IntroductionNautilus is a fairly unique champion with lots of potential. This guide is intended to give people an introduction on how to jungle naut, and then how to transition into a tanky/CC/disruption role late game. Read on and enjoy.
- Tons of CC
- Pull and ult aren't affected by tenacity
- Inherently tanky
- Shield that scales with health
- AoE DoT to clear jungle
- Not item dependent
- Great ganker
- Transitions well into lategame tank/disruption/initiation
- Ult is NOT a skillshot
- First clear or two is slow
- Vulnerable to counter-jungling early on
- Reliant on CDR
- Does mediocre damage
- Has no reliable wall jumping skill
- Pull is a skillshot, will hit minions, and doesn't go over (most) walls.
- Slow (we're going to fix this though)
Guide History03/03/2013 - Updated item builds again.
02/10/2013 - Updated item builds and a few other minor things.
01/05/2013 - Fixed item tags that were broke with the new item tag system.
01/03/2013 - Removed Zeke's Herald from Attack Speed chapter (Thanks Saltednuts!)
12/30/2012 - Testing shows Durability does not affect Titan's Wrath. Updated mastery pages to note this.
12/29/2012 - Updated Item Build to better reflect the Item Builds chapter.
12/27/2012 - Small grammar fixes and added guide history.
12/27/2012 - APPROVAL!!!
12/11/2012 - Added pictures, details, and 3 new chapters.
12/09/2012 - Updated for season 3 - new items/masteries
05/08/2012 - Guide first released
MasteriesThe mastery page for nautilus is a standard tanky jungler 0/21/9 page, grabbing up to runic affinity in utility. Its fairly straightforward, yet very effective. You'll be getting lots of defensive stats to help you out in the jungle and as a tank, and some utility to help you in your role of tanky disruption.
12/30/12 - After some testing, I have found that has a bug where it does NOT scale with health from Durability. It does scale with Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut, but doesn't work with Durability. This is a minor loss (.6 shield strength at level 1 and 10.8 shield strength at level 18), but something to consider. Both mastery pages are still perfectly valid as Veteran's Scars is still useful and requires Durability to get there.
So lets look at these masteries in a little more detail. Remember that these are not the only options, feel free to tweak the page to your playstyle. I would highly recommend keeping the general 0/21/9 structure though (he gets very little from the offense tree).
Defense - TIER 1:
- Summoner's Resolve - Since you WILL be grabbing smite, this mastery is fairly decent and helps you generate more gold.
- Durability - NOTE: THIS MASTERY CURRENTLY (AS OF 12/30/12)DOES NOT AFFECT SHIELD STRENGTH. Health is extremely nice for nautilus. This health per level will help him with his jungle and shield, while continue to scale a bit. It also is necessary for Veteran's Scars. This mastery is recommended, though is not a MUST have - if you don't want it, then I'd recommend skipping it and putting 1 point in Perseverance to get to tier 2 instead.
- Tough Skin - This mastery is extremely important in the jungle. You will be taking a lot of hits from jungle monsters, and reducing each hit by 2 really does add up. Also necessary for Bladed Armor.
Defense - TIER 2:
- Hardiness - The 5 armor may not seem like much, however it certainly makes a difference in your early jungle. Do not pass these up.
- Bladed Armor - This mastery reflects a small bit of damage back to minions when they attack you. While 6 damage isn't much, remember that it is true damage and that nautilus doesn't do much damage in the jungle without his shield up. This is extremely important.
Defense - TIER 3:
- Veteran's Scars - This mastery is better than a flat health quint, and nautilus does love health. If you put 4 points in Durability then definitely pick this one up.
- Safeguard - This skill is fairly useful and only a single point. As nautilus you will have the ability to turret dive and tank turret damage for your allies, and this will help with that. Since this is a %, it will scale well.
- Relentless - This mastery is an alternative to the Durability/Veteran's Scars route. 15% slow reduction isn't too shabby - especially when combined with other forms of tenacity (item/mastery) and possibly .
Defense - TIER 4:
Here is where we have a difficult choice. Both these masteries are quite useful, though I tend to lean towards the health.
- Juggernaut - 4% max health is nothing to sneeze at, and it makes any health items you grab even more effective. Always a great option. Take 95% of the time.
- Tenacious - 15% CC reduction basically (it does stack with tenacity from items). This, combined with / and possibly Relentless/ will make you an unstoppable force. I would seriously consider this mastery - especially in draft games where you have an idea of how much CC an enemy team is going to have.
Defense - TIER 5:
And here come even more difficult choices. Choose wisely.
- Defender - For a single point, this mastery will give you up to 5 armor/MR in teamfights. It won't help your jungle, but a solid bit of defense in teamfights for a single point.
- Legendary Armor - Increase armor/magic resist by up to 5%. When nautilus builds full tank ( etc.) this can certainly add up. Might not be better than the next couple of masteries, but throwing points in to get to the next level is a good idea. Note that you get less value per point after the first point (First point is 2%, the next 2 points are 1.5% each), so I often put only a single point in.
- Good Hands - Decrease time spent dead by 10% - a fairly decent mastery for a tank, and only 1 point. Will help you get back on your feet and into the field. Not bad, but I usually pass.
- Reinforced Armor - 10% less damage from critical strikes? Yes please. This, along with armor, will help minimize the effect of an enemy AD carry on you. For a single point I would say to ALWAYS grab this.
Defense - TIER 6:
- Honor Guard - While this final point may not be extremely flashy, it does a good job. For a single point, 3% damage is a significant reduction, especially later on in the game. Take this.
Utility - TIER 1:
- Summoner's Insight - If you take flash, then this mastery is worth picking up. If you opt for ghost, then skip it.
- Wanderer - Up to 2% movespeed when out of combat. A mini , which will help you move around the map and gank. Why not?
- Meditation - Mana regen is one of our early weaknesses, so this mastery is worth looking into. Especially with the less mana regen gives in comparison to , this can be an important mastery.
Utility - TIER 2:
- Mastermind - Reduce summoner's by up to 10%. This would be a 30 second cooldown reduction on flash (for a total of 45 seconds reduction with Summoner's insight), 21 seconds off of ghost, and 7 seconds off of smite. Certainly not a bad mastery to take.
- Artificer - An interesting mastery that is worth considering. Up to 15% reduced cooldowns on activated items. If you are a player who gets items with actives (, etc) then this might be useful.
Utility - TIER 3:
- Runic Affinity - Increase buff duration by 20% and the main reason we're in the utility tree. Take this one.
DON'T TAKE THESE (and why)
- Perseverance - This is 6 health regen max. Most of the time it'll be <3 regen, not too impressive. We'll also be grabbing a philo/spirit stone early on, which is way better than this.
- Resistance - Up to 5 MR isn't particularly useful for nautilus as the jungle doesn't do magic damage. By the time you'll really be seeing enemy mage action, you should have some MR items. There are better options.
- Unyielding/Block - Flat reduction of damage from champions is rather lackluster in the jungle. By the time we're out into the team fights, 5 damage won't be too significant.
- Expanded Mind - Unless you're really having mana problems, then this mastery is fairly useless. Up to 10 mana per level isn't too much, and you'll have a before it becomes useful. Spend the points elsewhere.
RunesThese runes are fairy standard, and fairly flexible. I'll explain my choices here and list out a few alternatives. Here's my current setup:
I take movespeed quints to help ganking and movement through the jungle. I take a mix of AS and AD reds to help my early damage in the jungle. I take flat armor yellows to help keep me alive in the early jungle. Finally I grab MR per level blues to increase your tankiness for lategame and when you start ganking. This setup is NOT the only setup, and nautilus is generally fairly versatile with his runes. Read on for alternative runes and pick the best setup for you and your playstyle.
These are the runes that matter the least, yet are the most complicated in my page. Reds are fairly flexible, and there are a few decent choices on him. I opted to take 3 attack speed and 6 AD reds in order to help my early jungle clear. This may seem odd, but later on in the guide I'll explain how attack speed works with nautilus, and why I don't get more than 3 attack speed reds. Here's some other options.
- Attack damage - helps early game clear, also contributes (very) minor damage later on.
- Attack speed - helps clear, helps apply passive to multiple targets faster later on. Synergizes with /. Don't take more than 3 (explained later on).
- Armor penetration - helps early game clear a bit, also contributes (very) minor damage later on.
- Armor - helps you stay alive during your clear, can be used if you plan on using something other than armor for yellows.
- Armor - standard jungler yellows - very useful, use 99% of the time.
- Gold generation - if you have the runes to switch it up a bit, you could consider using these. Naut isn't really item dependent, but gold is always good to help your team with wards and oracles. Will also help you get your gold items faster. You'll want to switch in some armor reds/blues to make up for it though.
- Magic Resist per level - standard jungler runes. You probably won't take much (if any) magic damage early on, so grab the scaling runes to have some resistance later on. These are fairly standard jungler runes and always a solid choice.
- Cooldown reduction - Very expensive runes, however can be useful for increasing utility. The more often you can use your disruptive abilites, the more of a pain in the rear you are for the enemy team. Since we no longer get CDR from masteries (like we did in season 2), I'm finding these runes to be very helpful early on.
- Movement speed - Like I mentioned before, naut is slow and we want to gank lots of things with him, so we need movement speed. The 4.5% movespeed is decent, and combined with the masteries, you'll be starting the game with 6.5% extra movespeed (not in combat). That is taking you from his base 325 to 346 at level one, with no boots. When you grab you'll be in a great position to gank.
- Gold Generation - You'll lose out on the movement speed, but the gold gained from these quints isn't bad. If you can't afford movement speed (or you disagree with me on movement speed), then these would be my second choice.
- Health - Flat health is a solid choice. While 78hp might not seem like a whole lot, its certainly can make a difference in the jungle as it increase your shield as well.
- Flash is useful on nautilus. His ult has a decently long range and isn't a skillshot, so flashing into range guarantees it will hit at least one person. Can be used offensively to get in range to CC for your team, or defensively to get over a wall if you're counterjungled. Flash + ult, flash (possibly over minions) + anchor, and flash + aoe slow are all valid uses of flash.
- Smite is needed to jungle. Period. Dot. End of story. Not only does it provide great objective control (aka you can secure/steal blue/red/dragon/baron), it also gives naut a much-needed damage boost in his early jungle. With the summoner mastery it also gives 10 gold, so don't be afraid to use it if there isn't going to be a dragon/baron attempt in the next 70 seconds.
- Ghost is an alternative summoner to flash. It allows you great movement speed, though you sacrifice the wall-jumping and instant dodges of flash. With a shorter cooldown and the ability to be cast while silenced, its certainly a valid alternative to flash. If you decide to pick up ghost, move a point out of summoner's insight (in the utility tree).
Don't take any of these:
- Generally your role will NOT be to deal damage. Might be useful in extreme cases, but generally no.
- Exhaust does two things - slows and reduces damage. We already have tons of CC, and while another one couldn't hurt, it simply doesn't compare to flash/ghost/smite. The reduced damage is nice, but let another champion take it as they'll be able to put it to better use.
- If your team wants a CV, then it would be better on the support, it doesn't do you any good to have it.
- You'll be getting blue early on and then have / + so you'll never need this.
- If the enemy team is using CC on you, then thats awesome, cause your carries are free to blow stuff up. Cleanse is a deterrent to that, so don't take it.
- This won't really help you in the jungle, though it may help with teamfights later on. Let a support grab it so you can take better summoners.
- Barrier simply won't be used very early on in the game, and you already have a shield so many of its nice qualities (shielding an ult from ) don't really help since you can use your shield instead.
- If you die, then you're team will have either won or lost a teamfight. Either way you won't be able to get back into the fight, and the few situations where it might be useful don't warrant taking it over something else.
TL;DR - Use flash/ghost and smite.
Passive: Staggering Blow
Nautilus's first basic attack against a target deals bonus physical damage and immobilizes the opponent briefly. Staggering Blow cannot trigger on the same target more than once every 12 seconds.
A decent passive that makes nautilus a threat from level one. While it has a 12 second cooldown, simply getting an auto-attack off means an enemy is rooted for a bit (.5/.75/1 seconds)
It is important to note that this is a ROOT (otherwise known as a SNARE). IT IS NOT A STUN. It will not break channels. It will not stop kat's ult. It will not stop nunu's ult. It is a root.
Its also important to know where this will activate in his combo. Try to chain your CC to keep an enemy vulnerable for as long as possible. Don't root them and slow them at the same time. Let your auto-attack go off, then slow when the root is nearly done.
Q: Dredge Line
Nautilus hurls his anchor forward. If it hits an enemy unit, Nautilus drags himself and the target together dealing 80/120/160/200/240 (+75% of ability power) magic damage and stunning them briefly.If the anchor hits terrain, Nautilus will drag himself forward and the cooldown is reduced by 50% (7/6.5/6/5.5/5).
Cost: 60/70/80/90/100 mana
Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
This skill is what makes naut fun. Its wider than blitz's pull, and easier to land. It doesn't go through (most) walls, but will hit them and pull you to them. Its a one-point wonder, so grab a point at level 4 and then leave it alone (If you get into a level 1 teamfight, then you may want to take a point here. This will hurt your early jungle a lot, so make sure you have lots of help if you do this).
With the movement speed we're going for, we're trying to avoid initiating a gank with dredge line. You should be fast enough to walk up to someone and smack them around a bit, and save your anchor for their flash/escape moves. Its still a great initiation if you can't walk up to them, as well as a great way to punish badly positioned carries later on.
Using it on terrain for travel reduces the cooldown by 50%, so if possible, try to aim so you either hit a champion or a wall. If you miss the champion, you'll still be pulled to the wall and can CC from there. It will be up again fairly quick as well.
Be careful of using it to terrain pull early on. It takes a decent amount of mana and can run you OOM early game. Later on you can use it on your nexus, your inhibitor, and your turrets/walls to help you get to the field faster.
There are a few walls that are thin enough for dredge line will go through. I may add a more detailed section on this later, however there are a few places where naut can dredge line through to wall to hit someone or something. This will pull naut through the wall as well. Here's a map of the main places where this is useful.
Finally this move displaces the enemy, so it WILL stop channels. In a teamfight, don't use anchor for damage, but rather save it for enemy channels (kat ult, nunu ult, karth ult, fiddle ult, etc) or fleeing enemies.
W: Titan's Wrath
Nautilus surrounds himself with dark energies, shielding him from the next 80/130/180/230/280 plus 10% of his bonus health (+10% of bonus health) damage for up to 10 seconds. While the shield persists, Nautilus' basic attacks apply a damage over time effect to all units around his target. The effect deals 30/60/90/120/150 (+40% of ability power) magic damage over 2 seconds.
Cost: 80 mana
Cooldown: 26/24/22/20/18 seconds
Naut's shield is his primary jungling skill and helps him deal some aoe damage in teamfights. The shield amount scales with health, so health isn't a bad stat for him. Health will also add to damage as the AoE DoT affect will no longer work when the shield breaks.
We'll grab a point in W first (unless an early teamfight breaks out). The cooldown is ridiculously long, and we'll want to level it up first to reduce that cooldown.
Titan's wrath is also effectively an auto-attack reset. That means that you should auto-attack once, and then active titan's wrath quickly to auto-attack again when attacking things. This will help the time to clear camps in the jungle, as you essentially get a free auto-attack in.
Bonus health also increases the strength of this shield, which makes health items extra important.
Finally this skill is the reason why attack speed has some interesting mechanics when it comes to nautilus. More on this later though.
Nautilus slams the ground, causing the earth to explode around him. Each explosion deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to units in the area and slows them by 30/35/40/45/50% for 2 seconds. This slow diminishes over time. A unit can be hit by more than one explosion, but they take 50% less damage from additional explosions.
Cooldown: 10 seconds
AoE damage combined with a slow. This move is fairly powerful, especially when you are in the middle of enemies. Enemies on the move can be hit by this multiple times to be slowed even more and take some more damage. The damage and slow scale fairly well with level, so we'll level this after shield.
The aoe is fairly helpful for clearing the jungle camps as well. In order to maximize damage, you'll want to use it in between auto-attacks. It does not reset your auto-attack, however the casting animation does take time, and you'll want that time to be in between auto-attacks rather than pushing an auto-attack back even further.
Be wary about using this at the same time as your passive. It may be tempting to pull someone, auto-attack them, and stun all in a second, but this is an ineffective use of CC. Pull someone, then auto-attack, then slow when the root is nearly done to keep them locked down for as long as possible.
R: Depth Charge
Nautilus fires a shockwave that chases an enemy champion. This deals 125/175/225 (+40% of ability power) magic damage to enemies it passes through and knocks them into the air. The shockwave explodes upon hitting its target dealing 250/350/450 (+80% of ability power) magic damage, launching them into the air and stunning them for 1/1.5/2 seconds.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 120/100/80 seconds
Naut's ultimate. Always take it if available. Its on a reasonably short cooldown, its targeted so it can't miss (with a few exceptions), and it will knock up multiple enemies if cast well. Use it to maximize CC on ganks, and on the carries in the back of a teamfight. This skill will follow fairly far and over walls, so flash generally won't save someone. Flashing into range in order to use it is a great way to initiate/chase.
Be wary of using it on champions who can become untargetable. Fizz's playful/trickster, Vlad's pool, Yi's alpha strike, and fiora's ultimate are examples of skills that can completely negate your ult. Avoid targeting them unless they recently used their ability.
Skill OrderFor levels 1 to 6
W E W Q W R
After level 6 follow this skill order:
R > W > E > Q
Always take ult.
W is needed for consistent jungling. Max it first to lower its CDR.
E is aoe damage to help your jungle and adds CC. Max this second.
Q is a one point wonder. Grab one point at level 4 and then leave it alone.
Item BuildsNautilus is an very versatile champion. He has a fairly cheap core, and then he generally builds situationally tanky. He can grab some AP for damage if need be, but generally build to counter your opponents.
Some important stats for nautilus are movement speed, CDR, tankiness (health/armor/MR), and AP.
Start for jungling. The extra damage from the machete will help your clear and build into our spirit stone later on. If you can't get help at the beginning, you may want to consider , however the machete is going to be better. Alternatively, if you find 5 potions to be overkill, you can start .
Depending on how much gold you have, you'll want to pick up on your first and maybe second trip back. With philo stone you shouldn't have many mana issues, so you can donate your 2nd blue onward to mid.
Why not Spirit Stone?
I used to ignore philo stone and stick with spirit stone, but I've lately changed back to philo stone. Philo stone gives better regen, while also adding a great boost to your gold income. Philo stone also builds into , which is an amazing item. Spirit stone can only really build into , which isn't bad...but also isn't that good. You'll get tenacity elsewhere if you need it, and the monster damage isn't really worth the gold it costs. The health is ok, but the armor and regen are barely noticable.
Your next item will be . Boots of mobility greatly decrease travel time between camps and lanes for ganks. It will let you approach your enemies quickly and use your passive , so you can save your pull for later.
Your next two item should be a and then a . The final stats of our core are CDR and health. I'm now recommending kindlegem since took a hit from CDR, though its still a solid item if you plan to build an endgame item from it. You can also grab a for even more health.
Your core can certainly change depending on the game. You may want to alter it to include MR or other stats depending on your game.
At this point your core is done, and you'll want to continue building based on the enemy team. You'll want health and a combination of MR and Armor that counters the enemy team. I'll provide you with some good item choices, however you'll have to make the call based on what your team needs.
Good items in general
- Good item. Provides cooldown, some health, some regen, and most importantly, a great active for moving your team into (or away from) battle. Builds out of your core philo stone and kindlegem, so I would build almost every game.
- Good item. Health, some cooldown, regen, and a great active. Can build out of your kindlegem. This is a great item statwise, and also to have later on for teamfights.
- This is a solid item for any team to have, and its often found on the jungler or support. The health, armor, and MR are great, and your team will be very thankful for the aura. It also builds into a great lategame item. Highly recommended if you are building defensive.
- This item will make you much harder to kill and give a solid boost to your shield. Its extremely strong in season 3, even after being nerfed. Very strong item.
- If your team needs extreme warding, then picking up one of these may be a wise investment. You should always be warding, but if you find that you need to ward excessively, then these items are great options. The health helps you with your shield and wards are always a good thing.
Good items vs AD champions
- Good item vs AD champions. Provides health, a tiny bit of CDR, and a great active.
- Great item vs AD champions. Provides lots of armor and CDR, while slowing down enemy attack speed. An early glacial shroud may be a good item if you know you'll be picking this up.
- A new item for season 3, this item provides some extra damage while still keeping the CDR and tankyness from glacial shroud. A solid build option for when you need some extra damage. It is a sheen-like item that procs on the next auto after an ability. Your next auto will do AOE damage (~140 at level 18) and also slow enemies in a field. This works great with your abilities (pull->auto, auto->shield->auto, E->auto for a double slow). Only build if you need to be doing more damage.
- I don't build this usually, as its a deterrent and you want enemies to focus on you. However if the enemy is heavy AD and is targeting you for some reason, then this can return a lot of damage.
- I generally don't like sunfire cape, however the stats it provides you are decent and the passive damage over time, while often overlooked, is almost always underestimated. This item is much better early game though, and you have more important things to build. I'd say pass.
Good items vs AP champions
- This is my go to item for MR on naut. Provides a solid amount of MR, while also reducing the enemies MR (helps your AP carry) and giving you some extra damage through AP. Grab the negatron cloak early if the enemy AP carry is a problem, and build it up later on.
- While this item is an all around amazing item, it also gives the most MR for you with its amazing aura. Health, Armor, and MR make this item an amazing tank item. The aura also means your team will love you. This is one of my favorite tank items. Feel free to build Aegis early on instead of glacial shroud if you know you're going to get this item. Note that the aura will only stack twice for yourself and one other person with the aura, so be aware of teammates who might be building this item.
- This is a very interesting item for nautilus. If you're team is doing well and you want to pick up some MR, then this will help you snowball even more. The attackspeed increases your damage and your jungle clear. A fast attacking nautilus is a very scary thing to see. This won't replace an MR item if the enemy has a very strong AP carry, however its still very solid. See the special section on Attack Speed for a look at how attack speed works on naut.
- Banshee's veil is okay on naut, however I rarely find myself wanting or needing it. The spellshield is nice, but isn't very reliable, though the health does help your W's shield strength. The mana from catalyst isn't needed since you have spirit/philo stone and glacial shroud, so this item just doesn't fit our build usually.
- Spirit Visage is an interesting item with the season 3 changes. It now has a significant amount of MR, as well as some health and 15% CDR. These new stats are things that nautilus loves, so the new spirit visage fits pretty well into a tanky build if you need CDR. The increased healing passive doesn't generally affect naut ( and , though even then not much) so some of the gold efficiency might be lost.
- Twin shadows is a new item in season 3, and its an interesting one for nautilus. It has some MR, but also some AP and movement speed, both of which are helpful. The active is also very interesting. The slow can be a great opener which allows you to get your other spells off, and the reveal can be useful for stealth champions like eve/shaco/twitch/akali/etc. This item is focused more on damage than MR though, so save it for when you need a mix of offensive power and some defense.
Good items to deal damage
- See the vs AP section, but basically, AP, MR, and an aoe MR reduction make this item top notch for naut.
- See the vs AP section, but the attack speed and on-hit damage helps your jungle clear and damage on enemies.
- See the vs AD section, but this is the offensive upgrade of glacial shroud, which adds CC and an aoe sheen proc in addition to some tankyness.
- I was skeptical about trying this item, but the damage boost is pretty decent. Your autos and abilities (though not the DoT of your shield) will proc a true damage DoT, which scales with level and can add to your damage. Just remember what you are giving up though, I would only take this if you need to be outputting lots of damage (perhaps 1% of games...if that...).
- Naut doesn't utilize the spell vamp from this item as much as some champions, but it definitely does return some health. Also provides the aura which can give your AP carry a second WotA aura.
When you complete your build you have the option to sell your boots of mobility for another set of boots. Movement speed is still important, however you are no longer roaming the map looking to gank, and the boots lose their extra speed in the teamfighting phase. They still can be useful for initiating, however consider trading them out for another pair of boots, especially if you have a to help you initiate. If you have , then the tenacity from isn't useful, which makes the best option as it will reduce the enemy carries damage by a significant amount. Alternatively will give you extra movespeed in teamfights and also provide extra resistance to slows.
You'll also want to consider a boot enchantment when the time comes. I would recommend picking between one of depending on your situation. Alacrity simply provides bonus movement speed, which isn't bad. Captain is a good enchantment for a tank as it helps your allies initiate, chase, or flee. Finally homeguard can be useful for when playing a defensive game. I generally choose as its the best team-oriented boots.
My generic final build:
VS an AP heavy team:
VS an AD heavy team:
Note that these builds have varying amounts of CDR, and in combination with your runes, may actually go over the cap. Just be aware that you cannot get more than 40% CDR and try to avoid wasting too much of your gold on excess CDR.
As jungle nautilus, you should be buying wards. You'll be going all over to gank, and throwing wards in key places can greatly help you and your team. Feel free to ward the enemy jungle and smite-steal buffs, as well as helping keep baron, dragon, and common ganking spots warded. Pink wards can be used to clear out enemy wards at baron/dragon as well.
Nautilus is a great character to grab a oracles on, especially once he completes his core. He doesn't die easily, and he'll be traveling a lot and can find wards. It also encourages the enemy team to focus you, which allows your team to mop them up as they spend forever attempting to take you down.
Jungling - Early gameNautilus suffers from a slow and dangerous early jungle. It definitely helps to have your team protect you and throw some damage your way. Ask for damage and help at wolves and blue. Since there are no longer leashes, you'll certainly want some help from your teammates. Make sure that your teammates clear out of exp range before you kill things though.
Smiteless - Getting a 'smiteless' is a new technique in season 3. This is where your teammates (generally mid lane), will help you complete your first buff quickly, and will reduce its health quite low, allowing you to kill it without using smite, which leaves your smite up for other things. I would avoid getting a 'smiteless' start unless you know the teammates and make it clear that you are attempting to avoid using smite. Saving smite will allow you to get red buff sooner, or alternatively allow you to steal the enemy blue wraith when it spawns to hurt the enemy jungler. Use with caution though.
Level up W. Get to wolves. Use W at 1:32. Wolves will spawn at 1:40, which leaves you 2 seconds of shield, which is about how long it will last. The reason for this is to start the cooldown as soon as possible so its up again for blue. When wolves spawn, start hitting the big wolf. Have your allies auto-attack the small wolves to help you out. Use a potion if need be. Head to blue.
At blue, get damage from your teammates. Auto-attack once, then hit W to maximize damage. Wait till blue is below 445hp and smite to secure it (or save it if you plan ahead). Your teammates may also be able to tank damage which will help your health in the jungle. Use a potion if need be. Grab E and head to wraiths.
From this point on, his jungle is rather straightforward. When you get to a camp, auto-attack the big minion, activate W so your auto-attack resets and you hit them again. Cast E between two auto-attacks. Smite if necessary.
Continue on to wraiths, then back to wolves. Move onward to red, small golems, and then back to wraiths. You'll probably be level 4 at this point, which means you will have a point in Q. Ganking becomes much more effective now. Recall when you need to or when you have enough gold. Grab a boot and spirit stone to solve mana issues. You can now donate your blue to mid.
Ganking with nautilus generally works one of two ways. First way is to run in very fast and catch the enemy with an auto-attack and your passive root. Use W for a shield on yourself, an auto-attack reset and some more damage. Proceed to slow when root wears off. Anchor when they flash, dash, or otherwise run away. Your ally (or allies) in lane should be dealing most of the damage while you lock them down. If theres no possible way for the enemy to escape, let your carry get the kill. Otherwise make sure to secure the kill (even if you get the kill rather than your teammate) rather than leave a chance for escape.
The second way to gank is if you are not fast enough to catch them. Use your Q to prevent their escape. Aim for the enemy champion, if you can Q so that even if you miss the champion, you hit a wall then you will still be in position to root and slow. Auto-attack them for the passive, and then use your shield to reset for damage. Use your slow when the root wears off. This will often result in a flash, which is a successful gank.
In both situations, feel free to use your ult to lock the enemy down for even more time. Your ult is a great tool for diving as there is no real way to miss.
If done right, both styles of gank will often result in at least a burnt flash. With an aggressive enough lane partner, a kill will often happen.
Beware of counter-junglers:
Nautilus is sometimes very easily counterjungled early on. If the enemy steals your buffs, simply move on and continue farming. If it really is hurting, then pick up a / to help with your gold generation. If the enemy jungler is actively trying to kill you in your own jungle, be prepared to use flash to get away and let your team know so they can converge and counter their invade. If this starts to happen ask your teammates to place wards so you can see invasion into your jungle (especially the entrances near blue buff and wraiths).
Here are some champions to watch out for.
- Great early game damage and a fear from his boxes gives him a good chance to kill you. Have your teammates be prepared to protect you, especially as you go from blue to wraiths. A good shaco can set up boxes in the brush right there for a very effective ambush.
- While not jungled much currently, eve can still ruin your day. Be aware that she can roam your jungle unseen and may bypass green wards completely. Always be aware of when eve is missing if she is on the enemy team and be prepared to call for help.
- Again, not jungled too often, but if he finds you he may be able to take you out before you know whats happening. His combo, especially with ignite, can be extremely fast and very deadly. Beware and ward well.
- His damage early game isn't bad, but its his perma-slow from cleavers that can really get you in trouble. Be wary of invading his jungle, as his teammates will easily be able to join the fight while you're slowly cleavered to death.
- Jax will be a problem for you 1v1, as he has good damage, a stun, and dodge. He also is very slippery and can often get away from teammates with a well placed jump and stun.
- Similar to jax, lee sin has decent damage and some great CC while also being defensive and extremely slippery. His ward jumps and Q jumps make him extremely slippery and he has a very fast clear. Be wary.
- With a fast clear, decent damage, and fear - noct can be a pain for nautilus. Later on in the game you'll have a better shield and tanky items, so you can survive the fear and get away, but early on he may be able to take you down if you're down health from farming camps or ganking.
- A slow and lots of damage make him a force to be reckoned with early on. Once you grab some health his true damage won't be as scary and you'll be better off.
- Even after a few nerfs, he'll do a decent bit of damage and may be a problem for you early on. He can be very slippery around bushes and especially with his ult.
- Similar to rengar, hes got decent damage and is slippery with his jump and invisibility.
- The classic counter-jungler. She can wreck your jungle and set you back a ways on gold. Continue to farm as best you can and make sure your team wards your jungle entrances. If your team can kill her whenever she invades, she'll stop invading. Grab a to help you keep up your gold.
- Finally jungle kayle isn't seen too often, but if she gets an early kill she can tear through your defenses fairly quickly with her slow, damage boost, and shredding.
Team FightsNautilus is quite a force to be reckoned with when it comes to teamfights. His damage may not be huge, but it also isn't inconsequential (especially if you pick up a or other offensive item). His real forte is with the disruption and CC which prevents the enemy team from fighting at their best.
Before the fight begins, see if you can use your Q to pull an enemy carry towards your team (shurelias can be extremely useful here) - this can often force the other team to backoff or accept a bad teamfight position, which will help your team win. A Q followed by an auto-attack root will often be enough to allow your team to jump in and finish off an enemy. Be wary of pulling certain champions closer to your team though. Tanks (like ) and high aoe champions (think ) can hurt your team.
Once the fight has started you should use your shield and E to be a nuisance to the enemy team. Nautilus can put out a surprising amount of damage in early fights, and the slow can be quick useful. Auto-attacking enemy champions will also root them, which can help prevent enemies from kiting, dodging, or chasing your carries.
Save your Q for special situations. You can use it to pull a fleeing enemy, peel a bruiser off your carry, or most importantly, as an interupt for channeled spells. Your Q can interupt a katarina ult, nunu ult, fiddle ult (while casting), and karthus ult (while casting and alive).
Your ult is also a great way to interupt a channel if you still have it. If you are not saving your ult for an enemy channeler, then it is often best using on the enemy carry, probably in the back of the enemy team. Your ult will knock up everyone it passes through, so casting it in a way that will affect a number of enemies will maximize the CC and disruption to the enemy team.
Generally you will want to attempt to do one of two things. The first would be to rush the enemy team carries and focus on disrupting them and keeping them from your team. Be careful of being seperated though, and be mindful of your carries. The other option is to slow, root, and otherwise peel the enemy bruisers from your carries, allowing them to do their jobs better.
Continue to use your abilites in an intelligent way (dont forget item actives if you have any!) throughout the fight and continue to disrupt the enemy team. You may die, but if it allows your carry to get a triple kill and win the teamfight, then you've done your job.
Mid GameAs nautilus transitions to mid game, his role begins to switch from ganks towards skirmishes and team fights. With his core built he will be able to move quickly across the map and gank with decent success. He will be relatively tanky, and can greatly help his team.
Nautilus' ganks become incredibly more potent as he picks up boots of mobility and his ultimate. With his shield and the armor from glacial shroud, theres also good potential for turret diving to allow your teammates to grab a kill. If possible, try to land your passive first using your movement speed. If you can root them at the beginning of a gank, it will come off CDR sooner, and generally allow your ally to get into the fight. Be prepared for the enemy to flash or use another escape ability - you should use your Q to quickly pull them back in. Use your E after a root or Q to keep your enemy slowed and in place for longer. Try not to overlap your CC - you can maximize the time CCd by spacing your moves correctly. Finally your ult is another great form of CC. Your ult is targeted, which makes it impossible to miss. It is quite effective when diving the enemy, as they will be unable to escape it. You can also use your ult (which WILL hit) to set up your Q. Its much easier to land a Q on a stunned target.
There may be some small fights or even an early teamfight around dragon in the mid game. Your role is extremely important, so do your best to be there. See the teamfight section for information on these fights - the same general principles apply, though possibly on a smaller scale.
Warding and Oracles
When not fighting with your team, you'll be constantly clearing out your jungle. You'll be in a great position to ward, so grab wards whenever your gold and inventory allows it. Grabbing a pink ward can be a great way to clear the river and allow your team to attempt dragon.
If you are doing well (especially if an early gank or two results in a kill/assist), an oracle is often a worthwhile buy. You'll be somewhat tanky and be constantly traversing the map. Clear any wards you come across to destroy the enemy team's vision. Just remember that you will be a target, and you should be extra careful not to die if possible.
Late GameLategame is very similar to midgame for nautilus. Continue to farm as needed (be careful not to get caught or miss a teamfight) and push turrets and grab objectives. You should be giving blue buff to your mage and red buff to a bruiser or AD carry. Be the tank.
Lategame objectives switch more towards towers and baron. Keep your smite handy for baron/dragon fights or buff stealing. Always use smite to secure baron/dragon when your team is doing it, and be prepared to smite steal things from the enemy if you're backed by your team.
Pushing towers is important in this stage of the game, and you can help your team. You'll be able to tank tower hits, so if the situation is right, you can try to Q in order to grab an enemy under the tower. A well placed ult and other CC will keep the enemy team in place and in disarray for your team to clean up. With your tankyness and shield you'll be the best person to tank.
Finally, as always, don't forget to be warding and buying oracles. Clearing enemy wards can be a great help, and vision is always welcome. Remember that wards are essentially small map hacks. A may be a good purchase if you are holding an empty spot for wards.
As you transition to this stage, you may want to make a few changes to your item build. can be sold for another set of boots (see item build section for more details) as ganking is no longer a priority. is very useful to keep your teammates' speed up when initiating or fleeing. Another option would be to swap out your for a for better initiations. Be aware that you lose some health, armor, tenacity, and extra minion damage in exchange for 10% CDR and the amazing active. Its up to you to determine which is better for you and your team.
Attack Speed on NautilusMore than once in this guide I've mentioned that attack speed is very interesting on nautilus. Notice that my build takes 3 AS reds and a wits end rather often. This is to raise my attack speed close, but not over 1.0 attacks per second. The reason why is found in naut's W skill. If you're interested, lets take a look at it again. If you're not interested, just don't get to 1.0 attack speed on naut.
W: Titan's Wrath
Nautilus surrounds himself with dark energies, shielding him from the next 80/130/180/230/280 plus 10% of his bonus health (+10% of bonus health) damage for up to 10 seconds. While the shield persists, Nautilus' basic attacks apply a damage over time effect to all units around his target. The effect deals 30/60/90/120/150 (+40% of ability power) magic damage over 2 seconds.
Cost: 80 mana
Cooldown: 26/24/22/20/18 seconds
So basically nautilus will do damage over time for 2 seconds to your target and any nearby units. If we examine how the effect works in game, we see that the damage over time aspect of the shield is applied over 2 ticks. The first tick is instant - it happens at the same time we auto-attack. The second tick comes exactly 1 second later. There are no more ticks after that, so the DoT is actually only over 1 second.
What does this mean? It means that attack speed will increase your auto-attack damage, and will make your shield damage apply faster, as long as you don't attack once or more a second. If you break 1.0 attack speed, then your auto-attacks will come faster than the second tick of damage, which means you cut your shield damage in half.
Consider this scenario. Nautilus attacks a target 3 times. The first scenario is with 0.91 attacks per second (means nautilus attacks once every 1.1 seconds). Each auto-attack is marked with an 'X', each shield tick is marked with a T.
Basically naut is attacking 3 times. Each attack allows his shield to tick twice (the full DoT). We have 3 auto-attacks and 6 ticks.
Now lets look at the same thing, but when nautilus has 1.0 attacks per second.
Nautilus attacks 3 times, however he loses 2 of his DoT ticks! Basically getting to 1.0 attack speed lowers naut's damage. It technically will recover when you get a lot more attack speed, however you need much more attack speed than we can realistically want to get.
So the idea is to make sure you don't break 1.0 attack speed. Lets look at what attack speed we can get.
Base at 18: 0.7211332
Wit's End at 18: 0.9663332
9 AS reds at 18: 0.8149222
Wit's End and 9 AS reds at 18: 1.0601222
Wit's End and 9 AS reds at level 7: 0.9940408 (highest level w/o breaking 1.0)
Wit's End and 3 AS reds at level 18: 0.9975962 (highest AS reds w/o breaking 1.0)
So my logic is that with 3 AS reds and a wit's end, naut won't break the 1.0 attack speed mark and can increase his jungle clear time and damage without losing shield ticks.
It is important to note that an ally can buff your attack speed. You may want to skip wit's end if your team has a sivir, a jarvan, or a warwick (all of whom have attack speed auras).
Final CommentsThanks for reading, and I hoped you liked my guide. I hope that you have a better understanding of how nautilus works and how to get the most out of his kit. Feel free to ask any questions about nautilus, I'll do my best to answer.
Also if anyone has any alternative items, masteries, runes, or anything please post as I'd love to hear about them and try them out! Season 3 items especially as it takes a while for me to properly test them!
Now go win some games!