Armor pen runes: I set up armor pen runes for early game cause different from most top champions, nidalee is a ranged and she can buff herself with attack speed which allow you to do a lot harass with auto attack early game. If I go magic pen and ap runes, nidalee will do no dmg with auto attack. I prefer flat attack damage runes, because it helps you csing and has a lot harassment with auto attack as well. Armor pen runes has more dmg out put to a champoin than atd runes all the time and it reach the peak at lv5 unless u go [imgsmall=items/last-whisper.png]lw.(by calculation). Flat armor and Mr: Top laners are mostly ad carry like gp and irelia. Nid is too fragile with 16 starting armor, 460 hp and 31mr.It is never good to start with 16 armor at lv1 vs gp. Gp can kill nidalee with one crit, one auto and ignite lv1 if you go without flat armor. So is flat Mr needed. You can go Mr per level or ap if you know you are going to solo a ad top.
Early game: You can start with 4 potions and boots with 4 traps to guard for your jungler or your lane. With nid passive, it becomes pretty hard to gank nid. If their jungler is someone with less armor, lifesteal, no sheld, try to put the traps in bushes of red, golem and warthz. That will slow down his jungle significantly. If nid lane with a very aggressive laner like gp, panth, irelia, keep in mind always trap where you stand. Trap reduce Mr and armor by 20% togather with your masteries will provide 30% of MR and armor pen. Also, trap deal a fair amount of dmg early game. You opponent will not have an advantage fight you with a trap on. As long as you own the bushes, you are safer. Lane phase disadvantage lane. Notice the blue side top is a disadvatage lane, the bush is twice the length of that of red top lane and their jungler will come ealy than ur jungler if they both want to gank top after double buff. ALso, they can gank you at lv2 after red. Just tower hug, and wait for the wave if you get camped. Better not to get camped at disadvantage lane. It is also easier to come to a side bush gank when u were tower hugging, cuz the map differences. If your jungler cant help, pretty much you just have to lose top.
Mid game lane phase After lv6, always keep on eye on the map, try to gank mid or help dragon when you team is heading to. The ms and passvie buff give nid more mobility than any other top laner. After lv6, nid can harass more with her combo. One thing to keep in mind is if your opponent always keep full hp, nid's q will deal no dmg, in that situation, just keep pushing wave and cs. lane phase counter yorick[img=champ/yorick.png] and rumble[imgsmall=champ/rumble.png] counter nid in lane. yorick can cast his ghost in bushes which can make nid lose her traps and advantages, he can also keep lifesteal to stay full hp rumble has low cd spell with sheld and slow which can minimize your harass. With missle and ult, rumble can kill nid easily with ignite. Kennen is hell strong before you get lv6. I am learning to lane agasnst it now. AFter lv6, kennen do not have much advantage. Mid game, and later game. Nid is great pusher. After get rod of agis and blue, group up and push tower, tell your team to disengage when the enemy trying to engage and keep poking until they low. Ad Nid's job is to poke the enemy team low, and keep healing teammates. Nid is also a great ad protector. After engaged, try to keep closer to your ad carry, heal him and combo they enemy that try to jump on your ad carry. With rod of agis and 2 doren's ring, nid can have 2958hp at lv18(21/9) and about 3066hp(9/21)more than 100mr and 100armor with no further defence item. Though tankier than most ap carries, do not jump into the enemy team and try to fight like a tank. The most dmg come from nid's spear and keep your teammates alive will be more of a thread to your opponents. After u get rod of agis, deathcap, deathfire and even void nid can one shot any tank that try to jump on your ad carry. With heal and spear, and low cd dmg, nid provides a good dragon and baron control. With powerful ap and deathfire, nid can never be useless in late game. It is my first time writing a guide,if u have any further question. I will answer in this guide.