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Nocturne Build Guide by DetailedDirt

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DetailedDirt

It's Getting Dark in the Jungle- Nocturne

DetailedDirt Last updated on March 20, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello, everyone, this is my guide for jungling as Nocturne :) . In this guide, you take the role as one of the main tanks on your team. The jungler is usually the tank if the solo top player on your team is a squishy bruiser (eg. Poppy, Teemo, etc). At the same time, you'll be dishing out a lot of damage. Nocturne is mainly a DPS assassin who loves ripping squishy champions apart.

The key to playing Nocturne is landing your Duskbringer and knowing when to use your ulti and shield in fights. I picked Nocturne up during the Halloween sale, and I gotta say, it was worth it. Nocturne is so underrated compared to junglers like Lee Sin and Skarner, when he can be just as good, and if not, in some situations, better.

This is my first guide that I've written, so forgive me for any big gaps in it. Constructive criticism is welcome :)


  • Very cool design
  • Ganks become godly at level 6 thanks to Paranoia
  • Fairly fast jungle speed
  • Late game is fairly good
  • Long range dash to an enemy champion
  • Very good at chasing and killing targets
  • Very effective against squishies


  • Very squishy early game
  • Easily countered by exhaust and snares
  • Not good against tanky compositions
  • Usually focused in teamfights
  • Not good against anti-initiation champions (eg. Janna, Alistar, Vayne's Condemn)

Before we get started, let's go over Nocturne's skillset.

Umbra Blades (Passive) Umbra Blades is what makes Nocturne so good at jungling. A passive splash attack that heals you for every target hit= good sustain. Coupled with the fact that the cooldown decreases with every basic attack means you can get 1 or 2 splashes per camp early game. It heals for 15 per target hit early on, which means at the wraith camp, you can heal 90 HP in total if you get 2 umbra blades in.

Duskbringer (Q) This is Nocturne's main skill for jungling. It gives an amazing burst of Attack Damage, and is a nice extra little bit of damage if you hit every creep in the camp. It also gives a good speed boost, which is why I go cloth+5 instead of boots, because I usually rely on the movement speed boot from Duskbringer to catch up to my opponents if I am ganking. Nocturne can easily clear minion waves with Duskbringer+ Umbra Blades, making him good for split pushing.

Shroud Of Darkness (W) Shroud of darkness is a very nice attack speed boost at Rank 1, and it can also save your life if the team has alot of disabling spells (eg. Infinite Duress, Rune Prison). This skill usually takes a while to use it properly.

Unspeakable Horror (E) Unspeakable Horror is Nocturne's main ganking tool. A nice bit of magic damage over the duration added with a fear is nice, as you and your teammate can slash away at your opponent while they are running around aimlessly.

Paranoia (R) This skill is what makes Nocturne, Nocturne. A vision cripple and far ranged dash with damage. This skill can save your teammate's ***es, as you can jump in the fight and turn the tables against them. The range is pretty bad at level 1, but at level 3, it reaches from about the Nexus to a bit farther then outside your base.

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Greater mark of desolation Greater Mark Of Desolation X3 I usually pick up three of these runes. ArPen is great early, and late game. The reason I don't go full ArPen is that I want to have some Attack Damage for that nice damage boost early game.

Greater Mark Of Strength X6 I fill up the rest of my marks section with six of these. These runes are great; they're cheap, and give about 1 attack damage per mark. I get six of these to further increase my damage early game in combination with Duskbringer.

Greater Seal Of Resilience Flat armor is necessary for jungling early game. I don't think there is any substitution for this. It's best just to fill up your Seals section with 9 Greater Seals of Resilience.

Greater Glyph of Shielding These glyphs are the best glyphs for any melee DPS/ Offtank. For jungling, you don't really need MR early on. In the late game, it gives a nice boost of 24 MR in total from all 9 glyphs.

greater quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation These are pretty good Quints for Nocturne. ArPen is good all game around.


Greater Quintessence of Strength This is a good substitute for Desolation Quints, for people who like damage early on.

Greater Quintessence of Swiftness Movement speed quints are great for any melee DPS. Pick these up if you want.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude Pick these up if you want to be more tanky early game.

Greater Mark of Alacrity If you want more attackspeed, you can get these, I guess. Although Nocturne has naturally high attack speed from Shroud of Darkness' passive.

Greater Glyph of Warding You can use these if you want, against a heavy AP team with alot of early game burst (Eg. LeBlanc) .

Greater Glyph of Alacrity Not reccomended, but you can use this. But remember, you want to be the main tank. MR glyphs are much better.

That's all for runes. If you have any suggestions for other runes that can be efficiently used by Nocturne, feel free to comment in the comments section.

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Summoner Spells

Smite and Flash are the spells I take when I jungle with Nocturne. It's pretty standard- Smite for jungling, and flash as an escape/blink spell. However, you can take other summoner spells with Nocturne if you'd like.

Ghost is a good substitute for Flash, however, Duskbringer more then covers movement speed if you land it correctly. Overall, Flash IMO is a better choice.

Exhaust is a good choice if no one on your team has it. However, you now have no solid method of escape. If you choose to take Exhaust over Flash, be wary of counter jungling at the start of the game, as the enemy team might notice you have no escape and try to get first blood on you.

Heal is meh. It's okay, can maybe save your life at times, but if you use while you are under the effect of Ignite= GG.

Ignite is an okay swap for Flash if there's no other ignites on your team. However, be careful of the same reasons I stated for if you take Exhaust.


Let your support take that.

You'll have blue buff at the start of the game. Even if you don't, Nocturne can jungle without mana too.

Just get a Quicksilver Sash.


DURRRRRRRR I don't even think this summoner spell is in the game anymore. Or I might be wrong, doesn't really matter, lol.

Huehuehuehuehuehue Karthus wanna-be

Wat. Not worth it.

Let your top lane or mid take teleport.

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The standard masteries I take with Nocturne is 9/21/0. The reason I go 9/21/0 instead of 21/9/0 is because Nocturne is often focused in teamfights. He is also quite fragile early game, which is extremely annoying. The 21 points in defence helps Nocturne become bulkier and helps make up for his squishyness early. If you are facing a team with a lot of AoE (eg. Brand, Kennen, Gragas, Cassiopeia, Rumble, Ziggs), you can switch the points from Honor Guard into Evasion .
The 21/9/0 mastery tree is also viable if your team is quite tanky already, however be careful early game, as you are alot more squishy.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pretty self explanatory, Duskbringer is your main damage spell, so you want to max it right away. We take an early level in Shroud of Darkness at level 2 for the attack speed bonus, and max that last. At level 4, you take a level in Unspeakable horror, as it is your main ganking tool. If you want to gank early, take Unspeakable Horror at level 2 or 3. We'll go over some tips and tricks that you can use with each individual spell.


1. Landing your duskbringer on every monster in the jungle camps will make your jungling faster and easier.
2. When seiging a tower, try to harass your enemies by shooting out Duskbringer at them. It's a nice chunk of damage, and a good source of spammable damage when you have Blue buff.
3. When escaping or running away, use your duskbringer to ignore unit collision and for that extra movement speed.
4. When ganking a lane, Duskbringer ignores unit collision. Use that to your advantage!
5. If a champion is almost dead (10% or less HP) at their tower, snipe them down with Duskbringer!

Shroud of Darkness:
1. If the enemy team has a champion with a heavy disable, save your spell shield for when that champion joins the fight. With practice, you can predict when they will use it.
2. You can easily disable a delayed spell, like Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, or Karthus's Requiem. You can also disable traps like Yordle Snap Trap or Noxious Trap.

Unspeakable Horror:
1. When jungling, fear the Ancient Golem or Lizard Elder to prevent yourself from taking too much damage.
2. When you're being chased with the enemy right behind you, use Unspeakable Horror to create more distance between you.
3. If you are in a situation with 2 champions on top of you, focus down one champion while fearing the other champion, rendering the other champion useless.

1. If you are trying to escape from a teamfight, jump onto the enemy farthest away and fear them while you make your escape.
2. You can lane gank very well. Hide in the brush in the lane, and have your teammate(s) start a fight. Jump in, and make it a 3v2.
3. The vision debuff can be used defensively as well as offensively.

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Starting Items

, X3


, X5

Use these starting items for long sustainable jungling until level 4.

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When You Go Back

If you went Boots of Speed and Health Potion x3, when you go back, you should have enough money for a:
, Sight ward,

If you went Cloth Armor and Health Potionx5, you should have enough for:
, Sight ward,

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Item Sequence

You should get these ASAP after Boots of Speed. It speeds up your jungling quite a bit. After I make these, I usually go


Early on, you won't do any damage until you build tanky and get Atma's Impaler. Doran's Blade gives you a nice health boost, some damage, and lifesteal.

I build Wriggles after I get double dorans. Why do I do this? I only want the extra bonus damage proc from Madred's Razors, and I already have pretty good sustain with Umbra Blades, so I wouldn't really choose lifesteal over health, damage, and slightly less lifesteal.

In my opinion, these are the best boots in the game. They give tenacity, which lowers the duration of disables by 35%, and they give MR. I usually get merc's as I already have some armor from Wriggle's Lantern, so I like to balance out Armor and MR.

Your main tank item. Get this as soon as you can.

This item is amazing for bruisers. It converts 2% of your max health into Attack Damage. You'll receive a nice boost of around 70 Attack Damage after you get Warmog's, and it also gives Armor and Critical chance.

After I complete my core build, I have around 200 armor and 3k HP, so I usually go for some MR. FoN is pretty good, it gives a nice Movement speed boost which is amazing for any melee, and it gives amazing Health regen.

Around this point in the game, teamfights become pretty big, so I buy a GA in order to come back into the fight after I have died.

If you make it this far into the game, sell your Wriggles and buy this for more damage and lifesteal.

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Other Item Choices

Ninja Tabis Get these instead of Mercury's Treads if the enemy team is heavy on AD.

Many people like Frozen Mallet, but I prefer Warmog's Armor over this. Why? Well, I am usually the main tank, so I need to focus on being as tanky as possible. Warmog's Armor gives twice as much health as Frozen Mallet when at max stacks, and it's slightly cheaper. I just don't think the extra health is worth passing up for a slow. It's just my opinion.

You can replace Force of Nature with this if the enemy team has a lot of heavy CC.

If no one else on your team is getting this, I recommend getting a Giant's Belt for your Warmog's Armor, then building this. It provides a great Aura for your whole team during teamfights, granting them 8 Attack damage, 15 Armor, and 12 Magic Resist.

You can get this if the enemy team has a fed AD carry, Tryndamere, Master Yi, or Fiora. But as soon as they get lifesteal, this item becomes basically useless and should be sold for a better tank item.

Great tank item. Get it if you want.

Get this item if you find yourself being focused down by spells like Infinite Duress, Nether Grasp, or Impale, .

You can get this if you need armor. If you plan on getting this, I suggest getting a Heart of Gold early in the game for the 5 Gold every 10 seconds.

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If you are on the blue team.

If you are on the purple team.

Yellow means the first time, starting at level 1.
Red means the second time, after you have gone back to base.
Light blue, italicized words can be checked in the GLOSSARY at the bottom of this chapter.

This is my usual jungling route. I go like this:

1. At 1:40, wolves will spawn. Kill wolves with one Duskbringer. Have teammates help damage wolves by auto attacking.
2. At 1:55, blue buff will spawn. Drink a health potion. Have a teammate LEASH the blue buff by using a skill which makes the monster target your teammate, while you have a few free hits on it without being attacked.
3. After you get your blue buff, you should be level 2. Level up your shroud of darkness for the attack speed bonus and walk to the wraith camp.
4. Kill wraiths.
5. Walk down the to camp with the double golems. Drink health potions if necessary.
6. Go to red buff. Drink health potions if necessary. Smite should be up, so last hit it with smite.
7. Go to wraiths and kill them. Then go back to base to buy Boots of Speed, Health Potions (optional), and a Sight ward. You should be level 4.
8. Check for a gank. Lanes that can be ganked are extended from their side of the map past the river. Certain circumstances should be taken into consideration before ganking.. Check at the bottom of this chapter what they are.
9. Do wolves, wraiths, double golems, etc.
10. Around 7:05, your blue buff should respawn. If your mid lane is mana dependant, give it to your mid lane.
11. Gank lanes (preferably mid and bot) and take control of the DRAGON. The dragon is a neutral monster in the jungle on the bottom side of the map that gives 190 gold (+25 gold to the killer) when slain to every member of your team.
12. When the laning phase is over, (Usually around 20 mins), look for possible teamfights. If you win a teamfight by a lot, or you ace them, push middle lane (preferably to the inner turret or inhib), and if you have time, kill Baron Nashor . Baron is a neutral monster on the top side of the jungle which gives 300 gold when slain, and a buff that increases attack damage and ability power by 40, and gives increased health regen and mana regen.

Counter-jungling is the process in which the ally jungler goes into the enemy jungle and kills the enemy jungler's monster camps, which hinder the enemy jungler of gold and experience. Counter-jungling can be very big if you counter jungle the buff blue from a dependant champion (Eg. Anivia, Kassadin). Your team can also invade the enemy jungle at the start of the game. This is when your entire team ganks the enemy jungler at their starting point before the minions spawn. The enemy top laner will usually not be there if the jungler is starting at blue, so it is a 5v4 advantage with the element of surprise. Many first bloods are achieved this way.

1. You can have a support place Sight Wards in the brushes at your Blue and Red buff camps.
2. If you know that the enemy jungler is counter jungling one of your buffs, you can travel through the river into their jungle and take their buffs/camps.
3. You can go into an unoccupied lane and last hit the minions to make up for the gold and EXP (however with Nocturne, his passive makes it difficult to keep the lane in control). If the lane is completely empty, push the wave to the enemies tower so the enemy loses gold and EXP from the minions killed by the turret.


Udyr: This jungler is an animal at taking your jungle (get it?). With Phoenix Stance, he can clear camps in a flash. Ward your jungle entrances if you need to.

Shyvana: This jungler is also a fast clearing counter jungler, with her Burnout. Have someone watch your wraiths/red while you start at blue buff, or they may invade your jungle and take it.

Shaco: This clown excels at entering and leaving your jungle with no problem. If you want to mess up his jungling route so he can't counter jungle you, group up with your team at the beginning of the game and walk in front of the Ancient Golem camp (blue buff). You will trigger his Jack In The Box's to attack you, thus ruining his route.

Lee Sin: This monk will clear your camps pretty quickly with Flurry and Tempest. You may be able to 1v1 him if you catch him in your jungle. Just make sure to make proper use of your Shroud of Darkness. Dont bother 1v1ing him if you do not have your Unspeakable Horror, as you will most likely lose.

Mordekaiser: Not good at taking your whole jungle, but if your mid is losing his/her lane, and you are unable to gank due to wards on both sides, Mordekaiser will take your wraiths everytime they are up. The best way to counter this is wait for Morde to go for your wraiths and ambush him with Paranoia.

Trundle:This little troll can take your camps fairly quickly, and can prevent you from stopping him by blocking you with his Pillar of Filth. If he is seen, try to get your teammates to ambush him.

GANK- Ganking is the process in which a group of charecters gang up on one or more players that do not have a chance to defend themselves, Or when one high level player does the same action to a player way below his or her own level.

LEASH- The process of an ally hitting a strong neutral monster first so that the ally draws minion aggro. This allows the jungler to hit the monster a few times before the jungler draws minion aggro instead of the ally.


If the answer is YES, chances are you will probably not get a kill. You will most likely only force a flash or fail the gank.
1. Is the lane pushed past the river/to the enemy's tower?
2. Do the champions in the lane have an escape method? (Eg. Ezreal's Arcane Shift)
3. Is the enemy's flash up?
4. Does the lane have a Soraka, Alistar, Janna?
5. Does your ally, or you, have below 50% health?
6. Is the enemy above 50% health?
7. Is the lane warded?
8. Has the enemy jungler been seen near the lane you are ganking?
9. Does the enemy have Exhaust?

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Jungle Timers

Wolf Camp, Wraith Camp, and Double Golems

Spawns at: 1:40
Respawns in 1 minute

Ancient Golem (Blue buff) and Lizard Elder (Red buff)

Spawns at: 1:55
Respawns in 5 minutes


Spawns at: 2:30
Respawns in 6 minutes

Baron Nashor

Spawns at: 15:00
Respawns in 7 minutes

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Thank you for taking the time to look at my in-depth look at Nocturne. I hope some parts proved to be of use to you, and I wish you luck in your future games as Nocturne. Please leave constructive feedback in the comments section, as this is my first guide I've ever made. Have a nice day :)