Season 12 Meta Nasus Guide. Multiple Builds, Runes, Matchups
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Runes: Standard/Safe Runes
+8 ability haste
+8 ability haste
+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
This is on my list of champs to ban, tbh. This is just a VERY bad lane for you. Camille 1-3 wrecks your face. She jumps around like Attack on Titan on drugs, double procs Q, hurts you. Try to bait her into a early lvl 2/3 trade and hope the wave pushes into you. Make sure to stay away from walls, or you're playing to her strengths. I go Doran's Shield in this matchup, and hold on. You don't even really outscale her because of true dmg and her kit, but you will get tanky enough where she can't burst you down. At that point it's a macro game. Avoiding giving up a kill pre-6 is huge in this. Most Camille mains will save her hook as an escape, but if they ever go in with it first you can Wither and bonk her with your Q and some autos before retreating.
Logic would say that Nasus should enjoy Illaoi. Nasus is dog. Illaoi is fish lady that summons delicious tentacles. However, logic is wrong. Illaoi bullies the living hell out of you. If you walk up to Q her tentacles for stacks she'll suck your soul out of your body for a giant burst of damage. Get early grievous wounds vs her (executioners or bramble, your call) and also get Anathema's Chains to avoid her bursting you down hard. Let Illaoi push and ask for help from your jungler pre-6. Post-6 she can probably 1v2 you.
I really hate this champ. Why is she only targettable in her prism that gives her tanky stats? Why does riftmaker regen so much? Why is she basically a cuter, anime, splitpushing monster? Avoid 1v1ing her (SO easy for a Nasus, right? zzzz) and TP to other side lanes or group with your team for objectives. You don't even get to be Nasus around her.
As a resident Yorick main (consult my guide) this matchup is laughable. Yorick will max wall 2nd, and make your life miserable. As you auto or even waste Q on the wall Yorick and his ghouls + Maiden will bring the pain train to you. The best way to win this matchup is to wait for Yorick to miss his wall and Wither him. Walk up and Q the Maiden during this. She doesn't regen hp unless she's in the fountain, and Yorick isn't a champ without her.
This matchup is super hard. Voli does % dmg, pretty much has a guaranteed stun, does aoe splash dmg, and a ton of other stuff. Dont' dare trade with him early. He's tankier, does more dmg, and has cc. Best bet is to avoid all interactions with him and hope for jungler ganks. If someone else bans Camille then I would probably ban Voli. It's not fun at all.
Same issues as Vayne top. Luckily Lucian is much more meta in the mid or bot lane. Demand ganks if he does end up top, or lane swap.
Kled gets free grievous wounds in his kit (except better bc it's 60% reduction) which is a nightmare for Nasus. If you fight him I would advise to walk away during his healing cut, and Wither so you can fight afterwards. Ward your river, as Kled will shove you in and ask for his jungler to come towerdive you. Kled will dismount to drop aggro, and you will die fairly easily. Take this lane very slowly, and don't look for many trades. This is a lane where you're just stacking and hoping for a chance to read mid and late game. Very hard to win trades vs a smart Kled.
This lane match-up really sucks, but luckily you won't see Trundle top very often. Do beware if the enemy team has a Trundle jg, though. His ult literally turns you from a big bad dog into a tiny pupper. Trundle will thank you for the stats, chomp you up, and dance on your grave.
This lane should be avoided at all costs. Even if you can Wither the Vayne she will just E you away, or kite and tumble away with her Q. She does % dmg, which is a nightmare. She scales extremely well into a hyper carry, which is a nightmare. Ranged is no fun for the doggo. I'd try to lane swap with mid.
You won't see it much, but this matchup REALLY sucks. Top lane is full of bushes, which Rengar will hide in while you try to farm and pounce on you. He can use his roar to cleanse your wither. He can stun and combo you quickly. The best you can do is hide under turret and try to not stay too far behind. Don't risk walking up for CS @ lvl 1&2 or you'll lose half your HP bar. The win % in this matchup in Plat+ is abysmal for Nasus, for good reason.
You don't really ever see this top anymore, but you MUST swap with your mid laner if you do. This lane is literally impossible. She kites, has a 0 cd ability, and also can slow or stun you in place with her poison field. Bad news bro, bad news.
IMPORTANT: START E LEVEL 1 IN THIS LANE Another lane bully. Which means he beats Nasus, go figure. If you accidentally start Q don't be surprised if he has 10 cs before you hit 2-3. You need your E to harass him off the wave early, and to last hit the melee minions. Darius will zone you out of cs range from lvls 1-3. If you do walk up to farm a smart Darius will slow you with W, and beat your face down for 1/2 or more of your HP bar. Try to trick Darius into Qing the wave. You want to be safely under tower. A lot of his presence disappears at that point. You'll need grievous wounds in this lane, or you'll never be able to kill him while he's low. If you play it safe by the time you're lvl 6 if you can dodge a Q or two in a fight you actually win the 1v1. You outscale as well, so that's a plus.
This matchup is really hard in lane. Noc beats up on melee champs. Luckily noc is played mid and jg much more than top, but it's still a possibility. Be prepared to go Doran's Shield, and play extremely safe. Try to bait out his spellshield by walking up and casting E. Then you can at least Wither to escape during fights. You will become more useful in grouped teamfights, aside from Noc's dive potential on one champ. Noc builds fairly squishy as well, so 2-3 bonks in late game will dispose of him.
This matchup is a game of patience. If he hops in first then Wither him and go to town. A good Gnar will wait though, and kite you with his Q and autos. I buy Deadman's Plate a lot in this matchup as my 2nd or 3rd item.
I think this match-up is winnable, but very hard. Sylas has mobility. He has lifesteal, he can take your ult. He becomes an annoying AP version of you in 1v1s basically. Get early executioners and try to win at lvl 6. If that doesn't work turtle up and farm up.
An expert Riven player will be a pain in the ass. Luckily a lot of people lack the proper mechanics to win this matchup outright 100% of the time. You can go Doran's Shield, stack up, and win small trades. Bait out Riven's first Q. Then back up. The Riven will either use the remaining 2 Qs on the wave, or try to chase you and miss out on CS. Let the wave come to you and get stronger.
I really wish they just brought old Garen back. The new one is a pain to deal with. Garen's Q hits like a truck, just like yours. Most Garen players will also spin into you, hit a Q, and W away to avoid getting Withered too hard. Be sure to buy grievous wounds in this matchup, or Garen will just keep trading over and over in lane and regen with his passive. On the bright side most Garens will look to group/go after your carry. Hard shove and take towers when this happens. A hard lane to win late game though.
This matchup is a nuisance, but winnable. Irelia is not extremely tanky, and you'll be able to duel her over time. Beware though as Irelia is a havoc in teamfights. Use wither on her and keep her off of your carries. In mid to low elos I think the Nasus will win out most times by mid game.
A lane bully early, but definitely winnable. Stay behind the creeps at early levels, and make Aatrox have to Q through your minions to get to you. Dodge as much as you can, but if you do get hit at least the wave will push and you can safely farm on your half of the map. Buy grievous in this lane, or Aatrox will just regen forever.
Another champ you won't see top as often as mid, but a difficult one when you do. She will Q through the wave to get to you if needed. And unlike other champs, she has free tower dive potential with her shroud. Beware 2v1 situations where Akali and her jungler will bounce aggro to easily kill you. You do outscale when you become too tanky, but just make sure you get there without inting your face off first. Otherwise Akali will 1v5.
Annoying sword duelist lady. >:o Avoid getting your vitals hit. I wouldn't fight this until around 6, unless you get some free Qs off while she's hopping around like a bunny. She can chunk you easily. You can beat her in the mid game, but late game fiora is a giant nuisance as well. Take your trades sparingly, and don't try to all-in her. She'll proc conqueror + regen and hurt. Try to teamfight when possible, and win the macro game.
On surface level this matchup is pretty easy, but can be very annoying early. For the most part your Q/auto will be faster than anything but a GP melee or close range Q on the barrel. Which means free stacks for you. Don't take too much poke early though, as most GPs will go corrupting pot and Q you all day. Keep track of if he oranges during laning phase, which gives you a chance to Wither and beat him up for a while.
I would actually go Doran's Ring in this matchup and put 3 early points into E. Bait the heimer into putting up turrets. You'll inherently get pushed here, but at least you'll be able to stack. You are so much more useful in teamfights and late game too.
Jax isn't the terror of past seasons(due to trinity being garbage compared to Sunderer and other mythic items), but this champ is still a pain to play against. Don't even try to approach him early. He'll just counterstrike and stun you, and beat you up with a lamp pole. Try to stop your lane from crashing at tower, but stay out of his Q jump range from lvl 1-3 as well. You'll be able to duel him after Sheen and boots, and look for opportunities to sneak in Q bonks. Be very aware of when his counterstrike is up or not.
I think this lane is very managable. Jayce has the range and poke, but your Wither negates that. You simply have to wait out his gate, which most mid to low level Jayce players will use to E Q you. Then wither and get a Q or two in and back off.
This lane is so annoying. She has a shield. She has a speed-up. She has a tether stun. You won't be able to get to her, but if you dodge her Qs then you should be alright. Focus on farming and stacking under tower, and build a Spirit's Visage or Force of Nature. Your time will come.
This matchup is very straightforward. Singed wants to push enemies under turret. Nasus wants to stack minions. I think you get the point. Late game you'll have 1-2 MR items and just ignore him and split push.
This matchup is rough early. He will poke you down with Q, and wins trades. He will probably push you under tower, stun you with his W, then block turret shots with his E while walking away. Ask for jungle help, or back when below 1/3 health. He will easily execute you every time. Luckily Pantheon falls off pretty hard, and you'll be tanky enough after 2-3 items to run through him. Ping for MIAs, as he'll try to roam and ult mid.
Pretty much a wet noodle lane. Tahm won't die, you won't die. Dog and frog hanging out on a log. Just stack up. And get executioners early, to lower his healing off consuming his shield. Beware 2v1 jungler ganks since Tahm's teleport ult is now one of his basic abilities
A pain just like every other ranged top. On the bright side she has a little less mobility when not in her ult form. Her jump has a fairly long cooldown, and if she uses it in lane you can Wither and run at her. Beware the Q, it has a huge splash radius and most Quinn's will chuck it at you as you try to Q the cannon minions.
This is a weird lane. Both you and Kayle will be pretty complacent just farming pre-6. See if your jungler can gank prior to then. Both of you scale, but a lvl 18 Kayle is one of the biggest horrors in the game atm. Wither is great vs Kayle bc it will outlast her W movement speed buff. Try to get some Qs off, but late game if you can't kill her in 1 or 2 hits back off. She'll kite you hard and then ult if you try to Q again. NOTE: Kayle is very meta mid atm instead of top, so make sure it's a Kayle top in your games.
A stupid easy matchup. Malph pushes wave with his E if you ever fight. You regen off trades with your passive. Malph is immobile aside from his ult, and if he uses that as an escape then GG.
A little more annoying since the rework, but still a very straightforward lane. He's a beefy boi. You're a beefy boi. You stack minons. He can't stop you from stacking minions. Yeah. Build grievous for 1v1s though or literally no one will die.
Another tank, yawn. Stack, scale, etc.
This lane is only hard early. Just stay out of Vlad's Q range and don't get too low pre-6. After you get ult you should never die, and after you get a spirit visage you just win. Get an executioners to cut into Vlad's regen.
Another annoying gnat that will try to poke you. Hide behind creeps and don't take too many free autos. Your wither is a nightmare to Kennen, even with his speed-up. Very easy.
Tanks mean easy Q stacking and farming for you. Just be careful of Sion's Q, the range is deceptively long. He will try to shout minions at you when you're shoved under tower too.
You won't see this as much as in Season 10, but still a possible lane matchup. Grag will try to bodyslam into you when you're farming cannons, so be prepared for that. He wins trade early, but just get merc treads and a spirit visage.
Refer to the AP guide for beating Teemo. You can also go corrupting potion and put 3 early points into E, going E -Q -W first 3 levels, With the increased range on Wither it reaches as far as Teemo's autos. Just be patient.
More problematic than other AP champions on the list, but still winnable. Rumble will harass A LOT early with his flamespitter, since you can't hide behind creeps. Just let him shove the wave and outscale. He's also very immobile, so Wither on ganks and if he overheats.
This champ does way too much damage for a tank. Watch out for his W-auto (To proc the extra W damage)-Q-E combo. It'll take almost all your health early on.
He'll keep shoving you since he has no mana. His passive AOE does deceptive amounts of damage too. I wouldn't fight until you get grievous wounds. Ask for ganks pre-6. I've had good success going the unsealed spellbook rune path here, refer to earlier in the guide for that. Having things like exhaust, ignite, etc are really nice for dueling Morde. Get grievous wounds early, executioners.
Just like Ornn, this champ does way too much damage for being a tank. She'll poke with her passive and Qs early. Stay behind creeps so her Q pushes the wave. And stay away from walls or she'll stun you then chunk you down before you get a chance to react.
Very tough lane. One of the strongest early laning phase bullies of the top lane. A good renekton will hit 2 first, then zone you off the wave. Sadly there's not much you can do about it. Consider going E level 1 so you can catch the ranged minions for exp and gold. You severely outscale him.
Usually mid, but Ryze can go top as well. His Q poke is a giant pain. And you approaching him is highly telegraphed, so he can root you and kite away. If he uses his root on something else then it's your window to strike. Wither and go at him.
Another split-pusher that can give you tons of problems. He will match you all game. Try to split and blow his TP, then he'll be forced to ult for his teammates later. Don't try to fight Shen early, he has too much in terms of dmg due to his empowered Q autos and his passive.
An extremely durable champion with tons of duel potential. The current full hp stacking Sett build will chunk you down for 1k+ true damage too. Be sure to get a steraks as 2nd or 3rd item to avoid his burst. Level 1 he'll probably get E, so be careful of getting pulled in while trying to farm early. He'll smash your face in.
Trynd will beat you pretty hard 1-6. Make Trynd spin on top of the minions, so the lane will push. A very tough 1v1 matchup without items, but I actually enjoy this later one. If he spins in be sure to Wither, and after you stack for a while you should chunk him down pretty hard.
This matchup sucks. Urgot will max his W, so that he can shoot you at all times. A good Urgot will also save his E dash for after you WIther. Bait him into engaging first, so he has no leap. Then you can Wither and get 2-3 Qs off at a time.
You have to be very decisive in this matchup. Viego will get free lane poke all day with his Q. He bursts down pretty hard with Press the Attack/Hail of Blades too. A squishy champ, try to Wither him after he uses his E so he can't just stun and run away. Buy grievous wounds, Viego regens like crazy.
I think this matchup was even when Wukong only had one ult. Now he has 2 (well theoretically 4??) spins at a time. Wukong will chunk you early, go Doran's Shield. Winnable with Sunderer and stacks, just don't let him get too far ahead with early kills. A lot of Wukongs will go ignite, so beware.
More commonly played in jungle, but starting to see it top more again lately. Buy grievous wounds, or he regens forever off his passive and Q. Will try to fight you at level 2 with his fear and chomp. Just back off at first.
Champion Build Guide
I'm A Drunk Carry, a NA top lane/adc main. I'm currently Plat in Season 11, with most of my games in the top lane this season. In terms of top lane I specialize in split pushing/macro champs. I also stream over @ https://twitch.tv/a_drunk_carry so feel free to stop by there and catch me while I'm live and ask any questions that you may have!
Nasus is a champion that can excel even while the rest of your team is behind. Something that is extremely useful in solo queue.
Nasus scales extremely well into the mid and late game. And even when behind Nasus can stack Qs and become useful later on in the game.
Nasus focuses on farming, split-pushing, and being a patient player. You will be paid off with a ridiculous tower destroying titan that can 1v9 when needed.
-Extremely strong split-push/dmg to towers
-Great scaling, strong mid & late game
-Can stall out losing games with split-pushing
-Solo carry potential through objective control
-Great at teamfighting
-Immobile/susceptible to ganks
-No forms of hard CC
-Unfavorable matchup vs a large amount of meta top laners (refer to match-ups section of the guide above)
-Macro intensive, you need to know where enemies are at all times
-Very weak early game
-Will often get zoned out of CS/be down in CS early.
-Can get kited very easily.
One of the oldest and most basic passives tbh. Nasus just gets free lifesteal on his autos and Q. Note that the 2nd rank happens at lvl 7, and the 3rd rank happens at lvl 13. Basically just free stats for his survivability. It's not extremely inventive, but it works. You get monster heals off your Q procs late game.
Q: Siphoning Strike Nasus empowers his next basic attack (you have 10seconds to auto) and he gains 25 bonus range along with bonus physical damage (30/50/70/90/110 + # of siphoning strike stacks). Every kill with Siphoning Strike gives 3 permanent stacks, which is increased to 12 if you kill a champion, large minion (cannon/super minion), or large monster. (Cast time: 0sec, Mana cost: 20, Cooldown: 7.5/6.5/5.5/4.5/3.5sec)
This ability is like 90% of Nasus. Siphoning Strike is how you and your cane strike fear into the enemy team. Make sure you last hit minions with your Q to get permanent stacks. You have to ESPECIALLY get the cannon minions (they come every 3 waves) as they'll get 12 stacks. Note that using Nasus' Q will reset your basic autos. So in a fight try to auto-Q-auto in that order for optimal damage. Siphoning Strike is uncancelable once the animation begins as well, much like an auto. So someone trying to flash away/losing vision/etc won't stop the damage from coming out.
W: Wither Nasus places a debuff on an enemy champ for 5seconds, slowing and crippling (lowered attack speed) them. The effect is increased over time. (Target range: 700, Cast time: 0.25sec, Mana cost: 80, Cooldown: 15/14/13/12/11sec)
Max Slow %: 47/59/71/83/95%
Max cripple %: 23.5/29.5/35.5/41.5/47.5%
Wither is a targeted ability that slows the movement and attack speeds of an enemy champion. The percent slow goes up per level, as well as per second of the cast. When it reaches the maximum duration it can LITERALLY slow an enemy for 95% of their movement speed. That isn't a typo. Do note that Wither has it's effectiveness lowered by Tenacity. Target enemy carries with this, and watch them go slow as molasses.
E: Spirit Fire Nasus unless a aoe circle of spirit flame at the targetted area that deals magic damage to all enemies in it. The circle stays for 5 seconds, dealing damage per second to anyone standing in it, and reducing their armor. The armor reduction lasts for a second past damage. (Reduction: 25/30/35/40/45% of armor)(Target range: 650, Effect radius: 400, Mana cost: 70/85/100/115/130, Cast time: 0.25sec, Cooldown: 12)
This ability is interesting as it does a few things. It adds much needed range to a champion that gets zoned out hard early. I said it in a few of the match-ups above, but use this to safely farm ranged minions early against lane bullies. It also applies a pretty nice de-buff to enemy champs, lowering their armor. My combo for going in is often Wither-Spirit Fire-auto-Q-auto, etc.
Beware of the mana cost, it's the only ability that Nasus has that costs more mana as you put more points into it. That's why I level it 3rd, unless you're going AP Nasus or if you need 3 pts early to deal with champions like Teemo.
R: Fury of the Sands Nasus transforms for 15 seconds, gaining bonus HP (300/450/600), bonus magic resist (40/55/70), 30% increased size, and 50 bonus attack range during this time. While transformed Nasus
Basically Nasus turns into a big bad doge and suits up for war. Always proc this at the start of an all-in attempt. I see a lot of low elo players do this 3-4 seconds into a fight, and I think it's a waste. It lasts for 15 seconds, which is an ABSURD amount of time honestly. Even if you end up not fighting for a second or two it's better to be safe than sorry.
Stacks are slang for when you last hit with your Q ability, Siphoning Strike. You permanently deal 3 more dmg per "stack", and it's increased to 12 for cannon minions, super minions, large monsters, and champions.
The goal of Nasus is to get as many stacks as quickly as possible. That's why you want to get items with ability haste, so you can Q more often. Last hit with your Q as often as possible, especially on cannon minions.
The ideal amount of stacks you should be aiming for once you're comfortable on the champion is 150 stacks at 10 minutes, 250 at 15, 400 at 20, etc. Notice that the intervals over time (from 10-15 mins is +100 but 15-20 mins is +150)increases due to ability haste, lowered cooldown on Q from maxing it first, etc.
Don't be afraid to let your opponent push lvl 2 first here and let the lane push into you. I often see Nasus players try to go for stacks at lvl 1 and lose half or more of their hp fighting in a creep wave.
Our goal here is to at least have 700g, so we can back for Sheen and TP back to the lane. 1k would be even nicer, so you can get boots. Do not, I repeat DO NOT use your Wither or Spirit Fire with wreckless abandon in the lane early. This is another rookie mistake I often see. Using your E to harass often pushes the creep wave in, or just outright lets duelists freeze the lane in front of their tower. Both use a lot of mana early too, which means less stacks. I advise using Wither for escapes for the most part on enemy engages, unless your jungler is coming top.
Keep playing safe, take good trades (using Q on the enemy when they're going in for farm, etc), and work your way towards Divine Sunderer. Your time will come. Follow the leveling guide and max out your Q first for the cooldown reduction. A lot of bonking is gonna be going on.
Unless you're going the early harass/AP route the usual skill progression is Q, W, E for levels 1-3. Then max Q first, and W second.
A lot of people are taken aback by the DPS you put out with just one item, especially since Nasus has the misconception of being a "late game only" champ. If the enemy walks too close for a cannon minion hit 'em with the old W-auto-Q-auto combo and show them who's boss. They'll usually run away with their tail between their legs. Woof.
If you're lucky your team has either gotten Rift, or you've forced your opponent to back once or twice and you've eaten up some of those delicious turret plates. Demolish comes in clutch here, as that means easy tower plates when you have some alone time with the tower.
Start working on your Frozen Heart now. It makes you a nearly unmatched dueling machine. Unless you're playing against some team of like 3-4 maniacs who all go AP champs. Then I could see a world where Spirit Visage could come 2nd. I like Hullbreaker 3rd. Then dip into the rest of the main/situational items listed earlier in the guide.
ALWAYS buy a pink ward and place it in the jungle or river of the lane that you are splitting late game. You dying once will also result in a huge team swing, as the threat of your split push is off the table and the enemy team will have a 5v4 power play.
Many champs (adcs/ranged tops/scaling jgs/etc) are able to chunk down Nasus at this point of the game. This is why I said I like mid-game more, because you often get kited during late game. Play the teamfights wisely, and prioritize front to back targets unless you can get in Wither range of a carry. Especially a immobile one.
Aside from that keep stacking. Become such a nuisance to the enemy team that they're forced to react to you. Many top laners will struggle to stop you from pushing, Q'ing the tower 1-2x (often for 1/4 or more of it's HP), Withering them, and walking away. In lower elos the enemy jungler will often come to assist the top laner, or they'll send both bot laners to handle you due to a range advantage. Ping this to your teammates, and make them aware of the overall mismatch on the other side of the map. Don't be afraid to use your Teleport for a cross-map teamfight, especially if they send the enemy jungler or bot lane to you.
If you've gotten this far I want to again thank you for stopping by my guide today! I hope you learned something new. And for you more seasoned Nasus players out there don't be afraid to tell me about something I've missed. This guide is constantly adapting, and I love to share and trade info with others. Come on by the stream if I'm live and say hi. And happy bonking! <3