IntroductionThis is the first of three guides I will write on Nidalee. For the first guide, Poke'N'Burst will focus on playing Nidalee straight AP which can be done in all lanes, (preferably in Top Solo or Mid lane though). Of the three builds this is the less viable because it is easy to counter. Just build MR, however if your team needs some form of poke for early, mid, and in even some cases late game this is the route to go. Also keep in note her single target on target burst damage is pretty insane and she can take down some champs pretty easily by using her ultimate cougar form. Another key point that is often overlooked with Nidalee, is the amount of damage she does to champions with less than half health. Remember!!! The less health the enemy has the more effective you will be against him or her. However, first lets go over some of the basics.
Other things you can find in this guide
- Laning phase techniques
- Item building
- Gank optmization
DISCLAIMER: Remember I am writing this guide to cover poking with Nidalee and how to burst with her as well. This isn't the only way to play her, and it is sure not the only way I play her. Remember things change on a game by game basis.
MasteriesBasic masteries, (with the new ones) is 21/0/9 grabbing pretty much the right side of the Offense page and Mana regeneration on the Utility page, (yes it is a little but it is just enough). You will notice I don't take any Mana Regeneration runes in the rune page.
On the Offense Page, pretty much grab anything that helps you with AP, Magic Pen, all the way down grabbing Havoc (3/3) as well and of course Executioner (1/1) which is absolutely essential. Playing nidalee can be a seal the deal champion as well. Her (Q) ability AKA her Spear in caster form will do increased damage at distance and with this mastery will also scale. Also her (Q) in her Ultimate Form Cougar, does bonus damage with the amount of health missing on the enemy champion again with the mastery being used for even more bonus.
Alternate pages can be (9/0/21) going for a more utility role but still poking. You will have the poking ability still but with the masteries I typically use, you milk the damage output for Nidalee.
For my AP Nidalee rune page, I look to grab as much AP as I can early while still trying to scale into late game. So far this works out the best in balance wise for quite some time. Flat AP Quintessences and Glyphs while using AP/Level Seals. To cap it off I use Magic Penetration Marks and that pretty much completes the page. There are other ways of going about this, substitutes being Mana Regeneration or even Cooldown Reduction Runes, however, I stay away from CDR on Nidalee and I will give my explanation why in just a few moments. But with this page and starting item along with the above mastery page, you should start with 47 AP and it increases with level as well! Now there are pages that start you with more AP but you don't scale with levels at all, and vice versa, there are pages that scale up with a lot of AP/Level but you don't start with AP.
Now about using CDR and Mana Regen on your rune page. Firstly, if you notice in the item building section, I really don't use any items that have Cooldown reduction in them. Cooldown reduction can be used pretty effectively on Nidalee, (Hey more spears in a shorter amount of time). However, it takes up valuable space in your build that is focusing on Poking the enemy down not sustaining damage on them. By this I mean your looking for that instance burst on the enemy not that constant harass. With this build, my goal is to Max out that one time burst with a combo whether it be a spear in caster form, or a quick Pounce, Swipe, and then Takedown in Cougar. Also keep note your abilities in cougar, are already on a pretty short cooldown as well as your spear in caster form. It isn't like your waiting for 2 years and a day to get a spear off, to pounce(ALSO POUNCE IS NOT AFFECTED BY COOLDOWN!!!!!! There I got it out there!) or to takedown, they come up quite often. If you are playing Nidalee correct you should never have to worry about not having your ability up when you need it, (with the exception of course as Bushwack does take a while). Now some summoners out there would rather have your heal's cooldown as low as possible. Again, you would have to sacrifice increased AP and damage output for a little bit of early game cooldown for it, and then sacrifice even more mid/late game cooldown for damage you could already be doing.
Now on the mana regeneration part. Once again, your sacrificing damage output for some sustain. Note that I do build some mana regeneration items all around in my build on a needed for situation basis. For instance, I start with a sometimes building a second. I also build a which has mana on it, a also has mana on it, and if need be I also build . So there is mana in your build. And also note, with the exception of Banshee's Veil, I am focused on increasing damage output from nearly all of Nidalee's abilities.
Two of the best escaping abilities you can use. Also excellent gap closers. They both work to accomplish what you are looking for out of this build. Getting close enough to burst down the enemy while getting yourself out of hairy situations.
However I will run down some other viable options
Absolutely great to use, I just don't because with and you move pretty quickly in your cougar form, and if you are using your passive correctly shouldn't have an issue chasing the enemy down. Also there will usually be someone on your team with exhaust that can be used to neutralize an enemy champion that just needs to be neutrailzed (i.e. )
Great for taking a poke support role down in the bot lane. Also, watching the enemy blue buff as well. Nidalee is great at counter jungling because she can get in the enemy jungle and get out pretty quickly.
If you are in top lane, or even mid in some cases, having teleport will benefit you a lot if you are going up against someone who can harass you effectively. Also map control with nidalee is pretty awesome because of her passive allowing her to be able to run through the jungle pretty quickly for a gank and then she can TP back into lane.
Some other options that can be used but maybe give it a second guess:
Probably a Great Idea to Stay Away From
If your in a supporting role it may be pretty effective. I don't know I find it an odd trade off for someone that already has a heal (A pretty good one too) when she can be using it for something else.
I just don't think this is really viable in a lot of cases. Here's why: YES you do run low on mana quite often but then hey look you have Cougar form which uses absolutely no mana. Also if your positioning yourself correctly you won't be giving too many allied champions mana. Remember when team fights begin you're probably pretty far away from allied champions and by the time you are in range to give clarity for your team, your team has either aced the enemy team with everyone surviving or you are one of the lucky few survivors of the teamfight which is now over (Or lost completely), what use is clarity now?
Great against a team with a lot of CC but then again Maybe just stay away from it and get that third summoner's ability in game if need be?
Well it does what is needed for burst damage however, Nidalee is a skill shot champion. What if you miss your spear? What if they flash away? What if you for some weird reason don't achieve the correct pounce? Too many what if scenarios to make this viable for me.
If your playing right, and you want to kill someone on the spot, you should be able to use Takedown to seal the deal or even a spear at the very end if takedown doesn't do the job. Now if nobody on your team has it, maybe grab it then, but otherwise, no.
Hey Jungle Nidalee if you want, but not with this build.
If you are dying this much, time to pick up another hobby. Hey Oragami is cool.
That are the basics on the summoner spells and remember these are just my two cents on them and why either use them or don't use them. Other people have other play styles, but for this particular build these are the logical options.
Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
Wow is this ever useful. If you ever say that this is a dumb passive then your not looking at this the right way. Remember in positioning purposes this gets you where you need to be faster. Also, if you are trying to escape remember in most instances the enemy will lose line of sight on you when you enter a bush so long as it is not warded or CVd. Plus you get a speed boost in it which lasts for 2 seconds outside of the bush.
Q: Javelin Toss / Takedown
Human: Nidalee tosses her javelin, dealing 55 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+65% of ability power) magic damage on impact (deals up to 250% damage the further away the target is).
Cougar: Nidalee's next attack deals additional damage based on how low her opponent's life is.
Cooldown 6 seconds
Cost 50/60/70/80/90 mana
One of the hardest hitting skillshots in the game. But if you can hit with it the game will go a lot smoother for you. In Cougar form, takedown is also one of the hardest hitting abilities in the game and you don't even have to build for it like other things like Leblanc's Q and Ult. With 0 AD you can take an enemy at 1/3 HP(and in some cases more) and still nuke them down effectively.
W: Bushwhack / Pounce
Human: Nidalee lays a trap that deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+40% of ability power) damage over 2 seconds, reveals the target, and reduces their armor and magic resistance by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes.
Cougar: Nidalee lunges forward, dealing damage to surrounding enemies. Pounce is not affected by cooldown reduction.
Cost 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120mana
Don't underestimate the trap, the debuff it gives is very useful in all phases of the game. It has a pretty good range too, so you can use it to peak over the wall at Baron or Dragon for instance to do some research as to where to put your next spear. Hey I have even stolen Baron once with a nidalee trap.
Cougar form, pretty self explanatory, this is your pounce, your escape, your heart and soul with your ultimate. Great gap closer, even greater when you realize it does a decent amount of damage upon landing making it probably one of the best openers in the game.
As far as escaping is concerned, it only takes one good pounce to get away. As long as you properly position yourself, you should always be able to escape.
E: Primal Surge / Swipe
Human: Nidalee heals an ally champion for 50/85/120/155/190 (+70% of ability power) and grants them a 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cougar: Nidelee claws at enemies in front of her.
Cooldown 10 seconds
Cost 60/80/100/120/140 mana
The cream of the crop, the eggs in the basket, the reason why we play nidalee. Okay maybe not the reason we played her at first, but its the reason we still do. Yes it was nerfed, yes it doesn't heal my full health bar anymore, but it still keeps me fight viable, it keeps my team fight viable, I can't accidentally heal a minion, and it gives a huge attack speed buff. You put that on ranged AD carry late game, they have full health and they are probably at or near their maxed out attack speed. This is also essential in laning phase for lane sustain and last hitting/harassing. Probably more effective towards harassing in an AD or Hybrid nidalee build (which will be in my other two guides for this particular champion to come soon.).
In cougar form you deal a great deal of AoE damage in front of you that this is effective in any combo used and is great for farming or pushing lanes.
R: Aspect Of The Cougar
Passive: Each additional rank increases the effectiveness of Nidalee's cougar abilities.
Nidalee transforms into a vicious cougar, gaining 20 movement speed, 10/20/30 armor and magic resistance and a new set of abilities.
Cooldown 4 seconds
Self explanatory. Pretty awesome ultimate if you think about it. Sure, it doesn't nuke the enemy, stun, or heal for some insane amount, but it does open up three whole new abilities which are free of mana, and are on a low cooldown.
Typical build order that is focused on maxing out first which his your heal and swipe.
Spear second focus. Why? Because it scales pretty hard with AP and you will usually be in a solo lane which will allow you to farm and gain experience getting you to the level where you will have the AP to use spear to its full advantage. This is why I have you rush because with that and a rank 2 or 3 you are already doing a load of damage and your maxed out heal is healing you for a ton of health.
This is different. You go spear first instead.
Reason being is you want that poke ablitiy as a supporting role so you can harass the lane and not focus too much on farming and healing. The idea behind this is, harass the enemy before they can harass you or your laning partner. Heal second focus so you can deal with the enemy doing what harass they can do. Also spear will probably get u some early game kills if played right.
Note: I do not recommend playing Nidalee as a supporting role unless you are comfortable with using her skillshots.
Item BuildsAlright, if you didn't read the TL;DR portion up top on item building straightforward, here is where I am going to go into detail on item build order, when to buy, why to buy it, and how to use it. I will go into detail about this later, but keep in mind Nidalee is an adapt or die Champion. Ok, you may not die but you probably will be pretty useless in the game if you don't stay aware what is going on. The biggest mistake you can make, (AND THIS GOES FOR EVERY CHAMPION) is to build just because someone told you, build because its recommended or build because you always do it. So I will try my best to explain out my build order through each phase of the game.
Pretty much no matter what you go up against this is going to benefit you early game. Why? You start with bonus Health Points (+100), Mana Regen (Not a lot but it doesn't hurt) and of course the +15 AP that brings you to around 47 AP.
isn't a bad start for an alternate. However doran's is stronger. You would want to use boots 3 pots if you are going up against a lane with a ton of harass and you may need to have to escape as fast as possible. For example, going 2v1 Solo top against a hard counter which I will discuss later.
For the same reason for boots 3 pots. Not as viable however. Only use this if your going up against lets say, a hard ad carry that can out poke you early game. For example, Cait, Vayne, Graves, Ashe, Corki, Tristana, Kennen*(AD only), Ezreal*(AD only), or any other ranged AD carry that gets released in the future. Pretty self explanatory, but it's because they deal physical damage out the door.
Top lane use only (Occasional Mid Lane) for the same reason once again as the above 2. This would be the alternate to a Doran's shield start for an AP harasser Top/Mid, for example Kennen*(AP only), Ezreal*(AP Only), Ahri, Kassadin, Nunu, Sion, or any other AP Carry/Bruiser that can harass you pretty effectively. Only get this if you are going to get a for Gold Per 5 to deal with the loss in farm. However the next starting alternate would probably be more viable against AP Carry/harasser.
Good for the same reason as above for the start. Probably more viable 2 because you can use it towards a or even better a . Once gain what you turn this into is a case by case basis for later in the game.
In no particular order.
I will obviously be explaining play style, mechanics, and the phases later, right now let us just focus on the item build.
FIRST TIME BACK
If you did not start with it, try to get this on your first or second time back. Absolutely essential to get early game if you don't you will severely inhibit your ability to gank, maintain the lane, harass, and even survive. Try not to rush the second tier boot, too early, that is gold spent that could be used elsewhere.
Let us say you go back, and you only have roughly 825g-1000g it is probably best to just grab and a second . Try not to go back at this point but hey, if you have to, you have to.
If you started with go back as soon as you hit 375g so you can get the full effect of this start. If you don't you just wasted 475g at the start of the game. Make sure you apply proper lane mechanics, which I will cover later, before you back suddenly. Try to time it, hey I have 375ish gold I need to push my lane so I can go back soon. Also having a little extra gold past 375 for a ward.
IMPORTANT This item is your focus. The earlier you can attain this the better. Cost is 1600g, if you can get it get it. My usual thing to do is get to around 2000g-2100g and then go back grab this and a along with some . Now not everyone is going to be able to do this. If you can't get to that level of gold at decent amount of time while staying viable against your lane opponent, don't do it. However, with practice, proper last hitting techniques, and lane mechanics you should find yourself getting to 2100g first time out with ease.
If you are taking a beating in lane, having problems keeping up with the enemym, this item is not a bad idea to get. 1350g is the cost though, make sure you have it before going back and may want to ask a jungler for a lane cover while you get it. However, don't just go and buy it because you have 1350g. If you can get to 1350g and absolutely need to back, grab a and instead.
Things are going well get this. However, do not use this as a replacement for anything else only as a supplement. In other words, you don't want this to be your first item, there are other items that are better for AP Nidalee out the door.
2ND OR 3RD TIME BACK
Two basic items absolutely necessary . These are the two items that you will need to have getting into the teamfighting phase later in the game.
Your absolute first focus. Everything about it helps you. Every item you get from here on out you get additional AP for. On top of that your abilities all heal more and hit harder. Try and get it your 2nd time back, that is the ideal goal.
Pretty hard to get both your deathcap and this out of laning phase but if you can by all means do it. At the very least try and get a . But besides bonus AP and a nice on hit effect that scales with your AP, Lich Bane gives additives that are essential to nidalee. You get a nice bonus movement speed (Always a bonus), and Magic Resist (Also always a Bonus).
This is the adaptive phase. Obviously you need to adapt in every phase, but this phase is where you can make vital adjustments to literally decide the game. I'll run down some Mid Game items that can make or break your build.
If you haven't already...
Should be going for this try and get it sometime around your .
Against AP heavy teams and your not doing to hot out of laning phase.
Against AD heavy teams and your not doing to hot out of laning phase.
CASE BY CASE BASIS (IDEAL ITEMS)
Definitely not a bad idea on this champ. The biggest misconception with this item however is that it has to be built early game or as soon as possible. This is and always will be a Misconception, its useful at any stage in the game and this goes for any champion. It takes 10 minutes, only 10 minutes to full stack this item. And its already useful without stacks. So if any one ever says that its a dumb move to build this late game then just ignore them. This is always a useful item. It gives you everything you need in a League of Legends game, Survivability, Mana, and AP. Now in regards to building this for Nidalee, I find myself building this a lot lately actually. With the metagame changing to hard Bruiser/Fighters for instance, Renekton, Tryndamere, Fiora, Riven, and so on and so forth, having that extra added bonus of health and mana is pretty useful. This is most definitely not an item slot filler. So if your taking a beating in fights, look for this item.
If the enemy team has built up MR which often they do if you are effective with your spears or snowballing. Void Staff is pretty good here. If they haven't built MR don't build it yet. Other more useful items to buy that will increase AP and give you advantages on the opponent.
If they are absolutely focusing you in teamfights, then a last ditch effort would be to grab this. Especially if they are AD heavy this will help a loads. However, even if they are focusing you it may not be a viable item. Maybe you can look into escape items such as counter CC items which I will cover in just a few moments. Sometimes, if your positioning is correct, focusing you is counter intuitive for them and is actually helping your team in teamfights so maybe not building this would be the more viable option anyways. Once again, look at it on a case by case basis, How is this item going to help my team win?
Have to cover this section. If all is going well, you DO NOT have to build these items. Only build them if the enemy team has a lot of CC and you happen to be getting locked down. Also, even if they do have CC, look at your mechanics and positioning, what can you improve that will help your team before you build these items. If all else fails you should build one or two of these items.
Everything about this item helps you, but the downside, it has a cooldown and can be procced by pretty much any ability.
Has a decent amount of Magic Resist but has a long cooldown (90 Seconds) and has to be used. (Active Item). However with that said it has the upside of being selective in use so you don't have to worry about just any old spell proccing it.
Late to End Game
Pretty much if the game has lasted this long, just look at what is needed for that last one or two items. Are you dying alot? Look for a . Are they AP heavy with a lot of AoE nukes and/or you keep getting nuked? Maybe a . Bottomline, do your research. You can only get so much from a guide, knowing each item, what they do, and how they help you will only benefit you in game.
The Archangel Staff's Effect
Now I cover this item that if you notice, I haven't even touched base on. Remember with this build I focus on instant burst, so this will help you in the long run but does take some time to stack up. It compliments well with for instance but once again the effect of stacking does take a while. Now it does give you a lot of mana sustain in the game, but ask yourself if you really need the sustain. It is expensive in an already costly build line up so it has to be used if you are going to use it to its full effect. Pretty easy to stack though, just cougar form and keep using abilities, which you already do, but like I said, it does take a while.
AP Items I don't Usually Build
You are a Poke'n'Burst champion, you will get more effect from Void Staff then this. Yes it is a good item to build in certain situations, but remember you only have 6 item slots. Let your support or tank grab this item.
Nice spellvamp and AoE team bonus but once again only 6 slots to use when you already have one of the best heals in the game. Let somebody else build this if the team needs it.
Cool item, does a lot of damage, has cooldown reduction but has a range on it that I don't particularly like for a champion I like to keep away from the fight as long as possible. Also once again, only 6 item slots that can be used for better items.
Just not worth it in my opinion. Better items to buy.
Okay here is the thing I DO build this sometimes, actually do. However a case by case item I feel can be replaced out by either Rod of Ages or Zhonya's or even Banshee's Veil. By all means build it but remember your slot count... 6.
Depends too much on the snowball effect, just to risky especially if you are just learning Nidalee.
Example Item Builds
WARD WARD WARD WARD WARD WARD
If you go back and you have a few extra gold to spend buy wards, its simple, effective, saves your lane, helps your team, and is just essential to the team game. Please do not depend on your support/jungler or anybody else to ward. EVERYONE should ward on the team.
Early Game/Laning Phase
- First and foremost priority, achieving a high level of CS (Creep Score) also known as Farm. I will go into further detail in a section below.
- Itemization, getting yourself set up for the game as a whole.
- Attaining map control and lane domination.
Creep Score (CS)
Creep Score is essential to the game especially during the early game otherwise known as the laning phase. Basically it is the amount of Last hits you have on enemy and/or neutral minions. To give you a rough idea of what your Creep Score should look like out of a 20 minute game time range, it should be roughly between 125-175 if done properly. Note: This is a very conservative goal here, the actual number can "should" be around 200+ at 20 minute into game time. Happens to be a pretty high goal to achieve, but hey shoot for the stars. To attain a high level of Creep Score you need to apply basic lane mechanics or the fundamentals of laning. I will cover this in detail in this guide in just a few moments.
Set yourself up for your mid game items. Outside of that just read the Item Build section in this guide.
Ward, watch the mini map, Ward, maintain your lain, Ward, oh and by the way you should ward. If you control the map, for instance dragon control, baron control, jungle control, and can maintain lane dominance you will pretty much set the stage for victory later on in the game.
Now lets go over something that I have been talking about for quite some time. Lane Mechanics. To get things started then let us begin with the basic necessity, lane control.
Top Lane. I will cover Top Lane because Mid Lane is pretty much a dried up Top Lane without bushes so if you understand how to control top lane then you stand a good chance in mid lane as well.
Yellow Dot = Primary Ward placement, in other words, if you only have 1 ward, this is where you put it for top lane.
Green Dots = Secondary Ward placement, Bushwack placement.
Note the Lane midpoint. Your goal in lane control is to stay on your half for the laning phase. By using various techniques and monitoring your minion numbers and HP you should be able to achieve this. Best way to accomplish this is to let the minions duke it out and only attack minions that are at the absolute last strand of HP before dying and then taking the creep kill for the gold thus adding to your creep score. Best way to accomplish this is by quickly strafing/pacing back and forth maintaining good positioning if anything were to happen of course to keep your champion from auto attacking. Note: You can also just use the S key however with practice you can learn to pace to certain locations that can intimidate your enemy or put you in great position to harass with minimal risk.
Keep in mind that you should also find away to harass your enemy by poking auto attacks towards them this way it makes it difficult for them to farm. This is called deny. Nidalee is pretty good at this. However, with this particular set up as pure AP her auto attack harass doesn't do a lot of damage but over time you should whittle the enemy HP down. The idea here is to gradually decrease the enemy HP until the perfect opportunity to strike. For instance, levels 1-5 you may be able harass and poke at the enemy using basic auto attacks and get them pretty low. You hit level 6 you may be able to surprise them with a quick combo of pounce, swipe, and then takedown to finish them off.
Now also note that when you attack the enemy champion, the enemy minions start to attack you instead of your allied minions. This will cause what I like to call a SOFT PUSH. What will eventually happen is that your minions will start to push towards and eventually passed the midpoint of the lane with each subsequent lane. This is dangerous leaving you exposed to ganks from the enemy team ward or no ward. Why is this happening? Well when the enemy minions attack you instead of your minions, the HP balance tips in your favor and your minions start to kill their minions and keep pushing onward. This can be used as a tactical device but you have to be careful. SO YES THERE IS A DOWNSIDE TO TOO MUCH HARASS. So early game, probably a good idea to not over harass the enemy. Remember your first and foremost goal is to farm in this phase. Priority should always go CS first, harass second.
With that said, a useful tip in laning is that you can always entice the enemy to harass you as well. With AP Nidalee this is pretty effective in most cases because you can just heal the missing HP right back. If the enemy harasses you the lane will Soft Push into your favor dropping below the midpoint helping you out and securing your position in the lane.
Now lets say you need to go back to shop. This is where you push past the midpoint. Increase the number of auto-attacks and push past the midpoint just enough to where the enemy still has to attack the minions. This will allow you the maximum amount of time to go back shop and get back in lane. Note: It may be wise to notify your jungler or another lane that your heading back if the enemy champion is a decent pusher.
Make sure you ward. I will cover warding in detail a bit later.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take a peek at your mini-map every 10 to 15 seconds. Know your enemy, their locations, what they are doing, and what they are planning on doing. I can't really go into detail on this but work on guessing where the enemy is at. Hey the jungler hasn't been seen in a while, expect a gank. Hey the jungler is bot lane and mid lane is pushing pretty decently at the moment. Perfect time to hard push forward and go back, you can even push the turret down, or go for a quick kill. Constantly be vigilant and know your enemy as best as possible.
Let's say now that for some reason your minions are pushed all the way to the enemy turret. Do not stay in lane. Go counter jungle, go ward, go gank another lane, or go back. Constantly be doing something especially in Early Game where farm is essential. If you are top lane, go take a camp in the jungle or head mid and see if you can pull a gank off on mid. However always watch your lane, if you are up against the enemy turret it won't be for long especially in the early game.
If the enemy minions are all the way up against your turret, make sure you get every last hit and work on pushing back towards the midpoint a bit to balance the lane out. Note: at early levels and with Nidalee's attack damage Melee Minions will take 2 turret hits before you can Last hit them. Caster Minions you need to hit once first, let the turret hit them, and then you can last hit them.
PHEW!!! that was a lot to get out.
Here is a quick video showing the first 5 minutes of a quick 1v1 game I had recently where I was showing how to maintain a lane.
Other notes about the game, I finished 6/1 and pushed to the nexus at around 23 minutes game time. At 20 minutes game time I also reached 165 Creep Score(CS) to go with 5 Kills.
I have to cover this, too. Essential to Nidalee is knowing how to gank with your jungler and to gank other lanes yourself. First let us cover your role in the lane if the jungler decides to gank for you.
For top lane covering the two scenarios, here are the typical paths a jungler will take.
If you are the bottom half of the lane.
If you are the Top half of the lane.
With the Red arrows being the most common paths the jungler would take.
AP Nidalee isn't really useful to be involved in a gank pre level 6. However once you are level 6 your ganks are strong. Keep that in mind.
In regards to ganking other lanes make sure you have your lane covered before doing so and that the gank is maximum reward for minimum risk.
That is pretty much it. A lot of information for early game because I believe it is crucial to getting AP nidalee going.
Key points for Nidalee in Laning Phase:
- Bush Control... With your passive maintaining bush control will give you a clear advantage over your opponent. Especially in top lane where you can harass out of the bush run back into the bush and run out creating havoc in the opponents attempt to keep you in his/her line of site. i.e. Try strafing/pacing in and out of the bush.
- Heal. This is why I level up heal first in my build. It gives you bonus attack speed which is useful for last hitting creeps and harassing the enemy. Let's not mention it heals back a good amount of health. Just don't overheal though. If you don't need it don't use it is the basic rule of thumb. That way once the enemy does harass you it is ready to go.
- Try and stay away from early game spears. Unless the enemy is so low that a spear will absolutely kill them, don't chuck spears. Despite being low in cost of mana now, it is still mana to conserve for heal. Spear isn't worth it till you have high enough AP and a high enough level in that ability.
- Use your cougar form, it conserves your mana, hits harder, and moves faster with better defenses.
WardingDecided to add a section here on warding. I will keep this section as brief as possible.
- Know where to ward... Don't just ward to ward a part of the map just because. Optimize your ward covereage.
- Everyone wards... its a team game, its a team effort, 75-225g is not going to kill you every 3-10 minutes.
- Cover your butt first before you cover another lane with wards... kind of contradicts the 2nd point but you have to be alive to contribute to your team.
Know where to Ward
Green Dots=Early game primary locations.
Purple Dots=Mid-Late game Primary Locations.
Red Dots=Priority locations. Make sure these stay warded.
Blue Dots=Secondary Locations for the laning phase or for covering lane pushing.
Now these aren't the only locations but I find these locations to be the most effective in optimizing three things.
- First you can see the enemy coming a few seconds in advance as they head to your lane.
- It narrows down the location of the enemy, for instance if they are walking they have to go through this point or use an ability to go over a wall (Nothing you can really do about that).
- And the locations cover a wider area than just a bush, giving you maximum effectiveness from the ward.
When to Buy Wards and what to Buy at that time...
Whenever you go back to base to shop, you should always attempt to buy at least 1 ward. Especially in a Solo Top lane because you are the only one responsible for wards there. Mid lane as well. Always buy early game unless the enemy does have a stealthy who is actively ganking or roaming then by all means dish out the extra 50g and get a . Keep buying wards as your item slots allow. For your role, unless you are playing utility of course, stay away from till absolute end game. Remember you are a poke and burst champion so you will be at range from teamfights for the first 2-3 seconds of the fight sometimes more. Only exception I can see to this... is if you are getting focused down by the stealth champions on the team, then by all means buy an oracles.
- Poke, Poke, Poke.
- Burst, Burst, Burst (Single target of course, don't run off and try to take down 3-5 enemy champions, it is not going to happen... you will get laughed at.)
- Itemize for what the game demands.
- Manage lanes to manage map control.
Probably one of the hardest skillshots to use in the game. However if used correctly it will definitely cause some pain down range. Personally, with this skillshot I do not like to smartcast. I like to see where I am sending my spears all the time. This is entirely up to you, however. Do what you are comfortable with.
Disclaimer: You are not going to walk into a game with Nidalee the first time and hit all of your spears or even 50 percent for that matter. It does take some getting used to.
Key points for spears:
- It moves pretty slow, yet has a very good range.
- It does more damage at the tip of the spear than if it hits at point blank range, and by more damage, I mean MORE damage.
- Unfortunately, It also hits minions. Fortunately, it also hits minions.
- At rank 5, it doesn't take too much AP for the spear to be effective. However, if the enemy has built any kind of MR the spears effectiveness is pretty useless at that point. With that said...
- Stay away from using early game spears and save your mana till you absolutely need to. Don't take them for granted as your mana bar will go down twice as fast if your constantly spearing for very little reward. Note: A good opponent will figure out very quickly to just focus on dodging your spears and he will have the clear advantage in lane. (THIS POINT EXCLUDES SUPPORTING ROLES)
When chuck'n spears try to remember a few things.
- Firstly, always try to fire spears where the enemy has no choice to go. Whether they are boxed in by minions, terrain, or an allied champion try and fire where the enemy is going to go. For instance, if you have the choice of where to throw a spear, choose the place with the highest likelihood of hitting. (No brainer right?)
- Secondly, run away little girl run away. The spear does increased damage at the point of impact to the location of your champion, if you run away after firing you may get the increased damage you need.
- Third, try and lead the enemy. It takes practice but don't repeatedly fire at the same location, if the opponent keeps dodging left repeatedly, try and lead them to the left a bit and then see what happens.
- Lastly, don't take your eye off of your positioning, that brief second it takes for the spear to travel to its target is enough for the enemy to get the jump on you. So if you are in the heat of battle fire the spear and then quickly hit <Space Bar> (Center's camera on your location) and make a move for better positioning. It is like counter sniping, that first spear goes out, enemy knows your location. With that said you may want to fire from a different location every time.
With that said the rest from here on out takes practice. Good shoot'n Bestial Huntress.
WHEN TO BURST, and HOW TO BURST
There is one major combo that you need for cougar form. You can either start in caster with a or a or heck even for additional attack speed. However you always want to go this route when trying to burst down the enemy:
(Cougar) > (Cougar) > (Cougar)
Open up with your pounce onto the enemy, you will do somewhat amount of damage depending on your AP at the time. Next swipe, you should do a decent amount of damage depending on your AP as well. Then finish off with your Takedown. Even without AD runes/masteries/items you will do an insane amount of damage if the enemy is low on hp which more often then not they will be. (Unless of course they they have a lot of HP and/or Resist) Note: Remember your Takedown does Physical damage.
Luckily your (R) is on a short cooldown so by the time you pop in to cougar throw your combo out you can pop right back out, heal or chuck a spear quickly to finish the job if the enemy may be getting away with low HP.
Keep farming in mid game if you can. Nidalee with any build is an excellent pusher. She is very easy to manage lanes with. However, if you are going to push out the lane make sure you know where the enemy is and ward behind you. On top of that, always have an escape path provided for you if things don't exactly go your way.
Team Fights/Late GameIt is all about positioning. With this build remember you are the poke and the single target burst of the team. So what ever you do, please do not think you can run into a teamfight and expect to nuke everyone down. It won't happen. On top of that, you aren't very beefy. Your role isn't to initiate either. Your role pre-teamfight is to wittle the enemy down with pokes and let someone else on your team initiate unless somebody on the enemy team is way out of position.
Always keep yourself at least 3/4 spear length away from the pack. Far enough to stay safe, close enough to do damage. Once ultimates are laid out and you have poked a few down, jump in zoning out and taking down the carries if at all possible. Do not go for the tanks unless you have no other choice.
In regards, to late game, Nidalee doesn't scale too well because of the amount of magic resist the enemy can build. Just play smart, help your team at where ever possible. Also be sure to pop a heal on your team as well, especially ranged ad carries.
You Vs. Champions
Champions you struggle against, AKA They can hard counter you.
And How to Beat them...
His slow and sustain make it very hard to beat him in lane. His ganks out of the jungle are pretty ruthless as well. If you have him in the enemy jungle you need to make sure you ward at all times.
His slows will ruin your day, same concept as nunu.
Just pay attention to him and don't let him land a stun on you. I usually don't struggle against him but he does have the ability to give you a rough game.
Pretty good sustain in top lane or mid lane even. He is rough to lane against no matter what. Just focus on making sure you out farm him and get some hard AP. Make him earn his CS by constantly harassing him if you can early.
Just pay attention to her stun. You can burst her down at 6 though and she can't do anything about it besides try and counter stun and burst you.
Know when his Q is up. If he gets a stun and then combos you, you will probably not survive it.
Pretty OP anywhere at the moment. Once she uses her ultimate and then ignites you, its pretty much over nothing you can do about it. Just make sure you follow the skill order and level up your heal first. Don't let her openly harass you. If she wants to harass you make her earn it by healing yourself and counter auto-attacking at her if she runs away.
She lands her charm on you it is over. Just pay attention to its cooldown and make sure to be ready to dodge it.
Patience is the key here. Slowly harass him down and dodge his cleavers and you should be okay.
Probably the champion you want to build against. Just be mindful and make him earn everything he wants, CS, Kills, the tower.
Out of the jungle snares are pretty strong against you, so once again, you have to make sure you ward. In lane you should be okay.
Everything about this champ counters you. Be careful, you can still beat him just have to pay very close attention. Dodge his ult whenever possible, but don't set yourself up for it. For instance, onlyl attempt to burst him down if you can.
A good Irelia can beat you so be extra vigilant.
You can't burst him, hard to harass him. Just outfarm him in lane. If he is in the jungle, he can slow you so becareful.
You can beat him early and burst him down. Just try and deny him as best as possible. Do not overextend on him though. If he slows you he can drill you.
Just don't let her land a stun on you and you will be fine.
Can out harass you and out sustain you so be careful against him. Also his stun is a game changer. Just gotta make sure you do not overextend and you should be okay. More often then not if you are underextended you will get help from the homefront out of the jungle.
This champ can beast you out of the lane. Going boots and 3 pots against this guy isn't a bad idea. Faster you can run away from his minions the better.
He can out sustain you through laning phase and then out nuke you while staying beefy in mid to late game. Force him to stay at low health and burst him whenever possible while dropping back with a heal on you.
Pretty hard to beat her in lane. Pretty much just focus on outfarming her. If she dives you with her ult, try and counter burst her next to your turret.
Pop his shield with an autoattack whenever possible and be careful of his stun.
Avoid being overaggressive on him. Also know the range of his snare. Pretty much outfarm him at all possible.
You will struggle against him if you are straight AP. Outfarm him and try and harass with auto-attacks till he is absolutely too low to do anything and then burst him at that point.
Poke him with Auto Attacks, and just know the range of his grab. As AP it may be a little bit more difficult to beat him in lane but it just comes down to positioning.
He can smother you, especially out of the jungle. Don't overextend at all with him in the game especially if he is MIA.
More to come soon as I draw on some references and new champions are released. I have yet to see Lulu against me so we shall see how that goes. For now, however, these are probably the hardest counters to AP Nidalee.
Some more Gameplay VideosNote: I won't post full game videos that would be pointless and boring. I will post highlights so you can get the idea of Nidalee play. I will update these over time.
Ended the game 14/6/13 I will post 2 videos early game and then the late game video.
And Part 2
Final CommentsAbove all this is a game, meant to have fun with. If you struggle the first time out.. give it another shot. It is all a learning experience with any champion that is. Remember your role in the game. If you don't like playing AP Nidalee (straight out), then try her hybrid, or even AD. Remember there isn't just one way to play her, and I can't stress that anymore. Good Luck Summoners.
Special Thanks to:
K4rm4k4z3 (For being my punching bag)
- You will see me playing under the gamertag, Quickzilverz. That is my summoner name at the moment.
- I will try and update as often as possible.
- AD Nidalee guide is next, it will be coming soon.
- 3/21/2012: Added Rune Page, Uploading Gameplay video 1b should be present sometime early morning.
- 3/22/2012: Gameplay 1B is up, also some minor updates, and a name update. Also Major update- In process of adding a "Vs. Champion Section." Should be live soon.
- 6/23/2012: Slowly adding updates. Darius and Hecarim have been added to Vs. Champion Section.