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Nocturne Build Guide by letswinelo

Assassin Are you my nightmare, or am I yours?

Assassin Are you my nightmare, or am I yours?

Updated on May 25, 2016
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League of Legends Build Guide Author letswinelo Build Guide By letswinelo 8 3 119,991 Views 12 Comments
8 3 119,991 Views 12 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author letswinelo Nocturne Build Guide By letswinelo Updated on May 25, 2016
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LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None


Hi! My name is Artiom and I would love to welcome you to my fascinating and mind blowing Nocturne guide. My ign is Satanic Chaos and I am currently a master tier jungler bringing you the guide that will change your life.

I started playing league almost 6 years ago and I have gone through amazing experiences. I first spent my time in lower gold trying to climb and thinking that my team mates are the reason that I am not climbing the ladder. Oh boy I was wrong because after years of playing this game I have learned plenty of things and became better which is how I started from the bottom and now I'm here!

You might wonder why am I telling you this however there is one simple reason, once I read a guide on the champion I love, once there were people who answered my questions and kept believing in me and I have immense respect for them to help me get where I am now and there is nothing more that I would want but to give back. I would love to be that person who helps YOU climb the ranks while enjoying the game we all love.

I have always enjoyed playing Nocturne. With the recent patch 6.10 I was able to obtain mastery level 6, and am very close to getting mastery level 7. I always loved to pick champions outside the Meta, dark horse champions one could say.

I truly believe that Nocturne is the strongest dark horse champion
He can compete with top tier junglers if the person using him knows the champion and its limits! He is the dark horse in a sense that not many people pick him and believe him to be fairly mediocre however he has insane power that can only be unlocked within one self by reading this guide.

Nocturne is a champion that transitions roles as the game progresses.
He is an assassin jungler earlier in the game that has to transition towards a secondary engage tank towards the later stages of the game. Nocturne has very good skirmishing potential even early on due to his kit which I will explain soon. Overall what you can expect from this champion is a very fun experience which also includes actually reaching the victory screen and most importantly learning about macro play as Nocturne excels at counter ganking and making plays happen when and where you want.

Also, if there's any terminologies you don't understand in my guide, you can click here for a list of LOL terminologies. Enjoy!
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Pros vs Cons

Pro’s include:

Huge amount of burst damage

High mobility and great chase/pick potential

Strong spikes early in the game (6,9 and 11) as this fits the current meta

Fast jungle clear

Ability to counter gank

Amazing carry potential

Develops sense of macro game as you have to think ahead of time

Con’s include:

Little room to gank before 6

Long cool-downs early in the game which limits number of ganks

Very squishy early in the game(with my build) which makes tower dives risky

Hard to team fight (knowing when to go in and how is very tricky at times)

No escapes

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For runes I only run one type of rune page:

To start off, I run 3 Greater Mark of Attack Speed, and 6 Greater Mark of Attack Damage. This allows you to increase your clear speed with the attack speed marks. You reach 19% when you take the Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed and the 6 AD marks are needed because they actually add damage to hitting the camps harder.

Another option would be running greater mark of armor penetration instead, however this does not add to your jungle clear and that is sub-optimal considering your clear is extremely important when playing a champion that needs to level quickly and stay ahead in order to have a strong impact.

For seals I run 9 Greater Seal of Armor which is standard for all junglers. These are good for clearing the jungle as well as keep you safer during ganks. Armor helps with creep agro as well as sustaining in the jungle which can be fairly hard considering some unique jungle routes do not let you smite the red buff for extra health that it gives.

There are no other options for seals.

I run 3 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist and 6 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist that way the scaling MR helps you scale slightly better into the late game and you need the early MR when playing against AP junglers as well as to somewhat counter the heavy burst damage mid laners and supports that recent patches (6.9 and 6.10) have brought. This will help you with champions like Brand, Zyra, LeBlanc etc.

There is no other option for glyphs as you already cap at 45% CDR with masteries and items within the build that I will go over in just a second, depending on how fast you read.

I strongly recommend running 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed because it does help you clear the jungle at a very quick pace and therefore rush to that needed level 6. As soon as you hit it you are able to get your first gank off with ultimate earlier which means ultimate goes on cool down and will come back faster. This cycle is crucial on Nocturne because you are always racing with time and the earlier you start the race the more likely you are to win it!

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There are two main mastery sets that you can run. It might be intuitive to pick thunder lords to help Nocturne burst the targets quicker however at the same time one could say that since nocturne is not very tanky it would be a good idea to go strength of the ages and gain the extra 300 hp. Ultimately it is your choice and depends on your play-style however in my experience Thunderlord's Decree works better because it allows you to have that extra damage earlier on in the game and finish the crucial kills that start the snowball before the enemy even hears the phrase “the enemy is legendary”.


I take ferocity tree as it allows me to get all the essential stats needed for victory. Fury allows me to have the extra attack speed which I need for faster clear. It also helps me assassinate the enemies when I'm ganking, beginning the journey to victory.

Double Edged Sword gives me extra damage which might seem like a little amount however you have enough attack speed to sustain the jungle therefore why refuse the extra little bit of damage which sometime will be the reason you secure a kill.

Alternative option

Vampirism is way better than Natural Talent even with the recent patch 6.10 that gave Nocturne passive an AP scaling. Vampirism gives you the extra little bit of life steal to sustain in the jungle and is better than waiting for Natural Talent to scale. In a late game scenario though, with the new passive, I would agree that natural talent would be beneficial however how you get to that level 18 is quite a big deal.

There is no other option here as Nocturne does not have cc therefore you have to take a point in Bounty Hunter . On the bright side, even if nocturne fear counted towards Oppressor I would still take bounty hunter just because you get so many kills early and mid-game that the extra 5% damage is just far more superior at every point past around the 10 minute mark. Since you get 2-3 kills and therefore get more damage.

We pick this because it allows our blue and red to stay on longer as well as makes dragon, baron and even raptor, krug etc. buffs stay for an extra 10% of the time. This might seem little however the alternatives are Secret Stash which we won't ever use as we don’t buy hp pots; and Assassin which never happens as we are a jungler ganking lanes where there will hopefully be allies following up. If they are not then there is a problem besides the actual mastery point.

No other option can be discussed here as this mastery point will end up healing you several times during clutch team fights and saving your life. Extremely important.

Another very important point as it reduces the cool down of your spells especially your Paranoia therefore take this and feel good because you lost nothing.

This juicy keystone right here is what makes the burst happen(extra 100+ damage) when you Paranoia combined with Duskbringer and proc this bad boy right here: thunderlords decree. You get an immense amount of burst when combined with Smite. This combo right here is what I call the one hitter quitter as it literally makes enemies quit the game after they experience the true darkness.


The cunning tree is the same as above thus I am going to go over the most important points and different choices in the resolve tree as this tree appears to have some variety and be interesting.

It is better to take Recovery because it helps you sustain in the jungle early on and points in Unyielding would be better late game. I take recovery because most important part is to reach the late game where you can afford to build tanky however if you are willing to be lower in the jungle early for some extra defensive stats later then by all means take unyielding.

In my opinion Explorer is much better than Tough Skin because movement speed on Nocturne is extremely vital. It helps your chase potential in the jungle as well as during ganks and trust me 15 movement speed does make a difference. Also tough skin does not reduce damage from creeps!

Runic Armor is essential for Nocturne as it stacks with his passive and actually increases the heal that you get and on top of that it increases the regeneration. Comparing it to Veteran Scars , 45hp means that as the game goes on this regeneration will add up and the extra health you gain from passive/life steal and regeneration will scale much better than 45hp.

Legendary Guardian is what I would chose against compositions that do not have a large amount of stuns and slows especially since Shroud of Darkness will allow you to avoid one stun if used correctly.

On the other hand take Swiftness if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control meaning stuns and slows as this will reduce their effectiveness and allow you to free yourself from the evil enemy wrongdoings!

Strength of the Ages is undoubtedly the best keystone for Nocturne in the resolve tree as it allows you to become tankier and with Nocturne’s clear speed you actually get to stack it extremely quickly.

Overall I recommend to take Thunderlord's Decree on Nocturne to compliment his burst damage however you do you and if it works that’s all that we want ;)
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Skill Sequence

> > >


Nocturne’s passive Umbra Blades helps him sustain in the jungle as well as does some extra damage when he ganks and is extremely useful when clearing creep waves. His passive is basically swiping his blades horizontally and doing 120% physical damage while healing himself. The heal on the passive now scales with AP since patch 6.10 however we do not build any AP items as they are not efficient for Nocturne therefore it is questionable why Riot would add that.

On the other hand it is important to notice that Nocturne’s basic attack reduce the cool down of his passive by 1 second therefore having the extra attack speed will ensure that you proc the passive more often and therefore clear faster while having extra little bit of sustain.


This skill is extremely important in Nocturne’s kit as it is part of the high damage burst combo that I will explain.
Another reason this skill is so important is because it has high base damage which allows it to help you clear the jungle faster. Most importantly, through hitting the Duskbringer allows nocturne to move faster and gain extra attack damage which is the reason he has such high damage even fairly early in the game.

There is 2 cool things to know about Duskbringer:
  • First of all using it before your passive procs allows you to get extra healing as this does give extra physical damage.
  • Another point regarding this skill is that it is impossible to miss if you use it perfectly because it goes off at the same time as Paranoia hits the enemy champion therefore mastering the timing of this skill will lead to easy ganks. Even if enemies Flash, the Duskbringer will still allow you to catch up easily.
We max this spell first after Paranoia.


Shroud of Darkness is what determines if you are a great, good or a.. just beginner with Nocturne. Practicing this spell and mastering when and how to use it will make or break a Nocturne player. It is essential to predict or react to enemy spells, especially CC's, in order to block it with shroud of darkness. A good Nocturne player will wait on his shroud until the enemy casts a crowd control spell and then you should block it which will give you an extra passive attack speed bonus as well as possibly allowing you to keep chasing the enemy instead of getting stunned and killed.

This spell should be used to block abilities such as Death Sentence or Nether Grasp. Perfecting the timing of your shroud will be the deciding factor in you being able to execute enemy back lines instead of getting stunned in the middle of 5 people.

We max this spell last.


Nocturne’s Unspeakable Horror has several interesting parts that we need to pay attention to. First of all the cool down of this spell decreases as we level it up therefore making it more appealing to level. The main part however is the range that it stretches. Even though we can cast it at a range of 425 units it stretches to around 550 or 575 units therefore making enemies that Flash away still in range while you catch up to them to actually get your fear off.

Another interesting part of this spell is that it actually gives you insane movement speed boost while the enemy is terrified. There is no actual number as I have seen on the movement speed that you gain but I would estimate it to be 60% bonus movement speed while travelling towards terrified enemies and this allows you to catch up to enemies that are running away or Flash as fear is going off. Note that Fiddlesticks fear is not a terrified effect therefore will not give you movement speed!

We max this spell second after Duskbringer


This spell is why Nocturne has such a great power spike at level 6 and can have different uses. Leveling up the spell decreases the cool down as well as increasing the range which is the reason to why levels are so important on Nocturne. The range at level 6 is fairly small therefore hitting level 11 will greatly increase your chances to be out of ward range as well as increase the actual damage that Paranoia does.

It is important to notice this spell is the reason we build cool down reduction because it goes down to just under 60 seconds of cool down with 45% cool down reduction which is easily achieved with my Nocturne build.

We max this spell when and wherever we can.

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First I would like to inform everyone that the best start is with the Hunter's Machete and a Refillable Potion. This is a very standard start on Nocturne.

After this try to pick up the Stalker's Blade on your FIRST BACK. If for some reason you do not have enough gold to do this, DO NOT buy the Hunter's Talisman. Riot, in their recent patch have made the EXP bonuses from the jungle items unstackable, therefore instead of Hunter’s Talisman buy a Long Sword and clear your jungle from there.

I recommend going the Stalker's Blade - Warrior as your jungle item over the Skirmisher's Sabre. Below, I will explain my several reasons for choosing the blade as well as when I would get Skirmisher's instead.

First of all the Stalker’s blade does an outright burst of damage which is basically a large amount of true damage that hits at the same time as your Paranoia and Duskbringer. This combo procs your Thunderlord's Decree . After all of these spells have landed the enemy should be dead within several auto attacks at most. This will most likely take 2 seconds or less.
Stalker’s blade will do more damage in this scenario as skirmishers only does more damage than stalker’s blade over longer period of fights when the enemy has time to burn from auto attacks (meaning enemy is very tanky).

Another reason to go for Stalker's Blade is because you can Smite enemies who are using Flash to get away and either kill them or actually get enough movement speed to fear them. This is very useful and can be done only with the stalker’s blade. Both ways whatever you decide to go make sure to get the warrior's enhancement as this will allow you to power spike and do a huge amount of damage early in the game to begin your snowball. It also gives cool down reduction which makes it by far the best option.

When to get Skirmisher's Sabre

The second dream item to get is Youmuu's Ghostblade. Try to get Caulfield's Warhammer then buy Boots of Swiftness and then complete your youmuu’s ghostblade. The reason to do this is because caulfield's warhammer gives you 10% of cool down reduction which combined with your mastery and warrior enchantment of the Stalker's Blade - Warrior will amount to 25% and even 35%(with blue).

The reason you get Boots of Swiftness in-between is because at this point of the game you really start needing the movement speed to run around the jungle as well as chase enemies. Most of the enemy champions will have upgraded shoes therefore you need to match them and abuse your movement speed over them, never be to slow or you will miss the killing blow as I would say.

Dead Man's Plate is ideal in situations where the enemy have a heavy AD composition and you already have a few defensive items.
At this point you should buy Dead Man's Plate if you need to add extra chase potential and be able to chase the enemy further. This item will allow you to do more damage and slow the enemy on the first auto attack that you do after your Paranoia. It also gives decent tank stats however Randuin's Omen (or even Sunfire Aegis) are better due to better passives.

Get Randuin's Omen as your next item if you're against AD heavy or AD/AP mixed teams.
The reason you go a tank item like Randuin's Omen at this point is because team fights are already starting and you are too squishy to actually survive long enough to kill an enemy. Going a defensive item allows you to have some defensive stats while still being to do enough damage to threaten the enemy back line.
The reason you should go Randuin's Omen is because it provides a very important slow that allows Nocturne to stick to carries as well as a large amount of health.

Potential Thornmail buy

Spirit Visage should be your next item if you're against AP heavy or AD/AP mixed teams.
The reason to go Spirit Visage over Maw of Malmortius is because it provides health and cool down reduction. This is important since you still have time to make picks before the late game grouping happens where enemy team will most likely stick as a 5 man group.

If you want more damage and enemy team has bursty mages (heavy AP comp) you could go Maw of Malmortius.
Maw of Malmortius will add damage to your burst as well as make you survive a little longer. When you're low, you can use the shield and the life steal to either finish and enemy or stall the fight long enough for your team to follow. The downside to this item is it does not give health which is very important on Nocturne.

At this point you are at 4 or 5 items. The last 1 or 2 items should be situational because every game will be different and require different stats.
I will go over the most popular situational items and explain when to get them below.
It is also important to notice that for CDR you have:
This adds up to 30% CDR or 35% with the mastery point in Intelligence .

Get Black Cleaver for more damage.
If you skipped Spirit Visage but still want more damage to add towards your Maw of Malmortius or if the enemy team has very little ability power damage then a good idea will be to go for Black Cleaver. This will add towards your damage as well as capping your CDR at 45% without Spirit Visage.

Another item for damage is Trinity Force.
At this point if you need more damage you should go for Trinity Force as it gives you the ability to do more burst damage with the Trinity Force proc as well as caps us at 45% CDR which is very important.

Get Guardian Angel if you need a more defensive build.
If the enemy team has a lot of burst and manage to focus you down effectively then you should go for the Guardian Angel. This will allow you to cause a lot of distraction in the fight and give you the ability to revive and re-enter the fight after you die. It stalls the fight for a long time and is an effective way to force the enemy to either focus you less or use a lot of important cool downs on you.

Another great defensive item is Banshee's Veil.
Banshee's Veil is not ideal on Nocturne as you already have a spell shield however this item might fight into your build in some scenarios. If you are building high damage: for example, you got a Trinity Force in your build, and you need a quick cheap item to survive a couple more seconds, then you should get [[Banshee's Veil]. This item will allow you to block 2 spells combined with your own spell shield and give you time to kill the enemy back line.

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Sample Build & Gameplay


Here is a sample of a Nocturne build. It is one of my personal favourites and I thought it would be nice to share with you guys.

First we buy Stalker's Blade - Warrior with the warrior enchantment. Then we purchase the Youmuu's Ghostblade along with Boots of Swiftness in between the Yomuu’s components. Then we rush Randuin's Omen and right after we buy Spirit Visage. These items will make you very tanky while providing a lot of sticking power (i.e. chase potential) and damage.

Ultimately I was going for Sunfire Aegis as the enemy team was AD heavy but not bursty. This allows me to use Sunfire Aegis to burn them in longer fights. Another point worth mentioning is you should get either Farsight Alteration to try to ward and make picks or swap to a Oracle Lens to clear wards and help your team. Both ways that is something that we can work together on as I clearly forgot to do it in this example!

Now that we know what Runes, Masteries and Items to buy we need to talk about team fighting. Specifically our role in these fights, which shall be reinforced by watching some videos! After that, I will be glad to share some tricks and tips that can help you learn Nocturne and become the ultimate fear of the jungle and enemies on the rift.


Your job as Nocturne is to make picks and catch enemies out of position. If someone is trying to farm a lane or is pushing it is your job to punish them and take objectives afterwards. For example in this replay below we can see that an enemy Quinn pushed up towards my top lane tower without proper ward coverage so I am able to kill her after which my team proceeds to take Baron.

On the other hand you can have several jobs in actual team fights which means you have to read the situation and understand when to Paranoia into the fight which will allow you to do your job. You can have several ways to play the team fights as Nocturne. Below I will show the videos of the most common ones and explain how to know a way to play a specific fight and why to play it that specific way.

In general there are two main ways Nocturne can be played in team fights as shown below:

1. Kill the back line of the enemy team then clean up the fight

In this replay I went for the back line of the enemy team specifically for Malzahar and then I killed Miss Fortune. In this case I saw the enemy team diving my team under tower therefore leaving their back line unprotected. This is exactly the moment that Nocturne awaits. When the enemy teams carries are out of position or unprotected, that is the moment you strike and kill them. After you are done your job of killing the carry/carries come back and help your team finish the rest of the enemies by soaking cool downs and outputting more damage as I did in this replay.

2. Engage the fight then back off (stall) while team damages:

In this case I did not have enough damage to kill the back line like in the example above, so the best that I could do is engage on the enemy back line which, as can be seen, forced enemy carries such as Irelia to retreat back and peel for their AD carry. This means that my Twitch can freely damage the enemy team. You should try to do this way of team fighting if you do not have enough damage to kill the enemy back line but can survive an initial burst of cool downs as this opens your carries to damage the grouped enemies.

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Tips & Tricks

There are several tips and tricks that not everyone know but should in order to become a god like Nocturne:
1) Your Paranoia cancels vision of everyone on the enemy team therefore champions like Shen and Twisted Fate cannot use their ult to help their team!
2) You do not always have to use ult. Sometimes it is worth to gank and simply blow the enemy Flash and then Paranoia to finish them or come for a repeat gank soon!
3) Make picks with your Paranoia as soon as it is up. Try to pick off enemies in side lanes that are alone as these are easy targets
Picking enemies in lane

4) Try to use Duskbringer before you Umbra Blades as it will increase the damage and health that you get back.
5) Try to use Duskbringer at the same time as Paranoia hit the enemy as this will allow you to hit enemies with Duskbringer 100% and be able to chase them after
6) Use your ult to counter-gank by looking at what lane is pushing towards the enemy. If you spot the enemy jungler walking there, you might want to counter the gank instead of letting your laner back up. For example in the below replay we can see that I counter-ganked as my team mate is getting ganked
Nocturne counter-gank

7) Sometimes enemies will try to chase you and you can use Unspeakable Horror while they are chasing you and then turn around and kill them or simply run away. The tip is that it does not slow you down or make you stop to cast it therefore keep moving.
8) Onto the tip above, when chasing enemies such as Darius, use Unspeakable Horror and stay on the edge of it until the fear procs. After you will gap close very fast due to the huge movement speed buff that you get.
9) You deal a lot of damage with my build however you are fairly squishy early on so pick your fights very carefully. If you are going to tower dive let someone tanky tank the turret shots as you dish out damage as shown below.
tower dive

10) Use your Shroud of Darkness to block the most important spells in fights. It can block spells like Grand Challenge which makes a big difference. Try to notice patterns to predict these spells.
11) Often it is important to Paranoia early during the fights to make the enemy team back off or lose vision within the fight. Wait a few seconds before activating Paranoia if you need to, in order to ensure that your team gets a good engage in the fight.
12) Paranoia will disable all vision around the map even wards. You can use this to save team mates even if you are not close. Just use Paranoia when your team is in trouble and the enemy might back off as they'll think you are going to kill them.
13) Nocturne’s Paranoia disables red trinkets just like all the other wards therefore it is good to use it if you have a Wukong or Twitch on your team entering the fight and want to give them room to get into the fight without being detected.
14) Unspeakable Horror will go off through Zhonya's Hourglass , Mirror Image and Sanguine Pool which allows you to cast it before and proc it after to finish the enemies. As seen in the clip below:
Fear lasts over LeBlanc clone

15) Most important tip is to not have fear to ask questions(you see what I did there? :P). I am free to respond to any questions on stream, in game and to comments in the discussion below.
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Conclusion & Credits

So that is it for now! Thank you so much for reading my guide, I hope that it help you gain more understanding and knowledge of Nocturne and his role in the game.
As this is my first guide, I am certain that there are room for improvement, so please feel free to leave feedback, critique and any questions in the discussion section below, either about the champion or the guide. I will read and respond to all the comments, and aim to improve this guide from your feedback!

If you enjoyed the content and would like to give me a + rep or check out my stream it would be very appreciated! Both ways if you get on my stream, you will be able to watch Master level game play and give me the privilege to learn and become better together with you.
I will also be happy to answer any questions you guys might have on any junglers, and give my opinions and engage you to the level you have never imagined before.

My contacts are as below:
Twitch: letswinelo
Profile: lolking,,
You can also add me in game: Satanic Chaos

Once again, thank you so much for all your support. I couldn't have made it this far without you! Special shoutouts to:
  • My girlfriend Tina for formatting my entire guide or else it would've just been a wall of small white letters
  • Thanks to jhoijhoi's Making a Guide guide!
  • And YOU for reading!
I wish you all the best,
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League of Legends Build Guide Author letswinelo
letswinelo Nocturne Guide
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