Build Guide by GeneralMat
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Greetings summoners, I am GeneralMat. This *was* my first guide, but now I'm revamping it as I've gained allot more experience and times have moved on since the first draft of this guide was made. So here it is, Re-presenting itself is: The Guide to Nasus.
I'm going to cover 2 ways to play Nasus - a Tanky build and then the Raw damage outputting machine that he can be. Please choose carefully between the two - as if your team requires a tank, I recommend tank - but it they already have a tank then feel free to play (the more fun alternative) which is his DPS side.
Summoner Spells you should consider:
Exhaust: Excellent at chasing due to slow, and for surviving due to the Damage reducing factor, stops heavy AS champs tearing you apart (Yi, Vayne, Tyrnd)
Ignite: For sticking that last little bit of damage on someone.
Teleport: It's all about being where your needed, aswell as excellent lane dominance early game
Flash: It's just downright useful
Ghost: Good for chase/Escape
Cleanse: Only really useful if you know they have allot of cc, not one of my personal favourites but it shouldn't be ruled out
I start off with Doran's Shield, its pretty much the standard for most games with an AD melee. Feel free to part with it as soon as you think you'll manage.
First stop item wise is: Sheen. This item is Nasus' item. gives him mana for for Siphon Strikes (SS) and once you activate siphon strike - you get sheen buff, Meaning your next hit will gain the +damage from SS and the bonus from sheen. Meaning that it can be a rather nasty shot.
Tiamat is one of my favourites on Nasus, It gives him health and mana regen, damage and a splash to all his attacks (Note: If your SS kills multiple minions you only get the +3 damage from the initial minion kill). This Gives Nasus extremely good farming ability. Feel free to get Boots instead of this, as its not vastly important, but its very underlooked.
I normally then buy a Phage, Zeal and build my sheen into a Trinity Force. This just dumps all those useful stat's (AS, Crit, AD, Health) into one item slow and gives your sheen an enhanced effect.
I normally build either a Bloodthirster or a Stark's. Depending on if someone else has built starks mostly. or if Im feeling underfarmed I'll grab the BT.
A phantom dancer is also a nice item once you have some lifesteal (ontop of your Natural 20% at 16+) as a SS heals you for ALLOT if you have some decent damage behind you.
Lastly a bit of survivability, Guardians Angel. The all around surviving item. Feel free to grab this earlier if you find yourself taking some damage, or if you've worked your way up the focus target ladder.
The Item list is more of a suggestion, as obviously there's no set in stone way to build a tank - and lots of people have many different pathways or tricks to deal damage. the listed items are guidelines.
AP heavy: Then you grab your Force of Nature and banshee.
AD Heavy: then you rush your Thornmail then build a Randuins.
However the core items I recommend is Aegis, Guardian Angel, And possibly the banshees.
As you can probably tell I don't typically play Nasus as the tank - I have far too much fun playing him as the pain machine.
Nasus: How to play
Nasus is a very random champion - in terms of 'How good he is' most people will dismiss him immediately. However - if you've played the game for any decent length of time, and have encountered a decent Nasus, then you know he has potential to be a very sturdy carry. He doesn't have a tremendous burst, or a range harass. But he is very controlled in terms of play and execution.
He is extremely dependant on an early farm. I would recommend a solo lane if your choose Nasus. But not middle! Just wander forward and finish creeps off with your Siphon strike, and watch it build damage. You don't need to harass your lane. Just play it cool. They are probably underestimating you. Once you've gained a few levels and amassed some gold feel free to show some lane dominance. this can be achieved by sticking down Spirit Fire. Most people will not stand in this. and it will push them back, so a good tactic is to lower the back line of minions, spirit Fire just behind them so you can walk forwards and SS them safely. That was if anyone feels they want to defend their little casters they dive at you, into the Spirit fire where they take AoE damage, aswell as lowering their armour - ready for a SS to the face - and until that point they won't have felt your SS often so will be taken aback by how much it actually does.they'll usually retreat back, feel free to wither them to keep them in it for longer, or close enough for another SS. and if stuff turns ugly then you've always got your ulti.
Of course while reading this don't think 'Damn with the kinda stuff Nasus is a badass and won't ever die' as this is not true. While in your Dps build you have very little defences, you gain a bit of health and armour advantage by him being a tank character, but at low levels when you don't have the AS/Lifesteal to comfortable stand toe to toe with characters like Yi, and Xin and come out better off. Your Dominance is kinda a bluff. as they think if your being confident, and you've played smart then they'll think you've got something to trump them - like a jungler waiting in the bush.
Basically - Farm allot early. get your SS up and amass some gold as the DPS build can be rather expensive. And you Don't have allot of damage output early game - but you WILL feel it late game, when Nasus really comes into his own.
Nasus Pro's and Con's:
-A meaty Dps, with a good array of support skills.
-An excellent farmer (especially with tiamat)
-Lane Pusher extraordinaire - Can eat creep waves, and SS works on turrets!
-Has the best /joke in the game
-Lacks a Nuke ability or ranged harass
-susceptible to heavy ranged
-Requires allot of thinking to play
Now I've shared with you my knowledge of the basics of the Nasus monster. Go forth and spread Nasus'y goodness. (He's free this week: 26th May)
Make me proud, and feel free to post any deviations you've come up with.
Good luck, And Good hunting!