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Nami Build Guide by Yazzel

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Yazzel

Support Nami - What the Tide Will Bring

Yazzel Last updated on December 24, 2012
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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: 6

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 24

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Hello everyone! Today I'll be bringing you a Nami guide! I've been receiving positive comments about my guide, so I consider it to be a complete guide. If you disagree, please leave a comment, suggesting what I should add next! Also, if you know a good item/strategy for Nami, leave a comment as well! I love comments :D

I've tried to use complete words, instead of acronyms we use in-game, in case you're still not familiar with them. The one I do use (or I've noticed I use) is CDR, which stands for Cooldown Reduction.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons

+ Has good AP scaling.
+ All 4 spells have a good possibility of winning fights.
+ Her heal will also damage nearby enemy champions.
+ She has a spammable stun.
+ She has some pretty fast movement speed, compared to other supports.
+ She's a MERMAID!

- Very squishy.
- Her stun is a skillshot.
- CCs hurt her.

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Mastery Explanations

Since I'm going to be building support Nami, I'll be going with the Utility tree first, and then getting what I want from the Offense Tree to make her an even better support. I don't take the Defense tree because I get Nami a good amount of defensive items, so instead of using my mastery points in defense, I use it on utility and offense. I'm building SUPPORT Nami, not TANK Nami.

Tier 1 - Took 3 points on Wanderer since I'm not taking any movement summoner spells, so I need to be able to place wards and run back to lane after recalling faster. Took 3 points in Meditation because it gives flat mana regen, which is nice early-game.

Tier 2 - Took 3 points in Mastermind because it reduces the CD of my summoner spells, which is nice. Took 2 points in Expanded Mind because I don't need TOO much base mana, but it's something nice to have.

Tier 3 - Took 4 points in Greed since Support Champions don't farm, so we need a way to gain gold. Took 1 point in Biscuiteer because it gives me a free biscuit to start the game with.

Tier 4 - Took 2 points in Awareness because it's nice to have that additional exp so I can recall without losing too much exp, or falling behind. Took 1 point in Explorer because it's A FREE WARD! It lasts less, but it's a free. :D

Tier 5 - Took 1 point in Pickpocket because it gives me a reason to poke champions with basic attacks, and a nice additional gold. Took 3 points in Intelligence because... CDR!~

Tier 6 - Took 1 point in Nimble because I like movement speed! I can also use it to get back to lane faster/placing wards.


Tier 1 - Took 4 points in Sorcery because along with Intelligence it equals to 10% passive CDR!~ YAY CDR!

Tier 2 - Took 2 points in Blast because it gives me additional AP per level.

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Greater Quintessence of Gold

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

I've reconsidered the Runes I used to have, which were mostly offensive runes, and with some comments (thanks for commenting :D), I've realized that the ones I had were viable, but not the best.
  • 9 Greater Seal of Armor: I took flat ones since you want to be really careful with how much damage an ADC can deal at level 1. Later on, you take more armor, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
  • 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I took scaling ones, unlike I did with armor, since on your lane, the only person who should be doing magic damage is the enemy support. Therefore, while laning, Magic Resist shouldn't be a concern, but as the game goes on, it starts to become one, and at the time it is, you should have a good amount of Magic Resist already.
  • 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: I'm reconsidering this one, but it's worked the most for me, you'll be helping your ADC deal damage while you have this item, especially since Nami can dish out some very nice damage without building into it. Your spell pokes will also be scarier while having these runes.
  • 3 Greater Quintessence of Gold: Someone in the comments mentioned getting this, and at first, I didn't like the idea, but when I gave some thought into it, I can see their point. Since you're playing support, you won't be making a lot of gold, so getting passive gold gain will help a lot.

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Summoner Spells

Personal Favorites:

As of now, what's worked the most for me is Heal paired with Clairvoyance. Why? Despite Nami already having a heal ( Ebb and Flow), sometimes, if you mess up, it won't bounce from an ally, to an enemy, and back to another ally, so in that case, Heal will have you covered. Clairvoyance also provides Nami with a stronger map awareness. Also, these two will have their cooldowns reduced with Eleisa's Miracle, an item I suggest for Nami.

Other Viable Summoner Spells:

  • Exhaust: Will help you in case you need to give your ADC that upper hand in lane fights, or will allow them to escape/chase down enemies. I don't take it because Nami already has a stun, a buff that'll increase your ADC's damage and give them a slow, and a powerful slowing ult.
  • Teleport: This Summoner Spell will really help you deal with lanes, and staying in your lane for longer. I'm not a big fan of its big CD though.
  • Flash: It'll help you escape sticky situations, in case you must. I don't take it since she has a LOT of CCs, which should already help with escaping.

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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

I max out her W, Ebb and Flow first, because it provides Nami with a heal and a poke. If used right, Ebb and Flow can dish out some massive damage or a lot of healing. Remember: It only jumps ally>enemy>ally, or enemy>ally>enemy. It doesn't go enemy>enemy>ally, or something of sort.

I get a point in her Q, Aqua Prison, at level 2, but max it out last. It provides her with a really good stun, in my opinion, but leveling it does NOT increase the stun duration, it only increases the damage and reduces the cooldown. Although, leveling it earlier is situational. Read chapterAqua Prison vs. Tidecaller's Blessing.

I get a point in her E, Tidecaller's Blessing, at level 4, and max it out second. It will give your ADC some massive lane dominance and chasing down skill when you place it on them, giving them a slow and damage increase.

Obviously, I get a point in her ultimate/R, Tidal Wave, in every possible level. It has a BEAUTIFUL range, but it's quite slow and easily dodged. If it hits all the targets you want to hit, you just won a teamfight.

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Surging Tides
With every spell Nami uses, if it hits an ally champion, they will gain bonus movement speed. Really nice passive, especially for a support. It gives 40/45/50 bonus movement speed for 1.25 seconds. Also, her Q, Aqua Prison, also gives this buff, but the skillshot has to hit allies, so if you're not in range of stunning a running enemy, use it on your allies to run faster.

Aqua Prison
Nami sends a bubble at a target area, stunning enemies hit, and dealing magic damage. Her pretty stun can help allies escape, chase down, or perfectly position en enemy for a gank. Beware, it's a skillshot, so try to get a hang of it.

Ebb and Flow
Nami heals an allied champion, or damages an enemy champion, it bounces to another champion afterward up to 3 times. On ally hits, Ebb and Flow heals the target and bounces towards a nearby enemy champion. On enemy hits, the tides deal magic damage and bounce off towards an allied champion.

Tidecaller's Blessing
Nami empowers an allied champion for 5 seconds or until they have attacked 3 times. During this time, their basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and slow the target hit for 1 second.

Tidal Wave
Summons a tidal wave outward from Nami's position. The tidal wave briefly knocks up enemies that it comes into contact with, slows them and deals magic damage. The slow duration increases based on how far the tidal wave has traveled, with a minimum duration of 2 seconds and a maximum duration of 4 seconds. It has a godly range, but is quite slow.

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philosopher's stone

Start off with a Faerie Charm, three sight wards, and two Health Potions. On your first recall, get philosopher's stone to make up for your lack of farm. If possible, get Boots of Speed aswell.
kage's lucky pick

Get a nice amount of AP, along with some gold income.

If you still have wards left, sell them to get Sightstone, which will let you ward your lane, and save you some money. Upgrade to Ruby Sightstone if you have the gold, and want the additional wards and health.


shard of true ice

Don't be scared to upgrade your kage's lucky pick into this really fast, since you'll keep the gold gain, and get a nice active effect.

No need to rush into this, since Nami already has some nice movement speed. Despite that, the CDR is always appreciated.

Turn philosopher's stone into this BEFORE you hit level 16. If you get it afterwards, it won't be able to turn into a passive effect. No need to rush into it, but get it earlier if you want to, you don't want to waste philosopher's stone's gold gain.


Provides a nice emergency heal, with some mana regen. Nami's heal isn't godly, like Soraka's, so this item might come in handy in many situations.

A nice shield for nearby allies, and giving them some health regen aswell. Plus, more CDR for you. DO NOT EXCEED 40% CDR, as that is the CDR cap, you can't reach 50% CDR.

You'll deal with squishyness a LOT with this item, and at the same time, you'll help your allies get more defensive stats, giving your team an edge in teamfights.

Other Viable Items:

Nami has some pretty good AP scaling on her spells, so getting this item will put her scaling to use, while at the same time, giving your AP allies a slight edge with teamfights, so long as you're nearby. She gets some magic resist as well, something nice to have since she's such a squish.

Please note, this item SHOULD be bought by your tank, as it provides close to no support champion utility. But in case your tank is stubborn and unwilling to get it, the support should be the one to get it.

Really considering adding this to the core. Very useful for teamfights, escaping or chasing down. Also helps with her squishy problems, gives AP and CDR.
Shurelya's Reverie

Personally, not a huge fan of this item, but it can really help chase down enemies/engage in many situations, since Nami can't use her passive to speed up the entire team, unless they're in a very small space, and it doesn't last as long as shurelya's reverie does.

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Aqua Prison vs Tidecaller's Blessing

Which one you level first is completely situational. Usually one would go Tidecaller's Blessing over Aqua Prison, but depending on how your ADC's doing, or who they're playing, you might go Aqua Prison over Tidecaller's Blessing.

When to max what:

  • Your ADC isn't doing as good as the enemy ADC.
  • Your ADC is more squishy than the enemy ADC.
  • Your ADC attacks slower than the enemy ADC.
  • The enemy support can dish out some damage aswell. (Ex: Sona, Taric, Alistar)
  • You're being focused first.
  • You're getting ganked a lot. (Even if you find them with wards and are able to back out in time)
  • Your ADC is less mobile than the enemy ADC.
  • Lane fights are very even.
  • Your ADC needs that extra damage boost early-game. (Ex: Vayne might need it. Sivir might not.)
  • Your ADC has problems last-hitting.
  • The enemy support has long CDs. (Ex: Soraka)
  • Your ADC has a better defense than the enemy ADC.

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Currently only one, not mine, sent by someone else, but if you have had any successful games while following this guide, please, oh please send them in!

Picture by Huntaren

Send them in!

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Thanks for reading my Nami guide, and I hope it was useful! If you want to play AP Sona, please do check out my other guide: AP Sona - Time to Play A Melody. Anyway, if you have any ideas on building Nami, please do leave a comment, and I'll consider tweaking my build if you have a good argument. Remember, this is a new champion, so there's a couple of things still needed to be tested. If I'm missing any chapter you'd want to read, let me know!

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Change Log

(Month/Day/Year: Change Done)

  • 12/8/12: Guide was created.
  • 12/8/12: Added a chapter discussing Q over E, or vice versa.
  • 12/9/12: Removed Clarity from Viable Summoner Spells. Because it wasn't.
  • 12/10/12: Changed all of the runes I suggested.
  • 12/12/12: (So many 12's!) Fixed the item suggestions. Still more to be added/removed. Added a screenshot. SEND MORE IN <3

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Notes to Self

No need to read this, these are just things I need to remind myself of doing.

  • Create pretty custom banners for every chapter.
  • Create chapter explaining who counters Nami and who lanes well with her.
  • Get a good Nami gameplay video.