League of Legends Champion Review: Reworked Nidalee

Nidalee

“The Bestial Huntress”

header-nid

Welcome to the third edition of our League of Legends champion reviews! Minolta reviewed the swift samurai Yasuo last week, and although his mobility, damage, and ability to completely stop all projectiles is nothing less than awesome, Reworked Nidalee is guaranteed more than awesome, I mean really, what’s better than a shape-shifting huntress? Although Nidalee was released in 2009, with her recent rework she’s a much different mage than before. Nidalee The Bestial Huntress is a mid laner who throws spears from across the map and that do ridiculous amounts of damage. That’s what I would have told you up until now, now however, Nidalee is a mid laner, top laner, support, and finally a very strong jungler. She is available for the cost of: IPIP: 3150 or RPRP: 790. As well as Yasuo was Minolta’s favorite champ, Nidalee top lane was mine before the rework, and now, post-rework, she is my favorite jungler as well as top lane.

Abilities

Nidalee abilities-small

Passive: Prowl, Hunt

Nidalee_PassiveNidalee’s new passive has two aspects, Prowl, & Hunt. With Prowl moving through brush increases Nidalee’s movement speed by 10% for 2 seconds, which increases to 30% if she is moving toward a visible enemy champion within 5500-range. With Hunt hitting enemy champions with Javelin Toss or Bushwhack will mark them as Prey for 4 seconds, revealing them. While moving toward Prey, Nidalee gains Prowl‘s bonus movement speed and ignores unit collision. Additionally, Nidalee’s first use of each of her Aspect of the Cougar abilities against Prey will have an empowered effect.

My Thoughts: This is a slight nerf to the movement speed she used to get when in bushes, but her new “Mark of the Hunt” is extremely powerful. The fact the she ignores unit collision and has 30% increased movement speed after applying the mark allows her to have unmatched chasing power. With the introduction of this passive she now flows through her abilities using all of them frequently, while as before it was just chuck spear, spam heal.

Q: Javelin Toss/ Takedown

Nidalee_Q1Javelin Toss
Range: 1500
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Cooldown: 6
Base Magic Damage: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+40% AP)
Maximum Magic Damage: 150 / 225 / 300 / 375 / 450 (+120% AP)

In human form, Nidalee hurls her javelin forward in a line, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits. If it exceeds her basic attack range it gains damage based on distance flown, up to a cap at 80% of its additional range.

Nidalee_Q2Takedown
Cost: No cost
Cooldown: 5
Base Magic Damage: 4 / 20 / 50 / 90 (+100% AD) (+24% AP)
Maximum Damage: 10 / 50 / 125 / 225 (+250% AD) (+60% AP)
Hunt Maximum Damage: 13 / 67 / 167 / 300 (+333% AD) (+80% AP)
In cougar form. Nidalee’s next attack gains 75-range (200 total range) and is modified to deal magical damage. Despite dealing magic damage, Takedown will apply life steal.
Hunt Bonus: If the target is marked as Prey, Takedown deals 33% increased damage.
My thoughts: Nidalee’s new spear doesn’t have nearly as much chunking power as it used to, but is still a great spell for poke. Although the damage it brings is low, it is now more important than ever to hit your spears, as they apply the “Mark of the Hunt” which buffs Nidalee’s Takedown into a 333% AD execute, allowing massive damage in cougar form. As if nerfing the damage wasn’t enough, they also cut the size of the spell in half, making it much harder to land spears.
W: Bushwack/ Pounce

Nidalee_W1Bushwack
Range: 900
Cost: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 Mana
Cooldown: 17 / 15 / 13 / 11 / 9
Total Magic Damage:
20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+12 / 14 / 16 / 18 / 20% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of target’s current health)

In human form, Nidalee lays a Bushwhack trap. When an enemy springs the trap, they are revealed in addition to taking damage over 4 seconds.

Nidalee_W2Pounce
Range: 375 (700 against Prey)
Cost: No cost
Cooldown: 5
Magic Damage: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 (+ 30% AP)

In cougar form, Nidalee lunges a fixed 375 units in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to enemies within a 75-radius area around her landing point. Killing a unit will reduced Pounce’s current cooldown to 1 second if it’s currently higher.

Hunt Bonus: If the cursor is near an enemy marked as Prey within 700-range, Pounce becomes a targeted dash.

My Thoughts: These two spells are your utility belt, level this spell to max rank last, but start the game with this spell. The traps allow Nidalee to get lane control and protect her side bushes from ganks that could come. If an enemy steps on the trap level one, turn into a cougar and instantly use your empowered targeted leap, the trade will almost always go in your favor.

 E: Primal Surge/ Swipe

Nidalee_E1Primal Surge
Range: 600
Cost: 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 Mana
Cooldown: 12
Heal: 45 / 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 (+ 50% AP)
Attack Speed: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60%

In human form, Nidalee evokes the spirit of the cougar, healing a target allied champion or herself and granting them bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.
Nidalee_E2Swipe
Range: 300
Cost: No cost
Cooldown: 5
Magic Damage: 70 / 130 / 190 / 250 (+ 45% AP)
In cougar form, Nidalee claws at enemies in a 180-degree cone in the direction of the cursor, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit.
Hunt Bonus: If Swipe hits an enemy marked as PreyPounce‘s current cooldown is reduced to 1 second if it’s currently higher.
My thoughts: Swipe got hit hard with base damage and scaling damage, but still has very high utility with the Hunt bonus. After using your empowered leap on a target, use Swipe to reset your Pounce cooldown to one second, allowing you to stick right on your hunted target. Primal Surge also gives much less health than it used to, but scales decently into the late game on AP Nidalee. On AD Nid however, you level this spell for the massive attack speed boost it gives.
Nidalee_R1R: Aspect of the Cougar
Cost: No cost
Cooldown: 3
Active: Nidalee transforms herself into a cougar, gaining a new set of abilities and melee attacks (125 range).
Active: Nidalee transforms back into her human form.

 

Design
Nidalee’s lore doesn’t make much sense, but I’ll sum it up for you. Once there was a little girl traveling through a magical forest with her parents, her name was Nidalee. Her parents were looking for lost treasures of the jungle and well, they got lost. She watched as her parents suffered for days before they were finally lost by a mysterious disease. Instead of being a lunch to the wild, a family of cougars took her in as one of their own. As she aged she absorbed the powers of the jungle which allowed her to turn into a cougar. After growing up, she slaughtered some woodcutters and she decided to join the League of Legends to protect the vast jungles. Yep. That was really a lore. In Riot’s defense that was written up in 2009.

 

nidalee-headhunter

 

Nidalee-portrait-headhunterNow that we’ve gotten that cringe worthy lore out of the way, her design as in playstyle is fantastic. The rework really defined who Nidalee is as a champion. She’s a huntress, stalking her prey until she gets the perfect time to all in and strike. Think of her playstyle as something comparable to a version of Rengar, Although instead of turning invisible or using bushes to get a giant leap, marking you with either her Bushwack or Javelin Toss will give her the 700 range empowered leap. She uses human form to mark you as her prey, then shape shifts into a cougar to finish the job.Unfortunately, Nidalee has no special interactions as she is an older champion in the League of Legends. Although she has no special interactions, she does have an extra set of taunts in her cougar form (My personal favorite is her cougar dance).

 

Champion Skins

Although I love all of Nidalee’s skins, some of their splash arts could use some love(I’m looking at you Snow Bunny, Leopard & French Maid Nidalee).

Nidalee_BewitchingLoadingNidalee_HeadhunterLoadingPanel_Leopard_Nidalee264px-Nidalee_SnowBunnyLoadingNidalee_FrenchMaidLoading

Bewitching Nidalee, HeadHunter Nidalee, Leopard Nidalee, Snow Bunny Nidalee, French Maid Nidalee

Suggested Items:

I plan to create a Nidalee champion guide in the future, but just knowing what items to buy and knowing why they are good on her can go a long way.


Top Lane(AD)
Nidalee is able to be played in many different roles, while also building very different items. She’s almost a jack of all trades. Top lane Nidalee is typically built AD bruiser, that being said you can use this build path in any lane.

iceIceborn Gauntlets: 90% of the time this should be the first item you finish on AD Nidalee, starting with the sheen to win trades, or starting with the Glacial Shroud if vs a strong AD top laner and you are losing. All Sheen items are very good on Nidalee, but Iceborn’s are the safest as they provide you tanky stats, and also give you a strong slow. Important to add to Nidalee’s kit as she has no stunning or slowing effects of her own.

triforceTrinity Force: If you are confident in being able to trade and kite champions effectively, then build Tri-Force. It gives you small amount of stats from every category, and Nidalee benefits from all of them. Along with a mass of stats, it also gives the highest AD Multiplier on the active(200% AD). As I said before, buy the sheen first, then the Phage, finishing the pieces off with a Zeal.

Blade_of_the_Ruined_King_itemBlade of the Ruined King: Before the Nidalee Rework I would never build Blade of The Ruined King and I would just fill my slots with defensive items (which is still a strong build). Now however, the attack speed and lifesteal Botrk gives, along with the very strong passive, allows Nidalee to be an unmatched 1vs1 champion.

 

Middle Lane(AP)
Nidalee AP style still works very well, but your play-style may need to change compared to the old way you played her.

Lich_Bane-1Lich Bane: As I keep stating, sheen is great on Nidalee. When playing AP Nidalee it makes sense to build the AP scaling version of sheen items. The Spellblade passive is fantastic when paired with Nidalee’s Takedown(Q). It gives a good amount of Ability Power and also increases your movement speed, which is great for Nidalee.

Athene's_Unholy_Grail_itemAthene’s Unholy Grail: When playing Nidalee AP style, your human form abilities still scale quite well, and having a good amount of mana regen with 20% CDR stacked on top this is a great item. It also offers a small amount of magic resist which is good, because Nidalee naturally lacks magic resist.

3089_banksys_wizard_hatRabadon’s Deathcap: This is the item all AP mids get 2 or 3rd item, the 120 AP plus the passive increase of ability power by 30% makes all your spells start doing that extra chunking power.

 

Other Items: When going AD Nidalee a standard full build would have Mercury Treads, BotrK, Tri-force, Last Whisper, and even a Infinity edge if you want to really haul out damage. BotrK, and Tri-force/Iceborns are staple and you should always get those items, but if you want to be a tanky Nidalee(Which works very well) Get those 2 items, defensive boots, Spirit Visage, Randuin’s Omen, Frozen Heart, Sunfire Cape, or Warmog’s Armor. Any combo of those items will get you tanky.

Runes

Nidalee-Runes

Crit Chance: +0.93%
Physical Dmg: +12
Armor: +7.1
LifeSteal Bonus: +1.5%
Health:48

This is my personal rune page that I run in all my AD Nidalee games. The one crit rune can sometimes decide who wins lane. If you happen to crit on an auto attack, you can almost all in right there and just kill. The Physical Dmg is good for last hitting and poking down your lane opponent. You will want to be auto-attacking your lane opponent constantly. The armor is standard as most top laners are AD, you can switch that around depending on who you are laning. The lifesteal just help survive lane, pair it with the 3% you get from Dorans Blade and you have a pretty good amount of lifesteal. The extra health can be changed to your will as well, but I like it for winning trades.

“They will fear the wild.”

-Nidalee, The Bestial Huntress

P.S. If you liked this article you should come out to our weekly League of Legends community game nights! They happen every Thursday at 7pm central time. Don’t worry if you aren’t the best player, these nights are just about having fun with your fellow community members! You can add summoners AnthraXTHK or Minolta1034 to join in all the fun!