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Nautilus Build Guide by theloaf

Jungle The Comprehensive Guide to Nautilus Jungle

Jungle The Comprehensive Guide to Nautilus Jungle

Updated on March 11, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author theloaf Build Guide By theloaf 3 3 13,110 Views 0 Comments
3 3 13,110 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author theloaf Nautilus Build Guide By theloaf Updated on March 11, 2024
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Runes: CDR/MS (Personal Favorite)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak

Hextech Flashtraption
Cosmic Insight

+8 Ability Haste
+2% Movement Speed
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

The Comprehensive Guide to Nautilus Jungle

By theloaf
About This Guide

Hello everyone,

I am Juuloaf, an unremarkable league of legends player. I don't have any accolades, no twitch or youtube account, or anything of the like. What I do have, however, are hundreds of games on Nautilus, and I would like to share some of the wonderful and unexpected builds this champion has.

Why Nautilus?

Most think of Nautilus as a purely supportive champ because of his targeted and powerful crowd control abilities and his ability to tank damage with his W. I wanted to bring him into the jungle because of his enhanced damage on his E, Riptide, and for his powerful early gank pressure. My phase rush build was inspired by KiNG Nidhogg's phase rush J4 build, but you can build Nautilus with a ton of different runes and items, each with their own playstyle. You should have no trouble finding something you like in this guide!
Pregame / Abliities Rundown

As mentioned previously, Nautilus has myriad builds, and sometimes one is better to take than another if it suits your team better. If you have an Ornn top and a tank Cho'Gath mid, for example, you should probably build damage. On the other hand, if your team has four squishy champions, it is probably better to build tankier. Nautilus can fit into essentially every team composition.

Pros and cons of each build, summoner spell pair, and runes are described in their respective Notes sections above.

If you haven't played much Nautilus before, you will want to jump into the practice tool and try a few things out:
Nautilus's Q, Dredge Line, has a notoriously wonky hitbox. It will often hit things you don't expect it to, and will even sometimes not hit things that it should have. Throw your anchor around the map to see wall hitboxes and to get a feel for the exact width and length of the anchor head.

Nautilus's W, Titan's Wrath, acts as an auto attack reset. Try autoing a camp, then cast Titan's Wrath and auto it again. This simple combo can deal a lot of damage by itself when building AP.

Nautilus's E, Riptide, is your main damage source and clearing tool. It launches three waves scaling with 50% AP, but waves do half damage past the first. So overall, this ability scales with 100% AP if you hit all three waves. You can cast it between autos, and with high CDR, it approaches a 2.2 second cooldown. At max rank, it applies a 50% AOE slow. This is your best ability. Press E a couple times to see the range and timing of the three waves.

Nautilus's R, Depth Charge, is an insane targeted AOE CC ability that scales with 80% AP. It knocks up all champions it travels through until it gets to your target, then applies a larger knockup. You will often want to use this ability to isolate singularly overextended targets, but it is even better in team fights where you can potentially knock up the entire enemy team with a single ability.

Your standard jungle clear combo is AA -> Titan's Wrath -> AA -> Riptide -> AA. You lead in with an auto to bring all the units close, then use Titan's Wrath for an AOE auto. Don't use Riptide first because it will delay your second auto and you will probably miss one of the waves.

Nautilus can cast his basic abilities at his original location when in the Dredge Line animation. Try throwing your anchor at a wall and using Titan's Wrath or Riptide immediately after. This can shield you from damage or slow nearby enemies to aid in your escape.

Similarly, if Nautilus is CC'd during the cast time of his Dredge Line, he will pull himself to his target anyways. This can be incredibly useful for dodging combos which rely on CC or for staying on top of enemies who want to run away.

You can Flash + Q to surprise enemies with a hook or to reach long distance targets, and by Flashing during your Depth Charge cast, you can instantly knock up your target.

A standard full combo on an enemy champion is: Depth Charge -> Dredge Line -> AA -> Titan's Wrath -> AA -> [code Riptide -> AA. This deals 350% AP from abilities alone and has essentially zero counterplay.
Core Items and How to Fight

The greatest item for Nautilus is Cosmic Drive. It offers 30 ability haste and lots of extra movement speed on top of a remarkable 100 AP. No matter what you're building, you can never go wrong with this item. Fimbulwinter is also an essential item in most builds for its mana regeneration and essentially constant shielding.

As mentioned in the build notes, Nautilus's best mythic is Night Harvester, again for the ability haste and mythic passive and the movement speed it provides. But again, since Nautilus has severe mana issues later, both Rod of Ages and Everfrost are decent mythic items too.

Other decent legendary items are Horizon Focus, Lich Bane, and Zhonya's Hourglass. These three items all provide additional ability haste and their own unique benefit to Nautilus.

Assassin and Tank items are dicussed in their builds above, and none of these really fall into the category of a "core item". You should build more armor into AD comps, more magic resist into AP comps, etc. Similarly, you should build damage differently depending on the enemy's resistances and tankiness.

How to fight:

Basic fighting strategies are listed at the end of the Abilities Rundown list.

Phase Rush: By taking phase rush, you have committed to being your team's primary engage tool. Your job is to single out targets, prevent thier escape, and get yourself out of danger. This can be done with something as simple as a Q -> AA -> E or Q -> AA -> W -> AA. Your increased movement speed and slow resist can either help you continue to go in or evade enemy skillshots, then throw out another ability thanks to your ability haste-focused build. By keeping your E on a low cooldown, enemies are slowed constantly and will struggle to follow you around. You should use R when there are many teammates around who can capitalize, when your knockup will hit four or five enemy champions, or when you are too deep and have no other escape option.

Electrocute or Dark Harvest: This will play similar to an Evelynn, Ekko, Nidalee, or Elise. Your only job is to kill the enemy carries to win teamfights. Use fog of war and the mobility on your Q to get behind the enemy, then engage with R and use Q + E to instantly kill many champions. More depth is given in the build notes.

Aftershock or Glacial Augment: This is the most traditional Nautilus build and the easiest to play. Use your hard CC to annoy champions and your high HP scaling on your W to tank a ton of damage. Once again, more depth is given in the build notes.
I've provided some notes on matchups against all non-support champions in the Threats section. Take a look, I hope it'll be helpful!

Nautilus is an incredibly satisfying and fun champion to play outside of the support role. He's relatively easy to pick up and can dominate most games. Try him out today!
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League of Legends Build Guide Author theloaf
theloaf Nautilus Guide
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The Comprehensive Guide to Nautilus Jungle

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