Nocturne Build Guide by Stacy Shazam
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Not Updated For Current Season
Jungling in Darkness
My Typical Final Build
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.
NOTE: STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS. I WILL BE ADDING MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
Hello everyone, and welcome to my first guide, covering my favorite jungler, and the first one I purchased, Nocturne. This cool guy was my start to jungling, and doing so effectively and comfortably. I feel that he is a very easy jungler to learn, and will hopefully assist you in your quest for buff domination.
Now everyone knows when your screen turns dark, your allies disappear, and you hear that infamous "DAAAARRKNESSSSSSS," a scary black creature of nightmares is sure to be lurking nearby. His ultimate ability alone won't lead you to a fear-inducing victory, though. That is why I'm going to show you, the reader, the player, how I like to equip our Eternal Nightmare.
Pros / Cons
[*] Very versatile champion. Can be built several different ways.
[*] Can deal damage and be tanky at the same time.
[*] Abilities scale well.
[*] Team synergies are common.
[*] He looks freakin' sweet.
[*] Has a slight drop off late game.
[*] Ultimate has a long cooldown at early ranks.
[*] Reliant on blue buff early game for constant ganks.
[*] Easily kited because of epic chasing ability.
[*] Short(melee) range champion.
Upon spawning, the standard jungler set is taken. Hunter's Machete and five Health Potions.
I try not to recall until I can afford a Wriggle's Lantern. The lantern will make your jungle clear times a lot faster, and will provide you with the sustain you need to clearly safely and efficiently.
If you're particularly rich, investing in your Avarice Blade now isn't a bad idea. The 10% critical strike chance will slightly reduce your clear times, and an extra 3 gold every 10 seconds and 2 gold per kill(this includes your jungle creeps, champion kills and any minions/pets you kill) will start to add up.
For you math haters, here are some numbers:
Wraiths will give you 55 gold, an extra 8 gold.
Blue buff camp will give you 98 gold, an extra 6 gold.
Wolves will give you 63 gold, an extra 6 gold.
Golems will give you 64 gold, an extra 4.
While this may not sound like much, each clear of your jungle will drop an extra 30 gold right in your pocket, not to mention the extra 3 gold/10. If you're also taxing your lanes after a successful gank, your man purse will grow exceedingly heavy. You'll have your Berserker's Greaves in no time.
By now, your enemies are starting to deal more damage. You're going to have to keep up. This is where situational building comes into play. If you're going to build like a bruiser, this is where you start your Frozen Mallet or your The Black Cleaver. If you're going to build a purely tanky Nocturne, start your Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart if your targets are AD-heavy, Spirit Visage or Aegis of the Legion if they're more balanced or AP-heavy. Meanwhile, if you're planning on dealing tons of damage for a tanky top-laner or an under-fed bot-laner, you'll either want your Blade of the Ruined King or Last Whisper soon. If your laners are doing enough damage, your BotRK or a Stinger(to be built into Zephyr) may be helpful in assisting your team mates with tower takedowns with their attack speed bonuses.
Mercurial Scimitar and Maw of Malmortius are niche items here. I'd recommend them only if the opposing team is heavy on AP and you want to hit them without taking tons of damage in return. Sunfire Cape is also a slightly niche pick as well. The armor is useless agaist AP casters, and the magic damage aura can cause unwanted aggro on jungle camps, dragon, and baron, and if a champion is near you while you are under a tower, it will cause tower aggro.
Reaching mid-game, you should have your core almost complete. Your second-tier boots are done, your wriggles is in hand, and you have a big item like Warmog's Armor or Zephyr complete. By this point, you should know what your team is lacking. Do they lack tankiness? Do they lack damage? Do they lack pushing power? Your build should fill in gaps in your team's coverage. If your support fails to ward, grab a few wards. It is everyone's job to ward. Period. Taking some of the load off of the support will give them a chance to buy items to benefit everyone in the long run. Vision Wards to cover the main objectives(Baron Nashor and the dragon) will only cost a total of 250 gold.
If your ward coverage is adequate and your team is doing fine, make sure you're not falling off in damage or usefulness. Nocturne has one of the best initiates in the game. Make sure your build complements it, or you'll dive in and die without hurting anything. With enough tankiness, you'll dive in, making the enemy team focus you, while your team converges and spanks them with such fury, their fathers will stare in awe, as they can only wish to give such punishment.
Ideally, your late-game build should incorporate attack speed to complement Nocturne's passive, Umbra Blades, and the passive on his W skill, Shroud of Darkness, adequate health to survive a team fight, and some attack damage with which to slice up fleshbags. On a side note, your built-in heal from your passive may not be enough to replenish missing health. A life steal item like Blade of the Ruined King or Ravenous Hydra(which will decimate a team that stays in a small area) may be a huge help.
Suggested by Fabulous Taric(NA server). This item would synergize very well with Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness and Umbra Blades. It provides 42% attack speed and 42 magic damage on hit. Not only would this be fantastic for chases because of the attack speed and extra damage, it would help you melt towers like Brand holding a popsicle.
Sword of the Divine
Also suggested by the truly, truly OUTRAGEOUS Fabulous Taric from the North America server. This item gives 45% attack speed while off of cooldown, but when activated, gives 100% attack speed and 100% critical strike for up to 3 attacks or for 3 seconds. This item would be great for an assassin build, which I have not, as of now, covered. This item would synergize incredibly with Infinity Edge, which you probably shouldn't build on Nocturne, unless you're going crit build, for some reason.
Countermeasures! (Actively Building Q&A)
A few common occurrences(and countermeasures) are:
The enemy team has a ton of armor, what do I do?
The enemy team is stacking health. They're just tanking everything.
We keep getting caught out of position and/or we can't get objectives!
I'm full build, but I'm not doing enough damage yet!
Please let me know of any other counter measures you have taken! I'm always open to suggestions.
Umbra Blades is, in my opinion, a fantastic passive. Every 10 seconds, Nocturne has a small AoE basic attack that deals an extra 20% of his attack damage and heals himself for every target hit. This means that, at its first rank, if you can hit all six minions in a wave, you heal for 60 health instantly. At rank two, 108. At its full third rank, a whopping 156. This is all increased with a Spirit Visage by 20%, resulting in 72 at rank one, 129 at rank two, and a ridiculous 187 at its highest level. As an added bonus, this helps to clear the jungle quickly and push minion waves ridiculously fast.
In addition to healing you, the cooldown is reduced by one second every time you use a basic attack. This synergy with attack speed is vital to survival in the jungle and in team fights, which often take place near minions and jungle creeps. This is why I include Statikk Shiv, Zephyr, and over other boots, Berserker's Greaves.
Duskbringer, your level one skill. Your bread and butter. Your main harassing skill. With a nice 1200 range and 75% bonus AD scaling on top of decent base damage, this skill is fantastic for poking, but there's another bonus. This skill leaves a Dusk Trail behind it, noticeable by a dark trail on the ground. This trail is also left behind by champions that it touches. The trail increases Nocturne's movement speed and attack damage by a significant amount, making him a fantastic chase champion. This skill synergizes well with Randuin's Omen, Frozen Mallet, and Enchantment: Furor(you have to hit them with a basic or your E). I always max this first.
Shroud of Darkness
Nocturne's W ability, Shroud of Darkness gives you attack speed and a wonderful spellshield. This is what I usually max last, but take second. The bonus attack speed works well with Umbra Blades and the spellshield can turn a fight around in an instant. Fizz ults you, you're cripplingly slow, you're about to take MASSIVE damage when you realize, shroud of darkness] is up! You pop your W just in time to block his shark. He rages and goes all-in trying to kill you. You fear him, send a [[duskbringer, and kill him. Way to go, you've left mid open for a push.
Not only will it block ultimates, it will block nearly any ability. Upon blocking an ability, the attack speed bonus is double, allowing you to kill them faster. Blocking CC, high damage spells, and knockbacks can completely ruin your enemy's strategy, forcing them to adapt, retreat, or die. This skill synergizes incredibly well with Banshee's Veil for double spell shields, extra magic resistance, and just being a bully while ganking a lane. I can't even count the number of times I got destroyed by a Banshee's Veiled Nocturne in Season 2. It's just a mean combination.
Unspeakable Horror is what makes Nocturne's ganks a devastating force of booty smacking fury. Upon targeting, if the target doesn't get out of range within a full two seconds, they are feared for an increasing amount of time per rank, a full two seconds at max. This skill is flat out deadly. When paired with another immobilizing form of CC, this skill is almost certain death for one unlucky champion. This skill also works on all of the jungle creeps, but not objectives such as Baron Nashor or the Dragon.
The skill itself is low damage, but scales 100% on ability power. Despite this scaling, building AP on Nocturne would be almost useless, as this is his only ability that scales on it. This makes Trinity Force an option with essentially zero wasted stats, but with a cooldown between 10 and 15 seconds and a short range that can break the skill, it's not exactly worth building AP. This skill synergizes very well with the movement speed bonus on Duskbringer, the passive of Enchantment: Furor, and Frozen Mallet, among other movement and slowing items.
Nocturne's signature ability. Your vision is cut off. Your allies have disappeared. That familiar feeling that you're screwed comes. You rush to the nearest bush when you're suddenly blindsided by Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare. Followed up with Unspeakable Horror and Shroud of Darkness to block your all-important slow, stun, damage, or whatever else, it leaves you screaming at your screen. You're feared and the enemy converges on you. DEAD.
Paranoia is Nocturne's ultimate ability. It deals a good amount of damage, scaling at a mean 120% of your bonus attack damage, and increases in range per rank. This is your assassination, your initiate, your escape from a group of enemies to the one caught out. Your one-way ticket to saving your AD carry from that embarrassing death, turning the tides from "Stop getting caught out!" "Feeder!" and "You suck!" to "Epic bait, man." "Sweet gank, dude." "Thanks man, you saved my life." Use this ability when you need to. Not just because it's fun seeing the enemy team scramble in search of the nearest bush for fear of their life.
Upon activation, it cuts off the entire enemy team's vision, scaring them into hiding, hence the name "Paranoia." Once activated, Nocturne may then dash to an enemy champion in range, which is HUGE at rank 3, dealing a nice chunk of damage, often being followed up with all of his abilities. This makes it an ideal initiate for team fights by cutting off vision and placing you right in their squishiest carry's face, slicing them up with your Umbra Blades, slamming them with a Duskbringer, then fearing them with your Unspeakable Horror, all the while blocking that stun with your Shroud of Darkness.