Nami has always been floating around viability. Recently, however, she’s been ‘sea’-ing an increase in play but without the notice other rising-meta champions obtain. In this short article I’ll explain, with a few too many puns, why Nami is a support champion every support player needs to be able to play.
It’s about time you made your opponents the bottom feeders!
Her kit is awesome for the current meta
Hypercarry AD’s are on the rise, and they need proper peeling. Nami provides both Tidecaller’s Blessing (E) for a slow and Surging Tides (passive) for increased movespeed, at the same time, which makes kiting on immobile AD Carrys much easier. In lane, these two skills can also be very strong as a counter-engage tool against all-in laners, especially when Nami can knock up the opposing AD Carry with an Aqua Prison (Q). Speaking of Aqua Prison, this skill and Tidal Wave (R ) both provide a knock up, which synergizes well with Yasuo, another must-have champion for a mid-laner’s pool.
One last key point to mention about Nami in the current meta is her item synergy. It’s very convenient that Frost Queen’s Claim, Nami’s normal choice of a gold item because of the AP it provides, also has a targeted skill shot slow which can allow an easy Aqua Prison as followup. On top of this, one of Nami’s setbacks in season 3 was her mana issues in a meta where supports only bought wards. Now, supports almost always purchase Mikael’s Crucible, which has the Mana Font passive that gives insane mana regeneration when your mana pool is low on top of the heal and cleanse-effect it provides.
Versatility is key
Nami’s kit allows her to be strong in multiple compositions. In a fast-push comp, Nami can max Tidecaller’s Blessing first, which allows the AD carry to push the lane faster. She’s also ranged, so she can safely attack the turret from a distance as compared to melee supports. The disengage from Tidal Wave can allow Nami to do well in poke and split-pushing comps. Lastly, Nami can pick champions with her Aqua Prison, and effectively zone out enemy champions with a Tidal Wave after a pick as well. An example of someone picking Nami when “the meta hasn’t favored her” is Poohmandu, who’s been praised for his skillful Nami play, which brings me to my next point.
Skill Ceiling is tremendous
Nami, like all strong supports, is a playmaker. Imagine if Riot released a champion that, with 40% cooldown reduction, had a long ranged, targetable AoE knockup ability on a 6 second cooldown. Compare this to a Nami master, who can put that horribly overpowered idea into a reality. Also, Ebb and Flow (W) is balanced around the initial spell, and has additional benefits if the Nami player can manipulate the hitboxes of herself, her enemies, and her allies for additional heals and damage.
Value in Korea
If you haven’t already been sold on the fact that Nami is in the rising, let me direct you to the Koreans. In the OGN Spring Playoffs, Nami has been picked 13 of 30 times. If we separate this to the Semi-finals and the Third Place game, we see she’s been picked 10 of 13 times. To be fair, there was a huge game-changing patch between the Quarter Finals and the Semi Finals. Despite this, the fact that Nami still received play before and after this huge patch only further shows her strengths.
Funnily enough, after writing the first draft of this article, Nami received some love in Summoning Insight #9 at 2:45:55. Thorin, Monte, and Mithy have a small conversation about her strengths and how her skill ceiling is very high. If you don’t watch Summoning Insight, I suggest you do; it’s an awesome series.
So, water you doing? Get surfing to high elo by playing Nami!