Nocturne Build Guide by sickscope
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Who is NOcturne
MMMHe is tough because he needs a good balance of tanky and damage items, but other than that just push r. He can get on top of someone, blind the other team and block a spell that stops him from doing so, which makes him a relatively easy and fierce character. He does scary amounts of damage and will quickly melt nearly anyone in the League.
MMMOnce you get a few damage items under your belt, clearing the jungle is one Duskbringer and attack. His level 4 clear isn’t blazing fast, but because he gets faster and faster as the game progresses, I gave him a higher score.
MMMHe does gain life back with his passive, and once he has Wriggle’s he does fine with health. Mana is more of the issue as it is a frequent occurrence that I run into where I stop my jungling to gank with R and only have enough mana for a single Duskbringer. He is blue buff dependent to stay in the jungle and then be able to gank in the early game. In the later game, you generally have enough time between fights and scuffles that mana isn’t as much of an issue.
MMMNocturne is able to gank well at level 3. I have taken down duo lanes that are getting pushy on the bottom many times with just a single fear effect and lots of damage. The ability to deflect a stun to stop you is very powerful as that is the downfall of a few of the other junglers. After level 6, Nocturne’s ganking is off the chains because he can essentially teleport anywhere near him. This allows him to jungle and be in teamfights, which is an extremely valuable skill to have as a jungler.
Ability to Deflect/Recover from Counter-jungling:
MMMNocturne clears the jungle fast enough that he will most likely have his camps down before you can steal them. If you manage to get in and steal them and he sees you, chances are you’re not making it out alive. However, losing a camp or a little XP hurts him on his quest for level 6. His steroids in Q and W very much allow him to catch up when behind because he doesn’t need as much damage or attack speed in order to hang with the big boys.
Ability to Counter-jungle:
MMMNocturne can get into your jungle and clear a camp quickly, then pop his ultimate and kill your buddies. Duskbringer into his passive attack will 1 shot the wraith camps after a certain period and that means he can get in and out very quickly. If he is discovered in the jungle he can just spell shield the cc and roll out faster than you on a cloud of smoke.
MMMNocturne is flat out game ruining if he has been fed and is otherwise a very useful character to have. When you are jumping someone, activating the ultimate will keep the team from knowing it is happening and can also get you into the rear of a fight on someone separated. If Nocturne is behind he can either not do enough damage or die too fast when jumping into the fray, so make sure to keep ahead or at least even or he will suffer.
Tips and Tricks:
Your ultimate can be used to prevent vision, even if you’re not there or teleporting in to anything. If your team isolates someone, use your ultimate and they won’t see that someone is dying.
Duskbringer ignores unit collision! This makes you ganks far easier and make sure to use it pre-chase so you don't start to path around the minion wave.
Landing your Duskbringer on all of the creeps in the camp will speed your jungle up greatly.
Sometimes when your team enters a fight, the best time to use your ultimate is in the middle or end of the fight. Remember your allies still have full vision and denying vision to enemy healers, supports or casters can save your team, not to mention the chaos that is involved in some dude jumping into the fray.
How to Beat Him:
Nocturne can come back from being behind fairly well, but remember that he will be even squishier. Many Noc players choose to go straight damage, which makes them very easy to kill and should be taken advantage of. Check his items!
When his ultimate goes off, communicate with your team via pings or voice as to who is getting attacked and where.
Avoid overextending when he was not recently seen somewhere and keep in mind that he can be anywhere at a given time.
Putting him on a team:
MMMNocturne goes well on many teams. Overall, he can play like a DPS assassin or a tanky initiator, so putting him on a team is a piece of cake.
>Example team: Your team doesn't matter, it's Nocturne. DARRKKKKKNESSSSSSSSSSS
>Good against: Squishies. Squishies are scared of the dark.
>Bad against: Alistar, Janna, very tanky comps
Umbra Blades (passive): This is Nocturne's passive ability, which helps him to be very sustainable in the jungle. Since it scales with AD, it is useful all game long and is equally effective at farming groups of minions, healing up in the jungle or lane, and doing heavy AoE damage in team fights.
Tips and Tricks:
When Umbra Blades is ready, try to position Nocturne in the middle of a group of enemies for heavy damage and lifesteal.
Umbra Blades and Wriggle's Lantern make it easy to heal up after a tough fight without having to recall to base.
Using Umbra Blades and Duskbringer effectively can allow you to push a lane very quickly, or do heavy damage to the enemy team.
Duskbringer (Q): This ability has a variety of purposes. The initial damage from the skillshot makes it effective at farming creeps and harrassing champions. The move speed allows a Nocturne with blue buff to get around quickly, and can be used as an escape mechanism. Duskbringer also gives Nocturne increased attack damage while he's on the trail, so it's great for jungling and dueling. Last, but not least, this ability creates a trail behind champions, allowing you to chase in for the kill with ease.
Tips and Tricks:
Duskbringer isn't just useful for chasing. Fire it at a group of champions to wear down their health safely. This is especially strong if you have blue buff.
Using Duskbringer when retreating can save your life, just make sure you keep moving after you use the spell.
The attack damage increase from the trail on Duskbringer helps when killing champions, clearing creep camps, and even pushing down towers.
Duskbringer acts like Ghost, allowing you to pass through minions. This can save you some time when you don't need to path around a minion wave.
Shroud of Darkness (W): Much like Sivir's Spell Shield, this ability blocks one offensive spell if cast shortly before Nocturne is hit. Use it to reduce damage taken by enemy casters, block pokes like Nidalee's Javelin Toss / Takedown, survive delayed spells like Ace in the Hole and Requiem, and shake off any crowd control spells that come your way. It is important to remember that this ability gives bonus attack speed as well, doubling after a spell is blocked. Also, if you block a spell, you get to hear Nocturne's evil laugh, which makes it all the more satisfying.
Tips and Tricks:
Blocking a spell with Shroud of Darkness doubles the passive attack speed bonus, allowing you to take down mages even more quickly.
Shroud of Darkness has a long cooldown. Sometimes it is better to get hit by a weak spell so you can block a more dangerous one later.
Shroud of Darkness is easiest to use on slow skillshots, like Nidalee's Javelin Toss / Takedown or Morgana's Dark Binding.
Shroud of Darkness is a simple way to dispatch traps like Bushwhack / Pounce and Yordle Snap Trap without being revealed. You can also absorb Teemo's Noxious Traps without taking damage or being slowed.
Unspeakable Horror (E): This is the only one of Nocturne's abilities that deals magic damage. While it does scale well with AP, it's not worth building any on Nocturne for just this skill. In addition to the small amount of damage it provides, the main use for this skill is to fear your target when ganking. It is Nocturne's only hard CC, so remember to use it to prevent your target from escaping or fighting back. You can also use this ability defensively if you are being chased, just make sure you stay close enough for the fear to take effect.
Tips and Tricks:
You can use Unspeakable Horror to fear Jarvan IV when he uses Cataclysm on your ally. This may allow your ally to escape.
Fearing blue golem and red lizard with Unspeakable Horror will cause you to receive less damage. Baron and Dragon however, are not disabled by this spell.
If you use Unspeakable Horror on Vladimir, his Sanguine Pool will not break the chain, allowing you to fear him if you stay in range.
Paranoia (R): Nocturne's ultimate, like many champions, is what really defines him. When your enemies hear Nocturne whisper "DARKNESSSSS!" they'll be running to the nearest tower. Use the global vision debuff to surprise enemy champions and prevent them from coordinating. The long range dash afterwards is great for initiating, ganking, chasing, and just plain scaring the hell out of people. Make sure to check the range on this ability before activating it by resting your cursor over the button. Also note that this ability does not provide vision of enemy champions like Destiny, so make sure your target is in sight range.
Tips and Tricks:
Sometimes it is better to approach a fight normally and save Paranoia for a chase.
If you are chasing multiple weakened champions, use Paranoia, dash to the farthest champion, then fight your way backwards. This technique can land you double or triple kills.
You can use Paranoia to dash past towers towards retreating champions.
The global sight reduction from Paranoia can be used defensively to juke enemies or prevent them from coordinating. Using the brush can also allow you to isolate and pick off enemy champions without being seen.
Smite: This spell is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY on EVERY SINGLE JUNGLER. If you think jungling without Smite is just as viable, you are sorrily mistaken. While performing a jungle route without Smite is not impossible, Smite is invaluable for practicing and preventing counter-jungling. If you jungle without Smite, not only will your jungle be more difficult, but you can be easily counter-jungled by any competent enemy with Smite. Once the enemy jungler starts last-hitting every single buff you try to take, then you'll understand what I mean.
Flash: This is hands-down the best summoner spell in the game. It is not uncommon to see 10 champions with Flash in a high level 5v5 game. Flash works wonders on every champion (yes, even you, LeBlanc) and Nocturne is no exception. Its multitude of uses in a variety of situations make it indispensable as an escape mechanism. You can use this spell for chasing, fleeing, initiating, ganking, juking, stealing buffs or dragon, and following another champion who uses Flash. A worthy substitute for this ability is Ghost, but since Nocturne has his Duskbringer trail, it is less necessary than it is on other champions. Chances are, if you can't escape with Duskbringer, Ghost is probably not going to save you anyway.
The following three spells can be substituted for Flash if necessary.
Ghost: A similar spell to Flash, providing speed for chasing and escaping. Since Nocturne has Duskbringer, this spell isn't as useful as Flash, but is definitely still effective.
Exhaust: A very powerful spell to have on a team, Exhasut works great for ganks and shutting down dangerous carries. Nocturne is an excellent ganker on his own, but Exhaust is still very useful if you need to disable AD carries like Tryndamere and Vayne, or predictable nukes like Fiddlesticks' Crowstorm. Pick this spell up if your team needs it.
Ignite: Not my favorite spell for jungle Nocturne, but it definitely has its advantages. This spell is great for finishing off weak enemies and softening up strong regenerators like Vladimir and Dr. Mundo. Pick up this spell if the enemy team has a dangerous regenerator, or if you prefer a very aggressive play style.
So, why do we choose Nocturne?
Fast and sustainable jungle and counter-jungle
Excellent duelist: fairly resistant to counter-jungling
Also an amazing farmer and can hold/push lanes if needed
Good ganks pre-6
Godlike ganks and map presence with Paranoia
All abilities can be used offensively and defensively
Excels at all stages of the game, especially early-mid game
High base damage allows for a tanky build
Has the most awesome sounding abilities in the game
Evil laugh when you block a spell with Shroud of Darkness
He's often focused without allied champion support
Usually cannot enter team fights first, unless the enemy team is split
Not a lot of CC, though Unspeakable Horror, red buff, and Frozen Mallet are usually enough
Duskbringer and Shroud of Darkness may take some practice to pull off consistently