Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress - AP/Support Style

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Daesik

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Hello!

I'm a big fan of Nidalee and have been playing her extensively ever since she was released. I don't see many Nidalee's on the opposite team, but when I do, they are always DPS. Now, I personally believe a DPS build on Nidalee is rather stupid - there are far superior carries to fill the role with better abilities. However, AP Nidalee on the other hand brings great utility to the team and can push out impressive burst damage.

Abilities

Nidalee sports an impressive variety of utility spells in Human form and some great burst spells in Cougar form. An important thing to note - Human Form abilites scale with the level in the ability, Cougar Form abilities scale with the level in the Ultimate (eg having bushwhack level 5 and level 1 makes no difference in your Pounce ability). You do however need a point in the Human Form ability to be able to use the ability in Cougar Form.

Q - Human Form: Javelin Toss.

This is your main nuke spell as Nidalee, it does damage based on the distance the Javelin has travelled. Generally you don't want to be harassing with ranks 1 + 2 of Javelin Toss as the damage is negligable, but once you get the third rank, enemies will cower in your presence. After all, no one likes losing over a third of their life to one non-ulti spell!



Some good tips to successful use of the Javelin Toss are:

Being in a position where your enemy can't see the Javelin until the last moment allows to hit them from further positions. Good examples of this are if your opponent is in a lane and you are in the jungle - you can throw the Javelin through the wall and make a clean shot.

Force the opponent to be in a situation where they have to eat the Javelin or hang back and get owned by your teammates. Throwing the Javelin in the running path of your enemy may get them to double back for a slight second, giving your team ample time to get in range. Once you have Rylai's, this becomes a win-win situation, they eat the Javelin and become slowed so your team can catch them, or they stop so your team can catch them.

Often when people get to low life they stand by their tower and recall, thinking that they're in a safe place. Well, they aren't and you can punish them for thinking that. Often you can land a Javelin on them while they're looking at the store and contemplating what item they're gonna get with their cash. Or, combining tip 1 with this lets you hit them without giving them a chance to react.

Practice! Get a feel for the speed of the Javelin, its hitbox and hitting it on moving targets. Sure, you'll mess up kill opportunities, but eventually you'll hit rediculous shots that go through creep waves and finishing opponents off with ease.

W - Human Form: Bushwhack.

You too can be like Teemo, annoying your enemies with traps everywhere! And who wouldn't want to be like that weird little thing? The damage on these will only matter in rare circumstances, however, that's not why you drop them. They give sight of an enemy who treads on them (that includes stealthed champions!), and shred a percentage of your opponents armor and magic resist. What's not to like?



Some good tips to successful use of Bushwhack are:

Your opponent can see the traps, so brush spots are generally the best place to leave them in - the brush texture makes it impossible to spot. Scatter them liberally around the jungle so you know where their team is moving to next.

If you believe that Teemo has a shroom in an area, throwing a trap there will tell you if there is. The shroom will trigger your trap, so you gain sight of the shroom. This works with Shaco's Jack in the Boxes too.

Throwing down the traps will give a flicker of sight to an area for a second, combine this with Javelin Toss to hit that enemy blue pilling out of sight, or just for added recon. Use the large range on the traps to your advantage!

The traps trigger around a second after they are placed. Try throwing one at the tanks feet in a teamfight to reduce his defenses so you can take him out.

Finally, the traps are AoE! They can and will trigger on multiple close opponents - use this to your advantage.

E - Human Form: Primal Surge

It's a low cost heal with good AP scaling on a low cooldown that grants an attack speed bonus. Sound goods to me. Use it while escaping to pump up your health, you may be able to turn round and finish off your foe. In team fights throwing this on your carry can help decimate the opponents team.

R - Cougar Form

The movespeed and dodge is nice, but the bonus abilities this gives you is even nicer. This is your form of choice for escaping, not many champions can catch you with this up and darting between brush.

Q - Cougar Form: Takedown

It's a nice finisher that goes well with Sheen/Lich Bane. It's a shame it doesn't scale with AP though. Not much to say about this, just use it whenever it's off CD.

W - Cougar Form: Pounce

This thing is rediculous. 2 Second cooldown jump spell that isn't reduced by movespeed impairing effects? This makes you very hard to catch and makes you an efficient chaser. Does quite nice damage with AP as well, considering you can get the bonus so often. Also helps you get from place to place quickly, which is always handy.

E - Cougar Form: Swipe

Nice spell also. AoE cleavy thing that does some nice damage. Helps clear out creep waves in conjuction with pounce. The range on this is quite decent, so following a pounce up with this lets you cover alot of distance.

Passive: Prowl

Very nice passive, one of the reasons you're so hard to catch in the jungle - you move so fast alongside pounce. Also good for chasing people down.

Skill Build


E
Q
Q
W
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
W
E
W
R
W
W

I get a point in heal first because it might save your life, and Javelin isn't too great until you're level 5, at which point it starts kicking ass. Traps is kept at level 1 until late for two reasons:
1) Prerequisite for Pounce
2) Still gives sight (very important!)

You could get traps at level 2 and then get the next 3 in Javelin, just ensure Javelin is level 3 and you have a point in each of the others at level 6.

Item Build

1) Starting Item - Sapphire Crystal, Health Potion and a Mana Potion. This will keep you in lane for a long time, and is a prereq for Sheen.

2) Boots 1 - Can't go wrong with movespeed.

3) Sheen - Your catform abilities proc it, letting you do a nice amount of burst. Builds into Lich Bane.

4) Boots of Choice - There are 3 main choices
Sorceror's Shoes - Not a bad choice, but I'd rule out the other two first.
Ninja Tabi - Good if the other team has alot of DPS
Mercury Treads - Good if the other team has alot of CC / Casters.

I personally dislike Boots of Mobility, you move around fast enough anyway, same goes for Boots of Swiftness. Berserker's Greaves - just no.

5) Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This thing is crazy good on Nidalee. When you pounce on someone, you slow them, your Javelin is slowing people, it's just a solid effect on Nidalee. The added health is useful as well.

6) Lich Bane - It's like Sheen, but better! The game should nearly be over by this point.

Your other choices are:
Zhonya's - Winmore!
Guardian Angel/Frozen Heart/Warmog's Armor - More survivability.
Quicksilver Sash - If the other team is packing lots of CC

Use your discretion in what items are necessary. I generally get a Banshee's Veil in this situation and it serves me well.

Runes, Masteries and Summoner Spells
As far as runes go, some people like HP/Level, some like AP/Level, some like Armor, CDR, there's alot of choice. I generally use AP/Level runes, I can get 1000g worth of AP late game just from that setup.

Masteries, it's generally 9/0/21, getting the +30% neutral sigil bonus.

Summoner Spells is whatever you fancy, I generally go with Flash and Ignite, but cleanse is often a good choice.

Early Game

Take solo mid. I cannot stress this enough. You are an extremely potent solo mid character, and I haven't come up against any champion that gives me any particular trouble, even against the tough solo characters such as Corki, Sivir and Ashe. You need to hit level 7 ASAP so you can gank the side lanes with Lizard, and you need to get enough gold to get Sheen and Boots 1 by that time. Harass with attacks, maybe throwing the odd Javelin when you can get a hit in. When you hit 5, really pressure your opponent with Javelins, so by the time you're 6, you can Cougar>Pounce>Shred>Takedown for the kill.

Mid Game

Once you have Sheen and Boots 1, grab the lizard buff and gank side lanes. Your burst potential is high, so you should be able to grab a kill or two, or at least an assist. Push towers by Primal Surging your carries so they can beat them down faster, and lay down traps to gain sight of the area. Try to control the runes as much as possible, if necessary you can hand them off to characters who can make better use of them. Be in every push and teamfight, your heals become extremely potent. Once you have Rylai's Lizard becomes less useful, but Golem is great throughout the game.

Late Game

You can take out nearly any non-carry 1v1 with a bit of skill and forethought. Javelins should be hitting for 600+, and you can heal for around 500, which is extremely efficient. Make sure carries get Primal Surge as a priority, but try to keep everyone topped off. In teamfights try and get to their squishies and burst them down. You chase extremely effectively, and paired with a carry towers go down in seconds.

That pretty much finishes this thing up. I'll try and record some stuff and put it up, that might be useful. Good luck, I hope to see more AP Nidalee's out there.


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Basilisk9466

Senior Member

12-31-2009

DPS Niddy gets a bad press, I have to say. The thing is, it gives her far more flexibility, often more health, and makes her a much better pusher. Sure as ranged she is basically a poor man's Tristana, but she's a Tristana who can turn into Yi at a moment's notice, heal herself, and throw out Teemo-style traps.

That said, AP is also nice. I need to give AP a proper try when I unlock her (accidental rune binge FTL) - I wasn't terribly impressed at first, but perhaps rushing Rylai's will make the difference. There's another (possibly very stupid) build I'm considering that I might post about, depending on how well it turns out in practice.

The only thing I disagree with is solo mid. Niddy is good solo, no argument - but she isn't so good in mid, because the lane's so short. No real opportunity to use Cougar, and someone like Tristana will easily out-harass her, without much of a real counter. A level advantage is essential for her, but she's in mild danger of getting bullied in mid, in my opinion. I generally prefer to go for a dual lane with someone who has decent CC, and snag kills by comboing that with Cougar to build up a gold/XP advantage.

I also note no Soulstealer, which thanks to her lethality, can be built up quite fast and is pretty cheap... I'm questioning whether you have the AP to really make the most out of the abilities.


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Daesik

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basilisk9466 View Post
DPS Niddy gets a bad press, I have to say. The thing is, it gives her far more flexibility, often more health, and makes her a much better pusher. Sure as ranged she is basically a poor man's Tristana, but she's a Tristana who can turn into Yi at a moment's notice, heal herself, and throw out Teemo-style traps.

That said, AP is also nice. I need to give AP a proper try when I unlock her (accidental rune binge FTL) - I wasn't terribly impressed at first, but perhaps rushing Rylai's will make the difference. There's another (possibly very stupid) build I'm considering that I might post about, depending on how well it turns out in practice.

The only thing I disagree with is solo mid. Niddy is good solo, no argument - but she isn't so good in mid, because the lane's so short. No real opportunity to use Cougar, and someone like Tristana will easily out-harass her, without much of a real counter. A level advantage is essential for her, but she's in mild danger of getting bullied in mid, in my opinion. I generally prefer to go for a dual lane with someone who has decent CC, and snag kills by comboing that with Cougar to build up a gold/XP advantage.
I have to disagree with your disagreement .
Tristana as an example isn't an issue. You have a heal and increased attack speed. Alot of solo mid champions ignore health as they believe they will dominate the lane, and your Javelin can give this an advantage. I agree, Javelin isn't as godlike in mid as in a side lane, but the level advantage is definately important to her. However, if there was a solo side lane I'd take that.


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Basilisk9466

Senior Member

12-31-2009

I would take my Tristana against Niddy solo mid any day. Explosive shot's active is murder against any squishy - javelin can be avoided simply careful use of minions, and increased attack speed is worth squat if I've just sent over a hundred damage your way as a fire-and-forget DoT. At early levels, Primal Surge doesn't scale well with mana, and you have to wait until the DoT is finished or it'll be wasted. At level six, explosive shot/rocket jump/buster shot will burn all of Trist's mana, but good luck surviving it.

Then again, I'm of the opinion that Trist is one of the nastiest solo mids out there, so it's a slightly unfair comparison. Nidalee isn't a bad solo mid - she's just outclassed by the usual suspects of opponents. Teemo thanks to poison and blinding dart would also give you problems; I can remember downright feeding a Teemo while in solo mid as Niddy.


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Daesik

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basilisk9466 View Post
I would take my Tristana against Niddy solo mid any day. Explosive shot's active is murder against any squishy - javelin can be avoided simply careful use of minions, and increased attack speed is worth squat if I've just sent over a hundred damage your way as a fire-and-forget DoT. At early levels, Primal Surge doesn't scale well with mana, and you have to wait until the DoT is finished or it'll be wasted. At level six, explosive shot/rocket jump/buster shot will burn all of Trist's mana, but good luck surviving it.

Then again, I'm of the opinion that Trist is one of the nastiest solo mids out there, so it's a slightly unfair comparison. Nidalee isn't a bad solo mid - she's just outclassed by the usual suspects of opponents. Teemo thanks to poison and blinding dart would also give you problems; I can remember downright feeding a Teemo while in solo mid as Niddy.
I just don't think you've come across a competent Nidalee in mid. I've never had any issues even against the toughest of mid opponents. We can throw back and forth theoretical arguments about who beats who in a fight, but that doesn't prove anything.


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Basilisk9466

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Hopefully we can try it out in practice some time, then


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seresibyl

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daesik View Post
I just don't think you've come across a competent Nidalee in mid. I've never had any issues even against the toughest of mid opponents. We can throw back and forth theoretical arguments about who beats who in a fight, but that doesn't prove anything.
Nidalee isn't good in mid because her ganking relies on the Enemy being stupid.


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Daesik

Senior Member

12-31-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by seresibyl View Post
Nidalee isn't good in mid because her ganking relies on the Enemy being stupid.
She can gank at level 6 without the enemy being stupid. You don't expect to get pre-6 kills with Nidalee, only post 6.