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Nami Build Guide by Dotje

Top 🌊Nami but every role besides support!

Top 🌊Nami but every role besides support!

Updated on March 4, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dotje Build Guide By Dotje 18 1 29,977 Views 2 Comments
18 1 29,977 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Dotje Nami Build Guide By Dotje Updated on March 4, 2021
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Nami
  • LoL Champion: Nami
  • LoL Champion: Nami
  • LoL Champion: Nami

Runes: Everfrost runes

1 2 3
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ingenious Hunter

Manaflow Band

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
Kill runes
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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

Champion Build Guide

🌊Nami but every role besides support!

By Dotje
☾ ‧Welcome to my guide!

This guide is intended to explain Nami in off-roles in case you have issues playing it or no clue how to play it. Not that I know how to exactly, but I have been working on it and been thinking a lot. Make sure to let it adapt to your own play style and not always 100% copy it.

As a support main I don't completely know how other roles work. So feedback and criticism is super welcome! But keep in mind that I based the builds on the role's stereotype and viability.

This guide will be updated every time I'm playing some off role games. So make sure to check back every now and then. As I keep playing Nami in offrole I love adding more builds that are decently viable and yet to be tested.

I have several things planned, but I'm not rushing myself. If you're curious what's still coming make sure to check out the things I have planned. I will also update the threats and synergies as I get to deal with the matchups, or if I am theory crafting on how the matchup would go.

☾ ‧About me

Hello I'm Dotje. I'm a support main and have been playing league of legends for several years. The past years I've come to the conclusion I am a Nami main. But sometimes you have these periods where even your main champion doesn't completely work for you. This is where I decided to play Nami in different roles, to freshen up my playstyle and knowledge. I really suggest trying this out if you are a support or Nami main yourself!

Check out my actual Nami guide here:
Link to my Nami guide

Feel free to check my opgg
Link to my op gg

I sometimes also stream the off-role gameplay together with normal support gameplay so if you're interested check me out here:
Link to my stream
Click a lane V


☾ ‧Introduction

I've seen a lot of people being fan of playing Nami mid. I'm very interested in how they do it, because I find it rather tough. The sustain Nami gets really helps with trades and you can setup decent ganks. The mid-lane is rather short with makes it harder to hit good ultimate angles. The biggest issue Nami has to tackle is the waveclear which is why I'm a fan of Everfrost.

☾ ‧Why would you play Nami mid?
  • It's fun and a challenge
  • You can win trades with W Ebb and Flow
  • You have a decent gank setup
  • Viable versus low elo
☾ ‧Why would you not?
  • Bad waveclear
  • Bad mana sustain
  • Loses most matchups, especially vs higher elo

☾ ‧Skill order

Nami's skill order most often goes W>E>Q. You should definitely consider maxing Q before E, especially when you land your bubbles. This is because leveling E doesn't lower the cooldown and barely increases the damage. While Q's cooldown does lower, and the damage from leveling it will help your waveclear a bit more. It's also okay to put 1/2 points in Q and leave it at that.

☾ ‧Items

Surprisingly enough, Nami can oneshot people! Especially adc's have a rough time when getting hit by an ultimate/bubble. Because this is possible, doesn't mean you should aim for it. Sometimes your allies can finish the job, especially as Nami is better of in teamfights anyway.

If you're in for some one-shotting fun, rush that Rabadon's Deathcap after Everfrost with Sorcerer's Shoes. But if you are in for a reliable game you can choose to get a Staff of Flowing Water maybe Ardent Censer and a lot of ability haste.

☾ ‧Starting items

Doran's ring
The strongest starting option is Doran's ring. This item gives you a little ap, health and help with last hitting. You REALLY need extra health early, so unless you got it in your runes I'd start with this item.

Corrupting Potion
I suggest not starting with this item, but if you have a hard time sustaining this may help you get trough the early game. Make sure to activate the potion mid-fight for extra damage. Especially because last hitting gets even harder I'd suggest getting a Doran's Ring or getting this after your first back.

☾ ‧Boots

Sorcerer's Shoes
Especially if you're ahead, and in for some burst damage, take these boots. You will have less ability haste than Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but more kill pressure instead. These boots are also a good choice vs a tanky team.

Ionian boots of lucidity
If you're going a more supportive build, or have to play from far behind this is the better option. More abiliy haste means more abilities per teamfight. If you can't deal the damage you may as well suspend the enemy or let an ally do damage with the help of your kit.

☾ ‧Mythics

The best fit for Nami mid is this item. It grants you a decent mana pool, more hp and a waveclearing tool. This means you get everything you need for laning, and an extra tool!

The active's cooldown is so low you can use this as your main setup for our Q Aqua Prison instead of E Tidecaller's Blessing. This allows you to max this ability last.
The active ability from this item can also be used as waveclear which Nami desperately needs.

Luden's tempest
Because this item increases your mana pool and is build from Lost Chapter it's a viable item on Nami. The passive helps a little bit with waveclear and burst damage. It's not as great as Everfrost but it does give a different mythic passive that could help vs a tanky team.

Night harvester
If you're the god of mana magement, or can rely on a blue buff from your jungler you can go this item. It does give you hp wich is great and it also is a super strong burst item. But without the mana and waveclear from the other items you basically lose lane without any help.

Imperial mandate
This item got nerfed a little bit in 11.2 but that's okay. It's still viable on midlaners, just harder to proc. If you're going for a supportive build, or can rely on some ganks this item is still a cheap power spike for you.

Liandry's Anguish
This item is a decent option because the Lost Chapter it's build from is a great first buy. This later turns into a great mana pool for Nami. This item is suggested against a tanky enemy team, or tanky opponent in lane.
This item combines greatly with Demonic Embrace so going this item could allow you to become tankier while still dealing damage, but much less bursty.

☾ ‧Damage

Seraph's Embrace
If you don't have a powerspike or strong early game to push from, this item is a good option. While greatly increasing your mana pool you get extra AP from it too. It's a waste of power to go this item if you do not need to fix any mana issues.

Cosmic Drive
Ability haste works great on Nami and this item gives the most! The passive allows you to be more slippery when you hit abilities. It's a good item in the middle or end of your build. Make sure to gather at least 85 ability power before getting this item for it's full potentional.

Zhonya's Hourglass
If you're going the Everfrost build you probably got Ingenious Hunter which means it's not too big of a waste to get another active item. This item's active allows you to block burst damage or delay a fight. Having cooldown on it means you will have it up basically any fight, and some outplay potential.

Rabadon's Deathcap
If you're getting a lot of gold, try to rush this item second. It allows you to one shot people you hit with your Q Aqua Prison. Because the mythic passive of Everfrost gives more ability power each legendary, Rabadon's Deathcap is a perfect fit.

Void Staff
If you're finishing up your build even if the enemy team isn't tanky, this item will give you the best possible burst damage. If the enemey is healing too much and your team is not buying antiheal you should buy Morellonomicon or Chemtech Putrifier instead.

If the enemy is healing too much for your team to kill fast enough you should get this item. The other alternative is Chemtech Putrifier but if you're focused on burst damage this is the better alternative. This item even grants some HP wich is really useful on Nami.

Lich Bane
There are a lot better option than this item. But if you enjoy buying this item I'm not holding you back. This item allows you to become a more powerful split pusher as you deal more damage on turrets, but it also allows you to deal more burst damage vs enemies. The 10% movementspeed you get is also not bad for Nami as being slippery is something you really want being a squishy fish.

Banshee's Veil
Same as with Lich Bane there are possibly a lot of better option. But there are some people who do greatly with this item. The magic resist and spell shield can be the tools you need to play the fight as you need to. It may be the key to setting up your abilities just right to win a fight. But it's also a tool to ensure some surivability.

Demonic Embrace
You basically only want to go this item in combination with Liandry's Anguish. The extra burn based on %hp will shred some tanky enemies. This item allows you to become a little tankier, but you better buy some hp if you really want to be tanky.

☾ ‧Supportive

Staff of Flowing Water
If you're getting behind, but have some carry champion on your team it may be the best to go for a supportive item. This item still allows you to deal a reasonable amount of damage/movementspeed while in theorie becoming more of a support.

Ardent Censer
Because it still gives a reasonable amount of ability power the supportive items are still a decent option for mid. Especially when you're getting behind and have some carry champions on your team you can apply this to your build.

☾ ‧Runes

Taking this rune will allow you to take decent trades with the enemy. Later on it will maybe even allow you to oneshot the enemy! Make sure to try and trade only when you see this rune is off cooldown.
Taste of blood
To really get the most power out of Nami's laning, this rune will have a shot at trading. You even can sustain without spamming your W Ebb and Flow. This automaticly allows you to have a bit more mana sustain too. Make sure to try and trade when this rune is off cooldown.

If you're not in need for health sustain, you can try to go for Cheap Shot and go for more burst damage.
Eyeball collection
I'm personally more of a Ghost Poro fan, but Eyeball Collection is a more reliable source of damage. It's description speak for itself, more kills/assist = more damage!
Ingenious hunter
Basically only when you're building Everfrost you should get this rune. It allows you to use the item at a very low cooldown. The alternative to this rune is basically anything else, they're all a decent fit for Nami.
Manaflow band
Even though I am super tempted to get Presence of Mind, this rune is a bit more reliable. It grants you a bigger mana pool while PoM doesn't, and it adds up to every trade you make. The bit more mana you get from this item also lets you have more ability power when going Seraph's Embrace.
This rune will help you win trades
The alternative to this is Transcendence which is a good rune if you're focused on lategame or more ability haste in general.


☾ ‧Introduction

Are you not an adc player? That's okay! I'm not either. Though, I have been practicing playing the adc role. My point is; playing Nami as an adc is a little different. You don't completely rely on doing damage, but rather keep the enemies occupied with your cc. You'll take a bit longer to deal damage, but you are able to kill the enemy for sure. I suggest taking a premade support with you for the synergy and to decrease any frustration.

Make sure to check out the tips at the bottom of this chapter!

☾ ‧Why would you play Nami adc?
  • Self peel!
  • Unexpected damage
  • Goes well with most other supports
  • Fun
☾ ‧Why would you not?
  • Very squishy
  • Deals less damage than normal adcs
  • Need to remember using basic attacks
  • You don't hate yourself and your teammates

☾ ‧Items

For Nami as adc, we want an adc build. So don't forget to use your basic attacks in a fight. There's a lot of variation possible for this buid, it mostly depends on your playstyle and matchup. If you constantly get caught you probably don't want to go full glasscannon, rather something with utility. Make sure to use the slipperyness Nami has in her passive and items to sneak in some damage.

☾ ‧Starting items

Doran's ring
The strongest starting option is Doran's ring. This item gives you a little ap, health and help with last hitting. You REALLY need extra health early, so unless you got it in your runes I'd start with this item.

Tear of the Goddess
If you're expecting a safe lane where you can trade a little, feel free to go tear first. It now also helps with last hitting, but does not have the extra health you really need. So keep in mind you're a lot squishier and need to keep yourself healthy.

☾ ‧Boots

Berserker's greaves
Depending on the game you need to choose between different boots. As an adc you probably want Berserker's Greaves but there are scenario's you wouldn't want it. I personally position super safe so these are fine for me. If you are only able to deal damage together with your abilities I'd suggest going Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you're getting cc'd too much you probably want Mercury's Treads.

Ionian boots of lucidity
20 Extra ability haste is great on Nami if you're lacking this in your build. Having more cooldown also makes you harder to catch as you can spam E Tidecaller's Blessing and keep peeling yourself with Q Aqua Prison.

☾ ‧Mythics

Trinity force
This item is my go to. It enables you to deal a decent amount of ad damage when playing fron to back in fight. Every 1.5 seconds you deal 200% bonus ad damage after you cast an ability which fits well if you play fights front to back. This item also gives you a bit of movementspeed and allows you to deal more damage the longer the fight lasts. As you try to CC the enemy you will most likely extend the fight for a while to deal more and more damage with auto attacks.

Kraken slayer
This item is pretty strong, especially against a tanky enemy team. I'd suggest taking this item only if you're able to deal a proper amount of basic attacks in a fight. As Nami is pretty squishy you probably won't be able to position in a way to do that. But against a tanky immobile team Nami is pretty good at kiting and keeping the enemy in place so it's not too bad of an item.

Divine sunderer
Another item that is great against a tanky team. It fits your kit pretty well, and even heals you when you proc the passive on a champion. If you're able to play front to back this item is a great anti-tank alternative of Trinity Force. The only negative is that this item doesn't give movementspeed, but you're a pretty slippery fish anyway.

Immortal shieldbow
If you're going a crit build immortal shieldbow isn't too bad. It makes up for your low base HP and grants you a shield and extra lifesteal when you get low. The mythic passive also increases your HP and AD damage. So if you need to sustain fights this is a great item, together with your W Ebb and Flow you shouldn't be dying quickly.

In a crit build you will be pretty bursty with your basic attacks. Galeforce is pretty strong right now and grants you a little more mobility in fights, especially against a pick heavy team where you need to dodge you sure could take this item. The item also gives you more movementspeed which adds nicely to your kit.

☾ ‧Offensive items

To make up for your low base damage and mana issues this item really helps out. Make sure not to get Tear of the Goddess too late into the game or else it's not really worth it. Make sure to get Manaflow Band if you're planning on going this item for a bigger mana pool.

Serylda's grudge
Because this item gives raw armor pen and 20 ability haste I think this item is not too bad to finish your non-crit build with. This item almost gives the same amount of slow as your E Tidecaller's Blessing does. Sadly it's also on abilities only but it does mean more enemies will be slowed during a fight.

Infinity edge
There won't be great oppertunities for you to build this item. But if you're super fed or went Immortal Shieldbow this item will greatly increase your power. I suggest building this item later in your build to ensure you don't need another item more than you need this item because building Infinity Edge is risky.

The collector
This item is a great addition to your crit build. If you are able to get someone low they will be executed. If the enemy is pretty squishy you may be able to oneshot someone with your ultimate Tidal Wave+ Q Aqua Prison + E and basic attacks without them being able to move.

Essence reaver
Honestly a great fit for Nami you will be able to spam your abilities because of the mana restore and ability haste from it. It also allows you to deal more damage after casting an ability. This item fits best with your crit build, but it would be alright to combine this with Trinity Force for the extra aa damage after an ability.

Phantom dancer
If you want to be super slippery this item is your go to. The movementspeed and ghosting effect allows you to escape from most engages, just make sure to auto attack for it to activate. Not to forget this item can also allow you to really stick onto someone.

Wit's end
If your on-hit build is in need of some magic resist this is not a bad item. It also gives you movementspeed to run away after someone like Katarina or Syndra is trying to get to you.

Nashor's tooth
This item alone gives a lot of ability power so don't worry about building more. The amount of basic attacks you hit will make up for the lack of damage from you lower AP.

Guinsoo's rageblade
Because you're on-hit the ghost-attack is all you need from this item. Just make sure to try and stay in a fight now to let the stacks run out. Because the other items are a better fit for Nami I don't suggest this. Only if you manage to stay long enough in a fight and proc the stacks for it to be worth.

Runaan's hurricane
Another decent option, but not recommended. If the enemy is pretty stacked every fight or/and if you enjoy some more waveclear I'd say, why not. It's also a decent option for your crit build as the extra bolts can crit.

☾ ‧Defensive items

If you're desperate for some tankyness or extra lifesteal you can go this item. Because it gives crit it's a great option for your crit build, because the build in general leaves you pretty vulnerable. Make sure to try and stack it's shield on minions or jungle camps before a fight.

Mercurial scimitar
If you're easily getting shut down by the cc of an enemy you can go this item. After the usage it gives you movementspeed which allows you to reposition. Especially when facing a Mordekaiser I'd go this item because he WILL see you as a target.

Maw of malmortius
Against a magic damage heavy enemy team this item is not too bad of a choice. It fits Nami decently well, purely because it gives ability haste. Nami's base hp is prety low so the shield won't be much bigger than 200, but it could still safe your life with the magic resist in it.

☾ ‧Anti-tank

Blade of the ruined king
This item is a great option versus tanks. It not only does bonus damage, but it also steals some movementspeed which allows you to kite tanky champions a little better. The attack speed and lifesteal is a great addition to your build.

Chempunk chainsword
If the enemy team has a lot of healing this is probably the best option. It gives you some ability haste, hp and attack damage. Unless you're going the crit build there's no doubt building this item.

Mortal reminder
The second choice of antiheal. This one gives movementspeed and crit, but no HP. Make sure to utilize your movementspeed else it's safer to go Chempunk Chainsword.

Lord Dominik's regards
If you're not in need for antiheal, but are still facing a tanky issue on the enemy team. This item is a fine fit to finish off your build. Because of your already low base hp this item's damage will be even greater than on most carries.

☾ ‧Runes

Press the attack
I feel like this rune gives you that extra damage to make Nami adc a bit more viable. If you're not feeling confident enough feel free to take Fleet Footwork instead. But I personally think Press the Attack is the way to go, your trades give you just enough time to proc this.
Presence of mind
Even though this rune became a lot weaker, it does really help with Nami's mana issues. Feel free to take Triumph or Overheal instead. Because of Manaflow Band you probably won't be in a big need for this rune.
Legend: Alacrity
Nami really needs attack speed to help last hitting. If you prefer another rune you could take attack speed in the optional runes, or even take both so you have more chance to aa the enemy.
Cut down
Did you know Nami has the lowest base hp in the game? Even lower than Yuumi and Sona! This means you will always have the lower hp over any enemy. Especially building as an adc makes you unable to get extra hp. But if you're in need of some tankyness you could buy a Bloodthirster.
Manaflow band
As you already have Presence of Mind you don't HAVE to go for this. Yet I do feel like this rune gives you that extra mana sustain so you are free to heal yourself whenever necessary. Besides Manaflow Band also gives you a bigger mana pool and mana regen for later in the game.
Ability haste without having to buy items is great, the ability haste bonus can make a big impact. At level 11 you even get 20% cooldown refunds on takedowns! I think ability haste and cooldown reduction works great on Nami.

☾ ‧Tips:

  • Don't be too focused on basic attacks, your cc will help you safely damage the enemy.
  • Try to keep your abilities for self peel, or as an follow up on a pick from an ally.

☾ ‧Introduction

Nami is a great supportive gank jungler like Nunu/Ivern. Because I'm a support main myself I absolutely enjoy being able to support from another lane. Being a supportive jungler can be hard though, because you need a team willing to carry.

Ofcourse going damage is possible, either ap or ad! Because I personally think going ad will not go well for you later on I'm suggesting the support or ap build. But I may add an ad based build later.

Make sure to check out the tips at the bottom of this chapter!

☾ ‧Why would you play Nami jungle?
  • Fun
  • Refreshing
  • Nami is actually a strong ganker
  • If you are a support main you will enjoy playing support in the jungle
  • Roaming healer!
  • You're super fast, and CAN put a lot of pressure on the map
  • Extra peel and cc for the team
☾ ‧Why would you not?
  • Clears can be hard
  • Can be very un-enjoyable when you get counter jungled A LOT
  • Can tilt your team, so I suggest going premade
  • Bad mana sustain (without blue)

☾ ‧Skill order

To have a slightly better clear in the jungle I often put one or two points in Q Aqua Prison. Beside that, you can decide to level whatever you want. Maxing W Ebb and Flow is the safest, this give you more sustain/damage but higher mana costs. So be aware!

For the recommended path I start Q then E and then W, this is to clear as fast as possible and you're not desperate for hp when you're able to kite a little.

☾ ‧Items

Going for the supportive jungler role is the safest, it's strong and fits Nami very well. If you decide to try for a snowball Imperial Mandate grants a lot of damage during your ganks.
But as a jungler you can also decide to go full damage, the blue buff is basically yours! It is risky to rely on it though, as being Nami jungle attracts counterjungling.

☾ ‧Starting items

Just like Exhaust in botlane, going hailblade will give you an extra set-up for your Q Aqua Prison. It's ideal for you, but also a great way to escape in fights especially when you took Nimbus Cloak.

I don't really see a reason to go this smite unless you want to go full damage or ad. Nami really synergises with the smite from Hailblade but you can give it a shot because you already have a pretty good slow in your kit.

☾ ‧Boots

Ionian boots of lucidity
If you're going the supportive build I recommend these boots. You don't need the pen from Sorcerer's Shoes because you will not be focused on damage anyway. The ability haste from Ionian Boots of Lucidity makes you able to cast your abilities even more!

Sorcerer's Shoes
To complete a bursty build Sorcerer's Shoes is a must have. Though Nami works greatly with ability haste, it really depends on what you need.

☾ ‧Mythics

Imperial mandate
Going this item really gives kill pressure to your ganks. If you're playing with a champion with a gap closer+burst like Tristana, Zed or Camille sometimes all you need to do is just cast E Tidecaller's Blessing on them to succesfully get them to kill.

Moonstone renewer
Just like Ivern this item fits greatly with you. Unlike him you do deal less damage, but have more cc. I'd go this item if your team is very tanky and you need the sustain in fights for lategame. If you're going for a 2v2 gank vs the enemy jungler I think this item is great to outsustain them.

Shurelya's Battlesong
Haven't tested this item yet, but theoritically it wouldn't be too bad of a buy. You do become insanely fast, and put a lot of pressure on your ganks when activated. For instance, if you have a heavy engaging lane like Nautilus, Leona or maybe even just a Darius this item will really help them getting a good set-up for you to follow up on.

Night Harvester
Because you can rely on getting a blue buff, you can go this item for a good burst. The mythic passive gives ability haste which fits Nami very well. Though Luden's Tempest is the safer way to go, as it gives mana and helps with clearing your camps. Night Harvester will grant you a better burst.

Luden's Tempest
This is the safest burst item. It helps you clear camps faster and gives you a big mana pool. You don't NEED it though, your clear is fine after leveling Q Aqua Prison twice and you can rely on having a blue buff most of the game.

☾ ‧Supportive

Staff of Flowing Water
Your Moonstone Renewer, Summon Aery and W Ebb and Flow will proc this item. The movementspeed is amazing on you and definetily helps your teammates. You often can get a cheeky proc onto an ally to safe his life, or to help him chase an ally. Not to forget the extra AP you get, with an basic attack based team I'd go Ardent Censer first.

Ardent censer
Especially with Moonstone Renewer this item is not hard to activate. Defintely go this item if your team is basic attack based or you have a fed adc. The basic stats of this item fits you well, but Staff of Flowing Water fits better ofcourse. So go this item after Staff of Flowing Water if it fits your team, or later if you really need something like Mikael's Blessing first.

This item is great to proc your items and to turn a fight around. I recommend going this if your team gets poked too much before a fight even starts.

Mikael's Blessing
If you have a carry champion on your team that is in need for a cleanse and possibly movementspeed. Make sure to get this, it cleanses everything but Mordekaiser's ultimate. Besides.. Instead of 10% this item gives 20% heal and shield power, a great addition to your build even if the cleanse is not desperately needed. The movementspeed from the cleanse can surprises the enemies and allows your adc to really pop off.

Chemtech Putrifier
Because you're the jungler, you will be around most objectives and thus most fights. This means it'll be very effective to be the one to build an antiheal item. You're a support with this build anyway, so safe your team some money and be the one to build it. It will also help greatly to secure any picks you want to make.

☾ ‧Damage

Lich Bane
There are various options of ap items, but with this build we want to focus on dealing burst damage. This item allows you to do just that, and even gives you more movementspeed to roam arond better.

Cosmic Drive
With this item you will be a hell of a slippery fish. Especially if you can keep the blue buffs for yourself this item is just an amazing fit. The amount of bubbles you can cast each fight will be super annoying for the enemy. If you decided to build Imperial Mandate this item is a great combo. Make sure to gather at least 85 ability power before getting this item for it's full potentional.

Rabadon's Deathcap
This items gives you more damage, what else can I say. It's high risk high reward though.

If you're really focused on doing that damage, this item is the alternative for Chemtech Putrifier. Some games you really need to get anti-heal, and especially as a roaming jungler like yourself you probably want to be the one to get it.

Void staff
If the enemy is building a lot of magic resist, or you want to secure your damage output, this item is great to finish off your build with.

☾ ‧Runes

Summon aery
This keystone is the best go-to option on every shield/heal support. This guarantees to add more poke to your abilities. And an extra shield to also proc Ardent Censer. This ability doesn't really have a cooldown also, you just need to pick up the little aery up to proc it again.
Nimbus cloak
Because we don't need the mana from manaflow band, I think Nimbus Cloak is a great alternative for you to get even more slippery. When you Smite anything, you're able to instantly gain more movementspeed as well as a possible heal from a camp. Great for escapes or to help you reposition in a fight.
Ability haste without having to buy items is great, the ability haste bonus can make a big impact. At level 11 you even get 20% cooldown refunds on takedowns! I think ability haste and cooldown reduction works great on Nami. If you're feeling confident you can also get a bit more slippery and get Celerity instead.
We want to be a speedy Nami with this page. This rune allows you to have a little bit more dominance over the river an the rift scuttles. And the rune also allows you to go from lane to lane faster trough the river. Oh.. and if you need to sweep a river you can also sweep around slightly faster.
Cheap shot
Because we want to do as much damage as we can during a gank we go for Cheap Shot. Feel free to replace this, but because this rune works on your slow as well as your stun/knockup there's almost no way you will not trigger this. Which means free extra damage!
Relentless hunter
Because I think Nami thrives with extra movementspeed in the jungle, we're going for this rune. It will give you much more pressure and it makes up for your slower clearspeed.

☾ ‧Your path

Because I personally do not have the most experience in jungle, I'm keeping the pathing simple. My path always starts bot-side, this is because you can almost always rely on a leash and you will not give your toplane a disadvantage.

You can choose to go both buffs first because you're very vulnerable to an invade. Doing this does force you to wake W Ebb and Flow second because else you can't sustain enough. It does make your clear much slower, but safer. If you're possibly playing against tough players I recommend warding the entrance of your jungle and kite your second buff into a bush if possible. Make sure to pop your pots on time for more hp in case a fight happens.

☾ ‧Blue side start
Red buff > Wolves > Blue buff > Gromp/Gank > Scuttle

☾ ‧Red side start
Blue buff > Wolves > Red buff > Crugs/Gank > Scuttle



☾ ‧Ganking

As Nami jungle you're basically a supportive jungler. The playstyle that's working for me so far is just being supportive. You don't HAVE to gank, showing yourself in a lane and giving a quick heal with W Ebb and Flow can already help your laner. I do think Nami can be a strong ganker, just because the amount of cc in your kit.

Don't be afraid to miss your Q Aqua Prison or fail a gank. The lane you're ganking will have some pressure with you around, or maybe even use flash. A succesful gank doesn't always mean killing the enemy. I do tend to try to engage with Q Aqua Prison instead of ulting unless you already have a great angle for it or the movementspeed will greatly help your allies for a setup.

I think the most effective gank is counterganking or camping in a sidelane bush for a little bit. Being in the sidebush or counterganking gives the best setup for your ultimate Tidal Wave. If they get hit it's best to follow up with a Q Aqua Prison and they won't be able to escape your team.

☾ ‧Tips:

  • Try to prioritize scuttle, ESPECIALLY when you're behind because the camps will **** you over
  • Kite the camps Nami really needs this
  • Don't be too focused on killing the enemy, giving pressure, popping their flash or even sweeping wards is fine too!
  • Make sure to swap your trinket to Oracle Lens because the vision control will grant more opening to picks and will apply pressure.
  • Use Oracle Lens when counter jungling because getting caught will get you killed
  • Don't worry if your early game doesn't go too well, once you get imperial mandate and a pair of boots you will be able to participate and win a lot of fights.

☾ ‧Introduction

You're thinking about taking Nami top? I'd recommend playing any other lane, but if you REALLY want to.. Why not? Especially playing vs lower ranked players will give you a fair shot. But if you do have a challenging lane it will be rough. Make sure to go a build you're comfortable on.

Also.. if you're against a skilled enemy, make sure to practice wave management. Especially in top lane it screws you over very hard if you don't have any idea how to maintain a good wave. I may add some about this in a later update.

In this chapter I will introduce you to a tanky build because of the toplane stereotype. But taking the build from midlane is maybe even a better option..

Make sure to check out the tips at the bottom of this chapter!

☾ ‧Why would you play Nami top?
  • Ranged toplaners are annoying for the enemy
  • You can sustain your hp
  • You can kite well against most melee toplaners
  • Decent setup for ganks
☾ ‧Why would you not?
  • You can get dived a lot
  • Weak waveclear
  • REALLY not fun if you lose lane (hard)

☾ ‧Items

Toplane is a tough lane to figure out items for. I've tried a bruiser build, an enchanter build and different tank builds. A lot is possible on Nami especially if you're a good player. But because I personally love reliability I have suggested a build which works most times. I do think some matchups against fighters you may want to go a different rune and a build with more mobility. When I figured this out I will post an update.

☾ ‧Starting items

Doran's ring
The strongest starting option is Doran's ring. This item gives you a little ap, health and help with last hitting. You REALLY need extra health early, so unless you got it in your runes I'd start with this item.

Tear of the Goddess
I do not suggest building this item first, but getting this later in the game may be a good idea. A lot of toplaners you can handle without getting too low on mana. But there are some matchups that will drain your mana for you to survive. And in a case like this, just get a tear. You don't even have to buid an item with it.

Corrupting Potion
I suggest not starting with this item, but if you have a hard time sustaining this may help you get trough the early game. Make sure to activate the potion mid-fight for extra damage. Especially because last hitting gets even harder I'd suggest getting a Doran's Ring or getting this after your first back.

☾ ‧Boots

When it comes to toplane, boots are always something you need to reconsider every game. You ideally want to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity. But if you get caught easily you may want to get Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads. Facing a basic attack heavy enemy can force you to get an early Plated Steelcaps because building something like Frozen Heart is just too expensive.

Ionian boots of lucidity
Because the tank build already lacks a bit of ability haste I'd like to go these boots. If you need any other pair of boots more badly, just go those and get ability haste somewhere else.

Boots of swiftness
On toplane we do not like to be caught. And when caught we like to escape so we can kite. So if the enemy has a lot of slows, or a slow you need to get out of, build these boots. It helps you more than you can imagine.

Mercury's treads
If the enemy has a lot of cc that WILL bother you, these boots are maybe the only and best option. Even though you're a tank, you don't want to get hit by cc. So if you're able to avoid getting hit, get other boots. I personally find it a waste to get these, especially because you're pretty fast.

Plated Steelcaps
It's best not to tank a lot of basic attacks and focus on movementspeed instead. But if you do need some quick defence these boots are really strong.

☾ ‧Mythics

I really like this item. It helps setup your Q Aqua Prison it helps escaping but also helps waveclearing. I personally think Frostfire Gauntlet does a better job. But if you use it well Everfrost can be a big pain in the *** for the enemy. Especially if your team (or jungler) does well with picks this item will ensure a lot of those. Many players do not expect it's active coming and get rooted when hit by the middle section.

Frostfire Gauntlet
So far I had the most sucess with this item. It helps you kiting a sticky enemy, and it grants damage over time when they get too close. Your kit aleady has a lot of slows and cc, but with this extra slow your survivability increases by a lot. And the kiting really helps you even getting a solo kill. Getting a Bami's Cinder first already helps with some wave control so don't worry if you have to get a Tear of the Goddess before you finish this item.

Sunfire Aegis
If you have enough kiting ability in your playstyle/runes or another item. Feel free to take this instead of Frostfire Gauntlet. You get more damage as the fight goes on, but you will miss some kite/pick power.

Another reason not to get this item is because of it's mythic passive. If you do need some extra tenacity, sure, but we want the hp passive from Frostfire Gauntlet instead.

Moonstone Renewer
If you're planning on being that supportive roamer top, you probably want a support item. It's not needed because your kit already yells SUPPORT. But it's all about personal preference here.

Moonstone is one of the supportive options, you have to choose between the 3 items. Make sure to question what your team needs and if you can afford taking a supportive mythic.

Imperial Mandate
Because this item is now harder to proc I suggest taking this item if you get a lot of help from the jungler or if you roam a lot yourself. It's a decent cheap buy for mid/lategame and still grants extra damage in lane.

Shurelya's Battlesong
I really want to test this item in toplane. I assume it will be fun if you're premade with a jungler that you can help with the active. Because this item doesn't help much in lane I suggest building an item that helps waveclear like Nashor's Tooth if you need it. When I ever get to test this item I will update this description.

☾ ‧Off tank

Demonic embrace
Against a tanky enemy this item will help you do a lot of sustained damage. You also become tankier when more enemies are around. Because it's also effective on minions this item will help you manage the wave a bit better.

Cosmic drive
Ability haste works great on Nami and this item gives the most! The passive allows you to be more slippery when you hit abilities. It's a good item in the middle or end of your build. Make sure to keep an eye on your mana while spamming abilities.

Abyssal mask
There are plenty of options when in need for some magic resist and health. But this item also allows you (or your teammates) to deal more damage as you get super tanky. I haven't felt much oppertunity to build this item because most matchups are ad. But if your team does well with (your) picks being made, I think this is a great addition.

Nashor's Tooth
If you're focused on wave control, csing or/and splitpushing, this may be the item for you. Especially if you're going an ap focused build this adds a lot of power for when you are on cooldown. The passive really helps last hitting and keeping your wave under control for some strategy play.

Chemtech Putrifier
There are going to be a lot of matchups where you will need some antiheal. I personally think this item is the best option. Because of the passive but it also gives mana regen and ability haste.

The passive is very effective with Nami's heals, so if you're in a lot of solo fights (which you shouldn't be in) you could consider Morellonomicon instead. Morellonomicon will give you HP and slightly more AP instead of mana regen and ability haste.

Staff of flowing water
f you're getting behind, but have some carry champion on your team it may be the best to go for a supportive item. This item still allows you to give a reasonable amount of damage/movementspeed while in theorie becoming more of a support.

Ardent censer
The supportive item give a reasonable amount of ability power which makes them viable. The sad part is that mana regen and ability power are basically all the stats you get besides it's passive. Make sure to choose a support item wisely, because I personally think you'd want to go Staff of Flowing Water instead of Ardent Censer most times. Ardent Censer is a great option if you have a hyper carry that needs more power.

For toplane I think this is the better support item. It grants hp, double the heal and shield power, and a great active that will bring comebacks to fights. It grants a bigger heal instantly than Moonstone Renewer would in fights. ONLY if you need this specific item, or if you're just feeling it like I do.

☾ ‧Tanky

Spirit visage
If you're facing an ap heavy enemy this item is even better. Because you're already healing this will help a lot with sustain. Don't get this too early if you're not doing enough damage to control your lane.

Frozen Heart
This item fits Nami pretty well because of the high amount of base mana and ability haste. Buying this does mean you already need a fair amount of hp for it to live up to it's potentional.

When facing a basic attack based enemy like Nocturne, Irelia and Jax you can consider building this item. But remember that Master Yi will not be affected by this passive during his ultimate.

Gargoyle Stoneplate
If you already have enough hp in your build you can consider this item. I don't think it's the best viable option.. but it's fun! Because your build is quite focused on bonus hp the shield won't be too small. They will not see this amount of tankyness coming from a Nami.

Force of Nature
One of the mane magic resist options. This one is the speedy variant. Just like Gargoyle Stoneplate this is more of a fun suggestion. You will become slippier as the fight goes which really helps you position back and forth, or towards an ally that needs your help. The movementspeed also helps with setting up your abilities a little safer.

☾ ‧Runes

Grasp of the undying
I probably mentioned this before, but Nami has the lowest base hp of the game. Just above Kled without skarl, but even below Sona and Yuumi by a bit. This means, that if you want to go tanky, you need more hp! Proccing this rune will help you get more base hp and help you with extra sustain in the lane. Especially vs a tanky and lower mobility enemy this rune is great.
You can choose for Font of Life if you want to be a bit more supportive. But having an oppertunity to take turret platings (faster) will help you snowball whenever possible. It's also very effective for a roam/tp to help get any enemy turret lower.
Bone plating
Toplane has a lot of fighting and trades, it's even more important than midlane to sustain. Having this rune really helps with some survivability in the early game trades.
As said before, Nami has very low base hp. Which is why in this runepage we're focusing on getting more tanky by getting more hp. And this is the ideal rune for that!
Manaflow band
Some mana sustain is required in the runes. Feel free to run Presence of Mind together with something else, but this rune is a bit more reliable and increases your mana pool. Make sure to keep an eye out for this rune for better trades and mana sustain.
Because the build really lacks some cooldown reduction in the first items, we're getting some into the runes. Again, feel free to take anything else if that's what you're comfortable with. Or if you're going another build. But for the suggested build we take this rune.

☾ ‧Tips:

  • Learn wave management if you really want this lane to succeed
  • Don't always greed for the kill, you're already a weak lane. A minor advantage is already great!
  • Don't rely on the jungler, you can do it yourself! (Some help would be great though)
  • Missing cs is not too big of a deal, as long you survive, get xp and get the minion wave in a better shape.
  • Don't be forced to stay in toplane, if things get out of control maybe you can help a teammate/objective.
Expand this for tips about wave control (not finished)

Toplane gameplay draft
☾ ‧Thank you for checking out my guide!

Whatever you intentions were by checking out this guide, I hope you had fun! I personally have a lot of fun by playing Nami in different roles.

A lot of times when someone does a weird build, it only goes well because the enemy plays very bad and the player is very good. Not always.. But it's often how it goes.
I personally really wanted to find optional builds, so I tried my vest to find them. I do think you need a decent amount of skill on Nami or in the game in general to pull of these builds. So see this as a challenge to push your limits!

Drawn by ask-nami-the-marai
Disclaimer: No teammates were intentionally harmed in the process
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Midlane draft?
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