Nocturne is a beloved character in League of Legends. His champion design is pretty satisfying, especially his game-breaking ultimate – Paranoia.

And even though Nocturne can be an ad assassin or a tanky bruiser, the full AP Nocturne build is a great way to torture your enemies too.

If you’ve never given it a try, I’ll help you figure out how you should play Nocturne AP. 

In this post, I’ll break down the necessary runes and items for playing AP Nocturne, as well as give you useful info on the champion’s damage.

That said, let’s see how Nocturne’s AP ratios work and how he deals magic damage before we jump into the build.

Nocturne AP or AD – Explained

Nocturne's passive and E AP ratios

Is Nocturne an AP or an AD champion in League of Legends? And does Nocturne deal magic or physical damage?

Nocturne is primarily an AD melee champion in League of Legends. Most players go for an AD build on Nocturne because his Q and R do a lot of physical damage.

However, Nocturne’s passive and E do magic damage and scale with AP. So, you can also build Nocturne full AP.

In a normal League of Legends match, you’d see Nocturne with items like Goredrinker, Axiom Arc, and Death’s Dance. This is because these AD items exploit Nocturne’s biggest strengths and make him a strong assassin/duelist.

On top of that, the AD Nocturne build deals more damage overall and is a better fit for the jungle role.

Nocturne needs to clear his jungle camps as soon as possible, so the AD build helps with that.

Read Also: Volibear Full AP Build Guide

AP Nocturne Playstyle – Explained

As much as the AD build for Nocturne is powerful, the AP build for Nocturne is great at exploiting other strengths. 

For example, Nocturne’s passive – Umbra Blades periodically make his auto-attacks heal for a base amount plus 30% AP. 

In other words, the more ability power you have on Nocturne the more his auto-attacks will heal. And in the late game, one basic attack can restore up to 20-30% HP. 

On the other hand, Nocturne’s E – Unspeakable Horror is a point-click spell that does base magic damage and scales with 100% of Nocturne’s AP.

A 100% AP ratio is great for any ability, especially for one that casts Fear onto the target after a few seconds.

And so, the whole playstyle of AP Nocturne revolves around auto-attacking as much as possible for healing and using E to deal damage and crowd control your enemies.

Because of this, the runes and items here focus on giving you more attack speed, more healing, and overall more damage.

And here they are!

AP Nocturne Runes for Season 13

AP Nocturne runes
  • Dark Harvest
  • Taste of Blood
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter
  • Triumph
  • Cut Down

DARK HARVEST is the best keystone for scaling in League of Legends. When you play with Dark Harvest, you’re there to collect souls.

And the more souls you have the more damage you’re going to do on low-HP targets in LoL.

The way you collect souls is by hitting an enemy champion below 50% health. And you’ll know when you can get a Dark Harvest by looking at the red glow around your opponent’s champion.

Dark Harvest can stack infinitely and the longer the game goes on the better this rune is.

TASTE OF BLOOD is a very convenient rune, especially for AP Nocturne. Basically, it heals you when you damage an enemy champion with an ability. And the cooldown of this effect is 20 seconds.

Taste of Blood is really great for playing AP Nocturne in a lane instead of the jungle. That way you can take advantage of it and play aggressively early on.

EYEBALL COLLECTION is a fantastic rune no matter which role you choose. It passively increases your ability power as you increase your KDA. And at maximum stacks, this rune gives you a total of 20 ability power, which is great.

ULTIMATE HUNTER is here to greatly reduce the cooldown of Nocturne’s ultimate – Paranoia. Paranoia is one of the best abilities in the game, especially when it comes to ganking.

And so, you definitely want it available every 30-40 seconds.

With Paranoia, you’ll always start the fight with an advantage. And since AP Nocturne isn’t as powerful as AD Nocturne, you’ll depend on Paranoia a lot.

TRIUMPH is one of the most useful runes in LoL. It restores 10% of your missing health and mana upon a champion takedown. And in clutch fights where everything matters, Triumph is invaluable.

So, always take it!

LAST STAND is the last rune you need to take and it’s a damn good one. AP Nocturne doesn’t have lifesteal and the only way to heal is through the passive.

This means that you’ll spend a lot of the time below 60% HP, so Last Stand will be active most of the time too.

Last Stand increases your damage when your health is low, so definitely pick it up.

Read Also: Full AP Trundle Build Guide

AP Nocturne Items for Season 13

AP Nocturne item build
  • Ionian Boots of Lucidity
  • Nashor’s Tooth
  • Riftmaker
  • Lich Bane
  • Demonic Embrace
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap

IONIAN BOOTS OF LUCIDITY are the best early-game boots in League of Legends. Not only do they increase your overall speed, but they also give you 20 ability haste.

And for such a cheap price as 950 gold, they’re definitely worth it!

NASHOR’S TOOTH is the first AP item you’re looking to get in each game. We already talked about how powerful Nocturne’s auto-attacks can be for trading and overall survivability, so you want the extra attack speed as soon as possible.

Nashor’s Tooth also gives you a bunch of ability power and makes your basic attacks deal bonus on-hit magic damage. So, it’s a great item overall!

RIFTMAKER is the mythic item to go for on AP Nocturne. It’s such a great addition to the playstyle because it gives you everything you need – AP, health, ability haste, and omnivamp. 

Moreover, Riftmaker will increase your damage in combat. And in team fights, it will allow you to deal bonus true damage as long as you keep fighting. It synergizes with Nocturne’s healing too, so always get Riftmaker!

LICH BANE is a great AP item that increases your overall damage potential. When you play Nocturne AP, you’ll also use your AD abilities a lot.

And since Lich Bane empowers your auto-attacks to deal bonus damage after you use an ability, you’ll get a lot of value out of it.

DEMONIC EMBRACE is a burn-effect item that synergizes well with Riftmaker. It makes your abilities apply a burning DoT that does maximum health magic damage and lasts for 4 seconds.

This will keep you longer in combat and allow you to take full advantage of Riftmaker!

RABADON’S DEATHCAP is the last item you’ll need to pick up. It’s the perfect AP item for the late game because it greatly increases your ability power. It requires a lot of gold but it will double your damage output.

So, it’s worth it!

Read Also: AP Warwick Build Guide

Optional and Situational Items for AP Nocturne

These are the optional and situational items I often buy on AP Nocturne.

Zhonya’s Hourglass is one of the best defensive items in the game. It allows you to enter Stasis which can save you when you dive deep with Paranoia.

Similarly, Banshee’s Veil can block an important spell so you can save Nocturne’s W for later.

You should always buy Void Staff if the enemy team is building a lot of magic resist. And Morellonomicon is great at countering healing champions such as Vladimir, Soraka, or Yuumi.


AP Nocturne is a very interesting build. You can play AP Nocturne in the top or mid lane, as well in the jungle. But note that as a jungler, AP Nocturne won’t have the same damage output.

And his strength is self-healing through the passive.

As far as ability order is concerned, you should always max your E first. This is your main ability as AP Nocturne, so you’ll want it improved first.

And that’s about it!

Good luck and have fun!

Read Also: AP Xhin Zhao Build Guide

Last Update: March 2, 2024