Nocturne Build Guide by Camelslayer
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.
Nocturne is a phenomenal champion. He can jungle, gank, lane, all of his skills have enormous offensive and defensive potential, and really NOT someone you want to get fed (unless of course you're playing him.) There are several different ways to play Nocturne, and this is the way I personally find to be most effective for me. Nocturne excels at picking off stragglers, ganking, and making sure that champions near death do not live to tell the tale.
This particular build primarily focuses on granting you high armor penetration
The runes for Nocturne are a pretty standard, as most people use them.
Greater Mark of Desolation=
9 of these will add 14.94 Armor Penetration, which is an excellent stat to have on Nocturne. The increase in damage is... well, very noticeable.
Greater Seal of Resilience=
What a lot of Nocturne players fail to realize is just how squishy he is. He is commonly referred to as a "glass cannon"; basically, for those unfamiliar with the term, this means he can dish out extreme amounts of punishment but he can't take it himself. This is a major factor that gets many people that play him killed, or worse, end up feeding. These seals will give you a little extra defense to help you survive better.
Greater Glyph of Warding
One thing to never forget- MAGIC RESIST. As previously said, Nocturne is deceptively fragile, and one thing that can easily be anyone's undoing is a powerful mage that knows exactly what they're doing. Hence, you get magic resist.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
MOAR armor penetration??? Don't mind if I do! These 3 Quints along with the nine Desolation Marks will give you 24.93 Armor Pen from runes alone.
Obviously the way you build Nocturne is going to determine how you play. I don't need to tell you this. However I do feel the need to elaborate on some of my decisions. And yes I am noting these in order of purchase.
1) Doran's Blade
-As always, Doran's Blade is a fairly good starting item. You can start with boots as well but I personally like to have a little extra Attack Damage and the 100 Health bonus is a big help, more than you would expect. So many times has that tiny amount of 100 Health meant the difference between life and death, and prevented me from being First Blood.
2) Berserker's Greaves
-I think this is a given as to why you'd want it. Nocturne not only needs to be speedy in his movements in order to chase down fleeing champions, but also needs to have a lot of Attack Speed. This is a rather popular item to place on Nocturne.
3) Phantom Dancers
-Now, of course you'll be getting a Zeal first. So, grab a Zeal when you have the funds. Afterward, build up to your first set of Phantom Dancers. What makes the Phantom Dancers a fantastic item for Nocturne is:
A) The high attack speed. 55% Attack Speed makes it the second highest Attack Speed item in LoL.
B) The Critical Hit chance is quite high. 30% chance of Critical Hit is quite high.
C) The extra movement speed. +15% Movement Speed.
So Phantom Dancers help you chase down your enemies, hit them faster with a higher chance of Critical Hit. This is a wonderful item to have.
4) Frozen Mallet
-There's several reasons why this is a great item. Nocturne is really lacking in survivability, and the Frozen Mallet helps solve this issue. It adds a little bit of damage with an extra 700 health, and trust me, that 700 health will help you survive teamfights SO much easier than if you charged in without. Also, the Unique Passive of Frozen Mallet slows any target you hit, therefore helping you stay on top of your target and kill them quickly.
**Around this time is likely when you might want to sell your Doran's Blade; optionally you can hang onto it a little bit longer if you feel you still need it.**
5) Youmuu's Ghostblade
The Ghostblade seems to be a popular item amongst Nocturne players for the fact that it grants an extra 15% critical hit chance, the +20 Armor Pen passive and cooldown reduction. This will help you go through even more of your target's armor while helping reduce the cooldown of all of your abilities, especially your notorious Paranoia.
6) Phantom Dancers (Set #2)
-Now, you might think I'm a fool for doing this. Well, the thing is, I'm not. If this suits your playstyle then you'll benefit significantly from this choice. A second set of Phantom Dancers will:
-Boost your critical hit rate up to 60%
-Exponentially increase your attack speed
-Add even more movement speed.
Yeah... it's a bigger help than you'd think. Virtually nobody will be able to outrun you unless they have also stacked Phantom Dancers.
**At this point you best sell your Doran's if you haven't.**
7) Infinity Edge
-Do I REALLY need to elaborate on why this item with this build will make you utterly destroy your targets? It has very high attack damage. You already shred your target's armor. This item, combined with all the others will grant you 100% Critical hit chance, along with the +50% critical damage. At this point, everyone will likely be running away from you, but won't do a whole lot of good because you'll be able to run them down and decimate them.
The only MAJOR cons on this build is the fact that it is quite pricey. Almost 17k gold. If need be, switch out Infinity Edge and the second set of Phantom Dancers for something else. Though if you're destroying everyone anyway, this happens to be a fun build. Only problem is the likelihood that you'll actually FINISH this build can be pretty slim. As I said, there are other alternatives; I suggest experimenting with some of these items, such as switching out Frozen Mallet for a Warmog's and using Atma's instead of Infinity Edge. It still gives you the survivability while providing extra damage.
Now, to elaborate on the skills:
-Nocturne's incredible ranged attack. This does fairly good damage while inflicting the target with a Dusk Trail. Dusk Trail will increase Nocturne's attack damage, movement speed, and ignores unit collision. This is a wonderful ability for poking enemy champs in early laning, and also helps with taking down turrets. Throwing a Duskbringer and then attacking turrets will help take the turret down much quicker (obviously.) This is also an excellent escape ability, throwing a Duskbringer will allow you to move faster in the direction you're running, however it's not something I'd advise if enemy champs are right on top of you, since he has to stop momentarily to throw it.
(W) Shroud of Darkness
-One of the most useful abilities, Shroud of Darkness will block a single ability, and upon blocking it, will grant you extra attack speed for a brief period of time. Shroud of Darkness is a fantastic ability to prevent high damage abilities, such as Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, Morgana's Dark Binding and Karthus's Requiem. Timing, however, is everything. It is also very useful for springing traps without inflicting damage, meaning that Caitlyn's Yordle Snap Trap and Teemo's mushrooms can be diffused without receiving any damage. Use this to your advantage to prevent allies from getting hit by these traps.
(E) Unspeakable Horror
-Nocturne's vastly underrated ability, it is a very viable ability to start with over Duskbringer. However if you want to take Duskbringer over Unspeakable Horror that is viable too. Hiding in the bushes at the beginning and hitting the first target with Unspeakable Horror helps you get a quick First Blood.
Beyond that, Unspeakable Horror is a fantastic ability. Dealing damage over time and then causing Fear... people tend to fail how useful of an ability it is. It can quickly stop someone in their tracks and result in their death. Or, at the very least, deal significant amount of damage to make them run. It is also a viable escape tool; use an Unspeakable Horror on someone who's on top of you to slow them down and help you get away.
-Nocturne's ult, and a notorious one at that. Paranoia removes all field of vision from enemy champions, preventing them from seeing anyone except in a very short radius around them. They can't see each other, minions, or enemy champions on the map. Using Paranoia again will allow you to rush to a champion in a colossal range, dealing high damage and pretty much take them by surprise. It can also be used to prevent enemies from seeing where you're headed and possibly help allies get away, if used correctly; just be careful not to waste it.