Who am i, and why play Nidalee as tanky dps?
Hello my name is Mikwenz, and this is my first guide on solomid. Hopefully, you will be able to learn something from this guide, and make you better overall as a player. I've been a fan of Nidalee for quite awhile, back when she was considered OP (Her pushing capabilities and all around utility for the team). My highest rating capped at 1600 and i've played this game for 1-2 years. Although her play style has changed in my opinion, she is still a great carry for solo queue. As tanky dps she is able to sustain longer in team fights, have constant damage, easily kill squishies, and still be able to make use of all her spells(even without ap). In this guide, I will show you how i prefer to play Nidalee.
Thanks for reading :)
MasteriesMy masteries are a standard "bruiser" setup. I like to go offense yet retain some defense (nidalee in cougar is melee)
Why these masteries?
Although Riot added new masteries, my preference is still relatively the same. I find that going 21/8/1 is the most efficient for the highest output of damage. I still believe that the early game damage is necessary for poking and zoning the enemy laner. Through aggressiveness you are able to put pressure on the laner and eventually land a kill. I also prefer this offensive tree because it allows you to not only hit harder but make your early game farming easier. The reason i chose to put the points to get to Arcane Knowledge is because i like the CD reduction along with that extra bit of magic penetration. Nidalee still benefits from some magic pen, which allows extra damage with her spells. I still choose some points in the defense tree for sustain, and close combat. The only reason i put one point in the utility tree is to shave off those 15 seconds for flash, which could get you a kill or get you out of a death. Again, these are my preferences for masteries and vary due to your play style. I still have not messed around enough with the new masteries to figure out which route i like the best, but for now I will use these.
Explanation of Why I prefer These Runes
I recommend using the armor pen, because it really allows her to poke through the game. Along with this it helps her . The armor pen really benefits your early game, which scales into your late game.
I use basically the same runes from Hotshotgg's build for Nidalee. One of the variations are the armor yellows (he uses dodge runes). Due to the change to cougar form, i feel as though these runes are not necessary for Nidalee. Yes, when she had that dodge chance passive from her cougar form, it was a must. Now that she receives a armor/magic resist boost, I feel that it is more advantageous to make use of armor for her early game.
The magic resis per level glyphs are needed for her overall tankiness. This is a must because it helps her in team fights and survive against the ap carries that do alot of damage. Hotshotgg prefers cool down per level glyphs, but i feel as though these are not necessary. The main goal for a tank/ad nidalee is to have sustainable damage, without being to squishy.
The quints are used for the same reason as the reds.
These summoners are my preferred due to my play style.
Flash is a must for Nidalee, which is not really debatable. It's advantages are too good to not have. You can use it offensively and defensively.
- The Ad carry flashes away? Flash in and kill him.
- The person your laning against think he is safe from your cougar form? Flash in and kill him.
- Champions are chasing you? Flash and then pounce over a wall.
This is a debatable choice of a summoner. I like to choose this over ignite, because it scales into late game better and really lets me 1v1 champs that do high amounts of damage.
This could be changed with exhaust if the other team has a lot of heals, or if you like to be aggressive early. An example would be (Yorick, Nidalee (not ranked), healers).
(Flash+Ghost)This could be good if your a really passive player. I just think exhaust or ignite would be a better option for an aggressive play style. It can also be used for chasing the stray champions. This combined with Nidalee's passive allows you to move amazingly fast.
I could see this being a useful summoner spell. It allows to you have constant sustain throughout your whole early laning phase. It also gives you the ability to join team fights/ganks easily and control dragon/baron. If your a defensive player that likes to make use of this spell, i would highly recommend it.
I can see this being a viable summoner spell for certain players. If you like to be super aggressive and really go into team fights you can use this spell for the cc. Also in certain situations if they have tons of cc, you can also grab this. Because your playing Nidalee as AD, this will help your team fighting capabilities.
My new personal recommended summoner combos -
After the Fizz patch, I realized how good can be. Now that it removes exhaust/ignite, it's going to be one of the best summoner spells to have. This synergies with Nidalee really well because exhaust and ignite both shut her down, and with cleanse you will not have to worry about being unable to do damage or take too much damage.
Along with this I would also like to emphasize how good is too. Nidalee is already a monster in lane after getting certain items. With teleport however, it's almost impossible to force her out of lane because she can just jump back right in! This would be another great summoner spell that i would use on her. Not only does it help in the laning phase, but control over baron, dragon and ganks.
Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
This is a decent passive. It really allows to take advantage of the bush, offensively and defensively. The main idea here is to go in and out early game in order to poke. If your ever running away or chasing, be sure to make use of this bush when you have the chance.
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
Although AP nidalees use this skill more often, its still not that bad. The extra damage is nice, and it gives you range. The Q in cougar mode on the other hand, is amazing with this build. It allows you to do unexpected damage that will let you get that kill. You have to remember to run away from the spear, because the damage scales off the distance from you and the target.
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
There are so many uses for this spell. Your able to ward yourself at a low mana cost, use it offensively for the armor/mr reducing, and warding key objectives like baron and dragon.
The pounce is the spell that everyone despises Nidalee for. It can be used offensively and defensively, allowing the player to escape from deadly ganks or catching that stray runner. It can be spammed constantly, and with the use of her passive it makes her so difficult to kill.
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
This should be your main skill for sustaining in lane, and it allows to poke with the extra attack speed. Take advantage of this spell in lane to be aggressive, and deny farm for the other laner.
The cougar version of this spell, is just extra damage (basically icing on the cake). It adds to your burst damage, which is nice.
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
Her ultimate is self-explanatory. Just use it whenever you feel like it is necessary. Whether for chasing/being offensive, or running/being defensive.
Skill OrderMy build is always R>E>Q>W (With the exception of getting W first)
Ulti - Obviously the main priority.
Primal Surge - Allows you to have that sustain, in order to keep up with the other laner. I always focus around it because, i like poking the other laner and denying them from farm and exp.
Javelin Toss - The extra damage and range is nice, and it allows me to sort of zone the other laner.
Bushwack - I level this last because, i mainly just use it to ward in order to push.
Why E > Q
Yes i know, the mana cost for Q was reduced, but the E really allows you to sustain in lane longer. The pros out weigh the cons in my opinion. But you can get Q if you really wanna be aggressive against the other laner.
Champions that may be DifficultThis champion can be a handful, if you lose to her during the early laning phase. She out damages you and if she carries ignite it may be a bit difficult. Generally I'd like to start out with + . This is a good way of sustaining in lane and allowing you to poke her. You should be able to beat her in farm and damage once you reach level 6. Be sure to ask for ganks whenever possible because she will lose if you win the lane first.
He applies to the same above, but you should be able to out range him if you play smart. Once you reach level 6, he should be manageable if you win your lane first.
Talon should be hard, but you can start with the same items for Akali. You will out damage him if you survive until level 6. Be sure to ask for ganks for Talon too.
He is also hard to lane against. You have to remember however that you can out sustain him. If you keep poking him, he should be very easy to take down once you hit level 6.
Gangplank is not fun to lane against at all. Start with + and play safe. You should be able to win your lane once you hit level 6.
He can be difficult before level 6. Be sure to just play it safe and and farm until level 6. You will be able to use pounce to help stay away from his spin. Just be sure to be wary of his silence, it may be the deciding factor if he kills you or not. You should start off with + against him.
Renekton's damage hurts quite a bit. You should start with + and try to poke him as much as possible. He is squishier then he looks without items, and you should use that to your advantage. Once you get to level 6, you should be able to win your lane.
Early GameNidalee's early game is simple. I'll give you one word to sum it all up, FARM. Nidalee is an item dependent champion and if you don't win your lane, you hinder your team's strength. Before level 6, its a bit harder to farm, but with my rune setup and mastery it will be much easier then going ap. Once you reach level 6, its very easy to farm. Your order for creep waves should be W, E, Q, by doing this your cs should rise considerably. During the early game phase, it is ideal to heal and poke. Your job here is to keep the enemy champion low, and deny him from farm/exp. After reaching level 6 you can be a bit more offensive and begin zoning the other champion out, leading to a kill.
Mid Game/Late GameYour mid game in my opinion, is where you excel the most. Her damage here with sheen, wriggles and atmas should be amazing. Your goal here is to win your lane and begin ganking the other lanes/jungle. I like to to ask for red, whenever possible. Eventually you have to give it to your AD carry, but make use of the buff whenever you can. At this point of the game, you can also begin split pushing/pushing. Just be sure to ward/trap yourself and make sure your team does not ever start 4v5 team fights. You also have to keep in mind that with Nidalee's mobility, you can reach team fights from other lanes pretty fast. If you can communicate with your team, you can control fights in your favor.
Team FightsIn team fights, tanky dps Nidalee can go into the fight more easily then AP Nidalee. You generally want your tank to enter the fight first and then join in to kill the enemy carries. You can also choose to be passive, and poke with your heal, spears, traps and auto attacks. With the Atmas and Sheen, you can do surprising amounts of damage. You generally wanna spam your cougar skills and try to position yourself as best as possible. Although you are tankier than AP Nidalee, you are still prone to CC and high amounts of damage. Be sure to try and use your mobility to your advantage, and punish the carries that are in your range.
Your combo in a team fight should be W > E > Q
switch to human form
W > Auto Attack > E > Auto Attack > Q > Auto Attack
Rinse and Repeat. (Note: You do not need to follow this order in a team fight, just use it accordingly to the certain position your in.)
Wards and Traps
These are generally the best place to put wards. Doing this allows you to be protected and even counter jungle the enemy jungle. If you place it near their red or blue, you can ask your jungle and mid to come help you kill their jungler. Wards are an important factor to any team, so don't forgot to buy wards with the extra gold you have.
The Traps are also another important part of Nidalee's skills. It allows her to be a bit more aggressive because they are basically free wards. It's best to place these traps on these spots, but keep in mind that traps are not replacements for wards.
*CREDITS TO ZELPHARZ FOR THE IMAGE*
Using Nidalee's Pounce
These are all the spots, where Nidalee can use her pounce as a getaway. It's good to practice these spots, because it may be the deciding factor of whether you live or not. The thing to remember with this is you have to make sure that Nidalee is pointed to the direction she is jumping. Along with this you have to be sure not to jump early, other wise you may not be able to make the jump. The ability to do this has to be acquired through experience and repetition.
*CREDITS TO ZELPHARZ FOR THE IMAGE*
Final CommentsHopefully, you were able to get something from this guide. I'm not an expert at this game, but i do have some experience. I think she is still a very strong pick for your team, especially if your good with her. Feel free to leave any comments or questions. Also, if you'd like you can add me in game (Mikwenz) and ask any questions on there. Thank you and good luck! (On a side note, if you see any mistakes just leave a comment and i'll be sure to fix it, thanks!)
*Credits to Zelpharz for the images*
Item Build #2 (NEW)This is an entirely new build i've been trying out, and I'm starting to love it. It still utilizes tank nidalee, but offers a sort of different play style. I find myself using human form a lot more than the first build.
As of right now, I no longer grab . I usually start out with OR +.
Early game goals:
Optional: (If you find yourself losing the lane badly or like the early gp5)
I suggest you grab a to help your early game out with more tankiness and extra gold.
In this build I no longer HAVE to grab as my core item. It is now replaced with , due to the recent nerfs of war mogs. I find that with this new build, you use kiting to the fullest extent. It allows you to poke extremely well not only in your cougar form BUT your human form too. After these items, i find myself getting for the magic resist and the attack speed. These items work very well together and allows constant harass and damage.
Late Game Build:
(The last slot is at your disposal. Just choose whatever item is necessary for that particular game.)
This is a new experiment i am trying. If you guys seem to like it better than build #1, please tell me! I'm still trying different things, so feel free to post any opinions or improvements you deem necessary.
- Masteries fix due to the change from the Fizz patch.
- Rewrote "Why these Masteries" chapter, for the new set of masteries.
- Added new suggested summoner spell combos.
- Added a new build