Nautilus is an very versatile champion. He has a fairly cheap core, and then he generally builds situationally tanky. He can grab some AP for damage if need be, but generally build to counter your opponents.
Some important stats for nautilus are movement speed, CDR, tankiness (health/armor/MR), and AP.
The extra damage from the machete will help your clear and build into our spirit stone later on. Alternatively, for advanced junglers who don't need all 5 pots, you can start
. This ward is good for preventing enemy counterjungling or for really advanced players, enabling nautilus to counterjungle.
This will set you up to clear faster and give you some regen if you want to give blue to a teammate. Wards are always super useful. If you were very successful with your early ganks, then go ahead and pick up boots of mobility for an even stronger gank.
Spirit Stone vs Philospher's Stone
Both of these items are very solid choices and play a similar role in naut's early game. They provide regen which allows naut to give up his blue buff to an ally. Spirit stone builds from your
and gives a better jungler boost, but doesn't give as much regen as philo stone or any gold generation. Philo stone doesn't build from your machete, so the machete gold isn't as efficient, but it has the better regen and makes up for the machete gold with additional gold generation. Both of these are fine choices - they both have great late-game items for nautilus, so its mainly the early game effects that matter. If you are running into mana issues or are getting counter-jungled (or are otherwise way behind in farm/gold), then philo stone is the way to go. If you are doing okay or owning, go with the spirit stone as it allows you to get your core faster and allow you to farm/gank more and get to your bigger items sooner. In general, choose the one thats best for you in your current game, and know that they are basically interchangeable when I speak of them in this guide. I go with spirit stone in most games.
This core gives you plenty of health, resistences, some CDR, tenacity, and great movement speed for ganks. If you opted for philo stone instead of philo stone, you may want to grab a kindlegem so that you can later build a shurelia's (I would wait on building shurelia's as its really a mid/late game team item, and you'll get more gold out of philo stone). Also note that against a full AD team, you may want to skip Aegis and focus on an early armor item like randuins.
At this point your core is done, and you'll want to continue building based on the enemy team. You'll want health and a combination of MR and Armor that counters the enemy team. I'll provide you with some good item choices, however you'll have to make the call based on what your team needs.
Good items in general
- Aegis provides solid resistances for you, and some MR and regen to your allies with an aura. We should be getting this basically every game where the enemy has a mage. The aura is still useful for your team, and locket adds a group shield on top of that. Locket also has great stats for you with CDR, health, and resistances. Don't forget to use the active! You can pass on this if your support plans to build it or the enemy team has no AP damage.
- Good item. Provides cooldown, some health, some regen, and most importantly, a great active for moving your team into (or away from) battle. Builds out of your core kindlegem (and philo stone if you grabbed it), I would build this in most games - the active is very useful.
- This item will make you much harder to kill and give a solid boost to your shield. While it has no armor/MR, the health is extremely significant. A solid late-game item if you need health (enemy team has true damage and/or you have solid armor/MR already).
- If your team needs extreme warding, then picking up one of these may be a wise investment. You should always be warding, but if you find that you need to ward excessively, then these items are great options. The health helps you with your shield and wards are always a good thing. If you purchase one of these early, its likely that you'll want to sell it to allow for a better 6th item and leave the warding to your support at that point.
Good items vs AD champions
- Great item vs AD champions. Provides health, armor, slows attackers, some CDR, and a great active. Just remember to use the active while you're in the middle of the enemy team. If using it for the slow, remember to chain it with your other spells.
- Great item vs AD auto-attack champions. Provides lots of armor and CDR, while slowing down enemy attack speed. An early glacial shroud may be a good item if you know you'll be picking this up.
- This item provides some extra damage while still keeping the CDR and tankyness from glacial shroud. A solid build option for when you need some extra damage. It is a sheen-like item that procs on the next auto after an ability. Your next auto will do AOE damage (~140 at level 18) and also slow enemies in a field. This works great with your abilities (pull->auto, auto->shield->auto, E->auto for a double slow). Only build if you need to be doing more damage beyond that of wits end/abyssal.
- I don't build this usually, as its a deterrent to enemies and you want enemies to focus on you. However if the enemy is heavy AD and is targeting you for some reason, then this can return a lot of damage. Make sure you have enough health to make it worth it, this is an extremely situational item.
- I generally don't like sunfire cape on naut, however the stats it provides you are decent and the passive damage over time, while often overlooked, is almost always underestimated. This item is much better early game and in a lane though, and you have more important things to build. I'd say pass unless you have to permanently cover a lane due to a DC, in which case this will greatly add to your pushing power.
Good items vs AP champions
- This is a semi-offensive item for MR on naut. Provides a solid amount of MR, while also reducing the enemies MR (helps your AP carry) and gives you some extra damage through AP. Grab the negatron cloak early if the enemy AP carry is a problem, and build it up later on.
- This is a very interesting item for nautilus. If you're team is doing well and you want to pick up some MR, then this will help you snowball even more. The attackspeed increases your damage and your jungle clear. A fast attacking nautilus is a very scary thing to see. Like abyssal scepter, it can also lower enemy MR now, so I would put this on par with abyssal scepter (choose wits end if another teammate has or will get abyssal). This won't be enough MR if the enemy has a very strong AP carry, so make sure you have an aegis or some other source of MR.
- Banshee's veil is interesting on naut. It provides a significant chunk of health and MR. The shield isn't too amazing, especially since now we have W and locket shields to prevent things like a karthas ult. The health regen on hit is more suited to champions in lane, but it isn't useless. Simply based on the stats though, there is enough health and MR for this to be the magic resistance version of randuins - a much more solid choice now. The cowl that this item builds out of is also a great early game MR item.
- Spirit Visage is an interesting item. It has a significant amount of MR, as well as some health and 20% CDR. These stats are things that nautilus loves, but banshees has more health and MR. The increased healing passive doesn't generally affect naut so unless we need the CDR, we're probably better off getting a banshees veil for the stats. The cowl that this item builds out of is also a great early game MR item.
- Twin shadows isnt a very common item, but its an interesting one for nautilus. It has some MR, but also some AP and movement speed, both of which are helpful. The active is also very interesting. The slow can be a great opener which allows you to get your other spells off, and the reveal can be useful for stealth champions like eve/shaco/twitch/akali/etc. This item is focused more on damage than MR though, so save it for when you need a mix of offensive power and some defense. Consider it when the enemy has invisibility and you need an initiation item.
Good items to deal damage
- See the vs AP section, but basically, AP, MR, and an aoe MR reduction make this item top notch for naut.
- See the vs AP section, but the attack speed and on-hit damage helps your jungle clear and damage on enemies.
- An alternative to wits end, gives an attack speed boost, AP, on hit damage, and 20% CDR. Very solid item.
- An alternative to wits end, gives attack speed, AD, 10% CDR, 10% movespeed, and tenacity. Solid item if you built a philo stone and opted to pass on the spirit of the ancient golem and its tenacity.
- See the vs AD section, but this is the offensive upgrade of glacial shroud, which adds CC and an aoe sheen proc in addition to some tankyness.
- This is a very rare pick. Your abilities and auto attacks (but not the DoT from your W) will proc true damage over time. Using a combo of auto-attack (with passive proc), W for the auto reset, and auto attack again will do a significant chunk of damage and place two DoTs on the enemy. This is an extremely rare item though, as spirit of the ancient golem is so much better for a tank like nautilus.
- Naut doesn't utilize the spell vamp from this item as much as some champions, but it provides AP and more importantly an aura for your team. This is a very rare pick as most teammates who need spell vamp will build it on their own.
When you complete your build you have the option to sell your boots of mobility for another set of boots. Movement speed is still important, however you are no longer roaming the map looking to gank, and the boots lose their extra speed in the teamfighting phase. They still can be useful for initiating, however consider trading them out for another pair of boots, especially if you have a
to help you initiate. Remember that its fine to keep the boots of mobility as well, they can still help you initiate and save time crossing the map.
- Reduces the damage from enemy auto-attackers. Usually the best choice if you want to replace your mobos.
- If you don't have tenacity elsewhere, then these are nice. I almost always build spirit of the ancient golem so I almost never build these.
- More movement speed and a slow reduction make for a very niche item. I would get these only if the enemy teams slows are being a problem.
- The best option in my opinion. Gives your team movement speed and helps push lanes.
- A good defensive option. If the enemy are pressed up to your base then this may be the better option.[
My generic final build:
VS an AP heavy team:
VS an AD heavy team:
Note that these builds have varying amounts of CDR, and in combination with your runes, may actually go over the cap. Just be aware that you cannot get more than 40% CDR and try to avoid wasting too much of your gold on excess CDR.
As jungle nautilus, you should be buying wards.
You'll be going all over the map to gank, and throwing wards in key places can greatly help you and your team. Feel free to ward the enemy jungle and smite-steal buffs, as well as helping keep baron, dragon, and common ganking spots warded. Pink wards can be used to clear out enemy wards at baron/dragon as well.
Nautilus is a great character to grab a oracles on, especially once he completes his core. He doesn't die easily, and he'll be traveling a lot and can find wards. It also encourages the enemy team to focus you, which allows your team to mop them up as they spend forever attempting to take you down. Communicate with your team to make the 4 minutes of oracles most efficient.