LoL Reviews: Total Do-Nami-nation!
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG League Reporter
Nami is an aggressive support, focused on area of effect crowd control, as well as a heal that works best during damage trades. She sits somewhere between Sona and Zyra on the support spectrum, with her combination of strong harass and the ability to lock down the enemy for kills. One of her big advantages is that different parts of her kit synergize better with different AD carries in the bot lane, so she has few weak lane partners.
Overall utility is off the charts
3 crowd control abilities on a support, 2 of which are AoE
Has a heal
Long range initiation and area denial tool
Can come on top in most damage trades in the lane
Allows you to make no end of fish puns
Her Q and R are very easy to avoid
Has serious mana issues
Highly susceptible to burst damage
It’s a pain in the bass to constantly come up with new fish puns
If you’re not playing Nami, you have to endure her player’s fish puns
Surging Tides [Passive]: When any of Nami’s spells hits an ally or herself, they get a short movement speed buff. This includes the spells that don’t affect her allies, Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave.
Aqua Prison [Q]: AoE stun with a slow projectile speed. While the visual looks like it knocks its targets airborne, it functions in the same way as a stun, and can be cleansed or removed by items.
Ebb and Flow [W]: A targeted heal/nuke that bounces twice, alternating between friendly and enemy targets. The spell can never bounce to the same target twice. Targeting an enemy first will net you two nukes and a heal, whereas targeting an ally first will grant you two heals and a nuke in the laning phase it’s best used offensively, while in teamfights it’s usually better suited to being used defensively.
Tidecaller’s Blessing [E]: Targeted steroid that allows one ally to slow and deal additional magic damage from their auto attacks. Bear in mind that this doesn’t scale.
Tidal Wave[R]: Long range skillshot that knocks airborne any targets it passes through. Always try to use it from as far back as possible, so you can hit as many of your allies with her passive’s speed boost as possible, allowing them to close in for the kill.
Combos & Shenanigans
Dear awful Nami players,
Stop spamming Aqua Prison. It’s not a harassment tool, and you will burn all your mana hitting nothing at all. Instead, use Ebb and Flow to win trades even when being attacked by both your lane opponents. Also, make sure you’re the one being hit by the enemy by putting yourself ahead of your carry, so you can reliably control the direction that Ebb and Flow goes in, rather than relying on someone else knowing more about your character than you do. They’re too busy dealing with their own game of whack-a-minion to care about positioning themselves for your abilities. Also, don’t forget that you have a higher base attack damage than many AD carries, so don’t be afraid to throw an auto attack or two at them for good measure.
– The League Advice Bureau
Her standard combo is buffing yourself or an ally with Tidecaller’s Blessing, slowing someone, then letting rip with her main crowd control abilities, Tidal Wave and Aqua Prison, before pouring a good helping of Ebb and Flow onto anyone in need of healing/killing. While this does work on paper, Nami is rarely going to be fighting alone, so you need to be paying attention to what your allies are doing and adapt appropriately.
So let’s say you need to use Aqua Prison on a moving target, not as harass, but to gain a kill or help someone escape. How can you increase your odds of hitting, without any form of crowd control to help?
Always be aware of what gap closers the enemy possesses. The easiest ones to punish are leaps or teleports that require a target, like Katarina’s Shunpo. As they move into range, preemptively aim at your own teammate, granting them both the move speed bonus, and forcing the enemy into a bad situation. They can either jump into a stun, or are forced to let their target slip away with the movespeed boost you just granted them. When timed really well, they don’t even get the choice, and simply eat a stun.
Waiting for an enemy to begin an auto attack animation will improve your odds of hitting dramatically. Since you can’t both move and attack in LoL, any attacks will freeze them in place, granting them that little bit less time to get out of the way. Waiting for enemies to go into bottlenecks will also help for landing both her Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave.
Her Tidal Wave, while being a good long range initiation tool, is also a great displacement tool. The extremely slow projectile speed can often force enemy champions to scatter before a team fight, functioning in a similar way to a Gragas ultimate. Firing her wave slightly to the right or left of an enemy will also force them to move the opposite way, great for corralling your enemies into the hungry jaws of an incoming jungler.
I found myself liking Nami not based on who she is (A homesick mermaid), but instead because of who she wasn’t. She’s not yet another grimdark sex doll who wants to both kill and screw me at the same time. If LoL was a popularity contest, she wouldn’t be taking first prize, but she wouldn’t be thrown out by security either.
She has some of the best looking particle effects in the game. She’s really clearly been built around the water theme, as her particles are the most memorable part of her. Other than her outstandingly good kit, of course.
And what a kit it is. She’s rewarded in the lane for fighting her enemies every time her spells are off cooldown, constantly whittling the enemy carry down before she can set up for a kill. Every ability she has hits with a real sense of force behind it (except Tidecaller’s Blessing, which feels a bit limp despite being very strong), and it’s immediately apparent when a Nami is making a difference. She’s a support that actually feels like she’s making a genuine impact on the match, even outside the laning phase.
There’s no need to be koi about it, Nami is a support player’s wet dream.
Nami’s one of the few characters I’ve played in this column I would have picked up even if I hadn’t needed to write about her, and not regretted the purchase. If you’re a support player, you likely already have her (The pickings are still as slim as always), and are likely realizing she has the potential to be one of the better supports in the game. If you’re looking to get a support as a side role, or have no idea how to land skillshots then please, for all our sake, avoid playing her.
To discuss Nami yourselves, post in the massive League of Legends thread in the free to play MMOs section, or post in the comments section below. If you haven’t tried League of Legends yet, you’re missing out.
Also get ready to get into the holiday spirit as Riot Games has just announced this year’s winter limited skins.