Build Guide by Seriouswood
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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.
I've heard all kinds of things about this character from a lot of different people. "He isn't a tank. He isn't suppose to dps. He is a support only. He is a tank. He is a dps." Honestly I'm not sure if there is a 100% surefire way he should be played. I looked around at the other builds on this site and found mine was a mix of bits and pieces from some other builds, so i guess i was on the right track. Too me Nasus is that character where you just mix health, defense, and damage together and say "guess that works then."
Playing as Nasus]
After using Nasus quite a few times( he got on my top 3 list somehow)I realized that for being listed as a tank character he seemed surprisingly fragile early game, and had a lower health count than an average tanks. I learned that he does indeed have the potential to build up to be a great tank,or a dps, or however you want to build him. He is versatile cause Nasus is that dude. He needs to be set up correctly to fit how you want to play him. I changed all my masteries to be entirely defensive to compensate for his early game weakness, and i made his runes to be health, mana, and magic resist per level as i feel he is a character that starts off weak and needs to be built up into something unstoppable. Even his Q skill is one that starts off weak and is built into something great. Nasus a character of potential. I always start out grabbing a sapphire crystal and 2 pots.
Having stated that, unlike most characters who aim for first blood and kills, Nasus should not. If your opponent does something greedy or foolish, then by all means help kill him, but killing opponents in the laning phase should not be your main focus as Nasus. Farming creeps is the way to go here, and Nasus can do it well. Since Killing isn't your focus you should get 1 level of S Strike and leave it there for about 9 levels, the damage on it will build in time. With this setup for my build you should be able to spam Spirit Fire every minion wave, and using siphon strike to pick off the minions as they are about to die. Then one level of wither is all you'll need in case one of your teammates comes for a gank, or if your laning partner needs to escape.
Once you have farmed up around 1000 gold head back to base and finish up your catalyst of the protector, if you have enough for shoes too then that is extra help.
For your second run life is much easier. You will never run out of mana now that you have Catalyst, unless you get into a heated battle and use all of your skills. Soon you will have enough to buy either a banshees or a sunfire, choose the one that will help you the most depending on who you have for opponents. Buy merc trends shortly after you complete your first fully upgraded item.
By the time late game comes around you should be feeling powerful, and easily tanking all but really fed heros. Keep in mind I actually never expect to get kills early game with this build, most of the money you obtain comes from wiping out minion waves. If by chance Nasus does get kills early game on this build he tends to only need about 3 kills ( very few deaths) to be considered fed, the growth potential for Nasus really is something else.