[Guide] Nasus, out for Blood.

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Jonas Sterling

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Senior Member

11-02-2009

Howdy folks, this here's my first offical guide on a very selective hero. He's not played often, and I frankly think it's because a lot of people don't understand his absolute potential due to his item build being anything but orthodox, and he kind of has a strange play feel. However, I'm here to try to help but explaining, in detail, the choices I make and the items I pick here in this guide, on Nasus, the Curator of the Sands.

(I warn you, this guide will take some reading.)

(Update on Page 6)

Strengths/Weaknesses

Nasus is, by definition, a Mixture of Support, Assassin, and Tank. Which is strange, no? Being three of the primary classes can be a little tenious and confusing. However, this guide will show you step-by-step how to make him into a serious Threat in game; enough to make every fed Ashe and sneaky Shaco absolutely terrifyed of you.

His primary strength comes from the combination of his Passive and Siphoning Strike. He gains 10/15/20% lifesteal passively, and Siphoning Strike bumps his damage for spikes of health gain, and substantial damage on an unfortunate target. But that's not the underlying strength of the combo. Siphoning Strike just gets better and better as the game goes on, which means you'll slowly be gaining more and more health from it (and dealing more damage, see how that works out?).

He's also a very good chase, but only if built correctly. Every opportunity to chase comes from middle-game, and the first few ranks of Wither are pretty useless. Everyone I see builds Nasus SS and Spirit Fire, but leaves Wither out of the build until 13. Which is annoying, considering it's potential. Wither, followed by a Spirit Fire in the direction of the runner's location can spill disaster for whomever poor soul you just caught laning alone. And that's the glorious part, they don't -have- to be alone. Fury of the Sands makes Nasus considerably harder to kill, and deal even MORE damage to those heroes sitting on your Spirit Fire.

However, Nasus has two major flaws that make him a very easy target against certain heroes. His main strength in combat lies in his ability to gain health through his pretty crazy lifesteal. Anything that keeps him from hitting a target, such as a blind, a hold, or a stun, can cripple him. That 3.5 seconds of Morgana's hold is 3.5 seconds that you're not gaining health, (And trust me, in middle/end-game, Nasus can gain his entire health back in seconds on creeps/heroes.) I've also noticed a common misconception of Nasus' everywhere. They build him to be a Tank, or be Support, or even a Mage I've seen. Nasus, simply put, doesn't fit any of these classes. Building AP is just stupid, as it doesn't scale well with Spirit Fire or Fury of the Sands, building him with Aura after Aura item just ruins his potential, and what he does naturally as a hero. Building him as a Tank? I guess he could be an off-tank if need-be, but he has absolutely no defensive abilities, so his job as a tank is completly item-carried, and that makes his potential again wasted.

Skill Build
1: Siphoning Strike
2: Spirit Fire
3: Siphoning Strike
4: Wither
5: Wither
6: Fury of the Sands
7: Spirit Fire
8: Siphoning Strike
9: Wither
10: Wither
11: Fury of the Sands
12: Spirit Fire
13: Siphoning Strike
14: Siphoning Strike
15: Wither
16: Fury of the Sands
17: Spirit Fire
18: Spirit Fire

(You do NOT want to max Spirit Fire until end game, it opens up caster creeps for last hits with Siphoning Strike at ranks 1-3. At 4 it makes them weak enough to get last hit by your own caster creeps, and at 5 it kills them.)

Opening/Early Game
Mastery: 21/0/9 (Imp. Smite, Imp. Teleport)
Spells: Smite/Teleport

Open up the game with Siphoning Strike, and by buying a Sapphire Crystal, Health Potion, and Mana Potion. This will use up all of your gold perfectly. If you feel you're good with gaining health back early game through his lifesteal and you have Greed, go ahead and wait out for another Mana Potion instead of a Health Potion. But I advise against this, as some good range will put pressure on Nasus, and a bad start could mean an early teleport, and you shouldn't teleport early. Ever.

You should be able to solo, so if offered take it. in the even of soloing against two ranged, I advise a lane-change to the enemy solo's lane, even if it delays early-game a minute or so.

From the begining, last hitting with SS is absolutely essential to a good mid and late game. If you get 50 creep kills, all with a SS by level 6, that's 100 extra damage a Siphoning Strike, and Sheen'd that's a pretty nasty amount of damage.

As soon as you get 900g, blue pill. and buy an Amplyfing Tome and a Vampiric Scepter, along with a mana and a health potion. It's crucial you buff that lifesteal asap, and it should be at 22% only to climb to 27% in a few levels from his passive upgrading.

Next Blue Pill should be at 1500 gold, and you should buy Boots of Speed, Emblem of Valour, another Vampiric Scepter, and Sheen. This is when you can start ganking effeciantly, and here's a small example of just how to do that in early game.

Open with a Wither, and smack him WITHOUT SS up. Keep auto-attacking him, but three seconds after the WIther hit SS, and Sheen will proc again. Now, Spirit Fire what's ahead of you and blow your ultimate if you feel you have to. The only melee hero that can stand up to this kind of abuse and actually beat your 44% lifesteal is Jax, because of his dodge chance. Every other hero, even Katarina in her ultimate, can't stand up to the damage and life-gain you have at this point.

Mid/Late-Game

At this point, you can solo Dragon. Just Spirit Fire/Siphoning Strike spam, and Smite it so you get out of there as fast as possible to get more farming done. I highly advise soloing at LEAST Ancient Golem every time the buff goes down so you never have to leave lane; Note, that this stradegy makes a Chalice absolutely worthless.

Gank often. And try to push towers hard. (Siphoning Striking a Tower can be nasty, usualyl deal > 1/10th it's health). Keep SS'ing last hits, and I notice a lot of players NOT doing this in mid-game and end game. It severely cut's Nasus' damage output in the crucial last stages of the game, so keep it up! Yes not every creep kill you get has to be SS'd for a last hit, but the majority of them should be.

Your next item builds should be a Mercury's Treads, Stark's Fervor, and Bloodthirster. Also, inbetween there, get yourself another Vampiric Scepter, as ANOTHER Bloodthirster
should be on it's way.

Now, some people are asking some questions. "Two Bloodthirsters?! Bad build!" Absolutely not. Let me put this into perspective for you.

20% LS Passive, + 20% from Starks, + 15(25)% from BS, + 15(25)% from BS. That's 70(90)% Lifesteal.

60(100) Damage from both blood thirsters = 120(200) bonus damage. + Siphoning Strike (110) = 230(310) Bonus Damage. + Sheen = Hitting like a Truck, and gaining 90% of the damage back as health.

This is why his worst enemies are stunners and disablers. If he doesn't stop attacking, he never dies.

At this point in the game, your item build should be...
-Sheen
-Mercury's Treads
-Stark's Fervor
-Bloodthirster
-Bloodthirster
-?

That sixth item is entirely up to you. I truely advise an Infinity Edge, but in a fight versus tons of tanks, Last Whisper can improve your Damage considerably more, plus make you a better tower pusher. But don't think Attack Speed > Damage on Nasus for a second. Damage will always be better. Always.

Once you get your Second Bloodthirster, go tank Baron. You definately can, and make sure to keep Spirit Fire up at all times; it's armor reduction is just as good as it's damage over time effect.

At the point of attaining an Infinty Edge, the game is most likely over, and your team should be able to push Nexus with your presence there, Destroying everything in your path. Fury of the Sands is absolutely terrifying in a group-gank, and can literally deal 10-20 thousand damage per usage if used correctly.

Well, that's my guide on Nasus being a Bloodthirsting Monster! I hope this helps every aspiring Nasus attain something with the hero that they never had before.

(A Warning: This guide works, as personal experience and a certain Administrator showed me during a game I had against him shows. Do not come posting in here this Guide sucks because you can't pull it off. It's definately a challenging build, but taking the time to learn it is easily the best thing you'll do in your Career as Nasus. I give you my word.)

I think I'll write a Mundo guide next, Mmm Mundo.

-Jonas.


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LaLaGoodbye

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Senior Recruiter

11-02-2009

Written well, I'd say however that stacking Lifesteal sort of pigeonholes you into an "Attack or die really quickly" role. I found a single Bloodthirster to work really well on him, you can free up the other slots for more pure +damage and crit (1000 damage SS crits are wonderful).

Due to this though, I find that people WILL target Nasus first and usually try to CC and rip you down quickly. Even with Cleanse this can be hard to survive. Hence I've always found Warmog's Armor and Banshee's Veil to allow you to survive these slaughters, and thus get back into the battle quicker.


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Jonas Sterling

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Senior Member

11-02-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budikah View Post
Written well, I'd say however that stacking Lifesteal sort of pigeonholes you into an "Attack or die really quickly" role. I found a single Bloodthirster to work really well on him, you can free up the other slots for more pure +damage and crit (1000 damage SS crits are wonderful).

Due to this though, I find that people WILL target Nasus first and usually try to CC and rip you down quickly. Even with Cleanse this can be hard to survive. Hence I've always found Warmog's Armor and Banshee's Veil to allow you to survive these slaughters, and thus get back into the battle quicker.
I respectfully disagree. 65% lifesteal isn't enough to pull the Out for Blood build off. And there isn't a higher +Damage item in the game than Bloodthirster. Besides, you'll never die to a group death with proper mini-map observation and group tactics. But I'm not writing a guide on that, i'm writing a guide on Nasus.


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Maverick Renegade

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Senior Member

11-02-2009

1) it seems dangerous to put all of your eggs in he lifesteal basket. So far I've found it more effective to round Nasus out.

2) IMO, no one should every build Nasus without a Trinity Force, no matter what the goal of the build. It's just too good for him. Cooldown reduction is also godly (SS moar!), and I notice you don't pick any up. You are absolutely correct that the Golem rune is huge for Nasus.

Guide's not bad overall, you've obviously put a lot of thought into it, and I'm sure it works fine. But as you said, stunners will be your worst enemies. And yes, I'm sure that massive lifesteal helps you stay alive and win fights. But honestly, I think the money you spend on the lifesteal might be more effectively spent on more damage or defense, and you might end up winning even more fights faster that way.

Right now I'm really happy with building him (as I've posted in other Nasus guides):

Sapphire + 2 HP pots
Catalyst
Boots of Swiftness
Sheen
Phage
Zeal
Trinity Force
Glacial Shroud

Then, depending on the match, go Infinity Edge, Banshee's Veil, Brutalizer and/or Frozen Heart.

Thanks for taking the time to post a guide!


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Engarde

Adjudicator

11-02-2009

This seems very interesting. I shall give this a shot later, and report back!

EDIT : Had a go.....but the enemies were:
Kassadin : Blink / silence / slow
Ashe : Stun / slow
Cardmaster : Stun / slow
Judicator : Slow / invuln
Eve : Stun
I bet you can guess the outcome. But this build has some potential....I will try it again.


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Jonas Sterling

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Senior Member

11-02-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick Renegade View Post
1) it seems dangerous to put all of your eggs in he lifesteal basket. So far I've found it more effective to round Nasus out.
I feel his strength comes from simply dominating in melee combat, considering all of the utility and damage output he can do with it. Plus his racial screams it.

Quote:
2) IMO, no one should every build Nasus without a Trinity Force, no matter what the goal of the build. It's just too good for him. Cooldown reduction is also godly (SS moar!), and I notice you don't pick any up. You are absolutely correct that the Golem rune is huge for Nasus.
Yeah. I'd love to have my Cooldown runes. Too bad Riot hates Open Beta. Speaking of which, I WILL be adding on a Rune Guide when they decide to make Runes available in the shop.

Quote:
Guide's not bad overall, you've obviously put a lot of thought into it, and I'm sure it works fine. But as you said, stunners will be your worst enemies. And yes, I'm sure that massive lifesteal helps you stay alive and win fights. But honestly, I think the money you spend on the lifesteal might be more effectively spent on more damage or defense, and you might end up winning even more fights faster that way.

Right now I'm really happy with building him (as I've posted in other Nasus guides):

Sapphire + 2 HP pots
Catalyst
Boots of Swiftness
Sheen
Phage
Zeal
Trinity Force
Glacial Shroud

Then, depending on the match, go Infinity Edge, Banshee's Veil, Brutalizer and/or Frozen Heart.

Thanks for taking the time to post a guide!
Thank you for reading it. Your build is interesting, but I'll stick with mine. :]


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Jonas Sterling

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Senior Member

11-03-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engarde View Post
This seems very interesting. I shall give this a shot later, and report back!

EDIT : Had a go.....but the enemies were:
Kassadin : Blink / silence / slow
Ashe : Stun / slow
Cardmaster : Stun / slow
Judicator : Slow / invuln
Eve : Stun
I bet you can guess the outcome. But this build has some potential....I will try it again.
Talk to me in game if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.

And, yesh. That seems nasty, more so because of the Eve. I've noticed Ashe is pretty easy prey versus a Bloody Nasus, but Kassadin, Kayle, Fate and Eve are ALL good counters to him. You my friend had a bad first experience. :[


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DaveWalker

Junior Member

11-03-2009

yo just played the first time nasus(used ur guide) and ended beeing 26-2-10 or something... thx man i love this itembuild even tho i didnt try any other

thx gj there!!!


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Atmosfear

Senior Member

11-03-2009

This build is too glass-cannon for me. Being a melee you're possibly one of the most fragile characters in game and that goes for any melee carry. With no boosts to armor or HP one stun and its over.

Also, I really wish people wouldn't immediately dismiss tank-Nasus at the start of every guide. He is one of the sturdiest tanks in the game that provides amazing pushing capability and offensive utility using wither.


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Sarenot

Junior Member

11-03-2009

^^^

Exactly. This build is extremely damaging, but as soon as there is any kind of disabler in the opp team, you are dead. You will be primaried, stunned/snared, dead. Your HP will be too low to outlast any stun and make up the health with LS and SS.

It is a great build against an inexperienced team. Go up against anything even halfway competent and I do not see this going anywhere.

And agree, Nassus can tank, but you have to pick your fights, and have reliable teammates who know wtf

Let me be more specific: there is nothing per se wrong with the build, except that going ONLY damage is bad. Bloodthirster is def the right weapon for Nassus, but using more than one is expensive and probably not worth it.

PS: I have tried this build.. i dont comment if i dont try something. What i found was

- it takes ages to build and leaves you weak for most of the game
- it is very powerful
- i died like a mofo everytime someone had a stunner.


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