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Nasus Build Guide by Dakirokor

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dakirokor

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Dakirokor Last updated on August 31, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #27 in
Top Lane
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Nasus's Story

The enigmatic creature known as Nasus came to the League from a faraway world, and served as part of a vast and learned desert empire. There he was a respected and enlightened individual, having been made the Keeper of the Great Library. However, he was also part of a race of animalistic creatures that served as the rulers and protectors of the people. War was never more than a breath away, as others of his kind craved to enslave the people and claim totalitarian sovereignty. In the midst of a heated battle, just as Nasus was about to slay his treacherous brother Renekton, he was summoned to Runeterra. It didn't take much to convince him that Champions were needed to fight against the injustice here and he took up a place in the League of Legends. These days, he is the Keeper of the Sands, feeling most at home in the crumbling ruins of the Shurima Desert.

''The Keeper of the Sands, though contemplative, is not to be trifled with.''

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Hello and welcome to my second guide for Offtank Nasus. First I would like to put it out there that I am completely open to suggestions left in comments. I find Nasus a great champion to play because he is one of those champions that doesn't require a whole bunch of items to be useful. This leaves it up to the skill of the player not the number of items you can get as fast as possible. Now onto the rest of the guide.

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Pros / Cons

- Great laning phase
- Can clear whole minion waves in seconds with Spirit Fire
- Great staying power with a passive 10% life steal from Soul Eater size
- People rarely understand how hard Siphoning Strike hits if you farm well
- Easily the best slow in the game

- Very mana hungry before you get your philosopher's stone
- If you lane agaisnt double ranged it can make it hard to farm your Siphoning Strike which greating reduces your effectivness late game
- Even with your philosopher's stone your entire combo takes a lot of mana

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Soul Eater (passive) - Nasus drains his foe's spiritual energy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% lifesteal. The lifesteal value increments at levels 1,6, and 11.

Great passive for staying power. It's basicaly being able to buy a Doran's Shield and a Vampiric Scepter with only 475 gold at the start of the game. Plus as the game goes on the lifesteal gets even higher. Late game in a team fight having 20% lifesteal combined with how tanky you will be that give you a lot more staying power than you would think.

Siphoning Strike (Q) - Nasus strikes his foe, dealing damage and increasing the power of his future Siphoning Strikes if he slays his target.
Nasus's next attack will deal 30/50/70/90/110 ( + ) physical damage. Siphoning Strike permanently gains 3 damage whenever it kills an enemy.
Cost 20/25/30/35/40 Mana Range 300

You main damaging ability through out the entire game so you need to make sure to farm it as much as possible. I've seen a lot of Nasus guides where they max out Spirit Fire first and I could never understand why. With only a level one Siphoning Strike the cool down on it greatly limits the amount you can charge it. By maxing it first not only do you decrease the cool down on it but you get that nice early game damage boost. Also this does work with Sheen/ Trinity Force so as soon as you get those items you are going to be doing way more damage.

Wither (W) - Nasus ages his target, decelerating their movement and attack speeds over 5 seconds.
Nasus ages his target, slowing their movement and attack speed by 35% and reducing it further by 3/6/9/12/15% each second for 5 seconds.
Cost 100/100/100/100/100 Mana Range 700

A really strong slow just from a movement speed point, but combine that with the attack speed slow this can easily turn the tides of a fight against a physical champion. Don't forget that it slows even more the longer it is on the target so if it looks like they might get away just wait they are going to get a lot slower.

Spirit Fire (E) - Nasus unleashes a delayed spirit flame at a location, dealing damage and reducing the armor of enemies who stand on it.
After a brief delay, the target area becomes desecrated. Enemies in the area have their armor reduced by 20/25/30/35/40 and are dealt 20/34/48/62/76 (+0.2) magic damage each second.
Cost 70/85/100/115/130 Mana Range 650

Some people see this as the better ability to level first because of the amount of armour that it shreds as well as the ability to clear entire minion waves in one spell. In a team fight you should be using this constantly even if it means losing an auto attack or two on the enemy. The armour reduction makes it worth it, that combined with your armour pen runes (if you took them) you are going to be hitting champions like Ashe and Pantheon for negative armour.

Fury of the Sands (R) - Nasus unleashes a mighty sandstorm that batters nearby enemies. While the storm rages, he gains additional Health and drains nearby enemies' max health and converts it into bonus damage for the duration of the skill.
Nasus becomes empowered in the sandstorm for 15 seconds, gaining 300/450/600 health. While the storm rages, he deals 3/4/5 (+0.01)% of nearby enemies' health each second (240 damage max per second) as magic damage and converts it into bonus attack damage.
Cost 150/150/150 Mana Range 20

A great utlimate to have on a champion that has enough damage already since it gives you some extra tankiness from 600 health. Riot didn't stop there though, they decided to give it a damage aspect aswell dealing 5% of everyones health around you. That is amazing conbined with Sunfire Cape is too much AoE damage to ignore.

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As you may have noticed there are two sets of runes at the top but don't panic I will explain.

The first set of runes are more Damage oriented and should be used against a really squishy team ie; Ashe, Teemo, Kog'Maw, etc. all those champions that don't have a really amazing get away ability.

greater mark of desolation
greater quintessence of desolation:Increases the damage of your Siphoning Strike and since all the damage items you get are to buff your Siphoning Strike you should get glyphs that do the same.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration:Since you need to use your Siphoning Strike so much you need the extra mana regen so you can continue you farm it.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction:Nasus has great untility abilities so getting CdR allows you to slow the AD carries even more, to reduces everones armour even more offten, and of course take massive chunkes of their health with your Siphoning Strike more.

Alright now to the tank oriented runes, these would be useful agaisnt a team conprised of beefy champions ie; Olaf, Udyr, Jarvan IV, even another Nasus.

Greater Mark of Scaling Magic Resist:Your starting with a so you need something to increase your magic resist.
Greater Seal of Armor:A little extra armour ontop of your Doran's Shield to stop those pesky Master Yi's that lane with a stun champion.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:More magic resist just to even out your resistances so that a specific type of champion doesn't get an advantage over you.
Greater Quintessence of Health:It might not seem like a lot but the when people only hit for 70 or 80 the health quints make a big difference early game.

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A little different from a normal physical damage champion since your Spirit Fire, Sunfire Cape and Fury of the Sands deal magic damage. You might be thinking since this guide is for offtank Nasus I would go for masteries in the defense tree but with your tanking items, ultimate and passive life steal you get very tanky very quickly. The more offensive masteries allow you to get some early kills since it is hard for the enemy to judge how hard you are going to hit them with your Siphoning Strike and by the time they figure it out it is too late. The utility masteries focus on giving you as much mana regen as possible so you can continue to farm up your Siphoning Strike as well as giving you more experiance so you can get your Fury of the Sands as fast as possible.

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These I usually don't change the order from game to game

- Great starting item gives you some extra health and armour. Some extra bulkiness for early game allows you to overpower those other dps champions who need a damage item to be effective. Don't worry too much about harassing with your Siphoning Strike right now you want them to be guessing at how much you are hitting with it plus last hitting right now is the most crutial part of the game.

philosopher's stone - I usually go back when I have about 1500 gold so that you can buy your Boots of Speed and the much needed philosopher's stone. Don't feel obligated to use your Teleport to get back you will want to save that for saving another lanes tower, helping them with a gank, etc. When you get back to your lane you can start using your Spirit Fire a little more since you now have so extra mana regen.

- Most people see this as a support item but I really like this item. It has everything; armour, magic resist, damage, health everything you want. You don't really want to save up and buy it all at once, go for which ever item you need the most when you happen to go back.

- Not much to say about this, by now you need the full movement speed that they give you and the reduced CC duration allows you to stick you those carries.

- BEST ITEM EVAR ON Nasus! Makes your Siphoning Strike hit so much harder. You might be wondering why I hold off on getting this instead of getting it right off the bat so you get that early game damage. The reason is if you farm well enough you don't need the extra damage from sheen, that way you can build more tank items so you can't get focused down as easily. However now that we have gotten past the initial laning phase you need that little extra damage you still be a viable threat to the enemy so they don't just ignore you.

- A really nice item for any tank. Gives you health and armour but the main reason behind getting it is the 40 damage per second. That combined with your Fury of the Sands is a lot of damage to everyone standing near you. Also if you are not sure which item to get first the Chainmail or the Giants Belt I usually go with the Chainmail if there are three or more melee champions or the Giants Belt if there isn't.


After you complete your Sunfire Cape you want to look at their team composition and how well you are doing in the current game. The actual items usually don't change that much but the order does depending on the team.

- Great item not only because it boosts your already high armour and magic resis but becuase of the revive effect it allows you to just stand in a team fight without worrying too much about your health. Asuming that you aren't supper fed and the team is made up of three or more physical champions this is the item that I would get after the Sunfire Cape.

- Basicaly Sheen] on steroids, instead of just 100% of your AD it gives you 150% of your AD on your next attack. Making your [[Siphoning Strike hit even harder will put even more stress on the enemy team because now they have a very tanky champion that can destroy their carries and there is nothing they can do to stop it. If you are really fed then this is what you need just so you do even more damage and get even more fed.

- When making this guide I was haven't some difficulty deciding between Force of Nature and Banshee's Veil but I decided to leave that up to you guys. Depending on how the game is going you might want the extra health or maybe you already have a tank on your team and need the extra move speed to stick to the enemy carries. Asuming that you aren't fed and they have three or more magic champions this is what you want after your Sunfire Cape.

After deciding what you will need after your Sunfire Cape you will want to build your Sheen into a Trinity Force so you can keep up your damage output, also the chance to proc Phage helps you keep people from running away.

- If you game is going this long then you will want to even out your armour and magic resis as well as giving you a bunch more damage. This is what Atma's Impaler does. Not much else to say, if you get to this point in the game hope that you had a good farm period so your Siphoning Strike hits hard enough to keep up with everyone else.

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Summoner Spells

Recommended Summoner Spells

- Your champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.

Great spell since you don't get your Mercury's Treads till later in the game. I have seen a lot of people using Exhaust for the slow but I don't see the point when you already have the best slow in the game.

- After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to target friendly non-champion unit. 3 minute cooldown if cancelled.

Great for so many reasons. Saving towers, helping ganks, saving team mates from a gank, getting back to your lane as fast as possible so you don't miss out on experiance and gold, and my personal favorite is pushing over enemy towers. Nasus is a great tower pusher since your Siphoning Strike hits towers, you can take chunks out of a towers health just by hitting it once.

Optional Summoner Spells

- Reduces a target's Attack Damage by 70%, Ability/Item damage by 35% and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds.

Excellent choice if the enemy team has a lot of AD champions. Also a nice choice for solo laning top, since without a gank you will be 1v1ing the enemy. Nasus is already really strong 1v1 but with exhaust it is pretty much a kill anytime you can catch someone without a big escape ability

- Removes all stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, silences, blinds and immobilizers and reduces the duration of subsequent crowd control effects applied by 65% for 3 seconds.

Not that you should be getting focused with any major CC since you aren't a squishy carry, if you are going up agaisnt a really CC heavy team then this might be a good choice so you can continue to do your job destroying the enemy carries.

- Ignite is a damage over time spell that targets a single champion dealing 50 true damage plus 20 true damage per level over 5 seconds. This damage is not lowered by armor or magic resistance. Also reduces the target’s healing and regeneration by 50%.

If you like to play more agressivly then this extra damage can help you grab a couple of kills early. Also a nice choice if they have a healing heavy team like Soraka, Taric, Nidalee, etc. so who ever you are trying to focus down doesn't get heal spammed.

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Skill Sequence

Start by putting your first point into Siphoning Strike since you want to start farming that as soon as possible. When you get to you lane you should either just stand at the turret or if you have a strong stun partner ( Udyr, Taric, Sion, etc.) then you should go to the bush closest to the their tower. If you get first blood terrific stay in your lane, you don't need those boots that much. Stay in your lane trying to auto attack as little as possible so you get as many Siphoning Stike last hits but don't miss out on just normal last hits, money is money so the more last hits you can get the better. Just remember Siphoning Strike last hit>normal last hit>just standing around.

Once you get your Wither you can stick around in the melee minions a little more to try and get then to jump on you since you have this insane slow. If they do jump you don't throw it on them right off the bat, exchange a few hits and throw it on them before they actually start running. Why before? Because it needs time to build up the slow to the point that it is almost a stun, plus when people see that they are sudenly attacking way slower they realise they can't win and start running giving you a free kill. Remember that even through all the harassment, calling mias and everything else going on constantly last hitting with your Siphoning Strike is your top priority. If you don't get your Siphoning Strike charged up early game your damage is going to be nothing since you don't get that many damage items.

Now that you have Spirit Fire how you should use it depends on whether or not you have your philosopher's stone. If you have it go ahead and use it on like every third minion wave but not everyone since that kills them before you can hit them with your Siphoning Strike. But don't over do it, you still need enough mana to do your whole combo in case things get bad. If you don't have your philosopher's stone then you really should only use it when you fight an other champion. Don't forget that it does more than do AoE damage it reduces armour by a good chunk so it makes everything you have hit harder.

And finally you get the level 6 and get your ultimate Fury of the Sands. Now this is something you want to be pretty passive about using. While still in the laning phase you shouldn't be too worried about getting those early kills so never run at an enemy with the plan to pop Ghost, Wither, Spirit Fire, and Fury of the Sands. So just sit back and contine to do the same passive Siphoning Strike last hitting.

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Role in Team Fights

If your team already has a main tank ( Amumu, Malphite, Galio)

In this situation you aren't need to keep the enemy carries off your team that the main tanks job. So what do you get to do? run straight for the squishiest ranged carry and spread the pain. Throw down your Spirit Fire and Wither as soon as you are in melee range because you want them to tick for as much as possible before the carry can react. As you follow them don't instantly pop your ultimate you want to save it for when you start to get focused so you can survive. Continue to use all your abilities on cool down so you gain the full benefit of the armour reduction.

If your team wants you to be the main tank

This is not the ideal situation for you to be in since this isn't a main tank Nasus build it an offtank Nasus build so it won't have quite the same resistances as a main tank build. Never the less if you are needed to main tank then what you want to do in catch the first person that steppes out of line with your Wither and rush in after them. When everyone starts to focus you pop your Fury of the Sands, throw down Spirit Fire and just kinda stand in the middle of the team fight so people might be inclined to atack you since you are at low health. Another advantage of standing in the middle of the fight is since your Fury of the Sands increases your size its harder for them to click on people if they have a giant Egyptian guy with a stick in their face.

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Because it's the cool thing to do and it provides you guys with proof that this build works I'll start putting screenshot of my games with Nasus. If you guys have a screenshot that you want to appear in the guide send me a message on Mofafire or in game on LoL, my summoner mane is Dakirokor, and I'll include it.
I highlighted the penta to let you know what you are looking for in that screen, don't start raging at me since you didn't get your own with this guide since they hardly ever happen and I was really lucky to get this one

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This is where I will note all the changes in patches on Nasus's abilities or items that are in the guide as well as the dates on which I alter the guide.

23/03/2011 - Changed Sheen description to the correct damage increase (80% to 100%)
23/03/2011 - Spaced out the skill sequence chapter to make it easier to read
09/06/2011 - Switched out Chalice of Harmony for philosopher's stone
31/08/2011 - Added the screenshot section and updated the rest of the guide (Pros/Cons), Runes and Patch Notes

Patch Notes


- New Stat: Tenacity
- Tenacity reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, silences, blinds and immobilizes by 1% per point. Multiple Tenacity effects do not stack, but Tenacity does stack multiplicatively with other disable reductions (for example Irelia's Ionian Fervor).
- New Item: Cloak and Dagger
- +20% Attack Speed
- +20% Critical Strike Chance
- +25 Tenacity
- New Item: Moonflair Spellblade
- +50 Ability Power
- +25 Tenacity
- New Item: Eleisa's Miracle
- +25 Health Regen per 5 sec
- +20 Mana Regen per 5 sec
- +25 Tenacity
- Mercury Treads now grant +35 Tenacity.
- Sunfire Cape area of effect damage per second reduced to 35 from 40

A nice patch for people that feel getting mercury treads means sacrificing too much damage since now you have more than one choice for cc heavy teams. If you want to choose something other than mercury treads I would go for the Cloak and Dagger because of the extra crit that it gives you. If you have a good farm on your siphon strike the crits that you will get off are completely devistating.


- Attack range increased to 125 from 110
- Soul Eater lifesteal increased at earlier levels to 14/17/20% from 10/15/20%
- Wither
- Cooldown reduced to 15/14/13/12/11 seconds from 15 seconds at all ranks
- Mana cost reduced to 80 from 100
- Wither will now reach its max slow even if its duration is reduced (ie: by tenacity)
- Spirit Fire
- No longer has a 0.5 second delay before taking effect
- Now deals half of its damage initially and the other half over the duration -- initial 55/95/135/175/215 (+0.6 ability power) Magic Damage and 11/19/27/35/43 (+0.12 ability power) Magic Damage each second for the next 5 seconds
- Fixed a bug where Siphoning Strike sometimes gained extra lifesteal

Nice little change to Wither so they will still be slowed to the maximum even if the during is reduced, this means that the incriments that increase the slow will just be larger when the duration is reduced. The change to Spirit Fire allows for easier harrassing since it does half of it's damage right at the beginning, also if you are trying to finish someone off by catching them through a wall it will be easier. Finally the extra lifesteal on your passive makes laning even easier, I have found that once you get to the third stage of lifesteal you can just ignore harrassment and heal through it without a problem.