There’s been a rumble in the jungle as of late, and this time it’s not from Rumble.
Since the changes to Stridebreaker in Patch 11.13—which brought an end to the item’s heavy mobility yet offered extra power in return—some League of Legends champions have dominated their lanes and are now almost unstoppable. But no champion has benefitted more than Nocturne, who looks to be continuing with this brute force into the near future.
According to League stats site lolalytics, Nocturne’s premiere Stridebreaker build brought the champion to a 55.11-percent win rate in the jungle, placing him just behind Xin Zhao in terms of jungle effectiveness and proactivity. This win rate is also accompanied by a ban rate of around 30 percent and an even lower pick rate, though these stats don’t seem to be enough for Riot Games to address this champion’s strengths.
The only nerf accompanying Nocturne in the upcoming Patch 11.14 is a decrease on the healing he receives from minions in lane. This does not affect his jungle prowess in any capacity, rather relegating him specifically to the jungle and out of lane flexes which may complicate his win, ban, and pick percentages even further. This decrease in healing also doesn’t impact the damage Nocturne does to jungle camps. Combined with his Umbra Blades passive healing and various items built with Stridebreaker to supplement further healing, Nocturne might not be leaving the meta for a while.
Nocturne has not only been a menace in solo queue, but also within pro play as well. According to League’s Gamepedia page, Nocturne currently has a 74.7-percent win rate across 56 games in the LCS, ranging from picks across the mid and top lanes as well as the jungle. These stats remain true across other regions, though this powerful Nocturne build has fallen short of being as prevalent as Lee Sin. Regardless, Nocturne has been a successful flex pick and ban throughout the entirety of Patch 11.13 within pro play, and the lack of nerfs directly to his kit aren’t going to make him go away entirely.
In a dev blog posted last year regarding champion balance, Riot detailed that from Platinum III to Challenger, any champion that exceeds around a 50 to 53-percent win rate or has received a substantial increase to their ban rate is considered “overpowered” and subject to immediate nerfs. In recent months, however, this has not been the case with champions other than just Nocturne, such as Kai’Sa’s dominance throughout the beginning of the year or Lee Sin’s continued solo lane power.
While Nocturne’s solo lane days may be numbered, as long as Stridebreaker exists in its current form with Nocturne’s high mobility, damage, and crowd control, it’s unlikely that the Eternal Nightmare will be leaving the top of the jungle meta anytime soon.
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