Nilah is a warrior who seeks out opponents with immense strength in order to challenge and blissfully defeat them. After receiving her own powers from a demon of joy, Nilah can feel no other emotion than said joy itself. Now Nilah– who wields the demon’s liquified form– has entered the fray as League of Legend’s melee bot lane menace! On the surface, Nilah can seem daunting to new players as well as those who lack experience with melee champions. However, by understanding Nilah’s strengths and weaknesses, anyone can begin utilizing Nilah’s kit to the best of their ability and build a joyous force to be reckoned with! If you’re interested in getting to know The Joy Unbound herself, stick around for my League of Legends Nilah guide for beginners!
To kick things off, it is best to first grasp a firm understanding of what Nilah’s abilities do:
Q: Formless Blade
Nilah’s Q allows her to whip enemies with the crack of her demonic whip-blade. This ability deals attack damage (AD) while also empowering all following auto attacks for a short duration of time, increasing Nilah’s attack range and allowing her to deal additional damage. This ability is vital to Nilah’s kit as a melee ADC, as it allows Nilah’s range to compete with the plethora of marksman ADC champions.
W: Jubilant Veil
Nilah’s W allows her to hide in a veil in which she becomes ghosted for a short period of time. During this time Nilah gains movement speed, dodges basic attacks, and has all magic damage dealt to her cut by 25% while ghosted. Any allied champion who touches the mist will also gain its effects. This ability has a relatively long cooldown and should be used only in crucial survival situations rather than aimlessly.
Nilah’s E allows her to quickly dash towards a target, dealing attack damage (AD) to enemies along the way. Nilah can choose both enemies and allies to dash towards, making her E both great for quick damage dealing and maneuvering tight situations during a skirmish. These dashes can stack up to 2 times.
Nilah’s R– a beautifully joyous ultimate– allows her the ability to twirl around gracefully with her whip-blade. This grand ability deals damage to surrounding enemies before pulling them in towards her. Additionally, Apotheosis slows said enemies all while healing/shielding Nilah and her allies. This ability works beautifully in heavy team fights, especially when an extra kick or two is very much needed.
Passive: Joy Unending
Nilah’s passive is all about sharing with her teammates and aiding her in gaining extra experience! Joy Unending allows Nilah to share healing/shielding with nearby allies, as well as provide extra shared experience with allied champions upon last-hitting an enemy minion. This passive allows Nilah to work exceptionally well with her support.
Best Nilah Runes
Next up in this League of Legends Nilah guide is: runes. As with any champion, runes are extremely important to Nilah and can make or break a fight depending on the circumstances. There are a few different rune combinations that can work very well with Nilah. However, one set of runes in particular reigns over everything else.
Starting off, we have Nilah’s primary rune set to conqueror under the precision umbrella. Conqueror allows you to gain stacks of adaptive force through your attacks, which translates into attack damage (AD) for Nilah. Furthermore, upon reaching 12 stacks you begin to heal for a portion of the damage you deal to your opponents. This is great for Nilah because– as you will see– she thrives off of a build made up of high attack speed and crit damage. High attack speed means stacking conqueror with ease and, of course, quickly increasing attack damage through conqueror can easily turn Nilah into a lethal weapon.
After conqueror we have presence of mind, legend: alacrity, and last stand. Although these secondary precision runes are a bit more forgiving and replaceable, this combination of runes work extremely well together and will always benefit Nilah’s playstyle. If you’re playing with a healer support such as Soraka or Seraphine, switching presence of mind with overheal can also work well. Likewise, swapping legend: alacrity with legend: bloodline or legend: tenacity can allow you to become more self-sustaining– especially late game.
Moving on, we have resolve as our secondary set of runes. Resolve is great when it comes to champions who greatly benefit from more durability, such as Nilah. Although there are many great resolve options in particular in this case, conditioning and revitalize synchronize extremely well with Nilah. Conditioning gives Nilah more armor and magic resist, while revitalize improves Nilah’s ability to share heals and shields with her teammates.
Offense, Flex, and Defense
Lastly, Nilah benefits from from her offensive rune being set to 10% attack speed. Her flex rune works well when it is set to magic resist, however some extra adaptive force doesn’t hurt either. Nilah’s defensive rune can be set to either an increase in armor or magic resist depending on the enemy team, however armor is most likely the best option as a melee ADC.
Putting Together a Great Nilah Build
A League of Legends Nilah guide could never be complete without discussing what builds work best with her! When it comes to Nilah– as mentioned previously– attack speed and crit damage works wonders. Nilah has a handful of items that should always be built for her in order to maximize both damage output and agility, as well as a list of items that are crucial for certain situations.
Starter Items, Potions, and Wards
To start the game off, it’s best to buy the Doran’s Blade Start. This recommended bundle gives you both Doran’s Blade and one Health Potion. Doran’s Blade offers extra attack and a small health boost. Furthermore, Doran’s grants you a burst of omnivamp that makes getting poked out by the enemy team a tad bit more forgiving.
Throughout the game, especially early on, potions will be your best friend. When it comes to Nilah, buying Refillable Potions and upgrading to Corrupting Potions as soon as possible is very helpful. Not only do Corrupting Potions give you both health and mana, but they also inflict a small amount of burn damage to enemies upon hitting them when said potion is active. The mana boost and extra damage is great for Nilah in the earlier stages of the game.
When it comes to warding as an ADC, you are just as responsible for vision as your fellow support. As a melee ADC you especially want to make sure that you’re utilizing wards in order to prevent ganks and unwanted attacks from the brush. With that being said, wards are just as if not more important for Nilah than potions, so make sure you keep some Control Wards around.
As a general rule, you always want to build Immortal Shieldbow for Nilah first and foremost. This item is perfect for Nilah for many reasons. For starters, Immortal Shieldbow grants you lots of attack damage (AD), a significant increase to both your attack speed and critical strike chance, as well as some life steal. This item also grants you extra attack damage (AD) and health for every other legendary item you build, as well as a bit of shielding and a temporary attack damage (AD) boost upon having your health drop below a certain point. Immortal Shieldbow grants Nilah a little bit of everything she needs in order to become more self-sustaining and pack a more brutal punch.
Moving on, you want to make sure that you build Berserker’s Greaves no later than second for some extra movement speed and attack speed. After you have your first item and some boots, Nilah benefits greatly from building Phantom Dancers followed by Infinity Edge. Phantom Dancers are crucial for Nilah in terms of agility and flexibility. Likewise, building Infinity Edge at any point after your first 3 crucial items gives Nilah an insane increase in her overall damage output. Depending on the situation, you can either build Infinity Edge as your 4th item or your 5th if you desperately need a specific optional item earlier on.
Building these essential items will never be a terrible idea for Nilah under any circumstances and will allow her to rack up the speed, damage, and strength she needs in order to thrive as a powerful ADC.
Lastly, there are a handful of optional items that work extremely well with Nilah. Bloodthirster and Death’s Dance both allow Nilah to be much more self-sustaining in fights. Bloodthirster has an insane amount of life steal that can even allow Nilah to overheal, while Death’s Dance provides lots of armor and allows the damage dealt to you to be dispersed at a slower rate. Lord Dominik’s Regards is a great build if the enemy team has any super tanky champions with lots of armor and health. If you find yourself in fear that you are dying too quickly or too often, Guardian Angel graces you with extra armor and can revive you upon taking lethal damage. Similarly, Spirit Visage can help greatly in terms of magic resistance. If you have any teammates who do a fair amount of healing or shielding, Spirit Visage also allows you to amplify that.
Nilah’s Early Game VS Late Game Mindset
Now that we’ve gone over how to build and structure everything in this League of Legends Nilah guide for beginners, it’s time to get into what her actual gameplay can look like! Here are some simple yet crucial moves to make in order to maximize your success as Nilah:
Nilah’s Early Game
Lastly, we have some great optional selections. Bloodthirster and Death’s Dance both allow Nilah to be much more self-sustaining in fights. Bloodthirster has an insane amount of life steal that can even allow Nilah to overheal, while Death’s Dance provides lots of armor and allows the damage dealt to you to be dispersed at a slower rate. Lord Dominik’s Regards is a great build if the enemy team has any super tanky champions with lots of armor and health. If you find yourself consistently being out-damaged as Nilah and fear that you are dying too quickly or too often, Guardian Angel graces you with extra armor and can revive you upon taking lethal damage. Similarly, Spirit Visage can help greatly in terms of magic resistance. If you have any teammates who do a fair amount of healing or shielding, Spirit Visage also allows you to amplify that.
As tempting as it can be to go straight for your bot lane opponents right away, you want to play it safe more often than not early on. Unless your jungler is stopping by for a gank or you spot the perfect opening: don’t do it. Being aggressive with Nilah can easily punish you if you aren’t actually ready and quickly push you into disadvantage territory. Although, it is also important to poke the enemy with your Q and extended attacks as much as you can alongside your support. You want to at least make fair trades with the enemy rather than simply allow them a few free hits with no backlash. Balance here is key!
Nilah’s Mid to Late Game
After reaching level 6 and completing your Immortal Shieldbow build, you can utilize Nilah with a bit less passiveness. Although you still want to be mindful and pick your battles carefully, combos including her R can be deadly! Working with your support rather than against them is vital here. A support with healing or shielding capabilities should especially be taken into consideration when it comes to Nilah’s kit. As Nilah, you want to constantly be thinking about how your passive and your W can help both you and your support. Nilah has the potential to save herself and her support if there is enough synchronization in play.
Once you are no longer bound to your lane, Nilah is the most useful in team fights rather than one on one combat. Being no stranger to sharing, every move Nilah makes has great potential to help her allies in multiple ways, especially with a few items under her belt! Although farming is important throughout the entire game, you want to minimize the time you spend away from your teammates. On the other hand, you want to maximize how often you use your Q and R in particular. With the right build Nilah’s late game is nearly unstoppable, as she is able to crush turrets and manipulate the flow of team fights to her advantage!
- Nilah packs a powerful punch, so don’t forget to always help out your jungler with essential objectives such as smiting dragons and taking down Baron Nashor in Summoner’s Rift!
- Using both Nilah’s W and E together works wonders. You can use Nilah’s W simply for a speed boost alongside E to quickly reach your destination or escape trouble.
- Prioritize upgrading Nilah’s Q and R above all else.
- If your teammate is in trouble, be a hero because you can! Utilize your abilities to benefit your allies as often as possible.
- When it comes to summoner spells, Nilah works best with a Heal and Flash combo. Of course, you can also take Cleanse, Ignite, or Exhaust.
- Don’t be afraid to limit test with Nilah and see what works best for you!
In conclusion, Nilah is a beautiful addition to any team, especially if you understand her kit and playstyle well! Again, if you’re new to League of Legends or intimidated by melee champions, this guide can point you in the right direction as a beginner! Playing carefully early on, helping your team, and focusing on a build made up of crit damage and speed is simple yet effective. As long as you follow these few key guidelines, you’ll be carrying with Nilah in no time!
Thank-you for taking the time to read this League of Legends Nilah guide for beginners! If you want more League content, check out the rest of our articles here at KeenGamer and keep an eye out for future guides!