Nocturne Build Guide by StylesRockman
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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.
I've been sitting on this build for a while for Nocturne, but I wanted to test it out and see how well it works in any situations. I've found that consistently, with very few exceptions, this build has proven extremely effective against most team comps, both in solo and team queues. Now, currently, I have not played around with it, so this is a fairly limited build, but I will continue to play around with it and see where I can make changes.
Important differences to note: We will not be starting our jungle route at Blue buff, but rather at wolves and be taking what is referred to as the "Superiour Path". Additionally, we will be focusing more on attack speed than most other builds I have seen, which makes him a hard champ to kill in 1v1 fights.
Nocturne is a great ganker, possibly one of the best. His ult makes enemy players literally jump out of their skin, and completely destroys any plans they were forming before you came.
Runes are very important for Nocturne's jungle route, especially the path I take, but it is not necessary to have a complete rune page before you start jungling. In fact, if you have the correct runes, you could probably start this build effectively at level 25 if you get leashes, and definitely by level 27.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for the early game damage. They're extremely useful against jungle creeps, and almost necessary to succeed in the jungle.
Greater Mark of Desolation for the armour penetration. Again, very useful against jungle creeps. Together with your quints, this will make you a formidable jungler.
Greater Seal of Armor I like these for jungling, but truth be told they're not much use later game. Still, not a bad choice overall for a strong DPS champ like Nocturne.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction Extremely useful, especially for Nocturne's spell shield, but we'll get into that later on.
A fairly standard mastery page for jungling. I stole this from several other builds, so there's not much real need for me to go into depth about why I went with a rather odd setup.
Ok, here's the real meat of the build, and the main reason I decided to post this guide, because I make some weird choices that I haven't seen in many other Nocturnes. Not sure why, because it dominates. The main deviations in my build are the lack of real defence items (Warmogs does not really count) and Frozen Mallet. Let me go into each choice in depth.
Vampiric Scepter - As we're taking a different route than you may be familiar with, we're going to skip the cloth armour and 5 health potions and go with something a little more suited to our route. This will also save us a little bit of money, which will be helpful early game.
Cloth Armor and Health Potion - On our first trip back, we pick this up, before returning to jungle.
Wriggle's Lantern - Nocturne needs this for his route, and it is especially helpful almost all game. The lifesteal, armour, and free sight ward are all great bonuses. Typically, I hold onto this until I switch it for a bloodthirster.
Berserker's Greaves - Necessary for doing enough damage and for proc-ing his passive. I hold onto these until I sell them for a second phantom dancer. If you're doing really well, you can skip these and go straight for a zeal, but most of the time this will suffice.
B. F. Sword - First component for Infinity Edge. I don't complete the IE yet, but I love having this for doing heavy amounts of damage. By now, you'll have a few levels above your ult, so it is very nice to be doing large amounts of damage with one burst.
Phantom Dancer (First) - Here's where we start turning Nocturne into, in my opinion, one of the best DPS champs in the game. This will now give you about 1.5 attack speed, and fairly early in the game as well. From here on out, you will be a dangerous ganker, and will be feared by all.
Infinity Edge - The 250% crit damage is, I find, more effective than getting more armour penetration, so I usually do not get a Black Cleaver.
Giant's Belt - By this point in the game, the laning phase is well over and it is now almost exclusively team fights. Unfortunately, this is one of Nocturne's weak points, as he is fairly squishy. So getting a giants belt for Warmogs is fantastic, as it allows him to stay in team fights longer without having to keep running back and forth.
Atma's Impaler - I choose to get this before finishing the warmogs just because it adds a huge amount of damage right away, as well as more crit chance. At this point, you'll be doing around 75% crit, and insane amounts of damage very fast.
Warmog's Armor - Self-explanatory. Atmogs just destroys on Nocturne.
Phantom Dancer (Second) - This is a game changer. If your team is down, you can easily turn it around right here. This will put your attack speed up to just over 2.0, and with the amount of damage you're dealing you will be unstoppable.
The Bloodthirster - A nice way to finish off the build. Sell your wriggles and get yourself a phantom dancer, farm yourself 40 creeps (Will be very easy, at this point you'll be one hitting waves of creeps) and get ready to kill everyone ever.
Finally, finish off with potions, and enjoy winning!
Starting with Duskbringer (Pimpslap) is absolutely necessary. The large range and radius on the attack is essential for jungling, and the added attack damage while in the dusk trail makes things a breeze. You want two points in this by level 3, and max this out first!
After your first point in duskbringer, put a point into your Shroud of Darkness (Shield). This will help against counter-jungling early game, but also makes you extremely frustrating for enemy casters. Max this skill out last, as it doesn't change the duration of the shield.
At level 4, put a point in Unspeakable Horror (Fear). This will help a lot with jungling, especially against golems and buffs. It will also change the tides in team fights as it is a DOT fear tether, and is very powerful. Max this out second.
Creeping / Jungling
Here we go, the biggest difference I note in my game from other Nocturnes. I will be taking the Superior path, and is similar to one of Yi's routes. The benefits of this route are that it is much quicker, we keep our buffs later for ganking, and it is generally much safer. The downside is that after the second runthrough, you will most likely be too low health to gank, and you won't have enough money for your wriggle's.
First, start with wolves. After that, head over to wraiths, and smite the blue wraith before finishing off the red wraiths, then head over to double golems and take them down. Make sure you are using Duskbringer WHENEVER IT COMES OFF COOLDOWN.
Go back from here, buy your armour and potion.
Return to your jungle, and head to blue buff. From there, do a complete top-bottom (or bottom-top depending on what side you're on) jungle run, finishing with double golems. From here, go back and heal, and head to whichever lane needs you to gank first.
Now, this is also what I like about Nocturne: At level 9, you SHOULD have you wriggles and beserker greaves. At this point, you can solo dragon, which puts him ahead of many other junglers (Save for warwick and fiddlesticks) and will be a huge help to your team.
And there you go, that's the path I take with Nocturne. Will add pictures and possibly video as soon as I can gather them.
When I go in for a gank, I ult and immediately charge in, landing while hitting my E and then smacking them with my q. If the champion is a caster, or otherwise has some heavy hitting or CC-ing spell, I make sure that I hit my W right away as well. If you do it right, you will be able to consistently get many kills throughout the entire game.
Before level 6, try to hide somewhere you can throw your Q at an enemy, and then run up and fear them right away, trying to follow them to make sure they don't escape the range of it.
If the enemy gets away behind a tower or wall, with practice and intuition you can throw your Q, which is a skill shot, and quite often get them when they think they are safe. This is often the most frustrating thing to happen to an enemy who thought they got away.
Overall, Nocturne is one of my favourite champs to play. He's fun, strong, and once you get good with he's quite easy to play with. Basically, I play Nocturne if I've had a losing streak with other champions as a morale booster.
Any questions or additions, feel free to comment. As of right now, this build is still considered under construction, so please add your own thoughts.