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Nasus Build Guide by The1nfection

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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author The1nfection

Nasus - Tank or DPS?

The1nfection Last updated on September 9, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 9

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Nasus is, quite simply, the best champion around. If you don't agree then stop reading now. Go find some other champ, and don't come back till you are willing to put the time and effort to learn nasus properly. When you are ready to get started killing foes in 2 hits, and tanking entire teams, read further.

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Pros / Cons

Nasus is highly powerfull, even while playing tanky
Can tank better than most tanks if played well
Very fun to play
Amazing lane control
Destroys towers in no time
Great at last hitting
Easy to farm

Must have a laning partner who will share the last hits
Cannot do much damage without a properly used Q

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My rune setup may seem unusual, but it works better than you may think.

The flat HP quints are very important for the early laning phase. They give you an extra 75 HP for the early game, allowing you to soak more damage and take more risks. Combine them with your regen pendant and passive and you'll be able to survive in the lane until you WANT to leave.

I have begun using Flat HP regen seals, which help ALOT during the laning phase. combined with the regrowth pendant they grant significant laning power, and allow you to farm much more effectivly. nothing says FU like healing all the damage you take in 10 seconds.

I use the marks to grant a bonus to Attack speed, which can be very nice. Carrying the AS marks allows me to skip the berserkers Greives, which is more usefull than you may think. They also allow me to make use of the Ardor mastery better, giving me about a .85 AS from the start.

For glyphs i picked CDR per level, because the end effect is very nice. The flat CDR glyphs just don't do enough to be usefull. this combined with the Sureilias reverie will give you about 23% CDR at level 18, allowing you to use your Q (Siphoning strike) every 2.66 seconds.

As always these runes are debatable, and if you know something that works better than feel free to use it, but i found that these are the best runes for this build.

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THESE MASTERIES AREN'T CHANGABLE. if you want to play nasus with my build you MUST carry these masteries. the reason for that is that the extra HP and tankiness is highly important. Without the full defensive tree you will never be as tanky as you want.

The utility tree is also highly important, as it works well with nasus' play style. the greed mastery works well with your philosophers stone, and awareness grants you the extra EXP you need to excell. since you should be last hitting ALOT you will be gaining the lions share of your lanes EXP (if you didnt know you gain bonus EXP for scoring minion kills, as opposed to simply standing near dieing minions) with awarness you will level faster than you think possible, and often be the higest leveled in your lane, by 1-2 levels, which is a MAJOR advantage.

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Summoner Spells

i honestly think that these are the best spells you can take.

Ghost is good for both chasing and escaping, getting to your lane faster, allowing you to close the distance to land wither, and even allowing you to get to fights faster. No nasus should ever be without ghost.

Flash is, bar none, the most overused SS (summoner spell) in the game. everyone carries it. it allows you to do alot of usefull things, such as escaping, chasing, and the "lightning harass" (rushing up to an opponent, hitting them with your Q, then flashing away before they can touch you. this move can even be used under towers to avoid taking tower damage). Long story short? flash is good, and will help you throughout every game you play. you should get used to using it, cause its never going away.

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These items have been removed from the build, and while you CAN still do them if you like, i dont suggest them anymore. if you still like them, go right ahead, but i have found something that works better.

This color is reserved for items that are situational, such as boots. if you decide that you want to change them, go ahead, but i still put my suggestion on which were best.

This is a a must have item, EVEN IF YOU DONT FOLLOW THIS BUILD! building nasus without these is HORRIBLE! dont be that guy... :(

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FINALLY. you managed to make it all the way to the items section, the part you have been waiting for. this is where everything you have done comes together. lets dive right into this shiz.

*NOTE- I removed the old note. There have been several changes to the guide, and i decided to make it slightly more situational. MOST of the items are required, but if you find something that works better than feel free to suggest it!

this is where you must start. alot of people start with a dorans shield, but i prefer not to. you dont need the extra HP because of your runes/masteries, and the same goes for the armor. the HP regen is easily outshined by the regen pendant, making it worthless. IN SHORT, since the dorans sheild cannot be build into anything it offers you nothing long term, and will waste 475$ for something you will just end up selling later.

As soon as you go B for the first time you should pick this up. it grants you pretty massive HP and Mana regen, as well as GP5 (gold per 5), which will help you afford your build. Dont worry either, the cost will end up paying off after only 800 seconds, or 13 minutes. since you will carry this item for about 30-40 minutes it will generate around 2000-2500 gold for you during the game. Once you are done using it you will upgrade it to a shurelias reverie, so the cost will STILL be helping you. this item SHOULD ALWAYS BE BOUGHT ON NASUS.

Do i even have to explain this one? if i do then you should just stop playing nasus right now and go sit in the corner until you figure it out. later on it will turn into a trinity force, thus giving you more damage and move speed, as well as several other stats that will give you a massive lategame boost. Dont forget that with your 2.66 second cooldown on Siphoning Strike you'll be able to proc your sheen just after it comes off cooldown EVERY TIME, giving you the best possible damage on your Q every time you use it.

these are the only boots i support on nasus. The extra armor will make you more tanky, and the dodge chance will help you survive in the massive teamfights. other boots are just foolish. Near the end of the game you will have a 477 move speed, so you can sell these if you want, allowing you to buy a more tanky item, such as a GA, or thornmail. The only other boots i support are Merc treads, for the MR and tenacity. they are viable if you are going up against a CC heavy team, or an AP heavy team.

I found that by using these i could gain some tanicity, and i could adjust the build to be almost as tanky while incresing the DPS. all in all i have become sold on the treads.

Alot of people say warmogs isn't worth the money, because it only grants HP and HP regen, but i disagree. with nasus' amazing farming you will have it up to the full 1350 HP in no time, granting you amazing early tankiness. this, combined with your sheen, will make you SCARY AS HELL in the laning phase, which should be almost over. I have survived 3 man ganks when i was solo laning with this and my ult, even scoring a kill with the towers aid. you also have massive HP regen, allowing you to sit and heal when almost everyone else would have to run to the fountain and heal. this saves you ALOT of time and EXP, letting yuo keep you power up.

Well. Alot of people dont see the use in tiamats, but it shines when used on nasus. the HP and Mana regen help you alot, giving you regen upwards of 70 HP per 5. it also allows you to deal splash damage on your Q, which is FRIGHTENING in teamfights. nothing scares people more than when you run in and hit everyone around you for 300+ damage in one hit with your Q, and 600+ to your target. When you begin building tiamats you will find... YOU ONLY HAVE TWO INVINTORY SLOTS. DO NOT WASTE THEM. you should build the pickaxe and the longsword, as they are the most expensive. then the combine cost will only be 680, even though you didnt buy 2 of the components, as opposed to 1300+.

*NOTE- tiamats DOES NOT allow you to farm multiple kills from your Q. sadly you cannot score more than one stack of 3 damage per cast of SS, but you CAN deal half of the damage as splash, allowing you to farm faster, and destroy people in teamfights.

I have become sold. After playing several matches with atmas i found it gave a better flow with the build. The problem had previously was too much armor and not enough MR, so by switching tabi to treads i have managed to pick up some extra to both. With the massive HP pool in this build you can be looking at 100 extra AD. this, combined with bonus crit chance and armor makes the atmas look pretty good. i say go for it!

Well, you made it this far. if the game is still going (it should be at around 30 min) you need to get to work on your TF. i should point out that YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET ZEAL. you only have one slot to use, and phage costs more, so to reduce the amount you have to have in a lump sum you should buy the phage first, so the combine cost will only be 1475. i shouldn't have to explain how a trinity will help you, but if you dont know, just trust me and build it.

WOW. thats all that can be said here. this is the cream of the crop item. the CDR is amazing, the HP is as well. the active can be used like a second ghost, and the HP and mana regen allow you to stay on the battlefield longer, healing any harass damage you take before you engage in a teamfight. it also allows you to make the full use of your philosophers stone, which is good as well. all in all this is an amazing item for nasus, and is HIGHLY UNDERATED. it will make you more tanky and lower the cooldown on your Q to amazing lows, allowing you to spam it, and build it soooooooo easily. with its 2.66 Cooldown i have managed to kill all 6 of the minions in a wave with my Q, giving it an extra 18 damage in one wave, which is AMAZING

this is the one item i am willing to comprimise on. if you dont think you need it then go for a GA, but i find that the higher Magic Resist is important. the Regen effects are also amazing, and make your regen hit around 190 per 5, which is SCARY HIGH. once you have this built you will have 100+ to armor and MR, giving you 50% reduction on all damage (short of true damage of course). The move speed is also amazing, an allows you to catch ANYONE YOU WANT. If you are still having trouble catching people you can use Ghost, Wither, Sureilias, and Flash to catch people. in short, you can always catch someone when you want to, and can always escape when you want to.

It had to be done. The frozen mallet will grant some decent bonuses to your AD, totaling up to 34 extra AD, as well as its slow, and the bonus HP is always nice. if you dont want to pick up a FoN or a GA you should go right to this. It makes things much brighter for you!

Guardian Angel - good revive effect, hice armor and MR.
Bloodthirster - if you havent had any problems with dieing, or got the merc treads instead of ninja tabi you could get this for extra DPS instead of FoN
Infinity Edge - Can anyone say critical chance runes? if you have a good amount of crit chance runes you can use them instead of the recomended ones to maximise the IE's effect. your Q will hit for 1000+ when you crit, combined with tiamats you will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Team Work

Teamwork is a MUST. while you are laning you need an amazing ammount of teamwork. i normally get about 80-100 CS (creep score) by 15 minutes in, which leaves little for the other player in the lane, which is VERY UNFAIR. to balance this you need to either have a jungler and go solo lane, OR do your best to feed your lane partner all of the Champ kills, so he can afford his build as well. I normally play with a full premade team, and find that either of these options works well, so long as you can comunicate with your teammates and decide your creeping plan.

Other than that you can serve your team in a large array of ways. with your ult you can SOMETIMES solo barron, IF you have your full build. the dragon is easy as well, and you can solo it at around level 10. you even make a very solid tank for your team.

When engaging in teamfights make sure you cast your E (spirit fire) right on the center of the action, dealing damage to everyone in it. I find that toggling your ult at the start of the action is best, as it will gain the most bonus damage while the enemies are grouped around you.

You also need to help your team by placing wither on the right targets. When you drop wither MAKE SURE you put it on a physical DPS champ. The reason for this is that the combined slow and attack speed reduction will render them useless for 5 seconds. this is particulary effective against tryndamere, who relies on rapidly atacking and moving around the fights for better positioning. without his attack speed or manuverability he will not be able to do much for the duration of the fight, and it will almost ensure your team a victory.

By laying Wither at the start of the fight you it will come off cooldown shortly after the fight ends, with only a 5-8 second cooldown depending on your level and how far into the build you are. this allows you to use it to chase down any survivors and wipe up the easy kills.

Other than that, make sure you are focusing squishys with your Q, and try not to feed early on and you should be helping your team more than you could every imagine.

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with nasus you must farm throughout the game. in generalyou should come close to 100 CS by 15 minutes, and hit about 200 bonus damage with your Q by 30 minutes. I average around 230-250 Bonus damage by 30, and have perfected last hitting with my Q. While farming you need to focus on your Q, trying not to score to may kills without it, HOWEVER, take a minion kill if your Q is on Cooldown. While it is important to farm it, it is also important to get all the CS you can, and letting kills slip through cause you only last hit with Siphoning Strike is just foolish.


when you activate Siphoning strike it will reset your attack timer, allowing you to attack INSTANTLY, so when farming it can be very usefull to hit and imediatly Q, thus granting you 2 super fast attacks and 3 bonus damage.

A level 2 spirit fire will drop most of the minions to perfect last hitting damage, allowing you to run through and hit each with your Q, for a full 6 stacks of bonus damage, HOWEVER, if you have Spirit fire OVER level 2 it will normally kill the caster minions, so be carefull about how and when you use it for farming.

If you cannot get close to the minions to last hit them you can drop your spirit fire to grant a few seconds to rush in and grab a few last hits. you can also use wither if the enemise stay in your spirit fire, at least reducing the damage they can do to you while you grab a few charges of SS.

FINALLY... the lightning farm! simmilar to the lightning engage, it involves rushing the minions, grabbing a last hit, and flashing away before you can take much damage (or hopefully any).

you are laning against really agressive opponents
they outrange you
or you know they will chase you, and you want to bait them into chasing you so teammates can gank. (this works pretty well actually, as alot of opponents will think you are noob for wasting flash, and get cocky, THUS KILLING THEMSELVES!!!

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i want to be able to use flash freely, and with ghost and wither, combined with the massive MS i can afford to use flash in unique ways. one of the best ways is with the lightning harass, or using flash to harass and escape retaliation. nothing is better than rushing someone under a tower, killing them with your Q, and flashing away before the tower can hit you. you even have the active on surelias to close the distance, and wither to stop your foe from running.

You can even use flash to leap into the center of a fight and ult, initiation a battle. Nothing will scare people faster than a giant sand monster suddenly leaping into the center of them. It takes some serious guts to attempt it, but normally the enemies will either 1. Attack you and get killed by your tamates, or 2. attempt to run, allowing your team to kill at least a few (i sense a few withers coming).

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Ranked Play

ranked is no different than any other game type. When you start playing nasus in ranked your team will soon find that they dont need a full tank! you can actually just have nasus and another offtank, and your team should be more than set on tankiness. I have played nasus in 3v3 ranked as well, and found that this build still plays well on the smaller map.

In (premade) ranked it is MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO FARM! if you dont have a good farm you WILL DIE CONSTANTLY! the reason for this is that premade teams almost always have better coordination, and will instantly know to play agressive in the lane to stop your farm. This will screw you in the long run, however i know a trick to stop this from happening.

When the creeps push to your tower you need to hit one, let the tower hit it once, then lay your Q on it. this should give you the kill, allowing you to build your Q even while on the tower. If worst comes to worst request a lane change, you CANNOT SURVIVE without a farmed Q

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In short, nasus is the best offtank around. I have found that i can outank almost any tank in a good game, while still scoring amazing kills. hopefully soon i will get some screenshots of my victorys as nasus, just to show yu how well the build plays out.

Just remember that nasus is all about last hitting, and have fun guys!

Please rate and comment, and give any constructive advice you can! ^_^ '"

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EDITS! >.>

I just played a several games testing the true value of tiamats and surelias, and i found something rather shocking... Tiamats range is only around 20, and is seriously pathetic. i still stand by surelias. i decided to change the tiamats for an atmas, which grants around 70+ bonus damage. the bonus armor allowed me to switch the boots to Merc Treads, which allowed me to trade the FoN for a frozen mallet. you dont end up quite as tanky, but you reach some decent DPS, while still having some nice HP and armor.

ALSO! i have taken some thought into runes... and while i still stick by my attack speed marks, i have changed the HP per level seals to HP regen seals. the reason for this is... without tiamats and FoN your regen is a little low, by adding these seals it compinsates a bit, and grants a bit more sustain during the laning phase, allowing you to farm more.