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Nasus Build Guide by Demon Cleaner

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Demon Cleaner

Solo Top Steamroller [Detailed Nasus Guide]

Demon Cleaner Last updated on March 5, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #27 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello and welcome to my Nasus guide. In the last weeks I saw a lot of upcoming guides for this Champion suggesting the basic build and i want to give some more resource and some different ways to play Nasus.

Usually the whole world builds an offtank Nasus with Mercury's Treads, Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, Frozen Heart, Force of Nature and another situational defensive item. Later on, i will show you that Nasus has much more capabilities than this one or the one i described in the build on top. He is quite a versatile AD-Offtank, you can do mainly everything from quite high DPS to almost-full-tank with him.

Well, now I´m gonna explain you how you can go on beating you enemies down and be the one who can make Baron Nashor solo and who can win a teamfight almost alone ;) enjoy!

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Lets start with the runes. Runes alone can not make the game for you but provide some utility and even quite notable damage, especially in the early game.

For the Marks there are basically two choices. You can go for some bonus AD and use the (cheap) Greater Mark of Attack Damage or go for Armor Penetration with Greater Mark of Desolation for ArmorPen. Both increase your damage notable and are wood choices. Take the same one you chose here as a Qunitessence, because these are also the only two viable choices for Quints.

I love to take the Greater Seal of Replenishment for earlygame mana regeneration. To be honest, Nasus always lacks mana and you do not always have a jungler who wants to give you the Blue Buff. It is definetly not fun to farm at the sololane while no being able to cast Siphoning Strike because you got not mana. To prevent this, take those seals. If you still do not want them take Greater Seal of Armor or Greater Seal of Evasion for more physical survivability in earlygame.

There are also only two viable choices for Glyphs and these are on the one hand the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and on the other hand the Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. Buying the Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist may allow you to buy less MR items in lategame (1 will be enough then together with Mercury's Treads, even against a team with lots of AP champs) and the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction gives you a lesser CD, allowing you to cast Siphoning Strike more often, but these are very expensive runes. Just take the one you favor.

So far with the Runes, lets go on with Masteries!

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Well, I use the default AD Offtank masteries here, focussing in the offense tree on my two summoner spells and Attack Damage, CDR and ArPen; basically all you need to farm well and deal a nice amount of damage.

In the defense tree I try to improe my defensive stats and take another bunch of CDR with me, allowing me to hit Siphoning Strike more often than otherwise.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Well, you max up Siphoning Strike first. This skill needs to be farmed and my maxing it the cooldown is drastically reduced. Sadly, it increases the Manacost. Thats the dark side. Besides, this skill is your main damage source and can coop with critchance, but it doesnt trigger Sheen. Always take Lasthits with it online and the only reason not to lasthit with Q is a cooldown or no mana, but if you are having runes+ Philosopher's Stone you will have enough mana.

On Lv2 you get one point in Wither. This spell teaches your enemies the meaning of the word "slow". If you get ganked, simply Wither the bigger threat. If you get a gank from your jungler, Wither the victim. If someone escapes from the teamfight, Wither him. If you wanna waste some mana, Wither without any strategy. Understood how to use it? Good.

On Lv 4 you get a point in Spirit Fire. It deals pretty little damage, but it reduces the enemy armor. So always make sure that you fight in that circle, your damage from Siphoning Strike turns almost into pure damage.

Your ultimate is Fury of the Sands. Just like Wither this spell is very versatile. In the laning phase you usually will use it differently than in a teamfight. Against single targets i usually activate it only when i eat quite much damage. They get very scared then. Or for AoE damage while chasing.
In Teamfights you activate it immediately to do as much damage as possible. It is very underrated, yout you can almost take away 20% of the enemy team's Hp just by your existance. Quite easy btw. Using the Skills of Nasus is really not too difficult...

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Summoner Spells

Sadly you can not see your enemies in advance, at least not in normal games. And in ranked games you will never do a sololane against two.

There are basically four and a half viable spells.

First viable spell is...

Flash is always viable on anyone for escape and chase.

If you do not like Flash and want another spell for increased mobility you can take Ghost

If you got exhaust you can increase your slow duration by some seconds and almost close the gap between the CD of Wither to the next Wither. If someone should deal you too much damage (what hardly occurs) you can also Exhaust him. Truly my favorite Spell on Nasus

Allows you to switch quickly between your base and your sololane and recharge HP and items.

I love it. But somehow i am the only one... It is also no bad choice on Nasus because you can beat your enemies down without fearing CC. You become an unstoppable steamroller.

I would recommend that you forget about the rest, also about Ignite. Although it provides some earlygame power it is still a waste in lategame, the time of the game where you shine.

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Well, here we get to the core part of the build and the one that has been fun to write. I will give you a long list of viable items and tell you some itembuilds that are quite cool in the end.


Mercury's Treads are your answer to CC. Some MR and Tenacity. Best boots in the game IMO.

Ninja Tabi are only viable against full-AD temas. Otherwise the dodge makes no sense.

Earlygame Items

Philosopher's Stone gives you gold per 10 seconds and a good regeneration. Sell it later. I would recommend to start with Regrowth Pendant as first item.

Sheen has a nice passive but your Q does not trigger it. You can build it into Trinity Force later.

After one or two of these you should start to buy a full item.

Full Items - Damage

Very expensive item granting a bit of all... Survivability, Damage and the Phage and Sheen proc. Not a must-have IMO because as i mentioned Q doesnt trigger the Sheen proc, but it is not too bad.

Only viable in lategame when you do not need more tankiness. A really huge boost for damage and survivability in Teamfights (I mean, with your passive you got over 30% Lifesteal and 1 Q-Spell can deal up to >1k dmg if it crits. That is a huge heal.)

Slight AD boost, a little bit increased crit-chance, Armor Penetration and a kickass active increasing move- and attackspeed. Besides, it is not expensive and you can get Avarice Blade as a golditem before.

A good alternative to Trinity Force giving a bit of AD and a quite big boost of HP and a CERTAIN slow of 35%. Noone can escape you now. Synergizes with Atma's Impaler, can replace Warmog's Armor or can be picked additionally to make more use of the Atma's Passive

Pick this only if you are really certain, and even then i do not recommend it. If you want a snowball item, go for Leviathan. There are safer ways to increase your damage.

VERY situational. Only do this if you a) carry the game and b) your enemies stack armor.

Your Siphoning Strike will blow of amazing crits that are almost able to 1hit squishies. Cool, huh? but.. expensive. And grants no survivability at all. Not that good, because you have to be able to tank a lot.

Increases you attack speed and gives you stacks of MR and adds 42 damage to your common attacks. A way different way to play nasus then, but i think it is quite viable. Needs a test though.

Provides AoE damage with Q and common attacks and some basic regeneration. I imagine this can be harmful in a teamfight with many squishy characters, but it is situational and needs a test, besides you have hardly got a slot in oyur inventory for that.

Full Items - Defense

Extreme health boost. Can burst your health above 4k, together with Atma's Impaler this may become scary.

A MUST HAVE together with Warmog's Armor to raise your ad to new heights. Definetly a coreiem either with warmogs, or with Sunfire Cape or Frozen Mallet

Underrated item. It is quite cheap, gives enough health and armor and synergizes well with your ultimate. The damage its passive deals in Teamfights is underrated.

This will detract most focus from you so you can kill them peacefully without being bothered too much. If you exist twice you can also deal sone pretty damage with only 750 hp because your lifesteal makes you quite sustainable in 1v1 or 1v2 =)

THE item against AP casters. It gives you the best regeneration in the game (especiaaly when you stack up HP) and tons of MR and even some movement speed to make chasing easier.

Take this only against very hard AD teams, because its just helpful against squishy carries that kill themselves with their crits. Other armor items are much more useful, like...

Slows the enemy attack speed while they are near you. This especially harms melee ad's. Besides it gives some mana, also not bad for you mana hungry beast. CDR included.

This thing can cripple a whole team with its slowing active. Beastly. Armor and Health and Regeneration are also nice attributes. The 5% CDR are hardly notable but they exist^^

does not belong to my favortie items. If you do not want to sell Philosopher's Stone you can take it and the active can be useful sometime, if you do not forget to use it.

Recommended item from me, but it comes quite late because in the trouble of that much items i suggested i likely begin to forget something. Ignores 1 spell, gives you health, mana and MR. Against a team with some hard CC this is really cool. I mean, it's fun to ignore a Amumu ulti or a Veigar stun..

If you like snowball items and have space in your inventory AND you are sure you can keep it up, take it. Its effect if you got 20 stacks is amazing.. Tons of health and 15% reduced damage. Only usable if you are dominating and confident. Combine with Guardian Angel

I recommend this for a support but if noone else buys it, you are also welcome to do it, if you have space in your inventory.

So finally it is your own work each time to build a good item set from these. Balance between offense and defense, look at your enemies, try something new out. I will suggest you some item builds that are viable and proves by me, they are all good, some may be notable better and so on.. remember: Stacking above 150 armor or 150 MR is mainly useless becuase the damage reduction gets lower the higher the armor or MR are.

Number 1 is also in the build above:

That was quite cool, it is more offensive and you deal insane damage:

Against heavy AD:

Against heavy AP

another idea, without Warmogs


hurting badly

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Well, on the lane you should focus on farming. Only farming. Your Siphoning Strike needs a lot of farm. If you are doing well, you should have about 300 bonus damage in the first teamfight. Only leave your lane if it is REALLY necessary and tell your mates that they should not do something big because the Steamroller is busy farming. Well, maybe not with that words...

You will get hard times in a 1v2 sololane because the enemy team usually doesnt let you farm and your weak early game does not make things better. Basically, all earlygame-gods and harassers are poison for you ( Garen, Rumble ...). If you can not get suitable Q-Bonus Damage you will be beyond useless without any ranged attack. So look that you get your damage to the top.

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You should join the teamfight after the tank enters (if you are not the tank). Go in mid of the enemy team, activate Fury of the Sands, cast Spirit Fire under the enemy team and watch them suffer from your Siphoning Strike and your team's AD-Carry. Try not to chase single champs, just slow then with Wither unless the teamfight is over or your ultimate expired. You should make use of the full damage potential (which is a very high one tbh). Basically, it's nothing complicated. You are a one man army in mid of your team and detroy everything. A well farmed Nasus is probably worst what can happen to your enemies, because you hit like a truck and take awesome amounts of damage.

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Well, thank you for reading this to its end, i hope it expanded your horizons :)

To be honest, it is not a real art to play nasus and basically you can also buy what you want - you can not go wrong. I enjoyed writing this guide while waiting for my mates to finish their games, and i hope you enjoy it to be prepared for a good match.

If you have any questions, problems or suggestions send me a note or comment below ;)

Give some serious criticism for a downvote please, not something like I THINK IN BUILD 4 A FROZEN MALLET SHOULD BE REPLACED BY SUNFIRE CAPE or even worse, though i am usually open for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.

thank you,
Demon Cleaner