Ultimate Nautilus guide: Best League of Legends runes, builds, tips & tricks

Lawrence Scotti
league of legends nautilusRiot Games

Nautilus is one of League of Legends‘ most popular tank support champions, and although he has a basic kit mastering him can be quite hard, so here’s a guide including what runes and items are best for The Titan of the Depths in Season 12.

Despite the multiple dozens of champions that have been released to Summoner’s Rift since Nautilus first made his appearance back in 2012, he’s continued to be one of the more popular champions in all of LoL.

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Beloved for his jarring amount of crowd control abilities and shocking resemblance to the Big Daddy from BioShock, he’s managed to maintain relevancy all these years later. Here is a guide for the support champions including best runes and items in Season 12.


astronautilus league of legendsRiot Games
AstroNautilus was released to League of Legends in 2012.

Who is Nautilus?

Nautilus is a massive titan from Bilgewater who roams the coast of the Blue Flame Isles. An armored goliath who is even older than Bilgeatwer itself, he swings his gargantuan anchor to save the wretched and pull the greedy to their doom down under.

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Nautilus is fueled by mysterious betrayal and serves as a reminder that nobody can escape the depths of the ocean.

Nautilus abilities & gameplay

The Vanguard sports a very streamlined kit chock-full of crowd control, great for anybody trying to learn the support role. His main ability is Dredge Line which hurls his anchor forward, colliding with the first enemy pulling you and them together.

Nautilus’ passive is Staggering Blow, which allows him to root an enemy champion he auto attacks in place. Comboing Dredge Line and Nautilus’ passive helps create a chain of CC that will keep opponents in place for a long period of time.

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Titan’s Wrath (W) grants him a self shield and allows his abilities to deal damage over time to surrounding opponents. Riptide (E) creates three exploding waves around Nautilus, slowing enemies and dealing damage. After landing Dredge Line, look to auto attack your target of choice and hit them with Riptide for extra damage and a slow.

His ultimate Depth Charge (R) fires a shockwave towards an opponent champion which knocks them and everybody in its pathway high up into the air. Look to target opponents in the backline of team fights in order to knock up as many opponents as possible.

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  • Passive: Staggering Blow Nautilus’ first Attack against a target deals increased physical damage and roots them briefly.
  • Q: Dredge Line – Nautilus hurls his anchor forward. Colliding with an enemy pulls them and Nautilus together, dealing magic damage. Colliding with terrain pulls Nautilus towards it.
  • W: Titan’s Wrath – Nautilus gains a temporary Shield. While it persists, his Attacks deal damage over time to his target and surrounding enemies.
  • E: Riptide – Nautilus creates three exploding waves around himself. Each explosion damages and slows enemies.
  • R: Depth Charge – Nautilus fires a shockwave into the earth that chases an opponent. This shockwave rips up the earth above it, knocking enemies into the air. When it reaches the opponent, the shockwave erupts, knocking his target into the air and stunning them.

Best build for Nautilus

Nautilus is best built with as much tankiness and movement speed as possible. For his best Mythic item, look to pick up either of Evenshroud or Locket of the Iron Solari as both are solid support tank items that will help you deal more damage to a CC’ed target, or provide a big shield to your teammates.

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Stat wise, both provide big boosts to health and armor/magic resist, which help Nautilus survive being the solo engaged against enemy teams.

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Boots-wise, his most reliable options are either Mobility Boots or Mercury’s Treads. Mobility Boots help Naut move around the map quicker, and Merc Treds help him not get crowd controlled as easily.

Top meta builds for Nautilus Season 12

  • Mythic: Evenshroud / Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Boots: Mobility Boots / Mercury’s Treads
  • Knight’s Vow
  • Frozen Heart
  • Redemption
  • Zhonya’s Hourglass
  • Watchful Wardstone

Best runes for Nautilus

Nautilus’ best runes are ones that help provide him with the most amount of utility. To accomplish this, it’s best to take Glacial Augment from the Inspiration tree which shoots ice rays at immobilized targets.

Since Nautilus is always crowd-controlling opponents, this keystone will always come in handy and even reduces damage to your allies from glacierized targets.

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After that, look to take Perfect Timing, Biscuit Delivery, and Cosmic Insight. For secondary runes, look in the Resolve tree for Font of Life and Unflinching.

Top meta runes for Nautilus Season 12

nautilus runes league of legends blue

Nautilus skins in League of Legends

Skin Cost (RP)
Warden Nautilus 750
Worldbreaker Nautilus 750
Abyssal Nautilus 975
Subterranean Nautilus 975
Conqueror Nautilus 975
AstroNautilus 1350
Shan Hai Scrolls Nautilus 1350

Nautilus may be one of the easier support champions to play, but mastering him is difficult and will take tons of time and patience.

Looking to outwit your foes on Summoner’s Rift? Be sure to check out our other champion guides:

Ahri guide | Akali guide | Amumu guide | Blitzcrank guide | Caitlyn guide | Camile guide | Evelynn guide | Graves Guide | Hecarim guide | Irelia guide | Karma guide | Kayn guide | Kindred guide | Lulu guide | Nami guide | Malzahar guide | Sona guide | Swain guide | Tahm Kench guide | Taliyah guide | Thresh guide | Warwick guide | Varus guide | Vex guide | Yuumi guide

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About The Author

Lawrence is a former Dexerto writer, based in New York City, who covered entertainment and games for Dexerto focusing on Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, NBA 2K, and any indie game he can review.