Nocturne Build Guide by Torahn
Not Updated For Current Season
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Before Nocturne, people believed that dreams were figments of their imaginations, meaningless images that flashed through the mind when one slept. This belief was put to the test when a rash of sleep-related incidents started afflicting summoners of the League. Some would wake up screaming, terrified and beyond consolation. Some could not fall asleep, slowly going mad as the nights ticked by. Some simply never woke up. Physicians were baffled until a Field Architect happened to pass out next to a nexus on the Twisted Treeline. Witnesses said he cried out once and then stopped breathing. Immediately after, magical energy arced out from the nexus, and Nocturne appeared.
Nocturne did not take his introduction to this world kindly. He slaughtered everything he could find before summoners were able to magically confine him. After a period of intense study, League experts divined that Nocturne hunted summoners in their sleep, attacking them in a place where their magic was useless. This seemed to be his only purpose. The families of the victims demanded justice, but League officials were concerned that death might only return Nocturne to the place from which he came. They bound him to a nexus fragment, trapping him in the physical world. As punishment for his crimes, they allowed summoners to call upon Nocturne in League matches, bending his will to the summoners he hates and creating his own personal nightmare. League scholars don’t know whether he truly came from the plane of dreams, or whether there are any more like him. Some theorize that the summoning act affected the summoners subconscious minds, luring Nocturne to them in their sleep. Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that Nocturne is a person’s nightmare come to life. If this is true, they wonder, who is the dreamer?
“The darkness is closing in... it’s pitch black now... but I can still see him...” –- Kelvin Ma, patient #4236
I've made a few changes to update this guide to my current builds in game. Overall, I still feel that Nocturne is a powerful champ in the jungle even after repeated nerfs. I tend to play him more on the glass cannon side of things rather than tanky dps. He's a great 1v1 champ and assassin.
My runes have changed a bit with some extensive practice to suit my early counter jungle playstyle. I go with just shy of 12 armor pen from quints and marks, then I get 3 attack damage marks, followed by 5 attack speed glyphs. This works out the best in my practice and in game to help support starting with a Vamp Scepter. I go with that to help make my early game as efficient as possible.
Still sticking with armor yellow, as they give good survivability in the jungle and during early game ganks.
Cooldown blues can be shifted however you like still, with magic resist being a solid alternative choice.
This is where I diverge from many of the Nocturne guides I've seen. The standard first 2 items of Wriggles and Berserker's greaves.
After that I start building trinity force. Why Trinity Force? It has everything a growing Nocturne needs. On top of that, you are building 3 smaller items first, which gives you much more flexibility when you go back to base and can't quite afford that B. F. Sword. Health, Mana, AD, AP (although marginally useful it does boost your E), movement speed, Crit, Attack Speed, and the extra damage after using an ability. After this point, you'll be building plenty of attack damage items, so the % scaling of the Trinity Force will continue to scale for the rest of the match.
Zeal for the crit, movement and attack speed first. Phage or Sheen next is a personal choice. If I feel I need the mana, I go for Sheen, if I need more AD and the slow Phage. Its usually about 20 minutes when I've got it completed either way.
After the 20 minute mark is where I really start getting a feel for the game, and the item build can really change. Most games I go with the Banshee's Veil (getting Negatron first) followed by Starks. I've added Starks as a core item to the build now.
From there its really up in the air. Grabbing a B. F. is always a good choice after Starks, and then its just a matter of what you turn it into. To mess with heavy armor the Black Cleaver synergizes well with Starks, shredding armor off tanks and putting squishies into the negative. I. E. for that straight up power. Bloodthirster for ever more lifesteal.
For summoner spells I now go with Flash/Smite. Flash is pretty much a must, but can be swapped for ghost or exhaust. Smite is a must have for jungling, last hitting buffs/dragon/Baron, and should always be on your bars.
When jungling with Nocturne, I tend to be aggressive, even more so recently. Grabbing a vamp scepter I head off to the opposing team wraiths. I'll usually wait until 1:30 in the bush in the middle of river, then start booking it to their wraiths. If they see you, abort immediately and just go kill your wolves. If they don't see you, smite the blue wraith, wait for the little ones to line up, Q through all 3, then auto attack with your passive. That should kill 1 of the small wraiths, and the other 2 should have 1 hit left.
Next, move on to your own wolf camp. Q through all 3, then focus down the large wolf. After he dies, put your point in W and finish up the small wolves. Go to your own wraith camp, Q through the middle, kill the big one first. Finish up there, then move to golems. By this time your smite should be off CD. Open up with it to pull them, Q through them and finish them off.
Recall from golems, grab a cloth armor, 2 health pots, and a ward if you can manage. Head to blue, then clear down ending at red buff. If your health is in good enough shape, put some pressure on the bottom lane or mid. Otherwise, recall for boots and gank whatever lane needs it.
Nocturne is a champ that I've absolutely loved since he came out. He's been a dominant character since release, and even after some nerfs he continues to be a powerful force in matches.
Please leave your comments and feedback below. Always try it before you vote. Thanks for reading.