Nasus Top guide

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This is a guide for a character in League of Legends.

Nasus the Curator of the Sands.

Nasus can be played either as a top or a jungler. This guide will cover the gameplay top.



  • Good Duelist from mid-game.
  • Can be a great pusher as the bonus from Q applies on structures.
  • Ok sustain in lane.


  • No gap closer/escape.
  • Kiteable.
  • not a really good early (can be enhanced).

Summoner spells

  • Teleport: A core as Nasus and as many top. It will provide you the ability to come back faster but also to telegank with the help of W.
  • Ghost/exhaust: Flash + ghost is a standard combination but I usually only pick one alongside Teleport.
  • Flash: You don't have any real escape but your W. Anyway as a tanky bruiser you will need it less.


  • Soul Eater (Passive): Nasus gains life steal on his auto attacks as follows: (10/15/20% life steal) at levels (1/6/12).

This skill will provide you a good sustain in lane and it will be efficient right from the start. It will help you to control the lane and to maintain your health at the same time.

  • Siphoning Strike (Q): Nasus will deal bonus physical damages on his next auto attack as follows: (30/50/70/90/110 +1 per stack). Nasus has to strike within 10 seconds. If Nasus kills the unit he will gain 3 stack of Siphoning Strike. This amount is doubled on major creeps/minions. Cooldown: (8/7/6/5/4) Cost: 20 mana.

This skill resets the auto attack animation. Use it right after an auto attack to deal more DPS. this skill enable you to deal many damages without making many offensive items. The overall damage is physical. It reduces its cooldown on each rank so it's interesting to up this first as it will allow you to gain more stacks. If you build some CDR it will be even more stacks/damages at the end.

  • Wither (W): Nasus slows the movement and the attack speed of the targeted enemy hero with a ramping effect over 5 seconds as follows: (3/6/9/12/15 movement slow per second) to (47/59/71/83/95% movement speed reduction) and (1.5/3/4.5/6/7.5 % attack speed slow per second) to (23.5/29.5/35.5/41.5/47.5 attack speed slow). This skill applies an initial slow of 17.5%.

The more slow you apply on the target the more Q you will do. This one synergizes better than E usually. It's a very good one to duel but it's useless to farm.

  • Spirit Fire (E): Nasus casts an AOE at the targeted location dealing an initial magic damage plus magic damages over 5 seconds as follows: (55/95/135/175/215 +60% AP as initial damage) plus (11/19/24/35/43 +12% AP per second). It also applies an armor reduction increasing at ever rannks as follows: (20/25/30/35/40 armor reduction). Range: 650. Cooldown: 12. Cost: (70/85/100/115/130 mana).

The armor reduction is applied within the AOE. So it synergizes with W. The cost is increasing over ranks. Using this one often or not will depend on your build. This skill is scaling with your AP and you will not develop AP much with a standard Nasus.

  • Fury of the Sands (R) (Ultimate): Nasus empowers himself gaining additional health as follows: (300/450/600 Health), 50 bonus attack range and dealing some AOE magic damages around him based on enemies' maximum health as follows: (3/4/5% +1% per 100 AP of enemies' max hp). Nasus gains 6.375% of the damage dealt as AD it is capped to 300 AD. Cooldown: 120. Cost: 100 mana.

The AOE's radius is 175. The ulti synergizes well with all the kit as you will be able to tons of damages in a short zone with this and E+W. The duration is good but you will have to cast it with the right timing. Make sure yourself that the enemies won't fly away because you are still kiteable.

Skill sequence

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q x x x x x
W x x x x x
E x x x x x
R x x x

I like to Max Q first as I was playing a 40% CDR Nasus among the firsts. The idea is simple; you can land more Q so you will feed your skill more. You can reach 2.4 seconds cd with a 40% CDR at rank 5. I maximize W second because it synergizes better with Q than E. You can tweak E and W, upping them alongside.


Nasus will obtain a decent amount of damages if you feed your Q well. So you don't even need to build the hero on the offensive side to be efficient. You can switch your offensive tree and a bit of your defensive tree with an utility tree containing culinary master + Alchemist for more sustain if you need. It will override your early weakness in lane.


  • X9 armor penetration (marks): If think there is no real alternative here. You base your gameplay on Q so you will have to render your big amount of attack damage efficient.
  • x9 Flat armor (seals): Pretty standard top as you will face many AD. You will be countered by teemo AP more often than other top thus.
  • X9 MR per level (glyphs): it will shine on teamfights later on.
  • X3 Movement Speed (Quintessences): You can tweak it with life steal or even more armor penetration.


The usual early setup is a Doran's Shield + 1 Hp Pot. You can start with a flask + 3 pots if you choose a 0/21/9 masteries. On your first trip back you usually buy a chain vest + boots. Then you complete your Glacial Shroud and Sheen. You will have the choice to build an Iceborn Gauntlet or a Frozen Heart + Trinity Force (later on). As Spirit Visage was nerfed you can actually reach 40% CDR buying a Frozen Heart, an Iceborn Gauntlet and a Spirit Visage. In this case you may have too much mana. You core build will be something like: Frozen Heart + Spirit Visage + Mercury's Treads + Trinity Force / Iceborn Gauntlet. You have the choice with the luxury items: Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen or even a Ravenous Hydra. When you build Nasus you ask yourself if you have a playing time that allow 40% cdr to optimally feed Q (you should). Then you build him defensively with only one offensive item most of the time.

Gameplay top

Your goal is obviously to last hit as much as you can with Q. Depending on your playing style you will soak more or less damage to do so. You may switch to a 0/21/9 if you take too much damage with Nasus it will counter-balance this with more sustain. Anyway Nasus is a melee fighter with a melee farming skill. So your plan with the early top is pretty simple. You control the lane farming close to your own tower but outside its range to save all the last hits for your Q. Your passive allow you to go at melee range more often wihthout taking the full damage from the enemy hero. once you are at the right positon you “freeze” the lane keeping the creeps at the same place al the time. If you have some difficulties to perform this; casting an E will help you to regulate the creep flow. By doing this you will also be safe from ganks. The enemy top will not come at you so often as you will respond with a AA+Q or AA+Q+W + more AA. The creep flow isn't the same all the time, every 3 waves a creep with a cannonball spawn and he is more resistant. Killing it also provide twice the bonus on your Q. Try to not use your W too much to regulate as a part of your sustain will come from your ability to keep a decent portion of your mana pool. You may save a trip back whereas many top with some manapool will waste them on you.
After level 6 things will be easier. First many enemies won't adjust well to your ulti. If you think you can take someone down by casting R and running on him do it. Most of the time he isn't baiting alongside the jungler waiting for you in the brush (But anyway you bought that ward right?). Always ward it cost you 2.5 last hits. You can also start to telegank as your slow is on rank 2-3.

General guidelines

While teamfighting you have to wait for the right timing to cast your ulti. You want to suppress any possibilities of kiting as you have no gap closer and only a mono target slow. There is nothing worse than a Nasus under his ulti with no enemy around.
At best you will be the off tank as you have no engage but your tank ability once in the melee and for 15 second under your ulti will exceed the defensive power of many tanks.
Cannonball creeps but even major neutrals and Nashor/Drake will provide you 6 stacks on your Q instead of 3.
Don't forget to practice your stutter stepping when you cast W as your opponent will be almost immobilized for a short duration at rank 5.

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