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Nunu Build Guide by 22theavenue

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League of Legends Build Guide Author 22theavenue

Nunu: a Treeline in snow

22theavenue Last updated on January 1, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #12 in
Jungle Role
Win 47%
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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


Utility: 0

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Hi everyone, i'm 22theavenue, this is my 3rd guide and it's about Nunu.

Nunu is my main and has been my favorite champ since I started playing this game, back in my 1-30 experience I used him more than 80% of my games.

"Why creating a Nunu guide as your third one?" you may ask. It's because I don't play him as a support. The SR metagame imposes that Nunu has to be played most of the time as a support with that classic no-damage-no-sustain build that relegates you to be a mere ward and aura dispenser or a jungle build with weird-on-Nunu items like Wriggle's Lantern or Wit's End. No.

This build is for Twisted Treeline, because that's the map I used to play more often (and still play, although not as often as with the old TT) and focuses on tanking with a little ability power. I'm confident it can work in Summoner's Rift too as solo top or mid. You can go with your carry as well, but this build is not meant to be the classic spamward + leave every lasthit to the carry support, so use it only if the carry is your mate.

So, if you play Nunu as a classic support or AD jungler but want to try other ways, read on. If not, cya and thanks for reading :)

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- Fixed some grammar mistakes (damn wireless keyboard)
- Replaced Guardian Angel with Runic Bulwark in the main build to reflect more the fact it's a Twisted Treeline build
- tweaked some items' description for the same reason as the previous point

- Guide released

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Pros / Cons


+ Can become very tanky
+ great damage with Q and R even with little AP
+ Most damaging nuke of the game

- Squishy early game
- Low autoattack damage
- his ultimate can be easily shut down

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Runes & Masteries:

My runeset is baased mainly on offense with a glimpse on phisical defense:

- 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: More early AP that can boost your E damage, making it a powerful poke
- 9 Greater Seal of Armor: Early in the game, the main source of damage is from Champions' and minions' autoattacks, and this is physical, so it's better to counter it with seals.
- 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Same reason as glyphs: to boost your damage. Items alone are enough for your tankyness.
- 3 greater quintessence of abilty power: Same as glyphs and marks.

As for masteries, this is the 3rd mastery revamp I've seen, and I still find myself comfortable with the 9/21/0 setup, taking AP carry masteries down to the magic penetration one in offense, and focusing on tankyness in the defensive tree.

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Summoner Spells

My usual summoner spell combination is Flash and Exhaust. The first one is the most used summoner spell ever in LoL, it can save your life or quickly put you in the best spot to land Absolute Zero; the second may seem redundant with Ice Blast, but trust me it isn't: it so helps keeping up with your opponent and getting kills early game when maybe you have no mana for Ice Blast, or to catch up with high mobility champions where Ice Blast isn't enough.

Other nice choices are:

Ignite: More damage that helps to kill enemies that flee with little health or to cripple self-healing abilities such as Master Yi's Meditate or Fiddlesticks' Drain.
Teleport: useful for quick lane to lane ganks or to come back to your lane after a recall.
Heal: to support your team where there are enough ignites and exhausts.

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Skills description


Every 5 autoattacks, Nunu's next ability costs no mana. This passive is great early game because it grants almost infinite poking capability as soon as you know how to safely autoattack minions or enemy champions. However, after you build Rod of Ages, the mana cost of your non-ultimate abilities becomes not noticeable and you can just keep the visionary effect for Absolute Zero only.


The main reason Nunu can be played as a jungler: you eat a minion or neutral creep, dealing true damage to it and restoring some of your health. This ability is very good because it contains almost any harass and can save your life. More than one time I found myself running away at low health from a champion until I reached the clash between two minion waves and just consumed a minion to either survive or retaliate by killing my hunter.
Remember that consume can be used on ANY neutral creep, from a lane minion to Annie's Summon: Tibbers.

Blood Boil

This ability is why I update my boots only after Rod of Ages: it gives an attack speed and movement speed boost to both you and your target. It's great when you or a teammate of yours are escaping, since it's a 2-man version of Shurelya's reverie's active plus an attack speed boost that helps build up your passive and is lethal if cast on Tryndamere, Fiora or an AD carry.

Ice Blast
I love this ability. It deals so much damage even without any bonus AP, you can't help but spam it. It's the main reason enemies will mentally curse at you, it is a good poke, and its slow paired with its low cooldown will make it hard for an enemy to not get killed, especially if you have a teammate with you.

Absolute Zero

KABOOM!!! Nunu's ultimate is simply awesome: after 3 seconds of charge (during which all the enemies within a radius get slowed), it explodes dealing insane amounts of damage to any enemy caught by the explosion. I've seen full AP nunus one-shot people with it. The explosion can be triggered earlier by siimply moving, but you will deal less damage the lower is the channeling time.
Also, be very careful before using this, because a stun or a silence can interrupt your channeling, denonating your ult and sending it on cooldown after a little damage.

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Skills order and usage

R > E > Q >= W

Let's immediately say my skilling order is not written in stone. The only 2 constants in it are Absolute Zero and Ice Blast as top priorities. When I have to choose between Consume and Blood Boil, I rank up the one that's most useful in the moment I'm in through the match, so choose them by the situation.
I often time my consume ranking up together with my Rod of Ages building: When I buy Catalyst, I put a 2nd point in Consume, and when my RoA is finished, i put a 3rd. However, sometimes I found myself leaving Consume at rank 2 and maxing Blood Boil, so it really depends on how the game is going on.

As for their usage, your skills have little sinergy aside from your passive, so you have to consider each one inividually:

  • for Ice Blast, poke with it as much as you can, every time you have an enemy in range, use it. Try not to use it on lane minions, unless you really have to or can afford to do it (for example, to get a last hit without getting too close to the enemy team).
  • Try to save your Consume for the cannon minion, since it has the most health and gives more gold if killed. Don't hesitate using it against neutral creep summoned by enemies (for example Annie's Summon: Tibbers or Malzahar's voidlings)
  • As for Blood Boil, your buffing priority should be:
    - heavily autoattack-based champions
    - AD bruisers or AP carries with autattack based mechanics
    - cannon minion or big allied minion (such as Summon: Tibbers
    - an ally that doesn't fall in the previous categories
    - caster lane minion
    - melee lane minion
    - yourself.
  • Absolute Zero is your most delicate skill: almost any CC can block it, so it's advisable to wait until your enemies deploy their CC arsenal before using it.
    Its mana cost is very high so try to build up Visionary first if you intend to use it.
    Last but not least, you can set up traps with Absolute Zero and bushes: when you're hidden in a bush, your enemies don't see the AoE circle of your absolute zero, when they enter it they just see they are slowed. This means when they poke their nose in that bush and realize there is an ulting Nunu, it's already too late for them.

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Item Build

You should start with a Doran's Ring (and boots) in Twisted Treeline as it gives nice bonuses to start with and may give you the upper hand on a lv1 skirmish. If you are playing a Summoner's Rift match instead, it would be better to start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions.

Following that, consiter that the only 2 constant items in my build are Rod of Ages and the upgraded defensive boots (or lucidity if i'm doing really well).
I find Rod of Ages to be an awesome item on Nunu in almost any circumstance. It gives mana, making you less mana starving, health to make you more tanky and AP to increase your damage, and all these stats grow with time. It's just perfect.

The other 4 items depend on who I am against, but I always build in the direction of being tanky. Let's analyze the possible items according to their role:


  • Abyssal Mask: A good compromize between defense and offense, it gives a nice AP and magic resist boost, as well as a MR reduction aura that sinergizes well with your Absolute Zero's range.
  • Banshee's Veil: I build this 90% of the time. It gives more HP and mr to make you more tanky, and more mana that makes even the cost of Absolute Zero barely noticeable. Anyway, the most useful thing this item gives is the spell-absorbing shield. It can make the difference between a fully deployed Absolute Zero or an interrupted one since it could nullify the first CC thrown at you.
  • Spirit Visage: With Force of Nature being no more, this has become the new top magic resist item for champions like Dr. Mundo. The healing increase works with Consume making it a choice to consider when building Nunu.

  • Frozen Heart: The best armor item for Nunu: you don't have much use for the mana bonus, but the armor, attack speed slower and cooldown reduction are all great. You should always build it, with little exceptions.
  • Randuin's Omen: Although not as good as Frozen Heart on Nunu, it's still a good item because it gives health and has an AS reduction effect as active bonus.
  • Thornmail: Removed from Twisted Treeline for no apparent reason, I used to build this often because of its low gold cost and because it was good to counter champions that can quickly become very dangerous (such as Tryndamere). However, a Sanguine Blade is enough to counter the reflected damage so if you're playing SR and buy it, you should heavily consider selling it for a better item lategame.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet: Eh. I don't know if this item would be great on Nunu, it requires some testing. Personally, I think our slow is enough and this item won't be needed, but who knows.

  • Overlord's Bloodmail: Lots of health that makes you even more tanky and is the only counter to true damage. Warmog's Armor is its Summoner's Rift version.
  • Runic Bulwark: It build from Aegis of the Legion, which is very cheap, and provides armor, magic resist and health to you and nearby allies. Great if you need to rush some defense.
  • Guardian Angel: Another item that has sadly been removed from TT, I highly recommend building this in any other map: it boosts both armor and magic resist and its unique effect can often save your life, especially considering how tanky you can become.
  • Rabadon's Deathcap: No explanation needed here. A Huge AP boost. Ice Blast and Absolute Zero will benefit greatly from it.
  • Archangel's Staff: The heavy amount of mana you have may suggest building this. However, if you decide to do so, you should first buy a Tear of the Goddess early to build up stacks, sacrificing your early tankyness. However, the active effect of Seraph's Embrace (its fully stacked version) is interesting. I dont recommend this item, by the way.
  • Will of the Ancients: Its aura effect supports your allies, and its spell vamp gives you lots of health back if you manage to connect Absolute Zero.
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter: bouns HP and AP are good, but you don't really need the slow passive, since your only ability that will benefit from it is Ice Blast, whose slow effect is already enough.





Since last patch, upgraded boots can take an enchantment, which consists in additional bonuses added to the ones your boots already have. There isn't an enchantment that fits a lot better than another on Nunu, so I'll just describe then and leave the decision to you:
  • Alacrity: +15 flat movement speed bonus. Good if you roam often and you feel Blood Boil isn't enough.
  • Captain: Allies moving towards you have 8% increased movement speed, while minions around you gain 20% movement speed. It's great on a duo lane, so great you should consider rushing it before or immediately after your 3rd big item: it allows your teammate a quick retreat after an harass and a faster minion retaliation when you get harassed by enemies.
  • Furor: A 12% movement speed that decayes within 2 seconds and trigger every time you deal spell or physical single target damage. It's use is to stick with your target after you hit him with autoattacks or Ice Blast, but most of the time you won't need it.
  • Homeguard: When you are at fountain, you instantly regain all health and mana and gain a 200% movement speed boost for 8 seconds that decays over time and ceases upon entering combat. This may be the besst enchantment for Nunu, since it allows a quick back-in-action after a recall and, since the bonus ms is a percentage, it applies to Blood Boil as well.

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And that's it. I apologize if my guide isn't very usually appealing, i'm not used in coding and I was more focused on giving useful tips and informations.

If you don't mind playing outside of the meta, or if you're a Twisted Treeline player, give this build a shot.

As with my other builds, comments and constructive criticism will be appreciated.