Thoughts on Nidalee (Lite guide, focusing mainly on items)

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Cpspindel

Member

01-29-2010

A month ago or so I bought Nidalee because she seemed to be a complex but fun and rewarding hero to play (switching from TF- I love the quirky heroes lol). I played many games with her and couldn't really do all that well. I tried different skill builds, trying to focus on the javelin, the traps and the heal... but nothing really seemed to work.

She only seems to work earlygame because her abilities do not scale all that well except for the heal, and her gain from AP is minimal on most things.

I read guides on the forum- AP Nidalee, Physical attack Nidalee, Attack Speed Nidalee- none of them really seemed to work. Granted, I might've played them incorrectly, but I always got the feeling that Nidalee wasn't able to make the most of the items she got. Her attack isn't good enough for attack speed, physical attack means you forsake her entire transformation bit (which weakens her since it's her main way of dealing damage) and attack speed suffers from the same problem- ignoring her abilities and staring too hard at that precious attack speed boost.

I gave up on her for a long time, but I got eager to try her again and I've finally found (after a lot of games) a build I think fits Nidalee very well and that draws on all of her strengths instead of trying to build her like your standard carry, something she is not.

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Nidalees strength lies in her versatility and her burst damage, together with a lack of a long cooldown "ultimate", which means she's always ready to fight (a lot of abilities to use is fun too!). How to make the most use of it? AP, AT, AS? No, what she really benefits from is a hefty cooldown reduction. Her abilities don't get a big enough bonus from AP- instead, you've got to use them as often as possible to make a difference- all of her abilities benefit from a cooldown reduction, even more so then any other hero because she has 7. She is a jack of all trades and must be built according to it- not pure of any stat.

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I've tried, and seen, a lot of different item suggestions on her and the Frozen Mallet (700 health, 20 attack damage, slow on hit) seems to be a popular choice... and I thought it was good at first too. "She always seems to die" I thought "She needs health". It's true, she's squishy, but the frozen mallet is not an item for her. It transforms her into some type of pseudo-tank without boosting any of her abilities. A constant slow is good, but the price you pay for it (a **** ton of money and a worthless hero) is too much, especially since the rest of your team (or powers such as flash or exhaust) can provide where Nidalee lacks in CC.

The first major item I build is Stinger. It's easy and cheap- provides 20% attack speed, 5 mana per 5 sec, 10% reduced cooldowns. I aim for the item Nashers tooth, which provides 30% attack speed, +55 ability power 12 mana per 5 and 25% reduced cooldowns (the items needed to build it are Stinger and Fiendish Codex). It gives her attack speed, which is decent. It gives her mana regen, which means you can spam your abilities (seeing as how cougar form costs no mana to use) and ability power to boost all of her abilities (but not focusing overly on it) and finally- the 25% reduced cooldown bonus which is amazing.

Her heal goes from 10 seconds to 7.5- her transformation goes from 4 to 3 seconds and you can pounce every other second. All of her abilities already have a fairly low cooldown- but in fights, 1-2 seconds is longer then you might think and I've found that it is gamebreaking for her to be able to use ALL of her abilities as often as possible. If Nidalee is not switching around in battles, you're not playing her efficiently enough.

After Nashers tooth is built, I usually build Trinity force... but I'm not so sure about this. I'll instead try to summarize my entire build down here:

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Starting items:

Doran's Ring (120 health, 5 mana per 5, 10 AP). It doesn't build anything but it is most likely one of the most priceworthy items you can buy. The 120 health she gains is vital- she is too squishy without it, but you don't want overkill and buy pure HP items. Mana regen helps her stay in the lane by making sure she doesn't run out of mana, AP benefits all of her abilities so that's good too. On the other hand, you will get more x mana per 5 later on, so perhaps Doran's Shield is a better choice? I still mix it up.

1 Health potion. This could be traded for a mana potion I suppose, but I took Doran's Ring just because I don't want one.

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First "real" items:

Stinger (20% attack speed, 5 mana per 5, 10% RC). A cheap item to build. All stats help her out. 10% RC doesn't make that much of a difference though.

Followed by:

Boots of speed (Move 1). She needs to be quick. Chasing, fleeing, you name it.

Fiendish Codex (+30 AP, 7 mana per 5, 10% CR). This is the second item needed for Nashor's Tooth. Gives AP, mana regen and CR.

Boots of mobility (M2/if out of combat for more then 2 sec, M5). I rarely see these shoes. It basically means she can roam between lanes for ganks very quickly, and generally respond to ganks and pushes quicker then any other. Indeed, I didn't know these existed until I played Nidalee since they don't show up in the boots of speed build order thingie. These boots could be switched out for magic penetration, dodge + armor, 40% reduced CC or any of the other boots with success and depending on matchup, but they are cheap and I like them. IMPORTANT: I'd recommend getting these fairly early, but always after Stinger.

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Goal:

Nashor's Tooth (30% AS, +55 AP, 12 mana per 5, 25% CR). This is the key. The AS is nice to have but not as important as AP or CR. This item lets you use all of your abilities constantly and boosts all of them.


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Other items (and items I usually build but I'm still not convinced):

Trinity Force. I can't be ****ing bothered to write the stats lol, too many of them and it consists of 3 different items! Look it up in the item database! It gives her a bit of additional health without going overkill, it gives her sheen- which she benefits greatly from with her constant ability usage- it gives her movement and crit and AS and HP and MANA and everything. It both lets her slow attackers on a % basis, while also increasing her burst by letting you do bonus damage from the abilities you use.

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Powers I recommend:

Flash. Relatively low CD for an ability that both lets you escape and chase, probably one of the best powers in the game.

Exhaust. Helps Nidalee chase opponents down and win engagements. Relatively low CD here aswell. Lategame it also helps keeping those AS/AT carries in control by letting them miss all of their attacks for 3 seconds (3,5 with mastery point, I recommend it to 100%).

Those are the best for her. **** Ignite and Clarity- she has MP5, she doesn't need to refill mana every now and then! She needs to kill and chase things down, or escape out of tight corners- not support herself or the team with mana, let the magic dudes do that. The MP5 provided in the build is more then enough.

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Short, short abilities build:

Make sure you have at least one in every ability before 6 so cougar form gets all of the attacks. I usually max the heal first, Javelin second and only keep 1 point in the trap for as long as possible. I use the trap mainly to ward off ganks by placing it in common ganking bushes and things. Too inaccurate for ganking and the CD is too long to harass with.

I



That's it! Longer then I thought it would be, but all of it necessary to motivate the choice of items. Feedback appreciated greatly!


Things I would like to know but don't since she's bugged:

Does increasing the abilites also increase the cougar abilities, or is it only by increasing the cougar form they do more damage?


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Nashors can definitely work, though most people would probably make a frozen heart on her (depends on the lineup ofc) but yes, CDR/tank/AP is the way to play her. Hybrid AP item's like Rylai and Glacial give her a decent burst dmg, some utility and makes her tankish. Always make merc boots imo.

Tri force is in theory a great item. In reality, it's pretty ****. You'd think that with 8 abilities she'd be able to make use of every proc right? Wrong. She doesn't have time to autoattack in either mode. Only takedown applies the bonus directly etc.


Standard build: Merc boots,(chalice if mass magic/mejai if im doing well) Rylai, Nashors/glacial, Banshee/Warmog etc.


And AP works on her cougar dmg.


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Empyron

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Honestly, I don't like the build. I start with sapphire crystal and 2 health pots, rush sheen. Then usually after sheen, back to lane. Get a kill or 2, then get berzerker greaves and vampiric scepter. Hit the jungle a bit, get lizard buff, gank some more. Build trinity force asap from sheen. Then I've usually gotten bloodthirster in the past. Lately since I get so many kills I've contemplated getting soulstealer. Does that stack with attack damage items? In other words, if I get a BF Sword and Soulstealer, do both contribute to my pounce/swipe/takedown? Or does only one affect cat form and the other affect traps/javelin? Anyone know the answer to this?


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KhaoticImp

Senior Member

01-29-2010

your ult lvl effects the damage of your cougar abilities.
I love nidalee and use her as often as I can.(ill tank if the team fails to have one.)

I like the idea of nashor's tooth and it does help nidalee. However, if your going AP there are other items ide go for. I start building Rylais scepter as a starting item. Its a more effective frozen mallet. Health, which she needs, AP always nice, and the slow. Sorc boots, sheen, and a glacial shroud are next. I love glacial shroud sense it gives a nice bump in mana, armor, and 20% CDR for like 1675 gold. Soul stealer is nice but tricky if your solo queing I generally stay away from it.


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Cpspindel

Member

01-29-2010

Charm: The problem with a Frozen heart is that you pay a lot of money for 500 mana, something that she doesn't really benefit from, same goes with Glacial. Rylai is too big of an item to build, I think, even though the effects are good.

She can easily sneak in one auto-attack, be it after a heal or a swipe- if nothing else high AS helps with it. Thers's always room for at least one hit no matter what, especially when you consider the benefit. I agree on the merc boots... most of the time anyway, it depends a lot on matchup. I'm surprised not more people buy them though because ****, they are easily one of the best items in the game! Cheap too!

I know that AP affects the abilities in cougar form too, I never said they didn't! What I am saying though is that the bonuses are so small from the AP that you'll make a bigger difference by focusing more on CDR and less on AP- a mix of both is best for all purposes.

Empyron: Sheen is a good item on her, and that is a viable starting build... but by getting berzerker greaves you ignore what makes her good. She's not about AS or auto-attack at all, majority of her damage comes from the bursts in cougar form. The bloodthirster is a ****ty item. You pay a lot and get almost no bonuses- the passive one only works for kills, and they are ALL lost upon death. Even if you do get 5 kills in a row without dying, all you've ended up with is 5 more physical damage and 5% more lifesteal- something she barely benefits from anyhow.

Khaotic: Please :P Feedback on the OP is what I want, not just your own build!


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Empyron

Senior Member

01-29-2010

I don't get greaves every game, most times I'm more partial to treads. I just lately been using greaves because it helps her attack speed proccing the slow on trinity force late game.


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Empyron

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Haven't tried CDR on her honestly. Her abilities recharge awfully fast as it is I never saw the need to stack it. Starting with a doran's ring is a waste and slows building sheen. She's not squishy at all early game. By level 2 she has a pretty substantial heal and you should be hanging behind minions last hitting anyways. If you get jumped use flash and get away and heal. It's better getting something else than Doran's **** early game. Also, I like flash and ignite. I don't know what you have against ignite but I find it useful. Pounce, swipe, takedown, ignite, and then flash out of there. Chances are you'll get a kill.


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpspindel View Post
Charm: The problem with a Frozen heart is that you pay a lot of money for 500 mana, something that she doesn't really benefit from, same goes with Glacial. Rylai is too big of an item to build, I think, even though the effects are good.

She can easily sneak in one auto-attack, be it after a heal or a swipe- if nothing else high AS helps with it. Thers's always room for at least one hit no matter what, especially when you consider the benefit. I agree on the merc boots... most of the time anyway, it depends a lot on matchup. I'm surprised not more people buy them though because ****, they are easily one of the best items in the game! Cheap too!

I know that AP affects the abilities in cougar form too, I never said they didn't! What I am saying though is that the bonuses are so small from the AP that you'll make a bigger difference by focusing more on CDR and less on AP- a mix of both is best for all purposes.

Empyron: Sheen is a good item on her, and that is a viable starting build... but by getting berzerker greaves you ignore what makes her good. She's not about AS or auto-attack at all, majority of her damage comes from the bursts in cougar form. The bloodthirster is a ****ty item. You pay a lot and get almost no bonuses- the passive one only works for kills, and they are ALL lost upon death. Even if you do get 5 kills in a row without dying, all you've ended up with is 5 more physical damage and 5% more lifesteal- something she barely benefits from anyhow.

Khaotic: Please :P Feedback on the OP is what I want, not just your own build!
You should talk to hotshotGG, he plays high elo nidalee and I've see him rushing frozen heart in almost every game.


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Mpalm

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmicarmicarmicat View Post
You should talk to hotshotGG, he plays high elo nidalee and I've see him rushing frozen heart in almost every game.
Hotshot goes trinity force all the time yo.


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpalm View Post
Hotshot goes trinity force all the time yo.
But not as a first big item.