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Nidalee Build Guide by Irdian

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Irdian

They will Fear the Spear (Nidalee Top)

Irdian Last updated on August 22, 2016
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 0

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 12

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Who am I?

Hi Guys! My name is Irdian and I'm a Plat 4 League player on EUW. Together with Lee Sin I'd consider Nidalee my favorite champion. I play since Season 3 and therefor I feel like I have plenty of information, that I really want to share with You. This is my first guide and I put quite a lot of time into it, but enough about me let's talk about the more important things. Enjoy!

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Pros / Cons

- Tankyness
- Good Sustain
- Very High Mobility
- Good Waveclear
- Easier than AP version

- Need to know your limits
- Very Hard when Behind

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Why Chose Which Runes?

Marks: 9x Magic Pen
-> Magic Pen helps you do more damage in early trades.

Seals: 9x Scaling HP
-> Those are better than Flat Amor. Believe me on this one! :D

Glyphs: 9x Flat CD
-> The 7.5% CDR You get from these help You sustain through the lane with more heals/spells.

Quintessences: 1x Flat CD 2x Flat AP
-> The 2.5% CDR give you 10% from runes at the start of your game,
while the 2 AP Quints give you the power to win early trades.

Possible Replacements:

While I think that the runes above are the best to use with Nidalee Top, I now will list some other runes that can be used instead if You don't have enough IP to buy the recommended. You are someone who owns the runes i recommend? Feel free to skip this part.

Alternatives for:
-Marks: 9x Flat AP
-> Does a similar job as MR Pen

-Seals: 9x Flat Armor, 9x Scaling Armor
-> Both of these provide you more survivability, therefor very much do the job, too.

Sidenote: Flat HP Seals fall off in power very quickly, as they get weaker compared to Scaling HP significantly each level, in other words: For a top laner who levels very quickly Flat HP Seals are far inferior to the other options.

-Glyphs: 9x Flat AP, 9x Flat MR, 9x Scaling MR
-> Best replacement is the AP because it's similar in power (You deal/heal more per spell but cast the spells less frequently), following that I'd advice taking 9x Scaling MR over 9x MR, because again the Flat runes are less impactful the longer game goes meaning that they are most powerful in lane, against AD laner You don't need MR early, You get the point.

-Quintessences: 3x Ability Power
-> After all Nidalee works perfectly fine with only AP runes too because all her abilites
scale with AP.

Note: If you replace the 9x CDR Glyphs, You should also replace the CDR Quint, as 2.5% do not
really do anything.

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Now that everyone has got their rune page ready to jump into a game the next step is Masteries which have been very important since S6.I want to explain to You why chose which Mastery and give details and little tweaks to further improve Your in-game experience. Let's get started!

The reason You take Windspeaker's Blessing is to help You
1. sustain in lane
2. be relevant in late game

Through stronger sustain You get to slowly outtrade Your enemy in lane and either apply pressure elsewhere on the map or push the wave out when your laner had to back forcing them to tp into lane.

Savagery > Wanderer: Great Mastery to improve your cssing
-> If you feel very confident in cssing You could run a setup of 5 0 Wanderer over Savagery

Secret Stash / Assassin: While Secret Stash is the safer option both are viable choices
-> Cookies = Sustain
-> Assassin = Damage
Chose the mastery you expect to be more useful ingame!

Meditation > Merciless: With this mastery You don't have any mana problems at any stage of the game. This again is for sustain in lane as more mana = more health on Nidalee.

Bandit > Dangerous Game: In the top lane You will usually face a melee opponent allowing You to freely AA them. Maths : If you attack them each 5 seconds one minute long, You get 36 free gold from it. Considering the length of laning You will realisticly get about 100 gold. A lot of value for a non-keystone mastery!

Intelligance > Precision: While Precision only grants You bonus damage when hitting, Intelligance provides you CDR which is crucial with top lane Nidalee, not only because 5% less on W CD may very much be the difference between life and death when ganked. Same applies to E's CD.

While the first tree is decided by the keystone, the second tree is usually about if you want more damage or more survivability. You guessed it: Resolve is the better option.

Recovery > Unyielding: Close choice, but I value sustain in lane over tank stats in mid-late game (Hell those rhymes tho).

Note: If either Your team has no other tank or Your lane is very easy, Unyielding might be the better choice for late game teamfights.

Explorer > Tough Skin: Makes You even faster in bushes, helps You escape ganks. Really only take Tough Skin when you think that there will be many AA trades in lane (example: Gnar) or You fear that You will be bullied very hard in lane (example: Pantheon).

Runic Armor > Veteran's Scars: Because of how it makes any heals on her stronger, this is basically the perfect mastery for Nidalee, always take this!

Insight > Perseverance: Having a lower CD on TP makes You miss less minions: Worth it!

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Why the hell no flash?

Because of how Flash is almost used without exception, for once this spell section is interesting. To showcase exactly why Exhaust is better on Nidalee, I'll talk about what Summoner Spells are good for and then go into detail about Exhaust and Flash.

Summoner Spells are a very important part in League: For the most part they let You survive longer and get You out of sticky situations (Flash, Barrier, Exhaust, Cleanse, Ghost, Heal) or they help You to secure kills (Ignite, Flash, Ghost). But to specify them even further they usually give the user something he doesn't have in his kit. While it isn't unusual that Assassin's with a lot of mobility take Flash to even further make them more mobile, a immobile Mage HAS to take Flash to even stand a chance against a gank.

Now this doesn't mean anything by itself, I have to give more examples to understand why some champions take Flash even if they have mobility abilities. If you look at champions who have mobility abilities in their kits You will see, that Riot doesn't randomly give champions mobility, but that these champions are in the common case either Divers, who dive into the backline (example. Riven, Fiora, Irelia, Jarvan all have either low CD mobility or a mobility spell that can technically but not necessarily be used several times) or Assassins, who assassinate their targets very fast and then need mobility to get out of the fight again (example: Fizz, Leblanc, Kha'zix, Zed, Katarina all have a lot of mobility).
Now again all of these champions (excluding Irelia) are very squishy. If they don't kill their target fast enough, they will die quickly.

Flash is compared to Exhaust a very fast summoner spell, as it gets You to the location instantly, while Exhaust slows the enemy for a few seconds / gets more value if the fight between You and the enemy actually takes at least the duration of Exhaust. Both Assassins, Riven and Fiora (who have assassinlike playstyles) don't have the time to use Exhaust to catch up to the enemy after he flashed away. They take Flash instead.

Now talking about Nidalee, she very much does the same as an Assassin (is even listed as one), when played AP. That's why she takes Flash when played AP in the jungle or as cheesy Assassin in the mid lane. But tank top lane Nidalee is different. She dives into the backline too does a lot of damage but she doesn't need to get out. She's a tank. In Teamfights she has no need for another flashy type movement ability.

The other reason people take Flash is to escape from ganks and sticky situations in the laning phase. Now again look at the Mid Lane. They have two sides to get ganked from, while top lane is a long lane with only one side to get ganked from. This shape of the top lane allows champions like Nidalee to escape ganks by just using her 4 second CD W, which covers the distance of about half a flash, more than once, essentially making it a Flash every 8 seconds.

Mid laner have more skill shots compared to top laners, so Flash is less effective in top lane duels, making Exhaust better, because there are many immobile Tanks in the top lane, who can be escaped from with Nidalee's Pounce and the Exhaust Slow.

Thanks for reading all of this and I hope I could explain well enough why Flash isn't needed on Top lane Nidalee.

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Your Role in the Team/ Gameplan

One of the reasons I absolutly adore Top lane Nidalee is that she is so versatile. But summed up she has 4 roles:
-> Splitpush
-> Setting up a push with Zzrot and Banner then siege with team (constantly use Q to poke)
-> Peel in teamfights using E
-> Distracting the enemy backline in teamfights (land Q go in, give your team time

Chosing which role is correct each game is not easy but this is your gameplan in general:

1. Get good trades/ outsustain the enemy (lvl 1-6)
2. Always push the lane until you get first tower (lvl 6-10)
3. Splitpush your lane (until tier 2 is down, your team is midlane unless bot is losing)
3.5 Help your bot lane to get their first tower
4. Splitpush bot lane (until tier 2 is down, your team is midlane)
5. Set up a push either bot or top then go mid lane and Siege (until mid inhib is down)
6. Either 1/4 Bot and Top or Set up a Push Bot then go Baron (Peel, distract if fight
7. Take remaining Inhibs
8. Take free Dragons and Barons
8.5 You can try to end/take nexus towers, while the enemy team is fighting with your team
9. Win the fight and end with lead You have achieved / Siege with Buff, End

Of course each game is different and You can't always do the same things. Having said that
just play a bit and You will learn to make the right calls.

Note: One of Nidalees great strengths with this build is her mobility through movementspeed items like Zzrot and Boots and her W, that allow her to rotate back to her team quickly when a fight breaks out.

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Unique Skills

The easiest way to become better with any champion including Nidalee is just playing her over and over. That being said there are some little tips that help Your efficiency in trading.

You can use Cougar Form W to cancel Your Cougar Form Q's animation and You can transform back into Human Form while jumping. I figured the best way to show You guys is to show You guys.
I do not make videos or stream unfortunately, but i found a video on Youtube that explains this animation canceling pretty well.

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Final Words / Thank You

I consider this build very fun and I think it's very refreshing. Although that doesn't mean this is a troll build by any means. People might think you are a troll which makes this even stronger and the victory even sweeter.

I'd love to get some Feedback as this is my first guide (and I know there are probably a thousand things I can improve on). Thank You for reading all of this and I hope that you haveboth sucess and a lot of fun with my Nidalee build.

I might in some time include matchups and again tell me if you can think off something I could add to this guide.
If you want to, you can add me on EUW my account name is HuIz Arytigo.

Irdian ( Make them Fear the Spear)