Pin Me

League of Legends Champion Guide: Nasus, Curator of the Sands (Abilities and Items)

by: Vox ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

One of the more underrated heroes, Nasus has a lot of flexibility in his build due to the strength of his base abilities and the ease with which he can farm. Learn which abilities to choose and in which order and learn which items are most useful for Nasus in all his roles.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Nasus - Abilities (Nasus Builds)

    nasus1 Soul Eater (Passive)

    Nasus drains his foe's spiritual energy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% Lifesteal.

    This passive does not synergize particularly well with Nasus' other abilities or his playstyle, but it can be very useful for laning and for staying up a little longer in team fights. Don't build for this, but don't dismiss it either.

    Siphoning Strike

    Nasus's next attack will deal an additional 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 damage. Siphoning Strike permanently gains 2 damage whenever it kills an enemy.

    A deceptively good skill, but not one you will need to put point into. Siphoning strike makes last-hitting creeps trivially easy and can pack a real punch once you get enough kills with it. Combine this with a Sheen and Nasus has an extremely powerful alpha strike, especially late game. Most builds will suggest that you get one level in this and leave it until later.


    Nasus ages his target, slowing their movement and attack speed by 35% and reducing it further by 3/6/9/12/15% each second for 5 seconds.

    Another extremely underestimated skill. This is one of the best chasing abilities in the game, arguably the best slow in Leaue of Legends and is also extremely effective for shutting down enemy carries. Placing this on a fast-attacking physical carry like Ashe or Master Yi can both keep them from closing on your allies and reduce their DPS. It can be mana intensive, so use it sparingly until you have enough mana to justify it. Prioritize this second, or first if you're not having problems getting creep kills and need to shut down enemy champions better.

    Spirit Fire

    After a brief delay, the target area becomes desecrated. Enemies in the area have their armor reduced by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 and are dealt 20 / 34 / 48 / 62 / 76 (+0.2 per ability power) magic damage each second.

    This is an extremely powerful spell early and mid-game that becomes much less useful later on. At levels four and five it can easily clear creep waves and do enough damage to keep enemy champions back, making Nasus a very powerful 1v2 or solo champion. Later on, it does less damage and can be hard to place in a team fight, but if you can get an enemy to stand in it while Nasus is using his ult, it can make a world of difference. Most Nasus builds level this first for farming purposes, unless you are pursuing a DPS or support path.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Nasus - Ultimate (Nasus Builds)

    nasus3 Fury of the Sands

    Nasus becomes empowered in the sandstorm for 15 seconds, gaining 300/450/600 health. While the storm rages, he deals 3/4/5 (+0.01 per ability power)% of nearby enemies' health each second (240 damage max per second) as magic damage and converts it into bonus attack damage.

    This is a complex but very powerful ultimate. While in the Fury of the Sands, Nasus is very dangerous and hard to kill. Focusing on him can be dangerous because of the life he steals and the bonus hitpoints, but ignoring him can give Nasus time to deal serious damage to the enemy team. The hard part about Nasus' ultimate is knowing when to use it. If used too soon, the enemy will simply run away or isolate Nasus and kill him, but if used too late it might be ineffective in the team fight. If your team has an initatior, wait until the fight has started, then throw up Fury of the Sands. You want to stand as close to as many heroes as possible to get increased bonus damage and to deal more AoE to them. If you can throw down a Spirit Fire and a Wither, all the better, especially if you can isolate and attack the enemy carry. Combined with the right runes and masteries and a competent team, this ultimate makes Nasus one of the most competitive heroes in ranked games.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Nasus Builds - Off-Tank (Willing with Nasus)

    nasus2 Though Nasus is not a full-on tank, like Shen or Malphite, Nasus builds that focus on tanking make him more useful in team fights and allow you to survive longer in your ultimate, which is Nasus' most dangerous tool. He doesn't need much in the way of damage items to make him dangerous, thanks to Wither and Siphoning Strike, so survivability often becomes the name of the game.

    Start out with either a Doran's Shield or a Ruby Crystal. A Doran's Shield is safer, and a good pick overall, but a Ruby Crystal will build into one of your next items. If you are going to be soloing, a Doran's Shield may be safer, but if you're confident in your allies, a Ruby Crystal can speed your build up considerably. When you go back for the first time, you want to build either a Heart of Gold or an Aegis, if you have the money. Get at least Boots of Speed before either. The Heart of Gold will build into a Randuin's Omen, an extremely powerful item on Nasus, and the Aegis is an all around excellent pick. If you are having trouble with casters, you can build a Catalyst of the Protector and work toward a Banshee's Veil. This also helps with Nasus' mana problems. Since it's cheap and makes you much more dangerous, try to squeeze in a Sheen when you can, especially if you feel like you have enough HP but not DPS. If the game continues, pick up a Sunfire Cloak or Trinity Force for damage and tanking.

    Optimal Mid-Game Build

    Heart of Gold

    Mercury's Treads

    Aegis of the Legion OR Sheen

    Optimal End-Game Build

    Randuin's Omen

    Mercury's Treads

    Aegis of the Legion


    Banshee's Veil Or Trinity Force OR Sunfire cloak

  • slide 4 of 4

    Nasus Builds - Hybrid (Willing with Nasus)

    nasus4 If your team has plenty of tanking or not enough damage, it is entirely possible to build Nasus as a mix of tanking and damage, like Kayle and some Shen builds. This allows him to make the best use of Siphoning Strike and his ultimate but with an emphasis on attacking carries and casters. This is also one of the simplest and most effective builds in League of Legends, allowing you to fill multiple roles if you're still learning the champions.

    As with the tank build, you can start with a Doran's Shield, but you can also start with a Saphirre Crystal and quickly build a Sheen, which will make it even easier to get last hits with Siphoning Strike and make it easier to harass enemy champions. After that, you want to rush a Trinity Force, building whichever item you need most next (Phage if you need health, Zeal if you need damage). After you finish your Trinity Force, choose from a Randuin's Omen (great for chasing) if you need health and armor or a Bloodthirster if you need damage. A Sunfire Cloak is a great item for both damage and tanking to finish off the build.

    Optimal Mid-Game Build


    Boots of Swiftness

    Phage OR Zeal

    Optimal End-Game Build

    Trinity Force

    Boots of Swiftness

    Randuin's Omen OR Bloodthirster

    Sunfire Cloak

    Banshee's Veil OR Another Sunfire Cloak