Why Nasus has and will continue to drop further and further out of viability

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Hyfe

Senior Member

12-01-2010

I used to play Nasus. A lot. Iím talking enough to have well over +100 W/L on him. Many hundreds of games. Because I used him so much I made a guide and I helped some other people learn to love Nasus. I personally enjoyed him because he seemed balanced, unique, was seldom played, and required a certain amount of finesse to use most effectively.

I have a hard time playing him effectively anymore. In fact, I very rarely attempt to play him at all unless itís a completely un-serious game, or itís on and against a team that will maximize his effectiveness. In order to make him effective on a team some requirements need to be met:
1) some strong initiators (because I canít do that)
2) some great crowd control to make use of ultimate (because I canít do that)
3) preferably another main tank (because I donít do that well Ė see first two points)

In addition to these factors, above all else I must pray that I am against a team with not many slows or kiting abilities (because these turn me into a hulking mass of herp derp). In ranked games where you can see what champs you are up against I would normally also only choose Nasus against a team of high HP champs, because he counters them pretty well. Obviously in ranked you can see who you are up against, but like I said, the situation is extremely rare where the above circumstances are met and Nasus is a viable choice in ranked games. In normal games, itís luck of the draw who you are up against and whether or not you will be viable.

Thatís a lot of situational criteria (both on your team and the enemies) to be met for Nasus to even be considered as a decent pick. Lack of initiation ability, lack of a distance closer, and lack of any means of avoiding being 100% kited to hell have essentially put Nasus below almost all other new tanks/melee DPS. If youíll notice, every new melee champion has abilities that address these very issues and allow them to be viable melee choices, whether it be an amazing distance closer for getting in attack range, or some sort of CC reduction effect that keeps them from being kited into worthlessness, or a combination of both. There's a reason they get these abilities - it makes them viable.

This is why Nasus is not a good choice in mid-high ELO. He can 110% be shut down by smart players with kiting abilities. He is a far too situational choice who is far too easily countered. Not to mention there are dozens of other similar champions that perform better and are easier to take advantage of. The power creep issue, however, is a topic that deserves a whole different thread.

So what does the future hold for Nasus? On one hand, things look pretty grim. As most people know, Nasus is essentially a 100% passive farmer in the lane. He has absolutely nothing that poses any threat to anyone in the lane. Someone would have to have their brain turn to complete goo in order for them to die to Nasus in the laning phase, unless they stupidly tower dive him post lvl 6. He requires timing, patience, mana conservation, and passiveness against a growing field of champions with infinitely spammable energy and increasingly powerful poking and zoning tools. Furthermore, the trend Riot is pursuing is that of faster paced early games, shorter and more exciting laning phases, etc. (which are all great ideas for the competitive scene and making the game more interesting to watch). Unfortunately, as Nasus is extremely weak early and requires a good amount of passive farming to be effective, this will leave him even further in the stone age and even more of an undesirable choice. On the other hand, the recent nerf to ranged carries and the red buff, the potential removal of flash, and Riots insistence that they are continuing to investigate the melee champs in general, can give us some hope of him returning to viability.

For now though, his current state is really a shame, because Nasus can potentially bring a lot to a team by controlling a 1v2 lane (in the rare case 1 team doesnít have a jungler), enabling very early barons, and bringing great utility to team fights. You may argue that he can still do those things. Unfortunately, newer champions with far superior laning power make his "lane control" less and less likely. Wither is completely broken because of its overlooked interaction with merc treads, rendering it all but useless. Spirit fire is a small AOE that is easily avoided by highly mobile teams, and you are entirely too vulnerable to CC effects and slows to bring much of any damage threat while in your ultimate.

Let me be clear: this is not a plea to Riot for buffs (though withers interaction with merc treads is a 100% deserved fix, not necessarily a buff). This is not a thread for me to just rage about a bad game I had, because after 500+ games with the champion it would be silly for me to start doing that now. I guess all I want to do here is tell people that if you are becoming increasingly frustrated with Nasus, you are not alone, and these are probably the reasons why. If you donít know what Iím talking about and you are face rolling left and right with Nasus, enjoy it while it lasts. You probably havenít been up against the players and the comps that will make you literally scream out in frustration yet. Any place above 1400 ELO is where you will start to feel that Nasus, sadly, is very rarely viable.

What are your thoughts on Nasus in the current meta? If you could propose any changes to help make him more viable, what would they be? What does Riot think about his current "balance" and his effectiveness in the League?


TL;DR: Nasus has the potential to bring so much to a team, but he has too many weaknesses, is too situational, and requires more patience and skill than other similar, stronger, easier to play champions, and so many players see no incentive to play him. It is primarily his susceptibility to kiting in particular that renders him quite useless in higher ELO matches except in very situational circumstances.


Edit:

For the people that don't play Nasus a bunch and aren't familiar with the problem with withers interaction with merc treads:

The problem lies in the fact that withers effect gets better over its duration... ie it's pretty garbage at first and towards the end of it's effect its an amazing AS/MS slow. Merc treads cuts off the end of the effect, the good period where wither is considered "one of the best slows in the game", only leaving the portion at the beginning where it's doing almost nothing. This means merc treads hurt wither far more than the intended 35%. Obvious solutions would be to speed up the entire effect so when affected by merc treads it goes through its whole progression just quicker, or just make wither a flat rate that gains effectiveness as you level it, dropping the over time mechanic.
(This was fixed last year).


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EaStW00d

Member

12-01-2010

I agree 100%. Although I think that the recent nerfs to the aoe metagame and ranged dps will help his situation out. I know that riot is looking at giving melee some help overall.


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HaimTheBlack

Junior Member

12-01-2010

Sad but true.


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Dracozero

Senior Member

12-01-2010

The cycle of power creep continues - I'll get outdated, they'll be viable.


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BiggerFish

Senior Member

12-01-2010

They are addressing the AOE/Ranged Carry meta currently, and nerfbats are swinging fast and heavy. Nasus is a natural counter to HP stacking teams, so if the tanky meta starts amping up even more, I expect him to become fotm for a while... after they fix Wither to be useful.


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Galtath

Senior Member

12-01-2010

oh god, its Hyfe.

if Hyfe is complaining then **** needs to get done about nasus


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Thoroughly

Senior Member

12-01-2010

I agree.
And, aside from a Wither fix which has needed to happen FOREVER, Nasus would be fine if Riot's philosophy behind hero design was "They can do everything"
It cheapens the hero when he has a gap closer, a stun, a slow, and a steroid. I miss seeing Nasus, I miss seeing Sion, there's a big list of heroes I miss seeing because too many are being released with the ability to do everything. Remember when you built your team around supporting each individual hero's weaknesses? Don't have to do that anymore, just push out the most damage you can now because every hero can do everything to some degree.


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Gambit EK

Senior Member

12-01-2010

Totally agreed. I contribute a lot more to my team as Singed, and Singed isn't even close to top teir.


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Rastand

Member

12-01-2010

I agree as well i loved to play nasus but he is just not reliable anymore he is missing something that would make him great but im not sure what


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zubey

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Senior Member

12-01-2010

I think a little more range on his Wither would help a ton.