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Nunu Build Guide by Melarith

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Melarith

Nunu: Let's make tracks! (Extensive Counter-Jungle Guide)

Melarith Last updated on June 27, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 1

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 8

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello and welcome to my first guide, starring the one and only furry, moonwalking, counter-jungling Yeti-riding Nunu (Because Nunu is the boy. Willump is the Yeti)
Nunu is an obscenely strong jungler with some of the scariest ganks, and a devastating early-game, on par with both Olaf and Rammus, though he has incredibly lackluster damage once late-game hits - so how do we make up for this? Make it a 4v5 by messing up the enemy jungler, of course.

In this guide I will cover both basic and in-depth information about how to easily ruin their jungler's life.

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CC = Crowd Control, essentially something that affects your character's mobility, like a stun, a slow, or Anivia's wall.
AD = Attack damage, champions that deal consistent, high damage through their auto-attacks (in most cases)
AP = Ability Power, champions stacking this deals high burst damage with powerful nukes. These champions are not a very big threat to Nunu because of their bursty nature; as long as you survive their burst, you can Consume up back to full.
CDR = Cooldown Reduction, reduces the time it takes for your spells to recharge.
HoG = Heart of Gold
Leash = Letting your mid, or solo top, deal the first blow to a monster, allowing you to beat it while it chases that person, saving you a lot of health and time.

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I run with a 1/8/21, simply because the Utility tree is so strong for junglers if they are allowed to run it, giving increased buff duration, shorter cooldowns, and movement speed.
My leftover points are mainly invested in the Defensive tree for additional survivability and what have you (Strengh of Spirit is broken), with one point in Smite for the extra cooldown and gold increase.

I would not recommend going down into Archaic Knowledge, simply because your damage late game is absolute ****, and there's really no way to fix that unless you go AP, but that isn't what this guide is about - because AP Nunu's die. Fast.
You might argue that it increases your damage on your Ice Blast a bit early-game, and yes, yes it does noticably increase your damage early-game, but personally, I'd prefer that extra survivability because failing a gank with Nunu is difficult, and I don't often find myself thinking "Oh, gosh, if I only had that 15% extra MPen", but if you really want to, feel free.

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Greater Mark of Alacrity & DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation
I choose AS marks because they speed up my jungling by a lot, and that one ArP mark coupled with the ArP quints will give you 12 armor pen - just enough to pierce the armor of the creep camps, and give you a considerable damage boost against the buffs.

Some might argue that it's better to have MPen marks, but I say nay. What do you think is going to deal the most damage? A Blood Boiled Nunu hitting for true damage, or the occasional Ice Blast?

Greater Seal of Resilience
The flat armor runes, coupled with the Defensive mastery will give you +19 armor at level one, which is very strong, and drastically increase your survivability in the jungle, and considering how we're going to spend most of our time in their jungle, survivability is very important.
Greater Glyph of Alacrity & Focus
This is where you have a lot of options, I personally have AS glyphs as well to push my jungling speed even harder, but I'm guessing not everyone's that hardcore, so Glyphs are really up to personal preference, I'd suggest CDR glyphs, as they are useful throughout the entire game.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation
ArP quints, coupled with one ArP mark will allow you to deal true damage to most jungle camps - that's great, especially with the AS boost we have with our Blood Boil and Greater Mark of Attack Speeds.

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Summoner Spells

Nunu can jungle without Smite, but it severely affects his speed, and makes counter-jungling impossible. Get this.

You already have one of the highest movement speeds in the game, and one of the best slows. If you're not able to outrun/chase someone with that, it's unlikely Ghost will help, which is why I get Flash instead. It allows you to Flash/Ult for an easy AOE slow, and it's the perfect gtfo button, allowing you to Flash through walls (Flash through the baron cage, anyone?)

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Skill Sequence

Q > W > E > Q > E > R > E > E > E > Q > R > Q > Q > W > W > R > W > W

The skill sequence up to level 4 is set in stone, as it will benefit you the most regardless of what situation you're in, aside from that, your skill sequence is incredibly versatile. I usually max Ice Blast first because of the extra ganking power it gives - but if your lanes are stuffed with BS champions like Katarina, Corki, or Tristana, or if your lanes are pushing a bit too hard for their own good, just level Consume to get unrivaled dragon control, and start maxing Blood Boil once teamfights start breaking out.

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Item Explanation

Sight Ward
Boots of Speed
Nunu is blessed in that he can start with any item he pleases in the jungle (unlike Mundo), and so I have opted for boots, one health pot, and a ward. I'll go more into detail in the Counter-Jungling section, but essentially, the boots give us the mobility to get into his jungle, steal two camps, and gtfo before he comes, and the ward allows us to keep track of his movement in the jungle, and can easily counter him from there, while the health potion is fairly self-explanatory, if you're solo-queing and don't have anyone to leash the golem for you, you can use it there, if not, you can just save it and use it should you encounter the enemy jungler.

Philosopher's Stone
Heart of Gold 'n Philospher's Stone

Yeah, you know how it goes, lock in with Nunu, jungle some, firstblood their jungler, and rush Banshee's Veil. Hardcore.
I don't do that in most of my games, though, instead, I capitalize on my early-game by getting two GP10 items, this isn't really necessary, but I suggest you try it before you discard it completely, Mainly because GP10 is freaking overpowered and should be removed from the game, but while it isn't, lets make use of it, yes?

Hextech Revolver & WotA
I recently saw this at the S1 Championship, sported mainly by Saintvicious, but also by many other of the Nunu players there. And let me tell you, it is awesome. An early Hextech will give you a heal that pops you right on back to full HP after two uses or so. That's huge! It is, however, not upgraded until much later.

Banshee's Veil
This item is easily justified since it allows you to slow them longer with Absolute Zero, and if you're really lucky, get it off and absolutely devastate the enemy team (with a huge emphasis on the lucky part)

Spirit Visage
An often over-looked item, this cheap item provides you with a healthy dose of CDR, magic resistance, and it makes your Consume so much better! What's not to love? Always get this if their team has a lot of casters.

Abyssal Scepter
So, we've already established that Nunu's damage is piss late-game, right? Well, this thing gives him some more oomph, survivability, and helps his entire team! Get this if your, or their, team is filled with casters.

Frozen Heart
This item gives you incredible CDR, massive amounts of armor, a large chunk of mana, and debuffs your enemies even more! This AOE AS slow coupled with your Ice Blast will make champions like Kog'Maw weep.

Randuin's Omen
Yaay! We get to use one of our HoGs, sweet! This item debuffs your enemies even further, along with some sweet health and some nice regen.

In addition, you will have to choose between;

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Easily one of the best boots out there, especially for Nunu, since this allows him to permaslow anyone to a halt. I pick these over the Mercury's Treads most of the time since you're more concerned about never actually getting stunned, rather than how long it is.

Mercury's Treads
If their team has a lot of Sions and Tarics, you should come back crying to these boots, they'll make your life a lot easier if the enemy team has a lot of CC, or Galio.

Sight Ward
Sight Ward
This item here might be the single most important (or imbalanced) item in the entire game. Once late-game hits, you should ALWAYS carry five wards. You want 90% map vision at all times! It takes 4 wards to gain complete vision of one side of the map, so you will only really have the opportunity to cover one - whether that is the enemy side, or yours, is up to you. If you are on the defensive, warding your jungle would be a good idea, but if you are pushing them back into their base, there's nothing wrong with warding up their jungle instead.

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This is where it gets funky, because Nunu is so apt at destroying enemy junglers. There are a few routes you should be aware of that junglers usually take.

Blue Buff (Classic)

Blue Buff - Wolf Camp - Wraith - Double Golem - Red Buff
or, in case of strong junglers,
Blue Buff - Wolf Camp - Wraith - Red Buff - Double Golem
YOUR Wolf Camp -- HIS Wraiths -- HIS Double Golems -- YOUR Wraiths -- YOUR Blue Buff - Gankgankgankgank.

This route is relatively easy to counter-jungle, and was initially used to great success by TheOddOne during tournament play. - most junglers will finish their bluebuff by the time you finish yours (unless it's like, Olaf - because he's crazy fast at everything), so what you want to do is to wait for your wolves to spawn, and kill them.

Now use your superior mobility with boots/Blood Boil to get into his Wraith camp. Consume the big one, killing it instantly. Auto-attack all but one of the Wraiths to death, and then hurry over to his double-golem. Beat one a couple of times and then Consume. Leave the other one.
Congratulations, their jungler cannot reach level 4 on their first jungle route.

But we're not done yet. Plant your Sight Ward in the bush by his red buff, and go Consume that your own Wraith and start clearing your own camps. At this point of time, all you want to do is passively guard the entrances to your bottom jungle, and gank/apply pressure to lanes. If he decides to do the red buff, run over there and bushcamp him if he's too stupid to pull the camp into the brush. When it's at 800HP, run in and Consume/ Smite it. Hooray, you got his red buff. Now kill him.
And if you have no bush to camp in, then just wait below the camp (kind of hard to explain, but the camp has two bushes around it, wait in the one he isn't in), and go kill him *after* he finishes the red buff. You will easily be able to 1v1 anyone with your super-strong early-game if you catch them with their pants down.

If there aren't any gankable lanes, bluepill, and pick up some Sight Wards.
You want to use them to ward the entrances to your jungle, that way you can effectively deny him of any attempt to invade your jungle. Keep on stealing his camps whenever possible, and make sure no one's missing. Nunu is extremely hard to catch in the jungle because of his movement speed steroid, coupled with the fact that he starts with boots. And if someone would catch up to him by some miracle, he can just slow them to a crawl using his Ice Blast


Double Golem - Wraith Camp - Wolves - Blue Buff - Recall (in most cases) - Red Buff
I call this the Ninja route, 'cause it sounds awesome, and it requires the jungler to be able to conserve mana - or be a flipping ninja.
As the enemy jungler starts at double-golems, you'll know that you will not be able to deny him of XP as effectively, which is why this route is so annoying at times. Pick up your items, and run over to their Blue Buff and plant your ward, while you're at it, eat his wolves. Just continue with your jungling as usual - until the enemy jungler appears on the minimap by his bluebuff camp. Run over and Consume/ Smite steal it once it's at 900HP and beat their jungler to death if possible. Just run away if your mid does not have dominance in the lane, or you'll be intercepted and it'll turn into a 1v2. Or a 1v4 if **** goes bad. Being able to deny someone of their blue buff is huge in most cases. An Udyr being forced into Turtle Stance Jungling can't snowball (at least not as effectively. I don't play Udyr anymore, so iunno) and is so slow that it's incredibly easy to just run in and steal whatever creep camp he's not at ( Sight Ward) Continue your relentless harassment while still guarding your own jungle - gank whenever possible, no one escapes Nunu's ganks if they're overextended.

Wraith Camp (Sustained)

Wraith - Wolf Camp - Double Golem - Bluepill Blue - Wolf - Wraith - Double Golem - Red
This is a less common route, and is almost exclusively used by the lower tier (2, 3 etc) junglers if they are denied of their starting Blue, or plan on rushing for level 6. Like Amumu, or Gragas.
You will initially have troubles determining whether they start at Wraith and follow this route, or if they will take the Double-Golem route, but typically your support (who should always carry Clairvoyance) will be able to help you get some information about the enemy jungler.
So, you know that he's going for the sustained Wraith-route, now you should ask yourself: How the F*** do I kill him? Well, luckily, I've done some thinking for you, and I've come up with an okay way to mess up their early game.

Start off with your Boots of Speed, Sight Ward, and the ever-trusty Health Potion when the game starts, and run over to kill wolves.
Once the wolves dead, you're going to continue your killing spree by running into your enemy's jungle and try to get to HIS golems. Keep in mind that your nemesis might still chill around his wraith camp, so take the other route by the bot lane for increased stealth-mode. Once you've made it to his golems, kill both of them. Yes, both, we don't want to prevent a gank, since he's going for a sustained route - we're trying to delay his level 6 as much as possible, and we do that most effectively by forcing him to wait for respawns.

Once you're done with that, go up to his red, eat one of those tiny little gremlin-things and get out of there. Now you should run up to your Wraith camp (WITHOUT BEING SPOTTED BY THE GUYS AT MID) - eat the big Wraith, and then run down to his Blue, and plant your ward there, and keep jungling. Finish your Wolf camp first of all, then the double-golems, and then the Wraiths. (This is very important against good opponents, because he might try to go into your jungle, and the Wraith camp (yeah, the one who's missing the big Wraith) will give him the least amount of experience.)

At some point during all this, you should see their jungler going in for the blue. (Mmmm. Blue buff) thanks to your imbalanced Sight Ward. If your opponent has a head made out of hay, he'll be stupid enough to not leash it into the bush, so you can just kind of chill out in it and wait for the buff to drop to around 900 Health, for an easy Consume/ Smite kill. Now it's time for the grand escape. If you notice that the top lane is already missing, engage panic mode and flash through the wall towards mid lane and run back to the safety of your side of the map, but if he's still casually farming, just run down past baron and continue your jungling as you normally would.

It is important to note that this process sacrifices a bit of your ganking power (no red buff, and you have to be ready to be at his blue any moment), but if you're against someone like Amumu, denying his ult for a minute might make or break your early-to-mid game more than a gank would. Use your own Judgment.

This page is regularly updated as I discover more effective, or alternative routes to piss off their jungler.

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(SWEET, I had to remake all this because Riot nerfed Consume -.-)

Nunu got hit HARD recently, and will have issues starting at his blue. Because of this, it is advisable not to engage it until you have a level 2 Consume. Your standard route is
Wolves --> Wraiths (Smite) --> Double Golems --> Blue Buff --> Gank until you go insane --> Bluepill --> Only jungle to keep on with levels and grab your own buffs - gankgankgankgank.

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Once lategame and teamfights arrive, Nunu will turn into a buff and CC bot. He will constantly boost his carries attack speed by massive amounts thanks to his Blood Boil, and slow the enemy carry to a crawl.

In most teamfights, you will want to peel for your carry - that is to say, stay close to the carry throughout the entire teamfight and do your best to protect him/her/it from anti-carries with your Ice Blast - don't be afraid to use Absolute Zero if you think it might save your carry! A living carry will deal a lot more damage than half your ulti, not to mention that the slow, and potential of dying to the incredible burst your Absolute Zero has, should scare their offtank/anti-carry off quite a bit as well.

With your item setup, you will also provide your team with helpful auras through your Abyssal Mask, Frozen Heart, and Randuin's Omen

However, if your team already has a dedicated carry babysitter ( Janna, Zilean), you can run around in the fight as you please and slow key targets (preferably their carry), and try to get your Absolute Zero off right in their faces.

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This ability is what makes Nunu one of the best junglers in the game, and establishes him as the god of counter-jungling and buff control., this thing does more damage than smite, has shorter cooldown, and heals you! Yaay! I get a couple of levels in this skill early simply because the level 2 skill is vastly superior to the first rank, after that, the increase is mediocre.

Perhaps one of the best steroids in the entire game, as its cooldown is shorter than its duration, meaning that you can give your AD carry a PERMANENT AS boost of a whooping 65%! That's huge!

Nunu loves this skill - others hate it. This skill slows your target to a crawl, and reduces their attack speed by 25%. The AS debuff does not scale with level.
Once maxed, this thing slows your target by 60%, and it's cooldown is shorter than the duration, meaning you can perma-slow someone with this thing. Try to have this debuff on their carry as that 25% AS debuff hurts their DPS, but if you see Mundo charging towards your Ashe, then you Ice Blast that motherf***er.

Absolute Zero. This is what gets you pentakills in normal games, and slows the entire enemy team to a crawl in ranked.
This skill is great, because it completely messes up their team. They are forced to burn two stuns on you, just to interrupt that ultimate, and in most cases, their team will panic and everyone will blow their CC on you, letting your team just clean up the mess.

And if they don't stun you, well, gg for them, and enjoy your pentakill.

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I didn't include this anywhere in my build order, but once you finish your two Heart of Golds (or Banshee's Veil - your pick), you should get an Oracle's Elixir ASAP, since any competent jungler will ward their jungle after you've stolen half of it at level 3. Just go and pop the ward at dragon and whatever's in his jungle if you ever get a chance, trust me, this item will repay itself so quickly that it's not even funny.

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Final Comments

Thanks a bunch for reading this stuff through, thanks a bunch to Searz' informative and awesome-looking guide template, and lastly, thanks to TOO for (more or less) inventing counter-jungle Nunu.

In closing comments, I would like to point out that this guide will not give you omgwtf scores. It will not give you 20 kills every game.
You'll get 20 assists - and your carry will get those 20 kills instead. And he won't die, because of your permaslow and speed steroid, allowing you to easily save him from almost all anti-carries ( Poppy and Irelia sold separately), while also boosting his damage with your 65% AS Steroid.

Nunu is a teamplayer, so think team.

Additionally, below you will find the dreaded 3v3 section, with all kinds of info regarding how to properly Nunu it up on the TT. :D

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3v3 SECTION: Welcome to the Twisted Treeline! (W.I.P)

In order to effectively jungle in 3v3 matchups, you will have to know how the map in general works.

Twisted Treeline map features faster paced 3v3 action due to its two lanes/ two forests layout. One lane is curvy, and the other is straight. The map also features several neutral monster camps, and plenty of opportunities for team fights due to the two large forests located on the map. The top forest is accessible only from the top lane, has high reward monsters, and is structured to increase random forest encounters. The lower forest narrows in the middle, allowing for increased ganking opportunities.

The Twisted Treeline is a very small map, and because of this, the game sessions are generally shorter. Let us ask ourselves, what does this mean?
Well, for one, it means that Nunu will shine throughout most of the game, because of how strong he is early to mid game.
Additionally, it also means that mobile champions (like Nunu) will be even more mobile, because of how short the distances are.

Now, because of this meta, most players will opt for a setup containing mostly offtanks, because of how well they excel in the 3v3 environment - a prime example is Mundo, or Renekton - both have crazy good early/mid games, high survivability, and a great deal of mobility.

This is one of the many reasons why Nunu is so great in 3v3s - your slow will completely destroy melee offtanks, and remove the enemy team's mobility by a lot, and with your item independency, you can sink most of your money into wards and provide unrivaled buff and objective control for your team.

Now, let's get going with the jungling, shall we?