League of Legends: Leagues Under The Sea
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG LoL Reporter
Welcome summoners, to the patch v188.8.131.52 article for League of Legends, the game that isn’t afraid to sail into dark water. This patch includes a reworked Shen and Nautilus, The Titan of the Depths.
Nautilus is a walking wall; A near unkillable tank that spews area of effect damage in all directions while putting his enemies on full lockdown. This is counter balanced by making him one of the slowest characters in the game. He fits somewhere between Blitzcrank and Malphite in terms of kit, with very strong initiation, and high durability. He’s best suited as either a top laner or jungler on summer’s rift. While he can be used as a support in a kill lane on bottom, his numerous AoE abilities make him likely to steal minion kills from his carry.
His cornerstone ability is Titan’s Wrath [W], a highly resilient shield that also grants significant splash damage to his basic melee attacks. The catch is that while it makes him both durable and deadly for some time, it also has a very, very long cooldown, so you have to be careful when to pick your fights. Enemies familiar with Nautilus will try to bait out the shield, back off and then commit to an assault while he’s vulnerable, so be aware of feints from your foes.
While active, this shield allows him to bully his lane in a similar manner to Rumble. He simply walks forward, shield up, and uses his area of effect melee attacks to farm his wave. The massive AoE and slow from Riptide [E] works great in combination with these hits, blowing up minions and trapping anyone in the lane who wanders too close. If an enemy gets in reach, smacking them in place with his passive, Staggering Blow, before unleashing any available abilities on them is a great way to tell them in no uncertain terms who’s in charge.
Riptide is best used when an enemy is about two steps away from Nautilus, preferably while they’re running away. That positioning and timing ensures that they’ll be hit by all three blasts from the expanding explosion, doing some hideous amounts of damage while also slowing them to a crawl. This will allow for a few auto attacks as they walk away, and buys time for the rest of his kit to come off cooldown. Just as the slow wears off, be sure to grab them with his Dredge Line [Q], to ensure no hope of escape.
Dredge Line is his most unique ability, a skill shot that interacts both with enemy units and terrain. Nautilus hurls his dirty great anchor where you aim, and if he hits an enemy he’ll drag himself forward, and his target back, with them both meeting in the middle. When they collide, it briefly knocks your target airborne, which buys enough time for you to smack them with your passive. This should be always be saved for late in a fight to grab fleeing enemies whenever possible. Unless you absolutely cannot help it, never use this ability early. Ideally, you also want to be hitting people with the absolute tip of the ability, to drag them the furthest distance. Even if you can’t, try stepping a little back before using it to drag the enemy just that little bit further out for your team.
All of that sounds pretty standard until you realize that this ability has another very important component. If the anchor hits terrain, Nautilus will be dragged towards his anchor, flying a very long distance, and the cooldown on the ability will be halved. This makes for some nail biting escapes, and will keep your foes guessing as your extremely slow movement speed can suddenly skyrocket. This mechanic also makes jungle chases more forgiving as missing your Q will still pull you right next to them, allowing you to hold them I place with W and your passive until Dredge Line is available again.
His ultimate, Depth Charge [R], is a ranged initiation tool, knocking up and stunning its target, while also knocking up any enemies between Nautilus and his intended victim. This ultimate is simple and straightforward to use, but its simplicity disguises a dangerous catch 22 situation that will result in most players extending the collateral damage for you. When you target someone in the back of the enemy team, usually a ranged carry or mage, the rest of the team has to either move out of the way or suffer its effects. If they get knocked up, you simply walk past them and grab hold of your intended target. If they move, fire a Dredge Line straight down the newly created opening, and drag your target straight into the middle of their team before unleashing his AoE barrage.
Playing Nautilus is more about attitude than skill. He doesn’t require much in the way of timing or precision with most of his abilities, so most successful play with him is more about having the confidence to walk headlong into enemy teams, or under towers to secure kills. Nautilus doesn’t care about cautious play, he has the means to survive near enough anything the game can throw at him, so evaluating your enemies’ damage output and knowing, for a certainty, you can survive in the most ridiculous of situations is critical to success. This doesn’t mean he should be throwing his life away, quite the opposite, it means he should be walking into just enough danger to survive, then pulling himself out of trouble exactly when he needs to.
Take a level in Titan’s Wrath to begin with when jungling or laning against a melee enemy. Dredge Line works as a starting ability if you’re laning against a ranged foe. Max Titan’s Wrath first. Your next pick after Titan’s Wrath should be Riptide, which should be leveled second. Pick up Dredge Line at either level 3 or 4 when jungling, depending on how aggressive you need to be, and level it last.
If you’re going top, take boots and potions. In some highly aggressive match ups it can be worthwhile to get more defense, but in most cases you’re going to find Titan’s Wrath enough to stave off nearly any attack in the early game, while boots will compensate for his horrible base movement speed. In the jungle, start with cloth armour and health potions. On dominion, go with a pair of Doran’s Shields, boots and health potions.
Your main focus is going to be on durability, plain and simple. You can take a few more mage focused things if you think the enemy simply aren’t hurting you, so AP and cooldown can be good secondary concerns. The only items that could be considered ‘core’ on him would be Philosopher’s Stone and Heart of Gold to up his gold gain, and even those aren’t really essential, just useful to have. His base stats are so high overall though that you really could put custard cream on his head and call it armour, so really just build whatever seems good in a particular match and you’ll do fine.
21 in defense is essential on his masteries. The remaining 9 are best put in utility when jungling, but in the lane they’re only needed if you’re trying to get more movement speed out of him. For his runes, armour seals and magic resistance glyphs are the only things that are essential on him, helping his durability. Attack speed marks will help with his jungling, but if you’re going into the lane with him you can use whatever you please. Useful quintessences for him are in the range of movement speed, flat health, gold gain or any resistance.
Nautilus is looking like a very strong character at the moment. Not game breaking, but still a very good pick, regardless of what he’s being used for. He doesn’t seem to need items to become tanky, instead becoming more difficult to kill as he levels. Once you have a few ranks in his shield he simply wanders through his lane/jungle, murdering anyone dumb enough to come across his path. He’s pretty fun to use, with plenty of different situational combos, even if he feels a bit simple to play. If you’re looking for a new tank or jungler, and were unsatisfied with Sejuani, who is a worse character by far, then Nautilus might be a good purchase.
Not much to talk about this patch. The usual string of slight tweaks and fixes, with only the big rework to Shen being of note. His changes are pretty crazy, with the rework shunting him into a burly damage dealing role rather than a pure tank, as he was originally designed. His new self seems best suited to top lane, especially since he can teleport out to support his team whenever he needs to, while still bossing about his own lane.