Developing Solo Top Nunu

A little over three weeks ago, Jayce was added to the League of Legends.  Jayce was an exciting addition for me, and I immediately bought the character and started trying to piece together a successful build and playstyle.  Unfortunately, I could never really get over his clunky attack animations when he changed forms (especially the 1st cannon attack animation) and after a few days I decided to give up on him and work on a new top laner to replace my Pantheon and Darius who were simply not yielding results at the time.  After some putzing around with Irelia, Gangplank and Wukong for a couple nights, I decided to sit down and figure out what was frustrating me about top lane before settling on a character.  My list was only three items:

  1. Ultimately, Ranged ADs take over the game.  It doesn’t matter how fed a bruiser is if they can’t do anything to the opposing Ranged AD.  Need a character that is either a Ranged AD themselves or directly impacts Ranged ADs, either by killing opposing quickly or somehow protecting or benefiting mine.
  2. Counterpicks can make top lane very lopsided.  Need a character with a lot of good matchups and few bad matchups, preferably no unwinnable matchups.
  3. Top lane snowballs stupidly hard.  Need a character that is useful even if opponent snowballs.  Also need a character that can snowball with an advantage.

After looking over these, I decided to revisit playing Nunu solo top.  As a high sustain character, Nunu is robust to both issues 2 and 3 above, and Blood Boil, Ice Blast, and Absolute Zero are really perfect for buffing your ranged AD while debuffing the opposing ranged AD.  Also, Nunu received a nice set of quality of life buffs in the Jayce patch and I was hopeful that I could adapt Nunu successfully to top lane.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I invented playing Nunu solo top, it’s been a cheesy build for years, but it’s never really been more than that.  Neoillusions (from Team Liquid) and I had been trying to find a way to legitimize Nunu playing top lane in Febuary but we eventually gave up when we hit a wall with the build.  We were mostly trying to make Rod of Ages, Will of the Ancients and Frozen Heart as a core, but this build had a lot of weird timings that weren’t really working out unless you got fed in lane (needed to rush RoA to make it efficient, but resists outperformed HP in lane due to consume; not enough Magic Resists to deal with bursty casters midgame).  So while I was hopeful that these buffs would help solo top Nunu, I also knew the build needed some work.

My initial games with top Nunu revolved around building Philosopher’s Stone, Heart of Gold, and Kage’s Lucky Pick to generate income while providing good early game stats, then transitioning towards high resist items after Hextech Revolver (which, if you didn’t know, is just hilarious with consume).  Early iterations tended to follow up immediately with Sorcerer’s Shoes into Abyssal Scepter (a la Galio builds) for the combination of Magic Penetration and Magic Resist, then selling off Philosopher’s Stone for Frozen Heart.  This build was reasonably good, but later in the game I found two major issues.  The first is that Nunu tends to sit in the front of his team in poking phases, and as such, not having Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi was a big liability in terms of potentially getting caught.  The second is that even with Frozen Heart, I was running out of mana if I tried casting as many spells as I wanted to cast in these drawn-out poking engagements.

My knee jerk reaction to this was to fall back to the old Rod of Ages-centric build that forewent Magic Penetration, but the build still felt dated and off.  The issue is that Rod of Ages gives survivablilty and Mana in entirely the wrong forms for Nunu.  Because of Consume, Armor and Magic Resist vastly outperform HP, not to mention that Nunu has the highest base HP at level 18 in the game.  And because of Nunu’s incredible ability to outlast everyone in a fight, having a high base Mana pool isn’t as valuable as having high Mana Regeneration.  Enter the only new and interesting contribution I’ve actually made to playing Nunu…

If you’ve never even seen this item, it’s Athene’s Unholy Grail, the Chalice of Harmony upgrade that they added into the game about two months ago.  And it completely breaks Nunu.  With Athene’s Unholy Grail, a Glacial Shroud, and a Hextech Revolver, Nunu becomes one of the most potent characters I’ve ever seen in League of Legends (depending on your level and timing, you can easily solo baron with these items).  Once I discovered how powerful this item is on Nunu, the rest of the build was a fairly straight-forward set of the usual suspects on Nunu.

The Build

Masteries: 9/0/21 (standard) or 9/21/0 (vs. tough lanes such as Rumble or Riven).  The point here is to get enough CDR from masteries that Grail + Frozen Heart will max out your CDR.  If you can afford it, getting utility to get Mastermind is ideal, but ultimately you take what you have to in order to be competent in lane, so take defensive masteries if you have to.

Runes: Marks: Magic Penetration, Seals: Armor, Glyphs: Magic Resist, Quints: AP.  A lot of people ask me why not run Gold/10 runes on Nunu, but all I can really say on this is that Nunu has enough potential to be an early lane bully that I think it’s foolish to pass up on high flat stats on any rune slots.

Summoner Spells: Flash + Ignite.  It’s really hard to kill anyone without ignite, so take it, and Flash is a no-brainer at this point I think…

Skill Order:  QEE(Q or W)ERE(Q or W)EQRQQWWRWW.  Take Q level 1 and eat opposing large wraith + small golem from the golem camp (if you’re blue) or your own golem camp (if you’re purple, start by attacking big golem twice, then eat small gol, then smack the big gol while kiting, then eat it when Q comes of CD, this should let you regain the remainder of your missing HP with your first Q in lane).  Take W at level 4 or 8 depending on how badly you need level 2 Q to sustain in lane, but make sure you get it by 8 at the latest to escape opposing ganks and support friendly ganks.


Start with:    

Because of Consume, Mana Potions are more efficient than HP Potions as long as you can get to a creep to eat.  Having an HP potion to build a buffer if you ever get knocked really low is always useful, hence why you buy one, but outside of that mana pots are actually very good on Nunu.

Next get:  

Nunu’s not a tremendous farmer, so getting income items lets you roam as necessary without compromising a lot of farm and guarantees your midgame-endgame build regardless of any efforts from the opposing team trying to shut you down.

If you need quick armor against your opponent: 

Ninja Tabi are absurdly efficient and if you’re having trouble vs. a physical damage dealer, buy them sooner ranther than later.

Follow up with: 

Chalice is crucial to the build.  Once you have it, you are immovable from lane, so even against physical damage dealers, I prioritize it rather highly.

Then upgrade boots if you haven’t:  or 

As I stated in the write up, these boots are crucial to being an effective tank later in the game.

Next three items as you see fit:  +  + 

Typically I rush the Grail at this point, though sometimes I’ll throw shroud in beforehand if I need armor.  Revolver is usually overkill early, but if you need the sustain boost, it provides a ton to Nunu.

Finishing up:        

I always get Frozen Heart and either WotA or Gunblade.  Gunblade may seem silly, but remember that Blood Boil incidentally greatly increases your Attack Speed, so it can put that stat to good use if your team doesn’t need a WotA from you.  Outside of those two, your last two slots should be fairly straight-forward conditional picks from the remaining items I list here.  Typically my games don’t make it to these last two items, though I’d say that Aegis, Abyssal and Omen have probably been my most popular choices, though Deathcap and Wit’s End certainly do have their places in some games.

So with all that being said, all I’ve really added to Nunu is Athene’s Unholy Grail.  Was that worth writing 1500 words on the subject?  If you ask me, it sure was.  I’ve gained over 150 elo since developing this build.  I’ve posted over a 65% win rate with Nunu in over 60 games, all at over 2000 elo.  And most importantly, I feel untouchable playing this character with this build.  Sometimes, all it takes to break open a ton of potential is finding the one missing piece of the puzzle, and that’s what I believe I’ve done with Nunu.

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55 Responses to Developing Solo Top Nunu

  1. I’ll have to give it a go

  2. With Frozen Heart (20% CDR) and Grail (15% CDR), the 9 points in Offense actually give you 39% CDR, more or less maxing it. Is it worth putting more mastery points into skills which will become useless with the full build to strengthen the early game? I particulary don’t see Enlightenment pulling its weight, as by level 18 I should have finished the two items which are more or less my core.
    Could you explain why you chose to pick those skills?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Masteries are much more about the path to level 18 than they are about effectiveness at level 18. 10% CDR is meaningful in lane and it lets you sit on Grail + Glacial without forcing your hand towards completing Frozen Heart if there isn’t a strong need for the aura, while still putting you at max CDR. This is a part of my build that I have been bothered by when theorycrafting too, since I’m technically wasting 5% CDR with the final item build, but ultimately I think it still makes the most sense because of its power before finishing Frozen Heart and because it allows you to get Mastermind which is the strongest single mastery point in the game.

  3. url00 says:

    I’ve been loving Chalice -> Athene’s. As a twisted treeline player, I was forced to create new builds for mages which revolved around chalice due to a lack of blue buff. Right now I’ve been experimenting with max CDR Karma, using Athene’s for the mana regen and CDR.

    Anyway, great post! Really enjoyed your discussion of Nunu.

    • SmashGizmo says:

      I think people can learn a lot about adapting characters to top lane from looking at Twisted Treeline play. It’s a shame more people don’t do that, the lack of blue buff really opens up caster builds quite a bit more IMO.

      Re: Karma, I’m actually a pretty avid Karma player myself, but I find myself leaning on blue buff with her so that I can rush Deathcap for the insane interaction with her passive. I typically do a double dring -> Sorc Shoes -> Deathcap -> Abyssal -> Hourglass build on Karma, hogging blue buff and spamming blue pots. It’s pretty effective, but people still just go on tilt when they see a Karma on their team so I kinda gave up on her =(.

  4. d00m5day says:

    Very interesting build.

    I’ve actually been playing Nunu top a lot lately *have not seen this page, first time*
    I run: Flat AP Blues and Quints, Magic pen Reds, Yellow Armor
    21/9/0 taking the AP things of course, and 3 points in MR, 1 point in Armor for the defence tree.

    Basically, my build is either i start a Doran’s ring if it’s a low harass lane, or boots if it’s a lot of skill shots and the enemy jungler is scary. I usually won’t go cloth armor as I want to farm/get as much gold as soon as possible, and while starting regrowth will speed that up, I really need the mana in the first few levels, if I want to snowball ahead, so I generally do boots + 2 + 1 or dorans ring most of the time, works surprisingly well.

    Then I build boots if i haven’t, but at least 1 GP5 before that. I get all three GP5s relevant, Philo, HoG, and Kage’s. Then I build either sorc treads if i’m snowballing hard and carrying, or i get merc/ninja depending on enemy mid game team comp, usually mercs but occasionally ninja, which i sell for mercs late game. Then I get: HAUNTING GUISE. why? Haunting guise is an ABSOLUTELY amazing item early game, with my runes and masteries, if the top lane didn’t have flat mr runes, i’d be reducing their mr to about 10 at around level 9 when I usually get my haunting guise, which is also why i usually have sorc treads so that their MR can possibly be in the negatives.

    Then depending on the situation of the game, I may rush Deathcap, or get Void Staff. After reading your guide, I think I will definitely get chalice, because of the insane mana regen and AP in the grail. I get a GA, and I finish my three gold per 5’s as randuins, shureilas, and DFG.

    I tell you, it is hilarious to see people’s reaction when I have a free snowball every time it’s up. and I chunk them super hard. And it makes people who rely on auto attacks like Xin, or Darius *to lay more stacks on me* retreat because they realize that if they decide to keep trying to attack me once they blow their CC, I can slow them then ult their faces. I went 17/3/9 one game in 1300s, carrying my entire team as AP Nunu from top lane, and the best part is, my AD carry got more fed late game *he wasn’t doing that well early on* when I kept bloodboiling him.

    • Armoric says:

      Thing is, Mogwai’s build is less about AP (it’s always good, but rarely the best, in term of stats) and more about using the utility and base damage of Nunu with cdr+resists. When you can eat a creep/Yorrick ghoul/Tibbers’ chunk every 5-6 seconds, while throwing 300 damage iceballs every 3.6 seconds, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got AP or not: you’re unkillable and permaslow + kill slowly but surely anybody who steps in your range.

      • d00m5day says:

        I agree, it’s definitely not about the AP. I guess only reason why I don’t build defensive items is that the burst is quite effective, and surprising. Once while we were losing the game, which we did end up losing either way, I was the only one able to shut down a 19 kill Jayce killing spree, and of course I didn’t do all the damage, but that surprisingly large amount of burst does wonders late game against carries *He was going AD jayce* Of course, it’s not to say being tanky and having more CDR is not as good, might be even better, transitioning into late game, however if for example in the game I went 17/3/9, if I went a more tanky oriented build, I wouldn’t have been able to carry my AP carry who was lacking that game, but it’s very situational whether or not I should be building more AP vs more utility (CDR/tankiness) but I try to have a good mix of both, but early game I definitely go for damage to do a more carry-gibber feel to keep them down while my team’s carries get more fed.

      • d00m5day says:

        sorry, which we did not end up *winning* either way.

      • Kenbob says:

        Can confirm this. Just played a lane vs Yorick. As expected it was quite a snooze, none of us could wear down the sustain of the other. But once I got my Athene and figured out I should just eat the BROWN ghoul every time, his sustain was cut in half or more. He ended up getting tons of MR after that, making him quite useless in teamfights, if you don’t count the ult.

  5. d00m5day says:

    Also, I max E first for maximum slow and harass, they can never get away when my jungler ganks. then I max Q second for sustain, and lastly blood boil, which i take 1 point early, like level 3.

  6. Pingback: Developing Solo Top Nunu Mogwai's Musings

  7. Lasse says:

    A while ago, I actually played some AD Nunu top lane. I really liked it, even though I couldn’t figure out bulding him well into lategame. I usuallt got Wits End and some other stuff well suited for top lane. Though I always had mana problems. I think I only got around to playing him twice in the top lane, but it was really funny. I actually won my lane both games – Playing with Teleport iirc. To get around the map.

    A few days ago, I really wanted to play him top with an AP build. His Q really gives him great sustain, while E is a great poke spell. I would take one point early in W and the one point in Q and E every second level, to try and keep them at the same level. Nunu should be easy to gank with as he has got a slow himself, so any Jungler would love his lane. Also, champions without a gap closer would have a tough time against Nunu, since he can get away easily and keep them away with his slow.

  8. Inoyh says:

    Interesting guide, gonna try it out!

  9. Shaq says:

    What would you do if you are against an AP carry top though

    • SmashGizmo says:

      boots, philo, pick, chalice, mercs, grail, revolver, shroud, WotA, frozen heart, as detailed in the guide.

      He crushes all APs I’ve run into top TBH.

      Except Rumble, but Rumble damage right now is simply absurd.

  10. nedpuS says:

    Very unexpected LOL. I am intrigued to find somebody else who plays Nunu solo top. Even at the lower elo’s (I’m 75% Wins with Nunu) he’s very challenging to go up against. I am so glad I found this, you were able to put my actions into words, which I cannot do. Cheers to you !

  11. Alex heyer Aka Heyer Ninja says:

    Hello good sir.
    I appreciate you developing a in depth article about Nunu. I have over 700 games with nunu, at a 56% win rate. I have developed strategies in every lane, and jungle. Although I haven’t posted a guide, I have an incredible amount of knowledge with Nunu. I think this is a great build, and I hope it gives other players a chance to play what many think is an “outdated” Champ. Fun Fact, this build would probably work best in the mid lane. If you haven’t used Nunu, he beats every single mid, period. To much sustain. Especially with this build. Dominates mid.

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Too many midlanes can just ignore Nunu’s PvP interactions with long range AoE farming though. You can punish this sort of playstyle top by pulling the lane and then chasing them over the long distance and killing them, but in mid lane, there’s really nothing you can do when Morgana or Ahri or Brand or Galio decides they’re just going to 1-2 shot every creep wave from max range and then roam.

      • Alex heyer Aka Heyer Ninja says:

        here’s the fun part about nunu mid lane, very few champs mid have any sort of sustain. I abuse nunu’s passive, and ice blast at every given opportunity. Ahri, and Brand have such little base health/mr that it makes it impossible for them to get the farm they need to stay in lane. I push out all mid lanes, and freeze the minions right out of my turrets range.

  12. Express20 says:

    Have you thought about going zekes at any point? As support Nunu it is one of the best items because of Bloodboil. So maybe if you get behind and you have a fed ad carry and the only way to win would be to protect your carry you could consider rushing this midgame. If you talk about it in chat it means your support can finish their aegis / shurels without having to worry about part of this potentially taking up a slot if you already have it. Playing support i’ve found this item so potent to be a dealbreaker for the ad carry surviving the enemy bruiser dive with the livesteal and attack speed it provides. So, if you agree, maybe you could incorporate it as a “sometimes item, even on top lane Nunu”. As one of my favourite champions i liked this discussion, totally worth it if you ask me.

    • SmashGizmo says:

      The problem with Zeke’s is that the CDR is wasted on this build when you already have Grail and Frozen Heart, and at 15% that’s not an insignificant piece of the item’s cost. Zeke’s is great if you’re doing a Shurelya’s Reverie + Zeke’s Build, but on a more selfish build like this, it doesn’t really have a place.

  13. I have one major issue with Nunu top: His ability to clear waves is slow unless you use your ult. I find that if I\’m pushed to the tower and I\’m against a ranged top that can kite between tower shots then I lose a lot of creeps or I lose a lot of hp in the process (although consume helps, I\’m still taking free hits).

    Any suggestions besides keeping lane control or jungle help?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      This ultimately just boils down to your lane mechanics. He doesn’t have AoE clearing, but unlike Mid Lane, that’s not a huge liability at Top Lane. It is frustrating getting pinned on your tower without any jungle help while something like Vlad just chips away at you, but in a situation like that, you should be able to easily secure kills with a gank due to the uptime on Ice Blast’s slow along with Blood Boil. If the gank never comes, it’s frustrating and you’ll miss some CS, but if the jungler is making himself useful elsewhere, it shouldn’t phase you too much.

  14. Pushover says:

    What about going 9-10-11 for masteries? The defensive tree can really help freeze the lane, whereas the later points in the utility tree don’t amount to much once you have frozen and grail. I’ll try testing it out, but I’m not the most amazing player, but I think it fits my playstyle better.

  15. Malakim says:

    How do you deal with Jayce toplane? I have found his Cannon poke into Hammer Q/E combo to pose somewhat of a problem for nunu since he has a hard time to sustain through that kind of agression, especially due to hammer E having a %hp component. Rush Glacial shroud?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      You just wear him down. Jayce has no sustain, so you just E -> run away, Q when you take a little damage, keep Eing and eventually he gets attritioned down. I found the lane pretty straightforward when I played it.

  16. Laegaire says:

    Did it, won lane against vlad haha

  17. Theomancer says:

    I really, really, really appreciate this writeup! Especially the preface (about trying to make top Nunu work for so long without success), and the conclusion (results!).

    Do you find yourself ever getting Banshee’s Veil?

    Can you please offer us some laning tips, ulti tips, etc?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      I responded in the reddit comments on this post about Banshee’s, but the gist of it is that since I sit in front of my team during the poking phase of teamfights, I never keep the bubble up for when I’m ulting, which is when it’s useful. Theoretically, if the opposing team can’t easily chip down a veil bubble, it’s a great buy, but I never find it practically useful.

      As for tips… uhh, I dunno I can’t really think of general tips to write here. I would say that you should just try to catch me streaming nunu some time ( for tips since I’m better about giving them as I’m playing the game.

      • Theomancer says:

        Excellent! I saw that you got TriForce in one game. What about Zhonya’s as an option, as well? I think this is great for adding both AP and armor (since the meta usually has 3 AD’s and 1 AP right now), but also the active stasis is incredible.

  18. Kenbob says:

    Hello. I really like this build, but have one suggestion that’s really good especially if you’re on purple team. Instead of the 1 point in Strength of Spirit, I like to put it in Wealth instead for 20 extra gold. This allows me to get boots, 2 pots and 1 ward. Really helps imo!

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Yea, there’s definitely some wiggle-room in the masteries to do stuff like this. I can never get over how low the value/point in wealth is, but if getting that ward helps you play the lane better, go for it.

  19. TGBulldog says:

    All I can say is WOW! This is likely one of the most broken builds for top lane. I played against a teemo last night and I was kinda worried with the ranged harass and poison…but after lvl 2 I stopped worrying. I owned that teemo so hard, even with being camped by their jungler Naut. It wasnt until they sent their Veigar mid and Ali support to 4 man gank me 2 or 3 more times…that I started having to work for it…but by that time the game was over cause our mid and bot just pushed hard and got free towers and drakes. REAL OP NUNU Man….thanks for sharing this build.
    9/3/8 with 15.4k in a 35 min game…YES PLEASE!

    • Alex heyer Aka Heyer Ninja says:

      FYI there are certain champs nunu, rapes. Among these champs, are: Nasus, Singed, Teemo, Vlad, and TF. These champs should be a breeze to walk through. .

  20. Only issue i’ve had top is against Lee Sin tbh. His shield + escapes are seriously annoying when trying to poke.

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Yea, Lee turns into a freefarm lane IMO, unless you have a really strong sidelane ganker like Skarner or Xin. But that’s fine because come end game, I’d rather have a huge Nunu than a huge Lee

  21. bumjin says:

    I’ve had great success with your build and I really like the mix of MR/CDR/Armor I’ve been struggling to perfect on nunu solo top. Do you have any comments on lichbane or rylai’s on nunu because I’ve been meaning to experiment with those items.

  22. Kenbob says:

    Today I healed 1200 hp in one consume. Then I ran into enemy team spamming laugh emote (Nunu Bot laugh is so evil), just to retreat at 30% hp and eat myself up to full in 9,6 seconds (2 consumes). I absolutely love this build, but I tend to skip Kage as it delays the core build.

  23. Sam says:

    Very nice guide. You mention Riven and Rumble as problematic lanes, have you discovered any more recently? I see Lee being mentioned as decent in lane but his scaling is so much worse than that of Riven or Rumble. I feel like Fiddlesticks might be good but he’s not a common top and would have trouble denying Nunu if the enemy jungler is scary. I don’t play Cass, but she seems decent.

  24. Hello,
    Very good guide, I learned something at this game by reading your experience and ideas.
    But what type of runes in armor and magic resist do you prefer here ?
    Constant value or overtime ?

  25. Theomancer says:

    Mogwai, if you haven’t seen this already, it’s relevant. (25 seconds)

  26. Corsell says:

    I have to say that this guide should be burned and any information from it should be hidden forever. I have tried and witnessed its awesome might. The amount of QQ I have received from the enemy top has been just delicious.


  27. Einsieg says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this build is so easy and so broken that it automatically wins games against people who don’t know what to do about it. I’m not a ranked player and before trying this build I had never played Nunu. So far I have used it in 4 games. Every single game was a win, even when I was certain I would lose. Every time I’ve played Nunu this way I was at a disadvantage somehow. First I had a Tiamat stacking Fiora and no ranged AD. Then I got 2v1 by Irelia and Pantheon with a roaming Akali on my team (who wasn’t roaming much because she had to camp my lane) and an Ashe solo vs Urgot, and an AP Ezreal (I know AP Ezreal is a legit build but I just don’t trust the average player to succeed with it).

    The last game I played with Nunu cemented n my mind how broken this is. I checked my replays and I was up against a Vayne and a Brand with 3000 wins between them, their whole team totaling 4100 wins. My team had half as many wins. We still won. I can’t even figure out how, as my Replays are currently broken for some reason. All I know is that somehow I managed to cheese a win out of the grasp of a pair of players who had 50% more experience than my entire team combined.

    Since this build is so successful for Nunu, I’ve decided to try the same basic core with other champions who have difficulty in top lane because of very high mana costs, despite having extremely good sustain. Decent AP ratios are a given. My first attempt was with Warwick (his Q was buffed). While I lost that game (extremely bad team), I feel the build works well for him. Warwick isn’t as support oriented as Nunu, but he does have an attack speed aura and his ultimate when timed well can spell death for an unlucky carry. If I ever buy him, I also intend to try the same thing with Skarner. Again, a potentially great top laner who has good AP ratios and high sustain, but suffers from severe mana requirements. The logic you applied to Nunu in this blog is easily applicable to a broad range of champions.

  28. Noonoo says:

    How do you cap CDR if another guy in your team builds Frozen Heart (such as blitz/ryze)?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Still Glacial Shroud, but I’m not in as much of a rush to finish the Frozen Heart. Frozen Heart is actually just a really good item, even if the aura is redundant, so having 2 Frozen Hearts is not really that bad of a thing.

  29. Alex heyer Aka Heyer Ninja says:

    Renekton. Fuck renekton. Soloing top against renekton with this build is impossible. He has to much harass and sustain. That early game is outrageously hard. What say you good sir?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Renek snowballs either way really hard. Basically, early gank from your jungle is an insta kill on Renek and with a lead you can just crush him, but without an early lead, you need to bide your time on Philo Pick Tabi -> chalice -> Glacial. In a lane like this, I’m typically maxing my Q if my jungler is ignoring the lane, since a maxed Q will let you hang around and farm up your gold/10s and armor items that are crucial for staying in the lane, and if you can do so, you outscale him incredibly hard due to your ranged carry-centric kit.

      I’ll also say that Vlad was giving me trouble for a little bit, but by replacing double gold/10 with drings and my MPen marks with Split Pen marks, I was able to apply a lot more pressure early with higher AP on snowballs and sick yeti beatdowns from blood boil with some ArPen and now think Nunu wins the matchup.

      A good Irelia is currently the matchup I find the most impossible, simply because she will boss you in lane post 7 because of how absurd bladesurge and hiten style are and then her scaling is simply ludicrous. The good news is that most Irelias are pretty horrible, so I still win the matchup a good portion of the time, but when I run into one who’s good with her, it feels pretty impossible. sidenote: I’m pretty sure Irelia’s way stronger than most people think right now and will eventually spike back up in popularity when people notice this.

  30. Well, great nunu build with two shining points :
    1. It permits nunu to scale until the endgame keeping its fluidity of play.
    2. items on the way are very cohernet, mana regeneration, low cooldown, supplemental armor.
    3. +AP Quints until the midgame adds great situational power.

    Your second set of masteries really makes him strong and resilient early.

  31. jleester says:

    Just went against the new Garen as Nunu. Just got completely stomped.

  32. Jan Gretschuskin says:

    What do you think about the usage of solo top Nunu by mMe Ball in the MLG Rayleigh game Curse VS mMe? Basicly he went all support and got four aura items.

  33. Rex says:

    Absolutely amazing guide, I love it so much. Sometimes I get a void staff late game though so I don’t feel worthless as ppl get MR.

  34. takintheheat says:

    I wanted to ask you how to play vs rumble. I pushed him around until he got flamethrower, then I just died. Every time. I went 1/9, after going 14/5 and many similar scores.

    • SmashGizmo says:

      Against Rumble I used the 21 defensive spec and I replace the double gold/10 in the build with double dring, quickly grabbing double null magic mantle into chalice and then mercs. I also grab earlier 2nd and 3rd points in consume as necessary if I’m not getting enough gank support, as you won’t be killing rumble 1v1 pre-grail, making early points in ice blast only useful if you’re getting ganks.

  35. Millzee says:

    Yo man, any update for S3? I was following this for a while, like to hear your thoughts, any contact details?

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