Week 4: Nidalee

Jungle Nidalee is an extraordinarily strong champion in competitive play at the moment. I wouldn’t say her role in a team is extremely clear, but she does well in skirmishes and has effective sieging capabilities. She has an extremely fast jungle clear and has plenty of mobility and damage to create effective ganks throughout the first portion of the game. She’s great when she can catch people later. She’s fairly good at escaping if she gets caught. She is primarily banned in competitive play because of her jungle clear speed and ability to pull off successful ganks.

Nidalee’s old primary identity was that of a poke/siege champion. When she was changed, she became more focused on landing spears then following up with her cat form. Her identity is now just that – poke people down, then dive in to finish them off with cat form.

Her big strengths are her jungle speed, her poke/siege ability and her ability to hunt people down (catch them). Her weaknesses are her need to get into melee range to apply the majority of her damage. She’s not extremely innately tanky. Her mana costs are somewhat high, and her heal cannot be spammed without a source of mana regeneration. She’s fairly reliant on landing her spear so her cat form can do significantly more damage. She’s not great in team fights because of a lot of these weaknesses, but makes up for it somewhat with her siege potential.

Now in almost every case I like to focus on maintaining a champion’s identity, as well as normally maintaining their strengths. However in this case, I think hitting one of her strengths (jungle clear) might be in the best interest of the health of the champion. She’s just dominant in about every aspect of the jungle and making her a little worse with her jungle speed would go a long way. I don’t think she’s utterly overbearing because she can’t team fight well later in the game, so probably only a small nerf is really necessary.

1) Remove the root from neutral monsters when they get hunted. This would reduce her ability to kite away from damage ever so slightly and make her take a little more damage in the jungle, effectively reducing the power of her clear. It’s only a small nerf, but, as I said, I’m not too big on hitting her with a huge nerf.

2) Reduce the maximum damage Takedown can do vs monsters. A small change could go a long way and make her spend a little more time clearing camps. Basically change her bonus damage to 0.75% per 1% missing health for monsters, as opposed to 1.5% per 1% for champions. Think similar to Rumble’s Flamespitter limit.