Nami Build Guide by bive
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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.
Threats to Nami with this build
|Karma||Heal her Q if not dodge them.|
|Morgana||Use minion wave to avoid her snare. Punish when she misses. Use W to break E.|
I am low challenger of season 4 in NA and I fill during rank. I do not have an impressive win rate with this champ but she is my most played in season 4. I am making these guides for myself and friends mainly so sorry if you're looking for visuals. I was top 1000 Nami on lolskill.net in 2014 which tracked at least NA and EU together but no KR.
Added Recognizing tower dives chapter 10/16/14
Added Twitch matchup 10/30/14
Updated When to pick nami chapter 11/12/14
Added Ezreal matchup 11/17/14
Updated for new rift beta 11/21/14
Replaced elixir of brilliance for elixir of sorcery, added Ezreal to synergy chapter, updated when to pick Nami chapter, up Braum difficulty, added pantheon to dragon chapter, added anti backdoor to late game chapter 11/24/14
Updated early game chapter for fake ward 12/1/14
Updated When to pick nami, updated early game chapter for lvl 2 ganks, updated conclusion, removed pantheon solo drag in drag chapter 1/9/15
updated farming under tower chapter 1/18/15
updated when to pick nami 1/20/15
Updated title 1/21/15
updated runes 1/31/15
updated leona difficulty 2/6/15
Updated apm, leashing, dragon, baron chapters 2/12/15
updated Tristana matchup 3/5/15
Updated items chapter, updated When to pick nami chapter, added righteous glory, twin shadows, and banner of command 4/3/15
updated Introduction and items chapters, When to pick nami, removed Zekes and Frost Queen from items 8/7/15
Updated masteries, when to pick nami chapter, matchups of leona, janna, thresh, and added lucian matchup 8/24/15
updated Early game chapter on lvl 2 with jungle camp 9/4/15
Added soraka matchup 9/5/15
updated masteries and masteries chapter 9/15/15
Updated early game chapter 9/24/15
updated when to pick nami chapter 10/6/15
Updated timers chapter 10/15/15
added master yi match up, updated janna matchup, masteries, and masteries, when to pick nami, summoner spells, timers, the level one before minions spawn, leashing, early game, and dragon chapters 11/13/15
Updated items and items chapter 11/14/15
updated warwick matchup, items, items chapter 11/16/15
Updated masteries and masteries chapter 11/25/15
added ashe match up, updated blitz matchup and masteries 12/12/15
Updated when to pick nami, items, masteries, timers, leashing, the level one before minions spawn, mid game, team fighting, and conclusion chapter and masteries 12/17/15
updated conclusion chapter 12/20/15
Updated recall scenarios chapter 12/21/15
added rengar matchup 12/24/15
Updated when to pick nami chapter 1/8/16
reformatted items, skill usage, recall scenarios, early game, mid game, late game, dragon, and baron chapters; updated items & early game chapters 1/12/16
Updated recall scenarios 1/13/16
updated when to pick nami chapter 1/24/16
updated masteries and masteries chapter 2/13/16
added volibear matchup 2/14/16
added bard matchup, updated when to pick nami chapter 2/15/16
Updated introduction and when to pick nami chapters 2/27/16
updated minion advantage and skill usage chapters 2/29/16
Updated when to pick nami chapter 3/11/16
updated when to pick nami chapter 4/3/16
Updated early game chapter 4/5/16
updated purchase order 4/17/16
Updated mid game chapter 4/21/16
updated ezreal matchup 5/1/16
Updated when to pick nami and items chapter 5/6/16
updated soraka and alistar matchup and when to pick nami chapter, added caitlyn matchup 5/15/16
Updated dragon chapter 5/20/16
added sivir matchup and when to pick nami chapter 5/26/16
Added wukong, zed, and jarvan matchups 5/29/16
updated skill usage chapter and zilean matchup, added irelia, rumble, kalista, and amumu matchup 5/30/16
Updated blitzcrank and kalista matchup, updated when to pick nami chapter 5/31/16
updated item chapter 6/2/16
Updated runes; when to pick nami and runes chapter 6/9/16
updated ezreal matchup 6/11/16
Updated yi matchup 6/13/16
updated masteries and masteries chapter 6/14/16
Added vel'koz and jhin matchup 6/15/16
updated rengar matchup 6/16/16
Updated when to pick nami chapter 9/22/16
updated when to pick nami chapter 9/30/16
Updated when to pick nami chapter 10/8/16
updated when to pick nami, leashing, early game, and baron chapter 10/17/16
Updated items, masteries; when to pick nami, masteries, and items chapters 1/1/17
updated when to pick nami chapter 1/19/17
Updated runes, item purchase order, masteries; when to pick nami, runes, and masteries chapters 5/1/17
updated when to pick nami chapter 5/7/17
When to pick nami
As of patch 7.9, the supports that are competitive or strong in no particular order are Maokai, Thresh, Lulu, Bard, and Karma. Liquid Matt had said on stream that Nami helps hyper carries get through lane phase and doesn't scale that well by herself. Nami is a counterpick to Soraka and Karma supports. SKT Wolf showed that nami is favorable against soraka at the highest level in MSI.
Flash is mandatory for all. When I think about Exhaust and Ignite, I think about when we 5v5 is there someone on the front line that I need to exhaust? For ex. Yasuo, Riven, Fizz, Annie, Rengar, Vi, Zed, and more would need exhaust. If there is no one in the front to exhaust, you take Ignite since it would be very hard to exh their adc. An exception would be that if your team has no answer to Twitch you would have to use all your skills then flash forward and exhaust him and sacrifice urself. You can take Heal if your adc uses Cleanse. You can also take Ignite if you have a strong early game adc.
Mix of defense and offense. Ap glyphs and magic pen marks for more damage. Armor quints and hp seals are needed to survive. Two armor quints is standard for range supports. No scaling runes on supports as bottom lane is very early game dependent.
I get Intelligence since the nerf to Ebb and Flow cooldown back in season 5 was the main reason why she fell off. I get Explorer since there are bushes in lane and you go through river to ward and roam for mid lane. Runic Armor is good with Redemption, Ebb and Flow, and Heal. Insight should be used to give you larger timing windows to abuse enemys' summoner spell cd. Thunderlord's Decree is used in specific support matchups. Windspeaker's Blessing scales better, is more easier to use, and has no cooldown.
Locket of the Iron Solari prioritized most if they have double ap, Ziggs, Rumble, or Karthus since it is 60 second cooldown you can fight often against mikael users, then Mikael's Crucible if they have critical cc, buy Refillable Potion in your first or second back and if its past 2 backs then just buy 1 health potion. Buy 2 Vision Ward every back after lane phase. If no towers have died then only 1 pink ward.
Banner of Command if their only wave clear is magic.
Talisman of Ascension and Frost Queen's Claim right now are weak so get Eye of the Watchers, because it is a quicker item spike.
Buy boots as your first core item for warding the enemy jungle with jungler or warding defensively around mid lane after backing. Boots of Speed helps roaming after pushing lane if the opportunity is there, but if you can buy Sightstone rush that first as you can ward mid and bot and change trinket. It is core to get Boots of Mobility and Sightstone first. Pros get Redemption before upgrading Spellthief's Edge and for Nami they get Eye of the Watchers after.
Your adc will play back when your gone or else you have to tell him to wait at tower. Come back to your adc when the minions are gonna hit your tower. You only get Ruby Sightstone if there is lack of vision, your team is moving around the map, or after buying 2 active items.
Frost Queen's Claim helps against stealth champs before a fight, but the ghosts do not chase them if they are stealthed during activation of ur item. Banner of Command is only bought when they have only ap wave clear and their ad is short range.
Zeke's Harbinger if the other items mentioned before this are not needed and your adc is fed and uses crit, but if adc has triple crit items, zekes would not be needed. If against triple ad, Zeke's Harbinger is a decent armor item, but if your adc is weak or will get triple crit items, then get Frozen Heart.
If against full ad comp with no hard cc, get Knight's Vow or Randuin's Omen after Frozen Heart.
Mejai's Soulstealer if absolutely all other items are not needed and you can stay alive. Get Oracle Lens at lvl 9.
Elixir of Sorcery bought before an objective fight or after taking baron nashor , and bought after full build.
Redemption can be bought instead of Locket of the Iron Solari if there is no upfront burst.
Knight's Vow can replace Frozen Heart if your carry is strong and you don't have squishy top and jungle.
Have 3 Control Ward at a time after early game to deny vision more actively.
You should always time the enemy summoners and let ur adc kno if ur summoners are down. Flash without Insight is 5 min, and with it is approximately 4 min 15s. Exhaust, Ignite, Cleanse, and Ghost are 3 min 30s and with the mastery 3 min. Teleport is 5 min and with mastery 4 min 15s. Heal is 4 min and with the mastery 3 min 20s. Flash, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and Insight makes Flash become 3 min. Buffs are 5 minutes if you dont have vision of their buffs to make use of riot's buff timers. Dragon and baron are timed by the game scoreboard. inhibitor is 4 min.
Actions per minute; you should try to never stand still. It will warm up your hands if you keep clicking left and right. Also do some wrist exercise so you don't develop anything bad.
Your Tidal Wave will be used for disengage or follow up engage. Only way you can engage is if there is no vision of you over the wall.
For Aqua Prison, if the enemy is losing trade or running from your gank you q their escape route. If the enemy is winning trade, chasing, engaging, and/or ganking you, then u q in front of them. If your skill shot gets dodged while following this criteria, you did your job since they had to avoid in a direction that puts them in an unfavorable position, unless they use blinks and dashes. If you kno their blinks, dashes, or Flash is ready, you're going to have to wait for them to be next to you or predict their dash/blink.
In lane your Tidecaller's Blessing should be used on yourself during lvl 1-2 as you have hybrid pen marks. When u or ally is escaping with low hp, use ur E on some1 full hp to slow enemies down since the low ally wont likely auto.
Watch champion spotlight for nami on how to use her Ebb and Flow, but also make urself and adc full hp before trading. It is ideal if u can heal urself and dmg enemy safely. Ebb and Flow is more important to use in 2v2 duels or teamfights as healing 2 allies rather than dmg 2 enemies, unless all but one of you are full hp. Ebb and Flow priortizes the lowest hp champions so having one low health teammate is fine to use Ebb and Flow offensively. [For example, you are 1/4hp, ur adc is 1/3 hp, enemy supp is dead, and enemy adc is 1/3hp. Do not use w on the enemy adc. Instead use w on ur adc or yourself. Using w on urself while trying to hit enemy in lane and kiting back is better than w them since it might not bounce back to you.
Use champion portraits for W and E if allies are bunched together.
Save Aqua Prison if the threat will not be in his threat range unless he Flash, so save Aqua Prison for after his Flash.
Importance of vision control
In my early game section later on you will read about how to deep ward. Why should we deep ward? It lets your team know where the jungler is so everyone can play more aggressive if they can. Without knowing where the jungler is everyone will risk getting ganked if they play aggressive, especially under enemy tower. Your team can get buff timers, set up counter ganks if your team is stronger 3v3 or 2v2, and gank without fear of a counter gank. Maybe even kill the jungler while he is doing a camp. Warding river will not be enough since junglers can lane gank, even behind their tower without needing to go in a lane bush.
You can easily E Lucian during his q animation as he will use his double shot to hit enemy champs. It is a bit harder without voice communication to coordinate your E with his dash + passive.
You can E Caitlyn right when she auto atks, you're going to need good apm.
You can E Kog'Maw right when you hear him use his W.
You can E Twitch as he stealths. Also the heal is needed to alleviate his early game.
You can help set up Yasuo for his ultimate. His Steel Tempest can apply your E.
Your kit is valuable for poke comps.
You can E Vayne as she does her combo. Also the healing is needed to alleviate her early game.
Ezreal can easily apply all 3 of ur E.
The level one before minions spawn
Do not pick a skill yet until you see your lane opponents in lane, when top laner appears at top to show there is no lane swap, or there is no delay invade. Ebb and Flow is best for 2v2 lane, but an invade or lane swap it is better to start Aqua Prison. You should defend a choke point safely. If defending raptor area do not stand in bush. If defending mid lane then have vision of both bushes and no need to have vision of their tower. You should use your trinket ward somewhere generally at 0:45, unless you see a group of invaders then you ward where you are escaping to. If you ward in front of them, they can kill it. A delay invade optimally happens at 1:35, so warding at 0:45 at a decent spot to see the invade coming will let your team respond accordingly. If an enemy sees you when you are about to ward, its better to back off and ward a spot that they cannot see even though it is not as deep.
If jungler starts on bottom buff, then it is really helpful for you and adc to help leash and tank 1 hit each for jungler until 1:44 which you then go to your lane. You should not worry too much about a cheese in the river as purple team if you trinket warded well during the 0:45. Same with tri bush as blue team. Ask your jungler to start top though since your team will have a higher chance of winning that way.
Generally for all lanes, if you have more minions you can go aggressive if your adc follows up and you know where everyone is in the map; but not past the minions if you need your minions to help fight the enemy champs. If there are 10 enemy minions and you have 3 minions just back up all the way to tower as you will get collapsed on by the enemy. Since you will not lose any cs(creep score), you might as well go back to tower anyways. It takes 9 minions as duo lane to get lvl 2 so you should count both minion waves to see if you get lvl 2 first, they get lvl 2 first, or both sides will get lvl 2 at the same time. If they are getting lvl 2 first then you're gonna have to back off far and ping back your partner. If the lane is even then you have to be cautious. Only do short trades when playing aggressive or else you take too much minion damage.
Recognizing tower dives
You should watch your lane and your teammates to see if they have the factors of getting dived. The most obvious one is low health. Others are no flash, huge incoming minion wave, and champions missing. If you pay attention to other lanes or yourself, you can warn the possible dive and move your jungler, others can roam to help, or get in a spot for a safe teleport, all to turn around the dive. If none of the responses are available then the possible victim must leave. The duo lane should generally be together when the minion wave is at their tower, or else the enemy duo can 2v1 dive the lonely bottom player. Tell that bottom player to leave or call others to turn the dive around.
Farming under tower
Towers will prioritize minions toward the bottom of the lane first. During early levels you can auto once on a full hp caster minion. The caster minions near the top of the lane will most likely get hit by your minions which means you need to auto those more than once or not at all.
Generally you recall when your adc is recalling or dead. Best case scenario is you know where everyone is on the map and you can safely push to their tower if you have more minions or freeze when they have a bit more minions. You can recall before a siege minion wave(which spawns after 2 minion waves during early game), so that by the time you go back to lane you won't miss out on too much cs since siege takes a while to be killed by tower as well as enemies can't push that fast.
If you killed your enemy laners and you do not know where everyone is on the map then you should go to your tower and recall. Do not risk getting killed by their jungler or whoever. If you got a successful jungler to gank you then ask him to push with you unless you are all low enough for a triple kill. After recalling, buy while walking to edge of fountain always until 20 minute mark.
Ask your jungler to start top. If your jungler starts top, then you and adc should push lane right away before the minion waves meet. Push in the first 2 waves then play safe unless you have good vision or know where jungler is.
With the new jungle, you must beware of a lvl 2 gank by the jungler. In the level one chapter, your team must put down some vision to learn where the jungler started as well as keeping track of who leashed to know if a lvl 2 gank is possible.
Level one use Ebb and Flow and auto their adc, unless their support is closer to both you and your adc from which both of you should focus dmg on support. Use a Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation when you are 3/4hp. Help push minions if your adc is stronger. It takes 9 minion kills for duo lanes to level, but with a jungle camp a duo lane can become lvl 2 after 3 melee minion and 1 caster minion ; 1 melee minion to 3 caster minion to 1 melee minion .
If you get level 2 first u can get Aqua Prison, but if both duos get level 2 get Tidecaller's Blessing since they can use flash to dodge your q. After lvl 2 you should play passive unless you know where everyone is in the map.
Ward mainly when you push to enemy tower and let ur adc know to back off; you can also fake ward by walking to a spot and pretending to ward. Only use Aqua Prison during all ins or ganks, as it takes away mana from your Ebb and Flow and baits your adc to a bad all in.
If the mid or jungler(who is missing the most) is missing then u should expect a gank and should back off. Watch for teleports as well as you cant all in unless your jungler and your teleport(s) is ready to help. Get all 3 skills lvl 3 if you expect gank or all in.
After first back get a Vision Ward and run in jungle near mid lane to ward the river bush near mid towards dragon or to deep ward the enemy jungle that isn't the buff bush. The deep pink ward in jungle will take the most time and highest risk. It is best to ward and roam with jungler. Try to ward the gromp area/ raptor area as that is the easiest after your lane is pushing(preferably under enemy tower), tell your adc to play back or follow you as you deep ward so he doesn't get 2v1. For warding the raptor make sure u see the wraith camp to see their jungler. For warding the gromp you don't need to ward the blue buff bush, just ward over the wall that can see both blue buff and gromp. If you see their jungler and he can 1v1 you or is not scared then you should just back off and ward a spot where he can't see you place since he is preventing u from deep warding. Generally when your jungler comes, u let him show first before engaging since u don't want to die in a 2v2 before your jungler gets to do anything.
As purple team, many blue team players pink their tri bush at bot. It is very risky to take out pinks without your jungler, so instead you can ward these spots to see an incoming gank from the jungle but not from river.
Mid game generally starts when a tower dies or when someone gets lvl 6 as they can tower dive. Call for help to ward enemy jungle if your team is ahead. Always have 2 pink wards to contest objectives. When you are lvl 9 you need to switch to Oracle Lens. Buy Elixir of Sorcery when you expect a fight.
Get all tier 1 towers, trading towers is fine.
You should generally be grouped with your team, not hang with adc. Don't let your teammates push past river without grouping to ward enemy jungle. If your team is even then generally ward rivers and wait for next dragon fight. If your team is behind then generally ward your jungle/river and hope to get a pick.
Try to get enemy buff timers then set up a minute before with deep wards and a pink when your team is ahead. As support, you do not go to a lane where there are massive minion waves going towards your tower as you need to group and control vision.
Your team can make plays when your massive minion wave is pushing by making a play on the opposite side of the map with an objective or decent minion wave to push. Or use the big wave by going with the huge minion wave for a strong siege or tower dive in that lane.
Always have a Control Ward slot. Your ult might be used for follow up engage while all your other skills should generally be used to peel for your adc. Do not put down a pink if you are not contesting the area. Only engage in fights that you know your team can win. If your team is grouped and one of you gets picked on, disengage immediately with ultimate and try to save your teammate. Usually a fight ensues from that since no one can afford to lose a teammate at this stage of the game.
Try to slow push a side lane by telling your a teammate to leave 1 siege minion and 2 caster minion alive, so you can coordinate a timed push on the other side of the map w/ the massive wave. If there is backdoor pressure on your base, then ward up your jungle with Vision Ward and Sightstone wards.
Only do dragon when 2 enemies are dead or at base & while your team isn't low, or it is a free dragon. A free dragon is when the enemy team is aced, their teleports are down, completely cleared their vision, they're taking top buff, or recalled to base.
If they have Fiddlesticks, Nunu, Master Yi, Udyr, Shaco, Elise, Karthus, Lee Sin, and possibly more(not to mention laners helping out), then you need to keep it warded from a specific lvl onward for a possible sneak.
If the enemy starts dragon, poke them until dragon is half hp, then fight. Poking them makes them disoriented to either finish, run, or fight. Dragon does aoe so if you start it, have one person in the pit to tank it away from team.
Do not do elder dragon with 2 people or less.
When securing baron for bait or to take, you want to deep ward and ward surrounding bushes to keep from getting stolen or to get a pick. Do not exclude the tri bush towards top lane.
As purple team you want to pink outside the pit and sweep inside the pit.
As blue team u want to pink in the pit near the entrance so that the enemy doesn't kill it over the wall.
Do not stand behind the baron when taking it, since it will do damage to everyone behind it.
Your teammates need to have sweepers and pinks to help. As for positioning when taking baron you need to stand outside the pit with your carries. As for ward kills in the pit, support should be the one since support's dmg against baron is least important. When the enemy is in the baron pit, hit the baron to make it hit your enemies. Never use your cc at baron when enemies are around. One person should zone the enemy team if they are coming to stop the baron attempt. Communicate with your team beforehand to finish, run, or turn to fight.
At 20min and onwards you must ward it against sneaks from high objective junglers such as Nunu, Udyr, Karthus, Fiddlesticks, Master Yi, and possibly more(not to mention laners helping out).
Preemptively use oracle alteration and Vision Ward(preferably in a bush so they dont know and walk to it) for stealth champions. Peel for your carries but you may use your ult to follow up engage.
When disengaging, you should use Tidal Wave first then follow up with Aqua Prison immediately since they'll be locked in place by the knock up for a short period of time unless they are far away.
Use Tidecaller's Blessing on your mage if he autos often for they have magic pen. Save Aqua Prison for champions that have high kill pressure, usually not on pure tanks; unless your adc is dying to off tanks. If you can bubble multiple people then go for that instead, since they then won't be able to peel for their teammates or disrupt your backline.
If the enemy adc is stronger than your adc then you generally join your team on killing him rather than peeling for your weaker adc. Read skill usage would fill the rest.
Nami is versatile as she can heal, follow up engage, disengage, and be a decent roamer. Since Nami is more of a general pick, other support picks are generally better since they can fit in their situations better than Nami, especially Janna. All questions in the comments will be replied by private message.