Nocturne Build Guide by Embracing

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Embracing

Fedturne - Nightmare in the Jungle { ON HALT }

Embracing Last updated on December 4, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi guys, this is RosePhoenix. This is going to be my second guide on MOBAfire, and it's going to be about Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare.I've picked up this guy since he was released, and what can I say, he's just full out cool. Imo, he's one of the best junglers in game, with a fast clearing speed, awesome ganks, and also, he isn't so reliant on any buffs to jungle well.

Why don't you try these builds out?

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Before Nocturne, people believed that dreams were figments of their imagination, meaningless images that flashed through the mind when one slept. This belief was put to the test when a rash of sleep-related incidents started afflicting summoners of the League. Some would wake up screaming, terrified and beyond consolation. Some could not fall asleep, slowly going mad as the nights ticked by. Some simply never woke up. Physicians were baffled until a Field Architect happened to pass out next to a nexus on Twisted Treeline. Witnesses said he cried out once and then stopped breathing. Immediately after, magical energy arced out from the nexus, and Nocturne appeared.

Nocturne did not take his introduction to this world kindly. He slaughtered everything he could find before summoners were able to magically confine him. After a period of intense study, League experts divined that Nocturne hunted summoners in their sleep, attacking them in a place where their magic was useless. This seemed to be his only purpose. The families of the victims demanded justice, but League officials were concerned that death might only return Nocturne to the place from which he came. They bound him to a nexus fragment, trapping him in the physical world. As punishment for his crimes, they allowed summoners to call upon Nocturne in the League matches, bending his will to the summoners he hates and creating his own personal nightmare. League scholars don't know whether he truly came from the plane of dreams, or whether there are any more like him. Some theorize that the summoning act affected summoners' subconscious minds, luring Nocturne to them in their sleep. Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that Nocturne is a person's nightmare come to life. If this is true, they wonder, who is the dreamer?

''The darkness is closing's pitch black now...but I can still see him...''
- Kelvin Ma, patient #4236

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons
So.. What's so good about Nocturne?

+ Fast jungle clearing
+ Great farmer
+ Great 1v1
+ Powerful chasing mechanic
+ Shroud of Darkness = Mini Banshee's
+ Long range diving ultimate
+ Able to limit enemy sight
+ Cool ability animations

- Kinda squishy without items
- Kinda mana hungry
- Kinda long CDs
- Must land Duskbringer to deal significant damage
- Usually always focused by enemies >:(
- Requires skill to play
- Melee champion
- Unreliable escape mechanism ( Duskbringer)
- Nothing else, really.

As you can see, Nocturne doesn't really have any cons. Maybe it's just me, but Nocturne is just an awesome champion. I mean, he looks cool, is cool, and does cool things! And he's beast! What else could you ask for?

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

The above setup provides the most efficient clearing speed and the best way to rush level 6. With the 6% attack speed bonus from masteries, Nocturne can jungle efficiently with no attack speed runes.

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Summoner Spells

This guide makes Nocturne a jungler, so he should always take Smite.

Best summoner spell in game. Can be used to escape over walls, jump in range of Paranoia, or to land some kills.

You really don't need any other summoner spell on Nocturne. The only viable changes of summoners are from Flash to Ghost, which even so I do not recommend because you already have a speed buff, or Flash to Exhaust, if your team is missing Exhaust, or if you are sure you will be dueling a lot.

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Ability Explanations

Umbra Blades [Passive] - This passive is what makes Nocturne such a potent jungler and farmer. It does an AoE attack around him which heals him up for the damage he does. Most people neglect this, but it hurts a LOT.
  • Try to hit as many minions as possible with this passive while farming.
  • Keep good watch on your passive counter to ensure a 1v1 kill.
Duskbringer [Q] - Duskbringer is Nocturne's signature ability. It sends a skillshot nuke in a line in front of you, which leaves a trail that gives you bonus movement speed and attack damage on it. This ability can be used for chasing or escaping. It basically gives you a mini- Ghost.
  • Use Duskbringer to buff up your movement speed and attack damage.
  • If you're attacking a turret, using Duskbringer helps you do a lot more damage.
  • If you're moving from a place to place or is trying to escape, using Duskbringer on the road gets you away faster.
Shroud of Darkness [W] - A great spell that gives you a mini Banshee's Veil that gives you bonus attack speed. People often underestimate the effect of this, and even in ranked games I hear people say "Why didn't my spell do any damage on you?" Requires some skill to use. Learning to use this is all about practice.
Unspeakable Horror [E] - Nocturne's main CC. If the enemy stays in range of this ability for a while, they get feared for two seconds at maxed level. That's a LONG time. Let's the enemy have a harder time to escape. Also can be used to help you escape.
  • Your fear can be used offensively when chasing, or defensively when running.
  • Do NOT use Unspeakable Horror if you are already out of range, as it might not work 100% in time if they have cc.
  • Stay in range of the enemy while using Unspeakable Horror or else there will be no fear.
Paranoia [R]- What makes Nocturne who he is. It's the ability that makes everyone rage and smash their keyboards, because just when they thought they could get away, you rush in their faces and smack em for a LOTTA damage. This ability is why people fear Nocturne as a jungler. This gives him some of the best ganks in game.
  • You can use Flash to get in sight range of your ultimate, Paranoia.
  • Using Paranoia along with Shroud of Darkness while diving combos well, because the enemy might panic when you dive at him/her and spam spells at you.
    Paranoia can be a GREAT juking ability. If you're getting chased by the whole enemy team, wait for the timing, and use Paranoia to jump on to the furthest champion. Then run away. :)
  • You can use Flash to get in sight range of your ultimate, Paranoia.
  • Using Paranoia along with Shroud of Darkness while diving combos well, because the enemy might panic when you dive at him/her and spam spells at you.
  • Paranoia can be a GREAT juking ability. If you're getting chased by the whole enemy team, wait for the timing, and use Paranoia to jump on to the furthest champion. Then run away. :)

Spell Combos

Ganking: Duskbringer --> Shroud of Darkness(On enemies who would try to attack you or CC you, like Anivia, Taric, or Sion) --> Unspeakable Horror AND IF NECESSARY --> Paranoia

Ganking #2: Unspeakable Horror --> Duskbringer --> Shroud of Darkness(On enemies who would try to attack you or CC you, like Anivia, Taric, or Sion) --> AND IF NECESSARY --> Paranoia.

1v1 Close Range Chase With Items: Duskbringer --> Unspeakable Horror --> Youmuu's Ghostblade active (Move Youmuu's Ghostblade to slot one and hotkey 1) --> Shroud of Darkness --> Paranoia

Far Range Chase With Items / Initiate (Not recommended in solo queue): Paranoia --> Unspeakable Horror --> Duskbringer --> Youmuu's Ghostblade active (Move Youmuu's Ghostblade to slot one and hotkey 1) --> Shroud of Darkness

If the enemy is AP-based, you should use Shroud of Darkness earlier if they choose to use a spell on you.

If the enemy is AD-based with no strong spells to use, don't use Shroud of Darkness until they have it. But be careful of AD champions like Lee Sin and Renekton who have a lot of burst from spells.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Q > W > Q > E > Q > R > Q > E > Q > E > R > E > E > W > W > R > W > W

First off, I max Duskbringer, because it's the best spell on him. It does damage in a line, while also giving him bonus attack damage and movement speed when he's on the trail. It helps clear jungles faster, and also is perfect for ganking.

At level 6, you get your ultimate, Paranoia, which is just plain awesome. Add it at levels 6, 11, and 16, which is whenever you can. :P It is plain awesome.

Second, I would max Unspeakable Horror, because the damage and fear duration are increased significantly, which makes his ganks even harder to avoid, and it means he has more time to do more damage.

Lastly, I would max Shroud of Darkness, because the bonuses it gives isn't so important every level, which is why it's better off with just one point early game.

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Core items
Item Sequence

Mercury's Treads

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Banshee's Veil

Both of the starting items build into a Wriggle's Lantern. Wriggle's Lantern is the best item on any AD jungler. It provides great lifesteal, which helps a LOT with jungle sustain, a great passive that increases junglign speed, and also let's you have a free ward, so if you forget to buy wards, don't forget to use the active on Wriggle's Lantern.

Many people argue about getting Berserker Greaves instead of Mercury's Treads, but I would always recommend getting Mercury's Treads because of the MR and Tenacity it gives. Only if the enemy has no CC, get Berserker Greaves.

Heart of Gold gives a great amount of GP5 along with early game HP, which makes Noc slightly bulkier for early ganks. You can sell it or build it into Randuin's Omen if needed.

A Youmuu's Ghostblade is pretty much the best item on Nocturne. It gives you more attack damage, crit chances, armor penetration, and most importantly, has an active which lets you do a lot of burst DPS in a couple of seconds. It also builds off of Avarice Blade which means you won't waste the GP5 items.

A Warmog's Armor is one of the top rated items for bruisers right now. You'll farm it up, but then it's stats start to show after farmed. You get massive amount of health, and it synergizes so well with Atma's Impaler.

An Atma's Impaler provides great stats for Nocturne. The armor, crit chance, and massive amounts of AD make this item cost efficient. Has amazing synergy with Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet.

Getting a Banshee's Veil would be great at this timing, because enemy AP casters start to get really nasty. Start with a Negatron Cloak, and slowly build up to a Banshee's Veil. The "bubble" is actually REALLY helpful when diving in enemies with ults. The MR is also pretty amazing.

Normally you should keep the Wriggle's Lantern, but if needed you can get other items. Getting a The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge is a great way to finish your build. Infinity Edge for the crits along with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Atma's Impaler. Also, The Bloodthirster for the massive amount of AD and lifesteal it provides.
Situational Items
This item can serve as a replacement for Banshee's Veil if you're doing really well. It provides great attack speed, decent MR, and is cost efficient too.

This item should only be used if all the enemies are REALLY bulky. You can build it from Madred's Razors instead of building a Wriggle's Lantern. This isn't recommended, as you will have low sustain in the jungle.

A great item that provides a LOT of health, and has an awesome permaslow passive. Has great synergy with Atma's Impaler. It's the only alternative to a Warmog's Armor. It also builds off of Giant's Belt.

A great cost efficient item that provides a hefty amount of armor, and a GREAT debuff with its passive. Also provides a really good unique, which basically prevents anyone from running away. This item is generally always cost efficient. Get it if you need it.

A pubstomp item that provides a LOT of MS, attack speed, and crit chance. It has great synergy with every item, but it makes Nocturne more squishy. Get this as your last item if you want the stats.

Another great finishing item for Nocturne; it provides a lot of great anticarry stats. Massive amounts of attack speed, and a great passive that shreds armor.

If You're Doing Bad

Philosopher's Stone
If they have counterjungled you many times and have taken your blue when you need it, you could replace an Avarice Blade for an early philosopher's stone. That way, you'll have a nice mana regeneration which lets you not need to have blue to catch up. Of course having blue is still infinitely better, but go this path if you really are getting hit hard.

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Early Game / Jungling

This route is if you aren't expecting any action or changes in your normal jungle clearing.
- Start off with a Vampiric Scepter.
- Head on to wolves(1). Use two Duskbringers to kill off the wolves. DON'T USE Smite!
- Head on to wraiths(2). Smite the big wraith and use Duskbringer once or twice. Autoattack and clear the wraiths.
- Then head on to small golems(3). Be careful here as you'll get relatively low. Use Duskbringer and make sure you hit both. Kill both of them and go back to base.
- Buy a Cloth Armor and one or two Health Potions.
- Go to blue golem(4), and kill it with Smite. Pop a potion for health comfort.
- Clear the respawned wolves(1) and wraiths(2) as you head to red.
- Kill red lizard(5) with abilities and Smite. Pop a potion if you need.
Here you have many choices to choose from based on the situation.
If you have enough hp:
Clear small golems(3) / go gank a lane that seems gankable / go counter jungle enemy jungler.

If you have relatively low hp:
Go back to base / gank a lane that seems REALLY easy to gank, or else don't take a risk.

Rinse and repeat.

Note: This route can be unstable. You CAN die at golems if you did something wrong, or if wolves crit you too much.

Route Two
Route two should be used only if the enemy has a slow jungler that starts out at blue, like Warwick or Amumu. Credit to TheOddOne's jungle nocturne video for teaching me this method. The reason for doing this is to screw up the enemy jungler's jungling. Without the big wraith they won't level from wraiths.
- First, start with a Cloth Armor and five health potions.
Head on to wolves(1) regularly.
- After clearing wolves WITHOUT Smite, go to their wraiths(2). Pop a pot for comfort. Use a Duskbringer to make you get there faster, as you will have enough mana.
Smite the big wraith, but do NOT kill the rest. Go back to your jungle route.
- Clear wraiths(2) without Smite. You won't die because you have health potions to heal you.
- Clear small golems(3).
- Go back to base and buy boots, and head on to blue.
- Clear blue golem(4) with Smite. Pop a pot if needed.
- Clear respawned wolves(1) and wraiths(2).
- Clear red lizard(5), pop pot if needed.
- Clear small golems(3).
If you have enough hp:
Here you have many choices to choose from based on the situation.
Clear small golems(3) / go gank a lane that seems gankable / go counter jungle enemy jungler.

If you have relatively low hp:
Go back to base / gank a lane that seems REALLY easy to gank, or else don't take a risk.

Route Three
This'll be a standard blue --> red --> full clear route.
- First, start with a Cloth Armor and five health potions.
Head on to Blue Golem (4).
- Get a leash and clear blue golem with a couple of Duskbringers, and last hit it with Smite at around 425 hp. Use a potion immediately when the blue golem starts attacking you.
- Proceed to wolves(1). Hit all of the wolves with Duskbringer and your passive, Umbra Blades. Use a health potion for comfort.
- After clearing wolves, go to your wraiths(2).
- Clear wraiths without Smite. Focus the big wraith first, then proceed to Duskbringer and Umbra Blades all of them. Use a health potion when taking damage.
- Clear Red Lizard(5). Use your abilities when possible. Use a health potion immediately after taking damage.
- Clear small golems(3) with Duskbringer, Unspeakable Horror, and your passive, Umbra Blades.

You will have relatively low hp. If you can see a gankable lane, go for it. Otherwise, go back to base and buy boots and wards, and then go gank.
For ganking a lane, look in my Ability Explanations section. It contains information about spells to use when ganking.[/b]

This is the best route at this point, whether for jungle speed, flexibility, or sustainability.
- Start at small golems(3).
- Get a leash (preferably). Smite one, use one or two Duskbringers, and kill them.
- Add E if you want to do a level two gank in the nearest lane. Otherwise, add W like normal.
- Kill wraiths(2) with one or two Duskbringers. Focus the big blue one.
- Head on to wolves(1). Clear with two Duskbringers.
- Add E if you want to do a level three gank in the nearest lane. Otherwise, add Q like normal.
- Head on to Blue Golem (4). Clear with all your summoner spells. Focus blue golem. Smite to last hit.
- Go back to base.
- Go to respawned small golems (3). Clear normally. Do NOT Smite.
- Go to Red Lizard(5). Use all your abilities, and last hit it with Smite.
- Clear respawned wraiths(2). Like usual, focus big one.
You should have enough health to gank properly. If there isn't a good lane to gank, go back.

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Mid Game

Mid game is all about keeping control of your jungle while also helping out other lanes. Always keep control of your jungle. Prioritize clearing red and blue over wraiths wolves and small golems. Be sure to buy wards to help out your side lanes and to counter jungle the enemy jungler. Gank lanes that need help or that seem gankable. Make sure you know what you're doing, don't give them kills. Make sure the dragon is warded so you have dragon control. Nocturne is relatively strong during mid game. He can pretty much 1v1 anyone with his fear and buffs. Try to do dragon if you see their jungler somewhere else. It's relatively easy for Nocturne to clear the dragon camp.

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Late Game

Late game is where you really need to play safe, as the enemy champions should be getting their builds, which means Nocturne's advantage over the squishies is gone.
Do NOT dive in enemies head on just for a low hp squishy. you WILL die.
Your ultimate, Paranoia's effect on the blinding is used more often in late game teamfights, as you can turn around teamfights around the jungle easily with brushes.
The enemy might be trying split pushing late game, but no worries, as Nocturne should be able to 1v1 that champion easily.

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Nocturne's role in a teamfight is to be an anticarry. He doesn't iniate large teamfights, but can iniate a small teamfight with your team having an advantage with his ultimate.
What you do with Nocturne is you stay with your team in a teamfight. Then, when hell breaks loose, you aim for their squishy champions. Prioritize the fed / overfarmed squishies. If they're both similar, aim for the ranged AD champions first, then the AP carry champions. Also prioritize out positioned squishies. Try to land Duskbringer on multiple champions to get your movespeed up. If you are being focused, simply back out and come back in to focus the squishy champion.

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Wards are the most important item on any jungler. Anybody who tries to jungle should ALWAYS buy wards. Wriggle's Lantern also has an active that lets you place down a ward every once in a while.

So... What exactly are wards?

  • Sight Ward - A type of ward that lasts three minutes and lets you see everything in a range around it, not including brushes, unless that ward is placed inside a brush. It's stealthed and cannot be destroyed unless the enemy has a Vision Ward near it or an Oracle's Elixir
  • Vision Ward - A type of ward that lasts three minutes and has the same effect of a sight ward, except you can see stealthed units, like Twitch, Evelynn, and even other Sight Wards and Vision Wards.
  • Oracle's Elixir - I know this isn't a ward, but it's an item when used, allows the champion to see stealthed units in a limited range around him, even shorter than a Vision Ward's sight range. You can see wards and farm off of them.

Why should you buy wards? It's pretty much a job of the jungler to keep control over the map, as the jungler will be the one roaming around the most (unless your team has a roamer like Alistar). He should absolutely buy wards to help out teammates so they know if they might be ganked, and to keep control over red lizard, blue golem, dragon, and Baron Nashor. As a jungler you want total control of the map, which includes your jungle and even possibly, the enemies' jungle. Wards are basically like secret eyes. They let you see the enemies' positions, actions, and movements. Wards basically make every action you do, like chasing, diving, running, etc, fail safe.

You will have many opportunities to buy wards, because most times in early game, when you go back to base, you won't have enough gold to buy what you want. At this point you should definitely go buy wards.

Most people ask one question, and that is... WHERE do you place these wards?
Here is a good picture answering the question about ward placement.
  • You should have Sight Wards on many places on the map, including your blue buff and red buffs, and the brushes near your allies' lanes. This way you can keep control over everything, so your allies can avoid ganks, and your buffs won't be stolen.
  • You should have Vision Wards on Baron Nashor and Dragon, because you can see the enemies' wards and champions next to it. Those two are key locations that should always be warded, but note that a team probably won't kill Baron Nashor before levels 14, and no one would solo dragon before 6, so you would want wards at dragon at around 6, and wards at baron around 14.

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Closing Statements

Thanks to jhoijhoi for the awesome guide on making guides! You can find it here!

Thanks for reading this guide. I've put a lot of effort into writing this and I hope you have fun with Nocturne! Please read this guide carefully and provide some feedback, as I would love to hear from you all.