May 18, 2016

Weird Picks #51: Mid Lane Nocturne

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Played infrequently by legends like Faker and the occasional normal game blind pick, Nocturne Mid has been "a thing" in the past, but never stuck around for very long. It's a build that can conceivably one-shot enemy mages with ease, but may just as easily fall flat on its face.

However, it's certainly playable, and quite fun if you manage to snowball. Check out the details below!

Introduction

Played infrequently by legends like Faker and the occasional normal game blind pick, Nocturne Mid has been "a thing" in the past, but never stuck around for very long. It's a build that can conceivably one-shot enemy mages with ease, but may just as easily fall flat on its face.

However, it's certainly viable, and quite fun if you manage to snowball. Check out the details below!


How to Play
Runes: Attack Damage Quints, Attack Damage Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Flat Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 12-18-0, Thunderlord Masteries
Abilities: Q, E, W, Q then prioritize R > Q > E > W
Core Items: Corrupting Potion, Yomuu's Ghostblade, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Duskblade of Draktharr
Optional Items: Sterak's Gage, Maw of Malmortius, Blade of the Ruined King, Trinity Force

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Why It Works

Passive Waveclear/Sustain
Despite having a relatively weak laning phase until level 6 against most melee champions, Nocturne can easily survive through laning phase via his powerful passive sustain combined with his waveclear the same passive provides. In combination with his Duskbringer (Q), he has a relatively easy time last hitting at turret as well against a high waveclear mage.

Excellent Burst Damage
Nocturne's Duskbringer (Q) adds a bonus 55 AD when maxed, which is more than a Janna shield. This same duskbringer can be thrown mid-ultimate, which not only instantly boosts his passive's 120% damage, but also his ultimate's 120% damage scaling as well. When used properly, this results in a massive damage boost that can catch many enemies off-guard.

Excellent Roaming Potential
As a mid-laner, Nocturne does fairly well if he snowballs. He plays somewhat similar to Pantheon, but with more waveclear and a more reliable side-lane gank, tempered by his slower CC. He's also slightly worse than Pantheon against melee assassins, but definitely stronger against mages.

Potential Pitfalls

Weak Early Game
Nocturne's early game is mostly one of farming and sustaining through the laning phase, and he doesn't have too much kill potential against ranged mages until he hits level 6. However, as melee assassins go, he does fairly well despite being played very infrequently in this role.

Zhonya Prone
Against Nocturne, most intelligent mid-laners will quickly rush a Zhonya's, which negates Nocturne's ultimate damage and prevents them from getting assassinated. For the most part, this is only a major issue against highly mobile mages like Ahri, and Nocturne can still spell shield and fear immobile mages to death even if his ult damage doesn't land.

Conclusions

Nocturne mid is a relatively viable champion, but somewhat unorthodox. He plays like an assassin, and could be placed in any comp where you'd drop in a Yasuo mid without other knock-ups on the team.

Suggested Rating: Low Tier 2/ Tier 3

What do you think about Mid Lane Nocturne? Comment below!


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