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Nidalee Build Guide by CuteKenny

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CuteKenny

Iceborn Nidalee TOP lane guide

CuteKenny Last updated on April 7, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

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Summoner Spells

Primary Spells

Flash: This spell is pretty much mandatory. Nidalee has great utility with Pounce already. Flash just makes her uncatchable. If you ever land a Javelin Toss and Pounce is out of range Flash is a great spell to follow up and secure the kill.

Ignite: This spell is really great to win trades up top. Especially when tanky tops are current in the meta. Ignite prevents them from healing as much.

Optional Spells

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I max E 1st for your sustain and your easy farm with Swipe and when you farm in Nidalee's cougar form you have 0 mana costs, this is where the double Doran's Rings come in hand.

I then max Q Javelin Toss 2nd for her cougar form Takedown. Her Q proc's her passive Prowl if you successfully land it on and enemy chamption. This damage has insane burst when used with Pounce to close the gap. Takedown also has 33% more damage when the target is marked with Prowl

I get W at level 1, once you are able to land a spear, your level 2 trades are really strong. If your Javelin Toss hits the enemy champion Pounce has increased range. Very good for gap closing, and very fun to use aswell!

As with every ultimate level it at 6,11, and 16. This is how you only level up your cougar form damage.

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Laning Phase

I start W Bushwhack to grant vision and set some traps early on. Starting with w Bushwhack is really nice if you go Q Javelin Toss level 2, landing a spear and Pounce will be really effective and from that simple trade you can force your enemy out of lane or even grab first blood. This is why Ignite is highly recommended.

When you ever do back, because we are running Ignite we need to get back to lane as fast as possible. Make sure you are in cougar form and spamming Pounce.

Also when you are maxing E Primal Surge don't be afraid to Pounce and Swipe to trade a bit, you will just be able to heal yourself back up. And try to farm most of the time in cougar form. You are tanky, so don't be afraid to be aggressive in melee form.

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Starting Items

Doran's Ring and 2 Health Potions is a standard start. But what we are really looking at is the passive. Restores 4 mana when you kill an enemy unit. Stacking two of these is great sustain for your Primal Surge when none of your abilities in cougar form cost mana.

Warding Totem is probably the best trinket to start off with. Having Sweeping Lens level 1 isn't really worth it. Make sure if you are playing top to ward the river around the 3 minute mark.


First Back

I always rush double Doran's Rings the passive granting 8 mana from ever unit killed is very nice and cheap sustain item. Works really good with Nidalee's cougar form which uses no mana.

Mid Game Purchases

Against AP Top

I build Spectre's Cowl if I'm against an AP top champion. I will build Spectre's Cowl into a Spirit Visage, the passive is really nice for self healing. Normally this is all the magic resist i get early on, if i need more, I will upgrade my boots.
Against AD Top

When I'm against an AD top I don't bother upgrading boots this early. Because Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape give lots of armor I'm normally tanky enough at this moment.
Once I have enough Gold

If I have some extra gold. I like to purchase Sheen. The passive + 25 AP gives you a little extra burst. And the 200 mana doesn't hurt.


Finishing the Core

Spirit Visage

Spirit visage is an amazing item! Really great for your self heals, and the 10% CDR makes this item a core. I normally will finish this after Iceborn Gauntlet if facing an AP top.
Iceborn Gauntlet

This item is a first rush, Unless you really need more magic resist, then you must rush Spirit Visage.
Sunfire Cape

This item must be built after Iceborn Gauntlet. You will find your wave clear synergy with Swipe and Iceborn Gauntlet to do you wonders.

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Why Iceborn over Trinity?


So. Trinity Force does more damage than Iceborn Gauntlet, well yes that's true. but this build doesn't work with Trinity Force. Here's why...
  • This build doesn't have to do the most damage, and it's not about doing the most damage.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet is really nice when you land a Q Javelin Toss and the slow helps you stick on them.
  • You also are tanky Nidalee this guide is to show you how to play her a different way, that is very viable.
  • So you might say well Phage is really good on Nidalee. It is, but it also isn't needed. Nidalee has a lot of chase from her Pounce you wont need the Phage.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet also lets you make use of the cougar form, you don't have to play so safe because you are the tank!