League of Legends Nautilus Guide

The titanic presence that Nautilus brings as he wades through the dark waters of Bilgewater strikes fear in the heart of his opponents. The armored titan hunts down his prey and pulls them down to the darkest depths. Nautilus has been one of the powerhouse support champions that is chosen for his incredible lockdown capability and tankiness. One of the most powerful engage supports in the game is coming to you with this Nautilus guide to help you get started on playing the game.

Nautilus as depicted in the LoL cinematics
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The Titan of the Depths

For the longest time, citizens of Bilgewater had always known of the terrors that lurk in the dark waters. One story that is told throughout the generations is the legend of an armored goliath roaming the seafloor, pulling down any ship that dares to cross his line of side using a gigantic anchor. Once the titan is done with foolish sailors, nothing is left but the wreckage. It is said that he does all of this to appease the wrath of the bearded lady.

The best Nautilus plays to try and imitate

Nautilus can be used in multiple lanes but he best shines in the support role. In professional games, Nautilus has always been the primary choice for supports who are in dire need of a champion capable of engaging fights while tanking the frontline for his teammates to wreak havoc. Our Nautilus guide will be featuring the ability of this champion to setup an easy kill for you and your allies. Drag your enemies to the depths with this champion to climb your solo queue rankings much quicker.

Nautilus General Gameplay

Nautilus as an engage support, capable of locking down a single enemy and surviving a titanic amount of damage in the frontline. He specializes in hook mechanics to catch vulnerable opponents and get easy kills due to the layer of CC that he provides for the team. His mere presence in a fight is so threatening that his movements themselves can cause the enemy team to reposition to prevent being hooked. This Nautilus guide will try to explain how to use this champion’s kit to the fullest.

Nautilus Guide – Skills and Rotations

Nautilus doesn’t have a set rotation but his combo relies entirely on whether he can land a hook or at least get as close to the enemy team as possible. Despite having only one ensured way to catch enemies, his kit is very flexible in terms of use. This champion isn’t only able to engage but also peel enemies away from his important carries in times of emergency. Let’s get on with this part of the Nautilus guide to learn about his skills and abilities.

Passive: Staggering Blow

Nautilus' Passive Ability - Staggering Blow icon Innate – Nautilus’ next basic attack roots the target in place for a short duration and deals bonus physical damage.

This ability can only occur once every few seconds on the same target.

Staggering Blow is a deadly ability that makes Nautilus a walking CC machine. This ability is usually a follow up after landing Nautilus' Q Ability - Dredge Line icon Dredge Line to keep the opponent in place. During crucial moments, you can also do a Flash + Auto-attack Combo to catch out important targets for your team to kill. Ideally, you want to root the opponent with the highest threat level to limit their mobility and force the rest of the team to fight an unfavorable battle.

Q: Dredge Line

Nautilus' Q Ability - Dredge Line icon Active – Nautilus throws out his anchor towards a direction. If Nautilus hits an enemy unit, he’ll pull both the unit and himself towards each other while dealing magic damage and rooting them for 0.1 seconds.

If Nautilus hits a terrain, Nautilus will instead pull himself towards the terrain and refund 50% of the ability’s cooldown and mana cost.

Dredge Line is Nautilus’ signature ability. This ability is Nautilus primary engage tool which he’ll try to throw out as often as possible. Create pressure in the lane by moving towards open areas on the map to push the enemy players towards a specific location. Be careful not to hit minions or terrain near the enemy’s turrets so that you don’t mess up the combo and leave an opportunity for a counter attack. You can also use this ability to retreat by hitting terrain.

W: Titan’s Wrath

Nautilus' W Ability - Titan's Wrath icon Active – Nautilus gains a shield for 6 seconds.

While the shield is active, Nautilus deals bonus magic damage on his basic attacks for 2 seconds towards the target and enemies surround them.

Titan’s Wrath adds a little bit of survivability for Nautilus when he goes in for the engage. The ability almost always gets used up immediately after engaging so it’s difficult to use the secondary ability. The most important effect that this ability has is that it is able to reset auto-attacks. You can use it immediately after one auto-attack to maximize dealing damage even if you’re a support. However, if you think that the kill pressure from the enemy side is high, you can also opt to pop the shield as soon as possible to shorten the time for reactivation.

E: Riptide

Nautilus' E Ability - Riptide icon Active – Nautilus stomps on the ground, releasing 3 waves on the surrounding area. Each wave deals magic damage to all of the enemies hit and slowing them for a few seconds decaying overtime. Each subsequent wave on an enemy will deal less damage.

Riptide is your basic slow ability. You use this after rooting an enemy with your Nautilus' Passive Ability - Staggering Blow icon Staggering Blow to continue the CC chain. You want to move towards as many enemy units as possible to maximize the damage dealt by this ability and slow as many champions as possible to make retreating difficult. The ability’s animation takes a while to finish so keep this in mind when executing the combo.

R: Depth Charge

Nautilus' Ultimate Ability - Depth Charge icon Active – Nautilus locks-on an enemy champion, releasing a Death Charge that follows that champion and detonating on contact after short delay which deals magic damage, knocks them up for 1 second, and stuns them for a short duration.

Enemies that were hit on the path of the Depth Charge or on the surrounding area of the explosion are also dealt reduced magic damage, knocked up, and stunned.

Depth Charge is a deadly CC ability that can disrupt the enemy’s attack pattern and important combos. Use this ability to lock an important carry in place or as a primary engage tool to knock up as many targets as possible. Choose the best way to use this ability as possible to maximize the opportunity you give to your team. Sometimes, it’s not always the smartest choice to lock on a carry when other targets are available and more threatening when left untouched. In addition, choose a good angle to hit this ability to knock up as many targets as possible.

Nautilus Guide – Items and Builds

Next up on our Nautilus guide, we’ll be talking about some great item choices to extend this champion’s abilities as a devastating engage support. This champion has a pretty straightforward itemization path and has a definite focus so the choices aren’t as broad as other champions. Although, we’ll show you which champions should be done first or those that you can build later so that you won’t end up having to choose between a variety of items.

Starting Items

starting item, relic shield icon Relic Shield – This item is the best suited for Nautilus since it provides an additional 5 Ability Power apart from the defensive bonuses that it has. Since Nautilus mostly deals magic damage, it’s an excellent way to deal a large amount of damage early on in the 2v2. It will also upgrade into Vigilant Wardstone which will allow you to extend your vision control capabilities.

Core Items

Mythic Item - Locket of the Iron Solari icon Locket of the Iron Solari (Mythic) – Locket provides a ton of resistances to Nautilus which is necessary for him to be able to engage into the frontline while surviving the barrage of attacks that will be thrown at him. The shield also makes him excellent in teamfighting whether defensively or offensively.

Legendary Item - Zeke's Convergence icon Zeke’s Convergence – This item is generally linked to your ADC. It allows them to deal more damage towards a champion that you’ve immobilized. This transforms your partner into a deadlier champion. Try to hit a target that your partner will most likely attack with you so that you won’t waste the ability bonuses.

Recommended Items

Leona Skill Icon knights vow Knight’s Vow – Another item that you link to your ADC or a teammate that gets assassinated often. This allows your ally to take more damage by transferring a portion of the damage taken to you instead.

Legendary Item - Gargoyle Stoneplate icon Gargoyle Stoneplate – An item to be used when the opponent likes to take teamfights early on or at the middle stages of the game. This increases Nautilus survivability during teamfights drastically, almost making him unkillable.

Thornmail – Tanks’ primary Grievous Wounds option. Use this item when they have really strong AD champs or when the opponent has an annoying amount of healing. Don’t build this item when the enemy team has neither a high AD threats nor significant healing abilities.

Legendary Item - Force of Nature icon Force of Nature – This item is loved for boosting your movement speed. The additional MS is needed to hit abilities such as Staggering Blow and Riptide. It allows you to prevent the enemy team from repositioning or kiting you as freely.

Legendary Item - Redemption icon Redemption – An item that is generally good to have as a support. Aside from the activated heal that it gives to your allies, it also increases your shielding power by +20%. Position your Redemption heals depending on whether your team is advancing or retreating so that they won’t have to stand in place just get healed.

Nautilus Guide – Runes

Primary: The Rune Icon - Resolve Resolve

Keystone: Resolve Rune - Aftershock Keystone Aftershock – The best keystone for champions that have a devastating CC combo and likes to be on the frontline. This rune will allow you to take more punishment from your engages and return the damage back to the enemies.

Resolve rune shield bash icon Shield Bash – A rune that provides a good combo with Titan’s Wrath or Locket of the Iron Solari so that you’ll be able to deal a ton of damage while being tanky.

three sharp bones - bone plating icon Bone Plating – Since Nautilus likes to stay on the frontline, this rune will help him survive extended battles by reducing the damage taken from the next 3 attacks.

Resolve runes - overgrowth icon Overgrowth – Primary rune for tanks since it allows you to stack permanent HP. Once you’ve maximized the stacks, you’ll gain +3.5% HP that might prove to be very gamebreaking later on in the game.

Secondary: Inspiration Rune Icon Inspiration

a flying biscuit with wings - biscuit delivery Biscuit Delivery – Since Nautilus will try to push for engages early on in the game, he might find himself at low HP most of the time so having extra potions is a great option. You can also sell these potions if you didn’t use them during the laning phase.

cosmic insight rune icon Cosmic Insight – Provides more Ability Haste to reduce the cooldowns of your abilities and reduces the cooldowns of your activated items like Locket of the Iron Solari or Redemption.

Nautilus Overview

Throughout this Nautilus guide, we’ve discussed this champion’s strength as a primary engage champion that can break the enemy’s formation or provide opportunities for your team to take important kills. Players that have a good sense of when to start teamfights will like this champion abilities as a frontliner. The most important skill to have as a Nautilus player is knowing when your team is ready to fight and how they can best execute a teamfight without losing too much resources.

nautilus in space wearing an astronaut suit | Nautilus guide
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How to counter Nautilus?

The obvious counter to Nautilus is keeping a safe distance and hiding behind minions or tanks. Nautilus is most vulnerable after failing to execute a Dredge Line as he’ll have no mobility and be easily kited backwards. Try to hit him during these windows.

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