Nocturne Build Guide by mick2903

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League of Legends Build Guide Author mick2903

Nocturne, are you my nightmare, or am I yours ?

mick2903 Last updated on August 2, 2013
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Nocturne :3

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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 12


Utility: 9

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Hello there,
This is a guide about my first main champion I played for over 500 games. Nocturne.
Nocturne is a champion wich has nice farming/counterganking tools and he can go for easy kills and win the game for your team once you are in late game. This guide is for good nocturne player, newbie should look for other builds who are focussing on more tanky builds.
I'll try to cover everything I know about nocturne and please give me feedback how I can improve my guide. please. :)

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What you should be afraid of/helps you

What you should be afraid of:

If you use the full ad build you should be afraid of any snare/stun or anything that keeps you from attacking, it is just deadly for you if your ennemys know how to focus!If your ennemy got a nasus make sure he pops his slow Wither before you engage, because even after the nerf on the slow, it just destroys your sustain in teamfight!

What helps you:

You can get a Mercurial Scimitar wich can save you from bad situations! You'll also really like having a lulu or a soraka in your team, with lulu you can engage with you full ad build without being scared, 1v5? that's for breakfast! with soraka make her understand to place her W Astral Blessing on you when you jumped in to get the 105 bonus armor for a short duration!

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Pros / Cons

- amazing farming tools
- easy counterganking
- high early game power
- ennemy adc survive with 50 hp ? KEEP DREAMING ***** Paranoia
- can solo baron once build almost complett (full ad build)
- can use his ult Paranoia to escape dangerous situations

- if you get CC'd hard times are coming for you ;)
- pretty bad ganks before lvl 6
- can be spotted by counter jungling because of his Q Duskbringer

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Summoner spells

Let's talk a bit about the summoner spell choices...

Good summoner spells:

I use mostly this summoner spell because it allows me to finish a target who had the time to react when I jumped on him, I also use it to get away what you will need to do sometimes^^ For me flash is overall an offensiv choice with nocturne.

I'm jungler, I take smite, seems logic. now for what do I use it ? first of all to secure buffs I wanna get, save my own start blue if they invade, or Paranoia in to steal baron/dragon or buffs. for me smite is a mix between offensiv and deffensiv.

I rarely use ignite because it means I have o flash then to escape well, but it isn't a bad summoner, if the ennemy team have less CC it could pay out for you very well. For me, ignite is a very offensiv choice.

Another summoner spell I don't take very often because, same as for ignite, you have no flash then. But it is a very strong summoner in the end, it pays out very well mostly, you can tp to save tower, or tp to backdoor/splitpush and to deff your base! because tp is faster then recalling. for me it's a mix betwen offensiv and deffensiv.

I don't use this summoner spell much either ^^ it is very good to chase down targets or to get away and I think it is more a offensiv choice

Bad summoner spells:

Basically every other summoner spell isn't very good or completely useless for nocturne.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
For my runes I took 9 Greater Mark of Attack Speed, 9 Greater Seal of Armor, 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist and 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage.

I use these runes to be stronger in the jungle early game, Greater Mark of Attack Speed gives you attack speed that is realy strong with nocturne and Greater Seal of Armor makes you sustain better, do also get Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to survive better to their midlaner. For my quint I use now Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage but I think lifesteal quint would be way better, but I can't afford them by now so I can't tell, gona update it when I got the time to test it :)


basically I take the armor penetration in the onffense tree to make your ganks with ult even stronger! In defense tree I take smite (because is you follow my jungle route you'll be using it everytime it comes off cooldown on golem), the armor (to sustain in early game), the 30 health (it is can decide over living or dying sometimes) and the 6 true damage on minions/monster if they attack you (basically to deal some more damage so you clean the camps faster). In utility tree I got Summoner's Insight to reduce the cooldown of flash. I also get the movement speed so I can better roam between jungle camps and a point into Improved Recall who wants to waist time with that ;) I do get the summoner spell cooldown reduction because it is just so usefull, I like using flash often so I can chase down ez/tristana (always so annoying to kill) and finally I put a point into Runic Affinity because I want my red to last as long as possible :)

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In this part, I'll try to explain my item choices, but I'll only cover the full ad/ad defensiv part because I'm only unsing them, I thought these items would explain themself but I got negativ feedback about it, so... let's start typing ^_^

Ravenous hydra
This is one of my favorite items with [nocturne], it's active is so strong with nocturnes passiv, wave clear is no problem anymore and your lifesteal gets incredible high with it ;) With this item you should be able to 1v2 the ennemy botlane if you done well in early game.

Blade of the ruined king
An item I buy everytime I play noc! since I like moving fast to hit ennemys trying to get away, let's buy a malphite Q to make them rage then :) This item also got attackspeed wich is really usefull for nocturne!

Boots of mobility
This item doesn't need much explaination, as jungler you roam at any given time in your jungle between camps and lanes, some speed help you to get faster to a lane, to counter-jungle more effectively and to chase down people and to get away ;)

The bloodthirster
Do I really need to explain this item ? every assassin gets it and you know why, the attack damage boost and the lifesteal, the passiv of this item will also make you farm harder then ever before :3 (well, it does by me so....)

Spirit of the elder lizard
This item is what I call op! this item is like a redbuff you have permanently, this item gives you also sustain, attack damage, cooldown reduction (wich you will love because of your early ult cooldowns) and a passiv wich is really usefull in jungle;)

Statikk shiv
This item is really strong, is gives you attack speed, movement speed (wich I love) and a passiv that is like a second passiv for you, but I don't get this item often.

Phantom dancer
This is an item with an awesome passiv! if you wanna go for the 6 item build with zephyr you NEED TO get this item! 5% movement speed and you can move trough units! Without this item you will move way to slow. This item gives just btw attackspeed and some crit wich is nearly overpowered when you got nearly 400 AD (with your Q Duskbringer), and it helps for solo baron too.

An item I personally not really like, but it is a MUST BUY if you go for a 6 item build, it is the item wich gives the highest amount of movement speed bonnus in game, 10 %! and it got a passiv wich I didn't notice at start, Tenacity, it can save you out of some situation.

Frozen mallet
This is an item I buy pretty often, when the ennenys starts to focus, some health is very important! this item also got the unique passiv Icy wich can help you chase down people or get away, 700 health, wich is just incredible when you already got so much lifesteal! and even some attack dammage for the fun :)

Randuin's omen
This item can be very powerfull with my build, has an active slow and armor/health and reduces the attackspeed of people attacking you, I only recomend this item if you fell behind or if you rape your ennemys anyways.

Guardian angel
This is a item that I would only get in late game, where every death can decide over the game, because you will often jump in to engage as noc, with Guardian Angel you have a second life to spend and it will make your team probably win.

Mercurial scimitar
This is what I call a GREAT item for nocturne! you can escape every cc when you have it's active avaible, sure you can block spells/cc with your W Shroud of Darkness but even the best nocturne player will get caught sometimes (errors are human). anyways, I recomend you to buy this item if their apc is a bit fed or focus you, and if they got important cc wich can kill you.

Banshee's veil
Since the 3.10 patch, Banshee's Veil grants more health and magic resist. I would buy this item against heavy cc/ap teams, since you won't be able to block everything with your spellshield Shroud of Darkness. if they got a very fed apc and some hard cc I would in some cases even buy Mercurial Scimitar AND Banshee's Veil since you'll have 3 spell shields and some nice magic resist to survive a fed leblanc for example. And you can learn to block spells more easilly since if you use Shroud of Darkness too late you'll still be able to get away most of the time ;) though those item are very situational.

So that's it! I covered every full item in my full ad/ad defensiv build, if you are loocking for a more tanky nocturne you should watch other guides who cover the item explanation part about their tanky build, because I only cover things wich I know and can tell about ;)

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Spells/leveling up

WELL, let's talk now about your spells and what they do :)

P:Umbra Blades

"Every 10 seconds, Nocturne's next attack strikes surrounding enemies for 120% of his physical damage and heals himself for 10 / 18 / 26 per target hit. Nocturne's basic attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second."

This basically means, you got nice jungle/wave clear and you can sustain very well in jungle and most at ghost because there are 4 little boys :)


"Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage) physical damage, leaves a Dusk Trail, and causes champions who are hit to also leave a Dusk Trail for 5 seconds. While on the trail, Nocturne ignores unit collision and has 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 % increased Movement Speed and 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 additional Attack Damage."

Your Q ability is one of your main jungle clear tools, it gives you bonnus attack damage and wile your are walking on it you have increased movement speed, try to hit it on your ennemys, it is a nice gap closer, or use it in front of you, to get away easier.

W:Shroud Of Darkness

Passive: Nocturne empowers his blades, permanently gaining 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 % attack speed.

Active: Nocturne creates a magical shield for 1.5 seconds which an block the next enemy spell that hits him. If an ability is blocked by the shield, his passive attack speed is doubled for 5 seconds.

This skill permanently increases your attackspeed and doubles this bonnus if the shield wich is the active of this skill blocks an ability. the attackspeed gained is really usefull to jungle and for solo baron, because his autoattacks are spells.

E:Unspeakable Horror

"Nocturne plants a nightmare into his target's mind, dealing damage each second for total 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 (+100% of ability power) over 2 seconds and fearing the target for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds if they do not get out of (465) range by the end of the duration."

This spell fear your ennemys, place it on someone that knows that you can take him down, they flash often ^_^ use it to fear people chasing you or you are chasing. It can help you survive/get a kill :)


"Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision for 4 seconds, this includes champions, minions, wards, towers and clairvoyance. He can then launch himself at a enemy champion with a large range 2000 / 2750 / 3500, dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage."

This is your OP engage tool, use it to counter gank and at rank 3 use it at it's max range on people splitpushing, first they won't see you coming and you'll probably kill them! I do use it often if my team rush baron, when ennemys warded, they come to kill you at baron or smite steal it, well, I pop my ult when baron drops below 30% hp so they don't see when to flash in/smite. It is very annoying for your ennemys and you won't get baron stealed often ;)

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
As you can see I start with Q Duskbringer and max it first, then I max W Shroud of Darkness and last E Unspeakable Horror and as you should know I put a point into R Paranoia whenever possible.
Why do I max Q Duskbringer first?
-Because it gives you at rank 5 55 additional attack damage while standing on it. It is your main damage source in early and it helps you a lot in cleaning the jungle camps.

Why do I max W Shroud of Darkness second and not E Unspeakable Horror?
-Because I do mainly farm and I find attack speed better for it then a fear, but if you like ganking and/or like nocturnes ganking mechanics then you should max your E Unspeakable Horror second.

Why do I put a point into R Paranoia whenever possible?
-Because... It is his damm ultimate and for everychamp you lvl up your ult whenever possible.

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Creeping / Jungling

Here are your possible jungle route at start:
- blue smiteless at 1.55 with help, pickup their red, Gank, wraith (if possible), your own red (if possible),golem (if possible), Back
- blue at 1.55 with help (smite used), wraith, golem, red (smite used), gank mid (if possible), back

here is your normal jungle route if you don't gank:
- wolves, wraith, golem (smite used), wolves, wraith, golem (smite used), etc...

some notes: (general)
With nocturne jungle you should focus on creeping in jungle since nocturne has an excellent clear and can outlvl everyone if played well, only gank if it's really needed, don't waist time babysitting a lane wich doesn't need it, keep farming and late game you'll be rewarded. But if you like ganking and like nocturne's gank mechanics gank all you want, meaning you'll max your E Unspeakable Horror instead of your W Shroud of Darkness second.

some other notes: (how to clean camps)
- wolves, focus the big one, the small ones will die at your second/third passiv proc.
- wraith, place your Q Duskbringer so it hits all small ones and focus then the big one, the small ones will die when you start attacking the big one thanks to your Passiv Umbra Blades
- golems, hit your Q Duskbringer on both and focus the small one while using your E Unspeakable Horror on the big one.
- red/blue, try to hit Q Duskbringer on everyone then focus on the big one, if you have enough mana use your E Unspeakable Horror to fear him.
- drake, keep at anytime a randoom idiot to tank it early ^^ don't let your attackspeed get reduced by that fat guy :D
-baron, since his autoattacks counts as spells, use W Shroud of Darkness when tanking to get your attackspeed bonnus doubled, if you don't have enough lifesteal, let someone else tank it until you W Shroud of Darkness is up again.

- keep some wards in the ennemy jungle so you can clean camps in security.
- don't throw you Q Duskbringer anywhere, be careful while stealing wraith, ennemy midlaner could see it and then ... without much feed you'll die 2v1 ^^ same for golem, if thrown over the wall their jungler could see it, some mad guys would flash smite and bring mid and top/bot to you to serve your hole right !
- be aware where your ennemy jungler is, is he ganking while his red is up ? easy steal, is he bot while you are at his golem? easy steal.
- Rules n°1, Do EVER EVER EVER leave the small mobs in the camps, only take the big ones so the camps have to be cleaned first by your ennemys, their jungler will lose exp then and if they got something like warwick jungle or fiddlestick jungle or any jungler who got bad ganks pre lvl 6 you'll let your team be more aggresiv without being afraid of getting ganked.

Getting caught while counterjungling/overextending:
in most case it is your sure death, but if you already got blade of the ruined king and ravenous hydra, don't be afraid, use your ult Paranoia to take less dammage during your ult and cast it in the last second to maximize you dammage output, mostly you'll take 1-2 guys with you, or even everyone trying to kill you ...

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So, here I'll be covering all the ways I use to gank with nocturne;

before you are lvl 6...
ganking can be a bit hard but you got your Q Duskbringer as a gap closer that helps you reach your ennemys, if you know that your ennemys you are ganking got some CC you should pop Shroud of Darkness right after you got your Q Duskbringer on your ennemy.

After this is done, use your E Unspeakable Horror to fear your ennemy and it should be enough to kill your ennemy (if your team mate(s) haven't slept). you should gank your ennemys from behind,or on the normal way through river if you know there's no vision, you can also buy some Vision Ward to help you doing this. Do only gank through river before lvl 6 if the lane is pushed by them !

Do not forget about lane ganks where you camp in bush (a Vision Ward can be usefull so you know when you waist time) and wait until they push a bit and then do the combo I mentionned right on top :)

Lvl 6 or higher...,
ganking gets ways easier for you!
Use Paranoia as your first gap closer, then pop your W Shroud of Darkness because you'll be focussed by all the cc in most cases, then use Duskbringer to make sure you get the damage bonnus and movement speed and when this is done use Unspeakable Horror to fear your ennemy.

You can gank like this from behind, from the back, from a jungle camp to a lane (to countergank mostly), from the river, it should land but be careful, if they flash you may end up in tower range while you Paranoia them, I died many times because of it! So ult them only if they are atleast a bit away from their tower or just dive Paranoia them if you know you'll get them.

If you do a lane gank at lvl 6 or higher it is a bit different. first of all use first Paranoia cast then use Shroud of Darkness then Duskbringer followed by Unspeakable Horror and then just before Paranoia runs out use it's second cast to make use of it. I pop Paranoia first to get 50% less damage when I engage.

Here's a little +! :) Late game, you always see those squishy adc walking arround and farming and pushing lanes, Punish them by ganking them, late game means that you you have your third rank Paranoia wich provides you a high range (they won't see you coming) and small cooldown:) The combo you'll be using is:
Paranoia in and use Shroud of Darkness to block first incoming CC, follow up with Unspeakable Horror and use your Duskbringer the player you are ganking to chase him easier down. this is really quick if you are fed, 5 second from Paranoia to going away/recalling. Don't try to chase for too long, you may end up getting nothing. If you have done this quickly you can just b right there or run away with the movement speed gained from Blade of the Ruined King you used to chase your ennemy and from your Q Duskbringer.

This was the ganking part, I'll need some feedback because I think I didn't cover everything but I'll update it as soon as possible.


You are nocturne, You are an engage bastard. that's what I like to say. Paranoia is the most powerfull if your ennemys are a bit split, they won't see each other and this will allow your team to CRUSH them.
Let's move on to the teamfights:

You can engage by yourself if you got some health or enough sustain to lifesteal all the focus up. This means: Use Paranoia and go in, pop directly Shroud of Darkness this may save your life and then use Duskbringer and try to get it on the primary focus. Use Unspeakable Horror to fear the main target and make your team understand to FACKING follow you :) everything should go well like this (in most cases)

You can be a second engage if you got like an amumu or malphite or wukong in your team (there are much more), this means they engage then you just follow and do the same combo written up there :) it's safer for you and you won't need to be a tank to survive (but some health is always nice). it is the first engager who'll be focussed first and you'll be able to use Shroud of Darkness a bit later. you'll also be able to focus better on the main target then you would if you would engage.

Having a first engager with some CC is your best friend!

Same as for ganking I'll need some feedback to fill this up. I know I missed tons of things and I'll update it as soon as possible :)

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Nocturne on 3v3

so here I'll explain my build on the 3v3 map.

Item choice:

On this map I ever get Ravenous Hydra, Blade of the Ruined King and Overlord's Bloodmail, Why ? Ravenous Hydra and Blade of the Ruined King are item you'll have to buy at any given time, they work just so well with the mecanics of nocturne! Move faster with Blade of the Ruined King and make even more AOE damage with Ravenous Hydra! You may wonder why I have put Overlord's Bloodmail in the core item for noc here. It is because it is 3v3, it is easier to focus, and there's more risk getting focussed! so you need sustain! and Overlord's Bloodmail is the perfect item for it! You'll often get focussed in teamfight so Overlord's Bloodmail's passiv will help you out a lot! it's like a potion but only it gives you health over 5 second and it gives you 200 health, so you get 40 health per second!

Why do I buy The Lightbringer ?
- because it gives you some sustain and you don't need to facecheck anymore, since the 3v3 map is so small, you'll often get caught by facechecking! and you can check if your ennemys are doing the spider while you are farming the lane, and you can even ulti in if you are feed enough, tripple + spider ? that's for babys!

Why do I buy Berserker's Greaves and not Boots of Mobility ?
- because the map is too small to get a nice use out of Boots of Mobility! and you'll need some attack speed so I prefer getting Berserker's Greaves on this map !

Summoner spell choices:

On this map I basically take Flash and Ignite because these are the basic summoner spells when you are not jungling, it gives you nice escape and can secure some kills for you. Sometimes when I play with premades I go jungle on this map with noc wich means I take Flash and Smite, this means early spiders will go down :) I do also recommend Ghost to secure some kills or rush to deff/push/get away.



Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

For my runes on the 3v3 map it's basically the same then for the 5v5 map except for the quint where I take Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration, I take those because it will maximize your damage output, for the other runes these are the same reasons then for the other build.


For my masteries I go for an 21/9/0 setup. taking Summoner's Wrath to get the extra stats once I used ignite. I put 2 points into Butcher wich will help me to farm, it is the main thing you have to do between fighting and buying item, so it's worth getting those. I put 3 points into Havoc so I do more dps in fights. I get 1 point into Weapon Expertise and 3 into Sunder to ignore 14% of the armor from the ennemy, and 14% that's a lot! and of course I get a point into Executioner , because it will give you a big amount of extra damage to low hp target!

For the defensiv tree... I take 4 points into Durability to sustain better in early game, and this may also give you the regen to survive a tight teamfight ;) I take 3 points into Hardiness and 1 point into Resistance so I take less damage from the ennemy. Last I take Veteran's Scars that gives me 30 HP, and this can make a big difference in early game.


I recomend going top lane with noc on 3v3, you'll be able to clean waves and take the whole jungle on your side wich will keep you at 100 farm = 10 minute. you start at wolves at 1.40, then you move to take the heal in the middle of the map, after you move to toplane to clean the waves and you should push the lane so you can go back to the jungle where you will do the following:
-wraith, wolves, lane, golem, lane, wraith, wolves,...

This was a short chapter about nocturne on 3v3. Hope you enjoyed it :)

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So this was my Nocturne guide and I hope you are going to like it, please rate and leave some feedback, tell me how to upgrade this guide, kay? :D

Big credits to Meiyjhe the master of the bananas, he helped me out a lot to improve my guide, what a great guy :)

with love from France - mick2903, the sad ghost.

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done updates
- guide published
- added item part
- added runes/masteries part
- added skill sequence
- added summoner spells
- remade structure/coding
- added nocturne on 3v3 with own chapter
- added "ganking/teamfight" part
- upgraded the 3v3 part
- updated creeping/jungling part
- made some structure changes in spells/levelling up part
- updated ganking/teamfight part
- added rune page planner for both builds
- added some structure into the guide
- added new item

futur updates
- Upgrading guide, maybe adding a dominion chapter, will have to work for that part a bit harder.