Nocturne Build Guide by Lord Lund
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.
[Patch 5.16] Secret OP Noctank
Example End Build
Example End Build vs Full AD
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi guys! Lord Lund here again with a guide on another one of my favorite champions, Nocturne. Nocturne is one of a select few champions who have high enough base damage to get away with just building one damage item and still being able to dish out A TON of damage. He is an extremely fun to play champion that excels at diving the backline of a team and taking out the squishy, high priority targets. He is also an extremely strong meta pick at this point in time. Even though the new Sated Devourer jungle item is extremely strong at this point in time, I believe that Nocturne is a champ that really benefits the most by using the Cinderhulk enchantment. Thanks for reading, I hope my build works as well for you as it does for me!
Why Cinderhulk Instead of Sated Devourer?
With patch 5.13 came a whole bunch of craze over the new Sated Devourer item. Everybody quickly rushes to the assumption that since Nocturne is an auto attack reliant jungler, Sated Devourer would probably be amazing on him. While it is true that the new Sated Devourer is better than the old Devourer, that does not make it the optimal choice on Nocturne. Nocturne passively gains attack speed due to Shroud of Darkness. That combined with the Blade of the Ruined King should be more than enough attack speed. It is better to build Cinderhulk, get the 25% bonus HP for every HP item you build, and do damage to your targets just be simply being around them (which you will be because you are a melee champion). I have tested out the new Sated Devourer on Nocturne. I actually disliked it so much more than Cinderhulk that I sold it late game for Cinderhulk.
Typical jungle start is Hunter's Machete, Two Health Potions, and a Warding Totem. After your first clear, you want to be able to buy at least Skirmisher's Sabre, a Health Potion, a Stealth Ward or two, a Vision Ward, and switch over to Sweeping Lens. Next, you want to try and stay out until you have enough gold to complete your Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk. Then, rush getting Boots of Speed and Blade of the Ruined King, getting Bilgewater Cutlass before Recurve Bow. The active on Bilgewater Cutlass and Blade of the Ruined King works really well with Nocturne. If you use it after your speed boost from the enemy champ being feared from Unspeakable Horror is finished then there is almost no chance that they are getting away.
When deciding what boots to go you have to think about a couple of things. Mercury's Treads are my personal favorites on Nocturne because of the fact that he can be kited easily if the other team has slows or any other disable. Therefore, the tenacity given by Mercury's Treads is really nice. However, if all or almost all of the other teams damage is physical, Ninja Tabi is the way to go.
Lastly, you have to build your defensive items. I like to always try and build Thornmail, Spirit Visage, and Righteous Glory on Nocturne. The Thornmail passive is amazing on any champion building tank, especially when you're somebody diving the backline as much as Nocturne. The passive life steal bonus and 10% cooldown reduction from Spirit Visage works great with Blade of the Ruined King. Nocturne is actually kind of many hungry and, as mentioned before, gets kited easily, so the extra mana, Catalyst the Protector passive, and Righteous Glory active works amazing with Nocturne. Not to mention the self-healing from Righteous Glory is boosted by Spirit Visage.
However, there are times when these are not the smartest options to go when building your defensive items. Versus a heavy AD team, you'll probably want to be going Randuin's Omen instead of Spirit Visage. Versus a heavy AP team, you'll want to be going Banshee's Veil instead of Thornmail. Yet, if your support or top layer did not build Locket of the Iron Solari or Banner of Command, it might be smart for you to build Locket of the Iron Solari instead of Banshee's Veil so that your team has a stronger team fight presence because of its passive. Also, with the recent nerfs in patch 5.13 to Righteous Glory taking away 100 HP, I kind of feel like it might be more efficient to go Warmog's Armor instead. With the 25% bonus health from Cinderhulk, this makes a difference of 625 HP from Righteous Glory to 1000 HP from Warmog's Armor. It may be worth having to manage your mana usage a little better in order to have an extra 375 HP. I haven't tested it out yet, but I will update the guide and let you guys know when I do. If anyone else tests it out or knows, comment and let me know!
On Nocturne, your skill sequence should always be R > Q > E > W. Obviously you want to be maxing your ultimate, Paranoia first. You want to prioritize maxing Duskbringer second as it is your main damage output since it also makes your basic attacks stronger when your within its trail. Unspeakable Horror should be maxed next as it's your ability that does the second most amount of damage, it increases the amount of time your target is feared as you level it up, and it's cooldown is reduced meaning you can fear people more often. Shroud of Darkness should be maxed last as it is more just utility since it is a spell shield.
You want to be getting another point into your Q, Duskbringer at level 3 because when you're clearing your jungle you do not want to be using your W, Shroud of Darkness unless if you have blue buff because you will find yourself quickly running out of mana.
Passive, Umbra Blades
Umbra Blades is a very strong passive and is what makes Nocturne's jungle clearing and dueling as great as it is. When Umbra Blades is up, Nocturne's next basic attack deals 120% your AD in AOE and heals you for 10 / 18 / 26 HP per enemy hit. When Umbra Blades is on cooldown, every basic attack you do reduces its cooldown by one second.
This is your main damage output. When casted, Nocturne fires a skillshot of a shadow blade that leaves a trail behind it. It deals 60 / 105 /150 / 195 / 240 (+ 75% bonus AD) to every enemy hit by it. When an enemy is hit by it, they have a trail behind them for the next 5 seconds. When Nocturne is in this trail, he deals 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 bonus damage on his basic attacks, his movement is increased by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35%, and he ignores unit collision.
Passively, Nocturne permanently gains 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% attack speed.
When activated, Nocturne receives a spell shield for the next 1.5 seconds. If you happen to block a spell with the spell shield, his passively gained attack speed doubles for the next 5 seconds.
Passively, Nocturne gains 335 movement speed when moving towards feared targets. Meaning that it doesn't necessarily have to be targets feared by Nocturne. For example, they could be feared by Fiddlesticks and Nocturne would still gain the movement speed buff when moving towards them.
When activated on a target, Nocturne deals 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 260 (+ 100% AP) magic damage to the target over 2 seconds. If the target stays within the range of the spell for the whole 2 seconds, they are feared for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds.
This is what makes Nocturne who he is and allows him to instantaneously dive a particular chosen target on the other team's backline.
When activated, enemies have their sight radius reduced and their shared vision is temporally disabled.
When activated one more time on an enemy champion, Nocturne will launch and fly over to the target dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+ 120% bonus AD) on contact.
Combos and Tips
It is always nice to land Duskbringer before trying to fear a target by using Unspeakable Horror because if you manage to land Duskbringer you will received the extra movement speed from standing in its trail, meaning that it will be extremely hard for the enemy champion to escape the range of Unspeakable Horror.
When you target an enemy champion with Paranoia and fly towards them, you basically want to immediately cast all of your spells because when people get targeted by Nocturne's Paranoia they will panic and probably spam their abilities or cast their ultimate. By casting Shroud of Darkness right away, you will most likely block their main damage output and also gain the attack speed buff from blocking a spell. However, you do not want to spam your abilities if you are just targeting an enemy that has very little health and is getting away. In that case you'll want to save Shroud of Darkness and Unspeakable Horror for other targets since they have somewhat of a long cooldown. A couple of basic attacks or one Duskbringer should be enough to kill a low HP target.
When you are trying to escape from enemies who are chasing you down, cast Unspeakable Horror on the person behind you and shoot Duskbringer out in front of you. That way, if the movement speed buff from the Duskbringer trail isn't enough for you to escape, the person chasing you down will be feared by Unspeakable Horror.
One lethal ultimate combo that a lot of LCS teams have been building their team comps around lately has been the Nocturne and Shen ultimate combo. The way to do this is that Nocturne casts Paranoia on an enemy champion and, while Nocturne is casting Paranoia, Shen casts Stand United on Nocturne. This requires a lot of communication to pull off, but is almost a guaranteed kill when executed correctly.
When jungling as Nocturne, you can start at either Krugs or Gromp. You want to start at whichever one is on the bottom side because you will have the best leash that way with both the support and adc leashing you. Because of Umbra Blades and Unspeakable Horror, Nocturne is one jungler that has no problem clearing the entire jungle without backing. Also, when you're playing Nocturne you really want to prioritize farming over ganking because once you hit level 6 you gain a lot of global presence with your ultimate. Only tank pre-6 if it is a guaranteed kill. While clearing the jungle, try and position yourself so that you hit every monster in the camp with Duskbringer and Umbra Blades. This will significantly improve your clears.
River Scuttler (Optional)
River Scuttler (Optional)
River Scuttler (Optional)
River Scuttler (Optional)
Red Buff (Smite)
When ganking with Nocturne you want to come up from behind the enemy champion, land Duskbringer, cast Unspeakable Horror on them, and proceed to attack them. You should not be using Paranoia to initiate ganks unless if you absolutely need to in order to save one of your laners from dying and even possibly turn it on the them. You should be looking to save Paranoia just in case the enemy later flashes or is about to get away from the gank. Then, you can cast it on them and secure the kill.
As Nocturne, your role in team fighting should be to use you ultimate, Paranoia in order to dive and take out priority targets in their backline. This is less risky when using the Tank Nocturne build because if you were building damage Nocturne you would most likely dive their backline and end up dying within seconds as everyone tries to burst you down. Yet, as tank Nocturne you can ping the enemy champion you are going to target, cast Paranoia on them, strike them down, and be durable enough to sustain the damage from the enemy team as they focus you down long enough for your team to engage with you.
Thanks for reading my Nocturne guide! Please leave comment and leave feedback or if you liked the guide give it a like. If you haven't already, check out my Rek'Sai guide "[5.13] Tank'Sai Jungle". It's fourth down on the first page of Rek'Sai guides.