[2.3] In-Depth Nasus Guide
In-Depth Nasus Guide
- Nasus is very beefy while providing insane damage at the same time
- Nasus teaches you very well how to control a wave properly
- Nasus is very good at Split-Pushing
- It's nearly impossible to deal with a fed Nasus
- Nasus is a strong frontliner, but can also threaten enemy carries
- Big Dog = Good Dog
- Nasus is not a champion if you fall behind
- Nasus has the absolutely worst early game of all champions
- Nasus can be kited easily and has a hard time chasing down mobile opponents
Best Build Guide for Nasus
Item Build Description
Additional information on the items
Nasus is a champion whose power comes from his Siphoning Strike and not so much from itemization. Therefore his itemization turns out pretty defensively with Trinity Force being the only "real" offensive item.
Trinity Force is in general a very good option for melee champions and Nasus benefits a lot from the battlestats and the defensive stats. This should be your first pickup and its spellblade passive is really useful on Nasus as you deal bonus damage with every Siphoning Strike cast.
Sterak's Gage is usually the next item to pick up, if you prefer a rather aggressive playstyle where you bully your opponents laner in order to farm and become the bulldozer that you're meant to be. You get +50% base AD as bonus damage as well as a shield from the Lifeline passive. Hands down, the biggest benefit of this item is its Sterak's Fury passive which makes you bigger, and this is everything Nasus players want.
are the only viable boots to go.
are a good pickup against heavy CC comps or if the enemy team has strong AP threats. If the enemy team is a mostly AD based comp
Glorious Enchant is the go-to boots upgrade. Nasus is a very immobile champ without any gap closers and you are kited easily. With Glorious Enchant you just run the enemy team down if they are very mobile.
At some point you will want to pick up a Spirit Visage and a Thornmail to get tankiness and deal with AP and AD threats. Whatever is the bigger threat go either Spirit Visage first against AP threats and Thornmail against AD threats. You can consider grabbing an early Bramble Vest if your are against a lane with lots of sustain e.g. Fiora , Dr. Mundo or ranged AD poke like Vayne .
As last option consider getting a Guardian Angel . Late game Nasus is pretty useless unless he is super fed, and a couple more of defensive stats as well as the Ressurection passive are a really good option. You'll at least be useful in teamfights by facetanking everything for your team.
Best Runes for Nasus
This runeset offers a lot of things that Nasus wants to have. It makes you tanky with Grasp of the Undying , lets you scale well with Gathering Storm , lets you survive well in lane and is useful in sidelaning later with [Regeneration] and helps with cooldown reduction on Hunter Genius .
How to distribute skill points
When to take which summoners
Learn how to maximize the champions potential
Basic Combo for trading:
Once you are decently stacked you can trade with this combo. Start off with a Wither when you are slightly out of range of your opponent. You will be just be able to walk in, get an auto attack and a Siphoning Strike , as well as another auto attack off and walk out.
Siphoning Strike is an animation cancel. This means that you will cancel out the animation of your auto attack if you immediately use Siphoning Strike after it. This is crucial for maximizing DPS. Try to always get an auto attack off, before using your empowered auto.
Use this combo while 1v5ing or simply to assert dominance. Start by using Fury Of The Sands and Wither someone, followed by Spirit Fire to reduce armor. Then simply bonk your opponent(s) to death.
Nasus Matchups & Counters
Detailed information on how to play matchups and counters
Teemo is a pretty easy matchup. Don't be intimidated by his range advantage. Don't fight him until level 5 and try to not let him proc Electrocute.
You usually want to play this lane very passive in the beginning as he destroys you. Try to set up a freeze under your tower and even consider passing on on EXP and gold if the wave is not yet where you want it to be (near your tower). Teemo will destroy you when you try to farm early and yes, it's tempting to greed for Siphoning Strike stacks, but if played right you'll soon bully him easy enough and be able to farm up well.
Also don't use Spirit Fire on the wave even if the wave seems to overwhelm you as it will break your freeze early and you don't get a lot of farm out of it.
Once you have finished your
and you have your
Fury Of The Sands
Teemo is an easy matchup. If the lane went even,
won't have the damage to kill you, and he just disappears from 3
Before you fight him it's necessary to bait out Blinding Dart and whenever he uses Move Quick offensively punish him with Wither and all-in him. He should stand no chance especially if you have Fury Of The Sands up.
Just be wary of his Noxious Trap . If you step into a shroom he will kite you easily and you die. Consider picking up Mercury's Treads .
is not a particularly hard matchup but it's very annoying and hard to get leads on her. She is very mobile with her
and shuts down any all-in attempts with
has no gap-closer.
The strategy here is similar as for all ranged matchups. It's vital to freeze your lane under the tower and always stay healthy enough to not get killed by her poke. Nasus can keep up his freeze for a very long time as Vayne has abysmal waveclear and cannot let the wave crash.
An early Bramble Vest can be a decent pickup if she is giving you trouble in lane. Once you have your Glorious Enchant you can start to make some plays on her. You can play more aggressively and Vayne will usually try to use Condemn on you, once you try to fight her. That's Nasus ' time to shine. Use the Glorious Enchant active and run her down. If she tries to disengage, Flash on her and your job here is done.
Once you are super ahead you can keep running her down but be careful as she scales very well and Silver Bolts melts you late game. There's no reason to let your guard down even if you are ahead. Play smart around Nasus ' cooldowns and you win.
A bad Malphite is basically a free game, a good one will make your life a living hell. As always, set up a freeze under your tower. If Malphite harasses you with Seismic Shard a lot, you win the lane as he will run quickly out of mana and you can farm for free, up to the point where you just facetank a Unstoppable Force and then make quick work of him.
If Malphite plays the lane smart he will be able to zone you off of minions and he will win all-ins after Level 5 if Nasus is not significantly ahead.
Malphite cannot fight you after he threw his full-combo at you and you should use that to your advantage. If you have a good amount of health after he uses Unstoppable Force or you can predict it and use Fury Of The Sands quickly before he does, Nasus will just win every time.
A good Darius can destroy Nasus in lane if you make any mistakes and will just bully the living hell out of Nasus . Nasus however has superior scaling and might be able to recover, even if he loses lane. Even if Nasus is ahead against Darius , Nasus has to be careful in lane, as a fully stacked Hemorrhage will even kill him from behind.
wins extended trades and if he ever procs
you are done. Don't take any extended trades with him and try to hit him with [Nasus:1 a couple of times in between, in lane and keep track that you don't let him trade for free as he will be able to run you down.
Freezing your lane under your tower is your main priority in lane as it will render Darius mostly useless. Try to space to him as close as possible, so that you can walk out of his Decimate range if necessary. If he does not have Decimate you have a window to trade. Even if he uses his Apprehend on you. If you are stacked up decently, you can try to all in him once he used Apprehend . Use Fury Of The Sands and Wither immediately and stat-check him until he bites the dust. This will not work if he is ahead. If this is the case, just keep freezing the wave and don't fight him. You will eventually outscale Darius and he will no longer be a problem.
Laning against a good
is nearly impossible. Although you outscale him hard, you have to make sure you don't fall behind too hard in lane. Kennen has really good disengage and engage and he can choose whenever if wants or doesn't want to fight you and there is not much you can do about it.
As with all ranged matchups try to freeze the wave under your tower and if Kennen gives you a lot of trouble consider maxing Spirit Fire . Don't try to trade into him unless he uses Lightning Rush offensively, and even then be careful to not get hit by his Mark Of The Storm .
The only thing Nasus can hope for in this matchup is some jungle help. Consider forfeiting resources early to let you stack up, as you will absolutely destroy him in mid to late game if you don't fall too behind.
is one of the hardest Nasus matchups in Wild Rift and there is little counterplay.
has sustain with his
, he doesn't use mana and he clears waves insanely fast and safe with
meaning he can just let the waves crash when you are trying to freeze against him and he just kills you under tower.
In most matchups your priority should be to not die and come out even of the matchup. Most of the times Garen will take your turret which gives you an opportunity to farm safely at your Tier-2 turret.
You can Wither most of his attempts of all-inning you, so just go with the flow of the game. You can outplay bad Garen s players, but you should be really careful in this matchups and give up resources if necessary in order to survive and farm up.
can be a quite interesting matchup because whoever gets the first kill in this matchup usually dictates the pace of the lane super hard.
An early Executioner's Calling will help you win the lane, if you play the lane well, because Nasus has to sacrifice a lot of defensive stats for it. In raw power Dr. Mundo wins against you early game so it's best to just freeze the wave against him, as his waveclear is not super hot.
Make sure to stand behind minions so his Infected Cleaver does not hit you. If it does and you are unlucky he will just be able to run Nasus down. Make sure to not play too passively against him and don't let him trade for free. With your Fury Of The Sands up and either Executioner's Calling or Ignite up, you win fights pretty comfortably.
Nasus is considered a pretty underwhelming or mediocre champion in Wild Rift. He does not provide much utility for his team, his early game is bad and if Nasus falls behind he is just an oversized punching ball for the enemy team. He is kited easily and does not have a lot of favored matchups. Game knowledge usually beats him, which makes it hard to play in higher elos and if he does not get to farm he might as well guard the shopkeeper.
So from reading all that you might think it's best to stay away from this Champion and never pick him, right? Wrong! Nasus is an incredibly fun and easy to pick up champion that can put an entire team of four shopkeeper-guardians on his back if given the right conditions and if played smart.
Nasus scales incredibly well and if you get to farm, you will be this unkillable raidboss, that your wet dreams are made of. If Nasus is ahead he becomes incredibly tanky and can soak up critical abilities in teamfights easily, making it a breeze for your team to clean up and win the fight. A fed Nasus is also nearly impossible to sidelane against even in 1v2 situations and can just split-push his team to Victory.
Nasus is a champion that revolves around laning smart and hitting like a truck with the beginning of mid-game. The mechanic that allows him to accomplish that lies within his first ability Siphoning Strike . Whenever Nasus kills a target with it he gains stacks. He deals 25/50/75/100 + <AMOUNT OF STACKS> physical damage with it and it stacks infinitely. Therefore managing waves with Nasus is of uttermost importance. Your playstyle will revolve around farming up in the most efficient way, while trying to get useful leads for your team or help in teamfights. Nasus hits like a truck once you have generated over 200 stacks and will absolutely demolish any squishies if he gets to hit them.
The amount of stacks you get per kill can be either either 4 for normal minions, normal monsters (small krugs, chickens, small wolves), or 8 for champions, cannon minions, large monsters (dragon, baron, krug, large wolf, gromp, raptor), cannon minions and superminions. If possible try to execute your opponents with Siphoning Strike for the juicy stacks.
is pretty tanky and builds almost only defensive items which helps him to sustain a lot in teamfights. His passive
also gives him lifesteal which grants a great source of sustain. His 2nd ability
absolutely demolishes attack-speed based champion and is your tool if you feel like running down champions and also your tool to disengage from tricky situations. The slow that this ability applies lets you get out of most situations where an enemy champion is trying to chase you down. If used offensively together with
or Flash if necessary, it lets you close almost any gap.
Spirit Fire , Nasus 3rd ability deals AoE magic damage, and damage over time and grants 15%/20%/25%/30% armor reduction. You will be rarely using this ability to deal actual damage, there can be situations however where you max Spirit Fire first. For example against poke heavy champions like Vayne , Teemo or Kennen . In most other cases you want the armor reduction that you get from the ability. It lets you deal a good amount of damage when dealing with tanks.
If Fury Of The Sands existed in real-life, it would most definitely be classified as illegal doping substance. It makes you incredibly tanky as you gain HP, armor and magic resist. You also deal AoE magic damage to unit around you and it decreases the cooldown of your Siphoning Strike by 50%. The biggest part of Nasus ' ultimate however is: it makes you bigger.
Before we can dive into the perks of playing Nasus we have to take a look at different concepts. One of the most important ones is Lane Priority. Lane Priority is an important but often overlooked concept, especially in lower elos. Lane Priority simply means having the control over the lane and being able to push the lane into the opponents tower. By doing so, the opponent laner has to farm the minions while the champion with lane priority is free to roam, ward and help their jungler.
Here is an hypothetical example. Nasus on the blue side, his lane opponent Kennen is on the red side. The respective junglers are fighting for the Rift Scuttler on top side. Kennen has Lane Priority in this scenario. Nasus is being pushed under his tower and Kennen can rotate to help his jungler Graves first making it a 2v1. If Nasus was to follow Kennen on the rotation, he would lose a ton of farm and EXP, and he would still take longer to path to where the fight is taking place.
Lane Priority simply dictates which plays you can, and which you cannot make at the current time given the state of the game. This concept is in general really important, but it is even more important for Nasus because there are some things to consider when playing him.
Nasus has almost no winning matchups in the early game. That means that most of the time you will not have Lane Priority over the baron side of the map. You will not be able to help your jungler contesting objectives on this side of the map and you have to play around that in a smart way in order to not put your team and yourself at a disadvantage.
This means that often you will find yourself in a position, where you cannot contest a drake while your opponent laner can roam to the dragon conveniently. Your team needs to understand how Nasus works and what he wants to do. More on that on the "Split Pushing" section.
Sacrificing Lane Priority does have its upsides as well. First of all, you get to farm safely which is of uttermost importance for Nasus. Being pushed in, also means that the opponent laner opens himself up to being ganked, although especially in lower elos, baron lane is often abandoned by your jungler in the early game.
Key takeaways: Lane Priority dictates which plays you can make at the current state of the game. Nasus has Lane Priority very rarely which means you can't contest objectives early on. Use this to your advantage by farming up safely and making the opponent vulnerable to ganks.
Yes, you really want to dive into the meat of the guide and learn how to play
. But we are not quite there yet. We still have to learn a thing or two about wave management. Wave management is the magical tool that gets you from bronze to diamond in the matter of days. Challengers hate this trick!
Wave management simply means that you are able to manipulate the state of the minion wave at your will. This is absolutely necessary, because different types of wave manipulations are useful for different types of plays that you want to make. With Nasus the most important wave management technique that we will discuss is Freezing. You can learn a lot about wave management in general over here at Levi's Wave Management Guide.
Freezing the wave means, that you you keep the wave at a certain spot in the lane. Most of the times you will want to freeze the wave near your tower (but obviously not in tower range). You accomplish this, by keeping the opponents slightly (depending on the minion type) larger than yours. Refer to Levi's guide or this wave management guide by Excoundrel for exact instructions on how to technically set up a freeze.
With Nasus you always want to have the wave frozen near your tower in the early game. Nasus in nothing more than a cannon minion with more HP in the early game. Nasus is bad at trading early as he deals no damage, and gets kited easily. So what you want to do is to freeze the wave near your tower and stack up safely. A frozen wave exposes the enemy laner to ganks and you take advantage of the safety near of tower. If you can try to keep the wave frozen for as long as possible. As Nasus you will not be able to kill someone early, unless they are really bad, but you cannot be killed either when you keep your wave frozen.
In order to break a freeze, the opponent laner either has to crash the minion wave into your tower in order to reset, or call his jungler to break the freeze with him. Given that knowledge it's easier to keep a wave frozen against enemies that are bad at clearing waves such as Vayne .
We are finally here. Now that you have an overview of the basic game knowledge that is required to play Nasus we are diving straight onto how Nasus can be fully embraced and how each phase of the game pans out until you bonk your team to victory.
Playing Nasus is a marathon, not a sprint. Nasus is one of the absolutely worst early game champions in the game. You cannot leash for your jungler on the blue buff, as you need to prepare the minion wave and you cannot take part in early game skirmishes as Nasus is far too weak in the early game. Most of the times you will also not be able to rotate to the first dragon fight, making it a 4v5 for your team.
Nasus ' early game is very static and is almost always played the same. In the early game you want to make sure to prepare the minion wave in a way that it later freezes under your tower. A good start would be to force minion aggro on the first enemy wave, and redirect it so, that the enemy minion wave is targeting one of your melee minions. This way your first minion will die faster than the opponents first minion thus helping you pushing the wave to your tower.
Under no circumstances attack the minion wave other than last hitting them with Siphoning Strike . Don't trade with your enemy laner, just focus on last hitting. In lower ranks, your opponent laner barely has an idea what they're doing and they will most of the time attack your minion wave and helping you shoving it under your tower.
If this happens, congratulations, you have just won the game. You can freeze the wave forever under your tower and you are safe stacking up your Siphoning Strike , while the enemy laner cannot harass you and you are safe from ganks. When your lane is frozen, you can start thinning out the wave, which means to attack the opponents minion wave in order to keep the wave balanced out, not breaking your freeze.
Better Baron Laners however will not want to let you set up a freeze. In this case the lane is going to be very tedious to play. The enemy laner will not attack the wave and instead harass you as soon as you approach a minion. It is fine to take some poke in order to last hit. Make sure to not miss cannon minions with your
as they grant 8 Stacks. Try to farm up as well as you can while not taking too much damage. If it means sacrificing some health in the process this is fine. Make sure to make use of your Honey Fruit if you are falling low and as the wave is crashing under your tower, make sure to farm some
In higher ranks it can be a useful tactic to bait the enemies AoE abilities in order for them to hit your minion wave, such as Decimate . Although you lose health, it will help you to create a freeze.
I usually start trading when I am around 100 stacks. Especially with access to your Fury Of The Sands you are getting a huge powerspike. This is the time I usually look out to kill the enemy. Especially because you were playing the lane so passively, you often catch your opponent off-guard on an all-in, and your Siphoning Strike now starts to hurt really bad.
Do not use your Spirit Fire unless you are trying to all-in your opponent, or to push the wave before you back. Using your 3rd ability will deplete your mana in the blink of an eye and you will need mana for your other abilities.
If you play the lane right, opponents will not be able to all-in you, as all attempts can be shut down with
. Don't use it offensively unless you know you will win an all-in.
At the time, the first dragon fight is about to start, you are probably still too weak to join. Most of the times you are also pushed under your tower, so that the enemy Baron Laner has priority to rotate while Nasus does not. Let your team know in the chat, that you will not rotate to the dragon in such a situation. Most of the players in lower ranks, but even in diamond, are not able to read the state of the game. Letting them know that you will not rotate helps you to prevent messages like: "[Team] YasuoMastery7: NASUS DOG NO HELP". When the opponent laner rotates to the dragon fight it is time to take a tower and to stack up very quickly as you are transitioning into the mid game.
Mid game is usually the phase where Nasus is the strongest and can take over a game single handedly. You should absolutely look out to farm at least 200 stacks by the 8-minute-mark. The more the better. Once you are at this point in the game and you haven't been feeding up to the point where 20 surrender votes have been cast already you are all set up to bonk.
If you are fairly ahead consider joining your team when taking objectives.
is insanely tanky, and is therefore very good in front-to-back teamfights. If you can't rely on your carries in teamfights, you should instead look out to run past the enemies frontline and try to
a carry and
them down. If farmed up, Nasus will take almost no damage and it will take only a couple of
s to kill their carries. After that point the teamfight is won.
Try to take as many objectives off of won teamfights as possible and you are on the best way to win yourself the game.
Split pushing is the holy grail of winning games, even if your team is feeding. Split Pushing simply means applying pressure to an undefended lane, so that the enemy team has to commit more than one player to defend the said lane, giving your team a numbers advantage in taking objectives. Split pushing is most effective when you cannot really win even fights and should be considered when there is an objective up to take.
Champions that are best at split pushing are usually champions who are good duelists, have good escape or can take towers very fast, such as Fiora , Jax , Tryndamere and of course Nasus
To give an example: Both teams are fighting for Baron priority. You are a 300 stacks Nasus and there is no enemy in the game, that would win a 1v1 against you. So instead of joining for the Baron dance, you head to the Dragon Lane to apply pressure there. Since nobody can match you in a 1v1 the enemy team will have to at least commit two people to defend the Dragon Lane, thus making it a 4v3 for your team. Consider taking Teleport Enchant with you, so you can easily join fights if needed.
Nasus is insanely good at split-pushing (if farmed up), as the bonus damage from Siphoning Strike also applies to towers and there is little your opponents can do against a fed Nasus. If you want to consistently win games as a Baron Laner you absolutely need to get a feeling for when and how to split push.
Even if farmed up well, Nasus late game is somewhat mediocre. Carries start to hurt a lot with Morellonomicon and Mortal Reminder and if they can kite Nasus there is very little you can do and your healing on Siphoning Strike is reduced.
If you are behind, consider split-pushing as Nasus in the late game. However if your carries are reliable, you can just be a beefy frontline for your team as you will still be insanely tanky. In teamfights try to threaten the enemy backline with your Wither .
Tips & Tricks
- A mistake many Nasus players do, is to use Fury Of The Sands while chasing an enemy. Fury Of The Sands has idle frames, which means you will not be able to move for a couple of frames during the duration of the cast. If you all in, either use Fury Of The Sands while the opponent is locked in place, or before you start chasing. Just the cast time of your ultimate can decide between a successful all-in or a failed one.
- Do not spam Spirit Fire . It is an insanely mana hungry ability. Since Nasus ' build path does not contain any mana items anymore, you have to manage your mana well. I tend to use it only in teamfights or when I all-in against tanky opponents, as it shreds armor.
- The best tip to succeed with Nasus I can give you is: Don't be afraid to lose farm early game. Nasus is probably the worst early game Baron Laner and it is absolutely crucial to not fall behind further than you absolutely have to, otherwise you will have no agency throughout the entire game. Try to survive the early game and do not hesitate to give up minions in order to freeze your wave.