• NA
  • North America
  • Europe West
  • Europe Nordic & East
  • Brazil
  • Turkey
  • Russia
  • Latin America North
  • Latin America South
  • Oceania
All Guides Nasus Guides [Season 3] "Bark with me if you're my dog" - A comprehensive Guide to the Curator of Sands
19
24
Updated
2 years ago
Views
7.3K
Comments
12

Nasus Statistics for GENOCIDEGeorge

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

Value
Average
Games Played
5
Win %
45
Kills
5.1
Assists
6.8
Deaths
5.7
KA:D Ratio
2.1
Gold Earned
12K
Creep Score
191.6
Average

Share

  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Summoner Spells:

11.png(if jungling): Allows you to clear the jungle faster, while securing objectives such as red/blue buff, Dragon and Baron Nashor. It will also allow you to do some counterjungling if you feel like it. With the recent changes to the jungle (that is, it is far more powerful) and changes to 11.png(more true damage throughout the game), if you are jungling it is absolutely necessary.
12.png(if solo laning): Allows you to come back to your lane quickly if you're pushed out (which is NOT uncommon as Nasus), and allows you to farm top constantly and still be there for teamfights. 12.png is absolutely necessary as 75_icon_64.png due to his incredibly weak laning and his ability to absolutely demolish structures in the late game.
6.png: This is a very controversial subject. 6.png is stronger than 4.png on Nasus due to the fact that you want to be as mobile as you can be during a teamfight. While 4.png isn't terrible on Nasus, it doesn't give him the chase that he needs, but lacks from his kit. Many people argue that 4.png is stronger on Nasus due to the ease of which it allows you to escape jungle ganks. While this is true, dying in a gank for far stronger lategame/teamfight power is definitely a trade I would make.

Alternatives:

3.png: Still a strong summoner spell, despite being nerfed. It allows for more potent ganks with your Wither, and more armor reduction with your Spirit Fire. However, this means that you either lose your escape (6.png/4.png) or your 12.png, meaning that you will be either sacrificing pushing/farming power or an escape. If you have a 98_icon_64.png on your team, you can forgo 12.png and pick up 3.png.
4.png: Like I've said previously, 4.pngis a once-a-teamfight summoner. If you over/underflash, that's it, it's gone. 6.png, however, gives you mobility. If the enemy team has a Jarvan or you are very afraid of getting constantly ganked (and will have mobility through 3069_32.png, 41_icon_64.png etc), you can take 4.png.
1.png: Might be decent if they have some CC (32_icon_64.pngult) but not enough for you to want to buy a 3139_32.png, however, as with 3.png, you will be losing your 12.png.

Just don't:

7.png: Though theoretically strong with your ultimate, many top laners run ignite and thus it would be rendered fairly useless. Furthermore it would mean you would have to drop teleport, and the rare heal bait... not worth it.
10.png: Yeah, no. The summoner's still useless except for the odd TP/Revive Karthus.
14.png: I cop a lot of flack for this one. Nasus is not a champion who will be going for kills in lane, so why bring a summoner spell specifically made to do just that? It's silly.
Pretty much everything else: It's not necessary.

Runes Back to Top

  • 9x
    +0.95 attack damage Greater Mark of Attack Damage
  • 9x
    +1 armor Greater Seal of Armor
  • 9x
    +0.16 magic resist per level Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
  • 3x
    +2.25 attack damage Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
  • 3x
    +1.5% movement speed Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
  • 3x
    +1.5% Life Steal. Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Runes:

Before we start: Nasus is very versatile in your rune page. Any runepage suitable for a bruiser is suitable on Nasus. Read further for a more detailed analysis on Nasus' runes.

Nasus is pretty lucky in that pretty much any AD-centered rune set up will work on him. However, I find AD/Armor/MRlvl/AD to be the superior rune page on him. Here's why:
Attack Damage Marks + Quints: Attack damage from runes makes up from the lack of damage from masteries, and allows you to have an easy way to last hit under your turret without having to use mana (through Siphoning Strike or Spirit Fire). Attack damage also essentially equals more sustain due to the fact that your passive lifesteal scales off of how much damage you do through autoattacks.
Armor Seals: Armor seals are by far the single best seals in the game. They give 13 armor at level one, which is quite nice, preventing damage from autoattacks, whether they're from minions/monsters or champions.
Magic Resist per level Glyphs: Again, probably the single best glyphs in the game, despite being nerfed. Offers you scaling magic resist into the lategame.

Alternatives:

Marks: Armor or Armor Penetration marks are the only other viable marks on Nasus. Don't listen to anyone who says anything about Mpen marks for his E and R, because that's straight out stupid.
Seals: There. Are. No. Alternatives. For. Armour. Seals. Do you understand? There are NO ALTERNATIVES.
Glyphs: Flat Magic Resistance glyphs are the only alternative here, and should be used if against a heavy AP lane (aka Vladimir, Rumble).
Quints: Lifesteal if you're up against a "free farm lane" such as Cho'Gath. Movespeed quints are good against teams that may kite you. I used to run MS quints all the time on Nasus. Having 411 MS at level 1 w/ boots was a great feeling... But after the MS masteries were nerfed there's not a huge reason to get MS quints.

Masteries Back to Top

0/1
0/4
0/4
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/3
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1

Offense: 0

0/2
0/2
0/2
0/2
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/3
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/4
0/1
0/1

Defense: 0

0/1
0/3
0/3
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/2
0/1
0/3
0/1

Utility: 0

Nasus is a melee champion with no innate mobility and thus should set himself up to withstand a lot of damage. 9/21/0 masteries ensure Nasus' ability to take hits from jungle monster, lane minions as well as enemy champions.

Why three points in "Sorcery" as opposed to three points in "Fury"? Isn't Nasus an autoattack champion?

Yes and No. While Nasus is technically a champion who deals damage via autoattacks, what many fail to realise is that his strength (and part of his weakness) come from his Q's ability to scale infinitely. What this means is that most of your damage comes through autoattacks simply because your Siphoning Strike skyrockets your damage if adequately farmed. 3% cooldown reduction may not seem like a lot, but over the course of the game it will allow you to farm up more and more damage onto your bread and butter skill. 3% attack speed, by comparison, is very, very little.

Why five points in deadliness + weapons expertise? Wouldn't Nasus, being a low-mobility bruiser, benefit more from more points in the defensive tree?

Originally I agreed with sentiments like these. Why even bother skilling into the offensive tree? Armor penetration is not that strong a stat, is it? Defense is so much stronger on a champion with a weak early game like Nasus. But as the patch came closer and eventually dawned its shining head over us, it occurred to me that Armour, as a stat, had actually gotten cheaper than previously. Furthermore, Armour Penetration stats had gotten more expensive. "That's completely irrelevant, George, isn't it?" Well, no, it's not. I used to have this thing where I had absolutely no Armour Penetration on Nasus. Full build, Triforce, GA, Shurelya's, et cetera, +600 Q farm, and yet I felt like my damage was minimal. I could never understand it until one day I realised that all my damage was being hugely mitigated, even by their "squishy" AD carry. Ever since then, I've been building Last Whisper before my Trinity Force on Nasus. Due to the nerfing of the early utility tree (at least, its usefulness for Nasus), I've decided the nine points are better off put into getting some ArPen, so I can delay that Last Whisper just that little bit longer.

Three points in hardiness? Tough Skin + Bladed Armour? These suck, I'm top vs an AP!

Obviously this guide isn't able to cover every single possible matchup. If you're playing top lane, simply switch the jungle-oriented masteries to benefit your laning. Remember, this guide should not be followed to a T. I will never be able to completely predict what is happening in your game, and sometimes you may have to use your common sense instead of this guide to progress as a better Nasus player.

Why not 21/9/0?

The offensive masteries just straight up aren't strong on Nasus. Thanks to the inclusion of Iceborn Gauntlet, which essentially replaces Trinity Force very often, you may very well never land a critical strike in a game as Nasus. Why invest into three mastery points for a stat you will never use? Is 3 AD worth another five mastery points? Sure, you'll pick up 2% extra damage on the way, but is it really worth 2 damage out of every hundred to be amplified? How much of the damage in a game do you actually deal to enemy champions as opposed to enemy minions? The offensive tree just isn't kind to Nasus in Season 3. Hell, even the Season 2 Offensive tree was better on Nasus than the current.

Why not 15/15/0? Why not 12/18/0? Why not 9/15/6? Why not X/X/X?

Look, ultimately, masteries are up to you. This is the way I believe Nasus is strongest in both top lane and the jungle, but you may feel that a utility or offense based tree is stronger for Nasus. I will disagree and will not falter if you ask me to prove your masteries inferior, but if you like them more then I cannot stop you from using them. Generally the most important thing in the masteries is that you obtain two points in "Relentless" and three in "Tenacious", which can be achieved with just fifteen points in the defensive mastery. If they lack heavy CC (but have many slows), you can get away with dropping "Tenacious" and just getting "Relentless". The reason why these masteries are so important is because Nasus has no in-built mobility and is very, very susceptible to kiting. Tenacity is Nasus' best friend (and, ironically, kind of his worst enemy) and should be acquired from any source possible.

Abilities Back to Top

Passive
q
1
3
5
7
9
w
2
8
10
12
14
e
4
13
15
17
18
r
6
11
16

Skill Order:

Nasus is fortunate in that he can max any of his skills in lane and still be useful, so long as you take points in your ult at levels 6, 11 and 16. Hell, he can have three Q, three in W, three in E and still essentially be a powerful champion.
As Nasus, don't say "I plan to have my Siphoning Strike maxed out at level nine". Don't say "I want to have a max rank wither before level 15". Say to yourself, "man, that Irelia is starting to chunk me. Maybe another point in Wither will help me out a little". Ponder silently, "Hm, I'm not really able to get close to this Darius. What can I max to guarantee CS in this lane? I know, Spirit Fire!" Just go with the flow. So long as you rank up your ultimate at levels six, eleven and sixteen, you will be powerful. Do not be afraid to go QWEQER if you feel it's necessary to do so. Nasus is all about understanding yourself and your abilities better than your opponents can.

R > Q > W > E

QWQEQRQWQWRWEWEREE


Why max Siphoning Strike?
Having a lower cooldown on Siphoning Strike means that you can use it more often, obviously, but this means more than usual. Using Siphoning Strike more often means that you will be able to farm more with it, that is, last hit more minions in order to acquire +3 damage on your Siphoning Strike per last hit, which means that you will be able to push faster, fight harder and overall be a stronger champion.

Why max Wither before Spirit Fire if you're going to be farming most of the game?
People will often see Nasus farming and notice he is a free kill. Having Wither ranked up means that you will have a greater chance of escaping from these villainous fiends. Also, you won't really be using Spirit Fire a lot on creeps as it will lower the amount of creeps you can last hit with your Q. Furthermore, Wither is actually stronger than Spirit Fire in teamfights as it can effectively shut down a champion without Cleanse/QSS.

What if I'm forced to max Spirit Fire in lane?
Usually, even when "forced" to max SF, you only really need three points in it, as that will be enough to last hit with and do enough AoE damage to take down a wave. In that case, just start maxing Q as soon as possible, getting a point in W before maxing Q, just to make sure you're that little bit more useful in teamfights.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Starting items for most lanes. Will give you a ton of sustain and keep away those early ganks that Nasus just cannot deal with.
    Against heavy Physical champions such as Renekton and Darius.
    Against harass-heavy lanes such as Vladimir.
    Against "safe" lanes, or lanes that you're not quite sure about (double AP that can switch, bruiser mid that can switch etc)
    Useful against Rumble and Vladimir
    For jungling. Your high natural lifesteal means that five pots aren't necessary on you.

Core Items

    Mercury Treads, Ninja Tabi or Boots of Swiftness. Build whichever you think you need. Distortion for laning, Homeguard for jungling.
    Necessary for lane sustain and helpful in that you will often be denied.
    Very good if you're jungling (to be upgraded to Golem Spirit)
    Glacial Shroud if against an AD top lane/1v2. Spirit Visage if against an AP/magic damage top.
    Sheen if you plan on getting Iceborn Gauntlet, Phage if you plan on getting a Trinity Force.

Situational Items

    Gauntlet makes it hard to kite you thanks to its AoE CC, while providing tankiness and mana, plus damage. If your team has subsequent CC already, Trinity Force is a better choice than Iceborn Gauntlet.
    Very strong item VS a CC-heavy team.
    Defensive items vs AD champions
    Defensive items VS AP champions
    General defensive items
    Offensive items

This section will cover every single complete item (that is, non-components, such as 1052_32.png or 1051_32.png).

Items that you should buy on Nasus;
3105_64.png->3107_64.png -- A very strong item on bruisers, it will allow Nasus to tank a lot of damage whilst helping his own team out. Be careful not to build one if your support/jungler is (which they usually will be).
3028_64.png->3222_64.png -- Very strong as a Magic Resist item vs CC-heavy teams. Works extremely well in a mana build (3004_32.png, 3110_32.png etc)
3110_64.png -- Extremely powerful item that builds out of , which is more or less core on Nasus. Can be replaced by combining 3024_32.png with 3057_32.png to create 3025_32.png, to use a single slot instead of two.
3026_64.png -- Arguably one of the best items in the game, gives Nasus nice resists and a game-changing ultimate that allows him to revive after finally going down.
3025_64.png -- One of the best things to ever happen to Nasus, pretty much replaces 3110_32.png and 3078_32.png in most games.
1080_64.png->3207_64.png -- A must have if you are jungling. Superior to 3154_32.png because Wriggle's will screw up your last hitting. Provides you with tenacity meaning you can forgo 3111_32.png.
3065_64.png -- An incredibly strong item on Nasus, especially after its buffs. Will effectively give you another 2% lifesteal as well as increase the amount of health you gain from your ultimate.
3071_64.png/3035_64.png -- One of these should be built throughout the course of the game, as the Armour Penetration/Reduction that you gain by having one of these means you will be able to damage carries late-game - otherwise, you'll only penetrate a tiny 8% of their armour without your E on them. The former synergizes really well with Spirit Fire.
3078_64.png -- Often called Nasus "core", it can very easily be replaced with 3025_32.png. Still a great purchase, though.


Items that you can buy on Nasus;
3001_64.png -- Some may think I'm crazy for having Abyssal Scepter in the "maybe" section. Looking at his kit, Nasus straight out benefits more from ability power than he does attack damage. While this may not necessarily be a reason to build a Scepter on him, Spirit Fire combined with Fury of the Sands will make Nasus do a lot of AoE damage, acquire a lot of tankiness and subsequently gain a lot of AD. It's definitely not your go-to item, but in an AoE comp where no-one else can pick up an Abyssal, don't completely write it off.
3102_64.png -- Only really useful if going for a mana-based build (3004_32.png, 3102_32.png, 3110_32.png, 3078_32.png, Boots, Cleaver/Whisper), and even then, 3222_32.png works better.
3153_64.png -- Very strong item on Nasus, especially if he's ahead. Is a great set up for Wither and gives him a lot of AD and lifesteal.
3190_64.png -- Definitely viable after its changes, though, as a split pusher, you may not be able to utilize this item to its full potential. Still, it is a good item for teamfights if you use the passive properly and are near your carry.
3004_64.png->Muramana -- I've mentioned it before, but the mana build on Nasus is actually not that bad anymore. If you scroll up you should be able to see it under 3028_32.png/3222_32.png.
3156_64.png -- Very situational. My problem with 3156_32.png is that it gives very little raw stats until you drop down to low health, at which point it becomes insanely strong. Still, a viable item on Nasus.
3140_64.png->3139_64.png -- Strong item on Nasus if he can afford it or requires a QSS.
3056_64.png -- I like the concept of it, but I just can't see getting it in place of Frozen Heart, to be honest.
3143_64.png -- Very useful if you're getting a 3025_32.png but still need more Armour.
3069_64.png -- Definitely useful on Nasus, though I would rather not have it late game (as your support + jungler should have it).
3050_64.png -- Decent item that can replace your 3096_32.png late game.
3068_64.png -- Good vs mixed damage champions such as 107_icon_64.png, 17_icon_64.png and 24_icon_64.png.


Items that you should not buy on Nasus;
3005_64.png -- Theoretically great on Nasus because of the health boost on Fury of the Sands, however not so strong in practice. Fury of the Sands only gives Nasus another 8 or so AD with Atma's Impaler, and Atma's gives Nasus a stat that he doesn't want - Crit chance. On the other hand, 3093_32.png's new passive is very attractive to heavy farmers... I may have to revisit this in the future.
3022_64.png -- No reason to get this when 3078_32.png and 3025_32.png exist in the game.
3074_64.png -- Absolutely terrible item on Nasus. It is a noobtrap if I've ever seen one and I'm honestly disgusted in it being a recommended item for Nasus. The splash damage only affects your ATTACK DAMAGE, not the damage you're doing. So, no, if you have a superfarmed 800+ Siphoning Strike with a sheen proc, you aren't going to get hundreds of AoE damage from a Hydra. Sorry.
3124_64.png -- Nasus doesn't scale off of attack speed and won't utilize the ability power of spellvamp.
3146_64.png -- Very expensive and Nasus won't benefit from the spellvamp (otherwise it would be great with the new passive).
3031_64.png -- No. Absolutely terrible item. Nasus' Q farm does not crit, only the base damage, and thus it is 3800 wasted gold.
3115_64.png -- I've seen this before, because of the CDR. Again, Attack Speed is a near-wasted stat on Nasus.
3046_64.png -- Please, for your and your team's sake, do not build this. Critical chance and Attack Speed are incredibly weak stats on Nasus.
3087_64.png -- Attack Speed (and, in fact, this item as a whole) sucks on Nasus. Same with Crit.
3131_64.png -- See above.
3072_64.png -- 3153_32.png is a better purchase.
3083_64.png -- Raw health on Nasus is kind of a shitty stat.
3091_64.png -- Attack Speed is a wasted stat.
3154_64.png -- Will fuck with your last hitting. Avoid it at all costs.
3142_64.png -- I used to love this item, but as the game has changed, I feel it's not as good on Nasus as it once was... besides, 3134_32.png now builds into 3071_32.png :/
3172_64.png -- Can you guys guess how I feel about Attack Speed on Susan?

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Akali
    Medium
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Darius
    Hard
  • Diana
    Hard
  • Dr. Mundo
    Medium
  • Elise
    Hard
  • Fiora
    Easy
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gangplank
    Medium
  • Garen
    Hard
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Irelia
    Medium

VS

Akali

Medium

[TOP LANE] Will make Nasus' life a living hell until he picks up his Mercury Treads + Spirit Visage. After that he doesn't really care much about her.

VS

Amumu

Easy

[JUNGLE] Able to counter jungle Amumu quite effectively with his E + Q destroying camps. Can go red -> blue with some help from the team and catch Amumu @ his red buff for a free kill and buff reset.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy

[TOP/JUNGLE] Both easy match ups. Top is free farm and you scale much harder than Cho'Gath does, so long as you don't fall behind by a lot.

VS

Darius

Hard

[TOP] Perhaps the hardest lane for Nasus. Darius can zone Nasus from level one onward and completely deny him both farm and XP.
[JUNGLE] Not as bad as the top lane matchup but still very dangerous. If Darius decides to invade on Nasus it could spell trouble for our favourite dog.

VS

Diana

Hard

[TOP] Nasus just can't stand up to her constant harass. Mercs + Spirit Visage + Hexdrinker and she'll still melt you.
[JUNGLE] Nasus can invade on Diana's jungle quite easily as her early clear is a little low. His slow should make it near impossible for her to escape unless she was at wraith wall or something similar.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Medium

[JUNGLE] Dr. Mundo is a control jungler and will do whatever he can to dick with you in your own jungle, whether that be by stealing your camps or killing you. You gank harder than he does, though, so just max W and gank hard.

VS

Elise

Hard

[TOP] It's a lost lane. Whether she's in melee or ranged form she will completely outharass you and ruin your day. Try to get a laneswitch or your jungler to set up a tent in your lane.

VS

Fiora

Easy

Completely easy lane for you. Take as much armour through runes and masteries as you can, go EWEQWR and just stack armour. Rush a Frozen Heart. Disregard her damage.

VS

Fizz

Medium

[TOP] You outdamage him early. Go EQWE and outdamage him as early as level 4. Be careful because if he whittles you down he CAN take you down from 75%.

VS

Gangplank

Medium

[TOP] Very annoying harass. The slow + DoT will really start to annoy you around level 8 but as long as you have a glacial shroud and tabi you shouldn't really care for his damage.
[JUNGLE] Nasus destroys Gangplank in the jungle. You have similar speeds and similar wants (farm w/ Q), so invading on his jungle at level 3 with Q+W+E, when he likely only has E and Q, can net you some kills and buffs. Remember, your E gives a nice amount of armour reduction, so use it early to bait out his orange, if he has it. If he uses orange, wither him and make a ham sandwich out of him.

VS

Garen

Hard

[TOP] An absolutely ruthless lane for Nasus. You won't be able to farm, you won't be able to gain XP, you won't be able to be in lane unless you're sitting directly under your turret. You are better off in a 2v1 lane than against a Garen lane. Avoid this matchup at all costs.

VS

Gragas

Easy

[TOP] His harass is strong but your sustain beats his out. If you can stand under your creeps when he body slams/barrel rolls you, he will push the lane, allowing you to farm under your turret with ease. Part of top-lane-Gragas' strength comes from the attack speed reduction on his Q, but since Nasus hardly utilizes attack speed, it won't be a huge issue. Rush a chalice vs this lane.

VS

Irelia

Medium

THIS GUIDE IS STILL INCOMPLETE! Back to Top

Sorry guys, but my eyes are drooping and my head hurts. When I get up I'll add a bunch more stuff!

Loading comments...

Comments Back to Top