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Nunu - The Absolute Zero Hero (Laner)

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Junior Member


A guide for laning Nunu’s


[PASSIVE] Visionary
After 8 auto attacks, Nunu gets to cast a free spell.

Always try to get some Auto attacks in. Even if they aren’t last hit. After playing with Nunu for a while, you’ll mentally count the number of this you’ve made and be able to not waste any “free mana.” If you’re good with it, you won’t ever need much mana regen. Also, this lets you cast spells (including your ultimate) even when you have literally no Mana. So abuse it!

[Q] Consume
CLOSE RANGE - Deals 500/600/700/800/900 to a minion or neutral creep and restores 100/175/250/325/400 health. Cooldown - 35/30/25/20/15 seconds. Mana cost: 80

Its CD is actually the longest of the your three main ones, so you can’t super rely on it. I use it as a HEAL because I play aggressively early game – which is what you should be doing with those ice balls.

[W] Blood Boil
LONGER RANGE THAN ICE BALL 700 – Friendly buff that increases Attack Speed by 20/30/40/50/60% and Movement Speed 8/11/14/17/20% for 40 seconds. Cooldown – 20 seconds. Mana cost: 75

Cast this on your Jax, Yi, Alistar… See someone being chased? Try to save them with this. Obviously cast it on yourself too and take note that its cooldown is quite low and lets you BB yourself as well as a lane mate. Cast this right after you blue pill and are heading back to your lane… This skill makes Nunu a support… Physical DPS’ers will love you for it…

[E] Ice Blast (Ice Ball!)
A BIT HIGHER RANGE THAN MOST RANGED CHAMPS 550 – Ball of ice which does 70/120/170/220/270 damage to the target at 1:1 AP ratio and slows target’s Movement Speed by 50% and Attack Speed by 25% for 4 seconds. Cooldown – 6 seconds. Mana Cost: 75/85/95/105/115

Spam this. It doesn’t do much damage at first, but at 6 second cool down, it stacks up. It keeps their champs running and lets you get some attacks in to keep your passive going. You will get many kills with this… as long as you are laning. Late game this is a 4 second slow. Remember it slows their attack speed too, so spam it on their carry. You can chase people with it once it gets low cooldown. Don't be afraid to use this to last hit creeps. 100 mana for 20 gold and you can do it every 6 seconds? Not a bad idea.

[R] Absolute ZERO
A BIG circle of ice (same range as Ice Blast) surrounds you and slows everyone within it for about 50%. After a 3 second channeling time, everyone in the blizzard takes 625/875/1125 damage at a 1:2.5 AP Ratio (I think.) Cooldown – 150/120/90 seconds. Mana Cost: 150/225/300

You don’t “start” battles with this. You start the enemy team’s total demise with it. Most often you will only get at max 1-2 kills with it, but for those 3 seconds – the enemy team is either focused on you (all your mates can destroy them) or are trying to run the f*** away – thus keeping all your mates safe. DO KEEP IN MIND, if you cancel your own spell before it is cast (you can do this simply by moving while channeling) you still will deal some (less) damage. This is helpful when you realize someone just flashed out of your ulti or if someone is about to escape and you still want to do some damage. Finish the Ulti, and go ice ball them.

Skill Level Distribution:
Absolute > Ice > Consume > Blood
In reality – there are two paths for laning
Ice, Consume, Ice, Consume, Ice, Absolute, Blood, Ice, Blood, Ice, Absolute, Blood, Blood, Consume, Consume, Absolute, Consume, Consume

Or I’ve seen some guides recommend an early point in blood at level 4. That’s fine as sometimes your lane will either have extremely cautious (or just “smart&#8221 players who never initiate any combat (happens especially after an early First Blood.) You’ll often have a lot of downtime with visionary on, because Consume has a long CD and you have no blast targets. Obviously, it’s a situational decision…
NOTE: I ALWAYS GET blood level 4 now, because I often DON'T take teleport with NuNu and BB myself after I bluepill.

Summoner Spells:
Cleanse is 100% needed for you. Get the mastery in it. You are a tank. They will CC you like no other. You will draw their CC when you ulti. You won't use your Cleanse when they CC you after your ulti and its a team fight. You will use your Cleanse when they focus on you and you need to GTFO. If you follow the V3 REAL Tank build, you will rarely die. You will still die, because you are trying to push towers and because you are the tank.

Next I recommend Flash but Teleport is nice as well. Nunu getting Heal is usually a waste. Ignite won’t help you much late game since Nunu can chase & last hit super well with a 25% reduced Iceball + Blood Boil. (Just a quick note, you don’t need Ignite to get a FB. You need a competent lane mate who will get to the bushes with you on time.) GET CLARITY IF YOU WANT TO TANK. USE CLARITY WHENEVER YOU CAN.

A neat tip I saw in FiRe’s guide was using Improved Rally to heal yourself while you Ulti and letting you deal extra % damage if you mastery Rally. I’ve never tried the method, but I envision you can use that instead of Flash.

Short Item List
Doran’s Ring + HPot
Boots of Speed + Upgrade to your choice
Frozen Heart (Cloth Armor + Sage’s Ring --> Glacial Shroud & Chain Mail)
Rod of Ages
Another Rod, or Banshee’s, or Rylai’s
More tanking gear or AP stacking

^ The above was what I originally recommended... However... after more playtesting...

AP Item List v2.0:
(Get a blood boil at level 4 so you can temporarily not get boots...)
Meki Pendant + 2 HPot
Amplifying Tome
Fiendish Codex (Meki + Tome)
Boots of Speed
Dagger + Faerie Charm
Stinger (Dagger + Faerie Charm)
Nashor's Tooth (Fiendish Codex + Stinger)
Upgrade Boots
Rod of Ages / Banshees / Rylai's / Frozen Heart
^ Heh anything will work, just depends on what they're doing. Obviously I rec. Rod of Ages...

"Tank"Item List:
Sapphire Crystal + 2 HPot
[Boots of Speed or Blood Boil @ Level 4]
Ruby Crystal
Catalyst the Protector
Boots of Speed (Unless you got Blood Boil early...)
Blasting Wand
Rod of Ages (Catalyst + Blasting)
Nashor's Tooth / Banshees / 2nd RoA / Frozen Heart

REAL Tank Item List: (If you go this build, I usually get Clarity so I can still spam iceballs early game. Late game you might use it once or twice, but trust me it's worth rushing Warmogs.)
Spawn: Regrowth Pendant

1st Trip: 1500 gold (or 3075 gold and get both trips worth)
Giant's Belt
Boots of Speed

2nd Trip: 1575 gold
Red Crystal
--> Warmogs

3rd Trip: 500-850
Upgrade boots (Tabi or Treads. Only treads if they have at least 2 ranged stunners or 4 stun/slow)
(usually the game is over by now...)

4th Trip: More Defense
I've tested Warden's Mail and found out it doesn't work well with NuNu. You only run if their entire team is chasing you, since you have a ton load of health and defense. If their entire team is chasing you, and you can only slow 1-2 of them at a %, you'll find that you're screwed anyway.
Thorn Mail and Frozen Heart work wonders as a potential third item, though. Force of Nature (I haven't had a situation where I had to test this yet) seems so good with Magic Resistance, Super Extra Health Regen, and Movement Speed. But as I said, I usually can carry the team to a win by the time I upgrade my shoes and/or get Frozen Heart. Banshee's Veil and Guardian Angel should be your 5th and 6th items if the game does get late. With that said, everything underlined is my usual item build if the game does get late. Thorn Mail has been buffed lately to deal back 25% and is an excellent pick for NuNu. I have had a Katarine kill herself on me before with her Black Lotus. (Do keep in mind who has lifesteal and who doesn't.) She started lotus while I was channeling ultimate, so she had barely any health and TMail finished it off.

I always go tank build now. Why? Because late game, Tanks provide you walking "Towers." I usually stack health regen runes and by late game I'm regening at ~200/5 health. People try to kill me, I kite them with ~470 speed due to my bloodboil and Iceball the fast ones. CC? Cleanse. Lead them straight into a 5v5 gank. Turn on Ulti. Everyone "Scatters" or waste more CC on you. I don't even have to focus on killing. I just need to iceball people who are running, bloodboil physical dps, and consume if there is the chance. I also win more games with tank build, die less, and have a ton load more fun watching my team win, rather than dying and watching them follow suit.

Your ulti takes 3 seconds now. That's three seconds where they can either smash your face or run away. If you have 3k health, 200 armor

Why do I stress Boots? Nunu needs to be highly mobile all game. He walks in, ice balls, walks out. He walks in and penetrates straight into the heart of the enemy, and starts ulti. Whatever he does, he needs to get there, get out. If you play him right, you'll tower dive quite often to get the last Ice Ball kill, and w/o boots, you won't be able to dive properly OR escape alive afterward. (Remember to consume as often as possible - minions are your walking health pots and can really keep you with those last few hit points alive.)

With that being said NuNu goes absolutely fantastic with stunners: Evelynn, Alistar, Scion... Melee stunners tend to work the best as their stuns tend to last a bit longer. Try to get in lane with a stunner. And don't forget to auto attack in between ice balls.

Regardless of which "mode" you go...
Red: Try to get some Magic Resistance/Defense /level OR Magic Pen
Yellow: Health Regen or Dodge
Blue: Cool Down Reduction / 18
Purple: Flat HP

9/21/0. Get the 15% magic penetration one in offense. If you are low level, get the 9 in offense first.

Game Play:
Game starts, grab your crystal or meki and health pots. Rush to either bot or top and go straight to the edge of the second bush. Be sure your mate is close by and preferably he is on the same “spot” with you in the bush. You know what I mean.

So an enemy hero will come “check” out the bush. The moment he steps in, get an auto attack on him. Try to get two auto attacks before you resort to using Ice Ball. Then get another auto attack. At this point you can decide if you want to go for the FB or let him run back. If you’ve taken about half damage, go ahead and blue pill if creeps still have a few seconds to spawn. If not, keep your finger on E and start the spamming, esp. the hero that you got the early damage on.

Keep in mind enemy items. If one of them has a regrowth pendant and the other has a meki, aim for the meki. If one has 500 health and the other has 900, aim for the 500. Go for squishy. Go for easy early kills. If you do get a First Blood, go ahead and go get your boots of speed and another health pot.

Spamming E is your priority. Often times ranged units will “trade” blows with you. You can keep up the blows as you do more damage or your nuke has a shorter cool down. I like to keep E active (so that the circle is around Nunu and you can clearly see the range of the spell) and wait for an enemy to begin approaching me before I get ready to ice ball them.

Consume should let you maintain some gold. If you're going AP build, try to consume as often as possible and get Fiendish by level 5 (when you'll have level 3 ice ball.)

Your ulti is a huge damaging AOE at level 6, dealing 625 damage after 3 seconds. You have to “get in range” in order to cast it, and this will often mean taking plenty of damage. Since you often keep your enemy health “low” they usually won’t give you the opportunity to Ulti them. The only solution I have is to get attack distance to one of the champs. If his mate starts hitting you and he realizes it’s a 2v1, they’ll most likely stick around for enough time for you to run to the other, ice him, and begin your ulti. You most likely won’t get a kill, but you can finish off with your ice. It’s fun.

Of course, gank around with your lane mate. You don’t even need your ulti to win ganks. The 4 second slow most often is enough for your friends to get the kill. And gank early. If you notice that the champs in your lane are being too wussy (because you are a kick@55 spammer.) Then head to another lane (esp. mid.) Hide in the middle bushes, ping their Ashe or whoever, run out towards enemy tower and blast her!

You are a semi-tank. You’re not a real one as you will rarely want to stick around to bash towers and take any more damage than it takes to cast off your ulti. Be ready to have your ulti interrupted. Never ulti unless you are ready to take some punishment. While you are ulti-ing, keep your other abilities ready and eye the screen for nearby minions. You want to heal asap as consume late game is a 400 health without any AP, then blood boil yourself if you haven’t already, and ice ball the nearest champ. NEVER STOP SPAMMING ICEBALL YOUR BALL IS BASICALLY YOUR AUTOATTACK. Stick with your team and by level 18 your ulti should have about a 1 minute cool down, thus letting you blood boil walk around the map and Absolute Zero large batches of creeps to protect your towers (esp. bot/top.)

In the end, play smart, play with your teammates. Nunu can be a formidable hero killer, but is definitely one of the easiest to use and easiest to learn. Also, remember you can consume just about anything, including Tibbers, Rally's, Super Minions, Dragon, Heimerdingers Turrets, and the Baron.

You’ll usually end games with around 5-10 kills, hopefully 0-3 deaths, and a whopping 10-15 assists. (I once ended a game with 23 assists&#8230 (Mainly from well-timed Ultis.) As you’ll notice, my build has 0 extra attack and some extra attack speed and primarilyexclusively on ball spamming (even then, with barely 100 extra AP.) Hero killing should not be your priority. Casting blood boil on a Yi or Jax, however, is. =P

(In fact, you do more damage bb'ing a carry than putting all your gold into damage... For a huge ass Yeti, damage just doesn't seem a priority. Haha)

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Senior Member


Nice guide, going to put some personal input for discussion. I'm not an expert or high ELO player, but I do play Nunu quite a bit.

I'm iffy on Frozen Heart first. If you want to build an RoA, you kinda want it early, no? At that point of the game you're going for the survivability, not the AP and you may as well get a Banshee's Veil instead.

I'm debating on what my second summoner skill after Cleanse should be. Flash is useful for ult positioning and ganks, but I think he could do better. I've generally been the one to pick up CV for the team, but I'm wondering if it would be better to pick up Smite for getting golem buff.

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Senior Member


I too would suggest a RoA before a frozen heart. I wouldn't even get a frozen heart unless their team has enough physical damage to make it worth it. RoA builds up easier and with better early game items than frozen heart (catalyst!).

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Junior Member


I too would suggest a RoA before a frozen heart. I wouldn't even get a frozen heart unless their team has enough physical damage to make it worth it. RoA builds up easier and with better early game items than frozen heart (catalyst!).

After some "testing" I definitely agree here. I've just been getting lucky and always facing a lot of physical damage. Frozen heart is definitely situational, especially if they have primarily casters.

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Senior Member


I really don't see a use for Cool Down reduction. I am more so a fan of stronger AZ as opposed to a weaker, more frequent one.

Your guide/build is good though. As with most casters in this game, its relatively easy to build. Rod of Ages, boots, Rod of Ages, Mejai if you are fed, Void Staff, Zhonya's. Also, it might be worth mentioning that cleanse might not always been in its IMBA glory as it is now. So more attention to banshee's veil should be emphasized.

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I might also sub frozen heart out; I don't mind the cooldown reduction for faster AZ's, iceball spam, and more BB's, BUT I think Nashor's Tooth or Deathfire Grasp are both better suited for Nunu (and both cheaper).

Open with Deathfire -> Iceball -> Ulti.... if anything can survive that, they deserve to. Nashors and Boil Blood work well to make up some of the melee damage you lose by going AP, and allow for faster passive procs. Both give moderate AP and regen.

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Senior Member


Also worth noting.. if you are using your Ult on one person.. you are doing it wrong. Force team battles. 4 dead enemy champs at once is better than 5 spaced between 15 second intervals.

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Senior Member


If I were to get CDR on Nunu, it would be the mid game items (Codex, Guise) because that's where he'd really shine with them. Later on you're mostly hit/running with Ice Blast anyways, so it wouldn't get much of a benefit. The ult should be used often, but unless you're using it every time it's up with CDR, the CDR isn't being useful. Considering how Banshee's Veil and other health items are almost a must for the later game, it's very difficult to make a late game build for Nunu with high AP/CDR/magic pen or whatever.

I'd save DFG for the characters with actual burst damage... Kassadin, Annie, etc.

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Senior Member


Much the way I've been playing him, but I've got a rather different item build.

Sapphire Crystal + HP pot + MP pot

That'll keep you casting nicely during initial harassment, and lets you recover a bit if you take a beating and can't get close enough to consume.

Sapphire Crystal -> Catalyst
Boots of Speed

Catalyst will keep you going for a while in your lane, generally I've got the lot between 6 and 8, and the regular boosts to your mana in particular are very handy.

Boots of Speed -> Sorceror's Boots
Catalyst -> RoA

As said above, Rod of Ages should be taken ASAP, really. More health, more mana, and AP. After this, I basically never run out of mana, even though I don't have any regen items.


Lichbane has a bit of everything. The movement speed boost, along with boots and Blood Boil, makes you very hard to catch and a very nasty chaser. More AP, more mana (though that's not as important), and the unique is excellent, especially for chasing.

That's the core of it. After that, I'm still experimenting, and it'll depend on circumstances of course, but I'd go either Nashor's Tooth or Deathfire Grasp, depending on what kind of opposition there is. Nashor's gives you awesome CD, some AP, and the attack speed bonus helps with your passive. Deathfire gives you an additional nuke, which isn't to be sniffed at - Nunu's damage output late game is already ridiculous. Zhonya's will also be in there eventually, of course

But Nunu is a real horror to face. I'm even considering trying to solo mid with him - one game that started out as a 4v5, I successfully not only held my lane 1v2, but scored kills for very few deaths against a Tristana and a Gangplank, though it was a bit tight. Someone that durable should not have 6s cooldown, 500 damage slowing nukes and an ult that can do 1600 to everything around him. I keep waiting to hear about the nerf... and yet nobody plays him!

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Junior Member


Alright I’ll talk seriously so no one thinks I’m MFing wannabe condon or something.


But seriously. Bad guide. And not funny. Way to suck on two fields.