Nocturne Build Guide

[S3] I ain't afraid of no ghosts

Uploader TheOddOne
Updated 4 years ago
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Attack Speed (+1.7% attack speed)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist (+0.16 magic resist per level (+3 at champion level 18))
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration (+2.56 armor penetration)
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

With season 3 around, I still believe Nocturne to be a strong jungler (aside from possible weak matchups before nocturne gets double buff and some opponents like Zyra) due to his long range closer and ability to zone out the enemy AD carry by simply ulting. I've chosen him to build him more tanky (though apparently it's been a trend now to see madred/warmog/randuin nocturnes at my elo) than what is expected but I believe it gets the job done and I'll explain in this guide this style.

I believe these runes are similar to the ones I've been running since they changed masteries in S2 (which made 21 utility not so good). These masteries are actually better in S3 now due to the addition of [imgsmall=items/hunters-machete.png] and the fact that it's stronger with attack speed than flat damage due to the 10 true damage per hit. That said, Nocturne has weak attack speed until he gets high levels of his [imgsmall=skills/nocturne/w.png] and blocks a spell so attack speed is fine for early game. The armor penetration is there due to it being strong for Nocturne as it gives nice damage and since Nocturne's AD ratios don't warrant stacking AD like say Riven or Zed, armor penetration is a better deal. Nocturne's AD Ratios: Passive Q W E R 0.2 0.75 0 0 1.2 = 2.15 Riven's AD Ratios: Passive Q W E R 0.5 0.7-2.1 1.0 1.0 0.6-1.8 = 3.8-6.4 Zed's AD Ratios: Passive Q W E R 0 1.0-1.5 0.25 0.8 1.0 = 3.05-3.55 This makes it fairly clear, Nocturne gains very little benefit from AD compared to the AD bruisers/assassins that actually build AD. Nocturne is in the same class as Xin Zhao who builds mostly tanky and attempts to do damage from just his skillset.

This is literally copied from my previous guides aside from me updating the skill data as it's been slightly changed (such as umbra blades passive healing for less) as the idea behind the skills hasn't changed much if at all. [title][img=skills/nocturne/p.png] Passive: Umbra Blades[/title] [number]Every 10 seconds, Nocturne's next attack strikes surrounding enemies for 120% physical damage and heals himself for 10/18/26 per target hit. Nocturne's basic attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Despite seeming weak, this skill is far more deadly than it seems. Having a flat 20% bonus damage is a huge boost and the fact that it's aoe means when in combination with Duskbringer, it'll shred minion waves or small camps. Add in the healing for some decent sustain in the jungle and you have one of the stronger passives of the game. Be sure to position Nocturne to hit as many minions/neutrals as possible in order to maximize damage and heal. [title][img=skills/nocturne/q.png] Q: Duskbringer[/title] [number]Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals 60/105/150/195/240 (+75% attack damage) physical damage and leaves a Dusk Trail for 5 seconds. Enemy champions hit also leave a Dusk Trail. While on the trail, Nocturne ignores unit collision and gains 15/20/25/30/35% Movement Speed and 15/25/35/45/55 Attack Damage. Cooldown 10 seconds Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana Range 1200[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This skill is absolutely crucial in virtually every aspect of Nocturne. This ability allows Nocturne to deal heavy physical damage, clear waves as well as chase and escape. Landing this in a gank is critical as the movespeed difference between a Nocturne that is running on this path and one that isn't is huge due to the fact the stat bonus is insane. Not to mention that the path gives a huge damage boost to Nocturne which at early levels could be a 50% increase. Add in Umbra Blades and suddenly Nocturne is hitting for very high damage without many damage items. [title][img=skills/nocturne/w.png] W: Shroud of Darkness[/title] [number]Passive: Nocturne has 20/25/30/35/40% bonus Attack Speed. Active: Nocturne creates a magical barrier for 1.5 seconds, which blocks the next enemy ability. If an ability is blocked by the shield, Nocturne's passive Attack Speed bonus doubles for 5 seconds. Cooldown 20/18/16/14/12 Cost 50 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A spell that helps Nocturne survive longer in fights or initiate a gank, this spell is useful to have even at level 1. Having this up during a gank can be the difference between getting cced and not being able to chase for the kill and getting the kill by blocking the cc. The attack speed bonus is nice as well, it helps even when it doesn't block anything. Note that this spell can block a baron physical attack because of the way his attacks work allowing for a quick attack speed boost when taking him down. Remember to also try to time this during ganks with Nocturne ult in the lane phase to block any stuns or slows/disables that'll be flying your way before you completely land (especially bot lane) as it may completely ruin your gank if you fail to do so. [title][img=skills/nocturne/e.png] E: Unspeakable Horror[/title] [number]Nocturne plants a nightmare into his target's mind, dealing 50/100/150/200/250 (+100% ability power) magic damage over 2 seconds. If Nocturne stays within 525 range of the target for the full duration, the target becomes feared for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s). Cooldown 15/14/13/12/11 seconds Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana Range 425[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Another spell Nocturne relies on during his chases or ganks, this spell is the only disable he has. This is very useful in 1v1 duels as it can render the enemy useless for 2 seconds while you whack on them. In ganks this spell is useful due to it's range as most often it'll take a flash or more to get away from the chain as Nocturne tends to run faster than his opponents. This is maxed after Duskbringer. [title][img=skills/nocturne/r.png] R: Paranoia[/title] [number]Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision for 4 seconds. While Paranoia is active, Nocturne can launch himself at an enemy champion, dealing 150/250/350 (+120% attack damage ) physical damage. Cooldown 180/140/100 seconds Cost 100 mana Range 2000/2750/3500[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] One of the strongest ultimates in the game, once obtained at level 6 this puts Nocturne amongst the best gankers in the game. Unlike TF or Pantheon who require channeling for their ultimates, the only warning the enemy team gets is the loss of all allied vision. This spell is extremely deadly in fights with numerous brushes as the enemies will be forced to walk in melee range to check the contents of any brush when this ultimate is active. This spell is often a kill, an objective (to block vision when finishing it) or at the very least a few summoners blown for the enemy team. Be warned if this doesn't gain much of an advantage in the lane phase as Nocturne will be fairly weak until it comes back up unless fed due to his skillset being stronger late game than early.

There is very little difference here from my previous guide on Nocturne aside from the early game choices. If you're planning to gank early (level 2 gank): Q->E->W->Q Otherwise: Q->W->E->Q I've found you do the camps faster with W than E at level 2 and if you start red as Nocturne, it's possible you won't have enough mana to spam E at every camp due to not having blue buff. Regardless Nocturne tends to be fairly weak against counterjungling unless he gets double buff and the jump on someone by blocking their best enemy skill.

WHENEVER YOU HAVE SPARE CASH AFTER BUYING ITEMS AND YOUR TEAM NEEDS SOME VISION ON MAP: [imgsmall=items/sight-ward.png] (bless your soul if you buy these) If you believe a dragon play can be made and your support doesn't have one: [imgsmall=items/vision-ward.png] Start with: [imgsmall=items/hunters-machete.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] While it is possible to have different items here, Nocturne tends to be fairly weak early game and this start is just safest for him (unless you fort pot but thats 250 gold). The machete builds into [imgsmall=items/madreds-razors.png] which we need anyway so we don't lose that much gold from the 5 potions. Fairly standard for most jungles as this is the faster and safer start for most. Next on first buy back (unless something bad happens): [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/madreds-razors.png] Hopefully you're able to stay on the field sufficiently to buy these items in one go, often it'll be possible by doing a full clear and a couple extra camps after (750 gold total needed, preferably more to have enough money for a potion or 2 or even a ward with potion). Depending on if the enemy has a ton of CC or AD auto attack damage: [imgsmall=items/berserkers-greaves.png] (most cases) or [imgsmall=items/mercurys-treads.png](must vs fid) or [imgsmall=items/ninja-tabi.png] Most cases we can rely on the beserkers greaves to give us a needed damage bonus for diving the back lines, though in some cases such as when you're facing heavy AD assassin/casters such as Khazix, Pantheon or powerful AD carries such as Twitch, Ninja Tabi is better. Mercury treads is good against heavy CC teams such as any team with fiddle or stuff like Nunu as nothing hurts a Nocturne dive more than constant slows and snares. Next for more sustain and speed/utility: [imgsmall=items/wriggles-lantern.png] Some people don't proceed to this item (but rather skip to a raw tank item like Warmogs) but I prefer to get this even after the vamp scepter change as it gives nice utility and maintains a solid jungle speed with Nocturne as well as helps him sustain due to the lifesteal. Your only offensive item needed in this trololo meta of stacking HP items: [imgsmall=items/the-brutalizer.png] or [imgsmall=items/hexdrinker.png] if they have a bit of magic dmg (unlikely in S3 tho) Fairly self explanatory, if the enemy isn't really Magic damaged based, you can go hexdrinker (which is a fantastic item against APs) as it gives significant defense bonuses and damage for the small price. Otherwise brutazlier will give you a bigger offensive punch and be the final damage item for a while as squishies are weak vs high hp bruisers. First defense item (strong for teamfights, strong vs physical damage): [imgsmall=items/locket-of-the-iron-solari.png] I love this item, it gives significant stats to the user (cdr,hp,armor and useless hp regen lawls) but also gives additional HP to allies and Nocturne when it's active ability is turned on. In teamfights, this can be one of the strongest items in the game if it hits several people and the enemy breaks their shields. Even without having the shield for allies, this item is still very strong due to the stats given. While warmogs is very strong in terms of stats, typically the enemy will attempt to ignore the warmog users and focus your allies, so Locket can protect them for a bit of damage if they get by you. Try to fit this in when you have less than 1k gold (giant belt) but more than 475: [imgsmall=items/enchantment-homeguard.png] This enchantment can save significant time if bought during the right conditions. Typically I prefer to pressure the map such as getting a kill or tower and instantly healing to full before the enemy counter attack. Nocturne can get to the field very fast due to Nocturne having additional range due to his ult meaning it could be very easy for Nocturne to heal and get to middle of the map within 10 seconds. Next depending on enemy comp (usually getting both is fine, but get the one you need most first): [imgsmall=items/warmogs-armor.png] or [imgsmall=items/randuins-omen.png] (vs Vayne especially and fed ADCs) At this point in game, the squishies are probably getting owned by stuff like olaf and shen just building raw tank items and as such you should be making the same so they don't kill you effortlessly. Currently the game heavily favors this style of play as squishies tend to lose out in a fight against bruisers due to the power of defensive items currently. Due to this, non tank AP casters have somewhat fallen out of favor to the tankier ones due to everyone stacking massive amounts of health. I personally go warmogs if I find that there arent many auto attackers that are doing significant damage at this point of the game, otherwise I get Randuins if I fear that their enemy auto attackers are putting up decent damage. Though I personally get both when I have enough gold. If game hasn't ended due to tanky bruisers rolling over anyone dumb enough not to make a warmogs: [imgsmall=items/youmuus-ghostblade.png] or [imgsmall=items/maw-of-malmortius.png] (depending on which you had earlier) To end it, you can upgrade your damage item that you got earlier and you should still be able to duel their backlines, otherwise start praying your ADC can shred their tanks better since this is the one point in the game they're really useful to have around.

Nocturne can start anywhere though I personally prefer blue start : Smiteless Blue (allies help damage it significantly so you don't need to smite): Wolves->Blue->Red -> Gank or wraiths to wolves to gank or double golems to wraiths Smite used on Blue Wolves->Blue->Wraiths->Wolves depending on enemy jungle OR Red -> Red or Gank ->Gank or Wraiths To Wolves What I mean by depending on the enemy jungle, if the enemy jungle is strong like a Lee Sin or Xin Zhao and it's likely they'll gank or counter jungle, it is advised to remove your red buff from the field as soon as possible or else they'll try to steal it. Otherwise doing the wolves to red then wraiths path allows you to get a faster level 6 as you're being more efficient with the camps. Red start: Smiteless Red (allies help damage it significantly so you don't need to smite): Wraiths->Red->Blue->gank or wolves to wraiths Smite used on Red: Wraiths->Red->Wolves->Blue->Gank or wraiths to wolves Similar reasoning as above, but often you'll be in a better position on the map due to wraiths being in a more ideal reaction spot than wolves.

Early on, focus on that one gank with your double buff and flash otherwise focus on getting level 6 to have strong ganks. The reason I don't like ganking when Nocturne doesn't have red buff is his kill pressure is very low pre-6 without that additional true damage and extra slow from red buff. So mostly your job will be to counter the enemy movements by seeing where he walks with your wards (that you're hopefully buying). Simply farm once your red buff is down unless there is a very easy gank chance (the enemy over extends and you can appear behind them). Once you hit level 6, you must use it to either get a kill or secure an objective (say force enemy to heal and you take tower or dragon) due to it's huge cooldown. Combined with redbuff, you must be able to take out some of the enemy summoners or kill them as you barely get 2 chances to gank with red buff and Nocturne ultimate due to the cooldown and duration of red buff. Ganking through lane mid/bottom is preferred as you can get a easy tower or dragon from it.

Mid game you'll be trying to dive the enemy squishy back lines (only if you have additional divers as you'll die instantly without tank items if you dive in 1v5) but if you can't, it's better to cast your vision to screw with the enemy backlines as they can't see anything and may be forced to walk in a little too close to you and that's when you can jump them. Having good ward coverage is essential outside of teamfights as you'll be able to see if the enemy is isolated and a Nocturne with red buff and [imgsmall=skills/nocturne/e.png], you'll be able to slow or stall the isolated champion for your team to pick off. If you do manage to get your tanky items by now, the enemy back lines will tend to fall to diving pressure from Nocturne and his allied bruiser tanks (olaf,kat,shen etc) due to the enemy ADCs not having the items yet to deal with a warmog/locket or randuins frontline dive. So I usually tend to focus these squishies at this point in the game as they're easily disposed of by bruisers at this point.

Late game is mostly about teamfights and using [imgsmall=skills/nocturne/r.png]'s darkness effect to the best of your abilities. Often you'll be zoning the enemy AD carry rather than killing them as it's possible that they're fed enough to kill you if they kite you enough. In these cases, I like to feint the enemy AD carry into flashing or tumbling/shifting/quickdrawing away from me then instantly turn to help damage the enemy frontliners as their ADC will be gone from the fight for a few seconds which can be very useful if your ADC is still auto attacking the tanks. Nocturne ultimate also has a similar effect as the enemy ADC should never jump into a fight during Nocturne ult as he cannot see very far so they'll waste valuable time slowly moving up and being careful not to be jumped. At this stage of the game, it relies on the team's ADC to destroy the enemy tanks before the enemy ADC destroys you and your bruiser buddies.

Sorry for the brief guide, it was more of an update (but I redid almost everything since I felt almost everything needed updating) and I didn't have enough time to give good videos for this. Otherwise just look up some of my streamed videos at and hopefully you'll be able to find a recording of a Nocturne game somewhere. There are actually really good indepth guides for Nocturne on so I suggest you check those out as I simply don't have the time to go that indepth on a single guide so I just decided to give out how I build him and play him rather than explain every single tip and trick to him. I believe there are already 2 good approved guides out there on this site. Regardless, thanks for reading and hopefully this helps you play Nocturne at a higher level. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK:

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