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Nocturne Build Guide by TheQWERTYman

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheQWERTYman

Playing your nightmare: A detailed Nocturne guide

TheQWERTYman Last updated on August 21, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hi. This is my in-depth guide to playing Nocturne.


With this build, you can achieve around 300 AD, 2.0 AS, around 3000 HP and 100+ armor and MR.
You also get around 75% crit chance and an Infinity Edge.

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Pros / Cons

+good 1v1
+every skill can be used defensively and offensively
+one of the best chasers in the game
+almost guaranteed successful ganks with ultimate
+with his core build, he can block 2 spells
+not too squishy with this build
+great carry
+one of the best junglers in the game
+he's a ghost with an awesome voice

-squishy early-game
-can't do alot in teamfights
-focused alot

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Summoner Spells

I take Exhaust and Ghost Because it just lets me chase down, outrun, and 1v1 anyone.

There are more good choices:
Flash - Really good for anyone, but you have your ultimate.
Ignite - Good if your enemies run away with 5% hp.
Cleanse - Perfect for anyone, gets rid of every debuff (except suppression)
Smite - Nocturne is a godlike jungler, more about this in the jungling section.
Teleport - Get to lane faster.

Viable but kinda not good:
Heal - You have Umbra Blades.
Clairvoyance - Not for you, leave it to the support.
Fortify - This is for your tank.
Clarity - Possible, but not necessary.

Take this if you are an idiot:
Revive - No one needs this, possible for premades, but worthless and stupid elsewhere.
Promote - Doesn't even exist anymore.

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Passive - - Umbra Blades - Your nightmare will shine at farming with this. This lets you do AOE physical damage every few seconds. You also regain health based on how much targets did you hit. This is amazing for jungling and lane sustainability. It can also, believe it or not, save you in 1v1 fights if you are close to alot of minions while doing it.

Q - - Duskbringer - Your nightmare will hunt down anyone with this. You send out physical damage in a line to damage all enemies that it goes through. Enemies hit by this leave a dusk trail behind them. While you're on the trail, you gain damage and movement speed. This is your 1v1 steroid and harassment sometimes. This also boosts your passive and ultimate damage, as they both scale off AD.

W - - Shroud of Darkness - Your nightmare will be unstoppable with this. Passively, you gain attack speed. When you activate this, you gain a spell shield for a few seconds. If the shield blocks something, your passive is doubled for a few seconds. With this, you can destroy enemy combos and deny that Blitzcrank grab. Combine this with Banshee's Veil to block 2 spells in a row.

E - - Unspeakable Horror - Your nightmare will scare the living hell out of enemies with this. You place a leash on an enemy, and you deal magic damage over time as long as the leash is on them. If they don't escape from the leash after a few seconds, they are feared. This is an epic skill for escaping or ensuring successful ganks. This can also turn the tides of 1v1 battles.

Ultimate - - Paranoia - Your nightmare will induce fear into your enemies, and, thanks to their fear, jump them from across the map. On activate, enemies lose sight of the map and hear your awesome, terrifying voice. After you activate it, you can activate it again to launch yourself upon an enemy champion to deal physical damage. This is your ganking ability and your bread and butter lategame. You will gank every enemy successfully thanks to this.

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Your core items are:

You have to get these items in the match. They are most important for a successful nightmare. NOTE: This is an expensive build, and you won't be able to get more items after your core. Nonetheless, try to get them.
These items are most important for you to get.

Now, as optional items go:
Manamune - Solves mana problems early and mid game.
Atma's Impaler - Gives you the armor you need, and around 50 AD.
Phantom Dancer - Also viable, but I don't choose it too often.
The Bloodthirster - Also very viable, but see Phantom Dancer.
Zeke's Harbinger - Someone else should get it, but this is also OK.
Infinity Edge - Doing most DPS on your team? Get this.
Thornmail / Force of Nature - If you already have enough damage and you are facing AD / AP heavy teams.
Frozen Mallet - Also a good choice if you're too squishy.
The Black Cleaver - I think that you get enough ArP with runes and Ghostblade, but also nice.
Hexdrinker - Karthus / Garen on their team? Go ahead!
Wit's End - Very cost effective item and I recommend it if you have vast attack speed.
Madred's Bloodrazor - Also possible if you get that 2.5 AS cap.
Sword of the Divine - The passive is nice, and the active is good with Youmuu's.
Sword of the Occult - You're being legendary? Good choice.

I suggest that you take Atma's Impaler since you lack armor, and Infinity Edge so that you deal much more damage.

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Laning with Nocturne is fairly simple.

If you don't have enough health, try to hit as much as minions as possible with Umbra Blades. Don't push, and last hit only. Only use your passive on more minions if necessary.
Keep your Shroud of Darkness active ready, as you never know when you are being ganked. It's very useful against delayed damage spells like Time Bomb, Hemoplague.
Try to stay in your lane and last-hit as much as possible.

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Tips & Tricks

Umbra Blades - If you decide to fight a 1v1, try to fight near alot of minions, as you will heal, and maybe save yourself. Of course, try this in the mid game, as the minions will do alot of damage to you in early game, believe it or not.

Duskbringer - You can use this ability before you use your passive or ultimate, as it boosts your AD to make those abilities stronger.
Also, try to use this in ganks, as it will allow easy chasing; enemies will leave a trail with this. This has good synergy with Unspeakable Horror.
This can be also used pretty defensively, for running away from enemies. It's also a nice skill for poking in the lane.

Shroud of Darkness - Try to lane against enemies like Twisted Fate, Garen, Pantheon or Urgot - You know that they will cast their abilities on you as soon they are close, or they have to use their abilities to do nice damage. Use this when Time Bomb, Ace in the Hole, Absolute Zero, Requiem or Hemoplague are about to 'detonate'. This can also disable Tryndamere's Mocking Shout if you time it well.

Unspeakable Horror - If you are in a 2v1 battle, try to use this on the enemy that deals more damage. It will maybe give you the time to run.
You can use this to fear you chaser, chase your enemy, break channeled ultimates, etc.
Has good synergy with Duskbringer.

Paranoia - Use this after you gain your bonus AD from Duskbringer to ensure more damage. You can also use this to pop an enemy Banshee's Veil, since it blocks the sight reduction, but not the damage.
Also, you can use this on enemy champions to escape from things like Absolute Zero, Death Lotus, etc.

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Your role in the team

With this build, your role in the team depends quite much on your items. If you are beefy enough, you can be a teamfight carry, and do most damage in those fights. If your damage output is high, but you have low survivability, you have an assassin / cleanup role.

If you are a part of teamfights, you should save your ultimate for a moment when you really need it, like when enemies split up or when you need to chase a fleeing enemy down.
Try to fear their carry, as you have the role of a carry and an anti-carry in teamfights.

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Thanks for reading my Nocturne guide. I'll update it if a patch comes soon. Read and comment below.