IntroductionDue to the new jungle changes which made camps scale with HP, Nunu isn't as good as he was months ago but he is still a fun and useful pick in solo queue even if he is stuck on support bottom lane in tournament games. This update should hopefully make it easier to understand Nunu in his current form (though I've left the months old video in the guide as I think it's still useful to learn counterjungling with despite having different values on camps etc).
I run these masteries because defense is currently extremely strong compared to the other trees for melee bruisers such as Nunu. Nunu on his own is actually very weak durability wise due to him having zero defense skills (consume doesn't really count) as unlike lee Sin's mobility/shield, skarners speed/shield, rammus defense curl and shyvanas natural armor/MR, Nunu has nothing aside from a few extra hp per level. This means he isn't very durable for staying in the front lines unless he gets the items to (hence why Nunu players tend to move more towards defense/support items than AP). I run 21 in defense to help achieve this while having 9 in utility as I figure it'd be more useful than having slightly more damage on my spells as Nunu runs out of mana fairly quickly and the utility tree has a few skills that can help him out there.
For Nunu, I like to run my generic jungle page which I basically use for half my junglers. Now people might ask why I don't just run magic penetration, it's because unless you get sorc boots or additional magic penetration or reduction, it becomes highly irrelevant past early game as just having a flat 10 magic pen is fairly useless damagewise later. I run armor pen and attack speed to help clear the jungle faster which is important since Nunu does camps so slow without his consume/smite available.
Why 12 armor pen? It mostly has to do with the fact that several of the neutral camps have a armor rating of 12 or less. The small golems have exactly 12, the wolves and small lizards are under 12 as well. The larger neutrals have 20 armor and the dragon has 21 but because I'm going for speed, I'd rather just use smite and consume on the larger camps and have a quicker auto attack phase on the small camps. The seals and glyphs I have are for Nunu's mid-late game where he is forced to become an off tank or risk dying instantly because his durability is awful late game compared to other junglers. I take flat armor because it's very useful early game against neutrals,towers and enemy junglers and scaling magic resistance because magic resistance tends to be not as useful early game.
Smite for obvious reasons and Flash because it is a much more useful tool on Nunu who already has one of the highest movement speeds in the game when he is constantly bloodboiled. It's highly likely if he can't outrun it with bloodboil, ghost probably won't make a difference. It's also far more useful to have flash when counter jungler to jump over to say baron/dragon side to escape rather than risk going through the exits which could be blocked by the enemy laners. Also flash slows/ult are extremely helpful if a carry is being chased as you can instantly save them by flash ulting someone to slow them down.
OverviewNote that this video only deals with Nunu ganking/counterjungling and it's item build shouldn't be followed as I was testing a different build on Nunu to see if I could do better than my standard route. I will attempt to upload a better video whenever I get the chance to play Nunu Jungle.
NOTE THE VID BELOW IS OUTDATED BUT STILL HAS SOME USEFUL INFORMATION ON NUNU SO I KEPT IT IN THIS GUIDE:
Basically in this part, I'll be going over the strengths and weaknesses any Nunu player should learn. First up, one of his biggest strengths and basically what sets him apart: Counter Jungling.
Counter Jungling video - Part 1/2
Takes a bite out of target minion, dealing 500/600/700/800/900 true damage and restoring 125/180/235/290/345 (+1) health.
Cost 60/60/60/60/60 Mana
Due to nerfs and the jungle changes, this spell has become increasingly weaker throughout the months. However still note that it's a near instant nuke and very few skills can outdamage this when combined with smite so it makes taking dragons/buffs easier. Leveling this will make the cooldown shorter while adding damage and adding more heal which makes it extremely potent with 40% CDR as dragon or normal buffs can be taken out very quickly with little or no help. One should note however, this spell has a significant casttime despite not being channeling and only does HALF damage to Baron despite being true damage. Using this to lasthit with smite will often secure any buff in the game (but be wary of the cast time) but the downside is to avoid knockups/silence/stuns as unlike Smite, this will be affected.
W: Blood Boil
Increases an allied unit's attack speed by 25/35/45/55/65% and movement speed by 11/12.5/13/14.5/15% for 15 seconds. Nunu also gains the effects of Bloodboil if casted on an allied unit.
Cost 50/50/50/50/50 Mana
This in combination with Ice Blast is the big reason why Nunu is such a great roamer. Unless you are somehow hurting for mana, this spell should almost always be on, as it's cooldown is low enough to permanently have it on Nunu and make him walk around the map at high speeds all the time. Sometimes it's good to keep it up if you're about to do a gank and instantly bloodboil your ally (no cast animation/time on this) instead of use it on yourself prior to the gank as your ally won't benefit from it. Use this often when you can afford it as it'll allow Nunu's jungling to be faster and make his passive proc faster due to it's increased attack speed. A ranged carry with this on will be very nice as it gives the valued movespeed buff as well as an attack speed buff.
E: Ice Blast
Nunu throws a ball of ice at an enemy unit, dealing 85/130/175/225/275 (+1) magic damage and slowing their movement speed by 40/45/50/55/60% and attack speed by 25% for 4 seconds.
Cost 75/85/95/105/115 Mana
Despite it's seemingly weak stats/range etc, it is a very strong roam spell. When combined with CDR, it can basically perma slow someone to a halt and force teams to stop roaming solo as Nunu will likely outrun anything, including a ghosted enemy when he applies this over and over. Because my build doesn't go full AP or magic pen, it's damage later will be minimal at best and this'll mostly annoy anyone diving your carry or the enemy carry themselves as it also slows attack speed and makes them easy pickings because they're super slow. However note the extremely slow projectile speed, making it very easy to flash/valkyrie/etc away, stalling it's effect until the projectile finally reaches them. So often, you'll want to be in the path of their escape when using this or else they could basically be at their tower when the projectile reaches them in a gank.
R: Absolute Zero
While channeling for 3 seconds, slows nearby enemy units' attack speed and movement speed. After channeling, enemies caught in the area are dealt 625/875/1125 (+2.5) magic damage.
Cost 150/150/150 Mana
This is an extremely hard skill to pull off, but because of it's high base damage, it makes tank Nunu able to do damage despite stacking tank items and such. However, when combined with his Iceblast, it gets extremely annoying to champions who dive the enemy carry as they're forced to walk through your absolute zero or blow their disable on you which is good for your team as it'll be less pressure on your carry who should be kiting them to oblivion. This is also extremely potent in ganks/counter ganks as you can ult from the brush and they don't actually see the spell being cast (though they should notice their extremely slow movespeed) and will have a hard time stopping it unless they have an area of effect disable to blindly rush the brush to stop Nunu. While canceling before it ends greatly reduces the damage, unless you expect the enemy to be pushed back in or walk in, it's highly recommended you cancel the channeling if everyone is about to leave it.
I get one level of consume as a single point is 400 damage while the subsequent points give only a 125 damage increase meaning that there is little point to level it as it's unusable against enemy champions. I max Ice Blast after due to it's scaling on damage and slow so I can be more useful in chases and teamfights. I max bloodboil after as the benefits of the later levels are extremely low compared to the first level, and Iceblast is more useful on a roaming jungler (though support Nunus get Bloodboil first since they do not roam solo).
I get regrowth pendant early so I can build it into a philstone later, thus saving money on potions and such. Since Nunu likely won't have much in terms of farm, he'll need the gp/10 items to get his later items.
Philstone/HoG are there due to Nunu's inability to farm the jungle in sufficient time later so I get them early so I can afford the later game items as by the time the 20~ minute mark rolls around, they'll be gaining more than I put in. I think Ionia boots are a steal for Nunu as it gives him much needed CDR and merc treads won't be that useful as he's only worried about being disabled during channeling rather than how long it is. Though sometimes if the enemy is heavy AD, I go Ninja Tabis because of the cheap cost and huge benefit against physical auto attackers. Though be very careful not to get caught while roaming as without Mercs, Nunu can easily be locked down for a quick kill if enough disables are piled on him. I tend to get banshees right after as it gives him needed MR and the spell block which is very effective with his channeling ultimate as it could make or break his ultimate from going off.
Against Magic Damage Opponents:
Against Physical Damage Opponents:
You can either break off and go the spiritvisage/abyssal/DeathCap Route or follow the Frozen Heart/VoidStaff/deathcap route. Obviously the Frozen heart route should be followed if the enemy's real damage is coming from physical and the other route for a more magic based team.
Notice I dont go much further in items as you SHOULD be warding/oracle buying constantly as you'll be the one controlling the map for your team and it's difficult to roam when the enemy is warding. If you need more items, either stack AP or get a Randuins to help your team further.
THE VIDEO/TEXT BELOW IS SLIGHTLY OUTDATED BUT IT IS KEPT IN THE GUIDE AS IT STILL PERTAINS USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT COUNTERJUNGLING:
Counter Jungling video - Part 2/2
While most of the information on Counter Jungling/Roaming is shown in the video (watch it), a few extra points to mention:
Having a clairvoyance is extremely helpful if you suspect the enemy is smart enough to change his route or has played a counter jungle Nunu. Simply having the knowledge of where he is attempting to go is very helpful as the enemy will waste time if you manage to predict where he is going. Likewise, if the enemy has a CV and your team doesn't, you're in an extremely bad spot if they manage to hit a CV on you and you lack wards on the map to know for sure where the enemy is. If you are caught by a CV in the enemy territory, ALWAYS keep an eye on how the lanes are doing on each of your sides, if one or more of the enemy leaves the lane, you must inform your laners of this and prepare an escape route as it's likely you'll be in a 1v2 situation for a few seconds which could make you lose the 2v2 when your ally does come.
Roaming/WardingWhile roaming was touched fairly nicely in the video, I didn't get the chance to mention the importance of warding/oracle on Nunu. Simply put, if you think there's a chance the enemy is using wards (just check their items from time to time), a oracle is a very nice investment as it could stop the enemy laners from farming as well as they could and could net easy buffs/dragons as they have no clue where you could be. Likewise for wards, it allows your team to make more riskier plays/farm than the enemy because they know they should be safe. This also forces the enemy jungler/roamers to play far more cautious and do far more ganks as they realize they're seen from miles away. For ward spots, often one at dragon, maybe 1 at one of their key buffs (so the cv can be used on the other one) and 1 for the top to prevent ganks should be sufficient. Though sometimes I can afford more wards and double up the ones on the top side to cover both entrances to the top river/enemy jungle which is great for baron control and allies who shove to the enemy tower.
TeamfightsThis wasn't touched much on the video, but roughly you get 2 choices in teamfights:
Protect your carry by 'peeling' off the enemy divers with slows or try to do as much disruption to the enemy carries as possible. Often it's a bad idea to run right for the carry if he has people 'peeling' for him as you won't get your ult off if theres a disabler sitting by them, but it's very easy to spam iceblasts upon the enemy carry just to make him easier pickings for your divers. Do note that it's highly likely your AD/AP carries are doing significantly more damage than you and you should be making sure they're not running the entire fight due to enemy divers. This is probably Nunu's biggest weakness as he is horrible late game in terms of raw damage as he doesn't have much magic penetration and if he goes full AP, he tends to get murdered by the enemy carry as he doesn't have durability skills like Rammus or Olaf which help reduce damage.