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Nasus Build Guide by Spclchar

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Spclchar

Nasus - Let the Dog do the Dirty Work

Spclchar Last updated on August 2, 2012
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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: 1

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 8

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Let the Dog do the Dirty Work

Before you start reading, this is a song I like to listen to when I play Nasus. I think you should most definitely listen to it when you play Nasus and read this guide.

Now then...

The first character I've ever played was Nasus. Back in the humble, glorious days of learning how to play this brutal dog, I was taught how to play by a friend of mine, who is a very good Nasus. He made me cry from the build he used, but also taught me how to be better than almost any Nasus I come across. This is the build both him and I both use. I hope you enjoy!

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A fairly standard defensive page in my opinion. I personally like the 8 points in utility because it matches my play style, and also the one point in Summoner's Wrath in the Offensive tree to help out your Exhaust.

Let's look at why I didn't go into the offensive tree more.

  • Weapon Expertise is really the only thing of value in the offensive tree for Nasus, and is unnecessary due to your Greater Mark of Desolation, since you'll essentially be doing true damage to minions, which is the only reason to take such a small amount of Armor Pen.. And if you find your opponents are building armor items against you, it's perfectly fine you build a Last Whisper to give them a good nut-slap.

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  • I've gotten accustomed to using the Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion opening, and I would recommend for almost any Champion in League of Legends because it offers so much more in terms of dodging skill shots that you would lose if opening with a Cloth Armor or a [[regrowth pendant].

  • Your philosopher's stone gives you some extra regeneration to use in case of aggression -- if you have to Wither and opponent to get away -- and gives you extra gold that you will need to buy your other items.

  • You'll be getting a Kindlegem and a Glacial Shroud after that. These are for CDR (Cooldown Reduction) mainly. You should have 25% CDR after both of them, which will let you farm your Siphoning Strike more, get more CS and make you more scary.



  • Now for the Sheen. This will go into the Trinity Force you will be getting soon. It also makes your Siphoning Strike really hurt. A good way to tell if your farming is up to par in a normal game is if you Siphoning Strike a melee minion and you can kill it with full hp. If you cannot, one of two things have happened. You have either been fed, or your opponent did a decent job at not letting you farm.

  • You now need a Negatron Cloak. This is in case you get into a fight and you will need magic resistance. If you find that you don't need magic resistance, feel free to skip this item and move on to your Trinity Force

  • Trinity Force should be your life saver if you were having issues before. It scales with your attack damage on your next melee swing, which should be your Siphoning Strike. You should see you Siphoning Strike hit minions for 1000 before long if you are farming properly. The extra health, mana, movement speed, chance to slow, and 100 bonus damage on your Siphoning Strike should make this an amazing item for you.

  • Now you need to make room for your other items. You should buy your shurelya's reverie to clear up a spot in your inventory. Not only does it give you 5% more CDR, but the active ability on it can help you either get away or secure a kill. It also helps your health pool out later

  • Buy your Giant's Belt and be ready to buy your Sunfire Cape. This is your armor defense item, and if you're going against a fed AD Carry, you may want to get a Thornmail in exchange.

  • You need your Frozen Heart. The armor by itself is awesome, and it gives you a TON of mana, and the AoE reduced attack speed can save you against some opponents. Oh, and did I mention it gives you 20% CDR? Once you get this item, your Siphoning Strike should be on a 2.4 second cooldown.

  • The last thing you need now is your Banshee's Veil. This gives you a lot of health, great magic resist, and a shield against an ability (which would likely be a CC ability). If you find yourself going up against a fed AP Carry, it wouldn't be such a bad idea to get a Force of Nature. I usually prefer the Force of Nature because it has the most magic resist, does a ton of health regeneration, and has 8% movement speed, which is possibly my favorite part. However, in terms of survivability, Banshee's Veil is slightly better because of the extra health pool and the spell sheild.

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Skill Sequence and Reasoning

Let's look at this carefully...
  • Siphoning Strike is easily the most powerful nuke in the game.

  • It has very little mana cost for the power of the ability

  • It scales damage on last hitting. So the better at farming you are, the better your Siphoning Strike will be.

  • A slow that slows movement AND attack speed. ZOMG...

  • It can shut down the Carry in a fight, or keep your target in your Spirit Fire for the armor shred.

  • People burn their Flash to get away from you... lulz.
As for your Wither, it is easily your second ability to level. You will need it at level 2 in case of an early gank by the jungler. In case you overextend, you will need Wither to get away. It is the only slow in the game that I am aware of that slows attack speed and movement speed. It is a very valuable ability that can very easily save your life.

  • Shreds the armor of your opponent

  • If you wither someone and drop your Spirit Fire below them, it is almost guaranteed that they will Flash away from you.

  • Does a fairly decent amount of damage once it is leveled.
Since you are not building AP, Spirit Fire should be leveled last. If I am not mistaken, the armor shred on the ability does not scaled with ability level, which would make the only reason for leveling it be for damage. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, and I will make the correction. However, even if it does, the added damage is useless compared to the level 5 Wither slow, which nearly stops an enemy. Wither will come in more handy because it will save your life. I still say level Spirit Fire last.

God Mode = On. Y/N? Y
  • Makes you the God of League of Legends for 15 seconds

  • Increased damage dealt based on targets affected by your Fury of the Sands and increases your health

  • Does AoE percentage damage

There's really not much more I can say about Nasus' ultimate. The bonus damage you gain from it scales off of how many champions it is hitting, so it is essential that you use it in a big fight. Other than that, there's really not much more I can say about it

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Summoner Spells

As for Summoners, I've gotten accustomed to using Teleport and Flash. However, I've started playing Nasus with Exhaust and Flash Let's look at both of them!

  • Gives great advantages for split pushing in late game

  • Great early game for not missing out on farming, even if you are pushed into your tower.

  • Serves as a great nutslap if you Teleport away from someone who has no CC. <3
  • Allows you to teleport over walls, behind turrets, out of ambushes, great for bush juking.

  • Gets you out of situations where a flat movement speed buff such as Ghost would get you killed.

  • Purple and yellow look nice together, don't you think?
I've seen some Nasus players grab summoners like Heal, Ignite, Ghost, and I believe that to grab one of those, you have to toss your Teleport, and losing the ability to on-the-spot split push an entirely different lane can sometimes cost you an inhibitor you could've gotten with Teleport.

  • Serves as a second slow apart from your Wither

  • Decreases the damage dealt by 75%, which can save your life

  • Decreases armor and magic resist if you have Summoner's Wrath

  • Can still CC someone after they've used a form of cleanse
I will be perfectly honest, Exhaust has saved my life SO MANY TIMES. I do recommend this spell if you find that you are not accustomed to using Teleport. It is a toss up as to which is better, so play with them both, and see what you like.

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Nasus' Gameplay (1-3) Ft. Low Level Nasus Farming Tips

This is a very delicate time for Nasus. I personally do not like invading another teams jungle during this time, you want to play very passive and just farm everything that you can. Your level one and two farming is very crucial, as it sets the standard for the rest of the laning phase. If you have trouble last hitting with your level 1 Siphoning Strike, for melee minions, eyeball 35% hp, melee hit it once, and Siphoning Strike immediately afterwards. Your Siphoning Strike ability resets the timer on your auto attack, so if you're ever not sure you can last hit the minion with your Siphoning Strike, melee hit it first. As for caster minions, wait until the get to 50% hp, melee hit and Siphoning Strike. That should get your Siphoning Strike farm up to speed at level 1 and 2.

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Nasus' Gameplay (3-9) Ft. Tower Farming and Tower Diving Tips

At this point, if your laning opponent has been giving you a hard time, you can fight back a little bit with your Siphoning Strike, but remember that every time you hit your opponent with your Siphoning Strike, it is farming lost and your Q will be weaker. Balance out the use of your Q and your ability to farm

If you are bullied into your tower, it'll happen between level 3 and 4, do not worry, the tower is very easy to farm under. Melee minions will take two tower shots before they can be last-hitable. The ranged minions are a little trickier, as they need 1 melee hit before a tower hits them if you don't have your Siphoning Strike, and they can take 1 tower hit without a melee if you have your Siphoning Strike.

You should be prepared to have to recall two or three times to buy items. Try your best to do your first recall at 800 gold to ensure you get the most gold out of your philosopher's stone.

If you get bullied into the tower, there is almost no reason to recall either. You as Nasus can not be tower dived by one person. If someone does decide to tower dive you, Wither them, pop your Fury of the Sands, and laugh when they die.

If two people dive you, get behind the tower, pay attention to who the tower targets, Wither, Fury of the Sands, and hopefully you will kill them. There's no garentee against two people.

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Nasus' Gameplay (9-13) Ft. Mid Game Tactics and Rules of Engagement

At this point, your Siphoning Strike should hurt. The bullying needs to stop, and if someone engages you, you should be perfectly capable of kicking their ***. Ask the jungle for the 17 minute blue buff, and be ready to fight. You should be able to push a tower and initiate the mid game. In mid game, Nasus' job is still to farm. In fact his entire job is to farm, and by now, if anyone tries to stop you from doing that, you have the ability to kill them.

If someone engages you, (which it should always be someone else. You will almost never engage.) your first reaction should be to Wither them, use Spirit Fire, and Siphoning Strike them in the face. If they stay in the fight, two things are about to happen: 1) They are really brave and you're going to get a free kill. 2) That didn't hurt them at all and you need to run... now.

Pay attention to the map. There is no reason for Nasus to die unless you screwed up on your map awareness. If you look at the map, and there is no enemy in sight, it's safe to say they are coming to kill you, so run. There's usually no reason for Nasus to die.

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Nasus' Job for the Team (13-18) Ft. Split Pushing, Buffing, Objectives and

Your team should be getting into the teamfight phase of the game. You will almost never be with them. You will be either in the jungle farming, or split pushing a lane during a team fight. If you are not in a position to push a lane, wait for the team fight to initiate. You should never be present for the initiation of a team fight, you always wait until after. When the fight starts, you haul *** over there and kill them. They likely will not focus you in the middle of the fight, but if you are they before the engagement, they will plan to kill you and you will die.

If you get to the fight, win the exchange, you should push with the team and get the tower. Once you get the towers you can get, run back to whatever lane you want, and wait for the next fight. Chances are an objective will be going on next, keep your eyes open for opportunities.

You should also be grabbing Blue Buff for split pushing. Remember that both Red and Blue Buff are on 5 minute timers.

The thing about Nasus is that he requires a decent team for him to be useful. If your team gets completely wiped out in a 0 to 4 exchange, you will likely not win the game. All your team has to do is live, they need to do nothing more. You should be able to push a lane and get a tower.

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Nasus's Opponents in Top Lane

I think it is probably a good idea to tell everyone how to fight against some of the people you will be playing with in top lane and how difficult they will be to play against as Nasus. Note that not all champions in League of Legends will be listed.


She can do a good job at poking you. Depending on how much she does, and how much damage she is doing, you may want to recall and get a Negatron Cloak after your philosopher's stone. Afterwards get a Kindlegem and when you do enough damage to her, get an Oracle's Elixir to finish her off.


His combo can be very annoying. Be sure to grab level 1 boots and dodge his spikes as much as possible. As with Akali, get a Negatron Cloak after your philosopher's stone and continue with your build. As long as you dodge his skill shots, you will be fine. That's the nice thing about the movement speed you have.


Darius will do a lot of damage to you at low levels. However, I have a very specific build for you to follow, and he should never be able to shut you down.
If you fight Darius, he will use his ult on you. When you get to 50% hp, USE YOUR ULT. I've never met a Darius that backed down from a fight with me, simply because of his ult. If you use your Fury of the Sands at 50% hp, he will miss his timing on his ultimate and you will win the fight.


For safe measures, you should grab Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion to start with. She will use her steroid to harass you, just Wither her and run. Remember that she can parry one attack, so make sure that if you do attack her, AUTO ATTACK HER FIRST. Siphoning Strike resets your swing timer, so you should be able to drop her parry and give her a good smack in the face. If you find she does a lot of damage, get a Glacial Shroud before your Kindlegem.


Gangplank really should not hurt you that much. If he does, get a Glacial Shroud after your philosopher's stone and beat the **** out of him. He will stop.


The difficulty rating is depending on the skill of the player. Garen can be an 8-10 depending on how well he is played, as he has the best tools to shut you down. You will need level 1 boots and Exhaust. If he is harassing you, get a Glacial Shroud after your philosopher's stone and get mercury treads. You should have less of an issue with him afterwards, but a well played Garen will shut you down. I'll explain how Nasus gets shut down after this section.


Irelia should not offer you much challenge as she needs to farm as well. However, she will stop you from pushing the lane, as you will not be able to tower dive her. Keep your standard build, you shouldn't need any special precautions against her. She is only a 5 because she stands in your way of back-dooring the enemy team.


Early game, Jarvan should be able to beat the **** out of Nasus. However, Jarvan has no besides his arena, so you can build a Ninja Tabi against him. Keep farming and try not to die in the early game, you will be able to beat him mid game.


Jax has all magic damage abilities, so if he is harassing you, get a Kindlegem after philosopher's stone and then a Negatron Cloak if you feel the need. If he is not harassing you, then you will beat his *** up a wall.


Jayce has one hell of a combo. He will drop his gate, use his ranged Q to do tons of damage, go into melee, Q you for tons of damage, and then use his E for percentage damage. The real key with Jayce is avoid is gate shot. Get level 1 boots, and when you see the gate, walk sideways. You should be able to dodge it every time.


Malphite is very dangerous to Nasus. Malphite stacks armor for damage, and can really be harassed by Nasus at any point in the game. You may consider getting a Last Whisper but in all honesty, don't play against him as Nasus, it's just not a good idea.


Olaf does true damage... ow. However, once your farmed, you can beat him. Dodge his axes early game so that he can't really harass you so much. When you fight him in mid-game, be sure to Wither him and watch for his ultimate. After he pops his ultimate, use Exhaust on him to avoid taking too much damage. Once his ult wears off, Wither him and beat his ***.


Pantheon is going to be one heck of a hassle. His stun/E combo is going to hurt you, combined with a spear that isn't dodgable. You will need boots and health potions against him, and you're going to want a Glacial Shroud and mercury treads fairly soon to help you deal with him.



These three champions ( Renekton, Riven, and Rumble) are by far the most difficult opponents you will ever face as Nasus. I strongly recommend you do not play against them if you have the choice. The reason being is their CC. Renekton and Riven each have a very dangerous stun than can be used to get a full combo off on you, which will hurt A LOT. As for Rumble, he has a skill-shot slow that can keep you in range of his flame spitter. This is going to do massive amounts of damage and you should consider yourself lucky if you don't die to him. This guide is as of the Zyra Patch and Rumble is to be nerfed. I will update the guide accordingly when I know more details about Rumble.


Against Shen, you're not in any particular danger. He doesn't do a whole lot of damage, but I highly recommend you keep your lane very well warded, as a gank involving him will likely kill you. Other than that, remember to not panic with his harass. Only two things on him hurt, his Q, which looks like he threw a dagger at you, and his passive, which occasionally allows his auto attack to do extra damage. And never tower-dive Shen. Ever.


I have to give Shyvana some props, she can give Nasus a good fight. She will be looking to harass you early game. Make sure you have boots and can dodge her fire ball and run away from her when you need to. By mid-game, if you have farmed properly, you should be able to beat her without much difficulty. Just remember that you can farm through most of her harass by mid-game.


Singed will almost always be pushing your lane, and you should let him. If he is not pushing your lane, you shouldn't have much of an issue farming with him. In lane, you'll want to Wither him if he's trying to harass you. At that point he's going to allow you to farm in your tower almost all the time, and you will be completely safe from him. He can not tower-dive you. Make sure you have boots if you catch yourself out of position against him. And never tower-dive or chase him.


AD or AP, this guy is probably one of the most annoying opponents you will come across. If he's AP, then there's good news, he won't be able to do much to you in the mid-game. He's going to hurt you very badly early game, but he will also be pushing your lane at the same time. Be sure to keep safe and farm in your tower as much as you can. If he is AD, you will lose a fight with him almost every time. As AD, he will be looking to harass you when he stuns you. Get Mercury's Treads and a Frozen Heart quickly. Again, you will lose the fight against him almost every time. Just stay safe and try to farm as best you can.


Teemo has an ability called blind . This thing makes it so that you can hit any of you auto attacks. As Nasus, your Siphoning Strike is considered an auto attack. He will use this to either make sure you can not harass him, or not be able to farm. However, you can use your other abilities against him. Wither him to stop him from chasing you and doing damage with his auto attack.

He's going to be annoying. Grind through it and farm as best you can.


Xin Zhao (Shen-jhow since no one can pronounce it) will give you a hard time early game. His poke is very good, and can turn and kill you quite easily. You will need level 1 boots and Exhaust if you're fighting him. However, he is a heavy physical damage dealer and Ninja Tabi and Glacial Shroud work well against him. He shouldn't be an issure by mid-game and you should be able to kill him with ease.


You're probably wondering why I have him so low on the difficulty meter. His little pets that come to hurt you will stack your Siphoning Strike and you will get lifesteal when you hit them. Not only that, but they kill themselves like they're waiting to be farmed. Yorick gives you free farm just by trying to hurt you. With your minions on top of that, there is no reason for you to be shut down by this guy. EVER.

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How Nasus Actually gets Shut Down

Some people, for whatever reason, believe that the way to shut down Nasus is just by harassing him, zoning him, hurting him, making his life hell, etc.. However you want to put it, that's wrong. The way you shut down Nasus is by not letting him farm. There's only one way I know of that actually does just that.

When in lane, you see a tower, two bushes, and another tower. Let's say Nasus is on blue team (the left side of the map). They way you shut down Nasus is push his creeps almost to his tower. In between the tower and the first bush, there is a little area where the tower will not attack the creeps. You then must freeze the creeps right there, while harassing and zoning Nasus.

In the early game, Nasus is likely the worst champion ever. Almost every champion can beat him in a fight. Seriously. If you push his creeps to where he can not tower farm, but also have his creeps out enough to where if he comes to farm, he will die, then you have shut down Nasus.

Since this is a Nasus guide, you may be wondering why I'm saying this. It's so that every Nasus that plays knows that unless their opponent did that, then they playing wrong. This is why I said Garen has the best tools to shut down Nasus in the chapter above. His silence and his AoE farming is actually perfect for doing just that. A good Garen can push his creeps and hold them there and make Nasus fail.

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Thanks for Reading the Guide!

I want to thank you for reading the guide. If anyone is interested in the Nasus build that I use as standard, leave a comment letting me know. Please let me know how you feel about this guide, and I urge you to actually try it to see how you do. Again, please understand this build works for a passive, farming Nasus most of the game. I haven't found a build that actually works for an aggressive Nasus, and I myself am not well suited for aggressive play styles. With all of that in mind, thank you for reading this guide!