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League of Legends Build Guide Author dbug87

Nautilus -The Titan of the Depths Explained

dbug87 Last updated on February 20, 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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Some points about Nautilus

Nautilus: The Titan of the Depths

Build Nautilus however you like. He's too new for anything definitive to be out there yet. However, there are a few things I've learned.

Nautilus is a health tank:

His most powerful skill, Titan's Wrath, has its capabilities expanded by a large health pool. Some build him for AP as well, choosing items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rod of Ages... Understand that his best scale with AP is at 0.8 on Depth charge. Behind that is a 0.75 on Dredge Line, both of these skills have pretty decent cooldowns, and the sacrifice of health for AP just doesn't seem worth it. Also, with the decrease in maximum health pool by focusing on a hybrid health/AP build also leaves his shield weaker, which substantially reduces his sustainability.

Nautilus has some intense cooldowns:
The lowest cooldown he has is 10 seconds. That's a pretty good chunk of time in the midst of getting ambushed or in the middle of a teamfight. He definitely needs some cooldown reduction in order to be fully effective. Luckily, items like Kindlegem and anything that is built off of it have both health and cooldown reduction. These items seem to work well to me.

Nautilus seems to be better played by a patient player:
If you're all about glory gaming and a high kill count, Nautilus probably isn't for you. He'll never fit into your play style and you'll do nothing but cause yourself grief by playing him. He's designed to be a tankity tanky tank. He's not like tanks like Cho'Gath who can actually have a lot of killing power. But at the same time, I don't see Cho saving your entire team in a losing team fight any time soon. Nautilus has that capability. In fact, it's probably his biggest strength. With Nautilus, I believe it's all about assist score, not kill score.
So what is he for?

Pulling enemies off of falling team mates
Disrupting champions with lethal ultimate skills ( Katarina)
Positioning enemies in a teamfight (Much like Alistar)
Strategic CC placement and use
Pulling out tower huggers
Keeping the faster champs off of your slowest champs
Being an intimidating presence

Played correctly, a Nautilus player can literally make the enemy team completely rethink their strategy by the 20:00 mark.
After a few failed ganks, because the ganker was pulled off of the gankee and slowed and now has a tank to deal with, they'll stop attempting it. After a tower hugger being pulled off of their tower and killed a few times, they'll stop doing it. The problem is that Nautilus has a hard time doing any of this by himself. He's just there to set it up for another person on the team to execute. This is why I say he isn't for the glory gamer.

He also isn't for a team who has no viable means of real time communication. Nautilus has no potential to truly shine without some form of live communication. Yeah, he can get a clutch strategy off here and there in a random game, but he is absolutely mythical when the team can actually communicate.

It is for this reason that I play Nautilus in the top lane, solo, 1v1, and push the lane hard. I then go and roam the other lanes and the enemy jungle until my lane needs me again. If the top lane happens to be 2v1, I play defensively off of my tower, and secure a lot of kills by CC under the tower.
Nautilus is not for the offense minded. Nautilus is for the defense minded.

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Dredge Line

Dredge Line, the skill in Nautilus's Q slot, is a utility skill I choose to max last.

I use this mainly to pull chasing enemies off of my falling team mates. I pull them to me, use Riptide, and auto attack them once. The distance between my ally and the enemy grows, the chase breaks, and now they have ME to deal with. I activate Titan's Wrath for more sustain, and run for the nearest tower.

Sort of a "swoop in and save the day" maneuver. Also, if you can manage it, right after you hook them, you may want to hold shift and press 2. You have now just successfully told the enemy "You're in the deep end NOW." Thus further confirming that they're screwed.

Other uses for this skill would be to escape a losing fight that you yourself may be in. Turn and auto attack the enemy who is chasing you to stun them. Use Riptide to slow their approach, and use Dredge Line to hook to terrain and get some distance away from them. Use Flash to create even more distance, and if you have it, send a depth charge back their way to make DAMN sure you escape.

You might also use this to pull a tower hugger off of their tower. it is for this reason that I believe Nautilus plays well with Alistar, Singed, Vayne, Blitzcank, or Volibear in the bottom lane, if you're going to put him anywhere but top lane. Yeah, the current meta warrants ranged characters in the bottom lane, but ranged characters are squishy and now you have position control. If you get them on the wrong side of you and you're blocking their escape, ranged characters are just target practice for a duo-positioning-specialist team comp in the bottom lane. Let the raging begin.

The main use I see for it, which I use the least, is to close distance with an enemy you're planning on initiating and attacking. It doesn't do much damage, the position change isn't all that significant since you move as well and might very well put yourself in range of the tower, and it's better saved for AFTER you've thrown your burst and the enemy is starting to get AWAY from you. Because while you're closing distance on the enemy by initiating with this, you're also pulling yourself away from your team and closer to harm's way.

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Titan's Wrath

Titan's Wrath, the skill in Nautilus's W slot, is a shield skill I choose to max first.

I use Titan's Wrath when I'm fleeing a battle, not to initiate it. If you go into a battle with Titan's Wrath activated, you gain a shield to block a large amount of damage, so I understand using this to initiate, but I simply think there are better uses for it. If you're initiating a team fight, you must be planning to take some damage anyway, and hopefully you have an exit strategy to compensate for when things go south.

If you run in with no shield and tank some hits, you stir up enemy interest, and they think they've got you killed. They watch your health plummet, and they want to chase you. They think they have it in the bag. You begin running away towards your team, but they think they can kill you before you make it. Suddenly, you pop your shield, you have a whole lot more life now. You smack them with your auto attack, they're stunned, you hook out to some safe terrain. You send a depth charge back their way and start walking back towards them. You use riptide and they're slowed. Guess what? Your team, if you have good communication with them, should be heading in to clean up. You just successfully baited and worked over a straggler. A straggler YOU led out of the pack.

Nautilus is a master baiter. They can come after you, if they think that's a good idea, but they aren't going home afterwards.

I also use his Titan's Wrath to farm. I swing at one minion, then swing at another. I never use successive hits against a minion because the first hit I land on any target does bonus damage. And also, with Titan's Wrath active, each minion I hit is dealing damage to every single minion around it. So if you hit each of them, every minion in that pack is dealing damage to every other minion in that pack. You're maximizing your damage and efficiency by switching targets this way.

Also, obviously, if I'm about to die for ANY reason, I use my shield. Derp.

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Riptide, the skill in Nautilus's E slot, is an AOE slow skill which I choose to max second.

I use this to... uhm... slow?

Something to keep in mind is that this skill is blatantly designed to harm retreating enemies. It will hit three times rather than once if the enemy is running away. I use it to farm as well, to reach minions which it may be threatening for me to target because it would put me in a harmful range of my enemy. It's also a great fear factor harass. You don't even have to HIT the enemy with it, just send it flying their way as you walk towards the back of the minion clash and watch the enemy back off of the wave. I mean, hit them with it if you can... but you don't have to. Scaring them off of the pack is just as effective. I literally spam this skill while farming and harassing.

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Fitting the skills together

Bread and butter harass:

Use riptide to slow a fleeing enemy. Obviously, with riptide cast, you can catch up to them to auto-attack them, which will stun them long enough to get one more auto attack off, and with Titan's wrath active, it does even more damage. With the shield up, you can retreat before they do anything to you. Smack a few minions on your way out. This is your bread and butter harass combo.

Depth Charge into Dredge Line?:
I'd rather not use my ult and go straight into dredge, I'll tell you why at the end here. But know that you can hook someone with dredge line even while they're in the middle of being knocked up by depth charge- you don't have to wait for them to land. I suggest doing this because it makes sure they don't hit the ground, shake off the stun with tenacity, and get away anyway. Once you're next to them, I suggest an immediate auto attack, because your first hit against any target stuns.

Riptide into Dredge Line?:
Hell no. Talk about a waste of potential. If you don't get an auto attack after riptide, you're wasting the slow. If you go straight from riptide into dredge line, all you're doing is using two skills which would allow you to catch an enemy back-to-back... it's like two players exhausting the same enemy, rather than one exhaust wearing off before the other is cast. These two skills are best used apart from eachother. You used riptide and auto attacked them, they're running. Cool. Chase them down until riptide comes off of cooldown, or depth charge them. Save dredge line for your final "where the hell do you think you're going?"

Depth Charge?:
It is a SURE FIRE way to get an enemy pursuer off of your ally, and I usually save it for that. It's also amazing for setting up ganks. Say the jungler is in the river bushes at the top lane waiting for the go-ahead. Depth charge that sum*****. Cast riptide so they're slowed, and as soon as they're about to get out of your range, dredge line them back and auto attack them. You just bought your jungler about 10 seconds to do with what he pleases, and it won't end well for the enemy. Depth charge should be used more for utility than damage. In a team fight, always target the back enemy, unless there's an enemy straggled out too far in the front, in which case the stun is better used for a free straggler kill, as if to say "be where you're supposed to be next time, son."

Free kill chasedown:
Nautilus's most damaging combo, and very situational. Say the enemy is over extended. They have a long way to walk home. Run up to them, auto attack them. The stun should allow another hit. They'll start to run. Riptide them, it should hit all three times if you time it right. The slow should allow you to attack once more before they break away, maybe twice. Kepe chasing them, once they get to about half the maximum range of your depth charge, use it. The stun will allow you to catch up and auto attack.

They'll start to run again. Within this period, riptide should have come off of cooldown and your 12 seconds should be up on your passive. Wait until they are almost at max range for dredge line and pull them back to you. Smack them for a stun, activate Titan's wrath and hit them again for extra magic damage. When they run, slow with riptide, should hit all three times. Should also allow you another auto attack. They should be critically wounded or dead. If they aren't dead, it never hurt to flash ahead of them for a few more free hits at the end, if you REALLY want the kill.
Nautilus is at his most powerful when the enemy is frantically trying to escape. He's just like Shaco and Kassadin. There's no victory in running from him.

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The Gear

Philosopher's Stone
Easy. You need extra gold since you won't be getting many kills, and both offer sustain and become more useful items.

Shurelya's Reverie
For support, both a part speedup and an enemy slow, also a good chunk of life, defense, regen, and some cooldown reduction.

Boost the entirety of your regen by 15%, which allows you to heal at a wolverine-like rate, adds a little chunk of MR, and boosts your health. This is the only item in the build I'd probably never ever swap out. This item is amazing for health tanks.

More life, a built in slow on your auto attacks for when your stun is on cooldown, a spell shield, magic resist. Awwww yeah.

Does anyone ever put any other boots on a tank?

Basically, you need CDR, health, regen, and mitigation. There aren't a whole lot of better ways to accomplish all of that besides this build. I think I formulated it together pretty darn effectively.

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Summoner Skills

This is where I become a liar.

I actually run flash/ignite. But in terms of viability, Teleport is a much better option. When you're roaming, you need to be able to get back to your lane, or swoop in for a rescue elsewhere more effectively.

I run ignite... because people walking away from me with 20 life is a ******* pet peeve of mine. If I worked you down that badly, show some common decency and just DIE already. I totally know I should be running teleport, and do sometimes. But I carry ignite like a side-arm on almost all of my characters, because every time someone escape from me with enough life that a stiff breeze would kill them, I want to slaughter entire adoption centers worth of baby animals.

I run this because it's one of the most trusty escapes in the game, and has saved my neck incessantly.

I run this (shh) because you need to be where you're needed, as obvious as that sounds. If you pushed the top lane hard, and you roamed off to counter jungle or you roamed off to gank the middle, and suddenly 3 guys show up at the top tower... do you really want to hike back?

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Masteries/Runes/Jungle Setup

Always subjective. Do whatever works for you. This works for me.

Well... that section was easy...

If I'm jungling, I'll have a lot more armor based runes and a lot more jungle based masteries, such as the masteries which affect minions and monsters, experience, and gold income.

I'll nix the frozen mallet and build cloth 5 / Wriggle's Lantern first, and leave the rest of the build alone. That life leech is huge when you couple it with Spirit Visage, and creates a perfect amount of extra sustain in case of a slow jungle route.

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Still haven't got it down to a science yet, but I'll update this section when I do, or if someone else cares to submit an entry/pictures/routes/info for this section. I, as I've admitted many times before, am an embarrassing jungler. I'd be bold enough to claim that I am the worst jungler in all of the League of Legends player base.

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Your Role

Get your team out alive.

Pull enemies off of your allies in losing team fights
Use a combination shurelya's, randuin's, and your skills to get everyone out. Even if you may take a death, preventing the enemy team from coming out of exchanges on top is your NUMBER ONE RESPONSIBILITY. Losing 1 is a lot better than an ace.

Screw up the enemy jungler
In your free time, kill enemy buffs, harass the enemy jungler, or aggro all of the little creeps in the jungle and bring them over to where the jungler is working and scurry off all rofflesauce like. Get in the way of all of the enemy jungler's ganks that you can. Literally all you have to do to screw up an enemy gank is to dredge line the laner. Ganks are so position-reliant that they're child's play to screw with. Keep everything warded and the enemy jungler should be pretty easy to hinder.

Be a presence
Randomly pop your hulking face out into all the other lanes and slap the enemy team around a bit. They'll be so worried about your team having a roamer that they'll capitalize a lot less on your team's stragglers in the late game. Especially if they can't find you. Which is why it's a good idea to hide out in the jungle and regen whenever nothing is going on. The fact that they can't hardly ever account for you becomes a psychological game. Even when you're holding your own lane up top, spend most of your time in bushes if you aren't actively farming. You should spend as little time on the minimap as you can.

Be the anti-bully
If someone is getting slapped around in their lane, and yours is pushed, get down there and break the enemy off of them. I guess my play style with Nautilus could be considered a sub-jungler. You're a lane babysitter, but you leave the jungle alone. It makes for a slow start, but it pays off when your team, un-harassed, starts dominating team fights and you start raking in gold off of assists. Your jungler is left to focus on building up, your lanes don't get camped or bullied, and so the enemy team suffers the early game just as bad as you do in not having as much early farm. It's a rough trade-off, but it ends up being worth it. This is also why I max Titan's Wrath first, it keeps me alive even if I'm a bit behind the champion I'm anti-bullying.

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I mentioned this before, but I'll highlight it here.

"W", Swing, re-target, swing.

Activate Titan's Wrath, swing at a minion, target another, swing at that one, target another, swing at that one, rinse, repeat. You can wipe out an entire wave in seconds by doing this.

By doing this, you activate Staggering Blow on every minion, maximizing your damage output. Titan's Wrath causes the minion your struck to deal damage over time to every minion around it, so you want that activated on as many targets as possible to create a net of constant damage. In seconds, the whole wave collapses. Also, if any enemy stands close, they'll be taking the DOT from Titan's Wrath several times over. It's a bad place to be standing.

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This is still relatively unpolished and thrown together, but unfortunately, my last Nautilus guide became un-editable due to a mobafire glitch.

Hopefully the same doesn't happen to this one.

I'll clean it up a lot more as soon as I'm done playing Nautilus over and over like a one-track-minded crackhead.

I have over 40 games in with him so far, and he pretty much just came out. I'll share what I figure out as I figure it out and clean this all up when I feel like it. Yeah, yeah, wall of text. I get it. I'll fix it. Eventually.