[Guide] Nidalee - the jungle cat

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Ideal

Senior Member

12-19-2009

This is my first guide so i will be updating it if changes are needed. I've been playing Nidalee lately trying to find what works best and my results are to jungle with her while assisting with ganks.

So why jungle with Nidalee? In my opinion all of her moves are just perfect for this, well maybe not javelin toss....

1. Masteries:
For masteries i just go the generic 9/0/21, for me i've always had success with the utility tree but really the offensive tree would work just fine with her.

2. Runes:
Most people just use 1 page of runes and don't have mutliple pages, i'm one of those people but i personally just stack crit damage runes. Nidalee stacks very well with crit and it never hurts but honestly just use what floats your boat.

3. Abilities:

(Passive) Prowl:
Moving through brush increases nidalee's movement speed by 25%
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At first glance this passive doesn't seem too special, that is unless you jungle. This passive will allow nidalee to swap lanes and keep moving through the jungle at a non comparative speed compared to warwick.
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Javelin Toss:
Nidalee throws her javelin and deals more damage the further away the target is
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This move is best used to get the finishing blow on a retreating opponnent, the damage is alright but this skillshot takes a while to get used to and is much harder to use than ashe's ultimate.
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Bushwhack:
Nidalee lays a trap that when sprung deals magic damage and lowers the armor of the targets.
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Okay this move took me a while to get the full use out of it. Bushwhack isn't a shroom so you wont have a great deal of map control with it but this move has its uses. When killing neurtal mobs ALWAYS lay these underneath them, it makes them die much faster. When jungling you should always have the lizard buff, bushwhack actually slows targets when you have this buff which makes setting up ambushes a breeze if the enemy tries to escape. Second, everytime you kill a golem/lizard/dragon you should always put one of these where they spawn, there may still be fog of war BUT if the mobs spawn this trap the green dot on the map will dissapear, this will also tell you if some1 is looking for these mobs also.
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Primal Surge:
Nidalee heals an ally and increases their attack speed
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Okay as a jungle cat this is your bread and butter skill, this is the reason why you will be able to kill neutral mobs and stay full hp at all times. This skill is not only great for staying in the jungle as long as possible but absolutely great for ganking with the help of a physical dps such as ashe.
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Aspect of the Cougar:
Nidalee turns into a cougar increasing her dodge and movement speed by 10% and gaining a new set of moves
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Cougar form is amazing when killing creeps and you should always put a point into this whenever possible.
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Takedown:
Nidalee's next attack deals additional damage also increasing depending how low the opponents life is.
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This move allows you to quickly finish off tough creeps such as the dragon and golem but also this move allows your ganks to be far more succesful as it gives you burst when you most need it.
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Pounce:
Nidalee lunges forward dealing damage surronding her
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This move is great for chasing or escaping and should always have 1 point into it. For killing creeps this move should be spammed at all times and you should always try to leep into the wall next to the creep to not miss the pounce.
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Swipe:
Nidalee swipes at targets in front of her dealing magic damage to multiple enemies near her.
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In cougar form this will be your best move for taking out creeps, not only does it kill creeps fast and deal moderate damage but the CD is SHORT, highly spamable with no mana cost makes me a very happy cat >:3
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4. Summoner's Abilities:

Summoner abilities genrally come down to preference but here are a few i tend to use

Flash: The short teleport combined with pounce results in a large amount of land cleared in a small amount of time, also used to escape through the jungle easier.

Clairvoyance: As a jungler you want to be able to see if any1 is at dragon and this can also be used to set up ganks as well as prevent being ganked.

Cleanse: While not as powerful since its nerf it is still great for cancling out exhaust or the sad mummy's ultimate.

5. Items:

This is where it becomes more or less opinions but ill show you my basic build

1: Vampiric Scepter - The lifesteal at the start is very good for the beggining

2: Malady - While the item itself isnt that great the lifesteal is needed and the attack speed will make you a very happy kitty

3: Boots of Mobility - This will let you get inbetween mobs very fast when combined with your passive

4: Sheen - Nidalee has more than enough moves to proc sheen and the extra AP never hurts

5: Infinity Edge - The Crit from this will allow you to get some very very high critical hits at a very fast rate, a must take

6: Phantom Dancer - Normally games dont last this long so this 6th item is really up to you but i generally take this for the extra crit rating

Elixer of Agility - This is worth mentioning as i always take one of these before i go for a gank, the extra crit rating and attack speed will make you love yourself even more.

6. Skilling Order:

Now before you start jungling i recomend you lane upto level 6, i say this because until you get cougar form you will be very limited as to what you could handle in the jungle so this build is determined around that.

First Level - Get primal surge, it will make handling harrasing very easy
Second level - Get javelin toss so you can keep the pressure up on the opponents
Third level - Get Bushwhack, it may not be usefull right now but you need it

From here on its up to you, i personally keep primal surge maxed while keeping javelin toss up as much as possible after i get my ult, i find this works best for me but some people may think otherwise

7. Playing as a jungle cat:

Levels 1-6
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This is prolly the worst part of being a jungle cat, If possible try to get solo mid as it will let you jungle earlier but if not just lane like a normal person while keeping you and your partner alive with primal surge. At this point you do not want to have to blue pill, you want to have a malady and your boots before you start jungling for maximum effectiveness.
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Levels 6-12
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At level 6 you need to make it your priority to keep a lizard buff up at all times and if possible golem also. I stress the lizard buff because if you dont have it you prolly wont get many succesful ganks with the lack of a slowing effect and the golem buff lets you spam your moves even more. For these levels just keep jungling while ganking when the chance arrises.
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Levels 12-18
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At level 12 you should be able to solo dragon with ease if you haven't been doing so before hand. Also at this level you should be a killing machine and be getting a kill every time you have the lizard buff. When chosing who to gank always pick targets that have very few esape mechanisms like Twisted Fate and Ashe.
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Level 18
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Now that you are 18 you should be critting every attack with an elixer of aglity and you should be able to solo towers in a matter of seconds if left unchecked. By now the enemy team should start picking you out first in group fights so be sure to never be around for the begginging and instead come in after the tanks have initiated and again pick the squishys.
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Well this was my guide on playing Nidalee, this guide is my first and i will be updating it when changes are needed or if i find a better item build or ect. Enjoy


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arizenkin

Member

12-19-2009

I think to take full advantage of Nidalee's advantages you should spend a good deal of mid-game in the jungle and moving from lane to lane to gank / push. Your item build isn't my favorite but honestly once you get cougar pretty much any build can jungle well.

On a side note, in a practice game, I killed the golem at lvl 1. Used cloth armor and health pots as my starting item. Used rally and smite for summoner skills and primal surge to kill him. From there I was able to kill the rest of the spawn pretty quickly. Once i hit 6 was super easy sailing. But I've never tired this in a actual game, I'm not sure its worth it.


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Ideal

Senior Member

12-19-2009

it generally isnt worth it, nidalee is a very squishy champion with very few outs so having summoner skills that can increase your suvivibility is a must imo.

about my build i am generally able to crit nearly every attack and i've seen 2k crits so far on her, generally speaking she attacks very fast and this puts out mad dps if you target a caster or other squishys


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JohnCataldo

Senior Member

12-20-2009

Guide isn't bad, but I think it's mistitled. Jungling usually means starting from a fairly early stage. This isn't really a build for jungling, but better as a way to play Nidalee that includes getting the Lizard buff after level 6 for ganks. Sure, you can help clear out other mobs, but even in moderate level pub play after level 6 you can expect the enemy to start roaming and taking jungle buffs and dragon as well, at least in most games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ideal View Post
1. Masteries:
For masteries i just go the generic 9/0/21, for me i've always had success with the utility tree but really the offensive tree would work just fine with her.
If you want to kill Dragon or other mobs earlier, you should really take Smite / Rally. It isn't necessarily ideal for Nidalee, but ideal for jungling. In which case you should take Offense so you can have the Rally mastery (which makes it heal far more).


Quote:
2. Runes:
Most people just use 1 page of runes and don't have mutliple pages, i'm one of those people but i personally just stack crit damage runes. Nidalee stacks very well with crit and it never hurts but honestly just use what floats your boat.
Nidalee doesn't have too many crazy effects, so anything that ups damage is good. Attack speed, attack damage, critical chance, all good.


Quote:
Bushwhack:
Nidalee lays a trap that when sprung deals magic damage and lowers the armor of the targets.
---
Okay this move took me a while to get the full use out of it. Bushwhack isn't a shroom so you wont have a great deal of map control with it but this move has its uses. When killing neurtal mobs ALWAYS lay these underneath them, it makes them die much faster. When jungling you should always have the lizard buff, bushwhack actually slows targets when you have this buff which makes setting up ambushes a breeze if the enemy tries to escape. Second, everytime you kill a golem/lizard/dragon you should always put one of these where they spawn, there may still be fog of war BUT if the mobs spawn this trap the green dot on the map will dissapear, this will also tell you if some1 is looking for these mobs also.
It's useful to put traps in the jungle where you think the enemy may spring them, and they might certainly try to get jungle buffs if they are good players. However, they will NEVER spring on the buff or dragon if you put them down right after killing them, because the traps last 4 minutes. The respawn times are 5 minutes for Lizard and Golem buffs, and now 6 for Dragon. So the traps will disappear before they pop on the neutrals respawning.



Quote:
Primal Surge:
Nidalee heals an ally and increases their attack speed
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Okay as a jungle cat this is your bread and butter skill, this is the reason why you will be able to kill neutral mobs and stay full hp at all times. This skill is not only great for staying in the jungle as long as possible but absolutely great for ganking with the help of a physical dps such as ashe.
When using Primal Surge, it's probably best to wait until you are hurt enough to use the healing to full capacity. This will save you mana/health. If you are swimming in mana (which you might be if you have Golem buff) then you may want to start with this and Bushwack right away.

Quote:
Aspect of the Cougar:
One of the nice things about Nidalee is simply that the Cougar is effective and relatively simple from a skill perspective. You need to worry about your positioning, but there's every reason to simply spam your skills nearly all the time as a Cougar.

The trick is to know when to swap back and forth to Human form. Usually it's when you get hurt and want to reapply Primal Surge for both the healing and attack speed bonus. Make sure you throw down a trap onto whatever you are fighting as well, as the armor debuff helps quick a bit. But after that you usually want to go right back to Cougar, as she does far more DPS.


Quote:
Skilling Order:[/B]

Now before you start jungling i recomend you lane upto level 6, i say this because until you get cougar form you will be very limited as to what you could handle in the jungle so this build is determined around that.
Consider starting with Bushwack. If you are on a sidelane (80% of the time) you can use it to help scout the bushes and avoid being jumped. Alternatively, if you secure the bushes, you can put them at the edge and hope someone will walk in for you to hit.

Primal Surge rocks, but I don't like wasting much mana using it at the first level. So I usually take Bushwack, Surge, Surge, and start using it at level 3. Javelin Toss isn't very impressive early on, though I do level it over Bushwack from then on out. You really only need the one level in Bushwack for the most important effects (LOS and knowing where the enemy is).


Quote:
This is prolly the worst part of being a jungle cat, If possible try to get solo mid as it will let you jungle earlier
I have to say, this sounds like a horrible plan and not ideal for the team. If you plan to solo and then leave for the jungle, make sure you discuss it with your team ahead of time and know who will take over soloing for you, or be sure you can keep the lane heavily pushed up while you are away. (Having solo mid leave can work fine if you are immediately going to start ganking and take control of the overall game, but going off to jungle without further plans to control the lanes doesn't make much sense to me.)


Now I'm going to go try a Rally/Smite surge-based Nidalee and see if you really CAN jungle. Seems like a cougar should do well in the wild jungle, right?


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Ideal

Senior Member

12-20-2009

well i wont quote you on each and every part but instead just replay on to this

while smite/rally is good and all i just generally assume your team does dragon at the beggining during the fight, me personally ive never had to use rally or smite to kill the dragon. It may help it go a little faster but honestly the other masteries saves lives.

About the trap i forgot they upped the spawn timer on dragon so that tactic doesnt work anymore sadly, also about placing them under golem and lizard it doesnt work either will have to edit that out

about the primal surge i generally just use it and bushwhack when jungling at the very start, most of the time i have the golem buff and even when i dont it doesnt cost much mana at all

I get primal surge at the very beggining for the lvl 1 fights that occur at most premades, the extra support will help your team if **** hits the fan and generally speaking it usually does

I personally solo mid till 6, once i reach 6 is things are going well i have a person in a dominate lane take my place so i can jungle. As jungling goes it lets me level fast, get gold fast, and assist the weaker lanes and replace those who die in seconds when combined with movement boots and her passive.

As for her jungling it is EXTREMELY viable, in my opinion she and warwick are equals when it comes to jungling...she just lacks his ultimates ganking power but if you play right its an easy flaw to get around.