Nocturne General Guide by Heeba
Not Updated For Current Season
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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.
Hi, I'm Heeba and welcome to my Nocturne guide. In this guide I will describe what I believe to be an effective way to jungle with Nocturne, including tips on items, gameplay, and jungle route.
The build I present to you is an offtank build. It is by no means the only way you can build Nocturne, but I find it to be very effective and works great if your team is looking a little squishy, you need an initiator, or you just love being tanky with high DPS. If you only like playing Nocturne as a squishy bursty assassin, feel free to change your build. The guide will still help you though, as most of the gameplay elements are the same.
This is not a short guide, and I don't refrain from describing my reasons and advice in great detail. If you're looking for a way to build Nocturne and don't have time to read my guide, simply consult the build above. If you wish to learn more about how to play jungle Nocturne however, or are surprised at my choice of items, runes or masteries, please read on.
Please don't downvote me without reading the entire guide. If you find my build odd, I encourage you to read the reasons I give before condemning my choice. It is possible that these builds do not fit everyone's play style. If you do not like Nocturne or can't use him effectively, don't downvote me for it.
As a final note, this is not a lane guide. If you want to play Nocturne in lane (for some weird reason), this build will still work just fine. Simply ignore the jungling sections and play normally, though Nocturne is such a strong jungler, his potential is a bit squandered in lane.
Who is Nocturne?
Nocturne is an S tier jungler. He excels as a jungler in many ways, and has few weaknesses. He is a viable pick for a jungler from low elo to professional play, and is a great choice for players of all skill levels.
Pros & Cons + Difficulties
Punishes being out of position hardest
Seen play anywhere from low ELO to professionals
Does a ton of damage and is tanky
One of the coolest designed characters in the League
Can be squishy in the early levels
Ganks are ok until level 6
Doesn’t do great against anti-initiate ( Alistar, Janna) or non-squishy team comps
Constantly asks if you’re tired
Nocturne has seen his ebb and flow of play, having a huge influx during his release and steadily losing popularity with all of the nerfs onto him. He is an extremely strong character that does scary DPS with very little items and has great utility to a fight. He can also be built as a tanky initiator and still has a lot of damage thanks to his skillset. His ganks are spectacular because he can jump over wards or have a secondary gap closer. The mind game and power he brings to a team is undeniable and he is still an amazing character.
Just push R. Duskbringer makes his jungling a breeze and Unspeakable Horror gives his ganks a lot of power. To top it all off he has an attack speed passive that doubles as a spell shield. If you're able to push buttons, you're able to play Nocturne. He does scary amounts of damage and will quickly melt nearly anyone in the League. The only real challenge comes from knowing when and who to jump on when activating your ultimate.
Nocturne is like greased lightning in the jungle...or like shadow lightning or dark lightning. Nocturne is some sort of lightning like analogy in the jungle! His clear in the new jungle on any camp is even better due to lower life creeps, so he's increased in speed. Any jungler with an AoE effect is faster in the new jungle, so Duskbringer into Umbra Blades is free camping.
He does gain life back with his passive, and once he has Wriggle's Lantern 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 have enough time between fights and scuffles that mana isn’t an issue, but the increased number of early game camp kills will leave you with less mana to play around with.
Nocturne 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:
If you manage to get in and steal camps 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 Shroud of Darkness and Duskbringer 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:
Nocturne can get into your jungle and clear a camp quickly, then pop his ultimate and kill your buddies. Duskbringer into Umbra Blades 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. He would be higher is his Duskbringer trail wasn't the length of summoner's rift, allowing for easy detection if done wrong.
Nocturne 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:
Paranoia 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.
Landing your Duskbringer on all of the creeps in the camp will speed your jungle up greatly.
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.
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. This is not to mention the chaos that is involved in some bladed badass jumping into the fray.
Late Game: 8
Nocturne does snowball
Nocturne is great at farming
Putting him on a team:
Nocturne 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
The earliest level that Nocturne can effectively gank is level three, when you can get all three of his abilities. His ganks after level 6 are phenomenally powerful. Also remember that red buff will improve your ganks a lot, especially before 6.
When your team mates are ready, initiate a gank by pinging the target, then hitting the enemy with Duskbringer. It is important that this ability lands so that the target will leave behind the trail to boost your MS and AD. When you are close enough, hit them with Unspeakable Horror and block incoming enemy spells (especially CC) with Shroud of Darkness. If the enemy does not die or uses Flash, use Paranoia and dash to pick up the kill if you can. Be careful when tower diving, as Nocturne doesn't have a lot of health early game. If your minions have drawn tower aggro, follow the target and wait until he exits the tower range (he will likely keep retreating out of range). Then dash with Paranoia to avoid drawing tower aggro entirely. If the enemy turret hugs, judge for yourself if you can dive him or not. Just don't take any unnecessary risks and be wary for clutch heals, shields and CC if they're tower hugging.
A gank does not have to net a kill to be successful. You may damage an enemy enough so that they have to play passively, or even recall to base. Using an enemy's summoner spell or ultimate can leave them without an escape mechanism, giving your team mates the advantage in that lane. Once your gank is finished, return to the jungle, push the turret, take dragon or recall to base. Remember to pick up more buffs if you can before your next gank.
As an assassin, Nocturne performs best when executing ganks and flanking enemies. He is also a decent split pusher, and can quickly push down a tower if your allies can occupy the enemy team. However, offtank Nocturne is survivable enough to perform very well in team fights. Here's how to do it.
One or two champions on your team should be the designated initiator. Usually this initiation will take the form of a powerful CC spell, perhaps accompanied by a Flash. If your Malphite uses Unstoppable Force, or Ashe fires her Enchanted Crystal Arrow, you know the fight has begun.
Once your team has engaged the enemy, send Duskbringer towards the enemy AP or AD carry. Hit as many champions as possible with your skillshot, but make sure it connects with your target to extend the trail. Immediately rush towards your target, use Unspeakable Horror and pop Shroud of Darkness when you anticipate a hostile spell. Move on to the next weakest enemy when your target is dead.
If you are intercepted before or after killing your target, don't be afraid to back off. Nocturne is best at cutting through the enemy, rather than charging into them, so back off before you are focused. This will force the enemy team to either chase you and die or return their attention to your allies. As soon as they lose interest in you, reengage and hit the next carry. If you continue to use this strategy, the enemy champions will be constantly changing their focus, messing up spell combos and distributing damage among your team mates and yourself. Most of the time, you should come out of the fight alive, victorious or not.
Though Nocturne is an assassin, with this build he becomes quite tanky. Use the threat of your DPS to distract enemies from targeting your carries, and fear enemies to prevent them from getting too close. If you have Youmuu's Ghostblade, remember to hit the active to burst down a squishy target.
If the enemy team splits up, they are more vulnerable to being picked off. Use Paranoia to take advantage of this situation. Not only will the enemies be blind to their allies who are in danger, you can even dash to a lonely carry and kill them before their team can help them. Picking off an enemy like this turns the fight into a 5v4, making it much easier for your team to triumph.
Nocturne is an excellent chaser, especially with red buff, Frozen Mallet, and Duskbringer. Chase down any fleeing enemies and prevent their escape with your slowing attacks and fear. If Paranoia is ready, dash to a far away enemy to close the distance before killing them. Using Flash is also a good way to get in range for Unspeakable Horror. Fleeing enemies will often throw their CC spells at you, so remember to time your Shroud of Darkness to stop them from slowing you down.
If your team emerges victorious from the battle, push a lane, grab a buff, or kill Dragon or Baron. Attack minions and monsters to restore your health, or just recall to base if you need to do some shopping.
Thank you for reading my Nocturne guide, I hope that some parts of it prove useful to you. If you appreciated my guide or approve of my build, feel free to hit the Like button up top. Please leave any comments, questions or suggestions below and I will try to get back to you. I appreciate criticism, as long as it's constructive.
If you've read my whole guide and STILL want to dislike it, please let me know why so that I can fix the problem.
Thanks for reading, and good luck in your future Nocturne games!