All Guides Nidalee Guides [7.22] The Wild Cat in the Jungle - Nidalee Guide
5 months ago

Nidalee Statistics for Sawyer Nelson

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

Games Played
Win %
KA:D Ratio
Gold Earned
Creep Score
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Smite is required on Junglers, enables you to heal off camps, and you clear the Jungle camps faster.


Flash is also pretty standard, Nidalee doesn't do much special with flash 
  • 4.png > javelintoss.png
  • 4.png > aspectofthecougar.png to get in to range for cougar form W 

New Runes Back to Top

Electrocute.png?width=64Nidalee cast a million spells a second, so procing this isn't hard, and adds a good amount of burst damage onto a target.
Sudden%20Impact.png?width=64 Armor and Magic pen rewards for pouncing onto an enemy, almost to good on Nidalee
Eyeball%20Collection.png?width=64 Reward of AP for killing champions and wards.
Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=64 Free movement speed for getting kills and assist, fully stack makes you move around the map at an insane speed.

Celerity.png?width=64 More free movement speed, very very strong in combination with Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32, gives you a small amount of AP for bonus movement speed as well
Scorch.png?width=64 Free damage, on a long cooldown though.

Masteries Back to Top


Sorcery 5/5 - Nidalee has 5 damaging abilities in total, this gives them all enhanced damage
Fresh Blood 1/1 - Bonus damage on first auto helps with poke, ganks, skirmshes, giving you a free damage advantage
Vampirism 5/5 - Sustain while clearing the jungle, Nidalee does mixed damage so you get value out of Life Steal & Spell Vamp
Double Edged Sword 1/1 - Deal more damage, but take more damage, easily worth on Nidalee, if you are being hit you either die instantly or get away anyways.


Savagery 5/5 - Free 5 damage every auto attack on jungle camps
Runic Affinity 1/1 - Nidalee gets a good amount of benefit from being able to have longer lasting Red & Blue buffs, to enable you to be on more annoying on the map for the extra duration.
Merciless 5/5 - Synergizes really well with Nidalee's kit, if you are going to jump on a target they are already pretty low, and cougar form Q is also an Execute
Greenfather's Gift - Nidalee is practically always in a bush so you easily get this bonus, helps with clearing camps, and with gank damage.
Precision 5/5 - Nidalee doesn't Magic and Physical Damage, this boost both of those.
Thunderlord's Decree 1/1 - Easily proc'd by the ability to spam multiple abilities in Cougar form, and through easily being able to get multiple auto attacks, adds a finishing amount of burst on a single target.


Abilities Back to Top


Skill Order

aspectofthecougar.png > javelintoss.png > primalsurge.png > bushwhack.png

nidaleepassive.png Passive

  • Nidalee moves faster through bushes, and towards marked enemey Champions
  • Jungle Monsters & Enemy Champions hit by javelintoss.png or bushwhack.png are marked nidaleepassive.png

javelintoss.png Javelin Toss 

Human Form
  • Throws a thin spear, that does more damage based on the distance it has traveled
  • Only deals damage to first target hit, and can hit minions as well
  • Has a slow travel time, so if you want to hit a long range spear it should probably be from the fog of war, or the enemy can simply walk out of the way of it.
  • Transform to human form after using a full rotation of abilities to cast another spear since it will likely be off cooldown.

511.png Takedown

Cougar Form
  • An auto attack reset that deals physical and magic damage, and damage is enhanced based on how much health the target is missing
  • Use this are targets you have marked with nidaleepassive.pngjavelintoss.png to deal extra damage

bushwhack.png Bushwhack

Human form
  • Drops an invisible trap, when stepped on by Jungle Monster or Enemy Champion deals magic damage over time & you gain true sight of them.
  • Spam these around the map so you can see enemies moving into bushes or in the fog of war
  • Also deals some damage and nidaleepassive.png marks jungle camps so spam them on camps when you don't need to save the mana.

510.png Pounce

Cougar Form
  • Jump a short distance towards your cursor
  • If you jump towards marked target you get bonus range, killing a pounced on target will reset pounce's cooldown
  • 4.png Flashing mid jump will cancel where you where going and relocate you to where you flashed, if you ened to bail on what you thought was a good ponce.

primalsurge.png Primal Surge

Human Form
  • Single target heal that also increases attack speed for a short duration
  • Use on yourself while clear camps to stay healthy and auto attack more
  • Use on your ADC Mid - Late game to keep them alive in fights and to increase their attack speed

512.png  Swipe

Cougar Form
  • Deals magic damage in a very small AOE in front of Nidalee
  • When clear camps make sure to position so that you can hit all the small jungle creeps with this 
  • If you buffer this fast enough this can damage targets that have flashed away from you.

aspectofthecougar.png Aspect of the Cougar

  • Transforms Nidalee from human to Cougar form, and from Cougar form to Human form.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

Core Items


Situational Items

Starting Items


1041.png Hunter's Machete, and 1039.png Hunter's Talisman are booth good options, if you need any easy reason to start one or the other, if you are starting on Red Buff > start 1039.png. If you are starting on Blue buff > start 1041.png
Always get 2031.png though, it gives you value past your first back, enabling you to gank lanes for damage, and sustain the damage take back, and generally always have more effective HP than the enemy jungler.


1414.png3047.pngor3111.png 3100.png3174.png3157.png3135.png

Build Path 

1041.png or 1039.png3715.png >3113.png1414.png >1001.png3047.pngor3111.pngor3158.png3057.png3113.png3100.png3108.png3028.png3174.png3191.png3108.png3157.png1026.png1052.png3135.png 

This is just an example core build, Nidalee's build path can be very different game from game. 


1414.png - Lets you sustain Mana while clearing camps, and gives you small AOE Magic damage, movement speed & AP all helps Nidalee a ton early. Also 1410.png Trackers isn't terrible on Nidalee either when playing a neutral jungle matchup 
3047.png - Obviously helps you against an enemy team with multiple auto attack based champions ( 51.png11.png157.pngetc)
3111.png - Gives you a small amount of magic resist early, which is impactful until the enemy mid laner / ap champions get some magic pen (3020.png3136.png3135.png) and makes CC less effective on you, so you can be even more of a pest during map movements and fights.
3158.png - Early CDR more spam of abilities, if you can make use of this in human and cougar form than it's an ok option, but by buying this you give up the defensive or offensive stats from other boot options.
3020.png - If multiple enemies have any magic resist early, and  you can make use of the extra damage.
3100.png - Mana, AP , CDR, Movement speed, and an AP damage enhancement on auto attacks, makes your cougar execute 

3157.png - Armor, AP, CDR, enables you to jump into fights fearlessly with the active making you untargetable for 2.5 seconds
3135.png - Gives Nidalee the Magic Penetration she will start to need later into the game.
3089.png - When you are fed out of control, not a bad item to get after lich bane, but you need to know that you will be able to get the income required to purchase deathcap at a reasonable time
3174.png - AP, Mana Regen, very early 20% CDR, makes your heal, heals allies a ton when you build up athenes stacks

Tank Build


Is an alternative playstyle for Nidalee that can work, the reason you would build this way though is because you want to be constantly on top of the enemy and forcing them to deal with you and not one of your allies, so it is putting trust in your team, and taking away damaging power that you would other wise have from building AP, but the early build path into Ice born makes you an insane pest to any enemy AD Champion.

Don't Buy these

3165.png - lots of money into mana and CDR 
3001.png - After rework is strickly a tank item


Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Elise
  • Jarvan IV
  • Kha'Zix
  • Lee Sin
  • Rek'Sai
  • Rengar
  • Shyvana
  • Warwick
  • Xin Zhao
  • Zac



  • Be ready to flash elisehumane.png during fights.
  • Elise will be ganking a lot, and unless you are in position to counter, she can get a gank off and go back to farming before you have time to counter anything
  • If you spend time moving to respond to ganks it will be wasted, you have to be there before the play happens.


Jarvan IV


You clear the jungle faster than J4, and can jump out of his ULT jarvanivcataclysm.png 

Only problems you could run into is being caught out by him in the fog of war or during a counter gank.

If J4 starts building tanky hit his allies with your spears instead of him.




Kha'zix q shots you very quickly, if you are caught in the fog of war, or alone on a ward he can jump out and pretty much one shot you, when you try to fight him his ULT khazixr.png will negate your cougar form Q, but you can still hit him with your AOE abilities while he is stealthed. 

Place tons of traps bushwhack.png around the map so can spot khazix coming into your jungle or side of the map.


Lee Sin

  • Can 1 shot you Mid - Late game with a proper blindmonkrkick.png > Auto > blindmonkqone.png > Auto > blindmonkqone.pngblindmonkeone.png > Auto > blindmonkwone.png follow > auto 
  • Lee sin will likely wait in the river to catch you walking towards lanes, be mindful of this and scout bushes with bushwhack.png
  • Lee sin has easy defensive itemization into Nidalee with 3071.png3155.png if he builds these items try to damage his allies instead.



  • After the rework most Reksai's build a lot of AD, this means they can 1 shot you if you walk into them, but if you don't then you can do a LOT of damge to them with javelintoss.png and lich bane auto attacks, and when you jump on Rek'Sai, if she is burrowed than simply flash forward before landing to not be interrupted
  • If you get chunked by reksai try to dodge her prey seaker, or she will ult you for an easy execute 
  • Break any Rek'Sai tunnel you see, but be ready for her to come through it.




Get a Zhonya's 3157.png

This matchup is pretty lame for Nidalee, since Rengar ULT put you at the mercy of him jumping onto you, you can stay on towers or near your team, but if he finds you on the other side of the map with an ULT you will have no where to run.

You can try ot kill him at his 2nd buff, he should be low, counter ganking him is also a lot better than trying to fight in the river after he is level 6.




Shyvana becomes super tanky and will deal tons of damage.

Try to catch Shyvana trying to take the dragon early game, if you can delay her taking dragons, or kill her while she is doing them you can take control of the game.

If you both only AFK farm then shyvana will come into the mid game much stronger than you, and you have to continue to avoid her until late game.




Warwick gets a ton of speed and can run you down CC you and kill you. Keep your distance, try to shut him down early by killing him in his jungle.

warwickq.png will follow you when you jump or flash away

When Warwick activates warwickw.png it will mark you and make a distinct noise, you can expect him to be running you or someone on your team down and act accordingly rather its to run away or run to assist your teammate.


Xin Zhao


You can't jump on Xin Zhao when he has ULT up xinzhaor.png  or he will be able to turn on you.

If Xin xinzhaoe.png on you, you should try to flash away and run.

Before going in on Xin Zhao hit multiple spears so he will be very low so you have a better chance of killing him.



  • Ban Zac
  • Laners will die to him like every single gank
  • If he does jump and misses punish him with a damage combo 
  • zacq.png can stun you against champions,minions, jungle monsters, and towers

Mechanically Clearing Camps Back to Top

1st clear

You can change up the starting jungle item depending on which side you start on, 1039.png if you start Red Buff, and 1041.png if you start blue buff, both are fine for Nidalee, but you clear slightly faster with Hunter's Machete 1041.png

You need to practice Nidalee's first clear in Practice Mode a couple times before going into a real match, it's very important that you are comfortable on casting the abilities in the proper way, and at the optimal speed, also if you are not used to transforming champion that also takes some getting used to.

Clearing Red / Blue Buff level 1

javelintoss.png > Auto Attack > aspectofthecougar.png > Auto Attack > 511.png > Auto > Click backwards > Auto > Click Backwards > aspectofthecougar.png > Auto > javelintoss.png > Auto > aspectofthecougar.png > Auto >  511.png


javelintoss.png > Auto Attack > aspectofthecougar.png510.png > Auto Attack > 511.png > Auto Attack  > 512.png > Auto > aspectofthecougar.png > Repeat


From as far away as possible javelintoss.png big wolf >aspectofthecougar.png > 510.png  > Auto > 512.png > Auto > 511.pngaspectofthecougar.png >Auto > bushwhack.pngjavelintoss.png > Auto > primalsurge.pngaspectofthecougar.png > Repeat 


From as far away as possible javelintoss.png Big Raptor > 510.png512.png > Auto small raptor > Click backwards > > 510.png > Auto > 511.pngaspectofthecougar.pngbushwhack.pngjavelintoss.png > Auto > primalsurge.pngaspectofthecougar.png512.png510.png


From as far away as possible javelintoss.png Big Golem > 510.png > Auto > 512.png511.png > Auto > aspectofthecougar.pngprimalsurge.png > Auto > bushwhack.pngjavelintoss.pngaspectofthecougar.png512.png511.png510.png > repeat 

Early Game Back to Top

Early game will be defined by how well you do during your first clear, and rather or not you waste time with ganks, you need to have the mechanics down for clearing all the jungle camps from level 1, if even 1 ability rotation is messed up then you lose a lot of time. 

Ganks with Nidalee can be only for damage, coming out of the fog of war and get a few auto attacks with Red Buff and attempt a spear then leave, you can push for more but taking  chunk of health out of an enemy laner should give your team an advantage. If you don't have good concepts of your damage output then you won't be able to do this properly.

Most junglers you will go against will probably do 3 camps and gank, if you are full clearing the jungle than you can easily track the enemy jungler after their first gank and look to punish afterwards.

Again, practice clearing camps in Practice mode, so that you don't have to unnecessarily recall or not be able to gank / counter gank. 

Ganks Back to Top

Ganks on Nidalee can be looked at 3 ways


The simplest, where you simply enter the lane and attempt to damage the enemy champion with spears or auto attacks with a red buff, then leave, this enables your laners to have an easier time laning against their lower hp opponent, as long as you don't stay for a retardly long time and steal exp then this can be very productive use of your time while hopping around the map farming.


Standard as if you were ganking on any other jungler, except nidalee has no CC of her own, you will have to play around your allies CC while going in for a gank. You should also be entertaining the idea of a potential 2v2 when going for a gank.


Show up around a lane where the enemy laner is low and probably under tower and look for a javelintoss.png, and maybe flash to finish them off after landing a spear.

Mid Game Back to Top

Mid game is when Nidalee is either taking over the game, or continuing to farm up. 

If you have a large lead over the opponent it is your job to suffer the consequences of it by being a pest on their side of the map, and bullying them off of towers, but if you don't its important that you don't play as if you do. If you haven't got a large lead you should play the map defensively, farm your camps and and respond to any action in lanes.

If you ever get caught out in the river at this stage in the game and die, than the enemy gets a lot more from it ( push on a lane, control of your jungle, etc) so it's important that if you want to do something in the river or in the enemies jungle you move with your allies, or ping them to walk with you.

Responding to lane is also very important, you can be tunneled on clearing your camps, while clearing look at your lanes by clicking the mini map or using F keys (F1,F2,F3, etc) to hover over allies, and see how it is going.

Be mindful and don't go into auto pilot 

Late Game Back to Top

Late game on Nidalee you have to have control of jungle on your side of the map, or on the enemies side of the map, move with your support and use 3341.png2055.png wisely to be unseen in the jungle and surprise mispositioning enemies.

If the game devolves into both teams running down mid like a monkey you lose a lot of value from Nidalee's kit, you are much better of playing touch and go in the enemy jungle and moving around a lot, baiting the enemy to come and get you, and simply running away when they do, so that your team can push objectives then you meet up with them as the enemy struggles to engage, if you are not in position to do this either you can also attempt to solo push side lanes, since you do take towers very quickly with 3100.png

It is also very important in lane game teamfights to use your heal on carries that are low, especially if you have 3174.png, attempt to hit back line carries with a spear javelintoss.png by moving past or around the enemy tanks, or being in the fog of war to land a spear then flash over a wall for a jump.

You have to be practiced in using Nidalee's abilities correctly since you have to transform multiple times during fights, if you don't know / have practiced what you need to do in fights it is likely you will fumble, and Nidalee isn't a champion that was a big impact ult to slow down fights after you mess up, it's a constant flow of movement and ability cast that make this champion valuable.

SawyerGG Back to Top


Hi, my name is Sawyer I am 22, I have peaked Challenger 549LP [1] I've been playing League of Legends since the end of Season 3.

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