Nocturne Build Guide by Disasterpiece512

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 Disasterpiece512

Nocturne - Dark with a chance of Pain

Disasterpiece512 Last updated on June 18, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Welcome to the ultimate Nocturne build. I have decided to make it since I have not found any Nocturne build that completely satisfies me. This build focuses on high damage and relatively high survivability which will make you an unstoppable killing machine. While some aspects of the build may seem a bit strange, don't worry, I'll get to them later so please, read everything before you vote. Please read the whole thing before you decide to vote. Also, a comment with some feedback would be nice :D.

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Pros / Cons

Nocturne is a great assassin and an excellent counter to stray enemy pushers. The enemy Master Yi thinks it's a good idea to push bottom lane while you're busy with the rest of his team on the middle lane? Grave mistake, as he won't be able to land even two hits on the turret before Nocturne is on top of him and destroys him. With that being said:


  • Excellent ganker
  • Fast farmer
  • Good pusher
  • High damage
  • Duskbringer: 55 damage steroid and movement speed buff. W00t!
  • Spell shield which drastically increases his attack speed when popped
  • Most unique ultimate in the game
  • Pretty viable as a jungler (I will discuss this later)


  • Falls quickly under focused fire
  • Low mana
  • Enemies that are tower hugging or staying close to allies make his ultimate practically useless
  • Similarily, breaking line of sight by stepping into brush or into the fog of war makes him unable to charge you with his ultimate

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Runes are pretty straightforward, but they might require some explanation.

For Marks and Quints, I prefer Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Marks of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of DesolationGreater Quintessences of Desolation, because coupled with your Brutalizer and your Sunder mastery, they will allow you to almost, if not completely ignore your target's armor early on. Which means you will deal TRUE DAMAGE with your attacks and your Duskbringer.

I have seen people use Attack Speed Marks and Quints, but I don't really think you need them because of the passive attack speed bonus from Shroud of Darkness. They are still a viable choice though, and they will buff your early game, but I feel that armor penetration is much more valuable as the game progresses.

For Seals, I prefer Greater Seals of Resilience because, as mentioned before, Nocturne falls quickly under focused fire, so they should help him nicely with his problem. They also allow you to go for a quick first blood at level 1, even before minions spawn and they will make a jungling Nocturne's life much easier.

For Glyphs, I personally prefer Greater Glyphs of Focus. Why? Because your ultimate is on a high cooldown and these runes coupled with your Brutalizer will help you in getting up as fast as possible, allowing for more ganking opportunities. Also, they will help you have your spell shield up as much as possible.

Another good choice for glyphs is using Greater Glyphs of Shielding. While your Seals will help you better withstand physical attacks, you will still be vulnerable to nukers, and some magic resistance might help with that. We use per level glyphs, because in early game, low level spells aren't really that dangerous since a well timed spell shield will negate them. They get more dangerous when casters start to stack ability power and when their spell combos really hurt a lot, which is later in the game, which is why you will need more magic resistance in mid or late game, when these glyphs give you much more resistance than Greater Glyphs of Warding.

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Summoner Spells


Best choice for Nocturne in my opinion. It helps you escape, chase, keep an enemy in range of Unspeakable Horror's leash and quickly get into a good position to shoot your Duskbringer.

Another good choice to net you an early game kill (or more). At level 1 it deals 350 true damage. Ouch.


A good choice for chasing and positioning if you for some reason don't like Flash. I find Flash more versatile, however Ghost will cover more distance than Flash. Your choice.

This is a good replacement for Ignite. While it does not deal damage, it decreases the target's enemy movement speed and damage dealt. A good chasing tool and is useful throughout the whole game, unlike Ignite which loses it's usefulness in late game.

This is a good spell to use in case you get focused and have multiple disables on you. Coupled with your spell shield, it will make your escapes much easier.

Swap Ignite for this spell if you plan to go jungling.


Your passive should heal you just enough to be able to stay on your lane as long as possible. Besides, your purpose is too keep cool and watch the enemy until he is vulnerable, moment when you quickly dive in, take him down and get back out to safety.

While Nocturne does have a small mana pool, this spell would be a waste. Spells that benefit your chasing ability are much more useful.

These are out of the question. I find Rally pretty useless. You have strong lane staying power, you don't need to frequently return to base to make Teleport any useful. Fortify is better used by your tank. Leave Clairvoyance for your support.

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Pretty straightforward. We go 21/0/9, typical DPS masteries. We need as much damage as possible, so we ramp up 21 points in Offense. 9 points go in Utility. You take Good Hands because the 5-6 seconds it cuts from your death timer in late game can be invaluable. Also, Perseverance is mathematically bad. You take Awareness, to have a slight level advantage and increased buff duration for obvious reasons. If you decide to take Ghost as a summoner spell instead of Ignite, get Haste instead of that one point in Perseverance.

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Skill Sequence

This is pretty obvious. Since Nocturne's skillset is specifically designed to take down single targets quickly, you will want to level up your spells do that as efficiently as possible. You'll want to max out your Duskbringer first, because of the chasing potential it gives you. You'll want a point in Shroud of Darkness for the passive 20% attack speed and the spell shield. You max Unspeakable Horror second, for increased fear duration. Obviously, you get your ultimate whenever possible, since each additional level increases its range and damage.

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Nocturne is pretty flexible in terms of items as long as your final build still suits rapidly taking down single targets.

You start with Doran's Blade. You stay in your lane and farm up to about 800 gold. You then Recall, get your Boots of Speed, a Long Sword and a Health Potion. Keep farming and killing your enemies until you can get your Berserker's Greaves and your Brutalizer. The Brutalizer is an item that will greatly boost your early game due to the cooldown reduction and armor penetration it offers.

Afterwards, Phage is an item that will benefit your chasing ability, so get it. It will also give you some damage and survivability. You'll then want to rush a Bloodthirster and get it to full stacks early for a increase in damage and some lifesteal, which coupled with your passive will make you pretty much unstoppable in this stage of the game. You can take 1v2 and even 1v3 easily if you play your skills right and if they don't have heavy CC. After that, you'll finish your Frozen Mallet to increase your survivability even more and make you completely inescapable. With the slow from Frozen Mallet, the speed boost from Duskbringer and the fear from Unspeakable Horror, I've even chased down Kassadin and Nidalee with great success.

So, this is your core build:

After this, the next 2 items you get are pretty much situational. The items I've included in the build are if you're focusing on pure damage against teams with little CC. Let's take a look at other possible choices:

5th and 6th item slots:

- a good item to get if the enemy team has many champions that stack armor such as Malphite or Rammus.

- a good choice versus teams with lots of CC. This coupled with your Shroud of Darkness ensures you block TWO spells instead of just one. Helpful to keep you alive more. Also, take note that having your spell shield and Banshee's Veil's spell shield up at the same time and being hit by a spell will pop BOTH.

- good if you're being focused and the other team has heavy DPS such as Xin Zhao, Caitlyn or even another Nocturne.

- also a good defensive choice in case you're being excessively focused. Although, don't overestimate this item. It won't make you immortal, so don't go kamikaze.

- although I highly disagree on getting this item without any magic penetration (since its passive deals magic damage), it's a good choice when facing champions with high ammounts of HP such as Vladimir.

- are Jax, Sivir, Udyr or Nidalee annoying you or even giving you a hard time because of their dodge chance? Get this, pop it's active and problem solved! You'll eat them up in seconds, just like everyone else.

- the enemy has Swain or Dr. Mundo and you decided not to take Ignite as a summoner spell? This item should ease your pain.

- pretty self-explanatory. It helps if you're getting CC'ed often and it adds a nice bonus to your attack speed.

Note that depending on the enemy team's composition, you may need to get 2 of these situational items or just one of them. If you only need to get one, feel free to get another Bloodthirster or a Black Cleaver as your 6th item.

Items that seem to be popular for Nocturne but I do not recommend:

- While Nocturne does have some mana problems during his early game, getting this item is a waste of gold. In early, it's outshined by a B.F. SwordB.F. Sword and in late game it just becomes useless.

- LOLWUT WHY U NO GET PHANTOM?! A good item for most DPS champs, but I wouldn't get it on Nocturne. You have enough attack speed from your Shroud of Darkness and enough movespeed from Duskbringer. The critical chance you simply don't need. You're better off getting another item that gives attack damage.

- people get this when they get focused and die. I have only seen a Nocturne get this item once, but I have seen other instances of it on other champions such as Kassadin or Master Yi. This is suicidal, as an enemy with Madred's Bloodrazor or Deathfire Grasp will take you down pretty fast. If you're squishy, get magic resistance or armor. NOT HEALTH! Health is not equal to survivability. Resistances are. Besides, you have enough health as it is from your Frozen Mallet.

- if you're doing well and getting lots of kills, I guess you could get it. But if you die, you're at a severe disadvantage. Snowball items are too much of a gamble to be worth getting.

I choose to get Youmuu's Ghostblade last, after I've finished my entire build, because I don't really need the active ability, since I got enough movespeed and attack speed from my own abilities.

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Yes, Nocturne can jungle due to his Umbra Blades. You can either start with a Vampiric Scepter or a Long Sword if you have attack speed runes or with the classic Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. Either way, you're going to be building a Wriggle's Lantern.

You start at the small golems camp, skip the lizard buff, move to the wraith camp, get wolves, get blue golem buff, return to the small golems, and get the red buff. You can now start ganking. You can also start at the golem buff, but you're going to need to be leashed, or else you can't take him on your own.

Obviously, if you're going to jungle, you shall take Smite. Junglers without Smite fail. PERIOD. I do not want to hear any commentaries about this. Smite only brings benefits to a jungler.

Personally, I don't like jungling as Nocturne since Wriggle's Lantern seems sooooo out of character for him. Regardless, I will post a video of his jungling path soon.

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Team Work

Nocturne's role in teamfights is that of an anti-carry. You will stay behind your team, wait for your tank or their tank to initiate, use your ultimate, take down their carry and keep hacking away at the rest of your enemies. Why do you target the carry first? Because the carry is squishy and Nocturne excels at taking down squishies in a heartbeat.

Also, he's excellent at punishing overextenders, split pushers or that Master Yi or Twisted Fate who think it's a good idea to backdoor your tower. Prove them wrong and take them down. You'll take them down faster than they can blink xD.

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I shall update this guide with more pictures, a jungling video and some scores in both normal and ranked games. Also, I shall keep a changelog in this section. Have fun destroying your enemies as Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare!

18/6/2011 - Added.