Nasus Counters: How To Counter Pick Nasus

Nasus is a top lane fighter champion that can also play well in the jungle. He has a slow and two area of effect spells. However, his most dangerous ability is his Q. In this article, we explain how to effectively counter Nasus.

Best Nasus Counters

  • Olaf
  • Teemo
  • Rumble
  • Pantheon
  • Ryze
  • Darius
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Worldbreaker Nasus

Nasus Counter Picks

Now that you know who counters Nasus, you can finally counter pick Nasus in any matchup. Let’s take you through some tips on how to use a few of these champions who are counters to Nasus. After, there is a general section explaining how to use any LoL champion as counters for Nasus. After all, if you know how to play against Nasus, you can play safely and effectively to defeat Nasus in a lane.

Teemo

As a Teemo your objective is to deny Nasus farm. If he’s going to Q a minion, blind him before he does, this is really effective if it’s a cannon minion, also keep the harass on him giving him a hard time in lane.

  • Teemo is considered to be a strong counter to Nasus. His Blinding Dart mitigates Siphoning Strike’s damage and can also be used to constantly deny him farm and stacks. Wither’s movement speed slow can be partially mitigated by Move Quick’s movement speed buff. Teemo has better early game damage with his Toxic Shot and can slowly whittle down Nasus’ health. Finally, should Nasus ever get close to TeemoTeemo can respond by placing down a Noxious Trap to further hamper his already limited mobility. If you are playing Teemo to counter Nasus, it is suggested to start Blinding Dart, as to constantly shut down Siphoning Strike. Ensure you always poke him with auto attacks to make his laning phase as much of a hassle as possible. Watch his play style to predict when he is going for a Siphoning Strike stack. Also, try to make sure you keep a Blinding Dart ready for cannon minions, as these provide 6 stacks instead of 3.
  • Ensure you rush magic penetration items to counter the almost insured magic resist he will build.

Darius

Keep Darius on the edge of your spin radius and smack him with it every chance you get. Get between him and creeps and do it. Nasus is all about farming. Deny him his farm and he is easier to defeat.

Pantheon

Nasus struggles against Pantheon’s high early game damage. You want to Q and E him when he tries to farm and freeze lane as much as possible to zone him off-farm. Assuming Nasus buys armor, rush Brutaliser into Last Whisper to keep your damage relevant.

Olaf

  • Nasus can’t farm and poke effectively at the same time. Olaf can, constantly. Smack him with the thunderbolt every time he goes to last-hit.
  • Try to begin with some offensive build. It will make your poke and thunderbolt (E) way more deadly when Nasus goes for Q.
  • Nasus’ slow has no effect on Olaf when Olaf”s ult is active.
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Infernal Nasus

Tips For Playing Against Nasus

  • Don’t let Nasus free farm, his Q will get stronger in the late game.
  • Avoid standing in his Spirit Fire as it will shred your armor.
  • Try to avoid fighting Nasus while his ultimate is active unless you have a clear advantage.
  • It’s helpful to take cleanse or buy a Quicksilver Sash to get rid of his Wither as an AD Carry.
  • Try to avoid pushing your lane against Nasus, as he can free farm under his tower. Use all your skills on Nasus and play aggressively, making him lose HP. Stay close to your own minions with low health, to make Nasus think twice before using Q on them.
  • Harass Nasus as much as you can and protect your minions. Nasus is nothing without CS.
  • Avoid going into a 1v1 battle against a late game  Nasus. It’s likely that he will have a lot of Siphoning Strike stacks, and built lots of tank items. This combined with his passive, Wither, and Fury of the Sands, means that he will be very difficult to take down alone.
    • Nasus is not particularly strong in team fights as Fury of the Sands requires him to be in melee range to utilize its AoE damage and Spirit Fire is not very strong by itself, and he lacks CC other than Wither (which can only target a single enemy champion at once). Therefore, it is possible to ignore him and deal with the rest of his team.
    • Also, unlike some tanks, Nasus lacks damage reduction or defensive boosts other than the extra health from his ultimate, and the lifesteal from autos and Siphoning Strike are not particularly effective against tanks without armor penetration. Bursting him down before he can utilize his high sustained damage can be viable if you can afford to.
  • Nasus’ strength comes from his ability to farm Siphoning Strike. Try to zone him or deny his chance of last-hitting minions. Pushing him to his tower and making him farm there doesn’t help your cause, you’re just giving him a safe place to farm. Best is to freeze your lane right before your tower, that way if he wants to farm he will have to farm out in the open and be open for easy ganks. Its really hard to shut down a good Nasus
  • Champions with strong early game such as DariusRenekton, and Pantheon can be very effective in denying Nasus his farm, but keep in mind that such champions usually fall-off, and once he does get stacks, he will be able to fight you.
    • You can also ask your jungler to camp Nasus to deny him or even kill him due to his lack of mobility.
    • Since at times, Nasus will inevitably farm and get to his late game, it may not always be a good idea to use an early game champion to try to deny him. An alternative strategy is to use a tank with reliable CC and wave clear such as Cho’GathMaokaiTahm Kench, or Zac. While they cannot deny farm as easily during the early game, they can out-scale him in terms of team fights – just stack massive amounts of armor, and use their CC to peel him off a carry during the late game. Nasus may attempt to counter this by split pushing, though. That’s where wave clear comes in handy: they can clear waves quickly and delay his split pushing, buying your team time to force the rest of the enemy to fight.
  • Avoid using auto-attack reliant champions, as all of them are very vulnerable to Wither. Also, one of Nasus’ core items, Frozen Heart, further reduces attack speed and has armor, making any auto-attack champion a very poor choice unless they manage to kill him early, snowball, and deny his farm. The only exception is Master Yi, due to his immunity to attack speed slows.
  • Thornmail is a strange, yet effective option. This is because all the damage from Siphoning Strike is reflected by its passive. Not only that, but Thornmail has high armor, mitigating the damage taken from the strike itself, as Nasus rarely purchases armor penetration items.
    • This item can be effective if your champion has a lot of sustain. For example, Vladimir and champions who can buy lifesteal items, such as Zed, and the aforementioned Master Yi(which can combine his build of crits and lifesteal, with a Last Whisper and Thornmail, to be able to fight a late game Nasus)
  • Building Tenacity will reduce the duration of Wither. However, remember that its maximum slow will be applied quicker than usual due to the shortened duration.
  • Nasus is susceptible to crowd control. Ranged champions should invest in a Frozen Mallet or Rylai’s Crystal Scepter to prevent him from getting into melee range.
  • Stacking health will only make Fury of the Sands stronger. Build armor and magic resistance instead.
  • As mentioned above, Nasus has insane 1v1 potential, but poor team fighting potential. Because of this, most  Nasus players will split-push. Not only will they have a lot of free farm, but his Siphoning Strike can quickly destroy towers, and his dueling potential makes it difficult for enemies to stop them alone, making him a constant threat from across the map. Most champions will lose a 1v1 vs Nasus and will require 2 sometimes 3 other champs, depending on how fed he is, in order to kill him.
    • This can backfire against his team, however. Because Nasus will split-push most of the time, he will have to leave his team with one less member for team fights. Therefore, he will have to make sure his teammates can win team fights without his presence, or at least stall and avoid losing towers to the opposing team. Your team can take advantage of this: if you force team fights against his team and take their towers, and/or split-push a different lane. This will force Nasus to either stop split-pushing and go help his team (therefore losing farm for his stacks) or risk losing the game without his presence in team fights.
  • Nasus does not have strong wave clear aside from Spirit Fire, has no gap closers (Except Ghost), and is a melee champion. As such, top lane champions with long range poke such as JayceNidaleeRyzeLuluVladimirKayleLissandraGnar, and Kennen can constantly poke him early game and zone. In addition, many of these champions have either some sort of crowd control or escape mechanism to limit Nasus’ mobility and make it difficult for Nasus to chase down enemies.
    • However, when playing a ranged top laner, it is important to note that most AP builds do not have any sustained damage (unless playing someone like Vladimir) and Nasus’ late-game strength comes from a large amount of sustained damage with a single Siphoning Strike. As such, it is important to constantly poke to punish him getting close to a minion to farm and one should be cautious when entering basic attack range as Nasus can punish you using Wither. It is recommended to go for AD sustained damage builds to counteract his late-game damage.
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Archduke Nasus

By using the champions who counter Nasus and the LoL Nasus counter tips above, you can now develop a strategy to help you, as a summoner, become an effective counter to Nasus players.

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