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Nami Build Guide by Wicked Cherry

Support Nami - Wash them away.

Support Nami - Wash them away.

Updated on September 24, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wicked Cherry Build Guide By Wicked Cherry 71 1 105,338 Views 20 Comments
71 1 105,338 Views 20 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Wicked Cherry Nami Build Guide By Wicked Cherry Updated on September 24, 2020
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Runes: Standard Runes

Summon Aery
Nimbus Cloak

Font of Life

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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 - Wash them away.

By Wicked Cherry

I'm Wicked Cherry, I'm playing mainly Support since season 4 and this is my second guide. My first one is about Lulu - you can check it out here if you like. :)
Nami helped me climb quite a bit during the seasons 7 and 8. In my opinion she is a very valuable and mostly underrated support, her kit is very versatile and if you actually know how to play her, I'm convinced you'll understand what I'm talking about. So let's dive in. :)

Here's some prove for actually adding Nami to your champion pool. :)

The Tidecaller

A headstrong young vastaya of the seas, Nami uses her mystical Tidecaller staff to reshape the tides and defend her fellow Marai from danger. The first of her kind to leave the ocean and venture onto dry land, Nami faces the unthinkable with grit, determination, and daring mettle.

In the seas to the west of Mount Targon dwells a tribe of vastaya known as the Marai. Long ago, these mermadic creatures discovered a rift in the depths. The rift bore a horrible, creeping darkness which sought to exterminate all forms of life.

See how it goes on here

(copyright by RiotGames, see here.)
If you're interested in more stories about Nami, check out this. :)

+ high utility
+ compatible with about every ADC
+ her buff Tidecaller's Blessing can be used on allies
+ very adaptive playstyle possible
+ can start teamfights with Aqua Prison as well as disengage with it
+ SHE'S A MERMAID who can heal allies while dishing out damage to enemies! :3
- relies on hitting Aqua Prison
- needs at least one frontliner
- especially aggressive playstyle can be quite mana-consuming
- squishy (but lovable ♥)
- not much sustain (despite Ebb and Flow
- struggles hard when being focused
- kind of relies on fed carries

Nami's Passive allow you to speed up your allies by 20% once you've cast a spell on them (which would be either Ebb and Flow or Tidecaller's Blessing for 1.5 seconds. If allies are hit by Tidal Wave, the effect will be doubled.

Nami will throw a bubble to the targeted area. All enemies hit by it will get knocked upinto the air for 1.5 seconds. All targets or enemies hit will also receive magic damage.

You can cast this ability either onto your ally or onto an enemy. If cast on an ally, Nami will heal that ally. If an enemy is nearby, the wave will bounce onto that one dealing magic damage to that one and can bounce back to an ally healing that one as well.
However, the wave can only bounce onto each champion once, but can hit up to three targets per cast. Per bounce, healing and damage will be reduced by 15%.

Tidecaller's Blessing is Nami's buff which will "bless" any ally or herself for 6 seconds (or 3 attacks) by dealing magic damage and slowing every enemy that has been hit for 1 second.

As the name Tidal Wave says, Nami will summon a huge wave that will knock up and afterwards slow every enemy hit. Additionally, it will deal magic damage. This ability is always good for a nice surprise for your enemies: You could start fights with it or ensure your jungler to attempt a successfull gank.

Since Summon Aery consists of two components: Damage and Shield power, it's what you'd consider as perfect match with Nami's playstyle. Aery gives her the early game aggressiveness that you need and the ability to improve shields on your allies.

I like to go for this rune because as support, as I might have already said, you can’t join a fight too early and the additional movement speed after casting my ultimate has allowed me to either catch up with fleeing enemies and run from them myself. So you can pretty much use this rune for chasing or running. Either way, I consider it as really helpful. :]
The additional free cooldown reduction will allow you to either buy a rather aggressive item instead of another CDR item. Also, if you exceed the limit, the abundant amount of CDR will transform into adaptive attack damage or magical damage which should also be one thing you shouldn’t say No to.

Basically, this is your harassing damage rune in this build. It will allow you to deal enough magical damage with your whole kit, but especially with Ebb and Flow. You might notice that enemies will try to evade getting hit by you because the range of your W is rather large. Furthermore, even if you’re being forced to go completely defensive, you’ll still have at least the damage from this rune.

Healing your allies although you're not a Soraka shouldn't be witchcraft for Nami, right? This rune just works really well with your W Ebb and Flow and I feel that in low elo, it even helps your team mates to focus more on certain champions because you have the extra visual effect.

It's just the round up of a perfect combo together with the shield and heal of Ebb and Flow and Redemption) you'll do. Also, it will support your aggressive abilities that deal magical damage.

Alternative Rune choices

This rune will help you solve some of your early and maybe even mid game mana problems. Therefore, if possible you will prefer to be rather aggressive and help you with your possible mana problems.

You can't say No to movement speed because you're basically the swimming "ambulance" of the team. I promise you, there won't be a moment when you're realizing that you've joined a fight too early - rather the opposite, that you've been too late. However, I swapped this one with Nimbus Cloak, but it really comes down to one’s liking here, really.

I know most people prefer Scorch, but I can totally understand why you could prefer the adaptive damage more in late game because ... well, it's damage that can help your team mates. And many underestimate the power of Nami, especially late game because everyone just focuses on the carries.

This should be your standard item. It's one of the most important ones because it will transform into Frostfang which will also be your warding item. You will not have to pay for it anymore to upgrade. Later on, it will become Shard of True Ice. For more details on warding, check out my Warding section. :]
Furthermore, this item acts as your gold-income item which will help you to not fall behind compared to other roles. Try to be harrassive whenever you have mana and the situation allows it. You should try to get into harassing range and after you've dealt your damage, fall behind and wait in a safe distance to harass and recharge accordingly.

I really tried playing without this item but it's pretty hard because it just matches so perfectly with your Ebb and Flow. It improves your shields and heals by 8% and even boosts your carry's Attack Speed by 10 to 30%. Summon Aery, Redemption, Ebb and Flow AND Celerity even stack with Ardent Censer and therefore enhance one another. How awesome is that?

Redemption also enhances your healing and shielding power by 8%. But it also grants you more access to mana which means: More heals, more damage, more of everything of Nami!
Furtermore, you can heal your allies with its active. Whenever a teamfight starts, I make sure to use it as soon as possible because it takes 2,5 seconds to become active.

I love to build Twin shadows whenever I feel to game might turn out into my team's favor. It will allow you to chase after enemies with its active or run from them whenever you're outnumbered. It will also give your 7% movement speed, 70 Ability Power and 10% of Cooldown Reduction. It's basically for chasing enemies or escaping from them.

Standard Boot Upgrade. The movement speed allows your to actually become the "ambulance" your team might need. If it doesn't, it will still need your damage and hard CC. You can swap these for Boots of Swiftness if the enemies have a lot of Crowd Control. If you're rather going for the more aggressive build, you might want to buy Sorcerer's Shoes. I know that many people like to go for Ionian Boots of Lucidity but I usually experience that I'm already at the 40% Cooldown Reduction limit and that buying these would be a waste.

I love the aura (additional shield) that this item's actives grants to all nearby allies. This is probably my favorite Magic Resistance item. And it will also give you some (30) Armor which means you don't have to choose when you're indecisive toward building Armor or Magic Resistance because you're getting both plus an additional shield! How awesome is that? (:

Defensive item choices
  • You can choose these items depending on the match up and how the game's going for you and your team. When it's obvious that you'll face a hard laning phase, do not hesitate to rush for example Locket of the Iron Solari.
  • Frozen Heart, Randuin's Omen and Knight's Vow are heavy armor items. I would only pick them up against heavy attack damage teams or against super fed assassins like Zed, Yasuo or Talon.
  • Turbo Chemtank will provide you with more armor and some flat amount of health. It's active is what made me add it here because you can chase or run from enemies with it which might be what you are looking for, especially against dash champions like Ezreal, Katarina or Pyke.
  • Spirit Visage is an item that mainly top laners build. It can help you but it's rarely a good item for you to pick up. I added it here because you should tell your top laner to build it to improve your healing.
  • Last but not least, Athene's Unholy Grail. It's an item that's not too defensive but also not that aggressive when compared to other items. It's somewhat ideal which is why I like to build it on Nami whenever I can. Your pokes and spells will add stacks to it which will be redeemed by your next heal and improve it by that amount. It's generally not a huge amount, but you're AP scaling is working really well with Nami in general. Another plus point for the Magic Resistance.

Aggressive Choices
  • It's not a bad choice to buy Ability Power items. I'd probably prefer Liandry's Anguish because the passive enables you to do damage over time to enemies. However, it can also be a wise decision to buy Morellonomicon if no one on your team will purchase it.
  • I usually only buy Ability Power items when I notice that the game will turn out in our favor, my team lacks AP champs or that the enemies aren't buying Magic Resistance.
  • Void Staff can be a nice add-on to be more annoying for enemies who have already built Magic Resistance. However, you should keep in mind that you'll only want to buy one or two AP items.
  • Luden's Tempest and Rabadon's Deathcap are the most aggressive choices here. You'll scale pretty high with them and they work well together but are also really nice alone. I would consider them building as third or fourth item (without your warding item) if your team is heavily ahead. But please finish your Warding item before you start building these.
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also a really nice item which offers you AP and some flat amount of health. Furthermore it will provide you with it's great passive which will slow an enemy when hit by one of your abilities. So in short: Your abilities slow your enemies (even more than they do already).

Flash is pretty standard. I allows you to handle small positioning mistakes or jump into teamfights while if your team unexpextedly dashed forward. Exhaust is also a standard support summoner.
It slows the targeted enemy by 30% and reduces their damage by 40%.
Ignite is usually a good indicator for aggressive playstyles. It damages the targeted enemy for 5 seconds, dealing true damage and canceling out all healing effects by 40%. Choosing Heal is a bit uncommon but you can pick it if your Marksman decides to go Barrier. However you two should communicate that matter in advance to rule out any misunderstandings.

You are pretty much the swimming "ambulance" - or rather life saver - of your team. I know, usually that's what you'd call Soraka but for Nami it is somewhat equal - after all you are the support.
So, make sure that ...
  • ... your team gets the peel it needs ( Aqua Prison & Tidal Wave ).
  • ... your carries survive ( Ebb and Flow ) or at least are able to get out their damage ( Tidecaller's Blessing ).
  • ... you have enough vision of the crucial parts of the map. I put you a map with helpful tips in the warding section below!
  • ... check where the enemies are on the mini map and help your team with pings to prevent ganks or traps.
  • ... in laning phase, you can try to bully the enemy ADC as much as possible. This way, they would have to focus on staying away from you which would result in losing CS.
  • ... you don't lose too many objectives. Sometimes you cannot prevent it but you can always try to steal a Baron or Dragon with the help of your team!
  • ... you don't go off warding and dewarding alone while you have no vision and no idea where the enemy team is at right that moment.

There are probably so many more things that might need attention - but I think it's really important that you at least try to keep the basic ones in mind and focus on them. I know it sounds a lot at first glance but you'll get used to them more and more. Like try to focus on one or two things you want to improve on several games. Once you feel aquainted with them you can focus on the next ones. :)

Since there are different situations and game phases, I will try to point out the ones that occur most of the time.

Early to Mid Game

You're winning the lane and are ahead
  • Try to deep ward, such as warding the enemy jungler's buffs in order to track their activity and prevent ganks in an early mode
  • Ward objectives like the Dragon and some part of the river
  • If the enemy team has Support s that rely on skillshots and are extreme threads for you, such as Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab, you should either watch your positioning very carefully or ward any bush that you feel you would need vision of. If you don't feel the enemy match up as threat at all (which should be a rare occasion), you might want to ward jungle bushes behind you, since you might consider going for an early First Blood Tower and swap lanes with your Toplaner.

You're behind and risk losing the lane
  • In this occasion you usually do not have to opportunity to deep-ward a lot. However you should try to ward as much as possible. Why? Wards can save lives.
  • Ward one of the lane bushes.
  • Ward the river and the Dragon pit.

One more thing about early game: Ask your Jungler and/or Toplaner to ward the Rift Herald because you don't want to give one (or more!) Towers for free to the enemy team, do you? They might even come bot and destroy your winning lane this way. That's not your intention - is it?

Mid to Late Game

You're winning - Yay!
  • You should use that advantage nicely. Ward objectives!
  • If you notice that the enemies tend to prefer one side of the map, e.g. topside, try to ward the one slightly more.
  • Ward the enemy jungler's buffs or often used bushes and pathways, such as the area around the Red Buff .
  • Animate your teammates to ward if they aren't doing it already! You can't ward the whole map alone with 3+1 wards!

You're losing - oh no! Time to turn the game around.

I know that warding alone will not win you a game, you'll also have to pay very close attention to the mini map and it is not a joke when I'm saying that it should become one of your very best friends in the game. Like I'm only Gold but I'm kinda spending 40% of the whole game's time watching the mini map, looking out for ganks or where to position my next ward because once you notice a certain behavior, you might realize what the enemy might want to do in their next couple of moves. Okay, I get this might sound like you should take a look into the fortune teller's crystal ball but it's not that mystic or weird.
I'll give you an example:
Say you realize that the enemy team kinda keeps pushing mid and bot lane. Meanwhile you see that the enemy Jungler or Support clear out your river wards. What would they want to do next? Right! They'll go for the Dragon . Another crucial point is to keep an eye out for the timers, like Dragon timer or Baron timer, but you might also want to know about the Buff timers to at least roughly guess when enemies will show up in that area - which is also always nice to catch them off-guard. But beware because you will probably want to ward the area carefully before you set up your surprise trap.
So let's get back to warding when losing:
  • Keep an eye out for objectives and ask teammates to go warding with you because let's say you only have all base towers that remain but want to ward Baron . The likelihood that you'll get caught is at about 65% roughly guessed.
  • Try to have as many pink wards out as possible - I'd recommend close to buffs.
  • Ward around camps, such as the wolves .
  • Use the vision plants whenever it is possible and safe

When you're going kind of equal.
  • Study the opponents' way of walking around the map and warding it. When you see that they rarely use wards, try to bait them in the jungle or just wait until one or two of them start fighting camps.
  • I might be repeating myself but: always ward Dragons and Baron
  • Ward often used pathways, mostly the river
  • Try to ward their jungle, but try not to go alone or do not stray too far from your teammates.

Here's an example for warding especially for the bot side (you're team blue and start at the left bottom of the map):
  • Icy blue dots are for your vision cones. Do not hesitate using them unless you want to save them for special events like a soon spawning dragon .
  • Red dots are for the blasting cones (bomb plants).
  • Green numbers are for your usual vision wards. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 display the best vision spots where you should want to place your wards every time. I know that it's not always possible for various reasons (like you don't know where the enemy jungler and/or mid laner are or you're losing the lane and you don't really care about having vision of the enemy jungler). For these situations, I added the numbers 4 and 5. However, you should try to ward the blasting cone inside the enemy jungle as well.
    I know there number 5 is there twice but that's because ensuring vision of one of the side brushes will depend where you are "tower hugging" or the enemy's freezing the lane.
One more thing which might occur as a frequent question:
Why ward the blasting cone instead of the brush underneath it?

Well, imagine that the enemy jungler just finished Gromp and now checks if they could gank bot lane. He'd probably walk through the tribrush and either use the blasting cone (ward 3) or walk back to the blue buff and then walk through ward 2. Either way, you'll spot him. If you just warded the brush below the blasting cone,you will still see him but by that it'll be probably too late to escape - especially if you've pushed the lane.
  • Lastly, pink numbers are for Control wards. The lower the number, the better the position. If you feel that you need a Control Ward in your tribrush, you could always ask your ADC to buy one. When you're playing rather defensively, I would advice placing a Control ward at position 1 or 2. But if you're going equal or winning, you should definitely try to place it as deep into the enemy jungle as possible (one of the number 3 positions). I wouldn't recommend putting a Control Ward into position number 4 because both number 3s are more valuable and the enemy will walk through either your stealth ward or the Control Ward in position number 3. :)

  • Warding is very important - it saves lives and wins games.
  • Don't go warding alone (or stray too far from your team), especially when you don't know where the enemies might be.
  • Keep an eye on the mini map to guess your enemies' next steps and use that knowledge against them.
  • Objectives are important! Don't forget them.
  • Peel for your team by knocking up and harassing their carries and keeping your allies healthy.
  • Know your strenghts just as well as your weak spots and play accordingly.

"There's always another wave..."

You've made it so far, thank you for reading my guide to the very end. I hope I could help you with possible questions or decision to make! I'm happy to help and I'd appreciate it if you left a comment to let me know what you're thinking about this guide.

Cheers, Wicked Cherry!
P.S.: If you feel like you could still learn more, click on a picture below. :]

  • 29/12/2018 Creation of the guide.
  • 30/12/2018 Table of Content & Back to Table of Content added ‹3
  • 03/01/2019 Improving the rune suggestions in its section, adding alternative rune suggestions & improving readability
  • 12/01/2019 Added another screen for the Introduction section of my S8 review.
  • 26/10/2019 Changed the color theme of the guide & added more detailed information to the item chapter.
  • 30/01/2020 Modified some item suggestions.

To do List:
  • Adding information about when to recall, peeling and roaming - yes even supports should consider roaming ;)
  • Adding a detailed synergy & threats chapter (previews can be found on my Yuumi guide.)

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the pictures (animated or still) shown on this website.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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