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Welcome to my guide for the Guardian of Heaven and Earth, Nu Wa. This guide will touch on what to expect in the Mid Lane and how to play there. I'll also give some of my tips and tricks I've found when playing as Nu Wa and how best to take advantage of what her skills can do for you and your team. And I'll go over her Pro's and Con's as well to help give a clearer picture on where Nu Wa stands currently.
I'll also explain the builds I have listed as all 3 are very acceptable and viable builds that have some leeway in what can be built for them.
While in the Mid lane, there are several things to keep in mind. This is often referred to as one of the hardest roles cause there are a multitude of things to keep in mind (and these usually apply to all mid laners, not just Nu Wa). Among these things are map awareness, VGS use, team awareness, setup and positioning. I'll touch on the most important mid lane basics.
Early clear is the most important thing for mages currently. As such most mages will now pick up Soul Stone over Sands of Time in favor of the extra damage Soul Stone provides. This item was recently buffed to restore 40 Mana to the user in addition to the extra damage. This has brought this item up to par with the other items. Don't get me wrong, Sands of Time is still a viable option for starting the game with however its passive is really only useful once you are down to half mana or less. That being said 10% CDR on a starter item can be and usually is extremely potent, especially on gods like Chang'e and He Bo.
VGS Use is probably one of the most important mechanics in the Mid lane currently. This feature allows for quick and concise communication to the rest of your team for who has crossed mid and where your enemy lane partner is. Use this even if you have wards up cause most people tune out the 'Ping' that occurs when an enemy gets identified by a ward or vision granting ability/item. That being said, in Mid Lane, unless you have the Gods Voice Pack, be prepared to spam the vgs system as the default voice is mundane and easily tuned out.
Map Awareness in conjunction with VGS use is going to be your saving grace, not only for you but for the rest of your team. You are in the center of the map and often have the most awareness as to where the whole enemy team is AS WELL AS your own team. The Mid Laner can often provide good advice on what to do and where to go. Always take into account what they are saying.
Positioning is a Key Factor for most mages. Most specifically Nox, Chang'e, Ra and Scylla rely on key positioning to get their damage off and to get kills. This isn't as true for Nu Wa as it is those 4, however when caught out of position with no back-up you will be most likely killed. If you need to take the time to re-position yourself, DO IT. Nu Wa has a good tool for positioning, not only for you but also for the rest of your team. That tool is Mysterious Fog. If you are out of position, you are extremely liable to be picked off by the enemy jungler or adc. You are usually the main source of burst damage on a team along with your jungler.
Nu Wa has several pro's and some con's to consider when picking her as your goddess. Depending on how you build her she can dish out the damage while keeping the distance you need as a mage to be effective against all sorts of enemies. Her utility is as stands: She has a Vanish/Positioning Tool and Zoning Tool with Mysterious Fog that increases movement speed of all allies inside its radius, a decently large AoE stun with her Clay Soldier and Shining Metal Combo that also acts as her main form of clear, however that puts her at a disadvantage when these skills are down. Clay Soldiers also has lots of other potential including to body block enemy abilities and basic attacks from hitting you, disrupting the balance of the minion wave, and to some effect, can act as a bit of a zoning tool if timed properly.
The reason most people pick Nu Wa is cause of her ult Fire Shards. This is a global ult and a very good one at that. Not only does it do damage to all enemy gods on the map at the time, but also reveals them for a few seconds. You can use this ult in many ways that benefit you. You can cause damage, and often kill fleeing low health enemy players, reveal enemy players if you need vision and need it now, or even to get yourself out of the battlefield for a few seconds as you leap high into the air while using it. This can get you out of a lot of high damage abilities like I'm a Monster and Release The Kraken! However that being said, while it is considered a leap (with the ability to chose which way you fall down), it cannot clear terrain walls and often cannot clear player deployable walls either. As well as, once you start your descent, your position is easily telegraphed making you a prime target for high damage abilities as you land.
Nu Wa is also, probably anyways, one of the most passive aggressive goddesses for Mid lane there is. Positioning is a key factor for her, albeit less so then other mages, but still important. She needs to be in the right place at the right time to make use of her Clay Soldiers properly as their AI is not usually what you would expect.
Our resident protector of heaven can also be used with some success in the ADC role with an attack speed build. This is due to her passive Strength of Wood. Used properly this passive can be used in Mid or ADC to gain an early kill and/or make it easier to land your Soldier/Metal combo with a nice coating of Fog.
While Nu Wa doesn't have the best scaling for a mage, it still is decent and her abilities, when used properly, have an extreme amount of utility and are very useful throughout the game. When I play with Nu Wa I like to focus on getting a decent amount of Cool Down and power (or utility depending on team comps).
A good starting option for her is Soul Stone. The passive on this allows her to clear earlier then she normally would. Another option for when you want to play a bit more passively (and safely) is Vampiric Shroud or Sands of Time. Both options are decent for her. With your starter item, take Shoes, a Mana Chalice and your choice of either two Multi Potions, 2 Health Potions or 2 more Mana Potions. I personally like taking 2 Multi potions.
You'll want to start with Shoes of the Magi vs taking Shoes of Focus. The early pen that the Magi Shoes provide will give you a good early spike in damage, for both clearing wave and for poking the enemy.
Next you'll want a stacking item. Generally speaking Book of Thoth is the perfect item. It gives Nu Wa a large mana pool and a very large power spike early on giving her substantial damage. Another option here is to take Warlocks Sash and is considered the more defensive item. This option will make you tankier as well as your Clay Soldiers will benefit from this item as well giving you a substantial amount of lane pressure.
At this point you now want your next two items to be Obsidian Shard and Chronos' Pendant in whichever order you prefer. I personally usually opt for the pendant first.
Your last item is going to be your situational item and depending on the situation, you may want to build this item earlier (IE Divine Ruin for going against a high healing team comp). If you feel you don't need a specific item to counteract someone or something, feel free to pick up Spear of Desolation and then replace your Shoes of the Magi with Shoes of Focus. If you chose to go for an item other then Spear of Desolation or another item without extra cool down, keep your Shoes of the Magi and feel free to go for an item such as Soul Reaver, Ethereal Staff, Gem of Isolation, Bancroft's Talon or Pythagorem's Piece. Each of these items provide some utility for your team or extra effects for your abilities or a decent amount of sustain.
For Relics, generally Purification Beads and Aegis Amulet are the ones you'll want. Other options include Bracer of Undoing or Heavenly Wings. The Bracer can be used as both a panic button to regain a substantial amount of health if you just got bursted or it can be used to regain your abilities sooner rather then later, especially if time is of the essence and you can't wait 3 more seconds.
While in lane, you'll want to focus strictly on farming for the first 5 to 10 minutes or so of the game. Nu Wa is quite weak early game and only comes online once she has at least 2, or maybe more, items online depending on which items she starts with.
Your main form of clear will be Shining Metal with help from Mysterious Fog. Try and get a Soul Stone proc for the extra damage as its now a persistent effect rather then a one time proc for a single ability. Ideally after the enemy uses their clear, this is when you'll want to spawn your Clay Soldiers. This severely upsets the lane balance to your favor.
If you use your passive well here, you can potentially get lots of early poke on your enemy lane partner and force them to back early setting them back severely.
During the late game, you'll be using your ult a lot to locate the enemy team, deal decent damage and to start acting as a battering ram. As you approach team fights, you'll be using Mysterious Fog to position yourself and your team mates correctly, more often then not giving your team an element of surprise. While in the Fog, all allied units have increased movement making this an ideal tool to get away from fights as well. Usually you'll engage and then disengage with it. Mysterious Fog also does a decent amount of damage late game and as such acts as a great zoning tool to force the enemies to walk a certain way in most cases.
When spawning your soldiers it is important to do this after the fight has started as they will go for the closest enemy, which is unfortunately and usually, a jungle camp. If you spawn them after the fight has started, they will instead go for the enemy players allowing you to start to control the enemies movements as the threat of a large AoE stun will make them scatter. If you manage to stun someone, it allows your team to exploit the opportunity you made and pummel the vulnerable enemy.