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Nocturne Build Guide by LartTyler

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LartTyler

Make Them Fear the Darkness

LartTyler Last updated on February 21, 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: 26

Honor Guard

Defense: 4

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I'm writing this guide because there is, in my opinion, a lack of decent Nocturne guides that have him built solely for laning. I use Nocturne almost exclusively, with the occasional game that I switch to Cho'Gath for a bit of tanky play.

I hear a lot of people insist that this build needs more armor/magic resist. Yes, I know that Noc is a melee champ, and yes, I know he'll be in the middle of battle very often. But here's my reasoning: If you can out damage your opponent, they'll never hit you. And if they don't hit you, all the tank in the world won't mean a thing. I very rarely end up needing to stay in combat for more then a few seconds once I get up to Madred's Bloodrazer.

So read on, and leave your thoughts down below! I wanna hear what you think!

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Pros / Cons

Nocturne can be a very powerful champion when built and played well, but that power does come at a cost. A wiseman once said "With great power, comes great responsibility". Well, in Nocturne's case, "With great power, comes great squishy softness"... Seriously, though. This build of Nocturne plays the squishiest of any champion I've ever played. It's like playing with a howitzer made of glass. A literal howitzer, if you think about it, since Nocturne has his lunge and all.. (end bad attempt at humor).

+ Massive DPS.
+ Passive life steal ( Umbra Blades every 10 seconds) increases survivability.
+ Paranoia lets you surprise (and scare) your opponents while lunging into battle.
+ Shroud of Darkness passively increases your attack speed, and doubles as a spell shield.
- You're a glass cannon to the tenth degree.
- Very squishy early game, and mana hungry too.
- Your life steal will keep your health up, but you will fall apart against high damage skills such as Cho'Gath's Feast.
- Did I mention you're squishy?
- ^ Like... Extremely squishy?

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The masteries I chose for this build are simple. Just as the item build focused damage output, so does the masteries. Brute Force and Deadliness both work to boost your attack damage a little bit higher, while Alacrity boosts your attack speed, and Weapon Expertise and Sunder bring up your armor penetration a good deal more. Vampirism compliments your life steal items nicely, and increases the effectiveness of your passive, Umbra Blades.

Summoner's Wrath and Summoner's Resolve are, of course, a necessity, since you are using Ignite and Heal. The three remaining points are dumped into Resistance , since Magic Resistance is Nocturne's lowest defensive stat.


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Summoner Spells

I've gotten a lot of flack for using these two summoner spells before, most people seem to think it's a rather "nooby" set. I can't count the times I've watched someone rage because I healed, hit them a little longer, and then ignited them as they ran off almost dead.

-- Heal --

Since this build of Nocturne is such a glass cannon (I think I've mentioned that already..) he needs all the healing he can get. Heal is a fantastic summoner spell for exactly that. The extra little bit of health it can provide in a tight situation has let me snag plenty of kills, even from under tower range. As opposed to stocking up on healing potions, Heal provides the survivability you'll need while you build up your items to get your lifesteal.

-- Ignite --

I've seen people hang around just long enough to get away with a sliver of health left. I'll be honest, few things irritate me more when my opponent manages to run off with under 100 health remaining. Ignite is my solution to that; It's quite satisfying to ignite a fleeing opponent, wait a moment, then hear them die in the fog of war. I use this as my "Coward Killer". In other words, I'll give you a fair faight, so long as your actually stand and face me.

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Item time! This build is a varient on the original build I created when I started with Noc. It's changed a lot as I modified it to complement Noc's strengths, as well as try to fortify a few of his weaknesses.

-- Berserker's Greaves --

A good item for any melee/dps champ, Berserker's Greaves will give you a good bit of bonus attack speed early on, which lets you not only hold a lane, but do a good job pushing and scaring your opponents away a bit.

-- Phantom Dancer --

Another kind of standard DPS item, this will grant you bonus attack speed, critical chance (which will be really nice when you're hitting 2.5 times a second), and even a bit of movement speed. The movement speed will come in handy when you get ganked, which I guarentee will happen often.

-- Madred's Bloodrazor --

This item... I don't even know where to begin. It's hard to say whether I'm in love with it for it's attack speed. Or maybe it's because of the damage bonus. Or maybe it's the bonus Armor! And don't forget it's passive; on each hit, you'll deal 4% of your targets max health back as magic damage. That alone was justification enough to add this to my build. this item will allow you to completely wreck any health tank. Let's say you're faced a Cho'Gath, who had a max health of 4100 (roughly the max health of my Cho build). 4% of 4100 is 164. Mulitply that by 2.5 (your final attack speed) and you get 410. That means, in addition to the almost 700 DPS you already deal, you'll be able to tack an additional 410 points onto that, for a grand total of 1110 damage per second! In just under 4 seconds, you'll have killed that massive walking tank. Even against a non-health tank, you still get to add on between 200 and 300 damage per hit, which is quite a hefty amount.

-- Bloodthirster --

What's a high AS champ without a bit of lifesteal? This is where all arguments for a tankier Noc fall apart. A 15% - 25% lifesteal is no laughing matter when you attack 2.5 times per second, dealing 279+ damage per hit. This item also let's you jungle with impunity, even against monsters like the Dragon in Twisted Treeline.

-- Ionic Spark --

This was actually a recent addition to my Noc build. I like it because it gives you a bit more health, and rounds off your attack speed at a perfect 2.5. Additionally, as if that wasn't enough, it gives you an additional 110 damage every 4th hit (or every 1.6 seconds) that will arc between nearby opponents. This plus your passive, Umbra Blades, can give you a mean AoE that you don't even have to worry about activating.

Zeke's Herald
-- Zeke's Herald --

This item replaces Infinity Edge in my build. More to come.

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Nocturne can be an amazing DPS champ, when built right. During combat, you can make copious use of Duskbringer, which further buff your damage and attack speed while you stay on it's trail. It's also an amazing skill for chasing down fleeing opponents, since you are granted a huge movement speed buff while on the trail. Your spell shield, Shroud of Darkness, will let you absorb high damage abilities, such as Cho'Gath's feast or really any other ability you don't feel like taking. There's nothing more satisfying then watching an opponent flee after their ult did nothing but make you even more powerful. Unspeakable Horror will let you pin down opponents, and can be used extremely well in combination with Paranoia. Use Paranoia to lunge from the jungle to an unsuspecting target, then use Unspeakable Horror to fear them and stop them from running, then finish them off while they wander in circles, completely helpless.

And that's it! I hope you found this guide helpful in some way. If you liked it, hated it, or felt that maybe there's something I missed, both in my explanation or in my build, feel free to leave a comment! I would love to hear your feedback!

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February 20th, 2012:

  • Removed Infinity Edge and swapped it for Spirit Visage.
  • Modified masteries slightly. Removed Veterans Scars and Durability in favor of a more offensive setup.