[Guide] Support/Tank Nunu -- Becoming Mooncrusher

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Dunkelzahn

Senior Member

02-05-2011

INTRODUCTION
Hello, I'm Dunkelzahn. You may remember me as "the Big D", star of "Wyrm Talk" as well as the author of a great many works, such as The Annotated Dunkelzahn's Will and AP [COLOR=#810081]Poppy: The Fine Art of Carbonizing Ashe[/COLOR]. I was also the seventh president of the United Canadian and American States, and regretfully I was assassinated in a cover-up to help empower an artifact that would protect the world against a coming darkness. You may want to read my will one day. Perhaps you're in it!

In this guide, you'll learn how to play Nunu the way I play him. I don't guarantee that this is the best way to play Nunu, and I don't know Nunu as intimately as I do Poppy.

(If you rub the back of Poppy's neck with the base of your thumb she squeals adorably, true story).

I cannot tell you how to play Nunu in order to win WCG or CAL-I or CEVO or whatever competitive scenes League of Legends is on these days, nor will this guide carry you to five-digit Elo or anything like that. What I can tell you is how I play Nunu as well as some tips on how he works in case you want to pick him up.

"But Dunkelzahn, I have no idea who Nunu is! He's a kid with a beard that goes around his head! ["No, it's his hoodie!"] It's a giant beard! He's riding a yeti! That's it!"
Well, basically, Nunu's playstyle involves being the missing piece that your teammates, more specifically your carries, need to become gods. His skill set allows him to be self-sufficient (unlike some supports who are boned the moment anybody looks at them) while giving his carry ally everything they don't have. With his high-duration low-cooldown abilities, he's able to be an asset to almost every team all the time. Nunu's a great addition to almost any team, and he's seriously fun to play.

"What do you mean, becoming Mooncrusher?"
One of Nunu's quotes involves his yeti saying something along the lines of "mooooncrusher", which sounds similar to "bone crusher". And if you've ever seen the [COLOR=#810081]music video to Bone Crusher's "Never Scared"[/COLOR] (warning: ****ty gangsta rap), you probably laughed your ass off at it. This guide teaches you how to become ****ing Mooncrusher. You support your crew and your homeboys, first and foremost. But, never forget that you are the biggest and baddest mother****er ever to walk Summoner's Rift, and you will get into the enemy's face and slow them/ult them to high hell. The dudes trying to get in the club at the beginning of the video, that's your team. You stroll down Summoner's Rift like a thug and back them up when they can't get past Doorman Warwick and his crew. Don't fear anything when you play as Mooncrusher.

NOTE: The format of this guide is modeled after my AP Poppy guide, which in turn is modeled after Leirkov's most excellent guide to playing Tristana.

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CHAPTER THE FIRST: On Nunu's abilities and passive, as well as pros and cons of playing Nunu.
CHAPTER THE SECOND: On how best to rune and set masteries for Nunu, as well as summoner spells.
CHAPTER THE THIRD: On what items to get for Nunu.
CHAPTER THE FOURTH: On how best to play Nunu.
CHAPTER THE FIFTH: General tips and tricks.
CHAPTER THE SIXTH: Epilogue and general well wishes as you become Mooncrusher.
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CHAPTER THE FIRST: On Nunu's abilities and passive, as well as pros and cons of playing Nunu.

Nunu is a support tank of sorts. While he's certainly beefy and benefits from tanking items, he has no hard CC, taunts or mitigation abilities like his friends Amumu, Shen, Rammus, Alistar or Galio. Additionally, he has one of the greatest support abilities in Blood Boil. He's probably the closest to Alistar since his job is to run around with the team, babysit the carry and be a huge distraction. While Alistar can accomplish the distraction part with Pulverize + ult baiting, Nunu does so with his obnoxious slow, relatively high speed and the threat of his ult vaporizing half your team. I like to think of him as the missing piece that your carry and other teammates need to be successful.

Let's take Tryndamere for example, Tryndamere hits like a freight train and has that obnoxious ultimate. However, his weaknesses are that he needs to farm a lot of items, his slow isn't too great, his closing ability pales in comparison to Xin Zhao, and that if he's focused, he's screwed. Now pair him up with Nunu in a dynamic duo and Tryndamere is a lot more dangerous. Nunu gives him attack speed (making Tryndamere more dangerous earlier in the game and multiplying his power considerably when he has his items), movement speed (once again, making Tryndamere more dangerous), a 60% slow on a 5 second cooldown (giving Tryndamere more time to beat the **** out of them), and Absolute Zero forces the enemy to choose between focusing Tryndamere (causing Absolute Zero to nail them for huge damage), running from Nunu (which is 3 seconds that they're not doing something like focus Tryndamere) or blowing some CC on him (which is CC that isn't being blown on Tryndamere). Consume allows Nunu to soften up buff creeps and other beefies later on in the game for Tryndamere to last hit (every little bit of farming helps) while also allowing Nunu to be self-sufficient.

And that's just one teammate! All of Nunu's abilities will help out his other teammates in some manner. Annie can use some more movement speed, Vlad benefits from having a slow that doesn't cost him an escape mechanism or a ton of health, Rammus appreciates having another distraction, etc. Nunu's the perfect complement to almost any team.

PROS:
-- One of the best junglers in the game. Consume is an amazing jungling tool and it even allows you to steal the enemy jungler's creeps. Blood Boil's great for killing creeps faster and moving through the jungle, and Ice Blast does good damage and slows the attack speed of enemy jungle creeps. Once you're done plastering your jungle, Ice Blast is a great ganking tool and Blood Boil speeds you and a lane partner up to get the kill.
-- Awesome support abilities. 65% attack speed and 15% movement speed for 15 seconds (on a potentially 14 second cooldown) kicks ass. Nidalee wishes Primal Surge was as useful for a carry. Ice Blast is a 4 second, 60% slow and 25% attack speed slow on a 5 second cooldown. Absolute Zero is a huge distraction and does stupendous damage with a stupendous attack speed and movement speed slow.
-- High duration, low cooldown abilities. With enough CDR, Ice Blast lasts as long as the cooldown while Blood Boil lasts longer than the cooldown. This allows Nunu to contribute consistently throughout fights.
-- Pretty good damage. Ice Blast has a 1:1 AP ratio on a 5 second cooldown while Absolute Zero has a 2.5:1 AP ratio (highest ratio for an offensive ability in the game). While you don't pick him for damage, his damage is decent enough that he's not totally dead weight.
-- Tough to kill. Nunu benefits a lot from tank items, while his base stats are amazing. Nunu's base hitpoints at level 1 and his hitpoint growth per level are among the highest in the game and his armor's not too bad either. No scaling MR, though.
-- Self-sufficient and item-independent. Nunu's ability set, his toughness and his ability to heal and farm relatively safely make it so that Nunu does not need a lot of items or babysitting, allowing him to make an impact throughout the game while leaving the money and farm to the DPS that needs it.

CONS:
-- No hard CC. Stuns, taunts, knockups, etc. make or break the game, so Nunu's biggest shortcoming is that he has nothing of the sort. Just slows. Obnoxious and amazing slows.
-- Not a whole lot of damage. I did say his damage was decent, but it's not carry-level. If your team is something like Janna/Shen/Taric/Veigar and you need damage, Nunu's a bad hero to pick.
-- His yeti sounds like a dog.
-- The kid himself is pretty annoying sometimes.
-- Workshop Nunu isn't for sale anymore.
-- Grungy Nunu is 975 RP. That skin is ****ing hilarious.

Let's take a gander at Nunu's ability set more in depth.

(Passive): Visionary: Nunu can cast a spell for free after 7 attacks.

This passive is highly underrated, in my opinion. It's very nice in the jungle, even if you have Golem, and throughout the game, having some of your spells cast for no mana cost is a lot better than having none of them being free. Why in the hell it's called Visionary is the worst thing about this passive.

(Q): Consume: The Yeti takes a bite out of target minion, dealing 500/600/700/800/900 true damage to it and restoring 125/180/235/290/345 (+1 per AP) health.
Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds

This spell allows Nunu to jungle like nobody else (except Warwick and Udyr). This, combined with Smite, results in a fast clearing of the jungle pretty safely. Later on in the game, chewing on Lizard or Golem, smiting it and letting your carry/caster buddies kill it faster helps them get to the fight quicker. Killing Dragon and Baron is a cinch with this spell, and you can also use it to steal enemy jungle buffs or even regular jungle creeps early in the game to really screw with the enemy's head.

Fun fact: You can eat Heimerdinger's turrets, Annie's Tibbers, Malzahar's Voidlings, and Shaco's Jack-in-the-Boxes. Allegedly, you can also eat Teemo's Noxious Traps. However, you cannot eat Shaco's Hallucinate or Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave pet.

(W): Blood Boil: Increases an allied unit's attack speed by 25/35/45/55/65% and movement speed by 11/12.5/13/14.5/15% for 15 seconds. Nunu also gains the effects of Bloodboil if casted on an allied unit.
Cooldown: 15 seconds

Carries love this spell! 65% attack speed is roughly 1700 gold worth of attack speed for your allies, and the extra movement speed is helpful for everybody. Of note is that it also speeds you up, so you can keep up with the person you've sped up and back them up however you please. The extra attack speed helps with jungling, too. Note that the cooldown is as long as the duration (at least according to the LoL wiki), so throughout the game, your teammates are faster essentially all the time.

(E): Ice Blast: Nunu throws a ball of ice at an enemy unit, dealing 85/130/175/225/275 (+1 per AP) magic damage, slowing their movement speed by 40/45/50/55/60% and attack speed by 25% for 4 seconds.
Cooldown: 6 seconds

It's a 1:1 scaling nuke with a decent base damage. It slows the enemy's movement speed by 60%. It slows their attack speed by 25%. It lasts four seconds. It has a six second cooldown before CDR. The only thing this spell can't do is pleasure your wife while you're on a business trip, unless she gets off on making enemies tear their hair out by being slowed all the time. It also doesn't have a very long range, but Blood Boil should help with that anyway.

(R): Absolute Zero: While channeling for 3 seconds, Nunu slows nearby enemy units' attack speed by 25% and movement speed by 40%. After channeling, enemies caught in the area are dealt 625/875/1125 (+2.5 per AP) magic damage. If the spell is interrupted or Nunu cancels it early, it deals less damage proportional to how long you've channeled.

People tend to think that Nunu is bad because of the fact that his most recognizable spell is easily interrupted. And yes, it is easily interrupted. However, Absolute Zero is an amazing spell because nothing says "FOCUS ME" like this spell right here. With this spell, enemies only have a few options, all of which greatly favor your team:

1) CC/focus you down. That's a potential 3 seconds that the enemy is trying to damage you and not your more dangerous squishy teammates. And any CC that hits you isn't hitting Tristana/Corki/Xin/Tryndamere/Yi/etc.
2) Try to run out of it. Absolute Zero's slow is not as potent as Ice Blast numbers-wise, but it's still a 40% slow in a large radius around Nunu which segways into huge damage at the end.
3) Focus your teammates, taking the damage. Potentially hitting an entire team or a few people with 625/875/1125 damage (before AP!) is nothing to laugh at.
4) Exhaust you or Flash out of it. Cool, they've blown summoner spells on you and not your teammates! That's an Exhaust that won't totally screw over your other DPS or a Flash that won't help them escape from the other things your team has prepared for them.

SKILL ORDER:
Level 1: Consume
Level 2: Ice Blast
Level 3: Blood Boil
Level 4: Ice Blast
Level 5: Ice Blast
Level 6: Absolute Zero

Level Ice Blast first, then Blood Boil, then Consume, taking Absolute Zero whenever you can. Level 1 Consume is more than enough for jungling and sustaining yourself throughout most of the game, and Ice Blast hits really hard early on.

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CHAPTER THE SECOND: On how best to rune and set masteries for Nunu.

As said in my Poppy guide, I'm a big believer in a jack-of-all-trades rune build. Nunu isn't as rune-dependent as some characters (Akali, Tryndamere and Gangplank come to mind) so he can be pretty flexible with runes. Here's what Mooncrusher rolls with:

Marks: Magic penetration. Nunu's jungling is fueled by Consume and Ice Blast, so he doesn't need attack speed marks like some junglers. In addition, your main form of damage in game is magic.
Seals: Dodge. Dodge is a great stat that you can't get outside of Ninja Tabi or masteries, and Consume+Smite+Ice Blast mitigate the need for armor seals that some junglers use.
Glyphs: Magic resist per level. While I currently roll with cooldown reduction, Nunu has no scaling magic resist, and cooldown reduction isn't paramount thanks to his cooldowns and ability durations. Mana regeneration isn't needed that much either thanks to Golem early on, Nunu's low mana costs and relative lack of spamming and Visionary.
Quintessences: Flat health. It's just great.

Note that those are only my suggestions. You could swap out dodge for armor or MR/level for CDR or mana regeneration, but the rune set above, IMO, is good.

MASTERIES:
1/18/11 is the spec I roll with.
Improved Smite from Offense
+6 armor and +6 MR, Strength of Spirit, 2% dodge, Nimbleness and Veteran's Scars from Defense
Improved Ghost + Good Hands, Awareness, Greed and Utility Mastery from Utility

It's a generic jungling spec, but it kicks ass. Accept no substitutes.

SUMMONER SPELLS:
Ghost + Smite. No question. You're silly if you jungle without Smite, and I find that Ghost is generally more useful than Flash for Nunu. Flash is nice for jumping onto people and ulting them, but Ghost gives you a lot more bang for your spell.

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CHAPTER THE THIRD: On what items to get for Nunu (and his route through the jungle early game).

Start with a CLOTH ARMOR + 5 HEALTH POTIONS. It's Jungler Standard Issue, but it works for Nunu. Start at Ancient Golem and smack him around a bit until you take about 100 points of damage, then hit him with Consume and drink a health potion. Smack him until he gets to about 400 health (using Consume if necessary) and hit him with Smite. Kill the smaller golems. Take Ice Blast, go to wolves, Ice Blast a small wolf and Consume the big wolf. Finish off wolves, run to wraiths, Ice Blast one of the small wraiths and Consume the big one. Finish off wraiths, go to Lizard, Blood Boil yourself and open with Consume, drinking a health potion as soon as he starts hitting you. Smite when he gets to about 450 health, finish off his cronies, then go kill small golems.

Throughout the jungle, drink a potion if you're nearing half health. Depending on dodge procs and how well you're playing (I sometimes slip up too), you may not need all your potions. You'll need one for Ancient Golem and for Lizard Elder; the others are for insurance mostly.

On your first trip back, buy NINJA TABI. I know it sounds odd to some people, but I find Ninja Tabi on Nunu is awesome.
1: It's an upgrade path for your Cloth Armor. You could argue that Madreds Razors would be a good choice, and truth be told I haven't tried that path yet.
2: Only source of Dodge in the game. They removed Phantom Dancer's dodge, so Ninja Tabi gives you 12% dodge for a pretty good price. And the extra armor is awesome.
3: Cheap Boots 2. If you elect to go back after you finish the jungle, having Boots 2 at level 4 helps immensely with ganking and moving around the map.

Then, start working on BANSHEES VEIL. "But no, Rod of Ages!" Hell no. You have no scaling magic resist, your spells do decent damage without any AP investment at this stage in the game, the bubble is amazing against CC and poking and it gives you health and mana. Prioritize the Negatron Cloak first; an early Negatron will help tremendously at this point in the game.

After BANSHEES VEIL, you've got plenty of paths to go. You're flexible like that. Consider these options:

1) ABYSSAL SCEPTER. You're Nunu, which means that you're going to be up in the enemy's face like a club girl scorned. In addition to some magic resist, the -20 MR to enemies makes Absolute Zero hit extremely hard if they stay in it. It helps your squishier mage buddies like Annie who elect to stay in the back and therefore won't be able to apply the -20 MR as safely, and the +70 AP benefits 3 of your 4 abilities.
2) FROZEN HEART. Although your spells do have great cooldowns, you do want to invest in CDR, especially if you don't run any CDR runes. Frozen Heart, in addition to the huge CDR it gives, gives you armor for tanking, mana for spells and the aura pisses off physical DPS even more.
3) RANDUIN'S OMEN. The CDR is great, the health is great, the armor is great, and on top of that, you have yet another slow to add to your formidable arsenal. The components are great too, so unlike some items, you won't be stuck with less-than-stellar components while you farm/get assists/what-have-you.
4) SOUL SHROUD. It's a relatively cheap item, the components are cheap and help out a fair bit and the aura is nice for your teammates.
5) SHURELYA'S REVERIE. I've not actually tried this on Nunu, but it could be good in theory. The extra health is nice and the active combined with your Ice Blast makes running people down a breeze.
6) AEGIS OF THE LEGION. This item's awesome for its cost, and if somebody on your team hasn't gotten it yet, you might as well get it. Good auras all around.
7) RABADON'S DEATHCAP. It's a luxury item. A nice fifth item if you have, say, Ninja Tabi/Banshees Veil/Abyssal Scepter/Aegis of the Legion or something, but you may not want to rush this after Banshees.
8) FORCE OF NATURE. The magic resist is very nice, but the extra movement speed is a bit overkill when you have an awesome set of slows and Blood Boil. Not bad to fill a slot later on though.
9) THORNMAIL. Later on in the game, physical DPS will start tearing your furry ass a new one. For 2000 gold, you can correct that.

"Why not Rod of Ages on Nunu!?" -- I'm not a big fan of it. RoA seems like a core item that needs to be rushed to do any good, and an early Banshees just kicks too much ass. The item's not that great for its cost until it's fully charged, and it doesn't provide any CDR or any other team benefit. You may have more luck with it, but I personally don't get it.

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CHAPTER THE FOURTH: On how best to play Nunu.

Being Mooncrusher, you need to make sure your homeboys can use your backup. Disclaimer: Every posse can use Mooncrusher in their lineup. Poke/harass team? Mooncrusher brings his spammable Ice Blast and Consume can help keep your health up when minion waves roll in. AoE faceroll? Mooncrusher brings Absolute Zero and Blood Boil to help run down the stragglers. Gank-oriented team? Mooncrusher brings Blood Boil for great map mobility and Ice Blast to ensure that nobody escapes. A balanced team? Well, Mooncrusher brings everything! The only teams that Nunu won't be able to fit in are ones that need a carry when there's 2 supports and 2 tanks or something.

In normal games, that won't be an issue because every aspiring gangsta wants to play a ranged carry and dump lead on people. You bring semi-good tanking and all the tools that nappy-headed hoes like Ashe need to do well. You're a great off-tank if someone picks Shen or Rammus. In ranked games, Nunu will probably be good as a third, fourth or fifth pick. When your team's got their physical DPS and tank squared away, Nunu serves to complement those guys, so picking him third or fourth is ideal.

As said earlier, Mooncrusher goes to the [concrete] jungle. After completing the jungle route outlined earlier, look at the lanes. If the enemies on bottom lane/top lane (assuming you're on the bottom left/top right team) are grinding up against your team's tower, you might be able to pull off a gank. However, 99 times out of 100 I usually go back to base and grab a Ninja Tabi. Your Golem should last long enough to allow you to Blood Boil your way over there while having enough mana to pull the gank off. When you get there and your teammates are ready, Ghost out of the bush, Blood Boil one of your allies and chuck an Ice Blast at the unlucky son of a ***** that you're aiming to kill. When you hit him, run to him, pimp slap him once with your Lizard buff and run ahead of him. If they Flash, you want to have as much distance closed as possible so you can re-apply Ice Blast and Lizard as needed. Keep running ahead of them, backhand them every once in a while to re-apply Lizard and Ice Blast when it's ready. Doing this gives your lanemate the best opportunity to get the last hit, giving them more money. Mooncrusher doesn't need to be a "Big Baller Making Mad Dollar", so letting your homeboy get the kill helps them out a lot more.

If the gank succeeds, then that's good. If not, then just keep farming the jungle or help out/gank other lanes as needed. Or, if you're feeling particularly Mooncrusher, go farm the other team's jungle and piss off their jungler. Whatever the case, after your gank succeeds/fails, go buy some sight wards and place one at Dragon and the others in bushes near the lanes. Mooncrusher helps out his homeboys, so he buys the wards. Try to get Dragon down as fast as possible; I've never tried soloing him as Nunu, as my team usually does it with me.

Nunu's gameplay doesn't change that much throughout the game. Your job as Mooncrusher essentially boils down to Blood Boiling your carry, slowing people down and being a distraction/AoE damage dealer with Absolute Zero. Later on in the match, you'll want to Consume+Smite Lizard and Golem so that your DPSers and casters can get them much easier. In team fights, you'll be the first or second person to the front lines, so don't fear the enemy. Ice Blast enemy carries, lay down Absolute Zero and Blood Boil your fellow carry. Re-apply Ice Blast as needed, whether to peel someone off your buddies or to keep the enemy locked down. It's simple, yet so fun and very helpful.

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CHAPTER THE FIFTH: General tips and tricks.

-- Absolute Zero's particle effect and diameter ring are not visible to the enemy if you cast it inside a brush or around the fog of war. Your teammates can bait enemies into the bush, or if your team needs to retreat through the jungle, running into the bush that they run through or to the bend of the fog of war they run around allows you to catch the enemy by surprise with your ult.

-- Similar to the above tip, since Absolute Zero's radius is about as big as the bushes near mid lane, you can sometimes sacrifice yourself so that the rest of the team escapes.

-- Absolute Zero does not draw tower aggro until it detonates, so if friendly creeps are attracting the tower aggro of a tower that an enemy is defending, coming up behind them (or just charging them) and channeling Absolute Zero will help your teammates tower dive like mad.

-- Similar to the above tip, Nunu is an excellent tower diver, between his natural bulkyness and the ability to Consume minions mid-fight. Ice Blast will draw tower aggro onto you and slow them to a crawl, so your teammates can wail on them with impunity while you boast that the tower hits like a *****.

-- As said before, Consume works on Annie's Tibbers, Malzahar's Voidlings, Heimerdinger's turrets and Teemo's mushrooms (allegedly). Nunu makes Heimer's life miserable.

-- Absolute Zero does damage based on how long it's been channeling, so don't stand there for the entire time if the enemy's about to get out of it. That's precious time that you could be using to Blood Boil a friendly or Ice Blast one of them.

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CHAPTER THE SIXTH: Epilogue and general well wishes as you become Mooncrusher.

Well, that's it for my second guide. Mooncrusher is an unsung hero, and he's seriously a [ice] blast to play. Just like my Poppy guide, this guide is very wordy so that players can get the most out of it. Remember, it's only a game, so don't tear your ethernet cord out of your wall and beat someone with it if you're doing terribly. And if you do decide to become Mooncrusher, make sure to Ice Blast Ashe and slap her around like a pinata every game. It's your civic duty.

Have fun on the Fields of Justice!


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StardustxDragon

Senior Member

02-05-2011

best nunu build wriggles warmog into manamune imo imo


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Dunkelzahn

Senior Member

02-05-2011

i think not.


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1PaperTiger

Senior Member

02-05-2011

marry me for making a guide for nunu. then i'll divorce you for showing people how much of a hidden gem he is.


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Kalshazzak

Senior Member

02-05-2011

wiggles on nunu makes soloing dragon a joke and makes counter jungling almost too easy. Plus, hard to argue with a free ward every 3 mins. It doesn't usually set back the BV too much to be a big hindrance to the ult performance.

I like to start with boots+3pots, or boots+ward+pot if there's another jungler.(usually ward red before blue spawn, if it's a low hp jungler, or save it and drop it for a lane who's over pushing if it's a high hp jungler.)

Very nice ganking tips tho.


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Dunkelzahn

Senior Member

02-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalshazzak View Post
wiggles on nunu makes soloing dragon a joke and makes counter jungling almost too easy. Plus, hard to argue with a free ward every 3 mins. It doesn't usually set back the BV too much to be a big hindrance to the ult performance.

I like to start with boots+3pots, or boots+ward+pot if there's another jungler.(usually ward red before blue spawn, if it's a low hp jungler, or save it and drop it for a lane who's over pushing if it's a high hp jungler.)

Very nice ganking tips tho.
I haven't perfected Nunu's jungling enough to be able to do it without cloth armor and msot of my potions, so getting a ward at the beginning (at least right now) is out of the question. ;[

But Wriggles IS like 1600 gold, so I might try getting that on Nunu. I'll try it out. Thanks for the idea!


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Kalshazzak

Senior Member

02-06-2011

armor yellows/quints cuts down on nunu's need of pots to 1, and thats really only needed for the first buff you try to get.


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Dunkelzahn

Senior Member

02-07-2011

I'll give that a shot when I get enough IP.


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Dunkelzahn

Senior Member

02-10-2011

butts


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Loonybin

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Senior Member

02-10-2011

no no NO never start at blue... golems wraiths wolves blue golems red gank


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