How To Play, Itemize, And Climb With Nunu In The Mid Lane In League Of Legends

How To Play, Itemize, And Climb With Nunu In The Mid Lane In League Of Legends
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Nunu, one of the oldest champions in League of Legends, is causing chaos in the mid lane following the latest AP-oriented buffs he received in Patch 10.13.

While he was already a great pick in the jungle, Nunu’s high win rate in the mid lane will drastically increase his presence once more players realize how to use him effectively in the current meta.

If you want to be ahead of the meta and gain some free LP, this guide is just for you. Here’s what you need to know about playing mid lane Nunu.

Nunu’s kit

Passive: Call of the Frejlord

This is a great passive during the laning phase. It allows you to bully enemies during short trade patterns by doing increased damage during your first attack and granting you attack speed and movement speed. If you roam, this passive will increase your chances to secure a kill by giving your ally the attack speed and movement speed buff as well.

Q: Consume

Consume is a powerful ability during the laning phase. It nullifies your opponent’s poke potential and allows you to recover your health easily. It’s best used on cannon minions to quickly clear them away from pushing your lane before you set up a roam to a side lane or the enemy jungle.

W: Biggest Snowball Ever!

Nunu’s W is one of the best roaming abilities. It greatly increases your movement speed, allows you to deal huge amounts of damage, and provides a knock-up if you hit an enemy with it. You can also use this ability to quickly clear waves if needed, especially during the early stages of the laning phase where you don’t have access to many tools.

E: Snowball Barrage

Nunu’s E is his key ability for picking off targets, especially during your potential roams, a jungle gank, or just a solo kill attempt. It throws a couple of snowballs and can be recast in a short time, allowing you to do a lot of damage. If you time it properly, you can unleash devastating amounts of damage and prepare your ultimate for a guaranteed kill.

R: Absolute Zero

This is one of the most game-changing ultimates in League. Nunu channels it in an area for a couple of seconds, dealing more damage the longer it’s channeled. There have been plenty of cases where a lost game was eventually won due to a surprise ultimate from an unwarded bush. While players today are generally more aware of their surroundings and won’t get caught as easily, you can still pull of surprise ultimates if you clear the vision around an area where you want to catch them off guard.

Runes are usually situational depending on matchups. But in Nunu’s case, arguably the best rune page for this champ in the mid lane is the Domination primary tree combined with the Sorcery secondary tree.

Domination grants you access to Dark Harvest, which is a great keystone, especially when you try to burst down enemies. Cheap Shot is easily activated by your kit and is a must-take rune. Eyeball Collection is the easiest one to stack since you’ll be roaming for kills on a constant basis. Relentless Hunter will increase your out-of-combat movement speed.

The secondary Sorcery tree is taken mostly for the amplified movement speed runes. Celerity and Water Walking make you fast in the river, allowing you to instantly appear on the top or bottom side of the map within seconds.

Item build

Starting items

You want to start with a Doran’s Ring and two potions every time for mid lane Nunu. Without the regen from Doran’s Ring, you’ll have mana issues and will need to back frequently to recover it. In some poke-heavy situations, you might want to go for Doran’s Shield instead, but these cases are rare.


Boots are situational depending on the game state and what your goal is. If you’re dominating the lane and want to extend your lead, Sorcerer’s Shoes should be your priority since they’ll greatly increase your damage. If you’re facing a CC-heavy team, go for Mercury Threads. If you’re facing mostly AD auto-based champions, Ninja Tabi is your best friend.

Core items

Hextech Protobelt is one of the cheapest items that amplifies your power, especially in terms of clearing waves. It’s easy to get, reliable, and can help you avoid certain game-changing skillshots if you time it properly. Other popular core Nunu items are Mejai’s Soulstealer and Deadman’s Plate. Mejai’s is easy to stack considering you’re going to roam the entire game, while Deadman’s makes you even faster and tanky as well.


If you’re facing a heavy magic damage oriented team, you can go for Spirit Visage to nullify their possibility of one-shotting you before the teamfight even begins. If you’re the frontline for your team and need to survive as long as possible, Gargoyle Stoneplate will be your savior.


Nunu is a tanky mid laner who excels at roaming during the laning phase to help his allies win their lanes and then take objectives together in the river or aggressively invade the enemy jungler.

Your gameplan early on should focus on controlling the wave without pushing or being pushed too hard. Assess how the side lanes are doing. If you see the enemy laners pushing too hard, try to shove your lane into your opponent and go for a gank.

While not all gank attempts are going to be successful, you only need one or two of them to be efficient to win the laning phase for your allies. The lower your Elo, the less patient your opponents will likely be during the laning phase. They’ll likely commit multiple mistakes, including constantly shoving their lanes. This is a prime opportunity for you to gank them and punish their plays.

As the game goes on and you get your core items, your farming potential will dwindle down. You should leave more farm to your carries in the top, jungle, or bottom lane since you don’t scale that well into the later stages of the game. Your key priority is to try to end the game before it reaches that phase. Constantly roaming early on is the key to this objective.

While this guide provides a strong general rune and item build without taking team compositions or the state of a game into consideration, don’t be afraid to adapt to your needs. Always experiment with what feels better for you and you should have success climbing.