Nocturne Build Guide by Edg3Lord
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Runes: AS Spike
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
So, long story short, I see Nocturne as the second jungler, a champion that really relies on his ultimate to gank, so it is switched for an environment that really is exploitable. You will beat most of the melee champions in a very easy manner, while having a lot of sustain thanks to crowded minions and Umbra Blades. Hope you are interested!
P.S: I will finally reupdate the guide, as I will probably pick this champion and role to become my main.
- Has a lot of sustain in early game;
- A spellshield built in his kit;
- High base attack speed;
- Great roaming potential;
- Can resist and defeat most fighters in 1 vs 1 situations.
- Is squishy early game;
- He depends on his ultimate to roam properly;
- He can't really carry by himself, and requires team synergy.
Press the Attack is the essential Precision keystone rune, granting a lot of burst for 3 consecutive basic attacks plus bonus damage to the affected champion. Punishes hard anybody who stays in longer closed fights against you. Also can be triggered quicker when you do roams.
Conqueror is another good alternative, giving bonus AD in sustained, longer fights. Recommended against a tankier based team.
Lethal Tempo is the most picked rune right now for Nocturne. It gives a lot of the attack speed you lose whether you don't build any attack speed items. Stacked up with Shroud of Darkness's passive, it makes a great choice among all users and a favourite of pro players.
Presence of Mind restores a part of your missing mana and cooldown on your ultimate after fights that you won. Assists do count, so in 5 vs 5 situations, you can take up to 50% restored cooldown from it. Your ultimate is a very good engaging ability, and it shouldn't be neglected.
Legend: Bloodline gives you more lifesteal, which means more sustain. Very good in mid-game.
Coup de Grace/ Last Stand: depending on how you will build, you have to pick one of those two. If you are going a bit more tanker, you will go with Last Stand, otherwise go with Coup de Grace.
There is also an option to go with the primary of Domination, being a good choice against generally squishy mid-laners, either mages or assassins.
Electrocute is pretty much the single good viable rune for Nocturne. Hail of Blades have a down for only giving you attack speed, which matched up with high poking champions will result in uselessness of the runes since you won't get too closer or won't be able to deal more than one basic attack before target evades with a dash. Electrocute will trigger when both abilities and basic attack occur, so that's why is better in laning phase.
Taste of Blood is a good rune for more sustaining in lane.
Eyeball Collection will reward you for roaming, stacking some early AD.
Ultimate Hunter will again reward you for roaming by giving ultimate cooldown reduction, making roams more frequent.
For the secondary rune path, take the remaining one from this two. If Domination, choose Ultimate Hunter and Taste of Blood, and if it is Precision, take Presence of Mind with Legend: Bloodline.
There is also a new alternative to the secondary path which I've seen after playing some games with him. If you find late game being your strong point, you can switch Domination for Sorcery. I recommend taking Transcendence for converting bonus cooldown into AD and Gathering Storm for bonus stacking AD. It is good if your build features more tanky items and if you think you can handle being a fighter and taking a lot of damage once you go in fights. It might not shine early game, but the outcome in late will be somewhat rewarding.
A new rune system was introduced (and it's cancer). Shards are pretty a pretty useless addition for the system since their usability reduce stats and there is no need to customize further the flat stats, but nevertheless here they are.
If you ask me, always experiment with them. I always consider to take attack speed, but afterwards take either more damage or more resistance based on the enemy's buildup.
There are two possible spells besides Flash, which are either Ignite or Exhaust.
Ignite is probably the most frequent spell, it is used for escaping targets or for kill trades that might occur. However, Exhaust is also very good since it slows the target by 30% and reduces their damage by 40%, so going full force against them will be much easier and it's less risky.
If you want to feel safe going aggro on people, Barrier is the last resort for beginners that feel like it. Recommended for "The Disruptor Wannabe".
I suggest taking Ignite if you pick Press the Attack as the keystone rune and Exhaust if you take Lethal Tempo as your keystone rune.
Now we chose his Summoner Spells, let's talk about his kit.
Umbra Blades is some sort of a Ravenous Hydra passive, except it doesn't matter the distance between you and the target. It deals 120% of your AD as physical damage to all the units surrounding you and heals you for 15-40+ some irrelevant AP scaling health for each unit damaged. The effect occurs each 10 seconds and its cooldown can be reduced by 1 second with any basic attack you deal. It's important to stay near as many enemy minions as possible to maximize its effect.
His most important ability is Shroud of Darkness that has both a passive and an active. You gain a considerable amount of attack speed that later in the game will make you realize that Phantom Dancer and Blade of the Ruined King are extremely exceptional items and can be discarded for more defense. You can also activate your W to gain a spellshield that blocks the next ability in the span of 2 seconds. If any ability is blocked, you gain double the attack speed from your passive. As it has high cooldown, always keep it for either burst damaging abilities or CC type of spells. I recommend to maximize this ability first, since it gives a lot of attack speed for clearing and lowers the cooldown from 20 seconds to 12 seconds.
Duskbringer is his poking ability, launching a trail of something, I don't know what is that, looks like poo which deals physical damage to all enemy unit hit, scaling with 75% AD. If any enemy champion is hit they will leave more of this shady thing (Ha, got it?). While you stand on it, you gain bonus AD and movement speed. Pretty good for snowballing, and it gives a good advantage against any melee enemy that will try to fight you face to face. Also a good chasing tool, but whatever, nobody cares.
Unspeakable Horror is that one ability that makes people think that full AP Nocturne is viable. IT IS NOT GUYS, STOP DOING THAT! So, going back, Nocturne casts the biggest fear of the enemy target, dealing magic damage to them for 2 seconds. If they are dumb enough to stay in your range, they will get feared for 2-3 seconds, allowing you to deal a lot of damage. Best used when people engage on you since they will either have to disengage or suffer the consequences. (You also gain a heck lot of movement speed towards feared champions, but that's part two.)
Last but not the least, the reason you are playing Nocturne mid is his ultimate, Paranoia. This ability dictates your playstyle the whole game and serves as the ace of your kit. First cast you nearsight the enemy champions, reducing their visibility to a toothpick range and disables team vision. You can then cast again the ability in an amount of time to dash to the selected enemy champion, dealing a high amount of physical damage scaling with 120% AD. This is by far the most useful ability in his kit, since it can be used for a good roaming or for catching up enemies that used escape tools. The best part of it is that Shroud of Darkness will remain active it's whole "flight" duration, so you can go full dive on the target without the fear of getting bursted.
For upgrading spells, follow the sequence given at the top of the page. I most of the times start with Duskbringer to put pressure on the enemy laner and to clear faster. Problem is that if you spam you will remain out of mana very quick. Upgrading Shroud of Darkness makes you more prone to survive plus it gives you the attack speed that makes this build viable. The single thing that you have to adapt is usually whether you will first take Q/E. Duskbringer is used against ranged champions and Unspeakable Horror for melee ones.
If you battle against ranged champions, I advise not to do this thing, since they can take action from afar. To some champions, for example Ryze, that have low damage early and is really mana dependant, bully him into the tower, so he has to either go full combo on you to try to deal damage, or get pushed to his tower and has to farm under it, which is known most players can't do that very well. If any of the champions mentioned here fall under this category like Ryze, for example Veigar, Anivia or Lux.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not spam your abilities, since every one of them requires hefty amounts of mana that in early game is considerably low. Even using a full combo when only engaged usually takes around half of your mana pool in the early game, and regenerates quite slow. If you are an beginner to the glorious Nocturne mid meta, you can get Essence Reaver only after building Tiamat, granting you that passive which recovers you a part of your missing mana with each basic attack. Resource managing is very important, so keep an eye on your mana and high cooldown.
Once you gain your ultimate, start roaming if you are not behind with gold or if you are not behind levels from the enemy "whoever gets ganked". At level 1 Paranoia, it's effective range is small, and will always start to alarm people once you activate once. Instead of activating it to close the gap at the beginning, use it to close the gap if they attempt to escape you. Ping your ally to make sure he will engage in the fight or act as a bait to make them come closer to your charted land. It's essential to do this since you will stack more on Ultimate Hunter which reduces your cooldown on your ultimate, making it for more possible roams like this. Not only that, but since Paranoia has one of the biggest cooldowns, lowering it by 15% is something to look forward as quick as possible in the game, since this is a good ability to catch enemies that may have evaded the teamfights with low health plus it applies nearsight, which to a wide spread enemy team is a devastating thing, cutting out communication and synergy. Do not use its dash on a compact team if you don't have the support of your team, and never dive under tower unless you have Flash readied or target is low health and doesn't possess any CC abilities. Do not activate Shroud of Darkness while mid-air. You might have the chance to be hit by an ability during the flight, and your only protection might be blown away.
- Yasuo is a brawler that excels in skirmishes and trading. However to engage you he needs to have his tornado ready. Avoid consecutive hits from Steel Tempest and always avoid getting hit by his tornado, no matter the cost, especially level 6-11. The best way to do it is by keeping distance from him, moving unpredictable and farming sideways with no allied minions around you. Do not activate Shroud of Darkness when Yasuo comes to you and has his tornado ready. He will engage using an E+Q combo, so make sure you first get Sweeping Blade's damage then activate the spellshield. Yasuo's just got a big buff on his ultimate so you have to block his tornado no matter what. If you don't, you are likely to die.
- Zed may be a tricky one. High damage combos demand high costs, so Zed can't afford many of them in early. Avoid crowded places and avoid at all cost staying near his Living Shadow. Unfortunately, you can't block with the spellshied his ultimate, which IS F*CKING BULLSH*T!!1
- Ryze: Mages like him that heavily rely on mana or have really low farming ability in early have to be pushed hard and suppressed from gaining more farm until they take Tear of the Goddess. Then you play a little more safe, since they can now spam abilities without worrying they will remain out of mana. This is available for Cassiopeia, Anivia, Veigar and mostly champions that will purchase Tear of the Goddess
- Azir: There is nothing that you can do. Mages that can poke a lot from afar are the worst to be dealt since you are a melee champion and can't really poke. Your single ace is now useless, since lane pressuring is dead with someone that has a even bigger one ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Syndra, Ahri and Brand are another good examples. Better lane pushing at much lower mana cost.
- Vel'Koz: Mages that have very predictable abilities and no lane pressure can be easily dealt with. Be aware that you have to be more alert, watch out for incoming abilities, prioritize the use of the spellshield and move unpredictably. Don't worry if you took some damage in the progress, Umbra Blades will cover up the damage you took. Under this category also falls Veigar, Lux and Malzahar.
- Zoe: Mages that ARE F*CKING BULLSH*T!!! A lot of poke, high damage, and confusing mechanics nobody understands. Literally cancer. Not to forget that staying behind your minions won't protect you unless you also stay away from them. Same story with Lissandra (however she isn't as cancer as Zoe).
- Akali: While I was writing this guide, Akali was still not that cancer. However now she is more than just cancer. You gotta play passive and don't engage in trades unless she goes towerdive, which you will have to keep Shroud of Darkness at the best moment. Don't forget that Unspeakable Horror will continue to do its effect even when Akali is invisible, so do as much as possible to make her go away from you. always block Shuriken Flip to stop any form of proper towerdiving. Good Akalis won;t even need that to kill you.
- Talon is not that of a hard pick to play against. Early game for him kinda sucks, since poking requires a lot of mana, and relies on Blade's End to deal the most amount of damage. Going full aggro on him is OK until level 6, where his single burst ability, Noxian Diplomacy, can be easily blocked, since most players will jump on you instead of waiting to get near them.
- LeBlanc is just stupid. You can literally do nothing about it, except use the spellshield properly. Stay in a group of minions, let her hit you with the Sigil of Malice and make sure you block Distortion. After level 6 hope your jungler isn't trash and ganks your lane. Probably you won't kill her, but you gotta put pressure on her by adding a risk factor.
- Katarina is one of the assassins that have absolutely no resources, making her incredibly annoying. A lot of mobility, poking and lane pressure. Avoid at all cost her Daggers. If you are confident enough you can make a good trade, bait her into going to one of her Daggers that are near you, and as she walks to use Shunpo on a fallen one, use Shroud of Darkness to reduce the damage you will be given and Unspeakable Horror to put her under CC, forcing her to flee. She can usually use Shunpo to escape, however it's the best to engage with this tactic when you see she doesn't have any minion or Dagger behind. If she doesn't, she is forced to go aggro on you, so fight her in a more close combat situation.
And that pretty much sums up how you should treat certain champions. Of course you should always play adaptive based on how well your enemy performs, and always stay sharp to learn if they got any tendencies in their playstyle.
At start, you can either purchase Corrupting Potion or Doran's Blade. Corrupting Potion is good for beginners since you gain 75 mana, holding up 3 recharges. It's quite a considerable amount of mana, as you will gain enough to cast another ability, and will also restore 125 health. Pretty decent, I might say.
However, Doran's Blade gives you bonus AD, health and the most important thing is the lifesteal it gives. Maybe 3% is not too much, but as Legend: Bloodline stack more and more, you will start to feel like you gain a lot of health in the early with it. Since this, I recommend to not sell it until you got the fourth item built. By then its stats are really low so it doesn't really give you any advantage.
When going back to base, make sure you have money to either purchase Tiamat and Cloth Armor or Hexdrinker. It's essential to have one of those since it gives better clearing on lanes or resistance against most mages.
After that, depending on the item you took, purchase Maw of Malmortius if you did take Hexdrinker or build Black Cleaver or Guardian Angel. Items that give a bit of defense in early are very important to burst assassins on mid lane and sometimes to assassin junglers. Not only that, but the items themselves are extremely good, one giving sustain in critical situations or shredding capabilities and chasing.
Next off you want to complete the boots and complete the Tiamat into Ravenous Hydra for extra lifesteal and maximum clearing. Why it is not advised to rush Ravenous Hydra? Because its cleaving passive scales with some AD, and even though Ravenous Hydra's damage is far more superior than Tiamat's, it doesn't scale too well on its own. Tiamat will give you the necessary to clear it quick for the beginning. Building one of the previously mentioned items from the upper paragraph will give you another passive and more than just some extra lifesteal that is anyways gained from Legend: Bloodline.
After building these 5 items under normal circumstances (the enemy team has both AD and AP based damage), you can choose to take one of these items, depending on how you want your Nocturne to be:
- Essence Reaver is replaced with Spear of Shojin due to changes the former item were given and reverted back to original state. It still gives the good passive that Paranoia triggers: attack speed and reduction on non-ultimate abilities cooldown by 20%;
- Dead Man's Plate is quite honestly more of a jungler item, it works only if their team is way lower than you;
- Spirit Visage is very good if their team is only magic damage based team. It increases sustainability and health.
- Thornmail is Spirit Visage's counterpart, except it's picked for a physical damage based team. Doesn't give too much health, but it does give a lot of armor.
- Edge of Night is for the ones that really have a doubt that Nocturne without lethality. This item works because it also gives some extra health and another spellshield that can be used when you engage so you won't waste Shroud of Darkness..
- Frozen Mallet is more of a health orientated item. Doesn't give you a lot of AD, but you know how they say: "Their loss, your win." (Nobody really said that.)
- Phantom Dancer is removed since the item was extremely nerfed. Barely works on ADCs.
- Blade of the Ruined King has a higher potential than Phantom Dancer. Gives more shredding abilities, has lifesteal, an active that is good on low target, etc. What do you want more from it?
P.S: As a side note, this guide might not get any new changes in the future besides rune/item changes. The guide is clearly awesome and I will keep on updating it, but no more content is scheduled for the future
[video in progress...]