This build is pretty dominating if you know how to jungle and gank. Few other assassins can gank as easily as Nocturne, thanks primarily to his ultimate. I hope this guide helps.
Pros / Cons
- Nocturne jungles very well
- He can farm creeps with the best of them
- He is a strong assassin and carry
- He can isolate and gank an enemy before the opposing team can often react
- He's friggin' awesome
- Nocturne is pretty squishy overall
- He's very mana dependent
- He's easily CC'd
- He's likely to get focused
- He's not the strongest champs in team fights, but can contribute well if you can position him correctly
- Everyone on the other team will hate you
Below are the runes I use. You can opt for different runes, as I listed above in the rune section, but I've found these to work well and have no problems early jungle.
x9 x9 x9
Greater Quintessence of Desolation x3
I find these runes work well for jungling. You get some nice attack speed from your marks, the much needed armor for survivability from your seals, scaling magic resists from your glyphs, and some armor pen from your quintessences. These are strictly the runes I chose, partly based on the fact that they are runes I have, but also I think they work well for him.
Now some may chose to go with alacrity marks/glyphs/quintessences or perhaps marks and quintessences of desolation and glyphs of alacrity. The armor seals are pretty standard for any jungler. You need these early game to survive and being squishy, Nocturne certainly benefits from them all game. Runes are kind of a personal preference though, and there are multiple ways to build Nocturne, but these are the ones I use. I'll probably buy some glyphs of alacrity soon though and start using them, but I do like glyphs of shielding overall, as the MR helps a lot late game and with Merc Treads, Banshee's Veil and the glyphs, you'll have around 152 MR at lvl 18, which helps a lot.
I use a typical 16-0-14 jungle mastery build as seen above. You could argue for 21/0/9 or even 0/21/9. Personally, I like the 16-0-14 build as I feel it gives you some decent offensive power, but also ensures you get the 30% neutral buff duration. This will help you gank more often as the red buff is really key to keeping someone from escaping. Again, masteries, like runes, are often the preference of the player, but I've had great success with this build.
Skill sequence = Q, W, Q, E, Q, R and then R>Q>E>W.
Nocturne's passive is quite amazing. It helps him jungle and it also helps him totally decimate creep waves. It's simply one of the better passives in the game, IMHO. Attack speed helps it proc more frequently and by mid-late game, you can wipe out creep waves as fast as just about anyone.
This skill is one of the things that makes Nocturne so beast. Not only does it do damage, while on the trail increases Noc's movement speed, AD also makes anyone hit by it easier to catch, as they leave a dusk trail as well. Max this first.
This is another great skill that passively increases Nocturne's attacks speed and actively provides a spell shield when used for 2 seconds. The spell shield is great against things like Karthus's ult, Sion stuns, and really any spell that can CC or cause major damage to Nocturne. It's a great skill, and I always put one point in to it second, but it's the last one I max, as the other skills are going to help your gank potential more and late game is where you will find this ability shines the most, when you need to clear creep waves fast or block deadly spells.
This skill does solid damage, but you mainly want it for the fear. Combined with his Q and ult, it's very hard for someone to escape a gank when you throw down everything you have on them. It can also buy you some time if you are trying to escape as well, so overall, it's a great skill and I max it second.
Riot did an amazing job with this ultimate. Not only is it unique, it's extremely powerful and creates fear for the opposing team. Removing your enemies ally vision for 4 seconds is so sick. You can initiate a gank and the enemy not have an idea where the attack is at. It also let's Nocturne jump in to fights from a pretty great distance. Just make sure, by hovering over the R key, that you are in range before you use it to jump on someone. Also remember that lost line of sight, such as an opponent getting out of range of a champ or jumping in a bush, will keep you from using this ability. Just be mindful of this when you use it, as nothing is more frustrating than to have an easy kill get away because you lost line of sight. Obviously you want to put points in to this at 6/11/16.
Simply a must have for any good jungler. It's nice late game too as you can steal buffs from the enemy jungle and be out fast before they ever realize it.
Ghost is a pretty standard spell for many champs as it allows you to close distances quickly, escape ganks, and let's Nocturne get in range faster if you are a bit too far to use your ultimate. It's not a must have, but it's pretty standard for many champs and carries.
Some other spells that could be useful include Exhaust, Ignite and Flash. All of these have their uses, so if you want to snare and reduce damage on someone, grab Exhaust. If you think you need that extra oomph to kill someone, Ignite can help. Flash can help you get out of sticky situations where Ghost won't. It's all up to you and how you like to play a champ.
Items, Jungling, and Farming
Here is a vid of the jungling route you will want to use:
You want to start off with a Vampiric Scepter and head to the wolves. Be sure to put a point in Q first and when the wolves spawn, hit them all with your Q ability. Quickly move over to the Wraiths and Smite the blue one. This will put you at level 2, so put that point quickly in to W and hit the other wraiths with your Q. This camp will fall quickly and you then move over to the double golems. I try to hit them before I have vision (from the left side, where you can line them both up) with my Q. Kill them as fast as possible, using Q when it's available and as soon as they are dead, blue pill back to your base.
You should have right around 335 gold at this time. Buy a Cloth Armor and Health Potion and move quickly to the blue buff. Once there, hit them with Q, pop your health pot, and spam Q as it's available, smiting the golem when you can kill him (or sooner if you feel safe). Once they are dead, kill the wolves, wraith camp and the double golems and blue pill back to heal up and buy.
You should have enough money for Boots of Speed, a few Health Potion and maybe a Sight Ward. Buy your stuff and hurry over to the red buff and kill the lizard. You will be level 5 and are quite capable of ganking at this time. If there is a good opportunity to gank, especially bottom lane or mid since they are close, then do let your team know and move in for the kill. Often times, your opponents won't be expecting you so quickly, so it's not hard to often get a kill or 2 off of your first red buff. However, if no gank opportunity exists, and the opposing team has no jungler, then you might start clearing their jungle and since you will quickly have your ult, a good gank opportunity may present itself. Once you have the money for Wriggle's Lantern, gate back and buy it. Try to buy some wards and maybe a couple of health pots if you can.
At this point in the game, you should be between lvl 6-8 and have Boots of Speed and Wriggle's Lantern. As soon as you can, buy The Brutalizer and then grab your preferred boots next. I personally always go with Mercury's Treads for reduced CC and MR, but boots are a preference item and you can always chose different ones as needed. During this phase of the game, you should be ganking when possible, grabbing neutral monster buffs as they become available, and helping lanes push minion waves and towers. Try to kill the Dragon when you can. Make sure you ping him and try to get mid and bottom support when doing so. Don't get caught in a gank at the Dragon because you didn't know where the mid and bottom lane or other MIA champs were.
I personally like Trinity Force a lot on Nocturne, so I buy (in this order typically) Phage, Zeal and Sheen. Once you have your Trinity Force, you will be doing terrible, terrible damage to the other team. Remember that with your ult, you can often sneak away to farm and kill some jungle creeps and still be able to help in team fights. However, be cautious and try to keep the jungle warded as best you can. Nocturne is very powerful, but you don't want to get caught by yourself, so make sure you always have map and situational awareness.
As for other late game strats, it's really pretty much the same for Nocturne. Gank when you have numbers, push when you see opportunities, and stay out of the middle of big team fights and pick off enemies as you can. Grab the neutral monster buffs when available, but if you have other champs on your team that need them more, especially the blue golem buff, then help them get it. Also, as you are the jungler, try to keep wards in key areas, such as Dragon and Baron. The best way to avoid getting destroyed is to know your enemy and where they are at. Vision Ward and Sight Ward pay for themselves many times over, so they are never a waste of money. Finally, remember that you are an assassin and AD carry and be smart when fighting. Don't ult in to the middle of a fight unless your team is winning and you can get a kill or 2. Nocturne has great abilities and mobility so use them to the full advantage!
Nocturne is a very fun, unique and powerful champion. He's a great jungler, pusher, assassin and carry. Like other AD carries, however, he is generally squishy and you have to play smart, especially late game and in team fights. He's also quite item dependent for maximum power, but that's pretty much typical of any champ, especially AD carries. But thanks to his ability to gank and farm minions so well, you should have the money to have quality items.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy this guide and that it helps you out. Please try it before you vote, and as always, comments, questions, critiquing, etc. is welcome. May the shadows consume your enemies with fear and death!
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