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League of Legends Build Guide Author Solarus4494

Nasus - Off-tank Extraordinaire

Solarus4494 Last updated on February 2, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #27 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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 8

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 1

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Nasus, the Curator of the Sands

Nasus has been and will always be one of my favorite champions. He was the second one I've ever bought, and I've been using him since. Nasus is an amazing, often underrated champion. He is very sturdy, has a high damage output, and maintains an excellent game presence whether it's early, mid or late game. And with the recent buffs, he's only gotten even better.

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Pros / Cons


- Excellent laner; innate lifesteal ( Soul Eater), built-in last hit tool ( Siphoning Strike), and AoE farming ability ( Spirit Fire). A Nasus can solo lane/2v1 as well or even better than Mordekaiser or Cho'Gath.
- Amazing at chasing and disabling carries ( Wither).
- Great teamfight utility; AoE armor reduction ( Spirit Fire) and a psychological OMFGRUN skill ( Fury of the Sands).
- Increasingly tremendous damage output ( Siphoning Strike).
- His voice. Who doesn't feel tight pants when you hear this dog-guy-thing talk?


- No natural escape ability outside of Summoner spells.
- Not quite as tough as other offtanks: like say, Garen.
- Exhaust and Teemo. Anything that diminishes your ability to hit hard pretty much shuts you down.

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For Runes, I take:

Greater Mark of Desolation x 9 - This allows Siphoning Strike crits to hit like a truck at all phases of the game. A huge truck.
Greater Seal of Evasion x 9 - Your only way of harrassing early game is to run right up to enemy laners and smack them. This will lessen the punishment of enemy minions suddenly focusing you. Also, it's quite fun to get that one lucky dodge that lets you escape with 14hp.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration x 9 - Nasus tends to be quite mana-hungry early game. This allows you to spam that Siphoning Strike on enemy minions and get the counter built up quickly.
Greater Quintessence of Health x 3 - Health quints are great on pretty much anybody.

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My tree goes 21-8-1 for the much-needed extra damage output. A good Nasus doesn't need the extra survivability of 1-21-8 (lifesteal and Doran's Shield should suffice for early game), nor does he need the spamspam capabilities of 1-8-21 (this isn't Ryze, so actually think about when and where to place your skills). I don't go 21-9-0 because in my opinion, Nimbleness sucks on anyone who's not a dedicated tank. Besides, Strength of Spirit is way better than Evasion, and Haste is a great improvement to Ghost.

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Summoner Spells

Great Summoner Spells on Nasus

- Ghost is just an amazing Summoner Spell in general. Even on already-fast and mobile champions like Kassadin and Nidalee, this Summoner Spell is great.

- Exhaust is also an amazing Summoner Spell, especially after patch V1.0.0.108. It shuts down pretty much anybody for three seconds. Those three seconds that turn a teamfight into a 4v5 can ultimately decide whether you win that fight and the game.

- Ah, Teleport. My favorite Summoner Spell. Has so many uses. Whether you need to get back to lane, save a near-dead tower, get in a surprise gank on someone on the opposite side of the map, backdoor an exposed inhibitor, etc.

Good Summoner Spells on Nasus

- Flash is a great tool for chasing/escaping over walls/getting in that last Siphoning Strike to get First Blood. However, it's effectiveness was cut when Flash-dodging was removed. Ghost is just overall better when you need distances to be closed quickly.

- I usually only take this if my team is already packed with Exhausts. Great to use on those annoying regen champions ( Dr. Mundo and Vladimir), as well as to kill off that one enemy who's escaping with one bar of health.

- HAHAHAHA HEAL-NUB!... Ok, srsly guise. This Summoner Spell ain't half-bad. It's good for those clutch situations that can save potentially several of your teammates from certain doom. Take Mender's Faith in your Masteries if you do take this skill.

- Get if you're playing Ranked and the opponent's team has TONS of CC.

Bad Summoner Spells on Nasus

- Your support should take this. You shouldn't bother wasting a Summoner Spell slot on it.

- You don't need it. Lrn2 manage mana.

- Same reason as Clairvoyance.

- Nasus is a horrible jungler, despite his natural lifesteal and farming ability. Not only is he slow at jungling, his ganking potential is cut because of his lack of damage at earlier levels.

- You're not Evelynn, as you don't need measly health/speed boosts to kill creeps. Nor are you Pantheon/ Twisted Fate/ Karthus, as you don't have any Ultimates that can be used from the well.

- Wait, this Summoner Spell exists? I wonder why no one uses it. Owait, it's bad on pretty much anyone. That's why.

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These three items are needed in EVERY SINGLE GAME. Hell, you can get these three items, buy just elixirs and wards the rest of the game, and you'll still end up with a good score.

- The best of the 'Doran' items, in my opinion. Especially after the health boost of Doran's Ring and Doran's Blade got nerfed.
- There's almost never a situation where you don't need these babies. Magic resist, speed, and one of the best passives in-game.
- Pretty much needed on Nasus. Siphoning Strike becomes a nightmare to enemies after you get it.
- Step two to getting Trinity Force. Better than Zeal because of the health boost and damage.
- Just look at the stats on this fella and proceed to quiver. The on-hit procs are amazing, and Nasus gains the ability to roll over pretty much anybody.


Remember my comment on being able to get just your three core items and being able to last a game? Yeah, don't do that. Why? Because you can get even BETTER! These are the most common items I buy after my CORE items.

- I love this item on any non-carry DPS. The damage and magic resist is great, as well as the shield. The shield saved me in more situations than I can count.

- You know what sucks harder than an offtank that is ballz-hard to kill? An offtank that is ballz-hard to kill that has a REVIVE.

- Just that extra cherry on top of this sundae. Synergizes well with Fury of the Sands, and the health/armor boost is always welcome.

- For extreme late game situations where you need to sell your Doran's Shield for something bettter. The magic resist and health on this lets you be even more durable.

- If your team needs more damage, sell your Doran's Shield for this instead of Banshee's Veil. This will significantly boost your Siphoning Strikes.

/ / - For lategame situations and you don't really have anything else to buy.


- Get if your team's main tank can't get it. Build after Mercury's Treads.

- If the enemy team has immense amounts of CC (too much for even Mercury's Treads to handle), and you didn't bring Cleanse; then, buy this item. The active is just amazing. Build after Trinity Force.

These are the build orders I use depending on the enemy team's composition.

VS Heavy Physical Damage Teams

VS Heavy Magic Damage Teams

VS Balanced Teams

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Early Game

After getting your starting items, head off to top lane. If your team has no jungler, rage a bit at their noobishness, and go lane with someone, preferably a champion with hard CC (like Fiddlesticks or Sion). The most important part about Nasus's early game phase is controlling the brush. The brush on sidelanes allows you to avoid most harrassment attempts. Even skillshots can be avoided by staying in unpredictable parts of the brush (such as the very edges). Only come out to last-hit minions with Siphoning Strike or when an enemy overextends. Do not waste mana on Spirit Fire. Spirit Fire is only used when an engagement occurs or your tower is being pushed. Once you get 1410 gold, recall immediately to purchase Boots of Speed and Sheen. If you're forced to recall early, just purchase boots and Sapphire Crystal, if you can afford it. Remember to purchase wards and potions with left-over money.

Mid game

Around level 6, mid game starts. If your laning is virtually even so far, start becoming more aggressive and harrass more often with Siphoning Strike. This encourages a fight if one hasn't occured yet. Don't get too extended, however, as the enemy jungler is prone to ganking solo lanes. Make sure to finish Mercury's Treads the next time you have to recall, and begin building Phage. When team fights start occuring, the most important thing to remember is you are NOT that tanky. Most of your potential in mid game lies mostly in your utility skills rather than damage. Use Wither on AD carries, and Spirit Fire to lower armor. Use Fury of the Sands only when you get below 30% health, or when you feel it will decide whether your team wins or not. "Why?" some people question, "Your ultimate should be used at initation so you are tanky-er and do more damage." I respond with these reasons: there's no difference in the health bonus whether you use it at initation, or during the middle of the fight; you want it to be available for as much of the fight as possible (nothing sucks more than suddenly dropping 400hp in the middle of a fight); and if the fight ends with your team facerolling your enemies, then you still have your Ultimate up to clean up afterwards since you didn't use it at initiation. As mid game progresses, you should finally get enough gold to upgrade your Sheen and Phage into the almighty Trinity Force. After you get Trinity, your team role switches from utility to DPS. Your Siphoning Strikes starts messing up faces. And whenever you activate your Ultimate, more often than not, the enemy begins to scatter away from you; this panic can decide fights for your team.

End Game

Around level 15 or so, the game transitions towards end game. End game is simple. Just don't be reckless. Any deaths in the end game can possibly result in immediate loss. Your damage output begins to fall behind compared to hard carries like Miss Fortune or Kog'Maw, but that doesn't mean you're useless. Siphoning Strike starts to hit HARD. Squishies will melt as soon as you right-click onto them. Be sure to build your post-CORE items whenever you can. Hexdrinker and Guardian Angel will insure you increased durability. However, that doesn't mean you should jump in 3v1 or solo towerdive a Pantheon. Use your common sense.

Thanks for Reading!

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