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Summoner's Rift
Starting Corrupting Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Glacial Shroud item Kindlegem item Boots of Speed item
Essential Mercury's Treads item Frozen Heart item Trinity Force item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Dead Man's Plate item Thornmail item
Situational Iceborn Gauntlet item Titanic Hydra item The Bloodthirster item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Refillable Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Stalker's Blade (Cinderhulk) item Glacial Shroud item Boots of Speed item
Essential Mercury's Treads item Frozen Heart item Trinity Force item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Dead Man's Plate item Thornmail item
Situational Iceborn Gauntlet item Titanic Hydra item The Bloodthirster item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran's Shield item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item2
Essential Dead Man's Plate item Trinity Force item Mercury's Treads item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Sterak's Gage item The Bloodthirster item
Defensive Banshee's Veil item Spirit Visage item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Hunter's Talisman item Refillable Potion item
Essential Dead Man's Plate item Trinity Force item Mercury's Treads item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Sterak's Gage item The Bloodthirster item
Defensive Banshee's Veil item Spirit Visage item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Howling Abyss
Starting Orb of Winter item Boots of Speed item Refillable Potion item
Essential Morellonomicon item Luden's Echo item Ionian Boots of Lucidity item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Void Staff item Zhonya's Hourglass item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Frozen Heart item Dead Man's Plate item
Consumables Oracle's Extract item Corrupting Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item

Tips

Playing As NasusSquare Nasus
  • Paying attention to last hitting with Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike will have a large impact at the end of a game.
  • If you're solo, Spirit Fire Spirit Fire is a great way to farm a lane. It can be bad if you're in a lane with 2 and you push too far. Find the right balance between Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike last hits and Spirit Fire AoE farming.
  • If you have low defenses, people will focus you down even during your Fury of the Sands ultimate. Try buying some survivability items even in your DPS builds.
Playing Against NasusSquare Nasus
  • While transformed by his Fury of the Sands ultimate, Nasus is stronger than most champions in the League. Engage him only if you have a clear advantage.
  • Max rank Wither Wither is a very effective counter to attack damage champions, so try to avoid getting caught alone by it.
  • Nasus is prone to being kited. Try not to engage him at full health.
  • Try to all in him at lvl 2-3,he is weaker than most bruisers at that level and poking him is not enough. All in him once to take him to half hp, wait for your cooldowns, then all in again for the kill. Ignite is useful for this strategy. Don't pick champions with weak early game if playing against Nasus, it won't end up well. If you manage to kill him once earlygame, you would gain a significant advantage for the rest of the laning phase.
  • Don't push against Nasus, his infinitely stacking Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike makes it easier for him to farm under his own tower. Let him push and ask for your team's jungler to gank. He doesn't have a strong escape mechanism aside from the Flash Flash summoner spell.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike
    • NasusSquare Nasus' strength derives from his incredible late game damage when allowed to stack his Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike. With Wither Wither to catch out enemies along with Spirit Fire Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands giving him great presence in teamfights, he is a formidable champion, though lacks mobility and hard CC, making him somewhat easy to kite.
    • Constantly last hitting with Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike will have an enormous impact by the end of a game, and will be your primary source of damage.
      • If you are having difficulty last hitting minions with Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike (against strong zoners), request a lane change or a gank.
    • The damage from Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike will proc on turrets, allowing NasusSquare Nasus to be a very effective and dangerous split pusher once he gets more stacks.
  • Wither Wither
    • Using Wither Wither on your targets will make it easier to land Spirit Fire Spirit Fire before using Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, as Spirit Fire Spirit Fire greatly reduces the target's armor and consequently increasing your physical damage.
    • Wither Wither is best used to shut down auto-attack dependent champions, slowing them to a crawl and reducing their attack speed dramatically.
      • Choose your target wisely (usually a carry) when casting, as the moderate cooldown is fairly unforgiving since you will only be able to affect one person with it and most casters can shrug off the effects.
      • With high amounts of cooldown reduction, NasusSquare Nasus can almost continuously maintain Wither Wither on the enemy team (5 seconds duration, 6.6 seconds cooldown). However, enemy Tenacity can counteract this.
      • Without any gap-closers or mobility, NasusSquare Nasus relies on his Wither Wither to keep himself from being kited.
  • Spirit Fire Spirit Fire
    • Be careful when using Spirit Fire Spirit Fire near your tower, as it will push the lane and you will likely miss several minions.
    • During the laning phase, Spirit Fire Spirit Fire will discourage your enemies from farming, but it has a relatively high mana cost and will shove the lane if used too much. Do not spam Spirit Fire Spirit Fire during the laning phase. All this will do is waste your mana for when you truly need it. Maintain your Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike farm and save your mana pool for when your jungler is ready to gank. That way you can Wither W > Spirit Fire E > Siphoning Strike Q.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage

NasusSquare Nasus can be itemized in many ways, including a melee DPS, tank, or off-tank bruiser.

  • Generally speaking, a tank build is considered optimal due to his naturally high late-game damage from Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, which also makes him a priority target for the enemy team.
  • When choosing summoner spells, either Ghost Ghost or Flash Flash have their advantages, with the former granting NasusSquare Nasus more long term mobility to chase enemies down, and the latter to better survive the early game and aggressive ganks.
  • As NasusSquare Nasus relies on Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike as his primary source of damage, it is important to stay in lane in order to continuously farm Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike.
    • Building early resistances like a Cloth Armor item Cloth Armor or a Null-Magic Mantle item Null-Magic Mantle according to the main damage source can allow you to take a little more harass and stay in lane longer.
  • For a high damage build, Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge and Trinity Force item Trinity Force can make for risky but unexpectedly powerful combo if you manage to catch enemies out.
  • The life steal from Soul Eater Soul Eater grants him decent sustain, allowing him to build other items. However, he can still benefit greatly from extra life steal as Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike damage procs with it.
    • The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster should not be ignored simply because of NasusSquare Nasus' innate abilities. In a more offensive build, The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster synergizes well with his passive and Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, causing it to deal more damage early on. The shield will also provide a small defense against harass.
    • Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King is a very situational item since it is designed for auto attack heavy champions such as Kog'MawSquare Kog'Maw and JaxSquare Jax, while most of NasusSquare Nasus' damage comes in bursts from Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike in a single strike rather than constantly autoattacking your opponent. However, the item's passive and active is useful when facing opponents that benefits from building health such as VolibearSquare Volibear, Dr. MundoSquare Dr. Mundo, and MaokaiSquare Maokai.
  • Sheen item Sheen and Trinity Force item Trinity Force go well with Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike. With cooldowns nearly in sync with one another, you will almost always have a proc ready for your next Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike.
  • Trinity Force item Trinity Force as well as its components work very well with NasusSquare Nasus. Wither Wither and a Phage item Phage can keep an enemy constantly in melee range as well as the Spirit Fire Spirit Fire area of effect. The Sheen item Sheen's passive stacks with Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike for more damage and providing more mana to better farm minions. Zeal item Zeal offers some critical strike and attack speed to do more damage and movement speed to stick to enemies.
  • Do not make the mistake of purchasing Tiamat item Tiamat or Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra on NasusSquare Nasus as the items have almost no synergy on him whatsoever. Not only do enemies killed by the Cleave passive effect not count towards increasing the damage of Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, but neither the Cleave passive nor the Crescent active apply any of the bonus damage of Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, since the damage they do is based solely on attack damage and does not include on-hit effects. More importantly, the splash damage will cause minions to die faster, making it considerably harder to farm Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike effectively.
    • However, the passive and active do greatly help with his split-pushing abilities and also proc the life-steal both from the item itself and from Soul Eater Soul Eater, adding to his sustain in team-fights. All this makes it a relatively effective late-game choice in a more offensive build.
  • Because Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike's stack-based damage does not proc critical strike, this makes armor penetration the only option to increase the infinitely scaling bonus damage, making The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver a very good item for NasusSquare Nasus' late game for the armor shred, cooldown reduction, health, and AD.
  • Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart is an exceptional item on NasusSquare Nasus granting him a large amount of cooldown reduction and mana to use Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike more often as well as giving him a hefty amount of armor and an attack speed debuff aura.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet gives both the Spellblade passive from Sheen item Sheen and the stats of Glacial Shroud item Glacial Shroud. Whether buying it as replacements for Trinity Force item Trinity Force and Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart being a better option is debatable.
  • NasusSquare Nasus can also be used as an ability power champion, relying on items as Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil and Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter for damage and utility with his Spirit Fire Spirit Fire and Lich Bane item Lich Bane for increased damage with his Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike, while still building defensive items like Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart and Guardian Angel item Guardian Angel. This type of build is more focused on dealing damage to multiple enemies as both Spirit Fire Spirit Fire and Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands will deal more damage.
  • Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen is an excellent armor item as it makes NasusSquare Nasus more difficult to kite, which, despite Wither Wither, is still one of his few weaknesses late game.
  • When itemizing for defenses on NasusSquare Nasus, prioritize resistances over straight health, as this will make both your innate life-steal and the bonus health from Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands more effective. With that said, do not neglect to purchase health entirely, as when you have built some resistances, these will cause it to scale rather well.
  • Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory can be considered as it will allow NasusSquare Nasus to chase down the enemy and greatly increases his mobility, though it loses the sustain passive from Catalyst of Aeons item Catalyst of Aeons.
  • Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate, while a strong item on any tank or bruiser, is good for NasusSquare Nasus, allowing him to catch enemies out with the empowered attack's slow and increased mobility when not attacking in addition to its high defensive stats.
  • Spirit Visage item Spirit Visage is a great item for NasusSquare Nasus when fighting magic damage heavy opponents, with the increased healing benefiting his innate lifesteal.
Countering
  • Avoid going into a 1v1 battle against a late game NasusSquare Nasus. It's likely that he will have a lot of Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike stacks, and built lots of tank items. This combined with his passive, Wither Wither, and Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands, means that he will be very difficult to take down alone.
    • NasusSquare Nasus is not particularly strong in teamfights as Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands requires him to be in melee range to utilize its AoE damage and Spirit Fire Spirit Fire is not very strong by itself, and he lacks CC other than Wither Wither (which can only target a single enemy champion at once). Therefore, it is possible to ignore him and deal with the rest of his team.
    • Also, unlike some tanks, NasusSquare Nasus lacks damage reduction or defensive boosts other than the extra health from his ultimate, and the lifesteal from autos and Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike are not particularly effective against tanks without armor penetration. Bursting him down before he can utilize his high sustained damage can be viable if you can afford to.
  • NasusSquare Nasus' strength comes from his ability to farm Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike. Try to zone him or deny his chance of last-hitting minions. Pushing him to his tower and making him farm there doesn't help your cause, your just giving him a safe place to farm. Best is to freeze your lane right before your tower, that way if he wants to farm he will have to farm out in the open and be open for easy ganks. Its really hard to shut down a good NasusSquare Nasus
  • Champions with strong early game such as DariusSquare Darius, RenektonSquare Renekton, and PantheonSquare Pantheon can be very effective in denying NasusSquare Nasus his farm, but keep in mind that such champions usually fall-off, and once he does get stacks, he will be able to fight you.
    • You can also ask your jungler to camp NasusSquare Nasus to deny him or even kill him due to his lack of mobility.
    • Since at times, NasusSquare Nasus will inevitably farm and get to his late game, it may not always be a good idea to use an early game champion to try to deny him. An alternative strategy is to use a tank with reliable CC and waveclear such as Cho'GathSquare Cho'Gath, MaokaiSquare Maokai, Tahm KenchSquare Tahm Kench, or ZacSquare Zac. While they cannot deny farm as easily during the early game, they can outscale him in terms of teamfights - just stack massive amounts of armor, and use their CC to peel him off a carry during the late game. NasusSquare Nasus may attempt to counter this by splitpushing, though. That's where waveclear comes in handy: they can clear waves quickly and delay his splitpushing, buying your team time to force the rest of the enemy to fight.
  • Avoid using auto-attack reliant champions, as all of them are very vulnerable to Wither Wither. Also, one of NasusSquare Nasus' core items, Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart, further reduces attack speed, and has armor, making any auto-attack champion a very poor choice unless they manage to kill him early, snowball, and deny his farm. The only exception is Master YiSquare Master Yi, due to his immunity to attack speed slows.
  • Thornmail item Thornmail is a strange, yet effective option. This is because all the damage from Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike is reflected by its passive. Not only that, but Thornmail item Thornmail has high armor, mitigating the damage taken from the strike itself, as NasusSquare Nasus rarely purchases armor penetration items.
    • This item can be effective if your champion has a lot of sustain. For example, VladimirSquare Vladimir and champions who can buy lifesteal items, such as ZedSquare Zed, and the aforementioned Master YiSquare Master Yi (which can combine his build of crits and lifesteal, with a Last Whisper item Last Whisper and Thornmail, to be able to fight a late game Nasus)
  • Building Tenacity will reduce the duration of Wither Wither. However, remember that its maximum slow will be applied quicker than usual due to the shortened duration.
  • NasusSquare Nasus is susceptible to crowd control. Ranged champions should invest in a Frozen Mallet item Frozen Mallet or Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter to prevent him from getting into melee range.
  • Stacking health will only make Fury of the Sands Fury of the Sands stronger. Build armor and magic resistance as well.
  • As mentioned above, NasusSquare Nasus has insane 1v1 potential, but poor teamfighting potential. Because of this, most NasusSquare Nasus players will splitpush. Not only will they have a lot of free farm, but his Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike can quickly destroy towers, and his dueling potential makes it difficult for enemies to stop them alone, making him a constant threat from across the map. Most champions will loose a 1v1 vs NasusSquare Nasus and will require 2 sometimes 3 other champs, depending how fed he is, in order to kill him.
    • This can backfire against his team, however. Because NasusSquare Nasus will splitpush most of time, he will have to leave his team with one less member for teamfights. Therefore, he will have to make sure his teammates can win teamfights without his presence, or at least stall and avoid losing towers to the opposing team. Your team can take advantage of this: if you force teamfights against his team and take their towers, and/or splitpush a different lane. This will force NasusSquare Nasus to either stop splitpushing and go help his team (therefore losing farm for his stacks) or risk losing the game without his presence in teamfights.
  • NasusSquare Nasus does not have strong wave clear aside from Spirit Fire Spirit Fire, has no gap closers (Except Ghost), and is a melee champion. As such, top lane champions with long range poke such as JayceSquare Jayce, NidaleeSquare Nidalee, RyzeSquare Ryze, LuluSquare Lulu, VladimirSquare Vladimir, KayleSquare Kayle, LissandraSquare Lissandra, GnarSquare Gnar, and KennenSquare Kennen can constantly poke him early game and zone. In addition, many of these champions have either some sort of crowd control or escape mechanism to limit NasusSquare Nasus' mobility and make it difficult for Nasus to chase down enemies.
    • However, when playing a ranged top laner, it is important to note that most AP builds do not have any sustained damage (unless playing someone like VladimirSquare Vladimir) and NasusSquare Nasus' late game strength comes from large amount of sustained damage with a single Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike. As such, it is important to constantly poke to punish him getting close to a minion to farm and one should be cautious if s/he enters basic attack range as NasusSquare Nasus can punish you using Wither Wither. It is recommended to go for AD sustained damage builds to counteract his lategame damage.
    • TeemoSquare Teemo is considered to be a strong counter to NasusSquare Nasus. His Blinding Dart Blinding Dart mitigates Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike's damage and can also be used to constantly deny him farm and stacks. Wither Wither's movement speed slow can be partially mitigated by Move Quick Move Quick's movement speed buff. TeemoSquare Teemo has better early game damage with his Toxic Shot Toxic Shot and can slowly whittle down NasusSquare Nasus' health. Finally, should NasusSquare Nasus ever get close to TeemoSquare Teemo, TeemoSquare Teemo can respond by placing down a Noxious Trap Noxious Trap to further hamper his already limited mobility. If you are playing TeemoSquare Teemo to counter NasusSquare Nasus, it is suggested to start Blinding Dart Blinding Dart, as to constantly shut down Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike. Ensure you always poke him with auto attacks to make his laning phase as much of a hassle as possible. Watch his play style to predict when he is going for a Siphoning Strike Siphoning Strike stack. Also, try to make sure you keep a Blinding Dart Blinding Dart ready for cannon minions, as these provide 6 stacks instead of 3 Ensure you rush magic penetration items to counter the almost insured magic resist he will build.

References