[Guide]Nasus - The Hybrid Tank/DPS

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Crystalwyrm

Member

02-24-2010

Nasus - The Hybrid Tank/DPS

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Nasus' Story: The enigmatic creature known as Nasus came to the League from a faraway world, and served as part of a vast and learned desert empire. There he was a respected and enlightened individual, having been made the Keeper of the Great Library. However, he was also part of a race of animalistic creatures that served as the rulers and protectors of the people. War was never more than a breath away, as others of his kind craved to enslave the people and claim totalitarian sovereignty. In the midst of a heated battle, just as Nasus was about to slay his treacherous brother Renekhton, he was summoned to Runeterra. It didn't take much to convince him that Champions were needed to fight against the injustice here and he took up a place in the League of Legends. These days, he is the Keeper of the Sands, feeling most at home in the crumbling ruins of the Shurima Desert.
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Nasus, in my point of view, is a nice tank/DPS. He is not an assassin, don't go that way. Yes, you can occasionally gank someone and potentially kill someone, but, doesn't work very well sometimes. I play Nasus as a hybrid Tank/DPS, making you have high survivability, and a good damage output. I play other builds with Nasus, but this is my overall favorite. In this guide, you will learn how to play a hybrid Nasus my way.


Nasus' Abilities:

(Q) Siphoning Strike(SS): Nasus strikes his foe, dealing damage and increasing the power of his future Siphoning Strikes if he slays his target. This is one of Nasus' main abilities. This with a Sheen will do devastating damage. Try getting last hits on creeps with Siphoning Strike as much as possible!

(W) Wither(W): Nasus ages his target, decelerating their movement and attack speeds over 5 seconds. This is a nice skill to slow someone and making them not get away, perfect for team fights and ganking. Also it lowers other champions attack speeds, making them less of a threat.

(E) Spirit Fire(SF): Nasus unleashes a delayed spirit flame at a location, dealing damage and reducing the armor of enemies who stand on it. This is your best skill for farming creeps. Its also very usefull in team fights too, making EVERYONE hit harder because of armor reduction. This will be your first skill to max.

(R) Fury of the Sands(Ult): Nasus unleashes a mighty sandstorm that batters nearby enemies. While the storm rages, he gains additional Health and drains nearby enemies' max health and converts it into bonus damage for the duration of the skill. Nasus' ult is very devastating in team fights. It makes you gain a lot more HP, making you able to take more damage while your draining their life away, increasing your strength. Don't waste this ult, the cooldown is very long. Use it ONLY if the opposite team has actually engaged in a team fight, otherwise, you would use it, they would retreat, causing in a waste of a ult.

Passive: Soul Eater: Nasus drains his foe's spiritual energy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% life steal. The life steal value increments at levels 1,6, and 11.

Order of abilities:

1-Spirit Fire (Rank 1)
2-Siphoning Strike (Rank 1)
3-Spirit Fire (Rank 2)
4-Wither (Rank 1)
5-Spirit Fire (Rank 3)
6-Fury of the Sands (Rank 1)
7-Spirit Fire (Rank 4)
8-Wither (rank 2)
9-Spirit Fire ( Rank 5) Maxed
10-Wither (Rank 3)
11-Fury of the Sands (Rank 2)
12-Wither (Rank 4)
13-Wither (Rank 5) Maxed
14-Siphoning Strike (Rank 2)
15-Siphoning Strike (Rank 3)
16-Fury of the Sands (Rank 3) Maxed
17-Siphoning Strike (Rank 4)
18-Siphoning Strike (Rank 5) Maxed

Try to get SF maxed as soon as possible, best farming technique and a great pusher ability. Whenever ulti is available, get it. Then get Wither maxed out next, then Siphoning strike. SS is last to get maxed because it only gets powerful when you get a lot of last hits, making the damage 70+ ~ 100+ and the damage isn't that significant each rank.

Summoner spells:

Cleanse: This is needed to be a tank. Most of the time I die are from CC's, exhausts, and other speed-reducing effects. This is very useful if a lot of enemy champions have exhaust or a lot of CC's (Ashe, for example)

Optional:

1. Rally: This is the one I choose. It has a nice HP Regen ability to it plus the damage output. Very, very nice in team fights.

2. Teleport: Faster at getting to locations, to defend, destroy a turret, come to a team fight, whenever the CD is up.

3. Exhaust: Blind/Slow makes them almost useless and easy to pick off other champions.

4. Ghost: Makes you able to escape from ganks/chase enemy champions.

Runes:

When playing Nasus, I go more of a Crit/Crit Dmg rune build. Runes don't matter with Nasus. Magic pen/Armor pen/HP/HP Regen/Whatever. Which ever fits your play style the most.


Masteries:

I go with 21/0/9, doesn't matter which one you have, any mastery build is good. Can be 21/0/9, 0/21/9, 9/0/21, and 0/9/21. Doesn't really matter.

Item build:

Finally, an item build:

- Get a Meki Pendant and 2 healing potions. Upgrade the meki to a chalice to fix mana issues.

- Boots, at first if you don't have the gold to spend on Mercs/Tabi at the start, get +1 boots and upgrade. Get mercs if the opposite team has more CC'ers and mages. Otherwise get Tabi.

- Sheen. Best item Nasus can get. Amps your SS to do devastating damage, and your normal attacks, really nice to have. This is a must-have for Nasus. With this you can destroy turrets fast. Later will upgrade to Trinity.

- Recurve Bow -> Upgrade it to a Last Whisper. The attack damage, attack speed, and the 40% Armor pen is VERY USEFUL, when used with SF, your damage is increased by a lot. Must have.

- Get a Soul Shroud, sell chalice (At this point, shouldn't need it), get the mana manipulator to help get the Soul Shroud. Cooldown reduction and HP is nice too.

- Frozen Heart. Get a Glacial Shroud to help pay for it. Cooldown reduction, armor, mana, nice to have.

At this point, you should be able to do very well at tanking, as well as doing awesome damage. Also at this point, the game should be almost over at this point anyway.

- Upgrade Sheen to Trinity Force, because of that nerf to the Sheen, instead of 100% extra damage, its 80%, same with Trinity, 150% to 130%, but it is nice to increase the damage output a little bit higher, plus, the other stats it gives is nice too.

- B.F. Sword, upgrade it to Infinity Edge. I do this since my rune book is Crit. This part is not needed, you can get whatever you want, Sunfire Cape, Frozen Mallet, Guardian Angel, Banshee's Viel. Damage from the B.F. Sword and Infinity isn't that really significant.

OR

If theres too much stealthers, keep the extra space for Oracles/Elixirs/Wards if needed.



Laning:

Nasus can solo mid or lane with partners. I find it much better to solo mid, but anything will do good. You can even solo a lane with 2 enemy champs in the lane too.

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Who is the best to lane with?

Any carry are good. Try not to lane with a lot of last hitters, since you will need them. Support champs like Taric and Soraka are VERY, VERY useful to lane with.

Who not to lane with?

Try not to lane with other tanks...Sion, Cho'gath, e.t.c., it doesn't work out well from my experiences.
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During the game:

Early-Game:

Stick with your lane, if you get pushed out of your lane, or failing horrible, you are playing Nasus wrong. If your lane is too hard for you, ask for backup, set up ambushes, whatever. Just SF spam, pushes the enemy team away from your creeps since they don't want to get damaged, making your lane a success. Also try to last hit with SS as much as possible at level 2-3. During Early-game, if you get into a team fight in a lane, Whither, use Rally, and potentially get an easy Double Kill, first blood, or set the other team running back, making you push the lane more. Having control of Dragon at level 6 at low ELO games is a big advantage. Also around 5-6, try to get Lizard/Golem buffs to help you out.

Mid-Game:

You excel at this part, since your ult is godly, you can get away from ambushes gone bad, initiate team fights, e.t.c.. Also your SS should be gaining more power. Just stick to your lane, and if needed, switch lanes for support if needed.

Late-Game:

At this point, your SS should be really powerful, should have gotten most of your 'needed' items. With your ult at this time, don't be scared sometimes to initiate fights, don't try to Leeeeeeroy! into the other team with no backup, go in, SF, Whither, and if they don't run back, use your Ult, and use Rally if your CD is still up, and again, Rally is not needed, it is just an extra buff that could help. Because of your SF being maxed, and your teammates helping you out, should have no problem dominating over them.

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Conclusion: Hopefully this guide provides useful to Nasus players out there, while providing a different point of view on Nasus with a Hybrid build. Post any comments or questions about this guide. Thanks! (I accept all criticism as a learning experience, please, express your thoughts and feelings!)

Note: If there is any errors, will fix them as soon as possible.


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roninsm

Senior Member

02-24-2010

Pretty solid guide. Two things I would change though. Firstly, swap 3 and 4 in your spell order. SF is kinda useless for creeping at lvl1 and unless you're setting up a gank at lvl3, Wither isn't going to be very useful. Just play it safe until lvl 4 and you'll be fine waiting for it.

2nd thing, why soul shroud over aegis? The CDR aura is nice, but I think the armor/MR/damage is better in most situations. Especially since you are taking frozen heart anyways, soul shroud seems to be overkill.


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Crystalwyrm

Member

02-24-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by roninsm View Post
Pretty solid guide. Two things I would change though. Firstly, swap 3 and 4 in your spell order. SF is kinda useless for creeping at lvl1 and unless you're setting up a gank at lvl3, Wither isn't going to be very useful. Just play it safe until lvl 4 and you'll be fine waiting for it.

2nd thing, why soul shroud over aegis? The CDR aura is nice, but I think the armor/MR/damage is better in most situations. Especially since you are taking frozen heart anyways, soul shroud seems to be overkill.
The soul shroud is used to get higher HP for tanking and the CDR, I know it seems overkill. Plus with the frozen heart your CD reduction is capped, making ult 72~74 sec CD. About the Aegis, I dunno, 250 less HP isn't that much but I never tried it in any of my builds that I use, I might try it over soul shroud and will post results.

As for the changing 3 and 4, might be a good idea, I usually pick it up at level 4~5 anyway, didn't look over that.


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Flapjacks

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Senior Member

02-24-2010

I think you should be maxing siphoning strike over wither (which you really only need one point in) for two reasons. One, the damage increase it gives is not insignificant. More importantly though it lowers the cooldown. Lower cooldown = more SS sheen procs to the face = win.


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IceDive

Senior Member

02-25-2010

With mana regen runes, you will not need the chalice.

Also, I think Trinity is worth getting before soul shroud, last whisper and frozen heart. CDR is not that useful on Nasus imo (it's not like team fights occur every 80 seconds), and you will get the extra HP that SS gives and the IAS that LW gives.

I usually go Aegis - Boots - Trinity in any given game. after that it depends on composition of allied and enemy team and who is doing well.


Also, you don't mention that Nasus can solo dragon at lvl 6 with some basic items and full health and mana. Especially in lower ELO games where early game does not revolve on who controls dragon, this is a huge and easy obtainable advantage.


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Crystalwyrm

Member

02-25-2010

@Flapjacks

The reason I don't max SS is because if you don't get a lot of last hitters, it will be a weaker even with a Sheen, yet, it is still effective at Rank 1.

@IceDive
Trinity would be a good idea before getting any of that, because it does give HP/AS that the Last Whisper and Soul Shroud does. But my focus in this build is to balance everything out then immediately get the Trinity, its not a 'need to' to have at the start of a game, Sheen will do fine.

EDIT: Thanks for mentioning about the low ELO games and solo-ing dragon at level 6, making it an advantage. Might fit in in there somewhere.


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Crystalwyrm

Member

02-25-2010

Fixed some stuffs.


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Ivramire

Senior Member

02-25-2010

Hi CrystalWyrm. I like your Nasus guide though it differs somewhat from how I play him. Icedive also has some nice points, especially the Dragon bit which is always very useful. If there's already a jungler who can already take care of Dragon, I usually ult the Blue Golem and go back to base for my first shop trip. Solid item set-up, though I have to question the cd-reduction. I don't think it's that useful on Nasus, attk speed or tank-stats like HP/Armor/M-def being preferable.


My Nasus cred: he's currently my most played with 29 wins:12 losses. My K/D ratio is EXACTLY 176/176 with 411 assists. I find that in 90-95% of games, I'm forced to become either main or secondary tank.


The first item I get is the Ruby Crystal. I get this so that I stay in lane quite a bit longer, and combined with my 3 flat-Hp Quints and the +60HP from masteries, I usually have the most starting Hp in game, somewhere around 800-900, not exactly sure. I can also turn the crystal into either a Warmogs/Aegis or into a Catalyst->later Banshee's. Important to note is that I run mana-regen/5 in my seals and glyphs, I can usually spam SF and SS indefinitely. I also have the mana-regen in the ult masteries.


The masteries I use are usually Exhaust/Ghost or Exhaust/Teleport. Just switched to Teleport recently, not sure I like it. I don't go to 21 in any mastery, having 1 point in Offensive (Exhaust Mastery) 17 in Defensive Mastery (3 Hardiness+2 Resistance->Dodge Chance->Harden Skin+Nimbleness->Full Veteran's Scars) and 12 in Utility (Teleport or Ghost Mastery+HP/Mana Regen Mastery->full XP mastery->mp regen mastery + 15% neutral buff time.)



If I need to main-tank I turn the crystal into a Warmogs. In-between buying Warmog components, I buy the basic boots as Nasus is a rather slow waddler. I turn these into either Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi depending on enemy-composition. After that, if the enemy is being suppressed by my team's superior teamwork, I get a Sheen. If we're falling back I get another tanky item, usually Aegis (Aegis is amazing on Nasus. He isn't as item-dependent as other champs so can afford the aura-items being on him. The +HP and +team-armor+mag-def is amazing) then either Thornmail/Banshee's Veil. After that is usually a Guardian Angel or a Sheen/Trin-Force if we manage to push. This is my Tank Nasus.


Despite the early lack of damage items, I find that teams usually first focus me because of the ult which does a buttload of damage right in the middle of them. Combined with the Spirit Fire and Siphoning Strike right in the middle of them, Nasus is worthy focus if their attentions.



Something I should mention is that if I build offensive, I find that attack speed is much more useful on Nasus than attack damage, especially when he's in FoTS. The combination of +ult lifesteal +ult attk speed is more useful than attack damage on him. The extra proc damage from Sheen/Trinity I find is enough.


My offensive Nasus goes something like Sheen->Berserker's Greaves->Finish Tri-Force->Defensive Item (Banshee's or Guardian usually)-> Last Whisper->Phantom Dancer or an Attack Damage item. Aegis may or may not be somewhere eearly in there.


Spread the Nasus love!


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haaaaaaaalp

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Senior Member

02-25-2010

I'm curious as to why you go last whisper over stark's fervor. With armor penetration runes and spirit fire, I find stark's negative armor to be better overall. Also, nasus is one of the best heroes to carry aura spells because of how much hp he has for a secondary tank.


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Flapjacks

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Senior Member

02-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalwyrm View Post
@Flapjacks

The reason I don't max SS is because if you don't get a lot of last hitters, it will be a weaker even with a Sheen, yet, it is still effective at Rank 1.
What does that have to do with taking points in it over wither? I'm not suggesting leveling SS over SF or anything.


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