The Eternal Nightmare that is Nocturne has been creeping the top lane lately – you might want to enjoy this while it lasts
The income and experience nerfs in the jungle have made many Nocturne mains upset. As a farming-centric jungle pick who requires plenty of gold and experience to scale, the delayed level 6 power spike is already detrimental to his general functionality. However, there is one place that they can take refugee – and it is on the top side of the map.
According to op.gg, top lane Nocturn possesses an impressive win rate, standing over 55.55%, claiming the highest win rate among all top laners. The chief reason for this is probably due to his strong level 1 engage AND wave clear, which gives him an easy top priority so he can rotate to Scuttle Crab to aid his jungler. Thanks to the more early aggressive jungle meta, Rift Scuttler skirmish has become more important, so are champions who can easily rotate for the fight.
Thanks to his passive and his Duskbringer (Q), Nocturne can either easily shove the wave, crashing it under the enemy’s tower – or engage on an unsuspecting opponent when combined with Lethal Tempo. The chasing potential and attack damage granted by his Q give him formidable dueling potential right at the early stage of the game, even against a ranged opponent such as Teemo and Quinn.
Other kits in Nocturne’s arsenal also assists him in dishing out damage in the laning phase – he has a substantial attack speed steroids from his W, which is doubled if he blocks a hostile spell upon activation. The ability is both offensive and defensive, if one can time it right to block abilities like Teemo’s Q, Nocturne can easily turn the tide of a skirmish. His E is a delayed hard CC on a single target that further cements his chasing and dueling potential.
Nocturne’s rune page should always further augment what he is good at, while compensating his weakness. Lethal Tempo is his chief keystone that synergizes well with his bonus attack damage from his Q. Presence of Mind will cover his abysmal starting mana pool at 275, giving him mana generation upon damaging and taking down enemy champions. While Legend: Aclarity might sound like a good option, Legend: Bloodline is generally better because he needs the survivability from the lifesteal. Coup de Grace is the final rune in the Precision tree that Nocturne loves.
The secondary tree can be either Inspiration or Domination. While Biscuit Delivery and Timewarp Tonic can greatly enhance his early game if he starts with Corrupting Potion, Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter can scale better, as he needs ways to restore his health in the middle of the fray. Goredrinker and Sterak’s Gage can be a go-to options if you aim for a bruiser playstyle (optimal), while lethality build (not recommended) can be great in situations where you want to pull out that one shot montage.
Currently there is no nerf intended for this playstyle in patch 11.5 so Nocturne players can comfortably abuse this to boost their ELO.