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Nasus Build Guide by Kirbilord

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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 Kirbilord

Nasus: Tides of Sand (Team Fighter)

Kirbilord Last updated on August 22, 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

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Team fights can be a chaotic struggle. Among the spells flying, blades swinging, and champions dropping like flies, this particular Nasus thrives. This Nasus build is one that I've grown quite fond of over my time playing him, and time and time again I find that it can help turn the tide of any large scale battle.

Essentially, this build is designed for durability and team fight support. Mind you, it's not a TRUE tank build. Though Nasus does build a large amount of bulk, I would not rely on him as the primary tank. He just doesn't have the skills for it.

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- Can cripple an enemy AD carry with a max Wither.
- Can provide a number of auras to boost allies in team fights.
- Ultimate can wear down enemies as well as boost your offensive capabilities.
- Spirit Fire provides armor reduction and even more damage over time, as well as a bit of zoning during lane phase.
- Can gank very well with a 95% slow. (at max level)
- Syphon Strike keeps building, meaning limitless damage potential.
- Can also do decent burst to turrets with a well-farmed Syphon Strike.
- His utility can make him a popular target, but his bulk can keep him from being killed easily.

- Susceptible to range or spell harass.
- Possesses little harass of his own.
- Can be kited easily.
- Needs a decent Q farm to boost damage output.
- Requires precise timing on last hits to maximize early game farming.
- Requires good judgement on when to farm and when to fight.

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Item Build

When it comes to how exactly to build you items, you want to keep two things in mind:

1. The composition of your team. Are the primary damage dealers AP or AD? Is your team up front fighters, or do you possess a lot of harass?

2. The composition of the enemy team. Are the primary damage dealers AP or AD? Are they forward and aggressive, or do they tend to hang back and blast you with spells and ranged attacks?

Any good build requires flexibility to combat specific scenarios.

But first, you'll want your core.

I grab the Regrowth Pendant first because it allows you take some harass early game without being worn down and having to go back and heal. Though Nasus does have natural lifesteal, he can be easily zoned out by ranged and caster champions, making it hard to regen health without putting yourself in danger.

I immediately build the Regrowth Pendant into a Philosopher's Stone and grab at least Boots of Speed when I have enough gold and find an opportunity to go back. As mentioned before, use your Teleport whenever possible for a quick shopping trip. You don't want to lose lane time early game and fall behind. I find the Philosopher's Stone invaluable to help keep you sustained with plenty of health and mana in lane, as well allow you to get an extra bit of gold as the game progresses.

From there, build up your Merc Treads for that extra protection against spell harass as well as a bit more mobilty and then start building either your Aegis of the Legion or Sheen. If you are holding the lane fairly well and aren't taking a lot of hits, then go for Sheen first, prioritizing the Sapphire Crystal for added sustain. If you find yourself constantly under fire and in need of a little bit more bulk, start with the Aegis, prioritizing either the Null Magic Mantle of Cloth Armor, whichever one counters who you're in lane against.

Now that you have your core, grab a quick Giant's Belt for added bulk. From here on out, you can start building to counter the enemy team's general composition. You now have two options: Offense or Defense. If you grab one of the Offense items, grab a Defense item directly after and vice versa. You'll essentially want one of each. You'll eventually have to sell your Philosopher's Stone to make room for upcoming items, so keep that in mind as you build further.

Offense -

If your team is doing fairly well in kills and towers and your allies are building nicely, then grab one of the following items:

Stark's Fervor - if your primary damage dealers are AD-based, this item will not only boost their (and your) damage output, it will give them (and you) some more survivability with the lifesteal aura. This item syncs well with Spirit Fire, and can provide a blanket -60 Defense for enemies when the two are used together.

Soul Shroud - If your team has a good amount of casters or champions that rely heavily on ability use from afar, grab this item. The cooldown reduction aura will allow their (and your) skills to be more spammable, and the mana regen aura will keep them (and you) from running out of mana in drawn out engagements. Just as well, the addition health only boosts your survivability.

Defense -

If you find yourself taking far too much damage from enemy attacks, then you may want to consider buying one of these items:

Force of Nature - If the enemy team is running a number of AP users with harass, A Force of Nature will do wonders in reducing damage as well as keeping your health up from all that abuse. With your Ult and Giant's Belt, you will naturally have a sizeable health pool, meaning you'll get a solid health regen per second. If you can't quite build it right away, grab the Negatron Cloak to start.

Frozen Heart - Thornmail is still a viable choice if you find yourself being focused down a lot, but generally, against an AD-heavy team, I find the Frozen Heart to be the better pick. Not only does it give a solid armor boost, but the attack speed debuff means you can lower enemy damage output without necessarily being the one under attack. Just as well, the boost to your mana pool allows you to last longer without blue buff or having to go back. If your income isn't sufficient to buy the whole thing at once, grab the Glacial Shroud first.

Now that you have a few items to fit the current context, you'll want to go ahead and round off your Sunfire Cape for that added dps in team fights, as well as a touch more bulk. the Cape syncs well with your Ult, and though it doesn't do a terrible amount of damage, enemies can find themselves worn down quite a bit if they are careless.

By now, it's pretty late game and your Syphon Strike is really your main damage output outside of a teamfight situation. Thus, you can Finish off a Trinity Force for a nice array of stats and utility.

A good LoL player is flexible with their build to best overcome an enemy. Though the items listed above offer good options to fit diverse situations, ultimately you'll want to use your best judgement when buying items to counter a particular set of champs.

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Runes -

The runes I have listed are simply the runes that I have at the moment. It's a pretty straightforward survival build with a little bit of Armor Pen to keep your damage output up a bit. Naturally, the flat armor and health helps early game, and I find that magic resist over time will provide a larger, more useful difference into late game.

In general, though, my runes max his endurance.

Masteries -

Like his Runes, his masteries maximize survival. with 21 in Defense, he gains a great deal of survivability, and the 9 point in Utility boost his regen and mana pool, allowing him to lane longer while you wait for Teleport to cooldown.

Spells -

Flash/Ghost: Both of these spells have a large array of uses, so either is a good pick. I myself tend to prefer Flash because it can be a lifesaver in the jungle, as well as help with some surprise attacks, but Ghost can seriously help against extended kiting as well as a quick getaway. Again, it's up to your personal preference.

Teleport - For me, this spell is a must with Nasus. It gives you good map coverage and allows you to go back to base and shop, then come back to lane without losing much time in transition (especially if you happen to solo). Just as well, you can use it to quickly move from farming to an imminent team fight and vice versa. I've also gotten some nice use out of it with backdooring, since Nasus can do pretty decent burst damage to turrets as the game progresses.

I'm sure one or two of the other spells (such as Clairvoyance or Heal) might be viable as well, if you don't feel like running Flash or Ghost, but I highly encourage you at least keep Teleport.

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Play Style

Early game is all about farming. Get in as many last hits with your Syphon Strike as possible. Though can allocate a bit of time late-game to farm and get your Syphon up to speed, the sooner you can build it up, the better. Be flexible with your skills, as you can tailor them to fit different team compositions as well. A very gank-happy team would really benefit from your slow and an aggressive enemy can be pushed back with a stronger Spirit Fire. However, keep in mind that the faster you can level up your Syphon Strike, the faster you can accrue damage on it. Thus, analyze the situation and do what is best.

It is best for you to stay in lane as much as possible. Only go heal when absolutely necessary or if you can Tele right back to the lane. In order for you to stay toe to toe with the enemy, you'll want as much exp and gold advantage as you can.

Anyways, push the lane if you can, making sure to last hit with you Q as much as possible, and if you can, get a few Q hits on the enemy turret as well. If their tower falls, go aid another lane where needed and keep and eye out for backdooring.

If your tower falls, it may be to your benefit to stay in that lane and farm a while if they don't carry on with the push to the inner turret. After a tower fall, enemy champs in that lane will tend to roam, so you can farm without much worry. Keep an eye on the map, though. If things get dicey elsewhere, be prepared to offer your assistance.

If their tower falls, you can roam and try a gank or two with your slow, but overall, keep up as much farm as you can until the enemy starts becoming aggressive as a group.

Come mid-game, there will most likely be a number of skirmishes between the two teams. Make good use of your Teleport to quickly move from farming lanes (which helps with general push and map control) to helping out team fights. The biggest mistake you can make is to not be there in a team fight, especially with all of the stuff you bring to the table, so you'll need to be very aware of the current status of the battle. It helps to keep communication up with your allies to let you know when they feel a confrontation is nigh.

As for your team fight strategy, it is this:

Don't initiate. Nasus doesn't quite have a good initiation move, so it's best to leave that to someone else. However, as soon as the battle begins you should get to the middle of it as soon as you can. Keep yourself in a central location to maximize the amount of enemies hit, then fire off your Ult. From there, you'll quickly want to Wither the enemy's highest AD dps to cripple their attack power, then throw out a Spirit fire to encompass as many foes as possible. From there, keep toward the center and whack as many foes with you Syphon Strike as possible. If the battle is in your favor, an enemy is trying to escape, and your cooldown permits, go ahead and Wither them as they attempt to flee.

Going into late game, as 5v5 team fight's become more common, stay at the center of the action. It leaves the enemy with quite a predicament: Should they focus you down, since you have a pretty solid AoE dps as well as a number of buffs, debuffs, and a crippling slow? If they do, they'll waste a good amount of time and energy taking you down because of your bulk, allowing your team to kill them while they are occupied.

In general, though. Always move with purpose. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people running around aimlessly and with total indecision. Make every click count. If your not fighting, farm. If you're not farming, fight. The more time you spend not doing something, the less gold, exp, and map advantage you and your team loses.