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Nocturne Build Guide by Sirkmaster

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sirkmaster

Nocturne, Darkness over all (Jungle Guide)

Sirkmaster Last updated on August 14, 2012
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Team 1

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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This is my new jungle Nocturne guide. It includes 3 build, the first one is a tanky dps, the second one a full ad glasscannon, and the 3rd one an tanky initiator build. I take the 1st build in most cases, because full full ad is way too squishy, and the tanky initiator build is only for games, in which your didnt got a safe initiator.

I dont pretend to be super pro, im just at 1.2k elo. You cant carry ur team at 2k elo, i have no experience up there. This build is also switchable, you dont have to go strict those builds.

Nocturne is so much fun to play, and you benefit from playing him most times. He is played alot from low to high elo, because he is awesome!.

He is, at least in my opinion, a very easy char, who can easily win games for you. Sadly i am at 1200 elo at the moment, but before i started playing Nocturne in ranked, i was losing elo while i was at 1100 elo. This is another reason for me to really love him. He rescued me from getting under 1000 elo. And any skilled player is able to carry himself out of >1200 elo in my opinion, because, as i said above, he is really easy.

I most likely end up being on a large killing spree if i play Nocturne. It is just so easy to punish some noobs that are way out of position, especially if you have a strong duopartner that does not push, you will going to win 7/8 rankeds. THis results in higher elo, and higher elo results in even more fun, because you get better teammembers and are finally able to play someone else then Nocturne, because you dont end up losing every game because of ******ed teammates.

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Why to play Nocturne

Why to play Nocturne?

You want to play Nocturne, because he is a strong farmer, pre & post lv. 6 ganker, which is extremely rare nowadays. He is maybe not perfect at one thing, like shaco with his earlyganks or shyvana with counterjungling, but he is overall a nearly perfect jungler, that fits into every team comp and can carry even the most dumb teammates. Also its just scary, if a dark shadow jumps at you from nowhere & fears you, drops your health down in like 2 seconds, then blocks you last resort, you stun, and finally punishes you even harder, because a passive attackspeedboost got doubled.

Another resason for playing Nocturne is his great ability to carry you out of elohell. I just raised 100 elo in like one week, even i was not playing LoL all the time. He excels at soloq'ing! I saw people with 90% win ratio on him, that were on 500 elo before, after they started playing him more often, they quickly got to 1200 elo and are now playing ranked with me.

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Pros & Cons

1. Build:

- Much damage potential, but still able to tank lots of damage
- Hard to focus, but because of the damage Nocturne does, i see many players focusing me, even if i have 150 armor/magic resist and over 3k live :D

- Not that much damage that full ad would do, not that much tankiness that full tank+atmas would have

2. Build:

- Insane damage output, destroys squishies in like 2 seconds.
- Epic damage. Cant stress this enough. EPIC damage

- Not able to tank damage, gets destroyed in the time he uses to destroy the ad/ap carry.
- Expensive items are needed to work well.
- Needs a good teamcomp with tanky initiator solotop, mid, or even both

3. Build

- Ability to initiate very well, because of Paranoia. You can just jump the enemy ad/ap carry, and take him down, while the whole enemy team is focusing you, which results, that the rest of your team is able to easily destroy the entire enemy team.
- Extreme tanky while still dealing tons of damage.

- Not as much damage that the standard bruiser type or the full ad type would deal
-relatively reliant on expensive items

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For the first build:
My choices:

Greater Seal of Armor I use this, because it really helps your jungle and makes you able to start with a vampyric scepter, instead with a Cloth Armor and five healthpots, because I think, you would waste too much gold, when buying five healthpots.

greater mark of desolation I use this, because I rarely get armorpen as items on Nocturne, but I think, that at least this amount of armorpen is needed.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist I use this because of two reasons: First its the best choice for blues on every champion, in my opinion. Second you wont really get damage from mages in the first ~6 levels, if youre jungling, so flat mr wouldve bin a waste.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed I use this, because it gives you the damage you need early on, to clear your camps a bit faster, and those runes give you the chance, to gank more often, without behing too much behind in levels.

For the second build:
greater mark of desolation For the same reason as for the first build.

Greater Seal of Armor Even if this build is full ad, you´re going to need the early sustain in the jungle trough this runes.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Same reason as in the first build
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed Same reason as in the first build

For the third build:
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Grab this, cuz you need the attackspeed, but also the health from the quints.

Greater Seal of Armor Same reason as in the first build

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Same reason as in the first build

greater quintessence of vitality I get those, because you really need tankiness late game, if you want to initiate fight, as well as those runes scale with atmas impaler for some ad.

Other possible choices:
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: If you want to clear the jungle insane fast. If you get those, you´ll have to get some armorpen items. Greater Mark of Attack Damage: If you dont have the others, those are possible, too.

Greater Seal of Attack Speed: If you take those, you´ll have to start with Cloth Armor and five healthpots. They make you clearing the jungle fast, but I dont really reccomend them.

greater quintessence of desolation: If you want to have even more damage against every champion, take this. But dont combine this with greater mark of desolation, because too much armorpen is too much. Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Those runes really help your (early)ganks, because you have no strong gapcloser pre6.

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Summoner Spells

The best ones:

Exhaust: This spell helps you extremely with your early ganks, in landing Duskbringer and in fighting 1 on 1. I usually use this over Flash.
Flash: This spell is, even after the nerf, my favorite summoner spell. It helps you closing gaps pre6 or if you dont have your Paranoia off cooldown.
Smite: Because this is a jungling build, I take Smite every time if im playing nocturne. If you jungle without this, and your name is not Shaco, or maybe Fiddlesticks and you play on extreme low elo, youre just bad.

Decent Choices

Ignite: This also helps you with your early ganks, especcially if you gank someone like volibear, with his annoying passive, which is debuffed from Ignite.
Ghost: This turns you in a movement speed machine. Combined with Duskbringer this makes sure, that noone can flee from you. Good for chasing & running.

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For the first build:

In the first build I go (21-9-0), because my items already provide me the tankiness needed to go 21 in offense, and skip the later defense masteries.


In offense I go down the whole tree, grabbing attack damage, attack speed, armorpen, attack damage per level, kritdamage, lifesteal, even more armorpen, and finally Executioner . This is an awesome ability for ganking, chasing, 1vs1 and so on.

I take better Smite, armor, less damage taken from creeps, healthreg and finally the mini Thornmail against creep, which speeds up your jungle quite abit for a tier 3 masterie.

For the second build:

The masteries for the First and for the Second build are the same. The reason why i dont go for 21 in defense here is, that this is an assassin build. You dont want to get focused, if you do, you did something wrong. Youre no initiator as an assassin.

For the third build:

I go (9-21-0) in the second build. why 21 in defense? I dont want to get bursted to 0 health from this [annie] or Gragas in the enemie team, when i initiate a teamfight. So i grab 21 in defense, although i already have the tankiness from my items.

I take attack damage, damage to creeps, attack speed and finally some armorpen in offense. I get Armor, reduced damage from creeps, flat health, health per level, the mini Thornmail, percentual reduced damage, movement speed, cooldown reduction per level and finally: Juggernaut .

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Possible starting items for all three guides:

Vampiric Scepter: Grab this if you have the listed runes and dont want to waste too much gold on healthpots.
Cloth Armor and five health pots/ a sight ward: Grab this if you dont have the listed runes, or if you want some sustain, due to heavy counter junglers like Dr. Mundo or Nunu, which totally make you nervous in the first few levels.
[boots of speed]: Grab this whenever you can. This means when the enemy cant counterjungle you and you are able to pull a gank of from level 2 or 3.

Possible boots for all three guides:
Ninja Tabi: Get those if the enemy team has many autoattackers/a fed autoattacker like Master Yi or Caitlyn.
Mercury's Treads: Get those if there is much cc or fed ap´s in the enemy team.
Berserker's Greaves: Get those if the enemy hes neither much/fed autoattackers, nor much cc/fed or much ap´s and you feel like needing more damage.

Special Notes for the second build:
You have to sell Wriggle's Lantern and Mercury's Treads to get the full build(you get enough movementspeed from Phantom Dancer, so you dont have to have boots.
Builds against several teamcomps:

Some items, which to use, and which not:
The Bloodthirster: Amazing item if fully stacked, because of insane amounts of raw damage and lifesteal. Nocturne extremely benefits of this item, because Paranoia and Duskbringer are scaling with attack damage. On top of this is the lifesteal, which makes you even more tanky, if you can hit someone. So grab this in the first build, if the enemy has barely any cc, in the second build whenever you want to and in the third build, if the enemy has less then 5 cc in the whole team.

Wit's End: This is probably the most overpowered item for bruisers, since nearly every bruiser gets this. Nocturne also benefits from it, just because its awesome. Due to it's recent nerf, its not that op anymore, just very good. But not that good that you'll grab it against just 1 unfed ap. Get it against doubleap or a fed midlaner that u have to duel sometimes. This also lets you get an early [no-magic-mantle] and makes u able to decide wether you get [mercury's tready] or [wit's end].

Frozen Mallet: Amazing item for chasing, while secruing large amount of health. The slow is heavy, especcially when combined with your Duskbringer. Nobody, except of this Master Yi with his annoying ult, will get away from you, if you dont want him to.

Wriggle's Lantern: I saw some people not grabbing it, because they meant, that nocturne is already amazing at farming. I think that too, but i also think that Wriggle's Lantern is still amazing on him, due to the free ward and the lifesteal.

Atma's Impaler: Combined with healthitems, this item is one of the best in the whole game, even if u cant do anything with crits (like Urgot). It provides you insane amounts of attack damage, and also grants you survivability against ad's.

Randuin's Omen/ golden heart: Randuin's is amazing: It provides you health, armor, healthreg, a very good unique passive, and an even better unique atcive: It allows you to completely shut down ad carry's in teamfights, in lowering their attack/movement speed by a large amount. The little form, golden heart, is a low cost health and gp10 item. I grab this in 99% of my games with nocturne. U can build it into Randuin's Omen, or you can simply sell it, when it has done his job, providing you with extra gold.

Infinity Edge: This items is the ad's equivalent to Rabadon's Deathcap. With crit, critdamage and large amounts of attack damage, this item makes your damage potential going extremely high. Bad thing about it: It provides no defensive stats, and costs extreme amount's of gold.

Phantom Dancer: Another extremely offensive item, providing crit, attackspeed and movement speed. This item is not as offensive as Infinity Edge is, but still not defensive. This item is extremely great, because you can sell your boots if you grab it twice, even if your grav it once, if you have another movementspeed bonus.

Warmog's Armor: The thing, that every tank should have. On nocturne, you should only grab this after you got your Atma's Impaler.

Banshee's Veil: If facing heavy/fed/double ap, or someone like ashe with her Enchanted Crystal Arrow, you should think about grabbing this. With Mana/Health and a 90 sec cooldown spellshield, this item provides some nice stats. Since Nocturne got his own spellshield, i rarely see me grabbing this.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: I see like 90% percent of all Nocturne grabbing this, but i personally get this rarely. Recently tested it a few times, it works very well.

Maw of Malmortius: Against double/fed ap, you can grab this. It provides you with magic resistance, attackdamage (for Duskbringer and Paranoia) and even more attack damage, if you get low. You can easily get a Hexdrinker early, and build Maw of Malmortius later in the game, if needed.

Quicksilver Sash: Good if youre getting focused. Like a free cleanse in item form, mostly underrestimated by everyone. Extreme good against someone like LeBlanc, because it can cleanse the stun and it helps you surviving her combo.

Cloak and Dagger: This item synergizes perfect with Infinity Edge, because of even more crit, some attackspeed and finally, why you should get this item, the cc reduction. This is best, if the enemy has either much ad's or a balanced team, so you can grab Berserker's Greaves or Ninja Tabi and Cloak and Dagger.

Aegis of the Legion: Mostly your support gets this. Ask him, if he does. Only get this if your support dont wants to. The stats of it are almost perfect for every offtank, because it provides you with extra health, resistances and attack damage, and gives your team a nice aura, with resistances and attackdamage.

Executioner's Calling: Grab this against Swain, Dr. Mundo, Vladimir, Warwick or maybe a fed ap Master Yi.

Guardian Angel: Grab this if youre getting focused down in like 2 second.

Last Whisper: Get this, against >120 armor targets, that need to be killed.

Trinity Force: Just dont get this. You really need the extra health from Frozen Mallet. In case you want movement speed, get a Phantom Dancer. In case you want the Sheen proc, youre silly, because nocturne does not spam his skills all time, so you cant benefit well from the proc.

(Gonna add more soon)

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Skill Sequence & Explanation

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is the skillorder for all three builds, nothing much interchangeable here. I max Paranoia over Duskbringer over Unspeakable Horror over Shroud of Darkness. On lv. 3 you have to decide wether to take Unspeakable Horror or a second point in Duskbringer. Get Unspeakable Horror if you think of ganking, Duskbringer if you plan on farming.
I take an early first point in Shroud of Darkness for the passive attackspeed. Why not to max Shroud of Darkness second? Because after the first point it grants only 5% attackspeed per level, while Unspeakable Horror grants 50/100/150/200/250 damage and a 1/1,25/1,5/1,75/2 second fear.


Umbra Blades: Every 10 seconds, Nocturne's next attack strikes surrounding for 120% of his physical damage and heals himself for 15/20/25 per target hit. Nocturne's basic attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second.

This is a great spell for jungling, because it restores an very good amount of health. It's also a great for pushing down minionwaves extremely fast, if combined with Duskbringer.

Duskbringer: Nocturne trows a shadow blade, which deals 60/105/150/195/240 (+0,75 per bonus attack damage) phyisical damage, leaves a dust trail, and causes champions who are hit to also leave a dusk trail for 5 seconds. While on the trail, nocturne ignores unit collision and has 15/20/25/30/35% increased movement speed and 15/25/35/45/55 additional attack damage.

This is a great tool for jungling, because of the damage and the increased attack damage. Its a relative slow skillshot, which takes a bit of practice to land well on enemy champion's. A enemy who knows Nocturne a bit, will try to dodge the skillshot, so only use it, if youre sure, that the enemy will run this way and has no escape spell off cooldown. If you land this on an enemy, instantly place Unspeakable Horror at him, he wont get out of it, because of the bonus movement speed from Duskbringer.

Shroud of Darkness: Passive: Nocturne empowers his blades, permanently gaining 20/25/30/35/40% attack speed. Active: [[Nocturne creates a magical shield for the next 2 second's, which can block the next enemy spell that hits him. If an ability is blocked by the shield, his passive attackspeed is doubled for 5 second's.

While the passive is great for jungling, the active spellshield makes a Nocturne player good or bad. The spellshield dont lasts that long, so you really have to pratice it a bit.

Unspeakable Horror: Nocturne plants a nightmare in his target's mind, dealing magic damage each second for total 50/100/150/200/250 (+100% of ability power) over 2 seconds and fearing the target for 1/1,25/1,5/1,75/2 seconds if they do not get out of range (465) by the end of the duration.

Combined with Duskbringer an extreme great chasing spell. When both are maxed, you'll gain
35& movement speed, the enemy will take 250 damage only from Unspeakable Horror, and will be feared for 2 second after 2 seconds.

Paranoia: Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally sight, this includes champions, minions, wards, towers and Clairvoyance. He can then launch himself at a enemy champion with a large range 2000/2750/3500 dealing 150/250/350 (+1,2 per bonus attack damage)physical damage.

This ability is what makes Nocturne Nocturne. You could call it his bread & butter skill, like Dr. Mundo has his Infected Cleaver. Learn it, and you'll learn Nocturne. It provides extreme great ganks, well initiated teamfights and so on, if used correctly. That means not to jump into five enemy's and to die instantly, but to jump at overextended champion while laning, or champion that are alone in the jungle, at low health, with no other champion's nearby, which results in a free kill. Or you have that nasty Mordekaiser doing what he is destinated for, pushing, you can just jump him, fear him, put like endless damage onto his head and give your mid/solotop a free assist, while also providing him with the possibility of outleveling his enemy.

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The jungle Routes

The blue buff route:
Start at wolves, tell your team to help, but not to pull them. Use Duskbringer here.
Next you get blue, tell your midlaner to pull, and in best case your solotop to dps the golem. Finish it off with Smite.
Now you go to the wraiths, then to double golem, and then finally red buff, finish it with smite. If you have the opportunity to gank, get a point in Unspeakable Horror instead of one in Duskbringer at lv 3. After this route, you can either teleport back, and gank lanes after, or farm up with wolves, wraiths, double golem, wolves, wraiths...

Another good route:
Start at wolves, same as above. Then go to wraiths, smite the big one. Next double golems. Then teleport back, get some pots, wards and Boots of Speed. Grab first blue buff, then red, and gank then. This route uses the blue buff extreme perfect. Only problem about this is, that the enemy midlaner will have the blue buff earlier then yours.

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Conditions have to be there too counterjungle:

  • You have to time your and the enemy jungle. This makes you able to get the enemy red/blue buff right when it spawns, or to calculate when the enemy jungler is at their redbuff, gank the lane he is not near.
  • Check where the enemy jungler. The worst thing you can do, is to die from the enemy jungler, because you dont know where he is.
  • You need to have a competent team, that calls Missings. Else youre gonna die from a random laner, that is in the jungle.
  • Map Awareness. Its not always possible to call missings.
Simply stealing the enemy wolves is not good. In the time you spend killing them and leaving one behind, is not worth it. So you have to kill bigger camps. The easiest way to do this, is to know where the enemy jungler is and which camps he is doing when. Example: Your enemy jungle is Lee Sin. He is able to start at red or at blue buff. If he earlyganks mid, he probably did redbuff, so you can either steal his blue or time his red, and get it when its up.

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Changelog & other things

    6th april 2012 - Puplished
    7th april 2012 - Added Skill explanation, fixed some spelling mistakes
    11th april 2012 - Changed some things in the second and the third build, Thx for 2k views (:
    18th april 2012 - Added counterjungling section
    29th april 2012 - Did some little changes
    10th may 2012 - Added some text there & there
    11th may 2012 - -"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-"-, added the "Why to play Nocturne" section.
    14th august 2012 - I just recently started playing LoL again, there will maybe be some bigger updates soon.
    15th august 2012 - Added boots as new starting choice

Thx to: Jhoijhoi due to her awesome seperators