Nocturne Build Guide by Tastyzombie

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Tastyzombie

Nocturne - All alone in solo queue

Tastyzombie Last updated on July 29, 2012
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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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Welcome to my fourth build, this time on Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare!Since Season Two started, I played a lot more ranked games than before. I got hugely disappointed by the amount of trolls and unskilled players, who think they are skilled enough to compete for ELO. So, after a short while my ELO dropped to shocking 894! Im trying to work on it, and the thing that really helps me, is playing Yorick and Nocturne. Sadly, I´ve met a lots of trolls as Yorick, so my W/L statistics are currently being won by Nocturne (63%) and Fiora (57%). It´s not much, I know! But I found the recipe only a while ago. Maybe it was just luck, I dont know. However, playing Nocturne in solo queue ranked is probably the best choice for jungling. He doesnt rely on his teammates as much as ex: Trundle, he can simply gank on his own, along with other FEW champions. So, lets go into the build itself, shall we. First though, Im gonna show you some screens of my ranked statistics, my gorgeous ELO due to 21.7.2012, which I may update later and then the Nocturne statistics, also to 21.7.2012.FYI my normal games statistics are W:435 and L:440. Its a bit weird...
P.S: The website where I uploaded these pictures said, it will only store the pictures for 30 days, Im not quite sure about if you´ll see it in 30 days :S.

And at the last, Im gonna show you a video, that I found on YouTube called "900 elo game" made by ObviousTrollish. Its just hilarious.

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This will be a short chapter, really.
I go with the standard 21/9/0.
If you want to be tanky, go 9/21/0 with additional points in Enlightenment , [Honor Guard]] and ofc Juggernaut , in the offense tree, stop at Weapon Expertise .

Its actually sad that they moved the XP giving mastery deep into Utility tree, since now you wont hit level 2 as soon as you kill golems. Earlier a Nocturne could keep up with level with the mid, although he had a lot of trouble if some utter noob stole some xp :P.

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Let´s begin the build with something not affecting directly Nocturne, but junglers themselves. These are common jungle runes and if you are an avid jungler, you should buy these ASAP.

Greater Mark of Desolation is the standard rune for all AD champions and should not be replaced by any other Mark.
Greater Seal of Armor the flat armor rune is used to take less damage from neutral monsters in the beginning, greatly improving jungle efficiency and avoiding the risk of being shamefully executed.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. Glyphs are usually taken "me gusta". This one is though, probably the best choice, because it gives you late game magic resist against AP nukes.
Greater Quintessence of Health. And finally the golden standard among all champions. Its a rune that can be taken on any champion. It really helps you in jungle, as it, again, reduces the chance of being executed and gives you more base HP to set off your ganks.

I confess that I use Greater Seal of Attack Speed and Im not willing to change them ATM. They together give you 7,6% more attack speed. It´s also worth mentioning, that buying runes while not being level 20+ is incredibly dumb and not serving any good. You will only lose your hair and be angry that you wasted so much IP on runes, when you could have had that wonderful Eternal Nightmare. Or, better said, it´s dumb to buy anything else than Tier 3, or halloween Tier 2,5 runes.


Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Give me feedback with more runes suggestions!

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Summoner Spells

is a must. Everybody knows that.

The second spell can be either Ghost or Flash, but I recommend going with Ghost for a quick getaway, along with the speed boost from Duskbringer.


Although not glad, Im putting some additional optional spells. Note that I´m not recommending anything else then ^ these.

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Lets take it item by item and discuss about it. I will of course also mention the situational items.

Open up with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. Starting with a Vampiric Scepter, or Boots of Speed and Health Potions is also viable. Follow the jungle path shown below and use that OP Recall spell. You should have money for a Long Sword and at least 2 more Health Potions. Make sure that you leave your base with at least 3 potions in your inventory. Go jungling more and reach level 4 to unlock your fear. At level 4 you should do at least one gank, which should be succesful, your future success might depend on it. Anyway, after the next Recall you should already have a Wriggles Lantern and Boots of Speed. From now on, you are on your own.


- this is a Nocturne core item for a simple reason. It gives him early game AD along with cooldown reduction and armor penetration. However, there is no need to upgrade it to a Youmuu's Ghostblade since it doesnt quite give you what you need early, although the active is pretty good.

[ícon=Banshee's Veil size=32] - combined with your Shroud of Darkness, this makes you one tough son of a b****. Imagine a desperate Veigar, first throwing his Event Horizon into your banshee and then wasting Primordial Burst into your shield. While Nocturne laughs (he does, listen), Veigar is probably smashing his keyboard while getting feared and killed by a literal nightmare.

- and the final core item is useful, just because Nocturne's Umbra Blades is a great farming tool and every Nocturne probably has farm comparable to AD carry's farm, meaning you will get The Bloodthirster's stacks really quickly.


- almost a core item, but not core at all. Definitely buy this if the enemy team is a "standard" -> AD solo top; AP mid; AD jungler; AD carry; AP support. I didnt really need to list all the roles, but simply, if the enemy has some serious magic damage, buy this one, its often a lifesaver. Especially in ARAM.

- want to get tanky? This one is a standard tanking item for all offtanks and tanks, sometimes the defensive item of AD carries.

- is there an enemy Malphite or Rammus? Is Baron Nashor saying it doesnt hurt? The Black Cleaver is the right solution. Just make sure your enemies are actually buying armor, otherwise it is pretty useless.

- this is a truly damaging item, which I personally do not recommend, because Nocturne is just supposed to keep it tanky, or, better said, should not rely on his critical hits.

- this is an item for AD focused enemies. Ex. Talon was mid. Again, its not recommended.

- when you feel like your Unspeakable Horror isnt enough and you want more armor, ex: enemy Shaco ( Shaco is your enemy No. 1, more on that later). This one is actually recommended against heavy AD. Don't go Thornmail unless its a full AD Master Yi etc. If you´re building a Randuin's Omen, always consider building a early Heart of Gold for that extra GP5.

- this item is great on Nocturne, I dont know why I forgot on it and got criticised (or wtf is that word) for not including this in it. Frozen Mallet simply helps you a lot, when your fear fails, you will still be able to chase the target down.

- another great item, works magic against enemies like Malphite.

- I used to build this instead of lantern, but the 900 elo people were raging on me saying its stupid, so I stopped building it. If the enemy has more tanky champions ex: Maokai mid etc. go for it, dont be shy.

- with the ease of Nocturne's farming, gaining health from Warmog is very easy. It often helps vs true damage( ).

Once you finish Youmuu's Ghostblade, sell Wriggle's Lantern and buy Banshee's Veil (or any other item according to your build).Items are probably covered now. If you have any more suggestions, leave it in comments and I will give a shot to your advices ;), or at least will politely answer why the f*ck that doesn't work.

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Pros / Cons


☻ longest charge in the game
☻ badass spell shield
☻ awesome splash and in-game art
☻ people see **** in Paranoia
☻ "Darkneeess"
☻ pretty good chaser with the combo Q and E (and ofc R)
☻ awesome farmer


- tends to be nerfed a lot, although now he is perfectly balanced
- can be counterjungled pretty easily
- only viable as a jungler
- long cd ulti
- significantly weaker when misses Duskbringer
- fear can be interrupted by Flash, althought cant be interrupted by silences, stuns etc.

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Jungle route and Ganking

This video shows the regular lvl 1-5 jungle path while not ganking, tutorial and a map down below: In case, you dont want to watch a video, here is a picture of the jungle path. The red line indicates lvl 1-3, the yellow line indicates levels 3-5, the part after your first recall.
If there is a fact, that you dont understand this, start at the golems, go on to wraiths, kill wolves, then blue golem, go back to spawned wraiths and finish off with golems. Then recall. Use a Health Potion at golems, wraiths, blue and at wraiths or golems. In an ideal case, you should have a Health Potion in your inventory. Of course sometimes it doesnt go exactly well and you use them all up. Nothing dramatic happens.
If your teammates wont pull your golems, use Smite, it will be on cooldown once you reach blue. Reaching level 2, unlock Shroud of Darkness for 20% more attack speed, which really helps.
Your top and mid should always protect blue. In the best case, all 4 team mates should be guarding blue, you really dont need a pull on golems. Even if the enemy invades and steals your blue, you can still do something. More on that in chapter "Counter-jungling".
Nocturne can basically gank from level 4, once he unlocks his fear. Ganks pre-4 will often fail, maybe even get you killed, its highly advised to ignore your team until you reach level 4. BUT, once you do, you NEED to gank! After completing the listed jungle route, you should probably be level 5, find a lane that is most pushed, or lane that needs gank the most. While ganking, there are two basic things to do for a succesful gank:

1) Hit your Duskbringer.
Hitting your Duskbringer gives you bonus attack damage and speed required to pick up the kill. Missed Duskbringer will often lead to gank fail.

2)Dont use Paranoia unless necessary.
Paranoia should be used mainly for closing the distance between you and your target. Meaning, if the enemy initiates on your allies, use Paranoia to quickly help them. If the lane is warded, ping on the enemy and charge at him while he can not see you. Basic Paranoia has 180 second cooldown, so you wont really want to waste it.

Of course, once you hit your Duskbringer, start fearing the enemy and move on the Duskbringers trail to keep you speedy. While fearing, use your Shroud of Darkness to avoid being stunned or slowed. If you did everything right and your allies arent complete dumbasses, or the enemy didnt Flash and interrupted the Unspeakable Horror, you should pick up the kill.

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Being counter-jungled

Gladly Nocturne can recover very well from counter-jungling. My jungling route is risky in terms of being counterjungled in the beginning. Command your team to defend your blue! If the bot lane will be standing next to you at the golems, it will be their fault if the enemy steals your blue, always remember that!
Now to the part where they steal the blue. Completely ignore golems and run as fast as you can in the enemy jungle to take their blue. Their jungler shouldnt be there since they were invading. If he is there though, you can do 3 things:
1)kill him and steal blue
2) Smite his blue and run
3)run and try to live without the blue
The first two options are recommended, although it is advised not to try to kill strong early game junglers( Xin Zhao, Warwick)

Once you steal the blue, go back in to your jungle and continue the route and while having enemy blue, try to gank top.

Your team is invading

Command your team to invade if you have a strong cc champ, ex: . You will be likely to succeed, however prepare to have your blue stolen in some cases, as it is pretty easy to steal it while being invaded.

Counterjungling throughout early game

DO IT! If the enemy jungler is ganking/holding top/bot (depending on whether you steal blue or red), or you know his whereabouts AND you are near his lizard/golem, go on and steal him. Try to leave that one little creep to piss him the f*ck off. Note, that the same thing can happen to you too. Mostly Shaco is annoying since he can quickly retreat if he is caught, or jump through walls to Smite your blue/red. Reduce counterjungling if the enemy jungler is a Shaco, although try to do it. Invading Shaco´s jungle can highly damage his future succeeding.
Counterjungling junglers with obvious spells, like Xin Zhaos Three Talon Strike third strike, or Evelynn and her Hate Spike is on the other hand advised, since you can easily counter it with the spell shield and get some bonus AS.

900 ELO counterjungling

Ummm... so.. Im 900 elo somehow... umm... happens a lot that the team has two carries or no jungler. If they dont have a jungler, feel free to run around, just care for enemy MIA-ing.

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Team Work

Ganking Top
Ganking top is simply the easiest lane to gank. If the enemy doesnt ward, always check on that. If he is, try to run around, you will maybe even have to take the longer way through the enemy jungle, or ganking with Ghost active. The goal is to flank the enemy. If he is pushing hard, ganking from the river bush should be enough. Or, run around while there is no minion wave and gank him from the top-lane bush. These ganks are the most deadliest ganks. If he is in the mid of top, go around, through that little corridor at his turret.
Always hit your Duskbringer!

Ganking Mid
Mid is the hardest lane to gank. Usually it isnt even warded, but the distance from the bush to the battlefield is simply way too big. I suggest ganking only targets that are pushing hard, since these ganks are pretty easy. Otherwise mid is almost gankable only with Paranoia.

Ganking Bot

"Wow, why is Graves looking at me in this part?"
Because having a Graves on your team is simply fantastic! You cant imagine how much his Smoke Screen is helpful! Plus with some cc from Sona´s ult Crescendo, or Alistar cc (or any cc that keeps target in place) that can keep the target inside the Smoke Screen for some time. Using Ghost is often enough to get in range of wards and hit the Duskbringer without them noticing. Easiest way to bypass wards without using Paranoia.
Anyway, there are ofc other options that are also cool, this was only probably the best way to gank bot.

Feel free to "babysit" a lane that is having it tough, or that is easily gankable. Theres so much gold in it.
In late game, wait for tanks to initiate and then use Paranoia which will now doesnt have so big cooldown to get into the battle. Focus carry if its not a noob carry, hit your Q and E and you should pretty much kill the carry on your own, since Nocturne, better offtank Nocturne isnt being focused so hard. ALTHOUGH... 900 elo surprises a lot. Then feel free to engage on low hp targets.

Paranoia can also be used defensively, for instance where your ally is running away, try using Paranoia to reduce enemy vision and let him Flash or run away somewhere.
Writing the teamwork chapter is pretty hard since you cant possibly write all of the solutions. You can steal baron Nashor by R-ing into enemy and then smiting it, you can backdoor since Nocturne is a great backdoorer etc.

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That would be it! Im finally finished! Feel free to vote, comment and suggest something for me to upgrade, I wasnt always 100% sure about what i was writing in here, but its the way I play it. This was probably my most in-depth build, I hope you will appreciate it :).

My other (probably worse) builds:
Support Lee Sin

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Change Log

21.7.2012 started a new guide Nocturne - All alone in solo queue,created chapters Introduction-Pros/Cons, recorded jungle route.
23.7.2012 added the "900 elo game" video, completed "Jungle route and Ganking section", jungle route video being uploaded.
27.7.2012 changed the items to icons, finished the build, published the build.
29.7.2012 switched Banshee's Veil and Frozen Mallet purchase order in the cheat sheet. Specified masteries for the 9/21/0 build.