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Nasus Build Guide by Ckyze

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ckyze

Nasus: Big Dog in the Jungle [S4]

Ckyze Last updated on April 11, 2014
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Team 1

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Top Lane
Ranked #5 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi there!

Welcome to my jungling guide for Nasus! Here you will learn how to become a beast, putting fear in the face of your enemies. If you play well, seeing you will be the end of the world for them.

Main Topics:
- Build;
- Masteries;
- Runes;
- Skill Set;
- Jungle Path;
- How to gank;
- Counterjungling;
- Engage;


PS: If you're new to some terminology of League of Legends, click here to learn a little more.

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Pros / Cons

::> Beast late game;
::> Can deliver a lot of pressure in the map:
::> Easy to master;
::> Ganks like a beast;
::> It's a Melee champion, a problem in ganks;
::> If denied blue, it gets hard to jungle;
::> Slow Jungle clearing;
::> Mana cost in E;

Not all of the pros and cons, but this are the most important to know.

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Runes and Masteries


Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist::> I choose these over flat MR runes. Why? Well, if you do the math, these will allways give you more MR. Since you are a tank, it's not hard to figure out why I pick these runes. However, if you feel better with the flat MR, go ahead.

Greater Seal of Armor::> In this case, it's not about the math, but about your jungling phase. Until you have your W, you are going to be jungling, dealing with neutral monsters that deal auto attacks. Since you're gonna face 2 big creeps (Blue Golem and Red Lizard) flat armor is better for you.

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration::> Since your passive get's you lifesteal, and you get armor reduction with your E, you should add armor penetration (insert your sexual joke here) to help you deal more damage to minions and champions.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed::> Now this is a harder choice. Since I like to be a pressure dealer, meaning I need to be allways moving from lane to lane, I need MS. So this is the best choice, since you don't get your boots until your first return to base. But, i've seen (and tried) to use Quintessence of Life Steal, and the results were not dissapointing at all. Still, for MY type of playing, I recommend MS over Lifesteal.


Personally, I think that masteries are a personal choice. You should never follow blindly what other people say that are correct. Instead of explaining to you all the masteries that I choose, I'll explain why I choose these. This choice is made because of my gameplay. If you're a more safe type of player, these runes may not work the same way that works for me. SO, my advice is to learn for yourself. But how? Well, make some custom games and try different masteries. The one that fits your gameplay, and it helps you more, it's the one you're gonna take. But if you think that i'm incorrect, feel free to use this tree.

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Let's keep this short.

Ghost is the best summoner spell for Nasus. Since you have the most annoying slow in the League, you can chase pretty well. Flash altough it's good, for Nasus, it's not compensating at all.

This spell is not arguable. End of discussion. If you don't take Smite as a jungler, you will never get good at jungling. It's the most important thing to secure buffs and dragons.

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Before you start playing any champion, it's allways good to know their abilities and how to use them correctly, so that you don't end up being a 0-8 Fiora, for example.

Soul Eater is Nasus passive. It gives you 10/15/20% lifesteal, maximizing at level 12. It's a free Vampiric Scepter except for the attack damage. This passive allows Nasus to sustain at jungling, since most of your damage comes from autoattacks. Your Q also applies this effect, since it's applied in the next auto-attack.

Siphoning Strike is your most known ability. It's important that you learn a few things about this: first- when it's possible, use your Q to finish off minions (especially the big ones) because when it happens it gives you stacks (either 3 or 6) depending on the creep. Your Q makes you give more damage in your next attack with a little extra: all your stacks turn into damage. So, try to finish the majority of the creeps your Q.
Tips-> CLICK ME!

Wither is the most annoying slow in the history of League. Don't believe me? Play against Nasus, and you're gonna understand. It's one of your main spells at ganking (part covered later) and chasing enemies. It's the only slow that increases with time. Starts with 35% slow and at the end of the effect, deals an 93% slow, meanwhile is reducing the attack speed of the enemy in half.
Tips-> CLICK ME!

Spirit Fire is an excellent AoE spell. It deals magic damage during the cast and duration, but is the armor reduction that you're looking for. Starting with 20 armor reduction and reducing it by 40 at level 5, it makes your Q deal extra damage, and helps your adc to deal a faster kill on the target.
Tips-> CLICK ME!

Fury of the Sands is your ultimate. Much like Dominus, it gives health (300/450/600), makes you a big dog and stats (+50 attack range and +100 cast range. Also, it gives life drain (3/4/5% of nearby enemies total health) and converts part of the damage dealt to AD. In a teamfight, this ultimate is devastating making you hard to kill while dealing huge damage to the tanks and carries.
Tips-> CLICK ME!

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Item Build.

As a jungler Nasus you can build it 2 ways. Either one or the other works perfectly for Nasus, and it makes you go from a puppy to a big BIG dog.

About this build there's not much to say. It's a standard tank build that makes you deal tons of damage and at the same time, taking a lot of damage for your team. The Core Build is not a mandatory item build. You can change it depending on the team your facing. If you face an AD team, prioritize on Armor. If their damage in mainly AP, then build MR. Warmog's Armor however is one of the items I do not advice to change. The health is gives you is enourmous to your tankiness. The same goes for Spirit Visage, since it increases your life steal and your health regen. At long as it goes for the jungle items, I allways chose Spirit of the Ancient Golem. It is more fit in your tankiness and you receive extra gold for every big creep you kill, so if you're in need for gold (and since your a jungler, unless you get many assists and turrets, you're gonna fall back in gold, so this item helps you a lot to improve until late game).

Some things to have in mind with this build:
- Your first return buy it's very important. If you got an assist and/or turret, and you farm well, you can have at least 1k gold before your last health potion runs out. With that in mind, what you buy tells your gameplay for the next minutes: if you choose Cloth Armor over Boots of Speed you're gonna focus more in neutral objectives (drake) and not in lane pressure (since you're slow in moving to lanes). At least, in my opinion.
- Buy wards every f***ing time you can. Vision in this game is a key to victory. It helps in your choices and secure buffs, objectives, and reducing the roaming of your enemies. I'll talk more about this point later.

Again, a standard off-tank build. Of all the offensive items that Nasus can use, Ravenous Hydra is the more efficient. Mainly because you get more lifesteal, and the passive makes you deal aoe damage with your autoattacks, meaning that in teamfights you can basically melt your enemies life, as well as you can push better (because your Q scales with AD) and faster, meaning more pressure. However, to put it in your build you must leave a tank item behind. Here I leave Sunfire Cape, but you can leave anyone except Warmog's Armor or Spirit Visage, since it procs with Ravenous Hydra. You must take in count that you do NOT build Ravenous as your 2nd item. To make your ravenous effective, you must be a little tank before you have or else you will not be reliable in teamfights, since you're one of the tanks of the team. So, with that in mind, make the best choice for the team and not only for you.


When to use Full Tank or Off-tank:

Full Tank


Note: Your decision on the build must be a serious decision. Normally in champion select, once everyone choose their champion, I immediately choose my build, based on the enemy team and my team (since it's the only information I have). To improve your choice of build, discuss with your top what you will build, so that you don't end up having the worng build to the wrong team. Talk to your allies, and decide what to choose.

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If you're new to jungling, and don't know some of the terminology check the spoiler below, so you get in touch with the monsters and camps.


Nasus Jungle Path:

This is my standard jungle path, except if counter jungled.


If I get counter jungled, my route will be:

Buff not stolen->Camps in that side->Camps on other sides->repeat

Pretty simple jungle path to memerize. You can change the order in red by doing wraiths first (if you want to level up faster to 3).

Counter Jungling- Doing and Reacting to It:

Counter Jungling: As Nasus is not very easy, especially early game. But it's not impossible. You need to have knowledge on the enemy jungler path and have to calculate how long he takes to do the camp that he is in. If you have vision on the jungler and if you're near the camp you're gonna steal then go for it. As long as you don't risk it too much. There's also the possibility for going directly to blue or red (if not warded or protected by enemies) and steal it. Since you start blue, you can steal red and then quiclky return to your blue and finish it. If you have confidence in your skills, then go for it but always remember: it's a huge risk.

When counter jungled: It depends on the buff that is stolen and if you have vision or not of your enemy position. Example: If your team doesn't have the cards to play a lvl 1 fight to defend blue, then ask them to come to the enemy blue and help you steal it. It's an even trade. However if you can't steal their blue, then go right for your red buff, so that you don't lose some experience. Altough Nasus has a hard time without blue, it doesn't mean that his jungling is over. Just farm your jungle the best you can and go gank so that you can get back in the game.

Team Composition to Invade:

x Champions with burst or high damage at lvl 1: ( Annie is a good example, especially with that stun passive)
x Champions with stun or cc( Leona, Thresh, Taric...)

If you're team doesn't meet this factors, don't consider to invade. Communication is also a good tool to this invade.

Note: In Solo Queue I rareky got invaded, basically because there is not as much communication as in a premade with 4 people. If you don't comunicate well with your team, don't invade.

Doing Drake/Baron:

Drake and Baron are great objectives. Before talking about doing it, let's talk about how to prepare to do them:

First of all, ward the objective and routes near him. Vision is everything in this game. You cannot do drake if you don't feel safe about doing it. If you start drake/baron without vision of the back of the dragon/baron pit and the mid lane (for example), there's allways a chance to the enemy jungler smite steal the objective.
Second, check your team and enemy's positioning. Drake is easy to do with more people and Baron is mandatory to do with more than one player. If the enemy team is near the objective, don't start it. Wait until they are far or until you get their jungler and other one down. Then you can start more safely, and most likely, the objective will be yours.

Said that, let's get to action:
- When doing Drake/Baron, is advisable to get a good positioning in the pit. Cover all points so that the enemy cannot have a chance to try to steal it. If someone shows up, put pressure on him. Make him fall back so that the enemy doesn't have vision on the baron and doesn't try to steal it with a long range skillshot (like Final Spark or Trueshot Barrage). If most of the enemy team appears, cancel the operation, unless you can Smite it and secure the objective.
- As Nasus you wanna make things easier to your team. So you can tank most of the damage, and at the same time deal damage. Use your E so that the adc and you can deal more damage. If possible, use your ult, as it deals more damage and makes you tank a lot more. Never use your Q to finish a drake/baron, unless you are sure that the drake is secured and there is no chance to get stealed.

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One of the biggest tasks of the jungler: ganking. Before I tell you how to gank with Nasus, you must know some things about ganking.

Ganking- The Basics

Ganking as Nasus is not a hard thing to do. Your combo is very easy to land, since it's not skillshot based, and it can end quickly if done with a certain champion. The problem however is when to gank. Not what time in the game it is to gank, but what is the right moment to start the gank. For that you must think and judge the situation. 4 easy steps to do this are:
1st- Ask your ally if the enemy warded the entry bush;
2nd- Check the positioning of the enemy as long as the momentum of the lane (if it's pushed to your turret or to the enemy turret);
3rd- Ask your ally if they have ult or any burst combo, as well as an cc ability;
4th- Ask if enemy has Flash or Ghost;
5th- Check your ally and enemy health/mana;


If you're gonna gank, use your combo:

Combo: Wither-> Spirit Fire->get in range-> Siphoning Strike->continue to deal damage;

This is the standard combo. Since Wither has a large range, you can use it and predict where to cast Spirit Fire to deal more damage to your target. If needed use Ult to maximize your damage.

What can I do after the gank?

It depends on the result of the gank. If the gank is sucessful and your enemy dies, push the lane and destroy the turret if possible. If not possible, deal the most damage possible before leaving the lane. Other possibility is taking drake (if gank happens in mid or bot). The best outcome is a turret and a dragon. The worst outcome is just a turret or just a dragon.
However if the gank is not sucessful, return to jungling or go to other lane. If you're full health, put pressure on other point of the map. Other choice is go shopping.

Minion Tax® .

This subject is the reason of so much rage in the games I play. Minion Tax is when, after a gank, the jungler take a few minions from the lane he ganked. Now, why is this such a motive to rage? Well because a laner doesn't want to give cs to a service that you paid. Because of 3 minions, they are capable of hiring a hitman to kill you. Use your senses people. If I give you a service (that i'm not obligated to do) you have to give me something in return. Taking 3 minions is so hard to manage? The logic is simple: if you pay your taxes, you'll get ganks. Easy peezy.

Things to have in mind while ganking:

- Don't change your target at the last moment. Prioritize on main damage dealers. If not possible, go for the secondary target. Only change your target if the main target is in the red zone and you have another target on the yellow/green zone.
- Check your opponents movement. If you see that they are backing, do not engage. Try to predict their movement to improve your chances of getting a good gank.
- Communicate with your teammates. That will help you make the calls.
- It's your call where to gank. Don't feel obligated to gank one lane because one ally told you to. Analyze the situation, and choose where you're gonna put pressure.
- Don't forget to charge your Minion Tax!

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Remember that game that you were way far behind, there was no chance to win in your mind, but a teamfight turn that all around? Yeah, neither me. But the teamfight is the moment where your gameplay comes to a judgment. Did you fed the right people? Did you put enough pressure? But don't worry, you won't be thinking this. You'll be thinking what you gotta do in a teamfight.

First of all, you can't engage in a teamfight, unless you caught the adc off-guard with your Wither. You must take in count that without your W, you don't have any other cc ability. So wait until your main engager do it's job and then go in. Remeber that you are the front line, so your job is to deal the most amount of damage possible (to the carries, remember) while protecting your carries from taking any damage. Sounds hard doesn't it? Well, when a teamfight starts, you wanna get in the middle of the enemy team,use your ult and e, w one of the carries and then Q him. If the carries are away, then stop their tanks to reach your backline. The rest is up to the skill of the players and the damage they can put.

In the end of a teamfight, if your team is alive and you are too, adding the fact that your enemy team is tottaly dead or most dead, you've done your job successfully. After that, you can push to win, get baron or get drake. Never go to wraiths, ffs.

To increase your chance of winning, your team must have champions with heavy cc ( Leona is the best example I can think of) and huge amounts of damage in a teamfight ( Orianna or Caitlyn are good examples).

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The Cicle of Life and Death ends.

That ends my Nasus Guide! I hope that you learned a lot about jungling and Nasus.

Special Thanks:
- jhoijhoi for the banners plus the guide help;
- League of Legends Wiki for the information;
- Mobafire for the excellent guide craft;
- Redbull for holding me while I did this guide;
- And many more;

To end this:
If you have any critic or you spotted something I missed or got wrong, comment on the guide discussion.
If you like it, give it a upvote. It helps me a lot. :)
And finally
->(click me for 10 minutes of fun!)

Farewell, my dear summoner.