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League of Legends - Nidalee Tips & Strategy

Updated on March 23, 2011

Nidalee The Bestrial Huntress - Tips & Strategy

Nidalee is a Champion from the F2P game League of Legends. This article was written to run through some basic tips & strategies for a new player who wants to learn to use Nidalee.

Nidalee is a great Champion to play, as well as being very fun to play. She is dominant in the lane, has a spear shot which can hit for a LOT (especially late game against squishy Champions), she can also heal herself and is a great ganker.

On the down-side, she is a little squishy, is difficult to learn and can easily be crowd controlled by the opposing teams.


Part of the reason Nidalee is a bit more difficult to play, is that she has 2 forms. Her Human form and then her Cougar form. Each form has it's own set of 4 skills to learn. I have separated them with (H) for Human Form and (C) for Cougar Form.

Prowl [Passive] - Prowl is an innate ability that allows Nidalee to move faster through the brush. This is great for escaping/chasing down enemies.


Javelin Toss (H) - Throws a spear which has quite a bit of range, and can also shoot over trees/shrub etc. Will do tons of damage if used correctly - is useful to hit people who sit at their Towers thinking they are protected.

Takedown (C) - Your most powerful killing blow whilst in Cougar form. Takedown gains damage as they are lower in Health. This will be most effective on your target when they are below 20%.


Bushwhack (H) - You will drop a trap, if someone walks over it you will gain vision of them for 12 seconds (if they go invisible or stealth for example, as well as in the Bush), it will also cause a bit of magic damage (pretty decent damage at low levels).

Pounce (C) - You jump forward in a 'pounce'. This skill allows you to jump over small ledges, jump at enemies (causes damage if you land near them). Has a short cool down period, so is great for general mobility as well as chasing down enemy players for ganking.


Primal Surge (H) - Will heal yourself or an allie for X amount + a percentage of your AP power. Will also provide an attack speed bonus.

Swipe (C) - In cougar form you 'swipe' the area dealing a small amount of AOE (area of effect) damage. Brilliant for farming minions.


Aspect of the Cougar (C) - Nidalee turns herself into a cougar gaining some buffs, and also giving her access to her second (C) set of skills.

When to train what - A good strategy is to get one of each skill levels 1 -3 then focus on Primal Surge and Javelin, grabbing your Ultimate whenever possible. Finish up with Bushwhack for the final levels. That is most common, but there are other schools of thought. Some like to go all Javelin off the bat, so they can cause as much damage as possible early game. But others like to have that heal option - it does come down to your preferred play style, which you can figure out on your own!

Summoner Spells

I personally like to use Ghost and Flash which pretty much makes Nidalee impossible to catch and gives her the ability to pretty much chase down ANY other champion. If you're new to the game, take Heal and Ghost (Flash is only available Level 12).


What Items to get is always relatively subjective depending on who you talk to, however here are two builds for you to play with:

League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Tips & Strategies
League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Tips & Strategies
League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Tips & Strategies
League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Tips & Strategies


Nidalee works well with a heavy focus on Utilities, so a 9/0/21 is a solid Masteries build. Check out the picture below:

League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Nidalee Mastery Tree
League of Legends - Nidalee Guide - Nidalee Mastery Tree


Some really useful Runes to use for Nidalee are:

Greater Mark of Insight - Good for its magic penetration, in Cougar Form every spell deals Magic Damage so this is extremely useful.

Greater Seal of Evasion - Nidalee already has a great base dodge, but Seals of Evasion give her even more - Survibility is always an asset!

Greater Glyph of Clarity - Great to combat those mana issues early game.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude - Allows you to dominant your lane early game with the added health. What happens late game often depends on your early game. Do you want to be the ganker or the gankee?

General Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind when playing Nidalee that will help your game:

Travelling  - Whenever travelling around the map you should be in Cougar Form, constantly pouncing. You will get places a lot faster.

Guinsoo's Rageblade Stacks - When trying to keep Guinsoo stacks, be flicking in and out of Cougar form or Pouncing. This will allow you to keep your stacks up without costing you Mana.

Jaaaaaaavelin - Your Javelin has a nice and long range. You can hit people over trees whilst they are sitting at towers. The longer the throw, the more the damage. Make advantage of all of those facts! Other Champs should always be aware of your Javelin or they should be paying the price!

Chase and Gank - Chasing down enemy Champions should be a breeze with a quick Pounce and Flash. Keep practicing it and you should be catching anyone.

Ledge Jumps - Using Pounce you can actually jump over the small cliff ledges. You need to be facing the ledge directly, and then hit Pounce and you will jump up over the ledge. A great shortcut, and useful for escaping or ganking.


Nidalee played right is not a walk in the park. There are always a lot of things to consider when playing her, and for a newbie to the game the 9 spells in total (between Human and Cougar form) can be a little overwhelming. If you put the time into learning her however, you will have a real blast. She is a brilliant ganker and really shines mid-game. I find her extremely enjoyable to play, and maybe you will too!

If you are a visual learner, check out this Nidalee YouTube video below:


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