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Nami General Guide by jvolt

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jvolt


jvolt Last updated on May 23, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 21

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BIG UPDATE: Lots added. New code.

More in the marks section. More in the matchups section. Spells are now correct. Changed summoner spells, and added to the section!

Some of the math in the "Don't go ap" section is not finished. I will look into this when I have some more free time.

added some information in the items section on why Locket of the Iron Solari is clutch in early gameplay!

Expect to see these features soon:

Easier readability by adding more code.

More specific numbers in the "dont go ap" section.

More detail in the adc section of match-ups.

A basic support guide that will include: how to use the first two minutes to gain an advantage, warding, how to manage minion waves, and how to communicate with your fellow solo q adc.


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Introduction: PLEASE READ!

Welcome to my Nami support guide. This build is primarily focused on providing Nami with utility, health, and cdr that she so desperately needs.

In order to understand how this build is used, you have to read the entire guide! It will take only 5 minutes, and it is jam packed with information that will improve your game.

Nami belongs in the support position. She has stun, slow, damage buff, move speed buff, and heal, all by the time she hits lvl 4!

Tank is the way to go! I noticed that there are next to no guides that suggest to build Nami the way she should be built, as a tank. So lets get started!


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Don't go ap!

WHY NO AP!?!?!?!?

It's quite simple. Your team doesn't need it. By playing support, you are committing to building what your team needs. You can exchange the minor amounts of ap you will have (never over 200 ap), for vast amounts of utility and survivability.

Scroll to the last paragraph for less math

Lets assume that you have 200 ap:

Lets take a look at tidecaller's blessing. Maxed, it does 85 magic damage +20% ap. 85 * 3 = 255. It hits three times, so the ap conversion is %60, if it actually hits a champion three times. With this skill you would only add about 120 damage, total 375, with a full ap supp build (200). With magic resist, it will be even lower.

Aqua prison has a decent ap conversion for an aoe spell. It does 295 +65% ap. Only an added amount of 130, making the total 435. If you are lucky, you will hit 3 people with this. So it has potential to do 500-1.5k total dmg in teamfights. Lets compare this to an AP. The Barrel Roll of an AP ratio of 90%. Gragas does 800 damage full build in a large aoe that could include the whole team, potentially dealing 2-4k in magic damage. Nami just can't compare.

Ebb and flow I didn't even do the math for. But to give you sense it does 185 heal 255 damage, with corresponding 30% and 50% ap conversion rates. Not bad right? Oh hold the phone good sir/madame, there's a catch... First bounce does 15% less, second bounce does 30% less!

Tidal wave is decent, but its obviously not meant to deal heavy amounts of damage. 70% ap ratio on an ult is not that great. It does 350 damage already, and does 70% slow with knockup. This is not meant to do damage, it is meant to cc.

Now lets consider what you can have instead of ap... instead of ((and mind you I'm being generous with the ap)) 800 (on top of over 1500) magic damage and heal per teamfight. Don't forget that this is full build. By the time they are full build this is a nothing but a tickle.

Last paragraph

200 AP has a gold value of over 4300. In health that is over 1.5k. Considering the ap ratios Nami has, it is much better used in health and utility. If that doesn't convince you, you could buy a locket of iron solari, and shurelya's reverie with that money (with some left over). I would even trade that measly 200 AP for just the Locket of the Iron Solari. Using the active alone provides over 800 shield to your team! You get a nice amount of health, cdr, and armor too.

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Seals and glyphs are self-explanitory. You want tankage, well these are the perfect runes for it.

Quints of movespeed: These are so expensive, but so worth. You can harass reliably and with easy by using a full set of these quints.

Alternative: Quint of Gold.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage??? Yes, you read that correctly. The reason behind this is that the other marks are not as useful in comparison. The only other reasonable marks on Nami are defensive (secondaries, too).

Mark of Attack Damage is a Primary, and it allows Nami to do better in early game trades. You get almost 10 damage for these marks. If you tag the enemy champions just a few times, it adds up quick! You also get bonus gold because of your masteries!

Here are your other options:

Flat/Scaling MR

Flat/Scaling Armor

Flat/Scaling Health

I think Greater Mark of Armor is the best option for secondary runes. It does wonders for winning trades with the adc early.

I do not suggest penetration marks because their effects are minimal on this champion. You don't do enough damage (even with ap) to really ever need these runes. Runes are better used for utility and survivability with Nami.

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Masteries and Summoner spells

Your choice of masteries depends on summoner spells.

Before I get started, please understand: the points in utility must stay in utility. The move speed bonus is key!

Some builds hit the cap of 40% cdr. If you have a goal of hitting this cap, you might want to consider moving points from Intelligence to something else. I like to get an explorer ward, a biscuit, and extended ward vision on placement with these points. Another option is improving awareness (exp rate).

If you want to play agressive, I suggest putting 9 in offence instead of defense; and I take exhaust instead of heal. Definitely allocate a point to summoner's wrath in order to improve your exhaust, then put the rest in Fury , Deadliness , and Weapon Expertise . This mastery set should be paired with Greater Mark of Attack Damage so that you can do some damage early, forcing your opponents to fall back often and lose exp. Grab a Long Sword if it's possible (see items section).

If you go Heal instead of Exhaust, keep nine points in defense. After you heal, incoming heals are 50%. This means that you should use ebb and flow BEFORE heal to be most effective. Using Ebb and Flow after could result in a loss of over 150 health!

Don't get barrier, that is selfish. As for ignite, selfish as well. You are a support!

Clarity is not a good idea either. Having heal is so much more useful.

As for ghost, I've found that when I have it I wish I had flash instead. Your cc is what makes you so great, so getting into position is key. Flash helps more than ghost for this purpose.

Summary: I think it is best to stick to Flash, and either Exhaust or Heal. Remember to change masteries accordingly.

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One thing I love about Nami is how easy it is to allocate points. Let's get started!

Aqua Prison stun doesn't get any better as it levels. The cd and damage are the only things affected by upgrading the skill. Master it LAST.

Maxing Ebb and Flow first will allow great sustain, and is highly suggested for new players. If the tide turns in your favor, put more points into tidecaller's blessing.

HAVE Tidecaller's Blessing BY LEVEL 4 (or 3)! THIS SPELL IS NOT TO BE UNDERRATED! Here's a fun fact: If you cast your tidecaller's blessing even just .0000001 of a second before an auto attack hits, it'll register. The skill DOES NOT reset an attack. This spell allows you to unexpectedly slow the enemy, and opens up the opportunity to land a devastating aqua prison.

Nami's early game trades are what make her so great at the support role.

Basically, you run in with tidecaller's blessing and your passive. If you don't think you can land an attack, go for the aqua prison because it has longer range. End the exchange with an ebb and flow.

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Most of what you need to know is stated in the notes section of the item. If you want to know more, keep reading! The more you know about your champion, the more versatile you can be with your builds.

locket of the iron solai:

I shouldn't have to convince you that this item is an incredible buy. It is under 2k. It has a fantastic, easy to use active. What you may not have though of, is getting this item as soon as you finish your Sightstone and philosopher's stone. This item is great during the laning phase because it gives you EXACTLY what you need. You get health, cooldown reduction, and armor. Health and armor will improve trades and protect you from the enemy adc. The cdr is very important too.

Favorite early game build: Sightstone philosopher's stone Ionian Boots of Lucidity Locket of the Iron Solari

Warmog's Armor:

Nami is so vulnerable early, that it is key to get her health up fast. In order to keep her tanky all game, you need this item. If you do not incorporate this item in your build you will not have enough health, seriously. This build is not effective unless u have more than 3k hp full build! When building warmogs, try to get the giants belt. The flat hp is soooooo important!

If your team is already tanky, or the adc is having trouble with cc, get a cubicle. This item gives you lots of MR, so don't be afraid to deviate from mercury treads. Most people like ionian boots (15% cdr) on Nami. This can take away from your ability to handle crowd control and magic damage, but allows you to hit the cdr cap when using the Intelligence mastery (%6 cdr).

Don't get the speedy boots, your so fast already! Ninja tabi isn't a great idea because adcs hardly ever focus you. Stick with ionian or mercury treads.

When it comes to enchantments, your items are key in deciding which to get. If you have the aegis, definitely consider getting captain. If you have aegis and zekes, don't give it a second thought. Otherwise, homeguard/distortion.

Get distortion if you wish you had flash more often, get homeguard if you have exp issues or are late to fights.


This section is so key in your gameplay. If you read one thing, please read this.

With this build, you can pretty much always buy Ruby Crystal, which you should do! They are a piece to half of the items in your build! Accumulation of hp is huge! Nami will be taken advantage of if she doesn't have hp. After a few games, you will probably discover that the extra hp is the difference maker, even in sustained trades.

If you want to harass more in lane, or continue to win trades with the opposing adc, get a longsword! This Long Sword is part of Zekes, which can be finished later in the game. ONLY GET THIS ITEM IF IT IS BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR TEAM. Zeke's is a hugely underrated item! +20 attack damage aura, plus hp and cdr for you - need I say more? I do. It also gives lifesteal aura. OP.

If the other team is good at managing the lane,and you find your adc getting beat in the cs game, get the Chalice of Harmony. Nami hardly ever gets to full build, so you are not committed to the cubicle if you buy a chalice. Chalice works well with your heal to provide constant hp to your carry in need.


Some people like to get kage's pick early. I'm not one of them, but I have tried it out. The ap doesn't help much. I found out that making a twin shadows is not a terrible idea. The ability power is decent, but the real reason why I like this item is the activation effect and mobility.

Utilize this item with swiftness/mobility boots and a shurelya's.

It can find people hiding in strange places, thus preventing ganks. Simply by looking at the direction the two ghosts are going, you can tell approximately where the two closest champions are. If the ghosts make it to their target, you now have the opportunity to approach them, with vision! The slow will give you a second to catch up with them. Use the shurelya's to lead the team into a fight you are confident you will win! REMEMBER THIS: the item is expensive and will come at the cost of tankiness

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Here is some final advice for playing Nami. When playing nami, the main goal is to win small trades with heal, then securing kills with cc. This is practically the definition of peel. Nami is not the best at going all in, because she relies on her peeling. Be very wary of champions that unexpectedly go all in, like:

Alistar - this guy is not to be trifled with! You will win trades, but even after successful trades he can cc you hard and ruin your fun. often times he will target the adc with a mean headbutt. NEVER stand right next to your adc.

Leona - she has more cc than you do, making jungle appearances a constant threat. ward up.

LULU - she has great range which she will use to keep you at bay, she can go all in at lvl 6. try very hard to dodge skill shots and run in with the ebb and flow. Act before her spells are off their cooldowns! When this chick is lvl 6, do not get too close to either champion because that knockup is deadly. Put extra points into tidecaller's blessing so that you have better slow.

Blitz - trading with this guy end with no mana for either champion. He will spam his shield and it will be difficult to engage him properly. this guy will make you pay for being confident with trades by grabbing you when you least expect it. Once your flash is gone expect a jungle to come in and attempt to clean up.

Take advantage of these guys:

Thresh - his hook is slow. people that play thresh live for that hook into the brush. bait it by standing as far away as you can while remaining in the brush. If you get his mana low, you can force a fight and will always come out on top! CAREFUL! Some thresh players are very skilled with the hook.

Sona - early game she is basically a weaker version of you. Take full advantage of this and make her back out of lane. You want to hit 6 before she does considering how OP that ult is. She can go all in once she hits 6, but she isn't as dangerous as other champions.

Taric - this guy is not a counter to you. His stun is overrated. when you heal yourself to end an exchange, you fall back immidiately. His stun will follow you to safety. I usually make it back into the brush before it hits me!

Soraka - bait the silence by forcing tons of trades. your speed without the passive will be enough to escape unharmed.

Ap fools - people like lux, nunu, zyra: just trade with them and you will come out on top. Some zyra and lux players are good with skillshots so be wary of the cc. Try to bait until you can engage while the cc is on cooldown.


When it comes to adcs its simple. You want to be up against shorter range guys like twitch and graves. Hopefully your adc has more range. This allows your adc to play the farming game and win it, while you peel and zone.

If you are up against long range guys, like cait, mf, varus you want a quinn or sivir. In other words, with ranged guys you want a champion that bursts hard. You will have to do most of the peeling in these situations.

sivir - Yup, she gets her own little spotlight. She's the unique adc. When you are up against her, make sure to never initiate with the aqua prison. use it on the support. The shield can be baited with a trade where you use tidecaller's blessing to engage, then use ebb and flow. She will get mana from this, but risk getting owned by an aqua prison before the shield is back up.

ez - This guy is so annoying. When you attempt a stun, he will flash away. He can be dangerous because if played correctly, is good at peeling. Often times facing this guy is a struggle because he can bait your stun and then poke. BEWARE: he will flash toward you sometimes and deal massive amounts of damage! When this guy is paired with good cc like leona, you have to be way more careful than normal.



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