Hey guys. My name is Casperjoe. I'm currently Challenger on Turkey and Diamond 2 on EUW. I started playing league around season 3 and i've been addicted ever since. I started as a midlane main, since Nidalee was a midlaner at that time. Then i transitioned to toplane (still playing mostly Nidalee) and now im a jungle main. Wherever Nidalee is strongest i will go. This guide will be focusing on Nidalee in the jungle role, so if you're looking for a midlane or toplane Nidalee guide, im afraid you'll have to keep looking. I decided to main Nidalee the first time i played her, which was when i was around level 20. So far i've played approximately 600 ranked games with her and probably atleast 400 normal games, so i feel like i know the champion pretty well. Lately Nidalee jungle have become very popular and she's definitely a top 3 jungler in my opinion (No, the nerfs in patch 5.15 did NOT make her unplayable).
You should always max R>Q>E>W, but against weak early game junglers you should level W at level 2, rather than E, and do red buff start so you can invade.
In general you want to try to hit your Javelin toss then Pounce on the enemy target and Swipe then finish with Takedown since it's an execute. However, if you know the enemy champion have flash up or another way to escape, you should use your Takedown before Swipe, this will make Takedown do less damage, but since it has got a lower range than Swipe, it's often smarter to use Takedown before Swipe to assure you get all your damage off. Another reason why it can be smarter to use Swipe as your last ability is that if your opponent flashes (or in other ways gets repositioned out of your range) after you started casting Swipe it will still hit them.
When jungling with Nidalee it's important for you to kite the monster and use your Javelin toss and Bushwhack as often as possible, to mark jungle monsters as hunted. When you mark a jungle monster as hunted, your Takedown deals enhanced damage against them and they are snared for a short time, the extra damage from Takedown is also applied to champions that is hunted, but the snare however is not. When a enemy champion or jungle monster is marked as hunted, it gives you vision of them and increases the range of your Pounce. Additionally your Pounce cooldown is also much lower (1.5 seconds instead of 5 seconds) when you Pounce to a target that is hunted.
When ganking as Nidalee jungle, its important that you don't throw your Javelin Toss instantly, but instead try to close as much distance as possible first. Marking the enemy champion as hunted is essential to your ganks, since it both increases your damage output and gives you a gap-closer in form of your enhanced Pounce. You should always try to gank from the point closest to the enemy champions tower, giving him/her no choice but to run towards you. By doing this it will be much easier to land your Javelin Toss since he/she will be at point blank range. Keep in mind that the enemy champion will most likely try to dodge your Javelin Toss, so try to keep auto'ing while running near him/her for as long as possible before throwing it. By doing this you can do a lot more damage than you would be able to if you threw the Javelin Toss instantly, since it will take longer for the enemy champion to get to a safe spot because he will be running zig-zag rather than straight toward safety. Make sure you run through the lane brushes to get the passive movement speed from Prowl when ganking bot- or toplane. When ganking midlane its better to come from the spot closest to the enemy tower rather than through the brushes, since they are often warded and you will get more time to close the distance by doing so. Remember that you can use your Bushwhack to check if the enemy jungler is in the lane brushes, when you gank bot- or toplane. You can also use your Bushwhack in the lane brushes, to get vision for a short time if the enemy champion runs through them while trying to escape your gank. Using your Bushwhack in the lane brushes to get vision of a fleeing enemy champion is especially useful if you have red buff, since the vision lasts long enough for you to auto attack the target and by doing that refreshing the red buff slow and true damage burn.
Pros. - Great clear speed and sustain Nidalee has one of the fastest clears of all jungler's, once she gets her Ranger's Trailblazer - Runeglaive. This makes it easy to get back in the game if you fall behind early, since you can get a lot of gold by keeping your jungle cleared. Her Primal Surge gives her a lot of sustain which means she doesn't have to back as long as she have a blue buff. - Amazing early pressure Nidalee have perhaps the most early game pressure of any jungler due to her great mobility from her Pounce, her high damage from her Aspect of the cougar abilities and her chasing potential, when she hits a Javelin Toss to enable her Prowl passive (especially with red buff). You can use this to snowball the game out of control. - Utility/Mobility You can put Nidalee's Bushwhack in the enemies jungle's brushes to keep track of where he/she is and effectively shut him/her down by doing so. Her Pounce allows her to get around the map fast, making it easy for her to put down insane map pressure and control the map. Cons. - Skillshot reliant Nidalee is extremely skillshot reliant, if you miss your Javelin toss you will have a hard time pulling off your ganks and 1v1'ing. - Vulnerable to hard engage You shouldn't buy defensive items on Nidalee since it greatly minimizes her damage/utility, this leaves her very squishy and vulnerable. - Slightly falls off late game Nidalee scales awkwardly into the late game. She's too squishy to go in when she hits a Javelin toss in teamfights, so she can only poke with her Javelin toss and heal people with her Primal Surge, which basically makes her a weaker Xerath with more utility.
Nidalee got some very interesting mechanics which is important to master, if you want to maximize your success with her. The first is her Pounce, in order to play her to her full potential, you need to know which walls you can jump, so i made a drawing of which walls is jumpable. [img=http://i.imgur.com/LRPjcXN.png] The second mechanic you want to master is the ''double jump'', basically what you need to do is use your Pounce right after you use your Takedown on a minion with low health. Since the Takedown takes some time to hit, you can Pounce before it kills the minion, giving you the kill credit AFTER you Pounce. This means that you get the cooldown on Pounce reduced to 1.5 seconds. I made a video to show how to do this trick. [vid=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mzGTR1nrNk]