If you play ranked, you’ve definitely seen the Ghost Cleanse Nunu pick. People hover and lock Nunu on roles other than Jungle to force dodges out of their teammates after their main champions get banned or they do not get assigned their selected roles.
If the game does not get dodged, they use Biggest Snowball Ever! (W) to reach the lane quickly and intentionally feed the enemy team for the game to be over as fast as possible. Although that is what you should expect, AP Nunu is actually a good off-meta build for the Mid Lane.
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Nunu is primarily a simple and straightforward Jungle champion. Accompanied by Willump, he is known to build tank items such as Sunfire Aegis and Thornmail that help him soak up a lot of damage while he tries to apply crowd control to the enemies, damaging them alongside his allies.
You rarely see him played in any lane except for, of course, when your ally is trying to int your game because your team did not dodge. While it is not optimal, building AP on him is not a bad idea at all. He has AP scaling on every single ability, making a full damage build viable.
Full AP Nunu works best in the Mid Lane, allowing you to adopt the shove and roam playstyle while your enemy is busy farming minions under their tower.
The Best Runes for AP Nunu
As full AP Nunu, your primary keystone is Dark Harvest. It allows you to deal bonus damage to enemies whose health is lower than 50% of their maximum HP.
This rune is perfect for Nunu as he deals a ton of damage with Biggest Snowball Ever! (W), almost instantly triggering this keystone. It is taken in combination with Cheapshot, Eyeball Collection, and Relentless Hunter. These runes allow Nunu to maximize his damage and movement speed.
For secondary runes, Nunu almost always picks Nimbus Cloak and Waterwalking from the Sorcery tree. These help him gain additional movement speed as Nunu finds it difficult to get out of a fight once he is in one.
Phase Rush is still an option for Nunu Mid, allowing you to be more mobile but it is better to go Dark Harvest because it suits Full AP Nunu’s playstyle better.
The Best Item Build for AP Nunu
Full AP Nunu means you will be building as maximum damage. You start with Doran’s Ring as your starting item. The recommended build for full AP Nunu is as follows:
Hextech Rocketbelt, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Dead Man’s Plate, Mjeais Soulstealer, and Rabadon’s Deathcap.
You can also opt for a Night Harvester as your mythic item, however, the dash active which you get from Hextech Rocketbelt is great for Nunu as you do not have any mobility after you use your snowball.
It provides great magic penetration and damage combined with Sorcerer’s Shoes. Zhonya’s Hourglass offers great stats along with survivability in any extended fight. Dead Man’s Plate further adds to Nunu’s mobility, followed by a Mejai’s Soulstealer and a Rabadon’s Deathcap.
Another mythic item you can build is Everfrost. It not only provides great overall stats but the mythic item’s active allows you to slow and even stun enemy targets, guaranteeing you to land your ultimate Absolute Zero on them.
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As Nunu in the Mid Lane, you always want to level up Biggest Snowball Ever! (W) first. The reason behind this is your level 1 strategy to one-shot the caster minions in the lane. Next up, you level up Snowball Barrage (E) and then Consume (Q) third. You can also level up Consume (Q) second if you cannot roam after shoving the first wave.
After level 3, you are to max Consume (Q) first, Biggest Snowball Ever! (W) second and Snowball Barrage (E) third. This is the skill order for full AP Nunu.
Nunu heavily relies on roaming. This is why AP Nunu is played in the Mid Lane so that he can roam around the map with his snowball and be active around the map. You have a strategy during your laning phase which is to shove your minion wave under the enemy tower and roam around the map, helping out your team.
This is easy as your snowball deals a lot of damage to the minions and you can easily clear a wave using your abilities. Your snowball allows you to gank other lanes and provide great ganks for your team to follow up on.
As Nunu Mid, you can even invade the enemy team by charging your snowball into the bushes around the enemy red or blue buffs.
This gets you an early lead and already puts your team on a path to the victory screen. It is extremely effective as Nunu Mid is a rare pick, it will be difficult to anticipate such a strong invade into the enemy jungle at level 1.
Nunu can one-shot any squishy champion in the game as long as your combo fully hits your targets. Nunu can either use Everfrost or directly start channeling Absolute Zero (R) after the enemy has been impaired by a strong crowd control ability.
This leads to a very large AoE explosion, killing every squishy target in its radius in one hit. This is already a strong ultimate for Nunu, but since you are building AP items and the ability has AP scaling, you do even more damage.
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Roaming and Ganking
He uses Biggest Snowball Ever! (W) to move quickly around the map and tries to hit the enemy targets with the snowball, knocking them up and potentially stunning them, giving your team enough time to kill them on the spot.
On top of being a great roaming pick, Nunu has great sustain in the lane as well. He uses Consume (Q) to heal back a lot of HP from not only enemy champions but also minions and jungle monsters. In fact, Nunu heals more from minions than enemy champions.
As he “consumes” the minion, it removes one enemy minion from the wave, further adding to his good wave-clear while healing him a lot of health, making him strong in the lane if you are unable to roam.
Falling Off Mid-Late Game
From the Mid-Late game, enemies are much stronger and you start to become very squishy as you only build AP items. That is when you stop being as strong as you were during the early game and start becoming more and more useless.
This is one of AP Nunu’s weaknesses. If you build more tanky items instead of Mejais and Deathcap, you can still be useful as a utility for your team, however, you lack a lot of damage therefore it is a choice left for you.
Should You Try AP Nunu?
Absolutely! Full AP Nunu is a strong off-meta pick. You have a unique playstyle that heavily depends upon roaming that helps your team get ahead in other lanes. You have great wave-clear and sustain in lane, allowing you to be a strong laner on top of being a dangerous roamer.
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Full AP Nunu has a bad reputation and is considered a troll build by people but it has been proven by Korean player Lee Hawoo that you can even reach Challenger with it just like he did.
It is a very strong early-game pick that can win you many games by simple techniques such as invading, constant roaming, and team fighting.
What do you think of full AP Nunu? Will you try this build in one of your games? Would you be brave enough to test this playstyle in your ranked games? What are your thoughts on the newest patch? We love hearing your feedback, so hit us with it in the comment section below!