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Nocturne Build Guide by marisi

Make em go: nocturne is OP, riot should nerf him!

Make em go: nocturne is OP, riot should nerf him!

Updated on March 26, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author marisi Build Guide By marisi 127 12 643,575 Views 79 Comments
127 12 643,575 Views 79 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author marisi Nocturne Build Guide By marisi Updated on March 26, 2012
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Nocturne
  • LoL Champion: Nocturne
  • LoL Champion: Nocturne
  • LoL Champion: Nocturne
  • LoL Champion: Nocturne


Hi, this is my first build on Mobafire and I just want to tell you how I build Nocturne, the eternal nightmare. Many people consider him OP. Actually I think they are probably right. But he is only OP if you know how to play him(just like any champion). WARNING: This isn't a in depth guide. It's just a short preview for people who don't like to read for half an hour. Please don't rate until you have tried it yourself.
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Pros and cons

+ Great farmer
+ Can jungle and lane
+ Can solo and duo lane
+ Great ganker because of amazing ultimate Paranoia
+ Incredible jungler at all elo
+ Spell shield Shroud of Darkness
+ Looks awesome
+ All his abilities can be used defensively

- Needs a team with brains, when initiating with Paranoia
- Squishy early game
- Mana hungry early game
- Almost always focused (I recommend u pick the second builds in 5v5, and the first builds in 3v3)

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lane build

offensive tree and taking some defensive masteries for extra health and defenses. Everything is pretty basic. But I will explain why I pick Demolitionist . I only pick this mastery when I'm in a 3v3 match or when I'm in lane in a 5v5 match. The reason is that Nocturne is a very capable backdoor champion. And it also provides a lot of lane control. You will be able to bring down their turret faster and with fewer hits, granting your team the advantage.

Jungle build


Reduces the cooldown of Flash by 15 seconds. Flash has saved my life so many times, and enabled me to end that of others too. I pick it every game even after the nerf. It can change games.

Reduces the cooldown of your death by 10%. Very useless and might sometimes save the game if you lose a teamfight and need to stop the enemy's advance.

Remember that Nocturne is a melee. Movement speed is crucial on any melee champion.

This is the main reason I even build into the utility tree. It has been buffed and it enlengthens your buff's by 20%! It enables any jungler to perform more ganks throughout the game.


Grants 10 gold every time you use Smite. Every little bit of gold helps. But I would have preferred the old mastery since it reduced the cooldown too.

Grants 6 bonus armor. Armor is incredibly important for early jungling. Doesn't need any more explanation.

Provides(didn't use grant this time!) 108 health at level 18. Gives a bit of extra durability

Grants 30 health throughout the game. Very helpful in the first few levels in jungle, but diminishes lategame.
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Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

For runes I go for full armor penetration marks greater mark of desolation.

I normally take full armor seals Greater Seal of Armor. These runes are necessary for most junglers.

I take Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for some extra magic resist. These are great because Nocturne needs to be tanky in order to be able to jump the carry of the enemy team.

Of course just armor pen quintesence's greater quintessence of desolation
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Summoner spells

good spells:

plausible spells:

No need for explanation

You can take this but I prefer many spells like Exhaust, Ghost or Flash above this on Nocturne.

bad spells:

Useless late game, the spells in the good spell section are much better throughout the game.
Let support take it
You ain't no tank
Hackers ruin the game.
You already got your ulti and many spells are a better choice
Just no! You won't die with this build
Is outweighed by all the other spells. Just buy some attks speed if u need it.
Only remotely usefull when pushing and Nocturne is great pusher already.
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This passive is what makes nocturne one of the best and quickest junglers. Just because of this passive, nocturne is viable for jungling. It allows him to quickly kill the creeps and refunds quite a large amount of health. The cooldown is also refreshed by one second every time you perform an auto attack.
Combined with the passive of your Shroud of Darkness it makes early jungling ridiculously easy.

This ability is your bread and butter. It's a line nuke that scales very well with your AD. You will max this first. It's a great gap closer and chasing tool, as well as a reasonable escape tool. This makes nocturne a great chaser due to the extra movement speed gained. It also give a nice amount of AD and it allows you to pass through minions. This is very useful when someone keeps spinning around minions(I love to do this) since your melee.

I love this ability. It's passive gives a lot of attack speed. This will DOUBLE when u succesfully block a spell. People will really hate you because of this spell. Because of this nocturne is a great counter for many champions like Nunu & Willump and Brand. I love to hear a nunu cry when I block his ulti and kill him afterwards. But the most important thing is that you are less vulnerable for cc(this is very important when you are an assassin) when you know how to use it.

This is nocturne's only cc. Too bad it scales with AP so the damage isn't really awesome. But the fear is great for both escaping and ganking. You will be ganking a lot with nocturne and this helps locking people in place as well disabling them. The only annoying thing is that it's easily broken by flash or some similar ability like Spinning Slash and Arcane Shift.

This GODLIKE ability is what makes nocturne a great ganker. It's a SEMI-GLOBAL charge. It also causes enemy teammates lose far sight. So if your target is far away they can't come to help him. It deals a huge amount of damage that scales very well with AD. All your enemies will be walking around scared. Paranoia is great if you are jungling because the enemy never knows when you are going to gank. You don't even need team mates since you are a great dualist. Just watch them panic when they hear: DARKNESSSS.....
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laning core build

Doran's Blade is a nice item to start with, gives a nice amount of health and attack damage.

Next you can choose between grabbing Mercury's Treads or Berserker's Greaves. I recommend Mercury's Treads due to the fact that you are an assassin. If you get cc'd a lot your dead. But if you prefer Berserker's Greaves you can pick those.

After this you should pick up either a Phantom Dancer or a Youmuu's Ghostblade. I prefer the Phantom Dancer to be honest, because I tend to forget to use it in fights.

The final item of your core build is Bloodthirster this gives a nice boost in attack damage and lifesteal.

jungle core build

Start with + OR

Some people prefer one Cloth Armor and 5 health pots as starting items and some people prefer a Vampiric Scepter.
But I recommend the Cloth Armor and the Health Potion

It just depends what you prefer. Both items are needed for Wriggle's Lantern.

The next time you go back and buy Boots and Madred's Razorsthis helps a lot with jungling. If you have enough money buy Wriggle's Lantern

Next you can choose between grabbing mercury's treads size or Berserker's Greaves I recommend Mercury's Treads due to the fact that u are an assassin. If you get cc'd a lot you are dead. But if you prefer Berserker's Greaves you can pick those.

After that you grab Bloodthirster for a huge boost in AD and lifesteal.

Now u are a fully geared assassin. The reason I build squishy at the start is because early/mid game Nocturne thrives with ganking and soloing enemy champions. After early/mid game you have a huge amount of gold because you could kill anybody(sometimes 2v1). After that you can build tanky because now the real large team fights start.

*edit* Why buy Bloodthirster instead of rushing atmog's? *edit*

I know people think I've gone mad, going for Bloodthirster. But building Bloodthirster early really works on Nocturne since his early and mid-game is focused on ganking. He should be an assassin in early and mid-game. In this part of the game there are almost no large teamfights. Plus the extra lifesteal saved my life and that of my teammates many times. After a fight you can wander off into the jungle and come out full health in 30 sec. It will only take you 1 minion wave to recuperate from a fight. It also enables you to counter jungle a lot more effectively.


But you will come across games where you aren't doing that well. In that case you should skip Bloodthirster and go straight for the Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler. But lately I have found myself building differently a lot of times. When you're not doing bad, but also not being incredibly fed you should consider either The Brutalizer or Hexdrinker as your early dmg boost. I really think Nocturne should be build with an extra damage item before picking up atmog's. His mid and early game should be about ganking and counterjungling. And after finishing your atmogs you can build your The Brutalizer or Hexdrinker into a Youmuu's Ghostblade or Maw of Malmortius. The Brutalizer or Hexdrinker both are a great early game boost.

So your purchase order should look like this. (3rd jungling build)

After completing your core, you are free to choose whatever item you want that fits the situation. Check the enemy team to decide which item to buy next. Look if the enemy team consists of many AD champs, or if there are a lot of AP champs. Also check if the enemy team is very tanky.
But also watch your own team. Get zeke's herald if your team consists of many AD champs.

AD heavy team

AP heavy team

Tanky team

In case the enemy team is very balanced and hard to counter just follow the item sequence I have set up. You can switch the Wriggle's Lantern for a Banshee's Veil/ Guardian Angel if the game takes very long.

1st builds are for 3v3 and 2nd builds are for long 5v5 games

The 2nd builds are builds I recommend in long 5v5 battles. You should only build this if the game has been taking longer then 50 minutes and you have huge amounts of gold. This build makes nocturne really tanky against both AD and AP without sacrificing a lot of damage, thanks to Atma's Impaler.


But lately I have found myself buying Bloodthirster a lot after Wriggle's Lantern. After Wriggle's Lantern you have crazy survivability. I always only go B if I have like 3k gold. (only if I always get the blue buff)
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Jungling routes

Blue golem

The route I use most frequently is the blue golem route. First you kill the blue golem(ask the mid to leash) and after that you head for the wolf camp. Another possibility is to first kill the big wolf in the wolf camp and then head for the blue golem. But this leaves you vulnerable to counter jungling. When you start at blue your team mates can defend you and leash it for you.
  • I) First you kill blue golem(use Smite right away)
  • II) Go for wolfs,
  • III) Go to wraiths, HIT ALL OF THEM WITH Duskbringer
  • IV) Go for twin golems ( Smite one).
  • V) Kill red lizard( Smite to finish large lizard).
After you got red buff go to your base. And then do what nocturne is designed to do. GANK

Twin golem path

This path is most frequently used by nocturne players. It has it's pros and cons.
The pros are that you reach level 6 faster, and that u still have blue buff during ganks.
The cons are that your ganks come a bit late. And with those ganks you also gain experience.
  • I) Start off at the twin golems (use smite right away on one of them)
  • II) Go for banshees(focus the big one), and HIT ALL OF THEM WITH Duskbringer
  • III) Go for wolf camp(kill big one first),
  • IV) Kill blue golem ( Smite large golem),
  • V) Go for twin golems,
  • VI) Kill red lizard ( Smite to finish).
After red go base and gank, or stay in the jungle and wait till your level 6.

But in my opinion nocturne's ganks are still very potent before lvl 6. After lvl 6 they are godlike but you can also gank before.
Many junglers who need level 6 for their ganks(warwick, yi) take this route. Nocturne doesn't really need it.

Marisi route

Many fast junglers take the wolf camp before they take the blue buff. But I have developed my own way by experimenting a lot in custom games. One way I really like is this route. Here are the pros and cons of this route:

+ gives you a little bit more xp and money
+ denies xp and gold from the enemy jungler
+ don't need a leash from mid. (nice if the mid is a melee)
+ requires less pots
+ can give buffs to teammates (if u take red)
- need good understanding of junglers(where they start)
- high risk, low reward
- you are basically screwed if you get ganked

First I stay at the edge of the brush in the middle of the river. At exactly 1:33 I move to their banshee camp. I smite the big one at 1:40 and then just proceed the normal blue golem path. Or if the mid is melee I first take out the wolves which brings me to lvl 2. After that blue golem is easy kill because of the 20% bonus attack speed.
But you can also kill red golem if the enemy jungler is someone who always starts at blue and is slow like Shen.
  • I) So first you kill enemy big wraith/red golem(use Smite right away)
  • II) Go for wolfs/blue
  • III) Go for wolfs/blue
  • IV) Go to wraiths, HIT ALL OF THEM WITH Duskbringer
  • V) Go for twin golems.
  • VI) Kill red lizard( Smite to finish large lizard).

After that go base and gank with your xp bit of money and xp. And read the chat for the rage by enemy jungler :P

I might later make a video. If I find out how to make a video.
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Warding is one of the most important aspects of the game. And everybody in the team should learn how and where to ward. Here I show where to ward and how important the specific place is. The color represents the priority of warding specific places.

Red=Most important of all, don't hesitate to place a Vision Ward here to counter-ward. These places are so important because you need to cover the baron and the dragon. And it also warns you for enemy ganks in the laning phase. You can also place them at the back of the wall or even inside the baron to protect it.
Purple=Very important, this covers your buffs and makes you less susceptible to counter-jungling. If placed in the enemy jungle, you can smite-steal their buffs, or even make a kill.
yellow=These spots aren't very important, but often used in the laning phase to avoid ganks.
Cyan=These spots have a low priority and are mostly situational.

For a more in-depth guide about warding you should check this guide out made by Panglot.

Special thanks to Icuonuez and Panglot
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Some matches

Here are some matches I have played recently. This is just to show that my build works. I have had many more great games but I never recorded them.
I decided to play a few matches in a row with only nocturne. This is the result.

This build is also great in ranked games. Today(15-10-2011) I did 2 ranked games in a row. Here you can see how my build works in a ranked game(1390 - 1408 elo). You can carry your team, no matter how bad they are with this build at low elo. So a great build to escape 'elo hell'
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Well actually I have made this guide before but, I published it accidently unfinished, it wasn't shown as a full build. So I copied it and gave it a slightly different name so that the release date is correct now that my build is considered a full build. Please comment below on how I can improve.
I might later put a vid of me doing the Marisi path. But I don't really know how to make videos.
League of Legends Build Guide Author marisi
marisi Nocturne Guide
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Make em go: nocturne is OP, riot should nerf him!

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