Nocturne Build Guide by LartTyler
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
I created this guide after spending a lot of time on this site looking for a good Nocturne build. There's plenty of fantastic builds out there, don't get me wrong. But there are too few good actual combat builds. Most of what I've found focus on jungling, and that's never been my preferred play style. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm certain I can't be the only one that prefers the sweet sound of that mysterious, disembodied voice shouting out "Aced!".
This build focusing on dishing out huge amounts of damage. You'll notice the low health and armor at level 18. This is because the trade off that adding armor or increased health would require a huge reduction in the sheer amount of damage Nocturne is capable of dishing out.
The masteries I've chosen are fairly standard for an AD/AS build of any character. In offense, the increased attack damage, speed, and critical ratio allow Nocturne to dish massive amounts of damage in a very short time. The one point in defense is to improve the Heal ability. Since this build of Nocturne focuses primarily on dealing damage, he is extremely squishy. An improved heal could mean the difference between life and death in a fight. I'll get more into the spell set up later in the guide. In Utility, the layout is again, fairly standard. Good hands and Perseverance were needed to get to the utility that will really give you the slight edge over your opponents, Awareness. In my experience, that little bit of experience increase can really add up over the course of a match.
The runes I chose complement the mastery set that this build uses. Mark of Desolation increases Nocturnes armor penetration stat (which will really help against opponents that are generally built to have high armor, like Rammus and Yorick). The Seal and Glyph of Might increases Nocturnes damage to complement the high attack speed, armor penetration, and critical ratio, and the Quintessence of Desolation serves to add to Nocturnes overall armor penetration.
I adopted this skill sequence from PsiGuard's Haunting the Jungle Nocturne guide. Though his guide was made for Jungling, I've noticed that the skill order can work just as well for straight combat. Duskbringer is a fantastic skill, especially for chasing down wounded opponents. However, an alternative to focusing on leveling Duskbringer is to focus more on Shroud of Darkness, which will passively increase Nocturnes attack speed, as well as save your life in many situations with it's active effect of stopping the next negative skill used on you.
Nocturne, in my opinion, thrives when you pump his attack speed and damage up high, which is what the item set listed focuses on doing. After perfecting, or nearly perfecting, his attack speed, the item set then shifts to increases attack damage and critical ratio through the use of Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer. In addition to that, The Bloodthirster adds a good bit of attack damage and gives some life steal, which can REALLY make a difference when your attack speed is 2.5.
Also, I would recommend stocking up on Health Potions if you feel you're losing health too fast or are getting hit really hard by enemy mages (since this build has a relatively low magic resistance).
The choice of summon spells has been one that I've spent a while going over. Originally, this build used Ignite and Flash, since Flash was fantastic for launching yourself forward to finish off a wounded opponent. However, Nocturnes Ultimate, Paranoia, makes using Flash slightly redundant. I like using Ignite because it's great for hitting wounded opponents and running when you're not sure you would survive getting any closer. Other then that, it makes a great tool to annoy people when it doesn't quite kill them, but get's their health low enough to make them nervous :3
I chose to use Heal in place of Flash because this build of Nocturne is extremely squishy, especially early on in the game. Even if the heal it provides isn't enough to get you back in the fight, it can mean the difference between escaping a tight situation and getting finished off by that last lucky shot your opponent managed to get in before you got out of range.
Pros / Cons
* VERY high DPS
* High critical ration (generally over 50%) combined with a high attack speed means the majority of your 2.5 attacks/second will be critical.
* The small life steal granted by The Bloodthirster can really add up when combined with the high DPS achieved by this build.
* This build is still a great jungler if you are so inclined, or just get bored.
* Squishy. Not the squishiest of champions, but you'll definitely feel it in the early levels.
Despite the rather squishy nature of this build, Nocturne does not require a high health to dominate a match. High DPS combined with a decent life steal and Heal, Nocturne can survive most any encounter, and emerge atop the broken bodies of his enemies. The skill sequence I mention in this build is rather mutable; Nocturne works just as well focusing on Unspeakable Horror or Shroud of Darkness, or a healthy combination of his skills. Paranoia can be used to great effect against weak, fleeing opponents, especially those using Flash or skills like Tryndamere's Spinning Slash that allows him to phase through walls. Ignite can be used to great effect against enemies utilizing moves that extend their lives, such as Tryndamere's Undying Rage.
This is my build, and the way I enjoy playing Nocturne. I'm not saying this is the only, or even best way to play him, just the way that it works for me, and I'm hoping works for others as well. Any comments or constructive criticism is very welcome and appreciated.