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Nautilus Champion Spotlight

Nautilus Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Relic Shield item Health Potion item3 Warding Totem item
Early Targon's Brace item Boots of Speed item
Essential Remnant of the Aspect item Boots of Mobility item
Offensive Righteous Glory item Abyssal Mask item Sunfire Cape item
Defensive Dead Man's Plate item Locket of the Iron Solari item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Talisman item Health Potion item3 Warding Totem item
Early Stalker's Blade item Bami's Cinder item Boots of Speed item
Essential Stalker's Blade (Cinderhulk) item Frozen Heart item Boots of Mobility item
Offensive Righteous Glory item Abyssal Mask item Iceborn Gauntlet item
Defensive Dead Man's Plate item Locket of the Iron Solari item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Relic Shield item Doran's Shield item Health Potion item
Essential Face of the Mountain item Locket of the Iron Solari item Ninja Tabi item
Offensive Rod of Ages item Wit's End item Iceborn Gauntlet item
Defensive Dead Man's Plate item Frozen Heart item Spirit Visage item Banshee's Veil item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Hunter's Talisman item Health Potion item3
Essential Locket of the Iron Solari item Stalker's Blade (Cinderhulk) item Ninja Tabi item
Offensive Rod of Ages item Wit's End item Iceborn Gauntlet item
Defensive Dead Man's Plate item Frozen Heart item Spirit Visage item Banshee's Veil item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Howling Abyss
Starting Guardian's Horn item Boots of Speed item Refillable Potion item
Essential Dead Man's Plate item Locket of the Iron Solari item Ninja Tabi item
Offensive Sunfire Cape item Abyssal Mask item Righteous Glory item
Defensive Frozen Heart item Banshee's Veil item Thornmail item
Consumables Oracle's Extract item Corrupting Potion item Elixir of Iron item


Playing As NautilusSquare Nautilus
  • While ganking, consider aiming Dredge Line Dredge Line at nearby terrain and following it up with Riptide Riptide for a higher hit rate.
  • Riptide Riptide has a delayed blast timing on activation - you can use this while running away or when enemies are incoming to serve as a deterrent.
Playing Against NautilusSquare Nautilus
  • If Nautilus uses Riptide Riptide right next to you, hold in place until the ripple effect finishes before running. Running early will run straight into the secondary explosions, causing you to take additional damage and slow.
  • While Nautilus is Titan's Wrath shielded, he is capable of dealing large amounts of area of effect damage with his basic attacks - consider taking down the Titan's Wrath shield if you have time.


Ability Usage

Staggering Blow Staggering Blow
  • This passive works really well to counteract Nautilus' lack of AD, as it makes last hitting in lane very easy. All you have to do is just wait till minions are low and hit them once, proccing the passive. Remember, it has no cooldown between targets, so it is also good for peeling for your team and harrassing the enemy team. Keep in mind at early ranks the root is short-lived, though.
  • While jungling, this passive is key to clearing. Make sure you don't keep autoattacking the same monster: for example while killing Ancient KrugSquare krugs make sure you hit them all with the passive whenever they become eligible, as this maximizes your DPS and makes your (slowish) clear a lot faster.
  • It is also worth mentioning that you should use it directly after landing a Dredge Line Q, as it keeps them CC'd for longer.
  • One unique thing about Nautilus is that his autoattacks have a longer wind-up time than other champions, and as such it makes things like autoattack resets not as fast. A way to use this to your advantage is that many players like going in and out of autoattack range quickly whilst playing quick champions (YasuoSquare Yasuo, KassadinSquare Kassadin, etc.) only know how to do it for standard champ autoattacks. Nautilus' attacks actually seem to have a longer range on his passive, as the enemy can get a bit further away as you go into your (static) hook animation before they take damage, so the root applied from the passive can hit them at an unexpected time. This can help catch the enemy out of position. I have even done that to champions who already dashed over walls.
Dredge Line Dredge Line
  • This is his keystone ability. Works kind of like a BlitzcrankSquare Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab Rocket Grab except it cannot pull people over walls and terrain. Also, it pulls him to the target about half the distance of the hook, unless it's terrain, in which case it pulls him to the terrain. I am also pretty sure that the hitbox of the anchor is greater than blitz hook.
  • This ability should be used offensively as escaping with it is not very viable: you might as well just walk away. This is unless you are slowed, in which case a well placed Q on a tower or terrain can pull you to safety, but beware of the near-second delay that comes with doing so, as well as the cooldown you spend.
  • This hook is a very good engage as it closes the distance between you and the enemy team, allowing your team to follow up. Keep in mind it is not as good as BlitzcrankSquare Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab Rocket Grab in pulling people under tower, as the distance you actually drag the enemy is not very far. However, a skilled Nautilus will know how to aim his Q to pull the enemy into his tower, and root him there with Staggering Blow passive. This hook is also good for tower diving and escaping, and great for chasing as well.
  • Try not to hook enemy tanks unless you have to. Instead, use your Q to grab squishies so your team can kill them. Specifically, you want to peel assassins and marksmen off of your own squishies.
  • Keep in mind this ability does not go through minions, so make sure the enemy is not minion-blocking it before you aim.
Titan's Wrath Titan's Wrath
  • This gives both offense and defense together, by combining a shield with an on-hit effect that damages everyone around his target over time.
  • The damage is not very significant and only really helps in clearing early jungle or farming lanes, but since he has no percent health damage effects, it should be toggled whenever you want to maximize your DPS.
  • Simply use this ability as a shield that comes up in teamfights. It puts some pressure on the enemy team to focus you, which is a bad idea for them because you are a tank. However, if they don't take that shield down, you will deal more damage. It works kind of like SionSquare Sion's Soul Furnace Soul Furnace except his damage comes from exploding the shield.
  • This ability uses a fair amount of mana, so keep in mind that when jungling it might just be better to spam your Riptide E instead.
Riptide Riptide
  • His primary jungle clear and lane farm tool to complement his Staggering Blow passive. Deals damage to everyone around him in a shockwave that spreads out from an inner circle. Great for slowing and damaging enemies, with an emphasis on the slowing. This ability should be spammed in fights whenever possible.
  • This is a good tool to peel enemies, or to set them up for your Dredge Line Q or Staggering Blow passive. It also goes well with large AoE abilities such as ZiggsSquare Ziggs' Mega Inferno Bomb Mega Inferno Bomb or Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune's Bullet Time Bullet Time as it can easily slow the entire enemy team.
  • Starting with this ability in the jungle and lane is highly advisable as its low mana cost and ease of clear is unmatched by his other abilities.
  • Lastly, this ability is excellent when running away, as the slow it provides is significant enough to allow him to escape easily. On top of that it is hard to miss and its short cooldown makes it spammable easily.
Depth Charge Depth Charge
  • His ultimate ability: a point and click that sends a relatively slow-moving tracking missile at an enemy target, knocking everyone up that gets in the way before exploding and knocking up the target. Very good for engaging fights, as his main role is as a Tank icon Vanguard.
  • Ideally you want to knock as many people as possible up using this ultimate, so instead of aiming R at their frontline, use Dredge Line Q first and then R their backline, preferably a squishy carry. Keep in mind this ult's range is not that good but it does chase a target once it is activated, so its range can be potentially undefined. This means ulting an injured target that is running away means a higher chance of putting their entire team in hard CC.
  • This ult tracks so the enemy can't dodge it unless they use Zhonya's Hourglass item a stasis effect or become untargetable, so don't be afraid to cast this on evasive targets like YasuoSquare Yasuo or ZedSquare Zed as it will still hit them. One of the nicest things about him.
  • This ult's potential is wasted on a single target usually. Try to engage an entire teamfight with it rather than focusing a single target. However, if it means securing you the kill, a single-target ult can mean the difference between the enemy escaping and Nautilus getting the kill.
  • Don't feel like you have to always use his R to engage fights, as you have your Dredge Line Q that can do that. Rather, it can be better to wait for the enemy team to cluster during the fight before using R to disrupt them.
  • Depth Charge is great for disrupting channels if cast from short range, but usually you should try to use your Dredge Line Q for that.

Rune Usage

  • Aftershock rune Aftershock seems to be the primary meta choice for him, as it procs off his Staggering Blow passive, Dredge Line Q, and Depth Charge R.
    • This is good in lane if you are more passive and prefer to use your shockwave to hit the enemy a little every 20 seconds, and last longer in teamfights after you engage with your Dredge Line Q and Depth Charge R.
    • This rune is needed if he wishes to maximize tankiness, but I feel like its comparatively longer (to Grasp of the Undying rune Grasp of the Undying's) cooldown makes you much less of a threat in lane once it's on cooldown.
    • As a jungler this rune is key because of your ganking potential with it, and as a support it makes you more durable, as a support Nautilus is usually expected to go as tanky as possible.
  • Less popular than Aftershock rune Aftershock but still extremely viable, Grasp of the Undying rune Grasp of the Undying is a good choice for both laning and jungling as it really helps with his lack of sustained damage by giving him bonus damage every 4 seconds against champions.
    • Keep in mind that he's designed to autoattack, so this keystone will proc no matter how you play, jungle, top, or support. You just have to try to smack the enemy with an autoattack every now and again.
    • This can actually also help you secure kills and win trades because of how much it adds to your Staggering Blow passive + Titan's Wrath W + Riptide E burst.
    • And as a tank, maximum health always does come in handy.
  • Demolish rune Demolish is great in lane as his heavy lane pressure through his great clear and his Staggering Blow passive allow him to proc it on enemy towers again and again.
    • Make sure that when this is done, the enemy jungler is not coming to gank you, though. Sometimes the enemy jungler will camp you to make sure this doesn't happen.
  • Font of Life rune Font of Life is nice for late game because it lets your team heal by just attacking targets with your Staggering Blow passive, Dredge Line Q, Riptide E, or Depth Charge R.
  • Conditioning rune Conditioning is the best rune in its tier simply because it maximizes his tankiness, giving him an easier time to play his role as a late-game heavy tank.
  • Second Wind rune Second Wind is the best rune for Nautilus in its tier.
    • It is stronger than Revitalize rune Revitalize, given you can only proc that off your Titan's Wrath W shield.
    • Second Wind's heal is not really significant but given his health, armor, and MR, this actually accounts for a lot more effective health.
  • Legend- Tenacity rune Legend: Tenacity allows him to just be extremely obnoxious as a tank, because he will be borderline unstoppable if he also has Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads.
    • Any CC the enemy team tries to throw at you will be wasted, and you become an unpeelable peel machine. Beware as this does not help with knockups/backs/asides or suppressions.
  • Coup de Grace rune Coup de Grace is nice because it helps him finish off low targets, getting more powerful as the teamfight goes on through the stat bonus from kills or assists.
  • Triumph rune Triumph is really powerful, because when you teamfight and manage to Damage rating takedown an enemy champion, you will restore health, which cannot be restored via his standard toolset.
    • Given his nature as a frontline vanguard you're almost sure to get a lot of use from this.
  • Nullifying Orb rune Nullifying Orb can save your life in a teamfight or a bad AP matchup, however keep in mind that it scales off AP and AD and thus is a waste of potential on him, with other runes being superior to it.
  • If you are aggressive and love to catch enemies off guard with your hook, Manaflow Band rune Manaflow Band keeps you from having to worry about mana as much.
  • A more experienced player who is good at landing his ultimate can use The Ultimate Hat rune The Ultimate Hat to make the most out of it. This is particularly great on support.
  • If your build lacks that extra CDR, then Transcendence rune Transcendence or Cosmic Insight rune Cosmic Insight can be very useful, as maxing cooldown reduction is key to playing almost any tank.
  • Perfect Timing rune Perfect Timing and Magical Footwear rune Magical Footwear might be good for an economic support build, and their utility could come in handy in securing or escaping first blood. Use when the enemy team has an early comp.

Item Usage

  • He is usually built as a full tank.
  • In the jungle, this means starting either Skirmisher's Sabre item Skirmisher's Sabre or Stalker's Blade item Stalker's Blade with Juggernaut item Cinderhulk.
  • In lane, starting Sunfire Cape item Sunfire Cape is a good idea if your jungler is AP and your laner is AD, or your laner is mostly AD but does some magic damage, the bonus health is better than Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet plain armor.
  • If you want to be a little more aggressive early lane, then Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet is also a good start as it gives Spellblade that is more devastating together with your Staggering Blow passive, and it gives you more mana to farm/trade with. Do not start Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet if enemy jungler is AP, as you will probably be ganked and killed due to not being able to resist magic damage early.
  • If your laner is AP, then you should start Abyssal Mask item Abyssal Mask into Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads. Abyssal Mask item Abyssal Mask is nice because it gives health, CDR, mana, and MR as well as indirectly making you do more damage with your magic abilities due to its passive. It also keeps you healthier with the Eternity passive. Spirit Visage item Spirit Visage is not a good rush because it will leave you out of mana.
  • Rather, opt for Spirit Visage item Spirit Visage as a second or third item choice. It complements Abyssal Mask item Abyssal Mask nicely, as well as any other items like Zz'Rot Portal item Zz'Rot Portal or Warmog's Armor item Warmog's Armor that help regeneration.
  • Boots are usually either Ninja Tabi item Ninja Tabi for an AD-autoattack focused enemy team or Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads for an AP/CC focused enemy team.
  • Boots of Mobility item Boots of Mobility and Boots of Swiftness item Boots of Swiftness can be nice if he is being kited a lot, but this usually doesn't happen as his kit is very difficult to kite. These boots might be good for newer players.
  • As a support, Face of the Mountain item Face of the Mountain is a key item, but Eye of the Equinox item Eye of the Equinox is a good choice as well, just depends on if you need vision more or the shield. Then, build Sunfire Cape item Sunfire Cape and full tank.
  • Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate is a great item on him as it lets you chase down your enemies and provide that root from your Staggering Blow passive easier without even having to use Dredge Line Q sometimes.
    • It is also amazing for escaping as it gives potentially 60 free movement speed, and unless the enemy team has 4 or more AP then Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate is a must-have.
  • Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory can kind of fill the niche in his build that Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate could, in that it helps chase down and lock on to the enemy.
    • However it must be noted that Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory makes you less tanky and more mobile circumstantially, and allows more aggressive plays with the shockwave.
    • It goes really well with Aftershock rune Aftershock.
    • Also worth mentioning that while it does usually do the same role as Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate, the two items can actually be used together for amazing synergy. Consider building both if you can.
  • Zz'Rot Portal item Zz'Rot Portal is a great item on top lane Nautilus, helping you secure towers earlier.
    • It can also be useful for a split-push build as it makes you tankier and more mobile with the ability to auto-split push. Careful building this with Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet together because you will not have much maximum health left.
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate item Gargoyle Stoneplate basically feels as if it were made for him because it directly helps him do his job as a vanguard who dives into the middle of a teamfight by doubling his effective health.
    • The -50% damage from the active does not faze him as he mostly deals a lot of CC and low damage anyway. Keep in mind, however, to maximize this item's potential, it is good to get make every other item give you health also, as this health is doubled upon using the Gargoyle Stoneplate item Gargoyle Stoneplate's active.
  • Offensively, Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra is a good choice. While he only has AP scaling, he also does damage through autoattacks, and this is where the Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra comes in.
    • As a full tank, his health will be high, and thus translate into high cleave damage for the hydra, coupling into a powerful active that can create a lot of lane pressure and pretty good sustained damage as well as the utility of kill securing.
    • If you are ahead, this item is very good for carrying, particularly if you already have another tank on the team.
    • As a jungler, the Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra is very good for clearing, as his clear is generally slow.
    • However, keep in mind that the Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra gives no bonus resistances, so if you are trying to maximize tankiness (like an Aftershock rune Aftershock support build) then it is better to skip this item.
    • It is better in lane with Grasp of the Undying rune Grasp of the Undying.
  • Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment is a great offensive item for him no matter what position he is in.
    • He has pretty good AP scaling on each of his abilities, but the best thing about Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment is that it deals percent current health damage, so there is really no need to even have scaling at that point.
    • His abilities tend to affect everything around him, which will proc Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment on everyone around him.
    • Keep in mind that using Riptide E also slows them, so the burn damage is doubled to targets who are hit by Riptide E.
    • This comes without sacrificing too much tankiness as Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment still gives him a decent amount of health, though this does come at the price of less resistances.
  • A Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment, Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra, or Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet go well with Titan's Wrath Titan's Wrath, as it makes your autoattacks/effects actually deal some damage without sacrificing too much tankiness.
  • Rod of Ages item Rod of Ages can be really good in lane if he gets ahead early.
    • It gives a heavy amount of AP that actually makes him deal good damage, adding on AP, mana, and health as time goes by to keep him ahead.
    • The Eternity passive also helps keep him alive in lane.
    • However, as the two previously mentioned items, Rod of Ages item Rod of Ages does not give resistances so for a full-tank build it can be undesirable. This is best done when your team has a full tank already.
    • That being said, Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment is better than Rod of Ages item Rod of Ages simply because Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment can burn all enemy champions for percent current health with his Riptide E, which does more than the 20 AP difference between the two items accounts for.
  • Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart is great for countering enemy carries, by slowing their attack speed.
    • It makes him really tanky in lane and able to spam his abilities constantly thanks to the bonus mana. As a support this item is great if the enemy ADC is fed.
    • This makes you comparatively weaker to magic damage, though.
  • Thornmail item Thornmail is a great situational item if the enemy has a lot of healing from autoattacks and/or AD in general, though the stats aren't as great when weighed against Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart.
    • Thornmail item Thornmail has a near-negligible amount of health bonus, and it is weak against magic damage as well.
  • Adaptive Helm item Adaptive Helm is a great choice when facing an enemy with spammy abilities such as TeemoSquare Teemo or KayleSquare Kayle, as it greatly reduces the amount of damage they can do to you.
  • If your team needs more peel, then a Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen is a great niche item that can combine really well with Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory to keep the enemy oppressed.
  • As a support, Knight's Vow item Knight's Vow is a nice situational item to help out your carry, but it does have inferior stats to other tank items and leaves you squishier if your carry dies.


  • Nautilus barely does any damage. Plain and simple. Most bruisers and marksmen can beat him in a 1v1 if they catch him out. This is true for late game and early game alike, though late game Nautilus will be a lot tankier and might bait you into a trap.
  • When he's beneath his tower, diving him is generally not a good idea unless you are prepared to take several turret hits, as he can lock you under tower for a while with his abilities.
  • Keep in mind that he can hook you out of range of your own tower, and keep you where he wants. Make sure you ward against his jungler, as a lane Nautilus is likely to try this against a squishier laner.
  • Nautilus is a CC tank: his defense is mostly in his CC (as opposed to AlistarSquare Alistar, for example, who has a powerful flat damage reduction on his Unbreakable Will ultimate). Have your tanks intercept his CC and keep him from peeling your squishies. In turn, dial up the heat on him and he won't last as long as many other tanks due to his only real "tanky" ability being his Titan's Wrath W shield, which is not all that powerful.
  • Escaping is also not something he's good at. His Dredge Line Q escape looks cool but has little range and is almost as slow as walking there, especially with the second delay for which he stands there throwing the anchor. Keep in mind, however, that he can do this while slowed, and can ult you to escape with his Dredge Line Q. After doing this, he will have no mobility left and be vulnerable.
  • Nautilus is a mana hog early: run him out of mana and force him to back quickly.
  • His hook can be countered by keeping minions between him and you, and his other abilities can be evaded by staying away from him. He is not fast, and he is not good at chasing early.
  • Once you engage on a Nautilus, it is very difficult to escape afterwards.
  • Effects such as ShenSquare Shen's Spirit's Refuge Spirit's Refuge that block auto-attacks (TeemoSquare Teemo's Blinding Dart blind also) prevent Nautilus from applying his Staggering Blow passive and thus his root.
  • Be careful if you are a squishy burst mage: your burst will not be able to burn him down all the way usually, and after you engage him, he will lock you down and either kill you with his sustained damage or wait for his team to finish you off.