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Nidalee/Strategy

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< Nidalee

Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Skill usage

  •  Nidalee is a great scout. Putting  Bushwhack in as many places as possible can warn your team and you about gank attempts or lonely targets in the jungle.  Bushwhack is ignored by enemy turrets, but cannot be teleported to.
  • With some mana regen masteries/runes/item,  Nidalee can set some  Bushwacks before creeps spawn. Ask junglers where they are starting and trap the surrounding area; With only utility masteries & Doran's Ring at Level 1, you can regenerate the mana for  Bushwhack by the time it comes off cooldown.  Nidalee can also set up  Bushwhacks in the enemies' jungle if they have a jungler. The best places to set up  Bushwhacks in the enemy jungle is in the intersection where they must pass to kill the neutral creeps.
  •  Aspect of the Cougar abilities cost no mana, so it is effective to use to push or jungle.  Pounce can also be used to jump over the jungle walls and escape. Since  Pounce costs no mana, it can be endlessly cast which makes it a good chasing and escaping ability.
  • Switching to  Aspect of the Cougar and farming creeps can be much more effective in earning gold rather than using normal form to last hit.
  • With good harassing abilities, good farming abilities, good escape abilities, and the staying power of self-heals with  Primal Surge,  Nidalee is an excellent solo laner and is a good choice to hold the 1v2 top lane if your team has a jungler (although she does depend on her ult to maximize her farming and escaping capacities, and has more problems with such factors before level 6).
  •  Javelin Toss is useful for champion harassing, and the  Aspect of the Cougar can help you chase fleeing enemies.
  • If laning top or bottom,  Nidalee can use  Javelin Toss or  Bushwhack to check the bushes for enemy champions.
  • Nidalee can setup devastating combos on bruisers and other high resistance champions using Rylai's Crystal Scepter and  Bushwhack to land a perfect  Javelin Toss setup resulting in the target losing 40% of their resistance and becoming very vulnerable to all Nidalee's damaging abilities. Having Blessing of the Lizard Elder increases the effectiveness and ease of landing  Javelin Toss and keeping your target in place for landing  Bushwhack.
  •  Nidalee is very good at escaping from enemies in the jungle due to her passive  Prowl combined with  Pounce and Flash.
  • Additionally,  Nidalee can be a great juker when being chased: entering a bush, then  Pouncing back the way you came. Most of the time, the chaser will go through the bush while you escape and gain more time.
  •  Primal Surge can help bring towers down with the attack speed buff; always use it on allied champions with the highest attack damage.
  •  Nidalee is a great harasser with  Javelin Toss and  Bushwhack. Take this to your advantage to dominate your lane from the start allowing easy farming and enemies to be underfarmed.

Build usage

  • Guinsoo's Rageblade works quite well with  Nidalee, since switching to and from  Aspect of the Cougar not only costs no mana, its cooldown is also shorter than the duration of the Guinsoo's Rageblade's stacks, so she can continually switch to and from  Aspect of the Cougar to maintain its maximum 8 stacks. Alternatively, you can repeatedly use  Pounce when moving outside of combat as it also cools down faster than Guinsoo's Rageblade.
  • Sheen and its derivative items Lich Bane and Trinity Force are exceptionally powerful combined with the fast cooling abilities of  Nidalee's  Aspect of the Cougar, especially  Takedown.
  • Consider buying a Mejai's Soulstealer because  Nidalee has great escape abilities and can maintain her stacks easily, compared to other champions.
  •  Nidalee can boost her heals on herself by buying a Spirit Visage ,also giving her some needed cooldown reduction.
  • If against a champion that focuses on attack speed such as  Fiora,  Jax or  Xin Zhao, consider purchasing an early Frozen Heart.  Nidalee can benefit greatly from the 20% cooldown reduction and has high base damage abilities while in  Cougar form to make up for missing damage.
  • Rod of Ages is a good item for  Nidalee, because it gives a good amount of mana and ability power, along with some health that can be very useful as her cougar abilities requires her to be in melee range. However, it can put you significantly behind if you are already having trouble and can't complete it early enough because of the time it takes to fully stacks. If you are not sure to be able to complete it in time, consider buying the Blasting Wand first instead of the Catalyst the Protector; you will be able to turn it into something else if you can't finish the Rod of Ages soon after.
    • Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be an alternative, and you don't need to wait for it to stack; however, it gives less total health, no mana, and will only apply it's passive to it's full effectiveness on  Javelin Toss and  Takedown, while also being slighlty more expensive.
  • Nashor's Tooth's passive works very well with the attack speed steroid from  Primal Surge. However, it requires you to be in attack range, and is therefore not recommended in a glass cannon build.
  • If you are looking for cooldown reduction, the Morellonomicon is a rather cheap item, that comes with a good amount of mana regeneration and ability power, and it's passive will often triggers on  Javelin Toss because of it's high damage, preventing enemies from simply healing the damage, further increasing the effectiveness of  Nidalee's poke; therefore, it is a very good item on her. You can also build the Athene's Unholy Grail, which is more expensive and has less ability power, but that comes with two passive that will allow you to almost never run out of mana.
  •  Nidalee's  Aspect of the Cougar gives her 20 bonus movement speed, taking her at 355 movement speed without other bonus. That means that, if your lane opponent does not require you to dodge a lot, you can afford to delay the purchase of your boots to purchase other items sooner and therefore get an advantage on your opponent.
    • This also means that, in a late game scenario, with movement speed masteries and/or items granting bonus movement speed such as the Lich Bane,  Nidalee can eventually sell her boots to free an item slot for a more powerful item while maintaining a good mobility.
  • When it comes to boots, Sorcerer's Shoes are often the most appealing choice, since  Nidalee greatly benefits from magic penetration. However, you can also consider taking Mercury's Treads; as she is very susceptible to controls, the tenacity could save your life. Also, if you are facing another mage, the extra magic resistance will prove useful.
  •  Pounce's low cooldown and lack of mana cost makes it one of the best abilities in the game to gain stacks on a Tear of the Goddess and it's evolutions.
  •  Javelin Toss will trigger Muramana's bonus damage if the toggle is on. It is, however, physical damage, so it's mainly interesting for AD  Nidalee. When playing AP, Seraph's Embrace will often prove to be a better choice because of the great amount of ability power (without any other mana items, Nidalee will have 2030 mana at level 18, which will give her 60 ability power with the passive, and 60 more with the base stat of the item, for a total of 120 ability power) and the life-saving active shield.
  • Zhonya's Hourglass can save your life with it's active if an enemy dive into your team to get you, while also giving a great amount of ability power and armor. It also builds off of Seeker's Armguard, which will prove very useful when facing an AD champion in lane.

*NOTE* as of 3.9, switching form will no longer count as a spell (in terms of items, ie tear), although the other cougar abilities will.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
recommended items
Starting Doran's Ring item Health Potion item2
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Tear of the Goddess item Morellonomicon item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Archangel's Staff item Void Staff item Lich Bane item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Zhonya's Hourglass item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item
The Howling Abyss
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Tear of the Goddess item Health Potion item3 Mana Potion item3
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Archangel's Staff item Rod of Ages item
Offensive Void Staff item Archangel's Staff item Lich Bane item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Zhonya's Hourglass item Athene's Unholy Grail item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Crystal Scar
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Prospector's Ring item Health Potion item2
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Tear of the Goddess item Wooglet's Witchcap item
Offensive Archangel's Staff item Void Staff item Lich Bane item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Athene's Unholy Grail item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Ring item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Tear of the Goddess item Wooglet's Witchcap item
Offensive Archangel's Staff item Void Staff item Lich Bane item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Athene's Unholy Grail item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item

Countering

  •  Nidalee relies on being able to heal constantly so that she can return to fights or escape. Using Ignite on her is an effective way to keep her from returning to a fight or killing her if she tries to run.
  •  Nidalee is very susceptible to hard CC and does not have any of her own. Crowd controling her as soon as she comes into range of your team can get her killed very quickly. Due to her synergy with Guinsoo's Rageblade, hard CCs can also greatly lower her effectiveness.
  • If you are chasing  Nidalee and you are both at low health, it is highly advised not to follow her into brush. This may give her a perfect opportunity to use  Takedown, as it does more damage to lower health targets.
  • If you are having trouble dodging  Nidalee's  Javelin Toss or need to take a hit for a teammate, always remember that it does more damage based on the distance between the target hit and where she tossed it from. If you close that distance, it will do less damage.
    • Because of this, melee champions with gap closers such as  Fizz,  Wukong,  Pantheon,  Akali,  Diana, and  Talon are effective champions on dealing with her.
    • Alternatively building a  Banshee's Veil provides excellent assistance by negating the skillshot entirely.
    • Also remember that the spear doesn't start gaining damage until it goes past  Nidalee's attack range, i.e 525 units.
  •  Javelin Toss can be easily dodged by side stepping or standing behind minions.
  •  Nidalee has great mobility and is good at baiting team fights in her team's favor by pulling bold enemies into bad positions. If you see a  Nidalee leading you or your team through the jungle or any other tightly spaced areas, don't follow her unless you have good knowledge of the area via wards or some other form of map awareness. It also leaves yourself open to a powerful  Javelin Toss that could kill you.
  • If against a  Nidalee top lane, consider starting Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions as it will help minimize the early harass damage from her auto attacks.
  •  Nidalee is one of the few champions in League of Legends that can be effective with both ability power and attack damage. Make sure you notice which she is prioritizing so you can counter accordingly.
  • If you step on one of  Nidalee's trap, be very careful. Due to the important shred, any attack will do significantly more damage, even if you're a tank. Also keep in mind that it grants  Nidalee's team true sight, meaning that if you step on one of your ward, they will see it.
    • Traps are visible. This means that  Nidalee will mostly try to hide them in bushes. Be careful when entering one.
    • If  Nidalee places a trap under your feet, move away. They take a slight time to arm, enough to allow you to dodge it.
  • Before she gets to level 6 and gain her ultimate, Nidalee has poor pushing power and is bad at farming under tower. Pushing the lane will make her lose farm and allow you to roam if you're fast enough. Be careful for her jungler though.
    • Since  Nidalee has no form of crowd control and her main source of damage before level 6 can be stopped by minions, she is hard to gank for. Take advantage of that, especially if the enemy jungler himself doesn't have lot of crowd control.
    • Still before her level 6,  Nidalee doesn't have any escape aside from Flash, so a gank from your jungler is very likely to be successful if she overextends.
  • Once she gets her ultimate,  Nidalee becomes a very good roamer and splitpusher. Always be aware of her position and tell your team if she is missing.
  • When she reaches level 6,  Nidalee gets a big spike in power due to having access to three more abilities. Be very careful if you are low life, as she can quickly gap-close on you using  Pounce and Flash followed by a  Swipe and  Takedown combo that will most likely kill you, especially if she also has Ignite.
    • You could, however, take advantage of that, as often  Nidalee is aware of that power spike and will try to go for the kill.

Champion Spotlight

Nidalee Champion Spotlight(06:54)
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