Nasus Build Guide

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Nasus: the true Prince of Persia *updated skill builds and now much more!*

written by malphitethewise

Nasus Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This is the second champion guide I have written (3rd total, I have also written a team guide), so therefore I am a little rusty. Anyways, Nasus is one of my favorite champions and it pains me to see someone who's never played Nasus before, build him horribly and suffer for it; believe it or not Nasus is an amazing carry and he's a very monumental figure on the field. This guide will ensure that your team can make the most of you and hopefully win. Note this is a TT guide to Nasus, none of this has been tested on SR, I DO NOT like SR with Nasus, it's too big and I believe it hinders Nasus's ability.

    [edit] May 28th, 2010: Made a mistake on my masteries build changed to 23/4/3 from 23/3/3.

    May 29th, 2010: I have recently experimented on SR and my build has proved quite effective, I believe this statement nullifies the above. Also changed minor spelling errors. Added a "farming" section to the guide.

    May 30th, 2010: changed Dagger to Long Sword as the components to Last Whisper.

    June 1st, 2010: changed the first build to a completely different build to suit personal needs, last build proved insufficient to previous and the current.

    June 3rd, 2010: added some content and changes to my items section, also added content to working in the team section. Also, saw the Prince of Persia movie, it kicked ass ^-^!

    June 6th, 2010: just wanna let you all know, A BUNCH OF NEW CONTENT COMING SOON! also I have a Mordekaiser guide coming out whenever I decide to finish it, so for any of you interested, keep an eye out.

    June 8th, 2010: added a "phases" section, made changes to the items section, still more to come.

    June 14th, 2010: finally made some much needed updates that i've been promising.

    June 16th, 2010: added some content to the summoner abilities section as well as skilling order.

    I'm open to criticism, please leave a comment and tell me if my guide is lacking an important detail or if there's something that needs to be changed, thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Abilities

    Soul Eater
    This complements Nasus finely, having a natural life steal is pretty awesome.

    Siphoning Strike
    Your boomstick, pay attention to last hitting minions when in the lane, it will increase your attack output in time and turn you into a monster.

    Find out you're not fast enough? well here's your solution, crack this in conjunction with Spirit Fire and SS to defeat your foes.

    Spirit Fire
    Not your main source of damage, especially early game, but this does have a armor reduction buff which allows you to pop SS and cause greater damage.

    Fury of the Sands
    Fact: Nasus is a god, and this further proves it, it increases your maximum health, causes damage to nearby foes, increases your damage, and just makes you plain old scary lookin'. If you're surrounded by enemies pop this and they will surely flee in terror, or if you're fighting a foe 1v1 and you know you can't win, Fury of the Sands makes you the strongest champion in the league take advantage of this fact.

  • Masteries + Runes

    I have a 9/0/21 build on Nasus, obviously utilizing cooldown reduction, and health/mana regen, this is my favorite mastery build.

    *update: i no longer feel the need for a 23/4/3 mastery build, this has been deleted

    as for runes I like:

    5x Greater Mark of Malice
    4x Greater Mark of Desolation

    3x Greater Seal of Replenishment
    3x Greater Seal of Clarity
    3x Greater Seal of Fortitude

    3x Greater Glyph of Intellect
    6x Greater Glyph of Warding

    1x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
    1x Greater Quintessence of Desolation
    1x Greater Quintessence of Resilience

    OK now i know this seems a bit scattered but it covers a little bit of everything to make you slightly stronger in every category.



    3/3 Deadliness: extra crit chance and to eat up some points
    1/3 Archmage's Savvy: again just to eat up another point
    4/4 Alacrity: extra attack speed is nice
    1/3 Sunder: a little bit of armor penetration


    1/1 Haste: increases Ghost from 27% to 33% move speed and gives an additional 1.5 secs ** or 1/3 Good hands if you don't take ghost
    3/3 Perseverance: increased health and mana regen, whats not to love?
    4/4 Awareness: 2 words: more experience
    3/3 Meditation: more mana regen
    1/1 Insight: to provide the same amount of mana to teamates
    1/1 Greed: meh just to eat up point and 1g/10 sec
    1/2 Utility mastery: to extend any monster buffs you may get
    3/3 Quickness: increased movespeed
    3/3 Intelligence: reduce cooldown on spells, alright!
    1/1 Presence of the Master: reduce cooldown on summoner spells, Sweet!

  • Items

    hey where's the first build? well i removed it and added a new one down below!

    Another one of my own original builds, this goes along nicely with all the crit strike runes i had you purchase earlier.

    Crit Strike Pwnage

    begin by buying Brawler's Gloves and one or two Health Potion to help you stay in the lane (your mana regen runes + clarity have you covered in that area). On your first trip (or death :s) upgrade to Zeal or if you don't have enough money get either Boots of Speed or Dagger. Second time back you NEED to have Zeal or else you'll lag behind. Your next item should be Ninja Tabi. After that you need to get Pickaxe and Long Sword to build item Last Whisper.
    Next you need to prioritize getting that Zeal into Phantom Dancer, start off with Cloak of Agility, then obviously get the Phantom Dancer. Next best item would be to get Cloak of Agility and Chain Vest to get Atma's Impaler for the armor, extra damage, and of course crit strike chance.
    Well at this point (or sooner), the game should be over but if not, if it's a super long game, stretch for an Infinity Edge, and now you should be the most frightening thing on the field, have fun. look below for an example.....
    on a side note, if the game is drawing towards the end and you know you won't be able to get Infinity Edge, then get Executioner's Calling, for extra crit strike and life steal, it's a cheap alternative.

    Since i have recently took a liking to SR I will say forget the Executioner's Calling, i have experimented with many items and i believe nothing gets the job done better than Youmuu's Ghostblade, gives you extra damage, armor pen, cooldown reduction, and has an active that allows you to increase your attack speed and movement speed to either stick it to that teemo that's harassed you the entire game, or run away from a 5v1 deep in their base. after getting Ghostblade if you click on your character icon in the bottom left hand corner you will get an overview of your stats, you should be in the neighborhood of 96-98% crit chance, need i say anymore? build it like I have it, and you WILL kick ass, and you WILL get 10+ kills per game, and there's a very good chance you will get 2 or more double kills and maybe get a triple kill if your lucky; i once got a quadra kill, those are one in a million. I think i've made my point.

    *update: it has been brought to my attention that Sheen is in fact a better item than YG. however i will not delete the above section, i'll keep it up for people who think that YG is better, i really don't feel like getting into an argument about it.

    Now you may be wondering "why build crit strike on Nasus, there many more viable champion choices for that", well that may be true but as stated before Nasus is one of the most underrespected champions in the league, and my philosophy when making this was to take an underused champion and turn him into a killing machine, and with this i've done my job. Too many times after games i've had players, good, respected, experienced players FR me and ask me how I did so good, and quite often, why Nasus? why not Yi, or Trynd? because Nasus is a champion that appealed to my personal tastes, i like him and i want to popularize him, simple as that.

    Tank Nasus

    OK so the purpose of this build is to be a Tank, to initiate in team fights, take a lot of damage and still walk out of the fight alive with all of your opponents dead, so the build will go as follows


    so obviously the focus of the build is for MR against those caster heavy opponents such as Ryze or Malzahar, but still not exactly throwing armor or health out the window, Banshee's Veil and Aegis of the Legion should provide you with enough health plus Fury of the Sands to act with the armor/MR to allow you to take on an effective tank role.

  • Skilling Order

    *update, after many games of experimenting i have come to realize this is the best skill build for any build to maximize Nasus's potential as a carry, provides great cc as well as being able to kill caster minions while you a. kill melees or b. attack a turret, however be care about placing spirit fire near a turret because it will draw tower aggro.

    Spirit Fire
    Siphoning Strike
    Spirit Fire
    Spirit Fire
    Fury of the Sands
    Spirit Fire
    Siphoning Strike
    Spirit Fire

    and that's what it looks like at level 9, you can probably figure out the rest, max SS then wither and get points in ur ult whenever possible.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Cleanse and Clarity
    No arguing here, these are THE best skills for Nasus, good for you, bad for that stupid Taric.

    other decent spells
    Exhaust a viable choice over clarity but that would mean you would have to sacrifice laning time in order to go back to recover mana, because remember runes only get you so far. It might save you early game or help you get that one annoying Taric noob

    Ignite not a bad choice, especially early game, may help you get first blood and again kill that 100 hp Taric noob

    Ghost an OK choice i guess, allows you to escape a gank (that's primarily what having zeal and cleanse is for), or chase down that damn Taric.

    Flash i'm not so sure about this one, may save your life or it may allow you to kill some noob Taric with your pretty sandstorm.

    not recommended, these should be reserved for allies

    Heal not the worst choice for Nasus, may allow you to save an ally or yourself from that Taric who thinks he's cool with Dazzle, but I believe that it's a spell that should be saved for your lane mate. Soul Eater should do a pretty good job of keeping your health up.

    [spell=Fortify] again another spell that should be reserved for an ally, but does a pretty good job of ensuring that damn Taric can't get your turret after wasting all that mana on his ultimate.

    [spell=Rally] not much to say about this except that like the others should be reserved for an ally.

    Clairvoyance like all the others, your lane mate should have this, although not a bad choice for Nasus, it may spoil a gank attempt by that super cool Taric.

    Teleport allows you to get back in it after you had to go back and shop (or died), in addition you can use this to teleport to any friendly item or minion (e.g. Teemo's mushrooms, Shaco's JitB's, can this be used on wards? if so sweet!), allows you to surprise gank that noob Shen.

    BIG NO-NOs

    Smite Nasus's forte isn't jungling, it's creep farming, and he doesn't really need it for some 300 hp little caster thing, that's what SS is for.

    Revive Lol right because Nasus loves dying, but i know Taric does :).

    Promote wait this doesn't even exist???

  • Pros / Cons

    you'll cause massive damage (with my build)
    you can lane for a long time
    you can carry well
    you're somewhat tanky (very tanky with the other)
    your ultimate is among the best in the game

    you don't have any ranged offensive spells
    your builds are expensive
    you'll typically be the focus of enemies
    you may have to deal with small annoying children raging at you because you killed them

  • Working in the team

    Nasus is an excellent carry especially when played by pros, people who love Nasus, but any Nasus can be unbeatable with the effective use of teamwork, use Wither when you're with your other teammates to help them kill the enemy. Spirit Fire can be used to cut off narrow choke points and help you or an ally to escape, and as well as to increase your team's damage output (because of the armor reduction).
    Never solo the top, always go in a lane with a teammate or all 3 of you focus one lane. Just work with your teammates.

    On a side note, with the incredible crit chance you will be donning, there's a great chance that you will be stealing a lot of kills, not much you can do about it, you just pwn hard, of course this can be bad because, you get those people who get frustrated because they get an assist and they call it a ks, these people may quit leading your team to defeat because that person was probably the best carry on your team. well FYI, you may not be getting as much gold as the killer, but you're still getting some, one important detail that the above mentioned person misses is that the target has died and you can attack the turret or whatever. It doesn't matter whether you have 1 assist or 20, the fact that you have kills, assists, and even deaths means that at some point you were in a team fight, you fought, and you contributed to the team's effort. League of Legends is a team game, you need to take accept the fact that some kills won't go to you and sometimes you will have to sacrifice yourself so your teammate can get the kill; a recipe to a successful team is 5 servings of champions who selflessly support others and participate in order to win, Good day sir!

  • Phases

    All the below build breakdowns are assuming you're using the main crit strike build, also is speaking as Nasus

    Early game/Laning Phase

    levels 1-9 15-20 min

    alright as the section states this is the laning phase of the game in which you will face off against 2 other champions with a partner to gain superiority over that lane, work with your teammates to suppress the enemy and destroy their turret(s).


    OK as Nasus your main objective is to carry your minions and ally to the enemy turret, that means you need to be last hitting Minions to improve the power of SS, periodically attack enemy champions (with a high crit rate you will most likely get a crit) to harass and cause damage; if you cause enough damage they will flee back to their base or stand back allowing you to push. Be random, don't attack every 5 sec but surprise the enemy! if all goes well you should destroy a turret.

    Mid game/Pushing Phase

    levels 10-14 15-25 min

    OK so mid game is the pushing phase where all the teammates need to focus their attention in the middle to shove their abilities down the throat of the enemy and push into the base of the enemy, though it's too soon to win just yet.


    At this point you should be finishing Atma's Impaler and starting Infinity Edge (usually with Cloak of Agility), so you should have a 50% crit chance at this point ALMOST guaranteeing you a crit strike, so you need to be at the front lines engaging (using Fury of the Sands if you must) if most of the other enemies are squishy then all should go quite well, if not, if they're tanky (e.g. Cho'gath, Nunu) then you might have some problems pushing, but in any case you must do what you can to sustain your push, that means you will most likely have to sacrifice yourself for the teammates to kill that tank(s) and continue. In whatever case you are the most important piece to your team's puzzle, they will need you to engage effectively, cause A LOT of damage, and sustain their push.

    Late Game/Tower Smashing Phase

    Levels 15-18 30-45 min

    Here we are, late game, this is appropriately named the Tower Smashing phase because this is the time when you need to stop focusing your attention on the middle and go to the outside lanes to smash whatever turrets you and your allies didn't, this only works if the enemy isn't still stuck in the Pushing Phase and they're attempting what you were despite the fact that their turrets are being destroyed, then you need to come to the defense of your turrets, then go back to what you were doing.


    At this point you should have Infinity Edge and probably Phantom Dancer, so you need to split up your team, you should have relatively high ad (around 200+ or so), so go with a high DPS ally and go to the lane with the most turrets remaining, your other 3 allies should go to the other lane, if enemies come you must waste NO time defeating them, in the case that you are beaten, converge with your other allies to assist them with the turrets and Champions, forget about that other lane.

    End Game

    45 min+

    this is the end of the game, the final phase, now at this point you need to have destroyed ALL of the outside turrets (non-nexus turrets) and all of the inhibitors, you (as a team) need to engage the enemy champions and keep them stalled as long as possible so that they will be swarmed with Super Minions, try focus most of your attention on the minions and turrets, so if no minions escape then yours are free to walk right into your enemies base and help you, if this goes successfully, the enemy champions should be overrun and they should be enough to get the victory, if not, all 5 of you need to make a desperate last push into the base and finish the game.

    There's no specific Nasus breakdown here, there's no time to go off alone and be the hero, all 5 of you need to act in sync with one another, be one giant unit, work together and you will win.

  • Farming

    Like that hoe in yo momma's garden, Nasus is a farming tool, especially when you get Last Whisper, you will destroy minions and farm gold like mad, and increase the power of Siphoning Strike, farm minions whenever possible.

  • Summary

    So in short Nasus is one of the most underused champions in the game, which is a shame because Nasus has such great potential to be awesome. Spread Nasus's name around League, let others know he IS a force to be reckoned with and show others why they should be afraid of Nasus. Anyway use what I have for you in this guide in order to lead your team to victory, but most importantly of all, have fun, and play fair.

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Submitted by malphitethewise

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