Is Nasus AP or AD? – Quick Guide + Builds (Season 13)

Chris Lee
Chris Lee 8 Min Read

Nasus, the Curator of the Sands, stands as a towering enigma in League of Legends, wielding the power to tip the scales of a match.

Players often grapple with the question: Should he harness the arcane as an AP champion or dominate with brute force as an AD contender? It’s time to find out.

Key Takeaways

Nasus, in Season 13 of League of Legends, is predominantly an AD (Attack Damage) champion. His key ability, Siphoning Strike (Q), scales powerfully with AD, enhancing his auto-attacks. Though some abilities gain from AP (Ability Power), his primary strategy and item builds focus on AD, optimizing his damage output and sustainability.

Nasus’s Abilities

Nasus’s abilities scale primarily with attack damage (AD), but certain skills also see benefits from ability power (AP).

His well-known Q, Siphoning Strike, is a core ability that grows stronger with each stack acquired through last-hitting units. It’s vital to acknowledge that while AD is key for his Q’s bonus physical damage, AP doesn’t directly affect it.

On the flip side, Nasus’s ultimate, Fury of the Sands, gains potency with AP, increasing its damage radius and power.

Your tactical focus should center on gathering AD to reinforce Siphoning Strike and maximize Nasus’s damage potential. This strategy ensures your empowered attacks deliver significant force, fitting Nasus’s role as a powerful juggernaut in combat.

Is Nasus AP or AD Champion?

When selecting your build for Nasus, think of him mainly as an AD champion. Several of his abilities gain benefits from AP scaling, but his crucial ability, Siphoning Strike (Q), increases in power with Attack Damage (AD). This gives you a strong reason to choose AD items to enhance the power of your Q.

His E – Spirit Fire and R – Fury of the Sands do have AP scaling, but these aren’t as central to his role as a resilient fighter.

AP builds can be enjoyable for a surprising burst of damage, yet they don’t mesh as effectively with his kit, which is designed for ongoing damage and resilience.

A traditional AD build tends to be more effective, equipping Nasus with the reliable damage and resilience necessary for extended battles.

Can You Play AP Nasus in Season 13?

Can you still find success with AP Nasus in Season 13? Indeed, you can, though it’s generally considered a non-traditional choice.

AP Nasus prioritizes enhancing the damage of his E – Spirit Fire and, to a lesser extent, his ultimate, Siphoning Strike. This approach can result in effective minion wave management and unexpected high damage during team clashes.

Here are three essential points to keep in mind when playing AP Nasus:

  1. Item Selection: Choose items such as Luden’s Echo for explosive damage and minion wave management or Liandry’s Anguish for continuous damage against more resilient teams.
  2. Strategic Approach: Concentrate on harassment and controlling space with Spirit Fire rather than accumulating stacks with your Q.
  3. Opponent Analysis: AP Nasus is particularly effective against teams that have difficulty initiating combat or that include close-range champions who are vulnerable to being kept at a distance.

Best Item Build & Runes For AP Nasus

1Luden’s Tempest
2Sorcerer’s Shoes
3Lich Bane
4Zhonya’s Hourglass
5Rabadon’s Deathcap
6Void Staff
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight
1Adaptive Force
2Adaptive Force
3Armor or Magic Resist (matchup)

When creating your AP Nasus build, prioritize items that enhance your ability power. Luden’s Tempest is a key choice, providing a significant increase in power and an extra effect on your abilities with its unique passive.

Pair this with Sorcerer’s Shoes for improved magic penetration to ensure your abilities deal more damage.

Adding Lich Bane to your arsenal gives your empowered Q strikes a substantial damage increase. For defense and added functionality, Zhonya’s Hourglass is a smart pick, offering you the chance to withstand high damage and reposition during fights.

Rabadon’s Deathcap greatly amplifies your ability power, and a Void Staff makes certain your abilities can pierce through strong magic defenses.

Selecting the right runes can greatly enhance your performance. Arcane Comet works well with your E, providing reliable damage over time.

Manaflow Band aids in maintaining your mana levels, while Transcendence reduces ability cooldowns, and Scorch increases your ability to damage over time.

From the Inspiration tree, Biscuit Delivery grants you sustained health and mana, and Cosmic Insight reduces cooldowns even further, completing your setup for utility.

Best Item Build & Runes For AD Nasus

1Divine Sunderer
2Ionian Boots of Lucidity
3Frozen Heart
4Spirit Visage
Primary (Precision)
KeystoneFleet Footwork
2Legend: Tenacity
3Last Stand
Secondary (Resolve)
1Second Wind
Stat Shards
1Attack Speed or Adaptive Force
2Adaptive Force
3Armor or Magic Resist

Equip your AD Nasus with gear that enhances your attack strength and resilience, with a focus on improving your notorious Q ability, Siphoning Strike. Consider this streamlined gear setup to become a significant presence in the later stages of the game:

  1. Divine Sunderer – Its Sheen effect increases Q damage, and its sustain capabilities allow you to maintain your presence in combat.
  2. Ionian Boots of Lucidity – Reducing cooldowns is vital for accumulating Q stacks more quickly, resulting in stronger attacks.
  3. Frozen Heart – Offers critical armor and additional cooldown reduction, reinforcing your defensive capabilities and the rate at which you can gather stacks.

Pairing this equipment path with appropriate rune choices turns you into a dual threat, both sturdy and powerful, giving you the potential to lead your team to a win.


In the League of Legends landscape, Nasus stands as a versatile titan, capable of wielding both the scorching scepter of AP might and the crushing hammer of AD force.

As you traverse the battlefields of Season 13, remember that the choice between AP and AD is akin to choosing between fire and steel—both forge paths to victory.

Arm yourself with the best items and runes; let your strategic insight be the anvil on which the outcome of the game is forged.

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Hello, Summoners! I'm Chris Lee, the face behind LaneLectures. Peaking at Master (459 LP) in Season 12 and with nearly a decade in the League of Legends arena, I've explored the depths of this complex game. Now, with LaneLectures, I aim to share the crucial tips and insights garnered over the years to help you climb the ranked ladder. Whether you're battling out of Elo Hell or eyeing the prestigious Challenger tier, together we'll navigate the strategies to reach your League of Legends goals!