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Nautilus Build Guide by Akira72

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Akira72

Nautilus - Greetings from R'lyeh [Tanky AP]

Akira72 Last updated on February 26, 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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my guide!
If you like AoE Damage, tend to be tanky and like to pull people without being a weird yellow machine, Nautilus is the right champion for you!

I prefer to play Nautilus as a tanky AP guy. In my opinion his shield gives him enough defense to spend some more money on AP. I have tried this build in a couple of games and it kicks ***, aslong as your team isn't extremly stupid. Yes, I've even tried it in a ranked game.

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Pros / Cons

  • Can take quite a lot damage
  • Has a pretty decent damage output
  • Is a great initiator
  • It's easy to chase enemies
  • Dredge Line can save you from danger
  • A lot of CC
  • Hard to get outranged
  • Looks ****ing cool..
  • Good ganker
  • Slow in the beginning
  • Higher cooldowns
  • No good skins (in my opinion)

Uhm.. Actually I don't know more cons. ._.

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Greater Mark of Insight
The magic penetration makes your early game very easy, since you shred half of the enemies health with one skill combo (Q W E) before he can do anything about it.

Greater Seal of Clarity
Time is mana. Seriously, these runes make you feel like you don't even need mana in the early game. You just do your combo and when you think about starting another attack your mana is almost filled again, giving you enough space for an attack and having some mana to back up again safely.
Greater Glyph of Force
Obviously a tanky AP needs some Ability Power. Why not take some scaling runes then?

Greater Quintessence of Insight
Yeah, I love magic penetration. And this works just well ingame.

I think runes are a decision everyone has to make for himself, making them fit to his style. Of course you can take some more tanky runes, but in my opinion Nautilus shouldn't be played as a pure tank, more like an tanky AP. His damage output in a teamfight with some good AP and MPen is just awesome. (Until he gets a nerf, duh).

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Summoner Spells

This little baby turned the tables in a fight so often, it's just amazing. People will exhaust you, ignite you, and everything just to get rid off you. Especially when you're chasing them. Cleanse will get that annoying stuff out of your way. It's also pretty useful when you get away with low health and see ignite slowly taking the last of it.

Useful for chasing people and getting fast to a teamfight where your teammates need your help.

Can be swapped with Cleanse if you don't like or forget using it.

You can take this instead of Ghost. depends on what you prefer.

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Staggering Blow
Nautilus’ first basic attack against a target deals bonus physical damage and immobilizes the opponent briefly. Staggering Blow cannot trigger on the same target more than once every 12 seconds.

Make us of this passive. Stun your enemies when they try to run from a fight and split their head with your gigantic anchor. It's a nice utility to stun enemies a bit longer after a teammate stunned them, so think about who you stun and when.

Dredge Line
Nautilus throws his anchor forward. If he hits an enemy, he'll drag himself to his target and his target to him. If he hits terrain, he'll drag himself to the terrain and the cooldown is reduced.

Take this skill on the first level as a gap closer and max it last. The cooldown is not big enough to waste skill points on this one early, but it brings your team a lot of kills in the early game. Keep in mind that this can be a stun in combination with your passive.

Titan's Wrath
Nautilus places a shield on himself that absorbs additional damage based on his maximum health. While the shield is active, Nautilus' attacks deal damage over time to units around him.

A nice shield and area of effect damage over time, but not your best skill in my opinion. If you want to play more tanky you should think about maxing this one first, tho. But as a tanky AP, the damage of this skill is just too unreliable to spend points and time on it. Your job is over in a teamfight when the shield is destroyed by an enemy, and the damage output isn't that great either.

Nautilus slams the ground, causing the earth to ripple out in waves. Each wave deals damage and slows the targets hit. This slow decays over time. Multiple waves that hit the same target deal reduced damage.

Pure awesomeness. This skill sends 3 exploding waves from your location, which deal a good amount of damage (it uses 50% of your AP!!) and slow all enemies. It will keep your enemies close after you got them with Dredge Line and can save your tower if it's getting attacked by lots of creeps. It's also a nice farming skill if you have a lane for yourself, because not later than LvL 9, you should rape every creep wave within seconds.

Depth Charge
Nautilus launches a depth charge towards a target that picks up speed as it travels. This charge knocks up all enemies it encounters while traveling and explodes on impact, stunning the target and launching them into the air.

Like every ultimate skill it on 6, 11 and 16. Use it on squishy enemies in a teamfight who stand right on the other side of the fight, damage everyone between you and him and finally blow him up into the air and deal some good damage. Also, this raises the attention of your teammates on that enemy when they see him flying up in the air taking lots of damage. And if you're into that psycho stuff.. It's funny to see your enemy running from the Charge, but you know it will follow him until the end... Aced...

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Skill Sequence

Dredge Line
Titan's Wrath
Depth Charge
Titan's Wrath
Titan's Wrath
Depth Charge
Titan's Wrath
Titan's Wrath
Dredge Line
Dredge Line
Depth Charge
Dredge Line
Dredge Line


I get Dredge Line on Level 1 to secure some kills and to get away from danger. Riptide gives me from Level 2 a good damage and slow source. After getting Titan's Wrath on Level 3 for a shield, I max Riptide to increase the damage and slow output greatly. After that I max Titan's Wrath to sustain longer fights. Last but not least I max Dredge Line to decrease the cooldown and increase the nice damage output.
Level Depth Charge on 6, 11 and 16 like every ultimate.

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The Combo

Nautilus has a specific skill combination, which you'll use over and over again. It's basicly pretty simple and happens automaticly after some games.
When you think it's a good time to get some health off an enemy, throw your Dredge Line at him. If you hit him, activate your Titan's Wrath as soon as you meet in the middle and start your Riptide right after it. Don't forget to hold him with Staggering Blow and when he gets too far away with low health, either follow him with Dredge Line or finish him off with Depth Charge if you think it will kill him.
This works on a solo lane as good as when you're chasing someone alone or with your team. You can also use this to initiate a teamfight, but don't waste it.

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Doran's Ring
Some Health, Ability Power and Mana. Everything you need!

Sorcerer's Shoes
Yeah, the Magic Penetration thing.. Your choice. You can go with Mercury Treads if you want.

Abyssal Mask
In all of my games the mages were the biggest problem for me at this point, so let's get this little thing! Some Magic Resistance, Ability Power and takes the Magic Resistance off your enemies. A very useful item for Nautilus to make him a real threat in teamfights.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
The scepter gives you some sustainability and gives your skills a nice slow and some more damage.

Frozen Heart
This may look weird in here, but helps a lot. Because now the AD Champions get a lot stronger and become a serious threat to you. With this item you will make them a bit weaker in teamfights.

Guardian Angel
The best balanced defensive item in my opinion. A must-have as a tanky champion.

Sunfire Cape
Last but not least, some health for your shield and some damage for your enemies.

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Laning Phase - Early Game

Try to get the solo top lane. It's very easy for Nautilus up there.
Try to play passive for a while. Make your enemy think you're feared and don't dare to attack him. Only use Titan's Wrath and Riptide if there's a really huge creep wave sending love to your tower. Now, when your enemy became greedy and aggressive enough, try to get your enemy with Dredge Line and unleash the combo. It's fun to see the health of your enemy drop within miliseconds and I always want to know what the enemy is thinking in that moment. Just walk back after you're done with it and your skills are still on cooldown. He will either run back or follow you. If he does, just Dredge Line to your tower, it should be off cooldown by now.
If you get ganked, simply use your Dredge Line to get back to your tower and if your enemies are stupid enough to tower dive you, just stun them with your passive, slow them with Riptide and hold them at the tower with Dredge Line. Seriously, that's a pretty funny moment in a life of a Nautilus. I got a lot of kills because enemies underestimated Nautilus' CC.

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Mid Game

If your enemy is not pushing the lane too far, try ganking mid. Nautilus is an exeptional ganker. Once you get your enemy with your Dredge Line and your teammate is not sleeping, it's almost a free kill for your team. Anyways, try not to waste your ultimate if there's a chance for you and your teammate to get the kill without it. It's a pain if you see someone running away with low health and know your ultimate could not have been on cooldown yet if you didn't waste it earlier.
Now, unless your top lane enemy is stupid to enough to come towards mid so you can kill him aswell, go back top and see if your enemy pushed a bit too far. That might be another opportunity for a kill.

If your top lane enemy started roaming, stick with your teammates. Help them, gank the enemies, secure their way back. Nautilus is a tower of strength if you try to get past him in a narrow path. Seriously, there's no chance.

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Late Game

Stay with your team. It's deadly to be alone in this phase of the game, even for a rampaging monster diver. If there's a way to get the enemy squishy with your Dredge Line, do it. The combo will tear his health bar apart and your team will do the rest. Now either the rest of the enemy team will attack, or they will retreat.
If they attack, they will probably target your squishy. That's probably a wrong decision, since you're between them. Keep stunning them with your passive and keep sending out Titan's Wrath and Riptide as soon as the cooldown goes off. Your squishy will have enough time to get some distance and kill them one by one. They won't survive long with that and if someone runs, either pull him back with Dredge Line or finish him off with Depth Charge. Try to hit the entire enemy team with it, tho. But keep concentrating on the squishies.
If they run, try getting the squishiest one with Dredge Line. Try to get the team back into a fight, because they're outnumbered now. If they really dare to get into another fight with your team, it's probably an ace for you and 1-2 towers and maybe an inhibitor. (This is the part where Siege Commander reveals its true power.)

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Closing Statements

Thanks for reading my guide. I appreciate suggestions and feedback. :)