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Build Guide by Dracoden

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dracoden

Tank Nasus: We Will Live, They Will Die

Dracoden Last updated on February 20, 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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello and welcome to my first guide. Today I will attempt to share my love for Nasus with you and impart a bit of my experience and knowledge on the Curator of the Sands.

Everyone has that one hero they just click with. You just play them and everything seems to flow freely. Sure, you may be good at multiple heroes, but theres always that one you are best with, and even do well with, no matter how bad your team is. For me, it is Nasus.

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You want armor pen marks for your siphoning strike.

You want dodge runes to supplement your dodge masteries.

You want HP quints to help your early game.

You want MR@18 to just give you an extra little boost against heavy nukers in the late game. Up until recently I used CDR runes, but I have found the MR to be much more beneficial.

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In my most sincere opinion, this is the strongest mastery set up for Nasus. Our focus is mobility, and with that in mind, this build just makes sense. If you cant be there for your team when they need you most, then you are doing it wrong.

The utility tree gives you speed, CDR, mana regen, and amazing utility. When a teamfight breaks out, you need to make your presence known, and the utility tree will help you do just that.

Coupled with that, a few points in the defense tree give you a lovely boost to your already beastly survivability. No points are wasted.

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Items are really the only gray area here. You have to be able to analyze your matchup and make suitable item substitutions based on your enemies.

However, let me make one thing clear right off the bat, TRINITY FORCE is the ONLY DPS item you will EVER need all game. I kid you not. Sure, many Nasus go full DPS and they will absolutely smash face all game if left alone- but you cant always assume your enemies are ******ed.

With aoe damage and armor reduction, a devastating slow, and the potential to deliver powerful blows every 2 seconds, Nasus is an extremely disruptive force in team fights. A smart team will recognize this and attempt to take you out of the fight as soon as possible. Lets not let them, shall we?

We go tank!

The build outlined above is pretty standard for most games, but you need to ask yourself questions at various stages of the game.

1) boots
Is the team AD heavy and not many disables? Nija Tabi would be a better option.

2) After chalice, boots, aegis, guardian angel, and TriForce, you ask again: Are they AD heavy or AP heavy? Grab a banshees veil instead of frozen heart.

3) Late in the game when you have tons of gold and nothing to do with it, you ask these same questions again.. then you sell the chalice and either get a force of nature or randuin's omen.

4) Game STILL dragging on? You sell the aegis and upgrade it to another more powerful item based on your matchup.

5) and of course, you can never go wrong with late game elixirs.

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Skill Sequence

Skill sequence is a bit dependent on the game and your playstyle. I prefer to take a solo top lane whenever possible so I skill into spirit fire quickly to counter 2 people pushing against me and it allows me to rake in mad gold.

Sometimes when I am laning with a partner, I will take siphoning strike first since I will be more able to last hit safely.

The key is to strike a balance between last hitting with siphoning strike, farming with spirit fire, and successfully zoning enemy champions without pushing into the danger zone too often.

Last, but not least, only take 1 point in wither early on. It only becomes slightly more effective as you skill it up and it is hella expensive, so we wont be using it too much early anyway except in emergencies or certain situations where a killing opportunity presents itself.

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Summoner Spells

I am a firm believer in mobility and map control. I frequently take ghost or flash on every champion I play and I almost always take teleport.

Like I said before, our focus is on mobility. We want our Nasus to have a presence on the battlefield. With improved ghost and teleport, thats what we achieve. Ghost halfway across the map or teleport behind enemies in a clash, nothing turns the tide of battle faster than a Nasus showing up out of nowhere and going on a rampage.

You can deviate with other spells if you like, but I swear by ghost and teleport for Nasus. Ignite/exhaust dont do much in a fight if you arent there.

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Solo top lane is your friend. You can scratch your butt and hold off 2 heimerdingers with spirit fire, all while making insane gold. Add a Twisted Fate on your team for extra fun. If you do take a solo lane though, be sure to not get too agressive and push them to their base. Youre already by yourself against 2, getting sandwiched between 3 angry champions is not going to do anything for your lane phase.

Play defensively and farm unless your opponents are exceptionally ******ed. They will eventually try to dive you at your tower out of frustration, which will most likely fail. The kills will come, just be patient, farm creep waves as they come, and stay aware.

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Creeping / Jungling

With all your pushing power, you might find yourself with little to do at times but stand in front of the enemy's tower waiting for them to pull creeps out of their ***es. Thats a waste of time.

Go jungle a little. Blue buff and red buff are both amazing for Nasus and are easily gotten around level 6 or 7. The smaller jungle groups are worth the time as well, if you have nothing better to do. Dont forget to last hit with siphoning strike!

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Team Work

If you got a solo lane, you will want to stay in lane and farm/level up for as long as possible before leaving. However, always be on the look out for teamfights or extremely lucrative ganking opportunities.

Hopefully the serious fighting wont break out until youre well past level 6 and have made a base run or two, but if a fight breaks out and one of your side lanes is on the rocks, Nasus has no choice but to answer the call. Teleport into the fray, slow the most injured or dangerous champion, put down your aoe, ult up, and start smashing face.

The main goal for Nasus in team fights is to create as much mayhem as possible. With your team there, charge straight into the fight with your ult up, lay down your aoe where most of the fighting is taking place, and target the enemy mages or carries. Slow the most dangerous AD enemy and start whacking them in the face with siphoning strike.

As the fight wanes, be on the lookout for struggling teammates and give them some cover with your slow and your aoe.

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Unique Skills

A special mention about the skill: Wither.

This spell can be used defensively while pushing towers. It has the unique ability to not draw tower aggro, all while slowing the movement and attack speed of its target. If you feel confident that the solo defender of a tower cannot significantly hurt you, and you have the support of your creeps, feel free to ignore the defender and start attacking the tower. If he gets aggressive, just slap a wither on him and keep hitting that tower. Its hilarious fun to watch an AD champ or tank try his hardest to get you off his tower while you just smash it to bits with siphoning strike and while your creep wave swarms him for attacking you.

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Pros / Cons

Great survivability
Awesome utility in team fights
Major disruptive force
Snowballing ability that becomes a 2 second nuke late in the game
Good farmer
Good chaser

Not very bursty early on, enemies have to be stupid to get lots of early kills
Disables can impede and diminish your effect on the battlefield
Have to stay conscious of your last hitting to generate a powerful siphoning strike late in the game, but as you start 1 shotting everything with it, you wont have to pay as much attention.

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Nasus is best played as a tank. His incredible utility and disruptive nature make him a prime target in team fights to reasonable opponents. Knowing this, take advantage of it. Make it as difficult as possible for them to take you out of the fight.

Its about keeping that aoe armor reduction in the fight
Its about keeping that devastating slow in the fight
Its about keeping that 2 second nuke in the fight
Its about keeping them wondering why they cant kill you while you and your team just run around smashing their faces in. If they arent calling you OP and raging by late game, youre doing it wrong. ;)

Thank you for reading my first guide on my favorite champion. I hope it has been informative and I apologize for the lack of graphics and colors. I will surely do something to spruce it up later when I figure out how. :)