Nilah Champion Guide | RiftFeed
League of Legends has released an exciting new marksman, with a whip, and some water, and a... demon?

Nilah Champion Build Guide

Guides 15-07-2022 10:09
Nilah Guide Riftfeed
One glance at this image and you know when to play her. | © Riot Games/Riftfeed

In this guide we'll discuss the best tips and tricks to playing the new champion Nilah. We'll also cover how best to build Nilah, and some advice on how to play her.

Nilah hasn't been out for long, and she already has a decent winrate. This implies that by the time players figure out how to play her she'll be an excellent champion who's sitting at the top of the meta.

How Do You Build Nilah?

Nilah is a pretty tough champion to balance for Riot because she's an ADC that has to have enough survivability to be in melee range. This risks Nilah building bruiser items and becoming too durable. To avoid this Riot has gated the majority of Nilah's damage and healing into building Crit. So while you might be able to sneak in a Death's Dance or two, she is still going to need mostly Crit items to be impactful. To make itemization easier Nilah has a lot of healing and armor penetration built into her kit so she can get away with building more offensive stats and still be able to survive in the frontline.

For items, you'll want your mythic to be Immortal Shieldbow most of the time. This item synergizes way too well with her short range and sustain heavy playstyle that realistically you will ever only want Galeforce for an extra mobility option instead of Shieldbow. It's worthy to note that similar champions to Nilah like Yasuo, Yone, and Samira exclusively build Shieldbow.

After the Mythic you'll want Phantom Dancer, Bloodthirster, or Mortal Reminder depending on the game. But generally Phantom Dancer synergizes best with your kit and the stats you're looking for. Third item is going to be Infinity Edge 90% of the time. It's such a large damage spike, it's really hard to overlook. If you don't buy it third item you will certainly buy it fourth. For the rest of your items you'll want to pick based off of the game you're in. Bloodthirster, Guardian Angel, Navori Quickblades, Lord Dominik's Regards are all great options you just have to pick based on the situation you're in.

Nilah Runes
Pretty Standard Rune page!

Nilah Runes

For keystones, Nilah wants Conqueror or Lethal Tempo for sure. Nilah gets a large attack speed steroid from her Q, so the bonus AD and healing from Conqueror tends to get more value. For major runes you just want runes that will give you durability and reward you for skirmishing a lot. The secondary rune page can be almost anything you want it to be, Overgrowth and Conditioning tend to get more value since Nilah isn't really lacking in damage, she's lacking in survivability and mobility. Presence of Mind is also viable in exchange for Triumph. Legend: Tenacity and Alacrity are also viable, but Bloodline has good scaling and Nilah really likes lifesteal.
Star Guardian Nilah 2
Magical Girl Nilah, best release skin possible. | © Riot Games

How to play Nilah

While Nilah's kit is shockingly simple for a new champion (looking at you Zeri, Renata, Bel'Veth) she is going to require intricate understanding of her kit to get everything you can out of the champion. Nilah is a unique champion in the sense that she's intended to be a short range botlaner. While her counterpart Yasuo ADC is a gimmicky niche pick that requires certain supports to function, Nilah is able to be picked with enchanters and engage supports alike. This makes her much more viable.

Another noteworthy thing about Nilah, is that she beats pretty much every Auto Attack based champion in a 1v1, her kit is specifically designed for her to take down powerful duellists like Yone or Camille from the ADC role. The tradeoff to this, is that Nilah is incredibly vulnerable to mages and ability based champions. Not only is she short range and relatively immobile, she has no good itemization options for MR. So if a mage is a strong threat for Nilah, she's kind of just... stuck.

Learning engage timing and positioning is going to be really important since Nilah is punished very badly for being overextended, very similar to Irelia or Katarina. While Nilah is pretty oppressive once she's in range to hit you, she's still vulnerable to CC so while manoeuvring teamfights you need to keep track of the tools the enemy team has to shut you down. Because if left unchecked, Nilah will single-handedly dominate a fight. Her sustain damage and lifesteal is extremely strong late game, she will make quick work of unsuspecting enemies no matter how many there are.

062222 08 Nilah Splash
Test her out as soon as you can and experience the joy. | © Riot Games

Nilah Tips and Tricks

As aforementioned, Nilah requires the player to utilize every part of her kit to the fullest to truly make the champion work. This means you need to understand a few key things:

  1. Nilah can auto cancel with her Q. This means that every time you Q you went to use an auto just beforehand to maximize your damage.
  2. Nilah's E has a really really long cooldown. Even though it has two charges, you need to be very strict with how you use this ability, or you'll be caught out of position a lot.
  3. Nilah's W should be used reactively, to dodge important attacks like Twisted Fate's gold card or Camille's Q2. It won't do a lot if you just throw it out when you get scared.
  4. 90% of Nilah's damage comes from her Q and the empowered attacks. Be very careful to make sure you land it or you will find your damage falls off a cliff. While it's very important to try and utilize auto attack cancels with her Q, it's more important for it to land. So if you need to use EQ combo to have a higher chance of Q landing, it's not the worst.
  5. Nilah's ult doesn't do a crazy amount of damage, it's more so an AoE CC effect, as well as a mass heal for her team. So use it like utility, not damage.
  6. Nilah has incredibly strong early trading, and good scaling. She's very similar to Yone or Caitlyn in how her power curves. Her laning phase is good, but if she doesn't win lane she'll fall off until Late game when she has 3-4 items in which case she will become very strong again.
  7. Because of Nilah's short range, you'll want to farm with Q in lane a lot of the time. The mana cost is low enough that this ability is pretty spammable, so don't be afraid to use it as a farming tool often.

Nilah is going to excel in teamfights Vs. a group of melee enemies. But she is going to struggle into enemies with lots of range and high CC. So be aware that in the right situation Nilah is going to be an incredibly solid pick, single-handedly able to take over a game.

Another thing to note, is that Nilah will be a flex pick because she will undoubtedly have favorable matchups in both toplane and midlane, so make sure to give her a try if you like off-meta champs in other roles. Happy whipping and make sure to enjoy the amazing Star Guardian event that comes with Nilah! 

Ethan Whetten

I am Ethan, a League of Legends writer and player. I started playing games at a young age, ranking extremely high already in Overwatch before switching over to League of Legends where I am in Diamond. Champions like Qiyana, Kai'Sa...