Nidalee is a great scout. Putting Bushwhack in as many places as possible can warn your team about gank attempts or lone targets in the jungle. Bushwhack is ignored by enemy turrets, but cannot be teleported to.
With some mana regen masteries/runes/items, Nidalee can set some Bushwacks before creeps spawn. Ask junglers where they are starting and trap the surrounding area; With only utility masteries & Doran's Ring at Level 1, you can regenerate the mana for Bushwhack by the time it comes off cooldown. Nidalee can also set up Bushwhacks in the enemies' jungle if they have a jungler. The best places to set up Bushwhacks in the enemy jungle is in the intersection where they must pass to kill the monsters.
Aspect of the Cougar abilities cost no mana, so it is effective to use to push or jungle. Pounce can also be used to jump over the jungle walls and escape. Since Pounce costs no mana, it can be endlessly cast which makes it a good chasing and escaping ability.
Switching to Aspect of the Cougar and farming creeps can be much more effective in earning gold rather than using normal form to last hit.
With good harassing abilities, good farming abilities, good escape abilities, and the staying power of self-heals with Primal Surge, Nidalee is an excellent solo laner and is a good choice to hold the 1v2 top lane if your team has a jungler.
Additionally, Nidalee can be a great juker when being chased: entering a bush, then Pouncing back the way you came. Most of the time, the chaser will go through the bush while you escape and gain more time.
Primal Surge can help bring towers down with the attack speed buff; always use it on allied champions with the highest attack damage.
Nidalee is a great harasser with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack. Take this to your advantage to dominate your lane from the start allowing easy farming and enemies to be under-farmed.
Rod of Ages is a good item for Nidalee, because it gives a good amount of mana and ability power, along with some health that can be very useful as her cougar abilities requires her to be in melee range. However, it can put you significantly behind if you are already having trouble and can't complete it early enough because of the time it takes to fully stacks. If you are not sure to be able to complete it in time, consider buying the Blasting Wand first instead of the Catalyst the Protector; you will be able to turn it into something else if you can't finish the Rod of Ages soon after.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be an alternative, and you don't need to wait for it to stack; however, it gives less total health, no mana, and will only apply its passive to its full effectiveness on Javelin Toss and Takedown, while also being slightly more expensive.
Nashor's Tooth's passive works very well with the attack speed steroid from Primal Surge. However, it requires you to be in attack range, and is therefore not recommended in a glass cannon build.
If you are looking for cooldown reduction, the Morellonomicon is a rather cheap item, that comes with a good amount of mana regeneration and ability power, and it's passive will often trigger on Javelin Toss because of its high damage, preventing enemies from simply healing the damage, further increasing the effectiveness of Nidalee's poke; therefore, it is a very good item on her. You can also build Athene's Unholy Grail, which is more expensive and has less ability power, but that comes with two passives that will allow you to almost never run out of mana.
When it comes to boots, Sorcerer's Shoes are often the most appealing choice, since Nidalee greatly benefits from magic penetration. However, you can also consider taking Mercury's Treads; as she is very susceptible to controls, the tenacity could save your life. Also, if you are facing another mage, the extra magic resistance will prove useful.
Pounce's low cooldown and lack of mana cost makes it one of the best abilities in the game to gain stacks on aTear of the Goddess and it's evolutions.
Javelin Toss will trigger Muramana's bonus damage if the toggle is on. It is, however, physical damage, so it's mainly interesting for AD Nidalee. When playing AP, Seraph's Embrace will often prove to be a better choice because of the great amount of ability power (without any other mana items, Nidalee will have 2030 mana at level 18, which will give her 60 ability power with it's passive, and 60 more with it's base stats of the item, for a total of 120 ability power) and the life-saving active shield.
Zhonya's Hourglass can save your life with its active if an enemy dives into your team to get you, while also giving a great amount of ability power and armor. It also builds from Seeker's Armguard, which will prove very useful when facing a champion who excels in dealing physical damage in lane.
Nidalee relies on being able to heal constantly so that she can return to fights or escape. Using Ignite on her is an effective way to keep her from returning to a fight or killing her if she tries to run.
Nidalee is very susceptible to hard CC and does not have any of her own. Crowd controlling her as soon as she comes into range of your team can get her killed very quickly. Due to her synergy with Guinsoo's Rageblade, hard CCs can also greatly lower her effectiveness.
If you are chasing Nidalee and you are both at low health, it is highly advised not to follow her into brush. This may give her a perfect opportunity to use Takedown, as it does more damage to lower health targets.
If you are having trouble dodging Javelin TossNidalee or need to take a hit for a teammate, always remember that it does more damage based on the distance between the target hit and where she tossed it from. If you close that distance, it will do less damage.
Alternatively building a Banshee's Veil provides excellent assistance by negating the skillshot entirely.
Also remember that the spear doesn't start gaining damage until it goes past Nidalee's attack range, i.e. 525 units.
Javelin Toss can be easily dodged by side stepping or standing behind minions.
Nidalee has great mobility and is good at baiting team fights in her team's favor by pulling bold enemies into bad positions. If you see a Nidalee leading you or your team through the jungle or any other tightly spaced areas, don't follow her unless you have good knowledge of the area via wards or some other form of map awareness. It also leaves yourself open to a powerful Javelin Toss that could kill you.
Nidalee is one of the few champions in League of Legends that can be effective with both ability power and attack damage. Make sure you notice which she is prioritizing so you can counter accordingly.
If you step on one of Nidalee's trap, be very careful. Due to the important shred, any attack will do significantly more damage, even if you're a tank. Also keep in mind that it grants Nidalee's team true sight, meaning that if you step on one of your ward, they will see it.
Traps are visible. This means that Nidalee will mostly try to hide them in bushes. Be careful when entering one.
If Nidalee places a trap under your feet, move away. They take a slight time to arm, enough to allow you to dodge it.
Nidalee is a very good roamer and split pusher with her Aspect of the Cougar abilities. Always be aware of her position and tell your team if she is missing.