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Nocturne Build Guide by Rcclyder

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 Rcclyder

Taking Ganking to a Whole New Level - Jungling and Lane

Rcclyder Last updated on October 24, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
4
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/
Brute Force
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Lethality
Improved Rally
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Evasion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Veteran's Scars
Willpower
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ardor
Reinforce
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenacity
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Awareness
Expanded Mind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quickness
Blink of an Eye
 
 
 
 
 
Intelligence
Mystical Vision
 
 
 
 
 
 
Presence of the Master
 
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction


(Special Thanks to JakofAllSpaydes for the Banner)


Welcome, to the League of Legends Champion Spotlight, featuring Nocturne, The Eternal Nightmare.

Stfu Phreak, most of your builds suck. People came to this guide to learn how to REALLY build Nocturne.

So, the reason you're here is probably because you've seen a Nocturne in-game, really liked his play-style or you just randomly bought him because he looked cool. Either way, I can guarantee that you will enjoy playing Nocturne, unless of course, you suck. But by reading this build, you are trying to improve, so good on ya.



Guide Top

Pros / Cons

Nocturne will suit you if:

  • You like to Jungle, and take joy in making your opponents soil their pants

  • You like to play assassins, and facemelt your opponents in a few seconds

  • You generally like to play DPS champions

  • You think he looks cool


Well if one or more of those options suit you, then you have come to the right build!


Pros


What are the advantages of Nocturne over the other junglers, you ask? Well, first of all, read the title of this guide. TAKING GANKING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Like it suggests, Nocturne is one of the best gankers in the game, and what better way to gank than from the Jungle? Because of Nocturne's ultimate, Paranoia, Nocturne is consistently ranked as a top-tier jungler.
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Cons


However, Nocturne isn't ALL double rainbows and unicorns. There are many ways for an experienced opponent to counter even the best of Nocturnes. First of all, buying armour items spell the demise of any AD champion, including Nocturne. Also, his ganking ability becomes very limited if your opponent is smart about not overextending, and calling MIA's if you are playing Lane Nocturne.


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Your Role on the Team

As Nocturne, your role is to keep your enemies on their toes with ganks and harassment. Make your opponent scared of you, and make them scared of overextending. Punish them whenever they do something stupid, and you will be in good shape going into the mid/late game.

YOU NEED TO GET FED AS NOCTURNE. Either farm well, or get fed with kills, otherwise you will just be a joke to the enemy team instead of the unstoppable force that you are supposed to be.

Nocturne is generally not the best initiator for teamfights. Get your Tank/Off-Tank to do that. You role in a teamfight is to swoop in with your Paranoia after the fight has started, and to pick off whoever is either most important on the enemy team, or the easiest to kill. However, you should wait until the teamfight has fully erupted before you ult in, because if your enemies focus you down then you are pretty screwed, even if you are a Tanky Nocturne. When you ulti into the fight, try to hit as many opponents with Duskbringer as you can, because this will make them paint the entire floor and you wont have to just stay in one spot to deal damage. In most cases, you will be the main damage dealer next to your AP carry, so stay alive and do your job: DO AS MUCH DAMAGE AS YOU CAN.


Guide Top

The Builds

The first build in my guide is for a tanky jungler. To be honest, I am more used to a more glass-cannon-type of play-style for Nocturne, but lately I have become more and more inclined towards being a little less squishy (Thanks to playing too much Veigar and a little encouragement from EpikLoLTime).






There are many advantages of building a DPS character a little tanky. First of all, you will not instantly die the moment you are focused in a team fight. If you are a glass cannon, this will ALWAYS happen to you. In my opinion, it is worth sacrificing a little damage to die much less, as outlasting your opponent is equally, if not more, important than outdamaging him/her.[/color]






The second build is for a Glass Cannon Lane Nocturne, meaning that you have absolutely no tank items, and you are focused purely on damage output. This is much better for low levels of play, where your opponents aren't good enough to focus you the moment they realize that you're a glass cannon. This build gives you tremendous amounts of damage, and if used correctly, can net you legendary status after legendary status. This was my old favourite, but I lost much faith in it after I realized how easily I could be killed in the middle of a team fight. However, this is also good for when your team has tonnes of crowd control abilities, as your enemies will spend the duration of the teamfight stunned, and you won't be killed. Again, use this ONLY if your game is low-level, or your team is organized, with a proper tank that can save your butt if you are attacked in a teamfight (Again, thank you to EpikLoLTime for being our team tank and saving MY butt countless times :D)







The third build is for a Glass-Cannon Jungler. Again, I used to ALWAYS use this build when I jungled, up until the point that I realized what the hell I was doing wrong.






The last build is for a Tanky DPS Lane Nocturne. This is essentially another version of the Tanky Jungle build, but adapted for laning. Do not confuse this build with an Off-Tank. Off-Tanks are different from Tanky DPS's. Off-tanks usually depend much more on outlasting an opponent, rather than outdamaging them, and vice versa for a Tanky DPS.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

Runes for Tanky Jungler


Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
9

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

Runes for Glass-Cannon Lane


Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

Runes for Glass-Cannon Jungler


Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Health
3

Runes for Tanky DPS Lane



Greater mark of desolation This is a MUST for Nocturne, as with most junglers, as it allows you to deal true damage to most minions in the jungle. Even for Lane Nocturne, the concept of armour pen is simple. Armour is the demise of any DPS. You need to render it useless by penetrating it.

This is usually the seal for most Junglers, as this rune greatly increases your sustainability so that you can stay longer in the Jungle until you recall. This rune is also good for a Tanky DPS, as getting a headstart on armour is always good.

This is a good rune for a Glass-Cannon, as it gives you much more damage output.

Greater Seal of Replenishment This is if you are a harasser in Lane, as I am, because you will frequently run low on mana if you harass your opponents on a regular basis.

Magic Resistance is one of Nocturne's weakest points, and this rune strengthens that considerably. However, attack speed glyphs work as well, if you want to be killed every time you lane against a caster. Your choice. :D

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Again, armour is bad. Penetrate it.

This rune is very good for sustainability early game, especially as a Tanky DPS Lane Nocturne.


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
3/5
1/1
4/1
4/5
3/1
1/1
1/5
3/5
1/1
1/5
3/1
4/1
1/1

Masteries for Jungling or Glass-Cannon


Masteries
3/5
1/5
4/1
4/5
3/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
4/1
3/1
2/1
1/5

Masteries for Tanky DPS Lane




The Masteries that I have chosen here are mostly standard DPS masteries (21/0/9), except for my build for my Tanky DPS Lane Nocturne, where I focus more on utility, rather than pure offensive, so that it can suit the theme of not trying to build super damage output, but instead, building slightly tanky.


Why full offensive masteries for jungling, and not some points in defence?

Well, Nocturne's sustainability in the Jungle isn't the worst I've seen, so having full offensive masteries speed up his run significantly.

Why Crit masteries instead of AD? Won't AD speed up your Jungle?

Yes, but 3 AD isn't going to do much to your run, and having your crits do more damage will make you own late game.

Why not have 1 more point in Neutral Monster Buffs?

Good question, conscience. That would technically be beneficial, and you can actually get that instead of the last mastery in offense. Eh, its my personal preference though, you might like it better the other way.


Guide Top

Items




Core Items



Most common boots taken for a melee DPS glass-cannon. These boots, paired with the passive of Shroud of Darkness, makes your attack speed skyrocket, resulting in your early game being much more deadly.

These can be used to substitute Berserker's Greaves on any one of the builds, often done because of too many Crowd Control abilities on the other team. These boots are especially good on the Tanky DPS build because of the magic resist boost, however, they work for every build and is sometimes crucial when facing high-CC teams. If the other team has moderate amounts of Crowd Control, say, 2 CC abilities, then it is your choice whether to get Merc Treads or Berserker's.

One of the core items for Nocturne, I would never, EVER build him without it. Paired with Umbra Blades (his passive), this item gives him massive lifesteal and the AD boost, paired with Duskbringer, allows you to deal immense amounts of damage.

Ah, the main item for almost every AD carry. With this item in hand, you will FACEMELT their carry in a teamfight. Also, the Infinity Edge works well with the critical strike masteries, as well as the increased critical damage mastery.

Another key item for the Glass-Cannon Nocturne, as this will give him an amazing boost in attack speed, and therefore will increase your damage output significantly. However, this is not recommended on a Tanky Nocturne, as this item can be substituted for an armour or magic res item. This is because with the passive on Shroud of Darkness, your attack speed is already very high when it is maxed, and attack speed is something that you can afford to sacrifice.




Situational Items



A Bloodrazor is an amazing item on Nocturne mid-late game, but since the item is so expensive, the alternative, a Wriggle's Lantern, can sometimes be much better. Examples of this are when there is an enemy Jungler, and your team wants you to be the main warder. Or, no one on your team is placing wards, so that you are forced to do it. Most people say that it's the Jungler's job to ward everything, and in some cases this is correct. However, I think that everyone is responsible for warding their lane and not blame it on the Jungler when they get ganked.

This item, paired with Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness, can make enemy casters facepalm when trying to kill you. A Banshee's Veil gives you a double spell shield, and is the key item if you are building a Tanky Nocturne. When used at the right time in conjunction with your spell shield, you will be able to escape in some very creative ways.

Another highly effective Tanking item for Nocturne, since his maximum mana can always benefit from a boost. Also, the passive is excellent for almost every champion, allowing you to Duskbringer more often and own more, while your opponents
do much less damage to you from the decreased attack speed.

As Khazem suggested, a Youmuu's can be rushed early game for massive damage to your opponents. Personally, I don't see the Youmuu's as an early game item, because when it is not activated, you do next to no damage, making Jungling a pain. However, the key item that is built into it, a The Brutalizer, paired with your Duskbringer, can spell the demise of your laning opponents early game, giving you a significant amount of damage that can keep you going until you buy your next core item.

A Last Whisper is a highly situational item, and is usually not needed unless if the enemy team has tonnes of armour. Otherwise, getting another The Bloodthirster would be amazing if the enemy team is squishy. Again, this item is almost USELESS if the enemy team does not have stacks of armour.

Another situational Tank item for Nocturne, usually good for any game because of its health boost and its passive+active. it is generally an exceptional item for when you need armour. However, a magic resist item might be much better if your enemy team is all AP.

This item is great on many carries, as well as one of the ultimate troll items. Even on the Glass-Cannon build, this item will give you so much more survivability that it isn't even funny. On the Tanky builds, this item will make you practically unkillable, and even if they kill you, you just pop right back up. :3

A Thornmail can be bought if the opposing team has many champions that are DPS, or they have a DPS Carry that is facemelting you team. Otherwise, items such as a Frozen Heart are better for general armour.

To be honest, a Force of Nature is rarely needed on Nocturne, as the Banshee's Veil gives you high amounts of magic resist, and the health regen isn't quite as effective on Nocturne since his base health is not high. However, if most of their team is AP and you keep getting killed by casters, I can see why you would want this item.

Generally not needed for Nocturne, as with a Banshee's Veil, you will already have 2 spell shields. However, if their team is chock full of crowd control abilities that are even too much for your spell shields to handle, this item is the way to go.

An excellent item if your team has more than a few DPS's, or you are laning with one. A Stark's will benefit your team greatly in team fights, and I'm surprised that I don't get this item more often.

ONLY GET THIS ITEM IF YOU ARE GETTING A LOT OF KILLS WITHOUT DYING. Otherwise, this will be a waste. It is generally a waste, because if your enemies see you with this item, they will focus you down instantly, and that is a terrible thing because you are meant to do as much damage as you can without dying.

A legitimate item on a Tanky Nocturne, since with items like a Frozen Mallet, your health with be relatively high. However, don't even bother getting it for a Glass-Cannon.

To be COMPLETELY honest, I have never tried this on Nocturne before. However, in theory, this item may just be worthwhile. It can replace a Phantom Dancer with its high attack speed bonus, and it gives you great magic resist both from its base stats and its passive.

I usually get this item last when it comes to building a Tanky DPS Nocturne, because the health boost really makes up for my lack of base health. Also, the passive allows for ganks or even chasing enemies to be even easier than they already are.

Although it gives a good health boost and significant amounts of armour, I would say a Randuin's Omen would be slightly better, because in order for a sunfire cape to work, you would need to stand in the middle of their entire team. That is not a good thing to do as Nocturne unless if you are a full tank Nocturne.

Personally, I don't like this item very much, however much Psiguard tries to persuade me to change my opinion. The armour penetration, which is the key aspect, is usually far exceeded when getting a Last Whisper instead, if attacking an enemy that has a fair amount of armour. However, when the opponent does NOT have much armour, this item, (in my opinion) is not very useful. This is because since their armour is already very low, getting armour pen would make you do slightly more damage, but so would another ATTACK DAMAGE ITEM. Some people favour the Black Cleaver, I don't. Personal choice.

This item stacks rather well with a Atma's Impaler, however, I think there are other ways to achieve the given health. For example, the health given from Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil and Frozen Mallet combined is rather similar to that of the Warmog's. I just think that it may waste a slot if you could achieve the same stats with other items.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

As Nocturne, as well as most other DPS's, your basic attacks are your best friends. Unlike some AD champions, your basic attacks are your main source of damage, and your abilities are just there to support you as you auto attack your opponent to death.

This passive allows you to have much more sustainability, in the Jungle and in lane, and its AOE can sometimes be useful for teamfights.

This ability is essentially steroids for your attack damage and your movement speed. Doubled over as an excellent way to harass, this ability will make your auto attacks just that much more deadly. As a rule of thumb, I always max this first.

When used at the right times, this ability can save you, oh so many times. I can't even imagine how many times it has saved me. If you are new to Nocturne, a good way to start is to always remember to use this when going into fights or when trying to escape. The passive of this ability also makes me take a point in it at level 2 if I am jungling, as the attack speed bonus will speed up your Jungle much more than if you take a point in Unspeakable Horror.

In my opinion, this is one of the most versatile abilities in the game. This is your bread and butter to outdamaging your opponent, as during the fear he will not be able to attack. Also, this ability is perfect for chasing opponents, or to get an opponent off your tail.

This may very well be my favourite ability of ANY champion. This is the reason why Nocturne is considered the best ganker in the game. However, this ability does have more uses. It can be used to catch escaping opponents, run away from groups of opponents to a less damaging one, or as your key tool when you play as an Anti-Carry.



> > >




When in a Fight




When in game, and trying to fight an opponent, a common skill sequence would be: Duskbringer, Shroud of Darkness, Unspeakable Horror, then a whole bunch of auto attacks. Then Duskbringer when its cooldown is done, if the fight lasts that long. You can also sneak in a few auto attacks in between the abilities.


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Summoner Spells

Excellent Summoner Spells for Nocturne



It's smite. This guide has 2 builds for Jungling. Do the math.

Flash will save you in many situations, and is one of your key tools when trying to escape.

This will help you secure kills, and along with your fear, will make the chance of an opponent escaping you very slim.

This spell can be used as a substitute for Flash, as some people prefer Ghost.

Another spell that can be used to secure kills if an opponent is trying to get away. Can be used to substitute for Exhaust.



Not-So Excellent Summoner Spells for Nocturne



Not TOO bad of a summoner spell for Nocturne, as it can be used for ganking, but generally not advised since the range of the ult covers enough ground already.

Although this can be used to substitute the mana regen runes, this is generally not recommended.

Even though it can make your ult a little more flexible, it's generally a spell for support characters, since other spells can be much better for Nocturne.

Usually a spell for tanks.

Not your job.

Absolutely useless late game.

I don't think so.

Nuh-uh.


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Jungling


This is my Jungling route for Nocturne.

1. I generally like to start at wraiths, however, starting at wolves or mini golems works as well. Stand as far away from the wraiths as possible, then smite the large wraith when it spawns. Hit the smaller wraiths as they clump together, charging towards you, with a Duskbringer, then proceed to auto attack them to death.



2. Head on over to the wolves, try to hit all of the wolves with one Duskbringer. Focus down the large wolf first. When you're done, you should be level 2 if you are using the masteries that I've set. Pop a health potion and take a point in Shroud of Darkness (for the attack speed buff), then walk to the mini golems.



3. Again, try to hit both of the golems with one duskbringer, and use a health potion here if necessary. After you are done with the mini golems, you should be relatively low on health. Recall back to base, and if you have enough gold, buy either boots of speed or a long sword. If not (which means that you are jungling quickly, its a good thing), then just proceed to the blue buff (or as my friends call it, the blue rocks. Yes. I have weird friends)



4. Focus down the blue buff first, and not the lizards. Use a health pot as you start to attack it. Smite it when it is down to about 500-600 health. Finish off the lizards. Now, with your blue buff, you can look for opportunities to gank. If there are no good opportunities, head on over to number 5 and kill the wolves, then to number 6 and kill the wraiths. After that, you should be pretty low, so recall back to base and buy a madred's razors if you can, if not, just buy a long sword.



7. At this point, there should be a good opportunity for a gank. If not, get red buff (or the red rocks. XD) and scout around the map. If there still isnt anyone to gank, then either proceed to roam and cover for people until level 6, or continue your Jungling. If there is still no opportunity for a gank at level 6, then tell your teammates that they are doing it wrong, and to stop pushing and let the enemy overextend.



At this point, your journey in the Jungle should be over. You may venture back in occasionally for a buff, but you should either be roaming now, or be in teamfights.


Guide Top

Summary

All in all, Nocturne is, of course, my favourite champion. Please vote, leave a comment, and keep in mind that this is my first build, so I'm open to any suggestions to the build. Well, that's basically it.