Nasus is one of the best late game champions in League of Legends. His power can grow infinitely thanks to his stacks, no matter his items.

But being passive and weak in the early game isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And for those players, the full AP Nasus build is here!

This post will be a dedicated guide on how to build and play Nasus AP. I’ll talk about the runes you’ll need, the items, and the additional info you have to consider for each game. 

So if you’re interested in giving AP Nasus a try, here’s what you should know!

Is Nasus AP or AD?

Nasus's E deals AP Magic Damage

Nasus is an AD champion that mainly deals physical damage. His primary source of damage is his Q – Siphoning Strike, which gains permanent stacks of AD each time Nasus slays a minion.

However, Nasus’ E – Spirit Fire deals magic damage and scales with AP, so you can also play Nasus full AP.

Like many other champions in LoL, Nasus has both physical and magic damage in his kit. This means that he benefits from both AP and AD items.

However, most players build AD/tank items on Nasus, so he’s considered a tank champion in League.

Nasus doesn’t fight much during the laning phase.

He’s mostly focused on farming and stacking with his Q. The longer the game goes on, the more stacks he has. And the more stacks he has, the more damage his Q does.

Remember, Nasus’ Q scales only with 100% of his stacks. So if Nasus has 500 stacks, his Q will do its base damage, plus 500 bonus physical damage.

If Nasus can’t reach you (his Q requires melee/auto-attack range), his only option of damaging you is his E (ranged AoE magic damage).

So if you’re going to duel him, you better get some Armor/Health items.

Read Also: Jax AP Build Guide

AD Nasus vs. AP Nasus – What’s Better?

Nasus's Q deals AD Physical Damage

Choosing between AP and AD Nasus depends on your own playstyle and the type of games you’re playing.

For ranked solo queue or flex, AD Nasus is a much better choice overall. But in URF and ARAM, playing AP Nasus is much more fun.

AD Nasus is better than AP Nasus in most situations. With the AD build, Nasus deals way more damage overall, and he doesn’t need to hit skillshots.

The only advantage that AP Nasus has is the amount of AoE damage. But Nasus’ E has a longer cooldown than his Q, making AP Nasus less effective.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play AP Nasus in ranked if that is what you want. But generally, it is way more complicated to win as AP Nasus on Summoner’s Rift than with AD Nasus.

AD Nasus deals more damage, builds like a tank, and doesn’t need to hit skillshots. AP Nasus depends too much on his E, he’s too squishy, and he’s often punished for it.

One thing to keep in mind is that Nasus’ R – Fury of the Sands deals magic damage too. When it’s activated, Nasus burns all enemies around him each second.

This damage scales with his maximum HP, but also his AP. However, this isn’t enough to make a huge difference in the end.

Since numbers change from patch to patch in League of Legends, you should definitely check Nasus’ official fandom page. There you can find all the up-to-date information about his damaging numbers. 

This YouTube video tests AP Nasus vs. AD Nasus, so you can see the comparison in damage.

How Do You Play AP Nasus?

As AP Nasus, you should focus on dealing damage with your E – Spirit Fire. Your items should grant Ability Power, Ability Haste, Damage-over-time, or Magic Penetration.

Pick up offensive runes, such as Arcane Comet or Dark Harvest. And you should spam your E as much as possible.

That’s playing AP Nasus in a nutshell. Of course, you can still stack with your Q to increase your physical damage too. And your R will do magic damage too, when it’s activated. 

Here are my runes and items for playing AP Nasus.

Read Also: AP Malphite Build Guide

AP Nasus S13 Runes

AP Nasus Runes
  • Arcane Comet
  • Manaflow Band
  • Transcendence
  • Scorch
  • Triumph
  • Coup de Grace

ARCANE COMET is here for one thing – to improve your poke damage in the early game. Since Nasus’ only magic damage is his E, he desperately needs every advantage possible during the laning phase.

Arcane Comet allows you to deal extra damage each time you use Nasus’ Spirit Fire. The poke is really strong early on, so you’ll likely force your opponent out of the lane.

MANAFLOW BAND is the best rune for mana management in League of Legends. It works by giving you 25 bonus mana when you hit an enemy champion with an ability.

The cooldown of this effect perfectly synergizes with Arcane Comet.

Once you collect 250 mana, this rune actually grants you 1% regeneration of your missing mana over 5 seconds for the rest of the game. So it’s definitely worth taking.

TRANSCENDENCE is a super-helpful rune and I strongly recommend it for AP Nasus. On level 5, Transcendence grants you 5 ability haste.

And on level 8, it gives you another 5 ability haste. So that’s 10 ability haste by level 8 for free.

When you reach level 11, Transcendence refreshes a 20% cooldown of your basic abilities per champion takedown.  So in team fights, you’ll be able to use your E more often.

SCORCH is another rune you take for the laning phase. It does a little bit of extra magic damage when you use Nasus’ E for poking.

The damage is done over time but it’s a great way to increase your power early on.

TRIUMPH restores 10% of your missing health and mana upon a champion takedown. This can crucial in clutch team fights, especially because AP Nasus doesn’t have nearly as much survivability as AD Nasus.

COUPE DE GRACE is a simple rune that helps you deal 8% more damage to enemies below 40% HP. Basically, Coup de Grace makes your E hit harder against enemies with low HP. And this allows you to ramp up that KDA even more!

Read Also: Full AP Ornn Build Guide

AP Nasus S13 Items

AP Nasus Item Build
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Luden’s Tempest
  • Lich Bane
  • Demonic Embrace
  • Morellonomicon
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap

SORCERER’S SHOES are the best boots to buy on AP Nasus. For 1100 gold, you get a significant boost in movement speed and 18 magic penetration.

The magic penetration is essential here, especially if your enemies have magic resist items.

LUDEN’S TEMPEST is the mythic item of choice for AP Nasus. Besides, mana, ability power, and ability haste, Luden’s Tempest improves the initial hit of your E.

It does a little bit of extra magic damage and spreads to nearby targets too.

Additionally, Luden’s Tempest grants you bonus magic penetration for each legendary item you build.

LICH BANE is a great item to increase your magic damage. Since you’ll be using your auto-attacks and Q whenever Spirit Fire is on cooldown, you might as well build Lich Bane to squeeze out extra damage.

Lich Bane empowers your auto-attack after you use an ability and it synergizes with Nasus’ Q.

DEMONIC EMBRACE is the perfect item for any melee mage/tank champion in LoL. It grants tons of AP and health, allowing you to deal bonus damage while also being pretty tanky.

Demonic Embrace gives your abilities a burn effect, so your E will also drain the HP of your targets over 4 seconds.

MORELLONOMICON is a must-have item against any healing champion in the game. It counters healing by reducing it to 60%, so make sure to pick it up.

The best part about Nasus is that his E can apply Grevious Wounds to all enemies it touches. So, he can easily lower the effectiveness of all healing coming from the opposing team.

RABADON’S DEATHCAP is the last item you’ll need to put in your inventory. RA is a huge investment of gold in League of Legends but it always proves its worth. 

Besides 120 ability power, Rabadon’s Deathcap increases your total AP by 35%, making your E a much deadlier spell.

Read Also: Volibear Full AP Build Guide

Optional and Situational Items

These are the best situational items for AP Nasus.

Everfrost is another mythic item I often build on Nasus. It gives you a crowd control effect and it’s cheaper than Luden’s Tempest.

Void Staff and Shadowflame can always be purchased, especially when you need to counter tanks.
And lastly, Zhonya’s Hourglass and Banshee’s Veil are great for countering AD or AP champions in LoL


The AP Nasus build is a relatively strong playstyle that I recommend you try. It deals more damage from range and it’s way easier to play.

You don’t have to spend 20 minutes stacking Q, so it’s a great alternative if you like playing Nasus.

If you’re interested in more builds like this, make sure to check Runetarium for more content. For now, I’d suggest you read the AP Lee Sin support build guide. It’s bonkers!

Last Update: March 2, 2024