[Guide] Nidalee - Fear the Wild! (AP/Lich Bane)
See the guide on leaguecraft for the better formatted version: http://www.leaguecraft.com/strategies/guide/3655,Nidalee%20-%20Fear%20the%20Wild!
This guide will expound on the AP/Lich Bane Nidalee build.
Nidalee is a very versatile champion. She has a skill-shot nuke, a reconnaissance/debuff trap, a heal and attack speed buff skill, and an interesting ultimate that turns her into a threatening melee wrecking ball. A recent update changed the numbers for her skills, making them less effective early and more effective with significant ability power. This reinforced the strength of going AP/Lich Bane. There are few champions that can abuse Lich Bane better than Nidalee.
So, let's get down to business:
[Prowl] (passive):Not the most powerful passive, but it sometimes helps movement. It definitely encourages control of bushes.
[Javelin Toss]:A very powerful nuke. Even at point blank, it does some good damage. Don't be afraid to use it at point blank. But at max range, you can take off 1/3rd of their HP or more with just one toss. If I'm soloing mid, I always get to mid quickly and plant a bunch of them in the bushes nearby, making it much harder to gank me early. It's also great for destroying Heimerdinger's Turrets! Protip: If you toss it while in the bushes, the enemy will have much less time to react.
[Takedown]:A medium power Cougar-nuke. Does more damage the lower they are, but usually you just want to use it when you have it available. The cooldown is very short. Combined with Lich Bane, it can do some very nasty damage.
[Bushwhack]:Awesome utility skill. Spam it everywhere, usually around corners, in brush, in choke points, near Golem/Lizard to reveal anyone that tries to jungle there, and best of all: to reveal wards! Pop a Bushwhack where you think or know a ward is, and take it out. There goes 90 or so gold, plus time taken for them to replace it. Should almost always be on cooldown.
[Pounce]:Excellent skill, contributes to your abuse of Guinsoo's Rageblade. Pouncing around the map allows you to maintain max charges on Guinsoo's forever, for no mana cost. It also does some good AoE damage upon landing, making for good farming and helping to chase with Rylai's Scepter. It's also useful for hopping around a little faster than you would run otherwise. You'll want to practice leaping over certain ledges. Note that its cooldown cannot be reduced.
See spoonie's video for some good Pounce locations: Spoonie's Pathways video
[Primal Surge]:This has been changed to heal less early on (it was too good,) but now the AP ratio is higher (1.25, making an AP build even better.) Early on, it's a mild to moderate heal, a little less than Kayle's [Divine Blessing], but gives a pretty good attack speed buff. Later, it becomes a very significant heal, and can be used on carries to great effect. (They'll want the attack speed more than you, if they're nearby, which late game they should be.)
[Swipe]:Pretty good AoE, especially for free and in combination with Pounce. The damage is only in front of you, so make sure to be facing the right direction.
[Cougar Form]/[Human Form]:This allows you to rapidly switch back and forth between forms. It's free, and leveling it up is what improves your cougar skills. The low cooldown allows for massive skill-spam, going back and forth between forms and using both forms' skills, triggering Lich Bane like mad. (Leveling up the other skills only affects the [Human Form]'s skills, although you need 1 rank in them to have the skills available.)
Ghost is a necessity. Ghost allows you to escape and chase, which is particularly valuable on Nidalee, greatly amplifying her strengths. Your second skill is quite variable. I enjoy bringing Ignite or Cleanse or Exhaust. They allow you to either take them down faster, escape more easily (and contribute more to the fight), and shut down/slow an opponent, respectively.
Other options are also valid, particularly because she's such a versatile champion:
-If your team needs it, you can bring Clairvoyance. Every team should have a Clairvoyance.
-You could bring Clarity if your team needs it.
-You could bring Fortify if your team needs it.
-You could bring Teleport if your team needs someone with superior mobility.
-You could bring Smite for either neutral creep control (stealing Dragon/Baron is awesome), or even to jungle (yes, you are capable of it.)
-You could theoretically bring Flash if it's your favorite.
-You could bring Rally to support the team. You might want to go 21/9/0 if you do so.
-You could maybe even bring Heal, if your team is starving for more defensive power.
-Please do NOT bring Revive.
---RUNES AND MASTERIES---
For Runes, I go:
Marks: Armor Penetration
Seals: Mana Regen/level
Glyphs: Flat CD Reduction
Quints: Flat HP if I'm soloing, often Armor Pen otherwise.
A lot of your DPS will be physical: [Takedown], Sheen/Lich Bane, basic-attacks
Some will be magical: [Javelin Toss], [Pounce], [Swipe], [Bushwhack] (although [Bushwhack] doesn't do much damage)
Considering that Magic Penetration runes are significantly less efficient than Armor Pen runes, I go with Armor Pen, but Magic Penetration can work, too. An alternative to Flat CD Reduction is Magic Resistance/level for Glyphs.
Masteries, I go 9/0/21: like this. This gives:
-9% Cooldown reduction, which combined with flat CD Glyphs and a Nashor's Tooth or Frozen Heart gives max cooldown reduction.
-5% extra experience.
-1 mana/second, or 5 mana/5 seconds, which allows for more skill-spam: more Javelins, more Traps, and more Heals.
-30% additional buff duration, which is very nice, considering a significant amount of the beginning time of the buff is often wasted. I love this mastery.
-3% additional move speed, which is great for amplifying Nidalee's strengths.
-15% reduced Summoner Skill cooldowns, which is nice, just like all the 21 point masteries.
-Improved Ghost, which is awesome.
-and a couple other small buffs.
You could also go 0/9/21, to grab some survivability and Nimbleness. In that case, you're going to want Dodge seals, need 2 Doran's Rings early on, and the golem buff will be a lot better on you, due to your much reduced mana regeneration. If your team has few tanks, this would likely be a superior setup.
Level 01: [W] - [Bushwhack]
Level 02: [E] - [Primal Surge]
Level 03: [E] - [Primal Surge]
Level 04: [Q] - [Javelin Toss]
Level 05: [Q] - [Primal Surge] or [Javelin Toss]
Level 06: [R] - [Aspect of the Cougar]
Level 07: [Q] - [Primal Surge] or [Javelin Toss]
Level 08: [Q] - [Primal Surge] or [Javelin Toss]
Level 09: [Q] - [Javelin Toss]
Level 10: [E] - [Javelin Toss] or [Primal Surge]
Level 11: [R] - [Aspect of the Cougar]
Level 12: [E] - [Javelin Toss] or [Primal Surge]
Level 13: [E] - [Javelin Toss] or [Primal Surge]
Level 14: [W] - [Bushwhack]
Level 15: [W] - [Bushwhack]
Level 16: [R] - [Aspect of the Cougar]
Level 17: [W] - [Bushwhack]
Level 18: [W] - [Bushwhack]
There are two main skilling orders. One prioritizes [Primal Surge], the other prioritizes [Javelin Toss]. Most of the time, you want to level up [Primal Surge]. At the beginning, you'll want the wonderful utility of [Bushwhack], to toss into bushes everywhere, which will make early ganks very difficult. Then, you get [Primal Surge] to keep harassment at bay and for a bit more DPS, then you could switch to the offensive power of [Javelin Toss]. Leveling up [Bushwhack] should always be reserved for last.
***Remember, upgrading skills only affects your [Human Form]'s skills, it's your ultimate that upgrades your other skills. However, you need at least 1 point in the skill in order for it to be available in [Cougar Form].***
A lot of people say that you should max out [Primal Surge] immediately as opposed to leveling up [Javelin Toss]. I somewhat agree:
-[Primal Surge] is generally more useful and powerful.
-[Primal Surge] is very useful for surviving harassment and pushing towers. However, [Javelin Toss] can deal more damage to the enemy champion(s) if you can get around the creeps. You can also force enemies to back away from their tower.
-[Primal Surge] is still quite useful with 2 ranks, whereas [Javelin Toss] is almost useless with low ranks. Having the versatility of two effective skills can be very useful.
-Offensive power is more important than defensive resilience, particularly on champions that can be effective at a range.
-A nuke (especially one with an inherent possible multiplier) gets exponentially more useful with each increase, whereas a heal gets slightly less than linearly more useful with each increase. Think of it this way: If you could heal someone for max HP or do max HP damage to someone, which would you take?
-While [Primal Surge]'s attack speed buff is great, you're not going to be doing as much auto-attacking early, and even then, 2 ranks still give you a good attack speed buff.
-Just because it's a skill shot, does not mean it's ineffective. Morgana's Dark Binding, Mundo's Infected CleaverCleaverCleaver, Ezreal's Mystic Shot and Essence Flux, and Sivir's Boomerang Blade are all skill shots, but I level them up before their other skills.
I would recommend trying out the 3 main orders yourself and seeing which you prefer (and when): (Most people prefer to max [Primal Surge] first.)
*1 [Bushwhack] -> Max [Primal Surge] -> Max [Javelin Toss]
*1 [Bushwhack] -> 2x [Primal Surge] -> Max [Javelin Toss] -> Max [Primal Surge]
*1 [Bushwhack] -> 2x [Primal Surge] -> 2x [Javelin Toss] -> Alternate between [Javelin Toss]/[Primal Surge]
Start: Doran's Ring, Health Potion
Next few: Boots of Speed, Doran's Ring, Pickaxe
plus for consumables, some of: Health Potion, Mana Potion, Sight Ward
Next: Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi / Sheen / Guinsoo's Rageblade (in whatever order you prefer.)
Then: Rylai's Scepter
Then: Lich Bane
That is the core build. After that, you can work on one or more of:
Nashor's Tooth, Banshee's Veil, Frozen Heart, Guardian Angel, Zhonya's Ring, Deathfire Grasp, Mejai's Soulstealer, Spirit Visage, or Sunfire Cape
NOT Hextech Gunblade
Don't forget late-game to buy:
Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Agility, and/or Elixir of Brilliance
---Long Version and Explanations:---
This build focuses on AP/Lich Bane. Thus, the obvious item to start off with is Doran's Ring, with a Health Potion.
When you are back at base, buy a Boots of Speed. If you can afford it, grab another Doran's Ring, unless you have a lot of cash, in which case, buy a Pickaxe or:
-If you bought a Doran's Ring and have 400+ more, buy a Sapphire Crystal.
-If you bought a Doran's Ring and have 975+ more, buy a Pickaxe.
-If you bought a Pickaxe and have 435+ more, buy a Doran's Ring.
-If you bought a Pickaxe and have 835+ more, buy a Doran's Ring and a Sapphire Crystal.
-If you bought a Pickaxe and have 1260+ more, finish the Guinsoo's Rageblade.
-Doran's Ring gives you HP, mana regeneration and ability power, each of which is very useful for Nidalee at this stage of the game. HP is great on everyone, mana allows her to spam her skills, and Ability Power helps with her great scaling [Javelin Toss] and [Primal Surge]. You may skip the second Doran's Ring if you are farming well, but I personally love the mana regeneration.
-A Health Potion is better than a Mana Potion to start because you won't have a decent [Primal Surge] available to heal up until level 3, and then you can only heal once every 10 seconds. A Health Potion allows for faster recovery once you do get very damaged, and good recovery before you hit level 3.
-Guinsoo's Rageblade is insanely good on Nidalee. Permanent 8 charges, meaning 35 Attack Damage, 93 Ability Power, and 32% Attack Speed. That would normally cost you 3456 gold, but instead it takes 2235. Not only are you saving 1221 gold, but it massively accelerates your power at a point of the game where you're already peaking, skills wise.
-Sheen is great with spamming skills, adds significant damage to her attack chains, and provides her with more Mana and Ability Power. You will eventually be triggering Sheen multiple times per second.
-Potions give you further staying power, and Wards are necessary on every team. [Bushwhack] is great, but it's not enough, especially since they're visible, often avoidable, and you certainly can't cover the entire map with them.
After buying a Boots of Speed and a second Doran's Ring, buy a Pickaxe upgrade your Boots of Speed to Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, and work on getting Guinsoo's Rageblade. If you want, you can finish your Guinsoo's Rageblade before upgrading your Boots of Speed. Anyone that plays Nidalee and doesn't get Guinsoo's Rageblade is out of their mind. You have permanent max charges. I generally buy the Pickaxe first for harassment and farming, but really, they're both good. Again, fill out your slots with potions and wards using your remaining cash.
Now with the most basic items in hand, go for either Rylai's Scepter or Lich Bane. Rylai's Scepter will add survivability, a bit of AP, and some wonderful CC that you're lacking (it works on your traps, too,) while Lich Bane will substantially increase your DPS. After one, grab the other. Few games will get much past this point.
If you need to, you can always grab a defensive item or two on your way through this build, like a Catalyst the Protector, Spirit Visage, Chain Vest, or a Negatron Cloak. You don't necessarily need to upgrade them.
The great thing about Sheen/Lich Bane with Nidalee is that while they say they only have a 3 second cooldown, they actually have a 3 second cooldown PER SKILL. That means you can [Javelin Toss], attack with buff, [Primal Surge], attack with buff, [Bushwhack], attack with buff, [Cougar Form], attack with buff, [Pounce], attack with buff, [Swipe], attack with buff, [Takedown], attack with buff, [Human Form], attack with buff, all within a couple seconds. That's 7 straight Sheen/Lich Bane attacks. And then you start all over again. Cooldown reduction/attack speed makes it even more spammable.
After this (again, few games get past this point,) it's up to you to determine the right move given the situation. Some possibilities:
Banshee's Veil - A common favorite defensive item. Especially invaluable versus Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab.
Nashor's Tooth - Great CD reduction item, also gives some AP and attack speed, comes in lots of small parts, which is nice if you're having trouble farming. Attack speed is useful because it allows you to attack with your Lich Bane more rapidly, and you won't always be using [Primal Surge] on yourself. You have so many skills to spam that sometimes your attack speed will be the limiting factor in your attacks.
Frozen Heart - Another CD reduction option, with a nice aura, and armor. If you're facing off against a physical damage heavy team, this is a great option. Its parts are often useful on their own, so you can delay getting the final item.
Guardian Angel - A decent defensive option.
Zhonya's Ring - Fantastic AP boost and a sweet defensive ability for if they are about to focus on you.
Deathfire Grasp - A very nice nuke, especially if they all have lots of HP but low magic resistance. Remember, you usually want to focus on the weaker enemies first, not tanks, even though Deathfire Grasp is good versus tanks.
Mejai's Soulstealer - Cheap AP if you're doing better than most of your team, or simply getting most of the kills. Your opponents will likely begin to focus on you. However, remember that sometimes getting a real item that provides a certain immediate boost is often better than a possible large cheap boost later.
Spirit Visage - If your opponents have some good magic damage and you have one or more other heals on your team, this can be a great buy.
Sunfire Cape - Good if you need some more survivability in the front lines.
NOT Hextech Gunblade - A bad item for this build, and in general.
For offensive power:
Deathfire Grasp or Zhonya's Ring
For defensive resilience:
Banshee's Veil, Spirit Visage, Frozen Heart, Guardian Angel, or Sunfire Cape
Depends on team compositions. If they have mostly physical damage, you can get the armor items, if they have mostly magical damage, you can buy the MR items. You can simply buy a small part of it, like a Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak, and save upgrading it for later.
For more spam:
To become more of a carry:
Your role is pretty much everything except a tank. You're good DPS, you're good support, you're a good ganker, you're a good harasser, you have good burst-damage, and you have fantastic mobility. Use everything you have to its best capacity, and focus on what your team needs.
Some other points:
*Use [Primal Surge] on whoever needs it. Usually this will be someone else. The best target is a physical DPS.
*You usually don't need the Golem buff, with these runes, masteries, and items. The Lizard buff, on the other hand, is great on a ranged attacker/chaser/harasser such as yourself.
*Spam [Bushwhack] like no tomorrow. Your team will love you for it.
*Be careful about engaging in [Cougar Form]. You're not the tank/initiator.
*Don't chase beyond the main battle. Your team needs you. If you split off to chase, you lose the advantage that you just gained by them fleeing.
*Don't chase too far. The further you go into their territory the more likely you'll die, and the more likely they're going to live. It's usually not worth it.
*Use your Zhonya's Ring before you take a lot of damage. If you wait until you take damage, you're not going to help anything. The point is to force them to choose to hold back their damage or use it on someone else.
*Use your summoner skills. You brought them. Don't let them go to waste.
*[Bushwhack] it first. It will instantaneously briefly reveal what's in there. If you're not sure if there's someone in the bushes, why run in? If there isn't, you got lucky. If there is, you just made a big mistake. Late-game, this can easily cost you the game.
*The turret doesn't make you invulnerable. Especially late-game, the turrets may damage those that come in, but they don't instantly kill your opponent, especially if multiple champions charge in. AND, if no one on your team damages them before they die, the turret will merely "execute" them, giving your team no gold for the kill.
*Be map aware. Your teammates aren't omniscient, and they can't type everything instantly. Often they will forget to call mia, so if you're going to be particularly aggressive, check the map first. You can even ask if anyones mia. If an ally dies or goes back to heal, they may forget to call mia, so be careful in that situation. Usually if someone calls mia, IMMEDIATELY run back until you analyze the situation and determine it to be safe. If you can, call mia even if they might still be in your lane. Much better safe than sorry, and you can easily type "re" to inform your allies of their remaining presence.
*Call MIA. If you can, call mia even if they might still be in your lane. Much better safe than sorry, and you can easily type "re" to inform them of their remaining presence. Also, remember to call MIA when you're dead, or when you're shopping.
"whatever the situation merits"
could you explain in which situations those items should be considered?
+1 to you, ap is far superior to any other kind of nidalee
First, Leaguecraft sucks, which kind of makes your guide suck, because it directly reduces accessability. In one swift act you have effectively separated the guide from the discussion of it, and made yourself look very lazy at the same time.
What I get from this - Buy AP Stuff, Play Smart. Well, great.
Thanks for the post and explain why league craft sucsk?
Shame the guide is pretty bad.
AP is an inferior build. Great in certain aspects, but lacking in all the parts that matter.
Stop teaching people to play Nidalee badly.
armor pen tank nidalee is the superior build
-I can color text
-I can insert images of skills/items
-I can have scrollover information on skills/items
-I can imbed a youtube video
-I can add a table of contents that links to each part/interlink
I use leaguecraft a lot, particularly as reference. As for accessibility, I figure a link to the guide takes only a click to see.
Once I have time, I will try to convert my guide into a format suitable for this forum.
-Corki has his passive, armor reduction, and scaling damage on his guns
-Tristana has increased range and a personal attack speed buff
-Yi has his passive, his damage boost, and his ultimate
-Jax has his ultimate and his passive
-Ashe gets her arrow to do physical damage based on her attack
for just a few examples.
Primal Surge doesn't count because you can simply cast it on your teams real carry. On the other hand, your skills have good AP ratios, a pumped up Lich Bane is brutal, and you have permanent max charges on Guindoo's Rageblade, which gives you 93 AP by itself. If you convince me that AP is in fact inferior, then I will "stop teaching people to play Nidalee badly."
Leaguecraft's connectivity is unreliable in my experience; there are many times when I cannot access a Leaguecraft guide, it loads infinitely with no result except for my browser to tell me they're unavailable or experiencing high traffic.
the words "impossible to kill" come to mind. the way Mundo can be immortal. Or Mordekaiser.
I'm not a regular Nidalee player but trust me, the only Nidalee's that ever gave problems were the well played tanky ones. She has solid base capabilities for dealing hurt, you don't need to go balls to the wall with it, imo. So building her tanky and leaving just one or two items towards the damage output actually turns out to be really effective.
What's the point of a burst when I, as say, Morgana, can burst you for your whole life before your combo is over?
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