A Train's Guide to AP Nasus.
Hello everyone and welcome to the AP Nasus training guide. After reading this guide and some practice, your opponent will call Nasus OP and your team will get a good laugh. Many of you will get farm that you thought only Karthus could manage. Sound good?
Mastery Page: 5/0/25 is your build. You want Mana regen, Mana, Lifesteal, Greedy ones, Biscuit, Health Regen, CDR, and Mobility. Take CDR as your offensive with a point in Summoner's Wrath.
Rune Page: Quints (AP), Marks (Mag. Pen), Seals (Armor), Glyphs (AP)
Ok, now that you got that covered. Let's show you how it works.
Passive: Life Steal. This will get you a lot of life back over the course of a game. The bigger your Q, the more life you get back when you pop them.
(Q) - If you need to last hit a minion with a melee attack and this is up, use it. Do not take damage trying to Q farm constantly. If it's available, use it. You will slowly build up it's damage over time. This is your sustain tool. The more damage you do with it, the more life you get back. You'll do more damage in team fights later if you Q farm smartly but remember, your first obligation is not to feed and be ahead in lane.
(W) - Wither is exhaust on a stick. Take a point in it and then it will be your last points. This is your escape and also your snare for kills.
(E) - This is your main spell. The one that you will use to AOE farm, area deny, and to bully your opponent into submission. It has a 0.6 AP ratio on the initial blast with decent starting damage. It's a fairly big AOE. Then it has a defile feature where it deals damage over time that also scales with AP. It's range is long enough that you can land it near a turret to harass a person who is farming under turret without taking a turret shot. Practice this because your opponent's will be hiding under turrets. A lot.
(R) - This is your kill. It scales with AP and it does insane damage with enough AP. It maxes out at 240 AoE dmg a second and 240 dmg added to melee attacks. 15 secs.
Summoner Spells: Ghost + Flash. You need escapes and Ghost can be used offensively if you need it too.
Skill Order for first 6: E->Q->E->W->E->R. Against some champions, you can alternate Q and E leveling as they allow better Q farming.
The first thing you have to get used to is that you are a mage with a wicked stick. His E is a cross between Brand's Blast and Morgana's W. The thing to remember is that Q farm is nice but it's not worth dying for. Bigger Qs get you more health. That is it's main role during the laning phase.
Opening Items: Doran's Ring. Health Pot. Biscuit.
IMPORTANT: If this is your first time playing Nasus, I recommend the CDR build listed near the bottom. It is easier to use and having the snare makes it easier to get ganks for an inexperienced player who isn't sure when to go for the kill. For higher end players, they will be better positioned to take advantage of a maximized ultimate, a Zhonya's Hourglass escape, and the extra movement speed from Lich Bane.
Doran's Ring is a mana granting machine with the AOE farming you will do with E. When you hit level 2, add some Q farming. When the jungler offers Blue, you take it. With it, you won't run out of mana unless you overspam your abilities.
Mercury Boots is generally the boots you'll take. Tenacity is nice and the MR helps against the AP mids you will mostly be facing. If you need more damage and/or the other team lacks hard CCs, take Sorc Boots instead. Facing an AD mid and aren't worried about cc? Ninja Tabi.
Rod of Ages is your first major purchase. It gives you a big boost in health and sustain and is better if you build it early.
Lich Bane is your second major purchase. It gives you melee burst damage to get kills. It also makes you faster.
Zyonya's Hourglass is your third major purchase. It gives you raw AP and if you are focused, you can hit it to buy some time. It also gives Armor.
Your last items are determined by team need:
(You need more damage) - Liandry's Torment and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Sell Doran's Ring for the Scepter.
(You need to be tanky) - Randuin's Omen if they are an AD heavy comp. Warmog's Armor if they are a balanced team. Abyssal Scepter against heavy AP. If the game goes super long, sell Doran's Ring for a second tanky item (Warmogs + either Omen or Scepter)
Team Fights - Open with E. This will do AoE damage and reduce the armor of anyone hit. Then you ultimate. Your ultimate caps at 240 damage per second. This is AoE damage to everyone around you so you want to get in close to the enemy team. It will supply you with 240 bonus AD for the full duration of the ultimate which is 15 seconds. It also gives you health. Then use Ghost to quickly reach the ADC who you should wither. Give the ADC a good smack with Q and beat on him. He should melt fairly quickly even if he has Warmog's.
Why should I pick this over AD Nasus? AD Nasus has a horrible laning phase. In order to be effective late game, he must get a lot of Q farm. AD Nasus tends to be gold starved pretty heavily until he can score kills. The trick to AP Nasus is that he can AoE farm at range. This is much safer during the laning phase. Yes, this means he gets less Q farm. But it means he gets more gold and can actually win the lane. Farming quickly also opens options in your play to help your team.
MAX CDR BUILD. If you play Nasus because you love the mighty Q and want max CDR to farm it but want the safety of AP in the laning phase.
--Change Masteries to 0/9/21. The 6% CDR you get will put you over the cap by 1% at full build.
Open Doran's Ring + Pot + Biscuit
Boots of Choice
Rod of Ages
Void Staff (sell ring for this)
The Wraith reset: The knock on E farming is that it pushes the lane. To take advantage of your pushed lane, farm the wraiths. Communicate with your jungler on the best time to begin farming the wraiths. Wraith farming will give you a noticeable advantage over a mid opponent who does not. It allows your lane to come back to you as well. This is an excellent time to farm your Q. If done correctly, you should get 15 damage added to Q every trip to wraiths.
Roaming: If you push your lane too quickly, you can also roam top or bottom to attempt a gank. Open with E with the edge barely reaching your victim so if they run back, they take more damage. Then wither them and give them a good smack with Q. If your teammates are paying attention, this should be a kill. Coordinating with the jungler can make this safer on the bot lane as a 4 v 2 usually results in two kills. By pushing the lane quickly, you force the opposing mid to either follow you and lose CS to the tower or take the CS, call MIA, and hope for the best. Most mids will do the latter. On top lane, most top laners can kill an opposing top if you just land wither and give them a good smack. Even getting assists will help you win your lane and help your teammate win theirs.
Q Farming: If your opponent leaves lane, get as much Q farm as you can. Having a stronger Q later is a good thing. Getting the balance between getting more gold and getting more Q farm is one of the harder parts of learning AP Nasus.
There you go. Take the mid laner by surprise and wreck them with your magic blasts of AOE goodness. Harass them under the turret with your E when they try to farm there. Communicate with your jungler if you are expecting a gank from the enemy jungler. Wither turns an attempted gank into a nice counter-gank from your jungler. If you harassed the mid laner enough, you might get a double kill if they try to help. Use Wards for goodness sakes. And most of all: dominate. Make them feel like they were hit by a Freight Train.
If you prefer the glass cannon version and want to see a guide on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnivLMFdZUo
BTW, they fixed the bug on LichBane that preventing your Q from building up so ignore that part.
Editted: 1/25. Added Lich Bane and changed last items to be team dependent.
Editted: 1/26. Matchup data for champions is on page 2
Editted: 1/28. Added 300 AP Rule. Adjusted Masteries for better performance. Added a video for glass cannon build.
Editted: 1/31. Added a max CDR build for those who want a hybrid heavier on AD
Editted: 2/07. Changed recommended build for new Nasus players to max CDR build.
Editted: 2/15. Removed Hybrid option due to Q no longer fully critting. Changed to AoE health shredding and tankier build.
No lichbane, spell steal is a joke on Nasus. Warmogg's is a joke on any character who doesn't scale to HP.
AP Nasus requires Lich Bane to work effectively. I would also question the Gunblade. The Lifesteal is nice for the early game, but you get enough from your passive, and you're not really scaling your auto-attacks. Unless Spellvamp works on his Q, it's a wasted stat. You also need a lot of health to make it work really effectively, since you have to be in the action with your ultimate. I agree that AP Nasus is actually better than the traditional Nasus build, but it has to be built as an AP Tank. Building a squishy AP Nasus doesn't do much good unless your team is built to AoE-CC combo in team fights. Definitely aim for items like Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya's, Rylai's, Rod of Ages, Lich Bane and maybe Rabadon's if you can manage the lower durability, otherwise make your last item an additional hard-core defence item.
Armageddal: To clarify is 'traditional' Nasus build the CDR/Tank pure Q farmer style?
Answering questions or explaining items:
@acosn - Taking no items that allow you to tank some incoming damage is bad. The poster below you thinks I didn't have enough tanky items and you think I have too many.
@Azellos - Item order isn't set in stone. If you feel Warmog's sooner is better, go ahead :)
@Armageddal - His E and R are entirely magical damage. The purpose of the gunblade was the additional slow item shot along with damage for autos+Q/AP for E plus more life steal. If you don't like the Gunblade, I suggest using Rod of Ages instead. I don't recommend Rylai's (the slow is practically non-existent for his AOE). Lich Bane is not a tanky item although it does make his next auto hit hard. With my list, you would go Rod of Ages, Mercury Boots, Zhonya's Hourglass, Rabadon's Deathcap, Warmog's Armor, and then Abyssal Scepter. I would believe that is tanky enough. If you want Lich Bane, you would need to cut one of the tanky items.
@The Lord Impaler: Traditional Nasus is a bruiser with no gap closer except Wither that Q farms as much as possible so in the late game, he hits really hard. Catch with it is that you have to farm in melee range and if you use Wither as your gap closer, you can't use it as an escape. For AP Nasus, Wither is just an escape tool and it uses Spirit Fire to harass the opposition out of lane. AP Nasus, however, is a mid laner as most of his damage will be magical. If you put him top, your team will be primarily magical damage and you'll be forced to cut one of your items for Void Staff as they will be packing MR. Especially if your team also has Amumu as your jungler.
@everybody: I've been seeing more and more blue dependent junglers. This means that if you get blue, your opponent will target you for ganks because the jungler needs a blue that bad. If you see a blue hungry jungler on either side, take Rod of Ages. The extra tank will help keep you alive and you can tell your blue hungry jungler to keep it. You'll miss the extra CDR but your jungler will get more ganks on your lane (since he's happy with you + has mana for faster clear times).
Well it's interesting. I would think you would build your tankiness through more traditional AP items instead of a warmog. Mog gives very strong sustain and effective health early on, though it dies down later as armor/MR get better (well, as 'better' as they get after all the nerfs).
I dont see any penetration either. Take mercs over sorc shoes? All your dmg is magical. Tenacity is great but the pen really boosts damage.
Haunted Guise gives you both penetration and some health. That plus Dorans gives decent health boost.
Youve got the hourglass for armor, so how bout Abyssal for MR and even more mpen?
It's funny. I had a conversation with a friend who said that Warmog's was overkill on AP Nasus because he's already so tanky since I've been mostly rushing Rod of Ages lately. He argued going Liandry's was better since it'll give more damage against all of the high health characters running around and three hundred health was plenty. I pointed out the incredible hp regen of having RoA and Warmog's and he pointed out it won't matter if the rest of your team is dead because you didn't do enough damage.
After some more practice, I've concluded that Rod is just better than the revolver. Counting on keeping the blue just doesn't work. If you can, great, but being squishier and blue dependent is not a good combo. So I'll change the OP to reflect that. I'm not sold on Liandry's since it's only half duration for AoE so it'll only be 2.5% of their health. Perhaps the Lich Bane would be better than Warmog's for a big burst of melee damage to go with the AoE. I will test it.
Edit: Also added Sorc Boots as a damage option to the boots section.
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