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Nunu & Willump Build Guide by Aezuriel

[S8] Snowballing your Marksman with Full-Support Nunu

By Aezuriel | Updated on January 11, 2019
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Runes:

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Bone Plating
Overgrowth

Sorcery
Waterwalking
Celerity
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust

Exhaust

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #4 in
Jungle Role
Win 54%
Get More Stats

Introduction

Ever since the rework for Nunu, I have been tooling around a build to see if the new setup could actually return a true support position. After all if you are going to support, two characters are better than one! Silly jokes aside, Support Nunu is not just viable, its remarkably strong.

As a health tank, Nunu & Willump works well on a support's budget and item selection. He offers his team strong engages and roaming, spectacular scuttle control, and an AS buff that is nothing to sneeze at -- all delivered from a tank that is zoning, CCing and threatening massive skirmish swings with his ult.

So follow along, and I will guide you to snowballing your Marksman as a Support Nunu and Willump.

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Sample Video


While not a perfect game, this video highlights the strengths and play-style of Nunu support with his favorite Marksman, Ashe.
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Changelog

Edits to the general guide will be listed here.
Changes

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Meta Insights


As a support, Nunu is an off-meta pick that will often leave your opponents at an information disadvantage, unsure about his trading pattern & efficiency. He shines best with ADC's that can follow up on his engages, or cover his withdraw with strong poke or CC of their own. When not "poking" Nunu gives strong Zoning for his marksman, and unprecedented movement for warding, roaming, and thwarting ganks. With priority, Nunu also offers strong scuttle control for the bottom half of the map -- pushing the enemy to tower (which is easy thanks to Biggest Snowball Ever!) is a great opportunity to check or take scuttle crab, taking some of the map control burden off your jungler.

In the New Season, having a strong lane presence is even more lucrative than before, given the ease with which a Nunu can take lane priority. Shoving your lane with such strong control of the map can also result in early tower damage which (with the assistance of Call of the Freljord) can pay extra gold while taking off tower plating. You also offer better security in dragon/baron contests, being able to Zone, CC, and even function as a secondary smite with Consume. Make sure you and your jungler always know what your combined Smite/Consume damage is when taking epic monsters.

Nunu also excels at roaming in other lanes. Ganks with Biggest Snowball Ever! happen with startling quickness, and many laners will underestimate your ability to close distance and stick to resolve ganks.
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Synergistic Champions


As with any support, best results come when mixed with other complimentary ingredients. While Nunu support can augment almost any team comp that is looking for a roaming tank, he is best when he can lane with a Marksman who can take advantage of his AS buff, and his assistance pushing waves.


ASHE
Ashe and Nunu are the best pairing I have put results on. Slows for days and strong zone control give the duo the ability to go in whenever they choose and deliver a Wallump. Snowball allows the pair to force lane priority to harass, roam (often to scuttle crab), or ward. Come level 6, either can engage for a brutal wombo-combo that will leave your opponent snowblind.


KAI'SA
Kaisa and Nunu are a little tricky as Kai'sa's early vulnerability can leave her on the back foot if the fighting gets hot. However, Nunu's engages (and tanking) allow her to go in and deliver her payload with startling efficiency. At level 6, a strong Nunu Engage will allow the pair to devastate skirmishes.


VAYNE
Not many champions benefit as much from AS than Vayne. Nunu's ability to assist in Wave-clearing offsets Vayne's weakness. Any time Nunu connects with CC, the additional steroid to Vayne makes her quite formidable. Vayne's E allows Nunu to harass heavy and still have room to disengage, unless Vayne spots an opening to dash in and join the fray.


JINX
Jinx and Nunu can cover each other safely in lane, giving each time to farm up. either can help push waves to take lane priority. But where they shine is when they can use Nunu's AS steroid to put heavy damage on turrets even before Jinx hits her powerspike. Faster turrets = faster map dominance and faster snowballing for your whole team.
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Runes and Summoner Spells


Runes and Masteries



Aftershock is a must take for virtually any viable tank-support that can activate it with CC. not only does it give you a small burst of damage, but the stat increase is extremely important when trading or full-out engaging. Bone Plating also helps us to trade and sustain in lane without taxing our adc's cs heavily. Font of Life Gives your lane partner some additional sustain in lane phase, and can also benefit your whole team in skirmishes when using Snowball Barrage or Absolute Zero.

Celerity gives us some additional mobility, and can augment our AP selectively based on our MS and itemization. Waterwalking is for river mobility as we anticipate moving often through river when roaming or fighting for map control and objectives.

For our Rune Perks, Nunu typically doesn't need a lot of AP but getting a little oomph from our skill rotations is noticeable. In a vacuum You want to stat for armor primarily in order to tank hits from the enemy ADC and towers. This also makes you more of a target for AP burst -- which is actually good for your marksman.

However, your perks are reflexive. If you are facing AP heavy team compositions, feel free to take magic resist or health over armor. Just keep the mix 1 offensive 2 defensive.


Summoner Spells


Exhaust
Exhaust decreases an enemy's effectiveness AND resistances to damage. This is what allows a support and carry to take on pretty much anyone, at any stage of the game.

Flash
Not only for saving your bacon in fights gone bad, Flash allows you to convert a snowball into an enemy frontline into a full-team Ultimate.
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Skills


Call of the Freljord [ PASSIVE ]
Innate: Upon dealing damage to an enemy, large monster, or structure damage, Nunu and a nearby ally (prioritizing the ally with the highest AS) receive an AS and MS Steroid. While under this effect, Nunu's attacks Cleave, for a small amount of bonus damage.

Tips and Tricks:
Call of the Freljord is a disengage tool as well as an attack steroid. Once it is proc'd you can use the movespeed bonus to reposition while your ADC covers you. It will also proc on Dragon, Baron, and enemy towers -- Run-by snowballs, autos, or Consumes can give you a surprising amount of mobility (and deliver your passive to an ally) in the oddest of places.


Consume [ Q ]
Willump takes a bite out of any enemy and heals back a portion of the damage dealt. While most effective on minions and monsters, can also be used on champions now.

Tips and Tricks:
Consume can be a frustrating ability for a CS focused Marksman. Try to save it for Relic Shield Procs, or very healthy minions that you won't last hit. Conversely, when engaged in fights Consume can save you from minion block, or just generally give you a huge burst of health in trades. Remember that you gain more health from consuming minions or monster and not champions and path appropriately. If you are trading heavily during lane phase, consider putting more upgrades into Q early for some sustain.


Biggest Snowball Ever! [ W ]
Nunu and Willump roll a snowball in a target direction until second cast, interruption, or upon collision with an enemy champion construct or pet. The snowball gets bigger and gains speed the further it travels, and will knock-up and damage enemy units it collides with. Direction control of the snowball increases with its speed.
**special note: Biggest Snowbal Ever! will pass through minions and small monsters (but not enemy constructs or pets) as long as Nunu is still controlling it.

Tips and Tricks:
Biggest Snowball Ever! can pass through the minion line to deliver poke (burst) to enemy laners. However you are most vulnerable to counter-pressure just before the snowball connects. Keep the enemy guessing! You don't have to follow through with every snowball, and it can be equally useful to help your ADC shove waves. Even passing through the minion wave and letting the snowball go free forces the other champs to path around it or get hit. Also, you don't have to roll every snowball through the minions.

It may not seem like it, but there is JUST enough room for Nunu to make a u-turn with snowball in lane if you path it right. You can use this to surprise countergank incoming aggression, or generally just throw the enemy off-guard.


Snowball Barrage [ E ]
Nunu can fling up to 3 snowballs which deal a small amount of damage, debuff and slow enemies. Then Willump does his thing, and anyone in range affected by the snow debuff becomes rooted and takes additional damage.

Tips and Tricks:
Nunu's Snowballs have a slightly longer range than the indicator makes it seem. Long range snowball hits are great for zoning and activating your passive. Barrage is also a great setup into dropping your ult, as the slows will stack, and still root anyone in range of your e.


Absolute Zero [ R ]
Nunu takes a giant gulp of air gaining a shield, channeling to create a huge slow zone. The longer he channels the more damage he does to enemies still within the slow zone when he finishes.

Tips and Tricks:
Absolute Zero is not just a great engage tool, it can also be a deathtrap to anyone want wants to chase you around the map. Just find a nice place to step out of vision for one moment, and suddenly you become the predator instead of the prey.
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Itemization















Core Items

As a tank, the Relic Shield line come naturally to us. As a support we need to ward. This item is a no-brainer
As a tanky Support Vow gives armor that also benefits your ADC. In return, your ADC (or any linked target) can keep you alive by dealing damage while you peel and soak.
While this is not the final option you will take, Shroud is the common denominator of ALL of the items you should want for your 2nd Core Item. Mana, Armor and Cooldown reduction, plus whatever you build it into - as discussed below.
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Glacial Shroud Upgrade (Pick One)

If you really need to heavy up on Armor, or generally need the AoE AS slow. Not commonly used, but sometimes taken versus a fed Yi or Vayne.
Also not common, Gauntlets are for if you want a little extra burst damage, or if you have slippery targets that can dodge/evade your initial cc.
Glory gives health and a little extra engage strength. Also good for running down (and sometimes from) high movespeed targets.
You get a little extra Armor and MR, and become a mobile slowing, AoE after you Ult. This is my default pick if you are not sure what else to get, Make sure to relink to another ally if you are skirmishing away from your ADC.
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Boots

These are your default pick for Roaming and getting back to lane faster. However, if the game goes long you may need to replace them with something else.
If you are Soaking a lot of magic damage, or eating too much cc to handle, these are the boots for you. This is also your priority option if you think you need MR anywhere in your build.
Tabi are for AD heavy comps, or versus particularly fed Marksmen.
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Late Game Options

If you want more health, more Armor and more mobility, Dead Man's is where its at. This is my default item for late game items after my core is complete, especially since I will eventually need to replace mobility boots if I have them.
Zz'Rot Portal Augments your Armor and MR, and gives you an active that is good for Siegeing, Splitpushing, or Drawing the enemy team towards areas of the map (and away from others), I don't like getting this item because it doesn't offer additional health. But if my team is struggling to push the map out, it is an option
This is a pickup for cases where you specifically need MR versus spammers like Ryze, Cassiopeia, or even Teemo dots, if you are having to tank them for extended periods.
This is my default MR item. It also offers good health, CDR, and a boon to your self healing.
On VERY rare occasions I will actually build AP, though it is most often needed to deal with out-of-control healing (Warwick, Swain, Mundo) with Grievous Wounds. Hopefully your team can deal with these issues without altering your build, but if you really need it...
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General Support Tips


Vision Matters!


Support has a lot of complexity in terms of thinking outside solely what is currently on our screen. Despite your buildpath, one of the most important things that a support NEEDS to do is ward for their team. Finishing your support item should be one of your earliest priorities, and completed or not, you should always be leaving base with at least one Vision ward in your inventory. Vision not only helps protect your lane early -- it allows your team to move out on the map and take objectives. A good rule of thumb is that the ABSOLUTE LATEST you can have wards ready, is when the first turret of the game goes down. Don't take that rule lightly, however. If the first tower of the game goes down, and you aren't warding yet... you are doing things very wrong, and are now significantly behind.

Enemy Assessment


Just in lane, a good support will keep a running threat assessment of the enemy team. Is either side favored in poking or wave clearing, is either side roaming better than the other? These are important things to take note of as you not only watch the map, but hone your "support-sense" for incoming danger. Even sudden changes in your enemy laner's behavior can be indications that something is amiss. Pay attention!


Friendly Assessment


Aside from just a static assessment of champions, you also need to keep a running tab on performance. Is your Ezreal missing every Q? Is your jungler diving towers recklessly chasing kills? Just because you have a theoretical advantage doesn't mean your team can translate that into a realized advantage. If your team isn't performing as well as they should, hang back and encourage them to take fewer risks in order to ensure their enthusiasm doesn't blow up in their face.


Damage Control


Sometimes despite your best efforts things just don't work out. Whether someone is feeding intentionally, or just doing poorly and refusing to take advice, sometimes the best thing you can do is cut them off. Don't go in trying to save them from suicidal plays and limit the amount of gold pouring into the enemy team. It sucks to have to let go sometimes, but you can do more for your team by staying alive and looking for other players/opportunities to lend your hand in creating positive advantages, rather than pouring more blood into the well.

Do I protect a friendly tower, or do I let it go?



This choice is one of the costliest in terms of trading and strategic thinking. Towers are the most visible things players see in regards to winning or losing the game of map control. However, Towers are MEANT to go down, minions will kill them on their own given enough time. Investing too much into protect ONE tower just for the sake of keeping it up can be a waste of effort ... and in some cases a death trap.

Ask yourself, how important is that tower to me for the foreseeable future?

Mid lane Towers tend to be the most important since they control access to jungle and the rest of the map. Second Tier towers are next after that, because they are usually the strongest defensible position that enables map access.

First of all, you have to decide if you can even defend the tower in the first place. Pouring a bunch of deaths and gold into the enemy team trying to save a lost turret is a recipe for an enemy snowball. IF it IS defensible, you have to judge if it is not simply worth trading for something else.

If your team is doing poorly, Sometimes you just want to let all the outer turrets go and fall back the the more defensible inner ones. While this may seem inconsistent at first, you have to look at it from the perspective of the enemy team. The area that you have to protect shrinks, and the area they have to attack grows. You can still ward your inner perimeter of turrets and have limited access to jungle. More importantly your team can move and react more quickly to each other than they can. This style of defense typically lasts until the first baron spawn.

If your team is doing well, you have to consider if saving that tower is worth it versus counterattacking and taking one of theirs. Assuming you trade 1 for 1, at worst that trade is even -- at best, you can use that opportunity to get a higher priority tower.

On a more advanced note, sometimes letting a singe tower go can be beneficial to someone on your team. Certain champions can really thrive on being able to farm a long lane, assuming you ward appropriately and control your area well. For example, Letting your outer bot-lane turret fall early can give a Vayne a little breathing room to farm, while freeing up your support to roam and do other things. Just remember to communicate with your team!


Roaming versus Staying in Lane


Later in the game, you will naturally roam, as your role requires you to move around the map and provide vision and objective play. However, even during lane phase, you may find opportunities to roam and do things in other parts of the map... but should you?

First and foremost, you need to communicate with your lane partner, and have a good grasp of whether they can handle being left alone, for even a short time. If they are just going to sit and try and facetank 1v2 you should probably just stay with them. Conversely if they are mature enough, you can leave them to glean a passive level advantage, while you go to assist someone else on your team until you get back.

Ask yourself... what is the objective of this roam? Will it facilitate other plays? or am I just wasting time away from XP. More importantly, what is the expectation that the enemy team will try to catch me in a bad position and capitalize on an easy kill?

Roaming with a purpose is good, but have respect for what the enemy team can do to react, and don't take unnecessary risks.

Don't be alone!


As much as we want to secure vision over objectives for our team, it is important that we aren't taking additional risks moving through uncontrolled territory, begging to be picked off for an easy kills. If you don't trust moving through territory, ward incrementally and back for more wards, OR wait for someone to go with you. Your death may not be as impactful as someone else on your team, but it is a powerplay for the enemy nonetheless. More importantly, many times a support is a force multiplier for their other teammates, rather than an additive force. This means that often, a support is a PRIORITY target for teams looking for an excuse to teamfight. Don't give up your gold easily. Be patient and wait till you can be more sure of your movement.
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Closing


Don't forget to Check the changelog for any recent additions, or leave a comment if there is something more you would like to see!

Thanks for Reading!
League of Legends Build Guide Author Aezuriel
Aezuriel Nunu & Willump Guide
[S8] Snowballing your Marksman with Full-Support Nunu