Darius Build Guide by DEMACIA
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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.
Ironically, all of my main champs have been Demacian. Up until now. I have enjoyed playing Darius and I feel like I am mildly betraying my Demacian side (hahaha my name!) but regardless... :)
First published guide - this will be simple and to the point. Just wanting to share my build that I have been using and having much success with as Darius. I've been seeing many other Darius players building him straight AD with poor results. At first, that is how I thought to build Darius - I saw him as being another Garen. But upon trying him in a custom, I realized he lacks innate tankiness and sustain that Garen has. I have had to fight against many other Darius' and come out on top with this build - picking up the early kills needed to give Darius the early upperhand.
Darius has strong base damage and I feel excels best when built tankier so that he can come into a team fight second or third, do damage, maybe take a kill (not ALL the kills) and get out alive.
This is just what has worked for me - every game is different and so adjustments may need to be made according to what the team needs or what the enemy team's composition is.
Pros / Cons
- Strong base damage
- Spammable Q + stacks = terrific harass
- 'Dat true damage ult
- Easily kited
- Shut down by cc
- No escape mechanism
- Easily killed if built as an AD carry
- Requires mana monitoring
- Can be targeted
Greater Mark of Attack Damage x9
I feel that Darius ought to be played as a bruiser. With the built in armor pen % on his E, there is no real need to include more armor penetration marks. However, it is up to you. With
this build though, it helps to have the extra damage.
Greater Seal of Armor x9
Darius needs armor, and flat armor is generally a good choice for any top lane bruisers.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist x9
You can take flat MR glyphs if you prefer - I generally use these to help scale into late game as I don't tend to build magic resistance early game unless there is a good reason. I have played using flat MR and have found it to be a rather weak choice coming into mid/late game.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed or Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage x3
I actually prefer playing with Quints of Desolation for the early Armor pen. because I do not max E until late. However, quints of speed are also nice as Darius can always use the extra speed boost - he has no terrific gap closer and the range on his E isn't particularly long. However, you can swap in what you feel is needed. Quints of Strength are also a viable option, but I haven't personally used them.
Exhaust - I prefer to use Exhaust simply because it can aid you in chasing an enemy that is slipping from your reach, help you get away/lessen some incoming damage, and can also help your team catch and trap an enemy. I usually always take Ignite when I play, but I found that with Exhaust on Darius, it helped me pick up and secure kills much easier. Apprehend into Crippling Strike into Exhaust will keep an enemy from harming you as much, from getting away, and you should be able to quickly pick up the kill with Decimate, Hemorrhage stacks, and Noxian Guillotine.
Flash - No need to really explain, this is the "get out of jail free" summoner spell. You can get out of a tight spot, flash over a wall, and you can also use this to initiate, jump and surprise someone, moving into an Apprehend grab and offensive onslaught.
Ignite - If you would like to play particularly aggressive, or enemies seem to be getting away, or that annoying Soraka is getting away by healing at the last minute, this is your spell. This + Hemorrhage stacks will help you secure a kill.
Viable, but somewhat situational:
Heal - Can help Darius' lacking sustain. However, you shouldn't need this. A support ought to have this spell, and you should be playing cautiously enough to not need this spell. That is why I suggest taking Health Potions early to help with any healing you may need early on.
Ghost - Particularly in Dominion, this is a must. This can help as a mobility and gap closing tool, but isn't a first choice in traditional 5v5's or 3v3's.
Teleport - If you are solo laning, this is helpful for many reasons, but choose accordingly.
Smite - If you are jungling, take this spell, obviously. *I do not personally jungle, so I will not be able to include jungling information. There are other guides which can.
I start with Doran's Shield for a few reasons:
- Extra armor
- Extra health
- Health regen
Now these seem like minor things, but they help a bit in lane. First of all, extra armor and health will help keep Darius from being beaten down quite so quickly in lane. A lot of people like to take Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions, but unless I am laning against someone with skill shots or someone like Kennen, I find that Doran's Shield is a useful starting item to get Darius off to staying alive a little longer than he may otherwise. However, choose according to your opponent. If you face another bruiser or heavy AD fighter, then take Doran's Shield. If you face a highly mobile enemy, then take Boots of Speed and Health Potions.
Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potions
If possible, if I can get first blood, appropriate farm, or a pre level 4 kill, I go back and grab these items, and as soon as possible, a Vampiric Scepter.
Vampiric Scepter --> Wriggle's Lantern
Soon after, I complete my boots and then finish Vampiric Scepter - I build this into a Wriggle's Lantern for the early armor, lifesteal, and free ward. Some would say this is unnecessary, but if lane is going decently, it will help Darius with his early survivability quite a bit, as well as with his farming and jungling capability.
Phage + Zeal
After this, I grab either Phage or Zeal, depending on the other team and how lane is going. Take Phage if you need more bulk and attack damage, take Zeal if you are having trouble catching up to enemies. I usually end up building both Phage and Zeal before buying Trinity Force as it is an expensive item and Darius benefits from both of the above items. I simply alternate which one I buy first depending on how the game or lane is going.
Boots of Swiftness
I've been taking Boots of Swiftness for the extra mobility across the map and for chasing. This is what I use for Garen and have found it to work for Darius as well. However, it should be kept in mind that enemy team composition should always come to mind when choosing boots.
If you face a lane or a team with more than 1 or 2 CC heavy champions, you must take these. Darius is easily trapped, and with no real escape mechanism, this can become a real problem.
I tend to take these in a 3v3 if faced with 2/3 AD enemy team - the extra mobility is not really needed with the small size of the TT map.
Mid-game to Late-game Items
I finish Phage or Zeal into this - I build this item simply because it offers movement speed, attack damage, health, and has a built in slow - all of these help Darius significantly. It gives him a small amount of AD power and will help him in mid-game. From here on, you can focus building armor and tankier items to allow you to survive. Darius has terrific base AD, and as he should not be the primary AD carry, it should be okay to do this.
Helps add extra bulk and tankiness to Darius - helping to make him less appealing for targeting, or if he is being targeted, will help him stay alive a little longer.
I build this before Warmog's if a team is heavy AD and Darius is being skewered by the enemy team. The active slow is also a nice touch, as well as an increased chance to slow an enemy.
Force of Nature
Synergizes nicely with Warmog's, adds movement speed, and tons of MR. Pick up this item if you are getting bursted down by mages and face a magic-heavy team.
If you are having no problems staying alive, have plenty of kills and a balanced team, this item is a nice touch. I choose it over Infinity Edge simply because Darius has no abilities that scale off crit and this is a cheaper alternative.
This is a stronger choice than Bloodthirster simply because if you have been building Darius in a tanky manner, this will offer good returns in AD, as well as give you even more armor, plus a little bit of crit. chance.
Optional and Situational items:
Hexdrinker into Maw of Malmortius
For that annoying Karthus or Garen ult. I have seen a Darius build this in hopes of countering other Darius ults. This doesn't exactly work, as the true damage still hits hard. If you see this happen, simply wait for the shield to disappear - it only lasts for 5 seconds, and then ult.
If you choose not to build Trinity Force, turn Phage into this. This is a strong item and will help if you need earlier sustainability. Also makes chasing that much easier.
If you choose not to build Trinity Force, turn Zeal into this. However, I would discourage a Phantom Dancer because the critical chance is not sorely needed and there are stronger items to help Darius stay alive.
If you are getting focused more often then not, if a game is going longer than expected, this will help give you a second chance in a team fight. Keep in mind that running around with a Guardian Angel is no excuse to be out of position late game - you are not invincible.
Tryndamere + Garen + Xin Zhao ... just plain AD heavy team? That Sivir and Ashe out of control? Make them take back some of their punch with this item. Remember that this item does not stack - it's passive is unique.
In general, I build Darius similarly to the way I would build Lee Sin or a typical bruiser. A glass cannon Darius will get gunned down the second he shows his head in battle, and a full tank Darius will do nothing but killsteal with Noxian Guillotine.