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Nunu Build Guide by kadun

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League of Legends Build Guide Author kadun

Nunu - AP offtank

kadun Last updated on April 21, 2012
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Team 1

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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Hello everybody, and welcome to another of my mobafire guides - I've worked hard to make this guide helpful, yet compact so please leave a rating, and your thoughts on my work - Hope you enjoy! ;)

Before you move on, I would like to ask you guys a favor, please please please... Don’t just downvote my guide, give me critics, or any source of reason why you downvote at least. There's nothing worse than getting random dislikes, when you can’t do anything about it.
- Thanks! ^^

Oh, and if you play on West, just add me.. My ingame name is Kadunz - See you ingame! ^^

Oh, and before you start reading on - I would like to say this thing, which you should always remember:
Don’t just play 100% like I say in this guide, adapt to nunu, find YOUR playstyle, and what you think is best for him! ;)

Future Updates:

A Midlane/Toplane opponents chapter (How to beat them)
In-depth on each build
A Nunu Spotlight

Green = Positive that this will be done in a near future.
Orange = Not sure when it will be done, but it will come at some point!
Red = May not come at all, but i hope i'll be able to make it.

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Pros / Cons


- Hard to kill
- Does amazing damage
- Great at assisting
- Great, Great lane game
- Really really really strong ulti (if it hits)


- Doesn't do that much damage against magic resist champions
- Easy to interrupt your ulti
- Standard build requires a good late game
- Takes some time to finish your complete build (expensive core build)

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Different Builds

When to use which builds

Build One
Build one is the standard quick Rod of Ages build, where you rush a rod of ages, this build works good in both lanes, it gives some quick survival needed in both top or mid. If you're mid get Abyssal Mask before Glacial Shroud since you don't need armor mid (you're mostly against ability power champions)
Build Two
Build two is the solo top build, which gives you some great overall stats, but you're starting boots + 3 potions which leads to a slower Rod of Ages but some more sustain in lane and more mobility
Build Three
This is the mid build, gives you you some quicker damage and sustain and are for a great mid to "early late" since you only get one Rod of Ages and then going with an crystal scepter and instead of all that survival this is more aggresive, going 21-09-00 in masteries and more AP from runes

Pros and Cons of different Builds

Pros Build one
    - Strong Late game
    - Does decent damage
    - Quite Tanky
    - Great sustain
Pros Build Two
    - Great mobility
    - Quite Tanky
    - Does decent damage
    - Hard to outlane
Pros Build Three
    - Great mid game
    - Great damage
    - Still tanky
    - Hard to outlane
Cons Build one
    - Weak early and mid game
    - Can't 1v1
    - Easy harrashed
    - Only decent damage
    - Melee
Cons Build Two
    - Weak early and mid game
    - Melee
    - Only decent damage
Cons Build Three
    - Weak early game
    - Not that tanky
    - Very mana hungry
    - Harrashed by ranged

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Summoner Spells

Flash is a pretty great summorner spell many people like, but almost as many dislikes, it can be used for both chasing and escaping just like Ghost but Flash is instant

Many people may disagree with me on this one and think he can benefits more from another spell, i cant see that, with the Summoner's Wrath mastery you even get more damage done to the target and you're almost guaranteed an easy kill. It's also useable as an defence spell to make sure you get an clean escape

I like to go with this an with the Summoner's Wrath mastery you can't be catched, but this one can be replaced with flash if you're more of an flash guy

This is problely the most used summoner spell for mid, and i also use it for when im mid, since nunu don't really got a real finisher but more harrashing with snowballs, ignite will help him finish opponets early and reduce healing of people like Vladimir. Dr. Mundo and Warwick

This is a very underrated, it has great uses, specisl for the solo top build, but the bad thing about this is that you have to trade out some lane power, so only use this if your team are focussed on late game or if you're against someone like Cho'Gath

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Marks of Choice

Greater Mark of insight

Provides you with the necessary amount of spell penetration to do some nasty damage

Greater Mark of Resilience

These marks are often used against high damage physical attackers like Riven or Tryndamere and are therefore often only used as solo top, but if you go with these marks you have to pick Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration since you will need some magic penetration

Seals of Choice

Greater Seal of Vitality
Greater Seal of Vitality

Gives you some health pr. level with start you to benefits you more when you reach lvl 6 than falt health, and it gives you an nice health bonus since you're still an off-tank

Greater Seal of resilience

These are for the same reasons as Greater Mark of Armor quite good and still very viable
Greater Seal of Replenishment
Greater Seal of Replenishment

Nunu are very mana hungry and these runes can help you with your early game if you need to keep the pressure early on, but they slowly falls off and your Rod of Ages or double Rod of Ages' really eliminate his mana problems but do not get these and the Greater Glyph of Replenishment

Glyph of Choice

Greater Glyph of Celerity

This is one of the best runes for you, it provides you with CDR each lvl and allows you to throw lots of Ice Blasts
Greater Glyph of Replenishment
Greater Glyph of Replenishment

Nunu are very mana hungry and these runes can help you with your early game if you need to keep the pressure early on, but they slowly falls off and your Rod of Ages or double Rod of Ages' really eliminate his mana problems, but do not get these and the Greater Seal of Replenishment

Greater Glyph of Potency

Some great ability power to boost your overall damage and help you a little bit in lane, but falls off later on

Greater Glyph of warding

If you as a mid champ are against a really high early damage enemy, you might want to get some magic resist to survive the laning phase or even get a Negatron Cloakafter your Rod of Ages

Quintessence of Choice

Greater Quintessence of insight

Another spell penetration rune, with allows you to do the most damage as possible, most of the solo tops goes with a lot of magic resist

Greater Quintessence of Resilience

Some defensive runes which help at solo top, but do no take these and Greater Mark of Resillience

Greater Quintessence of potency

Some great early ability power to boost the damage of your Ice Blast

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The 09/21/00 build:
This is currently my main masteries because i really like being tanky and still do damage, but if you don't pick either exhaust or ghost feel free to change the point in Summoner's Wraith and put in it Mental Force

The 09/00/21 build:
This a more "magic" based build where you go for buffs to yourself etc. more exp and gold, if you know you will be underfarmed and forced out of lane, this can really help, since you doesn't need that much exp to get level and you will get some gold all time

The 21/09/00 build:
This is the super aggresive build, which i often never go with, but if you're facing really squshy people this can be a great setup + it adds some survival and ekstra start HP

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


When to max what

You should always start by maxing out your E which are your Ice Blast since this is your damage, harrash, and slow ability, not much to argue here.
Now, when to max Q ( Consume) this is maxed for increased lane sustain or if you're getting bullied a lot which often can happen since you're melee
Then, when to max W ( Blood Boil) for laning this is actually bad, since you're not focussing on auto attacking, but last hitting, but if you're roaming a lot Blood Boil is the better choice, or if you have to support the ganks a lot you can max it, etc. a jungler without a close gap

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Passive: Every seven hits, your next casted ability will be free of charge. Great passive during the laning phase, but afterwards, I tend to ignore it because mana isn't a problem. While you are harassing with Ice Blast, Visionary really sustains you in the lane. Conflictingly, I find that this passive sucks (for laning purposes) and it forces you to auto-attack minion waves.

When you have Visionary up, know what the mana costs of your abilities are. Use your passive on your most expensive abilities, for example:
Ice Blast a little wolf (using Visionary) and then Consume the Big Wolf (just saved you 25-40 mana).

Double Visionary: "Even while you have the Visionary buff active, it still accumulates your attacks towards 7. This means if you attack exactly 13 times, you can cast for free, auto attack [once] to get the Visionary buff again, and cast again for free."

I feel as if this passive is only here to fuel the ridiculously high cost of Nunu's Ice Blast.

Q ability: Smite+Heal
Heal that keeps you full during laning phase. Consume doesn't do enough damage to kill a full life Siege Minion.

Consume can be used on minions that aren’t neutral or lane minions such as: Annie’s Summon: Tibbers, Malzahar’s Summon Voidling, Teemo’s Noxious Trap, Shaco’s Jack In The Box, and Heimerdinger’s H-28G Evolution Turret, and Sight Ward.

Cost: 60
Range: 100
Cooldown: 18(15.3 w/ 15% CDR) / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10(6 w/ 40% CDR) sec
True Damage: 500 / 600 / 700 / 800 / 900
Health Restore: 125 / 180 / 235 / 290 / 345 (+1 Health per AP)

Blood Boil
W ability: Buff
For tower beating, pushing, running, chasing, traveling. When casting, always cast it on anything that moves with a green health bar, with allied AD champions as priority because it will be the same as if you casted it on yourself anyways. Prioritize casting this on AD carries, like Master Yi or Ashe. Nunu should almost always have this buff on him for more than 90% of the game.

Right before leaving the spawning pad, be sure to activate the spell to save some mana as it will be recovered instantly.

Cost: 50
Range: 700
Cooldown: 15 (9 w/ 40% CDR) sec
Attack Speed: 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 %
Movement Speed: 11 / 12.5 / 13 / 14.5 / 15 %

Ice Blast
E ability: Main Ability
Use it to harass. Use it for last hitting (preferably only when Visionary is up).
Shoot it at chasers to get them off of your back, use it when chasing to get on theirs. Use this especially on enemy AD carries due to the generous 25% attack speed reduction. It is vital that you use this ability to hamper an enemy from chasing down your teammate. The slow effects on this ability lasts 4 seconds.

Cost: 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 / 115
Range: 550
Cooldown: 6 (3.6 w/ 40% CDR) sec
Magic Damage: 85 / 130 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+1 Damage per AP)
Movement Slow: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 %
Attack Speed Reduction:25%

Absolute Zero
R ability: Ultimate.
First off, this ability has the highest damage to AP ratio in the game at +2.5 Damage per AP. The trade-off to this damage is the 3 second channel before you explode. During this time, the ultimate can be negated by stuns, silences, pop-ups, tosses, knock-backs, "UNIQUE active" item abilities and anything else that will make you move (that includes Flash). While this ability is channeling, enemies within the radius are slowed. Most often, if an enemy is touching you, they can't move fast enough within 3 seconds to escape the blast, but any movement buff might get them out fast enough. It is near impossible to hit any enemy with Flash, or any other kind of flash-like ability. If you can get off an Ice Blast before casting the ultimate or use Exhaust while channeling if you can see they would just get out, the enemy will be slow enough to remain within the ultimate if they are at least halfway in. If an enemy is about to exit the radius before the three second channel completes, you can prematurely detonate the blast by moving from your current position or tapping on the ability again at the cost of significantly reduced damaged.

The most practical way that you will utilize this ultimate is by Flashing(if you chose flash) into the middle of the enemy team and activating it after initiation and after the enemy has committed to the team fight. By then, the players who have saved their CC's for you will unleash it on your channeling ultimate. This allows your team to enter with less attention on them and more on you. If the enemy team can't stop your ultimate or doesn't focus you, they all lose a massive amount of health.

You should use this ability between your teamate and their enemies when your teamate is running from them. The enemy will either turn around and hopefully be caught in the blast, freeing your carry, or they can continue their pursuit and take it to the face due to the impossibility of traveling through the 41.2% slow.

The most effective/powerful use of this ability though, is to hide the ultimate by hiding in a bush so that your ultimate can't be canceled or seen by enemies. Try to have your teamates push/lure the enemy team into the bush you are hiding in. When advancing towards your bush, more often than not, enemies will not realize what is happening, remain confused, and will continue to proceed until it is too late.

Cost: 150
Range: 575 (Area of Effect)
Cooldown: 150 / 120 / 90 (54 w/ 40% CDR) sec
Magic Damage: 625 / 875 / 1125 (+2.5 Damage per AP)
Movement Slow: 41.2%
Attack Speed Slow: 25%

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Starting items

Sapphire Crystal
This gives you an early boost in mana so you can stay out in the field for longer times and some hp/5 with the strenght of Spirit mastery

Health Potion
Allows you to survival against such thing as teemos Toxic Shot and it even heals through Ignite

Mana potion
If your mana boost with Sapphire Crystal ain't enough this allows you to slowly regen your mana but if you feel like it, you can pick another Health potion instead

Core items

These are your main items without you're nothing but with them you can't be killed xD

Rod of Ages
This item gives you all you need for an AP-offtank health, mana and ability power

Rod of Ages
Two Rod of Ages, WTF ? yup thats right, since it gives you all you need why not double it.
It's gives you an total if 1240 health, 1450 mana (combined with Strength of Spirit it givse you an nice hp/5 bonus too) and also 160 ability power!

Frozen Heart
Since you still are an off-tank you need the 99 armor bonus and the 500 mana bonus improwes your Strength of Spirit effect and then it also adds an insane attack speed slow debuff on attacking enemies.

Preferred items

These items gives you the last bonuses you need

Mercury's Treads
I love these boots on nunu since it adds some nice MR and Tenacity

Abyssal Scepter
This is one of the best items on nunu in my opinion since it gives some nice AP, MR and another debuff for enemies with reduce their MR by 20

Rabadon's Deathcap
Since you should still be able to do damage why not pick the items with the best AP boost in the game ? 140AP+30%

Optional items

Archangel's Staff
Some like this item because of the mana-AP convertions and the mana = hp/5 thanks to Strength of Sprit

Spirit Visage
This item is very optinal somelikes it some doesn't, it gives you a little hp and magic resist boost plus some CDR, but most important the increased healing gained

Mejai's Soulstealer
If you like a basic snowball item, this one can gives you a really great AP boost, but nothing else

Will of the Ancients
This is a pretty cool item for Nunu since it gives you tons of hp combined with Consume and you still gets a lot of hp from both Ice Blast and Absolute Zero

Banshee's Veil
The only reason to take this item is the spell shield if used right can result in the full damage ulti who does like 2200 damage

Force of Nature
If they got lots of casters on the other team this can be usefull but you'll have to trade some ability power for it

Lich Bane
Lich Bane is a very usefull item for this build, you can change it with Abyssal Scepter i've considered this item lots of times.

Zhonya's Hourglass
What can i say can be a life saver and all round it's a really good item, 100ap 50 armor and 2 sec of immortality but you cant move or take actions in the 2 sec.

Elixir of brilliance
This is a pretty nice items as a last pick, it maxes out your CDR and adds some AP

Heart of Gold
Since you got a pretty expensive build, this one can be added after you finished your Catalyst the Protector, it also gives you a small health bonus but the gold is the reason to get it

Philosopher's Stone
This is like Heart of Gold a pretty decent item, which can also be bought after your catalyst the Protector bu instead of a health boost it gives you a mana and health regen boost, but don't get this one and Heart of Gold

Elixir of Fortitude
I'll like to go with this one too in the end, cause it adds some minor defence but better than nothing, but Elixir of brillianceis more important.

Optional Boots

Boots of Swiftness
fastest boots i the game can be useful for both chasing and escaping, some like them

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Some nice CDR can be useful special for Ice Blast

Sorcerer's Shoes
Some magic penetration can be useful against teams with lots of MR

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Laning phase

Nunu on the Top

Nunu are actually a decent choice as a solo top candidate, first of all they don't expect it and second his snowball deals tons of damage against squishy targets like Teemo, as solo top he can actually use his great ultimate abolosute zero to demolish any enemy walking into a bush.

How to play him as solo top

If you decided to go with nunu as a solo top candidate you'll have to farm a lot (less roaming(running around on the map)therefore i would properly go with Flash + Teleport which allows you to farm at the top and teleport to objectives (Don't use Teleport to get back to lane except if you tower is under 25% and the other top hits it
You should be focusing on last hitting all the time and if the enemy is ranged try to stay in bushes and only come out of for last hit, but if the enemy is melee always harass him with a single Ice Blast to get him a bit lower than you. Nunu doesn't have a lot of kill potential
When to go back

If you started Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion which in some circumstances are better than the original Sapphire Crystal and one of each potion, then you should go back when you got around 1.400 gold +/- so you're able to get at least your catalyst, if you're getting outfarmed or out played or if you or the enemy can't kill each other you can go for the early philosopher´s stone to get some mana/health regen and some decent amount of the gold (this is only recommended if you think the game last +45 minutes, since it will slow down your core build)

If you did the original start you want to go back a bit earlier than 1.400 g (around 1000g) since you'll need to have your catalyst to be able to stay in lane all the time.

Nunu in the Middle

Nunu are rarely seen in the middle for some reason, but i actually think this is one of the most efficiency places for him, since his snowballs does a lot of damage to the other class canon mids these days. As a mid champ you shold still be focusing on last hitting and harassing. If your lane are pushed you should be ganking other lanes, nunu are great at this since he moves pretty fast thanks to his Blood Boil and there's nothing more dangerous than a nunu suddenly appearing from behind of the enemies and blocks the way with an well placed Absolute Zero which often takes 50-75% of the hp they got.

The great thing about Nunu is that he's able to adapt to any situations etc. having a hard time get 3 early ranks in Consume, destroying lane, keep up the good job and max Ice Blast, against an easy ganked lane get some early points into Blood Boil (( Do not max Blood Boil over Ice Blast in this situation)

If you're winning lane hard you can even go take their wraiths and Nunu does that quite well thanks to him Consume and if you're doing poorly push out lane and take your wraiths (ask jungler first)

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Added Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold under optinal items
Added Flash, Mejai's Soulstealer and Spirit Visage
Added Will of the Ancient, and added flash option under mastery
Fixed few spelling mistakes
Added logo's to Pros and Cons
Fixed Rabadon's Deathcap's tooltip under items
Fixed spelling mistake under Pros and Cons
New Mastery added due to patch
Edited the old masteries to give me some more survivability
Edited masteries to fit my playstyle more
Added more to the thanks section
Reached number 3 of the nunu guides on mobafire
Edited Laning Phase
Changed ghost to flash
Remade my guide

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Thanks for reading my guide please comment and help me improve it :)

Thanks for giving me the third place on mobafire :) Love all of you guys <3