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Nidalee Build Guide by Wolfee77

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wolfee77

Throw Spears and Chew Bubble Gum [AP Nidalee]

Wolfee77 Last updated on September 22, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #12 in
Jungle Role
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

So you wanna be a cool kid?



Hey there! This is your friendly neighborhood Wolfee77 with a guide to, well, um, Nidalee. Nidalee is a fantastic AP carry due to her abities to send carries to recall with a 6 second cooldown, easily chase those who don't, and escape from anthing less than a team of 4 Blitzcranks, a Master Yi, and a Vayne (That is unless you've already killed the Yi and the Vayne... hehehehe...). Well, anyways, I hope you do give this a try. This is my first guide, but I've played a good bunch as the Nidalees. And if you want to upvote- do it! I will love your forever. If you want to downvote, please read the whole guide, and comment or send me a PM on why. I'll try to fix the problem and make it only smiling faces out there. And yes, I know I spell things wrong often. This is intentional, and is probably just an extra "s". Thank you.

SPECIAL THANKS: Thanks to Sir jhoijhoi for this template, which you can find here. It's a guide to make a guide... how nice. And I dare you to try his Karthus build Mk. I. Do it.

Pros / Cons


+ Ranged Autoattacks!
+ Melee if you want it...
+ Massive damages from a safe position
+ Epic Getaways
+ Semi-Epic Chases
+ Hard to Counter in Lane if You DODGE THINGS
+ Good News! You Dodge Things Well.
+ Fantastically Scaling Heal
+ More Difficult to Be Out of Position
+ You actually DON'T fall off late game!

You are a pro. Your kit highlights sneak in, wreck their carry, get out. Plus, escaping is so much fun. 10/10 would... play. Also, many people think Nid falls off late game, but you don't. The carries hit level 18 and stop getting more health- you don't getting damages. Sooner or later, you will 1.25 shot them, and you will get kills.

- No CC...
- Cause Many Recalls, Far Fewer Kills
- Minions Are Your Bane (Blockers)
- People Will Rage That You Don't Do ****
- People Will Rage That You are not Retreating (Kite)
- No CC...

Well, CC and rage. The CC lack is hard to work around, but if you do well, don't let minions block your spears, the rage will subside to awe as you hit spear after spear after spear on clumsy foes.



CDR = Moar spears! Obvious coice.
The AP is negligible, but it always helps. A nice extra hat to your AP total, and this is also boosted by Archmage and Rabadon's Deathcap.
Even more damage, and the 2% still is very nice late game.
THIS is a very nice mastery. That 8% magic penetration will work wonders on tanks and squishies alike.
Another awesome early game bonus to your heals and damages. Simple.
This usually doesn't amount to too much, but the extra punch on last hits, jungle mobs, and even enemy champions can really make this mastery worth while.
Another awesome AP mastery. This mastery is like having your own mini-deathcap all the time, for freeeeeee. Also works well into late game, where that extra 5% can mean an extra blasting wand!
Makes it that much harder for the enemies to walk away with frustratingly low health.
You can use flash more often! This mastery will save your life.
This is a good mastery, but more of a fill here. Feel free to change this out for Improved Recall or Artificer .
10% is also really nice. It acts like the summoner-CDR on Summoner's Insight but on your Ghost or Ignite as well.
Make your precious blue buff last all the longer. This is worth it in every sense of the word. And of more words.



Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

  • Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: The AP here is a nice boost in early game. More AP early, more damages early, better lane. No?
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Magic penetration is a primary mark, and that is nice. The penetration is good early as it can help cut that innate magic resist we all hate.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: FLAT MR for early game. This extra help makes gives you an easier time versus the AP mid- your most common adversary.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: SCALING armor for later in the game. Unless you are facing a Zed, you are going to have to deal with AD more often in late game than early. Thus, your runes should reflect that.

Summoner Spells

Flash: Get you into good situations, out of bad. You can jump forward for a killing spear shot, jump next to the enemy for a killing cougar burst, or escape over a wall from a angry team. The possibilities are endless- get flash.

Ignite: This is a more early game spell for Nidalee. Being the awe-inspiring chaser you are, you will rarely need to finish someone with ignite, and if you need it you won't be close enough to use it. This spell still does have its uses, and can help burst down low health lane opponents if you've weakened them enough.

Ghost: My favorite. Ghost has so many good uses, from escaping ganks to chasing prey. This spell takes all that Nid does well in the chasing and escaping fields, and makes it even better. It may not be the best choice in many situations, but hell is it fun, and saves your flashes time and time again. I WOULD have put this on the front of the guide, but no one would take me seriously. Either way, disagree if you would like, but try it.

Ability Explanation

  • Prowl: Run through bushes, get increased movement speed. This is part I of Nid's epic escape/chase potential- run through every bush possible, and you can outrun most people, just from this.
  • Javelin Toss (Q): Your skill. Javelin Toss is your main damaging ability, and oh it damages. Long, relatively slow skill shot that gains damage the longer it flies. At point-blank it scales 65% AP, at max range it scales 162.5%, the second highest in the game (behind Fiddlesticks's Drain. You want to get this spell at level 2, and max as soon as you can. Damages!
  • Bushwhack (W): Your proto-ward! Place everywhere. Grab at level one so you can trap blue (help leash), trap river bushes to watch for invade, trap your lane to double-check for ganks, trap your enemies to reduce their armor and magic resist. Many, many uses. Until late game when you finally level this beauty, it serves no purpose but as a ward, as the damage and resist reduction are negligible. Late game, the damage is very nice, as is the 40% reductions. Aim for the trapped! The vision is fantastic in chasing and lining up one perfect spear from over a wall. This spell synergizes very well with your Javelin Toss. At full build, 1 trap and 1 spear can 100-0% AD carries.
  • Primal Surge (E): A heal, with awesome scaling, and a nice twist. The heal is always nice- stay in lane longer, in the teamfight longer, and heal your allies back to full in two casts. The AS bonus helps you kill Baron, Dragon, turrets, minions, enemies- the likes. Depending on how much it is needed, TRY to reserve for your ADC and get your Vayne a free pentakill. If someone else is dying, feel free to save them, and give your enemies a nice surprise. There is really no trick to this spell, just point, tap E, and watch the magic flow.
  • Aspect of the Cougar (R): YOUR ULT. This spell gives you 20 movement speed, and access to 3 new spells, each one without mana costs! Cougar form has many uses, but to jump into the middle is not one of them- the extra armor and MR from this form have sadly been removed. Anyways, uses are as follows- reposition yourself quickly, dodge hard-hitting or CC skillshots, escape focus, jump backwards after spear toss for maximum damage, chase enemies at low health, escape from chasers, kill things without mana, fight 5v3's, and just to move around the map. Part II of Nid's epic chase/escape potential.

  • Takedown (Q): An autoattack reset that does more damage the lower health the enemy has, up to 300% of your attack damage. Great for cougar bursts and getting the last hit on minions. Also, it can be used to make sure that every enemy your team dogpiles winds up being your kill. Less assists, more kills! Yay!
  • Pounce (W): The coveted part III of your chase/escape winningness. It does a good 40% of your AP in an AOE, as well as moving you a short distance quite quickly. Spam like mad when running away, towards, or just around- you will move much faster. Awesome for clearing minion waves due to its AOE and low, low cooldown. Also, this spell can be used to jump over small walls, like part of the baron/dragon pits, behind golumns, and into blue buff. This acts like another flash, and lets you leap to safety from opponents that are even faster than you (what?).
  • Swipe (E): Damage, in AOE. This spell scales 60% which is quite nice for AOE. The uses of this spell are limited though- farming and cougar bursting. Farm wise, mid game it can one-shot caster minions, and hit all of them to boot. Great, eh? Cougar bursting wise, it causes a good chunk of damage. The cougar burst is Pounce in, Swipe them lower, and Takedown the low health enemy for the kill. Warning- only attempt on enemies below half health, or tanks below a quarter.

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
Aspect Of The Cougar is always prioritized, as it is your ult. Your cougar form abilities do not scale with the levels you put into them, but in the levels of your ult. Level up 3 abilities for the price of one? Cha-ching! Javelin Toss comes next because it will be the main source of your damage early and late- grab at level 2 though. Bushwhack is grabbed at level one to check bushes and guard against invade- invaders always sit in the same series of bushes, so a well placed trap can reveal them all. Max last. Lastly, your all-convenient Primal Surge is grabbed third and maxed second due to its awesome sustain in-lane and life saving potential. If you feel you are getting poked down in lane quickly, grab another level of heal at 5 instead of 8.


Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes

Rabadon's Deathcap

Seraph's Embrace

Void Staff


Deathfire Grasp

An extra 15 magic penetration that will be very useful in all situations. Even if the enemies are not building magic resist, this can strike through their pesky inherent resists, and make you hit a bit harder.

Damages! This item is a must on all AP Carries. Why? Because 120 AP plus 30% can skyrocket your damage, especially late game.

Another awesome, high AP item. Late game, this item's passive amounts to a good extra 60 AP in your pocket, and when combined with the 60 AP from the item itself this item can be quite powerful. The mana regeneration and mana provided is also vital, as you tend to be mana hungry (other champions have periods between battles to regenerate mana–Nids are always chucking Javelin Toss. The shield is always a nice perk, to help you take the extra hit in a battle, or to help survive Karthus's Requiem. I tend not to use it too much, as most the time you are away from the center of fights, taking little damage. Why not mention Archangel's Staff? If you are using your Pounce to get around the map like you should, the tear will charge in no time at all, often before you even muster the gold to buy Archangel's.

This is your anti-tank item. The idea is that the tankier someone tries to build, the more and more you cut through their defenses. You can build this item whenever you want, but you usually get it as late game approaches, and the enemy team starts to get reasonably angry at you and your chunking potential. When there are 2 or 3 magic resist items up, it is time. Buy quickly if you see a Locket of the Iron Solari or an Aegis of the Legion.

This item has a lot of good stats you can put to use. The ability power is godlike, and the cooldown reduction really helps at barraging the enemy front lines, but the active is not used very often. Use the active for a bit of ranged damage when in cougar form, or if you end up close enough to a fight, and want to screw over their carries all the more. Nice in 1v1s.

The CDR on this item is godlike, as 20% will shorten your cooldowns drastically. Switch forms more, spear more, heal more, trap more, etc. The passive is nice as well- counter those annoying Soraka heals or life steal from AD Carries. The idea with this item is you hit them once with Javelin Toss, bringing them low, and keep them low enough long enough for you to ready the killing blow.

This item is fantastic on Nidalee. The classic "I am carrying hard" item finds good use on you. The idea is- you get a lot of assists from your heals, which stack. You get a reasonable amount of kills as well. You do all of this without getting in range to be targeted, so you never lose stacks. As a Nid, your deaths are usually quite low, so if you are feeling hot, go for it. If you do decide to build this, never build it before or in your core, as you will not have the damage required to commence snowballing.

Lich Bane makes your DPS skyrocket very hard, but you need to get closer to do so. This is a very good fit on Nid nonetheless, as you can burst people down in Aspect Of The Cougar ridiculously, and get the killing blow on everything. The actual AP boost is small, but the movement speed is very fitting, and the mana stacks into your Seraph's Embrace. Lastly, turrets die instantly when combined with your attack speed from your Primal Surge and all your short-cooldown Cougar spells.

This is a low-damage high utility item. AP is low, but the magic resist helps against a fed AP Carry or an AP jungler/initiator, like Diana. If you are getting bursted down quickly, this should slow that process. Also, movement speed is always godlike, and the active makes your chase even better. Lastly, the active is good for finding opponents in the jungle, and spearing them when they are slowed and in vision.

This item is not the best, but has its uses. The health is nice if you get caught out often, or are getting focused by strong gapclosers. I would not recommend this as anti-poke, as resists are much better synergizing with your Primal Surge. The mana is nice with Seraph's Embrace like all mana, but I would still not recommend.

Very fun item. The health is nice, and the AP is not bad, but this item shines with its passive. 35% slow on spears and pounce? Hell yes! Kite like never before, and chase with your now-epic CC.

The Javelin Toss

You are Nidalee, you spear. This skill starts at 65% scaling, but it increases up to 2.5 times that based on distance it has flown. This skill, at max range, has a base damage of 575 and a scaling of 162.5% AP. This is a difficult shot to land, but when you do (and you will, quite often), it is the funniest thing since Youtube.

What you want to do is find an enemy that is trying to walk somewhere, not just idle in lane, and chunk them. This is the easiest time, because the player is paying much less attention, is moving in a set and very predictable path, and is away from most creeps. Besides this, you can wait over walls and fire into lane (they can't see throwing animation and first half of it's flight- no dodge). The trick with this is you need to trap or ward the surrounding area, to prevent angry enemies from stumbling upon you, or Blitzcrank grabbing you from a nearby bush. If none of these options are available, you can fire down lane. Make sure you fire relatively parallel to minions to prevent them from catching the spear themselves, and always aim for the squishiest, or if unavailable, the densest crowd of enemies. The spear ravages squishies, but still chunks tanks if you build magic pen.

And note- the damage of this spell is increased based on the distance between you (Nid), and the point of impact, applied at time of impact. That means if you throw a Q and run away from the enemy before it hits, it will do more damage. Another random trick- do not calculate the enemy dodging the spear. Do not say "I'll throw it to the left because they'll probably dodge to the left." Enemies may be slow to realize their about to get hit, but are for some reason quick to realize when they won't be.


Teamfights are not really where Nidalee shines, though they are not as bad as many would think. Your job mainly lies in the pre-fight, where everyone is in the standoff before the initiate. During this time you want to heal your team up quickly, and then barrage the enemies. Focus the AP and AD carries if you can, but hit the tankier champions if the carries are hiding. Don't be afraid to shoot blindly into some bushes-makes a nice bush check, as well as giving some major damage if they are there. When the fight breaks out, you continute this basic routine. Heal who you can, preferably the AD carry, and still try to snipe their damage dealers at every available opportunity. If your team is winnning, don't be afraid to jump into cougar form– just don't do it too early. Lastly, post-fight. At this time you should try to pick off anyone who is still alive, through spears as well as chasing with cougar form. This is where your kills come from, as the enemies will often be unaware until it is too late. Trap often, as this will give you vision on approaching and retreating enemies, allowing you to chase them over walls, and line up skillshots.


Welp, thanks for reading this far, I hope you enjoyed my guide. Woo. Go on, try it out. Once again, feel free to upvote, and if you've read all the way to here I guess you are allowed to downvote by now, but please leave a comment or send me a PM, so I can improve this guide so the next guy to come around is happy n' all. So, yeah. Thanks for reading. And you are very welcome.

Send me your good games using this guide, along with your summoner names if you want yourself some credit.

SPECIAL THANKS: Credits AGAIN to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here. I've made quite a few modifications, but everyone needs a starting point, eh?