Nunu has always been a strange champion, with very little gameplay. But in his new rework, he’s added a Willump to his name and has finally been given some actual buttons to press. Nunu & Willump are good, good friends and cute boys that bring love and positivity to the jungle or wherever they go.
But the two boys are also quite a bit more complicated than before, which will create quite the learning curve for Nunu mains. However, this also opens Nunu & Willump up to even more players. They finally look and feel like the modern champion they always deserved to be.
Let’s take a look at what they can do and get you started with some runes and items before your first match.
Passive - Call of the Freljord
What it does:
Call of the Freljord replaces Bloodboil. Whenever Nunu & Willump attack an enemy champion, or objective — such as a large monster or turret — the boys and their nearest ally will gain increased attack and movement speed for four seconds. This buff will intelligently be applied to the ally with the most attack speed. Call of the Freljord will also cause Nunu & Willump’s basic attacks to deal damage in an area.
This ability is almost entirely passive. While good Nunu players will be able to account for when it comes up, the key to using it properly is making sure that you get an attack off near your allies. Nunu & Willump are very support focused junglers now, being able to do a bit on their own but also relying on the strength of their allies to follow through.
Q - Consume (level first, max first)
What it does:
Willump — the yeti — bites an enemy, which deals damage and subsequently heals Nunu & Willump. The healing is increased the lower the boys’ health is. Consume deals additional damage to minions and monsters. The heal is also greater.
Consume is the same ability it was. The big difference here is that Consume can now be cast on enemy champions. While it doesn’t do a great deal of damage at first, it does deal a small amount of percent of health damage. It can be a powerful tool to take down tanks and other high health champions. An AP Nunu & Willump also has a great chance of doing surprise damage with Consume, as it scales by 50 percent.
W - Biggest Snowball Ever! (level third, max third)
What it does:
Willump begins rolling a snowball, which will increase in size and speed over time. Slamming the snowball into a wall, enemy champion, or large monster will cause it to explode. The explosion of the snowball will deal damage and knock champions up depending on its size. However, reactivating the ability will cause Willump to launch it forward, extending it’s range but allowing it to be blocked by minions.
This ability controls very much like Sion’s ultimate. But for a jungler, Biggest Snowball Ever has some serious potential. At close range, it’s a short, simple knock up. But with good preparation, you can roll it from mid brush, through the river and into the bottom lane for a double play.
The range is a large portion of the map, meaning that skilled Nunu & Willump players can prepare early for a big play. The cooldown is also very generous, which should help learning players master it. The key with this ability is to not be too precious with your use. It’s great for pursuit or engage, but it can also be useful for keeping your enemies slowed mid-battle. Keep an eye on the cooldown and fire whenever you can.
E - Snowball Barrage (Level second, max second)
What it does:
Nunu throws three snowballs in a targeted direction. For several seconds, Nunu can throw up to two more barrages. These snowballs deal a small amount of damage but mark targets with Snowbound. Targets hit by three snowballs will also be slowed significantly. Once Nunu has run out of snowballs, Willump will begin channeling an area around him. After a brief period of time, any enemies afflicted with Snowbound near Willump will be rooted.
Snowball Barrage is a CC tool, not the snowball nuke Nunu players may be used to. While the damage of this ability is pathetic, the utility is unmatched in Nunu & Willump’s kit. The use for these skills will vary depending on how many enemies you face. If you’re going against a group, the goal should be to tag as many enemies as possible with Snowbound. If you’re simply going after one target, ensuring you get the 50 percent slow will be key to securing the kill for your team.
R - Absolute Zero (level when available)
What it does:
Willump opens his maw and channels an ice storm around him. During the channel, nearby enemies are slowed, with the slow increasing over time. Nunu & Willump receive a shield during the channel. When the channel ends, Willump explodes the area around him, dealing damage based on how long the channel was. Moving early will cause the duo to end the channel.
This ability is almost untouched from Nunu’s previous incarnation. However, the shield will allow the boys to stay safe during their channel period. The goal is still to catch as many bad guys as you can in the area. Open up with a Biggest Snowball Ever! and then keep your enemies in place with Snowball Barrage. Once the enemies are slowed, rooted and forever close to you, channel Absolute Zero. You’re guaranteed to burn a Flash at worst and get a Pentakill at best.
Resolve tree with Guardian, Sorcery is secondary
Nunu & Willump are all about that support life, giving up their own damage to help make the lives of others a bit easier. Guardian is the obvious choice for the duo, as Call of the Freljord already centers around helping out a nearby ally. While possible, Nunu & Willump aren’t going to be dueling the enemy frequently, and will instead fight with friends. Being able to protect them while being a CC bot should be your easily achievable goal.
Sorcery then becomes the secondary choice here. Nunu & Willump are still AP oriented, and gaining some extra love there should simply help them along.
- Hunter’s Talisman
- Mercury’s Treads
- Skirmisher’s Saber - Cinderhulk
- Spirit’s Visage
- Righteous Glory
- Dead Man’s Plate
- Gargoyle’s Stoneplate
Nunu & Willump will release as one of the simplest reworks we’ve seen yet, but that isn’t a bad thing. Nunu was so easy to understand that some players would say he bordered on boring. Nunu & Willump maintains that simple gameplay without ever letting your eyes droop.
The duo have gone from being a troll-y, counter-jungle champion to a legitimate role on the team. While you can’t nuke people with snowball anymore, you can be an actual CC machine for your friends and allies in every encounter, with multiple abilities. The boys have a real identity now, and that should exciting for all players.