Darius Build Guide by Sea Oh Oh El
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Darius Carry Us
against melee top
against AP top
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Use the bully like a bully
Darius' strength: 1v1 in lane. Not many champs have his trading potential, so early game trades are almost always in your favor if you play it right. Bully the hell out of people. If they have a built in sustain, that doesn't mean you should give up, it means you have to bully harder. This is because you don't have a built in sustain and if you don't bully...they will.
Darius' weaknesses: 1. Easily ganked. Solution: use trinket and buy a few wards. 2. No innate sustain and good waveclear costs much mana. Solution: Ravenous Hydra. I always build it on Darius. I usually add a sunfire cape just to speed things up even further.
Level 1: Land your Qs in the high damage area without pushing lane too hard.
Level 2: Get E. Land a Q, Land E and auto attack. Darius' E is useful for interrupting teleports, interrupting channeled attacks (katarina ult), setting up yasuo's ult, securing awesome kills at level 2 and 3. Also, if somehow you let the enemy push you under tower...pull their butt underneath that tower with you. At level 2 or 3, a single tower shot can win/lose lane. DARIUS' BLEED PASSIVE WILL PULL TOWER AGRO TO YOU...Don't forget that early game...lol
Level 3: Get Q again. If you opponent gets close enough, Q, E, auto, ignite. If you can't kill them at level 3, then you have lost your largest advantage. But that's ok. Don't be afraid to use flash even this early.
Level 4: Get W. Learn to use it as an auto-attack reset to maximize your damage. This also works against turrets.
Level 6: Look at how much damage your ult + ignite will do. Do not be afraid to flash at level six to get the kill because this is Darius' second best level to capitalize on.
Mid game: Hopefully you have completed Hydra, Boots, and some defensive items. You are NOT a tank at this point. You are a 1v1/1v2 king. KING. Sometimes (if still laning) even when I have my ward up and I see the enemy jungler, I'll bait him out because you get RESETS ON YOUR ULT if you kill someone with it. That combined with the AOE Q that darius has... sometimes leads to a double kill. Remember that junglers usually have less combat stats early/mid game than laners because they spent money on jungle items. This is useful in a 1v2 situation that you didn't expect. At least you can take the jungler with you if you die.
Late game: Now hopefully you are the tank. Unlike many top laners... you sadly have no way of diving to the back line to unleash your fury. You also do not do much damage to super tanks if you only have hydra (last whisper can help (I've even built The Black Cleaver in some matchups)). So here is the best way to win: Sell that dumb ward trinket that you have, buy a sweeper, and wait in a bush. I know it sounds dumb, but you have no gap close. You CAN however punish the enemy adc for stepping right next to you. Your full combo takes about...3 or 4 seconds. Combo to smash squishy people: Q auto W (auto more if needed) Hydra active Ult. That's it. That's easily 1.2k damage on someone with minimal armor. Also, since Q's cooldown gets really low by level 9, you might pull off 2 Qs in that combo.
Darius is bad against...good junglers. Sorry. WARD.
Darius is good agaist 1v1 wanna be's, melees in general, and singed (since he can't get away and you have waveclear)
Darius' E counts as a knock up and Yasuo can ult anyone that you pull.
Hexdrinker is good against AP tops even though it (sadly) delays that hydra buy a few minutes)
Movement speed is very important on darius which is why I usually get tier two boots immediately after hydra. Sometimes I even grab tier one boots before I finish hydra.
Darius is NOT a late game carry. Darius IS a early/mid game monster. Don't underestimate his bleed + ignite. Even level two, 3 blood stacks and ignite is about 140 damage. That's... more than an auto attack.
Why 9/21/0? Why not 21/9/0? Well...Even though I told you that damage is what makes Darius strong...If you don't go 21 in defense then late game will be terrible for you. You HAVE to prepare for that late game. Early game, you get damage items and that should be enough. Late game, you walk your tank butt to their back line and grab that enemy jinx that is blowing through your team. You need the 21 in defense. This is also why mercury treads are the best boot choice for him (with the only other option being ninja tabi).
Use your superior damage to scare your opponent away from the cs. This has a snowball effect. If you have 20 more cs than them, that's like having killed them (except they might still have the experience to be a higher level b/c they stayed in lane).
Why ignite and not teleport? Two major reasons. Major. I will never take teleport on darius for both reasons. 1. You get so many more kills early game with that extra 110 damage at level three. 2. You wish you were a split pushing god, but you aren't. You aren't Tryndamere or Yasuo or Zed or Jax. You don't have flashy escapes. You have walking and pulling. That is why split pushing is very hard on Darius. If you get caught, you die (though you'll likely take one enemy with you).
Darius can carry you out of Bronze. Darius can carry you out of silver (if you pick him in melee matchups and ward). Darius can be good in some higher skilled games (gold and higher), but since he lacks any get-away, he can be punished. That being said, at any elo, if you get ahead as Darius, YOU do the punishing.
-Sea Oh Oh El