Nasus Build Guide

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Extensive Nasus guide to tanking, dps'ing and all around pwning

written by Mozaiki

Nasus Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Soul Eater
    Nice passive, it's what keeps you in lane and in battles. Ulting mid fight and using SS will give you a huge chunk of your hp back thanks to this lifesteal. it also comes in very handy to get golem and liz buffs as soon as lvl 5/6, depending on how farmed you are. combined with Stark's Fervor, you'll have 40% lifesteal, which is a lot for a non-pure dps.

    Siphoning Strike
    Bread and butter skill. Last hit EVERYTHING with SS.everytime it's up last hit a minion with it. if you have to wait 2 secs for the cd to come up to last hit a minion, do it. it's worth it. 2 damage doesn't seem like much, but it WILL make a difference last game. usually, and thanks to Nasus' farming skills, i end games with between +100 to once getting a little over +250 damage on this, which with sheen / trinity force is a shit load of damage on a squishy.

    your ganking / escaping / chasing and all around physical carry debuff. i level this last, but that doesn't mean it's not an awesome skill. remember that it scales as time passes, so you want to use asap so that 3/4 secs later they'll be slowed for a considerable amount. in team fights, use it right at the beginning on their physical carry, so that it'll give the AS debuff and so it'll come off cd at the end of the fight so you can chase/escape.

    Spirit Fire
    farming skill. at rank 3 you'll leave caster minions with little hp so you can kill them with SS. in team fights / jungling remember to keep this up at all times as the armor debuff is pretty neat. in the beginning, unless you're laning with soraka, don't overuse this because it is really mana exhausting.

    Fury of the Sands
    one of my fave ults in the game. no matter what people will ALWAYS fear a ulted Nasus and it is always kind of a surprise element. people underestimate the aoe damage this ult does, but trust me, they shouldn't, it is a LOT. this skill is what makes Nasus such a great tank. major hp buff and the ability to strike fear and make ppl use their CC skills on you is just sweet. this ult however, takes timing and you don't want to come out of a brush with this on or people will run like they've seen the devil. you need to let people engage and compromise and then BOOM!, they have a huge storm dog eating their hp away. imo the best situation to use this is either when your carries are being focused so when you pop this people will have to do something to stop you, therefor leaving your carries alone or when you yourself are being focused so that you'll have enough hp to withstand it.

  • Introduction

    hi, i'm Mozaiki and this is my second guide here on leaguecraft, you want to check out my udyr guide:,Mommy,+that+manbeartigerturtlephoenix+bi*ch-slapped+me!!!

    so, Nasus. imo Nasus and Udyr are really similar. they have pretty much the same role in a team which is to tank while doing some massive dps. i love that play style of not really being the carry but still being able to make the difference damage-wise, while being a major asset to the team.

    so, hope you enjoy this guide and all constructive criticism or comment will be appreciated.

  • Pros / Cons

    - farming skills only matched by very few champions
    - major asset to the team
    - multiple item builds and play styles
    - very fun and interactive gameplay, thanks to the farming of your SS
    - one of the coolest ults in game, inspiring fear in the hearts of your enemies :D

    - you probably won't be carrying your team with your damage
    - there are better tanks and there are better damage dealers, so for Nasus to be really effective you need a balanced and coordinated team
    - somewhat poor early game, you can mana-starve for spamming SF and without it you won't be able to do much damage/harassment.

  • Masteries + Runes

    for masteries i go 0/21/9, getting all major defensive masteries while going for the regen on utility. this will make you tanky from the start while giving you some much necessary regen early.

    as for runes i use: armor penetration marks, mana regen for seals, magic resist for glyphs and flat hp quints. this makes your SS's hit like a truck, while helping your survibability and SF spamming. could also use dodge seals, but imo you need the mana regen a lot more than the scarse dodge chance.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Cleanse is imo a must have for Nasus. when you ult the only way to stop you from wrecking their team is chain stunning, and cleanse along with merc threads will prevent that. it also helps against ignite, which is a good counter to your passive.

    as for the second summoner ability you can use pretty much anything, but i would advice: (from the most usefull to the less)
    Exhaust (really usefull to further disable other teams' carries.)
    Ghost (escaping / chasing)
    Flash (escaping / chasing)
    Teleport (just usefull all around)
    [spell=Clarvoyance] (same as teleport)
    Clarity (if you choose not to get the mana regen masteries/runes, this may be a way to not need the chalice)

    you can also run Smite and Ignite but imo you don't really need them and they would be better on other particular champions.

  • Skilling Order

    so, getting Q at level one is important, so you can start farming it up asap. then getting your E to rank 3 is imperative as it will leave minions with enough hp for you to finish them off with SS. ult whenever possible, after rank 3 SF, max your SS for maximum damage output and finish with what you think is more usefull, slow or aoe damage/armor debuff.

  • Items

    Nasus needs tank items to be an effective tank. but he also needs some sort of damage enhancer or he'll just not cut it as a threat. there are several ways you can achieve this balance and i'll try and cover the ones i found most effective.

    Sunfire Capes Nasus
    so, your ult does AoE damage for anyone standing near you. if you have a Amumu, Nunu or any other good AoE CC'ers this build works wonders as it makes you undestructible against physical damage dealers and it gives a hell lot of aoe damage, especially combined with your ult. ofc, you'll probly always go with merc's because the less time you're stunned/slowed the more time you'll be near your opponent, the more damage you do.

    - massive aoe dmg
    - very tanky

    - weak vs nukers/magic damage dealers
    - needs people to stand near you
    - weak 1vs1 as you won't have as much burst with your Q


    Aura Nasus
    famous Nasus build, as he is a good choice to get auras to benefit the team, as he should always be close to the action and he is a balance of dps/tank, so he is a good choise to buy the teams Aegis and Stark's. imo all Nasus players should build at least one aura as it is very effective, but pure Aura Nasus isn't just a big enough threat to draw attention from the enemy's team.
    (to be fair, you'll probly have enough gold to buy than this 3 items, but still, to be an aura build, you'll build them asap to benefit your team's mid game, and by late game, games are usually already pending one way or the other, so one damage item or one tank item won't make that much of a difference)

    - nice balance of damage / tankyness
    - greater benefit of the team

    - either not tanky enough or not enough damage to be a threat
    - other than stark's and aegis, aura items aren't that great on Nasus himself


    Damage/Lifesteal Nasus
    not really effective in mid/high elo games, but for beginners it is somewhat effective as they don't expect your ult. it is however, pretty fun to SS someone for over half their hp, so here it goes:

    - huge damage output
    - with your innate 20% lifesteal it is easy to get RIDICULOUS amounts of lifesteal
    - huge farming ability lets you charge your Bloodthirsters quite easily

    - VERY weak against stuns/CC
    - not really a benefit to the team, can't do anything a master yi / ashe / etc. can't do better


    Pure tank Nasus
    Tank nasus, not much to say. the build i'll suggest is for when you're up against a balanced team, ofc if they only have physical dps or only magical damage, you need to change the build accordingly. imo, the second best Nasus' build, and a viable one when you're your teams' only tank.

    - huge tanking potential
    - ability to withstand loads of damage and continue to Q people's head off

    - needz moar damage
    - not enough of a threat unless you're really farmed, people won't focus you


    Balanced Nasus
    my favourite, and imo most viable. this build excels when you're your teams' second tank and you already have a good physical damage dealer as it let's you do lots of damage and still tank when need comes.

    - balanced build, good for team fights/farming/1v1's.

    - not as tanky as the pure tank build, not as much damage as the damage build, not as usefull as aura Nasus and not as much fun as sunfire Nasus :P.

    mid game, if you manage to have this:

    it is all the damage you need, while your ult + one hp item will give you probly enough hp to withstand some punishment, after this just tank it up, building triforce if you have the time.


    another way to build this is to go for the tank items first and damage items later:

    trying to get this by mid game:

    and finishing off with some damage:

    Sheen / Trinity Force: i can't stress this enough, these items RULE on Nasus. they're just awesome. they add some very nice damage to your SS and they help your sustained damage a lot while in team fights as you'll be spamming your skills every chance you got.

    Also to remember is that item builds are subjective, so you should build Nasus the way you want to build and the way you think will be most effective, these are just guide lines for people to know what imo works best with this great champion.

  • Farming

    SF creeps whenever possible, jungle every chance you get and especially:

    ofc you won't last hit everything with your Q, but still, keep in mind that you SHOULD do it whenever possible.
    as i said before, rank 3 SF will put minions so low that you can just Q them to death, so take advantage of that and farm your MAIN damage skill anytime you can.

    in a lane, same a in mid, Nasus is one of the best laners, his ult is beastly in skirmishes, sf just lets you farm from afar and you have lifesteal, so you can withstand some harassment, remember that, and if you have another good laner as partner, play aggressivly and don't let the other team's players farm or get XP. playing mid, you have to be more carefull, as you are not ranged, but i've found that running cleanse/exhaust, pretty much all physical carries are just easy preys to a level 6 nasus, so if they engage and you're both full hp/full mana, don't be afraid to make them regret it. Nasus is also a pretty good ganker, with a slow and a nice burst, so if you can spare 2 minutes in the lane, try helping your side lanes.

  • Creep Jungling

    with your lifesteal passive you are a very good jungler. not from level 1 like fiddle or WW or udyr, but still, you should try and jungle any chance you have. if you don't have a jungler on your team, tell your lane partner (or don't tell anyone if you're mid xD), and as soon as you get 6 push your lane and get golem. it allows for massive pushing and ganking potential as you can spam your skills a lot easily and quickly. you can also get liz and with some help even dragon, so use that your advantage and keep control of your jungle, some people may not know it, but having control of the jungle often balances games your way, or your opponent's. remember, as in farming in lane, to try and last hit creeps with SS, and in the jungle it is even easier as there's no pressure from enemies, so there no excuse not to farm your Q up.

  • Working in the team

    Nasus is a tank who can deal massive amounts of Aoe and single target damage, so do your job! focus down their main damage dealers and wreck them. it is imperative to be in the middle of the action, so that your SF, ult, Sunfire capes, etc. are the most effective. always keep an eye on your own damage dealers, and try and club anyone who comes close head's off. remember that you have 2 skills that debuff, so use them every chance you got.

    One important thing to note is: your ult does LOTS of damage against both dragon and baron nashor. teams with nasus usually have the oportunity to baron as soon as he gets level 11, so take advantage of that.

    another thing is that Nasus can mid against anyone. so if you plan on getting baron asap for the early advantage, it is often a good idea to let nasus take mid so you have the levels to baron early.

  • Summary

    So, this concludes my Nasus guide, hope you enjoyed it.
    any constructive criticism, doubts or comments are apreciated.
    have fun playing your god dog :D.

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