All Guides Nocturne Guides Darkness to Diamond- 1-shot Carries (Very Detailed) High Diamond-Master Tier Nocturne (7.8 updated)
1 year ago

Nocturne Statistics for StringerLittle

Author's performance with Nocturne compared to the ranked average.

Games Played
Win %
KA:D Ratio
Gold Earned
Creep Score
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png11.png is the best combination, as it is on nearly all junglers. A dashless champ like Nocturne really needs flash especially for teamfighting, and for following champs with escapes when you go for picks. Also helps you evade counterjungling, set up ganks via flash E etc. Take flash  

I've tried 3.png14.png and even 12.pngbefore, and none of them even compare to flash. If playing him in a solo lane all 3 are fine options over smite.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top


While other masteries are important, there's no denying that the keystones are easily the most impactful. Let's look at each of them individually. Starting with the useless ones

Don't Even Consider

Deathfire Touch- Terrible. Gives you better Q poke and that's it. Only strong on damage over time champs, heavy AoE spell champs, champs with strong single target spell harass, or heavy poke champs. You are none of the above

Windspeaker's blessing- You have no heals/shields for allies, and your own healing isn't too significant. Terrible

Grasp of the Undying- It's a lane mastery for tanks, or for jungle/support tanks who can't use anything else well. This is not Nocturne. Don't take it for any build recommended in this guide. In some strange Bloodrazor-tank build this might be worth considering but I don't care for or really know that playstyle. 

Courage of the Colossus- You can't reliably proc it, so it's not worth taking

Stoneborn Pact- Just no.

Possible Choices

Thunderlord's Decree- The default choice. You can run this every game without thinking about it and be totally fine. It gives burst and burst is never bad on Nocturne. In any full burst build you want this. In any build where your option is to have strongest possible ganks you want this. 

Stormraider's Surge- This is an option, though personally I've never found it very useful. There are other ways to get movement speed on Nocturne that don't require opting into a mastery setup that gives both bad clears and bad burst. Vs very heavy slow teams you can consider it

Fervor of Battle - Easily the 2nd most popular keystone for Nocturne, and I think it's bad. Fervor is good on champs that can abuse it in lane and extended teamfights, that's not Nocturne. Your AD ratios are also generally kinda underwhelming, you are very much AA based in duelling builds and lifesteal is stronger for that

It's OK in bloodrazor-cleaver-tank builds or similar setups where you aren't building that much damage and can survive long enough in fights to make use of stacked fervor, but even in those setups you can argue for tlords being stronger to allow you to have at least some midgame relevance.

Outside of that particular scenario I think Fervor is outclassed by 

Warlord's Bloodlust- I know, it's an ADC mastery. But this thing is actually great for some builds. Reasons to take it over Fervor

  • the lifesteal actually works in the jungle and helps a surprising amount with your clears.
  • The sustain it offers is actually better in many cases than the damage from fervor
  • the MS proc is extremely useful in ganks/skirmishes/teamfights
I don't think Warlord's is an ideal generic mastery pick. But for certain item builds/playstyles it is extremely strong, and as of 7.9 I believe it is the keystone to pick for my best overall build. 

So once you've picked your keystone you need to figure out where your other 12 points go.

If you take either thunderlord's or stormraiders put 12 in ferocity. You need the damage it offers. See below for which masteries to take.

If however you are taking Fervor or Warlords you have to choose between 12 in cunning and 12 in resolve. After a bit of testing I don't think it's much of a choice though and 12 in resolve is clearly stronger. In fact the difference is so notable that I'd argue being able to spec into resolve without gimping damage is a big reason why Warlord's is arguably the best keystone on him. 

With that said, let's run down the choices in each tree


Tier 1: Sorcery vs Fury I'm eternally undecided on. Neither seems to make a big impact. I've tested clear speeds and I can't see a difference, at least for the first 6 levels. You could argue for sorcery in burst builds and fury in DPS builds, but it's not a huge difference either way. Currently I take fury but it hardly matters

Tier 2: Feast gives you jungle sustain, fresh blood gives you a tiny bit of burst. I don't consider the burst significant at all and the health gained from feast adds up. Expose weakness not useful

Tier 3: Vampirism gives a tiny bit of extra sustain in your clear and just helps keep you topped off throughout the game. Natural talent gives 10 AD at level 18, it's a pretty weak mastery on any AD champ without notable AP scaling. And your AD ratios aren't even that good. Take Vampirism

Tier 4: The nerfs in 7.4 don't change much here. Battle trance is not worth taking, it's decent for lategame splitpushing bounty hunter will be stronger by that point. Double edged sword vs Bounty Hunter is personal preference. Personally, I really like the additional 3% damage early for clearing + stronger first couple ganks. While Bounty Hunter scales better the difference in lategame tankiness is pretty negligible and I prefer early power for snowballing. 

I would recommend bounty hunter if you are playing at lower elos where enemies are unlikely to respect your gank power. However at higher elos enemies don't need to die twice to Nocturne before they clue in and stop pushing, and this can make stacking bounty hunter harder. Also, bounty hunter requires you taking the kills which i don't recommend at high elo. As a result I am currently running double edged sword, but you can definitely take either and be perfectly fine

Tier 5: Battering blows obviously

Tier 6: See keystone section


The most standard build will have 18 in Cunning. Some variant builds might have 12 or 0

Tier 1: Wanderer vs Savagery. Neither is amazing. If starting raptors you should take savagery. Otherwise wanderer works as it gives no notable decrease in clear speed

Tier 2: Again none of the options are great. 2% more damage in pick situations from assassin is OK. Slightly longer blue/red/baron/herald buff is decent (especially with current farm to 6 route leaving window for blue usage very small). Biscuits are bad. I'm still taking runic affinity, but maybe it's worse this season. Removal of other smite buffs is a definite nerf to the mastery.

Tier 3: Merciless. No contest

Tier 4: Dangerous game and greenfather's both have a good case. Greenfather's better for faster clearing, slightly better jungle skirmishing, a bit of burst on ganks etc. Dangerous game stronger for teamfighting. I'd recommend dangerous game for most people. 

Tier 5: Take precision. Even after the nerfs I've done a bunch of math on this topic and the additional value of precision is so much more meaningful than 5% CDR. A big part of the value of intelligence is in the ability to hit 45% CDR, but by the time we hit that amount of CDR there's way fewer opportunities to abuse lower ult CD as ulting becomes more situational rather than a "use this ASAP off CD" skill. If you are doing a hard CDR rush build with say some flat CDR in runes, warrior into warhammer + CDR boots build then intelligence is fine since you can better abuse the higher CDR cap for more of the game

Tier 6: See Keystone Section


Tier 1: Take recovery. Substantial boost to health while clearing

Tier 2: Take tough skin. Drastically reduces damage taken from raptors and gives good reduction vs krugs

Tier 3: Runic armour. Veteran's scars just isn't good outside of some supports/all in champs, and the healing boost from runic has really nice synergy for jungle sustain

Tier 4: Normally I'd just say go Insight, because Insight is insane. However, fearless is a ridiculous amount of free resists for a champ that wants to dive in and who is most concerned about getting bursted. Both options are totally viable, and currently I actually prefer fearless even with it's nerf a few patches back

Tier 5/6: Never. No keystones worth taking. 

Abilities Back to Top


In all honesty not a great passive. It is designed to make it easier for you to clear your jungle and not much else. It gives a bit more wave pushing power which is pretty handy pre Tiamat. The sustain is pretty negligible outside of your early clear, though in close early duels it can potentially swing things. The AP ratio on it is utterly meaningless and not worth itemizing for at all

The CD is reduced by autoattacking which favours heavy AS builds, and makes AS runes the choice if you want a healthy clear. 

Come lategame when you have a bunch of AD and the enemy is grouping close together to protect their ADC the AoE damage of this is actually deceptively handy, especially when paired with 3074.png. A free 2.2 AD (or thereabouts) to targets around your main target isn't bad at all.

Overall this passive isn't terribly interactive or impactful. Pay attention to it when pushing lanes so you don't screw up CS, and try to adjust your position while jungling to hit as many monsters as possible with it (especially important to manage while doing krugs), but overall this doesn't really impact gameplay decisions except in rare instances


Fairly slow moving linear skill-shot that passes through enemies. Damage from this is fairly significant, you get 45 per level from leveling it and it has a .75 bonus AD ratio. 

The real strength of this skill comes from things other than the initial damage though. The dusk trail it leaves behind gives you a ridiculous 15/25/35/45/55 AD and 15/20/25/30/35% MS boost while standing on it. Enemies hit by the initial cast also leave a dusk trail behind them that gives him the same stats. Stealthed enemies will still leave behind a dusk trail for you to follow. Nocturne also ignores unit collision while standing on this (provided you don't have 3046.png which makes it bug out) so you can avoid that pesky minion block. 

While clearing the jungle make sure to stand on this for the AD boost. It's a huge amount of free stats. 

The AD bonus shows up before your Q reaches max distance, but it does not increase the damage of the initial Q cast. Not sure why this interaction exists as it's weird and unlike most instances of damage in game (where you can apply a steroid with say an auto in the air and damage will be increased), but it appears to be how it works. 

One lesser known, and very important, thing about this skill is that you can cast it mid ult. There's a misconception that casting it before R lands increases the damage R does by virtue of giving you more AD. This is wrong. Your Q does not move fast enough for you to be standing on Q trail as ult lands meaning you do not get the AD bonus. With that said, it is still worthwhile to cast Q mid ult because it saves you having to wait out the animation after landing which makes you lose out on DPS time. See the How to Combo section for details 

Obviously it is very important to hit this skill. It's not hard at all vs immobile champions as it's quite wide but if you miss this your damage plummets, especially if enemy is smart and doesn't stand on it.

Max this first 100% of the time


Basic stuff. Grants passive attack speed, activate to get a spellshield that blocks all damage/CC from next incoming ability. If it blocks an ability the passive AS doubles for 5 seconds. Leveling it increases AS boost by 5% per level and lowers the CD by 2 seconds.

This will not block summoner spells like ignite or exhaust. It can block dragon fireball and some baron attacks. Definitely worth using when taking these monsters (unless really low mana) for the AS boost. You cannot block anything from other monsters so don't bother wasting the mana.

If you have 3102.png passive shield up and you use this skill, nocturneshroudofdarkness.png will be consumed first. The wiki says otherwise but the wiki is wrong. This will also be consumed before 3814.png shield

Take this level 2 always even though it won't block anything. Passive AS boost is more valuable for clearing than damage + fear from E, and it doesn't cost mana. 


Forms a tether between you and target (425 range). Deals magic damage over the duration. If target leaves range (465) the tether breaks. If they remain in range for 2 seconds they "flee", moving away from you at reduced movement speed while being unable to attack/cast spells

Nocturne also gains 335 MS when moving towards fleeing targets. What many people don't know is that Nocturne does not need to be the one to fear them! 9.png120.png35.png19.pngand122.png (irrelevant) also have flees in their kits, so if by chance you have one on your team you can benefit from their skill to get bonus MS without using your E. More of a fun fact than something truly useful though, especially since aside from some Hecarim/warwick top players these champs are generally seen in the jungle. If you are playing mid Nocturne with one of these champs as your jungler though you might get some benefit.

Important note: The tether is not broken by stealth or by enemies going untargetable like with Fizz fizzjump.png and Vladimir vladimirsanguinepool.png, and most importantly 3157.png! If you use E before they activate zhonyas the fear will actually be activated while they are untargetable. This is a rather odd interaction but it is quite useful. Your tether lasts 2 seconds and their zhonyas lasts 2.5 seconds, so depending on when they use the active during the tether they could still be feared for up to 1.5 seconds (at max rank of E if they use the active immediately after tether starts) after their zhonyas ends. Here is an example of the interaction

Leveling this gives 45 more damage per rank, a 1 second CD reduction, and an additional .25 seconds on the flee. 

Generally this is maxed second over W for the added damage + CC. A 2.25 second flee is a big deal. You can take this at level 3 but if trying to conserve mana during clear you can take a 2nd point in Q and wait until level 4. I have tested clear speeds with Q level 3 and E level 3 and there is no perceptible difference. Q saves some mana, E some health. Essentially...

- If you intend to gank at level 3 take E at 3

- If you intend to gank at 4 take Q at 3 to save mana

- If you don't intend to gank and just want a bit more duelling power in your own jungle take E

- If you are afraid your blue buff will be stolen take Q

In most cases I default to taking Q to save mana, not worth the tiny bit of health saved by taking E unless I see an upcoming gank/duel

When ganking an enemy with a dash or flash that would break the tether, generally avoid using it right away. Use RQ, wait for dash, chase them down with MS (easy if you take blue smite) and then use E when their escape is down. 

W vs E Max 2nd?

I've gone back and forth on this a lot, as I know many other Nocturne players have. Here's what I've defaulted to as a general rule

  • If you get AS from 1 of your first 2 items, max E. Notably this includes bloodrazor builds and builds with 3078.png3087.png3046.png 2nd.
  • If you don't get AS from first 2 items max W. Includes most non crit warrior builds (including 3142.png3071.png3074.png3147.png3156.png as 2nd items)

In general I find no AS in first 2 items leads to a noticeably slower clear and much worse duelling, and the AS boost from levelling W helps mitigate that. If you already have the AS from items and can get away with going E second then I generally recommend that.

Some exceptions of course. if enemy team is super mobile and it's unlike you'll get E tether off consistently then max W regardless. If you really need extra E duration for particular ganks then you can opt for it even in no AS builds. But in general I follow the above rules.


The reason Nocturne is so fun and by far his most important skill. Activate once to drastically reduce enemy vision (from 1200 units to 300) for 4 seconds. Activate again during the 4 seconds to dash a large distance (scaling with ult rank) and apply pretty good damage on arrival. At rank 1 the range is only 2500 which isn't that amazing, though it does open up gank paths like Raptors to mid and tons of lane ganking opportunities. At higher ranks the range allows for some seriously long range kill pressure.

It's hard to understand how much chaos this skill causes in a soloQ environment unless you've played against Nocturne a fair bit. The vision denial is insanely strong especially when the team isn't communicating via voice chat. Using this causes all lanes to back off and halt aggression, and makes every enemy stop what they're doing and prepare just in case they are the target. 

This skill is primarily used to create picks. With a heavy damage build Nocturne can burst squishies well before their team can react. Come teamfights it's harder to use this skill effectively as the team is already grouped and your arrival is telegraphed, but it is still a free ticket to the enemy backline which is really valuable given your high burst.

This skill has a really long CD early before you get CDR and higher ranks (150 seconds). This is the big reason we itemize for CDR in our builds. This is why it is really important that you don't mess up your first ult, at the very least you need to get a flash but it's usually worth saving for a kill. 

In rare instances it can be worth using this skill just to scare enemies even if you aren't in range to go in. If there's a really close 2v2 botlane it can be worth it to sacrifice CD to save a teammate. It's rare though, especially with rank 1 ult pre CDR. Especially true at lower elos where enemy is unlikely to back off even if they see Nocturne ult. 

Another random tip... if you ult on someone and then realize mid air that it's a terrible mistake, you can cancel ult by flashing. Very rarely useful but especially lategame where a bad ult can lose the game it can be handy to know. 

Level this whenever possible

Ult Ranges

Below are some images of ult ranges showing possible gank paths at various ranks of ult

Rank 1:

Bot Side Tri-brush


Dot Brush



Top side behind tower


Top side tri brush


Bottom Lane Brushes


Bottom side behind tower


Rank 2:

Bot side gank

Bot side.PNG

Red Brush

Red Brush.PNG

Lane gank- Middle

Mid lane gank.PNG

Mid-Jungle Coverage

Mid & Jungle.PNG

Lane gank- Top

Top lane gank.PNG

Rank 3:

Jungle Range


Range from Mid


Items Back to Top

Starting Items

Core Items

Situational Items

I am a very firm believer in flexible itemization. Building situationally is a key to performing well in this game and it's important to think ahead and consider both your final build and opponent's final builds. Nocturne actually has some of the most varied builds in the games. Nobody really has a consensus what to build on him, and it makes his overall statistics unreliable. With that said, here are my thoughts. Note that I have done a lot of math regarding builds to verify actual damage output is in line with what I feel in the games. Some of the math may be found in the Itemization Math section. 

Before we look at all the possible item choices I will come out and say that this is one of the more damage oriented jungle Nocturne build you will find. Heavier damage options have lots of strengths but also drawbacks. See the  How Much Damage Should I Build section for more details. 

With that said, these are my thoughts 

Itemization Philosophy

Nocturne has a lot of build options. Especially with the nerfs to 3142.png he has no special amazing synergy with any 1 item, and he has a lot of build diversity. This is because his kit is kind of weirdly designed.

- his ult is unparalleled target selection. No other champion in the game can lock onto a target and follow them through dashes from anywhere near that distance. However he has no reliable dashes after ult and no immediate hard CC, which hurts his ability to stick to a target. This would suggest that you build him as an assassin where you maximize burst upon landing and rely less on DPS due to weak sticking power if enemy can escape your nocturneunspeakablehorror.png.
- his AD ratios are pretty mediocre. Ult has a 1.2 AD ratio which is pretty good, but still worse than some other similar heavy AD junglers like Vi (1.4), Jarvan (1.5) or lee Sin (2.0... because wtf). His Q has an OK .75 ratio, but again compare that to jarvan, vi, khazix etc and it's pretty weak. This makes stacking AD less appealing on him, but makes other options like duskblade more appealing as it's damage that doesn't scale based on AD

- He gets 55 AD for free while standing on Q which synergizes well with all of AS, crit, lifesteal and armour pen.

- He has arguably the strongest combination of AS/AD ratios in the game. Due to the multiplicative nature of AD/AS/crit/arpen, when you have a lot of one it's best to buy the others. This makes both armour pen and crit very appealing on him (and in a way lifesteal items are also more appealing, but that's sort of unrelated). But crit items are for DPS, and armour pen is for burst, so you can never really get both synergies working at the same time

- Additionally, his steroids + relatively low scalings + lack of escape would promote building him almost as a tank. He doesn't have amazing base damages but his steroids mean that his AA damage is high even with only 1-2 damage items. 

So we have target selection that benefits from building burst, but not the AD ratios to match. We also have steroids that benefit from building DPS with crit, but not the gapclosers to go with it. We have the steroids that might suggest you should build tanky, but not the hard CC or base damages to really go with that either. So what the heck do you build?

Last season, the answer was 3142.png. It gave the AD and pen for burst, with the AS/sticking power to give sufficient DPS and sticking power to synergize with your steroids. Now it gives less burst and no AS, so we need to consider other options, and those options are outlined below

A Note on Cooldown Reduction

I figured it was worth writing a quick bit on CDR and how it pertains to Nocturne, and how important it is in our itemization.

Nocturne is a pretty weird jungle pick in the sense that he's weak both pre 6 and lategame. Most weak lategame junglers 64.png76.png80.png etc have really strong pre 6 ganks to compensate, and most weak pre 6 junglers like 11.png62.png32.png etc have pretty good lategames.

Nocturne is a bit unique. What he does have is strong farming to get quickly out of his weaker early game, and then a really strong midgame. Lategame he's underwhelming but can still function well in terms of making picks, sometimes splitpushing, and punishing immobile carries in fights. But his midgame is the key and the reason you'd pick Nocturne, and that's why we like CDR. You need cdr to properly abuse your midgame power by getting as many impactful ults off as possible

Now is it necessary to max CDR? Generally no. You certainly can and it is a playstyle you can go for, but in a lot of cases the benefits of actually maxing CDR aren't worth the tradeoffs you need to make in the rest of your build (particularly with boots)

At higher elos, Nocturne ult becomes more opportunistic. It's hard to reliably find people to ult off CD, so there's less of an urgent need for CDR. 

Starting Items

1041.png vs 1039.png. Machete is just better right now for all clear routes I've tested. Currently early clear secures blue buff before early gank opportunities so saving mana for potential ganks is not a huge concern. Talisman has a small niche edge where it allows you to get very early tiamat or warhammer before smite upgrade, whereas machete doesn't really allow that due to mana concerns, but it's a rare enough situation and it's unreliable, and not worth sacrificing the early clear speed

2031.pngvs2003.png- Refillable is just better. You can clear fine with it and the health is useful throughout the early-midgame, and when you consider resell value it's a lower gold investment as well

2032.png- Unnecessary. No issues with health sustain after 1st back, and if having mana issues better to just avoid using E to clear over spending 250 gold for this.

3715.png vs 3706.png

Blue or Red Smite?

The big question: What smite is best? And the answer is.... it's situational (as always). Blue smite gives more burst on ganks and an additional slow/MS boost for sticking to enemies to ensure E tether connects and for chasing people after dashes. If enemy is highly mobile and I expect I will be chasing them a lot I often go for blue smite.

However, if the enemy has lots of bruisers/tanks, or immobile carries who I don't need blue smite to stick to, I'll get red for the increased damage and damage reduction. Also pretty important vs junglers who might be looking to fight you like elise, Lee, Kindred etc. 

Item builds factor into this decision as well. Items that give chasing power like 3142.png or 3046.png might reduce the need for more chasing power, though sometimes even more MS is still really nice. 

In general, I get blue smite in warrior/burst builds, though sometimes I get red. Usually get red smite in bloodrazor builds, though sometimes blue smite is nice for early snowballing

What about 1408.png?

I do place a high value on vision, but Nocturne is a snowball jungler. You need combat stats to snowball. He also lacks any dashes which makes deep warding riskier than on other junglers like Nidalee (this has been remedied a bit with blast plants, but it's still problematic). As such he is usually limited in where he can safely provide vision, and between that + need for combat stats I don't like green smite on Nocturne. 

If playing Nocturne in a coordinated game (where I don't feel he's a particularly great pick, at least with this build), you can look into buying this smite. Especially if enemy jungler is also buying it as you won't be at a dueling disadvantage. 

1400.png vs 1416.png

Warrior Vs Bloodrazor?

See Warrior vs Bloodrazor section


3340.png- Keep this until level 9. Red trinket is not necessary for you to gank as you will more often than not be either lane ganking, or ganking from river where it's hard to know where wards are to sweep. Providing vision to your team and protecting your own jungle is more valuable than red trinket. 

3363.png- Get this at level 9. To ult you need vision. This is the best way to get vision quickly. Very useful for scouting, or deep warding places you expect enemy squishies to walk, or for getting vision back after enemy leaves it while you are trying to ult. If you are going for a pick and don't see enemy team use this to quickly check behind them to ensure there's no immediate help

3364.png- I don't get this. It's a staple on most junglers but blue trinket is just too useful for Nocturne. You can consider this for teamfighting/skirmishing vs 67.png 84.png as a way to track through stealth, but that's about it.


As a general rule. with the exception of CDR boots I recommend not upgrading boots too soon on Nocturne. Quite often I'll be at 2+ items before I even consider upgrading. Some exceptions of course, such as tabis vs an all AD very AA reliant team, but in general I don't find the movespeed to be that crucial at that point in the game. I don't think T1 boots should be gotten any later than immediately after jungle item though, and often before depending on back gold. 

3158.png- If lanes are really easy to gank, and you're doing decently, and neither tabis or Mercs are fantastic for the given game these are a strong option. Really lets you snowball well off ganks. At higher elos these are less effective since you can't find ult opportunities as reliably

3047.png- Generic best option. If you don't need mercs and you aren't confident in snowball with CDR boots then buy these almost always. Pretty much always going to be 2-3 strong physical damage sources that these are very effective against, and they're just overtuned

3111.png-  If enemy is very AP heavy or quite CC heavy these are great. 

3009.png- If they have a ton of slows consider these, but generally they just don't offer enough to you. 

3006.png- Very rare buy. If your build is low on AS and no other boot option is any good then you can buy these. But I can't remember the last time I did

3117.png- Never buy. They're useful for heavy early gankers or champs that need to run up to enemies to start a gank. You are neither

Lethality/Burst Items


In season 6 Nocturne was arguably the best user of ghostblade in the game. Now they've chopped off burst (direct nerf + lethality changes), removed AS (a big deal for warrior builds that rarely built it early if at all), and compensated with a lower gold cost. After all the nerfs I don't love this item, but it still has pretty good synergy with your kit and if you want to go for a strong mid game it's still the best option due to CDR + burst


Very strong burst item, but not worth rushing. If you want this item get it 3rd after ghostblade. Out of combat MS is useful, and the ward detection passive is always handy

My favourite thing about this item is how it works vs exhaust. Between Duskblade passive + blue or red smite you get a lot of true damage that is unaffected by exhaust. You still won't 1 shot through exhaust, but you can reliably kill the half health ADC even if that Sona with exhaust is beside him


This is the only component item I'll discuss, but it's significant to enough builds and often stays as just tiamat for a while so I figure it's worth discussing.

Tiamat is awesome. In warrior builds it speeds up clear a fair bit and allows you to keep pace with some other junglers while still mixing in ganks, while of course giving great burst on ganks. In bloodrazor builds it does a great job compensating for lower burst in the early-mid game and allows you to scale better, and eventually builds into titanic which works well in tankier/on hit builds

If you are looking at doing a 3+ damage item build that isn't a crit build, I recommend a tiamat in most of them. Item is just such a nice powerspike.

3074.png  vs 3748.png

There's a misconception that Titanic Hydra does less burst damage than ravenous hydra because ravenous has the 1 AD ratio. And that's true in terms of true instant burst, but unlike ravenous titanic is a true auto reset, meaning that if you use the auto reset properly you get that 1 AD ratio via an extra autoattack. Sure Hydra adds 70 total damage to your RQ  combo via more AD working with their ratios, but when you consider that titanic does 40 + 10% of your max health and the overall damage isn't close. Ravenous has the advantage in terms of instant burst if comboed properly, because you can actually use the active before you even land, but titanic is overall a stronger damage option even if building no additional health. 

So why ever get ravenous? Mostly if you want lifesteal, but it has some other benefits. It lets you push waves slightly faster. It gives you more AoE in fights which is beneficial for wombo combos or any other scenario where enemies group up. It has a slightly better build path with pickaxe vs jaurim's fist. But in most cases outside of lifesteal/duelist oriented builds or absolute full damage builds I prefer titanic.

I think titanic is particularly strong as a followup to black cleaver. If you build additional tank after this the active gives great burst for teamfighting (active can be activated mid flight for instant burst, or used as an auto reset), and the on hit synergizes well with bloodrazor's AS. 


This item was buffed for builds where you needed more cdr, and nerfed for those where you didn't. Functionally it remains the same though, a strong buy vs mutliple magic damage threats, or 1 huge burst magic damage threat like 1.png134.png45.png. Make sure to decide early if you are likely to want this, as in many cases adding this item to your build means you no longer need CDR boots. In these cases it's fine to buy early 3133.png for CDR and sit on it for a bit.


If you're stacking lethality this item is a good 4th item. Works great if enemy has multiple skills to shut you down and it's all around just really annoying to play against. Lack of CDR relative to Maw is annoying but it's not a huge deal. Best build for it generally involves warrior-ghostblade-duskblade and this, where you stack pen for duskblade and use double spellshields to try to get off burst. 

I've tested spellshield stacking in custom games, and though there are some inconsistencies (weird cases where multiple spellshields pop from 1 skill), the order of priority is nocturneshroudofdarkness.png > 3814.png > 3102.png.

Your first cast of ult will cancel the channel of this item, but the 2nd cast won't. So you can start channeling before your 2nd R press and channel can complete while mid air. The time it takes to channel is roughly the time it takes to complete a max distance rank 2 ult. So at level 11 + if they're max range, if you R, then press EoN, then R again the shield should be up before you land. Damage mid flight should still interrupt it though so be warned.Takes some practice to get used to but once you have it down it's very effective.

Fighter Items


Gives a lot of very nice stats. 20% CDR is huge, attack speed is great, AD is solid, the spellblade gives nice burst, health is handy, and the movespeed bonuses are amazing. Even the mana is surprisingly useful given Nocturne's outdated mana costs. The item does a lot of stuff pretty well.

Issue is I can't find a build I love it in. You want CDR early and spellblade is best midgame which means you generally want it 2nd item, but the cost is so high that you oftentimes delay other more important items too much in order to get it. 

The item isn't bad, and if you love it then build it. But I don't think he gets quite enough out of the spellblade procs for this item to be worth it generally.


Item has been nerfed a lot. Lower AD + lower armour shred have really limited its use, even if it is a fantastic cheap source of CDR. 

If you are still building bloodrazor, which I currently don't recommend usually, then it's a strong 2nd item. But in its current state I'd avoid it in Warrior Builds.


Everybody's favourite ADC item... is still bad on Nocturne. 

Some people disagree with me, but this item is just so underwhelming. The active's burst is bad now, the slow can be achieved via blue smite, and while lifesteal is nice I could get a crit/AS item + a vamp scepter for essentially the same price and be better off.

Its logical place is in a 2 damage item-tank build, because it is a strong single damage item. But it offers no CDR, so you end up losing out on strong midgame.

I pretty much never build this. If it's a skirmish heavy game vs many tanks it's not awful. 


I don't care for it. You already crush most tanks 1v1 and if you really need armour shred Cleaver is generally stronger. If your team is all AD and somebody else on your team already has cleaver you can consider one of the 2 LW items

Crit Items

Here we go, this is the fun stuff


Unbelievable item. Great DPS, pretty competitive burst, amazing waveclear/jg clear speed, cheap spike etc. It has it all. If building crit get this 2nd item


Core in crit builds at some point, usually as a 3rd item


Strong duelling/sticking item. In general I prefer Shiv over this, but you can get both if you really want to go for maximum AA damage, or if you really need to duel specific champs (often champs like Yas/graves that build it themselves). Can stack with red smite for truly ridiculous duelling power. 

One big downside to this item is that it's bugged with your Q. If you stand on Q while you have this item you actually lose your ability to ignore minion collision. Can be really annoying in splitpush scenarios. 


I don't care for this item. It's a good source of CDR in a crit build, but it comes too late. You end up not getting CDR runes to avoid overcapping, and then you're sitting on 10% CDR until partway through 3rd item, and you don't hit 40% until 3 full items. This is unacceptable to me. And it really delays IE. I've been recommended this item several times but no matter how many times I try it I don't like it.


If you are building shiv and are running warlords then getting RFC can actually be very valuable now. Being able to charge energized attacks faster is a big buff to your damage + sustain, and on occasion the extra AA comes in handy too. Would only get it 5th/6th item in a full crit build though

Sustain Items


Covered in an above section


Broken item right now. Currently I consider it core in most full damage builds because of how much burst protection it provides despite being a damage oriented item. 


If you only care about duelling or if enemy team is extremely low CC you can buy this item. The lifesteal is ridiculous if you're able to freely auto. In most cases I prefer another option though


Vs some picks like Lissandra/Fiddlesticks this becomes extremely valuable in heavy damage builds. If there is CC that you can't reliably spellshield or survive through then QSS/merc schimitar are very valuable. The MS is also pretty nice in a lot of scenarios

Tank Items


Need to do more testing since the changes, but overall I don't love this. Your abilities only scale off bonus AD so especially if you aren't building trinity you don't get enough from it. 


Best standard armour item. If enemy ADC is a crit ADC this is your best buy if you need armour. 7.9 changes hurt it as a single defensive item due to lower health, but the slow being stronger (albeit shorter) is valuable


If running warlord's, or if building lifesteal, or if you have heavy healers on your team like 16.png37.png or anyone with 3107.png , this becomes quite strong. Currently loving it in crit builds with death's dance vs heavy AP. Also caps your CDR, although you usually get it late enough it doesn't matter much


Might not belong in tank items anymore, but this clearly got buffed for Noc. AD + armour is significantly better than armour + MR. I still generally wouldn't build it early, and it sucks that ADCs can now build it early, but around 3-4 items you can usually consider this if you anticipate teamfights. 


I haven't tried this item much. Generally I find the enemy's movespeed relative to yours is not the biggest issue Nocturne faces when it comes to sticking to people. Between Q MS, E MS, blue smite, MS from either ghostblade, crit items, or phage passive you can keep up with essentially anyone making this item somewhat unnecessary. It's not terrible in a titanic hydra build but I don't build it

Sample Build Paths

I won't be including boots in the build paths as boots are always situational. All jungle items shown will have chilling smite, but red smite is fine if that's your preference. 

Current Best Generic Build


Last item is situational. Choices include 3065.png3026.png3046.png3094.png

Note that I highly recommend getting a 3133.png immediately after Warrior enchant and before Shiv. It's a nice spike of AD/CDR and it's fine to sit on until you can complete death's dance.

Keystone: Warlords

Runes- Standard recommended setup

This is my current preferred build if you want to play heavy damage Nocturne. I know it's unorthodox, but I really believe it gives you the best overall arsenal of tools to win games. You farm well, duel well, can skirmish decently, have OK CDR to snowball, and actually have some lategame carry potential from the crit itemization + anti burst/sustain of DD. 

Full Burst Build


Keystone- Thunderlord's

Runes- AS or Lethality. Lethality significantly more burst but AS is a notable boost to your clear since you won't be itemizing any other attack speed + you don't have resolve tree masteries, and it helps DPS as well with AS removed from ghostblade

This is your full burst build. You can buy tiamat before completed ghostblade if you want. You get ghostblade for chasing power + CDR, then you get tiamat for most burst, and then you get duskblade. 

Variations on the build include

  • no Tiamat and get either 3156.png or a different defensive item as last item
  • Ditch 3814.png for Maw or a different tank item. Potentially in addition to ditching Tiamat. Makes you a slightly better teamfighter
This build is strong for snowballing vs easy to gank champions. Issue is that you can struggle to teamfight lategame vs a bunch of common support picks, your splitpushing isn't as great, and you are hugely ult reliant. But it is admittedly really fun.

Balanced Burst Build

1400.png3074.png3156.png-Situational Tank

Keystone- Thunderlord's

Runes- AS or Lethality

This is the type of build that took the biggest hit with the new season, as there's no item remotely comparable to old ghostblade as far as offering CDR/burst/chasing power/DPS. In general I do now think that 2-3 damage builds should either have crit (via 3087.png3031.png) or be the bloodrazor-BC builds.

With that said, if you do just want to burst and have some tank stats, there are still options. Check out the itemization math seciton to see a breakdown of some numbers for different builds, but here are some options for 2nd-3rd damage items

3142.png3074.png- Gives CDR + chasing power + lifesteal + near optimal burst

3074.png3147.png- No CDR, but highest burst. Running lethality runes recommended if building duskblade

3142.png3147.png-Less burst than hydra builds, but you do get high burst without needing to combo tiamat active properly. Also get MS of ghostblade + ward clearing passive of duskblade

3074.png3156.png- Gets you CDR, and a lot of AoE lifesteal once maw passive pops. Most defensive option of the 3

3142.png3156.png- Low damage, but you do get 30% CDR from items allowing you to cap with defensive boots. Not a bad idea vs heavy MR teams that are easy to gank early

Wouldn't recommend 3156.png3147.png as there's just no real synergy 

You can substitute  3814.png in to most of the above builds and be OK, but personally I don't love the item. 

3812.png has a place in some of these builds as well given how overtuned it is right now. Need to test it with Ravenous Hydra which would seem to be pretty good.

Note that you can substitute 3748.png in place of 3074.png if you are building tank after. Titanic can often outburst Ravenous later in game, you just get less AoE/lifesteal

Safe Snowball Build


Keystone- Thunderlord's

Runes- AS or Lethality. AS if you need to keep pace with enemy jg early

This is a very safe build where you use early CDR + warrior burst to snowball and then transition into a decent damage threat with some tankiness. Cleaver opens up room for defensive boot options. You can get tank items before completing titanic hydra but get tiamat first generally.

This was a pretty standard high elo build for me in season 6, but with all the nerfs to Cleaver I don't recommend it anymore. 

Full Crit Build


Keystone- Warlords

Runes- Lethality reds. CDR in blues can still be taken but you will overcap, so might be better off taking scaling MR. 

100% crit build. Your DPS is silly and burst is very high too. Recommend buying 3133.png before shiv to get some CDR to snowball with ganks. Can get blue smite for burst/ganks or red smite for even more powerful duelling/anti burst, depends on enemy champs. 

The issue with this build is CDR. In either case you are very low on CDR early and you need to wait till 3 items to cap. Once you hit that point you are very scary though.

Generally not recommended because I don't care for Reaver. But with the recent price reduction it's not as bad and if you really want to focus on lategame this build is OK

Versatile Build


Keystone- Thunderlord's or Fervor. Grasp OK if going full tank after

Runes: AS

Bloodrazor into cleaver always works. Might not be optimal in all cases but can't go really wrong with this build. I find it less fun, but I can't deny it's effective. Cleaver is the cheapest source of 20% CDR for you which is great for synergy with bloodrazor rush. The armour shred on cleaver enhances the value of the bloodrazor on hit passive, and cleaver's sticking power means you can go red smite in more cases.

Some variations of the above build

1001.png1419.png3071.png3748.png3742.png3026.png On hit centered team fight build. Cleaver + bloodrazor + titanic are a fantastic combo. You have decent burst from titanic active, strong DPS, and strong tank stats. Lots of health synergizes well with resists on GA, and you're tanky enough to survive after it pops. 3053.png is also a viable option in this build, particularly if you think you'll need to operate as pseudo engage.

1001.png1419.png3071.png3153.png3742.png3065.png More of a splitpush oriented build. Splitpushing has less of a need for GA, and the spirit visage passive works well with botrk's lifesteal. Opens up room for boot options as well. 

The "I Wish I Was Shyvana" Build

1419.png3153.png3022.png- situational

This is a common build that shows up on some statistics sites for Nocturne. I think it's just pointless. Incredible duelling throughout game and good farming but no CDR and weak burst when you do get to gank. If enemy has their flashes up you're going to have a hard time doing anything but blowing summoners on ganks, and your lategame teamfighting will still suck and you won't have the burst to kill squishies, the tankiness to survive an enemy ADC in a teamfight, or the raw DPS to really shred tanks.

If you want to build like this and powerfarm and not abuse Nocturne's ult just play Shyvana and be way more effective

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Ahri
  • Akali
  • Alistar
  • Amumu
  • Anivia
  • Annie
  • Ashe
  • Aurelion Sol
  • Azir
  • Bard
  • Blitzcrank
  • Brand
  • Braum
  • Caitlyn
  • Camille
  • Cassiopeia
  • Cho'Gath
  • Corki
  • Darius
  • Diana
  • Dr. Mundo
  • Draven
  • Ekko
  • Elise
  • Evelynn
  • Ezreal
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Fiora
  • Fizz
  • Gangplank
  • Garen
  • Gnar
  • Gragas
  • Graves
  • Hecarim
  • Heimerdinger
  • Illaoi
  • Irelia
  • Ivern
  • Janna
  • Jarvan IV
  • Jax
  • Jayce
  • Jhin
  • Jinx
  • Kalista
  • Karma
  • Karthus
  • Kassadin
  • Katarina
  • Kayle
  • Kennen
  • Kha'Zix
  • Kindred
  • Kled
  • Kog'Maw
  • LeBlanc
  • Lee Sin
  • Leona
  • Lissandra
  • Lucian
  • Lulu
  • Lux
  • Malphite
  • Malzahar
  • Maokai
  • Master Yi
  • Miss Fortune
  • Morgana
  • Nami
  • Nasus
  • Nautilus
  • Nidalee
  • Nunu
  • Olaf
  • Orianna
  • Pantheon
  • Poppy
  • Quinn
  • Rammus
  • Rek'Sai
  • Renekton
  • Rengar
  • Riven
  • Rumble
  • Ryze
  • Sejuani
  • Shaco
  • Shen
  • Shyvana
  • Sion
  • Sivir
  • Skarner
  • Sona
  • Soraka
  • Swain
  • Syndra
  • Tahm Kench
  • Taliyah
  • Talon
  • Taric
  • Teemo
  • Thresh
  • Tristana
  • Trundle
  • Tryndamere
  • Twisted Fate
  • Twitch
  • Udyr
  • Urgot
  • Varus
  • Vayne
  • Veigar
  • Vel'Koz
  • Vi
  • Viktor
  • Vladimir
  • Volibear
  • Warwick
  • Wukong
  • Xerath
  • Xin Zhao
  • Yasuo
  • Zac
  • Zed
  • Ziggs
  • Zilean
  • Zyra



Difficulty 6/10

She is fairly annoying overall because she is one of the more difficult midlaners to kill. Between her mobility and her hard to spellshield ahriseduce.png (if she uses ahrifoxfire.png first it's very hard to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it. 

Best way to beat her is to ask your laner to bait an all in, provided your laner isn't too low. Once 2 or 3 dashes are down she is much easier to kill. 



Difficulty 3/10

If she snowballs she's a nightmare, and she can sometimes be hard to gank with the removal of pink wards, but overall I don't find her tough. Your tether persists through her shroud and you can see her movements if you manage to hit her with Q.

Toplane she's still easily gankable, and midlane her lack of waveclear becomes very easy to take advantage of if you get ahead. 



Difficulty 9/10

One of the hardest supports in the game to deal with. He has 2 forms of hard CC and is impossible to pick when he's warding. You generally need to wait until he blows either pulverize.png or headbutt.png, or walks away from his carry before you do anything in fights when he's around

Slightly less punishing with his mini rework as the knockup stun was reduced, but still hard to deal with



Difficulty 3/10

I think Amumu is a very underrated jungler, even into low-mid diamond, but he doesn't cause Nocturne any real issues aside from counterganks. You can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his bandagetoss.png to avoid getting picked by him, and I find his ult rather easy to predict in fights as well.

Any bloodrazor build or build with MR and you just dump on him 1v1 as well. If going a burst build you can also burst him for quite a while unless he goes full tank (and I think full tank Amumu is pretty bad)



Difficulty 7/10

Her egg passive makes bursting her mid a bit more difficult when she's around tower, her crystallize.png can really punish overaggression, and her glacialstorm.png works well at countering your team's followup. Add in that she tends to build 3027.png and 3048.pngshe becomes fairly tricky.

Overall she's still an immobile mid and her flashfrost.png is easy to block in most scenarios. Note that flashfrost.png applies 2 instances of damage. You can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it to block the stun but you will still take the initial pass through damage

If ulting onto her try to get behind her to make it tricky for her to wall you effectively. Otherwise she can often escape pretty easy if you don't have flash

She also has insane waveclear which makes pushing a midgame edge difficult. Pretty hard matchup overall



Difficulty 7/10

She can be fairly easy to deal with at times, because she is immobile and if her stun has just been used she has very little she can do vs you.

On the other hand, she still has huge burst, she likes to build either RoA or Rylais for tank stats, and her E gives her a 2.5 second window of being way too goddamn tanky for a mage. 

Also beware tibbers after killing her. You are quite quick depending on buildbut if she has rylais that bear can stick to you and do a lot of damage. 

Multiple spellshields via either 3814.pngor 3102.png is a strong option vs her, alternatively 3156.png can suffice. I usually prefer Edge of Night though, she's really not scary when you can block 2 of her 3 skills



Difficulty 2/10

She's an immobile ADC who relies on her ult for safety. Buy 3706.png vs her for some extra MS to deal with her slows and you're golden.

If enemy has other significant CC it's not a bad idea to pick up 3140.png  in a heavy damage build. Completely eliminates her ability to peel you. Multiple spellshields also not a terrible idea


Aurelion Sol

Difficulty 5/10

Asol is weird. On the one hand he's easy to gank because he can't detonate aurelionsolQ.pngonce you're on top of him, and there's nothing besides aurelionsolR.png that you really need to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png

On the other hand, he builds a ton of health in his build, and his roaming/counterganking from midlane is oppressive. His teamfighting is also kind of tricky to deal with in my experience, if someone else pops your W and he can ult you back you are screwed. 

Very few people play him though, and even fewer play him well. So don't worry too much



Difficulty 9/10

The below info is based on Azir not being trash tier. Currently he is, so until lategame he's still easy to deal with. But if Azir is decent he's a nightmare

Yes you can spellshield his azirR.png, but if you mess it up in a teamfight you are in for a world of hurt. He's not that hard to kill in lane, particularly if he is playing aggressively and using azirQ.png to harass, but come teamfights when it becomes a lot harder to use nocturneshroudofdarkness.pngproperly he can kill your whole team

Also, in siege scenarios he has an annoying habit of creating a turret behind his own team which gives his ADC more safety, and limits your escape paths after an assassination. 



Difficulty 3/10

Bard is an amazing support but he shouldn't give you many issues. His bardQ.png and bardR.pngare both fairly slow moving and easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. He has no skills that you would accidentally block either.

Note that bardQ.pnghas an interesting mechanic. If you nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it hitting you it stops the damage/slow, but when the 2nd part hits a wall/ally it counts as a separate spell. So you will still get stunned, but won't take any damage. So you still need to be careful about standing next to allies/walls.

In teamfights even if you don't use nocturneshroudofdarkness.png properly it's unlikely to be that punishing vs him as his bardQ.pngends up being a slow more often than not.

Bard also likes to roam a lot which makes him easy to pick off and snowball on. Just beware bardE.png

The only reason this isn't a 1 or a 2/10 is bardE.png and it's annoying ability to save carries



Difficulty 4/10

It's easy to outplay his hook by either dodging or nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, but it's hard to react to flash powerfist.png or flash staticfield.png

You generally want to use nocturneshroudofdarkness.png mid air so that you don't get silenced immediately upon landing.

Blitzcrank would be considered harder except for the fact that he is actually rarely operating in a peel capacity. Blitzcranks love to roam and love to look for picks around the frontline, leaving his carries all alone in the back.



Difficulty 3/10

nocturneshroudofdarkness.png will stop his skills from applying passive, so he can't do his standard brandconflagration.pngbrandblaze.png stun combo on you. brandfissure.png is slow and easy to dodge especially if you have blue smite for MS. His overall burst damage is pretty poor now in a 1v1 as well. Just be careful about fighting him if there's something for his brandwildfire.png to bounce to

Pretty much nocturneshroudofdarkness.png any of his skills and he can't kill you if he's not fed + you have no MR

Only reason this isn't a 2/10 or 1/10 is that Brand likes to build health items as part of core build making him slightly harder to snowball off of.



Difficulty 6/10

Braum doesn't really have the tools to stop you instakilling his ADC, but if you don't manage to kill the carry immediately his stun will tag you and you will die. He does give his ADC free resists though with braumW.png, which combined with 3.png might be enough to shut you down.

He's not the worst, but Braum is not fun. Could definitely argue for placing him higher



Difficulty 5/10?

I have no clue what to rate this. On the one hand, her dash is pretty low ranged, her caitlynentrapment.png is easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, she's easy to pick solo, her duelling is bad even if ahead etc. If you ever have vision of her channeling caitlynaceinthehole.png she is super free kills. 

On the other hand... if she has a good support and somewhat else pops your W then her W can cripple you. And caitlynyordletrap.png is a ridiculously strong ability. Good caitlyns are miserable to play against

Also note: never buy 3026.png vs caitlyn. She will just trap under it and kill you on spawn. Waste of gold generally



Difficulty 6/10 (Need more experience in matchup)

So I haven't been able to get a read on Camille because she is literally always banned. 

From what I have seen, and from asking a few other Nocturne mains, if you spellshield her E you have a decent chance to beat her if you go for a more DPS oriented build

Not really worth ulting her at most points though. Can be nice to save a teammate who she has jumped on but outside of that you really can't keep up with her if she chooses to run



Difficulty 3/10

Her cassiopeiapetrifyinggaze.pnghas a very clear animation though and is not remotely difficult to block. Buy 3706.png so she can't just run away from you with large MS boost and she's very easy kills.
Would be 2/10 except for Cassiopeia players itemize more defensively than many other mages making them a bit harder to burst

Lategame when she has seraphs and rylais be careful, as if you don't pop her she will run you down easily



Difficulty 8/10

He is immobile so he's fairly easy to gank early, but past early game there's not a lot you can do to him and he's just a huge counter to assassins in general. Even AP builds get tanky due to his passive and his feralscream.png and feast.png are both very hard for you to deal with

Bloodrazor can be very effective vs him though. If you can avoid his Q and just beat on him his health stacking can work against him.



Difficulty 7/10

He's less difficult to deal with botlane than mid as he's consistently lower level, but Corki is still a pretty troublesome ADC for you. He has a pretty long ranged dash and a ton of burst (especially if going 3146.png build) which means that small missteps can easily cost you your life

As a midlaner it isn't even worth trying to gank him unless he's very low or uses carpetbomb.pngoffensively. Usually requires your midlaner to bait him. Remember that W does cost 100 mana so if he is pretty oom you might be able to catch him



Difficulty 4/10

He's really easy to gank, his dariuscleave.png is very predictable if you want to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it, or you can just save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for dariusexecute.png if you don't need the AS boost. If he doesn't build 3053.png you can often duel him into midgame if you take 3715.png

Just be careful about trying to gank him if your laner is at risk of dying to his combo. If he gets his passive off he is unbelievably strong.



Difficulty 4/10

Could easily be lower but she can be hard to deal with if she gets early 3157.png. Between zhonyas and her shield she can be tough to kill, and if she gets ahead and you jump on her she has decent odds of killing you if she pops your nocturneshroudofdarkness.png with dianaW.png or dianaE.png

If you don't need 3706.png for other champions it can be nice to take 3715.png for Diana, especially if not building 3156.png or other MR. Her lategame burst is really really strong


Dr. Mundo

Difficulty 5/10

He's easier to burst than you'd think early game, but past a certain point he does just become nearly impossible to kill.

In teamfights you generally won't be dealing with him until the fight is essentially decided.

Mundo is one of those champs where it can be nice to try to donate some of the early kills onto your ADC. If your ADC doesn't have the damage to DPS Mundo then you are going to have issues.



Difficulty 2/10 

This difficulty was tricky to decide. On the one hand Draven is immobile, his dravendoubleshot.png is very easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and it's not even a huge deal if you mess it up, and he's of course squishy. Most Dravens also tend to auto shove their lane in order to build up stacks and harass under turret.

On the other hand, every Draven I seem to go against gets fed as hell if I don't camp their lane, and if he has a 40.png or something who can keep him alive through initial burst he will 2 shot you.

Overall, as long as your botlane doesn't give him a double kill early and you make sure to pay him a visit or two post 6 he's very easy to manage.



Difficulty 7/10

Pretty variable depending on how good the Ekko is. Good Ekkos move in the lane in such a way that they can almost always use their ult to escape ganks. And with his ridiculous MS boost on passive he's one of the few champs that can out speed you on your Q, sometimes even through 3706.png

His stun in teamfights can be devastating, and while it is somewhat easy to predict he can outplay it by hitting you with Q first. And if you don't build MR lategame he can 1 shot you if you have to use W to block a non damaging ability like his stun. 

You can bait bad ekkos into trying to ult on your face with W up and proceed to kill them. Always satisfying

Overall, just be glad tank Ekko is dead. Because that was a nightmare



Difficulty 4/10

She's easy to manage 1v1 provided you have health and mana. nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her eliseE.png and she has nothing on you unless she has red smite advantage or something.

She's only a 4/10 because she can have a lot of pressure early game while you are just trying to powerfarm, and it's not uncommon for her to steal a buff if you skip them on your clear. The higher elo you go the more problematic she becomes, as early pressure is king in higher elo (Mid diamond +)



Difficulty 4/10

She's easy to burst, not hard to duel, and she doesn't even really outscale you at all (some AP builds arguably do if your team doesn't properly pink ward flanks)

She still warrants a 4/10 because of her early pressure. Any jungler that has very strong pre 6 ganking poses at least some threat to Nocturne.

Also, she can bypass your wards that you place in your own jungle which can make your first clear very sketchy. If you face an Evelynn running ignite or exhaust + smite be very wary on your early clear and make sure to maintain high health.



Difficulty 10/10

This is by far hands down the toughest ADC in the game for you to deal with. Not only does he have a low CD high range dash, but he can build 65 armour item as either his 1st or 2nd item.... 65 FRIGGEN ARMOUR! ON A CARRY IN THE MIDGAME! And on top of that if you go for him and fail he just permaslows you and you die.

Back when he was stronger/more popular I used to ban him regularly. Still not a bad ban but I consider other stuff to be higher priority.

Unless enemy team has another squishy backline champ that is unlikely to build Zhonyas (something like 41.png) I'd definitely go for at least a semi tanky build vs Ezreal with at least 2 tank items. You won't be bursting him if he's at all competent.

If the Ezreal is dumb and builds Trinity vs you he's much more manageable. Ideally someone else blows his E but even if they don't you can often kill him provided you have flash up. Trinity Ezreal is only an 8 or a 9

But Blue build is the worst. 



Difficulty 5/10

He's made of paper and likes to walk away from his team in order to set up flanks. Even if he gets 3157.png early if you manage to just pop that he immediately becomes essentially no threat, and lategame the CD on his zhonyas is longer than your ult CD

His terrify.png can be annoying and he might warrant buying 3140.png in some games, and his counterganking is just as strong as yours (albeit he has to be better about predicting ganks, but outside of that he's not bad

Try to predict where he will be in enemy jg and use blue trinket to catch him doing camps. If fiddlesticksdarkwind.png is down he's free kills as you can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his terrify.png predictably



Difficulty 6/10

She can fiorariposte.pnga lot of your burst which makes her pretty tricky to gank unless your laner can bait it out first (which isn't too hard). Later on you can't duel her at all so don't even try. Seriously don't even try. Not even with a crit/lifesteal build. Fiora is crazy

If she doesn't fiorariposte.png your initial burst and instead saves it for fear, you want to save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for the reflection so that you don't get stunned.

The dream is to block her ult application, but that's just guesswork and not reliable



Difficulty 8/10

I hate Fizz. He is arguably my most hated champion in the game and the amount I enjoy league of legends is directly correlated with how popular Fizz is in the meta.

His skills are easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, and your nocturneunspeakablehorror.png persists through his fizzjump.png, which is nice. But he can still fizzjump.png most of your burst making him very hard to gank without first baiting him, and he often gets early 3157.png which makes things even harder.
Lategame he pops your carries before you do anything to him, though his non ult burst is lower now which is something I guess

I really really hate Fizz. Only real positive is he can't do shit if your team gets ahead and sieges



Difficulty 4/10

One of the weirder difficulties to assign

On the one hand he is a squishy (aside from triforce health) immobile carry who is usually played in a long lane and who lacks CC and whose main damage source is easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. It is very easy to snowball on Gangplank and kill him when he tries to farm

On the other hand, he has cannonbarrage.png. Gangplank ult can really limit your ability to make picks around the map and makes botlane plays post 6 particularly risky, as if you overextend and he cuts off your retreat enemies can sometimes turn the play around

In addition to that, his scaling is ridiculous so if it gets to teamfights and you don't pop him he can 1v5.

In general, I think the ease with which you can snowball off him and stop him from farming outweighs the negatives. But it can be hard especially if the gangplank plays appropriately safe

Mid lane GPs that take 3.png are more problematic and probably warrant a 5-6/10, though if it leads to an all AD team it's not bad



Difficulty 8/10

8/10 for Garen? Yes. I know it's weird but he's hard

His garenbladestorm.pngdoes outrageous damage for how tanky he is, garenjustice.pngis quite quick and harder than you'd think to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png (and in a lot of cases you need to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his garenslash3.png) . And if Garen gets on you you die.

Add in that as Nocturne it is pretty common to be the villain and Garen is very scary indeed.



Difficulty 7/10

He could probably be a 6/10, I gave him the boost because he is quite hard to gank between all his CC and his gnarE.png

His gnarR.png is pretty predictable but if he does catch you with it (usually due to a surprise flash) he will CC chain you to death



Difficulty 4/10

Essentially not played in the jungle anymore. As a toplane tank he's annoying to gank but ever since they added the delay to his ult it's really easy to block and he's overall not terribly annoying.

Not really sure how I'd rate him in jungle. Have hardly seen him this season



Difficulty 8/10


That about sums up Graves.

More seriously... he is too good, but it depends on the enemy Graves being decent. If he knows how to clear quickly (using AoE from his autos properly) and at full health (by kiting camps), and knows how/when to invade he will just live in your jungle and kick your ass. He out early pressures you, farms better overall, scales better, out skirmishes etc. Bonus points if the Graves actually knows how to do his burst combos properly

Graves is just overtuned as hell and needs nerfs. I'd like to give better advice but the Graves matchup largely comes down to whether Graves is good or not and whether laners are able to help you in your jungle.

I'd buy 3715.png essentially always to match his. If you can catch him reloading and with E down you can sometimes burst him early-mid game. But if he builds just tabis and PD you can't ever duel him.

I'd give him a 10/10 if the Graves knows what he's doing. Thankfully many don't so I lowered it a bit. On the other hand those bad Graves players are holding back his winrate and probably delaying nerfs.

Sorry for ranting. I just really hate Graves in his current state



Difficulty- 6/10

If you don't go 1419.png you can have issues duelling him if he gets red smite. His counterganking is strong, he clears OK after first clear, and he has better early pressure than you. If he does early gank look to invade and take away some camps. He can run out of mana early pretty often and will need to back after successful ganks often

Bloodrazor builds do outfarm him by a good bit though, and lategame you can kill him pretty quick in fights



Difficulty 6/10

On most junglers ganking heimer is a suicide mission. He sees you coming, kites around in his turrets, and gets a double kill.

Nocturne however has an edge because he doesn't get a chance to damage you before you get on him. He's very squishy (lowest base health besides Anivia + very low armour) so he can be popped easily. 

If he gets early 3157.png there's not much you can do to him though, and be wary about diving into fights when he has turrets up.

Also beware his upgrade!!!.png hextechmicrorockets.png when going for objectives. That thing does a ton of damage and it's not hard to get outsmited by it



Difficulty 3/10

I think she's actually pretty good and underplayed, but she's not hard to deal with. nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her illaoiR.png and she's not that hard to kill. If ahead beware of her 2v1 potential but she's really not a challenge at any point in the game if you don't get womboed by her

If she does get ahead and builds defensively you are in trouble. Red smite is definitely useful if it going to be up to you to stop her splitting



Difficulty 5/10

This all comes down to how good you are using nocturneshroudofdarkness.png to block ireliaequilibriumstrike.png. Yes I know nocturneshroudofdarkness.png use is key to most matchups but it's especially important here. If you manage to block ireliaequilibriumstrike.png you kill her at essentially any point assuming roughly equal levels/items. If you get stunned you lose badly. Neither of you can escape from the other one (unless she has minions to dash to) so it really comes down to the one interaction

Be careful trying to 1v1 her early if she has a lot of your minions around to heal off of with ireliatranscendentblades.pngthough. The healing is actually very significant. 

Red smite is handy, and Tabis swing this matchup hard both ways. Beware if she has them and you don't.



Difficulty 9/10

Alright Riot... what the hell is this. 

I'm just really not sure what to make of Ivern. He's incredibly overtuned right now and his difficulty reflects that. His shields/heals  from ivernE.png + 3190.png + 3107.png + 3174.png combined with windspeakers and runic armour are just oppressive. His counterjungling has very little counterplay. Daisy just runs around in teamfights and beats your ass...

I just don't even know what to make of this champ. Incredibly silly right now. 

And the funny thing is... I wrote the above stuff on release. And he's still easily the highest winrate jungler and while he's worse he's still way too good. Too reliable and too much utility.

If he becomes popular banning him is fine



Difficulty 10/10

Probably the hardest support in the game to deal with other than 223.png, and if you plan on picking Nocturne she is absolutely a worthy ban as she not only counters you but has a high win rate and pick rate.

Her peel is just unmatched. All of her abilities make your job harder and she almost always takes 3.png just to make things worse. If possible you want to save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for reapthewhirlwind.png but it can be hard to time. 

You need to adjust your playstyle to try to make picks away from where she is, or wait for her to blow multiple CDs before making your move.


Jarvan IV

Difficulty 3/10

There's not much about J4 that is threatening. Yes he can trap you in jarvanivcataclysm.png but once you're both inside it's him that's in trouble provided you didn't get bursted. You outduel him, clear faster than him, have better ganks post 6 in most cases, you can easily countergank etc.

If he plays a peel role in teamfights and you don't have flash up it can be problematic, but beyond that J4 just isn't a problem. 

Top lane J4 is extremely easy for your laner to bait into going aggro with jarvanivdemacianstandard.pngjarvanivdragonstrike.png which leads to free kills afterwards. If he does build full damage you need to be careful about going near him if he's ahead, and bring red smite if you intend to try to duel him



Difficulty 6/10

If it's jungle Jax the difficulty is more like 3 or 4 out of 10. He can outduel you but he's still very easy to countergank and your level 6 is just way more impactful. Beware him soloing dragon post bloodrazor and he's not a huge threat

Lane jax is more annoying. His jaxcounterstrike.png is fairly easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png but he can often just escape with jaxleapstrike.png. If your laner can bait him at level 6, which is very easy to do due to Jax players eagerly looking to trade with 3rd jaxrelentlessassault.pngproc, he can be fairly easy to kill, especially if you just wait out jaxcounterstrike.png before engaging.

Past a certain point you can't even come close to dealing with him 1v1 though. jaxcounterstrike.png counters you too hard once he reaches the point that you can't burst him. Itemization doesn't even really matter. He's too tanky and has too much damage. Beware even trying to 2v1 him if he has ult up and passive stacked



Difficulty 4/10

You could justify putting this as a 3 or even 2/10. It all depends on how good the Jayce is at comboing and making his jayceE.pngunpredictable. If jayceE.png is down or he messes it up he is a free kill, but it's easy enough to mess up that I'll give him 4/10

If you wait until he switches back into ranged form you have a window where he can't use jayceR.png. At this point he is absolutely free kills.



Difficulty 2/10

Very strong ADC. But he's easy for you

He's immobile, and if he ever sets up for jhinR.png just use 3363.pngand tear him a new one. Note that even if 3814.png is active your first ult activation will pop it so you can go in freely

He is pretty bursty and can chain CC if you get locked down so you have be a little more careful than you do with the absolute easiest carries, but he's pretty easy overall. 

If he has 4.png up and you don't, be a little wary about going on him. He can flash out and then ult from a safe distance away and it can give his team a chance to collapse on you

Oftentimes it can be handy to use W to tank his last ult shot for teammates



Difficulty 1/10

Runner up for easiest ADC in the game for Nocturne. 

jinxE.png are useless once you're already on her and they're easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png anyways. She lacks burst, lacks mobility, and has low base health.

Only possible issue with Jinx is if she gets a random reset from someone else dying. Outside of that you're golden



Difficulty 7/10

Difficulty varies a fair bit based on build. Heavy lifesteal Kalista builds can be quite difficult to deal with. You can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her kalistaR.png easily enough but then you don't have nocturneshroudofdarkness.png up for whatever support skills are incoming. 

She usually has 3153.pngso be careful about getting baited by the active heal + 7.pngcombination.

Also of course do not go for her support if kalistaR.png is off CD. That's an easy way to look stupid. 

Nobody really plays her though



Difficulty 9/10

I had this lower, but in her current state support karma is BS. The most broken thing in the game right now is shielding/healing itemization. Windspeakers + 3190.png3107.png3504.png3174.png + 45% CDR is the pretty stupid combination that gives shield/heal supports way too much power. Their ability to mitigate burst right now is downright stupid, and karma is one of the biggest offenders.

Applies to solo lane Karma as well. She's just really good right now and really hard to play vs. She doesn't have the hard CC to lock you down and get you killed like say 12.png, but her ability to protect carry is up there with the best



Difficulty 2/10

Karthus is made of paper and has no reliable peel. He does build 3027.png and 3048.png  or 3116.pngpretty commonly, and he likes 3157.png but before that he is so free to snowball on. Just ult him at any point where he isn't under turret, save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png to pass through wallofpain.png after he dies, and just kill him.

If he has fallenone.png up you probably want to save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for it instead. It's a lot of damage, and spellshielding it is really satisfying. 3814.png is a strong counter to his ult throughout game as well



Champion Difficulty 4/10

Another hard one to rate. Early on he is very easy to gank. Post 6 if becomes hard but if he ever uses riftwalk.png to trade just ult him and he dies as it has a 6 second CD. He is not designed to survive physical damage burst. 

Later on his damage is pretty nuts and between his mobility and 3157.pnghe becomes quite hard to deal with, but that happens regardless of who you are playing. Lategame Kassadin is unfair

I give him a 4 because despite his lategame strength he sucks at stalling games which is really handy on a midgame snowball champ. 



Difficulty 2/10

Need more practice vs her, but in general I feel she's a lot easier to deal with now as she can no longer shadowstep.png to wards, which really reduces her escape ability. You can even gank her pre 6 now. Most kat players are greedy and snowball-eager and are to easy to bait into going aggro and killing

In teamfights you generally won't be anywhere near her as you will both be looking to dive enemy backline

If she gets ahead she's a problem, and you lack reliable hard CC to shut her down, but generally she's easy

You can generally just 1v1 her at any point if you have red smite or any MR. She does a lot of damage but you do more



Difficulty 9/10

You pretty much can't teamfight vs Kayle, she denies your burst too hard with kayleR.png. If you do find yourself in a game with her and aren't snowballing hard you might want to consider a more splitpush oriented build with 3046.png and other AS/crit items. Or build tanky items, try to bait Kayle ult, and then lock her down with nocturneunspeakablehorror.png

She would be 10/10 if not for how easy she is to pick off after she blows kayleR.png. Kayle's use their ult preemptively when expecting burst so it's pretty easy for your laner to bait it out with their ults in a lot of cases. If Kayle ult is down and she doesn't have 3157.png she's extremely squishy and easy to burst.



Difficulty 6/10

My 2nd highest mastery champion after Nocturne.

He's annoying mostly because diving into a Kennen is suicide and because he likes to get 3157.png early, often 2nd-3rd item kennenlightningrush.png also makes him harder to gank and often warrants buying 3706.png

Top lane Kennen is easier to gank, especially if laner can bait kennenshurikenstorm.png and then disengage, but is better for team comps. Mid Kennen is extremely hard to gank post 6 unless kennenshurikenstorm.png is down, but his utterly terrible ranged waveclear means that you can often snowball the game and push to win before Kennen's insane lategame becomes a factor.

In teamfights you want to wait out his kennenshurikenstorm.pngkennenbringthelight.png combo. In most cases he will be looking to flash on your backline so just don't stand too close to your carries and be patient and you'll be fine. 



Difficulty 6/10

nocturneunspeakablehorror.png and nocturneduskbringer.png are both useful for tracking him through stealth, and you can countergank him quite easily generally.

Here's the thing with this matchup... if you're ahead of khazix it's super easy. You can countergank him and outduel him (barring red smite disadvantage). If even it's fine, probably leaning towards you. But if he's ahead, and a lot of khazixs I go against seem to get random kills early, it becomes extremely hard to deal with. That's why I rate I don't rate it a 4 or 5, which is what I would otherwise



Difficulty 10/10

My most hated champion in the game bar none, and not just when playing Nocturne. i really hate her design, but mostly her ult. She's the hardest jungler in the game for you to deal with when she's in a strong state. Thankfully she got nerfed hard and nobody is really playing her anymore. I don't think the 7.5 buffs did a whole lot but we'll see

 She outpressures you early and can usually duel you as she almost always gets 3715.png. Her kindredR.png cripples your teamfight assassination potential and nothing in her kit is particularly useful to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png

Additionally, she messes with your clear. When you play vs kindred you are no longer jungling, you're playing the minigame of Deny kindred her stacks or she'll kill your whole team. You need to contest scuttle crabs early in a lot of cases where you otherwise wouldn't want to. As such I recommend taking AS runes regardless of intended build, just so you are consistently healthy enough to contest camps

Only saving graces

1. Without ult she's easy to burst

2. If they don't expect you to burst so hard she might hold off on ult for a bit (unlike someone like 10.png or 117.png)
Fuck Kindred. If she's strong in the meta and popular ban it. She's the worst



Difficulty 3/10

Still need more games vs him to really judge him. His mount mechanic is weird because you can't 1 shot him. And when he has his kledw.png his damage is outrageous. Ninja tabis helps a lot. 

I've never struggled much with him but haven't really see him a ton. 



Difficulty 2/10

Kog'maw on his own is about the easiest kills Nocturne can ask for. He's immobile and lacks hard CC. You can honestly save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for his passive in many instances. 

Kog'maw can sometimes be tricky to win vs because most Kog'maws are accompanied by stuff like 40.png and 117.png, but Kog on his own is very easy.

Only reason this isn't a 1 is because lots of Kogmaws are building 3022.png making him annoyingly tanky. Still not hard though



Difficulty 7/10

She's hard to gank due to high mobility via leblancslide.png and leblancmimic.png. But the delay added to her leblancslide.png makes her easier to play vs and the removal of her old passive makes her easier to kill when low. 

Save nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for leblancsoulshackle.png, it's easily the most important spell to block.

Nice thing with Leblanc's is they love to roam, so if you can anticipate it you can often take advantage of her teammates going overly aggro while trying to bait in roam. Try to either abuse this, or just go mid with your midlaner and shove down tower when she leaves lane.


Lee Sin

Difficulty 4/10

Below higher elos where Lee Sins can at least sort of abuse the strengths of the champion I'd put this at probably a 2. He is very easy for Nocturne to deal with as long as you respect his early invade and are ready to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his blindmonkqone.png. Post 6 if you have the reactions/prediction skills to block his blindmonkrkick.png you destroy him in duels too unless he went 3715.png and you didn't.

I give him 4/10 because on occasion, at least in higher ranks, you will run into that Lee Sin who actually knows what he's doing and he'll put so much pressure on your lanes early that it will make for at least a semi difficult game.

In almost all cases though, Lee Sin is very easy for Nocturne to deal with. Especially with the nerf to his R damage making him more manageable post 6



Difficulty 4/10

Difficulty depends on how Leona plays. If she plays an aggro style where she roams a lot and tries to pick off your carries in teamfights she is very easy for you to deal with. If she decides to play a peel oriented role she becomes more difficult, though still not terribly hard.

nocturneshroudofdarkness.png is very useful against her kit. 

Best thing with Leona is that they always want to go in at level 6. Have someone get hit by Leona R (ideally not in the centre), blow enemy ADC mobility skills (if they have any) and then just go ham on the ADC. If he flashes out Leona is a free kill, if he stays he dies.



Difficulty 10/10

She's hard to gank due to lissandraE.png, super risky to dive due to lissandraW.pngand lissandraR.png, and in teamfights if she is patient she can CC lock you to death. Her lissandraR.png has an animation but it's hard to see in fights so it's unreliable to count on nocturneshroudofdarkness.png.

3140.png is pretty much necessary if you intend to teamfight ever with a damage build. I'd recommend just building tankier though. 3814.png can potentially save you vs some teams though

Between forcing awkward itemization and being hard to snowball on, plus having decent waveclear to prevent easy pushing she's probably the most annoying midlaner in the game for you



Difficulty 5/10

Not too bad. He has a dash but it's short ranged. He's bursty with lucianQ.png but it's easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. He has speed boost on lucianW.png but he can't outrun you.

Hes reasonably hard with the 3142.png3071.png build as it gives more MS/health/ability damage

In lane Lucians like to play aggro, so it's easy for your laners to bait him into using lucianE.png in a lot of cases.

Do be careful about fighting him if he has 4.png and you don't. If he creates enough distance and can cull you and re-engage with E he can be scary



Difficulty 9/10

Thankfully nobody plays solo lane Lulu anymore, but support Lulu isn't much better. Polymorph is a dumb ability and her ult is way too strong of an assassin counter. And current shielding itemization just makes it more annoying

I would almost always advise against teamfighting vs Lulu whenever possible.

Only reason she isn't a 10 like Janna is because she's not quite as hard to gank and she's a bit easier to pick off



Champion Difficulty 2/10

She's immobile, she's very squishy, her luxlightstrikekugel.png shoves lane, her luxlightbinding.png is extremely easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, and she almost never builds defensively...what more could you ask for? Her luxprismaticwave.png is a decent shield but since it's nerf it's not that bad, and Lux has awful base defensive stats to compensate.

Only reason this isn't a 1/10 is that Lux players all seem to know how weak they are and stay way back at tower. While you can often dive her, if you do mess up nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and get luxlightbinding.png under turret you're going to die, so it's not ideal. 



Difficulty 8/10

He's tanky as hell, he slows your AS with landslide.png, he will just ufslash.png away if you ever try to gank post 6, his TP counterganking is fantastic. His ufslash.png can be blocked withnocturneshroudofdarkness.png but it requires great reaction time, especially in a teamfight. 

He is probably the toughest true top laner in the game (so excluding stuff like top 117.png or 10.png), but he doesn't make the game as difficult as the people I have given 9 or 10/10 to. 



Difficulty 6/10

His passive is annoying at first glance, but it is actually popped by you activating nocturneparanoia.png which makes him fairly easy to pick off provided he doesn't have 4.png. If you get nocturneunspeakablehorror.pngon him before he uses alzaharnethergrasp.png you will cancel it mid channel, but if he flashes out of range and combos you you could be in trouble

He's still fairly hard because he can just ult you in teamfights and unless you are on point with 3140.png you will get popped. Definitely need a tankier build if looking to teamfight

Support Malz isn't really much different, just absolutely requires a QSS or tanky build in order to teamfight vs it.



Difficulty 5/10

I don't find his kit to be difficult. maokaiunstablegrowth.png is easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, and he's actually easier than many tanks to kill on ganks. His TP counterganking is annoying but not as bad as someone like 54.png. Pretty strong at peeling in fights though if he opts for that playstyle


Master Yi

Difficulty 6/10

You out duel him  early-mid game if you get the jump on him. You can countergank him easily with nocturneparanoia.png since he generally has to chase quite far down a lane on ganks. You can mostly keep up with his clearing, and he puts no pressure on your lanes pre 6.

However be wary that he can also countergank you fairly effectively if you go too deep, and past 3-4 items or so you stand no chance of 1v1ing him if you are semi even in gold/XP. Crit builds can keep up with his duelling for longer than burst builds but nothing works for long. 3715.png highly recommended as the true damage is a big damage boost while he's in meditate.png


Miss Fortune

Difficulty 2/10

She's an immobile ADC with very minimal self peel, not amazing burst once you're on top of her (and she can't get 2nd hit of missfortunericochetshot.png), and she has to stand still to channel missfortunebullettime.png which makes her easy to delete.

Only reason she's not 1/10 is because most are currently building 3071.png fairly early and the added health makes her a tad more problematic than other immobile no CC ADCs

Note that even if 3814.png is active your first ult activation will pop it so you can go in freely

Similar to Jhin, be a little careful about going too ham if she has 4.png and you don't. Her ult does ridiculous damage so if she creates distance and you get caught in her ult you will take a beating



Difficulty 4/10

darkbindingmissile.png is predictable and easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, but she can use tormentedsoil.png to break nocturneshroudofdarkness.png fairly easily. blackshield.png isn't terribly useful vs Nocturne but it will block damage from thunderlords, and it will stop chilling smite's slow so be sure to wait it out before smiting carry.

Her soulshackles.png is a little annoying but in most cases you can get out of range.

Not a bad idea to grab 3140.png vs her just in case you do get hit by darkbindingmissile.png or soulshackles.png in a bad spot. 

Mid Morgana is a bit more annoying than support as she has the habit of just shoving lane and leaving, and she's usually full health thanks to passive + gets earlier zhonyas



Difficulty 2/10

She's lane dominant and often ends up shoving the wave in making for easier gank opportunities at 6. She's hugely reliant on hitting namiQ.png but with 3142.png or other MS boosts you have enough speed to dodge it easily, and if you can't dodge it the skillshot is slow enough to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. If you manage to dodge her namiQ.png that leaves you free to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her namiR.png and it's easy kills.

She's also squishy and easy to pick off while she roams/wards. One of the easier supports in the game for you



Difficulty 7/10

He's easy to kill early, and easier than you'd think you kill at 6. If you have an AP top laner that forces early MR itemization from him he can be pretty easy to snowball off of. Especially if he's doing the meta Quasus build with E max + early drings, he's quite squishy for a good part of game

Later on though his wither.png cripples your AS and you just stand 0 chance of duelling him regardless of your build. You can turn duels into 2v1s with nocturneparanoia.png but he stands a decent chance of winning those too.

Best bet as per usual against Nasus is to have someone on your team engage and then use nocturneparanoia.png to block his vision so he can't TP and just try to win teamfights. 

If your team lacks hard engage or enemy team has good disengage Nasus splitpushing can become a problem pretty quickly. 

Can warrant a tankier build just so you can peel him/distract him in fights a bit. 3071.png is very effective if nobody else on your team has it



Difficulty 7/10

He's tanky, he's hard to kill, and he has multiple CCs so you can't rely too much on nocturneshroudofdarkness.png.

As a top laner he can be killed early, and in teamfights he will likely be going for your carries, which is a lot easier to deal with.

Support Nautilus often plays a more peel oriented role which can become very difficult. You can abuse aggressive support naut players in lane though.

Tanks in general are issues for Noc but Nautilus isn't too terrible if you wait for his R and Q to be used before you go in. If he's peeling for ADC instead of engaging he's pretty darn tough to deal with



Difficulty 2/10 at low elo, 5/10 at high elo

She's not difficult to deal with early on in a 1v1, but she clears so fast and can pressure so hard that good Nidalee players will still be hard for you to deal with. They will somehow win every lane while also outfarming you and being 2 levels ahead

Nidalee does not perform well statistically at lower elos because people don't know how to play her. She's probably the hardest jungler in the game currently. In higher elos she's much stronger, but overall she's still not in an amazing spot currently, so unless the player is really good at Nidalee she's not a big concern.

If she spots you and goes for you just nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her javelintoss.png and you'll be fine, You can fight her easily enough but good Nidalees just won't bother and will win farming and pressure war



Difficulty 6/10

Nunu is annoying and sometimes quite hard. Even if you nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his iceblast.png there's not a lot you can do to stop him just walking into your jungle and stealing your camps. You won't be able to kill him before iceblast.png is back up and he just walks away with bloodboil.png

Later on though his peel isn't that annoying, and his AS boost means nothing if ADC is already dead. AS slow is pretty annoying for a lot of your builds though.

Just be careful going for dragons/baron around him. You can't hope to outsmite consume.png



Difficulty 6/10

One of the few junglers that can outduel you early even if you're healthy. If you run into him early and he's keen on fighting (particularly if he pops 6.png), try to save nocturneunspeakablehorror.png until he is lower health. Olaf gets stronger at lower health so you want to make sure to CC him at low health when possible. Keep track of his mana pool as he chugs through mana in fights. 

He outpressures you early, and can 1v1 you for a good portion of the game (much shorter with bloodrazor builds than warrior)

Top lane Olaf is pretty easy to camp early as they generally don't take 4.png. Post 6 it's hard as he can't be CCd. You can sometimes still get him though if laner baits decently



Difficulty 4/10

She is an immobile mage which is nice, but she plays super safe in lane usually and she has orianaredactcommand.png. Diving her is risky due to orianadetonatecommand.png and orianaredactcommand.png, and a decent number of Orianna players build 3027.png which makes her one of the harder immobile mages to kill.

Oriannas who run 14.png or 12.png are preferred to those who run 21.png7.png or god forbid 3.png

orianadetonatecommand.png is pretty easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png thankfully, it has a pretty noticeable animation.



Difficulty 2/10

Jungle- He's really just... easy. He is a little scary early if you run into him without mana but as long as he doesn't snowball off early kills on your laners you can crush him 1v1 at any point post 6. 

There is a lot of counterganking potential from both sides

Top lane- He's super easy to gank at all points and essentially free kills post 6. And to top it off he doesn't even scale well

As long as Pantheon isn't snowballing he is easy for you to deal with



Difficulty 3/10

She has a fairly annoying kit, even though nocturneshroudofdarkness.png is very effective vs her poppyheroiccharge.png and poppydiplomaticimmunity.png.

Note that poppyparagonofdemacia.png does not stop nocturneparanoia.png, so you can still go in on her without too much fear.

She's really tanky and hard to kill on ganks, but generally doesn't cause too many issues for you in particular throughout game. Avoid being near walls in teamfights



Difficulty 5/10

Her roaming is annoying, her quinnQ.png is an incredibly dumb ability but thankfully it's easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png

Note that quinnW.png has a range of 2100 units. Rank 1 nocturneparanoia.png has a range of 2500 units which is 400 more. If trying to set up a lane gank or something be careful to stay very close to your max ult range so you don't get seen.

If she's MIA and one of your laners looks overextended make your way over there to counter Quinn's assassination. Quinn doesn't burst as fast as you do. 



Difficulty 9/10

It's Rammus. You can never fight him if his skills are up, he can countergank pretty well, and his peel in teamfights is very good. puncturingtaunt.png is hard to see coming and nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and if he activates tremors2.png first you are going to have issues. Your big advantage is that you can clear much faster than him

Thankfully he's not very popular as he's one of the stronger jungle picks into Nocturne. Good thing is that he will essentially never look to invade you. 



Difficulty 3/10 at lower elo, 8/10 at high elo

Probably the weirdest champ to rate. I had this at 3/10 overall for a long time as I really never had issues with reksai. Then I hit D3/D2 and all of a sudden reksai was a monster who won every lane and just had way too much pressure while being able to often outduel you

Thankfully most of your playmaking won't be spotted by her reksaiW.png though and she doesn't scale well as a teamfighter. But if the jungler playing her is a good jungler (meaning mid diamond + jungle main) she's really tough to deal with.

For most people reading this guide, that's not the case. So I rate her easy. 



Difficulty 5/10

You typically just ignore Renekton all game. He's hard to gank due to mobility from renektonsliceanddice.png and health from renektonreignofthetyrant.png and renektoncleave.png. In teamfights in most cases he's zoning your backline so you just kind of bypass him

If he peels he's a little annoying but the stun on renektonpreexecute.png is only .75 seconds.

If he builds full AD renekton you can not duel him so don't try. Guy hits like a truck



Difficulty 4/10

It's been hard to judge this guy because he's banned a lot and most people playing him have no clue.

Old Rengar was generally easy for you because he couldn't do anything to stop you killing him if you got the jump on him.

Current Rengar W heals him for a percentage of damage he's taken recently so if timed properly it can counter your burst.

Playstyle vs Rengar depends heavily on build. If he builds damage he will 1 shot you if he gets the jump on you. But his ult is fairly telegraphed and you can 1 shot him back. If he builds tankier he will outduel you but you can still snowball midgame effectively



Difficulty 5/10

Difficulty is highly player dependent. The more unpredictable Riven is with her stun and the better she is at comboing with flash the harder this gets

In general you want to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png her rivenmartyr.png. Saving it for rivenfengshuiengine.png saves more damage but you miss out on the AS boost. If you aren't confident timing it for her rivenmartyr.png then shield her 3rd riventricleave.png



Difficulty 3/10

He's so easy to camp, you can duel him at essentially any point if you don't stand on his rumblecarpetbomb.png. You almost certainly want to build 3156.png though, especially if they also have an AP mid or jungle.

If he gets ahead and can afford an early 3157.png he can be annoying. 

Jungle rumble actually has comparable clears to you, and quite annoying counterganking, but you duel him pretty convincingly if you can get off of his R



Difficulty 2/10-8/10

So player dependent. Ryze is busted if the player knows what he's doing. He can be snowballed on early but if he controls wave properly and gets to his core items he can just destroy your whole team. If you don't pop him his DPS is unreal. Do your best to dodge overload.png.

If ryze player is bad they're just free kills

desperatepower.png isn't a huge deal for you, but it can turn around some plays where you go way too deep

On 7.5 he's very overnerfed though so you should almost always be happy to see Ryze on opposing team



Difficulty 5/10

She's tanky and does more damage than you'd expect, and if you group up for her sejuaniglacialprisonstart.png the teamfight is lost.

This is only semi difficult because of her counterganking and teamfighting though. You outduel her and outfarm her easily. 



Difficulty 9/10

A good Shaco player is really scary. He exerts so much pressure early due to stealth ganks and likely invades, especially since most Shaco players take 14.png. You can never really nocturneparanoia.png onto him (except in a countergank) because he will just deceive.png it and get away for free, and he is one of the few junglers that can actually outduel you post 6.

He will often invade one of your buffs, and there's not a lot you can do about it if your laners don't have pressure. Lategame with a lethality or crit build he will 1 shot you out of stealth and he easily outduels you

Also be careful about initiating on seemingly alone carries if they're near walls Shaco could stealth over

He's also just a really strong champ overall right now for soloQ



Difficulty 6/10

An interaction that many people don't know is that Shen is actually prevented from casting shenstandunited.png while the darkness of nocturneparanoia.png is active. This means he isn't actually as strong at preventing picks from Nocturne as people might think.

With that said, he's still a tough champ to go against. His shenfeint.png limits your assassination potential if you can't auto attack. He can be ganked early but not that easily due to shenshadowdash.png. While shenshadowdash.png is easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it's not ideal to be forced to block it in a teamfight, and it's pretty hard to dodge in my experience.

Also, despite shenstandunited.png not working through your ult he can still use it after the darkness wears off. This means that he can still often turn around plays, especially at level 6



Difficulty 8/10

A good shyvana will just farm to an advantage and then live in your jungle post 6 unless your laners have great pressure. I recommend 1419.pngin all games vs her to at least somewhat keep up in farming and have a chance at duelling her. 

If she goes cinderhulk for whatever reason she's much more manageable than if she goes bloodrazor

Try to keep dragon warded so your team can potentially catch her in a bad position. 



Difficulty 6/10

He's really tanky and has a lot of CC, you can't nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it all. Blocking crypticgaze.png is extremely easy but he can still lock you down fairly well.

Post 6 he's similar to Malphite in that he can just enrage.png away in a lot of cases. If you know you can kill him consider using 4.png to position yourself in front of his ult so you stop it. Or just path around him right after ulting and pray his reactions are slow.



Difficulty 3/10

She's still a dashless ADC, but being able to spellshield.png part of your initial burst makes it a little harder to kill her. Still not particularly difficult but it is tougher than other immobile ADCs. 

Generally at 6 you can get one of your laners to bait spellshield.png though and she's easy. 

She also has no skill that's really worth using nocturneshroudofdarkness.png for outside of duels which means you can save it for key support skills. 



Difficulty 6/10

He clears pretty quickly, and if he's on his spires you stand 0 chance of duelling him. 

It is pretty hard to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png anything important of his because he's melee and skills don't have a notable animation. Use it early in fights for AS boost

Later in the game if he's operating as a peel champ you need to buy 3140.png in damage builds



Difficulty 2/10

Sona is absolutely free kills. She's made of paper, only hard CC sonacrescendo.png has an animation that is easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, has no mobility so she's super easy to catch warding, and is lane dominant and tends to shove early for free kills at 6.

Only issue with her is her synergy with broken shielding/healing items. If combined with 3.png she can make it quite difficult to kill enemy carries. 



2/10 if built with decent AP and little tank, 4/10 ish if built tank

Soraka is weird. There's nothing about her that's even worth using nocturneshroudofdarkness.png on so save it for something else.

AP Soraka does counter burst fairly well, but she's SO easy for you to kill. Just target her in fights for the most part and your team will be fine. Just beware her wish.png as it can make picks on other targets more difficult (be wary of diving)

Tankier Soraka is more annoying because she still has good healing but is harder for you to burst. She's not worth targeting in fights but between astralblessing.pngwish.png and 3.png she can make it fairly hard to kill carries. 

The worst is Soraka players who build 3157.png. That's some cheap shit



Difficulty 3/10

He's really annoying if fed because of his healing and because he rushes early 3027.png and 3157.png. But he's immobile and incredibly easy to camp if you nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his swainshadowgrasp.png, and for pretty much the whole game you can 1v1 him if you build 3156.png or have decent lifesteal/bloodrazor.



Difficulty 3/10

Her syndraE.png is pretty predictable and easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. Warrants a 3156.pngbuy but other than that she's easy. A lot of Syndra's play aggressive in lane looking for syndraQ.pngsyndraE.png combos for kills making it easy to pick them off.-

Beware syndraR.png in teamfights though, it's ludicrous damage for a targeted ability and you only spellshield one ball with W


Tahm Kench

Difficulty 10/10

Thank god nobody plays him anymore, his tahmkenchW.png just can't be played around as a pick oriented champ. I'm not sure I can even give tips for this guy, just hope he isn't near carries or wastes his tahmkenchW.png offensively. Or wait for a teammate to get a pick to bait it out and then engage.

It's no fun though. Avoid the Kench



Difficulty 3/10

Only reason she's not a 1 or 2 is because she some form of health item in most games, making her harder than some to burst. But her taliyahW.png is so easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and she has no dash to survive.

You do need to beware your positioning around the map though, as a dashless champ she and her team can catch you out with taliyahR.png



Difficulty 6/10

He loves to roam and look for ganks, so be ready to countergank when he does

Avoid ulting onto him if he's near walls because you can't follow through parkour. 

He has less damage than old Talon, and if you block the 2nd part of his W he's not that scary, but he does still have good damage output. Beware being low health in your jungle if Talon is MIA

He's annoying because you really can't gank him post 6 anymore because pinks don't reveal him. Need your laner to bait his ult



Difficulty 3/10

dazzle.png is so telegraphed and easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. His imbue.png isn't a significant enough heal to really worry you. His tarichammersmash.png is an invulnerabiliy ult which is rather annoying but it's so delayed that it won't actually prevent your burst. It might limit your team's ability to clean up after you make a pick but it's not terribly hard to play around. 



Difficulty 3/10

blindingdart.png is annoying but it's the only skill that you can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and therefore you won't screw it up unless you activate it early and then hit a shroom. Nocturne can also lane gank better than almost anyone, thus eliminating a lot of Teemo's gank safety via river bantamtrap.png
Depending on his build he can be pretty difficult to pick off later, some of the tankier/on hit Teemo builds are frustrating. But in general he's easy 



Difficulty 5/10

He has a lot of CC that can be used for peel but aside from threshQ.png none of it is that devastating. He cannot threshE.png your nocturneparanoia.png so don't be concerned about that

Be wary of threshW.png. I have been baited before by carries seemingly farming solo and then as soon as I go on them they take lantern back to 2-3 teammates and I die.

Thresh's awareness of his carries positioning and reactions to use threshW.png properly greatly impact how hard this matchup can be



Difficulty 7/10

She has self peel bustershot.png and a long ranged jumpand good damage lategame. She's one of the harder ADCs to snowball on and lategame she's one of the tougher ones as well. 

Most Tristana's are pretty predictable with bustershot.png when you jump on them so you can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png it fairly often, but it's not too easy. 



Difficulty 7/10

Duelling him is pretty impossible, his kit is just too well suited for it. And trundleE.png makes for a pretty annoying teamfight peel tool if he uses it properly, or he can use it to cut off your escape routes after going in.

Overall he's one of the harder tanks. You can kill him early if he overextends though as he doesn't have a dash

1419.png highly recommended if they have trundle.



Difficulty 7/10

Best case scenario when you try to pick him is usually that you trade ults. Worst case he kills you because it can be hard to get away from tryndamere.

Good news is that if your team forces his undyingrage.png and you have nocturneparanoia.png and 3363.png you can usually just go kill him.

You can also of course turn splitpush 1v1s into a 2v1 quickly which is handy. 

Beating tryndamere often comes down to the rest of the team though. If their team plays properly with him and can disengage and waveclear then tryndamere will just run over your base past a certain point


Twisted Fate

Difficulty 1/10

As long as you don't have an AD mid (or something like 105.png) that makes early 3157.png effective this is super free. As long as you nocturneshroudofdarkness.png his gold card he has nothing he can do vs you. You counter his destiny.png roaming too because if you both show up to a lane you just do more early.

This is just a huge counterpick. Don't get baited into engaging on him if he has zhonyas and you're fine. 



Difficulty 1/10

Can I say 0/10? Fine 0/10. Twitch is the easiest ADC in the game for Nocturne. As long as you don't go on him as he's turning invisible there's nothing the guy can do. He's too squishy, lacks any meaningful peel, and has no dashes. If he does manage to get twitchQ.png off before you kill him both your nocturneunspeakablehorror.png and nocturneduskbringer.png trail follow him through invisibility.

And to add insult to injury, when you ult the nearsight buff still stop him from being able to auto from max range since he can't see his targets!

He can absolutely blow you up if he gets the jump on you, twitch does a boatload of damage, but if you respect that he really is no threat. 



Difficulty 7/10

Udyr outduels you and can match your farm and later on if he builds properly there's not a ton you can do to stop him just taking every tower. He will live in your jungle if he wants and it's largely up to your team to stop him

His teamfighting is arguably worse than yours though which is at least some consolation

1419.png recommended



Difficulty 8/10

He's an ADC that builds a ton of armour and has innate damage reduction via urgotswap2.png. And if you go for the other carry he can just swap with you and you die.

Thankfully nobody plays Urgot so you'll be fine



Difficulty 2/10

He has some hard CC from varusr.png but it moves fairly slow and he's otherwise immobile. Not quite as easy as 29.png222.png21.png but still a very easy carry to kill. Midlane or ADC doesn't really matter, varus is free. Just be a little wary of him chaining his CC with other champs

Note that even if 3814.png is active your first ult activation will pop it so you can go in freely



Difficulty 8/10

You can't mess up nocturneshroudofdarkness.png in a 1v1 because only her vaynecondemn.png will consume it (you can't block vaynesilveredbolts.pngproc), so as soon as you nocturneshroudofdarkness.png you have 1.5 seconds where you definitely can't be knocked back. Or you can build 3102.png or 3814.png and she can't condemn you (not sure if botrk active can be used to pop spellshields).  

But in lategame fights she's really hard to deal with since you can't pink her stealth anymore. Really need to try to end early vs Vayne.



Difficulty 2/10

He's immobile and you can pass through veigareventhorizon.png with nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. But he still has a LOT of burst in his veigarbalefulstrike.pngveigarprimordialburst.png combo so he usually warrants a 3156.png  or 3814.pngbuy or at least some other MR, so I can't give this 1/10. Especially since most veigar players play extremely safe in lane and diving him is pretty risky if you don't have 4.png up



Difficulty 1/10

Velkoz is incredibly easy. His velkozE.png is very simple to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png and if you manage that he just dies. He doesn't enjoy building 3157.png and while he gets some health often via 3151.png it won't save him.

He also of course stands still to channel velkozR.png which makes him so free. 



Difficulty 3/10

Both viQ.png and viR.png are very telegraphed making duels with her quite easy if she doesn't have 3715.png advantage (and most Vi's take 3706.png). At level 6 she often goes deep with viR.png making her quite easy to countergank. Her viR.png cooldown is just as long as yours.

If she transitions to a peel role lategame she's a tad annoying but overall not bad, and that's not a common vi playstyle



Difficulty 4/10

He doesn't have a dash and usually doesn't build too defensively early, and lots of Viktors like to skip a defensive summoner for 6.png making him easier to kill. But he still has a lot of burst, a decent sized shield, and high sustained DPS via viktorchaosstorm.png. Getting trapped in viktorgravitonfield.png = death in most cases. Some MR often needed



Difficulty 9/10

Top lane Vlad is much simpler, maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10. Top lane vlad is easier to gank due to a long lane and usually has to take 12.png
Midlane vlad is impossible. They all take 4.png6.png which makes vlad impossible to pick off in midgame before he gets away, and the lane is too short to ever really gank him. Yes nocturneunspeakablehorror.png persists through vladimirsanguinepool.png  which is handy, but unless vlad is really overextended he will be able to get close enough to his tower before pooling that you will have to dive him to get meaningful damage off post fear.

A ton of his damage is now tied up in vladimirtidesofblood.png which is very predictable and easy to block, but overall vlad is really hard to snowball on and his lategame is just silly if the vlad knows what he's doing. It doesn't matter if you kill enemy ADC if he just solos both of yours. 

Note that you can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png the application of vladimirhemoplague.png but you cannot block the pop itself. Zed works similarly

Thankfully nobody plays Vlad anymore



Difficulty 7/10

He outduels you early because of passive + volibearw.pngvolibearw.png can be blocked but it's pretty hard and it requires you waiting until near the end of the duel so you won't get nocturneshroudofdarkness.png AS boost. His level 6 duelling and 2v2 is absolutely ridiculous, volibearr.png is an insane amount of on hit damage.

His lategame still isn't amazing, and at 6 items you can beat him, but he's a pretty tough pick overall. Note that he does love to towerdive with his passive up so you might find some good counterganking opportunities. Always beware volibearr.png damage though



Difficulty 6/10

Haven't played this matchup much as I took a break from the game around the time rework was released. So rating is tentative

You still cannot 1v1 him generally. If you are going to try you want to save E for when he's lower health, he's more dangerous/heals more at lower health.

If you do want to duel him consider healing reduction and a bloodrazor build

You can W his ult much easier now but his kit is much stronger aside from ult. Flash taunt is some annoying shit



Difficulty 5/10

Both nocturneduskbringer.png and nocturneunspeakablehorror.png persist through monkeykingdecoy.png stealth so you can definitely avoid getting juked. And most of his burst is in his monkeykingnimbus.png which is easy to block

With that said he has a ton of damage and if he catches you unawares with his combo he can melt you. He's also a really strong lategame teamfighter and can easily catch you out with a flank if you're not careful

As a jungler he is also very good at counterganking, particularly botlane, so be careful if you see a gank opportunity that is too good to be true. 

I play a lot of Wukong too (most played champ ever), and I find playing him into Nocturne pretty easy for the most part. But I also find playing the other side of the matchup pretty easy as well.



Difficulty 1/10

Similar to Lux but without a shield (though he often builds 3116.png which helps make up for that) and much weaker CC once you get in his face. nocturneparanoia.png also reduces his vision for xeratharcanebarragewrapper.png snipes. And if he ults just blue trinket and kill him if he doesn't have peel.

If you get on him and he doesn't have 4.png or 3157.png he dies. 


Xin Zhao

Difficulty 5/10

Haven't played vs this a lot. His duelling is very strong and his 2v2 is great, but you can outfarm him and your post 6 is stronger



Difficulty 4/10

Difficulty hinges pretty hard on his build (3046.png3078.png build is harder) and summoners (3.png is hard), and player skill

Don't engage on him in a friendly creep wave where he can dance around with yasuoE.png. Try to avoid getting nocturneduskbringer.png blocked by yasuoW.png but if Yasuo is unpredictable there's not much you can do.

It's really really easy to get teammates to bait out Yasuo ult and then just go kill him though, and if you catch him in a sidelane right after he uses tornado or you manage to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png tornado he's pretty easy

Tabis are very important in this matchup. Your crit builds crush his for most of the game but if going a burst build he can win if he has PD/tabis



Difficulty 5/10

Highly recommend bloodrazor vs him as your carries will need help killing him. With that said, I've ranked Zac as easier than most tanks because early on most of his damage and CC is loaded into zacE.png which is so easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. You also have a kit with nocturneduskbringer.png and passive that is perfectly suited to killing him in passive form.

His counterganking is pretty scary though, so be careful about going for ganks that seem too obvious

There is apparently an interaction between your ult and his E where your ult effectively stops his channeling of E, something about his E being coded as a long ranged skill (similar to Shen ult) which is cancelled by nearsight CC. I have yet to test this though



Difficulty 5/10

He's easier than you'd think to gank as he can often be baited into using zedW.png aggressively. In duels you can nocturneshroudofdarkness.png the application of his zedR.png (but not the pop) with some practice and he can't beat you

With that said, he's highly mobile with his shadows so it can be hard to actually kill him 1v1, and in teamfights if he decides to target you you are in for a rough ride.

Lategame do not be afraid to go after him if he's on his own. If you block his ult he has zero chance against you if go a damage build. His zedW.png will also not let him escape with all your MS boosts either. You can easily deal with splitpushing Zeds later in the game



Difficulty 3/10

He does have a little jump on ziggsw.png which makes him a bit safer than some other mids, but he's still extremely easy to kill.

I only give him 3/10 as opposed to 1 or 2 because ziggsr.png can be a pretty strong counterganking tool from midlane if you've already used nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, it does a lot of damage.



Difficulty 9/10

He counters single target burst, you are a single target burst champion. Therefore Zilean is very annoying.

With that said, his damage is very easy to nocturneshroudofdarkness.png, and in a lot of cases Zilean won't actually have time to use chronoshift.png before your target dies unless he has quick reactions. Zilean is also made of paper and easy to catch out while warding, especialy if chronoshift.png is down

Only reason this isn't 10/10 is because he's not a super useful champion once ult is down, so if someone else can pop it or he misuses it he's not too bad



Difficulty 2/10

Very meta support, very strong, and very easy for you. She's super squishy, shoves lane, and offers minimal CC.

Biggest threat is that she can stop your team's engage with zyraR.png, so be a little wary of that. And if you kill her carry she can easily kill you with your CDs down

But overall her squishiness and low CC nature makes her an easy support to deal with

About The Guide Back to Top

Welcome to my Nocturne Guide. My IGN is StringerLittle and I'm a Nocturne jungle main. I peaked Master Tier in Season 6 with lolskill having me ranked as the #2 Nocturne in NA (tied for #6 world). I took a long break from the game and decayed to D5, and then decided to play ranked last day of season to end at D3. Here are lolskill stats from when I hit masters


My stats as of hitting Master Tier. 

Master stats.PNG

I currently have a pretty sketchy internet connection and I've been avoiding ranked on my main as a result. Don't read much into my current ranking, though for what it's worth I hit D3 this season after ~40 games before a loss streak (partly due to bad internet) + ranked decay dropped me. But enough of that

The goal of this guide is to provide a detailed look into essentially every aspect of Nocturne from runes/masteries, to itemization, to jungle routing, to champion synergies/counters and more. 

I will attempt to be as detailed as possible in all my explanations and encourage feedback in the comments if something is not sufficiently explained. I will, when possible, provide hard numbers to support my conclusions, but in order to maintain readability of the guide many of the calculations behind these numbers will be hidden. I hope that you trust my methodology as it is overwhelmingly detailed and I do my best to mention any cases where I am making an assumption that might not be totally in line with realistic gameplay. If you have concerns I'll address them in the comments.

About Nocturne Back to Top

Why Play Nocturne?

Let's start with the most basic question of all; Why play this champion? What does he offer to a solo queue player that other champions don't, particularly out of the jungle role?

1-  Some of the fastest clearing in the game. It doesn't match champions like Nidalee or Shyvana but he clears much faster than many other picks. Farming is the easiest way to gain an edge in soloQ through both the additional gold and XP 

2- Terrific damage throughout the game. While not known as a great pre 6 ganker he actually brings some of the highest early damage in the game if you do manage to get on the enemy. His Q damage + multiple steroids make him a unique threat.

3- Some of the best level 6 ganks in the game, maybe the best vs immobile laners. Other champions have very strong near guaranteed kill ultimates (cough 254.png), but Nocturne is unique in terms of how difficult it is to ward vs him. You can lane gank so easily that the enemy essentially has to always assume you're around until they see you or you ult someone else. Immobile mids are dead without 4.png, and most top laners can't even escape with flash if they're overextended.

4- Darkness is great utility in an uncoordinated soloQ environment. Anyone who has played against Nocturne knows the fear that comes the moment your screen goes dark and you hear that noise. Panic ensues and every lane backs off immediately. And you know those times when you're doing baron/dragon and half the team wants to finish it and half the team wants to turn and communication breaks down? Imagine that scenario except you can't see. Most people think of nocturneparanoia.png as being all about the gapclose + burst, and it mostly is, but the darkness is extremely useful. 

5- You have great burst (not as much as true "assassins", but close enough) that is essentially targeted. While there are some mechanics to Nocturne you are almost guaranteed, once you get some practice, to get a lot of burst off vs whoever you choose.

6- High DPS vs neutral objectives. In a meta where dragons/baron/herald are very powerful this is very handy.

7- Some of the best counterganking in the game, and you don't need to waste as much time waiting for counterganks as other junglers. You can still be farming the area near the expected gank while you wait for enemy to show. Also applies to those situations where both teams are trying to ARAM; most junglers would be stuck mid with their team, but Nocturne, post level 11 at least, can freely farm raptors/wolves/buffs and still be able to join a fight. 

8- Surprisingly useful ranged waveclear. It's not something you often expect to get from a jungle role aside from some AP junglers like Gragas and Elise and a few other picks like Graves. While your Q won't 1 shot the wave it is still very useful for holding towers, especially in midgame. 

9- His spellshield offers a lot of outplay potential once you learn to time it right. Azir thinks he's safe until you nocturneshroudofdarkness.pnghis wall. You can block key CC for your team as well.

10- You are a literal nightmare. I'm not one to really care about the lore but Nocturne's is pretty cool


Nocturne isn't perfect, very far from it in fact. He has very specific strengths offset by clear weaknesses

1- He lacks a dash besides his ult. This is by far Nocturne's biggest weakness as a champ. It means he can't escape over walls and his chasing potential is severely impacted by slows. He can't escape easily if he overcommits either so it can be easy to go too deep. Learning to play around his lack of mobility as a melee carry in teamfights is probably the biggest obstacle when learning Nocturne

2- Mana issues throughout game if you spam skills. Q costs a good chunk of mana and you usually end up needing to save E while clearing to avoid running oom without blue. Not a big deal but you can find yourself low on mana if a fight breaks out that you weren't expecting

3- No gapcloser or instant CC pre 6 means weaker ganks. You bring a lot of damage, so if vs an immobile champ and your laner has CC you can often still execute ganks, but in general your pre 6 ganks are weak. They aren't as bad 19.png102.png131.png but they're not great.

4- No matter how you build him he is not a great lategame teamfighter. The truth of the matter is if the game gets to 40+ minutes you are going to wish you were playing a different champion. Nocturne excels from about 6 minutes to ~30-35 minutes, but after that when carries have defensive items and enemies stay mostly grouped he becomes less effective. There are ways to make him work later in game but there's no denying it's a weakness

5- Fairly feast or famine. Nocturne is pretty low utility and needs items to be relevant. The goal is to get ahead and snowball, if you don't you might wish you were a different champ. The good news is that while he needs gold, he farms fast enough that you can at least be decently strong even if you aren't getting a ton of good ganks off. Powerfarming remains an option and lets you stay relevant, albeit at the expense of pressure which hurts your lanes. 

6- Ult reliant throughout game, and ult has a long CD. As your only dash and a key part of your burst you are very ult reliant throughout the game. This leads to a few issues. First off is the obvious downtime between ults in the lane phase where you aren't overly threatening and laners can play aggressive without fear (though sometimes you can exploit this, lots of laners don't ward at all vs a Nocturne once his ult is down). The second is tied to your role as a pick champion. Nocturne is fantastic at making picks and forcing a 5v4, but once he's made the pick he is no longer that strong. Obviously he's still much better than a dead champion, but it's worse than some other assassins like say 121.pngwho are still quite useful when their ult is down.

How Much Damage Should I Build? Back to Top

One of the more common questions about Nocturne is "how much damage should I build"?, and the answer is very situational. The optimal amount of damage varies game by game.

I do believe that there really isn't any scenario that warrants building only 1 damage item. You should probably always build at least your jungle enchant and 1 other damage item. Beyond that there's lots to consider and you can build anywhere from just the 2 damage items to a full 5 damage items

Here are factors to consider when deciding how much damage to build:

1. How fed am I?

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the more fed you are the better it can be to build tank items. If fed you already have a level advantage and will be able to kill squishy targets regardless. The issue with being fed is that enemies are scared of you, and will dump their CC/exhaust on you quickly and you need to be able to survive. This also depends on...

2. How fed is my team?

If you are fed and your team is fed, you can get by building however you want, though tankier is safer in most cases (but that's lame and damage can be fine as it increases pick making potential and a 5v4 when everyone is fed is very easy).

If you are weak and your team is fed you can also justify building either way, depending on the flow of the game. Even if behind you can pose a good threat to immobile carries by building damage if they don't respect you, whereas with tankier items they can maybe ignore you more.

If ahead and team is weak it's pretty comp dependent, but in most cases I'd build a mix. You need damage to kill enemy threats but you also don't have the kit to 1v5 fights. How you build will depend on how enemy plays, if they are splitpush heavy you can build damage but if they group up a lot you will likely want some tankiness

3. How mixed is their damage?

If enemy team is extremely heavy on 1 damage type then building tankier is usually the best option. Tank items just become so efficient when you can itemize mostly against 1 damage type. Vs all AD teams 2 damage items into tank is pretty damn strong

4. How likely are we to be forced into teamfighting this game?

The more likely you are to be forced into teamfights (enemy has strong engage, no splitpushers etc) the more likely building a couple defensive items will be effective. I love playing full damage Nocturne but if you are going to be forced to teamfight and the enemy has stuff to deny your initial burst in fights it's just not optimal. Which leads me to...

5. How reliably can I kill carries in teamfights?

Largely this boils down to

- does enemy have 3.png/are they on point with using it
- How mobile are enemy carries?
- Do they have strong anti burst skills or shields/heals

The more of those they have, the harder it is to kill carries, and the more reliable building tankier can be if you feel you are going to be forced to teamfight.

If you have champs that can dive backline and lockdown enemy carries while you kill them (eg 57.png) then you can get away with building more damage even if enemy is fairly mobile

If they have stuff like 10.png that can just deny your burst you almost always need to either build some tank items or just completely avoid teamfights. 

6. Is my lategame damage needed or can I function as a distraction?

Sometimes your team just doesn't need you to do damage lategame and you can function mainly as a distraction. If enemy doesn't have many shields and stuff and you have good backline threat elsewhere you can get by with more tank items.

If however they have someone like 96.pngor 29.png who needs to die right away, you might be better served with more damage. And that's not to mention that no amount of defence is going to save you vs kogmaw

7. Am I going to have to operate as a pseudo-engage champ?

Similar to above, at times you might be needed to operate as an engage of sorts. Doing this as a full damage champ is suicide especially if enemy has their summoners up. Tankier builds open more flexibility in this regard

8. What rank are you/how experienced are you with Nocturne?

Regarding experience, full damage Nocturne is just a lot harder to play. There are scenarios where I believe it is optimal but it is harder to pull off and much riskier. If you are fairly new to Nocturne I recommend going 2-3 damage items.

For rank, it's not so cut and dry. I'm not a fan of saying "X works in silver but doesn't work in diamond" or whatever, but playing vs better players just makes the weaknesses of full damage Nocturne more apparent. Higher elo ADCs will flash instantly in fights after R hits, supports will usually take exhaust and will exhaust immediately. The team will kite back and kill you if you go too deep. ADCs will buy early armour if needed and will sometimes go double defensive items if you're fed. Teams will recognize more quickly that they need to group etc

I don't think there's a real cutoff. I made it to Diamond 3 building full damage, and I feel I could go higher. But it gets harder and harder and if your or your team throws at all and you let the enemy back in the game you can quickly become useless if enemy groups. Currently I am building at most 3 damage items in my ranked games unless enemy has an immobile ADC who needs to die immediately (96.png29.png) and it's a favourable burst scenario (no enemy exhaust, minimal shields etc)

The lower elo you are the easier it is to catch people poorly positioned, and you can more consistently count on enemy team not responding properly to your build and playstyle.

Warrior Vs Bloodrazor Back to Top

I was once dead set against AS Nocturne and people said I was wrong... I was not wrong. Devourer Nocturne was terrible. Bloodrazor Nocturne however is quite strong and definitely viable in lots of situations

Let's compare the two

Warrior Gives...

- More burst, leading to a higher likelihood of successful ganks and better pick potential on squishies throughout game
- CDR, leading to more ganks early
- More AD = more Q damage = more poke/waveclear

Bloodrazor Gives...

- Noticeably faster farming
- Higher DPS at all points (if standing on Q), much better DPS to tankier champs/neutral objectives
- Better teamfighting in tankier builds
- Better duelling

So which one to get? It can be a tough decision, and it changes playstyle. Here are some important things to consider

Good for Warrior

- enemy has immobile carries
- enemy has squishy carries who are unlikely to build much health (eg unlikely rylais/RoA etc on mages)
- enemy has easily gankable lanes that you can snowball off of. Easily gankable lanes means that early cdr is extra valuable
- enemy is lacking strong anti burst abilities (shields, heals, invulnerability ults etc)

Good for Bloodrazor

- Enemy has multiple tanky champions
- Enemy has a jungler who is a strong duelist who is likely to try to invade your jungle. Bloodrazor is important for being able to fight back, though warrior-crit builds can do fine as well, especially with red smite
- Enemy team has strong anti burst skills that encourage a tankier build. Bloodrazor is better in tankier builds
- You think dragon control will be especially important for some reason
- you have multiple physical damage threats on your team, aside from yourself, who would benefit from you building 3071.png

In general, I think in the situations where Nocturne is an ideal pick (immobile backline, minimal anti burst skills etc) warrior is the stronger option. But if one tricking Nocturne or even just early picking him, there are going to be lots of games where bloodrazor is probably stronger.

Just to touch on cinderhulk, which has been used in the past... I don't think there's any point anymore. In some cases tank Nocturne was preferred when you just wanted to be a distraction in teamfights, but now with Bloodrazor being a strong standalone damage item I see no reason to not at least grab it for damage. You can go bloodrazor-full tank if you want (though I'd recommend at least getting 3071.png), but I would never bother with cinderhulk. 

Precision vs Intelligence Back to Top

This section is not updated to reflect the nerfs to precision. Damage calculations are inaccurate as a result. In general I still recommend precision in burst builds, but I think intelligence isn't a strictly bad idea in bloodrazor builds, particularly if you play at an elo where enemies don't respect you and you feel you can get ult ganks immediately on CD

Possibly the most debated mastery among Nocturne mains. Which is more valuable?

Precision - Gain 3 + .3 per level Magic and Armour Penetration

Armour penetration is technially lethality now, but the mastery works in essentially the same way as before

For the lazy

prec chart.PNG

Intelligence- Gain 5% CDR. CDR Cap is increased to 45%

Clearly the tradeoff is damage vs CDR. How do we compare the value of them?

I am going to start with the assumption that we don't actually value the additional 5% CDR, or the higher CDR cap, in the middle of a fight. They will have a small impact but in general the difference between 40 and 45% CDR is not huge on someone like Nocturne who is generally looking to burst a carry and get out.

With that in mind let's look at ult cooldowns at different ranks at different level of CDR. We will assume that we are running 5% flat 5% scaling CDR in glyphs. 

Precision vs intelligence cdr.PNG

Acquiring more CDR generally becomes more appealing the more CDR you already have, as shown by the % difference column. This would support getting intelligence on Nocturne as you prioritize capping on CDR quite early.

I am of the opinion that by the time that you get to 40/45% CDR, CDR has become slightly less important. The enemy has usually started to group up more by that time and your ability to make picks is determined more by the enemy's map movements than your own ult CD. It is pretty rare that you will be ulting off CD. As such, I don't actually value the higher CDR much on Nocturne at all because, as mentioned above, it isn't that useful in teamfights either.

There is no doubt that the 7.5 seconds saved on early ultimates is nice, but does it outweigh the damage lost from foregoing precision?

I could tell you how much more damage precision does in terms of flat numbers, or percentage differences, but I feel that it doesn't necessarily convey the point in the best way. If I say that precision leads to 6% more damage on a level 6 combo that doesn't sound like a huge difference. People don't think of this game in terms of raw numbers. 

My preferred way of expressing damage differences is by comparing it to item builds. Essentially, how much AD would I have to acquire via items to make up for the damage difference between having precision and having intelligence. Assigning a gold value of 35 AD per 1 gold (derived from price of long sword) we can express the difference between builds with an approximate gold value.

The following chart shows damage outputs at different builds/levels vs carries. Carries are assumed to have the same base armour as Nocturne and be the same level, so it will be slightly inaccurate depending on target, but it should be close enough for the purposes of comparing masteries. Will also assume enemies have 42 MR. While this is obviously not perfect it only impacts thunderlords damage which is a relatively small part of the calculations. All calculations done with Armour pen marks and AS quints

In all cases the combo being examined is a simple burst combo. QR (with Q applying before R for the bonus AD) passive auto + thunderlord's proc. I will not include E damage in these calculations because it's hard to assign the proper duration/damage of E, but just keep in mind that if E is included it favours precision as the magic pen affects the damage.

Note that the number for trinity builds aren't perfectly accurate anymore with the shift from it having crit to having more AS. Haven't gotten around to updating it.

prec vs intel dmg.PNG

The results are quite telling. By level 6 you are essentially missing out on a full set of AD quints. By level 12 and ghostblade + warrior you are behind about 2 long swords. In a full lategame build you are missing out on almost a BF sword's worth of damage. 

I leave it up to you which one you prefer to take. If you really don't feel you need the additional damage and would rather save 5-7.5 seconds on your ult that's fine. Personally I can't forego such a high gold value in stats for a shorter ult CD that I probably won't be able to use off CD anyways. 

Note for Bloodrazor builds: While precision is still a decent damage boost, in games where bloodrazor is the better choice (usually meaning harder to stick to carries and several bruisers/tanks) the damage increase from precision is less significant. Flat armour pen is more useful vs squishier teams. Therefore I think intelligence is a fine option in situations where bloodrazor is optimal, though I still run precision

Nocturne in the Current Meta Back to Top

So I disappeared for a few patches and Nocturne soared in popularity and his winrate jumped a bit too. So what happened?

  • Stronger Junglers got nerfed. This is typically what leads to a surge in popularity of other picks
  • Lethality got buffed. While Nocturne doesn't abuse the lethality items as hard as 121.png or 107.png he does use them very well
  • Lethality ADCs became popular, notably 202.png(always popular but even moreso now), 21.png and 110.png. Nocturne shits on all of these champions, even with the annoying 3814.png
Now the lethality items have been hit a bit, but they are by no means weak. And while Nocturne's winrate took a bit of a hit and is now stabilized around 50% I still think he's in a decent spot

There's still some annoyances. Riot has still yet to nerf shielding items enough and shield supports with locket + redemption + exhaust are still a big problem (though exhaust nerfs are awesome). Some popular champs in other positions are annoying but overall it's a pretty good meta champion wise

The nerfs to jungle XP did really hurt farm to 6 routes which is an indirect nerf to Nocturne, but if you are creative and can find some stuff to do after 2nd clear while you're level 5 you can have an early game impact pre 6 to make up for it. It's just less reliable.

Additionally, the prevalence of 3047.png is a problem. They are just such effective buys vs both armour pen champs and AA based champs, and Nocturne functions as both. At lower elos thankfully a lot of people haven't caught on to how strong they are.

Overall, Nocturne is in a pretty good spot as far as the current meta. I'd say he's an above average jungle pick currently due to the prevalence of a lot of champions that he counters.

When to pick Nocturne + Notes on Matchups Back to Top

While I love Nocturne and often pick him into scenarios where I probably shouldn't (which doesn't help the old winrate), there are definitely some conditions to consider when picking him if you want optimal results 

Good things to look for:
  • Low mobility carries
  • Multiple squishy targets (including supports)
  • Champions that rely on 1 key CC for survivability (Twisted fate, Lux, Varus etc)
  • Enemy champions (particularly supports) who are less likely to take exhaust
  • Teammates with primary engage to set you up in teamfights (details in champion synergy section)
  • Teammates with good gank setup to help you secure kills and snowball (details in champion synergy section)

Bad things to lookout for:

  • Invulnerability/anti burst skills like10.png ult and 203.png ult
  • High utility peel champs like Lulu or Janna
  • ADCs with long ranged dashes
  • High burst champs
  • Carries that build health/armour as part of their standard build (RoA/zhonyas/rylais/liandrys/triforce etc)
  • Champs with globals 

Now I know that it looks like there are more bad things than good things, but as long as there isn't an excessive number of bad things he's a pretty solid pick. In particular the first two points are the most significant, avoid the Lulu/Kayle/Tahm Kench/Kindreds and you will mostly be fine

In the Matchups section I cover essentially every champ and roughly how difficult of a game it makes for Nocturne. 

Also, while I do my best to apply in game experience and theory to the matchups, I'm inevitably going to be wrong at times. There just aren't enough games vs a lot of these champs, and even vs popular champs it's not like making a guide for a laning champ. A jungle matchup can swing entirely if you have to waste time salvaging a lane, or if enemy jg gets an easy kill, or even if your laners screw up and have to blow flashes. These are things beyond your control and make assessing jg matchups hard. But I do my best

Some champs are not included in the matchups section, and that is because I lack notable experience playing vs them. This includes 266.png3.png83.png and a few others.

Important Note: I try to explain in my explanations how the difficulty of champs changes according to rank/player skill. Some matchups aren't that hard at lower elos but become brutally difficult at higher elos, 421.png probably being the most prominent example. As such this isn't a cut and dry list, and context is important

Additional Note: For the most part, the matchup section tries to avoid addressing champions based on their current strength. It's just too much work to update the matchup section after every meta shift. In some cases strength will be factored in, but in general we're just looking at how their kits/playstyles interact with Nocturne's and whether that typically leads to easier/harder games

Strong Champion Synergies Back to Top

Nocturne is a strong champion, but he is not overly versatile, and he relies on proper snowballing in order to be as effective as some other picks. As such we are looking for champs that either minimize his weaknesses or accentuate his strengths.

Notable weaknesses that we are looking to mitigate include

  • minimal utility/peel
  • reliance on others to engage
  • No immediate CC for ganking
  • Poor at frontlining (at least with this build)
Note that again we aren't really considering strength of champs in current meta, but rather whether their kits are synergistic with Nocturne and his role in the team

Top Lane

Here we are looking ideally for a combination of a few things

  1. Strong pre 6 gank setup
  2. Teamfight engage potential
  3. Strong peeling to mitigate Nocturne's low utility
  4. Global presence either via kit or via potential for effective teleports
  5. Magic Damage is nice but not too necessary, better to get in midlane (explained below)

Some examples of good champions include


Mid Lane

  1. Magic Damage. In almost all cases magic damage mid is much better than physical, as otherwise 3157.png rush becomes too effective on most mages and greatly reduces your ability to get picks and snowball. Doubly so if your team has Zed or someone else who will prompt enemy mid taking exhaust
  2. Strong gank setup. Many enemy midlane picks (covered in matchups section) are so easy for Nocturne to snowball on if you have decent CC setup in your lanes. 
  3. Engage potential. More likely to come from top lane but there are some midlaners that can fill the engage role. 
  4. Good roaming. Being able to 4 man bot lane is very useful for snowballing as it also leads to dragons.
  5. Dive potential. One of the nice things about Nocturne compared to most junglers is that if he goes a heavy AD build he actually offers some OK waveclear. This means that your team can often get away with a low waveclear dive heavy AP champ. Come lategame it's fairly important that your team has at least 1 other decent backline damage threat and I prefer to have it come from midlane rather than via a top laner like Irelia/Jax.



  1. Ability to fend for themselves. Again you won't be peeling often
  2. Mobility/CC for following up on ganks
  3. Long range ability to hit backline or snipe low targets from a distance a nice boost in some cases

In general ADCs should aim to match the rest of your team comp + deal with enemies rather than aiming to work well with an assassin jungler like Nocturne, but some of my preferred ADCs to play with include


Jhin/Ashe for gank setup. Caitlyn/Vayne for lategame strength to compensate for yours. Ezreal cus he's independent and works fine with lower CC junglers. 


Support and top lane are fairly similar in terms of synergy, and in a lot of cases they would ideally balance each other out. Having strong gank setup like Leona, nautilus or Trundle can be nice, but it can also be OK to just have Janna who covers all your carries' peeling needs and lets the rest of your comp handle engage/dive potential. 

Only type of supports I don't really like are low CC high damage weaker peel supports who tend to shove in lane. They limit gank opportunities bot and also don't provide as much utility later in the game. Also between you, mid, and ADC your team usually won't be needing their damage. These less ideal picks include stuff like Sona, Brand, Velkoz, Zyra


Zed is the coveted winner of the Worst Champion to Play Nocturne With Award!

Do not play Nocturne with Zed whenever possible. He's the worst for you in so many ways

1. Makes enemy 3157.png rush way too effective at countering mid + jungle simultaneously
2. Every decent midlaner takes exhaust vs Zed. We hate exhaust
3. Zed's lategame sucks even more than yours. Weak CC + bad lategame in mid + jungle is a terrible combination

If a teammates picks Zed, look him up. Unless he's extremely successful with Zed or the comps are otherwise amazing I'd consider dodging if you want to protect LP. Zed is that bad for you 

I honestly don't really care what else I play Nocturne with. Avoid all AD comps when possible of course but other than Zed there's no 1 champ that I can think of that I hate having on my team (at least as far as Nocturne synergy goes). But Zed is awful 

How to Combo Correctly Back to Top

Nocturne doesn't have a bunch of complicated combos, but it is important to combo properly in order to make your burst as fast as possible and minimize opportunities for your opponent to react. 

The standard burst combo is

First R activation, R onto target, press 3142.pngwhen you are in air, ideally fairly near the target (so that you don't waste ghostblade uptime). Before your ult hits your target press Q. Your Q is still a skillshot and will originate from your current location and travel in the direction of your cursor. As such if you use it too early you stand a good chance of missing, particularly against mobile carries. You want to Q as close to target as possible to minimize the window of opportunity they have to dodge your Q but still be hit by R.

You want to smite + autoattack as soon as ult hits for instant Thunderlord's proc, and then you want to use 3077.pnganimation cancel instantly after your auto for the fastest possible burst. Alternatively you can use tiamat before you hit your target and get the damage in before initial auto, but this is riskier and not really necessary. It is technically optimal if the enemy flashes immediately after you land + auto, but this is very rare and if they flash before you land you will miss tiamat burst. 

So to recap, that's

R-R-3142.png-Q (before R hits)-smite-nocturnepassive.png-3077.png

The smite timing is less important if you go blue smite, but if you go red you want it down as early as possible for damage reduction and to get the burn off first auto

Here is a video of the combo being executed properly with tiamat. I press ghostblade a tad early but it makes little difference. Slow down the video if you need to.


A few things to touch on

1. I didn't mention using nocturneunspeakablehorror.png in the combo. Obviously you should be using this skill, but when you use it depends on the situation. If you are going to instakill a target anyways then it is better to save this for someone else. Also if your target has flash in most instances it is better to save nocturneunspeakablehorror.png until after they've flashed once you've caught up with your high movespeed. If it is an immobile target and their flash is down and you feel you might need the extra damage or CC then use E at the end of the combo mentioned above

2. I also didn't mention nocturneshroudofdarkness.png. This skill can be cast mid air if you are targeting someone who you feel will respond to your presence with instant CC (like 22.png or 37.png). Otherwise you will want to try to save this for blocking a more important skill later. When you use this varies from champion to champion, and there are notes for it under matchups   

If you buy 3814.png, it can be channeling mid flight. At rank 2 ult the time it takes for EoN to arm is essentially identical to the time it takes you to fly a full rank 2 ult's distance. So in these cases you want to R- press EoN- and wait just a tad before pressing R again. At rank 3, or if at literal max range for rank 2 ult, you can press R for the 2nd time immediately after EoN and it should arm by the time you land

Early Jungle Clear- Different Clear Paths Back to Top

This section used to be comprised of various optimal farm to 6 routes to get 6 as fast as possible given varying degrees of risk. Unfortunately Riot, understandably, nerfed early powerfarming XP to avoid ridiculous level 6 pre 6 minutes routes. 

So now clear routes are effectively worse, but it does offer you more opportunities to do actual jungle things pre 6 that you couldn't before.

There isn't really an optimal farm to 6 route that I've found, but there are some different opening paths that are effective at achieving different goals

"Standard" Buff Start Routes

Blue Side Standard Clear with Botlane Leash: Red with bot leash-raptors-wolves-blue. You can then either look to do scuttle and gank top, or you can do gromp and back, or do gromp + scuttle and then back. After backing your krugs are of course up, raptors are up if you spent time on scuttle or looking for a gank, wolves will be up soon after. But Gromp won't be up for a while because it was taken after blue, so you will need to look for something to do

Red Side Standard Clear with Botlane Leash: Similar to above but start blue. Blue-wolves-raptors-red. You can add in gromp after blue but I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't get a smiteless blue leash as you will be dangerously low at red. 

Why do these clears?- Honestly on the current patch I'd only recommend these clears if your midlaner won't leash you raptors and you want to stay healthy. Raptors start clears are doable without a leash but leave you dangerously low. 

At lower elos it's possible people won't be familiar with Raptors start and will demand you start a buff. If you want to appease them this is a good clear

Level 3 Gank Routes

Blue Side: Red-wolves-blue-gank. Can grab scuttle before gank if you want. 

Red Side: Blue-wolves-red-gank. Can grab scuttle.

Why do these clears?- Early gank toplane in lanes that are likely to be really volatile or easy to bait into an all in. For example almost anything vs ignite 23.png, or honestly most melee champs without TP. These champs will be looking to all in, will likely be shoving, and will probably not be expecting a level 3 Nocturne gank. Unless the gank is really likely you're better off going for a more XP oriented clear route

Note that we skip Raptors on these clears because they do too much damage and you want to be full health in case of a countergank. 

Raptors Start Routes

Raptors Start Max XP Route: Raptors-red-wolves-gromp-blue-scuttle-back-krugs-raptors-wolves-gromp. This is the route you do if you want to get max possible XP off your camps before you hit the point where there's no camps up. You end up very low mana and quite low on health unless mid gave a decent raptor leash. You will be tempted to do blue before gromp, but if you do then gromp will not respawn in time on your 2nd clear and you will have wasted time. But if you are worried about a late invade you can get blue first to be safe

Raptors Start Safer Route: Same as above except you do blue before Gromp. A bit less efficient in terms of clearing time but you are a bit healthier because you can get mana regen faster allowing for faster clearing on initial clear at the expense of a much slower 2nd clear

Raptors Start Powerfarm 6 for heavy CDR gank: Raptors-wolves-gromp-scuttle-back. Krugs-red-raptors-wolves-blue-gromp-back-krugs. This is a weirder clear that leaves buffs up until the 2nd clear. It's a high risk strategy because you are leaving your buffs exposed to invades and your duelling will be weaker without buffs. But if it works out you can buy warhammer on your 2nd back and gank at level 6 around 6:40 with blue buff, giving you ~25% CDR (depending on rune setup) for an extremely nice low CD ultimate at 6. I would only really recommend this clear if you are confident you can find a gank at 6 (ideally botlane from blue side), and are very confident you won't get invaded (so vs junglers like Amumu, Sejuani etc who really aren't looking to fight early). 

Raptors Start Fastest Level 6: Raptors-krugs-wolves-gromp-scuttle-back-red-raptors-krugs-wolves-blue-gromp. This is a weird looking route but it's a modification of my old powerfarm route. Gets you 6 at about 6:20 with double buffs. Downside to above route is that you only have your 2 jungle items + longsword instead of completed warhammer. Red buff makes up for damage difference but you do get less CDR. Also ends you on the opposite side of the map to the above clear which can be useful or bad depending on circumstance

Note that you do not need to take scuttle in the above route to hit level 6. So if it's not there don't stress too much. But without it you won't hit the gold breakpoint needed to buy talisman and a long sword. You can buy boots instead though and you will still hit 6 at the same time, albeit with a bit less damage on your gank (with a bit more MS). This is a fine alternative if scuttle is gone or you think it's too dangerous to go check. 

Why do these clears?- Maximize XP for early level 6 gank. Beware invades because these clears leave you lower on health in a lot of cases (depends on leash from mid).

Mid Game- How to Snowball Back to Top

Mid Game

Warrior Builds

This is your time to shine. Try to use ult almost immediately off CD and do your best to secure kills. Not flashes or other summoners, aim for kills. This might mean ignoring your top laner that needs help in exchange for a free kill mid or bot. Nocturne is heavily snowball reliant, and with the heavy CDR in this build you can really snowball an early kill into stronger later ults onto priority targets. But immediately at 6 you really really want to get at least assist gold from your ult. Target immobile lanes or lanes with strong gank setup. You can burst most squishy champions inside of your average champion's hard CC. 

As Nocturne it is almost always OK to take the kills from laners. It isn't necessary and in some really snowbally lanes it might not be ideal (especially 119.png lanes), but particularly if running a heavy CDR setup getting more gold onto yourself can really snowball the game. Do not feel guilty about taking kills in the early-mid game (once you have a few of them though it might be wise to let teammates have some if possible as you fall off later and rely on teammates to carry fights)

Nocturne is very strong at repeatedly ganking the same lane. Once ahead even fairly mobile champs (excluding stuff like 7.png) are pretty easy to kill once 4.png is down. Immobile mid laners can often be dove under their tower once they're below ~70% HP. Try to keep summoner timers of enemies and abuse flash in particular being down.

In order to gank mobile lanes, the best bet is generally to try to get your laners to bait it. 105.png is a pain in the ass to gank, but if a laner baits out his fizzjump.png he becomes a very easy target. Similar concept for most mobile champions (not leblanc, sort of 238.png)

Another way to easily turn games and start a snowball is via counterganking. On ganks most enemies will blow their mobility skills aggressively and this makes them easy to burst. As such counterganking is a very easy way to snowball, and it's the easiest way to gank mobile laners. 

In order to set up counterganks you need to rely on a combination of vision + intuition. Pre level 9 you will have 3340.png, use it to set up vision around lanes to spot enemy jungler. It's most useful to set vision up around lanes that you feel the enemy is likely to gank, so focus your immobile laners and those lanes where enemy has strong gank setup. 

Vision control obviously helps but you also need to rely on your own intuition. Most low elo junglers are pretty easy to predict in terms of gank paths and won't make effective use of pinks/raptor buff/red trinket to ensure they weren't spotted ganking. Counterganks are by far the easiest ganks to pull off if you see them coming

Just as easily as you can countergank enemies you can get counterganked though. This is why champions like 102.png are so worrisome. They are less likely to initiate ganks but if they show up during one they can 1v2, and if the enemy jungler gets ahead it limits your playmaking and jungle control for the rest of the game. To avoid this you need to be careful about going for ganks that seem almost too easy, especially if you can't 100-0 and feel you will need to chase a bit. It's something that comes with practice, and if you have 4.png up you can be much more aggressive in terms of looking for ganks. 

The important thing to do in the midgame is to get the snowball rolling. You snowball games by getting gold and getting objectives. Therefore it is often good to target the enemy team's main source of waveclear, as removing that person from the field enhances your ability to push down tower. Targeting enemy botlane or jungler can also lead to easy dragon secures, so if the dragon is something other than a cloud drake, but particularly infernal drake, this can be a good way to snowball as well. 

If there isn't an objective you can really contest after a pick, remember that killing a support is still a good source of gold! There is nothing wrong with using ult to pick off that roaming support. Maybe it isn't as impactful on the map as removing a carry but it's still a nice bit of gold, and there's nothing wrong with getting gold so that you can more easily kill carries next time. Supports like Sona, Soraka, Nami, and Zyra are free kills.

Eventually, smart enemies are going to clue in that they can't split up and will start to group. Surely this counters Nocturne! And it sort of does, but there's always opportunities for picks if you are patient. Example 

All it takes is for a straggler to split from the herd a little bit and you can still make picks.   

The most important thing is to create chaos! You know those games where it's 35 minutes and there hasn't been a single teamfight (it happens all the time in normals, less so in ranked)? That's the goal. The more spread out the game is, with more individual skirmishes happening, the more chances you have to impact the game with your low CD high range ult. The worst thing that can happen generally is the enemy realizes they have stronger teamfight or really good siege and groups early and often. Chaos is important, which is also part of why strong skirmishing champs like 105.png are strong partners for you

Bloodrazor Builds

A lot of the above also applies to bloodrazor builds. Just some differences to note

- bloodrazor builds take objectives much faster. Look to secure dragons and herald when possible. You can solo dragons easily.

- Due to lower immediate CDR in bloodrazor builds, you can't snowball quite as hard generally because your ult has more downtime. As a result I am generally less inclined to take the kills on ganks. Bloodrazor builds farm faster and can get gold more reliably that way, and in bloodrazor builds you're usually planning on game going a little later, and you want laners to have gold

- You can be more aggressive about counterjungling if you have 1419.png, especially if blast plants are up to help you escape. You clear camps much faster and have better duelling with these builds

- You also gank a little better without ult. Still not good, but you have higher DPS so you can easily look to gank overextended toplaners and such through river

Late Game- Understanding Win Conditions (WIP) Back to Top

Learning how to play lategame as Nocturne is the most difficult part of learning the champion. Getting fairly fed in the midgame is usually pretty easy provided you've picked Nocturne into reasonable matchups, but still having an impact come lategame is significantly harder. 

I will separate this section based on builds as it changes a lot

Warrior - Full damage burst build

Teamfighting- Pretty good vs immobile carries and minimal anti burst skills/items. Weak otherwise. If enemy has 3.png you will struggle

Splitpushing- Pretty decent, but you generally need 3074.png for lifesteal to deal with many splitpushers, and even though it isn't a burst item 3046.png can be pretty important

Objective taking- Fast but not the fastest. 

Pick Making Potential- Great. Squishy champs who are even a little out of position are dead.

Generally the weakest lategame build if the enemy carries are hard to kill. You are pretty reliant on making picks. If forced into teamfighting try to DPS their frontline a bit before diving backline and hope enemy blows key mobility/defensive skills before you dive in. 

Warrior-crit build 

Teamfighting- Hard to really give a grade to, it's so comp and build dependent. If enemy has minimal anti burst/less mobile carries it's fine but slightly worse than full burst build, but it's better than full burst build if you have to DPS tanks/bruisers first 

Splitpushing- Very strong if you have lifesteal from somewhere

Objective Damage- Massive. Not quite as high as bloodrazor-crit but still ridiculously high

Pick Potential- Great. Don't kill squishies quite as fast but have much more pick potential vs bruisers and other champs with 1-2 defensive items

Bloodrazor-Crit Build

Teamfighting- Poor. Your burst is too low to kill carries if they have any peel really. DPS to tanks is very good though

Splitpushing- Godly. Almost nothing can fight you

Objective damage- ludicrous. Look for fast barons

Pick Potential- Still OK, just not as good as 2 above builds

Bloodrazor-Cleaver-bruiser build

Teamfighting- Still not amazing, but best of any option vs harder to kill carries

Splitpushing- Pretty decent. Less kill pressure/slower tower taking but you can still outduel most people, and you have more tank stats so you can survive longer in 2v1s and such

Objective Damage- Not as high as full damage builds, but still pretty decent with bloodrazor. Quite high if going 3153.png

Pick Potential- Weak point of the build, this easily has the lowest burst damage and therefore weaker pick potential

Teamfighting Tips

- If playing a high damage build into lots of defensive abilities, you need to play like a standard assassin and wait for important CDs to be blown. 3.png is normally the most important one to be blown, but enemy mobility skills, midlane 3157.png and others are very important.

- Don't be afraid to DPS frontline for a bit before diving enemy backline. You have high DPS, and especially in 3071.png builds doing some damage to frontline can really help your team

- You don't need to wait until right before you go in to activate nocturneparanoia.png. The confusion caused by the darkness can cause enemies to hesitate, and it can occasionally swing fights for you. 

Objective Tips

This is something that Nocturne performs pretty well at. Due to his steroids + heavy damage build you do huge damage to towers/Baron/Dragon. With Elder Dragon's introduction you get a bit of a lategame boost as your ability to do this objective very quickly opens up more opportunities. 

One thing to beware is that Nocturne does not have a real execute ability like 64.png blindmonkqone.png79.pnggragasdrunkenrage.png etc, which means you are vulnerable to losing smite fights if enemy combos correctly. 

You can, in some cases, use nocturneparanoia.png as a vision denial tool if you want to scare off enemies and deny their vision of baron/dragon pit. It can be enough to secure the objective, but be aware that you will be a much worse teamfighter than you already are without your ultimate. 

After a won teamfight Nocturne takes towers faster than almost any other jungler, so it's pretty crucial that you stay alive if at all possible as you actually do more damage than your ADC to towers. 

Tips for Picks

Just because midgame is over and enemies spend a lot more time grouping does not mean you can no longer make picks! Enemy ADCs and APCs (without 3157.png) are still very easy to kill even under tower. Even if you just blow a flash that can swing the next teamfight, and you only have to wait 60 seconds on your ult CD if you are maxing CDR (as you should be). 

It isn't just carries that you can pick off though. Depending on build, Bruisers/tanks that have been free of your wrath for most of the game (as you snowball off squishy carries) might think that they're safe from you. They are wrong. Other than 2-3 damage item burst builds with warrior you can generally duel lots of tanks/bruisers, particularly if you take 3715.png. Some exceptions for champs that you can essentially never duel are 75.png24.png23.png11.png33.png48.png, or many bruisers who have essentially just stacked armour + thornmail. 

I'm not saying you should be eagerly looking to fight tanks/bruisers, but if you see that 39.png splitpushing while your team is 4v4 feel free to go kill her.

Splitpushing Tips

This is often how you are forced to play in the lategame vs heavy utility protect the ADC champs with their shields/invulnerability skills/exhaust etc. And while Nocturne is not the best splitpusher in the game he can duel almost anybody. Some exceptions are mentioned above in the picks section. 

Generally for splitpushing vs tanks you need lifesteal so either run warlord's or build 3074.png or 3153.png3071.png highly recommended as well. 

If you're just going vs a less tanky bruiser or assassin you can get away with going 3046.png3031.png . You will have 50% crit and nobody is getting away from you and your autos hit like a truck. With this build over Hydra though your teamfighting is definitely worse so make sure you know your win conditions before you commit to this build. 

One of Nocturne's bigger weaknesses as a splitpusher is unlike some elite splitpushers like 24.png75.png11.png he's actually pretty poor at 2v1ing. Therefore you need to make an effort, as a team, to get vision down before you commit to a splitpush. Some builds have very high MS, but you still need vision because if enemies get the jump on you you don't have the mobility skills to escape. 

Another thing you can do, if you have another champ on your team that is good at splitting (presumably your top laner), is have them split instead while your team goes mid and you essentially hover between the 2 lanes. You can then use nocturneparanoia.png to respond to a 4v3 engage or to turn the splitpush battle into a 2v1. Note that if you choose the latter your team is at risk of being engaged on, but as long as you actually kill your target your toplaner will then be able to join the fight with 12.png and you can either run over to assist or use your high damage to take towers and at the very least trade objectives for a minorly lost teamfight. Which option you choose will depend on the game. 

Learning to play each of these elements of the lategame as Nocturne takes a lot of practice, and I definitely don't presume to have perfected it by any stretch of the imagination. The above information should hopefully give you some ideas of how to play out the lategame but it's incredibly variable from game to game and you'll have to make the decisions yourself. 

Itemization Math- Understanding Stat Efficiency + Comparing Builds Back to Top

I believe that when you play a champion a lot you get a good sense of what itemization is most effective at which point just through experience. However, it can still be useful to verify your findings with actual numbers. I have done extensive math surrounding Nocturne builds and I'll try to present the most relevant findings here.

How is Damage Done Calculated?

For those who are unaware the formula for damage dealt to a target is

Damage * 100/(100+Resists)

So for say a 200 physical damage skill, the damage done to a 50 armour target is

200 * 100/(100+50) = 133.3 damage. 

How do Penetration and Resists Interact?

For magic resistance resists are reduced in the following order

1. Flat Magic Resist Reduction (i.e Amumu passive)
2. % Magic Resist Reduction (i.e Kayle Passive)

These reductions apply to your team's damage as well. 

3. % Magic Penetration (i.e 3135.png)
4. Flat Magic Penetration (i.e Magic pen marks, 3020.png)

Armour works similarly

1. Flat Armour reduction (Nasus spiritfire.png)
2. % Armour reduction (Wukong monkeykingdoubleattack.png3071.png)
3. % Armour penetration (Darius dariusaxegrabcone.png)
4. Flat armour penetration (now comes from lethality) (runes, 3142.png)

For the purposes of this guide at this point we will mostly be concerned with flat armour penetration and flat magic penetration (from precision). Nocturne will not have any flat armour reduction, nor will he have % armour reduction unless you buy 3071.png ). Nocturne has no % armour pen unless you go fervor or a Last Whisper item. Later editions of this guide might have math around a LW purchase or the Battering Blows mastery but for now flat penetration is all that will matter. 

Why is Flat Armour Penetration Such a Valuable Stat?

There are several reasons why armour penetration is an ideal stat on Nocturne. 

1. Nocturne deals significant damage with his abilities. Armour penetration amplifies the base damage (as well as the damage gained from AD) done by abilities. This makes it a bigger priority than flat AD which is mostly useful for auto attacks, particularly on crit champions. While Nocturne's Q and R do have decent AD scaling his total AD scaling on his burst combo is only 315% (including the enhanced passive auto). This is actually much lower than some other assassins so it's even less efficient to build AD on him than on other assassins.

2. Think of item buys as a % increase in damage. If you have 100 AD and you buy a long sword (10 AD) you are increasing your damage by 10%. If you have 150 AD and you buy 10 AD it only increases your damage by 6.7%

Regardless of your amount of AD armour pen is going to increase your damage by the same percentage, the percentage is determined only by your opponents armour. If you are vs a 50 armour target buying 10 armour pen (from 0) will increase your physical damage by 7.1%

So why does this matter for Nocturne? Because due to his huge AD steroid on Q he effectively has more AD than other champions, which makes AD buys relatively less effective. Also as a fast farming jungler he is generally quite high levelled and since you get AD from levelling AD item buys become less effective, relative to armour pen, the higher level you are (also higher levels = higher skill base damage which favour armour pen).

Note that this argument also applies to AS. Nocturne has a built in AS steroid which makes AS itemization, at least early, less effective than armour pen. With both AD and AS steroids armour pen is the best early option (and crit, but we'll get to that later)

3. Flat Armour Penetration is most effective when targeting squishy targets. Consider 2 targets, one with 200 armour and 1 with 50 armour

200 armour = Take 33.3% damage
50 armour = Take 66.6% damage

Now consider the impact of 10 armour pen.

190 armour = Take 34.48% damage
40 armour = Take 71.4% damage.

Going from 200 armour to 190 is a 3.4% increase in damage. Going from 50 armour to 40 is a 7.1% increase in damage. 

This is why assassins in general love armour pen, it greatly increases your damage to squishies.

Nocturne has such amazing synergy with armour pen. This is why you take armour pen reds, run precision, and build 3142.png and situational 3156.png3147.png

How does Season 7 Change from Armour Pen to Lethality Change Things?

In short, lethality is weaker than old flat armour pen early game, and stronger lategame. Overall it is a nerf to champions like Nocturne who are primarily concerned with their damage from levels 6-11 or so, and additional damage after that point is not sufficient compensation for nerfed early damage. Especially considering the just plain nerf to ghostblade.

Does that make lethality bad? Not necessarily. It still synergizes well with his kit and has great burst vs squishy targets. But I am generally preferring builds that don't focus much on lethality at the moment

Let's Do Some Math

Burst, unless otherwise stated, is QR + passive auto + tiamat items and any other procs (if applicable). DPS is just autoattack damage, no additional trinity procs or shiv procs are included.

When doing calculations involving crit we will be looking at average damage dealt. For example if looking at single auto damage with 200 AD and 20% crit, we will say that the auto does (200*.8) + (400 * .2)= 240 damage. Obviously autos won't do that much, but the average is what matters. 

Assumptions made and how that affects the math

- assuming AS reds and Quints. If running lethality your burst goes up across the board, but you also benefit more from any additional AS in items since you are lacking it

- Assuming levelling Q>E>W. W 2nd is certainly viable and sometimes optimal, but it complicated the math (level matters more), and I opt for E 2nd more often so I used that. I am also assuming damage before nocturneshroudofdarkness.png pops. This is arguably a bad idea but it's what I've gone with. If W shield is popped it increases DPS, so the relative value of DPS vs burst shifts towards DPS, and it slightly lessens the DPS advantage of higher AS builds. 

- Calculations are being done vs targets of roughly the armour/level of enemy ADC. Enemy armour is significant when comparing builds with lethality to builds without them, and comparing builds with magic damage (3087.png) to those without any. Also enemies with higher level are more affected by lethality, but they also have higher base armour to compensate so this isn't too notable.

- All enemies are assumed to have 42 MR for purposes of calculation (standard for ranged champ with flat MR runes). If enemies have lower MR (mostly mids who take CDR runes) it favours shiv builds more than math suggests. If enemy MR is higher it makes shiv weaker. But most enemies with higher MR usually have a lot more armour too, so this might help Shiv out anyways

- Thunderlord's is not being factored into calculations. Higher AD builds have a stronger thunderlord's proc, and thunderlord's being magic damage can help provide some hybrid damage. But it is not always taken (though it usually is) so I didn't include it.

- Precision is being run in all cases, even though in rare situations you won't invest in that tree.

Additional Note:

Remember that burst and DPS calculations are not the end all be all. They are all theoretical. Optimal DPS is hard to achieve unless enemy just sits there, and things like movespeed and attack speed can be very important to getting down any AA damage at all.

Also of course these calculations don't account for defensive uses of the items (health from trinity force, escape potential of ghostblade active etc), or any other secondary traits of the items aside from damage. This is just to give an idea of relative damage output.

ALL CALCULATIONS DONE PRE 7.2 LETHALITY BUFFS AND PRE 7.4 GHOSTBLADE/PRECISION NERFS. Some early game numbers for dirk builds and such might be less accurate now, though generally not by too much as you usually bought warrior + Warhammer before dirk anyways. Ghostblade builds will perform worse than these numbers indicate

Comparing 1st Damage Item Options

Let's look at the damage of 1400.png vs 1416.png. We will assume level 7. Base damages are the same of course and won't need to be factored in

Additional burst in a RQ + passive auto (total 3.15 Ratio) with Warrior = 60*3.15 = 189

DPS Calculations

Warrior Build has 179 AD (while standing on Q) and 1.0814 attacks per second

DPS from autos is 194 per second

Bloodrazor build has 119 AD and 1.415 attacks per second. DPS is 169 + 1.415 * (4% of target's maximum health). 

For bloodrazor to have higher DPS, enemy needs to have > 442 max health, which is always by that level. 

When does breakeven for DPS vs burst happen though? 

189 + 179(1.0814)x < (119 + .04H)(1.415)x where H is enemy max health and x is second of autoattacking

189 + 194x < 169x + .0566Hx



Now I don't expect everyone to go around plugging that in. So I'll just find a breakpoint for a few champs

Level 5 Caitlyn with 1055.png (851 health) takes 8.2 seconds of autoattacking to be stronger than warrior.

Level 7 Ahri with scaling health seals and 1056.png (1046 health)= 5.2 seconds

Level 8 Darius with 1054.png1011.png (1620 health) = 2.8 seconds

Note that the more AS you have (more ranks in W, bonus AS from blocking with nocturneshroudofdarkness.png) the more the balance shifts towards favouring bloodrazor as it increases the DPS portion of the equation while burst stays the same.

Also, if you have red buff bloodrazor get's an additional benefit, as each attack applies the true damage portion of red buff on hit and therefore more AS = more damage

Conclusion: Bloodrazor better for long ganks vs tanky champs, significantly weaker for damage vs squishies.

Comparing 2nd Damage Item Options After Warrior

Later versions of this guide might include math for secondary items after bloodrazor, but it's very time consuming to do (due to need to factor in enemy health) so for now we shall stick with warrior buildpaths as far as math goes

Since different items cost differing amounts and have different build paths, we will look at this incrementally.

Level 9- Warrior + 1200 gold

Attacking a level 7 ADC (50 armour)
                           Burst       DPS
1400.png+3133.png         613          170

1400.png+3057.png         614          150

1400.png+3134.png         671         178

1400.png+3077.png         750          166

For slightly more expensive options

1400.png 3086.png         590           197

1400.png 1038.png         645           181

So BF is actually, perhaps surprisingly, outdamaged overall by Dirk. And while zeal is the worst burst option it is not far behind warhammer/sheen(though at a significantly higher price), and easily wins as far as DPS. Of course Zeal is more RNG based though.

Tiamat is unsurprisngly the clear winner as far as burst, and also is naturally the best for clearing due to the AoE. It is also one of the more expensive however.

Sheen is simply underwhelming compared to warhammer, but if you are going trinity 2nd it has at least comparable burst. 

Dirk does maybe 70-80 more damage in a typical midgame gank, but lacks the CDR of warhammer. I prefer the CDR in essentially all cases.

Sheen is problematic to calculate DPS for as it depends on spellblade procs. Above numbers do not account for any spellblade procs beyond initial burst.

Level 11- Warrior + ~ 2600 gold

Attacking a Level 9 ADC (55 Armour)

                                             Burst     DPS

1400.png3133.png3134.png1036.png             777        212

1400.png3087.png                             724       244

1400.png1038.png3134.png                     788       216

1400.png3077.png1037.png1036.png             902       198

1400.png+3057.png 3044.png                  703        167

Tiamat builds always win out in theoretical burst because of the active. Shiv crushes the competition in DPS though, which is unsurprising given that it is the only completed item here. 

Trinity components unsurprisingly sucks at damage, it's a known lull in trinity force builds. You do get the phage MS/health though. Or you can get Stinger for more CDR + AS

Level 12- Warrior + ~ 4000 gold

This section becomes a little less realistic in some cases, because there are cases where you might not want to invest an additional 4000 gold in damage items after Warrior. In these cases cheaper damage items means you can get tank stats earlier, which can be an advantage. With that said, we can still look at damage values to get a sense of the amount of damage you can get for your gold with different builds

Enemy is Level 10 ADC with 60 Armour

                                         Burst        DPS

1400.png3142.png3134.png                 900           258

1400.png3087.png 1038.png                802           305

1400.png3147.png1036.png1036.png         928           238

1400.png3074.png1036.png                 975           235

1400.png3078.png                         765           215

Conclusions: Even at completion trinity force is very weak in terms of damage compared to alternatives. it provides a convenient source of CDR and it has some nice supplementary stats in terms of Health and Mana and very nice MS increases but it is a very low damage option on Nocturne given his inability to abuse spellblade on CD

Duskblade's burst/DPS is not overly impressive. Ravenous Hydra seems stronger at this point as I'd value the lifesteal/AoE over the ward passive + out of combat MS of duskblade. 

Crit is OP for DPS and it's not close. Still takes 3-4 seconds of autoing though to beat burst power of other builds

Ghostblade no longer offers anywhere near the damage it once did. It still has a nice edge on most of these alternatives as it has crucial CDR, but it might not be worth tradeoffs anymore.                   

Comparing Some 3 Damage Item Scenarios- Level 15

Vs an 80 Armour Level 13 target

                               Burst     DPS

1400.png3142.png3147.png       1059      308 

1400.png3087.png3031.png        890       435

1400.png3142.png3074.png        1115     316

This math largely invalidates duskblade as a good burst option. Hydra just wins out in both burst (if you can combo active properly) and DPS while also offering more other stuff via lifesteal + AoE. Even if running lethality reds it only adds an additional 28 damage to the burst active of duskblade. Item seems pretty underwhelming if you can't proc it multiple times in a fight (which is possible, but rare), or if not stacking another lethality item or lethality runes on top of it. 

This is where crit builds start to shine, the DPS edge becomes huge

Warrior-ghostblade-Hydra seems to remain the optimal burst combo of tested options. Even though ghostblade's initial powerspike is significantly weaker than it was in season 6 it still competes. Warrior-duskblade-hydra would win out, but that is more expensive + really lacking in CDR.

General Tips for Jungling with Nocturne Back to Top

  • If in doubt, farm! Most people will prioritize farming till 6 but then afterwards they neglect efficient farming patterns. Farming is the absolute easiest way to insure a gold and (usually more important) XP advantage. 
  • If you don't have blue buff avoid using E to clear the jungle excluding early clears or if backing soon. 
  • Always stand on your nocturneduskbringer.png trail while clearing and when fighting (if possible). The free AD is huge.
  • When clearing Raptors be careful where you shoot your Q. Enemies can see it if you shoot it into midlane, giving them unecessary information. Either shoot it early as you are approaching the camp or shoot it away from mid.
  • Additionally with raptors, make sure to focus the small ones first. On later clears it's not as big of an issue but early on those things will kill you
  • While you are a strong duelist you lack the tools to escape tricky spots. As such invading is rarely a good idea unless fed or your laners have pressure. I wouldn't do much aside from stealing enemy raptors and maybe looking for some wards. If you have vision of enemy jungler or are significantly stronger than them of course feel free to invade
  • Speaking of Raptors... clearing raptor camp is your main priority. On both sides. You do it fast and they are worth a lot of XP. Deep invades not recommended but if your mid has any pressure and enemy jg can't straight kill you look to take his raptors
  • Other than Raptors you generally don't need to focus small monsters on your clears. Your AoE is more than enough to take care of them. You can focus small krug if low.
  • When doing krugs as any melee jungler, you can kite around the big krug and the small krug won't be able to hit you. Not worth doing if it means not standing on Q trail but when possible you want to do this to avoid damage
  • When dueling enemy jungler, it is extremely important to hit nocturneduskbringer.png and to stand on it while fighting. Do not lead with Q unless you are chasing them down, let them come closer where it is easier to hit and they can't dodge.
  • While there is usually an ideal skill for nocturneshroudofdarkness.png to block, in most cases it isn't a huge deal if you block the wrong skill in a duel. As long as you get the AS boost and hit Q you will beat most people in a duel that started on equal footing
  • Q trail will not follow scuttle crab. Yes it's annoying. As such sometimes it's better to save it for a second until crab is either feared or is closer to a wall so you can stand on Q for higher DPS

Using Plants

Plants are awesome for Nocturne! I'm still not sure how I feel about their addition to the game, but they are very useful for you

Blast plant- provides an escape over some walls that you otherwise wouldn't be able to go over. Generally this plant is just a buff for junglers without dashes. Also makes counterjungling slightly less risky as this can provide an escape

Scryer's plant- This is like a big AoE blue trinket that also reveals vision... this thing is awesome. Use it to catch people rotating or to pick up vision of someone if blue trinket is on CD. Just be careful using it early as it does reveal your location in a lot of cases

Honeyfruit- Not a big deal, but the health/mana is nice at times. Notably after ganking bot it can give you the resources needed to do a safer dragon. 

Midlane Nocturne? Back to Top

"Is Midlane Nocturne viable?"

It works, but definitely got nerfed in the new season with lethality changes + farming your own raptors now really screws your jungler. 

Nocturne mid is a rare yet arguably underrated pick that does well vs both melee champs like 105.png, but particularly excels vs immobile mages who rely on a single telegraphed spell for safety (think 4.png45.png99.png). I don't think he's a particularly great blind pick but he's a very strong counterpick to some stuff. 

I will admit that I'm not terribly experienced at mid Nocturne, though I am currently practicing it and have seen success. If you want a guide detailing midlane matchups and how to play them this is not the place, try to find a dedicated midlane Nocturne guide.

Most of what I know about the pick I learned from watching this guy . He's a high elo Korean noc OTP who plays him mostly midlane. 


Midlane Nocturne does have a slightly different playstyle and build than in the jungle. There are a few reasons for this

1. As a jungler, when you are fighting you are usually in a scenario that is already advantageous. As such your own combat stats are actually less important than they are in a lane where your combat effectiveness 1v1 is crucial. This means that as a jungler it is often best to simply prioritize CDR in order to gank as often as possible, with actual gank effectiveness being less important (this is why we build 3133.png as first item after warrior instead of 3134.png or 3077.png)

2. Lane minions have no armour, and being able to shove lane is important. This means that you generally don't take much, or any, armour pen in runes. 

3. Nocturne excels when you can't see him, much like 4.png. If he's stuck in lane farming then he's not a particularly scary pick. You want to be able to shove quickly and then leave lane, which makes other lanes scared while also putting your lane opponent on edge as he doesn't know whether he can safely use skills to push or whether you're just waiting off to the side to ult him. Since shoving power is so important, 3077.png is essentially always rushed. Sometimes 3155.png is a necessary rush item, particularly if they also have an AP jungler. 

So with that in mind, what's the build?

Runes: AD Reds, Armour Yellows (you will be harassed by autos and will draw creep aggro), flat MR blues in most instances (scaling MR or scaling CDR OK situationally), and either AD or AS quints. AD gives better Q poke and lets you clear easier with nocturneduskbringer.pngnocturnepassive.png, while AS gives better DPS. In general I'd say AD for ranged matchups, AS for melee. 

Masteries: Nothing really changes from jungle masteries except that you take assassin over Runic affinity. Precision and Intelligence is again up to you but I prefer precision

Starting Items: 2033.png always. Could go 1055.png for cheesy all ins but corrupting pot is crucial for mana sustain.

Build: If you are scared of an all in you can grab 1-2 1055.png, but in general rush 3077.png. If against double AP like say 1.png60.png you should probably rush 3155.png. After that you want 3158.png3142.png for CDR and damage. Then finish either 3074.png or 3156.png (if needed), and then build situationally. Can grab 3078.png or 3071.png to max CDR and give sticking power/health, and beyond that just build situationally. At that point there's really not much difference between lane Nocturne and jungle. 

What about Toplane?

Top Nocturne is playable but not great. You run into a lot of mana issues trying to kill tankier top laners and you are so so easy to gank. In midlane proper nocturneshroudofdarkness.png use and OK warding/lane control will keep you save from the majority of ganks but in top lane it's much harder to survive. 

For build you can either still rush 3077.png and look to just shove and roam, or you can go for a duelling build with 3071.png rush. I'm pretty inexperienced with top nocturne though and I don't think it's particularly good. In my experience Cleaver rush is best as it's the fastest route to CDR, but again I'm not overly experienced

Frequently Asked Questions Back to Top

This section will provide quick answers to the most commonly asked questions I've seen from aspiring Nocturne players.


Which smite to use, 3715.pngor 3706.png?

It's situational, but blue smite more often than not. You get 3706.png vs mobile carries you want to burst and if you want to maximize ganking power. You get 3715.png if you feel you need to be able to duel enemy jungler, if blue smite isn't necessary for catching enemy carries, or if there are high burst damage champs whose burst you need to mitigate. As a general rule I get red smite more often in bloodrazor builds, and blue smite usually in warrior. Definitely some exceptions though

Warrior or Bloodrazor?

Covered in detail in the Warrior vs Bloodrazor? section. Both are strong. If enemies have carries that are easy to kill warrior is usually best, bloodrazor is a safer better scaling option that enables faster farming and better duelling though

What Champs Should I ban if I Intend to pick Nocturne?

This will depend to an extent on what rank you are, and what champs you personally struggle against.

My personal bans currently are Shaco, Lulu, and Ivern, and I count on somebody else banning Graves. 

Which is the best Nocturne skin? 

Eternum remains the best if price is no issue. Frozen Terror, Haunting, and the new Cursed Revenant are all fine cheaper options. I hate Ravager and Void is just meh (and not available to buy). 

If I had to choose one that isn't eternum I'd go with Frozen. The Q trail looks pretty cool and it's the easiest to see if you want to be certain you're standing on it for the steroids

Is Nocturne a good blind pick champion?

Not really. It's better now that there are viable bloodrazor builds to help with tankier teams and enable lower burst but higher DPS builds, or straight bruiser builds. But he's still not as good a blind pick as many meta junglers.

I blind pick him (which doesn't help the winrate), but I don't think he's a great blind pick champion

Why so much damage? Don't I need tank items to teamfight?

Unless the enemy team has stuff to completely negate burst (like Kayle) I find that more damage is actually better for teamfighting at lower elo. 2 tank items isn't going to do anything if the carries survive your burst, they'll still kill you in 1-2 seconds if you get hit by any CC. As with all build decisions it is situational though, and sometimes 1-2 tank items are definitely a strong option. When learning the champion I recommend taking a few tank items.

Also, I do feel that past a certain rank full damage does become suboptimal. Past a certain point ADCs get significantly better and learn to instantly flash your combo, exhaust comes out immediately, and team peels back properly and kills me before my team can do much. To get to Masters I reverted to playing a more basic Nocturne build with 2-3 damage items into tank, and relied on my team to carry lategame fights while I was a diving distraction who sometimes made picks. But I did play full damage Nocturne to D3 with a 60% winrate so it can definitely work for anyone who is below that (which is presumably most people reading this guide)

Is 3153.png good? I thought all Nocturnes used to build Botrk.

I don't like it. It's a nice item for hit kit but it doesn't fit well into builds outside of pure splitpush builds. Too weird as a 2nd item as it lacks CDR

Why do you use Q before ult hits?

Saves you waiting out the Q animation when you land and allows you to go straight into DPSing

Should I take blue buff or give it to mid laner?

In most cases, excluding scenarios where you are fed and your laner is quite weak or at high risk of dying, I like to give away blue buff (provided they are a champ that makes good use of it). If there's a really easy gank available and I either don't want to wait for my mid to come take blue or if I'm snowballing and want the CDR I will grab blue before my ult. Usually by the time of 3rd blue buff you will have 30-40% CDR and won't need blues, so in that case almost always give it away unless you have no AP champions.

Why Nocturne over Rengar?

A lot of people like to refer to full damage Nocturne as Rengar 2.0, particularly around the time when Rengar was drawing a ton of bans. So why play Nocturne over Rengar?
  • Ranged AoE damage via nocturneduskbringer.png, and more AoE in fights in general
  • nocturneshroudofdarkness.png makes him uniquely strong vs champs who rely heavily on a single telegraphed skill for damage or safety
  • You aren't countered by 2043.png
  • Can respond quicker to out of position enemies. Rengar is superior at going hunting for stragglers but if you see someone out of position Nocturne responds much faster
  • Darkness from ult is very powerful utility 

Does Nocturne Need Buffs?

I don't think so. He has a pretty consistent ~50% winrate while being played mostly by inexperienced Nocturne players. He has games where he's a very strong pick, and games where he's fairly weak. Overall he is fairly balanced

If Riot did want to buff him slightly, they could add a small AD ratio to his passive heal so that it actually scales OK into mid-lategame, or they could increase the tether range on E slightly. Both these would give him a bit of a power boost but not make him too frustrating to play against

Feedback Wanted Back to Top

Hey guys, hope you enjoyed the guide.

If there's anything you want more info on or any sections you'd like added feel free to make a request in the comments section

Additionally, I'm thinking of adding some gameplay commentaries to the guide. I will try to get some of my own, but am also looking to do some vod reviews of lower elo Nocturne players, and I figure this is as good a place as any to get vods. So if you want a game reviewed, either leave a link in comments to a file or youtube video, or add me in game to send me the link (if you're not on NA this won't work). Suitable games should be

1. Ranked games. I will not review normal games as they're just not worth it

2. Close games, and ideally close losses. Close wins are OK. Stomps on either side aren't worth reviewing

3. If you know the reason you lost, best not to send it. If your team was doing really well and then you just straight throw off an idiotic baron call then there's not a ton I can do to help

If you do have a game that qualifies send it along and if I find it worthwhile I will upload my commentary. Video will be put into guide so you have to be willing to have other people see your gameplay. 

If anyone's interested message me.

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