Nocturne Build Guide by EvilDice
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Not Updated For Current Season
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.
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Ahhhh, we are on to the nightmare that is Nocturne. Before this badass I used to cringe when I heard "Melee DPS". I tried olaf and failed with him. I tried Xin Zhao to no avail, I failed with him. Master Yi was fun and all, but there was just something missing with him... He just wasn't badass enough. I tried Nocturne and fell in love and now when I hear "Melee DPS" I dance with joy, I'll just pick Nocturne!
In this build I am going to provide an in depth explanation to playing Nocturne as well as giving you a lot of general jungling and game tips which has helped me win a lot of my ranked solo queue games. A true carry does not only have a high K/D, but also carries his team through his leadership and knowledge of the game. I hope I can help you with that.
Let me start by saying Nocturne is not overpowered! Nocturne is the supreme noobstomper. He punishes any kind of overextending and tower diving with the long range on his ultimate. A fed or farmed Nocturne is pretty damn scary. An unfed or unfarmed Nocturne is free food in team fights. Hopefully with this build I will teach you how to become a nightmare and get fed in every game you play. Take a seat there next to the Boogie Monster and make yourself comfortable. You are now in nightmare school.
My ranked stats with Nocturne (1400 ELO)
In champion select? Need to know everything right now? Well here you go.
- Jungle with the Superior path. If you don't know what that is jungle with the Sustained path. If you don't know what that is you're screwed.
- Don't be a dumbass.
- Nocturne is a great counterjungler! So do it!
- Best ganking opportunities are when the enemy pushes the lane/overextends. Nocturne is **** at towerdiving early on so don't try it.
- Farm and get fed. Otherwise you suck late game.
- Get fed and farm. Otherwise you suck late game.
- Split push.
- Wriggles gives you a ward... Use it!
- Youmuu's has an active... Use it!
- Don't be a dumbass.
4/14/11 - Build is new! No changes yet.
5/4/11 - Masteries altered slightly.
7/23/11 - Masteries fixed, runes, summoner spells changed up top.
Why Jungle with Nocturne? Where is the Lane Build?
Why Jungle with NOCTURNE??? Why jungle with.... NOCTURNE?!??!?1?!? Nocturne is an S tier jungler. He is amazing there. He is like old OP rammus, he affects the way your opponents play even if he isn't ganking their lane. Nocturne clears the jungle extremely fast and once he hits 6, his ganks are not matched by any jungler. There is no lane build because you are MOTHERF***ING NOCTURNE! Sure he is fine in the lane.. But there are very, VERY few junglers who are better than Nocturne.
Ok, now that that's been dealt with, we can get on to the guide. Sorry for that little rant.
*** This section is currently outdated. My up to date rune build is up top. This rune build still works, though.
- It will work, but you want armor pen. Armor pen is better both early and late game.
- Never been too fond of dodge seals for some reason, but you can elect to take these. They will get the job done.
- If you feel like you need more MR these are an excellent choice for late game. Nothing really wrong with going for these.
- CDR is nice for junglers and may help early and later on in the game.
greater quintessence of desolation - I like health>armor pen on noc, and you can see why above.
greater mark of desolation
If you want to jungle with more champions than just nocturne, the above set is a pretty safe bet for what to buy. Most likely you only have 3-4 rune pages and you are going to need to conserve space. This is the set I suggest.
21/0/9 (see top for details)
WTF??? YOU TAKE GOOD HANDS!?!?! So noob...
Read it. I am helping you out for every champion you play.
You are a jungler. Junglers need that extra EXP for levels.
Why no defense Masteries? Aren't those good for junglers?
They are, however Nocturne can jungle faster and safely going 21/0/9, so there's no reason to go defence masteries on him.
Why do you like the crit mastery over the AD? Won't AD help your jungling?
3 extra AD isn't much, and though it probably will speed up your jungling marginally, it will mean close to nothing late game. You want your crits to hit hard, because you want to be a Nightmare.
If you were to change your masteries, what would you do?
I think these are pretty perfect honestly, but I guess if you want longer buff duration taking out the last offense point and going 20/0/10 would be okay.
Passive: Umbra Blades - Every 10 seconds, Nocturne's next attack strikes surrounding enemies for 120% of his physical damage and heals himself for 15 / 20 / 25 per target hit. Nocturne's basic attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second.
It's what makes Nocturne Nocturne. Because of this passive, you are a beast in the jungle and a total badass at farming. The splash damage has a pretty nice range as well.
Q: Duskbringer - Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals physical damage 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage), leaves a Dusk Trail, and causes champions who are hit to also leave a Dusk Trail for 5 seconds. While on the trail, Nocturne ignores unit collision and has increased Movement Speed 15% / 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% and Attack Damage 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60.
Every nightmare needs a way to close the distance and get to it's prey. Your distance closer which will make you just lol at people who try to ghost away. This isn't the easiest skillshot to land and is going to take some practice. You will want to fiddle around in practice games so you can know the speed of the particle and how you need to aim it. Use line missile display!
One thing that is vastly overlooked about Duskbringer is the fact that it gives bonus AD. +60 AD at level 9 is just insane. Make sure you get this buff in teamfights as it makes a huge difference.
W: Shroud of Darkness - Nocturne empowers his blades, passively gaining attack speed 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%. Activating Shroud of Darkness allows Nocturne to fade into the shadows, creating a magical barrier for 2 seconds which blocks a single enemy ability and doubles his passive attack speed for 5 seconds if successful.
Every nightmare needs a way to defend itself from the courageous... In style. If you are a sivir player this one is going to come pretty easy to you. +20% attack speed at level 2 is going to be a very nice boost. Keep your W finger ready to go for this skill. You are going to want to bait CC by standing vulnerable, pretty much asking to get stunned, snared, slowed, etc.. By baiting cc like this you have just soaked up CC for your team AND have a very nice attack speed boost. At level 18 you get 80% attack speed if you proc this skill (which you will)... Why would you need any more?
E: Unspeakable Horror - Nocturne plants a nightmare into his target's mind, dealing damage each second for total 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 (+100% of ability power) over 2 seconds and fearing the target for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds if they do not get out of range by the end of the duration.
Every nightmare needs to induce fear into his targets. He needs to scare them SO MUCH that they run towards him. Nocturne achieves this. At level 5 it's a 2 second fear which is a pretty nice piece of CC. Obviously you are going to use this for chasing. There are also a lot of ways to use your E in a teamfight, including:
1) On your target you are chasing, to be able to chase it more easily.
2) On someone who is trying to focus you down, to protect yourself while killing your target.
3) On their other carry who is not your target.
Usually, though, I'm just button mashing and fearing whoever my mouse clicks, which also can work pretty well :P
Ultimate: Paranoia - Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision for 4 seconds, this includes champions, minions, wards and towers. He can then launch himself at a enemy champion with a large range 2500 / 3250 / 4000. Deals 150 / 300 / 450 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage on arrival.
Every nightmare needs to have an ultimate that limits vision for 4 seconds, allows the nightmare to dash to its target and deal damage equal to a 1.2 AD ratio. EVERY nightmare. Paranoia is what makes Nocturne such a nightmare. It's that ability that makes the other team flash back to their tower thinking OMG I AM DEAD. Paranoia is your supreme ganking ability. A common misconception with this ability is that the range is almost global. This is WRONG. The range is not even half the river. PLEASE mouse over your R key before you pop this ult so you can see where your range is.
Now, with that out of the way, when are you going to ult? You will use your ultimate whenever you see a clear opportunity to net yourself a kill. This is especially possible when someone in the solo lane overextends or someone on your team is getting towerdived. Pop that *****, know the entire enemy team is hearing your evil laugh and dive in. Your ult can also be used to save your life. If you can get enough separation from your enemy, pop your ult and abuse your vision advantage to juke the enemies and go somewhere where they don't know where you are. This is VERY difficult to do, but occasionally it is possible.
Paranoia IS NOT an initiator. It is actually quite the contrary. You want to ult after the meat of the fight has started and after all the CC has been blown. Then you get free reign on whoever you choose to focus.
Thanks to tinolas for making this graphic!
Credit goes to Stonewall008 for this video.
Watch the Path (requires LoL Replay)
Why this path? Weeeell... Nocturne is a decent but not great ganker until he hits level 6. Once he hits 6, however, his ganks are amazing as is his map control. Start off with a Vampiric Scepter here. Start off by pinging the brush by the golem and tell your whole team to go there. This is so if the other team ganks, your team is ready. If you are ganked and your team is not there, don't even bother trying to do anything. They will probably take your blue. Transition into a golems>wraiths>wolves route and check your blue buff to kill the little lizards before you go back. Otherwise, proceed to use this path:
Skill order: Q>W>Q>E>Q>R
1. Wolves - Use Q on the camp and proceed to kill all of them. Focus the big wolf down first. Do not use smite here.
2. Wraiths - Run up to the big wraith, attack it for max heal then smite it, use Q on the rest of them, kill 'em and level up W.
3. Golems - Use Q and kill them.
Base - You are going to be kinda low so it's time to go back to base and buy cloth armor and a health pot. From here you can decide to gank a lane if you think it's possible. If not, continue on to blue.
4. Blue Buff - Jungling becomes pretty straightforward now... Basically just start with Q and kill your target. Save smite for blue and red buff. Smite blue with 500-550 health left. Again, if you wanna gank go do it.
5&6. Wolves, Wraiths - Keep going. When you hit level 4 you can use your E to speed up your jungle.
7&8. Golems, Red Buff - Pop your health pot on the way to the golems. Kill them then move on to the lizard. Smite the red buff at 550-600 health. From here again you may choose to gank if you find there is a good opportunity. This is a great time! If not continue to finish your path and level up to 6.
9,10,11. Wolves, Wraiths, Golems - Finish up your route and go back to base to get your razors and boots. It is now time for you to gank!
Ganking/Invasion - If you STILL can't gank tell your team that they seriously need to stop pushing. You are not going back to your jungle here though... Nope, if there are no ganks available, invade their jungle, steal some creeps and maybe net a kill on a tasty jungler.
The premiere item choice on any jungler. Gives nice survivability, a ward for dragon, and speeds up jungling considerably. Pretty much every jungler gets this item... Nocturne is no exception. Even after the nerfs Wriggle's still seems worth it.
Zerkers or Merc's?
Your only big decision with this build is the boots. With Zerkers you will not need ANY more attack speed at all and are going to be attacking... Very fast. Merc's are going to give you some very nice CC reduction when 2 spell shields aren't enough. It's up to you. I usually am getting Zerkers here.
There is an item that gets your ult up faster, makes your abilities more spammable, gives you a nice AD boost, and gives you armor pen. Sound too good to be true? It ISN'T! The brutilizer, everything Nocturne needs at a 1337 price. This item becomes a Youmuu's Ghostblade after you finish your IE for one kickass active and more crit chance.
Now that you have your Guardian Angel you are sitting pretty nicely for armor. Jungling is done at this phase in the game... So that's two aspects to Wriggle's that are null now. What's missing? AD and Lifesteal! Instead of keeping those weak stats, let's pimp them out with a bloodthirster, which when fully stacked gets that AD number higher and higher. Sell your Wriggle's Lantern and buy The Bloodthirster. Yeah, I know. Now you can't ward. Fortunately you have four other team mates who can! Yay team mates!
These never hurt, but you gotta get them at the right time. An obvious time is when your build is full, where obviously if you have nothing else to buy you buy these! If your team appears to be winning all the fights, help your team out and maintain map control(especially at baron) with an Oracle. It's also a great time to buy elixirs right after you baron, to increase the advantage you have for a few minutes.
If they are all just completely stacking armor and have multiple champions>150, buy this. Otherwise don't, it doesn't really work well with a Youmuu's Ghostblade. Last Whisper also offers 40 AD, which honestly isn't too bad!
Why AD>AS on Nocturne
So you're looking at Nocturne's W and passive and you're like, "Wow.. I'll just stack AS like yi and I'll do so much damage!" No. W gives you a lot of attack speed. Runes give you more. Masteries give you more, Zerkers give you more. Since you already are going to have 1.5 to 2.0 AS, it's just stupid to buy any more. Your passive has a 1.2 AD ratio, your Q has a .75 AD ratio and gives you 60 attack damage. When you buy these AD items and pair them with your Q you will have >300 AD and have 1.5 to 2.0 AS. Rather than doing >200 damage and having 2.0 to 2.2 AS. Oh, and don't forget that Youmuu's Ghostblade has an active... And it's pretty good.
How to be a Nightmare
Time to kick it back over to Stonewall for a nice tutorial on Nocturne. Covers the jungling phase pretty well and will get you in the mood for more of my rambling with some smexy music. Hopefully it can help spark some ideas for you. Nocturne is kinda like jungle Shaco in that you can do many different creative things with him. Enjoy!
Basically now I am going to cover some key points you need to know about Nocturne during the jungle phase. A lot of this stuff I am going to be mentioning in this section can apply to ALL your junglers. This is basically Dice's guide to jungling.
You are using a path that is called a "Superior" path. It is going to get you to level 6 as fast as possible as well as offering multiple opportunities to gank rather than the standard full jungle clear gank at 4. The Superior path has many possible ways to start and play throughout the path. This means that you are versatile and adaptable.
You can start at either wolves, wraiths, or small golems and still achieve relatively similar jungle speeds. I prefer the wolves start because if the opposing team is going to try to gank you, they will assume you are starting at blue. If your whole team is with you you can pick up first blood and win the level 1 fight. Even if your team isn't with you, you will gain valuable information that they just stole your blue and can adapt your route accordingly. The key when you are counter jungled is not to be desperate and force things but just calmly transition to a different route and recover. It is also possible to start off counterjungling by taking the opposing jungler's golems.
A big part of ganks is using Shroud of Darkness at the right time. Usually they are going to enter panic mode and blow their CC on you right away. Pretty much you have to expect the CC at all times and have quick reaction time. If you are going in vs a Taric, for example... THINK "he is going to stun me.. he is going to stun me.." the entire time while you are ganking. That way when you see the stun come out you can press W instantly to block it. Sometimes your reaction time may not be fast enough(and some CC is pretty instant like Veigar's stun), though, so you will just have to predict.
A nice way I find to predict CC coming is when I see the enemy turning towards me. Most cast animations for CC involve the champion having to turn and face the target, so that's a way you can predict it. Just remember that the timing of your W is subjective and will not always be the same for every gank. Quite honestly though I am making this sound more complicated then it really is. Most of the time they will just blow their CC right when they see you. Now on to the combos.
Pre 6/Ult on Cooldown
If possible, you want to start this off with your E because it allows easier aim with your Q. However, this usually isn't possible. If your target has flash or some kind of flash ability, you don't want to start with E and save it for after they use their flash. Ask your team mates in the lane you are ganking if their flash is on CD before starting with E. Most often, your combo will look like this:
Ganks with your Ult(much easier)
Pretty much all you are looking for here is good timing. When the enemy overextends or pushes the lane too far, it's time to pop your ult. Make sure your team knows you are popping it! Ping your target before initiating. This combo is much more straightforward.
If there are no good ganks available going back to your own jungle is a pretty boring way to go... You are nocturne and you are supposed to be a nightmare! If you can't be a nightmare in lanes, the other jungler is going to have to do. If you plan on counter jungling wards are very good items for this. Clairvoyance on a support is also ideal. The best part of the jungle to invade is the side of the red buff because of the fact that it is bigger and there are two different places to escape that are a fair distance away from each other.
Enter in the wraith side and steal those. If you catch the jungler there either try to kill it(dangerous.. pretty close to mid) or smite one of the wraiths and scoot away with your troll face.
If red buff is sitting there nice and juicy it is possible to take it. I would only recommend trying this if you have a pretty good reason to think that their jungler is not there/going there AND you have your Wriggle's. Use Duskbringer on the little lizards and kill them. Then run into the brush next to the red buff and walk the lizard in there and kill it.
Small Golems is the riskiest buff due to being so close to bottom lane. Hug the wall there because there is a chance minions will spot you and you will pop up on the minimap. Take both of these.
Another option you have when counterjungling is to leave part of a camp unkilled so their jungler will have to reach the camp and kill the creep in order for that minion to respawn again. Personally I prefer to just kill all the minions because I'm a greedy bastard and I want the exp and gold. I would especially be against this for the red buff as the two little lizards attacking something in a bush is just as obvious as you standing out in the open killing the lizard. MID RAMBLING SONG TIME! YAAAAY!
Welcome back. Duskbringer + Umbra Blades = Dead minions. When you see a huge minion blob it is going to be an awesome and incredibly fast farm for you. Until late game DONT PUSH!!! Once you farm this blob leave for the jungle, because a couple minutes later that blob is going to reappear leading to some more easy farming.
The two themes to mid game are farming and getting fed. In order to be a nightmare lategame achieving both these things are very important. An unfarmed/unfed Nocturne is laughable and is free food. If you don't do a ****load of damage real fast you are just going to be a non-factor. Gank often, counterjungle often, and be safe. A FEEDING nocturne is a useless Nocturne. Be smart but aggressive. Make money. Also I heard this item called a Sight ward is pretty cool.
You should always be looking to grab dragon whenever you get the opportunity. If you have the money when you go back, buy a Vision Ward for dragon. This will allow you to see any other wards the opponent has near dragon so you leave that area in the dark. Dragon with your team either when you have a numbers advantage with your team or when all the lanes are occupied and you know they don't have it warded. Keep it warded at all times(this is what your Wriggle's is for). You can solo dragon at any time once you have your Wriggle's Lantern.
Let me introduce you to split pushing. It is something that Nocturne is a total badass at and is something you need to abuse all the time. It allows you to farm and win fights/take towers at the same time.
Split-Pushing is solo pushing a side lane while your team is pushing mid simultaneously. This puts pressure on the opposing team to defend their towers and is going to result in them dividing up their team - thinning out their numbers. Wards are optional but very, very welcome for this tactic as you can see how many enemies are coming to defend the tower you are pushing and you can see WHEN. If you don't have it warded however it is not the end of the world, just be smart and make sure you aren't about to get ganked by half their team. IF:
- You are pushing a lane and 1-2 champions on the enemy team come to defend the tower, YOU:
Pop your ult and DASH to mid lane. It is now a 4v5 and your team should stomp(please make sure your team knows you are doing this and is ready to initiate). IF:
- You are pushing a lane and a teamfight starts in mid, involving all 5 of the enemy team, YOU:
Take the tower. Your team should not be trying to fight this, instead they should be running for their lives getting chased. If possible, take another tower, but be aware of where the enemy team is. Remember that Duskbringer gives AD!
..And that is the basics to split pushing! This may not be optimal every game as the opposing team may be smart or have a champion that counters this hard (e.g. Shen). OR your team is dumb and does not understand this concept.
Basically the same thing as dragon control except for a gamechanging buff. Same thing. Use Vision Wards(or maybe buy an oracle) and take advantage of numbers. Baron is an extremely important buff and you really don't want the other team to get it. So don't **** up and let them. Some good times to baron are:
- When your team just won a teamfight.
- When someone on the opposing team is pushing bot.
- When you just **** on the enemy base(killed 2 or more inhibs).
- When you know they don't have it warded and you have the paths to it warded(risky)
- When 2 or more of them are dead and your team has all 5.
Ahh, the teamfight. It's the moment where nightmares become reality for the other team. Nocturne is a very delicate champion and can go down quickly when focussed(which the enemy will most definitely try to do). What you want to do is sit off to the side before the fight is initiated. Even when the fight starts, it isn't time to go in just yet. You want to patiently wait until the early ultimates and CC have been blown. Once this happens, pop Paranoia and jump in. Your target priority list:
1. Their superfed raping everything champion (if there is one)
2. Their uber-squishy champion that you can kill in half a second(JANAAAAAAAAAA)
3. Their ranged DPS carry
4. Their caster carry
5. Their melee DPS/offtank
6. Their tank
Dive in on your top priority atm and feast on it. Pop your spell shield(and get it popped instantly) and start to completely smash someone. If they try to run use your Fear, but try to save it until you need it. Remember, Duskbringer gives AD (stand on it)! Oh, Youmuu's Ghostblade has an active btw and it's pretty good. Use it.
To watch these you are going to need LoL Replay.
Replay 1 - Thought I would start this build off with a fun replay of me getting ******edly fed starting in minute two. Also notice that even though I was ******edly fed, I still was not a dumbass.
Pretty basic cookie cutter Nocturne skill order here. Basically we max the skills that scale the best. Once you have a level 1 Shroud of Darkness your AS boost is already great and is going to get you to lategame. Duskbringer's scaling is amazing and that's why it is maxed first. After that you want to max Unspeakable Horror as a two second fear makes you no fiddlesticks, but close enough. Finally you can take Shroud of Darkness last, getting a ****load of AS and gearing up for the late game. Paranoia is taken at every level available because not only the damage and cooldown scales, the range does too.
What I use:
- I don't care if you can jungle Nocturne without smite. I don't care if you can jungle with ANYONE without smite... You are taking it. Believe it or not, no Smite on a jungler is not a sign of a pro, it is a sign of a noob. Get it.
- This is going to be very controversial and I can already see it coming. In my opinion, ghost is the best summoner in the game. Early to mid game it can do things such as getting you in range if you **** up your ult, chasing fast enough to avoid a tower dive, getting the **** out of the enemy jungle, and many more things. Will also help you escape later on in the game since Noc does not have the best escape mechanisms.. Once your shield has been blown you are incredibly vulnerable.
What you can use(most to least viable):
- I want to try flash a bit more... If you don't like ghost I think this is the best way to go because as I said earlier, Noc needs an escape summoner and flash can lead to some very nifty jukes with his ultimate. If you don't want ghost to me this is the clear favorite.
- Cripples your target and makes them do less damage. As if you need this.. Not nearly as good for escapes as the spells listed above.
- Gives you some nice map control on a champion that has a lot of map control. Teleport is a very under rated spell and can actually benefit Nocturne very nicely.
- Pretty strong finishing spell on all assassins, get this if you are tired of them getting away with 50 HP.
- Promote is a very strong and OP spell on any champio-- Oh wait..
Gonna post stuff here once I see comments so hopefully I can answer some people's questions before they post the same thing over and over again like on my other builds.
Thanks to (click their names to view their profiles):
Searz for teaching me how to do columns.
tinolas for making that epic jungle path picture!
Furber for helping me come up with a title.
Stonewall008 because I used his videos in this build and he has helped me a lot with jungling with all my champions. If you want to jungle, going to stonewall's youtube page should be the first thing you do.
The Lonely Island for being wonderful lyric writers. Their music touches me, deep inside.
Rebecca Black... Just kidding.
YOU. Because it seems like the polite thing to do.
See ya. Hope this guide helped.