Nocturne Build Guide by Houtje

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Houtje

Nocturne Laning Build (Houtje)

Houtje Last updated on March 31, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Thanks in advance for reading!

This still isn't a full guide, but I will continue to change it in the future. Constructive Criticism won't hurt, so post a comment about what I need to improve!

As you probably already have noticed, it's about Nocturne, and how I play him on my account, being a Laner instead of a Jungler, and to show he can prove to be really useful in a lane. This being said, it will NOT cover any jungling tactics, apart from going into the jungle to get a buff, dragon or baron once in a while if you have no jungler.
Nocturne is a really balanced, but really strong champion in my opinion, plus he's my main, so I decided to write a guide about him.
Oh btw, you might want to read the whole guide before commenting, since I have some things to say about my runes, masteries, items etc.

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Laning Nocturne?

Yes, that's right. Nocturne isn't a champion who can only be played in the jungle, he is really strong in a lane too.

First of all, due to his Umbra Blades, he can farm creeps very easily. Together with your Duskbringer, you can kill entire waves in 1 combo, making it easy to farm already at a really low level.

Furthermore, since Nocturne has a fear, Unspeakable Horror, he can prove to be really useful to his lane partner, if he has one, because your lanemate will very likely catch up with the fight if you fear your enemy, and the enemy will be dead in no time, wandering around while being scared.

Finally, if you tend to lose your kill due to the enemy running to the turret, you can simply jump in with Paranoia, get the kill and get out of there ASAP. While this is also true when you play as a jungler, in a lane fights will occur much more often and as a jungler you won't always be there in time.

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My Runes are as follows:

Greater Mark of Desolation: IMO a must have for almost every AD champion, due to extra damage!

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: I choose this over Armor Penetration, because in early game you will do more damage against creeps etc, who already have their armor so low that you are better off with pure damage.

Greater Seal of Replenishment: I find the mana regen very handy in begin game, and think it's really useful on any champion who has mana. Greater Seal of Armor could be proven useful too, though.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: This allows you to just be in time to hit that extra Duskbringer, to be able to use your Ultimate a little faster since it's cooldown is so high, etcetera. The other viable option are Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, if you find yourself taking a lot of damage.

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I take 21/0/9 as masteries for Nocturne. The only thing you might question is why i take Mana masteries in Utility, but you will see that it's very handy since you tend to run out of mana soon begin game. Furthermore, Summoner's Wrath is to pick up the early kills begin game with Ignite where Nocturne is at his weakest, and Summoner's Insight is a must have for Flash. Executioner will also help you a LOT if you are Summoner level 21+.

I recommend maxing the Offense tree first, with the exception of Summoner's Insight , which should be taken at Summoner level 12, due to the use of Flash. Then you can do as written in the guide.

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Summoner Spells

I take Flash because Nocturne doesn't have a decent natural escape mechanism. However Duskbringer gives a MS bonus, Shroud of Darkness allows you to completely ignore a stun or something like that and Unspeakable Horror gives your the opportunity to lose a chaser, if the whole team is hunting you and you know that they will be able to eventually reach you, just flash over the wall and you're ok. Also, you can flash in to be able to barely land another Duskbringer for the kill.

Ignite is a really useful spell to have, because it helps you to get the early kills and because of it's true damage, it will prove as a useful damage skill the entire game.

Other Viable Options

CV will synch very well with your Ultimate, because it allows you to see hidden enemies which you are not able to target otherwise. However, if you just make sure you use your ultimate at the right time, this shouldn't be happening. Use this if you have a lot of trouble timing your ultimate.

Almost the best spell for a 1v1. It is a really good option instead of Ignite if you don't have the level, but otherwise I would just stick with Ignite due to the ability to cast a medium-damage targeting ability from a distance, so you don't have to rely on your Duskbringer while zoning an enemy champion at a tower. Also, since Nocturne is one of the best 1v1'ers anyway, he won't need Exhaust as much as he needs Ignite in other situations. If you pick this, make sure you target the most damaging champion in a team fight, since it will really help your team out a lot!

If you are not good at Flashing, I should take this instead because it does have a lower cooldown and has a similiar function. If you are able to Flash at the right time, I surely would recommend that though.

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Umbra Blades: This is a really good passive. Combined with Duskbringer, you can take down entire minion waves in a few seconds, because of its AOE damage.

Duskbringer: Basically your bread and butter skill. It gives you the extra damage amd movement speed to quickly take your enemies down. I max this first. Make sure you hit the enemy to let them leave a trail, because if not, you won't be able to chase that easy or deal as much damage as possible.

Shroud of Darkness: The passive, an attack speed boost, synchronizes extremely well with Duskbringer, while the active, a completely negating 1-time spell shield, helps you to continue the killing by just negating things like Morgana's Dark Binding or Lux' Light Binding.

Unspeakable Horror: Causes you to fear enemies after a few seconds, and smash 'em to death. Always use this when you're going in for the kill.

Paranoia: A really great initiator. Use this when a teamfight is about to happen to distract everyone and lock their sight, use it to gank, to chase someone who flashes out of your range, the possibilities are unlimited!

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Begin Game

Items! The things that make you win the game. In Nocturne's case, you will want to focus on as much DPS as possible, while in some cases also watching your durability, which in this guide will be greatly covered by Lifesteal. I begin with my Vampiric Scepter, because it synergizes very well with the passive, Umbra Blades.

After that I get my boots, Berserker's Greaves, because they are about the only viable option for boots on Nocturne and are awesome for the passive, and helps you get early kills in because you are now able to chase decently.

B. F. Sword is the next thing you should want to get. I found it very helpful in begin game, and although it is very expensive for that time of the game, if you have the patience to get it, you should really go for it, because the damage adds about 40% of your attack damage at that time.

Core Build + Mid/Lategame

This here is your core build. If all has been going well and you got your 3 begin game items, it's time to talk about the real thing. The first thing you should want to do is finish your The Bloodthirster. This should be done really fast, and after that farm a bit to max it. After it's maxed, you should go on and help your teammates get kills, because you are already really strong for this time of the game.

Once you have collected a little money, go back and get your Zeal. If the game has been going well, you should have it around level 11. This is also the time that you're able to solo Dragon , so if there is no jungler around, you should try to kill it before the enemy team kills it. Of course, finish the Phantom Dancer ASAP.

Congratulations! You have now become a mid-game killing machine! (I hope... :3) I find that after builing my PD, almost nobody is able to stop Nocturne due to the R-Q-E combo, because it deals tons of damage to everyone who wasn't smart enough to build Armor.

You should now rush your Infinity Edge, because it helps you to a whopping 55% total critical strike chance, increases your damage by a lot, and makes your crits way more painful! When you have finished this, your core build is done, and even in a situation where the game is not going too well, you can tear almost every champion apart, at least in a 1v1. In a teamfight, you should just focus the squishies to regain as much health as possible to stay alive and deal tons of damage.

Item 5 and 6

This is where you can take a lot of options, based on how the game is running. I will walk through a few of them. Youmuu's is a really nice item to get if you are able to get a lot of kills in. It gives an allround boost to your damage output, a nice active to make you kill just about everything faster, and gives you the cooldown reduction which is especially handy for your ult, Paranoia.

Another item I would really recommend when the game is at your advantage. It gives you the armor penetration passive, which makes you also tear up the tanks, and the general damage and attack speed. Also really handy to help your team, due to the armor reduction it gives, so the whole team hits more.

In a situation where the enemy has a lot of heavy tanks, I would recommend this item. Generally, The Black Cleaver is a more viable option, but the % armor reduction makes you want it against multiple enemies with 100-150+ armor.

MoM is a really nice item against a heavy caster team. That being said, on Nocturne who isn't really supposed to be all tanky, that is the only situation where you should get this.

A second PD really won't hurt. While items like The Black Cleaver give you a lot of effects, you can also get a second Dancer if you don't need the Armor Penetration due to a very squishy enemy team, and in that case it also surpasses Youmuu's Ghostblade, because it also has AS and the MS buff, plus it gives more crit chance which synergizes very well with your Infinity Edge.

Regarding the squishyness of Nocturne with this build and Combatjack1's comment, I decided to put this here. If you do not know about this combination, the Atma's gives AD equivalent to a percentage of your health, and Warmog's is an item solely focused on getting Health. This combination can be used to make Nocturne more tanky, but without losing too much of his awesome killing potential. The reason why I don't include this into my main build is because I believe Nocturne is more effective with more DPS, to melt down your enemies even quicker. If you do not choose this, you will deal unbelievable damage, steal 20% of it to add it to your health, and you will survive anyhow. But, if you have trouble regarding Nocturne's squishyness, I would really recommend these 2 items as a combination regarding item 5 and 6, or even earlier, but you need to know what you're doing, because you are differing from the core build used in this guide. Frozen Mallet is a more offensive replacement for Warmog's, and it has a nice slow, so you could use it if the game is more in your favour.

You should always get these when you finished your build and have leftover gold, because of the nice buffs you get. You can choose to get Oracle's Elixir earlier in the game with enemies like Twitch and Evelynn.

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Thanks for reading my guide! I'm still working on it, but I would appreciate a vote, whether it's a upvote or downvote, and a comment to be able to improve my guide! Games using this build are also posted here, if you can send me the link via PM. Hope it helped!