Hi I am the Salty jungler, I am a jungle main currently in Diamond 4 and I enjoy writing short guides. Today I’m going to be talking about one of my favorite champions in league of legends; Nocturne.
Nocturne is a jungle pick who has been gradually shunned as a top tier pick at higher elos for a number of various reasons such as: weak pre-6 ganks, low pressure during ult cooldown and failing to secure kills when ulting by being too easily kited/breaking fear tether. Nocturne’s isn’t that mechanically intensive but there are a few tricks to master if you really want to excel with him; you need to be securing kills 90% of the time you use ultimate early game if you want to snowball games out of control.
Nocturne received a buff to his ultimate cooldown of 30 seconds early game which is MASSIVE for him and could easily propel him back into viability. The other problems I mentioned are not really problems at all and can easily be rectified through proper itemization and mechanics. The points I list in this guide may seem very small and insignificant but I assure you they can easily mean the difference between securing a kill and letting the target get away.
- While it’s true Nocturne’s kit; in particular his CC is rather weak on it’s own when it comes to ganking/securing kills we can itemize to fix these weaknesses. Chilling smite is a 100% buy every single game, Bilgewater cutlass is also in my opinion a must buy in every single game – a lot of the times I will buy it before warrior enchant just for extra ganking power (also sustain for farming). Do not get rangers trailblazer, Nocturne does not need it.
- When ganking lead with your Q to tag them and close the distance, use chilling smite and bilgewater as soon as you are in range. Once you are on top of them start fear, this should result in a very potent 4 second slow chain. Bilge+chilling 45% slow (2s) -> Start fear tether (takes two seconds) -> Fear procs 33% slow as soon as previous slows time out. All the while you are beating on them with your very strong autoattacks and laner follow up.
- THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT When ganking with Nocturne ultimate you want to use your Q mid-flight just before you hit your target, much how you can throw a bola with rengar mid-jump. I play with smartcast and have Shift+Q to show the regular skill-shot aimer, I will ult my target and shift+Q to bring up the aim – I will cast Q as soon as the aimer gets in range of my target. The result should be you cast your Q animation just before your ult hits and the animation is cancelled and your target is already hit with dusktrail on landing. This is important for two reasons, one it means your dusktrail should have an almost 100% chance of hitting which is crucial for a flawless gank, two it makes your initial combo quicker and stickier because you don’t have to stop to cast Q after landing, you just land and chase. Here is an example of this in action. It happens at about 20 seconds, all credits go to Ninjaken.
- Your dusktrail gives until collision; use this to your advantage. Whenever you are chasing down an enemy hit them with an auto-attack then try to stand directly on top of them before your next auto. This makes you annoying to hit with skillshots and in general makes you stickier and harder to get away from with dashes/flash ect. Here is an example of stutterstepping in action
- If you are ganking with your ultimate DO NOT use your fear immediately upon landing, make sure your Q has landed first – connect with your first auto attack, walk on top of their model and THEN start your fear. It is impossible for fear tether to be broken with flash if you are standing on their model when you start it, it can be broken rather easily if you cast it from max range.
- My full combo on an overextending target is as follows: R – > Q (just before landing) -> Auto attack on landing -> Smite+Bilgewater -> Auto attack -> Run on top of their model and start E + use randuins if you have it -> Continue to stutterstep auto+move on top of them until dead
- When approaching a lane to gank with ultimate your best best is to just go straight through lane, it is nearly impossible to be spotted by wards this wait. For mid lane you can ult from the otherside of the small cliff by midlane brush
- You can use your ultimate to deny vision when baron gets low just to minimize the chances of a steal
- It is important to remember that Nocturne does not excel as a primary initiate; he can do it but a lot of the time it just results in you flying to your death 1v5 as your team tries to catch up. NEVERengage fights with your ultimate if you don’t think you can survive until your team comes to back you up. You want to be using your ultimate to create picks or initiate unfair fights against the enemy team but you should try to only use your ult in a 5v5 as follow-up engage to something like a sion, malphite, maokai, Lissandra ect. It is much safer this way and almost 100% guarantees the kill, if you are the one to initiate a backline dive you can’t be sure that allies will be able to help you dive to finish the carries off, they might get caught up on the front line or decide to peel and you die for free. Nocturne ult on the other hand is a point and click dive tool you can always use to follow up on an allied engage without fail.
- Since people will probably ask this is my build order: Chilling smite -> bilgewater cutlass (upgrade to botrk if snowballing) -> Warrior -> Randuins/Banshee’s -> Optional: Complete botrk -> Randuins/Banshees -> Guardian Angel or Maw or Ghostblade. You can optionally build an early hexdrinker if the enemy team is ap heavy or opt for a trinity force after Botrk if you are just crushing the game and want to snowball harder / splitpush.
- Fnatic Cyanide made a very very good Nocturne guide; you can find it here. Rushing bilgewater before warrior was 100% inspired from his guide.
That is all for my mini-guide thanks for reading and hopefully this encourages people to see Nocturne for the true soloQ beast that he is and help both old and new Nocturne players alike carry games. If you have any suggestions for another mini-guide feel free to leave a suggestion.