Jungle Nidalee Guide by Tafikay

Hi, my name is Eli “Tafikayy” Bonny, a streamer for Sector One and at the moment a Master tier soloqueue player, I used to be a jungle main but after just focusing on improving my gameplay, I started playing more champions and other lanes. By the end of Season 5, I was a jungler in a Challenger 5v5 team. Hopefully this guide will help you guys improve and overall become a better League of Legends player.

Summoner Spells


Flash comes in really handy to make plays (you don’t say?). Q somebody, burst him in cougar form and flashing out tends happen a lot.


Obviously needed to clear the jungle and secure objectives.

Runes & Masteries

Marks: 9x Magic Penetration (+0.87 MP)

Seals: 9x Flat Armor (+1 Armor)

Glyphs: 9x Flat Ability Power (+1.19 AP)

Quintessences: 3x Flat Ability Power (+4.95 AP)

Total: +26 Ability Power, +9 Armor, +7.8 Magic Penetration

These runes are very offensive and it’s pretty important to be careful during your game. You have the power to deal TONS of damage but you’ll have no magic resist, which will leave you vulnerable. Always, keep this in mind.

Jungle Nidalee Runes

Nidalee is a great burst champion. Her burst potential is insane with the “Thunderlord’s Decree” keystone. This’ll help you in executing a successful gank. The other masteries are standard for an AP jungler.

Jungle Nidalee Masteries

Spells Breakdown


Prowl (Passive): “Moving through brush increases Nidalee’s Movement Speed by 10% for 2 seconds, increased to 30% toward visible enemy champions within 5500 range.

Hitting champions or monsters with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack triggers a Hunt, revealing them for 4 seconds. During this time, Nidalee gains 10% Movement Speed (increased to 30% toward the Hunted target) and her first Takedown and Pounce are enhanced against them.”

Nidalee her passive is really important to play around. It’s your burst and also the reason that she has a good clear speed. You gain the “Hunted” mark by hitting your enemies with your Javelin Toss (Q – Human form) or if a monster steps on a Bushwack (W – Human form).


Javelin Toss / Takedown (Q): “In human form, NIdalee throws a spiked javelin at her target that gains damage as it flies. As a cougar, her next attack will attempt to fatally wound her target, dealing more damage the less life they have.”

Human form: This skillshot has a narrow hitbox, like ez Q and will throw a spear in the direction of your cursor. The further the range, the more damage it’ll deal. It’s great to poke before a team fight breaks out. But it’s also necessary to hit this spell. When you hit your Javelin Toss, your enemy will be marked and you can follow up with your other abilities.

Cougar form: Nidalee her next basic attack will be enhanced. If the enemy is marked by your passive, you’ll deal more damage. Note: This Q cancels Nidalee her auto attack animation. Which means that you can do the following: auto attack => Q, which will result in you hitting your enemy instantly with an extra auto attack.


Bushwack / Pounce (W): “In human form, Nidalee lays a trap for unwary opponents that, when sprung, damages and reveals its target. As a cougar, she jumps in a direction, dealing damage in an area where she lands.”

Human form: You can lay down a bushwack on the map. A bushwack will also mark your enemy with your passive, the trick to do is to place a bushwack in the pathing of enemies, so they’ll have to make the decision of walking over it or juke it. (for example if they are running against a wall, you can place a bushwack in their pathing so they’ll have to walk in a circle around it. It’ll also become easier to hit a spear that way. Also, a bushwack will give you vision when placed. This way, you can check a possible dangerous brush by placing a bushwack in it.

Cougar form: You’ll jump towards your cursor. If your enemy is marked by your passive. Your jump range is increased which is great gap closer. Leap towards an enemy and do a one shot combo on him. You can also jump over certain walls with your pounce.


Primal Surge / Swipe (E): “In human form, Nidalee channels the spirit of the cougar to heal her allies and imbue them with Attack Speed for a short duration. As a cougar, she claws in a direction, dealing damage to enemies in front of her.”

Human Form: Your primal surge will heal an ally or yourself. This comes in really handy to sustain through your jungle. Something very important as well is that this skill gives attack speed to the champion that has been healed.

Cougar Form: An AoE ability that will be cast towards the direction you’re currently facing. Deals a decent amount of damage and comes in handy for wave clear or jungle clear.


Aspect of the Cougar (R): “Nidalee transforms into a cougar, gaining new abilities.”

Human form: Nidalee transforms into a cougar with the basic abilities: Takedown, Pounce and Swipe.

Cougar: Nidalee transforms back into human form. While in human form, triggering a Hunt resets the cooldown of “Aspect of the cougar”.

Leveling your R at level 6, 11 and 16 is crucial, since this will increase your damage by your cougar form abilities. Therefor, the levels 6, 11 and 16 are power spikes for Nidalee.


Jungle Nidalee Skill Tree

Important: leveling your abilities will only increase the damage in human form, leveling your Aspect of the cougar (R) will increase your damage in your cougar form. Which means that the levels 6, 11 and 16 are power spikes.

Tips & Tricks

Skill Sequence

In general you want to try hitting your Javelin Toss (Q – human form), then Pounce (W – cougar form) on an enemy target. Further, you want to swipe (E – cougar form) and finish with Takedown (Q – cougar form). Since it’s an execute and deals considerably more damage if the enemy is lower HP. However if you know the enemy has flash up or another way to escape, you should use your takedown before swipe this because swipe has further range than your takedown. Keep in mind that if you land before he flashes, your Pounce (W – cougar form) will reset to 1.5 sec cd.


The most important thing is to kite your monsters and use your Javelin Toss and Bushwack as often as possible since this will snare the monsters and mark them as hunted. When the enemy is marked, you deal a lot more damage on your takedown ability. REMEMBER that the snare only works on monsters and NOT on champions.

When an enemy champion or jungle monster is marked as hunted, it gives you vision of them and increases the range of your pounce. Additionally your pounce cooldown is also much lower (1.5 seconds instead of 5 seconds) when you pounce to a target that is hunted.


When ganking as Nidalee, it’s important that you don’t throw your Javelin Toss instantly, but instead try to close as much distance as possible first because it’s essential to get your hunted mark on your enemy, since it both increases your damage and gives you a gap-closer in form of your enhanced pounce.

Everything is situational though. If you can hit a spear from a brush then walk in as cougar form and burst your enemy is also really effective. The best way to do this, is by communicating with your team and asking them to stun/slow your enemy, this is really effective in solo lanes such as top or mid.

Remember that you can use your bushwack to check if the enemy jungler is in the lane brush. You can also use your bushwack in the lane brush to get vision for a short time. Also, there’s a chance that the enemy might run through it  when they’re trying to escape your gank.

Pros and Cons


Great clear speed and sustain.

Amazing early pressure, tons of mobility and can deal TONS of damage while ganking, giving her a high success rate on ganks.


Skill shot reliant.

Vulnerable to hard engage.

If not used correctly, slightly falls off late game.


Starting Items


Core items




Full Build:


Usually, I build: Stalkers blade (Runeglaive) => Rod Of Ages => Zhonya’s Hourglass.

As mentioned before there are a lot of different item builds. For example with tear instead of Rod Of Ages, etc.

The reason that I prefer this build is because I tend to play really aggressive. The moment that you get your Zhonya’s Hourglass, you can make crazy plays. Javelin toss a carry, one shot combo him, hourglass and your team will do the rest. Things like these can really help you win a team fight and eventually win the game!

I hope this guide has helped you with your Nidalee experience. And good luck in game!


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