League of Legends Champion Guide: Nasus, Curator of the Sands (Laning, Mid- and End-Game)
With your runes and masteries planned and your build prepared, it's time to get down to the real in-game decisions of playing Nasus: who to lane with, how to succeed in each phase of the game and how to win when the moment has come.
Choosing a Nasus Lane Partner - Solo or 2v2
There are many Nasus lane options for the early game, mostly due to the ease with which he can farm creeps, both with Siphoning Strike and with Spirit Fire. If your team has a jungler, it might be worth your while to consider taking the 1v2 lane. Nasus is difficult to kill with his long-range spells and life steal and by level five, Nasus can easily farm whole waves of creeps with Spirit Fire (If you do this, make sure you have enough mana regeneration, if not from runes, then from items. Spirit Fire is very mana intensive).
Nasus also makes an excellent lane partner. Pair yourself up with a powerful nuker or DPSer and play aggressively - with Wither, Nasus can make an enemy hero a very easy target, and can soak up hits from enemy champions while doing respectable damage himself - all the while being very capable of early game dominance through creep kills.
Nasus Lane Strategies
Nasus is very powerful in a lane early game, due to having high natural hit points and armor, so don't be afraid to play aggressively. Use Siphoning Strike every time it's up to get creep kills and build its power: If an enemy hero gets too aggressive or too close, you can use SS to chase them off, but save it as often as you can for last hitting creeps. Despite being very hard to kill and an excellent farmer, Nasus is not especially powerful versus enemy champions in the early game. It is unlikely that you will get any kills unless they overextend or you are paired with a powerful caster or DPS champion as an ally. This won't stop Nasus from becoming extremely powerful, since he will be able to rack up dozens and dozens of creep kills without putting himself at risk. At the same time, you need to be careful about pushing too hard. Too much success with Spirit Fire can push the lane all the way to the enemy tower, putting you out of position and making you vulnerable to junglers or roving mid heroes.
By the time you reach level six, you should have a great deal of gold. Like other heroes with long cooldown ultimates, like Kayle, Nasus' ultimate also makes him leagues more powerful when it is available, so if you are under pressure or can possibly take down the tower, pop Fury of the Sands before going back. If you can get a weak or hurt enemy champion to commit to a battle and surprise them with your ult, it will often result in a kill.
Nasus Mid Game Strategy
As good as Nasus is at farming a lane and pushing a tower, he really shines in team situations, and as soon as you are level six and have boots, you should communicate with your team that it is time to take a tower. If mid hasn't been destroyed yet, this is a good choice. If you can get your team grouped and ready to push faster than the enemy team, you can easily take down a tower or two and possibly dragon before they are in a position to respond. If you find yourself facing a 5 on 5 situation, this is actually an excellent position to be in. Nasus thrives in the midst of a team battle. Unfortunately, one of his weaknesses is that he lacks a reliable initation ability. You will have to rely on a champion like Shen, Blitzcrank, Malphite or Rammus to force a confrontation. Once the fight begins, however, Nasus is extremely valuable to the team.
Fury of the Sands works best when effecting multiple heroes, so active it and move toward the middle of the pack - if you can stand near a high HP enemy and attack a caster or ranged carry at the same time, this is ideal. Save wither for high DPS, fast attacking enemies - champions like Ashe, Yi, Jax and Twitch. Remember that it slows attack speed as well. If the initation went well, the enemy team has to choose between fighting Nasus while he drains health and grows more powerful, or running, which Wither makes difficult, almost ensuring a kill or a tower loss. You may not always be able to start fights in a favorable situation, but Fury of the Sands will give your team time to come to your aid or allow you to escape from small ganks. Use it to control the mid game and push as many lanes as possible.
Nasus Late Game Strategy
Unlike dedicated tanks like Shen or Malphite, Nasus does not scale very well in terms of tanking ability, but this just means that his role changes slightly from off-tank to tough melee. By end-game, Siphoning Strike will do anywhere from fifty to more than a hundred bonus damage, which boosted by a Sheen or a Trinity Force, makes an extremely powerful alpha strike. Nasus ultimate adds a great deal of damage and allows him to stand up to even end game carries. You wont be able to tank entire teams any more, but you will be very capable of putting hurt onto carries and enemy casters, and should do so whenever a fight happens. Nasus is still an excellent pusher and does well leading the charge. His biggest problem is initiation, still, but if you communicate with your team and make good tactical choices, Nasus can lead his team to victory.
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