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Nidalee Build Guide by Turo

AP Carry Nidalee Solo top (Fear the Spear)

AP Carry Nidalee Solo top (Fear the Spear)

Updated on October 28, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Turo Build Guide By Turo 4 3 7,250 Views 18 Comments
4 3 7,250 Views 18 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Turo Nidalee Build Guide By Turo Updated on October 28, 2012
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Nidalee
  • LoL Champion: Nidalee
  • LoL Champion: Nidalee


Please be respectful in the comments section, and keep things professional. Give me your opinions, post your results of the build, and let me know how you liked her. If you give me a throughout review, you'll get one too.



I'm always willing to play some LoL!

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So you want to play Nidalee do you? Well I say you found the right place. If you know a bit about her already, feel free to skip to just the items and runes, or if you are new all together to Nid, I recommend reading the build and considering the following things:
Nidalee is a touchy champion, as in she can swing to both extremes. One game you may do awesome and be annihilating a ridiculously dressed up super Teemo, then another game you may do severely bad, even with the same items. That's why you are here right? To find out how to tweak those imbalances and make it in your favor, so let's get started.
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Background Lore/Basic Stats

There are few dwellers, let alone champions, residing in the blasted and dangerous lands that lie south of the Great Barrier. Much of that world still bears the scars of past Runes Wars, especially the mysterious ***ungu Jungle. There are long-forgotten treasures in these strange places which many risk life and limb to acquire. The champion known as Nidalee was only a young girl travelling with her treasure-seeking parents when they lost their way in the dense, rainy jungles. The jungle was unforgiving, and she watched her parents suffer agonizing final days as they fell victim to a mysterious and vicious disease.

As improbable as it was for a child to survive in the inhospitable jungle by herself, she did just that. Her youthful innocence and a fortunate naivete caused her to appeal to the beasts of that place and she was taken in by a family of cougars and raised as one of their own. She grew and somehow absorbed the raw magic of the dense wilds, evolving beyond both her human physiology and her feline affectation. On one pivotal day in her life, standing over the torn remnants of a Noxian squad of woodcutters, Nidalee chose to rejoin the so-called civilized world, to fight in the League of Legends so as to protect the vast woods from both Demacia and Noxus.

Nidalee was taught to fight by her feline family, battling viciously with tooth and nail. Something in her feline ways may draw you to her, but remember that she is no pussycat.

Damage 49 (+3.5 / per level)
Health 370 (+90 / per level)
Mana 220 (+45 / per level)
Move Speed 310
Armor 11 (+3.5 / per level)
Spell Block 30 (+0.75 / per level)
Health Regen 5 (+0.6 / per level)
Mana Regen 7 (+0.5 / per level)
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Javelin Toss / Takedown - In human form, Nidalee throws a spiked javelin at her target that gains damage as it flies. As a cougar, her next attack will attempt to fatally wound her target, dealing more damage the less life they have.

Human: Nidalee tosses her javelin, dealing 55/95/140/185/230 (+0.65) magic damage on impact (deals up to 250% damage the farther away the target is).
Cougar: Nidalee's next attack deals additional damage based on how low her opponent's life is.
Cost = 50/60/70/80/90 Mana Range =1500!!!

Bushwhack / Pounce - In human form, Nidalee lays a damaging trap for unwary opponents that, when sprung, reveals the target and reduces their armor and magic resistance for 12 seconds. As a cougar, she pounces forward, dealing a small amount of damage when she lands. Pounce is not affected by cooldown reduction.
Human: Nidalee lays a trap that deals 80/125/170/215/260 (+0.4) magic damage over 2 seconds, reveals the target, and reduces their armor and magic resistance by 20/25/30/35/40% for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes.
Cougar: Nidalee lunges forward, dealing damage to surrounding enemies.
Cost= 60/75/90/105/120 Mana Range=900

Primal Surge / Swipe - In human form, Nidalee channels the spirit of the cougar to heal her allies and imbue them with attack speed for a short duration. As a cougar, she rapidly claws enemies in front of her.
Human: Nidalee heals an allied champion for 50/85/120/155/190 (+0.7) and grants them a 20/30/40/50/60% attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cougar: Nidalee claws at enemies in front of her.
Cost= 60/80/100/120/140 Mana Range=600 Aspect Of The Cougar - Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, gaining new abilities and increased movement speed in the process.
Human: Nidalee transforms into a vicious cougar, gaining 10/20/30 Armor and Magic Resist, 20 Movement Speed, and her basic abilities become Takedown, Pounce, and Swipe.
Cougar: Nidalee transforms back into human form.
Cost= No Cost!!!! Range=0

(PASSIVE)Prowl - Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
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Abilites (In my words)

Spear/Bite- Nidalee throws a massive spear, a whopping 1500 range. The farther the spear travels, the more damage it will do when it hits the target. So you want to be at max, or near max range when you actually throw the spear. The quick "up close and personal" spears don't do so hot. They may just waste your escape time. |
| Bite empowers Nidalee's next melee attack, dealing bonus damage when hitting an enemy. This works awesomely well with the leap. You put this sucker on, and pounce on the enemy, biting nearly right when you land. The output of damage is quite impressive actually. |

Trap/Leap- | The trap serves as a great map awareness and preventive ganking tool. Not only does it reveal a target after it triggers the trap, it also reduces the armor and magic resistance of that target, while dealing a poke of damage. With this reduction added to the Attack Mastery Tree's 1 point in superior exhaust, that's double the reduction of armor/magic resistance. Making it that much easier to take someone down. |

Leap- | Really just like it sounds, Nidalee leaps forward in front of where she is looking. There is speculation and discussion about possibly hot fixing it, making it go in the direction of the mouse, but as of now, it is point Nidalee, click. It also has the awesome capability of being able to go through selective WALLS! Which means, if you need to play a custom to get aCUSTOMed ( < ...get it...Custom...ed...nvm T.T) to the walls that you CAN jump over, then do so! it's worth the time. trust me. At the end of her short leap, she deals a small AoE damage around her landing spot, to all enemies nearby. |

Heal/Swipe- | Really the heal is what is seems to be; a heal. BUT WAIT THERES MORE! (lol) this hefty heal also tags an attack speed boost to the healed target with it as well. Creating quite the combo for a lucky ADC, or for yourself when you are taking down a lane tower. For you AD Nidalee players this also will make your human form auto attacks, that much more deadly. So when you do need to switch over and heal, you still will be outputting normal damage.|
Swipe - | An AoE sweep of her claws! It's awesome for farming minions, or hopping into a teamfight and slashing away at soon to be low hp enemies. |

Ult- Pretty simple, from kitty to human, and vise versa. Small CD, no mana in kitty form.

Passive- SHE GOES FAST IN BUSHES (see pic below.)

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^props to Xaioli for making the map
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The Trifecta, of Nidalee.

Personally I think there is 3 things that will lead you to be a exceptional Nidalee player.
In no specific order: (I'll go more in depth in a moment)
1. Patience (P)
2. Awareness (A)
3. Timing (T)

So, "Why do I need to have "PAT" you say? Well, with PAT you cover the main points of what Nidalee excels at. Let's discuss some of the MAIN key aspects of what Nidalee brings to the game shall we?

Mobility- Her cougar form provides an amazing escape, or just the opposite; a chasing mechanism.
Ranged Harass- The Spears of doom baby! These suckers hit for a massive amount of damage, and keep an enemy on his toes and sometimes even distracted from his farm. A more Seasoned Nidalee may even be able to zone their opponent early on, setting up their victory from the get go.
Sustainability- Her heal. Nidalee is one of the few champions in the game who has a self targeting(or other target) heal. This allows her to maintain a lane much longer then many champions, plus saves her money that she normally would spend on potions.
A strong Melee/non mana using Cougar Form- Lastly her Cougar form. Not only are 2 of the 3 abilities AoE (Area of Effect), they also do massive amounts of damage, without costing Nidalee a drop of mana. This melds into the sustainability, allowing her to save her mana while in Cougar form, then simply switching over when she needs to heal.
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Pros / Cons

So I guess to be an AWESOME build, I need some pro's and con's. Well let's take a look here:


+ She's quick at escaping (NEVER CHASE A NIDALEE) < they never learn.
+ Amazing at Jukes and kiting
+ Great harass
+ Nice Early/Mid game
+ Massive spear damage
+ Sustainability
+ X+(Y-1)=N X=noobs slain Y=spears taken to slay noob = ENJOYMENT LEVEL
+ ^ reiterating, she's fun.


- Falls off slightly late game
- Squishy
- Takes alot of Practice
- Can be frustrating at times
- Has minor bugs
- HATED BY RIOT T.T (no rework/skins in FOREVER)

To be honest, Nidalee being my favorite character to play, just due to her interactiveness, the pro's outweigh the con's by far. The satisfaction that comes along with Nidalee, when you do well, is unmatched. So keep working hard and learning her bit by bit, and i'm positive you will love her too.
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The items I chose are for a reason. Through trial and error, I brought this guide, to save the time I spent learning what works and what doesn't. I have rougly 1000 played games as Nidalee alone(SUPER NERD) and I feel as if i know her quite well. Her items are designed to give Nidalee what she lacks. A Bit of tankyness, a form CC, and the proper burst to take out opponents.

Keep an open mind please while reading over this build, because you should remember that this is what works for me, and what I myself, has experienced. Of course everyone will have their own preference, but feel free to use this as a guideline until you develop your own.

If you give an honest and productive review(comment) on my build, I will provide one for a build of yours as well. And that doesn't mean a like for a like, or vise versa. I will look at yours just as you looked at mine.
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Skill Sequence

I'll make this one quick. So a lot of people question or go straight to opposing my sequence of skills. They feel that Bushwack or in some cases Her heal should be first.
Well that's fine to do that too, but personally i find it more beneficial to me winning my lane, with the early build-up on my spear. I've had countless games where I drew first blood, due to a complacent laning opponent, and that's before the minions even spawned.
I periodically switch between spear, and heal as i level up, trying to keep them balanced. And picking up bushwack at lvl 5. Now you might be questioning this, "What if you get ganked? You have no ward to know they're coming, and now no traps to see." Well i understand the risk, but if you keep a steady lane and don't go crazy until level 6(which you should do regardless) then you won't have an issue. Once you have your cougar form, escape from a gank is easy as taking a bite of cake. ...nomn.noonmnonmonmnonmnomn... < easy.
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Summoner Spells

I picked up Ghost for the burst of movement speed, to tag onto my passive. This helps incredibly so much for any situation where you need to outrun something, whether offensive or defensive.

Exhaust- As an early player of Nidalee i wasn't a fan of exhaust. It wasn't until I kept running into the problem of going against someone with a slow, or a speed boost, who would catch me, as i tried to outrun them. Or a tank, who took too little damage. With exaust, you can cripple an adc, reduce a tank to just a tanky, or secure a kill and or escape. It's the best ability I could ask for on Nidalee.
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It's very very easy to get distracted and lose farm control, due to Nidalee's nature. But you need to maintain decent farm. It's really simple, go to cougar form, AoE an incoming wave, and back into human. Cougar form clears minion waves easily, and quickly.
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