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Nunu Build Guide by Ixian

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ixian

Nunu: Jungling & Ganking

Ixian Last updated on September 5, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 1

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 7

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 22

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Hi there, and welcome to Nunu Jungling

Personally i think, Nunu is an avesome jungler, but excels in counterjungling. His slow makes him an excellent ganker, especially early game. Nunu is a jungler and should keep to that. Thats why you win against bots. They send Nunu laning... ... ... ...

This guide contains a detailed of your jungling start and ganks, so if you are trying to find what makes this special, read the Creeping / Jungling chapter, although i recommend reading it all. This setup have been used in normal games and ranked games (1400-1500 elo), with success. This guide is aimed at people who already is familiar with the game.

This guide is being written to give you a guideline for the Nunu Jungling, but also as a personal conquest to find the weaknesses through constructive criticism. So i urge you to leave a comment containing queries, questions, constructive criticism, experience with this build or/and pros and cons for this guideline.

Any spelling errors, please PM them to me. No need to fill up the comments with that.

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Nunu is one of the few champions that can jungle without runes, but practice that before going into a game, with or without runes.

The choise of runes may be confusing, but i have found this to be an excellent and fast way to jungle, if you f.eks only took apen marks.

The finished result of all the runes is:

  • 22% Attack speed
  • 10 Armor penetration
  • 13 Armor

The reasoning:
The yellow armor is a must for Nunu. You take less damage, and can be a faster, safer jungler this way.

The 10 armor is all that is needed to jungle proper. You can argue against this, but i find this as a personal preference. Your main damage will not come from autoattacks, but rather your Q and your E.

The magic resist is for late game purposeses. This helps your ability to take more damage and do your part better in a teamfight.

The attack speed is choosen because of its rather exponential development with melee attacks. This amount has been tested to be the best ratio of armor pen. and attack speed for jungling, in the early game. Further more, when you cast Boiling blood, your attack speed again increases.

You can consider Movementspeed or Health Quintessences as a liable option

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I choose to go utility for the extra buff duration time but also for the Cooldown reduction, which will allow you to deal out more damage in a gank. You are running faster through the jungle, which will make counterjungling easier and safer, even if its just by a fraction.

Defence has its potentials late game, but you are not really a tank, like the [EPIC] Shen. You are an offtank. Besides, it is as early game you must gank, and feed your team, and utility masteries gets that job done excellent. Defence will still not do the same great job as items does.

I disagree with obtaining arcanic knowledge, when you can get Strength of Spirit. Arcanic knowledge is cool enough, and you do a bit more damage. If you want to do damage, Void Staff is the best damage item for Nunu lategame. If you take arcanic knowledge they wont stack. And besides, you are supposed to gank, slow down people, not deliver all the damage, which those in the lanes should be perfectly capable of. Its like swimming over the lake to get water...

But when looking at the alternative, Strength of Spirit, which increases your surviveability in the jungle, and allows you to stay out longer and be better able to gank, when concerning health.

I like to get the smite mastery since i personally have a bad habit of using it too much, and suddenly there is a perfect opening for dragon or baron. Smite will be needed to ensure the kill goes to your team.

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As i said before, this is but a mere guideline. Remember to keep this in mind.

When the game begins there are two ways. Either the enemy have a jungler or they do not (mainly concerning normal games). If they have, get boots, a potion and a ward. if they don't, you can choose to get 3 healing potions instead of one. This will enable you to get more jungling done faster, wait longer for your first recall, or maybe be able to give the enemy blue buff to a fellow team member, which they will love you for. This is the reason to get Philosopher Stone too. You will be less dependant on the blue buff and will be able to assist one of your laning teammates with a blue buff. Get Heart of gold for more GP5 and tankyness.

Since you are a melee champion and the enemy team will hate you, unless your ulti is on cooldown. You need to be able to take some damage if its ready, because they will fear it. Pure health doesn't help. This will make you a big furry ball of squishy slime. Besides,
your Q will allow you to regain larger and larger amounts of health to counter the earlier lack of a larger healthpool. Like any other battle, look at the enemy team and see what kind of defence you need the most. If in doubt, consult the numbers when you are dead.

I would recommend NOT to get banshees veil. It costs quite alot in the ratio to the stats given. The shield is usefull, yes, but you will be taking much more than just one ability, when you start your ult...

Get Sunfire Cape because you are running near the enemy mainly, and want to stand inside them when using the ult. Its a nice defencive/offencive item. Get Force of Nature, because you got alot of health, which will give you a nice health regeneration. If you are pwning the enemy team like a boss, consider going for a Rod of Ages. My personal record for a RoA is 16 minutes into the game, although it can be bought around the 17th minute. If you aren't bossing away, dont even consider it.

I like Shurelia's Reverie, because of two things.

  • You dont have to sell Philosopher Stone
  • Lategame you can get a movement speed at around 580 with bloodboil, which will allow you and a nearby ally to catch up to anyone, or be gone in seconds.
Delay buying this if your team doesn't have the upper hand, since you will: have nowhere to run, need the gold from the stone, and better things to do than chasing down the last remaining enemy team member after your ult went off...

You'd want some damage too, where Nunu's AP ratios is the purest reason for getting AP. This can be found in 3 different items depending on your need.
  • You are dying or getting forced out of teamfights: Go for more defence or go for Hextech Revolver. Your E and R will now heal you too. And begyond that you gain even more HP from consuming.
  • Enemy carries (or other horrible, damagedealing, bloodsucking mockeries ;)) are buying MR: Get voidstaff. It will make more damage then Rabadons hat, if they got enough MR (seach internet for spreadsheet if you want prof!)
  • Enemy carries are still squishy and you are somewhat bossing away: Get Rabadons deathcap. 'Nough said. Alternativly take Zhonyas hourglass if you are playing safe. Rabadons is a big item, and should be considered carefully before choosen.

You are an excellent choise to pick up Oracle. Keep an eye on the enemy inventory to get an idea. The more they buy, the earlier you should buy it. I would recommend getting both chainmail and megatron cloak before buying it.

BUY WARDS. Not only will they assist your team greatly, with the amount of information they give, but you will escape alot of dreadfull FAILs, and your team will love you. This might not be nessesary in a normal game, but in ranked games you should always spend some gold on wards. It is not the carry's job only to buy them. If you have 300 gold and you are at your fountain, buy some wards. In this build you will always have a slot for wards, except in the lategame, where you rarely will find yourself fed enough to have every slot full. No excuse! BUY WARDS!!!... Please?

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Skill Sequence

Wait untill your jungling starts, before you choose a skill. Q is an ansolut must for jungling, but if an enemy champion ventures too far into your jungle, your E will be extreemly helpfull in the capture of the first blood.

But if the enemy choose not to go for a level 1 fight, get Q, get level 2, get the snowball, and start ganking. This is one of Nunu's godlike capabilities, so be sure to use it. This takes training to do, but be sure to focus on it!

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Summoner Spells

Smite is a must for a jungler! You can jungle without, but when taking Dragon or Baron, it is priceless to get the kill. Dont ever jungle without it.

For the second spell you need an escape ability. Ghost or flash. You already have a build in ghost with W, and if you follow this guide, Shurelya's Reverie will do the same trick. As for flash, it can be used to get past walls, wether it may be for an escape or ganking. In other words, flash will be all you need.

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Creeping / Jungling

You can start anywhere as nunu, although red buff is to be avoided. My preferred jungleroute is this:

Have your teammates help protect the blue buff.

At 1:40 the wolfs spawn. Hit the big one 3 times, then Q it for the kill. Run away to Blue buff. Alternative is running into their jungle to steal the big wraith, but be very carefull with this. You need to CV the place before this is an option. Be sure to hit it 1 time, for the big Wraith will NOT die from your Q only after the nerf.

At 1:55 the golem spawns. The more help you get from your teammates here, the better. Best Senario: A team mate pulls for you, and others help dealing damage. Teammates run away, and when they have run a good part away, finish it with Q and Smite. You dont want to share the XP. Be sure to use q after you have taken as much damage as it heals, or if you can finish it off. Worst senario: noone helps pull, and you are left alone with it. Attack it first, and when you have taken as much damage as your Q heals, use it. After next time you are hit, pop your potion. Be sure to time your Smite, to make it the last hit onto the golem. If it is a worst case senario, dont go into the enemy jungle, as written below, but keep jungling in your own side. No need to risk first blood.

Go gank with snowball. Dont wait too long (about 10 secs.). If the opening doesn't show, run in and throw out some damage - this will give your laning teammate an advantage, and yes, this is also ganking, and its not failed. You should be carefull not to take too much damage. You need the health later.

Run to the enemy red buff, and put your ward down. Be sure to put it inside the bush but still able to spot the golem. In case you have a smart enemy, that will pull the lizard inside it. Yes, you intend to steal it!

Go look for another gank on one of the lanes near the enemy red buff, same tactic as before or take the two small golems (be carefull that the enemy minions running to the lane dont spot you!). You smite should be up. Keep a close eye on the red buff, and when the enemy jungler shows up, run towards it, ping it, if any ally should want to help. He will most likely have smite up, which means to steal the buff, you should run in, Q and smite it within an instant, to steal the red buff, and start killing the enemy jungler. A WW with 350 HP is killable alone. Be sure to watch the lanes, for misses. this can easely lead to your own death. Best senario: a free red buff, and FB. Worst senario: You die. Be sure to get out safely. Enemy laners might attempt to catch you.

Continue jungling and Ganking. and be sure to pick up another ward before blue golem spawns again. Yes, you are going to try and steal that too. Place it in the bush, but in such a way that you can still see the golems HP.

Further details (who is easy to gank, who is hard to gank, when to counter jungle and so on) is to be learned through experience, but this is a good guideline to get an early advantage.

A somewhat missed point about ganking: If you dont get a kill, NP! the harras, and the focus you are taking away from the creepfarming, and the damage you are dealing are giving your laning buddy an advantage, which can be the difference between a lost and won game in the extreeme. If your laners suck, well... it wasn't you screwing it up, if you did YOUR JOB proper. If they use flash, NP, now they are dead next time you pop by.

You are very mobile. Use it to your advantage to take over lanes, when allied champions recall. Protect towers, instead of finishing off a half dead blue buff golem. Protect the towers! Why? Because you are the best suited for it, and the more towers you have up, the more map control you have.

Further more i would recommend you to take a look at this guide. It explains several jungle routes, and other general ideas and tips about jungling.

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Unique Skills

All these abilities can be read if you mouseover them in the Ability Sequence chapter in the top.

Your Q is almost like an extra smite, although this on heals you. This is what makes Nunu such a great counterjungler. You keep high HP and you finish off creeps quick. This scales 1:1 with Abilitypower

Your W is a great tool to work with. AD carries benefit most from it, so be sure to target your AD carry in fights. Siturations may wary, so maybe one like Alistar will be better to W if you are hunting people. [Shift] + W + mouseover OR W + [F1] if the AD carry is on the top of your ally list on the left side on the screen. [Alt] + W casts it on yourself. Be sure to keep it up constantly on yourself when jungling. This will speed up your jungling.

Your E are a slow that makes damage. It is your primary ganking tool, and a very fast way to jungle. It has a low cooldown and scales 1:1 with abilitypower. Although, it is very expensive in mana, try to go around this by timing it with your passive.

You R is pure damage with slow! It scales 1:2.5 with AP, and deals damage to everyone in an marked area around you. It has a channeling time of 3 seconds, in which almost any CC will stop your channelling. The longer you channel, the more damage you will make. Try to start the ult after the enemy team have burned their CC's. Have in mind that its relatively easy to flash out of.
This ulti have several uses. In teamfights, try and catch as many of the opposing team in it, flash if you have to, because your positioning will be crucial for how much damage you make!
From time to time you will find a very big minionwave, and no allies near. You will be tempted to use your ult to take them down fast. Yes you can do that, but your enemies will have a great advantage in teamfights in the next minute or two, should they choose to fight. Think again, several times, before you choose to use your ult on a minionwave.
When using it in a gank, try and position yourself between the enemy champion and where the is running towards, which is most likely the safety of his tower.

The next thing is what i love most about Nunu. When you are in a bush, and activate your ulti, the enemy have so have eyes inside the bush (minions, towers, wards and CV over the bushes will do the trick) to see your ult. This means they could be standing in your ult without knowing anything else, than: "Hmm, i seem to be runnig slower near this bush. I woBOOM!....*You have been slain*....WTF!?" Apart from that, it is a bit harder to land a CC on you, while you are channeling.
Keep this in mind when you are looking to fire off your ult!

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Nunu, The Yeti Rider, is a powerfull jungler, no doubt, but he cannot carry or win a game for your team. Although, he can feed his teammates enough for them to do it.

Good luck and have fun!

May the Nunu Bot be with you!