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Nunu Build Guide by Tina

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Tina

Solo Top Hybrid Nunu -

Tina Last updated on April 24, 2012
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Jungle Role
Ranked #12 in
Jungle Role
Win 47%
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 8

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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Hello, this is my first Build on Mobafire and its all about Hybrid Nunu.

Nunu is an interesting champion, useful to his team in many ways, but usually incapable of winning a game on his own; with other words, Nunu cannot carry.

I will try and improve this build later on, but for now the basics shall be brought to you.

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For Runes I suggest Magic Pen Marks, because our main dmg until later in the game will be magic dmg and also because Nunu will not be a really hard hitting AD dude with this build no matter what, and thats not the goal anyways.

Flat Armor Seals make laning easier, as I suggest to go top with Nunu when using this build, most of the time they are your best bet; simple and simply good.

Glyphs are somewhat different, standard MR/lvl will do well and I´d use these 8 times out of 10.
There are some alternatertives however: Flat AP will give you the edge in early levels, AP/lvl improve your lategame slightly, CDR Glyphs of any kind would be a very good idea, being able to buff and debuff more often, and all the good stuff is definetely worth it and we won´t have very much CDR from Items, if any.

Quints, well quints are interesting, but the usual stuff will fit here: Flat HP are great, flat AP also nice, especially combined with the flat AP glyphs, I like to have MS Quints, cause it helps and makes me feel more nimble.

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My masteries are centered around lategame punch, so I skip the higher defense options to get some more offense.
Nunu doesnt really need that much additional defense in his early levels and later on I try to be a threat, while being tanky of course.
As this is a hybrid build I take both penetration masteries, but skip lifesteal, Nunu has got consume, thats much more efficient early and the AP/lvl really help not losing out on power throughout mid game.

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Now the items are probably the most interesting ... no they really are the most interesting after all.

I will try and explain every single one of them carefully and analyze its potential within this build and why I think it fits and why it works well with Nunu.

I pick up armor and pots at start just to be on the safe side, with this I can farm and harass quite safely.
catalyst is next since I wanna rush RoA.
RoA is just good on Nunu, nothing much to say but since I go for Atmas let me explain why I dont rush Warmogs: Unlike Lee and other Offtanks Nunus dmg without items is pretty low, not more than an Iceball and some weak auto attacks.
Also despite his great passive he cannot spam his stuff without any mana item.
RoA then gives everything: Nice HP, enough Mana for everything and AP which improve his early dmg quite nicely and further improve his sustain due to more healing from consume.

Atmas then gives much needed Armor and some decent dmg.
Still Nunu cannot really kill much on his own like a DPS, but its not bad at all.

Next up is usually banshees, Nunu simply needs the shield to have a chance to channel his ulti for more than 1 second.
It also gives nice MR and some HP, more tankyness overall, very nice item for every Nunu.

After that I go for Gunblade. Sometimes I buy the Revolver earlier, its nice for the extra AP and improves healing due to spellvamp with consume.
Once Gunblade is finished, Nunu experiences a huge increase in dmg output overall, not only because of the AP and AD which are of course very good but also because with the spellvamp and lifesteal he can easily play like an offtank and smash people in their faces.
The ability to slow 2 enemies at the same time is also great.

The last slot is pretty much up to you, I like randuins to be more tanky and have a team supporting active, but you could also roll with frozen heart, GA, Zhonyas, I would stick to something with armor.
However if youre steamrolling the other team or simply dont need to be more tanky, you can pick up a void staff or rabadons to improve your dmg and make your ultimate hurt alot more.

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Skill Sequence

Take what you feel you need more.
Iceball should be maxed early to maintain dmg output, but if you have a really hard lane, have no fear to put more points into consume early.
I´d take blood boil once between lvl 3 and 7 and max it before consume, which I max last.
Take ultimate whenever possible.
If your jungler ganks early, take a level Blood Boil before to buff both of you and increase chances of success.

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Well overall we have a Nunu, who is quite tanky, capable of dealing some good auto attack dmg, having a strong ultimate and bringing his usual utility to the team.
The goal of this build is to be more of a threat than Nunu usually is, but theres no doubt that you will need to finish the game before the very late game starts where everyone finished their build.

This build works quite good with Nunu since he doesnt really need any AS Items thx to blood boil.

The basic idea is to combine RoA with Atmas to have the advantage of both a nice early HP and Mana pool, along with some good AP and the translation into a more lategame AD oriented style.
I´m using the same basic build with Sion, to have the advantage of early game AP Sion and his awesome lane controll and farming while I can easily go for AD later on.
I´d not reccomend Gunblade on Sion however, it might work pretty nice, but Sion usually better works with PD and other DPS Items.

I dont really like this full offense Sion build with PD`s and IE right away, think its too squishy, kinda boring and doesnt work that well against coordinated teams.
Also if you have a hard lane early, you cannot farm the stuff you need.
This RoA build goes around that, and the beauty of Sion is you can just sell RoA later and buy something else without HP without really losing much tankyness since Sion farms up HP all game long.
And by the time the build is finished and you need the item slot from RoA, you´ll be farmed up with plenty of hp.

This is about Nunu, but I wanted to give that hint and explain the idea a little more :-)
Also because Sion is so far the best Champ to utilize this idea of build.

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Discussion - Walls of Text incoming

If you want, feel free to build more AP with him, but imo Nunu isnt very well suited to be something like an AP Carry.
I used to play him that way in my early LoL Days, but lately I found out, that its not too reliable against coordinated teams.

If your team doesnt need you to tank any dmg and you are not one of only 3 Dmg dealers on your team, AP Nunu might be a good choice.
But otherwise you´ll often find that only 1 reliable Nuke isnt enough to win a fight and once the other team realizes that you went for AP, they will throw anything on you when you use *Absolute Zero in the midst of them.
And guess what, because of your non existing tankyness, not really squishy after all, but not tanky, you cannot withstand this and have to hope on them walking blindly into a brush when you channel ^^ will not work everytime.

I for myself found out, that AP Nunu is pretty much like full AD Olaf, whom I saw once again yesterday.
Both can win their lanes with ease, role hard into midgame and have their advantage, but once the enemy team gets some kind of coordination and teamplay and some items of course, they become pretty much useless, instantly focused and dead weight on the team, when they expect you to tank at least a little.

And even if you say to your team "Guys I won´t tank anything", then there will be the other problem: Who else will?
The only option then is to role with Nunu as the AP carry, but that as I said doesnt work that well in most games.

Oh yeah, I also prefer Nunu as support usually, he´s a great support, and he can support his team easily while jungling effectively, babysitting bot lane or even dominate his top lane.
The only problem Nunu really has is as usual, his Lategame sux, he becomes a tanky slow/buff Bot, which isnt bad, but if you have another pure support on bot, Nunu jungle and something like lets say Maokai top, you´re left with 2 Dmg dealers ... thats often not enough.
This build wants to be a way around that, being both tanky and a threat, dealing 2 kinds of dmg, not relying on only 1 nuke and an ulti, that isnt reliable at all.

I dont say this is the way, or the only way or the best or something to play Nunu.
But I cannot really suggest Sorc Boots for Nunu, sry, he´s eating alot of CC usually.
You could take Sorc Boots early and sell them for Merc Treads later, but I wouldnt recommend that.
However, I´m not god ...(or am I?) so do what you feel is the best to you :-) you´re probably more experienced with AP Nunu than I am, I won´t even say that its terribly bad, I just dont think its wise for Nunu, cause he still is not a main dmg dealer with this build and Sorc Boots leave him squishier, than I want him to be.

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Discussion - More walls, for those with balls ... to read.

Zhonyas Hourglass

Absolute Zero is channeling, it will cancel when you activate stasis.
Nunu can be played as pure tank, but since Nunu will be a Slow/buff Bot lategame anyways with most builds will mean full tank Nunu doesnt give an enemy reason to attack him.
The ulti does some nice dmg of course, but you have to be positioned/run straight into them before doing it and when you eat 1 hard CC, its almost useless.

You could as well try this out with Sion for example: Ive met a few full tank Sions, who had like ~3x Warmogs and 1 Atmas, awfully high amount of HP, but of course almost no dmg, so he´s been quite useless, only a stun and some auto attack dmg.
Nunu is almost the same, while he provides nice utility for his team with any build, even his ulti won´t do enough dmg to really make a huge difference when you have no AP lategame, and even though the distraction is good, having the enemy distracted and slowed for a few seconds isnt worth the space of a champ on your team.

Even with someone like Olaf, its almost the same: I used to play Olaf with Frozen Mallet, Warmogs and such stuff, but I realized that even as Olaf with his true dmg and his life dependant buff, my dmg is just too low to remain a serious threat.

In case of Nunu´s general tankyness: Yes, Nunu is usually perfectly fine with RoA and Banshees + 1 Armor Item, which is kind of what I suggest here.
But this is in case you are a usual Nunu, who´s supporting his team in different ways as good as he can.
Nunu has got several options to do so from early to mid and even lategame, but as I said, he becomes kind of a slow/buff bot lategame.
While this isnt really bad in general, it can cost your team the game to have too many champs, who deal next to 0 dmg lategame, yes even a fully channeled ultimate isnt enough to harm more than their squishies seriously, the distraction and slow is the best thing about it most of the time.

You could think of Nunu as a Janna with much more natural tankyness.
They will not focus him, unless he is a threat and he cannot become a threat by simply buying dmg, or if you overdo it, you´ll be a threat but easily nuked down then, Ive seen this too often: AP Nunu wins his lane early, has got nice AP and his ulti is potentially devastating, but as kind of the "AP Carry", they will focus him and watch out for his ulti much more than usual, chances are high that you´ll never get your ultimate off to full effect, and because you only have 1 Nuke, you can only hit&run, which isnt too useful in a teamfight, and if you die early, you cannot buff and slow anyone anymore.

Also I´d say an almost permanent slow on 1 enemy is nice, but its nothing like lets say Amumu or even Rammus, who can roll in and pull an enemy out to kill him with ease.
The ultimate slows for some seconds but it also is nothing compared to Amumu´s ulti, even in terms of dmg Amumu beats Nunu in a teamfight, but Amumu can get away with building full tank.

Well just think about this: Tank Nunu is no threat and wont be focused enough to be a tank.
AP Nunu is way too squishy, he´s got 1 Nuke, only one and only on one enemy.
Thats nothing too impressive. You can try to channel your ulti in a brush, but decent enemies will be aware of what youre trying to do, they won´t enter brushes blindly, and if you run into their team, you´re toast.
Full DPS Nunu might work somehow, but he doesnt have a skillset that allows him to be good fighter, so I wouldnt recommend that either.
Nunu is probably best played as a tanky/ap/support.
He can buff, slow, do some dmg in teamfights and distract enemies, is item independant, therefor can easily buy wards and carry oracles, even as a jungler, counter jungle like almost noone else ...

Hybrid Nunu then combines the tankyness and AP power of tanky/ap/support with some nice auto attack dmg and sustain through lifesteal, while also making use of blood boil on himself.

And no, Nunu with only RoA isnt tanky enough if you really expect to eat dmg.
Support Nunu can get away with only RoA, still I´d suggest banshees to have a chance to channel absolute zero.
And then again: What other Items would you buy as support? Aegis, Randuins, Shurelyias, GA probably, Zhonyas maybe.
And as I said already: If you build a more dmg oriented Nunu be it AD or AP, you´ll get focused and be too squishy with only nice life.

Well then, I will add this to the guide, hope it to be useful, but cannot work it over so soon.

Just remember: Nunu isnt Lee Sin, he cannot do much dmg without any dmg oriented items, then he will be a viable and tanky support.
But if you play Lee on full AD, you´ll often experience that your domination early and midgame come to an end lategame, as they will focus you and kill you within seconds.

Nunu has to make up for his bad lategame with his support and the power to dominate early and mid game.

You could also build full AP from early to mid and switch to something more tanky and supportive later on.
But well that doesnt make much sense after all, since you have to farm much early to have this power in mid game, but lategame you´ll be a non-dmg dude on your team?
That would be like farming on bot as the carry, selling all your stuff lategame and tell your not farmed support to carry lategame ...
And besides of that how could you make clear to your team, that you won´t support, but also won´t be a carry lategame, while you still need alot of farm?
Well I guess you could do this, but it doesnt make sense to me.
Playing to Nunu´s strengths means to embrace his weaknesses, and that is, you cannot carry your team regardless of what items you´ve got, but you can be a great support and tank to your team without many items.