AD Nidalee Guide: Taking on the Mantle of Flankd
UPDATED: 7/9/10 Fixed the build again. Flash is staying in and I reverted the guide back to its original state that includes Flash.
Flankd has not updated his Nidalee guide for quite some time (I am not sure that he is still with us), so I am taking up his mantle. Let it be known that a lot of this guide is taken from his “Nasty Nidalee” guide, I am simply updating it.
Because Nidalee can transform into a cougar, she has two sets of abilities. One ability set for when she is in human form, and a different ability set when she is in cougar form.
Javelin Toss/Takedown - [Q]
Javelin Toss: In human form, Nidalee throws a spiked javelin at her target that gains damage as it flies. (At max distance, since the AP ratio buff, I believe the AP ratio is 1.4)
Takedown: As a cougar, she grabs her opponent by the throat and attempts to bring them down, dealing more damage based on how wounded the target is. (This is why people complain about Nidalee so much. It’s hilarious, because people simply don’t know how she plays so they just die, then QQ about it.)
Bushwhack/Pounce - [W]
Bushwhack: In human form, Nidalee lays a damaging trap for unwary opponents that, when sprung, reveals the target and reduces their armor and magic resistance for 12 seconds.
Pounce: As a cougar, she pounces forward, dealing a small amount of damage when she lands.
Primal Surge/Swipe - [E]
Primal Surge: In human form, Nidalee channels the spirit of the cougar to imbibe herself and her allies with increased damage and attack speed for a short duration.
Swipe: As a cougar, she rapidly claws enemies in front of her.
Aspect of the Cougar - [R]
Nidalee changes her form, switching her ability set in the process. Leveling up this skill improves Nidalee's cougar form abilities.
Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
I generally take my heal first, as it allows me to harass at level one. Bushwack is a good option if there are junglers about. If your team has one, use it to cover his early Golem from ganks or Smite steals. If the other team has one throw it down in the brush near their Golem. The early damage can keep them from getting that early Golem kill.
Without junglers your build order should look something like this:
E, W, E, Q, E, R, E, Q, E, Q, R, Q, Q, W, W, R, W, W
If you have them just switch the first two skills around.
0/9/21: As Flankd said, this is the way to go in most every situation. The CDR and movement speed is very potent. The main reason for this is because the only true counter for Nidalee is another Nidalee. If you spec this way and the other one doesn’t, grats, you get to roflstomp them all game as they try to escape.
21/0/9: A decent build. Gives you a bit more damage, but a Nidalee specced Utility will own you, and, frankly, CDR is so good on Nidalee that missing out on that is just silly.
21/9/0: Another decent build. Suboptimal, but you get some defense with your Damage masteries. Again, a Utility Nidalee will lolwtfpwn you.
0/21/9: I have never played with this build, but Flankd included it, so I will as well. Generally this would be a “Draft” or Tournament build when you see the enemy with a lot of burst. Other than that, generally not a wise choice of builds.
Flash/Cleanse: I prefer this option to any other. I have caught some flak for it recently, but it essentially lets you skip Mercury Treads if you choose to do so. Cleanse is a no-brainer, and Flash gets you out of tight spots quickly, and since Nidalee is such a superb chaser and escapist, I find Ghost to be a bit overkill.
Cleanse/Ghost: A good option if you don't like Flash. I strongly recommend taking Mercury Treads if you use this set.
Ghost/Flash: If you take Mercury Treads with this, as you should, you will be a very tough kill for anyone. I don't like not having Cleanse, but with Mercury Treads you can get along without it.
Everything else is simply moot. Rally has been nerfed into oblivion, and Ignite… Your burst is already high, you don’t need more.
Max DPS Runes
9 - Greater Mark of Desolation = 17 Armor Penetration
9 - Greater Seal of Evasion = 6.7% Dodge
9 - Greater Glyph of Celerity = 5.65% CDR or 8.10% CDR @ 18
3 - Greater Quintessence of Desolation = 11.7(12) Armor Penetration
29 Armor Penetration Total
9 - Greater Mark of Desolation = 17 Armor Penetration
9 - Greater Seal of Evasion = 6.7% Dodge
9 - Greater Glyph of Shielding = 24 Magic Resist at 18
3 - Greater Quintessence of Fortitude = +97
I generally don’t need to be more durable, so I don’t have the second rune page set up for Nidalee, but it is good if you feel you are too fragile. ArP is king for this build, as it works so well with Bushwack, auto-attacks, and Takedown. The Dodge is just unholy. 10% from Cougar baseline. 6.75% from runes. 12% from Ninja Tabi (assuming you took Cleanse). And 2% from Masteries. That’s a lot of dodge. And with your Nimbleness Mastery… Oh boy…
This is where I deviate a bit from Flankd, but not too much. Keep in mind that you should be soloing, and if you buy Doran’s Ring first you can lane forever (just be a bit judicious with your heals), even after your opponent buys once of twice. Farm up, but don’t be afraid to buy. However, you should not use this sustainability to lane all game. Nidalee is a very powerful ganker, and you should do be ganking often. The sustainability lets you farm nonstop until you can gank, which is basically once you hit Level Six and have Sheen with Rank 1 boots.
Doran’s Ring + HP Pot (You can buy a Mana Sapphire here, but with the nerf to her heal I find her sustainability with this item took a big hit. I take this if I am somehow forced into a double lane, as you don’t need as much sustainability, and it gets you your Sheen faster in a lane where your farming takes a hit.)
Sheen + Rank 2 Boots. Here you have a choice, and it is based on preference and Summoner Spells. I take Flash/Cleanse so I find that I usually don't need Mercury Treads to keep myself alive, so I take Tabi. All that Dodge with your Seals, Masteries, and passive from Cougar is great with Nimbleness. If you don't have Cleanse or the team as an inordinate amount of CC go with Treads here.
Ginsoo’s Rageblade (A very good item. A bit of AP, with AS and AD. Not to mention that you can keep the stacks rolling forever. Full stack, plus Ghostblade Active… Bye.)
The Brutalizer (Builds into your Ghostblade, but other than that, it is good on its own. CRD, AD, ArP? Yes please!) As a matter of note, if you are confident in your ability not to die (you should be, even after the Pounce nerf), and you like snowball items, the Sword of the Occult has great potential. I don't use it because I don't much like snowball items of any kind, but it is a very viable item to pick up before the Brutalizer. If you do, move the Brutalizer to after SotO.
Youmoo’s Ghostblade or Phage (If you are getting bursted down get the Phage, if not, go Ghostblade. It is absolutely unholy on Nidalee, and you will find yourself just melting squishies, even outside of Cougar. Be sure to get whichever you didn’t get next.)
Trinity Force (Another hybrid item with some AP and AD based stats. This is all of the AP you should be needing to be honest. From here on in damage is king.)
Bloodthirster or Mandred’s Bloodrazor or Survivabilty (This is where things get very different from Flankd. I love the Bloodrazor on this crazy woman, especially if they other team has high HP. It’s a matter of preference to be honest, but I love the thing. If you hate it go Bloodthirster. You can get the passive up quick, and gives you some very good damage. If you need survivability, Banshee’s Veil, Force of Nature (in extreme situations), and Thornmail work wonders. Pick which one based on the other team.)
Something from step 8 that you didn’t get. At this point I don’t know how the game is still going, and your core has been finished, so go have fun.
There are a lot of requests for help with an AP guide for Nidalee, so I am adding a small section. It has only one build, however. Also, if should be noted that AP Nidalee is much more of a support. Her heal gets much better, and her Spear hit harder, but the Cougar coefficients are low, so the damage isn't wonderful. In short, harass with Spears, heal the carry, clean up with Cougar.
9/0/21: This nets you mana regen, CDR, as well as Magic Pen. It's the way to go, I promise.
9 Greater Mark of Desolation: 17 Armor Penetration
9 Greater Seal of Clarity/Evasion = 16 Mp5 at Level 18/6.75% Dodge
9 Greater Glyph of Focus = -5.85 Cooldowns
3 Greater Quintessence of Fortitude/Desolation = 97 HP/12 Armor Pen
Pretty standard for AP builds of all types. The MP5 lets you take something other than Clarity, the CDR is simply a must, and since we won't be taking Doran's Ring the Quints give you some needed durability.
Take your pick, they all work well. Only take Ignite if you want to get some early kills, it's not terribly useful for you later in the game.
Doran's Ring = HP Pot
Sheen + Boots of Speed Sheen gives you Lich's Bane, but is very good before that for AP Nidalee.
Mercury Treads + Blasting Wand You should probably take Mercury treads for an AP build, but if you have Cleanse/Flash you can consider Tabi and Sorcerers Shoes.The Blasting Wand builds into your Rageblade.
Ginsoo's Rageblade It's just a great item. Tons of AP and you can keep the stacks rolling forever, plus the AS lets you get some damage on towers. Don;t forget AP factors into building damage.
Lich's Bane Very good item for you, especially with Cougar. This is what makes AP's Cougar potent.
Void Staff/Banshee's/Rylai's If you need survivability, grab Banshee's or Rylai's here, if not grab Void Staff. The MPen is incredible for late game. Get the other item next.
Learn to Play!
You should solo. Always. Nidalee needs that level advantage more than almost any champion in the game. Frankly, Nidalee is very lackluster without Cougar to back her up. Trust me. If someone cries and won’t let you (if you are pubing) then ragequit on them. I’m kidding. Just go to your lane and steal every last hit you can. So now you are soloing. Rule number one, do not DPS. Stop auto-attacking in mid. It’s a great way to get ganked while you sit under your opponent’s tower. If your opponent is dumb and does it, auto-attack just enough to try and keep yourself from having to farm from under your tower. It’s not hard I just hate doing it.
Keep constant pressure on them, as your heal will allow you to harass to a level most solos can only dream of. Once you get Cougar it’s time for a kill. Let them push if you can, and blow them up. The best way to do this is to get into Cougar and just sit for a few seconds. Let them feel comfortable. Then hit Takedown before you jump in, Pounce, Swipe, blah blah blah. Watch them die, hopefully.
A few notes: You can solo the dragon at any level so long as you have Sheen and Brutalizer. Do so. Ganking is good, and Nidalee is good at it. Also, Sheen is non-negotiable as a first item. Every Cougar ability procs it, and it is a lot of the reason why people complain about Nidalee’s burst. Though a lot of the time it’s because you both had 350 HP and they thought they could score a kill with their CDs, when one cat combo kills them in half a second. Also, I generally push and harass had after 6, as I can escape a gank with Cougar, take mid tower, then start ganking and taking top and bottom towers. Gank earlier if you need to of course, but taking mid tower gives you breathing room and lets you ensure a tower kill with your gank without losing your own tower. Finally, learn your skill shot. I have scored dozens of kills on fleeing enemies that I couldn’t even see with that thing. Learn it. It is also very funny when someone gets hit with it and dies and you can’t even see them. You can taste their frust ration and you get a good laugh. Finally, the Lizard is great for you. It makes sure they will just melt, and can't get away.
Once you hit mid game don’t move alone. You are still squishy. Gank, push, standard stuff. Late game, you can, I repeat, can, backdoor with full HP, full Ginsoo’s stacks, a Ghostblade Active, and a Heal. You will run away without a fair amount of health, but it can be done. Finally, this bit about 5v5 team fights comes straight from the original creator of the framework and the bulk of the flesh for this build: Flankd.
“Try to stay in the back initially, let the tanks blow their major cooldowns. Try and focus the low armor/hp targets like casters, if there's stealthers try and predict where they're going to open up from or just wait til they pop out and try and hit them with a trap so they can't restealth. If no stealthers, try and hit the biggest group of targets possible with the trap... it's generally no more than 2-3 but it lowers their Armor/MR by a percent so its very beneficial for your team.
At Dragon & Baron always try and trap the surrounding areas where you're anticipating an engagement, this will give you a few seconds heads up if you have no wards to counter gank.
Try not to just run in like rambo, guns blazing in Cougar form... if you get CC'd or silenece sometimes you don't even have time to escape if all 5 enemies focus you at the same, do hit and run tactics run in, cougar combo in their face and run out if you expect CC to follow, heal... toss some auto attacks at low armor targets w/ some sheen/trinity procs and then shift back into cougar and cougar combo their face off.
The idea is to "not commit" 100%, don't ever go in with the intention of just staying cougar from 100% to 0%. You need to learn the art of dancing!”
A "How To" Guide for More Common Solos:
Heimer: Probably your hardest counter mid by a wide margin. Remember that Heimer is there so you can't farm, push, or get kills. The best way to deal with this is to auto attack like a madman, just make sure you get your last hits. If Heimer can push you to your tower regularly you are going to lose it, so fight tooth and nail to keep his turrets and nades off your tower. Harass when you can. If he gets a bit low run in with a minion wave right past his turrets. Ignore them. He will pop his ult and it will hurt, but it you have him low enough you can make it. It's tough, may not work, and takes practice.
Sivir: Sivir can harass you pretty well with Ricochet and BB. Dodge the BB and you should be fine. The Ricochets do hit you very hard so you can eat them. Just harass the hell out of her. Sivir is very squishy, and they will generally push if you let them. Frankly Sivirs are easy kills at level 6 unless they have a lot of HP Regen or are quite good at avoiding you, but even then you will force them out of the lane costing the gold hungry Sivir precious framing time.
Karthus: Never stop moving, and move unpredictably. If he can't hit you with Lay Waste he can't do anything. He is very squishy so harass him and go for a kill if you have full HP at 6. All he can do is try to keep you off him with Wall and damage, but Pounce will keep you stuck to him. Unless he pilled before 6 he should easily be in kill range.
Katarina: She is a bit tougher than usual. Make sure you don't heal when you have her Heal Reduction debuff from KI+BB, you are wasting mana. If she Shunpos punish her for it. Don't let her get anything for free. Kat needs to be harassed every time she does anything. Once she hits 6 you need to have your HP as high as you can at all times. If you hare harassing her as much as you should you should be on top when it comes to HP. She will ult you for a kill, but Pounce is an easy escape. If you have full HP when she ults again you can try to kill her while she is in DL. It will scare her and she will probably break it and run, if she doesn't you may well be able to score a kill. Be warned, you need to be able to gauge how much damage she will do with her ult before you can stay and try for a kill. It's something that comes with experience. If you can't do it, just harass and farm as much as you can. Punish everything!
Trist: Never stand near almost dead minions. She will kill them and get free damage on you. Trist will start to outrange you by about level 3 or 4 but this does not mean be afraid. Keep harassing, don't heal when you have her ES debuff on you, and keep your HP up. At 6 you can start harassing with Cougar if you like. Trist has sustained damage, but burst, so when you rush in, hit her with some burst, and rush out, you will usually come out having done more damage, but watch out for Buster Shot. It hits hard, about 300 at level 1 IIRC, so don't get too greedy. If you harass her well enough you will take away her very high pushing power and the lane will be a pushing stalemate until one of you gets a kill.
Ashe: Another squishy. Harass, harass, harass. Since they nerfed Volley it's easy to avoid now, so just sit behind your minions, as it's fairly obvious when she is going to fire it. Let Ashes push if they choose to, as it will make your kill easier. gain, harass her a lot and you will be set up for a kill at 6. "But what about her Ult!?!" That's what Cleanse is for. Every time you Cleanse her ECA make sure you type "Cleanse > ECA" in all chat. Unless she is hitting you with it every time it's off CD Cleanse should be up and she will never get a good ult off on you. It gets you kills, lets you push (by letting you not worry about those under-the-tower stuns Ashe loves), and saves you.
Pantheon: Simply put, unless you have Cleanse you are going to die, and the last thing you want to do is feed a Pantheon. Sorry, there is no way around it. If he harasses well you will die at level 3 without Cleanse. So, keep Cleanse up for his stun, keep your HP high, even at the expense of your mana, and harass him every time he comes close. Even remotely close. Shield or no shield. Why can you use your mana on healing so liberally? Because unless he has Meki's (which solo Panths don't take usually; they need damage to ensure kills) your mana will last a lot longer than his. Solo Pantheons go oom quickly. Once you get to six, he should have some damage on him as he probably only took one or two HP pots depending on what he started with. Make sure Cleanse is up, Cleanse the stun, Cougar, turn around and blow him up. If you have full HP he will either die or be forced out of the lane. I did this just the other day, he got away but then ate a Javelin right in the face as he ran. Just an example of how being good with your skillshot pays off. You would be surprised how many people die simply because they weren't paying attention because they weren't expecting you to throw a giant magical spear at their face.
If you guys have any others you want help with, feel free to post in the tread about it, or ask for a guide for them. I watch this guide very closely and have responded to almost every post in it, so don't be shy. The chances are very, very high that I will respond to you.
Primal Surge got the nerf this time around. (They just can't seem to nerf her enough.) Honestly, it's not terrible because they increased the AP ratio. It seems to me that they are trying to push Nidalee to a more AP based role with this and the 0.1 buff to her Javelin ratio in the same patch. It mostly hurts your early game as before with Doran's Ring you were healing for 83 at rank 1, while now you are healing for 73. At max rank with all of your AP (Trinity, Ginsoo's (fully stacked), and Doran's Ring) you were healing for 361, and now you are healing for 346. It's not terrible, and mostly makes early game a bit more work, but it's nothing that bad. Of course, this makes AP Nidalee all the more powerful as a support.
Thanks for reading. I am not as good as Flankd, but I have played a lot of games with this Krazy Kat *****, and I do know what I am doing. Feel free to critique, as I will try to keep this updated with new builds I test, as well as go with any real discussion that goes on here. Once again, a big thank you to Flankd for making the bulk of this guide, and giving me a build for the Champion that has become my main, and by far my best champion. Hats off to you sir.
Could you let players know what you update?
The only major change I noticed was adding the Ghost Blade and you told players to last hit.
That really was all I updated, as well as an insistence on taking Doran's Ring. There was not much to update at this point, I just wanted to make a new thread so I could have control over it and keep updates coming in the future.
I changed the following:
Added the Ghostblade into the build
Insisted that one take Doran's Ring since the nerf to her heal
Took Out Spirit Visage and instead added added a different survivability item
Mentioned the fact that I love Bloodrazor
Again, all I really wanted to do was add a few small changes and make a new thread so I could update it myself as I find new builds and what have you.
Ghost blade isn't that good. Crit and attack speed isn't used movement speed is meh.
Coule of things, nice idea btw to keep a new thread going.
You didn't mention a masteries set up of 9/0/21. 15% extra spell penetration, 3% lowered Cool Downs, 2% extra Criticals is useful.
The object for Nidalee isn't to lane forever. Doran's is viable and I start with it if I am going to solo a side lane, but if you're starting in mid I prefer rushing Sheen to be able to kill rather than Doran's to Farm. Personal playstyle preference. I play Nidalee as more of a carry than a support champion so early kills are important to get when possible.
You didn't mention SotO in your build. Rageblade should be built before you upgrade to Ghostblade IMO but I haven't used Ghostblade yet so hey maybe not. As Eppa said, the upgrade from Brutalizer seem minimal. I'd rather buy a SotO which has a lot more potential for end game domination than does invest into upgrading a Brut to Ghost.
I have seen a Jax obliterate my team on TT with Ghostblade, but everything Ghostblade does is designed for Jax, unfortunately. The strong get stronger.
Two pairs of boots? Over a Bloodthirster?
However, I will take a look into SotO over a Ghostblade until end game. I will add it in my next edit, and if I find it to be more successful I will add it to the primary item build.
Also, I didn't mean you should lane forever, I meant that you can. I will clarify. Thanks for the feedback.
Edit: I did mention two pairs of boots. Put in Boots of Swiftness instead of Speed. It has been fixed.
Where are you getting that magic 10% from? Nidalee doesn't get free dodge for being in cougar form, or anything. Your numbers add up to 30% dodge. If this was correct, everyone would be getting phantom dancer and making fun of Jax.
Actually, Nidalee does have a small dodge boost in Cougar I believe.
Something I've been mulling over as an alternative to Trinity Force is Phantom Dancer+Frozen Mallet. More survivability, and possibly more damaging, though I've have to run numbers. In this case, Atma's might be viable as well, since you have some solid HP, and it gives armor and crit too.
Also, Youmuu's active is good for Nidalee, since it enhances two of her major assets: escaping and chasing.
Possibly this as a final build: http://leaguecraft.com/builder/Nidal...2954a6c6fbe128
Should have very high aspd with Guinsoo, Youmuu, and Primal, and a 75% crit chance, plus 30% dodge in cougar. And of course 92 AP on the side. Godly movement speed.
I have a similar AD Nidalee build, though I usually change up Quintessences for EXP bonus to gain a level advantage:
Masteries: 0/9/21 means 5% EXP bonus
Quintessence 3x2% = 6% EXP bonus
Zilean (my friend usually plays him): 8%...
TOTAL: 19% EXP bonus
Combine that with solo mid, and I find myself leveling pretty **** quickly :)
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