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Nasus Build Guide by AdamSS

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League of Legends Build Guide Author AdamSS

Only way to play Nasus

AdamSS Last updated on June 23, 2014
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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: 4

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 23


Utility: 3

Threats to Nasus with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Dr. Mundo Free farming lane just dodge Q's don't even bother to fight just farm all day long.
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Hi im SexP3ke from the Oceanic server (platinum) and I have made this Guide because Nasus is one of my favorite champions in the entire game. I just love him. He was the first champion I had ever bought, so initially I played him as a carry with carry items. Obviously as time went by I came to realise that he doesnt have the qualities to be a carry, to the likes of Master Yi or Tryndamere. He is easily kited and cannot deal damage until he physically approaches an enemy which means he needs durability for him to deal the damage as well as farming his Siphoning Strike, or else by the time you attack someone you will be 'SLAIN'.

This is what this build aims for 80 percent tank with trinity force as your only means of damage output from items or Last Whisper.

Now Nasus is the king of 1v1, no one can deny that. His ult can rise his damage higher than any champion and his wither can shut any AD champ trying to 1v1 with him. But you really wont get many chances having a 1v1 fight with the enemy team champions unless they aren't team orientated. He has some issues in top lane in regards to farming his Q ability, but we will talk about these and how to resolve the problems.

[NOTE: Item order could vary, for eg: if your up against an AP champ rush Spirit Visage ]

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Nasus's Objective

Many play Nasus wrong. A lot of people do. They buy warmogs or rush trinity or farm little or just play him completely wrong.

I will list his objectives on how to play him properly.

[*] Level your Siphoning Strike as quick as possible, so you farm quicker (lower CD)
[*] Do not level your Spirit Fire in lane, burns way to much mana, or level it only once
[*] Rush CDR items.
[*] Play passive but do not be afraid to trade to keep the enemy at bay
[*] Always bait with ultimate and wither
[*] Only play him against a handful of champions
[*] Aim for 100 bonus damage by 8-20 minutes
[*] Split Pushing is your main objective along with disregarding the enemy ADC.
[*] Ward baron and dragon at all times so you can Teleport if necessary
[*] When given the chance ward deep within the enemy jungle so when you see the opportunity, Teleport there and push down the enemy turrets

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+ ******ED SUSTAIN



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The two greatest dueling 1v1 champs go ahead. (guess whos the victor :P)

1v1 master.

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Just a few games.


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Who is Nasus? What can he do? (for new players)

Okay Nasus by characteristic is a 'pusher', 'fighter', 'off-tank/tanky ' and 'bruiser'. The best way to put it is he is a complete tank with one late game AD item.

Now what does this all mean? You might be thinking.
PUSHER: A champ that 'pushes' lane and towers down fast, simple as that.

OFF-TANK/TANKY: By definition there are no such things as 'off-tank' champions, this simply means that a champion that is pretty tuff or has tank-like qualities and via items can lean towards the tank side, thus the term 'off-tank'.

FIGHTER: I can't really explain this, so I'll just say, observe champions such as Olaf or Riven, because that it what it is.

FULL-TANK: the body guard, the sack of meat, the boxing bag, the ultimate guard for your team. You are a TANK simple. For example: Rammus


Okay, this is what keeps you alive in lane, the passive lifesteal let's you disregard a lot of damage so you can keep farming and eases the harass you will get in lane, since you are very bad early game. It grants you a total of 20% lifesteal! in phases of 14/17/20. Along with Lifesteal Quints, you still start off with 20 percent lifesteal!

The core reason why Nasus exists. This ability has the potential of 'infinite damage'. At level 5 it has the base damage of 110 with the addition of your entire damage AND the number count of how much you farmed with it. Each minion last hit with this ability adds 3 permanent damage to this ability. Thus why this ability is maxed as fast as possible, so its CD goes lower (faster farming) and thus why his early game items are all CDR (cooldown reduction). [Note: killing big creeps or jungle creeps/champions will double its raise in damage (6)]

By far the best 'slow' CC (crowd control) ability in the game. It is what makes Nasus what I call 'anti-carry' he completely shuts down any DPS in the game. At level 5 this can slow an enemy up to 95% of their movement speed and half of that towards their attack speed for an entire 5 second duration! On top of that this with max CDR it has a gap interval of only 2 seconds! So this ability alone can render the ADC completely useless as well as making getaways impossible.

This ability is an AoE (area of effect) ability where a portal of some sort lays on the ground draining life of minions or damaging enemy champions as well as lowering their armor at a maximum of 40. Now do not level this up in laning phase, for heaps of reasons why? Because it drains your mana a LOT, i mean A LOT. It rapes your mana pool. Keep away. Overall it is a pretty good ability. I suggest when your in mid-late game you drop it on someone and Q them within the portal to deal massive amounts of damage. This with the addition of your armor penetration from runes your damage from your Q will be enormous.

'R' Fury of the Sands: What can i say about this ult? When levelled to 16, this ult grants you 600 extra health. it gives you an aura around yourself that sucks or drains anything with health around it converting it to extra damage. In team fights pop this ult once the team fight starts, stand in the middle of everything and gain massive amounts of AD. It lasts 15 seconds long so do not waste it and walk around without even fighting, or just using half its time. In addition to all this you can bait greatly in laning phase. If you have low health and they are going to tower dive simple ult, wither, Q and watch them die.
[Note: Nasus in his ultimate form is basically unbeatable in 1v1, it grants him everything he could need to beat any AD champion, does max percentage magical damage, grants him a ******ed amount of bonus AD, increases his cast range on his abilities as well as granting him an extra 600 health]

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greater mark of armor penetration great mark of armor penetration: Armour penetration runes. Gives 8 armor penetration. The best choice. Makes your Q hit harder. You don't need AD runes because your going to last hit with your Q and Nasus does not need AD, all your damage comes from your Siphoning Strike.
[Note: I put 3 marks in AD, so I can start off with 60 AD at level 1, a nice rounded number, also making it easier to last hit]

Greater Seal of Armor: Flat armor runes. Simple. You do not swap these runes for anything else. In any circumstance. Nasus is a really weak early game champion he will get a ton of harassment, these are a must.

For Glyphs I now start off with 5 precent flat CDR and scaling magic resist.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: An extra 6 percent lifesteal. Needed for lane sustain and letting you farm. I am not exagerating when I say Nasus becomes broken with sustain when he has these quints on. Your opponent will lose their hair trying to gut you down only to see you heal up everything. Plus lets you duel very well and Hyfe uses it as well ^^

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1. As I wrote above and below depending on the champs your up against, you pretty much have to change your starting items. If they are auto attack reliant like, Tryndamere, Fiora, Jax, start off with Doran's Shield, and remember if you think you have low sustain due to only having one health pot, you have your passive and Teleport to back you up.

2. If their an AD caster, like Riven and Garen start off cloth armor + 5 pots, to be durable and have massive sustain, enough to return with a Chain Vest etc.

3. Against most AP champions like Rumble, Singed or cho' gath. Why boots and pots? Because pots are always nice for one :D. Secondly if you have not noticed for all three of those champs you will need movement speed. For once to dodge Cho'Gath's abilities like rupture. To outrun Singed, so if he Fling's you into his poisen, you can quickly run out without him lapping you dealing tons of damage on you. As for Rumble, I like dodging his E, early game as well as running out of his flame spitter.


I posted 4 items in total above, but it does not mean you get all of them, you select.

There is no order in these itemization, it just must be included, because nothing more can help out Nasus than these items.

1. The best magic resist item in game Spirit Visage, it gives you 10 percent CDR. Which helps you farm your Q. It gives massive magic resist, it gives A LOT of health along with the best thing, it gives better healing effects. It increases your lifesteal above 30 bloody PRECENT!

2. Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet. Choose Frozen Heart if they have lets say a Jax, Tryndamere or Vayne in the enemy team. Get Iceborn Gauntlet, for the early game extra damage on your Q if your up against a champion like Renekton. They both give armor and CDR. One gives more damage, whilst the other (frozen heart), gives more utility, like its attack speed slow designed to counter specific champions, whilst giving more armor and CDR. Sometimes even get both? But never EVER, get Iceborn Gauntlet then Trinity Force, because this does not make sense and is a waste of money in buying double Sheen! So If your going to buy Frozen Heart, and need that Sheen regardless of anything, you have two options, either get the Iceborn Gauntlet, or Trinity Force depending on how well your doing in terms of money, if you need to lean towards the bruiser side etc.

If you do not buy Frozen Heart at all, I suggest you buy Iceborn Gauntlet and Randuin's Omen. Because if you choose Trinity Force over Iceborn Gauntlet you will lack the 40 percent CDR Nasus needs and you will be extra squishy.


Randuin's Omen: This along with Frozen Heart and your Wither, is actually a joke, the enemy has no ADC. although if you buy this item you will be lacking somewhat in the magic resist department. So only buy so if they are heavily AD, like a Vayne and Zed enemy mid laner comp.

Locket of the Iron Solari: If the support does not get this item, get it, it is amazing, gives mixed durability as well as a shield which helps so much in team fights.

Last Whisper: late game when you have 5 items completed, usually an item like Guardian Angel, comes into mind, making you indestructible. However the best item you can go for is Last Whisper, this is to make sure your Q hits like a truck. you will notice for example, if the enemy mage buys Zhonya's Hourglass, your Q will be doing minimal damage, instead of doing 700 it will be doing like 380 which is unacceptable. This item assures your damage output to stay strong and not let simple low amounts of armor like 140, counter half its damage.

Thornmail: I personally think its a horrible item by design, but SOMETIMES, just SOMETIMES, that moment comes when it just seems so good. It has the highest base armor, it basically negates all the lifesteal the enemy ADC has, so what is so bad about it? And when is it good? Firstly its bad because it brings nothing to the team, why would I buy that when I can get Randuin's Omen? Which gives me the ability to slow down the attack speed of the adc. So basically it brings nothing to the team to screw up the enemy ADC. So why is it good sometimes? Well believe it or not in Silver rank, sometimes the enemy ADC is ******ed, they either don't know what their doing so they attack the front line AKA you the tank, or you pressure and zone them out so much that they need to kill you. And basically they end up duelling you, I know its funny but it happens. And believe it or not a Draven or Vayne has the ability to actually kite and duel you, so when you see that the most damage that is killing you comes from the ADC, Thornmail in this case is a great item, since it makes them think twice about hitting you, also if you do get the chance do duel the enemy adc and lets say support, you get the ability to sustain through the fight and making them kill themselves basically by hitting you.
{note: life steal and magic resist negate Thornmail damage}

Ravenous Hydra: If you buy this, if you actually buy this weapon, im pretty sure you will lose the game. It is useless, you don't need AD, you don't need more life steal than 30 precent, the passive doesn't proc off your Q and on top of all this it costs fregging 3000 bucks. Making you so behind in tank items, not only will you not be able to put damage down via this item, you will die before you get to the ADC.

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I run mostly defensive masteries since Nasus is a tanky bruiser, the only offensive stats you need is the CDR.


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Skill Sequence

Okay so Nasus Siphoning Strike is his 'bread n butter'. So I level this and his Wither before anything. You need to lower the CD of your Siphoning Strike as quickly as possible and farm as quick as you can. I level Spirit Fire last because I personally do not use it ever, even for farming. It wastes too much mana and is not needed for me. However for you it is your option. But believe me when I say I doubt there is a person that's played Nasus in-depth as I have, so when I say you don't really need Spirit Fire, you don't really need Spirit Fire. It's use is in mid-late game where you can drop it on a target and Q inside for maximum damage. Lastly level your ult as soon as possible, 6/11/16.

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

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Summoner Spells

The two spells I have chosen are Ghost and Teleport. There are many reasons why I have chosen this. Ghost is used to chasing down your enemies since most carry's will have faster foot speed than you. Or it could be used to get away, since it will take a while to kill you since you are very durable. In addition to this you are really kitable thus Ghost. Flash does not help solve kiting issues.

The Teleport spell is basically a must. Why? Because for so many reasons:
1. It lets you get back into lane to continue farming If you have been harassed early game greatly.
2. Short trips back and forth
3. Allows you to gank other lanes very well, or co-ordinate fights tricking the enemy that they have outnumbered you
4. Late game it allows you to take turrets with ease, place wards in their jungle, teleport to it and start splitpushing, or better yet splitpush and teleport to team fights when they occur. Also it allows you to stop dragon taking and Baron.

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Nasus Against Opposing Champions

Fiora: Start off Doran's Shield. It Is basically impossible for her to beat you in lane, your Wither and starting item along with your masteries negate almost all her damage early game, and when you return to lane with a chain vest, you can basically out trade and kill her if you don't want to strictly farm.

cho' gath Cho'Gath: Both of you have massive sustain, both of you farm, He cannot push you out of lane nor can you. You end up winning in the end. Rush a Spirit Visage not Frozen Heart.

Dr. Mundo: start off boots, He doesn't deal enough damage to take you down. Not enough harassment, stay behind minion and farm up, rush Spirit Visage.

Irelia: Hard lane but doable sometimes. start off with a Doran's Shield and rush Glacial Shroud. Get ninja tabi boots as well. To survive against her, it is pretty simple, the second she activates her true damage ability, back off and do not attempt to trade with her, as long as you stay away from her auto attacks when her true damage ability is active, she cannot hurt you enough, and once you have some armor you can negate her VERY easily.

Malphite: You can heal his pokes, he has nothing on you, he can't counter an anti-carry who isn't item or auto attacking dependant. just farm easy lane.

Master Yi: LOL possible the only champ where you can actually just kill right from the start.

Shen: He is tank not much of a damage dealer you can farm. However he has great duelling capabilities, sustain and some pretty dam good damage early game when you don't have enough magic resist. Watch out for his early game passive and Q harassment. IT may catch you off guard. Other than that, both of you build full tank in the end you split push better than him, deal more damage and cancel the enemy adc, whilst he can only protect his.

Rumble: ******ed amount of harassment, has huge poke and can spam till infinity and beyond. This is one of the harder match ups, I see too many Nasus players miss out on EXP and farm from being scared of Rumble. You are expected to be behind in farm, since he harasses you so much. But remember Rumble Naturally pushes the lane much more than a Nasus could ever push. Take advantage of this, farm close to your turret, the second you have 150 farm underneath your Q you will be able to sustain ALL his harass and actually outduel him easily. Rush a Spirit Visage. Which will take very long, since its costly, so play it safe early game, sustain through pots and use your teleport if necessary. Call for ganks if its a must just so you can level up and farm a little better.

Poppy: The match up is in your favour since she has huge mana costs and a very weak early game, she can't farm at all early game. Remember she deals magic damage primarily, due to her Q procing with sheen. So in terms of armour, only get ninja tabi boots and rush some magic resist, once you do, she is literally useless since she does not buy magic penetration. Remember she is only strong because people buy armor against her, and not magic resist, which is where her early-mid game power comes from. And since a Void Staff does not fit in her build, you negate A LOT of her damage.

Nidalee: She is a pain in the ***, she can poke you a lot early game with her auto attacks, so I suggest you play it smart and not eat up to much harassment, stay in brush dodge her Spears and call for help or for the jungler to baby sit you a bit. Once you hit around level 6 and haven't given her too many kills or none at all, with some magic resist and some Q farm underneath your belt, she becomes somewhat useless in harassing you.

Singed: Get merc treads, Spirit Visage, you outheal his poisen very easily. Very easy to farm. Remember he counters the type of champions like Jax, Tryndamere etc. Because they build damage output and since singed naturally deals damage he can afford to build tanky and out trade them early game. But It doesn't work against Nasus, since you have enormous sustain, build tankier than him and actually can deal damage regardless of items.

Shyvana: Her Q hurts, stay away from it. Shyvana stops being a problem very early on, starting off with a Doran's Shield and building ninja tabi straight out, just decimates her. Where people still lose to her is because they forget just like poppy one of her abilities deal HEAVY magic damage. You have two ways to negate her, one build some magic resist right after ninja tabi, since magic penetration doesn't fit into her build you negate a lot of damage, however still stay pretty vulnerable to her Attack damage since having a Doran's Shield and ninja tabi a big amount of armor. I suggest you stay away when she activates her AOE ability, and you build pure armor. With some CDR and farm underneath your siphone strike her damage output no longer matters, since you can just whack her heal for tons whilst she has nothing to answer back with. Also remember your Wither brutalizes her.

Sion: LOL.

Jax: Very tricky, has same issues as Poppy and Shyvana. Start off with Doran's Shield, rush ninja tabi then from there on, rush a spirit visage, and later on in the game Frozen Heart. Why? Firstl don't get me wrong Jax is an amazing duellist, but isn't very great against Nasus. Why? Because for one he builds no penetration, because he doesn't need to, his aim is at destroying squishy champs who have no resistances making his damage output seem ridiculous. But the second Nasus survives early game, which he is very capable of, has ninja tabi along with Doran's Shield. Jax's auto attack damage becomes nothing, so he relies on his third hit, and his Empower ability. which HURT A LOT! So once you buy a Negatron Cloak or just finish spirit visage, you will have about 32 percent lifesteal! His burst no longer exists, his auto attacks didn't have any strength behind it from the first place. So you can negate him very easily early-mid game. and late game with Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage his magic damage is cut down about 50 percent and his physical damage is cut down to a laughable percentage. You have 30 percent lifesteal more than him naturally. You have Wither and items like Spirit Visage and Frozen Heart to make him completely useless. He has to buy his items to deal damage, you don't, you have everything in your kit to counter him, you have the ad steroid, the anti-jax ability Wither, you do massive amounts of mixed damage from your ult, your tankier, you don't rely on offense items you can afford to go full tank and negate him completely, his burst is countered easily since he cannot buy Void Staff, it does not fit into his build. Why does a champion like Jax still outtrade tanks like Shen or Malphite If they build tanky too? It is because they do not deal damage unlike Nasus. THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF NASUS.

Tryndamere: If you manage to survive his early game cheese kills, via sustain and Doran's Shield. It is all over for tryndamere. However late game, regardless of Wither and being tank, with items like Last Whisper and Statikk Shiv, unlike Jax, he FREGGIN HURTS LATE GAME. And has the ability to still kill you much easier than Jax].

Renekton: You can start off two ways against renekton. Cloth+5 pots or start off with a Doran's Shield. Cloth armour +5 pots is good regardless of anything, negates some good harassment he can make via his abilities, but since Renekton's start off with his W, Doran's Shield is the better choice. Because along with your masteries it takes off 21 total damage not including your armour, off his W ability. Since it is an auto attack enhancer it still applies to his W ability, which makes it very good for Nasus. If he starts off with his Q and max's it first I would of rather starting off with a cloth armour, but remember regardless of what you start of with if he starts with his Q Reckless Swing, he will push the lane and you will make him sorry for it. Rush a glacial shroud for the cdr and armour. Once you get some farm, you will have 20 precent lifesteal on that Q of yours, so when he tries trading he will start losing heavily due to Nasus's sustain, and if he ults, well Nasus's ultimates better, so regardless, itemize good against him the second you max out your Q and have some CDR, his already been out scaled.

Aatrox: He can be hard to lane against with his huge amount of damage on his third strike. Itemize with heavy amounts of armour, rush a frozen heart, watch out for his third hit, never let him hit level 2 before you, or else he will simply charge up his third strike, knock you up in the air and hit you with it, making him already won the lane or making you miss out on exp, cs, farm or just making you waste your Teleport. Early game he will be extremely hard to survive, rush the ninja tabi and armor as always, he has massive sustain just like you, but regardless once you get that frozen heart, you will dominate him.

Garen: Start off cloth armour and + 5 pots since his an AD caster just like Riven. He has extreme amounts of damage early game. However he falls flat on a couple points. You can literally walk away from his most damage dealing ability judgement, he has HIGH cooldowns. And he absolutely gets torn apart by champions who have sustain and are tanky enough to sit through his abilities. Only thing that worries me about him is his Ultimate. Just like Rumble or Renekton he pushes the lane naturally and makes it very easy for you to farm.

Darius: His a **** champion, he is horrible at the moment. However he makes it so hard to negate his damage, from his free armor penetration, to magic damage dealing passive to his true damage nuking ultimate. Regardless of his damage output, I would rush Armor and CDR. If you want to survive against him in lane phase, specifically, his level 1 trades. Simply don't bother with him. ALWAYS BAIT OUT HIS Q. The second you do his range harass is gone, rushing Glacial Shroud, (if you get there), will make his poke really lacking somewhat, making it easier for you to sustain through his poke (not that he should be poking you, BAIT OUR HIS Q!). As for his True damage ultimate. Let me explain it why it isn't as potent as you might think. Firstly, rush a Kindlegem along with your Glacial Shroud Since health is a good counter to it somewhat. Secondly, Once you have about 150 bonus damage underneath your belt and have CDR. he will pull you in, and you will not care. you can whack him in his face a couple of your own Q's, whilst sustaining through all his dmage, you also have your ultimate, to negate most of his ultimate. You sustaining, through his damage output will result in you trading much better than him, he will use his Q, you will use yours, you will gain 100 health back for example, he will not, you will have that Kindlegem health along with your ultimate and your CD for your Q, will be much shorter that you will be spamming it in trades he will not.

Riven: Can be extremely hard to be up against as well as extremely easy. She is so easily counterable, Since buying armour negates everything she throws at you. The problem is getting to that stage where you return to lane with a Chain Vest. Watch out for her level 3 combo's. Start off with Cloth armour and 5 pots since she is an AD caster.

Yorick: Farm his ghouls seriously? The quicker they die the less healing he gets as well as damage/harassment off you. Early game this will be hard with nasus's high CD on his Q. So survive! Get some CDR and some Q farm, you will easily be able to sustain through all his harassment once you do. This is actually one of the easier match ups.

Warwick: I suggest starting off with boots and some pots, his damage is all going to be coming from his Q, which is magic damage, you can rush ninja tabi and negate his auto attack harass, which he shouldn't have. I suggest getting a Kindlegem for the health+CDR and a Negatron Cloak to counter his Q, passive and the Wit's End Warwick's always build.

Gangplank: Start cloth armor. He might not be great in top lane and you think you would be able to farm very easily once gotten a simple Chain Vest and you are right. BUT just like Tryndamere his cheese kill potential with his passive and low CD spammable Q makes him a danger early game. Survive level 1-3, base it and return to lane with a Chain Vest and laugh at him then, not before.

Quinn Vayne Teemo: switch your mid laner to top. Seriously, you have no chance in top lane, maybe against Teemo only, I still highly doubt it. And Nasus can actually farm REALLY good in mid lane against most mages.

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Early, Mid, Late Game & Overall Gameplay


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I put A LOT of time into this so people get the right idea about Nasus, His purpose what he must do etc.

I had this created in season 2, it got outdated and I never touched it again, until the past couple days. I hope you guys enjoy it and vote and comment telling me what you think and even telling me better ways for playing Nasus.