Originally Posted by flankd
Basilisk9466, Honestly going Phage before sheen is a mistake anyway you look at it if you ask me... i'm pretty sure the general population will agree with me. The extra mana pool is just too good early game, not to mention it adds a little burst. Also I don't feel Nidalee needs a Frozen Mallet... she already has very little problem chasing down most enemy champions. I don't think i'd ever get Frozen Mallet on her... if I wanted to be tankier I'd get Trinity + Banshee's probably.
I've toyed with straight Trinity, ignoring Frozen, and the difference is noticeable. The ability to shift to human, slow a target (guarunteed, no skillshots, no anything) with an autoattack, then switch back to finish is very nice.
As for Phage before Sheen, it does slow your progression a little, but frankly, against the vast majority of champs you'll be laning against (unless it's a really horrible combo), you don't even need Sheen to start killing. The extra health, damage and slow provides consistent help to both forms. I take your point about the mana, though.
The thing about Nidalee is that she's not a hard carry. Items certainly boost her (particularly Sheen, of course), but she doesn't rely solely on them as Twitch and Tristana might. Her base abilities can tear opponents apart quite quickly without boosts - I don't know of any other character that's quite so dangerous at lvl 6. So I think you can make a valid argument for both. On the same argument, I think that the extra health of Frozen is very valuable, as you're not quite so critically reliant on damage items as, say, Ashe. I can remember one match where I outdid the Twitch on our team with rushed Frozen and a Banshees, with very few deaths and utterly dominating the opposing Niddy.