Changelog02/03/2013 - Added match-ups and took out Flask from item builds
12/11/2012 - Released guide
IntroductionNami should be played very aggressively in lane in order to maximize her abilities. She also has numerous CC that are often difficult to land making her spells have a high skillcap, but also extremely rewarding.
+Long range initiate
+Huge synergy between spells
+Can breathe air
-Insane mana costs
-Slow projectile ultimate
-Slow projectile Q
-Heal not very strong
-Difficulty healing outside combat
-No wave clear
-Loses a lot of lanes due to her difficulty
CommentaryReally useful commentarys if you prefer watching and listening over reading.
1/13/16 or 0/13/17:
13 points into Defense allows Nami to be slightly tankier, making it easier to win trades
A slightly more passive page. This is better if you max E first.
AD is excellent for harassing and is the better aggressive choice of Marks.
Armor on Marks allows you to give up some armor in Seals for a bit of mana regen.
Magic Pen is great in theory, but Nami doesn't have that many damage abilities for it to be really worth it.
Armor is great because armor. Yay!
Mana regen is great since Nami spams spells while laning.
Magic Resistance Flat
Flat magic resist is preferred against champions with magic damage (Corki, Sona, etc.)
Magic Resistance per Level
You can get by with scaling magic resist if the opponent doesn't have much magic damage.
Gold per 10
GP 10 is pretty standard and great for scaling past laning phase
Not exactly needed, but can be good vs Blitzcranks and other aggressive lanes
Heal is excellent on supports now. The full heal on 5 targets in a teamfight amount to a lot of HP. Heal is better when you're going against AoE damage.
Exhaust is still great. Better used against assassins or champions extremely dependent on attack speed, like Irelia.
When Nami's abilities hit allied champions they gain 30 movement speed for 1.5 seconds.
Movement speed buff, but it is not very noticeable. Feel free to spam skills on yourself to move back to lane a bit quicker.
Q: Aqua Prison
Nami sends a bubble into the air towards a targeted area. When it lands, it deals magic damage to all enemies in the area of impact and stuns them for 1.25 seconds.
Very slow projectile that can easily be dodged, especially with the usage of Flash. The range on the spell is fairly high, but the AoE is tiny and it is difficult to hit more than two targets with it. The duration of the stun is not too shabby, but the hardest part is simply landing the spell.
W: Ebb and Flow
Nami unleashes a stream of water that bounces between allied and enemy champions. This ability can only bounce to each target once and hits up to 3 targets. The damage or healing value is reduced by 15% with each bounce.
On ally hits, Ebb and Flow heals the target and bounces towards a nearby enemy champion. On enemy hits, the torrent deals magic damage and bounces towards a nearby allied champion.
Interesting skill as it bounces up to two times, affecting up to three targets. In order to maximize its effect, you must be close range, forcing you to play aggressively.
Note: Mousing over the target with W will show the range of the bounce.
E: Aqueous Empowerment
Empowers an allied champion for 5 seconds or until they have attacked 3 times. During this time, their basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and slow the target hit for 1 second.
Bonus damage and slow. The limited number of attacks lowers the damage potential, but is still a nice skill to have maxed.
Note: As long as you use all three procs, there is honestly no reason to not buff yourself with it, as you'll do the same amount of damage.
R: Tidal Wave
Summons a tidal wave outward from Nami's position. The tidal wave briefly knocks up enemies that it comes into contact with, slows them and deals magic damage. The slow duration increases based on how far the tidal wave has traveled, with a minimum duration of 2 seconds and a maximum duration of 4 seconds.
Long range AoE slow + knock up. It's very easy to dodge and is best used to cut players off, or during a teamfight.
> > >
Maxing over :
Ebb and Flow is definitely better than Aqueous Empowerment in terms of damage and healing, but Nami's E does give more slow when leveled. I feel that the extra sustain the damage trumps the additional slow. Ebb and Flow also has a slightly lower cooldown, allowing it to be up more frequently.
Maxing over :
Despite the lower cooldown when maxing Aqua Prison, the consistent and non-skillshot nature of Aqueous Empowerment makes it the more attractive option, while laning.
Maxing over :
Once both sides start to teamfight, maxing Aqua Prison is the best option.
Start:( + )
/ + +
Starting either Rejuventation Bead or Faerie Charm means you will be building a Philo Stone into Shurelya's Reverie. This is a fine starting build.
Starting with both Faerie Charm and Rejuvenation Bead leaves you with no potions and only two wards. Only use this if you are sure that you won't get harassed down, as you lack in sustain.
Grab either of these items early. Sightstone is a must, while Philo Stone and Kage's Luck Pick are optional.
CDR boots are the best for most situations, but Ninja Tabi and Mercury Treads are options if the enemy has too much damage.
For enchantments, you'll most likely go with Alacrity or Distortion. Distortion is better if the enemy seems to be focusing you and you need the extra Flash cooldown. Otherwise, extra movement speed is just useful.
Sightstone and Ruby Sightstone are extremely valuable items. Both these items allows you to forget about buying wards, saving more a ton of gold. Getting these items as early as possible will give you the greatest return on the investment, plus the HP is awesome.
Locket of the Iron Solari has everything you need as a support. HP, CDR, Armor AND an active shield, Locket is a solid item for any match-up. This is by far my favorite item to pick up on a support.
Mikael's Crucible is an excellent item since it builds from a and provides additional mana, which helps with Nami's extremely high mana costs. The Cleanse and Heal for an ally is also invaluable, but is rather expensive. I pretty much would always get one after an initial , or at least grab the .
Shard of True Ice is an okay item. Keeping the gold per 10 is cool, but the utility of the item is a bit lacking. Compared to Mikael's the mana regen is not nearly as attractive and the AoE slow isn't amazing for Nami's kit, which has a ton of slows anyways.
Twin Shadows works well with Nami. The huge range on the wraith scouts, combined with the huge range on Nami's ultimate simply makes sense. Even though it can be hard to land the ultimate in an open field, the slow from Twin Shadows will force the target to at least use an escape. However, with how prevalent wards are in the current game, the vision from Twin Shadows is a bit wasted and is not as attractive as it could have been in Season 2.
Zeke's Herald is a strong aura item, but is rather expensive. Zeke's is still awesome when the team consists of multiple AD champions, but it is definitely difficult to rush. I would aim for this item third or fourth after some of the other items.
Shurelya's Reverie is still great on a number of supports and it works especially well with Nami for following up on her ultimate. Reverie and make for powerful engages, but I probably wouldn't take it unless I need that chasing power. With Philo Stone no longer being an absolute must and the existence of a lot more options, Reverie won't be seen nearly as much.
Aegis of the Legion can be bought pretty much every game. The Armor and MR aura is still amazing and there should be one on every single team.
Runic Bulwark is the upgrade for , but is really only useful when going against a lot of magic damage. The upgrade is extremely costly, so make sure that the extra MR will be useful before purchasing it, simply having an Aegis is sufficient in many cases.
Laning Match-UpsOne = Easy
Three = Mediocre/skill match-up
Five = Hard
Alistar's more reliable CC and sustain makes him a strong pick against Nami. Early on, it's difficult to kill Alistar and once he hits 6, it's simply impossible. Aim to poke Alistar as much as possible before he decides to engage. You'll also win an all-in trade as long as you land Aqua Prison on the AD carry.
Blitzcrank is scary. There is the constant pressure of a Blitzcrank hook that will take a signficant portion of your HP if you are at anything but full HP. If you can avoid the hook, the lane will be fairly simple with Nami's poke/sustain.
Fiddlesticks' CC is much more reliable, but is outranged by Nami. Aim to engage using Aqua Prison and always have brushes warded after level 6 to prevent surprise Fiddlesticks ult. (Save either Aqua Prison or Tidal Wave to cancel his ultimate)
Janna's short autoattack range makes it very simple for Nami to trade. Any even trade against Janna is a good trade as playing aggressive against her yields the best results. At level 6, landing Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave all ensure a kill or at least force summoner spells to be used.
Leona is much more reliable than Nami in terms of CC and has the power to insta-kill Nami or her AD at level 6. This is a very difficult lane for Nami and landing Aqua Prisons is simply a necessity to win any trade.
Lulu has crazy poke damage and the more reliable CC. Nami simply has a harder time trading and missing Aqua Prison will result in a lost trade. Spamming Aqua Prison and only engaging when it lands is the best way to grab an advantage in this lane.
Morgana and Nami initiate similarly. Nami has the advantage due to Aqua Prison being AoE, but this lane is completely dependent on who has the stronger AD and who engages first.
Nunu is completely reliant on the AD for laning. If Nami can land her Aqua Prisons on the AD, then you'll have the advantage in lane, if not then you'll get outscaled.
Sona has a stronger poke, more reliable heal and the better laning ultimate. Nami has a really hard time laning against Sona and unless you get an early advantage, Sona will simply poke you down.
Soraka is actually very vulnerable to Nami. Nami has a stun very similar to Taric and if you can land that, you can go all-in. It's extremely important that trades result in kills as Soraka can sustain through poke very easily.
Taric is surprising at a disadvantage in laning. Taric's stun is very predictable, allowing Nami to have an easier time landing Aqua Prisons on targets. Nami's slow will also help kite Taric when his stun is down.
Thresh has the advantage in an all-in and is ranged. It's extremely difficult to win any trades against Thresh. Getting hooked by Thresh is certainly a death sentence, so Nami has to aim to survive laning phase.
Zyra does decently well against Nami. This match-up is completely dependent on who can land the skillshots and take advantage of it.
Team FightsIn teamfights, it is all about landing skillshots. Always try to save your for when both sides are committed into the fight, this way it is much harder for them to dodge the spell. Constantly using your spells when they are off cooldown goes without saying, but look for the crucial on multiple targets.
When slowed by or , the enemy will need to waste their escape in order to dodge .
Good commentary to watch that shows strong teamfight potential with Nami:
Final CommentsNami is a fun support with a high skillcap and extremely rewarding skills. The amount of utility she brings to the team is almost unrivaled as a support. Her potential is rather high, I feel that she definitely see some competitive play, once people start to get the hang of her.