Nocturne Build Guide

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ArcFox's Guide to Nocturne - The Eternal Nightmare

written by ArcFox

Nocturne Build

Table of Contents

  • Author Introduction

    Hello there! The name is Michael, a.k.a. ArcFox. I have reached level 30 some time ago and have played about 800 Games in total. I'm playing on the EU-West servers, so don't bother trying to add me if you are playing in the US. ;-)

    Quite many of my games I have played with Nocturne already. And I'm impressed of his abilites. He's not OP in my eyes as quite many call him, but the synergy of his abilities is just wonderful and with this guide, I'd like to inform you about this fantastic Champ. I'll try to explain his abilities, his laning capabilites, etc. Whatever you expect from a good guide, I'll try to include it. :)

    One thing: About jungling. Chances are I'm not the best jungler, so I thought about Nocturne and his potential on a lane, whether it's top, bot or even mid. He is awesome concerning harassment and pushing. To make it short, his laning capabilities are extremely good. I'm not saying though that Nocturne is a bad jungler. In fact, many people have proven to me that Nocturne has a lot of potential there as well and is one of the faster champs to efficiently clear the jungle. Still, with this guide I'd like to tell you more about Nocturne in general and how a good lanebuild looks like.

    Whenever you aren't fully sure what the abilities do or how to use them, scroll down. At the bottom of this page you'll find the section about Nocturnes abilities, their damage output and advice on how and when to use them.

    And before starting, some basic information for those of you who already know how to play. This is a CD Reduction build for Nocturne focusing on him playing on a lane, not in the jungle. If needed, even playing mid. I harass a lot, but CD Reduction does not imply you spam your abilities without thinking! CDR Nocturne has one big purpose: To not have his abilites on CD during most of the teamfights and by that be viable to your team.

    Just to make something clear before we start, this is a detailed guide about Nocturne and everything related to him and my build. However, if you're the kind of guy that just wants some simple informations, there is a so called "Quick Reference" section where everything is listed as short as possible. I have no real intentions to make this guide shorter but to improve readability I used quite many spoiler tags. If you want to know more about a certain section, simply click the spoiler button.

    Thanks for reading this guide and I hope you enjoy it!

    I invested a lot of time and work into my guides. If you really like them why not buy me a coffee? ;-) You can use the link below to donate any sum that you want via PayPal. Every coffee bought by this money will be directly invested into my guides, I promise! :)

    //Click here to go to my PayPal donation page

  • [ Alt + Tab ] Quick Reference

    Some people have asked me if this guide maybe isn't TOO detailed for those of you who just want to get a quick glimpse at the items, masteries, runes, etc. To solve this problem, I decided to create a so called "Quick Reference". Everything is in here, as short as only possible. Keep in mind that everything mentioned here is explained in the various sections of this guide.

    Starting Item
    (offensive) or (defensive) or (early harassment after recall)

    Core Items during Early- and Midgame
    + + + [item_icon=Stark's Fervor]

    If you get fed during Earlygame:
    Replace [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] with

    Offensive Options for Endgame Items
    or or or [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] or

    Defensive Options for Endgame Items
    or or or or or or or or [item_icon=Eleisa's Miracle]

    Interesting (very situational!) Options for Endgame Items
    or [item_icon=Tiamat] or or or

    Standart 21/0/9
    Modified 21/6/3 if going for a bit more survivability.


    Summoner Spells
    Good Summoner Spells
    or or

    Acceptable Summoner Spells
    or or or

    Good Combinations
    1. + ([mastery_icon=Haste])

    2. + ([mastery_icon=Cripple])

    3. + ([mastery_icon=Cripple])

  • Changelog - Guide - Version 1.19

    - [14.07.2011] Updated the guide to the latest patch.

    - [...]
    - [27.03.2011] Published the first version. :)
    The changelog only shows the 5 most recent changes. For the last 4 click on the spoiler button.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, just use the comment system! I'm opened to all ways of constructive feedback. :) If you want, you can even add me ingame if you need help with Nocturne. Remeber though that I'm only playing on EU-West servers.

  • Changelog - Patch History

    - [23.06.2011] Patch

    - [23.06.2011] Patch

    - [10.05.2011] Patch

    - [26.04.2011] Patch

  • Some Words Before We Start

    External Image ___ Welcome to ArcFox's Guide to Nocturne - The Eternal Nightmare! ___ External Image

    With this guide I'd like to tell you more about this fantastic champ. And what better is there to start talking about then the Item Build which follows next? With my playstyle I go for cooldown reduction meaning I can use my abilities more often. There is a cap of 40% CD Reduction. The game does not allow more, even if your items would give you. I combine this with as much AD and Armor Penetration as needed since every ability of Nocturne scales with AD and the reason I choose Armor Penetration is selfexplaining. I do this for one simple reason: Nocturne isn't like Master Yi, his abilites actually ARE useful and DO a lot of damage. Simple thinking: You need them as often as possible, of course without wasting them.

    If you don't know his abilities yet, please scroll down to the bottom of this page before you continue to read, as I have explained every ability of Nocturne, what exactly it does, how you can or should use it and how that ability affects your damage output. It is essential that you know what Nocturne is capable of and even more important, what he is NOT capable of. Being a tank would be the most obvious answer just to give you a simple example.

    Some think that Nocturne is an assassin, striking with his ultimate spell Paranoia out of the darkness (bush), killing his opponents in a direct combat before he leaves again. Some think that Nocturne is best suited in the jungle, leveling without his allies and without the enemy knowing where he is. Some think his harassment and pushing skills are so viable to the team they name him a carry. Some others think he's just OP. I say, he's everything out of these statements! Wait, actually he ain't OP >.>

    It depends a bit on how you want to play Nocturne, but you can be both, Assassin and Carry. He has great potential on every lane, even mid, and he's one of the faster champions who can clear the jungle efficiently. Whatever you do however, Nocturne remains squishy. Squishy is a popular word to describe a champion who can't take much damage. The less damage he can take, the more squishy he is. And Nocturne is definitely one of the more squishy champions available. But that also implies his damage output is quite high, right? Actually, yes and no. He's not a nuker, meaning he can't kill a champion with one big massive attack. He needs all his abilities and his auto attacks to efficiently kill an enemy.

    What makes Nocturne so interesting is the aspect, that his abilities scale very nicely with attack damage. Meaning the more AD you have, the more damage your abilities do. I very early saw this potential and decided to try out a new build for Nocturne, one that focuses on cooldown reduction and having much AD. It was clear to me that he ain't a pure DPS champ, meaning he shouldn't just focus on his Auto Attacks and like Master Yi run towards an enemy and use the right mousebutton for winning. Of course this does not mean you should forget about his auto attacks, but still, getting as much attack speed as possible isn't worth it. Not for Nocturne.

    External Image ___ I hope you enjoy this guide and feel free to comment if you have a question or just want to say thanks. :) ___ External Image

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Build Summary - Core Build

    This section now explains the core itembuilds. During the past few weeks I have found more then just one to be effective. Thanks to Fruz I have experimented with different items during the Earlygame and the early Midgame. It depends a bit on how you want to play Nocturne. All builds have one thing in common however! They all focus on getting enough CDR in combination with your runes so you will definitely have 40% CDR or at least you'll get very close to this value.

    Remember this:
    If you think about selling an item for another later core item, only sell it for the finished item! And think thoroughly about what you are selling. Don't sell Philosopher's Stone if you're having mana problems. Don't sell Doran's Shield if you're dying a bit too often (asuming you started with it instead of another item), etc. And keep in mind you don't have to say all your gold until you can buy a finished item, as most items consist of smaller items who already help your gameplay a lot.

    Itembuild Nr. 1 - [CDR | ArPen | Early Harassment]
    Starting Item:
    1. Doran's Blade (aggressive approach)
    1. Regrowth Pendant (get your core items sooner)
    1. Doran's Shield (defensive approach. Good for beginners)

    Core items during Early- and Midgame:
    2. Philosopher's Stone starting with Faerie Charm
    3. Youmuu's Ghostblade out of The Brutalizer
    4. Ionian Boots of Lucidity out of Boots of Speed
    5. [item=Stark's Fervor] starting with [item=Emblem of Valour]

    You need to get the Philosopher's Stone as soon as possible, as it massively improves your gameplay. If you started with a Regrowth Pendant teleport back as soon as you have the 365 gold to buy the Stone or if the opportunity is good enough to stay then do so until you collected 715 gold for your Boots of Speed as well. Your next big step after getting your basic boots is Youmuu's Ghostblade. Try to rush your The Brutalizer as it will help you a lot. After getting the Brutalizer, you could think about getting the Ionian Boots of Lucidity first, but it's situational. They don't improve your damage output, they just make you faster. Don't build them first if you want to continue farming on your lane. It's a little funny if you manage to get Avarice Blade before finishing the Ghostblade as this will make it a bit cheaper. 0,5g per sec seems like nothing but if you recall two minutes later to get your Ghostblade you gained 60gold.

    Now, your [item=Stark's Fervor] has to follow. Always start with [item=Emblem of Valour] as you need the lifesteal. Starks Fervor will not increase your AD, so this ain't the best combination if you are constently trying to gank enemy champs and only fight for a few seconds before leaving again. The bonus aura helps your team a lot, so Stark's Fervor is most effective during teamfights. It's a good allrounder item for Nocturne.

    About the recent change to Philosopher's Stone:
    Yes, Riot nerfed this item. My beloved item. :( It's not a very dramatic change but you get 2 HP per 5 less, which is acceptable, and 2 Mana per 5 less, which is kinda annoying. The change isn't bad enough to completely rework the itembuild. 2 Mana per 5 less means during a period of 5 Minutes you get 120 Mana less then before and therefore can't use two, maybe three abilities that you normally could have used. Again: The item is still viable to Nocturne. It got nerfed, but Riot didn't make it useless for Nocturne.

    By now, you should have the following items:
    1. Doran's Blade {-- 475g (475g in total)
    2. Philosopher's Stone {-- 800g (1275g in total)
    3. Youmuu's Ghostblade {-- 2687g (3962g in total)
    4. Ionian Boots of Lucidity {-- 1050g (5012g in total)
    5. [item=Stark's Fervor] {-- 2550g (7562g in total)

    1. b) Regrowth Pendant {-- 435g (7087g in total)

    This core build focuses on using your Duskbringer a lot to both harass the enemy champs and efficently farm a creepwave. While your AD ain't very high, you're great at pushing and harassing and can aid your team a lot. Not the most efficent build if you get fed early and need to focus on yourself rather then your teamplaying abilites. If this happens, leave [item=Stark's Fervor] out and start with an item out of the Offensive Options as you will need to maximize your damage output to keep the advantage you gained. The Bloodthirster is the best option for this, as the lifesteal will greatly help you.

    Alternative Itembuild - [CDR | ArPen | Early Harassment | Midgamedominance]

    From here on, you will have to decide on your own depending on the enemy team, your style of gaming, your teammates and how the match already went. There is no "ultimate" build for Nocturne that works in every situation. Actually, there ain't one for any champ. Just remember: Those items mentioned above represent the core itembuild of a CDR Nocturne focusing on AD. While your damage output might not be the highest on the field, you can use your abilites often and by this be very viable to your team. This isn't a build for someone who wants to win on his own without thinking about teamplay. Actually, League of Legends isn't the game for someone who wants to do this.

    Just remember: Whatever you do, Nocturne still remains squishy! Don't be too cocky, even if fed!

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Build Summary - Itemoptions

    Once again, as there is no ultimate build, you have to vary your itemchoice after building the core itembuild. It depends a lot on who you have to face. Below are Offensive Options, who focus on Nocturne dealing out a lot of damage but not thinking about how squishy he is. If however he is way to squishy for the current fight, you'll have to think about some Defensive Options. And of course, for the more risky and experienced of you, there are some Interesting Options that are very situational, but can pay off very nicely if used correctly. Read the descriptions, they should be enough to give you an idea when an item is effective and when it's not.

    Offensive Options:

    Defensive Options:

    Interesting Options:

    All in all that makes 19 items that can be useful for you. Once again, I can't stress it out enough, it depends on the whole situation what items you need. There is no order in this items listed above. All can do their job pretty well, it just depends what enemy you are facing. This isn't a general phrase to make me look like I know something. You'll never be a good champ if you don't develop your own way of fighting and by that I also mean that you think about what you buy, when you buy it and why you buy it.

    Unworthy Items:

    1. Wriggle's Lantern {-- Only interesting for the ward and the lifesteal. Yes, it's cheap with 1600, but +23 AD ain't much. +30 Armor is nice though if your having some HP problems. You can forget about the other passive. It ain't worth it. For a CDR build this item can't replace any of the early core items as they give you CDR. And building a Lantern instead of [item=Stark's Fervor] or even The Bloodthirster really isn't an option.

    2. Guinsoo's Rageblade {-- Gives you too much AP what you don't need as only Unspeakable Horror scales with it. Not enough AD and attack speed to be effective for Nocturne.

    3. Executioner's Calling {-- 1600 ain't much, but for this one, it's too expensive for Nocturne. It improves your lifesteal and your crits, but since Nocturne isn't a pure DPS champ and shouldn't be played like one this does not give you the advantage you might hope for. The active is nice though. Still not a good choice.

    4. Shurelya's Reverie {-- It is possible to build this out of your Philosopher's Stone, but think about this: The HP reg and mana reg don't give you very much. The amount of mana reg does NOT solve your mana problems if you focus a lot on harassment. It DOES however help you in every other case. 1400 for upgrading the Stone to this is too much for Nocturne. You don't need the CDR anymore and buying this just for the active is way too expensive.

    5. Phantom Dancer {-- I personally don't like it. Once again: You ain't Master Yi. Don't forget your abilities. It doesn't give you any AD at all to improve them.

    6. Manamune {-- Yes, this item solves your mana problems after selling the Philosopher's Stone during Mid- or Lategame and with 1350mana from this and your base mana of 845 at lvl 18 this means 2195 mana. Manamune will only give you a total of +63,9 AD. You also need quite a lot of time, at least 20 minutes, before getting the bonus +1000 Mana. Due to misscalculations I recommended this in earlier versions but to be honest, it's absolutely not worth it.

    7. Berserker's Greaves {-- I've seen many Nocturnes use this. Honestly, you don't need it. There is only one reason in favor of these boots and that is the low price. Nothing else. Youmuu's Ghostblade and [item=Stark's Fervor] already give you a lot of attack speed and your Shroud of Darkness can give you a massive boost. So what do you need those for?

    8. Wit's End {-- Due to the latest patch the manaburn of this item got removed. Now it gives you a little bit magic resist. If you need the magic resist there are better options in this price segment like Hexdrinker. If the enemy has some magic resist this item get's nearly useless as you can't and never should improve the magic damage with magic penetration.

    Remember to vary it a bit as you see fit! The more you know and anticipate about your enemy the better you are. :)

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Build Summary - Build Suggestions

    As there are quite many items you could choose after finishing the core itembuild I mentioned above, here are some suggestions to give you an idea. Those builds ignore the gold and time needed to get them and of course are for a level 18 Nocturne. They are just meant to give you an idea what influence those items have on a CDR Nocturne. Nothing more. They are very situational, so don't build them if you don't understand when a certain build is considered effective and when it simply feeds the enemy. Again, these are just ideas! There are a lot more combinations then those few listed here and all of them are situational.

    Also please note that there is no certain order in this builds. The first one is not the best one and the last one is not the worst one. Also I consider those six items a group and I only talk about this certain group without telling you what item to buy first. These suggestions are just ideas on what an impact they have on your way of gaming. Nothing more, nothing less. Use the spoiler button if you want more detailed informations on a certain build suggestion and why I consider it effective in certain situations. It depends too much on your current situation if you should get the fourth item before the fifth or after. So unfortunately I can't help you with this problem.

    Again, as some people can't understand it, these suggestions are ONLY recommended in very certain situations. Every build has pro and cons. Don't ever think there is an ultimate build that wins in every situation, no matter what you are facing.

    1. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - Total cost of 15.697 gold
    Full CDR and AD with enhanced armor penetration focusing on harassment and auto attacks and avoiding CC. Perfect for killing squishy enemies within seconds. Too squishy for teamfights though! If you only get a few spells, you'll survive. If they focus you, you die very quickly.

    Detailed Informations:

    2. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] [item_icon=Tiamat] - Total cost of 15.427 gold
    Full CDR with enhanced lifesteal. You regenerate HP within seconds, but you lack AD. If you DON'T face much CC, this makes you less squishy in teamfights. Care for stuns/snares though, as they kill you. Extremely efficient for quick farming or defending your own base.

    Detailed Informations:

    3. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - Total cost of 15.002 gold
    Full CDR with improved armor penetration and enhanced survivability. Makes you less squishy, but not a tank either. Care about your mana, as your items don't help you at all!

    Detailed Informations:

    4. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] - Total cost of 17.022 gold
    Full CDR going for DPS with some AD. You kill towers within split seconds due to Duskbringer and Youmuu's Ghostblade's active. Don't forget you're still squishy though! Not a very good build for teamfights. And keep in mind you don't regenerate your mana very efficiently so you will have to use 9 x Greater Seal of Clarity runes to improve your mana regeneration as you will have to use Duskbringer a lot for the increase in AD.

    Detailed Informations:

    5. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - Total cost of 15.272 gold
    Full CDR with added AD and armor penetration at its best. Keep in mind that it gives you nothing if you penetrate all the armor if you don't deal out any damage, that's why I chose Infinity Edge. A considerable option if facing tanks with way to much armor. Sidenote: If you penetrate more armor then the enemy actually has his armor will drop below zero, meaning you will do additional damage!

    Detailed Informations:

    6. [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - Total cost of 15.982 gold
    Full CDR with enhanced armor penetration, AD and lifesteal. A build I truely love. Very efficient, but you're very squishy as well and harassing a lot will give you manaproblems. Don't even dare to intiate a teamfight as that will get you killed.

    Detailed Informations:

    7. - Total cost of 15.882 gold
    Full CDR with a nice amount of AD and enhanced survivability. The allrounder. You're good at pushing combined with your Ghostblade's active, ain't the most squishy one but can deal a nice amount of damage to an enemy champ in a fight.

    Detailed Informations:

    8. - Total cost of 14.177 gold
    Partial CDR with some added AD going for pure survivability. Only recommended if you and your team face ENORMOUS problems with their CC and damage dealers as you have to sacrifice 15% CDR for better boots. This makes you less squishy, but you don't deal out much damage either. Still good for focusing on towers though.

    Detailed Informations:

    9. + or or ... - Total cost of 12.562 gold + the last item
    Full CDR with enhanced survivability and protection against CC. The last item is the most offensive one and depends on what you focus. There are more options than just these two mentioned. Basicly, every item out of the offensive options section that gives you AD is fine. You can resist CC quite nicely and ain't very squishy anymore, but keep in mind you don't deal a lot of damage either!

    Detailed Informations:

    10. [item_icon=Eleisa's Miracle] [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - Total cost of 14.317 gold
    Full CDR with enhanced protection against CC and a nice amount of AD, AS and Lifesteal. It's mainly a build to present you a use for the new Tenacity item. If you face a lot of CC this item will help you without you having to sacrifice 15% CDR.

    Detailed Informations:

    Basicly, that's it. I hoped this few builds could give you some ideas what to try out the next time you're playing Nocturne. Once again, these builds are very situational. There is no ultimate build for Nocturne that works in every situation. But I guess you've read this quite a few times already in my guide already, eh? ;-)

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Explanation - Starting Items

    Why are you choosing this? Why are you choosing that? Well, here are some thoughts about core items, nice items and unworthy items. First, I'll start with the start. The Earlygame is for some the most important part of a game as it can decide a lot, especially if someone gets fed. I listed every single item that you can buy during the start and why or why not you can choose it. Keep in mind we're focusing on a CD Reduction | AD build.

    Worthy Starting Items

    Very Experimental Starting Items

    Unworthy Starting Items

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Explanation - Core Items

    Core Items during Early- and Midgame
    1. Philosopher's Stone

    2. Youmuu's Ghostblade out of The Brutalizer

    3. Ionian Boots of Lucidity out of Boots of Speed

    4. [item=Stark's Fervor] starting with [item=Emblem of Valour]


    1. Doran's Blade {-- 475g (475g in total)
    2. Philosopher's Stone {-- 800g (1275g in total)
    3. Youmuu's Ghostblade {-- 2687g (3962g in total)
    4. Ionian Boots of Lucidity {-- 1050g (5012g in total)
    5. [item=Stark's Fervor] {-- 2550g (7562g in total)

    With your farming skills and a few kills/assists, this can be done quite fast, around the 20:00 minutes mark, sometimes even sooner. This will definitely increase both your pushing skills as well as your teamfight skills. In case you are having problems getting those five items there is a little trick. [item=Stark's Fervor] is a very essential item for you, but it does not give you any AD for your abilites meaning Youmuu's Ghostblade is during the early midgame the only item that gives you AD. If you're having problems with your damage output being too low at this moment you could think about going for a more offensive item after you built [item=Emblem of Valour], as you need the lifesteal from it and buying [item=Stark's Fervor] after you increased your AD. If you really don't like this item, there is another trick: It's called The Bloodthirster. It improves both your AD and your lifesteal. Don't forget though that [item=Stark's Fervor] also gives it's aura to nearby allies, making it a viable item for not only you but your whole team!

    Items during Mid- and Lategame

    Well, most of the explanation has already been done in the Item Build Summary section. From now on it really depends how your enemies play, how your team plays and how you yourself play! Once again, this isn't a general phrase to make you believe I know something and therefore am better than you. You NEED to analyze the enemy team and think what items are useful to you. The best champs are those who know what happens on the battlefield and who know how to adept.

    Look at the short descriptions that I wrote to each and every item. This should be enough to give you a hint, what item makes sense in what situation and the itembuild suggestions also should give you enough to think about. If you want though, I can explain those combinations even further, maybe even talk about itembuilds I DON'T recommend. Leave a comment if you want it. :)

  • [ CD Reduction ] Item Explanation - AD Price Calculator

    I made a list recently. Not just any, I calculated how much gold I have to pay for a single AD point if buying a certain item. And I thought I might as well share that list with you. It's sole purpose is to inform you how expensive an item REALLY is, as Nocturne needs AD for both his standart attacks and his abilities making it the most important stat of them all. Use the spoiler button to read it.

    The items are sorted by their initial cost. I only cared about the AD those items are giving. Any active or passive or other stats are not calculated in this ratio. It's simply a gold : AD ratio. Nothing more.

    Click the spoiler button below to see the list

    Interesting, isn't it? It's obvious that a stacked Sword of the Occult has the best gold : AD ratio, but would you have guessed that a full Manamune is on the third place right after a full The Bloodthirster? Oh well, we all know +100 AD is simply cool. :)

  • CD Reduction Build? Seriously? Why?

    Okay, some of you might ask now why I'm going that much for CD Reduction. Sit down and listen while I'll do the math.

    For quick summary:

    Coreitems during Midgame:
    1. Doran's Blade
    2. Philosopher's Stone
    3. Youmuu's Ghostblade
    4. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    5. [item=Stark's Fervor]

    Runes (only the offensive ones):
    9 x Greater Mark of Desolation = 14,94 Armor Penetration.
    3 x Greater Quintessence of Celerity = 0,39% CDR per level = 7% CD Reduction on level 18.

    3 % CD Reduction due to Sorcery.
    6 Armor Penetration due to [mastery=Sunder].
    Quite a lot more DPS Value due to most skills in the Offense-Techtree.

    Starting at level 1 you have:
    20,94 Armor Penetration (Runes + Mastery)
    3,39% CD Reduction

    Meaning your Duskbringer has a CD of 9,66sec instead of 10sec. Okay, that ain't much yet. But we're just starting. During the first few levels, you won't notice much CD Reduction. So don't spam your abilites.

    Next milestone: Level 6 ( Paranoia at level 1)
    Around level 6 you should have:
    1. Doran's Blade
    2. Philosopher's Stone
    Maybe even
    3. Boots of Speed
    Meaning you have:
    20,94 Armor Penetration
    5,34% CD Reduction

    Your Duskbringer is now at level 3 doing 160 damage + AD bonus with a CD of 9,466sec instead of 10sec. Still ain't much, huh? We need to improve this. If playing mid I usually teleport back around level 6-7 when I reach 1150 gold. If playing on a sidelane, I aim for the same amount though sometimes you are simply forced to teleport back earlier. 800g for Philosopher's Stone and 350g for Boots of Speed. While those items don't increase my damage output, they give me the ability to continue harassment and even furthermore are viable for ganking and / or escaping ganks. Nothing annoys me more then to be out of mana in a critical situation where you can get a kill / escape the enemy. If you are forced to recall even earlier try to go for Faerie Charm as it is needed for a Philosopher's Stone.

    Next milestone: Level 11 ( Paranoia at level 2)
    Now the fun starts. The range increase is what makes Paranoia now a very good ability. At level 1, the massive CD and low range are quite annoying. Considering your items you should have by now:
    1. Doran's Blade
    2. Philosopher's Stone
    3. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    4. Youmuu's Ghostblade
    5. At least something for your [item=Stark's Fervor], maybe already an [item=Emblem of Valour] if not the [item=Stark's Fervor] itself. Depends on your kills/assists and how many towers are already destroyed.

    Meaning you have:
    40,94 Armor Penetration
    30% (items) + 3% (mastery) + 4,29% (runes) = 37,29% CD Reduction.

    Your Paranoia now on level 2 has a CD of 84,58sec instead of 130sec! Did somebody say "Ganker's Heaven"?

    Oh shit, it's Math! Hey hey, don't run. I'll do it, you just have to listen. ;-)

    With your Ghostblade you should be around 130 Attack Damage meaning if you initiate a fight with Paranoia (level 2 now) you deal 300 + 1,2 * 130 = 456 damage while penetrating 41 Armor. If fighting squishy enemies this is a very serious nuke. If you time and aim it right, your Duskbringer (level 5) follows dealing 260 + 0,75 * 130 = 357,5 damage increasing your Attack Damage by 55 afterwards. Finally within the first auto attack your Unspeakable Horror (level 3) follows, dealing 150 magic damage over 2 seconds. Within the first 3 seconds of your fight only your abilites already dealt 456 + 357,5 + 150 = 963,5 damage with 813,5 of them penetrating 41 Armor. And I didn't even count your auto attacks that deal 185 damage (130 + 55 from Duskbringer) each while penetrating 41 Armor! Or your crits who deal out 388,5 damage (200% + 10% from 3 x [mastery=Lethality] of your normal Attack Damage) with a probability of 17% (15% from Youmuu's Ghostblade and 2% from 3 x [mastery=Deadliness])! And all of them with enhanced Attack Speed due to Youmuu's Ghostblade's active and maybe even [item=Stark's Fervor]. If you already got your [item=Stark's Fervor] all the non-magical damage in this passage penetrates 61 instead of 41 armor, don't forget that! ;-)

    Also, about the CD Reduction at level 11:
    Your Duskbringer now has a CD of 6,27 seconds instead of 10 seconds. If cast shortly after your ulti you either kill him within those 6 seconds OR you can aim another Duskbringer at him! And of course follow the trail he leaves behind. :)

    Your Shroud of Darkness is still at level 1 but now has a CD of 12,54sec instead of 20sec. That helps a lot blocking enemy spells.

    Your Unspeakable Horror at level 3 has a CD of 8,15sec instead of 13sec. Those 5 sec can be extremely helpful as this is the ability that fears your enemy. Use it whenever possible in a 1on1!

    You see why CD Reduction is important to me? Not only can I harass quite often with my Duskbringer, not only can I block more spells due to Shroud of Darkness having a lower CD, not only can I fear my enemy more often during a fight, I also have my ulti, my best nuke, ready in most teamfights due to the low CD it already at level 2 has!

    When you reach level 16 to level Paranoia up to the last level you have an amazing 39,24% CD Reduction as well as at least 61 Armor Penetration (41 plus 20 out of [item=Stark's Fervor])., maybe even more if you went for The Black Cleaver or Last Whisper or even both. Your Paranoia now has a CD of 60,76 seconds instead of 100 seconds. Use this advantage, strike at those champs that wander the Field of Justice on their own and fu##ing win the game! :)

    Hope this section pointed out why the CD Reduction is important for Nocturne. As stated before, he ain't Master Yi. He ain't simply a DPS Champ. All his abilities are extremely helpful in various situations and scale great with Attack Damage. Don't ever forget that if you think about how you want to play Nocturne.

  • Armor Penetration - The More The Better?!?

    Armor penetration is this one big topic that many people think about. Just like almost everyone else I made the mistake too that I thought it would be effective to stack it. The more armor penetration I have the better is my damage output, right? The answer is NO! There are some problems with armor penetration. I'll enlighten you.

    There are four different ways how to deal with physical resistance also called armor. Those are:

    1. Percentage armor reduction (as far as I know only five abilities in total, one from Jarvan, Renekton, Nidalee, Trundle and Urgot each)
    2. Flat armor reduction (only [item=Stark's Fervor] and The Black Cleaver + some champion's abilities)

    3. Flat armor penetration (e.g. Youmuu's Ghostblade or [mastery=Sunder])
    4. Percentage armor penetration (as far as I know only Last Whisper)

    This is also the order in which those effects are applied. There is a major difference between armor reduction and armor penetration! Only the armor reduction has the possibility to drop a champions armor below zero! Armor penetration won't do us this favor. It will stop at zero making it quite difficult to get someone below zero armor. Why? Because reduction is applied before penetration! Look at the order above. Only the orange points are able to drop someone below zero armor and they are the first ones. If Nocturne has both [item=Stark's Fervor] and The Black Cleaver he could get up to 65 armor reduction. This could bring someone below zero armor meaning Nocturnes attacks and abilities deal extra damage but by the time he's able to buy these two items almost every champion has already more armor. And unfortunately there is no other way for Nocturne then using these two items.

    Always look at the enemy team first before you buy an item that gives you armor penetration! You don't benefit much from 100 armor penetration if only one enemy champ has that much armor!

  • Tenacity - Please What?

    Use the spoiler button to read a section about Tenacity - What is it, when do I need it and what items are worthy for Nocturne?

  • Skill Order

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    Pretty straight forward.

    You need Duskbringer to harass and outfarm the enemy.
    You also need Unspeakable Horror in case he decides to attack you.
    Shroud of Darkness is extremely helpful in case you get ganked or attacked and have to escape OR if you attack the enemy and want to decrease the damage you have to take from him. That's the reason why I skill it at level 3. The increase in Attack Speed is also very nice concerning your farming capabilites, but don't forget this ain't your damage dealing ability. From then on I focus on Duskbringer whenever possible, maxing it at level 9. The rest should be clear.

    Don't use your Shroud of Darkness after you first leveled it to block the enemy's spells every time it's possible. You'll get out of mana extremely soon! Before I don't have my Philosopher's Stone I ONLY use it in case of a gank. It simply costs to much mana and you can heal up quite a nice amount of any damage taken via your Umbra Blades.

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    You could also focus a bit more on Shroud of Darkness for the increase in Attack Speed after you maxed Duskbringer at level 9. Depends a little on the enemy team and your farming. Still, you need the fear from Unspeakable Horror in ganks so don't neglect it!

  • Pros / Cons

    Now, for a quick summary, let's take a look at the positive and negative aspects of playing as a CDR Nocturne.

    Postive Aspects of a CDR Nocturne

    Negative Aspects of a CDR Nocturne

    Okay, we're done concerning Nocturne and this build. Let's focus on runes, masteries and other things you have to keep in mind before starting the game as they have a massive impact on how your playing experience will look like.

  • Preparing The Game - Masteries

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    This would be the most typical build for him. It's a very straight 21/0/9 with Exhaust being one of my Summoner Spells. It's upgraded to [mastery=Cripple]. In case you prefer something else over Exhaust, you unfortunately have to waste the masterypoint in [mastery=Archmage's Savvy]. If you want to take Ghost with you, get the point out of [mastery=Good Hands] and put it into [mastery=Haste].

    Though i personally like this one a bit better:

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    While I still keep the 3 points in Perseverance for the increased mana reg, I prefer the combo Resistance / Hardiness over [mastery=Awareness] and [mastery=Utility Mastery]. +6 Armor and +6 Magic Resist make Nocturne a bit less squishy. Only the point taken from [mastery=Utility Mastery] actually hurts. But oh well.. You can't have everything, can you?

  • Preparing The Game - Summoner Spells

    Useful Summoner Spells

    1. Exhaust
    Combined with [mastery=Cripple] this gets extremely powerful. In combination with your Unspeakable Horror you can easily kill an enemy champ. Most efficent during Earlygame and in a 1on1 fight. Quite handy in teamfights if you use it on a DPS champ like Master Yi.

    2. Flash
    A very defensive option allowing you to deal the maximal possible damage before retreating. It massivly increases your survivability. What else can you hope for? ;-)

    3. Clairvoyance
    In case someone is low on HP and you have your ulti ready, this spell reveals the enemy so you can ulti-jump him. It's efficiency is quite low concerning the offensive part, since this gives you just a kill once every few games. If you're a teamplayer though this can help the team a lot if you manage to reveal an enemy like e.g. their jungler approaching you and your team. Don't underestimate this spell!

    Sometimes useful Summoner Spells

    NOT useful Summoner Spells

    Very good combinations

    1. Clairvoyance and Ghost {-- Upgraded to [mastery=Haste]
    Both work very nicely on Nocturne and since Ghost can be used defensivly and offensivly, it's a very well working combination. The low CD of Clairvoyance makes it an essential spell if you want to support your team. And sometimes it helps you gaining sight on a lost enemy for your Paranoia.

    2. Flash and Exhaust {-- Upgraded to [mastery=Cripple]
    Cripple is extremely effective during Earlygame, in a 1on1 or even a 1on2 in case you want to kill one enemy and keep the other one quiet. In combination with Flash you can jump out of a critical situation quite easily while doing a lot of damage before you have to retreat. This combination is a little risky though, you need some experience to know when to retreat using Flash and when it's better to stay for another second or two.

    3. Ignite and Exhaust {-- Upgraded to [mastery=Cripple]
    Offense at its best. Keep in mind you have no spell to help you escaping a critical situation. Only recommended for more experienced players or if you have a supporter in your team who can heal you.

  • Preparing The Game - Runes

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    Runes have a massive impact on your gameplay. They can decide a lot. They can give you a massive advantage throughout the Early-, Mid- or even Lategame. They can keep you alive where you normally would've been dead already. They can be the reason why you managed to kill that certain champion where normally you wouldn't have been able to do so.

    But they have a disadvantage! They cost you a lot of Influence Points.

    The picture above represents the core rune setup that I use every time I play with Nocturne. This isn't a "you must take those and no other runes!" section. I'll get into detail concerning every type of runes and explain which ones work and which ones you definitely should avoid. Since this is a CD reduction build after all the above picture still represents a very well working setup! But since not all of you have the IP for buying all those runes let's take a look at other possibilities. Click on the spoiler buttons for more details concerning a certain type of runes. Runes not mentioned are simply not for Nocturne and shouldn't be considered when thinking about a rune setup for him.

    In addition I've added a little rating behind those runes to give you a little hint during which phase of the game those runes are the most effective. Some work out extremely well during the Earlygame but suck during Lategame so you always have to be careful about your runes! Yay! means it's very effective, o.k. ain't very effective but not bad either and urks.. means it's not effective at all.





  • Some Thoughts About Jungling

    Okay, now about jungling with Nocturne.

    I personally ain't very experienced with it to be honest. I'm not a jungler at all since Nocturne is the first champ worth calling my main that has the possibility of jungling quick and effectively. I can only recommend other guides to you if you really do NOT want to try this guide out. During the following days and weeks, I will try to get some information on jungling with Nocturne. Maybe, but only maybe, I'll update this section and will tell you how to jungle with Nocturne and turn him into a CDR killrobot. I can give you some general infos though that I have gathered during my matches watching hundrets of junglers.

    Jungling is about five main things:

    1. Time
    You have to get the XP as fast as possible. The faster you are the better you are compared to mid or a sidelane. If you can't even keep up with top or bot concerning how fast you level, you definitely need to improve your jungling skills. If you can compete with mid, you're doing a good job. At least concerning the time.

    2. Counter-Jungle
    A Jungler who doesn't have to fear any intervention from the opposite team is always somewhat "effective". A good jungler can face an encounter, maybe even get a kill if the enemy champ is alone or weak / squishy. Think about this when you jungle at low HP. The less HP you have during the jungling process the easier it is for an enemy champ to ambush and kill you. Especially if you think about stealing the blue or even red buff from the opposite jungle. Don't be too predictable, as escaping a gank also screws up your timing concerning the buffs or the XP you get, but that's a problem every jungler has to face, not just Nocturne.

    3. Timing / Ganks
    In case there are no attempts to screw up your jungling plans or you succesfully solved those encounters, you will need to gank either a sidelane or mid to be truely effective. You also have to think about the time you come out of the jungle for a gank. Many junglers I have seen were fairly late. They came as a level 6 champ to a sidelane where the enemy champs almost reached level 6. Actually, often enough they already did level. Fighting against ultimate spells isn't the best idea, even if your enemies have low HP. If you have to recall before going for ganks you might want to think about the damage you take while jungling and take a look at how to improve this so you can gank without the disadvantage in time when recalling to heal up.

    4. Stealth
    The possibility for a jungler to be everywhere and nowhere is viable to every good team. Let's assume you ain't too predictable, it means the enemy team has to prepare themselves. They have to think about overextending on that tower twice before doing so. They have to spend money for wards in case they don't take Clairvoyance with them. Heck, they sometimes even have to think about pushing whether or not it gives them a disadvantage in case you come for a gank.

    5. Teamplay
    A good jungler has to watch the minimap. A sidelane has problems? Maybe you should try to gank? Mid needs to recall but the opponent is very good at pushing? Maybe you should skip your jungling and head over to mid to prevent the enemy team from attacking your midtower? Think as a teamplayer, help your mates if they are experiencing problems. You're the jungler, you're stealthed. Keep this in mind! There are some obvious positions where people position wards, but still, it is an advantage to be everywhere and nowhere. Don't go to a lane if you don't want to gank as you're stealing both gold and XP from this lane!

  • Mid Action

    This section is heavily discussed and I know why.

    "Nocturne mid? WTF? O.o" is a very common reaction if you announce you'll take the mid.

    What many people don't know is that Nocturne has great midpotential. His harassment with Duskbringer is very effective if you also use it to kill a creepwave. His Umbra Blades let him regenerate a lot of HP. Unspeakable Horror and Shroud of Darkness do their part in case your opponent decides to attack you.

    His biggest problem is him being a melee champ and many people think that only ranged champs are allowed to play mid since they are the most effective ones except for some very few selected melee champs like Kat or Vlad.

    Vlad actually is a very good example. Nocturne can quite easily terrorize him playing mid. Nocturne's advantage is his very effective harassment and the combination Unspeakable Horror / Shroud of Darkness in case his opponent gets too cocky. Against melee champs like Vlad, there is no doubt he can compete. The tricky part is playing with Nocturne against ranged champs. Especially a champ like Ashe can outrange him forcing him to hug his own tower. He can harasspush her back to get gold and XP, but it costs way too much mana forcing him to hug his tower once again or even to recall.

    I don't really recommend Nocturne playing mid in a ranked game. I guess noone would let me do so if not playing a premade 5on5. But imagine you don't have a ranged carry in your team. I'd go that far to say Nocturne is at least in the Top3 concerning the best melee champs playing mid.

    If you're playing mid with Nocturne and your enemy harasses you even better than you can harass him let it rest a bit, try to focus a bit more on the creepwave to push him back to his tower while still gaining XP and Gold. IF you really have problems either try to gank a sidelane to get a kill / assist and by this get an advantage (without forgeting about the midtower!!) OR call for help. If this doesn't help or if your teammates can't help you due to the enemy champs don't hesitate to switch if somebody in your team is more experienced in midplaying.

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  • Strategic Tips - Intro

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    As some of you might know I've also released a guide about Brand - The Burning Vengance. After I first published it I thought of another section that both guides missed, but is very essential. And here it is, after some time I finally present you, the "Strategic Tips"!

    Okay, let's get serious again. During this and the next sections I want to explain some of the more advanced strategies or the more complicated situations that you'll face during your games. There are some things that Nocturne is very well at. One thing is called harassment and I refered to this a lot during this guide. Now some of you might not exactly know about this or want some tips, so this was basicly the first thing that I had in mind. The other thing is zone control. It's about pushing an enemy back behind a certain line without killing all the creeps. Nocturne is not the best at this just to tell you before we start but it's still a very viable tactic that you should keep in mind while playing.

    Before we start there is still one thing for me to do. To thank TheHeretic and his Playing To Be Evil Guide. If you ever find the time please read this as I truely love all those things he talks about and I refer to quite a lot during the next sections. Of course you don't have to have read this for understanding the next sections but reading this will definitely help you. The guide might be a bit outdated concerning the champs he's talking about but except for that the content is even today still very essential.

  • Strategic Tips - Early Harassment

    Ahhhh, the good old harassment. If you harass somebody it basicly means you are extremely annoying to him. If some general words are allowed it means that you deal a lot of damage without the sole intention of killing him. Now this might sound paradox to you but there is one essential key to this strategy: It's called dominance. This is what we want to achieve with this strategy. We want to dominate the enemy, we want to force him to play a defensive role, we want him to make a mistake and die. But we never ever want to get careless or even reckless. Harassment isn't about kills. Not mainly. It's about psychology. An enemy won't attack you if he fears you. And building a lot of fear greatly helps you during the entire game. And how to achieve this? With harassment. Whenever he approaches you you'll have to make clear who's the boss. That does NOT mean you simply throw all your abilities at him and hope he backs off instead of killing you while every ability is on cooldown. Early Harassment goes hand in hand with zone control, but that is something I'll talk about in the next section. Let's focus on some informations about the lanes first before I'll focus on the harassment.

    Click here to read more

    Thanks for telling me about the lanes but how exactly does this affect Nocturne?

  • Strategic Tips - Zone Control

    You want to know something about zone control? Sure, just click the spoiler button! :)

  • Abilities

    Umbra Blades

    Concerning the Damage Output of Umbra Blades
    This is a very nice "baby nuke" as I like to call it during the early game. In one strike you not only hit multiple enemies, you also do more damage. Okay, it's just 20% more, but still. Better than nothing. This ability is mostly used for farming and healing up though as the additional damage isn't what wins a teamfight. Still it's nice if you manage to hit two level 1 champs with it as those are the moments where those additional 20% damage actually pay off.


    Concerning the Damage Output of Duskbringer
    Duskbringer scales very nicely with Attack Damage. You deal 0,75 more damage per ADpoint. Also you deal (60/110/160/210/260) damage, which is a very nice amount. Keep in mind you also have a nice amount of Armor Penetration via Runes/Masteries/Items. And with 40% CD Reduction you can use this ability every 6 seconds instead of every 10 at level 5. That's a nice improvement in every situation you need it. Especially if you want to destroy a tower.

    Shroud of Darkness

    Concerning the Damage Output of Shroud of Darkness
    Yes, even Shroud of Darkness affects it. When you succesfully block an enemy ability, every bonus you have to Attack Speed doubles for 5 seconds. That's a MASSIVE increase. There's just one problem. You can't trigger this increase whenever you like it. If you are lucky you can trigger it while standing next to the tower trying to destroy it. Only do this if the tower has low HP as you WILL get a shitload of damage standing there for only 2-3 more seconds. Sometimes it's worth the try, just not if some CC Champs approach.

    In case of a teamfight, it's a little different. It's very useful to use this ability at the beginning of a teamfight because during the next 5 seconds you actually DO have an advantage with this massive increase in Attack Speed.

    Unspeakable Horror

    Concerning the Damage Output of Unspeakable Horror
    Unspeakable Horror has an interesting damage output as it scales directly with your Ability Power. The problem is just that this is your only ability that does so. And turning this ability into a nuke by creating an AP Nocturne? Umm... Just and simple: NO! Even a hybrid ain't really worth it as the CD is quite high (6,6seconds with 40% CD Reduction) and your other abilites ain't doing the damage you are used to. More important for your Damage Output is the fear. If the enemy moves around doing nothing it not only keeps you healthy, you also gain more time to attack him. Simple as that.


    Concerning the Damage Output of Paranoia
    This now scales EXTREMELY well with Attack Damage. Not only does it do (150/300/450) damage, it also deals 1,2 more damage per ADpoint you have. Say hello to my little Nuke! :) Don't be afraid to use it even if your enemy is standing next to you! It's the ability that deals the most damage out of your four and squishy enemies WILL get paranoid. :)

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