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Nocturne Build Guide by Mr. Luminus

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mr. Luminus

Nocturne - The Worst Nightmare

Mr. Luminus Last updated on October 15, 2013
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction

Hi, I'm Luminus currently diamond III elo and still rising. This is going to be a guide for jungle Nocturne.

Nocturne is by far one of the strongest junglers in the game so far. With his ability to duel and gank easily, he is a champ that once mastered can lead you to victory.


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Pros / Cons

Pros
  • Strong and easy jungler
  • High dueling potential and ganking
  • Strong damage output from Duskbringer
  • Paranoia allows easy ganks
Cons
  • Only has one cc which isn't that strong nor aoe - Unspeakable Horror
  • Missing Duskbringer can lead to a fail gank/duel
  • Difficult to gank early if all lanes are pushed


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Runes

Runes differ from person to person. We all have a preference in how we play/how we fight/how we farm, so there are numerous combinations. However, I'll list the most viable runes on Nocturne.

Preferred Runes
Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9
I choose these runes since it gives decent damage fromAD Marks, decent armor from Flat Armor Seals, early game magic resist from Flat Magic Resist Glyphs, and more Attack Damage from Attack Damage Quints. Overall, this is my preferred ideal runes when playing Nocturne. The main reasoning why I run attack damage marks and quints on Nocturne is because landing your Duskbringer gives you the extra movement speed needed and it scales with attack damage. Thus, it is a waste to get a little bit more movement speed from quints over having extra damage since you can close the gap easily.



Marks

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9
M
A
R
K
S
M
A
R
K
S

Seals

Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9
S
E
A
L
S
  • I choose Greater Seal of Armor because it helps jungle early game since you have relatively low health and increased armor reduces damage from minions. These are the most common/best choice of seals for Nocturne.
S
E
A
L
S

Glyphs

Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9
G
L
Y
P
H
S
G
L
Y
P
H
S

Quints

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
Q
U
I
N
T
S
Q
U
I
N
T
S


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Masteries

Masteries
4/5
4/1
2/1
4/1
1/1
2/5
3/
1/
1/5
4/1
2/1
1/5
1/1
I recommend going 21/9/0 since it's the best masteries for ad offtanks. Nocturne benefit from the offense mastery tree b/c you want to deal a lot of damage and snowball. By going 21/9/0, you can ensure that you will kill the enemy. By going 21/9/0, you benefit from the defense mastery tree since you get increased health from Veteran's Scars , and Durability which helps clear the jungle fast without losing too much health, and quicker jungle clear time from Tough Skin and Bladed Armor .


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Items First Build

When jungling with Nocturne, I would always recommend going Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potion b/c the machete lets you damage minions more and the pots give you sustain. I would not recommend anything else b/c machete and 5 pots is the standard norm for junglers.

On your first back, you should always try to get Spirit Stone and Boots of Speed b/c Spirit Stone gives you health and mana regen while the Boots of Speed lets you gank a lot more easily. If you have more money still, then I'd recommend going for a Ruby Crystal and Long Sword or a Doran's Blade and Cloth Armor. Both of these choices give you damage and health. Lastly, if you have left over money, always buy sight ward since wards win games.
Mid Game core build

Your mid game core build should consist of Trinity Force, Spirit of the Ancient Golem, and Ninja Tabi. This core build gives you extremely strong gank potential because Trinity Force gives you extra burst of speed every time you hit so landing Duskbringer, and an auto attack can get you an easy fear with Unspeakable Horror. You get extra health making you tanky, armor from Ninja Tabi which allows you to dive adc's and reduce their auto attack damage.
AD HEAVY TEAM
When facing an ad heavy team, you want to focus on getting a Randuin's Omen for the increased tankiness, and then focus on getting a Ravenous Hydra or Banshee's Veil if they have an AP champion on their team or not. If they don't have an ap champion, get Ravenous Hydra since you want to have more damage. From there, you can build accordingly to what your team needs. If you need more overall tankiness then get a Locket of the Iron Solari, or if you need to take out tanks and do more damage then get a Blade of the Ruined King.
AP HEAVY TEAM
When facing an ap heavy team, you want to focus on getting a Spectre's Cowl for the resistance. Spectre's Cowl is a good magic resist item since it branches off into either Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage. Both of these are good magic resist items for Nocturne. Depending on the enemy comp, you must choose between one of these 2 later on. Afterwards, just build a Randuin's Omen for the active and for the health/armor, then a Ravenous Hydra for the extra damage output.
Situational items
Consider buying a Sunfire Cape, if their adc is extremely fed and you require more armor for teamfights. It also is a decent item considering it gives health, armor, and magic damage.
Blade of the Ruined King is not a bad item since it does a lot of damage while giving you life steal and attack speed.
Last Whisper is a very situational item only used when the enemy team has many people stacking armor.
Thornmail is not a bad item just there are better items for Nocturne than this. It is viable only if the adc is extremely fed.
Guardian Angel is also a decent item to get, but depends on the enemy team's comp.
Aegis of the Legion is also a great item if your support does not get it or if you need more health.


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Items Second Build

My second build does not consist of trinity force but rather focuses on being more tanky. This build is a somewhat universal build to most ad junglers due to the fact that I focus on becoming tanky early on so that it will be difficult to die unless extremely focused on. Anyways...

When jungling with Nocturne, I would always recommend going Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potion b/c the machete lets you damage minions more and the pots give you sustain. I would not recommend anything else b/c machete and 5 pots is the standard norm for junglers.

On your first back, you should always try to get Spirit Stone and Boots of Speed b/c Spirit Stone gives you health and mana regen while the Boots of Speed lets you gank a lot more easily. If you have more money still, then I'd recommend going for a Ruby Crystal and if possible a Kindlegem. By trying to rush a Kindlegem, you are given 200 health and 10% cdr which is a great first buy. Lastly, if you have left over money, always buy sight ward since wards win games.
Mid Game core build

Your mid game core build should consist of Spirit of the Ancient Golem, Aegis of the Legion or Locket of the Iron Solari, and Ninja Tabi. The prioritization of these 3 items are crucial to being an effective jungler. The Spirit of the Ancient Golem gives you tenacity, cdr, health, regen, and the extra damage to minions. Obviously, this is a must buy on junglers if you intend on going tanky. I almost always get Ninja Tabi over Mercury's Treads is because Ninja Tabi has an amazing passive. It blocks 10% of damage from auto attacks. This may seem very insignificant however when it is late game and the ad carry is wrecking everyone, that 10% is a significant amount. Mercury's Treads isn't as useful anymore because the Spirit of the Ancient Golem gives tenacity. Lastly, you should get an Aegis of the Legion or Locket of the Iron Solari because this item is a universal tanky item. It gives armor, health, magic resist, as well as giving off an aura to the team making them tankier as well. Not to mention that Locket of the Iron Solari gives your teammates a small shield when activated.
Late Game

After getting your core items, you can start branching off from the given builds. This is where you start looking at both teams and seeing what is needed. Is the enemy adc fed? Do I need more armor? Is the enemy ap carry fed? Do I need more magic resist? Is my team lacking damage output? etc. You must adjust your build to match your team because every game is different from each other so you have to get items that best fit what is required. A list of decent items are listed in the situational items section below.
Situational Items
Get this item if the enemy adc is fed and you need more health. The passive from Randuin's Omen reduces the enemy's attack speed making him hit less.
Get this item if the enemy has a lot of ad champs and you want some extra armor/health. Not to mention that the passive magic damage is very helpful as well.
Another great item to get if you want to stop those pesky champs like Vayne, Kayle, Aatrox etc who rely on attack speed. This aura is amazing during teamfights.
] Get this item if the enemy has ap champions who do a lot of damage to you and you want health/magic resist.
Get this item if the enemy team has champions that have a lot of burst or have devastating skill shots that need to be blocked. Getting Banshee's Veil will give you 2 spell shields, one which is every 25 seconds of not taking damage, or one that can be activated: Shroud of Darkness.
This item isn't the best choice when trying to get magic resist. However, it is a viable item since it gives you more damage, magic resist, and a shield as well as extra attack damage.
Get this item if you find that the team is lacking damage and that you want some more lifesteal.
Get this item if you find that the enemy is stacking a lot of health/becoming tanky, and if you need more damage for your team.


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Why Trinity Force?

So many of you are right now wondering why should I get a Trinity Force? It's really expensive, and logically speaking, you don't see many junglers getting it. Well, for starters, Trinity Force offers movement speed from zeal, and rage passive from phage, which greatly increase your gank potential by ensuring that you can proc your Unspeakable Horror. Also, the spellblade passive from Sheen makes you hit like a truck b/c you will proc it once with your Duskbringer and/or Shroud of Darkness, and you will proc it twice with Unspeakable Horror. Since you landed your Duskbringer on the enemy champion, you will do a lot more damage from the increased attack damage from Duskbringer and from the spellblade passive. Also, Trinity Force gives you a little bit of everything that you want: health, movement speed, mana, and attack damage.

Getting a Trinity Force increases your skirmish ability and ganking ability, however makes you more susceptible to dying during team fights. Make sure that your team has a bruiser or tank so that your team is not all squishy. Getting Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Aegis of the Legion increases your tankiness and team fight ability, but decreases your gank potential and skirmish potential. In my opinion, if you can wreck a lane before team fights start occurring, you will continue wrecking them as the game progresses. Thus, I usually get a trinity force because I usually do exceptionally well with Nocturne allowing me to get the Trinity Force early on and getting tanky from a Spirit of the Ancient Golem right after.

Decide whether or not you want to be good at teamfights late game, or whether you want to have better ganks and skirmishes, and more damage output. This will decide whether you want trinity force or spirit of the ancient golem & aegis of the legion.


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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is the most widely used skill sequence for nocturne jungling. Get Duskbringer level one so that you have bonus attack damage at level one. Then, get Unspeakable Horror level 2 in case the enemy jungler tries to fight at your red, and for the fact that you can fear the minions and clear it quickly. You can also start Shroud of Darkness at level 2 b/c it will give you bonus attack speed. Whichever option you choose, get the other skill at level 3 so that you can proceed and gank a lane or continue farming to level 6.

You will want to max Duskbringer, then Unspeakable Horror, then Shroud of Darkness and Paranoia whenever you can. This skill sequence prioritizes attack damage first, longer duration cc second, and extra attack speed third. I personally think that the longer duration cc is better than extra attack speed.


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Spells

Primary spell
This is pretty much common sense but always take Smite when you jungle. Smite is a requirement if you ever wish to do well in ranked games because it allows you to be able to compete for objectives like dragon and baron, and even be able to steal dragon/baron.
Secondary Spell
I prefer taking Flash as my secondary spell because it is an extremely strong utility spell. You are able to escape by flashing over walls or away from people, give chase, and gank if you bring Flash. A good trick while you are ganking and if you have Flash is to use Duskbringer, hit the enemy with Unspeakable Horror, then if you are close enough and he uses Flash, you follow up with your Flash. This will lead to Unspeakable Horror still fearing your target if you are fast enough.

Taking Exhaust is a strong spell for ganking since it can slow and weaken the target you are ganking. However, by taking Exhaust, you risk the chance of dying b/c you have no escape. If you do plan on taking Exhaust, then keep in mind that when you gank, don't waste Exhaust if the enemy still has Flash. Pop the enemies Flash and come back later when he has no form of escape and you will get an easy kill.


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Ranked Play


Full gameplay of jungle nocturne in diamond elo.

Early to Mid game nocturne in diamond elo.


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Wards

So as you progress and gain more and more elo, you will start to realize that wards win games. Having vision of the enemy jungler, or an objective can help you predict what actions to take. It is the team's responsibility to ensure that they ward as well and not just the support. Having wards give you control of the map allowing you to steal buffs, dragons, and baron easily with smite.

During games, you will usually want to ward using sight ward at certain areas like dragon and baron, as well as certain areas in the jungle where people traverse a lot. By buying Vision Ward you can clear the wards at specific areas giving you an advantage over the other team. You can always buy an Oracle's Elixir to clear wards placed by the enemy team.

The reason why I like to take wards a lot with junglers, most like Nocturne is because of his high range ultimate Paranoia. By placing wards at highly traversed areas as indicated on the map, you can counter gank most of the times by easily using Paranoia and closing the gap and giving your team a better chance to win the skirmish. Also, you can use Paranoia on an enemy champion and quickly smite the objective they were trying to do, and quickly escape out of there.


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Abilities

Passive-Umbra Blades
Umbra Blades: This is what makes Nocturne such a good jungler. It allows him to clear a group of minions around him and gain health from it. Umbra Blades scales with attack damage so it is a good passive when clearing waves, or jungle camps.
Tips

Duskbringer

Duskbringer:This is perhaps the most important ability you have. It gives bonus attack damage, movement speed, and the ability to move through units while standing on it thus making you a lot stronger while ganking. It is very crucial that you land this on your enemy if you intend to secure the kill or pop a flash, exhaust, or ghost.
Tips
  • Always use Duskbringer before you gank to get the bonus movement speed and extra attack damage.
  • If escaping from an enemy, use Duskbringer into a creep wave in order to move through units and get away more quickly.
  • Duskbringer can be used to check bushes since enemies hit by Duskbringer will leave a trail every time they move.

Shroud of Darkness

Shroud of Darkness: This is probably why Nocturne has such a good kit at jungling. Being able to block the next enemy spell while at the same time doubling his attack speed passive is amazing. Also, it gives Nocturne a passive amount of attack speed which helps a lot in clearing jungles.
Tips
  • When ganking a lane, time your Shroud of Darkness so that you will not get stunned or slowed. It will take some practice to learn when to use it, but if you are able to master it, then ganking lanes will be a piece of cake.
  • Timing your Shroud of Darkness can help stop those timed ults like Requiem, Time Bomb etc.
  • Try to make the enemies hit you with an ability while using Shroud of Darkness so you can increase your attack speed when ganking or teamfighting.
  • Learn which spells you should block and which spells you should take. Judge which skills will be more of a nuisance/harmful and which you should let hit you.
  • You can use Shroud of Darkness to gank lanes that have Caitlyn's Yordle Snap Trap or nidalee's Bushwhack or teemo's Noxious Trap, and then gank the lane without being noticed beforehand by the enemy.

Unspeakable Horror

This is your bread and butter for ganks. It allows you to fear your target if you can proc it. That being said, if you can fear your target in lane, you and your teammate can do more damage during that interval he is feared. This is Nocturnes only cc so use it wisely whether it's for defensive purpose or offensive purpose.
Tips
  • Unspeakable Horror is your only form of cc so wait until you are close enough or until you hit Duskbringer to proc it b/c you do not want them to get away.
  • Unspeakable Horror can be used as a defensive skill or offensive. You can gank and fear them or if you are being chased you can use it on them and easily escape after they are feared.
  • This is a high level move which takes some time to get used to but. wait until you are close enough to them and make sure they are hit by Duskbringer. Then, use Unspeakable Horror and the second they flash, flash as well and you will be able to proc the fear.
  • Fear applies to creeps in jungle camps as well

Paranoia

Nocturne's ultimate is an amazing ability making it one of the best in my opinion. By giving you global range to initiate on, you are able to counter-gank, gank, and chase when your ultimate is up. Not to mention that you can limit the enemies vision causing confusion within their team.
Tips
  • Use the vision debuff to your advantage to separate the enemy team and pick them off one by one.
  • Sometimes save your Paranoia to catch low hp carries who try to flee from the fight
  • A difficult trick which requires constant practice is to use Paranoia right before getting hit by large cc moves b/c you are immune to cc effects.
  • Hover over your ultimate icon to ensure that you are within range before using Paranoia.
  • You can get around wards by using your Paranoia


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Jungle Basics

So when it comes to jungling, there are some fundamentals you need to know if you ever want to be somewhat decent at league. Well for starters, you should know the jungle camp timers and for major objectives like baron or dragon . Knowing these timers can help you counter-jungle and control objectives much more easily.

Lizard Elder and Ancient Golem
Spawns at 1:55 and respawns every 5 minutes
Dragon
Spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes
Baron
Spawns at 15:00 and respawns every 7 minutes
Jungle Camps
Spawns at 2:05 and respawns every 50 seconds


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Jungle Route

This is just the most ideal route if nothing occurs during your game. If you see an opportunity to gank, kill, or if your team needs you to cover, then do that first. You must learn to adapt when jungling if you wish to get good.

Anyways, when you start game, you will want to either start red buff or blue buff. You can start either one depending on where you want to gank first. Judge your teammate's abilities and your enemies abilities and see which lanes will be easy to gank and which one's will be difficult. Prioritize your jungling route so that after both double buffs, you can gank that lane and not travel halfway across the map to gank it. However, do not avoid the difficult to gank lane just b/c you cannot get a kill. Help your team out and you will win.

Whichever buff you want to start, ask your teammates to help leash it for you. Your teammate will help hit the buff your starting, and afterwards they will proceed to their lane so that you can finish off the buff. Do not smite the first buff or you will be severely delayed in jungling. After securing first buff, head to blue buff/ancient golem, and use your Smite to get double buff. Now from here, you should be level 3, and now can choose to:
A)Gank top/mid, or bot/mid depending on where you started
B)Continue jungling and get to level 6 quickly
C)Counter-jungle your opponent if you know where he started

So the possible routes are:

ancient golem -> lizard elder -> gank/jungle/counter jungle

lizard elder -> ancient golem -> gank/jungle/counter jungle


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Ganking

So when playing Nocturne jungle, you should know the basic tricks and tips to ganking lanes. After practicing with him for a while, landing most of your skill shots will become second nature to you. Anyways...

Early Ganks before ultimate

So when you do not have your ultimate, the easiest and surest methods of killing someone is to use Duskbringer followed up by Unspeakable Horror. You usually want to initiate the gank unless your lane has a cc which can either stun/slow/snare the target. Do not use Shroud of Darkness until you think that the enemy will try to use some form of cc on you. That way you can block the enemies cc and increasing the chance of a successful gank.
Ganks after acquiring ultimate

So now that you have your ultimate, ganks and counter ganks will be easy. Since you have Paranoia you can avoid wards increasing the chance of a successful gank. You can either initiate with your Paranoia or initiate with your Duskbringer. If you initiate with Duskbringer use your Paranoia after they blow their Flash so that you can follow up with an easy fear. Don't feel that since Paranoia has a long cooldown that you should not use it unless you can guarantee a kill. A successful gank is a gank that causes your enemy to play passively, recall and miss cs, or blow their summoner's spell like Flash or Ghost.


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Stats


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Mid Game - late game team fights

So, as the game proceeds and it is now mid game to late game, team fights will start breaking out. With the two builds I have listed, the Trinity Force build is more stronger in skirmishes and split-pushing, while the tanky build is better for team fights. I'll explain the basics to team fighting under the most optimal and expected conditions.

As Nocturne, your job is to assassinate carries. So wait for your team to initiate, most likely from some form of cc or unless you catch someone, and head for their carry. Due to the fact that you are going for the enemy carries, you will have a high risk of dying b/c the enemy team will do whatever they can to ensure that their carries live. Thus, your job is to get in there, kill the carry, and get out. Since you have both Paranoia, Unspeakable Horror, and Duskbringer, you should be able to get up close to their carry and fear them. You will almost always be able to proc your cc with either build since you have the bonus movement speed from the rage passive from Trinity Force, or from the movement deduction from Randuin's Omen. Use your [shroud of darkness]] to block a spell and double your attack speed bonus to ensure a higher chance of killing their carry.

After winning the team fight, you will most likely want to get an objective whether it be a tower, enemy buffs, or baron / dragon . This puts you at an even more of an advantage. However, if you lost the team fight, then you will want to have whoever is alive to defend towers. It is risky to try and stop enemies from taking dragon / baron because you lost the team fight and will most likely have less people alive than them. Thus, play defensively until your team respawns, and continue the game.


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Summary

Thank you all for taking the time to read/visit my Nocturne guide. I know that some of you will dislike my Trinity Force build, thus I have added the other build to try and please your preferences and play styles. If you think that my guide was useful, then please like and comment.

If you have any questions/suggestions on things I should add, then once again, comment and I'll see if the information is useful and I'll update my guide.