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Nasus Build Guide by PurpleOwnz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author PurpleOwnz

His Bite is Worse Than His Bark

PurpleOwnz Last updated on April 5, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #5 in
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Win 52%
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, this is my first ever guide with Mobafire with my favorite champion in the game. I hope you enjoy playing Nasus with my recommended guide and if you have any feedback please leave it in the comment section. I'll be reading through them periodically and making changes if I see fit. Also know that I plan to eventually add a section explaining how to tell if you're doing well as the game progresses and another section explaining your role in team fights.

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Pros and Cons to Nasus

The Pros:

  • Siphoning Strike stacks indefinitely allowing you to deal the most damage of any AD Bruiser in the game.
  • Because Siphoning Strike scales with creep score you can spend the majority of your cash on defensive items and be a real tank for your team.
  • Nasus is the best AD Bruiser for shutting down carries late game (in my opinion).
  • Wither Reduces an enemy ADC's effectiveness in team fights even if you can't kill them.

The Cons:
  • Nasus' early game is one of the weakest in top lane champions.
  • Teams that work together can secure objectives, such as Dragon , early game while Nasus is unable to help his team.
  • Hard Crowd Control makes your job nearly impossible.
  • Despite being massively tanky late game, you cannot initiate team fights very well.
  • A full build is really expensive.

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Summoner Spells

What I Recommend:

Teleport: Great for its utility early game and late game. This allows you to perform teleport ganks, save teammates in other lanes, or teleport to any team fights in progress to turn the tide of the battle. It also allows you farm, and when you are low on HP you don't have to push the lane before going back. Simply recall, buy, and teleport to your tower. Late game this also allows you to continue farming and split pushing while still being able to join up with the team for critical engagements.

Ghost: I like this spell more than Flash because it allows Nasus to catch up to his prey and makes him harder to kite in team fights, but if you don't feel confident without your Flash then you can replace Ghost with Flash.

Alternative Spells that Also Work:

Flash: As stated above, it is better for escapes, but reduces effectiveness in team fights. However, if it is what you prefer it still works.

Exhaust: It's not the best, but it's not terrible. Nasus' W, Wither, is already Exhaust (only better), but without enough CDR, your opponent can be free from your slow for about 3 seconds while it is on cooldown, which is about how long Exhaust lasts.

What not to Take:

Ignite: A properly played Nasus farms without trying for kills early game and ignite becomes nearly useless late game. Most any other spell is better suited to Nasus.

The Rest: Really no top laner takes any other summoner spells except for Heal/ Barrier which are also redundant on Nasus because his ultimate, Fury of the Sands, gives health and bonus damage for added life-steal.

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Soul Eater: Passive Ability
Soul Eater is what allows Nasus to lane so well despite being unable to harass his opponents. This passive gives him 14/17/20% base life-steal. This also contributes greatly to his tankiness late game.

Siphoning Strike: "Q" Spell
Your main damage output. This spell gains damage when you last hit with it. For every small minion you kill you gain +3 bonus damage and for every cannon minion, super minion, large minion at jungle camps, champion, Dragon , or Baron you manage to last hit with Siphoning Strike you gain a permanent +6 damage. This spell also stacks with your basic attack damage and as you level it.

Wither: "W" Spell
Arguably the best slow in the game. Similar to Exhaust, but longer in duration and with a few key differences. Wither increases the amount that it slows enemies and their basic attacks the longer it stays on a target. The full duration is only 5 seconds long (being reduced by standard CC reducing effects such as Mercury's Treads' Tenacity bonus), but when maxed this ability will slow your opponent by an incredible 95% for the fifth second.

Spirit Fire: "E" Spell
Spirit Fire is an AOE damaging and armor reducing ability. The mana cost is fairly high so this ability should be used sparingly. In team fights or when ganking your opponent it comes in handy, however, because of the armor reduction (40 reduction when maxed). Try to attack immediately after using it because the armor reduction only lasts for 1 second after the enemy leaves the radius. This ability also reveals brush, so you don't need to face check the bushes for a gank.

Fury of the Sands: The Ultimate
This ability grants Nasus bonus health and an aura around himself that deals damage over time as well as boosting his own attack damage based on the amount of damage he is dealing and increasing his attack and spell casting range. Do not neglect to use this ability at the beginning of a team fight. The added damage is invaluable. This ability can also be used to prevent yourself from dying to a gank or to bait your laning opponent into tower diving you and killing them.

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Rune Page

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: I suggest taking two of these, however they are optional. The additional speed is great throughout the game, allowing you to avoid ganks and harassment early game, and making it harder for the enemy ADCs to kite you. However, 3 Greater Quintessence of Life Steal is also a popular choice.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: I recommend one or more of these. They synergize with Nasus' passive, Soul Eater and the masteries we will be using.

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: I like to use 9 of these because they allow Nasus to deal the most damage late game to squishies like ADCs without requiring him to buy a The Black Cleaver or Last Whisper.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These are the only other alternative on Nasus. If you do not feel confident in your ability to last hit in lane, or if your early game is extremely weak (something many Nasus players suffer from), then these are your marks. They make up for any missjudged last hits and allow you to deal a bit of harassment to your opponent early game, but do not scale as well into late game.

Greater Seal of Armor: These have become almost standard to all builds and for obvious reasons. Most of the enemy's early game damage is physical and you can itemize for magic resistance.

Greater Seal of Magic Resist: These are something I would not use unless I had lots of IP laying around. We always want scaling CDR for our glyphs, so if you have the IP to buy a second rune page and you play draft pick, using flat magic resist seals is a good idea if you know your laning opponent will be AP.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: CDR is great on Nasus because Siphoning Strike is practically all of his damage output late game. I recommend the scaling version over the flat version because early game you don't have the mana to spam all of your abilities and past level 6 the scaling version provide more of a boost.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: A good choice if you are facing an AP opponent. Might also be used because these glyphs are highly standardized in the current meta and you may not have the IP or want to spend the IP on CDR glyphs.

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After some deliberation, I have decided to follow the suggestions placed in the comment section and delve mostly into the Defensive Mastery Tree with a few points in Offense.

Offensive Masteries:

  • Sorcery: If you're going to go into the Offensive Masteries, then cool down reduction is a much better choice than attack speed because most of Nasus' damage is from Siphoning Strike, not his basic attacks.
  • Deadliness : A much better choice than Blast because Nasus' Q attack stacks with bonus attack damage but Ability Power only adds small amounts of damage to his Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands.
  • Weapon Expertise : The main reason for placing our last 9 points into the Offensive Tree. That extra 8% armor penetration is great for keeping your damage output high late game when most everyone has armor items.

Defensive Mastery Tree:
  • Durability : While the health boost is quite small early game, it increases steadily as you level and allows us to put a point into Veteran's Scars .
  • Hardiness : Obviously the extra armor is great for reducing incoming damage especially in the early game. I only put two points into it though because I like to have an even 2 and 2 in Hardiness and Resistance .
  • Resistance : Great for laning against AP opponents and helps a bit late game as well. Again I take an even 2 and 2 in case my laning opponent is primarily one or the other. This way I am not at a disadvantage in either case.
  • Relentless : I've been debating lately if the slow reduction is worth it or not. You could also put the two points into Unyielding instead, but I'm not sure if 2 damage reduction is really worth it either. Really it's up to you and your own preferences.
  • Veteran's Scars : That 30 health early game is incredibly valuable. One of the best Defensive Masteries for Nasus this low in the tree. It greatly improves his survivability at his weakest point, early game.
  • Tenacious : Not only is this great early game against champions like Elise and Pantheon with hard crowd control, but later in the game, during team fights, it makes kiting Nasus almost impossible for an ADC.
  • Juggernaut : More tankiness is always better. This bonus also stacks multiplicatively with Veteran's Scars and Durability .
  • Legendary Armor : Not only is this mastery a huge boost early game, but it continues to stack as you add on more items.
  • Reinforced Armor : I take a point out of Juggernaut to use here because in late game scenarios the enemy ADC will most likely be attacking you. Usually the ADC is the only player with critical strike chance, making reducing their incoming damage by 10% a great choice.
  • Honor Guard : The best mastery in the tree. Greatly increases your ability to tank throughout the game helping both in the early laning phase and in team fights.

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Sorry, but this section is going to be long and in depth, there's no avoiding it. The rule of thumb is always, follow the build order in early game based on what your opponent does (AP or AD) and from there try to match the needs of the game. Build orders are always circumstantial.

AP Opponent Build Order: For laning against opponents who are pure AP or who deal a majority of their damage or a majority of their harassment damage using magic.

  • Null-Magic Mantle: Really your choices are early magic resist, or boots since your first item is going to be Merc Treads. I recommend the magic resist if you have the same runes/masteries as I use because you're already quite fast and that harassment early game is something you have to lifesteal through, so the less damage you take the better.
  • Health Potion: With either itemization always buy the max number of health pots, they always come in handy and while you have 19% or more life-steal, your early game damage is too low for this to be your only sustain.
  • Mercury's Treads: Tier two boots are a great first item. The magic resist, CC reduction, and movement speed make it incredibly difficult for you to be ganked or be forced out of lane because of too much harassment.
  • Crystalline Flask: This is an optional item. This is for laning opponents who deal lots of damage with their harass, or who you counter by using lots of ability combos. Either way I recommend this item in most lanes (unless you've already gotten a kill because of a gank from your jungler).
  • Negatron Cloak: This item is also situational. If your opponent is dishing out lots of damage and you can't 1v1 them yet, then get this item. However, if your opponent is low on the damage output then generally you can skip this item for an earlier Sheen.
  • Sheen: The first of two major damage boosts. This item is a MUST HAVE on Nasus. This item applies its damage boost to Siphoning Strike and greatly improves your dueling abilities.
  • Warmog's Armor: Pretty much the go to tank item in the meta right now. However, I do not recommend skipping armor/magic resist to go straight for Warmog's because while Warmog's makes you hard to kill in a duel, the armor/resist make harassment deal less damage, requiring you to heal less while in lane.
  • Trinity Force: The big damage booster to Nasus. That little bit of critical chance and attack speed may not seem like a big deal, but it is. This item is core and should never be skipped. It also allows for even better chasing because it applies slowing affects.
More on late game items past AD Itemization section.

AD Opponent Build Order: This build order is for laning against opponents who deal their damage physically, or who deal their harassment damage physically.
  • Cloth Armor: This item builds into Ninja Tabi, and since Nasus is meant to play passive early game, reducing harassment damage is always a great choice.
  • Health Potions: Buy all five. You may have 19% or more life-steal from the start, but when you are below level 5 this life-steal is not enough to sustain you in lane against heavy harassment, or mistakes on your part.
  • Ninja Tabi: Tier two boots again allow you to avoid ganks, skill shots, most harassment, and the passive helps reduce harassment as well.
  • Warden's Mail: Can be bought before or after Sheen. Against an opponent who deals heavy damage with auto attacks (a level 6 Jax for example), this item should come first. It reduces incoming attack speed and damage, making sustaining in lane much easier.
  • Sheen: Almost always comes after Warden's Mail, but possibly before. The first of two major damage increases a Nasus player will buy.
  • Warmog's Armor: As mentioned before, the ultimate health item in season three. Greatly increases dueling capability, but does not help as much as armor does against a heavy harassment opponent such as Pantheon. Should still be your 4th major item.
  • Trinity Force: Always build Trinity Force, ALWAYS! The damage increase is not only amazing, but greatly needed to keep you intimidating in lane and in team fights.
The following items can be purchased in any order or not at all depending on the flow of the game:

Core Late Game Items:
  • Mercurial Scimitar: This is a late game situational item. If the enemy team has lots of CC, or if they have very little AD, get this item. The active removes all debuffs and increases movement speed for 1 second. It also adds a large amount of attack damage and magic resistance. I placed this item in the build cheat sheet because it is one of my personal favorites, but some games it is wasted money because the enemy team has so little CC.
  • Randuin's Omen: This item made it into the cheat sheet because of it's great bonuses and utility. It builds from our early game Warden's Mail and allows us to slow all enemies at a crucial moment in team fights. Because Nasus is melee range, this active hits multiple enemies and helps him close the gap for a kill on the enemy ADC.
  • Guardian Angel: A great late game tank item. If you do not plan on your 6th item being a major damage output item, then GA is the way to go. Not only is the passive great, but having both armor and magic resist prevents you from falling behind in one or the other.

Alternative Late Game Core Items:
  • Frozen Heart: Great for games in which the enemy ADCs are fed, or doing better than the AP carries. Also adds a fair amount of armor and CDR to Nasus, don't be afraid to go for it so long as no one else has already bought one, and make sure to buy it instead of the Randuin's if no one else on your team plans to.
  • Spirit Visage: I only place this item under alternative instead of core late game because I would rather have the bonus damage from the Mercurial Scimitar. However, Spirit Visage gives an incredible amount of magic resist, cooldown reduction, and life-steal. In situations where you need or want any of the three, by all means go for it.
  • Thornmail: Great for games in which only one enemy ADC is fed, or in which you are the most fed and focused player on your team. Very situational. Most games Thornmail is not as good as Frozen Heart or Randuin's Omen because it offers nothing to the team as a whole.
  • Runic Bulwark: A great team item, but the support should really be the one on your team to buy it. I only see this being a potential buy if the enemy team has lots of fed casters and your support is building something else or is too far behind to get this item when it is really needed.

Late Game Damage Options:
  • Infinity Edge: Rarely if ever purchased, however the damage output is downright overpowered. Only to be bought in games where your team is currently winning or the enemy damage dealers are a long way behind, or the enemy team fed you early game. With 500 added damage to Siphoning Strike from minion farming, a Mercurial Scimitar, and a Trinity Force, adding an Infinity Edge allows Nasus to deal approximately 2500 damage per Siphoning Strike to unarmored targets. However, this item is incredibly expensive, and leaves Nasus vulnerable by costing as much as one and a half tank items.
  • The Bloodthirster: Not an item that I ever buy on Nasus (mostly do to personal preference), but it does synergize with your passive life-steal. However, I believe that if you are going to buy a late game damage item, then Infinity Edge is a better investment because of the raw damage increase.
  • Ravenous Hydra: I personally have never used this item on Nasus, but from my understanding it is a better The Bloodthirster for melee champions only. For the same reason as The Bloodthirster I do not see this as being a very good item on Nasus and its high cost reduces his tankiness quite a lot.

Items I do not Recommend:
  • Sunfire Cape: This item can really be purchased at almost any time after Sheen against an AD opponent, or after Trinity Force against an AP opponent if you have your heart set on it. I do not find much use in the item because the damage output is minimal and the money could be better spent, but it does give you a bit more power in team fights while not cutting down on your potential maximum tankiness by much. It also synergizes with Fury of the Sands.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet: I used to be a big believer in this item, until I realized that instead of providing 150% damage after using a spell it only offers 125%. Plus this item adds no critical chance or additional attack speed. After many games with both I have decided that despite Trinity Force's much higher cost, it is worth the extra money.
  • Blade of the Ruined King: Another one of those interestingly situational items, and with the latest patch, incredibly niche. This item is good for killing opponents with lots of health, but this should not be bought on Nasus. Why? It gives lots of life-steal and more damage based on enemy health, that sounds good doesn't it? Late game you should be focusing carries, who have the least health of anyone on the team. So this passive is wasted and the item is too expensive for the rest of the stats to make up for it.

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Laning With Nasus

This is going to be a short section on the mentality that Nasus players should have during the laning phase and how to best play Nasus during the early stages.

Farming: You want to play as passively as possible early game. This is because, if you attack your laning opponent, his creeps will target you instead of your creeps. The damage dealt to you will not be dealt to your minions and your lane will be pushed towards your opponent's tower. You want to try to keep the enemy's minions just outside your tower's range, but on your side of the river. This will allow you to farm safely because the turret is nearby to run to, and it also makes ganking your opponent easier for your jungler. If your opponent has AOE harass ( Garen's spin, Talon's abilities), you want to stand in your creep wave so that their AOE will deal extra damage to the minions and push the wave towards your tower. The same applies to opponents with skill shots that can be blocked by minions ( Nidalee comes to mind). While much of your sustain is from your life-steal, try not to attack minions except to last hit if possible. Attempting to only last hit will also help you build up the damage on Siphoning Strike because the less often creeps are dying near you, the more often your Q will be off cool down and available to last hit with. If you need to life-steal to stay in lane, make sure to get in a basic attack on a minion and then last hit with Siphoning Strike immediately afterwards. This results in the least amount of lane pushing for the most amount of sustain.

Pushing a Lane: There are only a few rare instances in which you want to heavily push your lane. For the most part however, try to avoid pushing at all costs. The only times you should try to push your lane are:
1. Your laning opponent has left the lane to help his team secure Dragon (or the bottom lane turret) and you cannot stop them.
2. It is mid game (approximately level 9) and you have just killed your laning opponent and the other lanes are still visible on the map. In this instance you may not kill the turret right away, but you should have enough damage on your Q (which can be used against turrets) to push to and take down the turret to two thirds of its health or less.

When To Use Teleport: We've taken teleport as one of our Summoner Spells, so when do we use it? Before level 6 you can use it purely for your own gain. If you are low on HP or have enough gold for an item, feel free to recall and then teleport back to your turret. However, after level 6, try to save it unless your opponent has pushed to your turret and will deal significant damage before you can get back. At level 6 and higher you should have enough damage to start to use your teleport offensively. If a lane is being pushed heavily, try to teleport to a sight ward or a Vision Ward behind the enemy and surprise them with a gank. If a lane is being tower dove by the enemy jungler, teleport in and make him pay for his actions. Also look to secure Dragon or defend against ganks in bottom lane too.

When Can I Be Aggressive in Lane?: The short answer is, it depends. The longer answer is, when you start to deal large amounts of harassment damage. If you can use a basic attack, Q, basic attack combo and take out a large amount of health, especially against an opponent with little sustain, then do so. If you can 1v1 your opponent and win, then sit between him and the creeps to stop any last hits. If you are warding properly you won't be ganked and your laning opponent will lose CS to the point where he can't recover. It all depends on your opponent and how well you have been doing in the game. Generally speaking, Nasus gets a huge boost of power at level 6, when he buys Sheen, and when he completes his Trinity Force. Look to be aggressive at these times if you are confident and press your advantage.

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Lane Matchups

The Lane Matchups section of this guide is organized by difficulty (Red being the hardest, Yellow moderate, and Green easy) and each difficulty will be alphabetical. Any not mentioned are ones I have never played.

Difficult Lanes:

Elise is one of the more difficult AP lanes. If you follow AP itemization and get Negatron Cloak after Mercury's Treads you should be ok.

Some things to Remember:
1. Do not bother getting armor items, Elise's basic attacks deal magic damage in spider form.
2. Her stun is a skill shot and can be blocked by minions.
3. Her human form has ranged basic attacks which some Elise players love to use against you. Allow these players to hit you once or twice, but not more, because it will draw minion fire to Elise and help push the lane to your tower.

Garen can be extremely difficult, or not too bad. If Garen plays aggressively, this lane is one of the hardest to win. His early game harass is much better than yours, and he can farm while doing it with his spin. Try to make him run through the creeps while spinning to push the lane even harder (he will push no matter what). Try to stay close to your turret, and if you are ever under half health, drink a pot, recall, or life-steal under your turret. You cannot leave your turret if under half health because Garen will kill you.

Things to remember:
1. Garen moves slower while spinning if he is going through minions.
2. Garen's Decisive Strike will counter your Wither only if he uses it AFTER you Wither him.
3. If you are harassing Garen (after getting Sheen) try to use Spirit Fire to deactivate his passive healing, Perseverance, and reduce his sustain greatly.
4. Follow AD opponent itemization, but build defensively and skip the Warden's Mail for Warmog's Armor first because the passive on the Chainmail does nothing against Garen's spin attack, Judgement.

Pantheon will be difficult, but there are a few tips to staying alive beyond just following the AD itemization.

Things to Remember:
1. Let Pantheon push you to your tower, but, unlike other lanes, return harassment if he jumps to you with Aegis of Zeonia.
2. Pantheon is mana based, so he can't do non-stop harassment (thank god!), but if he tries to he will be vulnerable in lane while low on Mana.
3. Pantheon's Spear Shot can not be blocked by minions.
4. Pantheon's block, Aegis Protection will be deactivated by a basic attack and then you should use Siphoning Strike to return damage.
5. Pantheon has no sustain other than potions and items.
6. If he wanders into turret range, try to hit him before the turret does because his block will block a turret shot
7. This lane will require lots of patience and potions.

If Rumble is your top lane opponent, you've lost. I'm not kidding here. Unless he's an awful player or your jungler babysits your lane, you will lose this lane. Rumble is almost pure AP (only his basic attacks are AD) so follow AP Itemization

Things to Remember:
1. Go for a Negatron Cloak before Sheen and pray.
2. In lane, try your best to dodge his Electro-Harpoon, good luck.
3. If he overheats and starts spitting flames, back up, if you have to, use Wither on him to get away.
4. He will always have a CS lead and he will have a huge damage lead in 1v1 situations until at least level 10, usually level 12 or more.
5. Rumble has a shield, Scrap Shield, try to bait it before harassing him.
6. Rumble's slow is AOE, so don't stand near your minions.
7. Try to avoid giving up kills and hope your team can carry you late game.

Teemo is incredibly difficult before level 6, but becomes infinitely easier after level 6 and Sheen. Teemo's early game is magic based, so follow AP itemization. By level 6 you should have enough damage on Siphoning Strike to really mess him up and he won't have the health to stay in lane for long. In the very early game, try to only farm with your Q (but before last hitting try to bait the Blinding Dart so you don't miss the last hit) until Teemo ends up pushing the lane to you (something that happens because of his poison from Toxic Shot). Until level 6 Teemo will probably have a CS lead, but that's ok so long as he doesn't kill you.

Things to remember:
1. Teemo's speed boost, Move Quick, is completely negated by your Wither, so if he tries to run, don't let him.
2. Teemo's ultimate, Noxious Trap is complete **** compared to yours. Just don't follow him into the bushes unless you have a huge health lead and you'll be fine.
3. Try to wait until Blinding Dart ends (which shouldn't be too long with Mercury's Treads) before using Siphoning Strike.

Moderately Difficult Lanes:

The reason why Darius is only moderately difficult is because of how heavily Darius will push the lane. If you follow AD itemization with the extra pots early game you should be able to survive until the creeps are at your tower without much trouble. From there just out farm him and if you get low on health pop your ultimate to try to negate Noxian Guillotine.

Things to remember:
1. Darius will use his AOE spin attack, Decimate, to farm and harass. Stand near to your minions, but just far enough back to dodge Darius as he comes in for the harassment. If you're successful in doing this he'll push your lane and you'll be half way to victory already.
2. Also remember that Darius can pull you to himself with Apprehend. Keep this in mind if you ever find yourself near his tower instead of yours.

If Malphite plays to be aggressive in lane, this matchup becomes difficult, but if he builds pure tank, or nearly pure tank, this lane becomes one in which no one dies. An AP Malphite is scary in lane, but bad for his team late game. Just try to stay alive and you will scale better than him. If he builds tanky, ignore him in lane. He won't deal enough damage to you, so if you followed AP itemization, your life-steal will be enough to literally ignore his damage output. That being said, try not to get ganked because you ignored Malphite until he harassed you down to half health.

Things to remember:
1. While Malphite's basic attacks are physical, follow AP itemization because his harassment and the majority of his damage comes from his magic based abilities.
2. Malphite's natural shield makes harassment harder, but if you're going to go for it, be sure to keep the pressure up after the shield is broken or else you're just wasting time and mana.
3. A pure tanky Malphite is not worth trying to harass in lane because you'll be missing valuable CS for no gain.

I know, it seems silly to include Nasus in the lane match ups section, but if you play blind pick (especially during Nasus free week) then you might run into another. This lane is moderately difficult because it requires so much patience and its own unique build order.

Unique Build Order:
1. Boots of Speed first with 3 Health Potions
2. Mercury's Treads
3. Sheen
4. Warmog's Armor
5. Trinity Force

Notes on Special Build Order: You need the Mercury's Treads because of Wither, and you don't get a defensive item before Warmog's Armor because all of Nasus' damage is burst ( Siphoning Strike) so armor is much less effective.

Things to Remember:
1. Be the more passive player. The most passive Nasus wins the lane. If he harasses you with his Q that's a good thing. Not only will you just life-steal through it, but he won't get as many Q stacks on the minions. After only 10 minutes or so of being harassed in lane you will have a 40 or more damage lead on him.
2. If you're the first Nasus to get a Sheen, abuse the hell out of it. If he went some other item first, Sheen will give you the advantage in every fight, no matter what the item is.
3. If you're ahead but you can't secure the kill because Wither vs. Wither fights are ridiculously dumb, call for a gank, but otherwise play passively until you have the Sheen advantage and then be hyper aggressive.

Xin Zhao tanky, agressive, and has some good CC. Early game try to let him push the lane to you. This might require missing some CS at the start. Follow AD itemization because he's pure AD (obviously).

Things to Remember:
1. He doesn't push the lane very hard, but if he takes damage he has to heal. His sustain is purely based on dealing damage, but he has to hit 3 times to heal at all.
2. By level 6 you should start to harass him to force him to heal on minions and keep the creep wave at your tower.
3. You may want an early gank against this lane unless you're going to hug your tower all game.

Easy Lane Matchups:

Early game, Jax has no sustain at all. In fact, most Jax players wait a ridiculous amount of time before even buying a Vampiric Scepter. Allow him to push you to your tower (he'll try to harass you and he'll draw creep fire, pushing the lane). Once at your tower you'll be fine. Just follow AD itemization and get the Warden's Mail before Sheen because his level 6 damage boost is better than yours with his ultimate Grandmaster's Might. By the time you get Sheen you should have enough damage to harass him anytime he's near in lane and either force him out of lane, or win by large amounts of CS.

Things to Remember:
1. Jax's stun, Counter Strike, deals more damage the more you attack him while it is active, but your Siphoning Strike is not blocked by it and will not increase its damage.
2. Jax has no sustain, if he harasses you, get in a basic attack/Q/basic attack combo and back off. He'll come out the loser even if you took more damage.
3. Use your Wither in any engagement where he jumps to you with Leap Strike. He won't be able to back out without taking huge amounts of damage, and you'll come out even further ahead.

That's right, the Brazilian Terror is probably the easiest laning opponent you will face. He pushes the lane incredibly hard with his AOE, but if you follow AP itemization he won't be able to deal enough damage to you to negate your life-steal. Just allow him to push the lane. Early game he's surprisingly fragile and slow, so a gank wouldn't be a bad idea here. By level 6 you should be able to kill him in a 1v1 duel, sometimes it may require Sheen if he has a large CS lead.

Things to remember:
1. Actually stand away from your minions. While his harassment is AOE and staying near the minions would push the lane, Mordekaiser has to ability farm. Standing back from your minions until after he uses an ability will ensure that your don't also take the harassment.
2. Don't try to harass or engage when his shield, Iron Man, (the grey bar above his head and under his health) is full. You're just giving him an unnecessary advantage if you do.

Talon is a bad joke in top lane. He does so little damage early game that it doesn't even matter if you take all his harassment to the face. His mana pool is also incredibly small considering how much his abilities require. This lane is easy from start to finish.

Things to Remember:
1. Talon's W, Rake, slows, so try your best to dodge it if you're chasing him.
2. Using Wither right before he uses his ultimate, Shadow Assault, will make it hard for him to juke you.
3. He's squishy, so don't be afraid to harass him if he gets too close. It's worth it unless you're missing huge amounts of CS for it.

Vladimir is not a very popular top lane champion anymore, but if you do see him it shouldn't make for a very difficult game. You can feel free to go for a Sheen before Negatron Cloak if you want to try to force him out of lane early, but I recommend just going for Sheen after Cloak and playing passively until you have a much bigger lead, especially since he doesn't contribute that much to a team fight, so it's ok if you don't completely shut him down in lane.

Things to remember:
1. Vladimir will use all of his abilities to harass you (or at least he should), but with 2 magic defense items ( Mercury's Treads and Negatron Cloak) his harassment is too weak to matter. 2. Vladimir has his Sanguine Pool to escape from you, but it costs him health to use it, so if you bait it out you've already done some harassment.
3. Vladimir has no hard CC, but his pool slows you if you stand in it and it heals him as it does damage to you.
4. Vladimir's Tides of Blood does damage to all targets around him and also builds stacks as he casts it (maximum of 4 so don't worry about insane amounts of damage coming out of him) so he will spam it to keep his abilities at maximum damage (the stacks go away after 8 seconds (I think) of not casting his "E"). Luckily this will push your lane and the damage boost is pitiful against your life-steal.
5. Past level 3 or 4 you most likely will not need potions and will be able to ignore Vladimir's harassment while farming.
6. Past level 8 you should be able to almost completely shut down his farm and if you leave lane you most likely won't have to worry about him killing your turret since he is an AP caster and it will take him a long time to knock it down.

Wukong is difficult to actually finish off, but farming against a Wukong is fairly easy. While his Q. Crushing Blow, will be better than yours until approximately 15 minutes into the game, he doesn't have enough burst damage to negate your life-steal so his harassment is something you can take and walk away from. Just follow the AD itemization with a Warden's Mail before Sheen and you should gain the upper-hand somewhere around levels 6 or 8.

Things to remember:
1. If you're going in for a Siphoning Strike and Wukong suddenly stops moving, it's his Decoy, so don't attack it.
2. If you throw out Wither on to Wukong and it suddenly dissapears, you're looking at his Decoy, so don't attack it.
3. If you're chasing Wukong and he throws out his Decoy and you've already Withered him, continue to walk forward, he won't move quickly enough to ditch you even if he runs in the opposite direction so you are guaranteed another Siphoning Strike.
4. Be careful of his knock up, Cyclone, when you're being ganked, that hard CC can wreck your day. Luckily it is his ultimate so it won't be a problem before level 6. To avoid it, try not to let Wukong get close enough to harass you if you've accidentally pushed your lane to the River or further.
5. Despite the advantage you will have past level 6 or so, Wukong can still surprise you if he builds enough life-steal, so don't be overconfident in dueling with him. Always try to do it close to your turret and never chase him under his turret unless you have a huge portion of your health left.

Guide Top


Hey everyone, I hope you liked the guide, this is my first one ever. I've been playing Nasus top the most of any champion in League so I feel I understand him the best and wanted to help anyone looking for a cheap, but good top laner. I'll be adding more lane match ups in the future as well as sections talking about how to tell how well you are farming with your Q in game and I'll possibly be adding a jungling guide. I just wanted to get this guide out there to see the general response and decide if it was worth my time to continue making improvements. If you have any other suggestions please leave them in the comments, I'll be sure to read them and make any changes I see fit and reply to you in a timely fashion.

Update: Alright guys, I understand if you don't like something in this guide, but if you're going to downvote it then let me know what you didn't like so I can make the appropriate changes.