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All Guides Nocturne Guides [Master] Season 6 Nocturne Jungle
16
2
Updated
2 years ago
Views
53.2K
Comments
12

Nocturne Statistics for Spreek

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

Value
Average
Games Played
4
5
Win %
75
46
Kills
11.0
7.1
Assists
7.5
6.7
Deaths
5.0
6.3
KA:D Ratio
3.7
2.2
Gold Earned
15.7K
11.7K
Creep Score
82.8
160.4
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

11.png Necessary on junglers so you can clear, as well as get the necessary jungle items.


4.png Pretty much taken on every champ unless there is a really good reason not to. On nocturne, flash is definitely the best option as it gives you an extra gapcloser/escape that your kit lacks. It also makes it easier to keep up with targets after they flash.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Standard Mastery Page: With Thunderlords

EXuFsp8.png

This is the page I run most of the time (probably 85-90% of the time). Let's talk about some of the more interesting choices.

Keystone: Combined with my build and playstyle, using thunderlords gives a substantial increase to killing/one shot potential. It is extremely easy to proc for Nocturne and pretty good throughout the whole game.

Assassin vs Secret Stash vs Runic Affinity: This is a tough choice. I've seen Nocturne players choose each one of these and I don't think any of them are terrible. Personally I prefer Assassin because it provides greater one shot potential and scales the best. Secret Stash is best used in combination with a different, more gank heavy playstyle (but I run a different mastery page for that, see below). Runic Affinity has a big advantage of making your red buff much more likely to stay up for your first gank at 6. However, I don't feel that it outweighs what assassin gives you (also I get my buffs stolen a lot which makes runic affinity pretty useless). 

Precision vs Intelligence: Armor Pen is such a great stat on Nocturne that I feel Precision is the clear choice here. Although the extra 5% CDR cap would be nice, it really only helps nocturnes ult, while armor pen is powerful on his entire kit. (And hey, technically that magic pen makes your fear damage a little stronger too!!)

Vampirism vs Natural Talent: Both these masteries suck, but vampirism sucks less because it is helpful in early game (esp for early clears). Having a little bit of lifesteal is also nice since I don't normally build any. 

Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor: This might be a little surprising but I prefer bounty hunter. Again, it helps scaling and oneshot potential later on. Oppressor also rarely will apply on a lot of nocturnes burst, since you won't be CCing them before you ult-Q-auto. In general, I think that Bounty Hunter is a more consistent choice with my recommended playstyle.

Alternative Mastery Page (with Strength of the Ages)

BES8KTR.png

This page is designed to give a more solid and reliable setup that allows you to farm less hard (i.e., gank/pressure more) without being too weak. On the current patch 6.3, Strength of the Ages is a disgustingly OP mastery on junglers (and you will see almost every jungler take it). 800 gold worth of health when stacked combined with a very effective rest of the resolve tree makes it very attractive indeed.

However, compared to thunderlords, you will have much less oneshot and catch potential and it definitely doesn't synergize as well with a heavy damage playstyle. So I typically only run it with a gank route (more on this below).

Why not X keystone?

Fervor of Battle: First of all, the armor penetration from the ferocity tree is much worse than the armor pen from the cunning tree. So that's already one point in favor of thunderlords. There's also the fact that fervor of battle is only really good in an extended fight where you get to auto attack a lot. In today's meta this is pretty unlikely on a champ like nocturne. It would be better with a different playstyle (like one with devourer and bork), but I don't think this is very good as I explain in the item build section. 

Warlord's Bloodlust: This was recently reworked to give lifesteal based on missing health (up to 20%). Honestly, I think this is pretty bad on every champion in its current state. On nocturne, I don't value lifesteal very highly (and even if I did, I would much rather have the 300 health from Strength of the Ages than some conditional lifesteal that relies on me being low).

Deathfire Touch: Better on poke/DoT champs. Doesn't really do much on a more burst/allin centered champ like Nocturne.

Stormraider's Surge: First of all, we get tons of movement speed between Nocturne's natural movement speed buffs on Q and E, Youmuu's, and Blue smite. Since movespeed has diminishing returns, I don't really think this is a good option. I also would rather kill a target with thunderlords than almost kill it and then move really fast with stormraiders. 

Grasp of The Undying: Strength of the Ages is just better on junglers since grasp is mostly useful for lane phase (which junglers obviously don't have).

Abilities Back to Top

Q
W
Q
E
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
3
5
7
9
W
2
14
15
17
18
E
4
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16

Passive: Umbra Blades

SrBfU8l.png
Not much to say about this passive other than a few tips.

First of all, the AoE comes from where YOU stand not where your target is. So if you want to hit all the creeps in a wave or jungle camp, move into the middle of them before hitting it. 

Second, when this is up, it applies two stacks of thunderlords, so it can be a good way to quickly get a proc off.

Q: Duskbringer

R0TqgJv.png
This is Nocturne's best regular spell and should always be maxed first. It is your primary source of waveclear, jungle clear, does good base damage with decent scaling, and has two amazing steroids. 

Some tips regarding use of Noc's Q

1. Enemies can see it even if they can't see you. So when you are doing your jungle camps, make sure you aim it in a direction where they are unlikely to get information from it. (So do not Q the wraiths right next to the enemy mid laner, unless you want to have a bad day). 

2. You only get the movespeed/AD while you are actually on the trail. So don't step off it while jungling. It's also helpful for learning how to aim it against champions. If you are going to miss, err on the side of "leading" them a little too much so that you can still run along the trail and end up at the spot they are running to. If you miss behind them, your trail will be essentially useless.

3. VERY IMPORTANT. You can use your Q while you are flying in the air for your ult. This helps because it has a very noticeable cast time if you cast it after landing which will make it much harder to keep up with your enemies. I've devoted a whole section to this combo below, but for now keep in mind that you want to R-Q while in air-land-Autoattack as your combo.

W: Shroud of Darkness

tTdNS8J.png

Pretty simple spellshield, very similar to sivir's if you have played her before. I get a single point at level 2 for the passive attack speed (useful for jungle clear) and max it last. 

I use it in 3 ways:

1. Reactively. Use it when your opponent uses a spell and right before you get hit. This is pretty simple with some slow skillshots, nearly impossible with some other spells.  It's a matter of practice to get the timing down as well as some of the spells you should do this with.

2. Predictively. Sometimes you can't reliably react to a spell. A good example of this is lee sin ult. Once his animation starts, you are technically already CC'd and you won't be able to spellshield. So you have to do it before he actually starts kicking you (sometimes it's easier to know than others). 

3. As a deterrent. It can be useful to use W to try and deter the enemies from using any spells. Often people will react to a "premature" W by waiting for it to run out before using spells. Or they might just not know what spell to waste on the shield and end up not using anything. Either way, as we'll see you will often have already easily killed them before your shield runs out. 

Some other notes on shield:

* It can occasionally block multiple spells at once. It blocks everything that hits you within a certain (small) amount of time after the first spell hits you. 

* Remember that blocking something will double your attack speed passive, so if you've already shielded you should try to get hit by something (even if they've already missed what you were trying to block).

* Save your teammates by walking in front of them with shield up.

E: Unspeakable Horror

VIN5nON.png

This is Nocturne's only hard CC, but sadly it's not an extremely reliable one. It is a short range tether that you have to keep up for 2 seconds before they actually get CC'd. Although not amazing, this spell can still be very useful when used well. 

Some notes:

1. Don't use fear too soon. It's often best to wait for your opponent to blow their escapes, use your superior movespeed to catch back up, and THEN use your fear after they have no way to break the tether. 

2. If you are right on top of someone, a flash by itself won't break the tether. But if you are using fear from max range, then flash will almost always break the tether right away. 

3. If your opponent flashes or dashes away, you can sometimes immediately flash after them keeping the tether up, even if technically they were briefly out of its range. This is because the tether is checked only every .25seconds. This requires some fast reactions though, so be careful (and remember tip 1 if you know their flash is up.

4. The passive aspect of this spell gives you movement speed towards feared targets. It's worth noting that this need not be your fear. So if you have hecarim or fiddle on your team, rejoice! 

5. An occasional bug with this spell lets you walk through trundle pillars and anivia walls if they are placed right as you are getting your movement speed from this spells passive. 

R: Paranoia: 

L7Pn1OB.png
Nocturne ult is love. Nocturne ult is life. This spell is basically the entire reason why you pick this champ. It is an incredible ganking tool, catch/pick tool, and also has great utility with global vision denial. 

The one downside is its extremely high CD early, so you have to make those first ults count!

I generally try to focus my first ults on any lane that is overextended. Nocturne has such great chasing power that if he has a long lane to chase someone down before they reach their tower, they will almost always die. It's also a good idea to look for lanes with low HP or to countergank/turn around a skirmish with it. 

As the game proceeds and you get stronger, you'll typically be able to 1v1 squishies that are too extended. You want to punish them for even trying to farm or walking away from tower. You can continue using ult to find people and pick them off throughout the whole game, but be careful about not getting baited.

The ideal use of nocturne ult is almost always to pick someone off, but this isn't always possible. A question I frequently get is what should you do when the enemy is grouped as 5 and no one can be picked off. In these cases, you will often have to fall back on the vision denial that nocturne ult provides. Even if the enemies aren't split, you can often make them feel split if you time it right.

A particularly good time is when part of the enemy team has walked through a bush and the rest has not. If you use ult, the enemies will no longer have vision in the brush nor on the other side. This typically causes mass confusion for some time and can be a free win of a teamfight.

Some other miscellaneous notes about ult: 

1. Mouse over the spell before using it to check the range. You can also use the minimap to check and aim it (but I don't recommend it as you'll have trouble comboing after or knowing where you are going). 

2. There is a short waiting time (~ .5s) before you can reactivate your ult and jump to someone. Keep that in mind before committing to ults. (Although you aren't alone if you frequently lose vision or range before you can actually connect your ult -- happens to every nocturne player :/)

3. Blue trinket is a good way to mitigate the risk of losing vision on your ideal target before you can jump to them.

4. While your jump can't be stopped by CC, you can still get hit by CCs in the air and you will be CC'd when you land. So if you think you will fly over a CC, then use your shield in the air.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Farm route
    gank route
    first buy

Core Items

    first 3 items
    4th v ap, 5th v ad
    pick 1: 4th v ad, 5th v ap

Situational Items

    Good 6th items
    get 1 if you really want
    in very rare cases
    get tenacity later on in some way
    sell boots in late game

Item Philosophy:

I want to quickly explain the overall reasoning for my choices. A lot of people ask me: why do you build full damage? Others ask me: why do you build so tanky?  It's funny how different people have different perspectives on the same build. 

In general, I believe there is a sweet spot for nocturne where he builds enough damage to be an enormous threat to any squishy that doesn't have a lot of help, but also tanky enough to be a moderately effective teamfighter and survive long enough to be a nuisance even when collapsed on. 

Those who swear by full damage nocturne tend to think that more damage items are necessary to stop nocturnes damage from falling off in the mid-late game. While Nocturne's damage does absolutely fall off, the answer is not to try to bandaid it with more damage items. 

For one thing, you make the game a lot less forgiving. If you mess up with no defense items at all, you are just straight dead. You have no room for suspicious positioning, bad map awareness, or really any type of mistake. Second, and more importantly, you can't really contribute to teamfights as full damage. It's very hard to reliably assassinate a grouped team (even with a lot of damage) because good ADCs will have lots of protection and defense. And really the best you can hope for is going 1 for 1. You certainly can't contribute as a frontliner or protector for your own carries since you will die just as fast. So you sorta have to splitpush. But typically, you won't be able to kill the tanky top laner that the enemy team sends to stop you and then you are sorta in a stalemate. Even if are really fed, it can be exceptionally difficult to end the game. 

As for those who build nocturne extremely tanky (similar to a reksai or lee sin build with warrior into pure tank) , I think it's a little too much in the opposite direction. If you want to do Rek'sai's job, you shouldn't have picked nocturne at all. You don't have hard CC, you don't have great utility, you don't have a good early game. So if you build too safely, you don't make full use of nocturne's strengths. You can't oneshot squishies with just a warrior and full tank. You can't make the enemy team give up farm or die to ult. You can't make everyone build specifically to stop you. 

Why these particular items

So if you read all that, you'll know that we want to have a mix of offense and defensive items. But why do I recommend the particular ones above? 

The answer is that we want to get the biggest mid game powerspike we can, along with CDR to get as many ults as possible. 

1400.png I think it should be pretty obvious why I'm suggesting this, given the discussion above. A high amount of flat AD, CDR, and a very useful smite that adds to your instant burst and also makes it a lot easier to catch up/stick to people.

WHY NOT 1412.png? This is fine in some cases (notably vs other champions that will build it and fight you -- one good example is rengar). But in general, I don't recommend it because we don't need what it offers. Anyone who we would need this to 1v1 we probably shouldn't be going on anyway (also, in my experience it rarely changes much -- nocturne mostly fails to kill things when they are too tanky... not when they do too much damage). Also the DoT damage is frequently mitigated by supports, lifesteal, etc. while the instant damage of blue smite helps you one shot people. Meanwhile, it doesn't offer the very valuable extra CC that nocturne's kit is missing.

WHY NOT 1403.png? A lot of people really like devourer on nocturne for some reason. I think it's pretty bad. Sated does very little for you (besides more passive heals I guess... yay?), the damage it offers is largely sustained (which you  largely won't have enough time to do in the current meta). It also forces you to spend what should be your powerspike (early mid game) farming up stacks. So don't get this.

WHY NOT 1401.png? Again, if you want to play nocturne like reksai or gragas, just pick those instead. They will be much more effective.


3158.png This item with the other core items I recommend and 10% CDR from runes will give you 40% CDR. Given nocturne's painfully long ult CD in early levels, you really want this so you can spread the love a little bit. If you are running a different setup and getting 40% CDR some other way, you can swap this out for something else.

3009.png3047.png3111.png are some good alternatives if you don't need the CDR for whatever reason. If I buy a new CDR item later on, I normally swap out to merc treads for some useful tenacity.

3142.png THE core item on nocturne. Everything on this thing is so good on nocturne. 20 Flat armor pen adds a tremendous amount to your burst, 10% CDR helps to get ever closer to 40%, and the flat AD and active are really excellent as well. Another important consideration is that it has an amazing build path with cheap long swords that are easy to build up and relatively decent component as well. By the time this item is complete, you are generally able to oneshot squishies (and I mean literally oneshot)

WHY NOT 3153.png? This item used to be OKish on nocturne (although personally I never loved it). But then Riot nerfed it to the ground in season 6. The build path is pure garbage. All the components are bad and expensive and the final product is really not worth it. Attack speed is not that amazing on Nocturne because you are melee champion with limited gap closers. If you get a ton of attack speed, you will inevitable waste some of it chasing after people unable to attack. Also lifesteal is not conducive to a strong mid game powerspike. Pretty much the only thing this is theoretically good for is killing tanks, but you shouldn't be doing that.

WHY NOT 3077.png? People also really love to get this on nocturne. Personally I really don't think it is worth delaying youmuu's to get this. You get some AD and an extra AD ratio and some waveclear. But guess what, you already had all of those! Youmuu's gives you a lot of stuff that you don't have and really want/need. If you want to upgrade Tiamat early, then you have to go through another shitty build path and comparatively really expensive final items. Not that great for maximizing your mid game

WHY NOT 3147.png? A lot of people thought/think this item is really really good. But it''s mostly just a worse youmuu's with a lousy passive. You don't need the passive to kill people, it doesn't help you kill people that much anyway, and it isn't up enough to not help you very often :)

Note on early 3156.png3053.png3742.png: In some cases, it's fine to get defensive item super early. A good example is when you are getting oneshot by some sort of assassin and you need to survive. Or a game where you have essentially no chance of ever being able to assassinate anyone (e.g., janna lulu lucian shen where all are fed). But just being behind is not always a good reason to abandon Youmuu's (and rarely is worth to give up on it completely). If everyone is losing (as is usually the case when this happens), you won't catch back up with a full tank build. You might lose slower, but you'll still lose. In fact, when everyone is losing, it's often worth taking many more risks than you usually would to try and make something happen.

3156.png This is another great item for Nocturne because it is a decent offensive item and also a decent defensive item. It lets us keep our ability to oneshot people for a little while longer, but also prepares us to get tanky before the game turns into tons of teamfights. The stats are excellent and this should almost always be your 4th buy against any team with any amount of significant magic damage. 

3742.png3143.png Both these armor items are solid, and I'm not entirely sold on which one is currently better, so I'll put them both up and let you decide. In general, Randuin's is better against teams with heavy crit ADCs (lucian, cait, etc. ) and DMP is better against teams with non crit ADCs. You may also want Randuin's against teams with yasuo, tryn, GP, etc. 

I get one of these items 5th because you very much need armor at this point if you are going to survive in teamfights. Generally at this stage of the game, ADCs are nearing the 3-4 item mark (depending on how much you killed them :P) and are really starting to hurt. Getting one of these health/armor items and combining it with maw gives you a solid defensive core of health/armor/MR/shield which allows you generally live through a single CC. 

Final Item Choices

3078.png This is my personal favorite. IMO it offers a good mix of useful utility in the late game and gives you back some of your burst/oneshot potential. It's expensive, but at the 6th item mark I don't care as much since there is little else to buy afterward anyway. I've also been a triforce nocturne fan since at least S3, so maybe I have a bit too much of a soft spot for this item. 

Keep in mind that if you go this, you will overstack CDR with my build, so sell CDR boots and pick up something else.

NOTE: Early triforce is ok in some cases. Ideally when enemies are not grouping or you are crazy fed. I get it in some cases, 

3053.png This is the most solid choice. It continues in the theme of mixed offense and defense and provides a large amount of health and burst mitigation. Keep in mind that the extra base AD isn't that useful on Noc since all his damages are bonus AD. Still useful, but not incredibly amazing. I get this when I need a good cheapish defensive item and don't know what other defensive item would be great. 

This is also a good replacement when for whatever reason you don't want one of the first 2 defensive items suggested above (Maw/Armor item). Often this will be when enemy has sorta lopsided damage and you don't think you need one of the resists immediately.

3143.png3742.png Yeah this again. You can get the other one if the enemy has a lot of physical damage. Notably if the enemy is almost all AD, you should always get both of these (in fact you can skip maw and get sterakks/thornmail as well). 

3102.png Same thing as the 2nd armor item, but this time with MR. If you are really scared of their magic damage, or if they have way more magic damage than physical this can be a good idea. 

3026.png Good in super late game when coming back once could be super significant and not being very useful with passive down is not very significant. In general I don't love it because you tend to die pretty far in the enemy back line, get your GA camped, and immediately killed again. So I don't get that often.

3071.png I only get this when my team decided to "help" by picking Talon Riven after I already picked nocturne. Remember that you will go over CDR cap by 20%, so you should definitely sell some shit if you get this item. The armor shred is helpful when everyone in the game has 2 armor items (typically because of suspicious team comps), but I pretty much never get it to help deal with 1 or 2 tanks that are hard to kill. (Again, that's not really nocturne's job).

3139.png In some cases, this can be useful. Most notably vs Malz/WW. If you are good at using the active, it's definitely not a bad choice against a heavy CC team.

3147.png I discussed this a bit above, but in general I don't think it's worth it early. As a 6th item, you can get it if you really want. It will help you reestablish a burst threat, provided that the enemies do not have QSS/Zhonya/Face of the Mountain/Locket/Crucible/other heals and shields. In practice, this is almost never the case, so I don't find it very useful. 


3748.png3074.png If you want an offensive item, these are both OK. Some players like it, but I think that other offense choices are better. 


Other stuff you can consider rarely

3512.png3033.png3036.png3075.png3812.png3190.png


Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Aatrox
    Easy
  • Akali
    Easy
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Diana
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Easy
  • Elise
    Easy
  • Evelynn
    Easy
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Graves
    Medium
  • Hecarim
    Easy
  • Jarvan IV
    Easy
  • Jax
    Easy
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kayle
    Easy
  • Kha'Zix
    Easy
  • Kindred
    Hard
  • Lee Sin
    Easy
  • Master Yi
    Hard
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Nidalee
    Medium
  • Nocturne
    Easy
  • Nunu
    Easy
  • Pantheon
    Medium
  • Poppy
    Easy
  • Quinn
    Medium
  • Rammus
    Easy
  • Rek'Sai
    Easy
  • Rengar
    Easy
  • Rumble
    Easy
  • Sejuani
    Easy
  • Shaco
    Easy
  • Shen
    Easy
  • Shyvana
    Hard
  • Skarner
    Easy
  • Tahm Kench
    Easy
  • Udyr
    Hard
  • Vi
    Easy
  • Volibear
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Easy
  • Xin Zhao
    Easy

VS

Aatrox

Easy

VS

Akali

Easy

VS

Amumu

Easy

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy

VS

Diana

Easy

VS

Dr. Mundo

Easy

VS

Ekko

Easy

VS

Elise

Easy

VS

Evelynn

Easy

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy

VS

Gragas

Easy

VS

Graves

Medium

VS

Hecarim

Easy

VS

Jarvan IV

Easy

VS

Jax

Easy

VS

Karthus

Easy

VS

Kayle

Easy

VS

Kha'Zix

Easy

VS

Kindred

Hard

Kindred is a strong early game jungler that likes to invade. Her high damage and mobility make her very difficult to fight. She also has a great ult with dealing with your assassination potential later game.


Tips for dealing with kindred:

1. Avoid fighting her early. Try to stay on the opposite side of the map from her when possible. Another good way to avoid her is killing the camp marked by her passive as quickly as possible to avoid a confrontation. 

2. Try to take advantage of times where her ult isn't up, as she is extremely squishy and quite easy to kill without it. If you hit 6 before her, you can countergank her extremely effectively. Also it can be quite useful to keep track of her ult CD (base cd is 160/130/100).

3. Later on it is often best to look to get the enemy split. Kindred ult is nearly impossible to straight up 5v5 as nocturne, so you really need to make it hard for her to save everyone.

VS

Lee Sin

Easy

VS

Master Yi

Hard

VS

Nautilus

Easy

VS

Nidalee

Medium

VS

Nocturne

Easy

VS

Nunu

Easy

VS

Pantheon

Medium

VS

Poppy

Easy

VS

Quinn

Medium

VS

Rammus

Easy

VS

Rek'Sai

Easy

VS

Rengar

Easy

VS

Rumble

Easy

VS

Sejuani

Easy

VS

Shaco

Easy

VS

Shen

Easy

VS

Shyvana

Hard

VS

Skarner

Easy

VS

Tahm Kench

Easy

VS

Udyr

Hard

ban this champ or dodge

VS

Vi

Easy

VS

Volibear

Easy

VS

Warwick

Easy

VS

Wukong

Easy

VS

Xin Zhao

Easy

About Me/Introduction Back to Top

Hi, I'm Spreek. Master tier on NA S4/S5/S6. 

I've played Nocturne off and on for some time, but I only recently started really spamming him in season 6, largely because I think he's actually really good in solo queue currently. Current stats on main

Q26UVva.png

Strengths and Weaknesses Back to Top

Nocturne's Strengths

* High damage, both burst and sustained damage.
* Oneshot potential on squishies
* Long range engage/pick potential with ult
* Very difficult to ward against after level 6
* A kit that synergizes very well

Nocturne's Weaknesses

* Bad early game. Not extremely good early clear, weak early ganks with no reliable CC or gapcloser
* Reliant on level 6
* Lack of good CC
* Somewhat reliant on getting fed/being able to get picks

Jungle Route/ Early Game Back to Top

Farming Route:

Also called the Valkrin clear after the streamer who popularized it, this route relies on farming for the first 6 minutes to hit 6 as quickly as possible. 

Runepage 1 with 5x armor/level seals 4x flat armor
Mastery page 1 with Thunderlords

Starting items:
1041.png2031.png It's somewhat close between machete and talisman. Talisman obviously leaves you with much more wiggle room for mana which is kinda nice and it can sometimes be faster than machete (if you get a good leash on first camp). But most of the time machete has a decent edge. Refillable is more cost effective than buying >3 health potions over the course of the game. You should still have enough HP to do this clear properly.

Skill Order: QWQEQR
Route: 

Start on bot side camp (Krugs or Gromp) smite, then do all small camps (note, skipping buffs) across the map in order. 

Blue side: Krugs (smite) --> Raptors --> Wolves --> Gromp (smite)
Red side: Gromp (smite) --> Wolves --> Raptors --> Krugs (smite) 

Next go back, purchase 
1041.png2043.png

and do a full clear (including buffs) starting at your original starting side. Drop your pink ward at some point during this clear. I generally put in the entrance to my jungle on one side or the other.

Blue side: Krugs 2 --> Red (smite) --> Raptors --> Wolves --> Blue --> Gromp (smite)

Red side: Blue --> Gromp (smite) --> Wolves --> Raptors --> Red (smite) --> Doubles

You will end the clear at around 5:20-5:30, relatively healthy and level 5.5. You are 1 jungle camp, 2 scuttle crabs, or 3-5 lane minions from level 6. You can complete the clear by finding a jungle camp in the enemy jungle, stealing some XP from lanes (sometimes you can gank a lane, pretend to leave, kill some creeps for 6 and jump on them), or simply go back and do the original camp (i.e., gromp/krugs) again.

If all goes perfectly, you'll be 6 between 5:50 and 6:15, typically before your solo laners. This allows you to surprise them with an early gank.

FAQ:

Why bother with backing? Isn't that a waste of time? 

Getting second jungle item makes you faster, healthier clear AND gives you more XP and a faster 6. As far as I know, there is no faster way to level 6 (besides taking both jungles or having someone help you do everything)

Why bother with this route at all?

It accelerates your early game and gets you into the mid game with your ult and a level advantage very efficiently when it works. This translates into very easily snowballed games

Won't the enemy jungler just steal all my buffs?/Won't I get invaded?

Yes you will definitely be invaded sometimes. But you will get invaded doing standard routes relatively often as well (at least in high elos). Losing a buff by itself doesn't hurt that much (especially when you are powerfarming since you won't have any buffs anyway for level 6 gank?). Your small camps will be dead, so your losses are frequently "capped" so to speak at a single buff. If you do a standard route and the enemy jungler finds you at a buff, you will get forced away (potentially killed, forced to flash, lose all your HP, forced to back, etc.) and then very bad things will happen (like losing your whole on one side and all that other stuff above). 

What do you do when all your lanes die horrible deaths before you are 6?

You carry really hard after level 6 or you lose. There is certainly a degree of risk with this route and you shouldn't expect to win every game. On the other hand, the same can be said for a lot of routes. 

What do you do when weird shit happens and you can't continue the route?

Bad things. This route is very inflexible. If you are forced to deviate from it, you will be in bad shape. It's a bad idea to start ganking midway through, especially if the enemy jungler hasn't shown. A smart jungler will see you on one side of the map, walk into your other side jungle and take everything. Then you'll be 2 minutes behind where you should be in terms of levels.

"Standard" Routes:

*Not standard for me on Nocturne, but pretty standard for most other jungle champs.

Runepage 2 with 9x flat armor, mastery page 2 (with Strength of the Ages)

Starting items:
1041.png2003.png2003.png2003.png Note that machete is slightly slower than talisman but offers superior health sustain.

Skill Order: QWEQQR

Route: 

Because of the improved sustain and clear with our runes masteries and health pots, we have a much more flexible clear. Most routes that you might do on other champions can be done. Some example routes:

Two buff clear: Small camp --> Buff --> Buff
Single side red buff gank: Krugs --> Raptors --> Red --> Gank
Full clear
Clear one side go back, clear other side
etc etc etc

I don't want to get too in-depth here because this is a complicated topic and I typically opt for the above farming route anyway. The exact alternative route you choose will depend on what you are trying to accomplish (especially which lanes you want to gank) But suffice to say that if you want/need to play nocturne with a more standard route, you can do it.

Why would you need to? Some possible reasons:

1. You want a more flexible, adaptive route.
2. Your team comp sucks and you need to win all lanes to have a chance.
3. You don't have a realistic chance to snowball because all lanes/squishies are hard to kill. Also against very tanky or very heavy CC teams.
4. Enemy jungler is good and knows how to deal with farming route. And/or playing nidalee and are going to clear their whole jungle in 3 minutes then be done with your jungle by 3:30 :^)
5. You're in an elo where bot lane not getting a camp level 1 is going to instalose them lane. 

Matchup Notes Back to Top

Worst Matchups

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These champions all farm faster and 1v1 better than you. They also have fairly strong mid games and tend to be hard for you to deal with throughout the entire game.

Udyr is broken as hell on current patch 6.4, so he should always be banned or dodge. 

Shyv and Yi aren't as bad, but they will still mess you up if you ever try to fight them. The one advantage you have over them is that you have slightly better gank potential, so you really need to take advantage of that and get your team fed. 

If it gets to later game and you are evenish, you are likely in big big trouble (especially against Yi)

Hard Matchups

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These champions can all be very hard against players that really know what they are doing, but they are far less idiot proof than the worst matchups. Against people who aren't really good at these champions, the matchups are actually pretty easy.

Good nidalee in particular can basically ruin your day by powerfarming and invading you constantly. Kindred and Graves are high damage, good early game, and relatively likely to mess with you. Quinn and Pantheon are highly mobile and also very strong early game fighters that can really mess with you. 

The good news is that all of these champions are squishier than most junglers and you have great potential to kill them as the game goes on (Kindred ult is annoying, but in many cases she will die before she even uses it). 

Everything Else

I don't think there are other really awful jungle matchups. Obviously some are better than others, but you are pretty safe picking Nocturne into anything else IMO. 

Mid Game Back to Top

I consider the mid game to have begun when I hit level 6, just because it makes an easy point of reference.


Your basic goal in the mid game is to get fed. Obvious I guess, but it's vitally important on Nocturne. This stage of the game is your biggest powerspike and typically strongest point, so you want to take maximal advantage before the enemy starts to group and stay grouped.

The key things you need to do in the mid game are:

1. Use every ult as effectively as possible. You really want kills -- not flashes, not damage, not "pressure".

2. Keep a high level relative to the rest of the game. With my suggested build, you are going to be pretty squishy until you finish your core offense items. So you rely very much on getting tankiness from levels. It's also generally the goal of my playstyle.

3. Try to take first tier enemy towers. If you manage to kill towers, then you make it very difficult for the enemy laners to get CS without being in danger of getting ulted. Dragons/Rift Heralds/whatever else matter much less than getting towers.

Teamfights/Mid-Late Game Back to Top

In the current meta, the teamfighting phase of the game can sometimes begin quite early, so "late game" may not be the best way to describe it. 


In any case, I want to discuss what you should once the game starts to become grouped. It's worth noting that Nocturne ideally should avoid this situation when possible. You excel most in split situations where your ult and assassination potential can really shine.

But if the enemy is grouping, you often will have no choice but to participate. 

Some tips for this stage of the game:

1. Be fed and overleveled, have your core items complete and be starting to get tanky. Maybe not very useful advice, but that should really be your goal before this stage of the game starts. It's hard to be effective in this stage of the game if you aren't ahead.

2. Avoid diving in 1v5 in most cases. Even if you get a kill, you will typically best case be trading 1 for 1. You'll typically want teammates to be in a good position to follow up.

3. Try to fight in areas that your ult has a greater effect in. Jungle fights near a lot of brushes tend to be very favorable for you because the enemy will have a lot of trouble working together without being able to see. Fighting in the middle of the lane is much less favorable. 

4.  Be ready to take advantage of momentary rotational or positioning mistakes by the enemy team. One big strength Nocturne has is his ability to start a fight pretty much whenever he wants. So if you see someone farming bot lane and the rest of the enemy team is overextended in mid -- it's a good time to get in there. Or as already mentioned, even a small split between groups of the enemy team can cause a favorable fight with vision denial. 

5. If the enemy initiates, I like to instantly use ult to deny vision. It makes it very difficult to follow up and often leads to them making poor decisions. 

Splitpushing Back to Top

Nocturne can be an effective splitpusher in many cases. He clears waves fast, kills towers very fast, can have strong kill pressure depending on who they send to stop you, and also global presence to join fights elsewhere quickly.


Another big advantage of splitpushing is that you can avoid the 5v5 ARAM scenario where it is hard for you to contribute. If the enemy has to send someone to stop you, then you have a more favorable split situation where you can potentially go on the group of 4 or the 1. 

However, there are also some downsides to splitpushing. First of all, it often slows down the game (which isn't typically in your favor). If you have a giant lead, it's normally better to just bait baron or force a fight somewhere 5v5. It also sometimes leads to a scenario where one of your carries (who you really want to be strong) gets denied gold and XP. 

Another big downside to splitpushing is that many teammates won't know how to play around it properly. Grouping as 5 in a lane is a pretty idiot proof strategy, while splitpushing is definitely much harder. Of course, in theory the enemy team should also struggle to deal with it, but my experience is that teams generally play better against splitpushing than with a splitpusher. 

Typically, I use splitpushing sparingly. Mostly the idea is to break a 5v5 when nothing is happening and force the enemy team to split up. So the best time to do this is when the enemy group of 5 is not able to immediately force something when I leave. If they are already at your tower, it's probably not a good idea to go start a splitpush. But if someone on the enemy team went back and they are standing near their own tower in mid, you might want to go get another lane pushing. 

It can also be good in some mid game situations when the enemy is unlikely to react properly. If you kill first tower, 9 times out of 10 the enemy support will roam and the ADC will remain in bot. Obviously, you are a very favorable 1v1 matchup vs any ADC, so splitpushing in this case can be very valuable. 

Using Q while mid ult (IMPORTANT) Back to Top


If you only read one section, make sure you read this one. This is the single most important thing you can do to improve your nocturne play if you aren't already doing it.

If you are/were familiar with Rengar's Bola Strike during jump combo, this combo is a similar idea (although much easier to execute since it is AoE pass through rather than single target line). 

You will use your Q while flying in your ult before landing. The goal is land your Q in a line on the enemy right before you land. This makes it easier to land/harder to dodge, increases your instant burst, and prevents you from having to wait for the animation of your Q after you land

Another very important reason why you always want to do this is that if you land the trail on them before landing, your ult damage will be amplified by the bonus AD from trail and your first auto will also be amplified by the bonus AD from trail. So you will increase your burst by roughly 80-132 damage depending on your rank of Q. 

The combo is R-R (jump to someone)-Q right before landing-Auto proc passive +thunderlords), which is really not very difficult at all. Note that you may want to use W midair or right as you land in some cases as well if you think they will insta CC you. Same goes for smite. In general though, you won't use E right as you land.

If you having trouble with the initial combo, try using normal cast instead of smart cast (Personally, I frequently use normal cast on Noc Q in general, but it's especially nice for while you are flying since you are moving pretty quickly). 

Some more advanced tips:

1. The exact positioning of your Q is up for debate. Personally, I often try to wait for the very last second in the hopes of still catching them after they panic flash. Others may prefer to do it sooner to hit targets that try to juke by running towards where you came from. 

2.  You can use Q at any point while flying, so you can use it to snipe off low HP targets on your way. Driveby!

3. Sometimes opponents will start using their escapes right before you land in an effort to dodge your Q. While you will continue to follow them in your ult (since you haven't landed yet), your Q fired early will miss.

You can react by either aiming your Q at a different time, not using the combo (and relying on the fact that you are forcing them to waste their escapes early -- such that you still follow them), or continuing to fire Q as normal. It can kinda be a guessing game if you start not using the combo (because it is really bad if they don't use their escape, wait for you to land, then use their escape as you pause to Q after landing), but if you keep doing the same thing you let them waste your Q (Of course, you are also essentially wasting their escape too, so it's arguable who is coming out on top).
 

Changelog/Updates Back to Top

3/2/16: Guide released

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