IntroductionWelcome to my guide on how i play nidalee. Nidalee used to be a top end tier 1 champion with the most broken heal in the game. Riot decided to drop the nerf bomb on healers and nidalee was doomed to a life of switching into cat form with no survivability and simply gettng focused down and dying.
How i play nidalee is a very contraversial to many players, and many people will take one look at this guide and give it an instant thumbs down. I, however, have tried and tested this guide in many games and allthough it leaves nidalee with the worst early game IN THE GAME (more on that later) as the game hits mid/late game you will be ripping faces....literally!
MasteriesMy masteries at 21/9/0. I find this setup works very well if playing against an AD solo top. If paired against someone like gragas or mordekaiser you can switch things up and go for a more standard 21/0/9 getting improved XP gain. I find that the dodge mastery works to well with nidalee, especially against an AD heavy team. Whether you are chasing someone down or trying to run, the second you get the speed proc you will be moving so fast that nobody can outrun you! Unless they are a rammus with 5 PD and boots of mobility...
To be honest masteries are all about personal preference. There are so many mastery builds that work on nidalee ranging from 0/15/15 to 0/21/9. Its all about what suits you best and in my case, its 21/9/0 just for that extra damage towards late game.
RunesRunes are pretty standard. I like this setup because it makes proccing the dodge mastery that much easier and late/early game the armour pen will really help your damage output. Glyphs are really only there to fill up space. I like magic resist because it really helps early game especially against nukers such as or and will prevent you form getting 1 shotted.
You can also change the quints to health regen, flat health or whatever works for you.
When it comes to summoner spells these are the 2 that i find to be the most broken *AHEM* i mean....fitting for nidalee. Flash is a given and we all love flashing and pressing W to do an epic double jump nuke under the tower, finishing a squishy off.
Other good choices include:
Take this if they have a lot of cc that you can trolol by clicking on this spell. Some examples are:
and and other stun machines such as and
I think we all know why this is a good spell on nidalee. Great for running away or chasing and a good escape mechanism when your flash is on CD. Take this over exhaust if you are planning on using it.
Personally i dont take ignite on nidalee that much, however if they have any champions with high amounts of lifesteal/heals i will take it over exhaust happily. If you are doing this make sure you take a point out of 1+ damage to minions and add it to the ignite mastery, the 10ap can come in much more handy early game than 1+ damage to minions :)
Examples of heroes to take ignite against
AND THE CREME DE LA CREME
ALWAYS take ignite if facing an enemy swain. Swain is a fantastic hero, but the reason you dont see many swains is because of ignite. It counters him so hard i almost feel sorry picking it against him......nah just kidding, stupid bird whore!
Take this summoner spell if you have a good premade team. I find it doesnt shine that well in solo queue, but when you have a good group of friends on teamspeak this can easily turn the tides on a baron or dragon fight simply by teleporting to the ward to help out your team. The only reason i rarely take this on nidalee is because she is so mobile that you really dont have that much downtime. If you have to go B to buy after framing top, simply spamming W will get you back there quicker than any other hero.....apart from rammus with 5 phantom dancers and boots of mobility.
Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds.
Great for running away. ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU HAVE THIS PASSIVE. It is so easy to forget that you have this passive, but always keep in mind that if you are being chased through the jungle, go out of your way to go into bushes and proc the speed buff. Also great for juking. Run into bush, wait until enemy follows, jump out with W and RUN AWAY!
Q: Javelin Toss / Takedown
Human: Nidalee tosses her javelin, dealing 55 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+65% of ability power) magic damage on impact (deals up to 250% damage the further away the target is).
Cougar: Nidalee's next attack deals additional damage based on how low her opponent's life is.
Cooldown 6 seconds
Cost 50/60/70/80/90 mana
I max this simply because it deals the most damage both in and out of cougar form. Its great for finishing off those fleeing enemies and as we all know deals more damage the further away the target is, so as they run they will in theory, be killing themselves :D. Its also a decent poke, but since we arent building AP it really wont be doing that much damage until it is maxed mid game, and even then it wont be the same as playing ap and going "HOLY SHIT DID YOU SEE THAT DAMAGE?!?!"
W: Bushwhack / Pounce
Human: Nidalee lays a trap that deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+40% of ability power) damage over 2 seconds, reveals the target, and reduces their armor and magic resistance by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 12 seconds. Traps last for 4 minutes.
Cougar: Nidalee lunges forward, dealing damage to surrounding enemies. Pounce is not affected by cooldown reduction.
Cost 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120mana
Get a point in this in level 1. If you are feeling risky go into the enemy jungle and put some traps by wraiths and golems. It will give you sight of the enemy jungler if they step on them and make you feel safer in lane. If you arent wanting to play risky at the risk of being caught, place some in your jungle to avoid any counter jungling and making your jungler a bit safer from ganks. Do this especially when playing against great counter junglers such as
You can also jump through walls such as baron,dragon and smaller thinner walls around summoners rift. This takes a bit of mastering and unless you feel confident, dont run into dragon pit when getting chased....if you mess up you will be trapped and its bye bye nidalee!
E: Primal Surge / Swipe
Human: Nidalee heals an ally champion for 50/85/120/155/190 (+70% of ability power) and grants them a 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cougar: Nidelee claws at enemies in front of her.
Cooldown 10 seconds
Cost 60/80/100/120/140 mana
Heal will be mediocre with AD nidalee, but its still a good move to max second. The swipe makes farming that much easier and the heal will save any teamates that are going to die from something like ignite. I sometimes even max this first if we have a support without a heal such as
R: Aspect Of The Cougar
Passive: Each additional rank increases the effectiveness of Nidalee's cougar abilities.
Nidalee transforms into a vicious cougar, gaining 20 movement speed, 10/20/30 armor and magic resistance and a new set of abilities.
Cooldown 4 seconds
Umm yeah. You will be in this form 90% of the time and always put a point in it when possible. As we all know it changes all of your moves and gives nidalee the mobility that she is so famour for. Also gives you a nice mr and armour buff in lane.
Early GameEarly game nidalee will be garbage. Since you arent ap you will have no spear damage, no heal and your traps wont even move their health bar. Your goal is to simply last hit and place traps anywhere where the jungler might try to gank you from. If you are playing nidalee make sure that you get solo top since you will need all the farm and XP you can get to be able to reach level 6 as soon as possible and start dealing TONS OF DAMAGE!
Mid GameMid game you should be getting a bit tanky. If you went the warmog path before buying your guinsoos then you should be in all the fights simply trying to farm and pick up as many kills as possible. Your damage mid game may still be a bit week, but when you get your rageblade you will see just how much your damage spikes.
Late GameLate game you will be an unstoppable killing machine. With your warmogs, atmas and rageblade you will be dealing tons of damage and can start building to counter the enemy team. You should have around 3500health and be the tank in every major teamfight. Remeber we arent playing ap and nidalee is surprisingly tanky when you build her this way. Always remeber to keep your rageblade stacks up before entering a fight because it will make a massive difference entering the fight and swiping with 8 stacks then swiping with 0 stacks.
Team FightsNormally ap nidalee is bad in teamfights. All she can do is sit back and throw spears and heal allies for about 1hp after the nerfs. You, however will be tanking all the enemy and making them focus you. After about 2 years of seeing squishy nidalees your enemies will immediately think FOCUS NIDALEE SHE WILL DIE QUICKLY. This is where they make the mistake of focusing you whilst you take the punishment and your team deals the damage. If they dont focus you, however, just pounce your way to the ad carry and start nuking them down. You arent eaisily kited and you can simply run though 4 people just to get the all important kill on the AD carry.
JunglingAlthough king of the jungle, nidalee sucks at jungling. Dont even try it. I only added this chapter to include the importance of certain buffs you will find in the jungle. Red buff on nidalee is great. Always prioratize getting it unless you have an ad carry with no slow such as . If nidalee has red buff the enemy will NOT be getting away and being the tank you are amazing at passing the dot onto every player in a teamfight. Blue is okay on nidalee, but give this to your ap carry instead. If your ap carry is or however, i would be greedy enough to take it from them since the CDR works so well with your traps and spells in cougar form, and will make spamming them that much easier.
Final CommentsSo there you have it. My nidalee guide. Basically you just want to build tanky and you will be helping your team out loads. Many people think nidalee is not viable in todays meta after her hard nerfs, but i beg to differ. With an AP build i do think she falls short and there are so many better choices at the moment. You can always play AP in normals and relive the old days of throwing a spear and taking away 90% of health, but to be honest it really falls flat in ranked when people start building MR.
Please give this guide a go before you downvote it. It may look like a troll build and i have been flamed many-a-times for using it in ranked, but it is only once they see how much i dominate early mid that they start to go quiet. The most important thing about this build is that it is FUN! Nothing is more fun than jumping around the map being an unstoppable killing machine with 4000hp and loads of damage. This build verges on being as fun as other build such as AP shaco and AP teemo.
For first timers trying out the guide, simply right click in the beginning to last hit until you reach level 6. At level 6 just nuke them down with your W,E,Q combo in cougar form and watch their life bar dissapear. Farm farm farm until you can get your warmogs then tank your way to victory.
This was my first guide and im new to the whole layout thingy, but please leave any feedback you want and ill get back to you! GL and HF!
Ohh and one last thing...
DO NOT PLAY NIDALEE AS A SUPPORT BOT LANE. HER HEAL SUCKS AND PLAY SOMETHING VIABLE INSTEAD!!!! IF YOU TAKE CV ON NIDALEE YOU MIGHT ASWELL AFK IN THE POOL! /endrage