I main Nidalee support, but I'm also decent in mid and top. I usually build tanky AD (early: armor boots, wriggle's, phage, late: atma's, warmog, youmuu's) in top lane. I always start boots and HP pots, quickly trap my lane, then port back and refill mana. My masteries are either 17-13-0 or 1-29-0 if I'm feeling unlucky. Runes are either AD, AS, and crits, or armor, HP per level, MR, MR per level, and MS. I consider myself to be the average player, my ELO fluctuates between 1100 and 1300.
My biggest problem is with gap closing bruisers like Irelia, Xin, Jax, Wu, etc., which makes sense because those are all considered counterpicks for Nidalee.
I also have a hard time laning against Darius, despite being a counterpick for him. I understand Nidalee is all about poking, and you have to consistently poke whenever you can, as long as you're not giving up farm. However, Nidalee's aa range is only 525, and Darius' apprehend is 550, making it impossible to poke him without getting caught, even if you run out of brush, activating her passive. I tend to avoid trading with him unless I get caught, and it seems he can out-trade Nidalee, at any level. I avoid trades unless he has very low HP, because he can kill you with 40% HP while you're full.
He deals physical, magic, and true damage, which makes it difficult to build defenses against him. True damage bypasses armor and mr, so you have to build HP, which I usually try to do before late game.
I don't see how Nidalee counters Darius. Apprehend's range is longer than her AA, which makes it hard to harass. What am I doing wrong? Should I start building AP and throwing spears?
Comments on my runes and masteries would be especially helpful.