenever you kill a small or medium monster your get 3 stacks, kill a large monster or champion you get 12. These stacks permanently increase your Q’s damage. It also resets your auto attack timer so you can hit someone, then Q immediately after for some decently burst damage.
Wither is one of most crippling slows in the game. It is a point and click slow that reduces both movement speed and attack speed that increases over the duration. That’s right, this isn’t one of those pansy slows that decays over the duration. And it lasts 5 seconds, meaning you and your team have plenty of time to take advantage of this ability and basically removes a player from the fight. This is one of the biggest parts of why people have trouble 1v1 against Nasus.
Spirit Fire (E)
Our E, Spirit Fire is one of our more interesting abilities. If you are going AP Nasus (not this guide) this will be your bread and butter. However what we care about more is the 15-35% armor reduction. People trying to mitigate your damage? Nope sorry 35% of that investment is gone now. Also with it’s fairly large AoE we can easily proc one of our runes, Manaflow Band, by simply walking through a lane on our way to the next camp and dropping this under an enemy’s feet.
Fury of the Sands (R)
Which brings us finally to our ultimate, Fury of the Sands. You get a big chunk of tank stats that increases over the duration. You deal a decent chunk of magic damage to people unfortunate enough to be next to you but that isn’t as important as the tank stats. Additionally your bread and butter, the Stack master 9000, your Q goes on a 50% reduce cool down. Built full CDR and ult activated your Q goes on a 1 second cool down, meaning every or every other auto attack takes a large chunk out of your target.
Skill max you go R > Q > E > W. Always max your ult, then your Q for the increased base bonus damage and lower cool down. I prefer to then max E for more area damage and armor reduction but if you can pull off a gank heavy jungle then W will most likely serve you better.
On a typical Jungle Path I start Q, put a point in E, then put another in Q then finally W as my level 4, which is about as early as you can gank easily. If you are looking for level 2 ganks look somewhere else, Nasus isn’t who you are looking for.
For our secondary rune path, we take Inspiration. First up, Cosmic Insight with 45% CDR means our Q is up basically every other auto attack. Also, Item CDR is useful for Trinity Force’s spell blade cool down (as minor a cool down as it is). The other rune is FREE BOOTS. Out first few items don’t include boots on the list, so getting free ones at 12 minutes or less is perfectly fine.
And for our minor runes we take attack speed and double armor. We don’t build too much attack speed on items otherwise, so this is an easy choice. Double armor helps early camp clearing and early resistances due to Spirit Visage being our first major resistance item and it provides magic resistance.
Sheen and Stalker's Blade
Our first back comes once you hit 1700 gold. This provides a completed t2 jungle item giving us Chilling Smite and Sheen. Both are pretty obvious choices for Nasus. Sheen builds into Nasus’s favorite item, Trinity Force and Chilling smite gives us yet another tool to help stick onto people we want to turn into a +12.
Trinity Force, Enchantment: Cinderhulk, Spirit Visage
This is your core set of items for any Jungle Nasus. If you have every played Nasus before I shouldn’t even need to explain the choice of Triforce. THE best item on him and provides a nice 20% CDR chunk to feed our stacking desires. We choose the Cinderhulk enchantment to provide a chunk of health, some more health, and the burn aura. Other then our E, Nasus has no innate AoE and the burn aura can help clear jungle camps just that little bit faster. And Spirit Visage gives us tank, CDR, and makes our already large amount of life steal, even more powerful.
Which leads us to our 2 final sections of items.
Deadmans Plate, Frozen Heart, Mercury Treads
Our Secondary builds and situational items. Deadmans Plate provides movement speed and general tank stats and a bit of damage. Frozen Heart is a big chunk of CDR, Armor, and the Attack speed aura slows down the damage output of most champions and with Nasus being a guy wanting to be in the thick of it, will almost certainly apply to most of the enemy team. As an already slow champion and being one based around auto attacks, getting crowd controlled is a massive pain, that is what Merc Treads provide. A hefty chunk of MR and Tenacity.
Ninja Tabi, Thornmail, Adaptive Helm, Spear of Shojin, Titanic Hydra
These are our situational items. If the enemy team is not quite as CC heavy and is mostly AA focused, Ninja Tabi will be your friend. This is the same for Thornmail. Adaptive helm is for when the enemy team goes super hard on magic and ability damage. Spear of ShoJin and titanic hydra are here more as honorable mentions that real suggestions but both work very well with Nasus. Spear provides even faster Qs while in our Ult and Titainic Hydra is some more AoE and an AA reset.
Ghost: Decent summoner spell on Nasus. Helps stick to the enemy and get to objectives faster. Not quite as useful with our variety of movement speed from runes.
Teleport: Not super useful on a jungler. Slightly more useful on Nasus for Teleganks but still not very good.
Flash: Just about everyone takes this, and for good reason. It is one of the most flexible summoner spells available and especially good on Nasus since he doesn't have an innate dash. The main combo to use it with is Flash Q. You activate your Q, flash foreward and oneshot the ADC or whoever is unfortunate enough to be in range to be one shot by you.
Not too many other options are available or used, but feel free to experiment at your leisure.
From here on you farm and gank as needed. Be careful not to gank too much however because you will quickly fall behind without many Q stacks. 100 stacks per 5 minutes in game is on point with how farm heavy you need to go. 75 stacks is fine as well if you are having issues. The more you farm the easier it is to get more stacks. I think the best measurement of how good you have been farming is how far your jaw drops when you see the enemy champion’s health drop and how far their jaw drops.
For ganking, I don’t recommend doing so until you are level 4 and/or have your Sheen and Stalkers Blade. Chilling smite is big for gank ability and sheen is a lot of early damage. You aren’t a Li Sin or Rengar with a bunch of fast moving dashes and abilities. Your best options are to get to the river and come down from there. With a Skuttlecrab ward and Waterwalking Rune your movement speed in that area is much better than anywhere else. And if they chase you back into the river you have some extra damage. Best time to gank is when the enemy has pushed up and is either in the middle of the lane or up under tower. As tanky as Nasus can be, he can’t take tower shots with impunity so we want to avoid tower diving without backup or a quick finish. Flash Q a low health enemy under tower then run the heck away is about as far as tower diving goes for you.
At level 6 you can solo Dragon. By this point you should have or be close to having a Trinity Force. Drop a ward by dragon, kill Skuttlecrab then finish farming up your gold for it. Once you do so you can easily solo Dragon with very minor health loss, even less if your team comes to help. Be careful, since this is also around the time other junglers look for taking Dragon.
Once you have about 200 stacks under your belt and a Triforce you should have enough damage to start wailing on towers when available. Clear your jungle, check for and open tower or tower than your team is working on, head over then and start chunking it. This is especially useful of you can do it before turret plating falls, it will give you and that lane a good chunk of extra gold. Later on into the game an unattended turret becomes free gold as you run out of the jungle, smack it a couple times and run away when the enemy team shows up after you destroy it.
And finally, we get to the big guy. Baron Nashor is one of the hardest objectives to kill and the most valuable. I find warding the area soon before he spawns and keeping and eye on the area as you keep farming is the best option. If you see the opportunity to take it uncontested, go for it like you would any other jungler with a team. Additionally, if you have a low damage tank in your comp, try to let them tank Baron so that you can get the full damage of your Qs. You essentially have a free Smite on him every 2 seconds, so it should be difficult to steal him from your team without a full dive.
Your worst nightmare is a fed Vayne botlane. With her passive she can and will shred you. Mordekaiser top is difficult not for you, but your team. You both scale very well and usually end up wet noodle fighting in the midgame. Champions such as Ahri and Evelyn with their charm abilities are very dangerous as well. A good charm can shut you down and usually kill you. However, if it wears off before they burst you down, you will be right next to their team and a Q or 2 will send them running. Rengar jungle is one of those fast aggressive junglers I was talking about earlier. You can out scale him quickly, but he can still burst you down. The final champion I want to cover is Udyr. He is by far one of the harder champions to catch out and kill as well as a fast and aggressive jungle. Even more so is his ability to solo Dragon at level 4.