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Nocturne Build Guide by Xenasis

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xenasis

Jungle Nocturne - Ehh, What's Up, Noc?

Xenasis Last updated on October 27, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Nocturne is one of the best junglers in the game. There's no doubt about that. He has some of the best (if not THE best) jungling ganks in the game with his Ultimate, Paranoia. Couple that up with some good speeds, some decent survivability from his passive, and some of the best pre-6 ganks, and you have one of the best aggressive junglers in the game.

Nocturne is, in my opinion, a tier one jungler. He's seen a lot of use in top tier play, though admittedly not as much as Nunu, he can still be quite the thorn in the enemies' side. Nocturne is also a melee carry, and when he gets a few good ganks off, he also snowballs pretty well. There's no stopping a well played Nocturne!

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Pros / Cons

So why would you play Nocturne in the jungle?

+ Pretty sustainable in the jungle, and more so after Wriggle's.
+ Brilliant damage output
+ Arguably one of the best junglers at the moment
+ Great escape and initiate
+ CC in his E and outside of his ultimate, something that Warwick, for example, lacks
+ Fun to play
+ Decent survivability
+ One of the best ultimates in the game
+ Great farmer
+ He's bad in a lane
+ You're a ******** nightmare being, what's not to like
+ Awesome voice.

- Can sometimes be hard to initiate without your ultimate
- Fear can be troublesome, and is very unpredictable
- You might get MUCH better farm in a lane.
- His /dance isn't Hare Hare Yukai (I mean come on, wouldn't that just be awesome)

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Summoner Spells

Recommended -

Smite - You NEED this for jungling. No questions asked.

Flash - Considered the strongest Summoner Spell in the game by many people, including me. There's a reason you see teams with 10x Flash picks in top tier play.

Ghost - Helps for mobility and chase downs. It's "good" but not great at everything. Jack of all, master of none, and all that.

Exhaust - A wonderful spell for use both offensively and defensively, chase downs and escapes, put a point in the mastery if you do take this.

Ignite - Not a bad spell either, although in my eyes, mobility's everything, ESPECIALLY when you're ganking as a jungler.

What NOT to get -

Rally - Completely and utterly outclassed.

Revive - No. Just no.

Teleport - Normally this could be a stellar choice, but for a jungler, you're not returning to lane, so there's no point in having it if there's nothing to teleport to really. You could argue wards, but still, it's even then outclassed imo.

Clarity - You should never be running out of mana really. This spell is outclassed.

Heal - Due to your life steal, there's no need for this in jungling, and in my eyes, other things are better for fighting other champions.

Clairvoyance - Leave this for support.

Fortify - This is for the tanks or support.

Cleanse - You have a Banshee's Veil in your build and your Shroud of Darkness, however, if they are extremely CC heavy (like 5 CC or something) you can take this. I'd still recommend a Quicksilver Sash or Mercury Treads in that case though.

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Jungling Route

First, we start at the wolf camp, we do this for optimal speeds! Use your Q whenever it's off cooldown and kill the big wolf first!

Then we go for the Wraiths. Smite the big blue Wraith and immediately use Q and take your W skill!

After this, we go for the two golems, use your Q from about the position I have there, this gives us optimal jungle times, and doesn't really make it any worse, so why not?!

Here, we go to base. Pick up your Cloth Armor and a Health Potion

Next, we take on the blue buff. Smite it as soon as it's less than 495 HP.

We take on the wolves again here, focus the big wolf first, and start using your health potion about now.

Wraiths again! We simply use our E on the big blue one, focussing that down first, then kill the rest of them easily.

Next, we have Red Buff OR Golems. Since most of you won't have AS runes, this is better to do first, if you do have AS Runes, do Golems first. Smite it for the finishing blow.

Lastly, Golems OR Red Buff. Red Buff if you have AS Runes, Golems if you don't.

Why this route for Nocturne? Why not start at blue?

The reason this route is optimal for Nocturne is because his ganks are absolutely crazy when he gets to level 6. He needs to reach 6 as soon as possible for Paranoia, and using a sustained route like this is usually the best way.

Starting at blue buff, even though Nocturne can do it, is usually very bad for Nocturne. He simply isn't THAT mana reliant and really, his ganks at level 4 or whatever are really good, combining his Duskbringer and Unspeakable Horror, but they are NOTHING compared to his level 6 ganks, which are astounding. Considering he can do both routes, but Nocturne's one of those champions that NEEDS to reach level 6 asap for Paranoia and doesn't need the mana from his blue buff almost at all, there's no reason to do the blue route.

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Time to explain my item order I guess!

The Vampiric Scepter is simply for a sustainable jungle and there's no reason NOT to get it for a sustainable route like this one. If I were to take the standard Cloth Armor and Health Potions, then I'd have a bunch of potions left over, and I wouldn't be able to afford anything after my first b. I don't need TWO Cloth Armors!

After that, the Wriggle's Lantern is self explanatory, life steal, sustainable jungling, earlier dragon kills, a little AD, some armour, etc.

The next item on our list is The Brutalizer. The reason we get this item is to give Nocturne a little ArP (to compensate for the AS runes, which I shall explain later), as well as something to upgrade into a Youmuu's Ghostblade which is a BRILLIANT item for Nocturne, and gives him everything he will ever need really. After our ArP, I slap in a B.F. Sword to make him actually hit pretty hard. I got this AFTER the ArP so it actually does more. Do you want 50 AD mitigated by 20% Armour or 50 AD NOT mitigated by 20% Armour? ArP > AD until they have 0, really.

The next item is a Banshee's Veil. This item is practically overpowered. He gets some resistances from it, but that's not the point, stopping that one extra stun/nuke/whatever from hitting you can be life or death. Look at it this way, would you rather be hit by an Amumu Curse of the Sad Mummy or not? Don't tell me you can get them ALL with your Shroud of Darkness either, since sometimes it's at an unexpected time ( Flash/Tibbers drop, anyone?) and your Shroud of Darkness cannot block everything, it does have a cooldown! There's a reason that a Banshee's Veil is usually on every single champion by the end of a tournament play game. After that, we finish our Youmuu's Ghostblade to hit a little harder, because why not?

After this, an armour item will do really, but really, I'd recommend a Guardian Angel. It pretty much holds up a sign saying "Don't focus me!", which is absolutely great, because since you're not a tank, averting focus as much as you can is awesome. It basically means that killing you should be a lower priority than the other carries on your team, and since you're a melee carry, and melee carries get nuked to hell, everything helps! It's also great as a backup too, if you do "die", you get a free revive, essentially! After this, we have all the bulk we need, so we may as well finish the B. F. Sword into a Infinity Edge - because the extra damage is really good, and really helps us hit hard, which is good because at this stage in the game, people start getting more armour. By that time we have enough bulk as it is anyway, too!

It's worth noting that later in the game, for a 6th item slot, you should sell your Wriggle's Lantern. I'd only recommend doing this if you have a support that keeps baron warded 100% of the time - but on most team comps, you do anyway. Wriggle's Lantern, obviously, isn't all that great at champion to champion combat, and as such, should be replaced by whatever you see fit in that current situation. For most, this is obvious, but I thought I'd mention it anyway!


Now, sticking to the same items every game is absolutely ridiculous. Here's a few alternatives and where to put them in your build -

These will most likely be the thing in this build you change most often. If the enemy team has a decent amount of CC, these boots are the best you can get by far. CC Reduction is crazily good.

This item is a MUST BUY if the enemy has a Tryndamere or an AD carry that is doing extremely well. Get this instead of your Guardian Angel

Enemy team got a Malzahar or an extremely deadly CC? Get this instead of your Banshee's Veil.

If your team's lacking in CC, I'd recommend getting this in place of your B.F. Sword.

If your team is lacking in CC AND their AD carries are doing pretty well, get this instead of your Guardian Angel.

These are good last items if the enemy team is stacking Armour like nobody's business. I'd recommend the latter only if you have more AD carries.

If the enemy is stupid, and is stacking health, this is a GREAT last item to tear through it with.

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I'm going to go ahead and explain the first thing on everyone's mind. Greater Mark of Attack Speed. Why, I hear you shout, why have I got these runes? Firstly, these runes give you the fastest jungle you can possibly get as Nocturne, or in fact, most champions really. These also give us all the AS we really need after our boots and ghostblade. The main reason is the crazy jungle speeds though, you will outlevel most other lanes, and will keep up in levels to solo lanes pretty easily to with these. They give you the fastest jungle possible, and since Nocturne wants to level up Paranoia as fast as he can, they have a great synergy with the champion in general.

Our Seals, Greater Seal of Armor are a LOT simpler to understand. These make us that little bit more resilient in team fights, and make us a little more sustainable in the jungle. There isn't really anything else that could replace them as being the best for most junglers, Greater Seal of Attack Speed are OK, but they just aren't as good as armour. That extra armour kicks in more times than you realise.

For Glyphs, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is your obvious choice. They give Nocturne a little extra MR, which can help. As I said with the seals, the extra resistance kicks in more times than you realise. You can also take Greater Glyph of Attack Speed if you have them, but to be honest, comparing them with MR glyphs is stupid, there's a HUGE difference, but they DO speed up your jungle, by however little.

Quintessences are simple enough to understand. Greater Quintessence of Desolation gives us the ArP we need. ArP > AD Quints UNTIL you're fighting them at 0 Armour, so it's a no brainer, since this reduces the jungle creeps' Armour to 0, and gives us some ArP we need for better ganks and a slightly better late game presence. We NEED these, since we didn't take Greater Mark of Desolation.

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I take the standard 21/0/9 offensive jungler masteries.

There's nothing in here to write home about really and I hope they don't need too much explaining or justification.

The one thing I think someone might be iffy about is Good Hands . I don't see why, it's a jungling guide and you don't need ~0.1MP5 at lower levels, and it really doesn't do much for you late game. However, shaving 7 seconds off your death time when you get aced late game can save your Nexus, that is a fact. The lower times help a bit early game too, but I'd MUCH rather have a way to come back from a lost team fight late game over 0.1-0.25MP5...

If you want to be tankier, 1//21/8 or 1/8/21 also works, but I'd not recommend them. Offense is the way to go - it helps you hit harder (which is your job) and gives you faster jungling times, so why not?

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Skill Sequence

I prioritise -
> > >

It's a no brainer if you think about it.

Firstly, Paranoia should need no explaining. It's an ultimate, and ultimates tend to be better than other skills. I'm sure you can figure out the reasoning for yourself.

Second is Duskbringer. I take this second for the raw damage it gives, more AD you get whilst standing on it, and movement speed. This is your bread and butter skill, as most champion's Q's are. It helps in almost every situation.

Thirdly, I take Unspeakable Horror because it's a CC. Taking points in it increases the amount of time they are feared for AND decreases the cooldown. This gives you 1 more second for your team to throw everything they've got at them and increases the amount of times you can do this. In a team fight, that one second can mean a kill or not getting a kill. There's no reason to value 20-40% AS over that, when you will do that damage when they're CC'd which you otherwise wouldn't have done - not to mention your team will do a LOT too.

Lastly, Shroud of Darkness is took just because it's the last thing to take, I don't know why I'm even explaining it, but hey.

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General Tips and Tricks

  • Nocturne's Paranoia is GREAT when teamed with an ability such as Enchanted Crystal Arrow or Destiny. Try coordinating with your team for the best time to gank
  • If you build pure AD/carry items, you won't be able to fight for very long. It's often better to save the real damage to your ranged carries, when you're up in their face, you can't afford to die in a few shots.
  • Don't just use Shroud of Darkness when you expect any old spell in a team fight, see if you can time it for when you think the opponent's CC/best spell will be, for example, Curse of the Sad Mummy is quite predictable.
  • Remember, never push a lane out when you're temporarily guarding it whilst someone goes to base! Take the last hits, but that's it!
  • If your target is moving, it might be best to predict their movement with Duskbringer to hit them. Even if they dodge it this way, you have a dark path towards where they will be soon enough either way!
  • Other than your Unspeakable Horror, you have absolutely no slows/CC. Your ganks are MUCH more potent with Red Buff. Try to gank a lot more when you have red buff.
  • You don't HAVE to use Paranoia offensively. If used correctly, it can even be used to save yourself from a gank if you target the right champion!
  • You are actually surprisingly bulky for a "carry", remember to protect your ranged AD carries - since you are essentially a less bulky and more offensive version of a tanky DPS. You can bring them down whilst peeling them off your most squishy champions.

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Change Log

27/7/11 - Guide Published
6/9/11 - The Bloodthirster swapped with Infinity Edge. Loads more stuff coming soon!
10/9/11 - Added more to the Items section.