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NIDALEE BUILD GUIDE: [S3] Extensive Solotop-Guide: You call this civilized? by Transformer

by Transformer (last updated over a year ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
8
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +1.2 magic resist per level (21.6 at champion level 18))
1
Greater Glyph of Attack Damage(+0.28 attack damage)
3
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage( +6.75 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
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21 Offense
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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

Runes

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21 Offense
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0 Utility

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

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Ever since Season 1 I have been fascinated by the concept of Nidalee and I've spent much time playing her. I remember times, when she used to be permanently banned, then got hit by the nerfhammer and went from being permabanned to Karma-status, since her playsytle changed drastically with higher mana-costs and less spear-damage and heal.

Accordingly itemizations that used to be good suddenly were not viable anymore at all (Rushing for instance).

In this guide, I will do my best explaining my personal approach towards Solotop-Nidalee, will discuss different item-paths, different skill-orders and different mastery-setups and different rune-combinations and of course the reasoning behind all of those.

Furthermore this guide will be Bruiser/Offtank-Nidalee, at most there will be some hybrid items (if even). So if you're looking for an AP Midalee guide, you came to the wrong place and I'm sorry to disappoint you. Maybe I will release an AP-Nidalee guide in the future, if requested.

Last but not least, before starting this guide, I would like you to know that everything that is written here, is based on my personal experience and understanding, which means you may or may not agree with me on some points (especially the "Solotop-Matchups"-Chapter). This guide is based on my personal perceptions, and how I am doing things. You may adapt all of it, some things or even downvote the guide, because you completely disagree with me. If you consider this guide flawed or disagree with me, feel free to contact me so we can discuss it in more detail. I'm always open to suggestions!

Anyways, let's get started, shall we?

Standard Masteries and Alternatives

I'm running 21/9/0 masteries in most cases.

In the defensive tree I'm looking to get the scaling 6 health points per level, as well as the 30 flat health points. Furthermore I'm adding one point in 'Tough Skin' [damage taken from minions reduced by 1] and three points in 'Hardiness' for addditional 5 Armor to make up for Nidalee's low Base-Armor of 11.

In the offensive tree I go for both 'Arcane Knowledge' and 'Weapon Expertise' [8% Armor Penetration & 8% Magic Penetration], while also maxing out 'Havoc' [2% increased damage] and waiving the flat armor penetration from 'Sunder'.

In addition to the mastery-example given above, I'd like to draw your attention to 3 more viable and working possibilities:

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[http://s7.directupload.net/images/121221/okgp3ept.png]

This is a modified mastery-tree, sacking the AP/LvL and %Magic-Penetration for more AD and flat Armor-Penetration and additional damage to minions. I recommend this tree if you focus on mostly spending your time in human form and poking with autoattacks, even in the later stages of the game.

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[http://s7.directupload.net/images/121221/dhsxofb4.png]

This is a defensive mastery-setup. I recommoned this, when your team misses a designated tank or when your toplane-matchup is disadvantageous for you.

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[http://s14.directupload.net/images/121221/d2c988ha.png]

I use this admittedly very unusual setup in situations, where the Ban/Pick-phase doesn't give away who I will be up against. For instance: Opponents pick Teemo, Diana and Kha'Zix. 2 of them can jungle, all of the them can be played mid, all of them can be played top. In situations like this i go by "Better safe, than sorry!".

Standard Runes and Alternatives

The reason I use the rune-setup at the top of this article [9x Flat Attack Damage Mark, 9x Flat Armor Seal, 1x Flat Attack Damage Glyph + 8x Scaling Magic Resistance Glyph, 3x Flat Attack Damage Quint] is because I like to have the early poke-potential with +16 AD, while still remaining somewhat tanky with additional armor. +16 AD also shows high value when someone tries to push on Nidalee early, in order to deny cs.

Nevertheless, here is a slightly different setup, with flat Magic Resistance Glyphs and Movement Speed Quints, allowing more pressure early on, due to Nidalee's passive [see upcoming chapters]:

[http://s1.directupload.net/images/121221/famuc784.png]

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Another possibility is to run any form of Armor Penetration or Split Penetration Runes: Both of these options scale well into late game and should be considered, when setting up multiple runepages for Nidalee. Personally, I've made the experience, that some players (which isn't even Champion-dependant) like to push early on, in order to be able to bluepill fast and get a 1-item-advantage on you.

doesn't have any pressure to follow up her constant poke from level 1-5, so whoever pushes on you, doesn't really have to fear getting killed by a gank.

My reasoning behind +16 AD Runes therefore is, that your early game poke is more of a threat (than it would be with no additional AD), while lasthitting in front of your tower is an easier job.

Don't get me wrong, Armor Penetration or Split Penetration Runes are a great choice on Nidalee, it's just a matter of playstyle and/or personal favour and I've had more success running +16 AD or +8,5 AD and +4,5% Movement Speed.

Standard Summoner Spells and Alternatives

Standard:



Ignite is probably the best summoner spell for securing kills early on. As Nidalee, any advantage you can get makes you snowball even harder into midgame. Therefore, this is my first choice as my 2nd Summoner Spell.


Flash is still the most used summoner spell, granting escape and chase possibility. On Nidalee, it's a must-have and shouldn't be replaced by any other Summoner Spell. While your 2nd Summoner Spell depends on the given matchup and/or situation is set in 100% of your games.

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Viable Alternatives:


I only recommend this if your team is missing the spell in general, but it has its upsides in teamfights, when your opponents have more than one Champions who needs to be exhausted, like AND for instance.


When you see yourself faced with an all-out farm lane [vs. Cho'gath for instance], this puts pressure on the entire map and/or can save your own tower, after your roamed or helped your team taking an objective like dragon. Furthermore your lategame splitpush-potential doubles.


A Nidalee with 'Ghost' and 'Flash' is probably one of the most annyoing things to deal with. While at least one summoner spell will usually be up, it's almost impossible to catch her. Keep in mind, that doesn't replace , but as the 2nd Summoner Spell.


Although I wouldn't suggest it, I can see it working in some situations. Personally, I've never used it.

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Absolute No-Go:


You're neither in an ARAM, nor a META-redefining ADC. The values grants you are far too little in comparison to other Summoner Spells. To put it in other words: is not bad, but by far the worst 'good' option.


The brushes are your friend, but you're not jungling.


Once again: No ARAM, no ADC ... and not Vladimir. This can be used for baiting, but once again, I see less value in this compared to a or for instance.


Generally I consider this spell a waste, due to high cooldown.


You don't need Clarity as Bruiser/Offtank Nidalee. You may run out of mana every now and then, but besides your Attack-Speed-Steroid there's no use for much mana lategame anyways.

Skills

Passive "Prowl"
Moving through bush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15%. The buff lasts for an additional 2 seconds after leaving brush.

Explanation: This passive is what wins a Solotoplane for a good Nidalee. Keep in mind, that there's no sort of cooldown on the passive, so it refreshes, whenever you enter a brush. I will go into more detail about "Prowl" in the upcoming chapters. Let me just state, that although the recent patches have brought more items, the opportunity to build movement-speed is still scarce. Most solotops won't rush a [for instance]. Therefore, even the slightest advantage of movement-speed allows ranged Champions like Nidalee to get in unanswered poke.

To put it in numbers: Without any Movement-speed rune or mastery, while starting you'll increase your Movement-Speed from 360 to 414 at Champion-Level 1!


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Q "Javelin Toss / Takedown"


Human Q / Javelin Toss: Nidalee tosses her javelin, dealing magic damage on impact that increases depending on the distance between Nidalee and the target at the time it is hit. The multiplier caps at 2.5. 'Javelin Toss' magic damage ranges from a minimum of 55 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+ 65% AP) to a maximum of 138 / 238 / 350 / 463 / 575 (+ 162.5% AP). Base-Damage is increased by leveling .

Cougar Q / Takedown: Nidalee's next attack will be enhanced to deal additional physical damage that is increased by a multiplier equal to twice the target's missing health percentage. 'Takedown' physical damage ranges from a minimum of 40 / 70 / 100 (+ 100% AD) to a maximum of 120 / 210 / 300 (+ 300% AD). Base-damage is increased by leveling .

Explanation: "Javelin Toss" is a long ranged AP-scaling skill-shot nuke (following a straight line), dealing significantly increasing damage, the longer the spear travels. It's also hitting the first target along its path, whether it's a monster, minion or champion.

"Takedown" is a non-target AD-scaling autoattack-modifier, dealing additional damage on the next hit, with significantly increasing damage the more health your target is missing. When being in cougar, I recommend starting your damage-rotation with "Takedown", so that after a full set of skills (Q > E/W > W/E) it's already off cooldown again and you maximise your damage-output.


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W "Bushwhack / Pounce"


Human W / Bushwhack: Nidalee lays a trap that deals magic damage over 2 seconds when sprung by an enemy, revealing them and reducing their armor and magic resistance for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes. When stepped upon 'Bushwhack' deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+ 40% AP) magic damage and reduces target's armor and magic resistance by 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%. Base-damage and reduction-effects are increased by leveling .

Cougar W / Pounce: Nidalee lunges forward, dealing magic damage to enemies around her landing area. When landing 'Pounce' deals 125 / 175 / 225 (+ 40% AP) magic damage in a AoE of approximately 150. Base-damage is increased by leveling .

Explanation: "Bushwhack" is small AP-scaling AoE-trap, being triggered when stepped upon. It also deals some damage, while reducing the armor and magic resistance of whoever triggered it by 20% (LvL 1) up to 40% (LvL 5).

"Pounce" generally is a gapcloser or gapmaker, dealing AP-scaling AoE-damage in the landing area, while approximately covering 375 distance. It is also triggering item-procs like [and any Sheen-upgrade for that matter] or stack up items like .


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E "Primal Surge / Swipe"


Human E / Primal Surge: Nidalee heals an ally champion and grants them bonus attack speed for 7 seconds. 'Primal Surge' heals 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 (+ 70% AP) while granting 20% / 30% / 40% / 50% / 60% additional attack speed. Base-heal and attack-speed are increased by leveling .

Cougar E / Swipe: Nidalee claws at enemies in a cone in front of her, dealing magic damage. 'Swipe' deals 150 / 225 / 300 (+ 40% AP) magic damage in 180 degree diameter in front of Nidalee. Base-damage is increased by leveling .

Explanation: "Primal Surge" is an AP-scaling heal, which also increases the target's attack speed by 20% (LvL 1) up to 60% (LvL 5). This skill grants Nidalee a compareably good sustain, while also giving her one of the best inbuilt attack-speed steroids the game has to offer.

"Swipe" is a non-target AP-scaling AoE-spell, which affects a small area in front of Nidalee, in whichever direction she is currently looking, ignoring to wherever your mouse-cursor points at the given moment.


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R "Aspect Of The Cougar"
Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, and in the process gaining a new set of abilities, bonus armor, magic resistance and 20 movement speed. Nidalee loses 400 range while using this ability (effective range of 125).

Explanation: Basically "Aspect of the Cougar" makes you switch forms [turning Human/Ranged into Cougar/Melee or the other way round], granting you 10/20/30 (LvL 1 - LvL 3) bonus Armor, Magic Resistance and (non-increasing) 20 Movement Speed in Cougar Form, while switching from "Javelin Toss"/"Bushwhack"/"Primal Surge" to "Takedown"/"Pounce"/"Swipe" or vice versa.


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Additional Information:


It is very important to understand and always remember, that leveling up your Human Form Abilities will NOT affect the level and strength of your Cougar Form Abilities, even if you level up while being a Cougar!

Your Cougar Form Abilities ONLY get better by leveling up your ultimate "Aspect of the Cougar" at Champion-Level 6/11/16.

To put it differently: Only your "Javelin Toss"/"Bushwhack"/"Primal Surge" will benefit from leveling Q, W or E!

Also, you won't have access to your Cougar-Form until Champion-Level 6, which is different from other transforming Champions like or .

Furthermore, keep in mind that your Cougar-Form-Ability "Pounce" does NOT benefit from any form of cooldown-reduction.

Standard Skill Order and Alternatives

Standard:


In most cases I max my spells the following way:

> > > [R > E > Q > W]

I recommend starting with one point in at Level 1, because you can trap enemy Jungle-Entrances and/or Exist early on, to grant you and your team some sort of map-awarness. Of course, spamming "Bushwhack" at Level 1 might also save you from early ganks.

Furthermore, with the recent Jungle-Changes and the deleting of "Leashing/Pulling", your trap can and will immensely help your jungler start his/her route, when you place traps at his buffs (some damage + armor and magic resistance reduction). It might not be much, but every help you can give your jungler early on will be appreciated, trust me!

After that, I recommend maxing first, since (even if you're not playing AP-Nidalee) you have access to sustain and grant yourself a huge attack speed buff for general poking.

Next on the list is . Usually the longe ranged poke is still a good addition, even if not building much/any AP. If you manage to land your Spear after doing a full "Q W E Q"-Cougar rotation it will still hurt!


Last but not least, there is . When you hit Champion-Level 18 and have your Level 5 "Bushwhack" it will decrease target's armor and magic-resistance by 40%!

Sidenote:
Put into gold, this spell is approximately worth what?

costs 1550 gold and grants +45 AD. Accordingly +40 AD are worth ~1378 gold. grants +40 AD and 35% armor ignorance, while costing 2135 gold. Subtracting the +40 AD from leaves us with a gold value of ~757 gold for 35% armor ignorance [2135 - 1378]. Calculating 1% armor ignorance and multiplying this by 40 will show the value of the armor reduction of goldwise, namely 865,4 gold.

Let's do the same with AP.

costs 1600 gold and grants +80 AP. Accordingly +70 AP are worth ~1400 gold. Subtracting the +70 AP from leaves us with a gold value of ~895 gold for 35% magic resistance ignorance [2295 - 1400]. Calculating 1% armor ignorance and mulytplying this by 40 will show the value of magic resistance reduction of goldwise, namely 1022,9 gold.

Totaling both results, shows that reduction-effect by are worth approximately 1888,3 gold! Of course, those values aren't permanent, but once someone stepped on a well-placed Level 5 'Bushwhack', the difference is enormous.


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Alternative:


Recently, I've tried the following maxing order:

> > > [R > E > W > Q]

While "Primal Surge" remains priority after "Aspect of the Cougar", leveling your "Bushwhack" next can be quite effective in some situations:

Either if you feel like your opponent is good at dodging your "Javelin Toss" and/or if you itemize for some sort of Attack Speed early on (rushing for instance). That's because, when you get more hits on an immensely armor and magic resistance reduced opponent, your damage output will be significantly higher, than when you desperatly try to land "Javelin Toss", which isn't even guaranteed to hit.

All in all, it is a matter of...

  • Personal Favour
  • Lane-Matchup
  • Opponents Dodging-Skills
  • Itemization


The less you're going for attack-speed, the less I recommend maxing "Bushwhack" after "Primal Surge", since the "Javelin Toss"-Nuke will (if landed) do more damage.

The more you're going for early attack-speed, the better a "Bushwhack"-d lane will be.


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Keep in mind, that your Cougar-Q "Takedown" will not suffer from maxing "Bushwhack" over "Javelin Toss"!

Itemization and Reasoning

Starting Items:


OR


I recommend "Flask/5/1" when you feel like the lane will be disadvantegeous for you and/or you expect early-agression ganks from your opponent's jungler. "Bushwhack" is a nice map-awarness tool early on, but it will not grant you vision, if not stepped upon. Experienced junglers will avoid standard Trap-places. "Flask/5/1" will save your life in many situations!


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Core Items:




Facing a Nidalee with these four items is one of the most difficult things in the game. Since Nidalee can be played in so many different ways, these four core items allow her to react to any given situation:

  • Rush or for more damage
  • Rush or for negating teams with three AD-scaling Champions (ADC, Jungle, Top)
  • Rush or for negating double-AP setups
  • Rush for beefyness and permanent slow
  • etc...


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Decision-Making:


Once you have your Core-Items, you need to decide what to turn them into. In this chapter I want to give a brief explanation of what to build when.

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I recommend building this in 99% of your games. The benefits you get out of it are just to good to waive! on the other hand is very very very situational and I only suggest building it, when you're so far ahead, that the game is already over.

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OR ?

I personally answer this question by taking a look at my Jungler. If I play with a squishy Assassin-type Jungler (like Shaco) I upgrade to . When I can rely on my Jungler being a Tank-Initiator (like Maokai) i opt to go for , since my team will probably benefit more from my additional damage than a permanent slow.

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OR ?


From my point of view, there aren't many items, that grant you as much as the "new" does: 500 Health Point, 70 Armor, Movement-Speed Slow (if hit), Attack-Speed Slow (if hit) and an AoE-Movement-Speed Slow as a 60 seconds cooldown active, which synergises exceptionally well with Nidalee's Ultimate. I mostly upgrade my into , UNLESS I'm facing hyper Attack-Speed AD-Carries like or , respectively -Support setups, in which cases is of great value ... if someone else on your team doesn't build it!

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OR ?


If your enemy team is packed with countless crowd-controls (Stuns, Roots, Snares, etc...) I recommend building , since the shield might block crucial spells. On the other hand, if you face Double-AP setups without too much crowd control ( & for instance) the 300 gold cheaper is the better choice.

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Which -Upgrade?


  • if you face an enemy team with three AD-scaling Champions or you feel like you need the extra armor, since you're facing an AD-assassin in your lane, like , who will most-likely steamrole you, if you don't itemize correctly! (See "Solotop-Matchups"-Chapter for further information)


  • if you feel like, you "can get away" with it. Generally I like this item in combination with and when I've been sitting on my for quite a while. Since Nidalee clears waves fast, you stack fast, which means you can still get this item lategame and fully-stack it.


  • into is a great item on Nidalee, especially in combination with , when you can take full advantage of 's passive autoattack-modifier. By nature Nidalee lacks crowd control, but you can easily make up for it. Furthermore 's active increases your Movement-Speed advantage even more, whether you use it for chasing or escaping!


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OR ?


This choice pretty much comes down to your enemy team's composition and how well you're lane is going. Against certain AD-Champions like upgrading to early might gain you control over the lane. On the other hand, facing Solotop-AP's and/or heavy-crowd control enemy-Junglers will require .


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Situational Items:





This can either replace or as your Magic-Resistance item OR fill your 6th item slot. Keep in mind that the cost of is 3810 gold, which is extremely high, so it is in fact a very situational item, depending on how well you're doing. However, when you can spare the extra money, this item's active allows Nidalee to catch up to running targets and hunt them down, respectively it might save you when getting caught. Nevertheless, as already said it is very expensive and I therefore consider it a very late game item.


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"Frozen Fist" can replace and fits Nidalee perfectly if your enemy team is running an AD mid like , or . By building you make room for other situational/replacement items, because you can skip or . For Instance against AD-Nukers (like the three Champions named above) an itemization of + works perfectly fine.

Sidenote: "Frozen Fist" is also a reasonably good item for splitpushing since it has an AoE-Sheen proc.


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Guardian Angel should always be considered, since it can make or break teamfights. Personally I think it's a good item, as long as the passive is up. Once you've died, I feel like you're wasting an item-slot, which could be filled with a better item, even if you still get the bonus armor and magic resistance. What I mean by that is: I'd rather have a than a , considering the overall value of both. If you get to very late game with insane amounts of money to spare the best thing to do is probably buy , sell it for something else once the passive is used, and rebuy it 5 minutes later.


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Can fill your 6th items slot. Personally I build very seldomly and only if I'm really fed, respectively if the enemies are stacking armor. When opting to buy you should consider whether the 35% Armor Ignorance is worth sacking the Lifesteal from any -Upgrade.


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Classic Split-Push item. If you're team is built around Teamfighting, don't even consider buying . On the other hand, if you have in your team, and you as Nidalee run this item will decide games for you!


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There will be times and especially lanes, when you feel like the only way to win/go even/survive is stacking health, in which is still (after all the nerfs and buffs and once again nerfs) a viable option, you should consider. In some cases in combination with grants you immortality while not being ignoreable to due your permanent slow and your high damage-output in cougar-form. This item can work wonders in lanes versus for example.


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I've recently seen this item being built on certain mages like , and decided to actually try it out. In my opinion is undervalued as of right now. It is still a fairly good item on AD-Bruiser . However, I would only recommend it, if you're planning on building or and so you actually get additional AD out of your defensive items.


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Very situational item. While may indeed be very good for your lanephase, is lackluster in my opinion. It is an option, but if given the choice, I'd rather go with which costs 510g more, but is the better item overall these days.

Nidalee's Early Game: Level 1 - 5

Before reaches Level 6 and is granted access to she's a fairly vulnerable Champion. She lacks any form of early escapability and is rather squishy. Accordingly it is very important and essential to use "Bushwhack" correctly early on and keep track of the minimap, respectively where a trap might have been stepped upon.

Here's an example of where to trap:

White Circle "Bushwhack" Areas, when playing on Blue Team (from Bottom to Top)
Red Circle "Bushwhack" Areas, when playing on Purple Team (from Top to Bottom)

[http://s14.directupload.net/images/121223/m3mfkiyn.png]

You can easily spare the "extra" Trap at your Jungler's starting Buff to give him a head-start. Other than that you can cover any Jungle-Entrance and -Exit which might be dangerous for you in order to avoid ganks.

Sidenote: When playing on Blue team, I personally like putting my first trap into enemy's wraith-brush, acting on the assumption that the enemies have a standard Blue-Buff-Starting Jungler. This way, I will see, when he's doing wraiths and can estimate whether and if yes when he's going to be top!

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When you're done "Bushwack"-ing, you should spend most of your early game in your top-brush and should only leave it for 3 reasons:

  • Lasthitting a minion
  • Poking enemy Champion
  • Refreshing a "Bushwhack"-spot, when feeling safe


Immediately after one of these three actions, you should return to your brush, especially after poking an enemy Champion, since you'll draw Minion-Aggro. By retreating into your brush, minions will instantly ignore you again.

Do NOT lasthit or poke, while still being in a brush. Doing so, will grant your opponent and the enemy minions vision of you in the brush and make an engagement more likely to happen!

Even though you're weak and somewhat vulnerable in this stage, your constant hiding in the brush in combination with your passive grants you safety, as long as you're not overextending or overcomitting. When you manage and use correctly, you won't feel weak, but it takes some time to get accustomed to the constant running back into the brush.

Sidenote: Inexperienced Nidalee-Players will most likely never use the brush and therefore lose the lane early on, while experienced Players will literally make you hate the implementation of brushes in League of Legends.

Nidalee's Mid Game: Level 6 - 13

After reaching Level 6 and finally being able to switch to Cougar-Form, your escapeability and general map-movement is one of your biggest assets!

In the following picture I've marked all walls you can "Pounce" over (in both directions) with purple lines:

[http://s1.directupload.net/images/121223/e7kycnr9.png]

Now you're lane-behaviour should in most cases (see "Solotop-Matchups"-Chapter for more details and exceptions) change drastically: While you should still take advantage of your poking potential, you now can follow it up by engaging.

In genereal your Cougar-Form Damage-Rotation should be Q > E/W > W/E > Q. This way you maximise your damage-output, because land a second Q after you've dealt the most damage possible, which results in your opponent getting as low as you could take him.

Also keep in mid, that your Cougar-Q "Takedown" is an autoattack-modifier, which means you can activate it, before you "Pounce" after your fleeing enemy, because it won't trigger until you attack someone!

Besides keeping track of refreshing your "Bushwhack"-spots, you should constantly check the Minimap: As soon as you see the Enemy-Jungler ganking Mid or Bot, push your lane and take his jungle!

You can either choose to clear the entire camp or opt for leaving one of the less-value monster alive. I personally prefer the latter (unless you manage to steal Red- or Blue-Buff, in which case you have the exact timing), because when you fully clear a camp, it might already reset until he gets there again:

  • Take Big Wraith plus two Small Wraiths / Leave one Small Wraith
  • Take Big Wolf plus one Small Wolf / Leave one small Wolf
  • Take Big Golem / Leave Small Golem

BUT


  • Take and fully clear Blue Buff
  • Take and fully clear Red Buff

Also, in this phase of the game, make sure to be there, when your team is about to take or fight for Dragon. Your "Pounce" in combination with grant you insane mobility, especially if you help your team take objectives and still get back to lane without losing a tower yourself.

Nidalee's Late Game: Level 14-18

Time to splitpush!

It doesn't really matter whether you've purposely itemized for splitpushing or not, emerges at it!

At this stage of the game AND are your best friends. Trust me, people will come for you! The sooner you see them coming, the faster you can plan your get-away.

Important things to remember:

  • Ward, ward, ward ... and ward!
  • Don't let your team down! You may splitpush, but you have to get a feeling for when to get back to your team and group up. Otherwise you're making it a doomed 4v5 for your mates. Even if it's called "Solo Queue", you're still a team!
  • Do NOT splitpush Mid! Top or Bot: Yes! Mid: NO! There are far too many ways to cut you off and you'll die in 9 out of 10 cases.

If you follow these simple instructions (all of them) you will keep the enemy team busy, and give your own team some room to breath!

If you run instead of you might stay split a little longer than usual, but make sure to help your team in time.

Nidalee's Team Fights

Nidalee is neither a Tank, nor an Initiator.


First of all, let your Tanks (for instance or ) or other Initiators (for instance or ) do their work and follow up afterwards by jumping in and popping your .

Timing and patience are key to successful teamfighting when playing .

Since you'll most likely be a Bruiser your job is to focus and stick to high priority targets like AD Carries, Assassins and AP Nukers. Try to get past the enemy Tank-line (if existing) and take out opponent's carries.

Either of the builds shown should allow you to not getting nuked yourself, while drawing attention towards you.

Adjust and Adapt!

Nidalee is arguably the most versatile Champion in the League.

Accordingly there are 2 important points, when playing :

  • Let your team know what you're building!
Tell your teammates whether you're going AD, AP or Hybrid. Obviously this guide features an AD-based build, but you can still decide on building differently. It is essential, that your team knows that.

  • You can't change your team's actions, but you can change yours!
Sometimes your team will run a Poke-Composition with , and (for instance). Sometimes they will run an all-out Engage-Composition with , and . Since you're not able to control whatever they are doing, you will have to be aware and adjust your own build accordingly!

Solotop-Matchups

In the upcoming chapter I will comment on 38 more or less popular matchups, how the lane usually turns out and/or what you can do, respectively how to set priorities when itemizing:



You can poke her down out of brushes with autoattacks early. Rush a after and you should win the lane, unless you get camped by the enemy-jungler, who wants her to snowball the game.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



Cho'gath pretty much turns every Solotop-matchup into a farmfest after he hit Level 9. Try to get an advantage early, push him to tower and roam/jungle as soon as you hit Level 6.

  • Start .
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



You can't fight him after he has his Ultimate. Try to stay in Human Form and poke with autoattacks out of brushes. Only engage if you're Jungler or Mid-Lane creates a 2v1 for you. ' 1v1 skillset is simply destroying any melee.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



Let's call it a pokefest. Nidalee vs. Elise will be decided by player-skill. If you manage to fire autoattacks at her, without getting hit by her Human-Form Q, you should do fine. You outscale her lategame.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



Believe it or not, this very nice Lady is every Nidalee's nightmare! Your poking doesn't work, since good 's will start Flask/5/1 against you and spam W to reflect as much autoattacks as they can. Once both of you hit Level 6, the match-up gets even worse. You can't flash or "Pounce" away from her ultimate, which usually means: You're dead. At Champion-Level 9 will probably have at least 150 AD by maxing W. Try to rush some sort of health like and farm. You outscale her lategame.

Sidenote: I've played her many times myself recently and won every single lane against . If is picked before you, go with any other Champion, if she counterpicked after you, you might still change runes and masteries and play AP Nidalee. You'll still lose the lane, but not as hard as when you're playing AD.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



This is a skill-matchup. Once you've hit Level 6, you should beat him easily though. Force him to Q minions by staying in brush long enough. Your goal is to not get hit by his Q's and poke him, while it is on cooldown.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Trap Sidebrushes constantly and poke him, so his passive is literally useless. Be careful, when he hits Level 6! His ultimate doesn't scale with itemization, so it doesn't matter how hard you denied him and how far you're ahead!

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



What exactly beats Irelia after a certain point? Just farm and push, unless you manage to get advantage early on, for instance when your Jungler realizes that you face a weak-early-game who needs to be shut down as soon as possible.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Easy lane win. He has way too high manacosts to keep up with your damage. also, you can "Pounce" his E-Q combination, respectively his Ultimate.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



You win lane, by banning him.


  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



Ever since his nerfs, you can actually win the lane as Nidalee. Especially if he rushes , since he won't have any sustain and not enough health points early on. The lane is more difficult if he builds , and . You should still do fine, but you have to chose your fights carefully.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Very difficult lane, since you can't trade with her, once she hit her Q. Ask your Jungler for an early gank, so you can snowball her.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



I just hate playing against Kennen Solotop. This Yordle just never gives up! You need to have high burst early-game to defeat him, which you obviously don't have as Nidalee.

  • Start .
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



I like this matchup. Just trap/ward the Sidebrushes to deny him resetting his passive and you're good to go. You will lose the lane though, if you fall behind early, so "Flask/5/1" is the correct choice in my opinion.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Going for an early and two s (1 for and 1 for later) can win you the lane. Lee Sin is a tough matchup Solotop, but you will outscale him lategame.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Push him hard! Most Malphites have difficulty lasthitting early on, due to his high manacosts.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



If you manage to stay out of his E while poking out of brush, you win the lane easy before Level 6. After that, you pretty much have to know when to fight and when not to (do NOT fight, when you have a bunch of minions backing you up, since it will only make his shield stronger). Rush .

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



You might not be able to kill him, but you can easily deny him Q-stacks by pushing and poking.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



YOUR ONLY HARDCOUNTER ... HUEHUEHUE!


---



You win lane as long as you can dodge his Q properly. It pretty much is a skill-matchup. However once he's in melee range you're going to lose damage-trades, unless you poked him down hard enough.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



wins lane for you, although it will be difficult until you can actually afford it. Try to use -Stacks over since they're "free" and outsustain him.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Just poke and push. She's kind of like : You might not kill her, but is arguably one of the most item- and farm-reliant Champions out there.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Horrible matchup. Renekton in general beats 90% of all Solotop-AD's. Try to stay safe and farm. You outscale him lategame.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



There has been so much nerf-hammering on this guy, that you will win the lane.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



This pretty Lady is a pain to deal with. She has so much gapclosing ability, that it's not even funny anymore. A good will destroy you after Level 6. Try to keep as much distance as possible, while laning.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



This lane is a skill-matchup. Just don't fight while he's in "Danger Zone" and try to poke him down, while staying behind your own minions, so you dont get hit by his E.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



Unmoveable object, but you have the lane-advantage once you've hit Level 6. Whenever he uses his ultimate, deny him as much minions as possible, by facetanking minionwaves in between towers. You can either run to counter his ultimate or push your lane as hard as possible once he's gone. Also, when you see him use his ultimate out of tower-range, instantly switch to Cougar (if you're not already) and try to get as much damage on him done as possible.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



PUSHFEST! Try to get and early to punish him (with the help of your Jungler), when he runs past your first tower to deny you. Other than that, you should be able to poke him down early without taking any damage yourself.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



Skill-matchup, but if he's going AP instead of former popular items like you will do fine. On-Hit-Effect Teemos will cause you problems. Since you don't know what you're facing, use 14/16/0 Masteries.

  • Start
  • 14/16/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Easy lane-win. He can't keep up with your poke. You're more useful than him lategame.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



He shouldn't be able to kill you, but you can't really kill him either. You win by pushing, roaming and jungling. If you have a feeling that there's a "Tiger"- coming your way, try 14/16/0 masteries.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Movement-Speed Quints

---



I don't have enough intel yet. Will update this matchup once I've played it more often.


---



Easy lane-win. He has no chance to keep up with or outsustain your early harrass. Deny him by pushing.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



Easy lane-win. Standard tactics ... even if his passive might safe him now and then. You outscale him lategame.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Unmoveable object after a certain point. You really really really (I can't stress this enough) need to ward everything! Not particullarly against him alone, but since his Ultimate is up every 60 seconds, every 2v1 created by enemy Jungler or Mid-Laner against you will result in a death.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries (You might want to change your 3 points in 'Hardiness' to 3 points in 'Resistance')
  • Standard Runes

---



Easy lane-win, but he will be more uselful in teamfights. You need to shut him down early and inform your teammates, when he's missing and already has his Ultimate, since he might be roaming to make up for what he has lost in lane.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Bursting someone from 100 to 0 at Champion-Level 3 is kind of difficult to deal with. Itemize with , and two s. Fight, whenever he tried to combo you but failed. You outscale him lategame, if you manage to stay alive early.

  • Start
  • 9/21/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



Farmfest! His ghouls won't follow you into brushes though and while his poke is mana-based you should be able to outharrass him early.

  • Start
  • 21/9/0 Masteries
  • Standard Runes

---



I don't have enough intel yet. Will update this matchup once I've played it more often.


---


If you feel like I've missed a match-up that you face on a regular basis, let me know and I'll add it later.

Final Comments

As a former Starcraft 2-Player, I came to League of Legends in Season 1 and still love the game as much as I did back then.

It might indeed be odd if I tell you, that I actually use 1, 2, 3 and 4 instead of Q, W, E and R, but I was so used to those keys from SC2, that I couldn't change my habit. Furthermore I'm using 5 and 6 for Summoner-Spells (Yes, I can easily reach them) and have put the first line of the item-slots on Q, W and E, which is where I put my pots, wards and later on my active items. I don't suggest or recommend doing this though. It's just a personal habit I've grown accustomed to.

Back to topic, I hope you enjoyed this guide and can take some positive things with you for your future in League of Legends, when playing Nidalee. If not, feel free to let me know about what you didn't like and what chapter needs improvement in your opinion, respectively in what points you disagree with me.

Transformer

Guide-Log

  • 12.24.2012 - Release: Merry Christmas!

  • 12.28.2012 - Chapter "Standard Runes and Alternatives" updated and explanation added.
  • 12.28.2012 - Chapter "Standard Summoner Spells and Alternatives" and reasoning updated.
  • 12.28.2012 - Chapter "Skills" updated. Numbers/values and further description added.
  • 12.28.2012 - Chapter "Standard Skill Order and Alternatives" updated. Added mathematics behind 's gold-value.
  • 12.28.2012 - Item Build: "Situational items" changed
  • 12.28.2012 - Chapter "Itemization and Reasoning" updated and further explanation added.

  • Upcoming Changes: Once I get back home, after holidays, I'll update the "Solotop-Matchups" chapter, going more into detail for every opponent.
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