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NIDALEE BUILD GUIDE: They Will Fear the Wild - Patch 4.17 by JYarbz

by JYarbz (last updated 4 weeks ago)

Featured6,841,811 Views 305 Comments
3
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage(+6.75 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+9 armor)
4
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(+5.36 magic resist)
5
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+15 at champion level 18)
9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
21
9
0
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Prowl
QJavelin Toss / Takedown
WBushwhack / Pounce
EPrimal Surge / Swipe
RAspect Of The Cougar
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Guide is mostly updated. I'm sure I missed stuff or some of the info is missing/incomplete/wrong. Hopefully most of it is good and you guys enjoy it! I will be adding videos soon.

Links
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jyarbz
Stream: http://twitch.tv/jyarbz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jyarbz

---

Hi I'm JYarbz. I'm currently a diamond 1 player who's been in and has stayed in diamond 1 for quite a while now. Nidalee has always been my favorite champion and I've easily logged around 1000 games with her in ranked soloq alone since season 1. I don't claim to know everything there is to know about nidalee but my hope is that through this guide I can put you on the road to mastering her with a whole lot more information at the start than I had. Thanks and enjoy the guide!

As an added note, I''ve also become an endorsed writer for solomid.net. So you should be seeing a lot more guides from me from now on. If you look around the TSM website you'll already see several others.


Arist credit: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=36456388

Pros:
  • Very strong laning.
  • Very hard to flat out counterpick
  • Very strong mid game. High burst damage
  • Mixed Damage

Cons:
  • She gets outscaled by a lot of top laners making her susceptible to the classic "win lane, lose game"
  • High mana costs
  • Difficult champion to master
  • Hard to teamfight well lategame

Runes

While I often run many different rune pages on nidalee, I chose this one to show as my main page since it can work in almost every situation. And I know many players don't have multiple rune pages to work with for a single champion.

Marks
After some more testing, I've been preferring hybrid penetration reds. This really scales your damage nicely into the midgame once you finish especially. Since buying penetration items is somewhat of a luxury on nidalee, I think these are really important to have.

Seals
For your seals, you mostly want to look at armor or health. I would recommend flat armor since this helps you survive early game even in AP matchups where you will be taking auto attacks. However for health I would recommend scaling. Scaling health runes break even with flat health at level 6. So unless pre-6 is going to make or break the entire game then scaling is better.

Honestly either is fine and so is running a mix of runes. But I've simply been going to back to running armor seals lately. Running all scaling health is also fine but you will want to run at least 1 if not 2 armor quints to compensate for the loss of early armor.

Glyphs
One of nidalee's biggest weaknesses is a lack of scaling magic resist in her base stats. Having a combination of flat and scaling magic resist is nice for mitigating magic damage while laning and also getting some extra stats as you scale up into the midgame.

Quints
This is probably where you have the most variation in terms of what you prefer to run. Early AD is how Nidalee wins lane and gets an advantage, especially 1-6. And if you don't run flat AD in reds (I choose hybrid pen most of the time) then you definitely want some flat AD from your quints. If you choose to run some flat AD in reds or for some reason forgo it entirely then movespeed quints or armor quints are probably your best bet. Lifesteal is still decent but not amazing.

Masteries

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
After a lot of testing, I feel offense masteries are hands down the best way to play Nidalee. Defense masteries were nerfed pretty hard and Nidalee's strength is her damage, not being a bruiser that sits in the middle of a teamfight. If you're playing something like Shyvana, then that's where all the extra % masteries in the defense tree start to add up and make you live longer. Otherwise you still die relatively quickly. Offense masteries help you win lane and also scale your damage into the mid-late game.

Double-Edged Sword
This mastery is very good for assassins and quick bursts of damage. New nidalee kind of functions like this when hunting a target since her takedown does so much damage and her pounce is such a long range.

Sorcery
Free cdr. I will pretty much always take this over Fury. Cdr is far better on Nidalee for all of her abilities, especially as the game progresses.

Butcher/Feast
Good laning masteries. You don't have to take them but they are nice for last hitting and add a little bit of extra sustain. This will not make or break your laning phase.

Brute Force/Martial Mastery
This is just extra flat AD. Great for early laning where your auto attacks hurt.

Spell Weaving/Blade Weaving
Nidalee makes more use out of this mastery than most other champions in the game. Nidalee is effectively a hybrid champion and will always be auto attacking and using spells together to do damage.

Executioner/Dangerous Game
Executioner has great synergy with takedown and helps you finish kills. Dangerous Game is probably the best mastery in the entire game. It's very easy to proc this since you get it on assists as well as kills. So if you heal someone in a teamfight and they kill someone then you get dangerous game. This will help you survive many situations with little health that you would otherwise die in.

Devastating Strikes
This gives both magic and armor pen so it's very good for nidalee who does mixed damage.

Havoc
3% increased damage for 1 point is better than anything else once you've gone this far down the tree. Good mastery.

Avoid the following masteries:
Warlord
This is garbage. Even champions like Riven will only get around 15 AD out of this lategame. And it's 3 points. Worthless on most champions.

Frenzy
This is a great mastery point but you don't build enough crit for it to be worth it. You will rarely ever crit 3 times in a fight with just .

Summoner Sets

Win lane

Flash is great for being able to stay safe in early lane because of the relatively short distance to tower and instant reaction time to avoid skillshots/cc's. It will always be standard because of the ability to go through impassable terrain that's even longer than the actual range of the spell. This also allows you to make quick repositioning plays in fights to close the distance for a kill or get away from an enemy.


This is kill potential in lane. It also reduces healing which can be crucial vs most popular top lane champions who are largely picked for their safe sustain. This will help you snowball and carry games by securing kills you otherwise would miss.
Teleport & Flash

Good top lane summoner spell. You get a reduced cooldown for teleporting to friendly structures. This gives you global map presence and can help you carry games by winning other lanes or showing up to dragon fights. This is generally preferred over come lategame, especially when attempting a 4-1 splitpush. So if you think you can't win your lane outright you definitely want to consider this.

Don't take .
These are ok if you're not very confident in your skills to survive harder lanes. But heal was nerfed and doesn't cleanse grievous wounds anymore. Barrier is ok, but I feel if you play the lane properly you should never really need it and you have much more use with ignite for winning lane and 1v1 matchups or with teleport for surviving early lane and scaling into the mid-late game.


See above.
Exhaust & Flash
This is more of an experimental summoner setup but I like it in certain harder matchups that can all-in you and are hard to poke safely. Exhaust reduces damage output as well as reducing resistances and helping your damage hit harder. It's arguably stronger than ignite in a lot of situations where you aren't reducing some major healing.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
D blade
Vs heavy poke
Safe
Vs hard AD

Dorans blade was nerfed for top lane somewhat heavily in 4.10. It has less ad/hp/sustain at early levels. But nidalee is somewhat unique since her takedown makes use of the % lifesteal fairly well. So I like grabbing these for laning where I don't on a lot of other champions.


I love this start vs champs like . Dorans shield is the best item at shrugging off auto poke or just harass over time in the early lane, especially when coming from AP champs who also have ranged auto attacks. I would only start this in those specific situations. It's too nerfed to just run against anything.


This is just a safe start that works into almost anything. Tons of sustain to just stalemate out a heavy harass matchup and farm.


This is the safest start vs most melee bruisers and ad casters. If the champion is something like you should consider starting this item.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items

and are both great items when completed, they both have great early build paths. and especially give you great flat combat stats. And even the components to sheen work well with Nidalee. Zeal as well was buffed and that even feels fairly powerful compared to what it used to be. Though you should rarely find yourself building zeal unless you have to back at the worst time where you are actually 70 gold short of trinity.

When you actually finish trinity, the power spike you hit is massive. At this point you are God. You can go roam around the map and kill basically anyone. The movespeed and the sheen burst are huge. And one of the most underrated parts of trinity force is the health it gives you which actually does a lot at this timing in the game for taking a few extra hits.


I've been liking this item more and more as core in my nidalee builds. The only time I don't get it is when I'm not ahead. But as nidalee you should pretty much always be ahead from laning phase. This item synergizes with nidalee so well. It gives you faster waveclear and ensures pretty much no matter what you're always resetting your w on the creep wave. The movespeed is fantastic. The burst from this item when you finish it is godly. And it further diversifies your damage since the proc from the item is magic damage yet enhances your auto attacks by quite a lot.

vs
Visage has great synergy with nidalee and makes you tanky versus magic damage. The cdr and bonus regen from healing effects are great stats. Consider instead where you might be blown up by one spell rotation from a burst mage like a fed . In general the latter makes you tankier.


One of the best armor items in the game period. The mana, 20% CDR along with the cheap price for almost 100 armor make this core on Nidalee. It's best paired with other health items.


Great synergy with frozen heart to back up those resistances with health. The regen from this item is also pretty good and helps you soak a lot of damage in the front line.

Common situational items
Build Order
This is just an example build path. You can't follow this to the letter every game and expect the best results. However, it helps facilitate some good discussion on build order and this is relatively good in most games.

Triforce build order
In general, I value sheen above phage unless it's a harder lane where I need the health more. A good example could be . However, I value the parts of phage above the parts of sheen in almost every situation since they give flat combat stats on your first back as opposed to mana and AP which nidalee doesn't use as much as AD in her early lane.

I will generally never pick up zeal before just finishing triforce and will usually not value it's components above and consumables.

I like to finish rank 2 boots usually around my completion of triforce. Generally after. This makes the most use of your movement speed advantage and you can chase down practically anyone.

After Triforce
This is generally how you should of every nidalee build. Triforce first and then everything after it is situational. Not only do you ahve to take into account what your 6-item build might look like, but more importantly build according to the flow of the game. This means that item timings are incredibly important and how well you and your team are doing (also how well the enemy team is doing and specifically what champions are a problem), as well as what your composition should look to be doing to win the game have a huge influence on what you should be building.

In general, you should understand that having a decent sized health pool is incredibly important. Even if you are able to purely stack one resistance, you need a decently sized health pool to make those resistances more effective. Additionally health makes you tankier to all types of damage which is why an item like is one of the best 2-item timings you can reach in combination with . These two items combined with is fantastic for early mid-game grouping and keeps you tanky to all types of damage. However, in a late game build in terms of pure tankiness Randuins somewhat falls off compared to items like against purely attack damage, especially if you consider the price difference.

So in what situations should you build what item after ?


Huge item to finish when you're doing well. I honestly build this second almost every game unless im behind.


Best for 2-item timing when teamfighting against mixed damage (probably in combination with .


Best when the enemy team is almost all magic damage. This isn't even that uncommon nowadays since many popular top lane champions are either mages or bruisers that deal primarily magic damage. Good against bursty champions especially that rely on their whole combo for a big part of their damage like -users.


An interesting option that works quite well when ahead and especially when looking to siege/group. Warmogs is incredibly powerful if you get it early in the game and allows you to soak a lot of damage while standing in the front line. It is particularly powerful against ability/burst damage which is countered by health (moreso in the lategame) and is unique in the fact that it is a sustain item with it's health regen which is quite useful when grouping with your team for sieges. It also gives you a large health pool to tank shillshots for your backline.

In addition to this it works incredibly well in combination with other high resistance items like that are rather lackluster on their own due to 0 health. And the best thing about these items is that they are all cheap and they create far stronger 3-item and 4-item timings than a build will usually give you.

One thing you will want to watch out for is lots of users or spammy users. But it works incredibly well versus teams filled with AD casters who like to stack armor penetration.


Works best when your plan is to continue to splitpush and you're doing well. If you try to group with this item early-mid game you will most likely be too squishy and have to play very carefully. Generally looking to splitpush is a great option when your whole team is doing well and you can continue laning and pressuring the whole map for as long as possible. If your team isn't doing so well, then you probably want to grab tankier items to try to group and make plays to come back.

Situational Items

Frozen Mallet
This item is actually pretty decent, but is generally outclassed by . This is mostly due to the fact that the item is so expensive while only offering HP with no resistances.

Once you finish this item it is incredibly potent in the 1v1 or when able to auto targets safely from range in general. Especially once towers start going down, this means that you can catch pretty much anyone out and stick on them (especially in cougar form) till they're dead.

Overall this item is overpriced and generally only good when you're ahead or only looking to splitpush. At that point you could pretty much build anything.
Maw of Malmortius
Great against . can also be very nice for dueling AP's early on in lane if you want to rush it. If you want to fight and win a lane against AP, then this is your item.
Iceborn Gauntlet
I have two big complaints about this item. Firstly, the build path sucks. is great but is horrendous. It's decent if you rush it out of a start. But it's only 20 armor with mana and cdr which doesn't translate to really effective combat stats. I would be a lot tankier buying 45 armor for 720 gold. Once you finish the item it's fine, but up until that point it's really frustrating. Whereas something like or even feels a lot better before you finish the item itself, which is saying a lot.

Secondly, I hate the build path this forces you into. The traditional just isn't good anymore. And without a damage item on top of gauntlet you really just don't do much damage for very long. If you start building full tank (even worse after nerf) then you're 100% forced into health items since gauntlet gives you none. So you're either not tanky or you're dealing no damage. And you basically need 4 items before you're not vulnerable to something (magic resist item, armor item, damage item, gauntlet) and by then carries have making a lot of that ineffective.

That being said, Gauntlet has a ton of utility and if your team doesn't really need you to deal any damage then you can go for this item. It's still great at kiting bruisers and chasing down kills. I just don't feel like nidalee needs it with her increased pounce range and you get a far more impactful power spike from as well as better build paths after your core item.
Ravenous Hydra
Decent item. I would place this above and below . It's pretty good at splitpushing and the extra AD will add some significant damage to your takedown. Note that the tiamat effect will only take place while in cougar form.
Randuin's Omen
Hp and armor is good. However, I would specifically get this for grouping and for teamfighting. Nidalee with randuins can find flanks well and using your hunted pounce to jump in, get a randuins slow off on most of the enemy team. This doesn't mean you sit in the middle of the team and do a little bit more damage while you die. You most likely start to kite backwards. But getting that randuins slow off can be huge for grouping while you're still strong.
Liandry's Torment
Decent item but usually not worth it. It's mostly useful in a build which I don't like to build often. And most of the time I would rather just stop at and complete more important items.

That being said is very powerful when snowballing but can delay important tankier items. So it is a risk.
Guardian Angel
Good buy for teamfighting lategame. Can allow you to dive into fights without worrying about dying as much. This can delay their backline and give your backline the time they need to kill the enemy frontline.

Gives both resistances and is the only item left that does so.
Boots of Speed
I'm going to use this section to talk about boot choices.


Good against slows. I most often find myself using these boots against teams with lots of knockups since tenacity can't reduce a knockup/knockback's duration and if the team also has a lot of annoying slows like


This can help fill a lack of cdr in your build but I rarely grab these since defensive boots are usually needed.


Pretty standard buy in most of my games. Tenacity is a rare stat that's only found on a few items. And defense tree isn't good on Nidalee. So these are a must buy against lots of cc that can be reduced when grouping.


Good against lots of physical damage but usually not worth if you need tenacity.


Great at snowballing lane when you're really far ahead. Really bad in teamfights if you need tenacity.
Void Staff
Great lategame damage item for nidalee's cougar form. If you are a threat and the enemy team has lots of magic resist then pick this up if you can afford to instead of tankiness.
Spirit Visage
Alternative to banshees. This might be better after the 4.13 banshees nerfs.

The advantage of spirit visage is in the passive and the cdr. The passive synergizes with your own heal/regeneration and gives you a significant boost to primal surge and the regen from other tank items like warmogs.
The Bloodthirster
I've been liking this item a whole lot more after it's last buffs. The lifesteal is huge and the shield it gives is nice. The flat AD is also really great for taking towers.

Unfortunately after Nidalee's last nerfs to her takedown AD ratio I don't think this is the best item on Nidalee most of the time.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Prowl
QJavelin Toss / Takedown
WBushwhack / Pounce
EPrimal Surge / Swipe
RAspect Of The Cougar
The skill order above is just an example and Nidalee has a ton of flexibility in her early skill leveling.

Level 1
I think every skill is viable here in certain matchups and sometimes I even hold my skill all the way until the first trade or until level 2 waiting to see how the lane plays out. I actually rarely start W but I feel that it's the easiest for most players to have pounce at level 1 if they make a positioning mistake so they can be safe. Traps are also great utility at level 1 if you can place them in the jungle.

Starting Q or E
Often I will hold my first ability until I see what the enemy laner does. If it's a matchup like then they may try to jump on you early. Most players would say to start W to jump away and remain safe. However, I think that start E in this situation allows you to win the lane really hard. Riven should have to use 1-2 Q's just to get to you, which is a lot of potential damage. And she is a melee champion. You can heal most of the damage she does and get 2-4 free autos while she turns to walk back allowing you to heavily win the trade. If she doesn't jump on you and respects the matchup then I may hold my skill all the way till level 2 and then skill W and Q. Or I may just skill E and W and wait for level 3 before attempting to use cougar form for a serious trade.

2 points in Q and 2 points in E
I almost always go 2 points each pre-6. Your trades are very reliant on spears landing. And spears actually go up by a possible 75 base damage with each rank if you consider the distance traveled amplifier. So rank 2 spears do considerably more damage than rank 1, especially that early in the game. Leveling up your heal also increases the mana cost and while you will want to max it first, you should be playing more of a hit and run playstyle with nidalee that means you aren't taking very bad trades that require you to heal a lot.

Skill order max
I mostly never deviate from maxing R>E>Q>W. Points in ultimate are a most. Your cougar damage only scales with points in your ultimate.

Maxing heal first I think is best in pretty much every situation unless you're just snowballing pretty hard. If your lane is easy enough that you can max spear first then go for it. But in most situations maxing heal is safer and gives you better trades/tower pushing/etc.

I never really messed around with trying to max W before last. So I could be wrong here but I really don't think there's ever a situation where you would want these before spears or heals. The base heal and base damage is far too important on heal and spear respectively. WIthout one your early-mid game seems like it would be quite a bit weaker.

Skills

Prowl
PROWL: Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 10% for 2 seconds, which increases to 30% if she is moving toward a visible enemy champion within 5500-range.

HUNT: Hitting enemy champions with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack will mark them as Hunted for 4 seconds, revealing them. While moving toward Hunted, Nidalee gains Prowl's bonus movement speed and ignores unit collision. Additionally, Nidalee's first use of each of her Aspect of the Cougar abilities against Hunted will have an empowered effect.

Explanation
Firstly, it's important to note that this tooltip is not entirely accurate (copied from lolwiki). As of patch 4.11 Nidalee gains 10% movement speed in all directions while a visible target is hunted. This means landing a spear/trap helps you run away faster as well.

This passive is absolutely massive and makes nidalee an incredibly effective caster/assassin/bruiser thing (lol). One of the coolest parts, other than the incredible movement speed is the fact that you ignore unit collision. This makes chasing people feel really smooth and easy.

While laning, this is what allows nidalee to poke incredibly easily by abusing brush movement speed to run forward and auto.
Javelin Toss / Takedown
Javelin Toss
RANGE: 1500
COST: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
COOLDOWN: 6

ACTIVE: Nidalee hurls her javelin forward in a line, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits.
BASE MAGIC DAMAGE: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+40% AP)
After having traveled 525 units, the javelin's damage will be increase by 2% per 7.75 units traveled, capping at 200% bonus damage (300% total damage) after traveling 1300 units.
MAXIMUM MAGIC DAMAGE: 150 / 225 / 300 / 375 / 450 (+120% AP)

Takedown
COOLDOWN: 5
ACTIVE: Nidalee's next attack gains 75-range (200 total range) and is modified to deal magical damage. Despite dealing magic damage, Takedown will apply life steal.

Scales with ranks in Aspect of the Cougar

The damage is increased by 1.5% for every 1% of the target's missing health, for a maximum of 150% bonus damage (250% total damage).
BASE MAGIC DAMAGE: 4 / 20 / 50 / 90 (+100% AD) (+24% AP)
MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 10 / 50 / 125 / 225 (+250% AD) (+60% AP)
HUNT BONUS: If the target is marked as Hunted, Takedown deals 33% increased damage.
HUNT MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 13 / 67 / 167 / 300 (+333% AD) (+80% AP)

Explanation
Spears are incredibly important on Nidalee, even moreso now after the rework than they used to be for AP nidalee. Landing a spear increases your takedown damage by quite a bit and gives other added effects to the rest of your cougar abilities (including a double pounce range). Since traps are unreliable you mostly rely on spears to proc your passive. This means landing your spears, while they don't do crazy damage on their own are what sets up your biggest damage with takedown.

Takedown is a fairly straightforward spell. But note that with new nidalee the range is actually long enough that you can W>E>Q reliably and still get takedown off unless a knockback/dash prevents you from doing so. So in some matchups you have to to W>Q>E. But it's still a lot better.
Bushwhack / Pounce
Bushwhack
RANGE: 900
COST: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 mana
COOLDOWN: 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9

ACTIVE: Nidalee lays a trap at a target location that arms after a very brief delay. When sprung by an enemy unit, they will take magic damage plus a percentage of their current health over 4 seconds (max. damage 150 vs. monsters). Traps last for 2 minutes.
TOTAL MAGIC DAMAGE: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of target's current health)

Pounce
RANGE: 375 (750 against Hunted )
COOLDOWN: 5

ACTIVE: Nidalee lunges a fixed 375 units in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to enemies within a 75-radius area around her landing point.
Scales with ranks in Aspect of the Cougar
Killing a unit will reduced Pounce's current cooldown to 1 second if it's currently higher.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 (+ 30% AP)
HUNT BONUS: If the cursor is near an enemy marked as Hunted within 750-range, Pounce becomes a targeted dash.

Explanation
One of the coolest things about the new pounce is the soft reset on kill. Because this isn't restricted to champions, it makes waveclearing incredibly easy. And because hunted swipe has the same effect, it makes for easy trades where you can pounce out after. It also opens up some cool plays where you can get multiple pounces in a row when running away or chasing by killing a minion whether with cougar form or even with a spear. This is very similiar to some of the minion play that revolves around Irelia's Q (though not quite as instant).

It's also important to note that you pounce the direction of your cursor.

Also, getting used to the hunted pounce is pretty easy. There is a huge indicator that lights up and makes a sound when you are in range to pounce directly to the target. The range is fairly long and your passive helps you close the gap if you're not already in range.

As far as traps are concerned, Nidalee is very good at setting up traps for immediate upcoming situations. Traps only last 2 minutes but have a much shorter cooldown. So you can easily set up 3-5 in an area when looking to splitpush or contest an objective. This is especially true lategame with cdr.

It's important to trap around objectives and in walkways and bushes in general. Since traps proc your passive it gives you some free opportunities without even having to land a spear not to mention just giving vision is great utility.

While the traps do % health damage, the damage isn't incredibly significant without lots of AP or with at least magic pen. With a void staff it actually does respectable damage to high health tanks.
Primal Surge / Swipe
Primal Surge
RANGE: 600
COST: 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120 mana
COOLDOWN: 12

ACTIVE: Nidalee evokes the spirit of the cougar, healing a target allied champion or herself and granting them bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.
HEAL: 45 / 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 (+ 50% AP)
ATTACK SPEED: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60%

Swipe
RANGE: 300
COOLDOWN: 5

ACTIVE: Nidalee claws at enemies in a 180-degree cone in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit.

Scales with ranks in Aspect of the Cougar

MAGIC DAMAGE: 70 / 130 / 190 / 250 (+ 45% AP)
HUNT BONUS: If Swipe hits an enemy marked as Hunted, Pounce's current cooldown is reduced to 1 second if it's currently higher.

Explanation
Nidalee's heal is the main reason her laning phase is so good. Having a heal with an attack speed steroid makes her trading incredibly annoying. This also means that her heal scales directly with her ADC's damage or any other attack speed scaling champions on her team.

It's very helpful to learn to self-cast with this ability since you can misclick even smartcast on targets that are standing on top of you.

Swipe mainly is used for the waveclear and the pounce reset on hunted targets. The damage is actually really nice though and scales well with ranks in ultimate. If possible use this before takedown to increase takedown damage. If people are running away you can also use the extra pounce to catch up to them though this is a bit more risky.

Note that you swipe the direction of your cursor.
Aspect Of The Cougar
COOLDOWN: 3

ACTIVE: Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, gaining a new set of abilities and melee attacks (125 range). Triggering The Hunt resets Aspect of the Cougar's cooldown if Nidalee is in Human Form.

Each rank in Aspect of the Cougar increases the ranks of all of Nidalee's cougar abilities.

ACTIVE: Nidalee transforms back into her human form.

Nidalee begins the game with one rank in Aspect of the Cougar and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16.

Explanation
This is obviously what ties Nidalee's whole kit together. Managing this cooldown and learning when to switch between forms is essential to becoming a good nidalee player. Note that the hunt resets this cooldown if in human form. If you time this with say a spear on a minion you can also soft reset your pounce cooldown and instantly pounce again.

Even though it says it in the tooltip, I want to reiterate that your cougar abilities do not scale with ranks in Q/W/E. It only scales with ranks in ultimate.

Matchups

Aatrox
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Aatrox is a strong duelist 1v1, but outside of being surprised by his level 2 you should be able to beat him in lane early on.

This matchup should mostly involved you poking aatrox until he tries to jump on you. Make sure you always have you ulti cooldown up when you go to poke aatrox so you can R>W to pounce away. Once Aatrox's Q is down it's easy to poke him and chase him down for a kill. Your cougar form burst, especially at level 6 is too much for aatrox to sustain through if you have .

If aatrox pops his ulti you should try to run and kite it out since his ulti gives him a lot of power.
Akali
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Akali can be a pretty difficult matchup, especially if you don't get an advantage early. Akali becomes a problem after she's hit 6 and gets all of her stacks of ult. So you really want to try to gain an advantage in level 1-6. 1-3 especially you can usually poke Akali extremely hard. She often doesn't have her W yet at especially level 1 and 2 and you can punish her for every cs.

Past the early stages of the lane you absolutely must buy magic resist unless you're super far ahead. There's really nothing you can do about having to facetank akali damage. So you have to be able to survive it and/or kill her first.
Chogath
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You can bully this matchup pretty heavily early on in the game. Pre 6 and at 6. Chogath sustain is good if he can keep last hitting. This is very similiar to the matchup except easier early game and harder in the midgame. Keep up the pressure and force him off the creep wave. He can get unkillable if you don't get a lead and keep it.

Magic resist is nice in this matchup. Get it if you feel you need it. Watch out for a cho who has an attack speed item too. His E hurts.

Tenacity reduces the duration of silence which can be extremely important.
Darius
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Situational item: Early for ms to kite.
Summoner:

Don't fight extended trades and let him continue to all-in you with 5 bleed stacks.

Poke, don't all-in until he's low.

Just watch his e range, try to bait it out. When his e is down he can't do anything.

If you get pulled just run away, his e gives him armor penetration and you're not going to win a melee fight with darius. At most get in an E and Q in cougar form.
Drmundo
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I haven't played much of this matchup with new nidalee since Mundo has somewhat fallen out of favor. But I can't imagine it's much more difficult. If anything it's easier in the early game after defense tree nerfs and nidalee buffs.

Try to punish Mundo hard early. He will become a monster with lategame farm that's hard for you to deal with. So you really want to abuse him. His level 6 isn't even that strong and if you ignite right away he actually loses a lot of health if he ults at a decent healthy point.

The only way you can really throw this lane is by being overaggressive and diving a tower while mundo is ulting. It's easy to underestimate the healing, even through ignite that can make your tower dive go wrong.
Fiora
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Summoner: (try to exhaust before ulti)

Fiora who maxes q makes a difficult lane for nid. The cd goes down by over half the rank 1 cd when maxed. And the base damage is good. This allows her to trade with you often and gives you little breathing room to sustain.

This lane used to be heavily in favor of Fiora but Nidalee just straight up does more damage now and is more safe in lane. You have a lot of kill potential because of how high your takedown damage is. Nidalee has been buffed to the point where I think this lane favors her early.

Don't stick around at 30-40% health when she has everything up. You're easily tower divable at low health.
Irelia
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No matter what you build you have to find an early source of health. Even if you don't want to build a item, you have to fit into your build on your first back or two.

The main thing you want to watch out for in this matchup is letting irelia initiate a trade by stunning you without having to dash to you first. Try to be aware of any nearby allied minions health as she could jump to it and stun you. After getting a few autos she will dash to you and get another free auto. This is the ideal trade for irelia.

Kite her and run away when her w is activated. Punish her when it is down.

Her level 6 all in is very strong if she gets early dorans and especially with .
Jax
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He outscales you. You need to build an early advantage and keep pressure up to keep jax down. If you don't beat jax by level 11 then the game might as well already be over in most situations.

Never initiate a trade with jax by pouncing into him. Constantly auto jax and make him leap to you. Switch into cougar form, Q and E then pounce backwards out of the stun. Trading like this, Jax cannot beat you 1v1.

Keep track of every third auto. He will try to jump on you with his ult passive ready to go.

Early on, Jax has lots of mana issues. Make sure he takes lots of autos on his way out in addition to losing his mana if he tries to jump on you and stun you.
Jayce
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Jayce always spends money on non combat stats with tear first. This should give you a pretty good window to gain an advantage in lane as flat combat stats will give you a lot more at this stage of the lane.

If you land a spear you have kill potential on Jayce. But be careful of his poke. Jayce has a very dangerous all-in if he can poke you first. He is very similiar to nidalee in this way.

Make sure to land your Q immediately when using W. A good Jayce can E you away before your Q goes off but it's very hard to do unless you try to E before your Q. Then it's very easy for him to knock you away.
Kayle
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This matchup is annoying early on. Kayle can outwaveclear you and 1v1 there isn't much you can do until you get a few levels for all of your cougar abilities. By level 2-3 you can look to start landing some spears to get some good trades.

Always keep Kayle's level 6 in your mind. If she has ult up she can stop your whole cougar burst from happening and do a lot of damage to you in the meantime. It also costs 0 mana. So it is always available.
Kennen
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Always keep a track of kennen's passive stacks on you, don't let him get a free stun. Walk back out of range before he does.

will save your life and are a must buy in this matchup.

Kennen is tough to itemize against early on since he does mixed damage. I definitely wouldn't try building armor though. should be enough.

Get magic resist if you have to in lane and then get straight to trinity. Once you have you should be able to trade with kennen pretty well.
Leesin
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Pay attention to what lee is maxing, and play around that. He can literally max any ability in this matchup and do well. If q, it's simply all about dodging the q. If w he's just trying to sustain and you should be able to outdamage him playing around his cd's. If e, try to avoid melee range as much as possible - which you probably should be doing until you poke him down with auto's anyways.

Lee is still melee early and is fairly weak at early levels. Especially 1 and 2 unless you let him land Q's for free. I like to not be afraid and harass aggressively at these levels.

If lee uses his abilities on creeps or misses a Q that's a huge opportunity for you. Punish him for that unless he has a huge creep advantage.
Malphite
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Just watch your health pool. Don't let his q spam get you down below 40%, or else you could die to his combo. Although if you're good you can outplay this with .

Unless you mess up this matchup should be pretty easy. Trade with him, and heal up afterwards, repeat.

Try to at least get one auto in before his passive comes back up. If you let him always trade with his passive he is much harder to poke down.

At level 6, malphite is always excellent setup for a jungler gank. Don't play over-aggressive unless you know you can get away with it.
Nasus
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Situational item: Do you really need a special item to help you win this lane?
Summoner:

You should be able to bully nasus out of lane early and often. Be mindful of the jungler but pressure nasus incredibly hard through auto poke. This poke becomes a lot more potent with early points in spears. I would highly suggest at least 2 and even 3 points in spear if the lane is going really well.

Nasus passive with dorans shield will do a pretty good job of keeping him in lane pre 6. Don't get greedy with auto attack poke and die to a jungle gank. You will win this lane. But you also need to not throw it.

Nasus WILL outscale you. You need to win lane, shove down towers and rotate to other lanes and drag. Snowball towers/dragons and global gold in general and make use of your advantage. You can shove nasus' shit in for 30 minutes, but at some point he will just start beating you 1v1 because he's nasus even if he was 2 levels down. Get your Triforce. Win lane, take the tower and go fuck shit up on the rest of the map. If you're not punishing Nasus you should be punishing his teammates and taking objectives.
Olaf
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Don't let yourself fall victim to an early all-in. Be very careful about engaging olaf in cougar form without a major hp advantage. If you pounce forward, that can instantly be a chance for olaf to all in. Poke and be patient. Also having tier 2 boots is really important here. Try to get them early, at the latest with your first core item.

That being said you should be able to poke Olaf relatively easily. His level 1 especially is pretty weak. I like to start E in this matchup if he tries to run up and trade with me.

Overall, as long as you're patient you should win this lane. Olaf is deceptively strong in long all-ins due to his passive and W. You really don't want to sit there and beat on each other. Play the way Nidalee wins lanes. Poke and kite until it's safe to trade in cougar.
Pantheon
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Pantheon is a pretty huge lane bully and tough for nidalee to deal with. You want to get some early armor to outlast his spear harass. If he gets ahead and can poke you down with a few spears it's a really tough lane. And if he can shove you in that means he can also roam and go kill your mid lane or other allies.

You can beat him, just need armor and HP. When you land a spear on him, you can go in for a cougar trade if you're healthy. But be careful of his passive. His passive will completely block takedown damage and is refreshed by his stun. You want to be able to auto it off of him before you jump on him and hit your Q immediately when pouncing on him before attempting to swipe. This is slightly less damage but way more damage than getting your takedown 100% blocked after he stuns you.
Renekton
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Renekton is strong in the early lane, but actually fairly weak at levels 1-3. I usually like to start E against renekton unless he's playing extremely passive. If he tries to trade with me I destroy him with autos and the attack speed buff. Renekton is fairly weak until he can trade with all of his abilities. And he stays that way until about level 4 with rank 2 Q.

If Renekton is building tank to group, you can always beat him in the 1v1. His all-in is stronger, and you may have to kite out his ult. But you can always win the 1v1. If Renekton is building glass cannon to 1v1 you then it's much more of a skill matchup and a harder matchup for nidalee, but you actually become more effective in grouping. And if you kite him out and make him use his cooldowns then you're much stronger afterward.

Don't get baited by renekton's ult. It's very powerful and makes him a lot stronger than you temporarily. A lot of this matchup is baiting out the ult and then running away till it's down.
Rengar
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Rengar is really annoying because this is the only matchup where nidalee has virtually 0 bush control. You still place traps of course. But you must make sure you are consistently out of rengar passive range. Taking free hits will lose the lane pretty quickly.

Try not to waste your abilities when rengar w is up. The increased armor is noticeable and will win him trades.

Note that I have not played this matchup since the rengar rework. So I need more experience before I can say for sure what the matchup is like.

Be very careful of Rengar with ult up. If he backs off the screen and you're somewhere around half health or lower you should really consider backing up to a safe spot.
Riven
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Riven is all about cd's. Make her use cd's to get to you and kite back until they are gone. Once her cd's are down then punish her. Her cooldowns are long in the early part of the game before levels + cdr.

Do not be caught off guard by Riven's level 6. She can kill you, even if she's at 30%hp and you're at full. Pretty much only jump in if you can kill her in one combo. Otherwise continue to kite and auto attack poke and at least try to force her to use Q's to have to get to you and not be able to use all 3 for damage. If you do this then you can probably trade evenly on her way out.

A really good Riven is a huge threat in lane. You basically want to always respect her cooldowns. If her cooldowns are up then you have to be able to pounce away if she dashes at you.
Rumble
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Rumble gets pretty strong at level 4-5 as flamespitter starts to deal good damage. Try not to let the wave be pushed up past river at this point of the lane. He will hit level 6 first and try to all-in you as a big creep wave builds up. If you are pushed up on his side of the lane pre-6 you will most likely die or get zoned from cs. This is very bad.

Try not to get hit by both (or either) of his e's. The slow is underrated and if you get hit by both you're going to take a really bad trade.

Itemize lots of magic resist. / are both very strong here. And is good as well if you get it really early.
Ryze
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Situational item: or
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Ryze is a little bit tough early, but he has very specific items he wants to get to () that are time-sensitive as to when they reach their full stacks. This delays his resistances and gives you a chance to punish him really easily. This is true honestly at all stages of the early lane but is especially prevalent when you complete .

I would try to buy magic resist on pretty much your first back. Ryze is a very straightforward champion. And you're never going to be able to kill him without being in range for his damage. You have to have the durability to survive this damage and trade with him. You will probably also want for his snare.

Another thing you can abuse about ryze is his poor waveclear and poor early mana sustain. Even if he takes and you don't, it's not a huge deal. Because you can shove him into tower fairly easily. Without his ult, his waveclear is just abysmal and you can find good back timings as long as you poke him down first.
Shen
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Get an early and for an easy lane. Shen's passive, q and e are all magic damage.

As soon as you get a few levels you can start just relentlessly pushing him into tower. Don't give him breathing room to ult away. If he does ult away you better take a tower and deny him way more than it was worth.

This is just a personal preference but I like penetration runes sometimes versus shen since he gets pretty tanky. It makes your power spike really insane and shen can't do anything against you.

The biggest problem with nidalee versus shen is that you can't interrupt his ultimate. That's why it's very important to have pressure in the lane and to let your team know when you don't so that they can play passive while you're buying or running back to lane.
Shyvana
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Shyv's ult makes her incredibly tanky and makes all her abilities aoe (easy to hit). You need an hp advantage before an all-in, and even then you need to know your limits. Poke with autos and spears first.

Magic resistance is incredibly important in this matchup, even moreso than armor. Don't make the mistake of not building magic resistance at some point.

Shyvana will try to shove you in early. If you can—especially if she's not shoving you in that hard and just trying to get cs—poke her out of lane. Though shyv has decent mobility with W, she has no real gap closer. You should be able to poke her out of lane fairly safely and easily.
Singed
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Punish singed for being melee and auto him down. Even if he has you should still be able to punish him hard.

Don't fight singed and get flung with his ult on. Punish him when it is down, this lane is literally that simple. Singed with ult is strong, singed without ult is weak.

A lot of singed players like to build specific items that have health or even no combat stats at all——and don't have early resistances, so it becomes pretty easy to punish this. On top of this advantage, you should be able to finish before Singed buys any major resistances. You can absolutely destroy him at this point and he shouldn't be able to stay in lane past the duration of his ultimate at most.
Teemo
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Teemo blind will make your takedown miss. Try to wait out the blind duration or else you will lose trades.

are my preferred boots in this matchup for the mushroom slow and highest in combat movement speed. I also like to get in the early-mid game if possible as it makes a huge difference against teemo to clear out and disable mushrooms.

This matchup used to be considerably harder but new nidalee can get on top of teemo pretty easily and deal a lot of damage. If you get a hunted proc you should be able to win the trade most of the time if you don't let blind outplay you.
Tryndamere
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Summoner: or

Tryndamere should start trying to push the lane early building up his rage while also pushing for an early level 2. Don't stick around too long for auto harass. Respect the level 2. That's pretty much the only way to lose this lane early. Letting tryndamere be close enough to get windslash damage on you will also lead to an auto or two at least. This will not be a good trade for you.

You need to punish trynd in the laning phase since he's going to outscale you. You should start being able to look for good trades post level 3. Try to dodge his slow if at all possible. But it can be tough to outplay it so best not to rely on that. The matchup is fairly straightforward. If Trynd spins into you, you pounce away after doing your cougar damage. Be careful about trading if he has full fury though. Still, Trynd should never really be able to fight you early. If he spins at you it's an easy spear which means big damage for you unless he's full hp.

Try not to trade too much or use takedown while trynd has his w on you (even if the slow didnt land). The reduced ad makes a big difference.
Vladimir
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You can harass vlad pretty heavily at early levels. If he tries to trade with you at level 1 you can start E and win the trade pretty heavily. If you're confident you won't take bad trades you could even start spear and go for early all-ins as soon as 2 depending on how effective your poke was.

Vlad sustains very well over time if you let him. Trade hard and keep up the pressure every second of the lane. You can outtrade him and build an advantage by playing very aggressive. This can lead to being camped, so make sure to place .

The lane actually starts to swing back in Vlad's favor somewhat by level 7-9. Be careful here and don't throw your lead, especially if you don't have summoners up and/or don't know where their jungler is. Once you finish you can shit on Vlad really hard.

Vlad is way better in 5v5 in most situations. Build to splitpush and keep forcing someone to come deal with you unless you've won lane so hard that you actually are just way stronger in vlad, in which case you can dominate mid game fights.
Wukong
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Wukong literally has a deceptively strong level 2. If you don't have you could lose the early lane if the wukong knows what he's doing. Let the wave push to you and don't take too many unnecessary combos. 2 of them and you are in danger of dying.

Wukong's level 6 is strong. Don't all in him at low healths. i'd want to have some good defensive stats before fighting him. Wukong really isn't that strong against nid, as long as you know what to expect and don't give him free kills. But if he snowballs it's terror. So don't make too many mistakes but realize you're also stronger 1v1 because of how you can poke. If he E's in on you make sure to trade back. That's a free spear into hunted cougar damage.
Yasuo
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Yasuo used to be a really rough matchup for nidalee but it's not so bad now and I'd say it's even in Nidalee's favor.

Your main window for winning this matchup comes before yasuo completes . are very weak early laning items. Try to punish yasuo during this period. Other than that, Yasuo is still melee. He does have lots of mobility, but outside of letting him good a good ulti on you when not at full health, you should be able to get good trades on him if he comes close enough to Q you post 6. This gives you free spears unless he windwalls them. And that's an extremely long cooldown at rank 1.

When I've faced really good yasuos they can be really hard to kite. And certain junglers like give him really easy ultis. You really want to have in this matchup for surviving all-ins and ganks as well as for teamfights. Consider exhaust, especially if you expect to be camped.
Zac
Difficulty
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Starting items: or
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Nidalee can pressure Zac and get his hp low, pretty easily. Pre-6 there's nothing Zac can really do at all unless his jungler is nearby. If he's charging his E then I would expect someone to be near.

The biggest mistake that most nidalee players will make in this matchup is not being patient enough and pouncing into a Zac at 30-40% hp. Zac is incredibly strong at low hp because of the way his passive works giving him crazy sustain. It's even further compounded at level 6 when you're usually looking for a kill. Each bounce of zac ult gives him a blob that regenerates %hp. Keep poking and keep pushing him into tower. Try to get his passive for free if you can and always be aware of it. You can check this by clicking on Zac and looking at the buffs he has on him.

Try to step on Zac's blobs as you will deny him regen.

Early Game

Level 1
Starting W
If you do this then try to place traps in level 1 invade paths or level 3 gank paths for the enemy jungler. You can generally get 4 down at level 1 without a problem. 5 if you really use your time to it's fullest.

No matter which side you're on it's typically prudent to place a trap in the banana bush leading up to your blue buff. This is a common invade path in soloq, especially against /.

You can place a defensive trap in the bush behind red buff cove to guard against an invade if you think the enemy jungler might invade your junglers red. Alternatively you can place an offensive trap in the standard red buff bush so that when the jungler pulls the buff into the bush or simply leaves the cove after finishing the buff they will reveal themselves.

Starting E or Q
Nidalee actually wins most level 1 trades starting E. The attack speed with is very strong and if you play level 1 correctly you can gain an early advantage in a lot of lanes that are harder once you get to ~level 3-5. Think of something like Riven that is known for her all-in at level 2. If she has to use 1-2 Q's just to get to you she's missing a decent chunk of her damage. She's also going to have to turn around and walk away at some point after closing the gap. This is where you heal up some of the damage she just dealt and then auto hard.

Starting Q is also nice for level 1 trades and even better for level 2 all-ins. However it can be risky to all-in with just Q and W since you can't E to get the reduced cd on W to jump back out.

Early lane
In general, Nidalee is strong at levels 1-3ish and somewaht weaker by level 4ish against most bruisers/ad casters. Ranged champions are kinda different depending on the matchup. But against most melees, you can auto harass extremely hard at levels 1-3 when they come up for cs. If they jump on you, heal and then continue autoing them as you kite them back. Try to use the bushes for your passive movement speed whenever possible. This will help you kite bruisers who generally have higher base movement speed as well as drop minion aggro in between auto attacks. You can do this by going auto > duck into bush > come out of bush > auto.

At level 6 Nidalee is pretty strong again as her cougar form abilities all rank up. If you're poking someone down and you're level 5, it's probably worth the wait for level 6 cougar damage.

Bush control
Nidalee has one of the most unique advantages in the game in having long lasting traps. The only champion who has better traps is and he only gets his at 6. Bush control can be extremely important and means it's hard to zone a nidalee as a melee champion because you can take away the fog of war in bushes.

Last-hitting under tower
Champions who have exceptional wavclear can force you to last hit under turret no matter what you do. Both rank one W and Q basically do the damage of an auto attack. Learn to use these tools to help you get the maximum amount of cs. Melee minions take two tower shots and an auto attack in most cases unless your AD is very low (it won't be with runes and especially ). Caster minions take one tower shot and two autos. You can also use heal to increase your attack speed to help get in extra autos in between tower shots.

Respect the level 2
If there's an aatrox with dorans blade who's auto attacking minions, guess what's going to happen? He's going to hit level 2 and immediately jump on you and all-in you. If your reflexes are slow you'll probably lose your life AND your summoners AND two and a half waves of creeps. At this point your lane is officially over. This is the worst possible thing that can happen to you. It's ok to give up 2-4 cs and let the wave push to you. But most of all just make sure you have W by level 2 in these kinds of matchups and don't fall victim to not respecting your opponent.

Respect the jungler
The more you play league the more you start to realize what other champions are capable of. This includes jungler timings. And for the most part, depending on jungler and how good of a leash they got they can be to your lane somewhere between 3:00 and 3:20ish if they started on the opposite side of the map. Make that closer to 3:45 to 4:00 if they started on your side of the map. This means use your trinket ward or just play safe. Pretty simple stuff. Everybody has to deal with junglers. You can say "i was zoned out of xp". But there isn't an excuse for dying.

Mid Game


Trinity Force is love. Trinity Force is life. This item is godlike on Nidalee and once you complete it you are a monster. You do an incredible amount of burst damage in cougar form and you have the movement speed to chase down anyone. Once I have this item I honestly look to group a lot of the time for objectives. If you can find a good flank with this item timing you can absolutely wreck early-mid game teamfights.

There's a misconception that Nidalee is awful in teamfights. And while this is halfway true lategame, it's not at all true in midgame. Midgame Nidalee is a beast that cannot be tamed. Your mobility and damage wrecks fights if you use it right. If you haven't figure it out yet you aren't Shyvana and you aren't going to be able to sit in the middle of 4 people doing AoE damage. Play to Nidalee's strengths.

Even if you continue you split you can almost always land kills 1v1 with anyone in lane at this point as well. And you can take towers in pretty much one wave with just this item as long as you keep up with the sheen procs.

Pushing down towers
As simple as this is, I feel it's important to go over, since I see many nidalee players not do this as quickly as they could. Basically, you have infinite procs. And these help you take towers very quickly in addition to your attack speed steroid from E. When auto attacking turrets, use human form W and Q in between auto attacks—don't interrupt an auto attack animation, throw an ability right after your auto ends. But also make sure not to waste abilities and only use it after the internal cooldown on your sheen (2 seconds) has gone by.

Once you have used this, jump into cougar form and use your Q/E/W much the same way, right after an auto animation completes after waiting for the sheen cooldown. After this, you can jump into human form and your heal should be pretty much up again. Rinse and repeat. Usually just can help you take tower in about two waves. If you have you can easily take down a tower in just 1 wave if someone leaves the lane unattended.

I pushed top tower down. Now what?
The mid game is all about transitions. You should always be moving from one thing to the next. Be thinking about where you're going to go and what you're going to do next before you even start moving there. Here are some general options you have.

Push down a second tower top lane
If all your lanes are winning or at least have pressure, then this is likely the best option. If the jungler comes to your lane your team can take things on the other side of the map easily since everyone is doing at least decent if not very well.

Place at least 2 deep in the enemy top jungle ( near wraiths and bottom of red if blue side or near blue and banana bush if purple side). Take all the jungle you can as well. Nidalee is very strong at skirmishing and you should be looking to fight in the jungle especially if you have an advantage. Keep timers on buffs and try to punish the enemy team by taking everything you can. This will take experience, but try not to give up kills and over extend either.

Push up your wave to tower and rotate
Start pushing down other towers. This option is especially effective if you have built any ap as your midgame siege becomes more powerful. This can also turn into a rotate to dragon. Communicate with your team to achieve this objective.

What nidalee lacks in raw tankiness and aoe damage she makes up for in mobility and raw burst. Nidalee doesn't have hard cc herself, but she can get places faster than almost any other champion due to pounce and her passive/ult passive. It's all situational, but you may be able to dive mid if it's pushed to tower or just gank it if it's not. Nidalee's roams are very effective if you land your spear.

Gank bottom.
This generally works in two scenarios. First, you could take and your team places a behind the enemy bot lane in their lane bush or they're just pushed up pretty far. Second, if your bot lane has lost pretty hard and their bot lane is continuing to push up to your 2nd tier tower... sometimes you can just makes plays happen by running in to lane gank an enemy that is that far pushed up. Nidalee's mobility is higher than almost any champion's in the game and your 2nd tier to their 1st tier is a really long distance for you to be able to chase someone down.

I lost lane pretty hard. Now what?
All is not lost! Keep playing your game and trying your best to keep up in levels and experience. Get the gold you can without giving up more than you already have if possible.

Most of the time Nidalee is fairly useful after and you can kill any squishy on the map as long as you're not incredibly far behind.

You still lost lane though, so you are behind and much less useful than another bruiser who could have lost lane and built tanky. Just keep trying your best to catch up. And try not to lose lane so hard in the first place next time XD.

Late Game

There is a lot of variety to how you can play out the lategame. It largely depends on team comp and how far ahead/behind you are. But lets look at some of the common options.

4-1 split
Some champions like can outscale nidalee and make this a less appealing option. But most of the time Nidalee can win the 1v1. This is especially a good option if the enemy top laner has a huge teamfight presence like a or if nidalee just has a favorable 1v1 in general. This means your team has function effectively as a 4 man unit and be able to not only not lose 4v4 to the enemy team but also disengage 5v4 should the enemy top laner join their fight with a teleport or otherwise. Sure you will be taking towers. But it's completely situational as to whether or not it's worth it. If it's late enough in the game and all 4 of your teammates die then you could be looking at losing the game.

Just group
This is especially effective if you're ahead. But sometimes splitpushing just isn't working. Maybe your team is getting caught a lot (might be mostly their fault, might be the enemy team comp, likely some combination of both). Or the enemy team has a lot of ways to create picks on you so it's unsafe to splitpush—. There's a misconception that nidalee is worthless in teamfights. I think that's pretty similiar to saying Irelia is useless in teamfights. Irelia does have a stun over Nidalee but nidalee also has a lot more mobility and arguably more burst damage. A well played nidalee can cause havoc in fights, especially if you build for teamfights.

Baiting baron
Lategame, past 30 minutes baron should have a huge presence on the map. Both teams should be hyper-acutely aware of their baron vision and whether or not the enemy team could be even close to it. Getting baron vision is absolutely huge and Nidalee's traps can help a lot here and also create a lot of opportunities to zone and deal damage to hunted targets who are trying to facecheck to get vision. Nidalee is extremely good at making picks in combination with other single target cc on your team.

Buy . Spam in bushes and areas leading to baron.

If the enemy team isn't coming to contest and you can attempt to burn the baron quickly, then Nidalee's attack speed steroid on an ADC can chunk through baron incredibly fast.

Be careful of items like as you can get baited to jumping on and being out of position.

Teamfights

Synergies

This may seem somewhat odd to lump these champions together. But even if these champions don't land all their cc/damage really well they can usually split up teams incredibly effectively. Nidalee doesn't perform that well in teamfights sometimes in the lategame because it's hard to jump into 5 people and live. But this way nidalee can often jump into 2-3 people and then jump back out without a problem.


These are just utility mages that gives Nidalee alot of utility and shields to help her be really disruptive in fights and stay alive. Lulu is especially effective with her ultimate.


The theme here is generally single target cc. But more specifically it's strong pick potential. Singling out a target and setting up nidalee for a huge spear into cougar form burst makes your job really easy. This list is in no way exhaustive.

Counters

These champions, and others like them have specifically easy to land knockbacks or knockups. If they land these at the appropriate time it's really easy to knock nidalee away when she uses her hunted pounce before she can get her combo off. It can be incredibly annoying to play against these champions if played well.


A godlike nocturne could use ult to deny vision on a hunted target. Don't think most nocturnes are that good that they could consistently get the timing right for this and use it in the right situation.


These types of champions and items make it extremely difficult for you to actually kill someone as they directly counter your burst. Also an honorable mention to .


It's extremely hard to dive into a malzahar. If you're taking malzahar ults you probably have to get


This list could go on for a long time. But basically, you can't just randomly group mid as 5 and just jump into a team with these kinds of champions. You're going to die and lose. You have to start to find smarter ways to play the game by splitting. Push up your lane. Then try to approach from a flank. Start to think outside of "group mid as 5 and randomly posture until someone starts a random teamfight". If that was the only strategy the viable soloq champion pool in league of legends would be extremely small.

Also buy .


This is somewhat of a soft counter that gains more relevance with the presence of other peel from teamfights. With blinks/dashes/etc you can avoid the nidalee takedown damage if you time it right. The correct timing is when nidalee has begun her pounce but before she lands. She will land where you were, not where you ended up which will be out of her takedown range. This doesn't always mean a lot in 1v1 due to her passive movespeed.

Changelog

This changelog has started over for the Nidalee rework in the 4.10 patch. First day I'm keeping this updated is July.6.2014

Final Comments

Thanks for reading the guide! Please leave comments, good or bad telling me what was good, and what wasn't so good. I hope this guide can help you improve at nidalee and perhaps carry some of your solo que journey.

Comments

October 6, 2014 - 10:38 PM #1

Hey a really nice guide on nidalee, I noticed a spelling mistake

"I mostly never deviate from maxing R>E>Q>W. Points in ultimate are a most. Your cougar damage only scales with points in your ultimate."

Shouldn't most be must ? not that you're wrong i just thought you'd like to know.

September 12, 2014 - 08:53 AM #2

so AP Bruiser build. iceborn gauntlet, liandry's torment, void staff, randuin's omen, athene's unholy grail, sorcerer's shoes. the dmg seemed pretty good.. more combos and less auto attack fighting with this build tho. what do you think?

September 6, 2014 - 10:37 PM #3

Good catch! I actually didn't know spirit visage worked this way now. It definitely used to work for allied spells from what I remember, even if that was the super old spirit visage that nobody really bought.

September 6, 2014 - 04:04 PM #4


"The advantage of spirit visage is in the passive and the cdr. The passive synergizes with your own heal/regeneration as well as any regneration or healing effects from friendly sources."

Healing effects from friendly sources? Are you sure?

August 29, 2014 - 09:24 PM #5

Prideth - I don't like muramana because tear makes you really weak in lane. Gauntlet has great utility but it needs to be complemented with another damage item or else your damage falls off really hard. It also leaves you very vulnerable to ap damage for a really long time since it doesn't even give hp.

CptCrack - Rageblade isn't terrible but I just don't think it's comparable to the other options available. Statik shiv in particular outperforms it considerably at a comparable price. Rageblade's passive just doesn't feel like it matters and they shifted a lot of the raw stats into it's passive in season 3. Ever since then I haven't been a fan of the item

August 28, 2014 - 07:01 PM #6

Really nice guide, can you add Gnar matchup please?

August 26, 2014 - 12:32 PM #7

best nid guide ive seen

August 18, 2014 - 11:19 AM #8

Really helpfull guide! But what do you think about rageblade as a second offensive item for a "splitpush" nidalee?

August 17, 2014 - 05:23 PM #9

JYarbs what do you think about muramana, iceborn, merc treads, spirit visage, essence reaver, and randuin's build? start with DRing, 2 pots and warding totem trinket.

August 10, 2014 - 06:38 AM #10

Deadaclysm - It was mostly a mistake. Banshees was definitely best but after it's nerfs I'm not entirely convinced it's worth it unless you can reliably utilize the passive effectively in teamfights.

randompanda - I've faced only 2 so far and just won lane. I'll try to get a matchup up soon once I get a more complete feel for the matchup.

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