Nocturne Impressions

Frozen Nocturne.

I’ve been traveling over the past couple days so I haven’t had much time to spend in League of Legends. Last night I finally had the time to sit down and give him some decent testing so here we are, back at another impression post.

Nocturne feels pretty good, on the whole. He’s a strong jungler, capable of staying healthy enough for a gank without returning to base. Duskbringer gives him a nice damage bump that makes for fast jungle clears, especially when coupled with the passive of Shroud of Darkness.

Nocturne’s ganking power before level 6 is actually a little bit underwhelming with all the dashes in the game. He gets much better at six, but unless you have the jump on an unsuspecting opponent, his slow isn’t overwhelming enough to stop someone (like Nunu’s Ice Blast, for instance) from running to tower. His fear is nice, but it’s short, and in most cases I was out of melee range when using it, so I wasn’t getting hits in, the fear would land and I would get a hit or two, and then the player was out of range again.

Like I said, that’s before level six. Once you’re level nine, things get much easier. Duskbringer starts to hit damn hard, especially if you’ve snagged a Wriggle’s or a Brutalizer. The slow is also at a point that you can hopefully sneak in a few more hits before your target Flashes or Ghosts away.

I think Nocturne might actually fall into the Xin Zhao category of junglers, though. He’s definitely strong in the jungle, but he can also be utterly devastating in lane. Without the help of a lanemate, he’s pretty tough to lane against. He regenerates health quickly with his passive, even if it is best used when pushing a lane. He also does big damage to single targets, and his spell shield gives him extra staying power against those pesky casters.

The big selling point for Nocturne is his ult, which is one of the most terrifying skills in the game. Vision is so important to the execution of a good teamfight that losing it can be crippling. I’m still not sure how I feel about the skill. It’s a great flavor skill, but I don’t like it when champion skills make it mechanically difficult for me to perform in the game. I would love to think that people will just get used to it, understand how to fight with it, but when that ult is up, everything around you is basically brush, and it becomes impossible to discern whether your team is winning or losing the fight. This is especially brutal in solo play, where you don’t have teammates able to call the fight out to you.

The only other issue I have with Nocturne is that tanky DPS still reigns supreme. Yes, it got a small nerf this patch, but for the most part you’ll be best served by building a Ghostblade or an Infinity (if things are going particularly well) and then stacking up some health so you can compete with the bruisers.

Official Nocturne spotlight released

The official Nocturne Champion Spotlight went live some time last night, giving us a quick look at Nocturne’s abilities. Most of the gameplay footage was taken from the PAX preview over on IGN, but it was nice to see Phreak describe how each ability works in detail.

More thoughts on him later today – about to get a game in with Sorith, who I just found out is a reader here. As always, you guys can catch me online as “The Wiggin Boy.”

Nocturne skill list revealed ahead of PAX East opener

Nocturne Splash.

Riot revealed Nocturne’s skill list today, just a few hours before players will have a chance to guide him on the Fields of Justice at PAX East. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to secure a media badge to the event this year, but hopefully I’ll get out to some other conferences in 2011 and meet up with the Riot crew. All that aside, let’s check out the Nocturne skill set.

Nocturne looks like he’ll play a lot like Mercurial Spectre from DotA. He has a very similar dagger effect and his ultimate offers the same teleportation skill, though with a more limited range. Here’s the official list:

Duskbringer: Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals damage, leaves a Dusk Trail, and causes champions to leave a Dusk Trail. While on the trail, Nocturne ignores unit collision and has increased Movement Speed.

Shroud of Darkness: Nocturne empowers his blades, passively gaining attack speed. Activating Shroud of Darkness allows Nocturne fades into the shadows, creating a magical barrier which blocks a single enemy spell and doubles his passive attack speed if successful.

Unspeakable Horror: Nocturne plants a nightmare into his target’s mind, dealing damage each second and fearing the target if they do not get out of range by the end of the duration.

Paranoia (Ultimate): Nocturne reduces the sight radius of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision in the process. He can then launch himself at a nearby enemy champion.

Umbra Blades (Passive): Every 10 seconds, Nocturne’s next attack strikes surrounding enemies for physical damage and heals himself for each target hit. Nocturne’s physical attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second.

He’s looking like a pretty cool assassin-style toon, something like Master Yi with some interesting mobility tools. It looks like he’ll also be a pretty solid jungler with that passive, although I said the same thing about Renekton and his jungling hasn’t been excellent.

Champion Sneak Peek: Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare

Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare.

Riot has released the official sneak peek for next week’s champion, Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare. He looks to be some sort of wraith with armblades, which unfortunately suggests melee.

Here’s the official blurb:

Have you ever taken in a horror film only to go to bed with your eyes wide open on the lookout for things that go thump in the night? Well while we’re on the topic of things akin to ghosts, goblins, phantoms, specters, apparitions, poltergeists and very possibly the boogeyman, allow me to be the first to introduce you to Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare. But don’t worry! While he might feature prominently in the next thriller you decide to take in, you probably won’t find him hiding under your bed or in your closet. Or will you?! Don’t be paranoid!

Most of the speculation about Nocturne so far is that he’s some sort of stealther. A community member made a champion suggestion back in June for “Nocturnos, the Shadow Stalker.” It would seem Riot is at least taking inspiration from his themes, though it’s tough to say whether the skillset will be similar. I’ll let you read through the skills on your own, but there’s stealth, a new resource system, and a very interesting ultimate. I’d be surprised to see much of it go live, but who knows.

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