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Nautilus Build Guide by Xathaneal

AD Carry Nautilus - I Whip My Anchor Back and Forth!

AD Carry Nautilus - I Whip My Anchor Back and Forth!

Updated on March 5, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xathaneal Build Guide By Xathaneal 86,986 Views 9 Comments
86,986 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Xathaneal Nautilus Build Guide By Xathaneal Updated on March 5, 2013
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Thanks for coming to my AS/Hybrid Nautilus guide! While this set of items is not meant for serious ranked games, it can be a fun way to play Nautilus in a new way. I hope you enjoy the guide and get just as much amusement as I do from seeing Nautilus swing his anchor back and forth at nearly 2.2 AS. Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated, and thank you again for checking out my guide ^_^ Thanks to Searz for the awesome guide format! You can find it here. Also thanks to JhoiJhoi for her amazing guide on how to use BBCode, among many other things. Her great guide can be found here.

Mouse-over any abilities or spells to see their tooltip.

Abbreviations/Short Hand

(You can check this to clarify any of the terms I use if you don't understand what they mean.)
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~Pros & Cons~

Pros & Cons

+ Great burst damage
+ Amazing sustained damage
+ Alternative way to carry without having to use a standard ADC champion
+ Large amount of CC
+ Still slightly tanky (for a carry)
+ Watching Nautilus swing his anchor at high attack speeds is amusing

- Slightly squishy even with full build
- You may be accused of trolling
- Can be countered somewhat easily by poke/denying farm
- VERY squishy until he gets items
- Is a melee champion but is usually faced against ranged ADC's at bot lane
- Requires a good support, preferably one with a shielding or healing ability
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  • Fury : Not exactly the mastery you would expect on a champion like Nautilus, but in this specific build, attack speed is a very high priority stat.
  • Mental Force : I feel that it is best to only get one point in this mastery because the other options benefit Nautilus more.
  • Spellsword : This may seem like an interesting choice on a hybrid carry build for Nautilus, but due to the majority of his items being AS, AP, or on-hit effects, it makes this mastery a very good choice.
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Main Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
While these runes are more standard on APCs, the early game Magic Pen is great for giving Nautilus that extra bit of damage while you're still building up his first couple items.

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
I feel these are a necessity on Nautilus regardless of whether you're building him as a tank for top lane, an APC tank for mid lane, or a hybrid carry for bot lane. One of Nautilus's main problems early game is that he is very mana hungry, and I feel these runes are the answer.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
This is another rune choice you would usually see on a mid lane AP champ, but I feel that these runes are also necessary to give Nautilus that extra boost to his AP. These work for both early game before you can build up your first couple items, and just as well for late game once you need that extra AP for on-hit effects.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Nautilus is, by default, a very slow moving champion. Due to his low mobility, I find that the extra 4.5% movement speed can be both life-saving and provide that extra little push needed to pick up an additional kill.

Other Rune Choices

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
If you feel that the Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration does not help you enough early game or you feel it is impacting your overall score negatively, you can always use the alternative of these flat runes for a better early game.
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~Summoner Spells~

A great spell to use against champions like Dr. Mundo or Volibear to halve their regenerative effects. Also great to use if there is a fleeing enemy that might escape.

Great for escaping sticky situations where you may have used your Dredge Line to initiate or you need an additional escape mechanism to reach safety.

Not a spell I usually pick up, as I feel Flash is almost always a better fit, but still worth mentioning as a viable option.
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~Your Abilities and How to Use Them~

Staggering Blow (Passive)

This passive is just another reason why Nautilus can be built as a hybrid bot lane carry. The scaling immobilization gives Nautilus even more CC, allowing him to deal even more damage before the enemy tries to escape.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Try to auto attack the enemy after using Dredge Line and then wait the full duration of the immobilization before using Riptide to best take advantage of the CC.
  • Staggering Blow is also great for escaping, although risky. If you find yourself in AA range of a pursuing enemy, try and hit them once to land the 1 sec immobilization, allowing yourself time to flee.

Dredge Line

This ability is good for both initiating fights and escaping them. While paired with other abilities like Riptide or Depth Charge it can keep the enemy CC'd long enough for you to do a large chunk of burst damage and then AA them down while using Titan's Wrath.

Tips and Tricks:
  • If you're confident in your ability to kill the enemy before reinforcements show up, use Dredge Line as an initiator to get an easy kill.
  • Dredge Line is an amazing escape tool. Aim it at terrain to pull yourself to safety if you are worried that you may not escape the fight alive.
  • To use Dredge Line to its full potential while escaping, try and aim the ability so that only the tip is reaching the terrain you are aiming for, allowing you to pull as far from combat as you can get.

Titan's Wrath

This ability is Nautilus's main source of damage as long as the shield remains active. High attack speed paired with the AP from some of your items makes for constant large chunks of sustained damage. This is what makes Nautilus both a burst and a sustained damage champion while using this build.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Try using Titan's Wrath before initiating into a fight so that it will already be activated, allowing you to deal damage immediately without having to waste time activating the ability after you've already begun attacking.
  • Although Titan's Wrath is amazing for damage, it is also a great shield if you need that extra bit of protection to keep yourself alive.


This ability has great utility and CC potential, letting you keep the enemy in reach long enough for you to do more damage. Riptide works great when paired with Nautilus's other CCs like Dredge Line and Depth Charge.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Riptide can save your life if you have an enemy chasing you. With its delayed release of the second and third explosion, it will line up perfectly to land directly on an enemy chasing you, slowing them and perhaps even keeping you alive.
  • If you find yourself fighting a more slippery opponent, try and time Riptide after you've CC'd them with Dredge Line and after waiting for the 1 second immobilization from Staggering Blow before using Riptide. If you manage to time things just right you'll end up CC'ing them long enough to get a kill.

Depth Charge

Nautilus's ultimate is just another one of his great CC'ing abilities, while still doing a large chunk of damage. Great for trying to get that squishy ADC hiding behind the enemy tanks without having to try and make your way through them.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Depth Charge is just as good of an initiator ability as Dredge Line. perhaps even better. If you want to pin down an enemy but you're afraid they'll dodge your Dredge Line, just target them with Depth Charge and throw your anchor once they're about to get knocked into the air, guaranteeing a hit.
  • This ability is also a good tool if you have a much more persistent enemy chasing you, perhaps a Xin Zhao or a Master Yi. Use your Depth Charge on the furthest enemy who is pursuing you, without having to turn around of course, and knock one or multiple targets into the air. After they're CC'd and cannot pursue immediately, use your Dredge Line to pull yourself even further away, hopefully putting enough distance between you and your enemies for you to escape alive.
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~Skill Sequence~

> > =

Titan's Wrath deals massive damage when paired with high attack speed, making it the first priority in leveling your abilities.

Riptide is good for decent damage and can be life-saving if used at the right time. This ability should be leveled alternately with Dredge Line after you've maxed out Titan's Wrath

Dredge Line is an amazing source of CC early game, which is why I feel it is best to get it as your first ability, as it will sometimes allow you to pick-up first blood if you and your support time your efforts at the right moment. Dredge Line should be leveled alternatively with Riptide after you've maxed out Titan's Wrath.

Depth Charge is always a great source of damage, and like any other ultimate, it should be leveled up at the first chance given.
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~Item Choices~


Item Sequence

Nashor's Tooth 3000
Frozen Mallet 3100
Malady 2035
Zephyr 3000
Wit's End 2800

Attack speed is the one stat that is the core of this build. While Ionian Boots of Lucidity may be a better choice on mid lane AP Nautilus, I feel that Berserker's Greaves are the correct choice for this build.

This will be the first main item you will complete in this build. CDR, AP, and AS, all of which are great stats for Nautilus, making this a perfect item for the alternative role you'll be playing him as. This item used to have even more synergy with Nautilus before the Mregen was removed from the item. While this does remove some early game sustain, Nashor's Tooth is still a wonderful and core item to this build.

Although this item does not have attack speed, it gives Nautilus more health, making him more durable and more difficult to be focused down by the enemy team. The passive on this ability is also very useful for keeping enemies in your grasp long enough to get a kill.

This is another great item for Nautilus, more AS, AP, and two nice little passives that help do even more damage. The Magic resist reduction passive is great for stacking on the enemy; the more you hit them, the more damage you do. While you're hitting them with reduced magic resist, you'll also be doing bonus damage with each hit from the other passive on this item. In my opinion, this is one of the best reworked items of Season 3, and it fits wonderfully into this build.

One of the more amazing items introduced with Season 3. CDR, AS, movement speed, AD, and tenacity, what more could you want in one item? While this build is more generally geared toward AS and AP, the AD on this item doesn't hurt seeing as how you are going to be playing a hybrid bot lane carry.

I went back and forth for a while on what should be the last item in this build, and I finally decided that Wit's End fits the slot perfectly. More AS, more bonus damage/ on-hit effects, and magic resist. While this last item could possibly be swapped out for something else (See ~Alternate Items~), I feel that Wit's End works out quite well, especially with those extra bits of defense stats along with its beneficial AS and on-hit damage.

Boot Choices

Item Sequence

Mercury's Treads 1100
Enchantment: Alacrity 450
Enchantment: Homeguard 450
Enchantment: Furor 450

While Ionian Boots of Lucidity are usually a nice option, these DO NOT work in this build. With the item choices made there will already be a very large amount of CDR (somewhere around 34%). Getting these boots would just be a waste of an item slot.

These are a good alternative to Berserker's Greaves if you do not get Zephyr, because the tenacity from both items do not stack. Usually I would not replace Zephyr, because it is such a great item to use on Nautilus in most cases, but if you do choose to replace Zephyr with another item, I would suggest getting Mercury's Treads

I feel that this is the best enchantment for Nautilus, due to his low base movement speed. With Enchantment: Alacrity along with the three Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, the boost to your movement speed is very appealing.

This is a good alternative to Enchantment: Alacrity, especially if you find yourself more on the defensive or fighting on your team's half of the map. I usually pick this up if the game has you returning to your base more often and if you're in need of a quick return to the field of battle.

While I personally don't use this specific boot upgrade, I can understand as a hybrid carry why you would want to select this enchantment. With Nautilus's high attack speed, this item can be very useful depending on your personal play style.
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~Alternate Items~

These next few items are also good fits for this build, but didn't make it into the final build. Under certain circumstances, one of these items may be a better choice than the main six I listed.

Hextech Gunblade: This item has been debated back and forth due to the possibility of including some sort of spell vamp or life steal in this build, and in the end I felt it was best to not include it in the main build. However, I do feel that Hextech Gunblade does require at least an 'honorable mention' of sorts, and if you decide to replace one of the main six items in return for a nice chunk of AP, spell vamp, lifesteal, AD, and that helpful little active, I would suggest replacing Wit's End.

Warmog's Armor:This particular item would be an alternative selection to Frozen Mallet, if you happen to not feel tanky enough or you're being focused and dying too quickly in team fights. If you choose to replace Frozen Mallet with this item you will be losing that extra bit of AD and the extremely useful passive that Frozen Mallet has to offer, but instead will gain an extra 300 health and a nice chunk of health regeneration. While this isn't exactly what's needed when you're filling the role of the ADC/bot lane carry, it will help in situations where you may need to be tankier.

Guinsoo's Rageblade I haven't personally tested this item yet this season so I can't say whether it still works with this certain champion and build. However, I will be sure to update this as soon as I get some more solid results on whether this item fits into this build or not. If I were to go strictly by the stats on this item, specifically the passive, I would say this would have quite a good synergy Nautilus. Again, I have not had the chance to test this item with this build yet, so if you choose to use it, I would suggest you replace Wit's End but do so at your own risk.

Statikk Shiv: After testing this item in many games I have come to find out that this item works AMAZINGLY WELL with this build. All the stats work wonderfully and seeing Nautilus run around at with somewhere near 450 MS is just an added plus. With further testing I may be replacing Wit's End in the main build and replacing it with Statikk Shiv, because this item is just that good.

Liandry's Torment: Although this item is usually used on APC's, I feel that this still has a good synergy with Nautilus no matter how you build him. Because of Riptide and Depth Charge and Dredge Line, all of which apply movement impairing CC, Liandry's Torment would burn for twice the damage. Also, this item would activate from the AoE damage from Titan's Wrath, which also activates again for a second time after 1 second, allowing the % damage from Liandry's Torment to refresh and start again. Although it isn't as great as it could be (if the passive damage from Spellsword , Malady, or Wit's End caused the damage rather than just spell effects), it still has a nice synergy with Nautilus. If you choose to get this item, I would suggest replacing Frozen Mallet, but be warned that it will make you much less tanky. Only consider getting this item if you want to be more of a glass cannon.
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~Laning Phase~

Hybrid/bot lane carry Nautilus's main weakness is early game, specifically before level 6 and before you get your Phage or Frozen Mallet. Once Nautilus receives his ult, he gets a bit more survivability. Now that he has all of his spells at his disposal he can deter the enemy team from killing him much easier, and maybe even pick up a kill or two of his own. The key to Nautilus is to last hit EVERYTHING (No, I do not mean 'killstealing', although it is a team game, I am talking about minions). Nautilus needs early game farm to level up and get gold so he can his items sooner. One of Nautilus's easier counters is to be denied farm, so try your best to pick up as much CS as you can.
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~Team Fights~

Nautilus's role in team fights, usually, is to initiate fights as the tank with Dredge Line or Depth Charge. Although while filling the role of the ADC, you'll only want to initiate fights if you can hit the enemy carry (whether it's the APC or the ADC) and make sure that you have your team with you. Try not to dive turrets either unless you know you can get the kill, and even then use extreme caution as the enemy team will be sure to target you and CC you under the turret if they have the chance. Although this isn't really a statistic shown in game, having Nautilus be such a large champion. people will automatically want to target him if he comes in range, it's almost like you have a slightly larger target on your back. Remember, you ARE NOt the teams tank, and you shouldn't always be initiating fights.
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~Proof of Success~

I decided to add this chapter for people who feel that I may be making this guide all on 'theory' rather than actual testing and success with these items on Nautilus. Here's just a few games that I've played using this build.
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~Closing Statement~

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide and I genuinely hope that you enjoy it and try the build. If you feel like you have any helpful tips or comments, or just want to thank me/comment about my build, feel free to leave feedback in the comments/discussion section. Thanks again for your time ^_^
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1/9/13 - Guide created
1/14/13 - Upgraded to a full guide from just an item build
3/5/13 - Updated the ~Item Choices~ and ~Alternate Items~ sections
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