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Nidalee Build Guide by Tsugeta7

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Tsugeta7

[S3] All Them Spears. AP Midalee

Tsugeta7 Last updated on May 25, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #12 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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December 8, 2012
Added some more information to Bushwhack and Pounce skills
Added a section for jumpable walls using Pounce

December 14, 2012
Added a section for games played using this build

January 19, 2013
Changed Item build slightly (Removed Morello's and added Void Staff]
Added more games played with this build
Minor grammar and BBC Coding updates

February 13, 2013
Made Pounce-able walls map more visible
Revamped sections so it's not a giant wall of text

February 14, 2013
Minor updates for patch 3.02 (Rabadon's Deathcap)

February 19, 2013
Added Liandry's Torment to Items I don't buy
Minor revision to pre and post level 6 game play

April 19, 2013
Updated Purchase Order (Amp Tome + pot to Faerie Charm and consumes)
Updated Runes (ap/level quints to flat ap)

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Ah Nidalee. She can be played in almost any position. Whether it be Middle, top or support, she is viable almost anywhere. In this guide, I will be focusing on my Midalee build.

With Nidalee's long range spears, she can be very deadly. Combine that with good use of cougar form, she can be extremely deadly and someone who should not be taken very lightly. With this build, I can easily hit 1600 damage spears on the AD Carry, Support, and Mid lane and around 700 damage spears against tanks.

Pros and Cons

Great in lane
Heal gives her huge sustain
Easy farming past level 6
High mobility with her passive and cougar form
Huge spear damage

Hard to last hit minions early game
Squishy, but you shouldn't be initiating anyway
Can be mana heavy
Needs map awareness

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Previous Games

These are pictures of games I have played using this build.

I was hitting their tank with 150 MR for about 1000 and 1300ish on everyone else. LoLReplay file available here.

Total Ranked Stats with Nidalee

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Nidalee requires, in my own opinion, high co-ordination with all of her skills. If you can't grasp the concept of how each of her skills should be linked together, Nidalee can fall apart completely. Thus, she can be fairly difficult to play. Hopefully, with this guide I can help any and all Nidalee players with my understanding of how to skill with her.

Prowl: Movement speed increased by 15% while in brush.
-Makes chasing her difficult when running through jungle.
Note: Don't pounce out of bushes. It actually slower than just running out and letting this buff expire. Pounce into bush, or once the buff is off.

Human Skills

Javelin Toss: Skill Shot. Deals up to 250% Magic Damage based on how far it travels.
-Great poking potential
-Huge Damage
-Slower animation, so accuracy could take some practice

Bushwhack: Traps. Traps everywhere!
-Provides vision for a split second when used
-Reveals any enemy Champion, creep, or monster that steps on it, revealing it for 12 seconds
-Deals 260 +40% AP magic damage upon being sprung and reduces Armor and Magic Resist by 40% at rank 5
-Lasts for 4 minutes before despawning

Primal Surge: Heal yourself or an ally Champion, and give your target an attack speed buff.
-Great to use on your AD Carries. More attack speed means more damage
-Use on yourself before changing to Cougar form and clearing minions or jungle monsters

Aspect Of The Cougar: Change from Human form to Cougar form or vice-versa.
-Gains Armor, Magic Resist, and bonus move speed while in Cougar form
-has a short cooldown of 4 seconds at all ranks
-Allows you to jump walls using Pounce

Human Skill Sequence
Javelin Toss (Q)> Javelin Toss (Q)> Etc.
-Poke them down with your spears
-Could be very mana heavy if spammed too much

Bushwhack (W)> Javelin Toss (Q)> Aspect Of The Cougar (R)
Throw a trap down, if necessary and able to spring on a champion for the extra magic penetration and toss a spear at them. If the spear hits and they are within pouncing range, transform and clean up with the following Cougar combos.
-Keep in mind only transform and chase if you can safely secure the kill.

Cougar Skills
Note: All skills while in Cougar form cost no mana.

Takedown: Deals up to 300% damage based on targets missing health.
-Great for clean ups
-Use as your last skill in your combo. Less health on the enemy means more damage with this
-Almost always a guaranteed kill on non-tanky targets less than around 500 health. 250-300 health for tanks.

Pounce: Leap forward a short distance and deal damage upon landing.
-Great for chasing or escaping
-Able to hop over some walls (See Pounce-able Walls Section)
-Easy Tear of the Goddess mana farming

Swipe: Deals damage to all enemies infront of you within a small radius.
-Easy to clear minion waves with
-Great AP Damage

Cougar Skill Sequence
Pounce (W)> Swipe (E)> Takedown (Q)
Get ontop of the enemy with Pounce and follow up with Swipe. Finish off with Takedown so you deal more damage due to their health being lower

Swipe (E)> Takedown (Q)> Pounce (W)
You can harass with this combo if you are within auto attack range. Swipe followed by Takedown to deal some damage, then Pounce to safety.

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Pounce-able Walls

Certain walls around Summoner's Rift, you are able to jump over using Pounce. These are the ones that I found.

Sorry about the double character portraits at the bottom left of each picture. Didn't realize that it did that and it cut off part of the mini-map.

Full Map View

Blue Team

Top Lane River

Top Lane at Tri-Bush

Mid Lane River Wall

Heading Towards Wolves

Blue Buff Wall

Golem Wall

Red/Purple Team

Tri-Bush Wall

Golem Wall

Mid Lane River Wall

Heading Towards Wolves

Blue Buff Wall

Dragon and Baron Wall



You can jump over baron wall at just about any point. I like to align myself with the rocks as shown in the picture because I know I can make it over that part of the wall without having to be right up against it.

There might be more jumpable walls, but these are the ones that I have found. Use these to your advantage to make it easier for you to chase down or run away from your opponents.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Magic Pen for more damage basically. More pen, more damage output.

Seals, Glyphs and, Quints:

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Here, you can either take AP/level runes or Flat AP. I swapped from AP/level to Flat AP so I can have a stronger early game rather than late game. The only main difference is having a strong late game or a strong early game. Flat AP Quints have a ~10 AP difference at level 18.

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For masteries, I go 21/0/9, taking the CDR and AP Damage in the Offensive tree and max mana and mana regen in Utility.

Offensive Tree:
Sorcery - 4% Cooldown Reduction. Less cooldowns means more skills. More skills means killing faster.
Blast - 1 AP per level (18 AP at level 18). More AP means more damage.
Havoc - Increase damage by 2%. Might not be much, but it deals more damage to everything
Arcane Knowledge - 8% Magic Penetration. Ignore 8% of the enemy Magic Resist and make your spears more deadly!
Mental Force - Bonus 6 AP at level 1.
Spellsword - Deals 5% of your AP as magic damage on every basic attack. Makes killing minions easier and this also procs with Takedown.
Archmage - Increase AP by 5%.
Executioner - Increase damage dealth to enemies under 50% health by 5%. With a single Javelin Toss, most ADC will be lower than 50% making clean up for you a breeze. Exellent with Takedown. Just more and more damage.

Utility Tree:
Summoner's Insight - Reduces the cooldown on Flash by 15 seconds.
Meditation - 3 Mana Regen per 5 seconds. More mana regen makes it harder for you to be mana starved.
Improved Recall - Reduce [Recall] cast time by 1 second. 1 second could mean the difference between getting caught and dying or successfully getting back to base.
Expanded Mind - 10 Mana per level (+180 mana at level 18). Having more mana lets you use more skills.
Runic Affinity - Increase buff timers by 20%. Because having blue and red buff longer is so much fun!

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Summoner Spells

Flash and Ignite

Flash gives you that extra escape mechanism on top of your pounce.

Ignite can secure kills on enemy champions who have low health, but you are unable to safely kill them by yourself.

Other Viable Summoner Spells

Exhaust will slow your target and allow you to chase them down to kill them or to slow the target so you can get away.

Ghost can cover a greater distance than Flash can, but it's not an instantaneous getaway and you can be caught easier than flashing over a wall.

Clarity can be used, but I don't recommend it unless you find yourself constantly out of mana. I don't use too much mana while in lane and I am able to stay in lane until about level 9 or so. Take this if you spam your Javelin Toss and Primal Surge a lot.

I do not recommend taking any other spells other than the ones listed here. I find the others are not useful when playing Nidalee.

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Starting Items

+ sight ward x1 + x3 + x3
-I have 26 AP at level 1 with this. Less AP than my previous Amp tome start, but more survivability due to the HP pots and the extra mana regen. Use the sight ward in either river bush.

First Recall:
Tear of the Goddess Building this early gives you that mana farming right away so by the time you build your Archangel's Staff, it will instantly become Seraph's Embrace and allow you to use your skills more.
Sorcerer's Shoes are a must for the +20 magic penetration.
Note: You should almost always have at least your Tear of the Goddess on your first recall. Unless the other teams Mid is very aggressive and keeps you at low HP. Build boots either in 1 shot or buying the Boots of Speed first and go back to lane.

Early-Mid Game

Sheen gives you more AP and the passive effect works with Takedown
Ryali's Crystal Scepter for the bonus health, AP and slow whenever you deal spell damage. Build a Blasting Wand and Giant's Belt first if you can't buy this in 1 shot.

Mid-Late Game

Lich Bane built from Sheen. More move speed, mana, AP, and better passive damage.
Archangel's Staff for its amazing passive, huge mana boost, and its mana regen. You should have full mana stacks at this point and it will transform into Seraph's Embrace as soon as you buy it. Unless you are super fed.
Note: You can build the Archangel's Staff before Lich Bane if you want. Doesn't make much of a difference. Archangel's Staff gives more AP and mana while Lich Bane gives less AP but boosts auto attacks and Takedown after spell casts.

Late Game

Rabadon's Deathcap is amazing. 120 AP boost + an addional 30%. With Archmage , that's an additional 35% AP. Build a Needlessly Large Rod or Blasting Wand first if you can't buy this in 1 shot.
Sell your Kage's Lucky Pick at this point.
Void Staff gives you AP as well as a nice 35% Magic Penetration. With Bushwhack, Arcane Knowledge , and this, it's a whopping 83% Magic Penetration rating.

Why not take a Athene's Unholy Grail?
-I don't run out of mana at all during mid or late game. When you have Blue Buff, that's all the mana regen you need.

Liandry's Torment: I don't take this either because Nidalee does not have enough burst spell damage to make this item worth while. Since it does damage based on targets current health, and spears will be putting important champions to about 50% health, it makes this items passive pretty much useless.

With this build, I am sitting at about 780 AP without Baron buff and dealing 800-1600 damage to Champions with >100 Magic Resist and 700-1200 damage to Champions with <100 Magic Resist

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Tier 3 Boots

Alacrity OR Furor

If you find yourself playing more aggressively and chasing enemy Champions, get Enchantment: Furor. This provides a greater speed increase so it's easier to chase down the enemy.

If you're sitting farther back in fights, and not chasing much, take the Enchantment: Alacrity. The flat speed boost is more useful than the speed boost from Enchantment: Furor since you have to hit a target to gain the bonus from the enhancement. I find buying the enhancement after you are done your build more useful due to having all your damage items built first before this utility item.

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Early game

Nidalee's early game is not very good. She can't dish out any serious damage pre-level 6, which makes last hitting minions fairly difficult. You have to know how much damage your auto attacks will do and be aware of when you can actually kill minions is. I've missed last hits far too many times because of this. Once you hit level 6 and get your Aspect Of The Cougar, you can farm extremely well.

Key Things To Remember

Nidalee's low damage output pre-6 makes it easy for other AP Casters to over power her easily. Be careful.
Farm as much as you can but don't get discouraged if you miss your last hits. It gets better with time.
Be ready to farm from your tower. Nidalee can't push lane very well early game without wasting all of her mana. Just sit back and farm.
One tower hit and two basic attacks will kill a caster minion. Two tower hits and two basic attacks will kill the melee minions for the most part. Don't be afraid to use your Javelin Toss to make sure you get those last hits. Since you're mid lane, blue should always be yours after the jungler gets it beginning game. Once you have blue, spam your spears to your hearts content.

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Post-Level 6 into Late Game

Once you hit level 6, your farm will skyrocket. Cougar form can kill minions incredibly easy, making last hitting a breeze. Up until this point, you probably haven't really had to ward at all, but now you should be warding river to avoid getting ganks. Even with her Pounce, Nidalee isn't completely invincible. Ward one side of river and stick by it. Just be aware if jungle or one of the other lanes are coming in for a gank and that you don't get caught.
Note: You don't have to buy wards. I normally don't. If you are being ganked a lot, I would suggest buying them. Bushwhack does work at time, but it's unreliable.

Be careful pushing turrets because mid lane normally has some form of CC. Nidalee has none and if caught by the opponents CC, it could result in a swift death for you. Try only pushing if your opponent isn't in mid lane. This should first off make it easier to push, but escaping as well if caught by a gank from behind. If mid doesn't seem to want to recall, poke them with a couple spears. Maybe even get a kill out of it for some more gold.

Basically, you just need to get blue, hit your spears, poke when you can which can result in kills and try not to over extend. Taking Ignite can give some early kills, but that rarely happens for me.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my Nidalee guide. I hoped it helped and gave some of the new Nidalee players more of an idea about her.

And don't forget, It's mating season.