Assassins are a difficult class to balance in League of Legends. Most of them have a high skill floor and an even higher skill ceiling, which makes them difficult to maneuver for casual players and incredibly deadly in the hands of a main. However, one nightmare-ish creature is too outdated for this idea.
Traditionally, Nocturne has been an assassin. He was at his strongest after the new runes came into effect, with the Lethal Tempo keystone and Duskblade of Draktharr making a deadly combo that every Nocturne main was hoping for.
This has shaped his core identity a lot, but was not the only way he was played. His basic attack-based playstyle also allowed for attack speed-heavy builds, such as the old Bloodrazor enchantment, Sanguine Blade and Blade of the Ruined King.
While his core builds as a glass cannon have stuck around for a very long time, this identity has been lost in the item rework. Nocturne is now instead being played as a bruiser, and it is not doing him any justice.
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Why Is Nocturne Being Played As A Bruiser?
Currently, Nocturne opts into Stridebreaker as his mythic item. He compliments this with further bruiser items. Assassin items are nowhere to be found. Nocturne players don't even want to pick up Axiom Arc, which is on paper an amazing item for Nocturne.
The main reasons for this are the item rework and his outdated kit. Apart from his R – Paranoia, he doesn't have a gap closer. Due to this, he is reliant on sticking to his enemies.
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While he did this in the past by running at them really fast through his Q – Duskbringer path applied by enemies hit and his E – Unspeakable Horror passive move speed towards feared targets, he would often find himself outplayed by a flash or a dash.
To prevent champions from getting away, Nocturne can slow them additionally with Stridebreaker's active. Through this, he has turned into a durable fighter rather than a swift assassin – and this is just not as fun to play as the assassin variant.
It is safe to say that it really is time for Riot to do something about this. The mythic item removal ahead of season 14 might bring a premature end to this, but who is to say that he will not just equip a different bruiser build?
Nocturne is due for a rework. He might have lost the previous VGU votes, but that did not stop Riot from reworking Dr. Mundo either. Riot, please give Nocturne a new kit and allow him to shine in all the right ways!
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What do you think should Riot do with Nocturne? Let us know in the comments!