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Guide to Nasus - Thinking around the (sand)box

Snowdrake January 17, 2011 User blog:Snowdrake

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Nasus The Curator of the Sands

Either you are curious or you maybe think that Nasus is one of the weaker champions... doesnt matter really. Nasus is a surprisingly good supporttank too many people underestimate him. Hell, I have had people queuedodging because I selected him.

I will admit that it took me a while to get this nailed down and be successful and decided to share some of my thoughts and strategies in hope that others wont make the same mistakes I did.


Masteries

Things you always should get:

  • Meditation mastery s2.png Meditation (Deprecated template: use Mi1 to Mi6.) for manaregeneration
  • Archaic Knowledge mastery s1.png Archaic Knowledge (Deprecated template: use Mi1 to Mi6.) to get the 15% magic penetration


Skillorder

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q x x x x x
W x x x x x
E x x x x x
R x x x


Highest priority is Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire because it will enable you to defend your lane easily. At level 3 and 4 you will start to decimate entire creepwaves with 1 well placed Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire, which allows you to keep your tower clear of minions. During this, it will be easy to hit 1 minion with a Siphoning Strike.png Siphoning Strike to charge up your attack slowly but steadily.

When you have enough items, you can start pushing minions towards the enemy tower via Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire. In my experience, enemies will try to keep outside of the area, no matter how poor the damage is - use that to your advantage. Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire will be used to cover your own minions while they start attacking the enemies tower. This will also prevent most enemy melee champions from lasthitting. If you can keep this up long enough, it is an utterly humiliating experience to be outlaned for 5 minutes until minions kill your tower and you cannot do a thing to stop it.

Wither.png Wither is your escape mechanism. It will be your best skill when hunting champions later and when the laning phase ends. This is the last skill you will max, because even at level 1 it is potent enough.

As for items I had amazing success with a almost pure aura build.


Core Items


Build order

  1. Mana Manipulator item.png Mana Manipulator
  2. Boots of Speed item.png Boots of Speed
  3. Emblem of Valor item.png Emblem of Valor
  4. Soul Shroud item.png Soul Shroud
    1. If you get pushed hard - Aegis of the Legion item.png Aegis of the Legion
    2. If you control the lane - Mercury's Treads item.png Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi item.png Ninja Tabi
  5. Get the other item you didnt buy in step 4
  6. Stark's Fervor item.png Stark's Fervor
  7. Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart
    1. If you survive easily - Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force
    2. If you get focused often - Force of Nature item.png Force of Nature

If you go with the Force of Nature item.png Force of Nature, your resists should be around 200+ Armor and 190+ Magic Resist, not too shabby.

Let us look at the aurabonus you provide...

Positive:
30 Health Regen per 5
12 Mana per 5 seconds
+12 Armor
+15 Magic Resist
+8 Attack Damage
20% Life Steal
20% Attack Speed
15% reduced cooldown

Debuff:
-20 Armor
-20% Attack Speed

Damn thats good. Team fights will have never been so one-sided after you finish all your items, trust me. I have managed to complete the whole set 2 times already and it is absolutly hilarious. Nasus does surprisingly well with this build because he only continues to get stronger as the game drags on and is not too fixed on certain items to be successful. He will be a reasonable off-tank, he will ensure that at least 1 enemy will not be able to flee and he will disable carries by gimping their damageoutput very nicely. All this will make Nasus a superior teamfighter. They dont really want to focus you, but because of the huge amount of buffs you provide, they cannot ignore you. You kill tanks, you nuke squishies, you disable DPS, you hunt nukers. Would you like some fries with that?

The mistake I before was relying on his Siphoning Strike.png Siphoning Strike too much. It is a nice skill and it hits pretty hard, but you really need no extra items to push it (except for a Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force maybe, which is awesomesauce). Other Nasusplayers who go for Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire harassment usually go AP, which is a complete waste in my opinion. At level 4 you start wiping creeps without extra AP and enemy champs will always flee from it. Your Fury of the Sands.png Fury of the Sands will hit very hard, but you will lack the survivability to stay close enough for my taste.

After you finish the Soul Shroud item.png Soul Shroud, you can basically nuke creepwaves all day long and defend your lane even against 2 enemies. This maybe THE most important part of the whole build. If you get this down (and it is damn easy to learn), this is what will help you win the game in the end. What you will do is stay back, run in, Spirit Fire.png Spirit Fire across all creeps, run away again. Repeat ad nauseam. Once you finish the Aegis of the Legion item.png Aegis of the Legion, your minions are also able to reasonably hurt enemies. Never underestimate their support.

The worst thing that can happen during this phase is if you solo a sidelane and you are facing 2 champions who can towerdive easily. You will survive this because of Wither.png Wither and the healthboost from Fury of the Sands.png Fury of the Sands. If you do it right, your tower will never have to shoot at enemy creeps for more than 1 or 2 seconds and they will be scared to engage you at the tower. When they believe they cannot engage you, you win. When 1 guy leaves the lane to gank, you start pushing immediately to force him back to your lane and start hugging the tower again.

Its a dirty tactic but hey, it will be YOUR dirty tactic.

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