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Nidalee Build Guide by Argen Dargon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Argen Dargon

Crouching Cougar, Hidden Ambush. In-depth Jungle Nid

Argen Dargon Last updated on September 8, 2014
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Team 1

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Jungle Role
Ranked #31 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 5


Utility: 4

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Hi, I'm Argen Dargon and this is my first published guide on Mobafire. I bought post-rework Nidalee some time ago and I mostly played her as an AD assassin mid. However, recently I've realized that she is a surprisingly viable jungler. This guide will hopefully teach you how to play Nid in the jungle. This is my first published guide so I'm not sure how it'll do, but if you think this guide needs something improved, please leave a comment as this guide is currently a work in progress. If you downvote, please tell me why so I can fix the problem. Without further ado, let's jump right into the Pros and Cons of Crouching Cougar, Hidden Ambush.

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Pros / Cons of Jungle Nid


  • Great jungle camp clear speed
  • Built-in sustain
  • Gap closer
  • Hard to ambush if you use Bushwhack
  • Good duelist
  • Very strong ganks
  • Very strong early/mid game
  • Hybrid Damage (Hard to counter-build)
  • Has both burst and dps


  • Squishier than a lot of other junglers
  • No CC
  • Falls off late-game
  • Hard CC can kill you in a teamfight

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Spells / Abilities


Ability description:
PROWL: Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 10% for 2 seconds, which increases to 30% if she is moving toward a visible enemy champion within 5500-range.
HUNT: Hitting enemy champions with Javelin Toss or Bushwhack will mark them as Hunted for 4 seconds, revealing them. While moving toward Hunted, Nidalee gains Prowl's bonus movement speed and ignores unit collision. Additionally, Nidalee's first use of each of her Aspect of the Cougar abilities against Hunted will have an empowered effect.

This is a fantastic passive. 5500 range is a HUGE radius. Nidalee is nearly impossible to run away from with this passive. As long as you have Hunt on someone, they can't even escape through the jungle, as the Hunted debuff grants vision of them, and you'll also gain even MORE bonus movement speed moving through jungle brush. In addition to this already fantastic passive, your cougar abilities have empowered effects against a hunted target. This passive is, in my opinion, one of the most useful in the game, and it's not even very difficult to use.

Javelin Toss

Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee hurls her javelin forward in a line, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits.
After having traveled 525 units, the javelin's damage will be increase by 2% per 7.75 units traveled, capping at 200% bonus damage (300% total damage) after traveling 1300 units.
BASE MAGIC DAMAGE: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+40% AP)
MAXIMUM MAGIC DAMAGE: 150 / 225 / 300 / 375 / 450 (+120% AP)

Javelin Toss is a skillshot nuke that deals magic damage and applies the Hunted debuff to champions hit. It scales with AP, but the base damage is still pretty high if you land it at a decent range. The damage isn't as important to us though; the main thing this skill is good for is applying the Hunted debuff to a target so you can burst and kill them. It's pretty important to land this when ganking and might take a little practice. It's a little tricky to land this skillshot because it's reaaally narrow, but at medium to low range shouldn't be too difficult.


Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee lays a trap at a target location that arms after a very brief delay. When sprung by an enemy unit, they will take magic damage plus a percentage of their current health over 4 seconds (max. damage 150 vs. monsters). Traps last for 2 minutes.
TOTAL MAGIC DAMAGE: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of target's current health)

This is a really useful utility spell for applying the Hunted debuff. You can put it in bushes and choke-points near jungle camps to keep people from counter-jungling or ambushing you, you can put it in lane bushes to set up a gank or counter-gank, you can even put it in the enemy jungle so you know what they're up to. The damage is kinda meh but the utility is really useful if used properly. I'll go over proper/advanced use in the Advanced Use of Skills section.

Primal Surge

Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee evokes the spirit of the cougar, healing a target allied champion or herself and granting them bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.
HEAL: 45 / 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 (+ 50% AP)
ATTACK SPEED: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60%

As AD nid, this is your primary damage spell. This spell is fantastic for jungling. It gives you a big attack speed buff and a little heal. It will let you sustain as long as you have mana and clear camps really quickly. It's a very easy spell to use and doesn't really need much explanation IMO. Just target yourself for extra health and damage.

Aspect of the Cougar

Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, gaining a new set of abilities and melee attacks (125 range).
Triggering Hunt resets Aspect of the Cougar's cooldown if Nidalee is in Human Form.
ACTIVE: Nidalee transforms back into her human form.
Nidalee begins the game with one rank in Aspect of the Cougar and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Each rank in Aspect of the Cougar increases the ranks of all of Nidalee's cougar abilities.

This ability transforms you in between your human and cougar forms. You should be in human form for range and sustained damage, and for initiating on people. Switch to cougar form for chasing and finishing people with Takedown. Keep in mind that Nid's cougar form abilities scale with Aspect of the Cougar, NOT with the rank of the corresponding human-form ability. Putting more points into Javelin Toss won't increase the effectiveness of Takedown, hence why we max Primal Surge first.


Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee's next attack gains 75-range (200 total range) and is modified to deal magic damage. The damage is increased by 1.5% for every 1% of the target's missing health, for a maximum of 150% bonus damage (250% total damage).
HUNT BONUS: If the target is marked as Hunted, Takedown deals 33% increased damage.
BASE MAGIC DAMAGE: 4 / 20 / 50 / 90 (+100% AD) (+24% AP)
MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 10 / 50 / 125 / 225 (+250% AD) (+60% AP)
HUNT MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 13 / 67 / 167 / 300 (+333% AD) (+80% AP)

This spell is amazing. It will reset your autoattack timer and buff your next attack, also converting it to magic damage. This is why we get sorceror's shoes if we want offensive shoes in the bursty builds (Protector of ***ungu (Mobafire censors the name of Nid's home -_-) and Feral Huntress). It even converts the damage from Sheen/Triforce/Iceborn into magic damage. This spell is easy to use and is fantastic for finishing low-health enemies. It's not as damaging as some other executes such as, say, Garen's ult Demacian Justice, but this is on a low cooldown and scales with your AD, also applying on-hit effects. Very powerful spell overall.


Abliity Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee lunges a fixed 375 units in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to enemies within a 75-radius area around her landing point. Killing a unit will reduced Pounce's current cooldown to 1 second if it's currently higher.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 (+ 30% AP)
HUNT BONUS: If the cursor is near an enemy marked as Hunted within 750-range, Pounce becomes a unit-targeted dash.

This is an excellent mobility spell. You can use it to move between jungle camps quicker, cross thin terrain, and chase or escape. It also deals a little damage as a bonus, and resets to 1 second whenever you kill something. Additionally, it gains DOUBLE RANGE against hunted targets. The cooldown near-reset makes it a great spell for clearing camps/minion waves or for tower diving.


Ability Description:
ACTIVE: Nidalee claws at enemies in a 180-degree cone in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 70 / 130 / 190 / 250 (+ 45% AP)
HUNT BONUS: If Swipe hits an enemy marked as Hunted, Pounce.png Pounce's current cooldown is reduced to 1 second if it's currently higher.

This spell is kinda ehh on AD Nid, but it's still okay for clearing jungle camps/minion waves. Mostly what it's good for on AD Nid is proccing Sheen/Triforce/Iceborn. Not much really to say about this spell.

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Skill Sequence

Here are the reasons behind my max order for Jungle Nidalee

First Priority: Aspect of the Cougar

This is your Ultimate, and has first priority in the max order. Ranks in this increase the ranks of all your cougar form spells, most importantly, your Takedown, which is your best spell for netting kills. Take points in this whenever you can.

Second Priority: Primal Surge

This is your primary damage spell as AD Jungle Nid. It lets you clear waves a lot faster and sustain a lot longer, and it's the only one of Human Form Nidalee's spells that's useful with AD, so we max it first.

Third Priority: Javelin Toss

This spell doesn't have any AD scaling, but the base damage is still pretty ok. It's mostly useful to proc Hunt on a specific target. It can also be used to take down large monsters a little faster, so we max it second.

Fourth Priority: Bushwhack

This is your our primary utility spell. It deals a little damage but putting points into it is kinda useless, since you don't use it all that much and it's pretty fail in combat. Since it's good for utility but not damage, so we max it last.

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Pros / Cons of Protector of ***ungu


  • Deals decent damage
  • Decent defense, won't die as easily in teamfights.
  • Strong Sustain
  • Has some burst


  • Can't burst people as easily
  • Weak damage lategame

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Pros / Cons of Feral Huntress


  • Lots of damage
  • Bursty
  • Scales well lategame
  • Can kill squishies easily
  • Very fast camp clear speed
  • Lots of sustain


  • Dies easily, especially if CCed
  • Mana Hungry if you're not careful
  • Expensive build
  • Harder playstyle due to low defense

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Pros / Cons of Cattank


  • Very survivable
  • Very strong sustain
  • Not as mana hungry
  • Decent DPS
  • Has a little CC


  • Weak damage
  • Weak burst
  • Slower to clear jungle camps

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Creeping / Jungling

Start with blue buff and get a pretty strong leash. If your allies can do a third of the golem's health that'd be good. Smite it and then do wolves, wraiths, red buff (smite it), and the little golems. Around this time is when you want to start thinking about ganking a lane. Top and Bot lane are generally the easiest to gank at this stage of the game, due to the enemy midlaner being closer to their turret and usually having a higher level. If you can't gank bot after red, work your way back top through wraiths, wolves, and wight, then either go for a gank on top or recall and shop. Your basic jungle path is blue, wolves, wraiths, red, golems, wraiths, wolves, wight.

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To gank as Jungle Nidalee, you should try to land a Spear Shot for some initial damage and for the movement speed buff from Hunt. Then, go ahead and use Primal Surge and start autoattacking. In between attacks you should move a little bit to stay caught up to your target or block their escape. Once spear shot is off cooldown again, or if the enemy is close enough to you, spear shot, transform into your Cougar form, and pounce/swipe/takedown.(Hydra/Tiamat active after pounce.) That cougar combo will kill most enemies from about a third of their max health. If they survive with a little heath, transform back into human form and try to kill them with autoattacks. Even if you cant get the kill, driving the enemy away will let your laner get farm and you might be able to take a turret as well.

Alternatively, if the enemy is low enough health you think you can kill them outright, primal surge yourself, then lead with spead shot into cougar form, pounce, swipe, and takedown.