The purpose of this build is a top lane bruiser Nidalee that is pretty versatile and can both group and splitpush fairly well depending on the game. You're not the same type of top lane tank that champions like
are so you will rarely see items like
in my builds, though they are viable in various situations. Sunfire is really only great in a full tank build that relies a lot on base damage and the extra sources of magic damage from these items to do a lot of aoe damage over the course of a really long team fight where you can tank a whole team 1v5 for extended periods of time.
Rather, you will see almost all of my choices for items be very deliberate and have actives or passives that add a lot of utility and options to Nidalee, being that she is a champion with absolutely no CC at all (one of only 9 in the game). Items like
for added mobility are great examples of this.
Building to win lane
Nidalee doesn't farm for 30 minutes and then come out of top lane and 1v5. You need to win lane, press your advantage and make plays. At the very least, there should always be pressure on the top side of the map while you slowly take towers. Luckily, there is a way to win every lane 1v1 if you build correctly and play correctly for the matchup.
Survive magic damage harass
Triforce vs Gauntlet
Duel magic damage
This item is pretty nice on a tanky nidalee and is never bad. It helps to make up for nidalee's lack of cc. I used to build it almost every game except against heavy magic damage. Where I usually build it now is purely against teams I know I can kite really well in teamfights and when my team needs to kite the enemy team to win teamfights against 2-3 bruisers with relatively low mobility. This can kite champions like
and more. However, this can't be your teams only tool for peeling. A lot of these champions with either
will simply outpace the slow from gauntlet.
This item can be fairly lackluster against heavy AP comps as it forces you to itemize armor and be in auto attack range against heavy magic damage burst. It's also fairly useless against hard initiation, especially long range initiation. One other downside is that you end up with a lack of HP for quite a while—especially when building other items like
to win lane.
Nidalee makes use of every stat on this item. Most notable is the movement speed for kiting and chasing, as well as the 200% damage sheen proc. Laning nidalee, no matter how you build is going to consist mostly of auto attacking to get people low. Triforce through attack speed, crit, a bigger sheen proc and attack damage allows you to get a lot more damage off on your auto attacks than Gauntlet. And when you do go into cougar form, you have more burst for the same reasons, even the AP from both is the same. Another thing I believe most people completely underrate about triforce is the HP it gives you. This works very nicely in lane with the extra resistances from a mid tier defense item like
The other reason I really like triforce is because I just prefer the build paths it opens up. Not building gauntlet frees you up to build
. Not only is this just an underrated item in general, but it works extremely well with
allowing you to completely shut down an ADC's damage in the mid-late game lowering their attack speed by huge amounts as well as giving you almost 200 armor. In addition to this, I feel that
becomes a viable option for nidalee builds due to the high amount of hp and the slow. While the item itself is not terribly cost efficient, that's because the slow is so damn powerful. It's also the second highest hp item in the game, which scales up incredibly well with any resistances you buy. I actually prefer this item in most situations to gauntlet now as it's much more consistent at slowing ghosted targets or targets with inherent ms boosts like
when peeling for your backline.
The downside to triforce is no actual cc early on for midgame grouping, as well as less mana. You also grab no actual resistances from the item itself.
This item is best to rush for lane dominance vs high hp bruisers and tanks. This allows you to effectively duel tanks like
. The passive gives you the most damage for 1 item against someone building only tanky items and the active will help you run or chase depending on the situation. The sustain also keeps you in lane and gives you an alternative form of sustain to emptying your mana pool and spamming heal. This allows you to more appropriately choose your heals not just for the heal itself but for the attack speed steroid when trading. The attack speed scales nicely with the botrk passive as well.
Building to win the game
Once you start looking out past your top lane matchup, you will have to group at some point for some objective somewhere. If you're going to start grouping and you're against lots of AD that gauntlet would be good against, you need to consider that. If you've already won top lane and need to start grouping because you're big, but your team isn't doing so hot, then start looking at what types of resistances are going to help you most. Items like
also start to become really important here as the actives can be key in fights to kiting/chasing/peeling and just generally spacing and positioning correctly in fights.
These are some situational items that can round out your build.