League of Legends can be quite a challenging time even with the correct build, so make sure to plan out your build in advance using this Nasus Build Guide to have an easier time running the rift.
In the current early-season chaos, it can be hard to know precisely what to take with all the potential options due to new items from the total shop rework, so this Nasus Build Guide is here to give you a baseline on what to use to help get started with Nasus in the preseason.
Table of Contents
This guide will stick to covering Nasus in Top lane. While Nasus’ might emerge as viable in other roles during the preseason, Top lane has been Nasus’ primary role for a very long time, and it’s likely to remain an option for him for even longer.
Skill Max Order
Nasus typically focuses on levelling his Q, – Siphoning Strike, as his most prominent basic ability. This ability gains permanent additional damage whenever it kills a unit, so powering it up quickly is often a key component of a successful Nasus Game.
Nasus should level his skills with the following priority: R>Q>E>W. Prioritising W or E for an additional level or two can be done early to help with rough matchups.
With Nasus’ favourite mythic item being Divine Sunderer in the vast majority of games, Grasp of the Undying is the ideal keystone for Nasus as it’ll combine with the damage and healing provided by your mythic item, alongside providing an extra element of scaling to you with maximum health.
With the keystone rune established, we know we’re going into the Resolve tree.
From here we take Demolish, as Nasus is an excellent pushing champion, who will decimate towers if he gets a brief amount of time alone with them – in which case, adding Demolish on top just means the tower is all the more likely to go down before the enemy can respond to the push.
The central row of runes is a more complex affair, as all options here are fine choices for Nasus.
Conditioning is a good option if the game is likely to go long, as it’ll enhance your tank items.
Second Wind and Bone Plating will both aid in surviving the lane phase, with the first better for opponents who poke you down over time and the second better for lane opponents that will try to burst you outright, or all in.
The last row also needs some consideration due to all options being worthwhile again.
Overgrowth will provide you with more scaling health, combining well with tank items and Grasp.
Revitalise will provide you with additional healing, making it a respectable option – particularly if you intend to take Second Wind in the previous row and build Spirit Visage to further enhance healing.
Unflinching provides some Tenacity, which is a worthwhile stat as a melee champion without mobility. Though the amount is quite small so you will only take this in games where you intend to get the most tenacity you can.
Secondary Runes are actually fairly simple by comparison. Your options here are typically Inspiration tree or Precision Tree.
Inspiration Tree choices include Magical Footwear for Movespeed, Biscuit Delivery to help survival early game, Cosmic Insight for the Summoner Spell Haste, and Approach Velocity for chasing Withered targets.
Precision Tree choices include Legend: Tenacity for tenacity equal to that of Mercury’s Treads, and either Coup De Grace or Last Stand, dependant on personal preference.
The first row choice is typically Ability Haste – early ability haste means more Siphoning Strikes from the get go, which means more stacks on your signature abilities damage at all stages of the game – and that’s not mentioning the benefits of having haste for your other skills.
The second and third rows are typically defensive stats to focus on surviving your early game.
Second Row Armour or Magic Resist based on your lane opponent are common choices, paired with third row Scaling Health.
Taking double resistance according to your lane opponent is also a good strategy for harder lanes.
Nasus will usually start the game with a Doran’s Shield and a potion. More aggressive players may opt for Corruption Potion in easier lanes. You will almost always want to start with Warding trinket.
Early Game Items
Nasus’ first priority item is typically his Mythic item, Divine Sunderer. Early components of the item to prioritise are the Sheen, for the spell blade effect as early as possible, and the Kindlegem component for both Health and Ability haste that will aid in surviving lane and scaling up your Q.
You’ll also likely want to pick up at least the basic boots early on if you haven’t taken magical footwear, as you’ll need movement speed both to catch up to opponents and flee ganks – speaking of ganks, as a champion that scales very well, you’ll likely want some Control Wards early on to avoid these, as the enemy team will likely put a priority on putting you behind early on to slow you down.
In the mid-game, you’ll want to have completed at least Divine Sunderer as it is very much your core item, and basically the only damage increase you’ll need.
You’ll also want to upgrade your basic boots into either Mercury’s Treads or Plated Steelcaps – which you take should depend entirely on the opposing team.
If the opposing team is heavy on Crowd control effects that prevent you from getting close enough to them to be relevant, you’ll want Mercury’s Treads. If the opposing team is heavy on physical damage, you’ll want Plated Steelcaps to reduce that. In games where you want both, the tenacity on Mercury’s Treadsshould take priority unless you have tenacity in your runes.
You’ll want to follow those with a tank item that benefits you and is suitable against the opposing team. If you’re taking a lot of magic damage, a Spirit Visage is a great first tank item for Nasus. Likewise, against physical damage teams, Dead Man’s Plate or Frozen Heart make good options.
Late Game Items
Typically for the latter half of his build, Nasus’ sticks to adding more tank items to his build – as his damage scales up throughout the game if his Q is used properly, this allows him to remain a threat and become incredibly durable. Good choices are the items listed above that you didn’t already take:
Spirit Visage is excellent for both reducing incoming magic damage and increasing your healing.
Frozen Heart is a strong armour item with a bonus to maximum mana and a strong area effect.
Dead Man’s Plate is an HP/Armour item that’ll give additional movement speed to chase down foes. Thornmail can be an excellent purchase to help reduce the healing of an enemy carry.
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