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[2.3] In-Depth Nasus Guide

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Perfectionist World Cultural Heritage
Patch 2.3
June 02, 2021 19:45
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In-Depth Nasus Guide

Nasus is a high risk, high reward champion where you either feed like a madman or you carry four dead-weights all by yourself, no middle ground! Due to the lack of viable ranged champions in the Baron Lane, Nasus is a very playable niche pick.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Nasus Build

Best Build Guide for Nasus

Core Items
Trinity Force
Glorious Enchant
Sterak's Gage
Defensive Options
Thornmail
Sunfire Aegis
Dead Man's Plate
Guardian Angel
Plated Steelcaps
Example Full Build
Trinity Force
Sterak's Gage
Glorious Enchant
Thornmail
Spirit Visage
Guardian Angel

Item Build Description

Additional information on the items

Nasus is a champion whose power comes from his Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike and not so much from itemization. Therefore his itemization turns out pretty defensively with Trinity ForceTrinity Force being the only "real" offensive item.

Trinity ForceTrinity 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 StrikeSiphoning Strike cast.

Sterak's GageSterak'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.

Plated SteelcapsPlated Steelcaps or Mercury's TreadsMercury's Treads are the only viable boots to go. Mercury's TreadsMercury's Treads 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 Plated SteelcapsPlated Steelcaps are viable.

Glorious EnchantGlorious Enchant is the go-to boots upgrade. NasusNasus is a very immobile champ without any gap closers and you are kited easily. With Glorious EnchantGlorious Enchant you just run the enemy team down if they are very mobile. 

At some point you will want to pick up a Spirit VisageSpirit Visage and a ThornmailThornmail to get tankiness and deal with AP and AD threats. Whatever is the bigger threat go either Spirit VisageSpirit Visage first against AP threats and ThornmailThornmail against AD threats. You can consider grabbing an early Bramble VestBramble Vest if your are against a lane with lots of sustain e.g. FioraFiora , Dr. MundoDr. Mundo or ranged AD poke like VayneVayne .

As last option consider getting a Guardian AngelGuardian 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.

Nasus Runes

Best Runes for Nasus

Keystone
Grasp of the Undying
Grasp of the Undying
Domination
Gathering Storm
Gathering Storm
Resolve
Second Wind
Second Wind
Inspiration
Hunter Genius
Hunter Genius

This runeset offers a lot of things that Nasus wants to have. It makes you tanky with Grasp of the UndyingGrasp of the Undying lets you scale well with Gathering StormGathering Storm lets you survive well in lane and is useful in sidelaning later with [Regeneration] and helps with cooldown reduction on Hunter GeniusHunter Genius

Skill Order

How to distribute skill points

Soul Eater
Soul Eater - Passive
Siphoning Strike
Siphoning Strike
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Wither
Wither
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Spirit Fire
Spirit Fire
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Fury Of The Sands
Fury Of The Sands
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Summoner Spells

When to take which summoners

Ignite
Most of your early kills, if any, come from the help of ignite. It's insanely useful during laning phase, especially if you're against champions that heal.
Flash
Flash is vital on Nasus and there is no scenario in which it should not be taken. A very good choice to escape tricky situations, as well as go full ham on the enemy team to close gaps with Wither and Glorious Enchant.

Combos

Learn how to maximize the champions potential

Wither
2nd
Auto Attack
AA
Siphoning Strike
1st
Auto Attack
AA

Basic Combo for trading:

Once you are decently stacked you can trade with this combo. Start off with a WitherWither 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 StrikeSiphoning Strike , as well as another auto attack off and walk out.

Auto Attack
AA
Siphoning Strike
1st

Animation Cancel:

Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike is an animation cancel. This means that you will cancel out the animation of your auto attack if you immediately use Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike after it. This is crucial for maximizing DPS. Try to always get an auto attack off, before using your empowered auto.

Fury Of The Sands
Ult
Wither
2nd
Spirit Fire
3rd
Auto Attack
AA
Siphoning Strike
1st

Bonk:

Use this combo while 1v5ing or simply to assert dominance. Start by using Fury Of The SandsFury Of The Sands and WitherWither someone, followed by Spirit FireSpirit 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
Easy
Teemo
Vayne
Medium
Vayne
Malphite
Medium
Malphite
Darius
Hard
Darius
Kennen
Hard
Kennen
Garen
Hard
Garen
Dr. Mundo
Skill
Dr. Mundo

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 StrikeSiphoning 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 FireSpirit 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 Trinity ForceTrinity Force and you have your Fury Of The SandsFury Of The Sands Teemo is an easy matchup. If the lane went even, TeemoTeemo won't have the damage to kill you, and he just disappears from 3 Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike casts.

Before you fight him it's necessary to bait out Blinding DartBlinding Dart and whenever he uses Move QuickMove Quick offensively punish him with WitherWither and all-in him. He should stand no chance especially if you have Fury Of The SandsFury Of The Sands up.

Just be wary of his Noxious TrapNoxious Trap . If you step into a shroom he will kite you easily and you die. Consider picking up Mercury's TreadsMercury's Treads .

Nasus

Introduction

NasusNasus 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 NasusNasus 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

Nasus Basics

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 StrikeSiphoning Strike . Whenever NasusNasus 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. NasusNasus 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 StrikeSiphoning Strike for the juicy stacks.

NasusNasus is pretty tanky and builds almost only defensive items which helps him to sustain a lot in teamfights. His passive Soul EaterSoul Eater also gives him lifesteal which grants a great source of sustain. His 2nd ability WitherWither 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 Glorious EnchantGlorious Enchant or Flash if necessary, it lets you close almost any gap.

Spirit FireSpirit 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 FireSpirit Fire first. For example against poke heavy champions like VayneVayne , TeemoTeemo or KennenKennen . 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 SandsFury 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 StrikeSiphoning Strike by 50%. The biggest part of NasusNasus ' ultimate however is: it makes you bigger.

Nasus

Lane Priority

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. NasusNasus on the blue side, his lane opponent KennenKennen 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 KennenKennen can rotate to help his jungler GravesGraves first making it a 2v1. If NasusNasus 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 NasusNasus because there are some things to consider when playing him.

NasusNasus 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 NasusNasus 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.  NasusNasus 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.

Nasus

Wave Management

Yes, you really want to dive into the meat of the guide and learn how to play NasusNasus . 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 NasusNasus 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 NasusNasus 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. NasusNasus 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 NasusNasus 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 VayneVayne .  

Nasus

Early Game

We are finally here. Now that you have an overview of the basic game knowledge that is required to play NasusNasus 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. NasusNasus 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.

  NasusNasus ' 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 StrikeSiphoning 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 StrikeSiphoning 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 Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike 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 Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike stacks.

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 DecimateDecimate . 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 SandsFury 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 StrikeSiphoning Strike now starts to hurt really bad.

Do not use your Spirit FireSpirit 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 WitherWither . 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 NasusNasus 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.  

Nasus

Mid Game

Mid game is usually the phase where NasusNasus 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. NasusNasus 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 WitherWither a carry and Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike them down. If farmed up, Nasus will take almost no damage and it will take only a couple of Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike 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.

Nasus

Split Pushing

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 FioraFiora , JaxJax , TryndamereTryndamere and of course NasusNasus

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 EnchantTeleport Enchant with you, so you can easily join fights if needed.

NasusNasus is insanely good at split-pushing (if farmed up), as the bonus damage from Siphoning StrikeSiphoning 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.

Nasus

Late Game

Even if farmed up well, NasusNasus late game is somewhat mediocre. Carries start to hurt a lot with MorellonomiconMorellonomicon and Mortal ReminderMortal Reminder and if they can kite NasusNasus there is very little you can do and your healing on Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike is reduced. 

If you are behind, consider split-pushing as NasusNasus 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 WitherWither .

Nasus

Tips & Tricks

  • A mistake many NasusNasus players do, is to use Fury Of The SandsFury Of The Sands while chasing an enemy. Fury Of The SandsFury 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 SandsFury 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 FireSpirit Fire . It is an insanely mana hungry ability. Since NasusNasus ' 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.  NasusNasus 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.  
Comments
Look at the nice things other people said!
duckie5
1 year ago
In terms of runes, about right. Really depends on enemy team comp. If you ever face irelia or anyone that has can use gap closer as an escape ability, avoid picking nasus. You'll get bullied later
duckie5
1 year ago
The combo for nasus is really helpful.
Beng1
1 year ago
holy sht kneel down for the king