Nocturne Build Guide by AttractiveUma
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.
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.
This is the first build I have made and it's for my favorite jungler... Nocturne. All the builds I found for Nocturne before were either high in DPS or high in tankiness, but never both, so I made my own build that gives maximum possible tankiness and dps. Unfortunately it gives up some attack speed, but it makes you hard to kill and lets you still be hecka scary because you output so much damage. Hope you find it helpful.
You are a jungler, so you need smite, it's that simple. I know there are some junglers who can jungle smiteless such as Shaco and Fiddlesticks but even if you don't need smite for the creeps, you still need it to secure baron and dragon.
The other spell you use is more flexible, your options are:
It's an all around good summoners. it lets you ambush people well and escape ambushes just as easily. Also it can save your teams life in a jam. If Ashe or Caitlyn are using their ultimates on a teammate you can Flash in the way and Shroud of Darkness, then walk away like you're a boss and nothing happened.
A good alternative for flash, gives epic chasing power. Combine this spell with your Duskbringer and you can now catch anyone in the game... except maybe Master Yi and Hecarim. I still have a personal love of flashing through walls and terrifying people, but if you prefer Ghost then go for it.
Since nocturne is an assassin you want to have a spell for catching people so I would not suggest going without Flash or Ghost. However, if you must then you can choose Exhaust for ambush capability or Ignite if you're gonna try an early counter jungle. I would not suggest choosing any of the other summoners unless you have a really strong reason too.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed for his passive and early game. This build's items don't include much attack speed so extra from the runes is nice, starting out with extra attack speed aslo makes his passive so much more helpful in the jungle.
Greater Seal of Armor is so important in the jungle. Without these runes the jungle creeps will destroy your health and you will be ineffective in the jungle, that is all.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, mixed 4 scaling and 5 flat. The extra magic resist you get from these is very helpful for early game ganking and the scaling ones will give you a bit of extra magic resist late game. The items don't give you any magic resist so these runes are all the extra you're gonna get.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed for the same reason as the marks. It increases both the amount of damage you will be outputting and how often you proc your passive.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal will make jungling easier early on, you'll have more health when you go for ganks and it will be harder to counter jungle you.
I went with 21-9-0 masteries. In the offense tree we got extra AD, extra attack speed, extra armor pen, and extra armor to monsters and minions. All the points in the defense section are aimed at losing the lowest amount of health possible while fighting the jungle creeps, without these 9 in defense the jungle creeps would do way more damage to you, your 5 Health Potion wouldn't last as long, and your ganking would take longer and be less effective.
The Hunter's Machete is great for clearing the jungle early game and is a must buy for the jungling Nocturne, it later build;s into a wriggles which is where you get your lifesteal and extra wards from.
If you buy the Hunter's Machete then you have enough money for 5 Health Potion. These will allow you to stay in the jungle longer and prepare for your ganks better.
This is the last item in the build that gives you attack speed. If you really wanted to you could replace these with Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, but I could suggest staying with the Berserker's Greaves as these are what keep your passive viable late game.
I cannot stress how wonderful this item is, extra AD, extra armor, extra lifesteal, and a free ward every three minutes. Don't forget about those wards and waste them, I like to use them on the top lane as they are normally not a ward heavy lane and the extra wards makes it that much harder for the enemy jungle to gank them.
Frozen Mallet is awesome, it gives extra health (which later means more AD anyways) and extra AD. And it allows you to passively slow your target and thus attack them like crazy even when they are attempting to flee.
I have decided on the Warmog's Armor over the Infinity Edge for a couple reasons. First, I have grown a recent love of tankiness... being able to jump at whoever you want and not die is awesome. Which leads into reason two: it synchronizes better with Nocturne, He is one of the best initiators in the game and to not build around that would be a waste of potential. Third and final reason, I state that the goal of this build and playstyle is to be so scary that you are focused in teamfights instead of your ADC and APC, so building more tankiness gives them more time to do damage while you distract.
This will give you excellent assassination power for your mid game. It buffs your Att. Speed and damage, gives you more sustain, and has that beautiful active that makes it all but impossible for them to escape you. Using this along with frozen mallet and Duskbringer makes it ridiculously hard for someone to survive a well timed Paranoia and will vastly increase the terror you inspire. If you need more early assassin power instead of tankiness, go ahead and buy this before you buy the Warmog's Armor
Assuming the game has lasted this long you are now desperately trying to find the correct fight to pick for your team to finish the game. Having a GA will make you tankier and allow you to fearlessly jump into a fight that your team wants. Just wait until someone over extends, eat them, win the 4 v 5 and then finish the game.
Umbra Blades is the passive ability, it makes your basic attack deal 120% damage, do AoE to everyone near you, and heal a flat amount for each target hit. It has a 10 second cooldown that is reduced by 1 second each time you attack.
I love this thing, early game jungle this lets you output more damage and gives you a bit of extra healing that allows you to stay out in the jungle longer. Also remember that once you get Wriggle's Lantern and have lifesteal, you will apply that to everyone you hit, so you heal even more than before. It stays helpful late game because it is a consistent 20% damage boost which lets you kill people that much faster. Also, it is great for farming, throw a Duskbringer into a crowd of minions and follow it up with an Umbra Blades and they will all die and you will get all the CS :)
Duskbringer will be the first ability you max out, it not only does initial damage, but boost your speed and damage output making it easier to close in on your target. This skill is the least helpful utility wise and it's damage output grows more with leveling than the others, which is why it is maxed before the others, they are both helpful even at low levels.
Also, this skill allows you to scout for and track unseen enemies, if you throw this into a bush and the person runs, you will be able to see the trail appearing in the fog of war. They may not realize it but you saw their path of travel for 5 seconds and can probably make a good guess of where they went.
Shroud of Darkness will be the last ability you max out. You put one point in it at level 4 and instantly gain a spell shield and 20% attack speed bonus, further leveling only increases the bonus by 5% and reduces the cooldown some though so this ability doesn't benefit as much from leveling as the others.
Unspeakable Horror will be the second ability you max out. This ability is essential to your ganking early and mid game. At first it only fears for 1 second, but the amount of damage Nocturne can unleash in one second with his Duskbringer bonus is quite impressive to behold, used in unison these skills will allow you to gank, or just take out individual targets in a fight, way more effectively.
Paranoia is so helpful for ganking. It allows you to make their wards completely useless and a waste of money. Now at first level this skill has limited range, a little bigger than sight radius, so you walk to bot bush, where their ward spots you, but you are already in range of your ultimate and cannot react in time. Also even if your using it on top lane, bot and mid will still freak out and act irrationally, allowing your allies in these lanes to take advantage and posiibly get some good combat trades in.
My advice, early game use it whenever it is ready. Use it all the time and make the enemy fear the darkness. Late game however you need to save it for a strategically perfect time, snipe their squishies pre-teamfight so that you are now looking at a 5 v 4 in your teams favor, or save it and wait for one of the enemies to flee from a team fight... let them think they are excaping and then crush their hopes, this is how you inspire fear in their hearts (muahahahahahaha).
Pros / Cons
Ultimate is great for initiating, and causes fear in the entire emnemy team when you use it.
His tankiness catches people off guard because he is normally a squishy character.
SPELL SHIELD FTW
Squishy early game
Fear is not instantaneous and can be dodged with a flash.
Not much AOE for team fights.
Creeping / Jungling
Start at blue or red, decide which based on which lane you want to gank first. The lane you want to gank should be next to the second buff you grab. Get red or blue, then go grab the other buff. If possible, you should level 3 gank a lane, you have a level advantage and all three of your abilities at this point so shield any cc, activate your fear, and you should at least get a flash out of them. Also if possible, re gank the lane soon and take advantage of the used flash. As long as there isn't and obvious gank or counter gank to make you should farm your own jungle up. At about the 5 1/2 minute mark you should put wards on both the enemy buffs, when you see them taking one you steal the other. Keep their buffs warded throughout the game and steal as many buffs as possible.
Ganking with Nocturne is going to rely mainly on two things, knowing when to gank, and knowing when to use your spell shield. Don't just spam your spell shield, use it to block stuns and ulti's. My favorite use of it ever was when I blocked a Darius ulti, which would've killed me, and then killed him and got to hear him rage about how that should've killed me and I was obviously a hacker. Aiming your spell shield to block ulti's and stuns is one of the most important aspects of Nocturne to master.
When team fighting with Nocturne you need to focus down their ADC and APC, The extra tankiness from this build allows you to aggressively jump through the enemy team and then the damage lets you kill off the ADC or APC in 2 or 3 seconds. I would suggest the AP carry first, this build doesn't give you magic resist so if you use your ulti to instantly melt their APC then you don't have to worry anymore and can dispose of the other enemies at your leisure. Hopefully attacking these prime targets gets the enemy team to focus you a bit, use your spell shield, life steal, and tankiness to distract the enemies as long as possible, if you're scary enough, and they focus you, then your APC and ADC will do serious damage and not have to worry about being focused.
Nocturne is an excellent mental weapon, his ultimate causes fear in the enemy team, even the ones your not going after, and causes them to act irrationally and make mistakes, letting your teammates use your ulti to take advantage in their lane. Late game Nocturne is not exceptionally helpful in team fights, really you should just kill off the ADC or AP Carry as soon as the team fight starts and then fear someone on the enemy team. Also, don't forget that his ulti gives you the option of ganking without going into their bushes, wards are ineffective against you so gank aggressively and scare the heck out of everyone, GL HF
Ranked Game Replays
If you have downloaded Leaguereplays (It's free and easy) then you can watch a replay of me using this build in a ranked games here:
This is my favorite ranked match I've played as Nocturne. We had good team comp, good teammates, and one awesome Nocturne :) The enemy managed to get Blitzcrank but we shut them down anyways.
This was a pretty close game for a bit, but the enemy jungle was way to aggressive and got himself killed (by me) a whole lot. I actually didn't come out positive K/D, but that is because I knowingly died several times because I knew my team would get kills off it, which is okay, the jungler is not as important as the APC or the ADC. Also you can see a moment early on in this game where I ask the enemy Zed a question and then attack while he is typing a response... lol.
This was an easy ranked match. Our team was awesome and the enemy team was noobs. I actually rushed the Infinity Edge because the extra damage early made killing the noobs so much more fun.
01/10/13 - Added Helpful Suggestions from Others: Items
01/11/13 - Added Elixirs to the Item Build
03/15/13 - Changed item build: replaced Infinity Edge with Warmogs
03/15/13 - Added Summoner spell section
07/30/13 - Changed Atma's out for Blade of the Ruined King
07/30/13 - Deleted Helpful Suggestions from Others: Items
07/03/13 - Added Lifesteal Quints as an alternate choice