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Nautilus Build Guide by KajiKumihoAkukei

Top Kaji's Nautilus Toplane Guide ~ All Will Drown

Top Kaji's Nautilus Toplane Guide ~ All Will Drown

Updated on October 29, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author KajiKumihoAkukei Build Guide By KajiKumihoAkukei 292 15 814,017 Views 4 Comments
292 15 814,017 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author KajiKumihoAkukei Nautilus Build Guide By KajiKumihoAkukei Updated on October 29, 2020
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Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Bone Plating

Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity

+8 ability haste
+5 Armor
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None




1. Kaji's Guides
2. The King of Crowd Control
3. Introduction
4. Climbing in Ranked
5. Summoner Spells
6. Pros / Cons
7. Unique Abilities
8. Skill Sequence
9. Runes
10. Left to Die
11. Items
12. Special Thanks
13. Update Log

Kaji's Guides

The King of Crowd Control

~They will pay!~


Why Nautilus

Hi guys,

I am KajiŌkami.
I have written a couple of guides now and I really enjoy the whole idea behind guide writing. Hopefully you will learn something from this guide, because that means I have done a good job!

I made this guide because I think Nautilus is a strong choice as a tank top laner if you know how to play him. On top of his strong tank stats, he also offers a lot of engaging / playmaking tools.

If you do like my content, feel free to follow me on Twitch, Twitter or YouTube! You can find the links at the top of my guide!

Enjoy the guide and have fun out there on the fields of justice!

Climbing in Ranked

Challenger to Bronze V

If you want to be able to climb the ladder in ranked here are a few pointers in general (counts for every role and every champion). League of Legends is, and will always be, a team game. This means that you will have to rely on others in order to win games. Some games you can carry your team, some games you will be the one getting carried by your team. Just remember: everyone can have a bad game!


+ Be positive
+ Be a teamplayer
+ Play the vision game
+ Take objectives
+ Play mastered champions
+ Keep your cool
One of the most important parts about being able to win consistently is being positive. If you go into your games with a clear and positive mindset it will not only help you, but also your teammates. Part of playing as a team includes going along with plays your team commits to. Even if you don't 100% agree with the play. By not joining when your team is committed to make the play you just lower the chances of a play succeeding or not!
Another very important key to victory is vision! It's not only the support's job to provide vision. It is a team effort, by buying a Control Ward on every opportunity you have, you will help your team out tremendously! Once you have learned to help your team provide vision, the next step is learning to secure objectives, because they win games. Taking turrets or slaying an elemental dragon can help your team get global gold or increased stats!
Next thing to keep in mind is to play champions you feel comfortable on, don't force yourself into taking the meta pick if you don't know how to play the champion through and through! Knowing everything there is to know about your champion is very important to consistently win lane!
Last but not least: keep your cool! If you are having a bad game, don't start making risky plays or going by yourself. Play safe and rely on your team to help you get back into the game. Same thing goes if your team is playing poorly. Stay calm and don't blame it on them, just keep playing and help them get back into the game.


- Flame
- Be negative
- Afk farm
- Surrender
- Chase kills
- Be a KDA player
Never flame your teammates, because this will cost you the game more often than not.
For example: We've all been there, the enemy jungler seems to have a tent set by your lane and your jungler doesn't visit your lane once. What to do next, flame and blame your jungler? No! Just play safe, don't give away free kills and let your jungler have impact elsewhere on the map. The same goes for being negative, this will just have a bad impact on your teammates. It will affect their play and your chances of winning decrease by a big amount.
If a game isn't going according to plan, don't go sit in a sidelane doing nothing but farm all game. Yes, farming is important, but helping your team and assisting on plays is a lot more important!
Surrendering is also never an option. If you are behind, just stall out the game until your have caught up with the enemy team or at least until the difference in items and gold doesn't matter as much anymore. A lot of games can be won by just playing smart and waiting for your time, even if you are behind.
One more thing to keep in mind: don't chase for kills. Most of the times you keep chasing for a kill you are just wasting your time or worse, getting yourself killed! If an enemy gets away with just a bit of health take this opportunity to take an objective or provide and clear out vision. This will help your team globally a lot more than trying to get that one kill to boost your KDA and risk dying.

Summoner Spells

In every game you will take Flash and Teleport.
There isn't too much to explain about these choices. This just the best set of summoner spells on Nautilus top.
You need Flash for obvious reasons, as it helps you escape ganks or other sticky situations or it allows you to set up the plays.
Teleport also has it's unique value, you can use it to get back to lane quickly without losing any pressure or it can enable you to go help your team on the other side of the map and set them up for success.
Note: this preseason the cool-down of Teleport has been reduced again, but it can no longer be canceled. So think carefully before you use Teleport!

Pros / Cons


+ Very fun champion
+ Easy to master
+ Provides a lot of cc
+ Tanky
+ Amazing gank set-up
+ Great all-in engage

Nautilus is a very fun champion, he isn't too hard to play and his kit is pretty straightforward. He provides a great amount of crowd control with his passive: Staggering Blow, his q: Dredge Line, his e: Riptide and his r: Depth Charge. Nautilus is a tanky champion and his w: Titan's Wrath makes him even tankier. Due to his natural built-in tankiness and his kit filled with crowd control Nautilus is very good at peeling for his carries and starting an all-in engage.
The gank set-up of Nautilus is one of the best in the game. If your junger is on his way to your lane, you have more than enough crowd control to set him up for an easy kill.

- Ability dependant
- No escape after engaging
- Easy to poke
- Mana hungy
- Low base movement speed

Nautilus really relies on his abilities to be able to have an impact on the game. Without them there isn't much he can do. When you engage and your team fails to follow up or kill the target, you have no way to escape. You are easily poked out of lane in the early game if you end up in a unfavorable matchup. Nautilus' abilities cost relatively much mana in the early game. So you tend to be low on mana if you use them very often. That's why taking Doran's Ring as a starting item is a very smart choice.
Nautilus has a base movement speed of 325, which is very low. This makes it so you feel very slow when walking to lane or when you are roaming.

Unique Abilities

Staggering Blow (Passive): Nautilus' basic attacks immobilize his target and deal an additional bonus physical damage. The duration is increased and the cooldown is decreased every 5 levels

Dredge Line Q: Nautilus throws his anchor out. If the anchor hits an enemy champion, Nautilus and the enemy champion are both pulled closer to each other. If Dredge Line hits terrain half the cooldown and mana are refunded.
Fun fact: you can use Dredge Line on nearby terrain to get away from enemies that are chasing you.

Titan's Wrath W: Nautilus gains a shield that scales with his maximum health. Additionally, his next basic attacks deal bonus damage over time while the shield persists.

Riptide E: Nautilus slams the ground, causing 3 explosions around him, each explosion deals magic damage and slows enemies caught in them. A unit can be his by multiple explosions, but take 50% less damage from additional explosions.

Depth Charge R: Nautilus fires a shock wave to a selected target. While travelling to it's target, Depth Charge knocks up every enemy champion it passes, dealing magic damage and stunning them.
Hint: always use Depth Charge on the target that is furthest away from you. This will give Depth Charge the longest travelling distance and increase you chance to knock up multiple enemies.

Skill Sequence

Skilling Order

> > >



Depth Charge: your ult is a huge engaging tool with a lot of zoning possibilities and crowd control, so for that reason you will want to put a point in it every chance you get. This means at levels 6 > 11 > 16.

Riptide: Riptide is the first ability you will max out for two simple reasons ~ the first one being the extra wave clear it provides for you during laning phase. Riptide will help you push waves very effectively, enabling you to roam to mid or in the enemy jungle.
The second reason is the bonus slow Riptide gives you. Having a bigger slow makes it easier for you team to follow up on your engages and more difficult for enemies that are caught to escape + slowing you enemy laner makes it easier to proc your Grasp of the Undying.

Titan's Wrath: you level up Titan's Wrath second because it increases your survivability by a substantial amount! The shield you get is really nice and the bonus damage you deal on auto attacks is pretty good as well. A Grasp of the Undying proc combined with Titan's Wrath can deal a surprising amount of damage. On top of that it also has an amazing synergy with the new rune Shield Bash.

Dredge Line: Dredge Line will be the last ability you max. Because it is your main tool to catch people out or to escape tight situations when necessary, you will put a point in Dredge Line at level 2. After that you won't be leveling this ability up until after you maxed out all your other abilities.


Runes Reforged

First things first: because of the new runes system there are now so many different building paths, depending on your playstyle, that it can become hard to choose.

In this chapter I will go over the runes that I think are best on Nautilus in the toplane.
If you play him with other runes, or if you have some question about different runes, you can always ask and I will be happy to help! :)

Primary Path ~ Resolve

Grasp of the Undying is by far the best keystone to build on Nautilus top because of the huge amount of lane pressure it offers. Due to all the crowd control that is build into Nautilus kit, it is easy to get on to your enemy laner when you have a chance to proc Grasp of the Undying.
This rune gives you everything you like to have a Nautilus when you play him in a solo lane: bonus damage, bonus health regeneration and bonus health every time you proc Grasp of the Undying.

Shield Bash is my favorite new thing this preseason because it's a rune that complements Nautilus so well!
There are various reasons for this:
First of all you get bonus armor and magic resistance every time you use Titan's Wrath. Adding even more value you get out of your shield. This will help you a decent amount when trading in lane or when engaging on an enemy champion.
Second is the increased bonus damage you get on your next basic attack against an enemy champion. This also works very nicely with Nautilus passive Staggering Blow, making you deal a surprising amount of damage!
Note: Shield Bash got buffed with the release of patch 9.1.

Bone Plating is my preferred rune in this tier, because of the amount of damage reduction you can get from it.
This helps you survive during laning phase and it helps you last longer when engaging in late game teamfights!
Update: patch 9.9 has given some more power to Bone Plating. It now blocks 30-60 damage based on level (before 25-50).

Overgrowth is the final rune I take in Resolve. If fits the job perfectly for Nautilus because of the increased maximum health you get.
You want to be the one peeling for your team and using your crowd control to lock down the enemy team. So, naturally, the tankier you get, the harder it is for the enemy team to get past you.
That's the main reason I suggest for taking Overgrowth.
Update: patch 9.7. buffed Overgrowth, it now gives a 3,5% maximum health increase on completion which is a huge deal as it can really help you!

Secondary Path ~ Precision

Presence of Mind is a great rune that is underestimated by a lot of players! Especially on Nautilus because you will naturally get a lot of assists when you and your team start grouping because of the crowd control you offer and because you will always be in the middle of the fights.
This means you will almost never run out of mana and that your Depth Charge will be up really fast after you used it in a successful teamfight.

Legend: Tenacity doesn't need much explanation as to why you should take it. This rune gives you some much needed tenacity, because you are the playmaker of the team. So if you get zoned out, you will not be able to help out your team. For this reason having a little more tenacity can go a long way.

Question: WHY Precision?

Well if you are looking for a reason why I prefer Precision on top Nautilus instead of paths like Domination or Inspiration, the answer is simple.
The runes in the Precision tree offer exactly what I feel like Nautilus needs to succeed as a solo laner
So for that reason I feel like Precision is the right tree for Nautilus in the toplane.

Bonus Stats

This preseason has brought something new and, in my opinion, very useful to the rune-page crafting: the option to pick you own bonus stats. There are 3 tiers, each with 3 options.

Tier 1 ~ Offense
+ 6 AD or 10 AP
+ 9% Attack Speed
+ 1 - 10% CDR (level 1 - 18)
Tier 2 ~ Flex
+ 6 AD or 10 AP
+ 5 armor
+ 6 magic resistance
Tier 3 ~ Defense
+ 15 - 90 HP (level 1 - 18)
+ 5 armor
+ 6 magic resistance

I will tell you my personal view on these stats for Nautilus. These bonus stats should be your pick no matter what the rune page you are going to run is.

Tier 1 ~ Offense: 1 - 10% CDR (level 1 - 18). The reason behind picking the cool-down reduction as a bonus stat is very simple. This way you can easily cap of your CDR without having to go in to Sorcery to take Transcendence in your runes. Which leaves more room for you to take more useful (and effective) runes.

Tier 2 ~ Flex: 5 bonus armor or 6 bonus magic resistance, depending on your lane match-up. This is the best way to go as Nautilus because you will be happy to have the extra armor or magic resistance when trading blows with your enemy laner!

Tier 3 ~ Defense: here you will pick the 15 - 90 HP (level 1 - 18) for one simple reason: bonus health is the stat you will be getting the most value out of as Nautilus because it synergises perfectly with your runes and abilities as explained in the previous chapters.

Left to Die

~The tide ebbs~


In this chapter I will talk more about the itemization on Nautilus top.
There are a lot of good items you can build, each of which I will explain below.

Starting Items

Doran's Ring is the best starting item for Nautilus. I recommend it as a starting item in most of your games.
The primary reason for this is that it provides you with bonus health and ability power + increased mana regeneration. These are all things Nautilus really benefits from in the early laning phase because this allows you to use Riptide more often and more comfortably without running out of mana.


Corrupting Potion can be a solid option as a starting item if you are going up in a hard matchup, because it offers you a lot more instant sustain.
By getting a Corrupting Potion in a tough matchup you can farm up safely until you are able to go back with enough gold to buy either Bami's Cinder or Catalyst of Aeons.

Essential Items

Sunfire Aegis is the first item to build on Nautilus when laning against an AD champion. The main reason for this is that Sunfire Aegis is such a strong early game item because of the bonus magic damage it deals to nearby enemies. You want to start by buying Bami's Cinder first, after you purchased this, you will be pushing your enemy laner under his turret all the time, allowing you the time and space to make plays happen on the map.
It also synergises well with Nautilus play style, because you will be in the middle of the action for the biggest part of the team fights.
The bonus health and armor of course are also very good for Nautilus!
Update: patch 9.2 lowered the cost of Sunfire Aegis, making it an even more cost-efficient item to build on toplane Nautilus.

Abyssal Mask is the first item to build on Nautilus when laning against an AP champion. You want to start by buying Catalyst of Aeons first because of the increased health and mana it gives you.
If you have short ranged mages on your team like Ryze and Vladimir or an ap assassin like Katarina and Akali, the value of buying this item will increase even more. Because taking Abyssal Mask will increase their damage output, as well as give you some more bonus health, magic resistance and mana.


Mercury's Treads will be your choice of boots in a lot of your games.
Mercury's Treads are preferable when the enemy team has a lot of cc. The increased tenacity will help you get out of tough situations just that little bit faster.
Another good situation to go for Mercury's Treads is when the enemy team is very heavily ap focused (ap top + jungle + mid).

Ninja Tabi should be your choice when you are laning against an AD champion and he get's a lead early on.
Another situation to buy Ninja Tabi is when the enemy team is full ad, just because it will help you so much against full ad comps. The reduced damage from auto attacks and the extra armor will keep you alive a lot longer against full ad comps.

Complementary Items

Warmog's Armor is solid choice for a 4th of 5th item (after core and boots). It gives you a big amount of bonus health and due to the passive Warmog's Armor will allow you to stay on the map without running low on health.

Dead Man's Plate is a very good item on Nautilus as far as armor items go. It gives you bonus health and a decent amount of armor.
On top of that, the increased movement speed over time enables you to move around the map even faster.

Spirit Visage is a very good item if you feel like some bonus magic resistance would be nice. The bonus health + health regeneration + cooldown reduction you get on top of the magic resistance make this a very solid magic resistance item to take in most of your games.

Thornmail is an item with a very specific use: to be build when the enemy team is almost full ad or when they have a few auto attacking champions. The bonus health and armor + the reflected damage will give you a lot more survivability in these situations.
On top of that, Thornmail synergises very nicely with your Sunfire Aegis. Making it hard for enemy carries with attack damage to focus you.
Example if the enemy team has Zed mid, Jinx adc, Kai'Sa jungle and Fiora top.

Randuin's Omen is another great item on Nautilus. The passive gives you 20% reduced damage from critical strikes and slows the attack speed of enemies attacking you.
This can be very useful when the enemy ad carry is fed. The bonus health and armor you get are also very good. On top of that the active slow synergises well with Nautilus kit and helps you catch the wanted target.

Adaptive Helm can replace be a very good magic resistance item to replace Spirit Visage if the enemy team has an ap champion on their side that spams abilities, like Cassiopeia.
If the enemy team is heavily focused on AP damage, you may want to build both Spirit Visage and Adaptive Helm.

Frostfire Gauntlet is a strong item on Nautilus because of the area of effect crowd control it provides. This item is part of a more aggressive build. The extra slow can really empower your engages and an extra plus side to this item is the increased damage you deal on you basic attacks after using an ability.
Though I suggest you only build this item if you are ahead in the game and don't need the extra tank stats that you would get from Frozen Heart for example.

Frozen Heart is a strong item to consider building on Nautilus in situations where you need extra armor and want to slow the enemies attack speed, but don't need the reduced damage from critical strikes. The bonus mana and cooldown reduction are very useful for Nautilus because you want you ult to be up as often as possible.
Example of when to build Frozen Heart is when the enemy team has a fed ad carry like Varus or Kog'Maw because they build a lot of attack speed, but not crit items.

Turbo Chemtank is a strong item on Nautilus that can be bought when you get ahead very early or when one of your carries get's an early lead that you want to exploit!
The reason for this is very easy: the item active is so good on Nautilus. Using Turbo Chemtank when setting up a play gives you a nice burst of movement speed + it slows the enemy if it procs again when you are near them. On top of that the bonus armor and cooldown reduction are very good.
This item will make it a lot easier for you to catch enemies and set your team up for some easy kills.

Knight's Vow can be another strong choice as a 5th of 6th item. In situations where your AD carry is really far ahead of the enemy AD carry Knight's Vow and you don't need a big tank item anymore. By building this item you can support your ad carry so he/she can deal as much damage as possible.

Locket of the Iron Solari is another viable 5th or 6th item choice.
It gives you everything you want as Nautilus: bonus armor and magic resistance + a shield to protect your team during teamfights!

Zeke's Convergence can be build as a 6th item for the same reasons as I just mentioned with Knight's Vow.

Gargoyle Stoneplate can be build as a 6th item if the game goes very late comes down to very dragged out teamfights.
In these situations Gargoyle Stoneplate is an ideal item because of the active, you can use it right after you used all your abilities to engage the fight. This will increase your survivability, making it easier for you to get another rotation of your abilities.

Special Thanks!

~ Thanks to jhoijhoi's Making a Guide guide! ~

Update Log

  • 03-07-2018: created guide (chapters 1-9).
  • 04-07-2018: added chapter 10 ~ Items.
  • 01-08-2018: updated guide for patch 8.15
  • 08-08-2018: much needed guide lay-out update!
  • 16-08-2018: updated guide for patch 8.16.
  • 04-09-2018: updated guide for patch 8.17.
  • 18-09-2018: updated guide for patch 8.18.
  • 03-10-2018: updated guide for patch 8.19.
  • 15-10-2018: updated guide for patch 8.20.
  • 24-10-2018: updated guide for patch 8.21.
  • 29-10-2018: added link to other guides in new chapter.
  • 07-11-2018: updated guide for patch 8.22 + added link to newest guide Thresh support.
  • 22-11-2018: updated guide for preseason: changes to runes and new segment about bonus stats.
  • 05-12-2018: updated guide for patch 8.24.
  • 12-01-2019: updated guide for patch 9.1.
  • 25-02-2019: updated guide for patch 9.4.
  • 16-03-2019: updated guide for patch 9.5.
  • 30-03-2019: updated guide for patch 9.6.
  • 27-04-2019: updated guide for patch 9.8.
  • 04/05/2019: updated guide for patch 9.9.
  • 15-05-2019: updated guide for patch 9.10.
  • 26-06-2019: updated guide for patch 9.13.
  • 02-10-2019: updated guide for patch 9.19.
  • 21-10-2019: updated guide for patch 9.20.
  • 04-11-2019: updated guide for patch 9.21.
  • 06-11-2019: updated guide for patch 9.22.
  • 25-11-2019: updated guide for patch 9.23.
  • 22-01-2020: updated guide for patch 10.1.
  • 27-01-2020: updated guide for patch 10.2.
  • 10-02-2020: updated guide for patch 10.3.
  • 29-03-2020: updated guide for patch 10.6.
  • 20-10-2020: updated guide for patch 10.21.
  • 29-10-2020: updated guide for patch 10.22.

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