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Nidalee Build Guide by jetiger

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jetiger

Support Nidalee - The Cougar That Could

jetiger Last updated on July 27, 2012
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tanky support / AP support

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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Hello and welcome to my second guide here on Mobafire featuring Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress. This guide is not meant for ranked play. Though it is completely viable and can be played very well, there are other champions that do the same job as Nidalee only better. When you get tired of the standard supports and are looking for a little fun, go no further than support Nidalee.

Nidalee is my favorite champion to play in League of Legends. Nidalee is one of the more unique champions in LoL as you can play her as virtually any role you need. I usually play her top lane AD, but I jungle, go AP mid, and support with her as well.

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Pros / Cons

. . . . . . .


+ Big damage - especially at level 6
+ Very tanky
+ Great attack speed bonus on heal
+ Quick
+ Can easily zone the enemy
. . . . . .

. . . . . .


- No cc
- Mana hungry
- Very mana hungry
- Weak before level 6

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You are going to be fairly tanky so more magic resist is always good.
The extra armor will really help in the laning phase. Since you should be engaging first in most fights, more armor will give you that extra durability that you need.
This helps more than you would think, especially against creep damage.
You should be going for as much sustain as possible with Nidalee, so I take HP5 rather than Health ( Durability ) if I am going up the utility tree.
If I decide to go up the defense tree, this is a good mastery to get some extra health so I can tank more.
This is one of the best benefits for a single point in masteries. Definitely get it since you will be tanking.
This gives you a great boost in movement speed. It is easily noticeable and should definitely be gotten if you are going to be tanky.
Yet another mastery to increase your tankiness
Pretty self explanatory. Great health and tenacity boost.


The extra mana will help you spam your spells throughout the game.
This will give you a CDR on flash plus a bonus two seconds on Clairvoyance. Both of these are very useful improvements.
MP5 is one of the most important things on support Nidalee. Get this without question.
Movement speed will help you get around the map more quickly to place traps or to get in range to throw a final spear.
Gold helps Nidalee more than most other supports. Getting 2 GP10 will help her get that gold.
The higher levels of heal actually make a huge difference. 60% attack speed is nothing to ignore along with an over 100 health heal. Try to get it to rank 5 as soon as possible.
CDR will help Nidalee spam her spells - which is what she has to do if she is playing support.

If your team is already very tanky, go with this build. It will give you mana regen and CDR so you can spam everything you have on the other team.


These masteries will let you get a decent amount of MP5 as well as more health and defense. A Nidalee support can actually get very tanky end game while still dealing out a decent amount of damage.

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There aren't very many higher rank marks for Nidalee. They are much better for damage than defense or utility, for this reason there is only one decent choice:

Armor will help you take less damage from the enemy AD carry. It is very useful for sustain and initiating fights. While you could go MP5 or AP, those marks just aren't worth it.


Greater Seal of replenishment This will give you your much needed MP5. I suggest taking this seal.

Armor seals are very over powered right now. If you need extra armor take these.


This gives a good amount of MR that will help a lot late game especially if their AP carry is doing well.

CDR on Nidalee always helps you support better.


GP10 will help Nidalee get items to build more tanky and get more CDR and MP5.
greater quintessence of replenishment If you find yourself short on mana, these will help. I only recommend them if you aren't using MP5 seals though.

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Summoner Spells


Reveals an area of the map for 4 seconds.

This is a great spell for a support. It lets you check on buffs, check bushes, follow their jungler, check for ganks and more. This is a very useful spell if used correctly.

Teleports your Champion to target nearby location.

Really good spell that should be used almost every game. It can correct positioning errors as well as provide a quick movement to escape a gank or finish a kill.

Exhaust slows movement speed by 40% and reduces auto/basic attack damage by 70% and ability/item damage by 35% for 2.5 seconds.

Exhaust is great to give you the edge in an early fight bottom or to catch running enemies. Use it when a fight breaks out on the enemy AD carry.

Other choices

Restores 160 + 30x level mana to your champion and 50% of that to nearby allies.

If you run out of mana this can really help. It will let you spam much more, both for harass and healing your AD carry.

Heal heals oneself for 75 + 25 × level and every allied unit for half the amount.

Since the heal buff, heal has become a much more potent spell. It can easily win a 1v1 or 2v2 by itself. If both you and your AD carry have this, you have a much better chance of winning a fight.

Bad Choices

Smite deals 420 + (lvl x 25) True damage to a enemy minion, pet, neutral monster.

You are not jungling. Don't use it. That funny baron steal isn't worth it.

Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.

You're already pretty fast as Nidalee so this isn't really worth it. If you're supporting there really isn't somewhere you have to be that quickly.

After 4 seconds, it teleports your champion to target turret or friendly minion (making it invulnerable for the duration). Can be canceled.

Like with ghost, you don't have to get places super fast. With Prowl and pounce you will be fast enough.

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This passive is very important to use if you want to play Nidalee well. When walking through a bush, Nidalee gains a considerable amount of movement speed. While laning, make sure to try to stay in the brush almost the whole time. When you leave it, try to come back and touch it again every 2 seconds to keep the increased movement speed. Make sure to utilize this ability when moving around (whether chasing, running, or just traversing the map). Try to just barely touch a patch of grass to get going faster for a little while. It can often be the difference between life and death.

Javelin Toss

Early game use this to poke. If you have the mana to spare, multiple spears can really start to add up, forcing the opponent to use Health Potions or risk getting killed. Dont spam this too much though, or you will be short on mana for heals and traps which are far more important. A good time to throw a spear is right after your opponent walks over a trap. They will have a lowered magic resist right afterwards.


Early game this spell does a large amount of damage. Pounce onto the enemy AD carry and use this to deal a whole lot of damage. It does more than you would think.
Late game, takedown does almost no extra damage, so it is mainly used to reset your auto attack timer (even though your auto attacks do very little damage as well).


This is one of Nidalee's best skills in my opinion. It reveals an enemy for 12 seconds, does a decent amount of damage to them (especially early game), and reduces their armor and magic resist. All in a trap that lasts 4 minutes that you can spam all game long. Get this spell first and start laying down the traps all over the jungles. If their jungle hits one of these, your team will be able to easily follow them for a full 12 seconds.

Do NOT replace wards with these. While it may look cool to have a wall of traps guarding the river (and its really fun to do as well), it is really a waste of traps and time. If one of them disappears, the jungle can easily sidestep the others to gank when you aren't ready for them.

Most of the time, you will want to trap the laning bushes with these. The enemy will have no choice but to step on them or give up control of the bushes. If they decide to step on all of them, try to engage them as they do it. Their armor will be weakened and they will have taken damage from the trap. Even if you don't engage, the sight on the enemy for 12 seconds can be very useful.

Late game, you should have almost 40% CDR on your spells as well as a nearly unlimited supply of mana regen. As soon as Bushwhack comes off cooldown place it in a bush or path somewhere. If you do this, your team will have a much better view of what the enemy is doing. If the other team engages after stepping on a trap, they have their magic resist AND armor reduced by almost half. That by itself will easily change a team fight to your favor.


Pounce is easily Nidalee's best spell in cougar form. It helps you escape from almost every gank and catch almost any running enemy. Learn how to master this ability and you will master Nidalee. Almost every guide on here has a huge explanation of it and how to use it. They are all pretty much the same, so if you want to see in detail how to use pounce, go check out one of their guides.

Primal Surge

This is one of the better heals in the game in my opinion. Not because of the amount of health it restores, but because of the attack speed boost it gives. Try to use primal surge right before you engage in a fight. While laning, give your AD carry a heal right before going into your cougar form. Then pounce at them followed by Takedown and Swipe. The attack speed boost will let your AD carry burst down the enemy with the help of your own burst. In team fights, throw down a Bushwhack at the enemy, then heal your AD carry to give him attack speed and top off his health. Right after that, go into cougar form and tank for your team.


Swipe is part of your burst in cougar form as well as a great farming tool. Early game use it to burst down an enemy alongside your takedown. Swipe and takedown together can do a considerable amount of damage early game, often times around 1/4 to 1/3 of someone's life. Don't underestimate the power of support Nidalee's burst, but don't overestimate it either!

Aspect of the cougar

Aspect Of The Cougar gives Nidalee three more spells to use as well as more magic resist and armor. This is what makes Nidalee so strong - she has six spells to use instead of only 4. When should you be in each form though?

Cougar form:
  • When running or chasing - cougar form give you bonus movement speed as well as access to the spell pounce. If you get hit, you will also have extra armor and magic resist to absorb it.
  • When moving around the map - cougar form is faster so you can get where you are going more quickly.
  • In a fight - cougar form will put out more DPS and be more tanky than human form.

Human Form:
  • Before a team fight - with almost 40% CDR and a lot of mana, you should be spamming all of your abilities. Throw a spear at the enemy every two seconds, they may only do a few hundred damage, but it can easily win you a fight. Plant bushwhacks in the places the enemy would have to cross to get to you. The reduced armor and magic resist really helps. Heal whoever needs a heal. If no one is hurt, save it to use on your AD carry for whenever the fight starts.
  • While babysitting - you can use bushwhack and heal whenever you need to. You can always switch straight to cougar if trouble arises.
  • To perform a clutch play - Heal an ally with 10 health left or spear a running enemy who would otherwise escape. A quick switch from cougar to human forms can save your allies and kill enemies. And it looks awesome when you get a max range spear on a distant enemy for the kill.

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Starting Items

Good Starts

sight ward or
These are my recommended items to start with. Two Faerie Charms will give you some of the mana regen you need. There is still money left over for a single ward. If you think one ward isnt enough, grab two points in Wealth and don't get a Health Potion. This will give you enough money to buy two wards.

sight wardsight ward
This start will get you plenty of wards for sight that you need. You will still get some mana regen from a single Faerie Charm, but you will have to be careful abut how and when you use mana.

Bad Starts

sight ward
This might seem like a better start than two Faerie Charms, but it is not. Meki Pendant doesnt build into anything useful for you and you are missing out on some early GP10 from philosopher's stone. Don't start with these items.

I've seen some people start with this for some reason. Don't do it. It leaves you completely blind with no items built toward philosopher's stone.

Core Items

In my opinion, this is an underused item. It will give both you and your AD carry good staying power in lane as well as make you fairly tanky. The CDR is also a good bonus.

+25 magic resistance
+35 tenacity
Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 2

Use these if you decide not to use Ionian Boots of Lucidity. They are probably the best boots in the game, as the tenacity bonus is huge.

Unique Passive: +15% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 2

These boots will give Nidalee some more CDR at a low cost. If you are short on gold and need some more cooldown reduction, these boots are for you.

shurelya's reverie
+330 health
+30 health regeneration
+15 mana regeneration
Unique Passive: +15% cooldown reduction
Unique Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown). (600 range)

Great item for a support, especially Nidalee. Gives health, mana, and cooldowns, as well as a great active. You need all of these things so it is a great choice.

+18 armor
+270 health
+24 magic resistance
Unique Aura: Nearby allied champions gain +12 armor, +15 magic resist, and +8 attack damage. (1200 range)

If no one else on your team is getting this, you definitely should. It is one of the best supporting items in the game.

+75 armor
+350 health
+25 health regeneration
Unique Passive: +5% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive: 20% chance on being hit by an auto attack to slow the attacker's movement and attack speed by 35% for 3 seconds.
Unique Active: Slows movement speed and attack speed of surrounding units by 35% for 1 seconds + 0.5 seconds for every 100 armor and magic resistance. 60 second cooldown. (500 Range)

This is just a great item overall. When enemies attack you they can be slowed, it gives CDR, health regen, health, and an amazing active. This item will make you much more difficult to kill.

Situational Items

+99 armor
+500 mana
Unique Passive: +20% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive: Nearby enemies suffer −20% attack speed. (1000 range)

Amazing item against an AD focused team. If their AD carry is getting fed with their bruiser jungle, definitely get this item to shut them down.

+80 ability power
+36 magic resistance
+15 mana regeneration
Unique Passive: 15% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive: Restores 12% of your max mana on kill or assist.
Unique Passive: Increases your mana regeneration by 1% per 1% mana you are missing.

If you are getting multiple kills and have a lot of extra money to spend, this item will make your spears hurt much more. All the other stats on this item will also help you quite a bit. Only get this item if you do not have Soul Shroud, as this will give you enough mana regen. Soul Shroud would just be a waste of money.

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Laning Phase - Pre Level 6

Before you reach level 6, your primary job is to spam Bushwhack / Pounce. Fill their brush with it as well as any area they might pass through if they wanted to engage you. While Bushwhack / Pounce is on cooldown try to harass the other team. Run around in a bush and poke out for a split second to land an auto attack on them before returning to the bush. Prowl will make it very hard for them to catch you or even hit you. Make sure to keep river warded (NOT trapped). If you are afraid of a gank from tribrush put a ward there. If not, a trap will suffice (Don't think of this trap as a ward there, because it isn't. Sometimes a ganker will hit it giving you some awareness, but they often will not.). Try to put it right in the middle of the brush to force the enemy to walk over it or go around another path.

Laning Phase - Post Level 6

Engage the enemy often (in cougar form). During this time you will actually put out quite a huge burst of damage. Try to get in the enemy's bush and zone them from cs and experience if possible. Remember to use Primal Surge / Swipe on your AD carry before every fight.

Mid / Late Game

Stay mostly with your AD carry. Your attack speed boost will really help them burst down enemies. As you roam around, throw down Bushwhack / Pounce in as many paths as you can. The extra vision will win games. If a team fight starts, throw a heal on your AD carry or bruiser before going cougar form and tanking as much damage as you can. Try to survive, but definitely give up your life if it means saving the life of an ally. Make sure to stay with your team as much as possible as many of your items have good auras.

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Nidalee can be a very good support if you know how to play her well. She can easily zone the opponent and dish out major amounts of damage. Even while not in a direct fight, Nidalee is an amazing poker with her spear. If you have the mana, hit them with as many spears as you can. With the attack speed bonus on her heal and the armor reduction with her traps, she can swiftly change the tide of a fight.

When you play support Nidalee, realize that you will not deal out damage late game, so your primary roles will be to heal, place traps, tank, and poke. You should place traps all game long for the best vision for your team, but do not replace wards with them. Keep the buffs warded, and keep as many brushes and paths as you can trapped.

In the end, just make sure you don't forget that you are a support and not an AD bruiser. Don't go chasing after enemies or going off to farm a huge wave of creeps. Stay with your AD carry to give him heals, attack speed, and to tank for him when he needs it.

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6/14/12: Created Guide
7/27/12: Added a second build for a more AP / harass oriented build