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Nami Build Guide by Jovy
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Champion Build Guide
Hi friends, I'm Jovy, a MOBAFire admin and veteran league player. I've been playing Nami since her release in 2013. I remember watching her teasers and thinking she'd be amazing - and I was right. Nami's always been a consistently good pick, and she's been in great standing during season 8 and will likely continue to shine in season 10. I think she's a very strong, safe and versatile champion and she's among my favourites to pick for ranked!
|Nami's strengths are her ability to heal and protecc, but also attacc. She has loads of CC, solid range and she can empower her own (and her ally's) auto-attacks to deal extra damage (and slow). Her heal is one of the most potent in the game, though it can be a bit expensive in terms of mana, and it also doubles as a poking tool too.|
|Her biggest drawback is that she's really squishy. She has a heal but outside of that she's really easy to bop. She's also immobile almost entirely, aside from her passive which grants her a brief movement speed boost when she self-casts an ability. This makes her weak against bursty champions like Leona, Blitz - they can get to her easily (or get her to them) and detonate her before she can blink.|
Should I try out Nami? (patch 9.10) Yes. Nami is in a good spot right now. She will fit into a lot of different comps because she offers a lot of different things. The only time I can think of when she isn't preferable is when the enemy team has a lot of assassins. Unlike Lulu, who has her polymorph and ultimate, Nami is irredeemably vulnerable to assassins. If they choose your as their quarry, you will need to expend spells and rely on your team to help you.
You can purchase Stopwatch/ Zhonya's Hourglass against champions like Rengar and Nocturne if they keep focusing on you. On one hand, if they focus you then they are not focusing on your ADC; which might be a good thing. On the other, if you instantly die, you cannot help your ADC or team repel any of the other enemies.
|Increases your mov speed by 1% and makes all your movement speed boosts more powerful; i.e. it has synergy with your passive.|
|Increases your AP when you're above 70% health. This will not only allow you to do more damage but also increase your healing & the movement speed buff from your passive.|
|Your first attack every 10 seconds on an enemy champion scorches them dealing extra damage. Nice chunk of damage if you start a fight with your E damage bonus as well.|
|More CDR everywhere - items, abilities, spells etc. CDR is one of the best stats to get on Nami so getting this rune would be a no-brainer if you're delving into inspiration.|
|Nami is very squishy and this rune can negate some incoming poke from the enemy AD/support. Makes a big difference during laning phase.|
|Improves your heal in two ways - firstly, it's stronger when self-cast and secondly it is stronger on targets who have less than 40% health. Self-explanatorily good!|
|Font marks an enemy you've CC-ed and allies attacking a marked enemy will get slightly healed. This works great with Nami because she has so much CC in her kit.|
In terms of stats, there are a number of ways to go about it. I like getting adaptive force or CDR in the first tier, then focusing on defense as Nami is very squishy. Depending on what you face in the enemy team, I would get armour + health or armour + armour or some MR if they have double AP carries or a scary burst mage.
|||||In addition to Nami not having an escape mechanism of her own, Flash is good with Nami because it enables her to get in range for her ult/Q/or AA + for chasing and securing kills.|
|||||Ignite is good with aggressive supports such as Nami. You lose your Exhaust for late game but you gain a lot of kill potential in lane. The idea of it is to get your AD fed that way and get him to snowball so that late game not having Exhaust wouldn't be an issue.|
|||||Exhaust is Ignite's alternative. It's a good spell for support but I don't grab it every game. The situations in which I'd recommend Exhaust over Ignite is 1) vs high burst assassins (ie Zed) 2) vs AS-based champions (ie Vayne, Tryndamere) or 3) vs an unfavorable match-up.|
When Nami's abilities hit allied champions they gain 60 (+20% of ability power) Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds. This effect is doubled for allies hit by Tidal Wave.
|Surging Tides is a pretty simple passive. All your abilities (even your ult) will speed up your allies (and you). If you heal someone for example they're not only healed but also sped up for 1.5 seconds. Same with Q and E, and with your ultimate (if they're walking in the wave basically), the effect doubles and they gain double the speed. You can use this speed up to get to lane or fights faster, or even to block skillshots for allies or help them dodge.|
Sends a bubble into the air towards a targeted area. When it lands, it deals 75 / 130 / 185 / 240 / 295 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to all enemies in the area of impact and encases them into bubbles. Enemies hit by the bubble are lifted into the air and stunned for 1.5 seconds before being dropped to the ground.
|Aqua Prison is your most important engage tool outside of your ult. I mentioned before it's a pretty tricky skillshot and a lot of people have trouble with it because it's slow moving. You get better at it with practice. A way to make sure you hit is to first use your E and AA the enemy - that way they are slowed and they'll have more trouble dodging the Q.|
Heals an ally for 60 / 85 / 110 /135 / 160 (+30% of ability power) and bounces to a nearby enemy champion, who is damaged by 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+50% of ability power. Ebb and Flow can only bounce to each target once and hits up to 3 targets. The damage or healing value is reduced by 15%(-7.5% per 100 AP) with each bounce.
|Ebb and Flow is Nami's bread and butter. It's a dual ability as it acts as both a heal and a poking tool like I've mentioned in the introduction. The poke isn't bad and you should always aim to hit your enemy when you want to heal yourself. It's a waste to just heal yourself and not use the poking aspect as well, since there's no reason not to (unless they're just too far away). It doesn't do a lot of damage, but the heal is super strong. Just be careful spamming it in lane as the mana cost is pretty high and it can cause you to go OOM if used too much. A small tip is to self-cast W within the range of an enemy (alt+W) and then it'll bounce back onto the enemy after you've been healed. It's the quickest way to do this.|
Empowers an allied champion's next 3 basic attacks and spells, causing them to slow the target by 15/20/25/30/35% (+[5% Ability Power]%) for 1 second and deal 25/40/55/70/85 (+20% Ability Power) bonus magic damage. Lasts for 6 seconds.
|Tidecaller's Blessing basically makes your ally's, or your own, auto-attacks and spells stronger & allows them to apply some soft CC (if they already don't). Keep in mind that the extra magic damage is based on YOUR AP, not your ally's! So this is a pretty straight-foward ability in terms of when to use it; just any time your ally is using his auto-attacks or try to poke with a spell like Double Up or Mystic Shot. You can also use it on yourself though, keeping in mind your passive, since it will speed you up and allow you to catch up to enemies and to slow them, thus engaging a fight (since it'll be easier to Q at that point too).|
The Tidal Wave briefly knocks up enemies that it comes in contact with, slowing them by 50 / 60 / 70% and dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+60% of ability power) magic damage. The slow duration increases based on how far the Tidal Wave has traveled, with a minimum duration of 2 seconds and a maximum of 4 seconds.
|Tidal Wave is Nami's ultimate ability and it is strong as heck. First of all it's incredibly wide (like about half a lane's width). It does damage and it has two forms of CCs on it since it both knock-ups enemies and slows them. It also applies your passive (double the worth of it, too) on your allies who walk into it. It's an incredibly strong engage and disengage tool. The only drawback is that it's a little bit slow, but it's nevertheless quite easy to hit especially at closer range. You'll want to use the ult in combo with your allies usually - with Bullet Time or Last Breath for example (really any AoE CC/damaging ability).|
|Since Ardent Censer will be your first big purchase, you will want to buy Aether Wisp on your first back if you can afford it. If you're a little short, pick up Amp Tome and remember to buy 2 Control Wards on every back (or 1 if you really can't afford it).|
Rexchange your Stealth Ward for a Oracle Lens after unlocking Frostfang as you will no longer need to rely on totem for wards.
|Ionian's are great boots for Nami since lower CDs mean you might be able to save someone with your heal or CC. An alternative, Mobis make it easier for you to roam, ward, engage, get to lane and dodge abilities.|
There are several options for your final or final two items and they're generally dependant on the kind of team you're playing against. Here are some items you might consider getting:
|Solari is a great item especially if you've gone the Ruby route, since then you'll have more HP and the shield will be stronger (it scales with max HP). Pop this baby mid team fight and it'll increase your team's chances a lot. You can also use it pre-team fight-changing ultimate like Karthus ult or Bullet Time to negate a lot of the damage.|
|Pop it to speed up your entire team by 40% and start up a team fight or escape from an unfavourable one. Great stats for Nami as well with the AP and health.|
|Mikael's is more situational as it's only built against teams with some tricky hard CC. It's a good buy against Leona, Thresh anyone else with a hard-to-dodge stun. Generally best to save it for your ADC, but use it as you think is best.|
|Banshee's a good pick-up against teams with hooks/grabs and other nasty skillshots. It's a good pick against magic damage dealing teams since it grants a lot of MR. It also increases the strength of your heal and damage of your abilities.|
When it comes to the support role, there's more to it than just playing the champion. You need to be a great communicator, you need to know where and when to ward and you need to understand wave management. So to start off the gameplay chapter which will also include details about laning phase, roaming, teamfighting, trading, combos and god knows what else, I will talk about wave management.
Managing the minion wave ensures that your ADC gets as much farm as he can. This is important because farming = money and money = good items which in turn = strong ADC. And as the old proverb goes, happy ADC = happy life.
// First Wave
In bot lane you'll get level 2 after 9 minions die (so mid second wave, 6 melee and 3 ranged minions in total). By helping your ADC during the first wave, you can get an edge and get level 2 before your enemy laners do.
You do this by simply auto-attacking the minions down to low HP (so that the ADC needs only to last-hit it). If you start attacking a minion that's already half HP or less, you risk ruining it for the ADC (AKA it might die before the ADC has a chance to last hit) so you have to be careful not to make your ADC lose out on gold for nothing.
Whichever side's 9 minions die first is the side that will get level 2, which is why you want to accelerate the process by auto-attacking. Once you get level 2, you'll have higher stats and an ability extra and that might be enough to land you a level 2 kill.
// Under Tower
Although as a support you won't need to last-hit minions almost ever, it's still important for you to help your ADC do it. Especially under towers.
Tower shots will kill a full health melee minion in 3 hits, and a ranged minion in 2. After 2 hits, the melee minion will have but a sliver of health, and thus it'd only take one AA from your ADC to kill it. If the minion is full HP, don't interfere here. For ranged minions though, the tower will hit it once and leave it at around 30%, and an ADC (pre first back) won't be able to kill it with one shot, and won't have time to kill it with two. This is where you come in to AA it once.
That's about it. When they're not at full HP, you just have to wing it. You'll get good at it with practice.
// Holding the Wave
If you're in lane and your ADC isn't, you can hold the minion wave for him so that the minions don't die to the tower. You do this by simply standing in the way of the minions and making yourself their target. If your minions are around, you can hold the wave by only last-hitting minions (so they don't go to waste), but don't attack them or you'll push the wave/kill most of the minions and your ADC won't get anything out of that.
If you're low level, don't tank the minions for too long because they can pack a punch and you don't want to get too low and then not be able to engage or fight the enemy laners. If there are enemy champions nearby you should be careful as well.
// Pushing the Wave
You generally push the wave with your ADC when the enemy bot laners aren't there (AKA they died or just recalled). This is done by continously auto-attacking (but making sure not to ruin the last-hits) the minions and you can also cast your E and Q on them of course. Once they all die, your minions can journey onwards to the enemy turret and die. This way the enemy bot laners will lose out on the gold & exp they'd normally get from killing that wave.
If the wave is too close to your tower or in the middle of the lane, you won't be able to push it all the way to their tower before they're back so it's best to freeze it in that position and recall yourselves. If you do push it anyway, there's a good chance they'll arrive in time and freeze the minion wave near their tower thus forcing you to be nearby their tower so your ADC can CS, leaving you vulnerable to ganks.
League of Legends is a team game and it requires good rapport between you and your fellow teammates. But bot lane especially is the lane which requires the most trust & communication, since you are two people working together towards the same goal, like the symbiotic relationship between some fishies and sea anemones. You keep your ADC safe, farmed and happy and they'll reward you with a nice victory screen.
When you are playing solo though, you'll need to rely on the chat and the pings. Chatting in the middle of the game is probably ill-advised, as it's not a particularly slow moving game, especially in laning phase, this is why you will have to learn to use your pings properly. The help ping when you are trying to escape (it'll notify your ADC to come to you so you can E off him or counter-engage), the danger ping or retreat ping when you notice a foreigner near bot lane. Most importantly you'll want to notify your ADC about the cooldowns of your spells and abilities (alt+click on ability/spell). If you notify your ADC that your exhaust isn't up for another 20 seconds, they'll know to patiently wait before an engage, or to play safe.
When it comes to games like these, you will occasionally get frustrated. Perhaps at yourself, more often at your ADC. I won't tell people how to play their games, but I will advise against flaming either way. Disregarding the fact that it's real people behind these screens, controlling those champions, with real feelings and all, flaming is not constructive and will lead to more mistakes, possibly AFK situations or intentional feeding from a disgruntled teammate. Instead, be nice. ADC got a kill? "Wow nice" "damn, good job" "wp". Short, sweet, to the point, doesn't even need to be true. Positive comments makes people feel good and play good :)
Nami's great at all stages of the game. In laning phase she can play the part of the babysitter and keep her ADC safe and fed throughout the first 15ish minutes. Or she can play the part of the poker and land the ADC many kills with her Q, E and ultimate. Usually you'll want be both, unless you are behind or have a very passive ADC or hyper-aggressive enemies in which case you should stick to trying to stay alive and hope for ganks.
// Level 1
Level 1 is fairly insignificant, outside of trying to reach level 2 first which I've discussed above.
// Level 2
At 2 however you can start getting some picks. If you get level 2 first you can try to catch the enemy ADC or support (especially if they're squishy) in a Q and then try to kill them or burn their flash. If the enemy gets level 2 first (especially if it's an aggressive bot lane) you need to pull back and play safe until you reach level 2 yourselves.
// Level 6
The next lane changer is level 6 when you and your enemies have your ultimates. Nami's ult is great because it automatically makes you both deadlier but also harder to deaden. Your general kill combo is Q into ult, but you can also ult them straight-up, though you'd need to be somewhat close to do that and hit the ultimate. Better yet use your E first to slow them, making it easier to hit both Q and ult. Your ult leaves them really vulnerable because they can't dodge it, they'll be knocked up and then slowed and it's also super easy to Q them after they get affected by the ult slow.
So some of your combos are:
|// 1.__ __ __ __ *__ *|
This first combo requires that you hit your Q on a desired target. Once they're trapped in the bubble, you have a window of 1.5 seconds to CC lock them with your whole kit. Right as the bubble is about to pop, unleash your Tidal Wave; it cannot be dodged at that point. You can also hold it for a second or 2 if you know they have flash or another gap closer. They will still be in the range of your enormous R even after they dash. Then hopefully your ADC can do some serious damage; amplify him with your E and use your heal and Ignite at your discretion.
|// 2.__ __ __ __ __ *|
Combo #2 requires either Exhaust or some ally CC. By utilizing some "pre-CC" (so, Exhaust or for example Ashe or Varus ult) you can make it that much easier for yourself to hit Q or R. The rest of the combo is pretty much the same as #1.
|// 3.__ __ __ __ *|
Same idea as #2 but when you don't have an ally to assist you or Exhaust. I've mentioned before that you should feel free to sometimes use E on yourself rather than your ADC. This is the prime time to do so; use it to slow your target and then hit an easier Q and R for combo #3.
|*All the asterisks basically mean "when/if necessary". W boosts your trades a lot so generally you want to cast it whenever your ADC is below ~90% health since he'll be in range of the enemy and hurt them and heal you too. As for exhaust, you use it to lower the damage output of the enemy ADC and you also use it as a slow, which is why I mention it in combo #2, as it can be used for engage.|
Team fights start occuring once the first couple towers go down and people stop laning properly. It can be pretty chaotic and they'll happen over objectives, towers and around picks. Picks are when you pick off an enemy that's mispositioned, they'll usually either end up in 1 or 2 kills or a full-blown team fight.
Anyway so assuming you're not the one who got picked off, here's what you do in a team fight:
1) Engage: Usually you don't want to be the engager because you're very squishy. Unless you're making a pick with your Q, it's better to let your tank/jungler engage for you. Having done that, you can use your ultimate or Q to follow up.
2) Disengage: If a team fight is going awry, Nami is really good at disengaging fights. This basically means getting everyone out of a fight safely. Your ult is your best disengage tool since it'll knock-up then slow the enemy, making it really hard for them to catch up afterwards. Your Q can stop several people if they're bundled, and using your E and W, you can speed up your teammates due to your passive.
3) Peel: Peeling is generally reserved for your ADC, but you can do this for everyone. It's basically keeping off sticky enemies from your carry and trying to keep them alive. Nami is great at this because of her heal and all the CC, and her E is handy too because she makes your ADC a stronger kiter. Kiting is attacking the enemy while escaping from him at the same time. This is essentially your most important function.
4) Empower: In general Nami can heal several teammates in a fight, empower their auto-attacks and you also have a lot of active items to boost your team's chances of winning. You want to use your E on ranged champions (usually your ADC) and you want to heal either your tank (so he can sponge longer) or whoever is being focused by the enemy in general.
← Click here to check out my general guide on Warding to learn all about it!
Nami's all-around a great support and synergizes well with every ADC in my opinion, since she can cater to both more passive and more aggressive playstyles. The best ADCs for her are, imo, the following:
|Xayah's a good ADC for you because she needs someone to make up for her lack of mobility. Nami's great at peeling so there you have it. Your CC also aids her a lot because she needs people to stand still to pull off her E.|
|Ashe Nami are good in the way Xayah Nami are, you bring a lot of safety to Ashe's laning. These two also have a lot of CC together making it a great lane to gank for your jungler.|
|Your ultimate and Q are a great setup for Miss Fortune's ult which is why they're a great lane together. You also protect her well since she's immobile herself like Ashe and Xayah are. Also, your E works on her Q which makes them extra deadly.|
As for as enemy ADC match-ups go, Nami will do worse against long-ranged enemies (who can stay out of her poke range), enemies who deal burst damage and enemies with high mobility, who can dodge her spells.
|Lucian is annoying to deal with because he does a lot of damage and he's quite mobile. It's effortless for him to dodge Q because he can see the radius before it drops and he can E out of it quickly. He can also dodge your ult in a similar way.|
|Draven hits like a truck and you're incredibly squishy and immobile. After he hits his power spike, the best thing you can do is stay the hell out of his range. If you manage to chain-CC him, he's immobile himself so you could kill him like that.|
In general Nami does well in most lanes. I think burst supports are her biggest problem however, as well as supports with strong CC. Hard match-ups for Nami are the following:
|Blitz is probably your worst match-up because you're immobile and squishy, and just begging for a Rocket Grab. The knock-up, silence and burst that come after the grab aren't fun either. Basically the way you play against him is to dodge pretty much every grab and only fight them after he misses his Q, since that removes a lot of his pressure.|
Warm thanks to everyone who has gotten this far! If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me PM or you can add me in-game (N7 Legion on EUW and Jovy on NA). Special thanks to my friend Shea for helping me with the guide and build :)
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