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Nocturne Build Guide by PhantomAfro95

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League of Legends Build Guide Author PhantomAfro95

(W.I.P!) Darkness will Rule! - A Nocturne Guide

PhantomAfro95 Last updated on April 13, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, I am PhantomAfro95 and this is my first build on Mobafire for one of my favorite champions, Nocturne the Eternal Nightmare! Please feel free to up or down rate this guide based on what you think and leave a comment or two on what you think of the build or the guide. I would greatly appreciate it!

Nocturne is what I feel a very versatile champion, as he can play quite a few roles in the team, but is mainly seen in the Jungle or on occasion, in Top Lane. I haven't experimented with Jungle Nocturne outside of the #1 Nocturne guide right now, so I will fiddle around there and add a Jungle Build at some point in the future.

But without further ado, here is the mighty Lane Nocturne!

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+ Naturally High AS
+ Global Vision Debuff + Fear
+ Chase/Escape with Duskbringer
+ Can gank well before and after 6.
+ Strong harass early game,


- Constantly focused
- Mana-eater early game
- Squishy early game
- Can be difficult to recover from bad start

All right, so we have a few good and bad things with Nocturne. With the Attack speed runes, at level one, Nocturne has a ridiculously high attack speed that just grows higher with Shroud of Darkness. The pre-level 6 game is also pretty powerful, having Unspeakable Horror for fear, a shield, a way to chase and to boost your attack speed even higher. However, his skills early on cost a lot of mana so a blue buff for the first few levels is recommended or you'll be have less sustain in lane. Now, while you can hit hard, Nocturne isn't built to take a ton of damage at once. Stuns and slows are not friendly, so be wary of enemy champs with those debuffs, because that will quickly snowball you into a rut that would be difficult to get out of. Now, let's move onto his skill set.

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Unique Skills


  • Umbra Blades:

    Ok here is the passive that lets him harass lanes that push too hard and completely destroy in the jungle. Every 10 seconds, the next auto attack all surrounding enemies for 120% damage. In lane, this lets you clear opposing minion waves in a heartbeat, and with a healthy bonus of healing for each enemy that gets hit. Best place to use this would be right in the middle of the enemy wave. In addition to all of this, the CD is reduced for each auto attack, so you can spam the ability back to back (especially if your using the Speedy Ghostalez build). In the jungle, this gives you added sustain, allowing you to heal in the midst of fighting the minion camps.
  • Duskbringer (Q):

    This skill will be the bread and butter out of all your skills. This ability lets you chase or escape enemies. When it is fired, a cool spectral hand is launched from Nocturne and travels in a straight line, and pretty quickly too. As it travels, it will leave behind a trail of dark energy, granting you bonus attack damage (15/25/35/45/55) and bonus movement speed (5%/20%/25%/30%/35%). In addition to this, if the claw hits an enemy champion, they leave a trail too meaning if the enemy starts retreating, you start chasing. However, if your ever on the nasty side of a fight and you haven't used it yet, it also works as a secondary method of escape. Whenever I need to run far, I pop a flash and then a quick Q to haul it out of there. But the fun doesn't stop there when you need to run or chase. Ever been chasing an enemy just as they are about to die, your ignite is on cooldown, and they only have about 10 health left, when all of a sudden, a minion wave cuts you the hell off? Not anymore! When on that trail of darkness, you ignore unit collision! Whether your chasing or escaping, this thing will usually net you a kill or save your life.
  • Shroud of Darkness (W):

    Please do not forget this skill. I have heard from people before that since this is a one hit shield, they don't even bother using it, only leveling it up for the Attack speed, and while that bonus is great, having a skill that protects you from an enemy spell is always good. When timed properly, you can actually can quickly protect yourself from fatal damage or ultimates, but the window of opportunity for that is slim. The best way to use this, I feel, is to pop it when your spidey-senses start tingling and tell you that the enemy is going to try and hit you. The reason why I say that the skill can save your life would be best shown through example (and while it wasn't me it is exactly what I mean you should do!).
  • Unspeakable Horror (E):

    Now for your small form of CC, but one that can devastate just about everyone, is Unspeakable Horror. For any Fiddlesticks fans think of this as a Terrify that works with a leash of Drain. For everyone else, here is how this skill works. It creates a thread between you and the target, and for 2 seconds, they are dealt an amount of magic damage. If they stay within range of the leash for 2 seconds, they get feared. Now, if you saw the video from above, you can see how that can quickly destroy your health, especially in early game. I've gotten some nice early game kills by fearing the enemy right by my turret. People just don't seem to notice how fast that 2 seconds goes by. I use this skill in conjunction with ignite to deal nice amounts of damage to squishes during the early phase of the game.
  • Paranoia (R):
    Sorry about that. That tends to happen when I get to the ulti. And I am not kidding. Nocturne's ultimate acts as a global vision debuff. Now, I don't mean that the enemies can't see anything. That would be too good. But, it means that they cannot see what their teammates, wards or turrets see unless they are right there with it, as their own vision has also been reduced. Now that is just part one of his ulti. Part II lets him dash towards an enemy champion that is within range...and that range is from here to BFD (Butt-Fudge Demacia) and it just gets wider with each level, meaning they are not getting away. However, this only works with champions in sight.

    This is just in case this ever happens. If a Twisted Fate is on your team and he uses Destiny, be ready with Paranoia. Global Sight for your team means that NOBODY WILL BE SAFE, As long as the enemy is within range of course.

    Now for the psychological terror that comes with it. Not to many champs that I can think of get rid of your teams vision like that. It would be a nightmare, no pun intended, know, your laning, and OOPS you pop your ulti, and during the darkness have your team push a lane with the entire team. You know, the usual. But still, playing Nocturne is like being the Joker. Do you want to mess with their minds? The answer is you already have.

    Let's move on to the runes and why they are what they are.

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Speedy Ghostalez Runes


Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
All right, time to see what goes on with this rune page.

Now, this might seem strange for lane. "Attack speed? Outside of the jungle? Not teemo? Will never work." But that is what I like. The fact that it is strange, and something that most if not anybody, would ever do, and it works well with the way that I play Nocturne. When I play this Nocturne, I prioritize. First goal is to always push hard and push fast. Before I get my Statikk Shiv, I would use the Q for kiting, and then, once I feel that I can go in for a kill,which is usually once I get my fear going, I chase in and finish them off with an Ignite+ Unspeakable Horror combo while throwing in some auto attacks. After I push the lane, the target is the turret, which is why high attack speed comes in handy, allowing you to take down that tower as fast as you can.

If you are in a duo lane, then this works even better. In game, I have developed a fun lane combo that I have nicknamed the "Nightmare Commando", which is Nocturne and Garen on top. Like a Garen should, he hides in the bushes, while I act as if I am doing a solo lane. However, once I see him jump out, we immediately rain down some hell on the champion closest to the both of us, netting one of us a Level 1 kill and putting us a nice couple of steps ahead of the enemy. Once I hit level 2, Nightmare Garen hits full force (Ever been feared and ignited next to a spinning Demacian?). Again, once I net the Statikk Shiv, things just end up sad for the enemy, with Turrets falling left and right.

Greater Glyph for Scaling Magic Resist
Ok, these are a lot shorter to explain. Nocturne has a brittle defense until you buy the Frozen Mallet. These Seals and Glyphs provide excellent defenses for early game. Some of you might wonder why I chose flat armor instead of scaling armor. It is due to placement. Being that this Nocturne is a top laner, where the melee champions rule, you need the instant gratification of having higher defenses, especially in the early game.

Again, another simple one for Nocturne. With this build, outside of the sudden discharge from the Shiv and the AD from BT, you don't get a uber crazy damage output, so to remedy that problem, slap on some Flat AD Quints and boom, your early game just got that much stronger!

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Masteries for Speedy Ghostalez

Starting with the offensive tree, we have points in all of the skills to boost Nocturnes favorite things: Attack Speed, Armor Penetration, and overall damage. Being that I use speedy ghostalez to help clear objectives, I grab the Destruction mastery to focus down those towers quicker (currently testing out other possible masteries).

Then there are the 9 points in defense that give you some well needed armor and health regeneration. Like I said earlier, Nocturne will be squishy early game. Now being that top lane is usually short ranged melee champs, you can get away before they deal damage. But there are also people like Kha'Zix and Jax with their amazing gap closing leaps, slows like Undertow from Olaf which will destroy most of your chances of getting away, and worst of all Darius whom will just pull you in, give you some blood stacks and ignite and/or ulti. I will list specific characters who are big threats to Nocturne at a later date (I am accepting volunteers for data gathering! XD)

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Now for the fun stuff: The items that make Lane Nocturne such an evil specter in top lane. Now, I won't just explain the ones used in the example final build but the situational items as well and how they can be used to their fullest.

Let me start with the boots
Berserker's Greaves
+20% Attack Speed
UNIQUE Passive - Enhanced Movement: +45 Movement Speed
These things are usually, if not always, my go to boots. Usually the first thing I buy after the standard start of Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion. By the time you get these you should be creeping up on level 4, unless you've already scored a kill or an assist, meaning you might already be ahead of the game. Now, once you have your Shroud of Darkness, your attack speed really starts to climb, pushing 1.10+, meaning you can whittle down the health of enemy champs much faster or destroy objectives rather quickly. For a enchantment, I usually get Enchantment: Furor for additional movement speed when chasing down a target.

Ninja Tabi
+25 armor
Unique - Enhanced Movement: +45 Movement Speed
Unique: Blocks 10% of the damage from basic attacks.
These are the only other boots I would ever consider getting for Nocturne. Remember the earlier cons list? Says he is kind of squishy? These boots fix that...well early game anyway. It's passive allows you to take 10% less damage from autoattacks, meaning more chances to escape or chase down without fear of getting UBER tricked into a 1v1 with you super diving past their tower. Only get this if you are facing heavy auto attack damage from your enemy top lane. Other then that, get the Greaves.

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Coming Soon!

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Working on the jungle build right now so give me a little bit XD.