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Darius Build Guide by Phil Collins

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Phil Collins

Darius: Because Demacia is Overrated. (Season 5 update)

Phil Collins Last updated on May 4, 2015
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Introduction

Hello my friends, and welcome to my Darius guide. I hope you will learn a lot about Darius in this guide and that you will continue to go on maniacal rampages decapitating people with Darius.

Also I am going to keep this guide as simple as possible because most guides on this site cater towards fuccbois and downies so please do apply some critical thinking to playing this game as you are reading this guide, do not expect me to lay out obvious info such as what to buy against a certain champion.


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Pros / Cons

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Pros:
- High damage without items
- Hard to be countered
- Damage is easily applied
- True damage nuke
- Great counterjungling
- Difficult to disengage from
- Extremely low mana costs
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Cons:
- No natural tankiness
- Easily focused
- Easily ganked
- Easily kited
- No gap closers
- Can put own team behind
- Picked on by the ranged


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Runes

Season 5 requests tankier champs so these runes should help.

9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage Easier last hitting and damage
9x Greater Seal of Scaling Health runes scale super hard into mid game
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Personal pref, can take flat MR
3x Greater Quintessence of Armor flat armor seals are **** now so get these instead

But... but... Greater Seal of Armor???
That rune is obsolete as of now beacuse it only gives you 9 armor which is trash considering the amount of options we have for that slot. Scaling armor seals are also trash because you will have 30 armor at level 1 which means if you ever try to trade you will get wrecked.

Also Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is trash on Darius because that extra movespeed wont save you from getting ganked, and you get movespeed from triforce anyway


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Masteries

I like to go 9/21/0 on Darius. Why? 21/9/0 would make Darius too squishy to be effective. 0/21/9 is not an ideal choice either because you would have no damage. 9/21/0 gives you some damage with tankiness that will make you stay durable for the rest of the game.

Masteries
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
1/3
1/1
1/1
4/4
1/1


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Skills



Hemorrhage

Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed for 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 / 36 (+0.3 per bonus attack damage) magic damage over 5 seconds. This effect stacks up to five times.

Darius gains 5% movement speed for each bleeding enemy champion.


This is a great passive that is extremely damaging and will often drop your targets unnoticeably quickly. This is the heart of Darius' kit. It will help Crippling Strike and Noxian Guillotine (which I will explain later) while also making Darius harder to itemize against due to it dealing magic damage. Abuse this passive in the laning phase, it wins lanes by a huge amount. It's also a 5 second DoT, so you can actually kill someone even if they escaped.

Also, the movespeed will make you harder to kite. Try to get 1 stack of Hemorrhage on each target when teamfighting.




Decimate

Darius swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemies struck by the shaft take 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage) physical damage. Champions struck by the blade take 105 / 157.5 / 210 / 262.5 / 315 (+1.05 per bonus attack damage) physical damage.

I really like this skill due to the fact that it deals such a high amount of damage with a decent range. Getting a feel for the "danger zone" will be one thing you should do as it deals a high amount of burst damage. Use this skill to quickly apply Hemorrhage to all enemies in teamfights for the increased movespeed, or to quickly harass the enemy laner and back off. When the enemy is low, combo a Decimate > Noxian Guillotine for a stylish finisher with high burst damage.




Crippling Strike

Darius's next attack severs a crucial artery, dealing 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 % additional physical damage. As the target bleeds out, their movement and attack speeds are slowed by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 % for 2 seconds. Crippling Strike's cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target.

I really like this ability as it makes dueling Darius a nightmare and you can permaslow people with the cooldown reduction passive. A quick Apprehend into Crippling Strike is a good way to get people into your comfort zone and unload on them, or to make them tank tower shots. In teamfights, try to land this on the enemy diver when they dive onto your AD carry, Crippling Strike will reduce their damage by a high amount.

Remember, the ability resets your autoattack timer so use it right after you hit someone with a basic attack to maximize damage output.





Apprehend

Darius hones his axe, granting him 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 % passive armor penetration. When activated, Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook and pulls them to him.

A fairly simple spell that grabs all enemies in front of Darius. One thing to note is that you can grab people regardless of whether there are minions blocking you or not. When you engage on an enemy, don't use Apprehend first. Use Crippling Strike and Apprehend them if they start getting away.

The armor penetration is also a useful factor for Darius it means he won't have to itemize for armor penetration that much.




Noxian Guillotine

Darius leaps to an enemy Champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing 160 / 250 / 340 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage) true damage. This damage increases by 20% for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target up to a maximum of 320 / 500 / 680 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) true damage. If Noxian Guillotine deals a killing blow, its cooldown is refreshed for 12 seconds.

One of the best ultimates out there. A true damage execute with 680 base damage which refreshes on kill? Yes! This skill is what makes Darius so lethal, the snowballing and power packed within this skill is enormous. Abuse it often to get kills as you will be extremely ahead. Make sure to get some killing blows as the cooldown refreshes on each kill, enabling you to nuke your enemies extremely hard.

Keep track of the opponents health, as the earlier you execute the faster you can attack other enemies or retreat. One thing to note is that 1 bar of health = 100 health.

Sometimes, if an opponent is too tanky but needs to die, you won't have to execute them with Noxian Guillotine. Simply apply 5 stacks of Hemorrhage and drop them low with Noxian Guillotine. You can use this tactic in a desperate attempt to immediately drop someone to low health.

Also, if you are sure you can kill your opponent without the use of your ultimate, do so to save mana and prevent the 12 second refresh.


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Summoner Spells

I take Flash and Smite/ Teleport

Flash is core on everyone. I can't stress how much Flash has helped me in game. You can do a Flash / Apprehend or escape easily.

Smite for jungling.

Teleport is now the meta summoner spell for top lane. You need this for dragon/baron pressure and bot lane control.

Ignite is still viable but if you do go ignite that's fine and all since you have better kill potential but wait until the enemy top lane teleports to bot lane, ****s your team, and gets dragon. Then you'll regret taking ignite.

Ghost if you want to get to skirmishes quicker or you somehow hate Flash. I don't really like this spell on Darius though, with all the slows in this game you won't get to a target/escape without using Flash


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Items

Starting items:
Starting items are an essential part of the early game as it basically defines the advantage or disadvantage you have against your enemy.
Aggressive early start against weak lanes in order to snowball.

Use if you need to play passive against hard lanes/AP

Another passive start against hard AD and ranged harass.



Boots:
Boots are a big part of what makes a full build on a champion. The extra mobility really helps getting to places a lot faster, along with many extra bonuses that come along with it. Finish them only when you have extra gold.

Usually the boots to buy on Darius. Don't rush it or else you'll put yourself behind because of its lackluster stats. Get some items first beforehand.

Don't buy this until your first major item because it's too expensive. If you need mr buy Hexdrinker or Spectre's Cowl.

I would only recommend this if you go jungling, as the extra mobility can help you get to camps faster and you can gank more.



Damage options:
Damage items are for when you feel like you need more damage over defense, which will give you exactly what you asked for, damage. Often times you would buy a damage item if you killed your lane opponent a few times, or you have high CS.
New BC is really good because combined with Frozen Heart you can reach 40% CDR. Also extra health is tasty. Great item if you don't have much tanks or if you can't afford to go full damage. If you are, triforce may be a better option.
Go to item to finish first if you are snowballing. Solves all of Darius' problems of being kited, having slow attack speed and catching up to people
Seriously not that bad on Darius because of all the raw stats it provides. If you think about it 20 flat ArPen is extremely overpowered. Plus, the active is nice for anti-kite. Blade of the Ruined King is also a viable alternative.
Combined with The Black Cleaver, Apprehends passive, and Weapon Expertise , you can say goodbye to any of your enemies attempts to build armor.



Defensive options:
Defensive options are often what makes you able to last through fights and duels. You would want to buy at least two defensive items to ensure you live through destroying the enemy. It is also a good idea to build defensive items as Darius when you are losing your lane.

Extremely overpowered right now combined with Thornmail because they're both cheap as ****. Rush as a second defensive item.
If you ever need armor this should be your first choice. Frozen heart offers CDR which Darius desperately needs. The extra mana will also allow you to use your spells more often since Darius has a low mana pool
The other armor item that every tank wants. Go for it if you need even more armor. Outclasses Sunfire Cape by a huge margin.

Randuins has seen better days but it's still an okay item. It's no longer mandatory unless the enemy team is all AD.
The only MR item viable on Darius since a lot of stats from Spirit Visage are wasted on him and Locket of the Iron Solari is built by supports and tanks, not you.



Other items:


This is trash on Darius now because you won't ever stick to your targets enough for the passive to be worth buying on him.


This item is alright but I wouldn't recommend it at higher ELO because auto-push is a no no. You can trade extremely well but the drawbacks are too risky. I'd recommend The Bloodthirster over hydra if you want some jackpot damage.


If you are snowballing against a strong AP then definitely buy this item, but sell it later.


Never buy this **** item. You pay for a lot more than it's actually worth. If you need damage from Hexdrinker sell it for a real damage item like Last Whisper.


Only get this against heavy CC/suppress


Viable item if you can't close out the game but honestly wasted on Darius because you'll usually die in the middle of the fight as bruiser with no escape, rendering your GA passive irrelevant.


THE most broken item ATM, believe it or not anyone can use the item because of the stupid active. Get this if you wanna **** with the enemy team.


Possible snowball item when you are fed to hell and are looking for some big ticket damage and lifesteal when you're gonna be 1v2ing often. Why BT but not Hydra? Simple, the passive from BT is much better because it is a source of defense. If you think about it Darius only needs to survive long enough for the 5 stacks of Hemorrhage to do enough damage for him to dunk. It also gives 8% more lifesteal and 5 more AD and that is much more bang for your buck considering the fact that hydra is only 200g cheaper.


Good jungle item on Darius. Ranger's Trailblazer is also viable but the extra slow will help you gank much easier as a champion with no gap closer. Upgrade to the warrior enchantment or cinderhulk depending on what your team needs.


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Early Game

Contrary to a popular belief, Darius is not invincible at levels 1-3. If you spam your skills you will push your lane and this is bad considering that the meta revolves around tank junglers with heavy CC who will gank you to no tomorrow. You should assess your opponent first and play accordingly. Once you have a few ranks in your Q you can start playing aggressive and going in for kills. Don't be afraid to 1v2 if their jungler is low and your enemy laner is low as well.

You should start Decimate level 1 since it's ranged and does the most damage, level Crippling Strike second to trade better and Apprehend at level 3 so you have access to your full combo.

The reason why you are not that strong at early levels is because of resources. Decimate costs 40 mana for damage that is not guaranteed to hit, able to push the lane unintentionally, and may not hit for max damage. Your base mana at level 1 is 263 so Decimate will effectively cost you 15% of your mana which is a lot of mana. You also only gain 27 mana per level and you have other skills to cast as well.


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Mid Game

Darius is pretty strong at the point of the game. You would have your first or second item already and you have huge kill and catching potential. As a top laner, you need to pressure your opponent by pushing to his tower constantly (assuming you're not behind in gold) and then either taking your tower or teleporting to dragon with your team. You need to ward deep and know where the enemy jungler is so that you can push hard without getting ganked. If you ever see the enemy jungler at top run back and teleport to your team so you can take dragon, assuming that they are competent enough to know that taking dragon while the enemy do not have their jungler nearby is a wise idea.

If your team does not need help and you are ahead, you should push your lane and take top, and 1v2 if you ever need to since Darius has the potential to do so. You can do this better if you have tanky items.

During teamfights, if you have a tanky jungler alongside you, you should play frontline and kill their bruisers because Darius counters bruisers super hard with his Crippling Strike and bleed. However you will transition to a peeler late game because if you play frontline during late game you will get melted in 2 seconds.


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Late Game

Generally Darius falls off at this point because his damage is too low and he is not tanky enough to survive a significant amount of damage to be effective. You should however, peel for your ADC since your pull and slow is actually a good way of peeling. Your ult can also swiftly kill divers, allowing your ADC to survive and carry the game for you.


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Lane match-ups

Easy champs:


You can press an early advantage when Cho has no items and dunk him, but don't expect yourself to get extremely fed because he'll just stack defense against you.


You win straight up, his heal will not save him from your damage at all because Hemorrhage does so much damage. If ur having trouble with his crit just build early health and bam he's useless. His level 1 is super strong though so be careful.


You probably won't ever kill him post-6 but early on he's squishy as hell with no trading potential whatsoever. Just don't get hit by his Q's all day and you win.


Olaf just sucks now. Decimate will wreck him very hard because he can't return harass without running OOM. If he goes in and Reckless Swings you then he would still lose because your bleed will out-dps all of his damage, along with your Crippling Strike nullifying almost all his damage since Olaf is autoattack reliant. If he misses an axe then jump him. Even if he ults he loses the bonus armor and MR so you would wreck him even harder. If he builds tank then you build tank.


Lee used to be able to beat you but after all his nerfs he's pretty trash as a top laner. The Lee's who max W against you are smarter but that would mean they have no damage. Play aggressive against him and don't get hit by all his Q's and it's a lane for you.


Easy lane. You can face tank all his **** and he'll never kill you. Although his E harass hurts a lot later on so you'll probably end up farming the lane. But if you ever get a good hook on him he's a dead man.


He does no damage compared to you and he can never run away from you because of your pull and him having no escape. The ones who build damage will get utterly destroyed by you because you simply outdamage him. Wukongs who build tank are smarter but you still won't lose to them if you build tanky as well.


Yasuo takes it up the anus in this lane so just build damage and kill him everytime you have a chance to do so.

Even or challenging lanes:


You can force trades early against aatrox because he won't sustain enough to survive your damage. Don't be afraid to pop his passive with ignite because you won't need it to kill him after his passive because he revives with less than 30% of his health.


You destroy akali but that's only if you don't get Q procced all day. Your decimate will outrange her auto so just harass. Once she trades with you post-6 you better have a hexdrinker or else you'll get dominated. If you do have one though proceed to dunk her face everytime she comes back to lane.


Fiora isn't that hard but she severely outdamages you at levels 1-3. What you should do is survive first few levels, go back and buy armor + 2 dorans and teleport back to lane. Then rush thornmail after. She now does jack **** to your health and you can dunk her easily.



Honestly depends on whether the Garen builds defense or damage. Tank garens usually get dominated, but you need to watch out for brutalizer + dorans garens because they WILL out damage you and kill you with their ult. So build according to their items and play passive when needed. When you have armor Garen does jack **** to you so itemize if needed. Your ult is also up more often than his so keep track of when he uses his ult.



You dump on her but when you get stunned into a bad trade you're going to get ****ed really hard. So make sure she never has minion advantage on you. If you're both level 9 and you haven't killed her once in lane or are not out-csing her by a large margin, she will utterly destroy you in trades so make use of her weak early game and press an advantage.



Jarvan will poke you endlessly but he loses 1 on 1 fights. Force fights often and make sure to stock up on pots + armor or else he'll burst your *** when you're too low on health.



Even though there is no way Darius will ever lose to Jax, I still put him here because if you ever leave lane and let Jax farm and take your tower, don't ever 1v1 him unless you are significantly ahead or else you will lose and fall further and further behind as Jax outscales you. All you have to do early is mash Q on his *** since he cannot dodge it and force his dodge without using your hook. Once he's used it, hook him back and chop his head off.


You go even with Renekton if he knows what he's doing but if you ever catch him without his dash you win the trade. However as the game goes on it will become harder to kill him and honestly even if you stomp a renekton he can still build tank and be more useful than you. Don't let renekton first blood you or he will out-sustain, out-trade, out-tank and out-cs you.


If you get cheesed by rengar at levels 1-3 you automatically lose so just survive. Since most rengars build damage early what you can do is have a couple of dorans blades, and rush frozen heart or thornmail and let your base damages do the work. Not only will rengar be unable to kill you but you can kill him because he is squishy as **** and ignite + hemmorhage will be more than enough to destroy the guy.


Riven's a pain in the *** early but once you get some armor you will dominate her. Farm for the first few levels and keep your lane slow-pushed so she can't just faceroll her keyboard and snowball the hell out of you.


Pantheon is honestly pretty easy once you survive the first few levels and get yourself some health. Basically once you back for double dorans + ruby crystal you can just port back and kill him. Once you get a kill on Panth he will never catch up to you again. However if you get first blooded prepare to experience a world of pain.


Singed is pretty easy since he has no response to your harass. However after Singed has a few items I suggest farming because he will tank all your damage, kite you to hell and possibly even kill you. So press an early advantage or you will have a hard time.


Farm lane. Not much there is to this lane. He can Q-poke you all day but that would mean he's losing CS since you should be pushing against a champ like shen who can't last hit under tower. If he ults then take all his ****.


Trynd is easy but you need to farm the first few levels or else he'll cheese you and win the lane. But after your first back he's figuratively free food until he starts outscaling you.


You need to return harass against udyr because he has much higher damage than you early on. But now that tiger does physical damage it is possible to beat him in lane if you build armor and let Hemorrhage do the work.


All you have to do this lane is know the cooldown of his flamespitter. When it's down, trade with him. Pretty easy to dunk this guy if you catch him without his cooldowns. If he all-in ults you and uses flamespitter then you need to flash away because trust me, it's going to kill you quicker than you think.


All depends on the Zed. If he's a passive one who pokes you and only uses his W to run, then you're gonna get raped because once you're too low he can easily come in and finish you. However, if he's an aggressive Zed then you will destroy him. This is because the only thing Darius can't deal with is poke. If Zed blows hiw W to harass and you hook him he's basically dead.

Also, if you rush damage against Zed you're asking to lose the lane.


DO NOT underestimate Reksais damage. Trust me whenever I play reksai top people get raped all the time because they get tunnel baited and chunked in 3 seconds. You need to fight reksai in your minions because if you don't he can burst you really hard. However, don't be afraid of him. If he tunnels into a bad fight he can't escape so make sure you aren't under 70% health. This lane is basically going to be an extreme kill lane.

Also DO NOT try to destroy his tunnels after he tried gap closing onto you once. Because once you step on it he can tunnel back again when you're trying to destroy it and he can kill you because of it.

Hard lanes:


Most people think Darius would counter Nasus because of his damage but this is not true. This is because your harass pushes the lane, exactly what Nasus would want. He also lifesteals through your harass and you can't harass forever because of your mana costs. Nasus also rushes armor naturally and you won't ever do damage to him later on regardless if you built tank or damage.



The definition of a cancer champion. Jayce will endlessly poke you with a nuke and all-in you once you're too low on health. In order to counter this, you should return aggression against him if he's too close to you. You almost must never be pushed to your tower or else you will miss CS while getting harassed. What you can do here though is hope the Jayce is bad and take Ghost against him. Because if you ghost after his knockback he cannot escape from you and you will be able to dunk him.



Kayle is pretty stupid because she kites you to hell and back and you can't do anything about it. But if you hook her she has a chance of dying if her Q isnt up. Also, if you push your lane constantly and hit 6 before her, you have a small window of opportunity to kill her. Once you hit 6, all in her *** and dunk on 5 stacks + ignite and hope you get the kill. Otherwise, just farm, sustain and ask your jungler for help.



The unkillable lightning squirrel who somehow is a mage+initiator+autoattacker all in one. You pretty much won't ever kill this guy unless he screws up in your melee range. Again, farm, sustain, ask your jungler for help.



Malphite is the epitome of annoying since he can max Q with a couple of Doran's Rings which allows him to harass AND kite your ***. Once he's done poking you a quick ult + E + Q combo will render you dead. Not to mention he can rush armor if all else fails.


Maokai is similar to Malphite but you have bigger kill potential on him because he can't just ult away if you ever catch him in a bad spot. However he does have more sustain and do not underestimate his burst damage because if he snares you in his wave you're in for a bad time. His ult pretty much counters your whole kit too.


Sion is a bit weaker now that his E got nerfed. He's easier earlier on but again, he's still going to be an unkillable juggernaut if you don't keep check of his gold income. So you better snowball or it's going to bite you on the *** later on.


The dragon woman is truly a pain in the ***. Some shyvs will take free harass from you and you can generally stomp them. But once you go against a shyv who realizes that her Burnout + E proc severely outdamages you pre-6 then you better not do anything stupid. The new cinderhulk shyvana build also counters you because you can't kill her while she does 10000000 damage per second to you.


Don't be fooled by the fact that he's an autoattack reliant champion. Even though you win extended trades, Xin will absolutely destroy you in quick trades because he bursts much harder than you do. You only have a chance at level 6 if he hasn't backed yet or else you're in for a world of hurt.


Vayne is similar to quinn in the sense that she gets to harass you out of lane starting from level 1 and have self-peel. Good vaynes will usually destroy you completely. However in my experience Vayne is easier to beat than quinn because the key to beating vayne is to never be in a position where she can run away to a safe position. This does not work with quinn because her ult will save her from all situations.

What I mean by this is that IMMEDIATELY after you successfully land a hook on her, walk to her side before attacking her. Assuming that this is early laning, this means that you are effectively either forcing her to run to top lane river to kite you or towards the wall near the bushes at top lane, in which she has nowhere to go because you can't get kited if she cannot move away. Any vayne that tries to run back to tower will also get wrecked because she has to cover more distance than you have to. If she runs towards the river ping your jungler to gank her and proceed to swiftly separate her head from her body.


Hecarim top is the dumbest thing to ever happen to league of legends. You might think that you win trades because he's squishy but this isn't true. It's easy levels 1-3 but it all stops there. Hecarim's sustained damage is much higher than yours and if you hook yourself into a bad fight you won't escape from him due to his double gap closer. Oh yeah, and the icing on the cake is that he outscales you dramatically. Have fun.

Impossible difficulty:


Ranged harass, sustain, autoattack steroid, combined with a HUGE range gap-closer, execute AND on-demand escape? Nidalee is pretty much everything Darius hates facing against. Don't ever pick Darius into this cancerous abomination of a champion.


You will get utterly destroyed by his poison + blind and infinite shrooms. A good teemo will never let you hook him and he will have shrooms around him even if you do manage to hook and attempt to chase him. Pepper your angus.



If you hook him before his mid game spike you will wreck him, but later on you are almost guaranteed to be going to be pushed out of lane because of his infinite harass + sustain while being f*cking resourceless.



It doesn't get much more easy mode for him than this.


Another ranged champion with easy ranged harass and CC to prevent you from ever getting to her. You have a chance if you time your hook perfectly on the moment she is about to jump to her E, otherwise get ready to be harassed all day while receiving little to no farm whatsoever.


Your biggest counter as of now. His boomerang spam and autoattack steroid will dominate you because your hook range is not within his range at all. Even if you do hook him he can jump away and kite you once again. And if you ever try to 1v1 him he turns into mega mode, stuns you for eternity and proceeds to destroy you. You're never gonna get farm nor kills against this guy.


Fuck this champion.


You lose.


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Final Thoughts

Guide updated for season 5 for the first time in 3 years. GLHF with your Darius endeavours.

On a side note:

Lord Darius = pros
Woad King Darius = pros
Bioforge Darius = intermediates
Dunkmaster Darius = noobs