[4.1b] Nunu & Willump Guide - Nunu in Lane - (WIP) comprehensive Nunu mid guide
Nunu in Lane - (WIP) comprehensive Nunu mid guide
- Unique and fun to play!
- Goes where they pleases
- Actually quite strong
- Tricky to get used too
- Weak build flexibility
- Sometimes confuses your teammates
Nunu & Willump Build
Best Build Guide for Nunu & Willump
Item Build Description
Additional information on the items
General build tips:
Despite the vast arsenal of self peel from Nunu, his kit means that he have to fully commit to deal enough damage to be a threat to enemy carrie, especially if they itemize against you. This goes both for ability usage and itemization, Nunu needs appropriate, high damage items, while landing enough abilities to one shot enemy carries then use the same utility provided by his abilities to get out of situations.
One of the issues I see people getting into AP Nunu do is building them like a bruiser, such as Rod of Ages into Riftmaker , while bruiser AP Nunu works in certain situations it’s limited by his fast, burst oriented ability combo with long downtime where lack of consistent follow up damages limits his effectiveness as the fight goes on. As a bursty AP melee champion, you should generally want to unload your damage and move away, wait till your cooldowns up then rinse and repeat with your next ability rotation. Overstaying your welcome in Chaotic teamfights is never a good idea especially when Nunu’s [nunu and willump:2] allows them to weave in and out of fight at their pleasure.
If situation demands it, such as when your team lacks a frontline and drafted a tank dependent comp, it could be a good idea to build full tank instead.
Game start - always go for Amplifying Tome
First item - [mana boots] provides early damage, pen, the crucial movement speed and mana regen that lane Nunu thrive on. Build Glorious Enchant when available as its a core enchantment for Nunu
First major item - commonly Infinity Orb , [rabadon’s deathcap] or [Banshee’s veil]
[infinity_orb] is an amazing early item on Nunu as it synnergises well with [mana_boots] to provide excellent early kill threats, the extra movement speed in its build path also speeds up Nunu’s roams and enhances their ability to hit their [Nunu_and_willump:2].
[Needlessly_large_rod] could be a good transitional items against CC based matchup, such as Lux or Morgana , where you’re flexible to finish [rabadon’s deathcap] for similar kill pressure in lane and in roam, or transition into an early [Banshee’s Veil] if they play their CC around you well and you had to focus on lane kills.
[rabadon’s deathcap] within the first 2 items grants Nunu a significant power spike, the extra ability power paired with [mana boots], Infinity Orb or other AP items makes his kit a lot less forgiving when targeting enemy carries, allowing one or two abilities to be dodged while still having enough damage to secure a takedown or a recall. In addition, early Dcap enhances Nunu’s utility by boosting [nunu and willump:1] heal and [nunu and willump:ult] self shield.
Cosmic Drive helps Nunu to weave in and out of fights with the CDR lowering their ability downtimes, it’s movement speed helps them to get away during or after a fight, and make map wide plays. It is a great third item unless if team comps call for something else.
Generally nunu rely on item spikes and their rapid burst allows them to delay building antiheal after 1 or 2 items, as the added damage and utility makes up for not having antiheal before so (unless if enemy has champs like Soraka and either of you roams a bit), but after having enough damage it would be a good idea to build a [oblivion_orb]
Quicksilver Enchant is a very situational defensive item, in situations such as facing CC champs such as thresh, that focuses on you, Quicksilver Enchant can get you out after you’ve unloaded your combo. However Glorious Enchant is far better even against opponents with CC as it’s the only way outside of [ghost] to land a charged [nunu and willump:2] that can’t be dodged by simply walking away.
Nunu & Willump Runes
Best Runes for Nunu & Willump
With runes you generally want to pick either Phase Rush or Electrocute , the former allows better disengage but is less forgiving in landing abilities, while the latter makes ability usages more forgiving.
Personally when starting up I’d recommend going with Electrocute as it gives Nunu better kill pressure.
Phase Rush is generally better as Nunu can be a lot safer and macro oriented with this rune, however care have to be given on when to proc this rune as proccing it early in their combo may hinder its usage in disengaging.
going Phase Rush gives away fair bit of early game lane takedown pressure for utility and escape, however generally it is just as good by forcing lane opponent out of lane and fighting for prio especially for Nunu’s roaming nature. Once Nunu gets [mana boots] and progressing towards the first item they’re able to look for takedowns even without Electrocute if they lands enough abilities.
Pathfinder is crucial on nunu, as it allows them to withdraw their lvl2 gank on contact and get back laning only missing a single minion, in addition, Pathfinder also helps Nunu make global plays in general and boosting [nunu and willump:2] travel speed and distance.
[sweet_tooth] helps boosting Nunu’s eco and resources when roaming, which they should do a lot.
[demolish] is a great rune on Nunu as [nunu and willump:passive] grants them rapid early game sieging speed, combined with [demolish] Nunu can generally secure 2 plates when they forces out a recall, and generally sneaking in a single plate before enemy jungler paths mid to cover. However in games where this is less likely to happen, with enemies that are sticky or with good wave clear, such as Ekko , grasp Yasuo , Yone , Nimbus Cloak grants Nunu great utility, able to stick onto enemies or get out of sticky situations.
I’d like to go for Bone Plating or Second Wind when I want to put my focus in winning the lane, or staying in it. Second Wind helps to withstand poke champs such as Orianna while Bone Plating is a game changer and allows you to actively trade onto melee matchups such as Pantheon or Fizz , in addition, it helps surviving burst damage when misplays are made against champs such as Lux and Yone
Learn how to maximize the champions potential
Lane trade / short range engage combo.
When trading in lane try to fully charge [nunu_and_willump:3] if possible.
When banking / looking for kills release [nunu_and_willump:3] early if needed to secure the root and proc [Phase_rush]
Long range engage / gank combo.
If [nunu_and_willump:2] is unlikely to hit, cancel early and try to find a root with [nunu_and_willump:3]. [nunu_and_willump:2] can be used to chase and gapclose to get into [nunu_and_willump:3] range, where the snowball itself doesn’t have to land.
Lane ult cheese combo
After lv5 a good play could be going all in your lane opponent with [nunu_and_willump:3] followed by [nunu_and_willump:ult] to trade for summs or looking for a takedown if you’ve baited their flash earlier, as enemies in this state does not have defensive enchants or full items, and nunu ult does fair bit of damage with [mana_boots] and item components.
Try to do this in a minion wave as clearing the wave with ult also allows you instant prio.
Object securing combo
use it when your team has control over objective, practice predicting damage loaded onto objective and charge up [nunu_and_willump:ult] preemptively, release it followed by [nunu_and_willump:1] to outdamage smites.
Be cautions of using it aggressively, as you’re very squishy.
If enemy can consistently interrupt your ult, try charge it later and chomp the objective with an insta cancel.
Nunu & Willump Matchups & Counters
Detailed information on how to play matchups and counters
Pantheon could be considered a counterpick by some however Nunu’s kit can be played to make his life much harder.
When laning, try to take passive trades when possible, charge up your [nunu_and_willump:3] before pantheon uses his Shield Vault , use the root to navigate around his Aegis Assault to unload your combo.
Try to save up your [nunu_and_willump:ult] for counter roams, charge it up of pantheon decided to Grand Starfall near you, or use it to peel when he engages.
Try to fight for lane prio and prevent him from roaming after 6, if he’s ahead your life will be much harder. For the same reason don’t try to make over risky plays such as risky dives, play safe, pressure on and you can outscale him.
Play safe, play around vision and build [banshee’s_veil] then you should be good.
Try shove lv1 as Veigar will struggle to contest the shove into an early roam, then try to find opportunities for solo takedowns in lane.
Play around vision in late game, with [glorious_enchant] proc’d your [nunu_and_willump:2] is almost a guaranteed hit, even If he stuns you with Event Horizon , this is especially the case later when he procs your [banshee’s_veil] with his [veigar:1] due to the cast animation.
In addition, [banshee’s_veil] helps you to survive his burst.
Try to charge up a [nunu_and_willump:ult] when he counters [nunu_and_willump:2] with [stasis_enchant]
Rush [banshee’s_veil] after [mana_boots].
shove early and look for roams, or carve your [nunu_and_willump:2] back into lane.
max [nunu_and_willump:2] first, when engaging on Morg, when you’re close with a rolling [nunu_and_willump:2] cancel the cast and sidestep to predict her Dark Binding , give it some practice it will work every time. Before [glorious_enchant] you may not hit your [nunu_and_willump:2] but you can always follow with [nunu_and_willump:3] for a engage if she misses her Dark Binding , once you have [glorious_enchant] it should hit unless she sees you early and throw an early Dark Binding . Do this even after [banshee’s_veil]
Use [nunu_and_willump:ult] against [stasis_enchant] or to survive Morgana’s combo.
Max [nunu_and_willump:1] and take [second_wind] for lane sustain, stay patient and don’t get poked out of lane, after 5 teemo is an early takedown for you.
Landing against kata is not difficult, the challenge is to outroam her and prevent her from popping off.
In lane, trade aggressively to punish when kata wastes her daggers on minions or when poking.
you can either counter Death Lotus with [nunu_and_willump:ult] or a close range [nunu_and_willump:2], you can hold your ult for the duration of her ult and release it just before kata finishes her channel, as shes unlikely to jump away before unloading majority of its damage.
don’t try to open with [nunu_and_willump:2] against kata, as she can just Shunpo onto you. For the same reason, before 5, use it to shove or gank only, and hold it for her ult after 5.
She technically outshoves you but still try to fight for prio and punish her when she uses her abilities to push waves.
Nunu is a soft counter to Ori.
bring [second_wind] and see how Ori plays, max [nunu_and_willump:1] if the poke gets too much, or max [nunu_and_willump:2] first as its a great ability vs Ori.
Ori will likely contest your push, roam if she doesn’t punish your shove, if she does and locks you in lane, try to curve a [nunu_and_willump:2] around the river for a trade after pushing. you can probe her ward position based on her reaction.
If she hard pressures you, use [nunu_and_willump:1] to stay in lane and farm till your power spike or ult then look for a takedown.
Try stay alive in lane and max [nunu_and_willump:1] first, don’t let Corki poke you too low because that’s when he gets the takedowns.
Be careful of going all in before LV5, corki can easily dodge your [nunu_and_willump:2] with Valkyrie and out trade you. Instead, look for all ins when you have ult and [glorious_enchant].
pay attention to his build, if Corki builds [trinity_force] you’ll need least 3 charged abilities for a takedown as he will be fairly a bit tankier. Instead if Corki goes for [tear_of_goddess] you can play a bit more aggressive after [mana_boots] and punish his ability usage. If he goes [trinity_force] into Hexdrinker try to avoid him unless you know you can unload a good ult before him slipping away.
if Corki shoves and roams, follow him up if you aren’t too late as he will likely be vulnerable during a gank. If you couldn’t clear fast enough then try to look for plates or resets instead of following up with a very late counter gank.
Don’t take unnecessary risks, if Corki does not snowball on you you can outscale and have a better overall impact than him.
hug your tower and wait Corki’s package out when he gets it as the package can render your combo useless, spam ping him if he’s likely roaming with package.
WIP - needs more games against skilled Irelia’s
Try to bait her into taking bad trades, trade passively if possible otherwise go for active trade, max [nunu_and_willump:1] first and you can outtrade Irelia with [phase_rush] regardless.
[nunu_and_willump:ult] is a great way to peel her off or even get a takedown when Irelia jumps on you.
WIP- needs more sample size
rush early [banshee’s_veil]
Play safe in lane, consider starting [nunu_and_willump:3] for last hits in the first wave. Do not try to fight for prio with your [nunu_and_willump:2] lv1 or you’ll not be able to touch the wave.
Get a pink ward in side lane brush for the laner that’s likely to push, as Akshan players could be tempted to go for a lv2 or lv3 roam If he decides to shove.
Max [nunu_and_willump:1] and play defense in lane, give up a few cs if needed, after mana boots consider looking for an all in with [nunu_and_willump:2], if it hits, follow up with [Nunu_and_willump:1] then back off with [nunu_and_willump:3], if Akshan dodges it back off with [nunu_and_willump:3], if he swings away then save it for next trade.
Look for a takedown at lv5, if you play defensive early Akshan not be expecting it, use [nunu_and_willump:3] root to hug him to deny Heroic Swing , into [nunu_and_willump:ult] and [nunu_and_willump:1] with flash, this is a trick that works wonders against unsuspecting Akshan players.
if Akshan plays roam and permashoves you, which is the suboptimal play, try to follow it up with a countergank or gank the other lane, you outroams him.
It’s a hard matchup for only 3 reasons: TF can consistently counter your roam with his [twisted_fate:ult] (unlike pantheon, his long range means he can ult somewhere hard to reach with your [nunu_and_willump:ult]; his high early auto damage with [Twisted_fate:3] denying you shoves, and the [rod_of_ages] build patch making him not worth the effort to jump on.
both AD and AP builds of TF are equally hard matchups but AD is a bit easier due to it being squishier allowing you takedown windows, and weak wave clears.
Try to go for an early [banshee’s_veil], punish him if he builds full damage with your [nunu_and_willump:2], if TF does not have [rapidfire_cannon] he will get snowballed if he stuns you with his gold card.
I personally always ban TF as he is far too hard to deal with as Nunu.
WIP - Needs more sample sizes
A good Yone will give you a hard time for he will outshove you and follow up your trade with Soul Unbound
(needs more games to figure out good strats.)
Your kit counters Asol in skirmishes, but he will always outshove you in lane, max [nunu_and_willump:2] if he allows you to land it on him otherwise max [nunu_and_willump:1] first.
Try to bait out his [aurelion_sol:2] and hard pressure him if he wastes it. If it hits you in his [aurelion_sol:2] range try close in and hug him using [nunu_and_willump:3], predict [aurelion_sol:1] to sidestep or back off from it, or, if you see opportunity when Asol is quite low, proc the root on your [nunu_and_willump:3] as [aurelion_sol:1] goes off then follow up with ult.
Go for an early [banshee’s_veil] to prevent your [nunu_and_willump:2] being insta cancelled, and to survive Asol’s burst.
A good Asol player will try to permashove you in lane and outroam you, you’ll be at a disadvantage due to Nunu’s rather weak waveclear. Try punish Asol when he uses [aurelion_sol:2] for waveclear, if he uses [aurelion_sol:1] on wave too, go all in.
You should try to follow up on his ganks if possible, Asol will need to use [aurelion_sol:1] and perhaps [aurelion_sol:ult] for ganks, leaving him very vulnerable, in addition the bonus speed on [nunu_and_willump:2] can help you catch him if you delay him in clearing waves.
Bring [demolish], if you can’t follow Asol’s shove and roam, don’t miss cs for it, try to look for plates if possible.
keep in mind of Asol’s builds, if he goes for a tanker approach such as [rod_of_ages] and [rylai’s_crystal_scepter] consider prioritizing other targets.
Nunu Vs Zoe is a game of cat and mouse.
Shove on Zoe early and try going for roams to build up an early lead.
Get an early [banshee’s_veil] to counter [zoe:3] and her burst damage (and allow you to take [zombie_wards] which is great into Zoe], after [mana_boots] and [banshee’s_veil] you can just be able to run Zoe down when you see her alone.
The most difficult bit in the matchup is, despite an assassin, AP Nunu is quite limited by terrain where Zoe will take advantage of, she will have better team fighting and a team to peel for her, therefore try to look for solo takedowns and building the lead up early.
In teamfights, try to stay out of vision and look for flanks from side, if Zoe overextends, you can also look to set up a takedown with flash [nunu_and_willump:3]
Grab [bone_plating] to counter her burst, try shove lv1 and go for an early roam, ward mid so you don’t get caught by [lux:1] when returning to lane (quite a few Lux goes to intercept you)
If you get caught in Light Binding after 5, [nunu_and_willump:ult] shield is a good way to not get combo’d.
[banshee’s_veil] is a good item vs Lux, it is the most optimal first major item to go for as it limits her burst and [lux:1] cc, however sometimes you can get away with [infinity_orb] if she doesn’t play her [lux:1] around you, or when you are able to get good roams.
if lux likes to throw random Light Binding ’s, try to play aggro, look for takedowns and punish her after she cast Light Binding with your [nunu_and_willump:3]. Otherwise try shove lane and not interact with her, go for roams if she allows you to fully shove.
with [glorious_enchant], when you roll a [nunu_and_willump:2] to engage on Lux and get close enough for [glorious_enchant] proc, cancel the cast and sidestep, most of the time the snowball will still hit while youre able to bait out a [lux:1]
What should Nunu mid do?
A good nunu mid player should play around 3 key strengths:
- Great early game potential with fast LV1 shove and super early ganks ([nunu and willump:2], Pathfinder )
- Amazing mobility with [nunu and willump:2] allows them to make cross map plays, be everywhere at once, and sneak in unexpected recalls as you can get back to lane much faster.
- Decent blind pick where Nunu are quite unexpected as midlaners, you’ll have situations where enemy mid counterpicks your support while enemy jungler counterpicks Nunu.
Plus Nunu mid is extremely fun to play and effective even when behind thanks to their utilities.
Generally early game of Nunu differs from different matchups:
- Midlaners who can’t contest your early shove (mages such as Veigar, Lux and most melee champs)
You’ll wanna start by pink warding your sidelanes brushes, the best spot is your tribrush. however you should always prioritize lanes that opponent is likely to push or play aggro (e.g. enemy Cait Senna bot or Fiora, Vayne, Draven top). (in some situations you may want to ward brushes near mid instead, if enemy is likely to intercept you)
With top lane, if enemy wards and clear your ward, gank from another angle if you were to do an early roam.
When minions almost hits the lane, start rolling a [nunu and willump:2] towards enemy caster minions, use creative angles such as from river lanes, for when enemy tries to bodyblock you or try to interrupt your snowball with CC abilities. If it connects, which is most of the time, you should one shot all caster minions, then slap the melee minions down. Immediately back out of vision and look for a roam based on lane states. (This is about what 80% of games I’ve played starts like)
If enemy intercepts your snowball, lane normally instead.
‘For LV2 ganks, do not try to force it, if enemy has vision or backs off, try to cancel your [Nunu and willump:2] before you leave river and walk back to lane, this way you’ll only miss 1 minion (or less). If you walk back after leaving river, you’ll miss 2 or 3 minions and likely be behind in XP, therefore it’s crucial to make sure there is a decent chance before commiting as sometimes it’s a point of no return.
Once back in lane try to push out the next 2 waves into a reset, then look for takedowns with [nunu and willump:2] or more shoves and roams.
In this scenario, your goal is to acquire prio and get your sidelaner/jungler ahead through roams and skirmishes.
- Midlaners that you can’t shove against (TF, Akshan, ADC midlaners)
Try play safe, taking [nunu and willump:3] lv1 for CS is a valid option, play the usual melee vs ranged matchup, feel free to give some cs so you won’t get too low. Look for all-in’s down the line.
In these situations, play as standard melee assassin vs ranged matchup, its a slightly disadvantage towards you as you’ll not have that early map impact Nunu usually excels at however you should have plenty of takedown pressure after 5.
Play around your jungler, objectives and your mobility.
Try to clear waves and use [nunu_and_willump:2] to create uneven fights around the map.
Look for isolated targets and predict when enemy Carrie’s are likely to take waves then build up a [nunu_and_willump:2] for takedowns, the dream scenario is use your mobility to make enemy carries paranoid whenever they show up on the map.
Your [Nunu_and_willump:2] now becomes one of the most flexible abilities as it can be used to shove waves, force takedowns, and secure objectives with little counterplay.
Charging up a [Nunu_and_willump:ult] on an objective followed by an instant [nunu_and_willump:1] should be able to outsmite any objective.
If there isn’t much happening on the map (which is quite rare) stay out of vision.
Try to use your mobility to push out sidelane where you can rejoin fights rapidly.
In teamfights, you want to flank with [Nunu_and_willump:2] through brush, onto side or back of enemy comp, try to combo if you can, or back off rinse and repeat.
If you see any isolated squishies on sidelanes, go straight toward them unless there are objectives or teamfights.
Try to control visions, and stay out of vision as much as possible to make your engages less predictable.
Gonna write some stuff about other subjects or my experience with Nunu but let’s get this guide online first ;)