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Aug 28, 2014

How Good is Nidalee in Solo Queue?



Originally supposed to be a post on both Nidalee and Alistar, I procrastinated a bit and Riot smacked Alistar top with the nerfbat.

Thus, this post will be dedicated to Nidalee, specifically top lane Nidalee. As anybody who's following the professional scene knows, Nidalee has been a hotly contested pick along with the likes of Dr. Mundo (maybe this post should have been about Mundo too...if there's enough interest it could happen.)
"On paper, she's an extremely strong and safe pick."

What Makes Nidalee Strong?

I think this is best served by a bulleted list; Nidalee has the following:
  • Early level multiple use gap closer/escape method;
  • Strong early game sustain;
  • Strong early game poke/all-in potential; 
  • Solid 1v2 laning potential; and
  • High base damage.
This makes her a great pick/counterpick against the majority of top laners. So what's up with her mediocre 49% solo queue win rate? On paper she's very strong and very safe...

What Makes Nidalee Difficult?

Again, let's go with a bulleted list:
  • Necessary Skills:
    1. Heal targeting (smart cast/self-cast hotkeying)(support skill);
    2. Ranged auto-attacking (ADC skill);
    3. Melee bruiser (top skill);
    4. Long range skill spell is core;
    5. Unique leap skill; and
    6. All-in is burst and not sustained damage, thus requiring knowledge of damage potential.
Clearly she needs a lot to master.

How Hard is Nidalee?

This time, we could go with a table, but since you're probably expecting a bulleted list instead, so here's bulleted list #3:
  • Bronze: 45.75% win rate
  • Silver: 48.14% win rate
  • Gold: 50.41% win rate
  • Platinum: 50.66% win rate
  • Diamond: 52.06% win rate
  • Challenger: 55.34% win rate
I think I see a pattern here, do you?

Final Conclusions

Nidalee is clearly a VERY high skill cap champion that's also VERY rewarding at the highest levels of play. While some might say she's "not good in teamfights" or  "not good in [insert badness here]", she's clearly got enough utility and lane pressure to do well in solo queue.

The main question however, is do YOU (or think your teammates) possess all the skills necessary to play her to a level where you can consistently win?

For over 90% of the population, the answer is probably no...BUT if you have the dedication to master Nidalee (before she gets nerfed), then climbing the ladder to a prestigious position is definitely possible.

Even if you don't win a lot with Nidalee, you'll learn a lot of transferable skills to other champions. However, if winning is your sole goal in solo queue, there are better choices. For many champions, mastering just one aspect of Nidalee's many required skills can land you into a higher tier.

Thoughts? Comment below!

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  1. kellen smithAugust 28, 2014

    i don't think nidalee will be nerfed again the main reason that she was nerfed before was her ability to get kills in a fight without ever needing to go in and it was boring to watch in competitive play and the only way to counter was to dodge spears i feel like riot will be much happier now that nidalee is utilizing her cougar form more and not her spear chucking.

  2. Enio VitalAugust 28, 2014

    nice post

  3. wukong onlyAugust 29, 2014

    Wow amazing post, perfect explanation to why nid deserves where she is and no higher/lower.

  4. ye nid fucking wrecks ur shit. In diamond I see tanks with a lot of hp flashing away from her as soon as her stupid spear hits. Nobody wants to be taking that 300000% damage bonus with takedown, sweet jeezus is that stupid ratio high.

  5. Hey! I just bought Nidalee as my new champion and I totally don't know how to build her nowadays. Haven't played LoL in a while and I remember building Nidalee AP. How do I build her now in the 4.15 patch?

  6. StillproudAugust 29, 2014

    You should build her as and AD Tank, rushing Trinity Force and then, usually, build some tanky item like Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage.
    As damage item you can build even Botrk for more dps or a Void Staff for a bigger burst.
    Riot changed the suggested item, so I think you won't have problems.

  7. Thanks a lot bro! :) So whats the desired gameplay with her? Is her Q effective in poking still with this build or am I supposed to be focused on attacking people with her cougar form?

  8. Top lane nid is alot different than the mid lane nid.....As Stillproud
    said, you want to go Tri Force, then tanky, I have seen some people go
    with a IE or BT if they are trying to go ham and build damage. Usually most people go tri
    force, then tanky; frozen heart/randuins/ spirit visage/ banshees/ GA.. This sort
    of thing. In lane you really want to zone your most top
    laners are melee...nid really abuses them....also lay traps in
    brushes/river to protect from be are just gonna
    have to play her and learn her damage out put to know when to go all in.
    One thing I will say is she is AMAZING at finishing kills with the mark
    on them..

  9. Ok thx. Out if curiosity - how does toplane nidalee differ from midlane? Let's say I would want to play midlane

  10. ehh...IMHO, I would not play her mid lane, I am a top lane main, so I can only give you reasons why I see her being bad mid lane not reasons from personal experience; Although she has the "burst" damage that many other mid-laners have, her problem is she HAS to jump in WITH the mark on them do to the damage.....I do not see it being a good idea to jump into mid laners with 0 Tank stats unless you are a stealthy ninja like zed...or can silence like talon or have a target free get away like in my eyes if you are playing her mid lane,,,,it is sort of a kill or be killed result..which tends to lead to inconsistencies in wins. Maybe somebody that plays mid lane can give you a better response or correct me if I am wrong.

  11. Midlane Nid isn't viable anymore, especially as AP.

  12. ehh.. IMHO I would not play her mid lane...I am a top lane i can only tell you why I think she is not good mid lane..not from personal experience..ok so the only way to deal massive amounts of damage is you have to land a Q...then switch to cougar form and go in...I think that would be a bad idea in mid lane because they also have a lot of burst damage is ok for mid lane champs like zed/fizz/talon to go in because of the shadow tricks,silences, and untargetable get aways... I just think it would be a kill or get killed scenario which leads to inconsistencies in champion play. Maybe if someone else is a mid lane main they can give you better insight or correct me if I am wrong

  13. Your goal is to Mark your enemy (trap or spear, your end is tha same :P) and do the kitty stuff to them...

  14. So generally speaking Nidalee built as AP is pointless and a waste since in the newest patch she is different than in the old days right?

  15. Pointless if you want to win....if you are just playing vs computers or just trying to have some fun in blind I guess you can play whatever you want haha. In ranked I would not play her mid.

  16. Ok so I understand the only way to build Nidalee now is to go AD and tanky because it's worthless doing AP on her right? And if I understand correctly when it comes to building her, whether it's top or mid, the AD/tanky build still applies? (I'm just asking regarding the build..putting aside the pros and cons of the champ itself when it comes to the terms if its the ideal champ for mid as you mentioned)

  17. I would not go her mid lane at all. IF I were to go with her mid lane, I would build full AP...but I do not think you would win because they're are better mid lane champs...much better. but top lane, yes ad tanky bruiser this is a link to an AP BUILD

    and this is a link to a good top lane build
    or i don't like the masteries in this one though.

  18. one thing I have failed to mention, and I think this article should have mentioned is that:

    Nid is a splitpusher....if your team does not not how to play with a split pusher you will probably lose...especially if you do not have TP if you want to play her, you need to learn her mechanics and how to split push

  19. FrolestianAugust 29, 2014

    Hi. I think an article about dr Mundo is good idea and i'd be happy with possibility to read that.

  20. Mundo writes article when he pleases

  21. where did you get those win rate stats? didn't know it was higher then 50% in challenger

  22. I think AD Nidalee is quite scary (although I've just met some recently). Her cougar form is the main damage but Q poke and human AA is useful as well. I've seen some good Nidalee players can build IE or SS and carry the games.

    Here is one good vid of Nid with Statik Shiv:


  23. Hi SSJ, since I saw your FOTM list I was thinking about another list that should be done. A "best blind pick list". This list wouldn't be based on opinions, but only on facts. How the list would be done: You go to lolking and look at the popularity of the champions, then you look who counters these most picked champions best, for example on championselect (p. e. Teemo top is far away from god tier, but he counters some rather popular picks like Darius, Nasus, Garen, Tryndamere) and so you have the "safest" picks for blind pick. Maybe I'll just do the list?

  24. She still works AP, lol.

    She's just not an FOTM.

  25. SSJSuntasticAugust 30, 2014

    It's an interesting idea, but there's a bit of a paradox there. Any time you try and say "XX champion counters XX champion" it's almost always a matter of opinion and very little to do with facts.

  26. Thanks for the answer, boss. I would simply take the information from When 22'000 people vote for Teemo being a counter to Darius, something has to be right about this!

  27. I would love to read a Mundo article.

  28. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    Please you speak only about top nid.. what about mid nid (AP) (this is against low diamond high plat) My maximum kill game was 36 (in gold tier when I was grinding back to plat.. now I keep winning and theses stats are against player in plat 2++ to diamond 2 ... AP nid is ridic.. and seing some pro in KOREAN starting to play her AP make me feel proud of my choice to play her AP since forever.. but now her new kit make her much more like an assassin(if you go ap)

  29. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    the (this is against low diamond and high plat) I added a picture but in other word in my last 20 game im at 17-3 average of 12 kill I was plat V and now plat II

  30. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    I dont want to said hey im pro but I want to see more AP nid since she viable (in my opinion and korea semi final)

  31. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    Sorry I meant to edit and did a reply instead for some reason that post this as guest :s

  32. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    on NA Fusion of Fire
    on LAN Ouate de phoques
    Im only a plat scrub and dont know what to play else than nidalee now.. her kit is so awesome

  33. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014
    You still think she isnt viable ;)

  34. Ouate de phoquesSeptember 02, 2014

    She can reset her E and in AP you can win any 2v2 easy. You can heal your AD carry for alot more than AD and make him survive the worse possible nuke. You can poke carry to half hp when you land spear so your bruiser (who generaly lack of dmg to complete their task of finishing back line) make it easier... The only problem is the late game against heavy tank/bruiser team. She lack of AOE. Well timed you can insta kill a ADC before he can react.. See her like an assassin high skill caps and not a conventional ap carry. She also has huge movement speed for early gank and kill potential early and mid game is just insane

  35. Yes, I do, RF Legendary has gone 10/3/4 with AP Darius, one game proves nothing.

  36. Start with Dorans and HP and Ward trinket. Then rush Trinity Force (also have boots of speed here) and then Statik Shiv and finish sorcerers shoes. Then for Frozen heart and Spirit Visage. Max Q then E and R obvi and then W. Split push a lot using E in human form for Attack Speed and use cougar to get out of chases. Ill be 1-0-0 out of lane and get items and split till we group and end the game 9-2-2 or something as a massive carry but just focus on objectives and you are untouchable. AD nidalee is the strongest champ in to right now. master her and welcome to Plat.
    Im Diamond 5 played 210 games as AD Nid. Good luck have fun.

  37. You can find the data on lolking, search the champ and click statistics. On the champions page you can get an overview of all champion data.
    ^ Here is Nidalee's, you can just change the filter for different league and then compare.

    You can also use elophant: but the data only shows challenger based stats which is a little redundant.

    You could copy into Excel and do some basic plotting. You could also create a scraping script in R (programming language) and use ggplot2.
    (I'm a data analyst by trade, there are tons of ways you can analyse the data.)

  38. is this article still true because they reworked nid. I play a lot of top and is always looking for more top laners to buy.

  39. This article was meant for new nid

  40. but Darius, if played right, can beat teemo. rarely, but it can still happen.
    there are rarely any extremely hard counters to champions

  41. much obliged :)

  42. Its more than rarely. His apprehend is the same range as teemos autos. If a darius loses he has only himself to blame.


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