So a new patch has come and gone and a new champion has been released. Nautilus was a billed as a tank, and I thought I’d play him a bit to see just how everything works on him. Almost sorry to say that 3 days and a dozen or so games, I have yet to build this guy once as he was intended. Almost sorry. Nautilus is just insanely fun to play with a variety of builds, each one having a specific style to it. So, bear with me when I say I play Nautilus in lane or jungle, and my build changes drastically. How drastically? Well, before opening that can of worms, let’s look at his skills…

Alright, I lied. First let's look at the Big Daddy.

 

(Passive) Staggering Blow: Nautilus’ basic attacks bind the target in place and deals bonus physical damage. Effect can not occur more than once every 12 seconds on an individual target.

Dredge Line: Nautilus throws his anchor in a line pulling himself and the first enemy hit together. Dredge Line can also be used on terrain, quickly pulling Nautilus along and reducing the cooldown by half.

Titan’s Wrath: Nautilus creates a shield around himself, scaling off of bonus health. While the shield holds, Nautilus’ basic attacks inflict a short damage-over-time effect on the target and near-by enemies.

Riptide: Nautilus sends out a pulsing shockwave, dealing damage and slowing anything caught in the pulse. Subsequent hits from pulse dead reduced damage and slow less.

(Ultimate) Depth Charge: Nautilus sends out a pulsing shot that seeks out a single target. As the charge travels, it will knock up any enemy it passes under, finally knocking up and stunning the target.

The first, most noticeable thing  is how simple his skill kit looks at a first glance, but also how it can be used by various players. A new player might use Riptide and Depth Charge to deal damage straight up, while a more experienced player might use Depth Charge to knock up as many people as possible, or to shut down an enemy carry with a little crowd control. Dredge Line ups the ante even more by allowing players to choose what they’re going for. You could use it to hit an enemy and yoink them back… or you could hookshot the wall and use Riptide to slow as they run pass, while Dredge Line is now on a much shorter cooldown, possibly short enough for you to get a second hook out in a single fight. There’s a lot of depth to the character, and you’ll just have to dive in and experiment to find everything out.

Oh, those puns were bad.

On to play style, there are two distinct ones, and it varies along with build path depending on where I am. Personally, I’m finding Nautilus to be an absolutely fantastic jungler, but with his gap-closer and multiple cc effects, both hard and soft, he can lane and support or top insanely well too. Starting with jungle; Start at wolves and then run to blue. Starting with Riptide and then grabbing Dredge Line will allow for quick, powerful ganks right at the start. Once you have all 3 skills though, focus on leveling Titan’s Wrath for jungle speed and damage, then Riptide whenever available. Gank hard and gank often to keep pressure up on any lane you can. For items, I’ve been going for Wriggles, boots of your choice, and Frozen Mallet as a core. This gives life to boost your shield, and a nice little bit of raw attack damage along with making all of your attacks inflict some form of control. For runes I run Attack Damage Reds/Quints, Armor Yellows, and Attack Speed Blues. Yeah, it’s weird, but give it a shot. By the time your damage begins to fall off, you can easily switch over to just building tank items like Banshee’s Veil and Sunfire Cape to boost your lifepool and get some resists building.

For laning, I try a different build. Starting with a rushed Catalyst for lane sustain, I then grab… Sorc Boots. Yeah, you read that right. Same build as jungling for skills, max Titan’s Wrath, Riptide, then Dredge Line, grabbing Depth Charge whenever it’s available. Almost all of his skills actually have pretty good scaling, and the one that has the worst, Titan’s Wrath, splashes a heavy-hitting short duration DoT on anything nearby his melee target. Riptide has almost as bad scaling… but pulses out and can hit multiple times in a single cast, especially if someone is running. Depth Charge and Dredge Line both hit ludicrously hard once you get some Ability Power rolling. Because of that, after boots comes Rod of Ages and then Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Now that you’ve got enough HP to survive in melee (and some nice bonus for your shield), it’s easy to start stacking some more ability power. Deathcap will turn you into fast-moving magic bomb while Will of the Ancients gives insane sustain and harass in a 1v1 enviorment.

Overall, Nautilus can run almost any kind of build and still eat face when played properly. You can build him Attack Damage and use his skills to slow and force opponents to stay in melee while you pummel them to death, or build Ability Power and burst anything silly enough to stand against you with a quick-firing of your skills, letting the bleed from Titan’s Wrath drain out their last as you just sit on them with that shield, or build him as a tank and use his skills to bring the maximum amount of disruption and chaos to the enemy team. However he’s played, he’ll have plenty of tricks to learn and a great depth for learning. Always remember though, if you try an AP build to always use his Abyssal skin. If you’re going to give in to the darkness and play him like a mage, might as well go for Chaos, right? Now if only he had a line praising T’zeench…

Eh, good enough.