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League of Legends Build Guide Author Read

The Devil Reborn (Updated for Patch .109)

Read Last updated on January 19, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #27 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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: 22

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

Utility: 8

Chapter 1

Guide to Tanking Nasus - The Devil Reborn
Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you.

Table of Contents
I. Preface
II. Introduction
III. Skill Explanations
IV. Summoner Spell Explanations
V. Rune Explanations
VI. Mastery Explanations
-- Defense Tree
-- Utility Tree
VII. Core Item Build Sequence
-- Physical Situational Items
-- Magic Situational Items
VIII. Laning & Play Style
-- Early Game Phase
-- Mid Game Phase
-- Late Game Phase
IX. Tricks & Strategies
X. Closing

- They do not make you a good player
- They will not make you invicible
- They do not make a baddie a pro
- They do differentiate winning and a losing for equally skilled players
- They do maximize effectiveness of champions
- They do minimize planning and down time at base.

- Champions are not OP or UP. They are balanced or unbalanced
- Any champion can defeat any other champion
Example: Jax comes in and tower dives a Malzahar. Normally a Jax would destroy Malzahar, but he is suppressed with Nether Grasp and killed by the tower.
- All champions are situational.
Example: Nasus and Mordekaiser are both exponentially stronger when fighting multiple enemies or in minion waves. Ashe can save a whole fleeing team by spamming Volley or by popping Enchanted Crystal Arrow. Each champion has its place within the team.

- Makes a small difference
- Can help you OP an equally skilled player
- Will not make you a better player
- Will not make you able to destroy a level 5 player

Abbreviated Terms
AA = Auto-attack [Basic Attacks]
CC = Crowd Control [Stun, fear, slow, snare, etc]
FB = First Blood
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MD = Magic Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArP = Armor Penetration
MPn = Magic Penetration
LS = Life Steal
SV = Spell Vamp
DPS = Strong Auto-attacker
MDPS = Strong spells; casters
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP Regen = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP Regen = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds
AOE = Area of Effect
IMO = In my opinion
OP = Overpowered
UP = Underpowered

II. Introduction
Back to Table of Contents

This is a full rehaul of my old Devil of the Sands build. It has been reorganized revamped. I also reworded all of the strategies and tactics to be easier to follow and more effective.


Nasus is a champion that primarily shines in team fights. He can devastate almost any tank in the game and can endure massive burst damage from nukes. Nasus' strengths lie in his innate ability to deteriorate carrys and endure tanks while constantly providing threat to keep his team alive.

This, like most Nasus builds, is not for the faint of heart or the dull of mind. Nasus is a champion of timing. Timing will be the difference between victory and defeat. Nasus can and will become an all consuming storm, both untouchable and devastating, when used correctly. Timing is not just when to defend it is when to strike and when retreat. It is when to Wither to save a carry about to be killed and when to proc your items. It determines when to use your ult and when to save it. This guide will seek to enlighten new Nasus players and refine veterans.

- Extremely good at laning 2v2
- Great Anti-harass
- God-like Ult that lasts
- Best In-game Slow
- Game Changing AOEs that most don't realize

- Poor Farmer
- Last Hit Dependent Ability
- Poor chaser
- DPS is unreliable

III. Skill Explanations
Back to Table of Contents

PASSIVE - Soul Eater
A great passive, which is exactly that: A passive. You should not focus your build on the fact that Nasus has natural LS. This is extremely helpful in late game when you have the full 20% LS. Early on it only provides a nominal benefit, but can be extremely useful later on for survivability.

Q - Siphoning Strike
This is one of the most annoying abilities for both teams. It can be completely underpowered if not diligently farmed. However, this ability does stack with on-hit effects such as Sheen, Trinity Force, and criticals including the Infinity Edge buff. This move will decimate both towers and champions. It also applies LS from his passive and items making it insanely useful for enduring teamfights.

W - Wither
IMO best in-game slow. It will completely shut down AS DPS such as Master Yi or Jax. It is also extremely useful for catching annoying MDPS or ranged DPS. The slow works progressively better over 5 seconds and then completely releases, so make sure you are ready to chase after it's over.

E - Spirit Fire
It can be a great Anti-harass skill. It does great damage to minions when used correctly to setup last hits. Softens greedy tanks for a few quick pops and can outright harass some DPS.

R - Fury of the Sands
This is one of my favorite ults in the game. This ult deals % damage to enemies based on max HP. This is great for whittling down high hp tanks such as Cho'Gath. And it turns damage done into AD. Fury of Sand gives more AD which grants more LS from Soul Eater which results in an almost God-mode.

IV. Summoner Spell Explanations
Back to Table of Contents

This allows for an early first blood (Nasus sucks at finishing early on). It scales very well with level, so it always stays useful. Great for shutting down healing/LS. AN ABOSULTE MUST

This is a great escape mechanism. It also helps for running down those pesky DPS. Can help when you need to rush to someone's aid if need be. Highly Recommended for Soloing when you can't count on your team

Considerable Summoner Spells
Back to Table of Contents

Rally: Great for pre-mades where everyone understands location and timing.
Exhaust: Great DPS disabler as well as a decent escape mechanism.
Flash: Good all-around ability. Can be used to initiate, escape, or last hit.

V. Rune Explanations
Back to Table of Contents
Greater Mark of Desolation

Greater Mark of Desolation x 9
- One of the best Marks in the game
- Gives an AP boost because he has none
- Good damage boost early game

Greater Seal of Evasion x 9
- Great for survivability
- Good at every stage of the game

Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration x 9
- Allows for longer laning
- Allows for more staying power
- A mana-less Nasus is a weak Nasus

Greater Quintessence of Health x 9
- 25% boost to health start game
- Decent boost throughout
- IMO much more useful than the per/level HP GQ

VI. Mastery Explanations
Back to Table of Contents

The offense tree doesn't match the rest of this build. The utility tree is a great tree for nasus because of all the CDR; however, I believe that a defense mastery benefits him more. I suggest a 0/21/9 distribution; but, a 0/9/21 where the defense tree focuses on dodging is very effective as well.


Tier 1

Resistance 3/3
- MR based off a percentage
- Scales well
- Great synergy with the rest of the build

Hardiness 3/3
- AR based off a percentage
- Same as above

Tier 2

Evasion 4/4
- Increased dodge percentage
- Required for the next amazing mastery

Tier 3

Nimbleness 1/1
- Exceptional ability
- Great synergy with runes
- Great for chasing or escaping

Harden Skin 3/3
- Great little damage reduction
- Point holder mainly

Tier 4

Veteran's Scars 4/4
- Great HP buff
- Great with early game setup
- Makes you very tough for early game

Tier 5

Ardor 3/3
- Nice little buff to AS and AP which are both useful
- Mainly a placeholder

Tier 6

Tenacity 1/1
- Amazing for any tank
- You've already gone this far on this tree, right?
- Great for survivability


Tier 1

Perseverance 3/3
- Important for any nasus
- Scales well
- Great synergy with the rest of the build

Haste 1/1
- Amazing and almost necessary boost to Ghost

Tier 2

Awareness 4/4
- Great for keeping the level advantage


VII. Core Item Build Sequence
Back to Table of Contents

Doran's Shield
- Great starter item
- Allows for sustained damage early on (Great enduring early ganks)
- Increased staying power in the laning phase

Mana Potion
- Grants a small boost to laning time
- Efficient use of starting gold (All of it)

Mercury's Treads
- Great all around item for MR and CC reduction

Aegis of the Legion
- Great buffs to multiple stats
- Grants a good team buff early game

- Great synergy with Siphoning Strike
- Small boost to your MP

Randuin's Omen
- Great Armor
- Good boost to HP and HP Regen
- Awesome passive that has chance to slow
- Active can turn the tide of a fight

Trinity Force
- Great buffs in almost every stat
- Ridiculous Active that makes Siphoning Strike titanic

Guardian Angel
- Gives the tank with the most staying power in game even more
- Generates high amounts of threat on towers due to tower diving potential
- Great Defensive bonuses

The Bloodthirster
- Great synergy with Soul Eater
- Gives him the long awaited AD that he needs
- Highly increased survivability due to lifesteal


Physical Enemy Situational Items (80% or more)
Back to Table of Contents


Mercury's Treads for Ninja Tabi
- Better armor
- Better dodge
- CC reduction is underpowered on a rangeless/casterless team


Guardian Angel for Thornmail
- MR goes to waste
- Nuking happens less often if at all so fewer suprise deaths
- Thornmail helps negate LS and punish an all physical team the most


Magic Enemy Situational Items (60% or more)
Back to Table of Contents


Randuin's Omen for Banshee's Veil
- Better MR
- Blocks one spell (nuke) per 30 seconds
- Boosts HP and MP


Aegis of the Legion for Force of Nature
- Aura won't be as effective due to nuking
- Great HP Regen and movement speed
- Massive MR
- Helps run down the annoying little casters

VIII. Laning & Play Style
Back to Table of Contents

The key to laning with Nasus is to never overextend. He has no fleeing skills and isn't really able to CC very much. When you engage with Nasus pick your moment and fight till the end. You can kite a little with Spirit Fire.


Early Game Phase
Back to Table of Contents

Levels 1-5
Try to sparingly harass with your Spirit Fire while farming up your Siphoning Strike. Non tanks can be in for a rude surprise right off the bat with this skill. Ignite if you are sure you can get a kill. Be careful not to waste it if they have a Heal or a good support with them.

Levels 6-10
This is where you can be a little more daring with your Fury of the Sands in hand. If you do not have someone jungleing, do not hesitate to go for it. With a passive LS and your Spirit Fire, you can jungle effectively.

Usually, try not to go back until you can at least afford your boots. But remember, the longer you wait to go back the more geared your competition will be in comparison. Not going back could grant you some more xp and gold, however it usually results in a death which is better gold and better xp for the competition.

This phase usually last until level 10 or so IMO. Hopefully, you will have gotten your first tanking item by now, Aegis of the Legion for most situations. I usually try to get my sheen up before the next phase as it drastically helps your DPS potential.


Mid Game Phase
Back to Table of Contents

Levels 11-15
This is the most vital phase IMO. It is the phase where either 1. The winners become too cocky and push too far, get wiped and even the playing field or 2. Where people play to defensively and allow the enemy to slowly push them down. Things to remember for this phase:

[*] Never leave your tower unless you have a partner or you have wards to watch for ganks
[*] Team fights are very common try to have them at your towers
[*] Don't overextend to get a kill (Trading leaves no one on top)
[*] Finally, be wise with your Ults


Late Game Phase
Back to Table of Contents

Levels 16-18
Nasus should not pop his Ult unless he is about to die or you are in a fight and are down past half health. Usually, if you pop his Ult people run. LOL. Pop it when the tide of the fight is about to turn and it will turn in your favor. Always try to make the fight about you, not your nukes or carries. Nasus' Ult makes it harder to target those around him. This includes your team and theirs. Use this to your advantage.

By this time you should be mostly geared including your Trinity Force. Make sure you pop its active as well as Siphoning Strike before initiating for a good smack.

Ignite can be used at this point for last hitting and for negating LS and healing. This is an amazing tool for shutting down LS Jax, Master Yi and also an enemy Nasus.

Make sure your team realizes that you can take quite a beating when your Ulting. I have randoms leave on me. I'll last through my entire Ult 1v3 and die because my team backed off. No respect.


Late Game Summarized
Back to Table of Contents

By now, if you have had a decent match, everyone is getting close to full gear which means you have the most annoying thing on earth for a Nasus to have, Guardian Angel. When Nasus Ults, he is nearly invincible, but, suppose, he dies and then comes right back. This can be extremely frustrating on any character. But when Nasus rolls it, it becomes a plague. You want to try to always use your Ult sparingly and then Ult when they push too hard. At this point you should really be a true tank with massive AR and MR and a good amount of AD and LS.

IX. Tricks & Strategies
Back to Table of Contents

- Place Spirit Fire strategically. Place it behind the enemy if you will think they are going to flee, but place it in front of you while they are chasing. This way you will always have the maximum damage on them and if they are low HP it may actually net you the kill you would have lost.

- Always use Siphoning Strike advantageously. If you are up to your Trinity Force try to proc it as often as possible when you use Siphoning Strike

- Wither is a difficult skill to master. When fighting, only use it if you know you are going to lose or if you need to shutdown a DPS. Try to save it for when you are about to gank or are chasing and the enemy will be doomed.

- Fury of the Sands is similar to Wither in that it is hard to master timing. Never open with it. use it right in the middle of the fight where the outcome is vague. They will push hard to make sure they win and will be caught in your storm for massive damage. Occassionally, use this skill to escape ganks, or to fight off entire teams to save a tower.

- Ignite should only be used to A. Last hit people (Very effective on Tryndamere when he pops Undying Rage) and for B. shutting down LS champs like Master Yi and Xin Zhao.

- Fury of the Sands is much more effective on tanks because is deals damage based on a % of enemy HP regardless of AR.

- Nasus is best a bushwhacking. Waiting in the bushes and ganking when they pass through it. Wither alone is sometimes not enough to catch a fast enemy.

- Nasus really should not solo. He is too valuable in creating kills 2v2. You may not get the kill, but your team is benefitting.


The Devil Reborn
An Advanced Strategy

When your team begins a team fight, make sure they know what you are going to do before you try this. And you should not try this until at least level 11 and you must have Guardian Angel. Everyone should fight but try to pop as few CDs as possible. You should make sure to soak up as much damage as possible. If you are winning go ahead and pop your CDs and win, that is great. If things are looking bad, have your team leave you. That's right, leave you. When you die you will begin to resurrect with Guardian Angel. I guarantee that at least 2 probably 3 enemies will sit and wait for it. Have your team turn back and unload. When you come back, pop your ult instantly. If you have any CC on your team, let it fly. You will catch them by suprise and destroy them. Things to remember.

1. Do not attempt with noobs
2. Almost exclusively a premade technique
3. Can be a bad strategy when your team has no CC

I have used this technique with hilarious results. A lot of WTF just happened. It is very difficult to accomplish correcty but can net you a cool ace that can allow you to push towers or finish off their nexus.

Nasus is best played as a tank or off-tank. Nasus has amazing staying power. He should be used to absorb damage primarily. He can kill but he is not meant to. He is meant to keep his team alive by taking the hits. And he excels at that above and beyond almost any tank in game. His greatest weaknesses are that he can't initiate, and he doesnt have a taunt. Other than that, he has the best survivability in game and can shutdown almost any DPS with his Wither.