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Nasus Build Guide by Hamstertamer

Top The meme lord - with detailed matchups

Top The meme lord - with detailed matchups

Updated on October 26, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hamstertamer Build Guide By Hamstertamer 606 44 1,281,445 Views 30 Comments
606 44 1,281,445 Views 30 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Hamstertamer Nasus Build Guide By Hamstertamer Updated on October 26, 2019
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Runes: Spellbook (good vs everything)

1 2 3 4
Unsealed Spellbook
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

Legend: Tenacity

+8 ability haste
+8 Magic Resist
+8 Magic Resist


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


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


Hi guys, welcome to my guide to Nasus. I decided to make this guide because the champion needs a Conqueror build, and a detailed matchup section which I couldn't find on Mobafire when I started picking him up.

Nasus is a toplaner who is basically the ultimate juggernaut, in the sense that he has both massive damage and massive survivability. His Siphoning Strike allows him to have infinitely scaling DPS, as long as you farm a lot of stacks, and you don't need a single damage item on him so you can build full tank. Another very underrated aspect of the champion is his ability to still farm stacks while 5-manning with his team, which allows him to join fights during the midgame instead of AFK farming top the whole game, a mistake that many players make on him.

Have a nice read!
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Pros / cons

Pros :

- Massive damage output
- Sustain in lane
- Extremely tanky with ultimate, lifesteal and items
- Powerful level 6 powerspike, great 1v1 or even 1v2
- Great mid game
- Godlike late game
- Permaslow, Wither is busted
- Amazing pusher, potentially fastest pusher in the game
- Very few bad matchups, good first pick and good OTP champ

Cons :

- Weak early game (pre 6)
- Weak to kiting and adc's, even when fed
- Lacks an escape
- Lacks engage
- Mana issues

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Precision and Inspiration are IMO the best trees on Nasus. Literally all the lines on these trees have great runes on him. These help him with both early game fights and late game scaling.

Resolve tree has good runes as well, although running resolve as your main tree forces you to run Demolish which is a bit overkill on such a great pusher.

Sorcery is good for Manaflow Band but Transcendence is a bit awkward on him.

Domination is the worst since all the runes besides Predator are terrrible on Nasus, and you don't want to run predator since you'd be wasting 3 rune slots.

Cookie-cutter build

There are many good rune builds on Nasus but if you're just looking for one that works, run this one. It's good in literally any matchup.

A great keystone overall, first because inspiration runes are the best on Nasus, second because it gives you a lot of 1v1 dueling power. Allows you to have both Teleport and combat summoner spells like Ghost, Ignite, Exhaust etc for all-ins. Spellbook is good in literally any matchup, but especially shines against kiting oriented matchups since more summoner spells = more chasing power.

300 free gold, plus 10 movement speed. Nasus is extremely gold-hungry in the early game so this boost helps him tremendously with buying his early CDR and tankiness. Delaying boots is not a problem on him at all.

Sustain in lane is always good, and permanent mana is extremely valuable on Nasus making Biscuit Delivery the best choice on this line. Far better than Future's Market, if gold is all you want just sell the cookies and you'll money *and* bonus mana instead of just money.

Cosmic Insight is a godlike rune on Nasus since it gives him cooldown reduction early game for more stacks, and scales extremely well into late game to reach 45% CDR. CDR is everything on Nasus, since it increases both stacking speed and DPS.
Cosmic insight is strictly superior to Transcendence, since it's better in both early and late game.

When facing kiting matchups, run Approach Velocity instead. It has a great synergy with Wither against champions like Teemo, Jayce or Quinn.

Overheal and Presence of Mind are both good on Nasus, that choice can be controversial. Overheal works with your passive, you hit minions and get a shield, so you can mitigate poke while farming. The big advantage of Overheal is that it helps you duel your opponent in the laning stage, so it's the only one that helps get an early game lead. However Presence of Mind helps Nasus with his heavy mana issues, and allows him to keep taking objectives after winning fights while otherwise you'll run out of resources and have to recall.

Legend: Tenacity is an amazing rune, CC is a huge problem for Nasus. The best thing about it is that it allows you to not get Mercury's Treads even when facing CC, and get Ninja Tabi instead which scale extremely well.
Legend: Bloodline is also really good on Nasus when you don't need tenacity, it stacks with your passive and your Q damage can lifesteal.

Situational runes

Grasp of the Undying Nasus is a perfectly viable but controversial build. It's a bit awkward on Nasus since grasp is a rune made for short trades while Nasus is a champion who generally loses trades and only wins in an all-in. Still, when facing champions that constantly try to trade aggressively, grasp is a good rune to have since it allows you to trade back before disengaging or going for an all-in. And in a long fight, grasp will still proc several times. There's also the added benefit of it dealing magic damage, making it a counter to champions that stack armor.
So grasp Nasus is good with two caveats :
- Only run grasp against melee matchups. If you run it against a Teemo or Quinn, it does absolutely nothing and you have no keystone.
- Only run grasp against champions you can trade with safely without feeding (for example, NOT Darius).

Obvious choice on this line, since the other two are not viable. Demolish is a bit overkill since Nasus pushes incredibly fast even without it, but still helps in the early game to get tower plates against passive matchups that want to sit under tower all game (e.g tanks).

Very strong scaling rune since Nasus naturally has tons of resistances with his items and the bonuses from his ultimate.

Situational sustain rune against heavy poke lanes, e.g Pantheon.

Very situational anti-burst rune in hard lane matchups, like Irelia or Renekton. This rune is useless against anyone who can pop it from range, so only take it in the right matchup.

Basically the Resolve vesion of Legend: Tenacity. Tenacity is an extremely important stat on Nasus since he's a CC magnet.

When Conqueror came out, it was absolutely godlike on Nasus. Since it could stack by hitting creeps, and gave 20% true damage conversion, it was literally the best keystone against any melee matchup. The keystone alone took care of one of Nasus's biggest weaknesses, which is having no effective counter to high armor tanks (and Nasus has to hit tanks since he has no target access).
But now, after massive nerfs, the current conqueror is but a shadow of its former self. Conqueror no longer gives much in terms of tank shredding, and takes a huge amount of time to stack on enemy champions since only Spirit Fire gives you a stack, your other abilities don't.
So this is no longer a core keystone, just a situational keystone against heavy tanks.

Press the Attack could be an experimental way of saving Precision Nasus in bruiser matchups after the Conqueror nerfs. You stack it pretty fast with your autoattack reset.

You can run either Coup de Grace or Last Stand if you run precision as your main page.

All the previous runes are for a playstyle of going for 1v1 fights against your lane opponent, which in most matchups Nasus wins. However there are certain matchups where it's much safer to play ultra passive, sit back during laning stage, max Spirit Fire, and spam E until your opponent has to go back. The Arcane Comet build is for that playstyle.
Just to be clear, this is an early game poke build in which you build the exact same items as in other builds (except you start Doran's Ring for regen). This is NOT an AP Nasus build.

Nasus needs mana in general, especially in a build about spamming E.

A controversial rune on Nasus. Good thing is that it allows you to reach 40% CDR faster. Bad thing is that tank items already give you 40% CDR and the conversion is kind of worthless since Nasus needs neither AP nor AD. Also this rune does nothing early game. A much, much weaker version of Cosmic Insight, but still not useless.

Perfect for Spirit Fire poke.

A very fun rune that gives you a way to engage. Perfect for cheesing people!

Adaptive stats (Season 9)

Season 9 was a *massive* buff to Nasus because you can now get passive cooldown reduction from any runepage. Always go cooldown reduction for offense, it's insanely good since you reach 40% CDR very quickly.

For flex and defense, take the defensive stats you need most in this particular game.
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Summoner spells


Solves Nasus' main weakness which is lack of engage and getting kited. Solid in lane and great in teamfights. Especially good against kiting/poke oriented matchups.

Heavily recommended against champions like Irelia and Fiora. Overall an anti-bruiser spell that will shift a close matchup against a strong duelist in your favor.

Standard spell on toplaners, but only good if you take advantage of it. If you just use this to TP to lane instead of walking it's not worth it, you have to use this to gank your botlane by TP'ing to a ward. The best choice in good matchups so you can assist your team on the map on top of wininng your lane.
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Skills & skill build

Abuse this in lane to sustain when hitting creeps. The lifesteal works on the full bonus damage from Siphoning Strike, and also on Sheen procs, so this is a very strong passive at any stage of the game.

Last hit anything with it to get stacks, for infinite damage and infinite memes.

Arguably the strongest slow in the game. Also huge attack speed slow so extremely good dueling skill. Becomes a permaslow when maxed.

Used for :
- Zoning your opponent off the minion wave so you can get Q stacks
- Poking, especially guys who can kite you
- Waveclear
- Reducing armor

Insanely powerful ultimate, gives tons of tankiness, melee magic damage over time, and most importantly halves your Q cooldown which doubles your DPS. You can easily 1v2 with this when ganked.
Also, don't hesitate to use this when pushing the enemy base, it also doubles your pushing speed.

Skill build

Standard skill build is to max Siphoning Strike first, since you need the damage and reduced cooldown to farm stacks. When you skill your first point in your other skills depends on the matchup, you need Wither level 2 if you need the disengage and Spirit Fire level 2 if you need the zoning power.

Once you have Q maxed, you need a few points in Spirit Fire for better waveclear, typically I put 3 points in it, and then max Wither, since once maxed your W has 100% uptime.

In matchups against heavy kiting champions, like typically Teemo, you need several early points in Spirit Fire for poke and zoning, which you should take over skilling Q.
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Starting items

Adapt your starting items to the matchup, often you see Nasus players make the mistake of going Doran's Shield every game even when there are much better options.

Best all-around starting item, lots of sustain (especially mana, very valuable) as well as dueling power with the passive, generally the best option against bruisers.

Cloth + potions against AD burst or AD poke. Nice thing about this start is the very early cooldown reduction with a Glacial Shroud.

Against easy matchups like tanks. Faster Kindlegem = more stacks.

Against poke heavy lanes.

Looks weird but actually the best build in lanes where you can't fight your lane opponent and the best thing to do is sit back and spam E (e.g Teemo).

Laning items

In easy matchups, just stack cooldown reduction to farm more stacks. In hard matchups, itemize against your opponent.

Get this on first back if possible. Bonus damage on each Q, CDR and mana. Pretty strong powerspike for both farming stacks and fighting.

Cheap CDR and tankiness. Get early for more stacks.

Same as Kindlegem.

Alternative to Glacial Shroud against AP matchups, or get this on top of the others for early 40% cdr.

Anti AP and poke.

Rush this against difficult AD matchups instead of going triforce, very efficient armor item.


Tons of damage on each Q, amplified by conqueror. Just don't rush a triforce into hard matchups, that's too greedy, sheen into defensive items is better.

Love this item, hard counters anyone with sustained magic damage and scales extremely well. Don't hesitate to get this early to punish your lane opponent if needed.

If you don't need the passive from adaptive helm but still need MR. Amplifies your lifesteal.

Anti AD item that also gives a ton of mana and CDR, which makes it a very good second item.

Gives great engage and chasing power, but doesn't give CDR so typically get this as a 3rd item.
Late game item to counter crits.

Gives hard engage, very situational but you can rush this against AD kiters like Quinn, Jayce or GP.

Very cost-efficient HP plus infinite sustain, believe it or not it can actually be good early game even without the passive, typically against champions that deal mixed damage ( Irelia I'm looking at you).

Niche counter item. You very rarely want this over other armor items but you can buy this to counter glass cannon sustain champions like Fiora or Master Yi who can be a problem to Nasus. Rush a Bramble Vest in lane if needed.

Memewrecker FTW. Nasus is by far the best ohmwrecker buyer in the game because he's the only champion in league to do tons of damage with a full tank build. If you win your lane you can keep split pushing and duel anyone who comes to defend under tower with this. This is also good for diving with your team. Legit af.

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Gameplay - laning stage

Pre level 6 Nasus is very passive so just farm stacks and keep proper positioning so that if your opponent goes on you, there will be many minions attacking him which wins you the trade. If your opponent pushes the lane, try to freeze. At level 6 Nasus gets a huge powerspike and he can all-in in many matchups. Minion wave management is incredibly important especially when playing Nasus.

- Freezing : keeps the minion waves in front of your tower so you can safely farm and all-in. The enemy wave should have 4 minions more than yours, kill minions if there are more. Don't let the wave under your tower, aggro it away and drop aggro in the bush.

- Slow pushing : do this when you want to take the tower. Kill all the ranged minions in a wave, then you get a double wave of your minions for a massive push.

Always push the wave hard before backing, especially if you don't run TP. Buy Control Wards whenever you back because Nasus is very weak to early ganks.

If Fury of the Sands is up, Nasus can 1v2 if the enemy jungler comes to gank. In that case, it's very important to focus the right target (the one with the highest damage output). If played well you can go 1 for 1 or even walk away with a double kill.

Nasus pushes extremely fast so always try to take tower plates early, typically before you back. You can always afford to get one or two Q procs on the tower if the enemy toplaner is low. Securing first tower gold for your team is a pretty good advantage on top of the map control and access to the enemy jungle it gives you.

Invade the enemy jungle! With lifesteal, jungling is a cakewalk. Not only is blue buff amazing on Nasus, it's a very low risk strategy since you can easily 1v1/1v2 if spotted. You can also solo herald so go for it if you get the chance.
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Gameplay - mid/late game

Once the laning stage is over, you need to decide between split pushing and grouping with your team to take objectives. Nasus is a very strong teamfighter so if your team has better teamfight, I recommend joining them. Joining your team does not mean giving up on farm since typically you can grab Q stacks while pushing a lane or invading the enemy jungle.

If you decide to split push, try to coordinate with your team so they go for dragon while you threaten a tower. When baron spawns, rotate to bot lane, and draw attention while your team takes baron. Keep wards in the enemy jungle to spot ganks, and farm the hell out of their jungle camps because you're really good at it.
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When you're 5/0 at 15 minutes because they underestimate your early damage, and keep diving them over and over with Ohmwrecker, Nasus be like

Keep the memes alive.
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Hamstertamer Nasus Guide
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The meme lord - with detailed matchups

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