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Nocturne Build Guide by Starki113r

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Starki113r

The Nightmare That Never Ends

Starki113r Last updated on November 16, 2013
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The Soloqueue Nightmare

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
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9
Ability Key Q
2
14
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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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0



The Nightmare That Never Ends

ITEMS AND JUNGLE SECTIONS NOW UPDATED TO PATCH 3.12

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Pros / Cons
Runes
Masteries
Abilties
Synergies
Counters
Summoner Spells
Items
Gameplay
Conclusion
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Introduction

Hello, I'm Darth Starkiller, and this is my guide to playing Nocturne in the Season 3 Jungle. I played League of Legends in Season 1 and the early stages of Season 2, but originally left the game because I wanted to focus on school. Now that I've completed my first degree, I decided to return to League of Legends, and for the first time begin working my way up the Ranked ladder. I unfortunately had to start a new account, because my old one was deleted by my brother, who I gave it to, when he decided to make a new one all his own. Nevertheless, I'm determined to prove myself and the strength of my guide.

Since Nocturne's release, I've played him. I remember his incredible power in Season 1, and still fondly recall his pre-nerfs potential. I played over 700 games with him in Season 1 and 2, and so far in Season 3 have played another 200. From what I've seen, though he is certainly nowhere near as strong as he was on release, he is still a dominant force in the game... when played correctly. For players who want to Jungle with hyper-aggressiveness, there are few better picks than the Eternal Nightmare.

This guide exists for one reason: to improve your skills with using Nocturne. Nocturne is one of the best Champions in the game for Jungling, with fast clear times, high damage potential, and arguably one of the highest ganking potentials in the game. He is a popular Champion at all levels of play, especially due to the fact that despite his power, he is incredibly forgiving to play, with multiple natural escapes and easy-to-use, hard-to-master mechanics.

He's a strong pick for any team, and I'm hopeful this guide will not only convince you of that, but also bolster your ability to utilize Nocturne to his fullest potential.



Pros / Cons

Pros


+ High non-itemized damage.
+ Above average clear times.
+ Numerous built-in escape mechanisms.
+ Numerous built-in steroids.
+ Extremely versatile.
+ Reliable ganking pre-level 6.
+ Nearly unparalleled ganking post-level 6.
+ Effective both in Jungle and Top Lane.

Nocturne is arguably one of the strongest Junglers in the Season 3 Jungle. His ganking ability is difficult to match by any Champion; his innate talent for eliminating the enemy Attack Damage Carry and similarly fragile Champions is unquestionable; and his personal set of abilities can often be used both Offensively and Defensively, giving him impressive escape mechanisms and staying power in fights. Overall, Nocturne is, if built correctly, excellent at zoning, kiting, dueling, peeling, assassinating, and ganking.
Cons


- Squishy during early phases of the game.
- Reliant on Blue buff early in the game.
- Consistently focused in teamfights.
- Needs plenty of gold to do consistent damage.
- Nerfed repeatedly, reducing viability.
- Requires proper timing and positioning.
- Long Cooldown on Paranoia until level 16.
- Short range on Paranoia until level 11.

However, Nocturne has several glaring flaws that, if exploited, can and will lead to him being shut down. Early in the game, before any real itemization, Nocturne is extremely vulnerable to sustained, heavy damage, and is critically reliant on Crest of the Ancient Golem to lessen the impact of high Mana cost on his abilities. He has been nerfed repeatedly due to being "overpowered," increasing the Cooldown and decreasing the Range of his Ultimate to an absurd degree. While still strong, Nocturne is far from unbeatable without preparation.




Runes


M
A
R
K
S
greater mark of armor penetration and Greater Mark of Attack Speed: If you want to prioritize fast farming without sacrificing early game damage, take a mixture of 3 greater mark of armor penetration and 6 Greater Mark of Attack Speed. This is a balanced mix that will allow you to proc your Passive, Umbra Blades, more often, and it synergizes well with any build for Nocturne.

greater mark of armor penetration and Greater Mark of Attack Damage: If you want to prioritize doing as much flat damage as you can from the moment the match begins, then take 3 greater mark of armor penetration and 6 Greater Mark of Attack Damage. You'll do more damage, but you'll have slower attacks in the early game and you'll proc your Umbra Blades less often.

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Greater Seal of Armor: If you want to maximize your protection in the early game, you should 9 Greater Seal of Armor because it maximizes your damage mitigation for the first 7 levels.

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: If you feel comfortable handicapping yourself for early clears and ganks with the knowledge that you'll have more protection than normal in the mid and late game, take 9 Greater Seal of Scaling Armor.
S
E
A
L
S

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G
L
Y
P
H
S
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: If you want to gank Mid Lane early and often, and plan to involve yourself in the troubles of your teammates before your enemies have a chance to get acclimated to the match, take Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for the bonus early game protection.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: If you plan on farming the Jungle until you have your Ultimate, with ganks coming when requested or you're absolutely certain you'll secure a kill, take Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. You'll have less protection up until level 8, after which your Runes will outshine those of Flat MR Glyphs.

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greater quintessence of armor penetration: You should take greater quintessence of armor penetration if you took Armor Penetration and Attack Speed Marks earlier. This will boost your Armor Penetration, which will help you somewhat later in the game, but it also aids you in the early game because your enemies aren't likely to have any real Armor yet (save for Runes and Masteries).

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: If you took Attack Damage Marks, take Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage to maximize your flat Attack Damage. As stated before, this will lower your clear times somewhat, but in the late game, the differences won't be noticeable.
Q
U
I
N
T
E
S
S
E
N
C
E
S

Recommended Setup
Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
3

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
6

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3



Masteries

There are really only two ways to spec Nocturne in the Mastery Tree: 21/9/0 as an Assassin with a small amount of defense, or 9/21/0 to act as a tankier Bruiser/Off-Tank.

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This is my personally preferred setup, making Nocturne a Bruiser with 21 points in Defense. I personally find this setup to be the stronger of the two options, as it allows Nocturne to take more risks than normal, and allows him to make himself known earlier in the game with a far lower chance of death.

Tiers 1-3: Summoner's Resolve pays you to use Smite, Hardiness is because you're more likely to gank Top and Bottom Lane (which is usually AD instead of AP) since they're easier to secure kills, Durability for the extra Health, Tough Skin for extra protection in the Jungle, Bladed Armor to cause the Jungle minions to suicide themselves attacking you, Unyielding to reduce the damage you take, and Veteran's Scars for yet more Health.

Tier 4: Block cancels out a small amount of damage you take from Champion basic attacks, but every little bit helps, Tenacious is because Nocturne is vulnerable to being kited, and a couple of points in Juggernaut because more Health means it takes longer for you to die.

Tier 5: Defender for the those late game teamfights, so you have a little bit of natural protection when you're forced to dive in, and Reinforced Armor because Nocturne is built to dive and destroy Carries, who tend to build items like Infinity Edge.

Tier 6: Honor Guard is the last Mastery in the Defense Tree, and reduces all damage you take by 3 percent. So... now they're only hitting you for 97 percent... better than 100 percent, right?


With this setup, you take 2 points in Fury , 2 points in Butcher , 4 points in Deadliness , and 1 point in Weapon Expertise . This gives you slightly faster clear times and a bit more damage, so you aren't completely irrelevant without itemization.

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This setup is for those who enjoy a more hyper-aggressive, high-risk/high-reward play-style. While you're far, far squishier, you have one hell of an impact at the beginning of the game, and you can smash into the enemy team with all the wrath of one pissed off living nightmare. This build takes more planning and removes many options (like acting as an Initiator for your team), but it is arguably the more enjoyable, forcing the enemy to respect and fear your presence.

Tiers 1-5: The Offense Tree is simple and easy to understand. You take Butcher to clear Jungle camps faster, Fury for ever useful Attack Speed to proc Umbra Blades more often, Deadliness gives you Scaling Attack Damage, Destruction gives you a bit more split pushing power, Havoc gives you some extra damage, Weapon Expertise gives you Armor Penetration, Brute Force gives you another flat 3 Attack Damage, and Sunder gives you another 5 Armor Penetration. Because you don't take Critical Strike Items (like Infinity Edge) or Runes, don't take Lethality or Frenzy , because they won't give you anything in return.

Tier 6: Executioner is a powerful addition to the arsenal of any Assassin, whether AD or AP, because it grants an additional 5% of damage to any enemy under half health. This is perfect for Assassins, who excel at picking off targets that are alone and running from a fight that went south.


In this setup, you take 1 point in Summoner's Resolve , 4 points in Durability , 2 points in Tough Skin , 1 point in Bladed Armor , and 1 point in Veteran's Scars . This gives you a bit of extra Health, increases your durability in the Jungle, and you still get some extra gold every time you use Smite.



Abilities


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>> Description <<

Umbra Blades is Nocturne's main source of sustain both in and outside of the Jungle. It provides him healing for every enemy he hits when it procs, and deals an extra 20 percent of Attack Damage to every enemy it hits.

This provides him with substantial presence in Jungle camps and in the middle of teamfights, and helps him clear and split push Lanes.

The Cooldown of Nocturne's passive is lowered for each of his Auto Attacks, so Attack Speed Runes, Masteries, and Items increase the proc of his passive substantially, while Attack Speed debuffs substantially lower it.
>> Tips and Insight <<

When in the Jungle, focus the large monster in the camp to maximize the times you proc Umbra Blades. This maximizes healing from the monsters you hit, and actually increases the speed at which you clear the camps.

When in Lane, focus Siege Minions when they're in the wave, otherwise try to land your Umbra Blades Auto Attack in the center of the wave. This maximizes the healing you receive, and speeds up the push to the tower.

Umbra Blades works extremely well with Ravenous Hydra and Blade of the Ruined King.


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>> Description <<

Duskbringer is Nocturne's primary gap-closer, chasing mechanism, escape mechanism, and source of damage.

It deals frontal Area of Effect damage on impact to all targets hit on its trail, provides Nocturne with an Attack Damage steroid that makes him hit far harder while on the trail, and, most importantly, provides Nocturne with a Movement Speed boost while on the trail.

Duskbringer quickly clears Jungle camps and minion waves with Umbra Blades. When it hits enemy Champions, it extends the length and duration of the trail, making it an effective chasing mechanism and increasing how long he hits his enemies with boosted Attack Damage.
>> Tips and Insight <<

Aim Duskbringer to hit all monsters in a Jungle camp with a single shot to substantially increase the speed at which he clears the camp.

Aim Duskbringer in a straight line down an arriving enemy minion wave to hit as many of them as possible, then move into the center of the wave. The extra damage and Umbra Blades can clear entire waves in seconds.

Duskbringer's bonus Movement Speed is critical in ganks and escapes; make sure to hit enemies with it when ganking if you want to succeed, and make it extend as far as possible down the trail you're fleeing down when you're withdrawing from a bad engagement.


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>> Description <<

Shroud of Darkness is Nocturne's secondary defensive (after the movement speed boost from Duskbringer) and his tertiary offensive (after Duskbringer and Unspeakable Horror) ability.

The active effect provides him a short-duration spell-shield that blocks any Champion ability cast at him after it's cast, and provides him a large Attack Speed steroid should he successfully block an ability, as well as causing Nocturne to laugh evilly at his foiled enemy's expense.

The passive effect is a less substantial Attack Speed Steroid that is available at all times, increasing with each higher rank of the ability. Shroud of Darkness is Nocturne's most difficult-to-master ability.
>> Tips and Insight <<

Shroud of Darkness isn't as useful as an active ability because of its short duration and long Cooldown, but the Attack Speed bonus is very useful due to its synergy with Umbra Blades. Because of this, you should take one point in it very early, but max it last.

Shroud of Darkness is the hardest of Nocturne's ability to master, and should not be used to block spammable abilities or lesser abilities, like Nunu's Ice Blast.

The evil laugh from Shroud of Darkness is an effective method to provoke the enemy into engaging you out of frustration. Use the psychological element, and the amusement factor, to your advantage.


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>> Description <<

Unspeakable Horror is Nocturne's primary tool for securing kills, peeling enemies, and forcing more difficult to escape foes to fall off his trail. It the only one of his abilities to scale off of Ability Power, as well as his only ability that provides Hard Crowd Control of any kind (the vision loss from Paranoia doesn't count).

Unspeakable Horror is a delayed tether ability that deals minor Magic Damage over a few seconds, while its primary function is that of Hard Crowd Control in the form of a Fear effect. The Fear effect-tether cannot be broken by Movement, Stealth, delayed ability blocking powers (such as Intervention or Shroud of Darkness), or movement into brush, but can be broken if the target moves out of range.

This ability is Nocturne's primary tool for winning duels, counterjungling, counterganking, and isolating enemies from their team before and after teamfights.
>> Tips and Insight <<

Use Unspeakable Horror in coordination with the Crowd Control of your Lane to ensure your target can't escape. Ensure that you use it either before or after they use theirs; using them both at the same time does nothing but double the effects the enemy is locked down with for the same duration.

The damage of Unspeakable Horror is far too small to warrant ever building Ability Power on Nocturne; don't ever do it in Ranked.

Use the Fear ability to force dogged enemies like Tryndamere and Aatrox off your back while you escape. Other enemies with abilities that ignore such impairments, like Olaf, or those with Movement Speed bonuses, such as Hecarim, Udyr, and Master Yi, will be more difficult to escape.


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>> Description <<

Paranoia is Nocturne's Ultimate and signature ability, granting him one of the highest ganking potentials in the game, as well as a nearly unparalleled short-term psychological advantage over his opponents.

The first active effect of Paranoia is a global debuff that removes all Allied vision from the enemy team, including that of sight wards and Vision Wards, and counters Ultimates like Destiny and Stand United. It also causes the enemy screen to turn blood red, while it turns Allied screens a less ominous blue.

The second active effect propels Nocturne onto a targeted enemy within range, no matter the terrain between them, and ignores ward coverage, all targeted Area of Effect abilities, tracks the movement of the target, and ignores all movement impairments during flight. On impact, Nocturne deals moderate damage and begins attacking his selected target.
>> Tips and Insight <<

Use Paranoia for more than just gap-closing; by removing all enemy Allied vision, you can, with or without the aid of teammates, eliminate isolated enemy targets without their own allies being aware of the event until the debuff lifts.

Paranoia can be used against you, if the enemy moves back into more protected locations and draws you in with the tracking effect. Use Paranoia with caution and preparation, but if you're certain you'll have an advantage, use it without reservation.

Your Ultimate has a short range and long Cooldown at early levels; use it sparingly and strategically until you reach higher levels and possess more items. Then, use it whenever you wish.


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



Summoner Spells

Nocturne is, by default, a Jungler. However, he is also fully capable of being used in Top Lane if played properly and built more heavily as a Bruiser. Either way, in each situation, there are clear Summoner Spells he should take, ones he should never take, and ones that are less clear.

If you're Jungling, then you have absolutely no option about this; you will take Smite, or you won't carry your ectoplasmic butt into the gloomy forest on Summoner's Rift. Period. You lose practically all objective control without it, and that is unacceptable. You are not Nunu or Cho'Gath, so take it.

If you're laning as Nocturne, you need to take Ignite. There are very, very few Champions in the game that don't require Ignite for its ability to secure kills on extremely low health opponents, both early in the game and throughout the match. You can get a kill later in the game with Paranoia, but not early. Take it. If you're Jungling and you take Ignite as your second spell, then you will be extremely dangerous, especially in the early game, but you have no get-out-jail free card like Flash. Take it for hyper-aggressive play if you're feeling really ballsy.

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Secondary Spells



In Ranked and higher level play, Flash is almost always a necessity. It simply offers too much in utility, gap-closing, and unconventional escape paths to be neglected. However, it isn't an absolute must if either A) You're not playing Ranked or B) Playing more aggressively with Exhaust or Ignite as one (or, if laning, both) of your spells.


Exhaust is a risky choice for a second spell. It removes your greatest possible escape mechanism, but it makes ganking, peeling, and assassinating your targets far easier. This should only ever be taken if you A) Have absolute confidence in your ability to use Nocturne's skills to escape sticky situations and B) Are comfortable playing at a more stressful higher risk/higher reward mentality.


Ghost is, to put it bluntly, training wheels for those new to League of Legends. For some Champions (like Udyr), it works in higher level play, but not for Nocturne. Take Ghost until you feel confident in your ability to use Flash effectively.

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Spells to Avoid




To put it in the simplest terms possible, these spells were not built with Nocturne in mind. They offer him little for his playstyle, and most of them would benefit you very little. Taking Clairvoyance and/or Revive would offer you absolutely nothing whatsoever. I'm not saying that these spells are bad; they simply don't work for this Champion.



Synergies


Nocturne is an exceptional duelist, and excels at chasing down fleeing targets and initiating teamfights. However, he requires teammates that are capable not only of giving him an opening to join the fight and lock down an enemy with Unspeakable Horror, but are also fully capable of following up with his ganks. What he looks for in a teammate is an innate gap-closing ability, soft and/or hard Crowd Control, and high mobility. Because of this, there are several Champions that are clearly better suited to working with Nocturne than others.

The Champions with the Highest Synergy

This is based entirely on personal experience and preference in teammates.

Ahri is an excellent companion for Nocturne due to exceptional gap-closing and chasing ability. There are few Champions in the game that can stick to a target as well as Ahri when she has her Ultimate, Spirit Rush, and she can lock down targets in Mid Lane with Charm long enough for you to seal the kill with Unspeakable Horror. The two of you work best together during the early and mid game, when enemies are weaker and more prone to be caught out alone, but your strength falls off late game due to the increased likelihood of triggering teamfights. The best you can do is coordinate your Ultimates together to pick off isolated targets, and use your high mobility to both escape the enemy team's attempts to do the same to you and to split push the others lanes.

Jax is one of the strongest duelists in the game, and that translates well when he coordinates with someone just as strong as him, like Nocturne. He's a slippery foe and has excellent gap-closing with Leap Strike, he's even harder to pin down and has reliable Hard Crowd Control with Counter Strike, and he can make himself nigh unstoppable for a fairly lengthy period of time with his Ultimate, Grandmaster's Might. Working together, coordinating their Hard CC, high mobility, sticking power, and high damage potential, Nocturne and Jax are an incredibly powerful pair that can and will drive an enemy to an early loss.

Wow, this b**** is one of the most on-release broken Champions I've ever seen. Jinx is one of the strongest and most dominant of all Carries, and her kit is incredibly strong. It also proves incredibly useful to Nocturne: a Snare, a Slow + Reveal, and excellent zoning, trading, and pushing power, combined with a global ultimate, all work well to giving the Eternal Nightmare endless opportunities for ganking and hard pushes, as well as huge Dragon and Baron control. There are few Champions that can rival Twisted Fate as Nocturne's best partner; Jinx is, from the very beginning, one of them.

Malphite is one of the toughest Champions in the game, and has highly reliable soft and hard Crowd Control. His passive, Granite Shield, makes him a nightmare to kill, Seismic Shard gives you an early opportunity to land easy kills, he pushes his lane quickly and safely, and his Ultimate, Unstoppable Force, gives you some of the best openings in ganks and teamfights that you could hope for. He's one of the best tanks in the game, you're one of the best Assassins, and together the two of you can dominate the opposition. Your best bet is to let him hit their Carry with Unstoppable Force, then leap in with Paranoia, lock them down with Unspeakable Horror, and then spam Shroud of Darkness for the evil laugh as you walk away with your free kill.

If there is one thing that can give Nocturne a guaranteed-to-succeed gank, it's plentiful Crowd Control, and Nami is one of the best CC-Machines in the game. With her hybrid poke/heal Ebb and Flow, her targeted Area of Effect Snare Aqua Prison, her buff (which gives her Allies the ability to Slow enemies) Tidecaller's Blessing, and her incredibly effective mass knock-up Ultimate Tidal Wave all give Nami and her Allies a massive advantage in teamfights and ganks, which works well in Nocturne's favor. Her passive, Surging Tides, also gives her Allies extra gap-closing, and when combined with Nocturne's Duskbringer, he's almost inescapable during a gank. All of her abilities make Nocturne's job far easier, and, in my eyes, she's the best Support in the game for him.

While admittedly Nasus has relatively poor gap-closing, he has the best Slow in the game with Wither, and is an extremely reliable lane partner. By ganking for him early in the game and giving him breathing room to farm up his Siphoning Strike, you're creating a partner that can literally decimate entire enemy teams when they're unprepared. He makes ganks easy with Wither, he can zone and weaken enemies with Spirit Fire, and he can rip wide holes in the enemy team with his Ultimate Fury of the Sands, allowing you to leap into the breach and clean up the dazed stragglers.

Shen is one of Nocturne's strongest allies in the game. He's incredibly tanky, has a gap-closer and taunt in one with his Shadow Dash, has reliable damage, and he boosts his teammates both with healing from Vorpal Blade and a global protective Ultimate with Stand United. Together, Shen and Nocturne can easily turn a mismatched fight into a total rout for the enemy team. They're strong all game, from the moment the match starts, and are incredibly difficult to beat when they get on a roll. There's only one Champion in the game that synergizes with Nocturne better.

While he may be a blatant Gambit clone, Twisted Fate is undisputedly the best Lane partner Nocturne can ask for. One of the most versatile Champions in the game, Twisted Fate gives Nocturne everything he needs: hard Crowd Control with Gold Cards from Pick A Card, as well as Vision and gap-closing with his Ultimate Destiny. Working together, Nocturne and Twisted Fate can drive their enemies insane. He provides excellent openings for ganks, pushes his lane with ease, is incredibly difficult to pin down by the enemy, doesn't require Blue buff as desperately as his fellow Mid Laners, and he stays relevant from the moment the game begins to the last card he throws at the enemy's Nexus.

Vayne is one of the most difficult Carries in the game to master, but those who manage to do so are among the most feared players in the game, and with good reason. While League of Legends doesn't possess 'hyper-carries' like its rivals, Vayne is the closest that it has. While she is fairly weak in the early game, when working with someone that can complement her abilities, like Nocturne, she can make herself one of, if not the most powerful Champion in the match. She has excellent gap-closing with Night Hunter, gap-closing, damage, and an efficient escape mechanism with Tumble and, when in the hands of a truly skilled player, an incredibly powerful knockback and potential stun with Condemn. When she uses her Ultimate, Final Hour, she becomes one of the fastest Champions in the game, and is nigh inescapable. Working together, the two of you can easily hunt down and crush the enemy team with ruthless efficiency. She is, in my eyes, the best Carry to choose with Nocturne.



Counters


Nocturne is one of the strongest Junglers in the game, but he can still be beaten. Junglers that are exceptionally strong early game will best him in most, if not all fights early in the match, Junglers that have more efficient ganks pre-level 6 will likely out-level him by the time he reaches his more comfortable mid and late game, Junglers that are built for late game teamfights will give him trouble in the late game, and Junglers that can simply outdamage him in a one-on-one fight will take the fight to him and do just that. And Nunu... well...

The Hardest Counters

This is based entirely on personal experience and play-style.

In the early game, Amumu is easy prey for any Jungler, especially Nocturne. However, the mid and late game are another story entirely. Amumu has some of the best teamfighting ability in the game, with Curse of the Sad Mummy ranking as one of the top teamfight winning skills available. He offers far more to a team late game than Nocturne, and by the end of the match becomes so absurdly tanky that Nocturne would have to build almost pure Assassin to kill him... which would lead to Nocturne dying a lot in the process.

This is a controversial pick. Many would claim that Nocturne's spell-shield can protect him from most of Lee Sin's abilities. If you're playing against a terrible Lee Sin player, then yes, that's true. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Lee Sin is arguably one of the most powerful Junglers in the entire game, ranking in the Top Tiers despite Riot's pitiful attempts to nerf him. He has incredible damage, reliable ganks, and his high skill ceiling doesn't weaken him, but instead makes him far more dangerous, as players who can master Lee Sin are among the most dangerous players in the game, similar to Vayne players. Beating Lee Sin is possible, but it requires constant ganking, warding, counterganking, counterjungling, counterwarding, and damn good reflexes to dodge the majority of his skill shots. This will be one of your toughest fights if the Lee Sin if even half competent, but learning to best him on a consistent basis will make you one of the best Nocturne players in the game, bar none.

Nunu is, without a single doubt, the single most broken Jungler in the Season 3 Jungle. He is one of the most consistently banned Champions in the entire game, and with good reason; he's simply unbalanced, even with the recent half-hearted nerf that Riot dealt him. His Consume is still more powerful than a level 1 Smite at Rank 1, allowing him to steal your camps at the beginning of the game with relative ease with a Q + Smite combination, and he gets powerful buffs depending on the monster he kills, and can stack all 3 buffs by clearing each camp in a row; his Ice Blast is one of the most irritating abilities in the game, because it does reliable damage, Slows you, and he can spam it over a short period of time; Blood Boil can turn a threat like Draven into a one-man wrecking machine, capable of wiping out half your team in seconds, and allows him and his allies to split push with ease. His Ultimate Absolute Zero sucks though, which is a small consolation when he can solo Baron Nashor at level 11 with Cooldown Reduction items. If Nunu isn't banned and you're forced to fight him... I wish you the best of luck. It really is that bad.

Was Olaf smacked hard in the face with the nerf hammer? Yes. But he's still one hell of a pain for Nocturne to fight in the early and mid game. Using his combo, his spam Undertow, and being able to ignore your Unspeakable Horror and keep on your trail no matter what you try will make him one of your most frustrating opponents. However, if the two of you are in equal in terms of kills/assists and skill, you will outpace him into the late game. You simply get keep getting stronger while his power peaks, as well as the fact that his ganks are abysmally poor in comparison to yours. By the time you have your fourth item, you should be able to fight him one-on-one and emerge the victor, though you will be hurt and vulnerable. Fight him with caution.

Shaco has arguably the worst late game potential out of all of the Champions in the game. I'm not going to dispute or ignore that to anyone who decries this pick. But the simple fact of the matter is Shaco is the most nightmarish S.O.B. in the game to fight in the early and mid game. He can and will counterjungle you without mercy, and will gank your lanes almost from the moment the match starts without end. He's fast, slippery as hell, and does horrific damage to anyone that tries to turn and run due to his passive, Backstab. His spammable slow from Two-Shiv Poison is one of the most irritating in the game, his Ultimate Hallucinate makes him more annoying to kill than Wukong, he has his own mini- Flash with Deceive, and his Jack In The Boxes can be one hell of a nasty surprise if you happen to walk into a brush stacked with them. Take what I told you about fighting Lee Sin, and apply that up until the moment the game reaches the teamfight stage. By that point, Shaco is about as useless in a big fight as Teemo, and is usually caught out and slaughtered while he farms the Jungle listening to his team complaining that he's doing nothing helpful. Just make sure he doesn't manage to shut down you or your Lanes; he doesn't snowball, but his teammates do.


I've put both Shyvana and Udyr here for a specific reason: they both offer the same things in a fight against you. They're tankier than you by nature, but, more importantly, they clear the Jungle faster than you by a mile. When fighting either of these two, be both aware and willing to accept the loss of multiple buffs and camps, because unless the people playing them are totally incompetent, they will counterjungle you often and hard. They not only excel at this, but they find it necessary; they clear their own camps so quickly that if they don't counterjungle they'll start losing out on experience. You'll be an even match in the late game if you build Bruiser, but they can give you a hard time early and mid game if you don't ward defensively and get help from your Lane partners.


Most important to remember, however, is that any viable Jungler can beat Nocturne, and the same goes vice versa. It all depends upon the person playing the Champion, and the people on their team.



Items

Nocturne is an Attack Damage-based Champion designed with a focus on chasing, gap-closing, dueling, and initiating fights. Because of this, he has a fairly set of core items that all work well with him, and can be mixed and traded out with different items with only minor changes in his performance.

Spawn

OR

This start is fairly basic. If you want to build one of the Spirit Stone upgrades later, take Hunter's Machete. If you want to build Madred's Razors, and possibly Wriggle's Lantern, buy Cloth Armor. The reason I pick Cloth Armor instead of Hunter's Machete when building Madred's Razors is because the extra damage is fairly irrelevant given how fast Nocturne clears, while the Armor will allow him to farm longer before he needs to pop his Health Potions and return to the Fountain.


First Back

sight ward OR sight ward OR sight ward

If you took Hunter's Machete, buy either Kindlegem (for Spirit of the Ancient Golem) or two Long Swords (for Spirit of the Elder Lizard); if you took Cloth Armor, upgrade it now to Madred's Razors for the passive and the extra Armor as well as Boots of Speed now. Get as many sight wards as you can afford. Your Top and Mid Lanes probably used theirs up by now, but if not, you can ward Dragon and either your or the enemy's Jungle.


Early Game Focus

OR OR
OR

Now that you're starting on your first primary build items, you have to make a choice of what you ultimately want Nocturne to be when the build is done. If you want him to be a Bruiser, take Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Ninja Tabi. If you want to be an Assassin, build Spirit of the Elder Lizard and Mercury's Treads. If you built Madred's Razors, you can upgrade to Wriggle's Lantern for the Attack Damage and Lifesteal, which works for either Assassins or Bruisers with the increased Attack Damage and Lifesteal, and the free sight ward is always useful for increased map awareness.


Mid Game Focus



OR

Two of these items make up the core of your build, no matter which you chose, while you need to pick one of the other two. Blade of the Ruined King is one of the strongest Attack Damage items in the game right now, and you need to rush build it because its stats are so useful. So useful, in fact, that your main targets, Carries, buy them themselves. It'll be a race to see which of you gets it first, and whoever does will have a significant advantage over the other. Frozen Mallet gives you Health and Attack Damage, but more importantly, it keeps your enemies from escaping you without clever application of Flash or similar escape mechanisms.

After you finish those two, you need to make a choice that ultimately determines the final set-up of your build: Aegis of the Legion builds later into Locket of the Iron Solari, which is an excellent item for anyone planning to place themselves in the middle of a teamfight as an Initiator and Off-Tank (e.g. Bruiser), while Warden's Mail later builds into Randuin's Omen, an excellent item for pinning down and destroying any target you find isolated from the pack, and the Attack Speed debuff greatly cripples Carries (who mostly focus on Auto Attacks) and most other Assassins, making you a great Duelist and, more importantly, an Assassin nearly without equal.


Late Game Focus

OR



And More

What sets Nocturne apart from most Champions is he's extremely versatile, both in his kit and his build paths, and as such he has multiple items he can choose from with which he can excel. After you pick up Locket of the Iron Solari or Randuin's Omen (depending on what you chose earlier), you come upon a sudden, and crucial, decision that seals your place in the match.

This period of the game is when you truly have to make hard choices about your items. You have barely any space left in your inventory, and the last item you choose can either make or break your build up to this point. Your enemies are completing their sets, as are you allies, and everyone is showing just what their focus is in the match.

The question is, what will yours be? Will you grab Ravenous Hydra, dive into the enemy team, and rend them apart with massive Area of Effect damage with each hit? Will you grab Frozen Heart for the Cooldown Reduction, Mana, and Attack Speed debuff, and tank the enemy team while your Allies wear them down behind you? Will you pick up The Bloodthirster and completely annihilate any squishy enemy you come across within mere seconds while healing through everything they can throw at you? Or perhaps you want to make it so that no enemy you face will have any chance of escaping you, and choose Youmuu's Ghostblade to work with Blade of the Ruined King, Randuin's Omen, and Frozen Mallet.

This final item is yours to pick, and you have to rely on your own instincts on what you want to build. As I said, the final item seals exactly what your build does for you and your team, so pick it based on what your team needs to finish the match and get yourselves a victory. Pick selfishly, and, solo-queue or no, you could very well cause your team to lose. Decide, and live with the consequences.

Highest Item/Ability Synergies

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Gameplay

Nocturne is primarily a Jungler, and is played as either an Assassin or a Bruiser.

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The Jungle is comprised of two sides, each side containing three Lesser Creep camps and two Buff Camps. The Objective Camps are the Dragon, which is on Blue Team's Bottom side, and Baron Nashor, which is on Purple Team's Top side. Your job as a Jungler is to farm the Jungle camps, use the buffs from the Buff camps or give them to your Lanes, ward, control, and clear the Objective Camps, gank the other team's Lanes, and prevent the enemy Jungler from doing all of the above.

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Lesser Creeps


All Lesser Creeps spawn at 2:05.

All Lesser Creeps spawn 0:50 seconds after the entire camp is cleared.


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Buff Camps


All Buff Camps (excluding Baron Nashor) spawn at 1:55.

All Buff Camps (excluding Baron Nashor) respawn 5:00 after their camp has been completely cleared.

Ancient Golem provides Crest of the Ancient Golem (better known as Blue Buff) upon death to the Champion that killed it. Give it to Mid Lane if they're doing well after your first clear; if they're feeding, unable to leave lane, or currently waiting to respawn, take it for yourself.

Lizard Elder provides Blessing of the Lizard Elder (better known as Red Buff) upon death to the Champion that killed it. Give it to your Attack Damage Carry if they're doing well, or if they need the slow to secure kills; otherwise, use it yourself for easier and earlier ganks.

If you (or a teammate) are killed by an enemy player while possessing the buff, they gain the buff, in addition to refreshing its duration. If they are later killed themselves by you (or a teammate) while in possession of the buff, it repeats the transfer.


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Dragon


Dragon spawns at 2:30.
Dragon respawns 6:00 after being killed.

Have your Support ward Dragon at the beginning of the game, around the 2:45 mark; at 6:00, you should have at the absolute least Spirit Stone or Madred's Razors. Before attacking it, make the judgment call of whether or not A) the enemy jungler knows that you're focusing it, B) the enemy jungler and/or his teammates are capable of preventing you from successfully killing it, and C) whether or not you need the assistance of mid and/or bottom lane to successfully kill it. Due to your innate vulnerability, your chances of successfully soloing Dragon when it spawns are very low, so only attempt it when Bottom lane is available. Ward the river ramp on Purple Team's side and halfway to Mid Lane so you know if they're coming or not, and (later in the game) have your Support clear out any enemy wards with Oracle's Elixir. Dragon applies an Attack Speed Slow debuff, so be cautious about fighting it if you think the enemy may attack, because the debuff can both limit your ability to secure a kill and escape the fight. Pull Dragon as far way from his lair as possible to prevent Smite or ability steals.

Dragon provides 190 gold for each member of the team that killed it upon death, equivalent to around 2 Champion kills.

Dragon does not suffer from Fear effects from your Unspeakable Horror, but DOES still take damage from the ability.


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Baron Nashor


Baron Nashor spawns at 15:00.
Baron Nashor respawns 7:00 after being killed.

Either you or your Top Lane should ward the front of the Baron Nashor pit at around 12:30. Follow the same general guidelines I provided for Dragon before committing to fighting it, with one amendment: do not, under ANY circumstances, attempt to solo Baron Nashor. No matter how fed you are, no matter how tough you've made yourself to kill, you will NOT be able to kill Baron Nashor alone without something killing you, whether it's Baron Nashor himself or the enemy jungler coming through for various reasons. You can't prevent Smite or ability steals like you can with Dragon (pulling him out of his pit) so make sure the outside of the pit (Purple Team's side) is warded as well. Have someone (your Tank preferably) patrolling outside to screen the enemy's attempt to interrupt or hijack your attempt on Baron Nashor.

Baron Nashor provides 300 gold to every member of the killing team upon death, as well as an additional 25 gold for the person who dealt the killing blow.

Baron Nashor provides Exalted with Baron Nashor upon death to the entire killing team, no matter their location on the map, so long as they are alive. Dead teammates do NOT respawn with the buff, and enemy players do NOT gain the buff if they kill a Champion in possession of the buff.

Baron Nashor, like Dragon, does not suffer from Fear effects from your Unspeakable Horror, but DOES still take damage from the ability.


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As an Assassin, you build Nocturne with a focus on dealing as much damage as possible, and focus the enemy team's squishiest members, typically their Carry, Support, and Mid Lane. You avoid jumping into teamfights when they begin, typically hanging on the sides and poking the enemy with Duskbringer until the fight's outcome is all but decided, after which you either chase down and finish off the surviving enemies or run for your life. At all other times, your primary goal is to find and pick off lone enemies quickly and efficiently, and you overriding focus in any small engagement is to focus the enemy team's primary damage dealer, most often their Carry. You'll die more often, but your overall number of Kills and Assists will be higher, and you'll be more likely to have a full build by the end of the game with the bonus Gold.

As a Bruiser, you build a balance of damage and defense, making Nocturne far more difficult to kill at the expense of pure killing power. Bruisers function as Off-Tanks, Initiators, and Anti-Carries, focusing on initiating a teamfight by focusing and quickly killing the enemy team's Carry, then moving to damage the enemy team while doing their best to protect their own team by drawing enemy attention to themselves. Nocturne excels in this role, since he typically draws the entire focus of the enemy team the moment he dives in with Paranoia. By building him Bruiser, you not only remain a threat to the enemy team, but they find that you're more difficult to dispatch than they may be accustomed to. The primary downside is, as stated, that you will not hit the enemy as hard as you would as an Assassin, and you'll likely be unable to complete your build by the end of the game with the reduced Gold supply.



Conclusion

Nocturne is one of the oldest and most venerated Champions in the League of Legends. He's one of the strongest out of all of the Assassins and Bruisers, and there are few Junglers in the game that can rival his power, let alone surpass it.

He's easy to learn, rewarding to master, and is a dominant force in all levels of play.

I'm hopeful my guide has helped you understand Nocturne and his role better, and I wish you all luck in your endeavors. Let's give some noobs one hell of an Eternal Nightmare, Freddy Krueger style!

Please don't hesitate with comments and/or suggestions regarding anything I have outlined above.

Special Thanks