League of Legends: You Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance!
Patch v126.96.36.199, Nocturne, Pacing Reworks, Sona Buffs, Banshee's Nerfs
By Jason (Hhean) Harper, OnRPG Journalist
Greetings fellow summoners! This is the patch v188.8.131.52 article for League of Legends, the game in which your nightmares come to life. This patch includes some adjustments made from the previous patch, some Sona reworks, a less effective Banshee's Veil and Nocturne, The Eternal Nightmare.
Nocturne is a guided missile powered by sheer terror, and propelled by the screams of his enemies. It makes a good, though fragile, jungler, while also being an exceptional assassin and chaser. Its backdooring capabilities are also nothing to be sniffed at. If you're familiar with other rapid striking assassins like Akali, or champions familiar with taking advantage of the stupidity of others, like Evelyn or Twisted Fate, then you should feel fairly at home with Nocturne.
A listing of Nocturne's stats and abilities can be found in detail here. For an introduction to the character and how it plays, I would recommend checking out the Champion Spotlight.
Nocturne's skill use is highly dependant on positioning, and enemy life. If you can approach someone unseen, but the enemy has plenty of health (and isn't too squishy) it is best to simply run at them and make use of Unspeakable Horror [E]. Keep near them using Shroud of Darkness [W] to gain some attack speed after your victim panics and attempts to hit you with any crowd control they can dish out. Now that you're an attack spamming dervish of death, you line up a shot of Duskbringer [Q] to do some damage, move faster and hit harder. Finish with Paranoia [R] before making your escape, using the obscured vision to hide the kill, and where you creep off afterwards.
If the enemy are too far off from when you enter their vision (usually when not able to use some brush) you'll have to make use of Duskbringer before Unspeakable Horror in order to close the gap. This is a bit more risky though, because if you miss the Duskbringer your gank is almost certain to fail. If someone is on very low health, you know them to be super squishy, or you have some allies able to assist the gank then pop the ultimate first in order to mask the kill and cause confusion in the enemy team. Do this only if you are absolutely certain of the kill though
A few important note on the use of his ultimate. At its most base use, it's an extremely long rang dash (further than a screen, longer than Lux or Caitlyn's ultimates) that can cover your kills as you finish enemies. It looks very tempting to use it to kick off fights, but it really is a poor way to start, since you will be visible after the kill is made, making escaping difficult, and also will make securing the kill more difficult once you begin chasing the enemy. It also is a great way to leap between targets in a team fight, so remember not to waste it right at the start. If you're really needing it to kick off fights, you're likely not positioning yourself correctly, or trying to assist a kill over a screen away. It can also be used in the late game to mask you backdooring a turret on mid to low health, avoiding the counterattack that usually comes with such actions.
If it's been forced into a lane, solo or duo, he's best served harassing the enemy heavily with Duskbringer while trying to have his own lane be pushed back to present a gank opportunity when he eventually gets access to Paranoia. be aware that an assassin, you should keep your eye out for anyone overextended in an adjacent lane, as an early kill for Nocturne is nearly essential to get his deadly snowball rolling. Take a rank in Duskbringer at level 1, Shroud of Darkness at 2, and Unspeakable Horror at 4. Your priority order should be Paranoia > Duskbringer > Unspeakable Horror > Shroud of Darkness.
When jungling, and he should jungle unless there is someone better at it on his team (eg. Warwick), Duskbringer is still his best choice, due to the added attack damage he gets while standing the shadowy trail left by the ability. Some people will argue that its Shroud of Darkness is a better pick to get at level 1, due to the passive increase in attack speed. These people are really, thoroughly wrong, and this choice not only increases the likelihood of Nocturne getting killed, whether by enemies, or creeps. If you're low level, or don't have the runes for it, I would think twice before jungling with him, as he is very fragile when jungling, and his Runes or Masteries being slightly off can really screw him over.
If you have Attack Speed runes and intend to jungle, picking up a vampiric sceptre is your best choice. If you don't have these though, then you're better off with the usual cloth and health potion combination.
Its core items are Tier Two Boots (Mercury Treads or Berzerker's Greaves), Wriggle's Lantern, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Banshee's Veil. Late pick, or situational, items on him include Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Black Cleaver, Guardian Angel or even Sword of the Occult if you're really in the mood for some risk taking.
I've been sticking pretty heavily to a 16/0/14 build on it, though others seem to swear by a straight 21/0/9 build. Your focus should be on experience gain, neutral buffs, physical damage, attack speed and movespeed (if you're going more utility heavy).
For runes, you want damage, and just enough survivability to aide Nocturne in the early game. Armour Penetration Marks, Armour Seals, Attack Speed Glyphs and Armour Penetration / Attack Speed Quintessences. If you don't have that specific load out, then your general rule of thumb should be Damage Marks, Defensive Seals, Damage Glyphs, and really any Quintessence.
Nocturne is going to be the new pub-stomper extraordinaire, since a good deal of his game plan is screwing with team co-ordination and capitalizing on stupidity. He's an incredibly strong character, and his ultimate can really screw with teams if used effectively. That said, he needs some early game kills to get rolling effectively, or have a near perfect jungle run without interruption from the enemy team. This means that while in the late game he is a devastating engine of death, it can sometime be a very rough journey to that end game in competitive matches.
It seems I underestimated the server changes last patch, as they look to have paved the way for the new Co-op versus AI mode that was made available last week. The bots are surprisingly smart, though still little more than a speed bump to a half competent team. Still, they're a good way to relax while trying out silly gimmick builds (ah, AP Yi, how I missed you).
I'd love to give more feedback on the overall changes this patch, but they are mostly refinements (or backtracking) on changes made last patch. Minion and respawn changes will hopefully shorten play time again. Banshee's Veil got a significant nerf, which is a boon to casting in the last
game. Sona got buffs and her passive was reworked, so she can go back to being the god-tier support in the game once more.
To discuss some of the changes yourselves, visit the League of Legends section of our forums, or post in the massive League of Legends thread in the free to play MMOs section. If you haven't tried League of Legends yet. Now is the perfect time.