Javelin Toss / Takedown
Bushwhack / Pounce
Primal Surge / Swipe
Aspect Of The Cougar
Hello there! I'm JYarbz. You can also call me Jordan. While I'm currently not what I would consider a highly rated player (gotta get those skills back!), I do feel like I have a pretty above-average understanding of League of Legends strategy and have written on the subject in the past and previously coached foreign teams like KLG(LAS). Hopefully you find this text a worthwhile resource where , even through future updates, quality is preserved alongside brevity, clarity and simplicity.
Spot a typo in the guide? Have any questions? Suggestions? Shoot me an email at email@example.com.
This is an incredibly standard rune setup that is a 1-size-fits-all page for AP casters. If you have 1 rune page for Nidalee, then this should be it.
I don't think I'd ever switch out magic pen reds for anything else. But if you did want to, flat AD could increase your first clear. But seeing as Nidalee's entire kit is primarily magic damage, I think you'll take a hit to your early-mid game damage that's not worth it.
Flat armor is too important survival in your first jungle clears. Even if you're against an all AP team with Mord ADC, you still want armor runes. Also, every champion still auto attacks, and early game armor is even significant against autos from mages.
I personally just use magic resist every game since Nidalee has no scaling magic resist. And having just a little bit more magic resist with a locket on your team can help you weather AOE damage in mid-game teamfights.
But if you do want to have another page for Nidalee, this is the best place to deviate. If anything I would throw some extra flat AP runes here for the early damage, but cooldown (flat, scaling or a combination) is also fine.
Example: Let's say the entire enemy team is AD and there's no outliers like Corki that happen to do a lot of magic damage, that would be a fairly logical game to not run magic resist.
You could try running something else like movespeed or magic pen, I suppose. But honestly just run flat AP. Every single damaging ability you have scales with AP and your scaling are not bad. Flat AP helps a lot early game.
This is pretty standard—nothing surprising here nor alternatives offered.
Necessary for junglers. Faster clears due to burst damage and jungle buffs, not to mention the utility gained from the latter.
Best all-around summoner spell in the game. Instant repositioning for escapes and offensive plays.
Screenshot/Video Tutorials coming soon
I recommend starting with W, laying 2 traps at krugs, 1 at red, 1 at raptors and 1 at wolves. Alternatively, you may start with Q, especially if starting gromp.
Please note that ranks in Nidalee's basic skills (Q,W,E) only affect human form abilities. Cougar form is singularly affected by ranks in ultimate.
With that knowledge, the skill order should be fairly self-explanatory. Spears (Q) are your biggest damage and longest range spell. Maxing this adds the most burst to your rotation and gives you stronger poke.
Next, max your heal (E) for stronger sustain. Don't forget the attack speed steroid for your AD and on-hit teammates.
Last, max traps (W). I don't see any reason or circumstances that would require you to change this order.
These items are those which I consider necessary near every single game. Specific item timings will be covered below in the Early, Mid and Late Game sections.
This should be common knowledge, but rush your jungle enchantment! This is always Runic Echoes. I don't think I ever finish tier 2 boots before finishing this item. But I'll get tier 1 depending on the gold I have when I base.
All the smite upgrades are viable, though I prefer the Tracker's Knife for the vision control it provides, especially deep vision from jungle invades.
Skirmisher's Sabre is nice for dueling. You can get this especially if you're planning on invading the enemy jungle to kill them.
Stalker's Blade is a fantastic ganking tool, helping you chase and secure kills.
The active on this item is just too good. Invulnerability is the best kind of defense and is a welcome tool when finding yourself in the middle of the enemy team after pouncing in. The AP is an added bonus compared to that. Nidalee must jump into danger to kill champions. The only way you could get away without buying this in most games is if you're against an all-AP team or if you're snowballing so hard that you don't need it.
As an AP champion, you need this by late-game to do damage. The % penetration is too important and not found on any other item in the game.
Most games I build at least one of these—especially when choosing the Strength of the Ages keystone. I don't think either is the right answer 100% of the time, but there are clear pros and cons and neither is really ever awful. Overall, RoA is fairly comparable in stats to begin, and becomes much better over time while Rylais is built primarily for it's overall utility and immediate power spike.
|0 mana||— 400+400 mana|
|ICY slow||— level-up sustain|
Get Rylais if you can make good use of the slow. Pro tip: If you're behind, you're less likely to be able to follow up on a slow and the more you need raw stats. However, it is good for catching out low mobility targets in general. And though it's not reliable, you even have a potential 4 man 40% slow with the Runic Echoes proc. Also, RoA is a really strong item, but takes a full 10 minutes to stack. This is a bigger sacrifice when building as a second item instead of first like a solo laner.
You also don't absolutely have to build either of these. A faster Zhonyas or Abyssal is not bad. And even something like a lichbane gives you a surprisingly unique set of tools for snowballing: faster towerpushing, extra damage and movespeed alongside the flat cdr and mana.
These items are more situational in function, generally built in response to individual champions and situations rather than core items built every game.
If I got to 6 items every single game, then this would be a core item. Nidalee's AP ratios are really solid, making great use of the AP for bigger heals and damage. I usually don't build this till 4th-6th item as other things tend to be more important in the mid-game. Though this can be especially potent for sieging.
Situational item versus heavy AP teams that in conjunction with Rod of Ages and Strength of the Ages can make you fairly resilient in mid-game teamfights.
Kind of a fluff item, but situationally good. It's nice in combination with Deathcap for surprisingly strong tower-pushing and damage. The other benefits include CDR, movespeed, and the often underappreciated mana. This is a strong item that just struggles to find it's way into core builds when other defensive options may be safer.
My definition of the end of early game is pretty vague: somewhere close to level 9 and starting your second item.
9 times out of 10 I prefer W at level 1. Q might be faster if starting gromp with a leash. But as long as you can setup traps for multiple camps, W is definitely worth it. There are two main early clears you can learn.
This path consists of gromp/krugs to 1st and 2nd major buffs. Start with 2 traps at your first camp and 3 at the first major buff.
Note: You may also clear only one side of the jungle to hit level 3 - two small camps and one major buff. The disadvantage is that your other buff is more vulnerable to being stolen.
This path will get you to level 4 before leaving your jungle. If done right, you'll be healthy enough to do things afterward. You want two traps at your first camp, 1 trap each at your first major buff and the next two small camps. I prefer starting krugs if possible.
When choosing when and where to gank, you should consider a few things: lane matchup, the opponent jungler (where they are and relative strength) and ultimately, general risk versus reward.
If you're looking at an Ezreal/Alistar lane, you're probably not getting a kill there. If the enemy mid is a pre-6 kassadin against a