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League of Legends Build Guide Author Razz

The Jungle Nightmare [updated: 25/03]

Razz Last updated on April 13, 2011
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The Assassin

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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So, you just bought this cool guy cause he looked so badass. Well you haven't made a mistake, he is quite badass ONLY if you know how to play it.

''The darkness is closing's pitch black now...but I can still see him...''
- Kelvin Ma, patient #4236

First of all you must understand that Nocturne should be played as a jungler. You can lane with him if you want, but this guide focuses on jungling.

Here are some of my results with this build and playstyle.

So, let's get this started!

English is not my native language, so please forgive me if I say something in a .. "weird" way.

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Taken from the League of Legends webpage:

Before Nocturne, people believed that dreams were figments of their imagination, meaningless images that flashed through the mind when one slept. This belief was put to the test when a rash of sleep-related incidents started afflicting summoners of the League. Some would wake up screaming, terrified and beyond consolation. Some could not fall asleep, slowly going mad as the nights ticked by. Some simply never woke up. Physicians were baffled until a Field Architect happened to pass out next to a nexus on Twisted Treeline. Witnesses said he cried out once and then stopped breathing. Immediately after, magical energy arced out from the nexus, and Nocturne appeared.

Nocturne did not take his introduction to this world kindly. He slaughtered everything he could find before summoners were able to magically confine him. After a period of intense study, League experts divined that Nocturne hunted summoners in their sleep, attacking them in a place where their magic was useless. This seemed to be his only purpose. The families of the victims demanded justice, but League officials were concerned that death might only return Nocturne to the place from which he came. They bound him to a nexus fragment, trapping him in the physical world. As punishment for his crimes, they allowed summoners to call upon Nocturne in the League matches, bending his will to the summoners he hates and creating his own personal nightmare. League scholars don't know whether he truly came from the plane of dreams, or whether there are any more like him. Some theorize that the summoning act affected summoners' subconscious minds, luring Nocturne to them in their sleep. Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that Nocturne is a person's nightmare come to life. If this is true, they wonder, who is the dreamer?

Just by reading his story you can understand that he is not the kind of champion you wanna mess with xD

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Nocturne Official Change Log

Any kind of buff/nerf that Nocturne gets in future patches will be updated here.

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Guide Change Log

#21/03: Reworked item order so Youmuu is bought earlier.
#21/03: Reworked item descriptions to fit the new order.
#22/03: Reworked Build #1 item order, prioritizing early life steal over black cleaver.
#22/03: Rewrited some parts of the early/mid/late game, to fit the new item orders.
#22/03: Started testing new jungle routes.
#25/03: Added build #3 for damage output.

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Pros / Cons


  • Amazing gank skills
  • Skills sinergize is great
  • Very good farming skills if you know what to do
  • Did I mention he is badass?
  • Great Ultimate, can help team-mates, isolate targets and get kills.

  • Really squishy if you don't get any defense items
  • Easily focusable
  • CC can ruin your day
  • Need some good kiting and thinking, therefore it's not an easy to play champ

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Summoner Spells

For spells I get:


The first one it's not mandatory, I've tested nocturne jungling without smite but it's just slower, I take it because it helps to jungle a lot faster in early game.

I get GHOST because it can really help you escape some ganks (Just combo it with Duskbringer and you'll get some really good speed). It can also help in team-battles so you can get faster to that one champ you want kill.

Other spells you might want to try:

Some people like to take it, it's not a bad choice, as it helps you keep your enemy in range of your attacks, but it lacks survivability so I don't take it anymore.

Oh... Ignite, a spell that sooo many people get. Personally I don't like it in Nocturne, cause I don't think anyone will be able to escape from you just to die from it's DoT. But you can get it if you want to make sure. (Also helps against healers)

A friend of mine told me to try this one, I mean... it may not be a bad idea to teleport to a turret, ward, shroom, etc... after a fight, then use your Ultimate and get a kill. You can try it if you want.

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On to the runes:

greater mark of desolation 9x Marks of Desolation (ArP is a MUST have with AD champs IMO)
greater seal of vitality 9x Seal of Vitality (cause it really helps with Nocturne low HP)
9x Glyph of Warding (Overall runes I use, cause MR it's never bad)

For quints I get:
2x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude (HP Quints are always good)
1x Great Quintessence of Swiftness (Overall great, helps a lot for ganks and jungle)

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Skill Sequence

Well, if you look at the beggining of the guide, you can see my skill sequence. Here I will try to explain it.

First let's look at Nocturne skills, shall we?

Umbra Blades: Every 10 seconds, Nocturne's next attack strikes surrounding enemies 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.

My thoughts: Nocturne's Passive, one of the main reasons he is good at jungling, every ten seconds his attack will do AoE damage and heal himself per target hit. Hitting will make the CD go down, so just keep hitting so you can heal faster. For example, if you hit Wraith's camp at level 1 you will heal for 15x4=60 HP with 1 hit. Not bad for level 1 right?

Duskbringer: Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals physical damage 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage), leaves a Dusk 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 increased Movement Speed 15% / 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% and Attack Damage 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60.

Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana | Range 1200

My thoughts: So this is the skill we'll be maxing first, this is what makes Nocturne such a good chaser, just remember to practice your skill shots, as this skill doesn't have automatic targeting. Try to aim this where you guess the enemy will be, if you miss it and there are enemies around then DON'T CHASE, cause you will have normal movespeed if you aren't standing in the black path it leaves.

Shroud of Darkness: Nocturne empowers his blades, passively gaining attack speed 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%. Activating Shroud of Darkness allows Nocturne to fade into the shadows, creating a magical barrier for 2 seconds which blocks a single enemy ability and doubles his passive attack speed for 5 seconds if successful.

Cooldown 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 seconds | Cost 50 mana |

My thoughts: So we get 1 point on this skill on level 2 just for the passive which helps with jungling. But where this skill really shines is on 1v1, why? Because you can block an enemy spell with it (if it's a CC... much better!). After we max out first skill we should be taking equal points in Shroud of Darkness and Unspeakable Horror.

Unspeakable Horror: Nocturne plants a nightmare into his target's mind, dealing 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 by the end of the duration.

Cooldown 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 seconds | Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana | Range 500

My Thoughts: So after reading about Duskbringer you think "Hey, this guy is really good at chasing and ganking...". But this is where Nocturne gets nastier. With this skill you can damage AND disable an enemy champion (with fear). For those of you that don't know about it, when an enemy champion is with the "fear" status, their champion starts moving randomly around, and they can't attack, use skills, or move freely. It's like a stun but they just move around randomly. Always use this skill when you gank, or when you are being chased by someone, just remember to ALWAYS STAY IN RANGE for the fear to proc.

Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision for 4 seconds, this includes champions, minions, wards and towers. He can then launch himself at a enemy champion with a large range 2500 / 3250 / 4000. Deals 150 / 300 / 450 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage on arrival.

Cooldown 160 / 130 / 100 seconds | Cost 100 mana | Range 2500 / 3250 / 4000

My thoughts: Awww... so you thought Nocturne couldn't be stronger?? You just reached level 6 and got this skill. Well let me explain then. When you press that little "R" key, all of the enemy champions will lose ally sight (they won't even see their base, and towers). Meaning thay they will be completely isolated for 4 seconds! Now if that wasn't good enough... within its duration, you can press "R" again and target an enemy champion in range, when you do it, Nocturne will jump to that Champion, doing physical damage on arrival, and scaring the **** out of them. This is your best ganking tool, and the reason why he is so fun to play. So go practice the best moment to use this. I will add later a "Paranoia Tips" section, with images, so keep checking the guide often ;)[*]

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So let's get a look at items builds. I won't discuss item order here, just the overall items.


This build is most oriented to damage, without leaving defense aside.
> Reworked this build a little, the items haven't changed, it's only the order that changed.
  • Mercury's Treads: CC is a great enemy of Nocturne, so this boots should cover that flaw, or at least help you survive some more battle. Also the MR is always good. If the enemy team doesn't have any CC (which is quite weird) you can get Berserker Greaves instead.

  • Wriggle's Lantern: Core jungle item, it gives damage, armor, life steal, and that little 500+ damage proc against creeps. A must if you intend on living in jungle just coming out for ganks. Great against dragon too.

  • Brutalizer / Youumu: Since we got ArP runes, if you rush brutalizer you get some serious damage potential early game. Plus your ult does Physical damage, so you will notice a nice bonus there. Inmediatly upgrade into Youmuu's for a nice overall bonus plus the active which will help a lot with your current attack speed.

  • Phage / Frozen Mallet: Why get this item?... Why not? It will slow your enemies down, thus helping you get more hits of them AND it gives you some really precious health. You can get Phage first and then wait for Mallet.

  • The Bloodthirster: I used to leave this item for the last, but the extra lifesteal plus 100 damage reaaally helps a lot midgame. A must for survability with Nocturne, just remember to KEEP HITTING ALL THE TIME.

  • The Black Cleaver: Just think -> ArP Runes + Brutalizer + Black Cleaver = ? Some really nice damage and ArP, this way you can get some damage on those nasties stacking armor, or just Instakill those without it. Since you already got Bloodthirster, you will dish an amazing amount of damage when you get this.


Changing Black Cleaver for Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet for Banshee's Veil and Luxury item from Blood Thirster to Infinity Edge.

Trinity Force gives you some movespeed which helps a lot for those long chases around the map, and the health, crit change and slow is always welcome. It's quite hard for someone to run away from you with these on.

Banshee's Veil comes for more defense against those nasty CC out there, and nets you some more Health and MR.

Infinity Edge comes replacing Blood Thirster cause you will be lacking some damage, and Infinity makes a better use of that increased Crit Chance.


So I wanted to create a third build, one that really goes for some brutal damage outputs, and that if well played, can be quite deadly.

Items are:
  • Berserker's Greaves: We get this for the added atk.speed, something that really helps Nocturne since the more it hits, the more proc you get from Umbra Blades.
  • Wriggle's Lantern: Same explanation as above.
  • The Bloodthirster: This time, instead of getting ArP, we rush a B.F Sword to get Bloodthirster early. This is because if you fill it quick, you can get a brutal +100 damage, which trust me... it hurts. You will have to depend on your teammates to do most of the damage in ganks before you get this altough.
  • Phage / Frozen Mallet: Once again we get for the HP and for the slow it helps. You can get Phage first and upgrade later.
  • Infinity Edge: More brutal damage, plus some pretty nice crits there. This will turn you right into a killing machine. Besides with all the lifesteal of Bloodthirster + Wriggle, you won't be dying anytime soon (at least while you don't stop hitting).

    For your 6th item you can take one of this two:
  • Banshee's Veil: For the added survability, double shield, plus MR and HP.
  • Phantom Dancer: more crits, more atk.speed, more movement speed, get it if you are feeling REEEEAAAALLY aggresive.

Please keep in minds that this item builds are just for reference, you should always try to end up with a build of your own depending on how the game is doing. If you see too much Magic Damage then get more MR, and so on. This will influence the order of last items, so if you need more HP get Frozen Mallet early, or if you want life steal, get Blood Thirster. Please remember that the item order at the beggining of the guide it's just a general advice, and that you should decide on the run which item to get first =)

Build #1 Changes:
You can grab a Vampiric Scepter after Phage or Black Cleaver, to get some needed lifesteal. Thxs RamSlam.
I changed Youmuu so it gets upgraded sooner, and not in last place, because it's active really helps up early. Thxs AngerBang.

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Jungling Early Game

So, how should you jungle with this guy? Well, let's get started!

First grab 2 potions and your Cloth Armor and head over to the two golems camp.

Always ask someone to pull the golems for you (hit them once and then run away), cause this way you can get some hits on them without retaliation.

  • Let someone pull the golems
  • Use Duskbringer on both the golems and start hitting one
  • As soon as your ally is out of EXP range, smite the first golem
  • Kill the second golem (use Duskbringer again if you can)
  • You will probably kill them without a potion, but drink one anyway to keep health up

You should be LVL2 Right now, so get a level on Shroud of Darkness. Why? cause it's passive will give you Atk.Speed, which helps your Umbra Blades to proc faster.

Now wait until Umbra Blades are ready and use Duskbringer against the Wraith camp, always trying to hit them all. Inmediatly focus the Big Wraith and keep hitting till everyone dies with Umbra Blades. You shouldn't need another potion.

Now go to the wolves and keep up with the same, Duskbringer first, focus the Big Wolf and then the little ones. Now you teleport back to base and buy your Long Sword (if you don't have the money just wait, shouldn't be more than 5 or 6 seconds).

So first Round of jungle should be like this:

Now go do exactly the same course one more time, it will be a little faster and easier now. At LVL3 get another point on Duskbringer, at LVL4 get a point in Unspeakable Horror.

Now, you should have a potion left from the two that you bought at the start.

Go to the Blue Golem after wolves. Drink your potion and use Duskbringer against everyone. Quickly attack the Blue Golem and use Unspeakable Horror on him. Use Duskbringer again and smite him. With some luck you should get Blue Buff and really low HP, so go back to base.

Second Round of jungling should be this one then:

Finish madred'sMadred's Razor and go get golems, then Red and then Wraiths. You can now go gank whichever lane needs it. You should be around lvl6 now, so look for any enemy with low HP or with his lane pushed.

For the ganking, there are several ways to do it. You can:
  • Use Paranoia, jump to enemy champ, use Unspeakable Horror ASAP and then Duskbringer, hit them till they die
  • Aproach from bushes using Duskbringer to cut the gap and then using Unspeakable Horror to ensure they don't get away
  • If they come to you on bush, pop Unspeakable Horror and hit them till fear wears out. Then use Duskbringer and get the kill

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Mid Game

So you've got first blood, or maybe a few succesful ganks till now.

Around Mid Game you should have:

So now it's where you see how things are going... so if:

  • you are doing ok without difficulty, you can start building towards Bloodthirster.
  • you feel you are too squishy and some enemies keep running away, get Phage.

Mid game is all about you ganking non-stop, go around the jungle and get minions if lanes are pushed to your side. Try to always go around jungle, but keep in range of lanes, so you can use Paranoia if needed.

Now... you've got Wriggle's Lantern, so you get a free ward. This doesn't mean you shouldn't buy more. Buy some more wards when you can and place them in places where you can gank.

Here's a map with good wards spots and escape routes:

With wards in those places you can easily gank an enemy getting red or blue. Keep in mind the possible escape routes that you have, cause after you kill someone you could get easily overwhelmed by the enemy team.

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Late Game

So you are now into late game, everyone's got their core items and you can see that the game is going to end soon. Team battles are really important now, and getting some kills before a full-clash is really important. This is where YOU come in.

You should have:

Now that you are into late game, you should choose a target which you will focus on teamfights. Always try to get a kill before a full-clash happens (a 5v5), so your team gets some advantage (5v4, or even 5v3). In team fights there are two ways for you to fight:

  • you can go along with your team, harass with Duskbringer, and wait for someone to initiate. When that happens, just hit the target closer to you, and wait for the right chance to use Paranoia and jump into your previously chosen target (annoying ranged carries or mages).
  • the other way to enter a fight is to wait till both teams start fighting, and enter the fight directly with Paranoia, this way your team can focus one champion, while you murder your main target

In teamfights remember to always keep moving, and use Ghost if you can, so you get a nice movement bonus. Always keep in mind what spell to block with Shroud of Darkness. For example, let's say that the enemy team has Sion, try to get your shield up when you see Sion getting close to stun you. Always try to block CC with your shield and not only damage spells.

Try to finish your Frozen Mallet for a nice HP bonus and the slow. When you are in late game always remember to buy elixirs with your spare money.

If you think you need more HP then get:
> >

If you just want to kill faster:
> >

Try to get Baron if you can, as Nocturne can deliver a great amount of damage AND lower his armor with the debuff from Black Cleaver.

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Final Thoughts and Tips

Nocturne is a really gank oriented champion, try always to flank your enemies or appear behind corners and bushes. If you meet an enemy on melee range you will most likely kill them.

Remember that Paranoia has some more uses besides ganking.

  • You can save someone on your team if he is about to get ganked
  • You can use it to escape a gank by targetting a far away lonely champ
  • You can use it in middle of team-battles to jump against that little bastard killing your team

Always remember to use Shroud of Darkness, as it can Block ONE enemy skill AND give you Atk.Speed, learn to time the perfect moment to use it.

Try not to activate Shroud of Darkness while the enemy is feared, silenced or stunned, as you will waste some precious seconds when they can't use skills on you. Remember that if you get a Banshee's Veil you'll get a double shield to protect you, so don't be afraid to mix items from the two builds.

I find Nocturne a really fun champ to play with, as you will give the enemy team a big headache the whole game.

I hope you enjoyed this build, please leave a comment and vote. I appreciate all the feedback you can give, post your suggestions so I can make this a better guide. Post your results in the comment section if you can, and I will add them to the guide =)

Good luck out there and let them... Taste the Nightmare!