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All Guides Nidalee Guides Guide to Jungle Cat (Patch 6.15)
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2 years ago
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Nidalee Statistics for Ytta

Author's performance with Nidalee compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
4
Win %
35
Kills
5.5
Assists
6.9
Deaths
7.0
KA:D Ratio
1.8
Gold Earned
10.7K
Creep Score
66.4
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

11.png

How can you be a jungle cat without smite?

4.png

100% Need this. Whether you're barely out of range to land a critical pounce (w), or you just jumped into the enemy's team to execute an adc, flash is a necessity on Nidalee. It will make the other ream rage about how op your gap closer is when you flash w yourself from the baron pit to top lane after hitting a spear. Flash is a very unpredictable summoner spell with almost 0 counter-play, which increases your chances of coming on top in the midst of a skirmish. 


New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

On to the Masteries.


When I jungle Nidalee, I take 9-21-0 Masteries. In the current meta, Nidalee is very strong at invading early and counter jungling. Thunderlords boosts her early game damage when playing this playstyle, which will help snowball you. That little bit of extra damage will often times secure a kill when you invade level 2.

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
E
Q
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
4
5
8
9
W
3
14
15
17
18
E
2
7
10
12
13
R
6
11
16
Passive:

Jungling Nidalee was viable before they updated her passive, but she has a MUCH easier time in the jungle with the new-ish passive.

Why the change was so big: Now that her passive triggers on all jungle creeps, the jungle is much easier for her. Her (cougar) q is given extra damage if the jungle monsters have been marked, and her (cougar) w is given extra range. She can go from camp to camp faster as well as juking out opponents in the jungle. 

They also introduced a new addition to her passive. Anytime that she marks a jungle creep, the are immobilized for a brief period of time. This change made the jungle very easy for Nidalee. It allowed her to kite the big creeps with autos very easily.

Another thing about her passive is that it grants a decent amount of mobility. Nidalee Moves faster when she is running towards marked targets, as well as when she is moving through brush. These stack.


HUMAN FORM


Q:

Always max Q first. Q is ALL of Nidalee's damage. When I say that Q is all of Nidalee's damage, I mean that it is ALL OF NIDALEE'S DAMAGE. Nidalee's human form Q triggers her passive when it is hit on jungle creeps and champions. Early in the jungle, you really want to rush level 5 because this is when you're Q starts to do more damage. Your ganks won't do very much damage at all until you get around 3-4 points in your q.


W:

Nidalee's W is bushwack. Bushwack marks champions and jungle creeps like her q, but it's used more for vision than for triggering her passive. Whenever Nidalee places her q, it gives vision of the surrounding area for a brief instance which is great for checking brush for sneaky Garen's. You always want to max W last because it's used for utility.


E:

Primal Surge is a very strong spell. Late game, you will be healing carries for over half of their hp as well as giving them extra attack speed. You want to max E second because it's not going to do much for you until you start to get some AP, which is around the time that your second skill gets maxed anyway.


R:

Nidalee is one of a few champs that gets her R at level 1. All that Nidalee's R does is change her between Human and Cat. As you start to get points into your skills though, you'll notice that you unlock new spells in Nidalee's cougar form as well.




COUGAR FORM


Q:

Cougar form Q is called Takedown. Takedown is very appropriately named because it is used as an execute. It deals additional damage if the target is marked. The damage is increased by how much health that the enemy is missing.

W:

Cougar from W is called Pounce. Pounce gives Nidalee a ton of mobility. She can jump through most walls and out-juke the enemy team with ease. When targets are marked, Nidalee's Pounce is granted an increased jump range marked by a circle in-game. It's huge.
Pounce also does damage to anything that Nidalee lands on. Killing a unit resets pounce's cooldown to about 1.5 seconds, as well as marking a target. There are a few tricks that you can do to spam this, especially in the Jungle when farming.

E:

Cougar E is called Swipe. Always use swipe before Q because Q is based off of missing health. Lower health, more damage Q will do. Swipe is an AoE spell that does damage to everything in a cone immediately in front of her. It doesn't do that much damage, but it's great for wave clear.



**An important thing to remember when playing Nidalee is that Cougar forms spells only level up when R is leveled up. That's why Nidalee gets such a huge power spike at level 6; her Cougar form starts to do a ton of damage.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard jungle start.

Core Items

Situational Items

This is the part of the build with the most variety. When I play Nidalee, I usually follow 1 build path (depending on situation, of course), thought there are so many viable items on Nidalee.


Starting the game, buy a hunters talisman and two potions as well as the yellow or red trinket. The jungle item is more of a preference. I used to always go the red jungle item, however chilling smite isn't a bad option either.

Sometimes I'll rush 3020_32.png before finishing off my rod of ages because it gives a ton of mobility with a decent amount of early game damage. If I get an early kill I definitely rush the boots. 

3135_32.png is built depending on how much MR the enemy team is building.

If the enemy team is running over you with a ton of AP, get a 3065_32.png . CDR, better heals, and more MR will allow you and your team to live longer.

If you feel like you're having trouble knowing when to go in and when to not go in, get a 3026_32.png . It take a lot of time and practice to know when you should and when you shouldn't go balls deep into the enemy team to execute the ADC. You want to die as little as possible. Just because you hit a Q doesn't mean you should follow up with your combo. Throw out more Q's until the entire enemy team is low.


3027_32.png vs 3048_32.png : Lately, I've been using rod of ages more and more. It's an amazing item on Nidalee because it allows you to go in and out while retaining quite a bit of health after the 10 stacks are done. But when should you get rod of ages and when should you get seraph's? Rod of Ages gives health while seraph's gives mana and more AP than rod of ages. Personally, I'd look at your team comp. If you need a lot more poke, go seraph's. If you're going to be diving their adc, go for rod. Here lately, I've been using nothing but RoA.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Easy
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Diana
    Hard
  • Elise
    Easy
  • Evelynn
    Easy
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Hecarim
    Medium
  • Jarvan IV
    Easy
  • Kha'Zix
    Medium
  • Lee Sin
    Hard
  • Malphite
    Medium
  • Master Yi
    Hard
  • Pantheon
    Hard
  • Rek'Sai
    Medium
  • Rengar
    Medium
  • Sejuani
    Medium
  • Udyr
    Hard
  • Vi
    Medium

VS

Aatrox

Easy

Easy pikins'. Most Aatrox's rush damage, so he's going to be squishy as well. You can out juke him easily because your w is on a much shorter cool down than his q. His e is also vary easy to dodge.

VS

Amumu

Easy

If he hits his q on you, you're more than likely going to die if the enemy team is around. Early game he's pretty squishy and doesn't have any damage. Invade when you can and wreck his jungle up. Avoid him mid-late game, though.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy

Cho is pretty easy for Nidalee. The hardest part about fighting a Cho is dodging his knock-up, which isn't very hard at all, especially with your pounce. Just kite him with Q's. Cho'gath's typically rush Rod of Ages early, so he's not going to have very much MR to take your Q's up until late game.

VS

Diana

Hard

Pre-6 she doesn't have much damage, but neither do you. After 6, however, she is a very strong anti-mage champion that will wreck you.  Her q-r-r-q combo can pretty much kill you, so just practice dodging her Q's. If she jumps on you, you're probably going to die. Bait out her moon fall, because if she hits her moonfall on you as soon as you try and pounce, it will pull you back into her leaving you with no escape. If she's a problem, consider rushing a 3001_32.png .

VS

Elise

Easy

People don't play Elise anymore, HAH.

VS

Evelynn

Easy

Evelynn isn't too hard. She's easy to run away from because you out-distance her with your w. She's usually pretty squishy, especially early-game, so take advantage of this.

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy

I love playing versus Fiddlestix with Nidalee. As soon as you hit level 9, get 3361_32.png. Anytime you see him trying to be sneaky and ulting, pop him with a max distance spear, w, e, q, fin. You can do this before he fears you ez.

VS

Hecarim

Medium

It takes practice to dodge his ult with w, but it's possible. Hecerim is naturally tanky, and he can chase you down and out damage you pretty easily with e. My advice is to just avoid him and focus on ganking lanes. If you're having trouble with his ult get a banshees.

VS

Jarvan IV

Easy

Always stay out of range of J4's knock up. If he hits the knock up on you, save your w for his ult.

VS

Kha'Zix

Medium

If you're playing versus a good kha'zix, he'll be able to 100-0 you before you even know what happened. Early game kha doesn't have much damage, so focus on ganking/counter-ganking at this time and try to snowball off of it.

VS

Lee Sin

Hard

The hardest part about Lee is his mobility. It's not hard for him to dodge your spears, and with his high base damages, he will out trade you every time. Focus on ganking where Lee ISN'T.

VS

Malphite

Medium

I hate Malphite. He is so antifun for Nidalee. He has pretty high base damages, especially at 6. Don't let him snowball early game. Most Malphite's nowadays rush rod of ages, which leads to a weak early game. He's still moderately tanky early, but that's your best chance to fight him. Focus on counter-ganking him before he gets 6, after that, leave da rock alone.


Pre-6 = Easy. He clears slow and he's susceptible to invades.
Post-6 = leave him alone.

VS

Master Yi

Hard

Master Yi is squishy all throughout the game, but he has a ton of damage. If he jumps on you, you'll more than likely die unless you juke him out in the jungle. Stay as far out of his range as possible. If he ults, immediately switch to cougar form and gtfo of there.

VS

Pantheon

Hard

Panth is an annoying champion. Try to stay out of range of his stun and you'll be fine, but if he gets his combo on you, you'll be chunked down for a lot. He will win trades with you if you are close range with him. He has higher base movement speed than you, so it's hard to kite him away in human form.

VS

Rek'Sai

Medium

Haven't played very much vs Rek'Sai as Nidalee, but CC is the best way to play versus Rek'Sai, which Nidalee has 0 of.

VS

Rengar

Medium
He's not that bad. Focus on invading Pre-6.

VS

Sejuani

Medium

CC monster. Her range is relatively short, as long as you dodge her ult she shouldn't be a problem. If you get hit by it though, it probably won't end too nicely for you.

VS

Udyr

Hard

Udyr is probably the hardest match up simply because it's so easy for him to jump on you and get into melee range. The speed boost he gets along with the free stun will allow him to win every trade.

VS

Vi

Medium

Q is easy to dodge and R isn't a problem once you get Zhonya's. Vi isn't the problem, it's more about the positioning she forces your team to be in if she's in range to ult. Stay away from her after she gets 6 until you get Zhonya's. Focus on ganking the squishies and it won't be so bad.

Introduction and Further Reading Back to Top

Hello, my summoner name is Ytta and currently I'm playing on LAN. I started my account on NA, but swapped over to LAN because I found LAN to be more enjoyable to play on. Currently I'm ranked Diamond 5 on LAN, and Plat on NA on my smurf. I wrote this guide to share my knowledge on my favorite champion, Nidalee. 

Since I started in season 2, Nidalee has been my favorite champion. She's one of those champions that will always find a place in whatever meta is popular since she has so many different play styles. She can be played bruiser, assassin, poke, and support (no not bot lane support, the mid support that heals for $%^&*$% 2/3s of your adc's hp bar). Her spears will still chunk any squishy target that walks into them, as well as widdle down tanks, causing an easy opening for an engage. On top of that, Nidalee is a very safe champion in whatever role you decide to play her. With her heal and her pounce, she can get out of most situations. She's also a great roamer. This is her biggest strength when she's played in the jungle.

How to clear Back to Top

Because your passive immobilizes the jungle creeps, play around with your cooldowns. You can minimize the damage you take by kiting the monsters. Always use your (human) q on the largest jungle creep and then immediately throw down a (human) w underneath it. Once the creep is hit by your (human) q, use 2 auto attacks, then combo w, e and then q in cougar form. After you finish your cougar combo, turn back to human, heal, and then repeat.



Clear path: 

Always start on the side that your bot lane is on. You can't kite the creeps very well when you're level 1 since you have a relatively high cooldown on your spear. They will help you to take the least amount of damage possible. Avoid the raptors on your first clear, and always stay in cougar form spamming w to move from camp to camp. Right before your first back, you should try and kill the scuttle crab since it's a free  50 gold for Nidalee. With practice, you will eventually have enough health after your first clear to gank a lane before you b. Always remember to buy wards and potions!

Ganking:

Top and bottom lanes are a lot easier to gank than mid lane for Nidalee. The most important thing about ganking is to hit your spear. If you hit your spear, you can at least half-health most champions with your cougar wombo combo. It takes a lot of practice since the spear's width and travel speed was nerfed. Always try to throw your spear when the opponent can't see you. 

Top and Bottom Lane:

These two lanes are the easiest for Nidalee to hit her spears because these lanes are wider. For top lane, if the enemy is pushing, then you can gank from the river. If your teamate is pushing, you can gank from the lane bushes. Bottom lane is a bit different from the top lane because there are 4 people in it. 4 people means more vision through trinkets and wards. I like to gank bottom lane earlier rather than later because this is when supports and ADC's are weakest. If they have something squishy like a Sona, please for the love of God camp her. 1 max range q will AT LEAST half health her. 

Mid Lane:

Mid lane is a bit trickier. It's thinner in size than top in bottom, so creeps will block your spears a lot easier. Always wait until Mid lane is pushed at least half way before trying to gank. Come from behind rather than the side brush.

Auto Attack Resets:

Nidalee has 2 auto attack resets, her R and her cougar Q. If you auto attack in human form then press R, you will immediately have another auto attack. This is helpful for clearing. After you get an auto in human form then an auto reset from R, you can press Q for 3 autos in a row.

Tips and Tricks Back to Top



(expanding when I have more time)


The yung Catsexual gank. This trick is actually pretty hard to do. I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times I've actually been able to pull it off in a game, and I have over 120 games with Nidalee this season between my main and my smurf.

How it's done:
I had to rewatch it a few times to see what exactly happened. Catsexual threw his q at Sneaky, but sneaky thought that the minions would absorb the damage so he didn't feel the need to move his champion. However, Catsexual smited the creeps as soon as he threw the Q. Since the smite range nerf, this trick is even harder to do, but by no means impossible. Practice makes perfect.



Auto Attack Resets (Copy and pasting this in case someone didn't read the how to clear section) :

Nidalee has 2 auto attack resets, her R and her cougar Q. If you auto attack in human form then press R, you will immediately have another auto attack. This is helpful for clearing. After you get an auto in human form then an auto reset from R, you can press Q for 3 autos in a row. The only downside is that you have to be up on whatever you're auto attacking to pull this off. This will probably only ever be used for clearing though, so no big deal.

Patches Back to Top

WILL UPDATE THIS SOON. VERY OLD INFORMATION



Chances are, if you've played league after 5.7, you've probably seen a whole lot less of Jungle Cat. All that they did to Nidalee was lower her base health by 30 and her health / level by 10. By level 18, she'll have a whopping difference of 200 hp (sarcasm). This is nothing. Nidalee will still do the same things that she's always been able to do. At level 1, sure she has 30 less health than before, but by the time that you're level 4 you should have enough gold to get a ruby crystal since you're going to be getting a ROA anyway, and that's only if you feel like you need more hp that early.

My thoughts on the 5.7 Nidalee nerf:

I have played quite a few games jungling Nidalee on this patch, and honestly, I feel like this patch changes nothing. The only thing that I've been doing differently is I have been getting my Rod of Ages before I finish my T3 jungle item. Other than that, though, this patch has relatively no significant impact on jungling Nidalee. She still clears the same, and she still ganks the same. 


TL;DR:
The patch changes nothing. She's still the same op jungle cat, just prioritize 3027_32.png before any other major purchase.

Thank You Back to Top

Hopefully you've enjoyed this guide. If you have enjoyed this guide, please don't forget to leave a thumbs up so other's can read it too. If you feel as though I've left something out, or if you have some constructive criticism, don't be afraid to post in the comment section below and I will be happy to answer.


Thanks!
Seb.
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