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Nasus Build Guide by Simplemoo

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Simplemoo

Solotank Nasus.

Simplemoo Last updated on November 17, 2011
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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: 3

Honor Guard

Defense: 24

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 3

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Hi, I'm Simplemoo from the EU West server.

This will be my first champion guide. Please read it in its entierety before you rate the guide and please leave feedback so that I may improve it or answer any questions.

Please remember this guide is for a Nasus who will be soloing top.

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Why another Nasus guide?

I have been playing Nasus since I was around summoner level 14, and was a big fan of the old number one rated guide here on Mobafire. Unfortunately this guide no longer seems to exist, and I have forgotten its old author. Consequently, the fun style of Nasus I learnt to play with no longer has a representation here.

Additionally I see alot of people playing Nasus in very odd (and often terrible) ways.

I may not be the best player around like some of the guide authors on here; but I think I can contribute to the Nasus players in the community.

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Why Nasus And Why Solo Top?


  • Nasus has high sustainability through Soul Eater.
  • Very hard to kill if played defensively.
  • Hard to gank with Wither and Fury of the Sands
  • High damage output to match tankyness.
  • Nasus is capable of carrying a sub-par team if played well.
  • Pub-stomper.

  • Can sometimes be harrased or zoned by ranged champions.
  • Weak damage if underfed.
  • Mana hungry.

Why solo top?
  • Nasus benefits from having a solo farm. Siphoning Strike needs last hits to function.
  • Nasus has great sustain and can outlane alot of other solo-top champions.
  • Nasus can survive ganks fairly realiably without support.
  • Nasus' heavy aoe and survivability lets you 2v1 effectively if the enemy does not jungle.
  • Nasus does not do well in mid due to the high number of ranged champions that lane there.
  • Nasus doesnt duo lane particularly well. Without a hard CC and a tendency to spam for last hits. Nasus does not play well with others.
  • Nasus is a viable jungle, but he will not get many last hits to feed his Q. His ganks are also worse than sub-par.

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Pre Game Setup

Im not 100% On the new talents. So ill explain my new choices. Do not take this as gospel, ive no idea what will be the better talents now.

Juggernaut Will provide a nice additional health boost. The CC reduction can also be combined with a tenacity item to further reduce the time you spend stood still during teamfights.

Veteran's Scars Vigor Durability Indomitable Will all make you more tanky and help your early game survivability.

Brute Force Good Hands Are useful to use up the extra points outside of the defensive tree. It adds a free kills worth of AD to your Siphoning Strike and boosts your auto attacks slightly. Good Hands Reduces time spent dead which is significant late game when it can be pulling precious seconds for you to get out of the graveyard and get back to helping your team.

+78 Health total. At the start of a game this is amazing. Using a basic Ruby Crystal as a pricing guide, its around 200 gold worth of health.

+8.85 Magic penetration. Early game this gives Spirit Fire a real bite.

+10.53mp5 @ level 18. Whilst this sounds VERY underwhelming, playing a few games with and without these runes it becomes noticeable that these are an improvement. With some mana management these runes let you go through a full game with very little mana issues.

+14.41 Magic resistance. This gives Nasus that extra bit of meat on his bones. Youll be happy to have these runes when that Fiddlesticks ults out of a bush or when Karthus fires his space canons.

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Summoner spells

Ghost has a wealth of uses. The obvious one is chasing down enemies. But dont be afraid to use it defensively. Running through a pack of your own minions to escape can be a real life saver. Using this in teamfights can also some times be very beneficial. During your Fury of the Sands you can use this to force yourself into the enemy team. Really driving home your Ults power.

Teleport is an often underrated spell. As solo top it can often feel hard to get back to the shop without abandoning your tower. This spell is the get out of jail free card. Versus some tougher opponents such as Irelia, or an aggressive Gangplank, porting out to grab mana, health and boots, can take alot of the opponents pressure off.

To get the most from your Teleport make sure to dump your mana before you leave the lane. Throw Spirit Fire on the minion wave and Siphoning Strike a last hit or two. Leaving a lane with full health or mana is wasting your own potential.

Late game Teleport can be used to quickly move to aid allies. Save towers, or gennerally fly about the map. Nasus is not a great backdooring champion, but, if options are limited then it is not undoable.
Teleport can be used on friendly sight wards H-28G Evolution Turrets Jack In The Box and Noxious Traps so use it creatively!

Other viable spells

Heal Whilst being a bit plain is OK. Nasus already has Soul Eater but this could be used to clutch save an ally or prevent your own death. I would reccomend this spell if you're a new LoL player.

Flash Flashing into stuff. Flashing out of stuff. Flashing over stuff. Ghost lasts a better duration, and fits in better with Nasus's skillset, but if flash is your poison it has no REAL cons.

Clairvoyance Leave this to the supports if you can, but its not a bad choice if your team hasn't taken it at all.

Fortify Is a somewhat underrated spell. It wont save a tower unless there's a champion nearby to follow up however, so its very situational. if you take it always put a point in Reinforce to make sure you get the most from it. As a side note, i'm pretty sure this is usable whilst dead. But dont quote me on that.

Exhaust The problem with this is that Nasus already has Wither which is almost the same spell.

Ignite Is better left to the carries, but doesn't go amiss. Nasus is perfectly capable of reducing someone's health and this can secure a kill. The healing reduction is also great versus certain champions.

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Nasus' abilities.

This is what lets Nasus solo top like the beast he is. As a champion innate its pretty boring. But its probably one of the most usefull in the game.

Nasus' Q. This spell can make or break a Nasus player. Last hitting with Siphoning Strike will PERMANENTLY increase its damage.
Using Q will reset Nasus's swing timer. So to get the most from it, autoattack once before immediately hitting Q.
Make sure to last hit with Q whenever possible as its damage will really snowball.
Siphoning Strike is also why we pick up Sheen. Increasing its output. Being a tank is all about making the enemy want to kill you. Hitting them a few times over the course of the game with this spell will achieve this.

Nasus' W. Wither is essentially a slightly lower powered version of the spell Exhaust. Its important to note that this reduces bothe movement and attack speed. Throwing this on the enemy ad carry can really ruin their day. There's nothing quite as satisfying as watching a Tryndamere using his Undying Rage and just not getting a kill. Consider this as your disable. Using this in conjunction with your ult and then ghost also means Nasus can easily stay on an opponent in a 1v1.

Nasus' E. Spirit fire is an amazing spell. It has one of the largest aoe radius' in the game. With proper positioning it can easily decimate an entire minion wave. Its worth noting that along with this spells amazing damage potential, it also significantly reduces the enemies armour. Using this in a crowded teamfight will boost your team's damage and slowly strip away the enemies life.
If during the early game you need to leave your lane. A spirit fire covering the minion wave is often enough to force back any enemies push. As the game progresses this spell will also begin to gib the waves, be careful that this doesnt prevent you from last hitting with your Siphoning Strike

This spell is very mana intensive early game. As a general rule, using this spell every minion wave that contains a canon minion will suffice. Spamming this spell too much will oom you, and you should really be prioritising farming your Siphoning Strike whenever possible.

Nasus' ultimate is a real beast of a spell. It gives you increased max health and heals you for that amount. I cannot stress enough how good this is. On top of this Nasus begins to drain enemies health based on their maximum every second in an aoe. The health he drains is then converted into AD. Over the duration of your ult, you will gain a pretty formidable amount of damage.
To get the most from your ult, make sure you are in close range to the enemy before you use it. Using Wither or Ghost to keep in range is also essential. Saving this in a teamfight can also turn the tide. When used, just the enemy team seeing Nasus suddenly grow and begin draining health can force a flee reaction.

You can also use the Fury of the Sands to tank turrets, or potentially survive something like Ace in the Hole or Requiem.

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Skill Sequence Explanation.

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

Alot of guides and Nasus players will force every point possible into Siphoning Strike. However as solo top starting with one point in Q will suffice.
As soon as your first minion wave arrives you should be looking for oppourtunities to last hit with Q. The damage increase remains across all ranks of the spell so you should use it anytime you can.
Taking Spirit Fire second allows you to push minion waves. Placing this to catch the enemy champion too will push your advantage in the lane. Melee enemies will be unlikely to run onto your aoe to fight you as well. So Spirit fire can be used to cover yourself whilst you last hit or abuse Soul Eater.
As solo top we will be maxing Spirit Fire Asap, its push and farm capabilities make Nasus hard to lane against.
Wither is taken at level 4 to make sure you have the ability ready. From level 4 onwards you should be aware of enemies positioning. Wither on a ganking jungler will often spoil their attempt and allow you to escape.

At level 7 bring Siphoning Strike up to rank 2. Putting the second point in it here will keep it strong enough to last hit minions and provide a strong poke on the enemy.

After the first 7 levels we will max out Fury of the Sands > Spirit Fire > Wither > Siphoning Strike.

If you are facing an overly aggressive enemy early game you may find it better to substitute more points into Wither. But generally improving your aoe capabilities first will allow you to hold your ground better.

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Gearing your Nasus. CORE.

I think this one needs some in depth explanation.

Doran's ring may seem the wrong choice for a guide to Nasus tanking. However, Nasus is allready very tough early game, and can bully most opponents with relative ease. The Doran's ring, combined with your Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration gives you cheap and cost effective mp5, without sacrificing an item slot to a real regen item. The additional AP increases Spirit Fires damage. Using this ability to poke your opponents and dominate minions or push is essential to not losing top.

Why Doran's Ring over other starting builds?
Doran's Shield Provides Hp5 and armour. Of the other Dorans items I would say this is the most viable alternative. However with Soul Eater the Hp5 is unneccessary. The armour is nice to have but also negligible.

Doran's Blade Gives too small a lifesteal % to really worry about. The increased AD is also poor. If you feel you need more survivability in lane go with the shield.

Boots of Speed & Health Potionx3 Is a pretty solid opening. It allows you to get to your boots sooner, gives you some maneuverability in lane. The potions also help against an enemy trying to force you out of lane. As with the shield, Soul Eater and some careful play devalue the potions. This opening also leaves you without the health from the Doran's items. Remember with your runes and talents, the dorans equipment will give you a very high starting hp.

When choosing your boots look at the enemy team composition. Most guides would suggest picking the boots that counter the majority of the enemy team. However I do not think this is correct on Nasus. Over many games I have found Ninja Tabi in conjunction with Nimbleness to be by far the most effective choice. Mercury's Treads I would only choose if the enemy has alot of hard cc ( Dazzle, Nether Grasp, Infinite Duress, Jack In The Box, Terrify etc), or if the enemy is made up of 4+ AP characters.

We pick up sheen very early because:
  • It makes Siphoning Strike easier to farm.
  • The AP beefs up Spirit Fire harrass and push.
  • The additional mana helps Nasus overcome his issues.
  • Having it early makes you more threatening to the enemy. Hit the enemy hard and they will want to kill you, and thats exactly what we want.

Aegis is one of the best and most versatile items in the game. It bulks out you and your team and is amazingly cost effective. When building your Aegis buy either Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle first depending on what you are facing. Then the Ruby Crystal second.
Sometimes your support will also be building this item. If you feel the game is going well and your support is capable: I.e Will actually be present in the teamfights where this item is needed, then feel free to skip over it.

Why Sunfire Cape on Nasus? It provides health and armour for your tank setup, and the aoe damage combined with Fury of the Sands and a well placed Spirit Fire is pretty formidable. Wither means Nasus can easily spend alot of time bearing down on the enemy and the aura will do nothing but reinforce your dominance.

The classic tanking item. I would build the Giant's Belt first if possible. With Aegis and your choice of boots you will allready have a well rounded early defensive stat set. Getting warmog's and continuing to farm gives you the tank healthpool you'll need to survive.

Sheen builds into this nicely. It gives a good stat line of health and mana. With some additonal movement speed, bonus damage, and a nice proc slow. It also bumps Siphoning strike] up even more on the hurt meter. When getting this item building [[Phage first gets the most usefullness out of it.

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Finishing up your build.

Time to replace Doran's Ring! Most games dont often last long enough to go for these but here's some options.

Against heavy caster teams this will push your survivability better than most of the other MR items. By this stage in the game the health and mana the item give will be welcome but wont make or break you.

For thoose of you who love METAGAME. The armour is nice versus enemy AD champs and the increased AD youll receive is very nice. The reason I would not consider this a core item is that it will come so late in the game that both teams will have likely finished their builds. At this stage you should assess the situation and choose items accordingly. Mindlessly grabbing Atma's is not always the best option.

With all the health youll have been pooling the passive on this will hold you in combat much longer. The magic resist on this item is also incredibly high. Versus any team with a threatening ap carry ( Veigar, LeBlanc, Brand) this is a strong way to finish your build.

Pick this up to deal with threatening AD champs. Watch as Master Yi melts his own face in awe. The only issue with taking this is that a competant player will see this item on you and probably not target you for fear of it. This doesnt neccessarily mean youre now ineffective. But your worth as a giant dog meat shield is reduced.

The thinking mans armour of choice. A solid defensive line and interesting passive make this a great choice late game. I would not suggest it however if, like me, you often forget to use the bloody thing.

The tough get tougher. This item brings even more defensive stats to the front. By now you should be nigh on unkillable in a fight. But even if you are killed, this is the get out of the graveyard free card. it does however offer two major negative points.

  • If your teamfight goes down badly you often ressurect into 3-4 angry players. This situation completely wastes the passive.
  • Being a hard to kill tank with Guardian angel's white spell effect writhing around you puts the enemy off attacking you even more.

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Nasus is a great candidate to be running around with a few consumables.

Sight ward

You will most likely need to use a few of these over the course of the game.

Using this image as a reference. Wards are placed the following way.
1) Place a ward just past the bushes towards baron and the jungle entrance. This will let you know when a ganking mid or jungler is coming. Remember this only works if you have map awareness.
2) Warding here is only really advised if you are playing as the North East team. This can be used to show your jungler when the blue buff is actively. Or importantly, keep tabs on the enemy jungler.
3) This isnt really your duty, but watching dragon is important to your team. Leave this duty to your bottom lane if possible.
4) Covering mid, again isnt your duty. But as the game progresses and you find yourself leaving your lane. You might consider putting wards here, especially if your mid is struggling and cant afford to ward it themselves.
5) Warding Baron is obviously very important. If somehow youre still fighting for your lane by the time Baron spawns, id suggest moving your warding from (1) to here.

The situational ive marked is just that. If your opponent keeps diving in and out of the bushes you may be forced to ward them just to keep them under control. This happens often if you find yourself in a 2v1 lane. Knowing where your opponents are gives you an idea of whether or not it is safe to push out or farm.

If your enemy has a champion with stealth and ganking tendencies. (Jungle Twitch being a big offender) then it may be neccessary to put these down.

I would almost say getting this on Nasus as you move out of the laning phase is a neccessity. Remember this will not only remove the enemies stealth capabiliteis. But lets you roam the map disposing of enemy wards. The effect lasts until death so having it on the hardest guy on the team is a logical choice. You also get 25g per ward kill. Consider this a good team member discount on the oracles.

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I found this video long ago when learning to play. It contains some seriously good tips on using Spirit Fire effectively.

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I hope someone found this guide useful. As time goes by I will keep it as up to date as possible and would love to hear constructive criticism or just your outright flaming.

Special thanks to the A.F.F Gaming crew for their time and humour.
Thanks to whoever authored the old Nasus guide that dissappeared, but directed me into playing Nasus. (If anyone could tell me what happened to that id be thankful).

Also thanks to JhoiJhoi and the awesome:
How to make a guide by JhoiJhoi

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05/11/11 - Guide published.
17/11/11 - Updated to new Masteries.