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[Nidalee Guide] - She Only Does Everything

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Tyrfang

Senior Member

12-21-2009

After about 30+ games with Nidalee, I've tried out various builds and have settled on an AP build. Nidalee is a very involved champion, with 7 different skills which, generally, should all be used as often as possible.

Mastery:
Utility/Offense (9/0/21)
Pretty basic, go for the 15% Magic Penetration skill and whatever utility skills suit your playstyle.

Summoner Skills:
Exhaust: Good option, since Nidalee lacks slows/stuns.
Flash: Helps get away/chase, also can be used RIGHT after tossing your Javelin from short/medium range to maximize damage.
Clarity: "Basically, since you have a great heal this will give you AMAZING staying power. I can literally stay in a lane farming as long as I want since I can constantly keep myself healed and harassing." - Meta

Teleport is always useful, but unlike Teemo and Shaco, you cannot target and teleport to your traps.

Ghost, Cleanse, and Fortify are also viable alternatives.

Ignite is okay, but since you tend to use Javelin Toss as your "finisher" it may be hard to throw them both off while the target is still in range.

Heal is a bit redundant.

Rune Build:
Reds: At the moment, I use 3 Armor Penetration Runes and the rest are Critical Chance runes. Magic Penetration may be better, but I do not have the IP to test this.
Yellows: HP/Level or Crit
Blues: Cooldown Reduction
Quints: HP or Cooldown Reduction
As a melee/caster/support hybrid, Nidalee could do well with almost any rune page.

Skill Build:
Passive: Increases move speed while in brush (and for 2 seconds after leaving brush.)
Level 1: Bushwhack (W)
Level 2: Javelin Toss (Q)
Level 3: Javelin Toss
Level 4: Primal Surge (E)
Level 5: Javelin Toss
Level 6: Aspect of the Cougar (R)

Alternatively, you can swap Primal Surge and Javelin, but you give up the ability to harass for better staying power. If you are being harassed heavily (i.e. you're laning against a combo like Teemo+Sivir), this might be a good idea. By level five you need at least 1 rank in all 3 abilities in order to maximize your Cougar form.

From Level 6 on, prioritize...
Aspect of the Cougar
Javelin Toss
Primal Surge
Bushwhack

Item Build:
1: Sapphire Crystal, 1 HP Potion, 1 Mana Potion
2: Catalyst the Protector, Boots
3: Rod of the Ages
4: Giants Belt (Start Rylai's)
5: Finish Rylai's and upgrade to either Sorcerer's Boots or Mercury Treads
6: Start working on either an Armor item or an MRes item if necessary
7: If the game is dragging on, work on a Void Staff

Strategy:

Early Game/Laning
Get to your lane ASAP and throw down traps in the brush nearby. If your team is doing Golem/Lizard/Dragon, use your trap to assist. Don't bother using Javelin Toss to harass at rank 1, just keep placing traps nearby until you hit around level 3. If you push to the enemy tower, place a trap nearby their tower. Try to avoid creep paths so they are not wasted. Once your Javelin Toss is around rank two or three, a full range javelin toss will do a good 200-300 damage. If someone is tower hugging, try to hit them with a Javelin while hidden by the terrain. If you have a lot of mana, use Primal Surge to keep yourself and your lane mate topped off.

Pop in and out of your brush to take advantage of your passive early on. (Nidalee is better in the top/bottom over mid if only because of the brush location. She's also not the best solo choice because her attack range is smaller than most other ranged champions, although it is doable.)

Mid Game/Small group fights
Once you get Aspect of the Cougar, start using it to move around. Not only does Cougar form increase your base move speed, but you can use your Pounce skill (W) to get around even quicker. Do NOT SPAM the W key when pouncing, or else you will cancel your pathing. Hit it once whenever it cools down You can also use it to hop through thin walls in the jungle, like a mini flash, but you MUST practice this before trying it out. Don't forget to use brush to increase your move speed further. If there is a low risk of being attacked by the enemy, use Cougar to farm waves of creeps.

You can jungle around level 8-9 without much of a problem, but it will take a bit of time to take out the golem for the buff. Start off in human form with a trap on your target.

Late Game/Full Team Fights
Move around in Cougar form but morph back to human form occasionally to throw down traps. The cast range on your traps allows you to place then in the enemy base from outside. Use Javelin toss to pick on targets from long range and while being chased. Keep people topped off with Primal Surge between fights, but use it to buff your physical carry's Attack Speed during fights/pushes. Stay in human form until the fight breaks out, use up all your abilities and before switching to cougar form. If a fight looks like it's about to break out, try to save your trap, the debuff is massive (-20% Armor/MRes at level ONE).

Two basic tactics for ambushing an enemy:
If you want to stay hidden until as late as possible, stay in Cougar Form: Activate Takedown (Q), Pounce onto your enemy (W) and then hit (E). If they do not run, repeat. If they do run, switch to human form and use Javelin Toss.

Otherwise, in human form, throw a trap down behind their most likely retreat path. Use Primal Surge (E) on yourself or the best physical DPS nearby for an attack speed boost, followed by a Javelin Toss. Morph into cougar form and do the typical Q + W + E + repeat until they run, and then swap back into human form for a javelin toss.

Notes, Skill Usage:
Cougar Form: All of your abilities are, well, abilities, and therefore not affected by blinds. Additionally, the level of the underlying ability has NO EFFECT on the damage of the Cougar Form abilities. Only your AP/rank of Aspect of the Cougar will affect your Cougar abilities.

Pounce (W) is unaffected by slows. If you are being chased switch to Cougar form and pounce immediately to put some distance between you and your pursuer. It is also great for getting out of Nunu's ult. Again, remember to practice to see which walls you can hop over.

I believe Javelin Toss damage is based on the distance from the target when you hit, rather than based on when you cast. Tossing a Javelin and then either flashing/running in the opposite direction will increase the damage it does.

Javelin toss, like Mundo's cleaver, will make a distinct sound when it hits someone. Use it to check brush. Traps can also be used to check brush, but you need to be closer and there is a delay (which results in more risk if there actually is a gank squad in the brush.)

The trap has a very, very small AOE effect.

"You placed a trap under MY tower?": I once managed to get an enemy Sion to be stuck dancing around his tower, for fear of being hit by my javelin, only to walk into a trap under his tower and die. Unlike teemo/shaco's traps, your traps cannot be removed even if they are revealed without running straight into them. In addition to placing traps in common ambush spots, place them by the enemy tower retreat spots. The debuff + damage might score an assist/kill.

You can also use the trap to scout dragon from the safety of the bottom side if you suspect the enemy is doing dragon. Just don't place it DIRECTLY under the dragon or else you'll eat dragon breath. For real fun, you can try this and then attempt to steal the killing blow with a Javelin Toss.

Closing Notes:
The meat of this guide is in the TACTICS/STRATEGY Section, which will work with any build. If you disagree with my build, that's fine. I haven't exactly tested it to the extent that I believe it is THE BUILD.

This is my first attempt at a guide, so feedback would be appreciated.


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12-21-2009

I have also become very adamant about AP Nidalee. However, I'm going to note a few different things I do and why I do them:

Summoner Spells:

Clairvoyance - Firstly, I think it's VERY important that every team have at least one Clair. Why not be you? Additionally, the main reason I like this on her is for clutch Javelin throws. Yesterday I managed to spot a 1/2 hp eve from the jungle using a clair. She was recalling, easy target, tossed a javelin, got the kill. I've pulled this off around towers as well.

Clarity
- Clarity is FANTASTIC now. This will make a little more sense once I post my item build below. Basically, since you have a great heal this will give you AMAZING staying power. I can literally stay in a lane farming as long as I want since I can constantly keep myself healed and harassing.

Be sure to take both masteries for these spells, ESPECIALLY the Clarity one. Restoring your whole team's mana pools to full is extremely valuable throughout the entire game.

Why not Ghost/Exhaust? - The answer is simple; she doesn't need it. With pounce she typically doesn't have a problem chasing someone down, and she also has one of the best abilities in the game for catching fleeing champions. Additionally, by mid-game you'll probably have a Rylai's, which makes these even more unnecessary. While I wouldn't say they're useless on her, they're definitely not needed.

Item Build:

Sapphire Crystal + 2 Health Potions - The extra mana gives her great staying power, and there's no reason not to take the health potions. If you're facing heavy harass sometimes your early-game heals aren't enough (since you usually only get one rank before level 8). If you don't end up using them, you can always sell them back for the majority of the cost

Sheen - I noticed you didn't include this item in your build. I feel like nobody should ever play a Nidalee without getting this item first. It's simply far too good for her.

Boots - I typically get Sorc boots on her, since it just makes Javelin hit that much harder. One of her key aspects is the fact that people truly don't predict getting hit with a Javelin that will eat 1/3-1/2 of their health. I've gotten quite a few kills against people who I'm sure thought they were safe. However, if you're fighting a heavy Physical Damage team then Ninja Tabi are great, or Merc Treads against a heavy CC team.

Rylai's Scepter - The two main areas you want to focus itemization on Nidalee are survivability and AP. Her abilities scale amazingly with AP, and survivability is necessary to fully utilize Cougar DPS. Since you take Clarity, there's no reason to worry about stacking mana or regen with her. You're free to focus on the important stuff. Also, the slow with Rylai's works great with almost all of her abilities.

Void Staff/Deathfire Grasp - Depending on what you're going up against. If you notice them stacking a lot of resist then definitely the void staff. If they're stacking a lot of health then Deathfire is the way to go.

Lich Bane - A good way to use your sheen late-game if it gets to that point. I typically don't bother with it unless I'm over the 200AP mark.

Other Notes:
Besides those few things, I agree completely with everything in this guide. I actually wasn't taking trap at level 1 but after reading your logic behind it I agree completely (since rank 1 javelins are pretty worthless). You are 100% correct about moving away after throwing Javelins. This can increase the damage substantially.


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Tyrfang

Senior Member

12-21-2009

I have yet to try Clarity on Nidalee, although come to think of it, I should have. It seems like a great option considering how often I run out of mana with her (even late game.)

As for Sheen, I used to get it initially, but I had a problem fitting it into my builds. I like having Catalyst very early. It might work between Catalyst and RoA or before Rylai's.

I find Clairvoyance is typically unnecessary due to traps and javelin. I tend to get exhaust for the blind/CC effect on enemy physical carries.


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12-21-2009

Quote:
Tyrfang:
As for Sheen, I used to get it initially, but I had a problem fitting it into my builds. I like having Catalyst very early. It might work between Catalyst and RoA or before Rylai's.

Since Clarity makes mana a non-factor, you can completely skip the RoA. You get better early game DPS by taking Sheen, and you'll get Rylai's that much faster which is important.

Don't get me wrong, I love a Catalyst as much as the next guy, but she's one of the few heroes I feel like I can skip it on.

Quote:
Tyrfang:
I find Clairvoyance is typically unnecessary due to traps and javelin. I tend to get exhaust for the blind/CC effect on enemy physical carries.

Clairvoyance is less necessary than Clarity imo, so I could definitely see going Exhaust. This one comes down to more a matter of personal preference. You could just as easily replace this with other spells that your team might need (Rally, Fortify, etc).


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Krath4

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Sheen is just ridiculous on a physical build, since you can easily spam cougar abilities to get the double damage bonus. But on an AP build like this, I can see how it might not fit.


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12-21-2009

Quote:
Krath4:
Sheen is just ridiculous on a physical build, since you can easily spam cougar abilities to get the double damage bonus. But on an AP build like this, I can see how it might not fit.


Actually, from what I understand Sheen damage is based on BASE damage (in other words, the damage bonus doesn't actually scale with other items). This means that the bonus from Sheen is the same regardless of which build you go.

EVEN IF this is not the case, it's still phenomenal early-mid game, and can be turned into a Lich Bane late game. Any character that ability spams and autoattacks as much as she does is MADE for sheen.


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Tyrfang

Senior Member

12-21-2009

I'm going to try out using Sheen + Clarity later today and I'll post how I feel about it later.

I thought Sheen was a great choice, it was originally my first item that I got. I decided to trade it in for survivability + mana from catalyst, but I didn't think to use Clarity instead.

Also, it is base damage, so sheen procs are equally useful to AP and Physical DPS builds.


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KYNB23

Senior Member

12-21-2009

http://leaguecraft.com/builder/Nidalee/2af6fa0b3f75e039d17448dd9a810293

This build is the ap build i used on her you can spam just about every spell you have in human form and her cougar form is insanely god like

i find it extremely easy to lane with a malphite or amumu i can get my mejas soulstealer stacks to 20 rather fast coupled with frozen heart early lets your tank eat face in your lane just fight with no worries if your partner slows the enemies and you heal him excesively its rather funny

once you hit 6 its a whole different story you are now pretty much a ****ing beast of the jungle just leave your lane go jungle and farm lanes they leave empty dont stay too long to get ganked. while jungle keep in coordination with ur teamates if they call for a gank in their lane go fast because the oppurtunity might not last call for a stun when you get close and just hop in their and **** shyt up
toward end game your heals are going to do about 748 hp and increase your teammates AS by 60% get ready to bull doze some towers and keep your hero who is tanking the tower alive incase of gank

this build is pretty superb i have played full dps with her i like that aswell but this one is pretty awsome cuz you do have a great deal of cc with the frozen hearth and the rylais scepter double slow attack speed and movementspeed and your ap is so fing high its clicking at 616

i made this for you guyz who were wondering if ap would be good and this is more likely my favorite build on her.

as far as how to build up to these items i wouldnt be able to say because you dont know what ur up against till yo are loading for the game. but this build does let u soak up alot of damage and does make you abilities soo dam spamable . this build makes your bushwack way more usefull for farming your lane.

btw with this build if you get your mejais to 20 stacks keep this in mind you can do your pounce every 1.8 seconds that if ****ing scary if they dont surrender its gona be funny as hell oh btw with this build (though i havent tried you might be able to solo baron)

oh btw this build does 2557 + 200% x thier health + 200% x thier health in 6 seconds you can easily pull of a double kill if you target the lowest hp person on their team both times you use takedown in you Pounce swipe takedown combo be the last one in their so you can get as many kills as possible ****** remember you have rylais scepter hhahahah if they try to run quickly type in GL to all and score an ace


Side note i got alittle funny trick with nidalee to get alot of manna and regen your manna around mid game at level six if you have 2 tear of the goddess's and you run through your jungle spaming pounce you get 8 permenant mana every 3 seconds thats 160 every minute if you keep doing pounce and you can only do it for 7.5 minutes and you should have an extra 1200 mana +700 from the tears and how this will play its role is when you conver one to a archangel staff you should get an extra 38 AP just for doing that+ 45 AP u get from the staff then sell your second tear and try and get your frozen heart fast to get the bonus from the mana ring to even further your ap you should have around 400 ap mid game like level 20 given that your soulstealer is stacked to almost full


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Tyrfang

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
KYNB23:

btw with this build if you get your mejais to 20 stacks keep this in mind you can do your pounce every 1.8 seconds that if ****ing scary if they dont surrender its gona be funny as hell oh btw with this build (though i havent tried you might be able to solo baron)


If you get 20 stacks of any snowball item and your enemy doesn't surrender, it's gonna be funny as hell.

IMO your build is more of a carry AP build, which is fine, but not what I was aiming for myself.


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Tyrfang

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
KYNB23:
http://leaguecraft.com/builder/Nidalee/2af6fa0b3f75e039d17448dd9a810293
oh btw this build does 2557 + 200% x thier health + 200% x thier health in 6 seconds you can easily pull of a double kill if you target the lowest hp person on their team both times you use takedown in you Pounce swipe takedown combo be the last one in their so you can get as many kills as possible ****** remember you have rylais scepter hhahahah if they try to run quickly type in GL to all and score an ace


Side note i got alittle funny trick with nidalee to get alot of manna and regen your manna around mid game at level six if you have 2 tear of the goddess's and you run through your jungle spaming pounce you get 8 permenant mana every 3 seconds thats 160 every minute if you keep doing pounce and you can only do it for 7.5 minutes and you should have an extra 1200 mana +700 from the tears and how this will play its role is when you conver one to a archangel staff you should get an extra 38 AP just for doing that+ 45 AP u get from the staff then sell your second tear and try and get your frozen heart fast to get the bonus from the mana ring to even further your ap you should have around 400 ap mid game like level 20 given that your soulstealer is stacked to almost full


I have no idea what the hell you mean by "2557 + 200% x thier health + 200% x thier health in 6 seconds."

Try at least some of your builds before giving it out. Tear of the goddess is unique, so it won't stack. I don't know how you can get some combination of 10 kills/20 assists without any deaths by "mid-game." What opponents are you getting?

Also, proof your posts, at least somewhat. They are barely legible.