Darius Build Guide by Treppan
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Aight. This guide here? It's nowhere close to definitive, should not be considered authoritative, and isn't made by a "pro" or high-ELO ranked player.
It's just me collecting my thoughts and experience so far with a very new, very fun-to-play champ. Oh, yeah, this is also my first LoL guide.
That said, if you have any requests, criticisms or contributions, feel free to comment (with an explanation, preferably--just saying "omg u buy ___? nooblord" isn't helpful, but is entirely within your right). If you find this guide helpful, awesome. If it sucks, feel free to call me a dumb-*** nooblord and tell me to uninstall. I ain't gonna be mad.
About that Darius fellow...
Darius is (as of this writing) the newest champion in League of Legends.
He's a hard-hitting melee fighter, who is pretty "feast or famine," and requires some balls to play with any effectiveness.
Darius can (and often should) solo top, though he often needs the support of a good jungler to do so (I recommend Nautilus or Lee Sin). Entirely capable of very early kills (you can get First Blood more often than not), he can dominate early, and generally end a game before it gets very far. However, Darius can be zoned very easily, especially early, and you'll have a hard time with any champs that can stun, harass from long range, or most two-person combinations, though these can be overcome with a mix of patience and careful aggression.
Laning (Bot, 2 Top):
Paired up with another champ, Darius gets a little less fed, meaning it'll be a little while before he starts stomping the other team. However, there's safety in numbers, meaning you're less likely to do the feeding yourself. Your best choices for a lane buddy are a support with good heals, or anyone with strong CC--Darius excels when he can be aggressive without fear, or when enemies are held in place, letting him stack his passive. Bursty damage is also good, but laning with another item-dependent character (generally any AD carry) means one of you is going to be a little starved. You can help this by buying a Philo stone (which won't hurt, believe me), and letting them get most of the last-hits.
Supposedly entirely doable, with early lifesteal, but I wouldn't recommend it... Yet. Darius is good at ganking, but I can't see him being a very fast jungler. I'll probably experiment with this or find some other guides as they come up.
Pros / Cons
[+]Hits like a truck.
[+]Decent range for a melee champ.
[+]Is intimidating when fed, much like LeBlanc.
[+]Enemy team agreed to a surrender with 5 votes for and 0 against.
[-]Can be easily zoned and harassed by range.
[-]Has no escape ability.
[-]Relies heavily on farm and items, starves without kills.
[-]Can KS like a mofo, which may be a pro if you're kind of a ****.
I've seen many builds criticized for a few things that don't make sense to me. In light of that, I imagine some of the same concerns would arise over my build. Here, I'll try to preemptively answer a few of them, and respond to others if they come up.
"Darius has passive ArPen, (or 10% from masteries) why would you get ArPen runes, or Black Cleaver?"
First, that's like saying a champ has high base AD, and wondering why someone still buys a B.F. sword.
Secondly, his "passive" ArPen is from a levelled ability ( Apprehend), which for many people, sits at 5% for most of the game, slowly increasing to 25% late game. Likewise, the ArPen offered by masteries is a mere 10%.
Percentage ArPen is nothing to laugh at, but is only really strong against tanks. Flat ArPen however, is incredibly strong, especially early game.
With your Apprehend at level 1 (Champion level 2-14, for most people), if your opponent has 60 Armor, you'll be negating a whopping 3 armor. Yep. With Masteries taken into account, you'll be at a game-breaking ... 9 armor negated.
Runes, on the other hand, will be negating 22+ armor at LEVEL ONE. This is huge. In fact, the ONLY champion with more than 22 armor at level one is... Darius. You'll be hitting any other champ that doesn't buy armor or have armor masteries for TRUE DAMAGE at level 1, making you incredibly mean. First Blood is easy.
Now, throw The Black Cleaver into the mix. One whack from Black Cleaver does 15 ArPen, beating the level 1 Apprehend by 12 armor negated.
Two whacks is 30, beating end-game Apprehend armor penetration of a non-tank by 5 armor.
Three whacks is 45, matching the end-game Apprehend armor penetration of a tank champ.
Four and five whacks are 60 and 75 respectively...
A champ will probably have around 90 armor around the time you reach the Black Cleaver. Even without runes, 4 or 5 whacks with Black Cleaver have you doing True damage to non-tank champions. With runes, 5 whacks puts you at true damage until they have more than 97 armor (many champs don't ever get that high without sacrificing other items).
In summary: Flat ArPen is mean as hell.
What about survivability?
It seems, to me, many people think that since Darius looks like a Noxian Garren, that he should play like one. This isn't exactly the case.
He has pretty high natural armor and HP. Sure, if he gets focused, he drops... But no amount of HP or Armor is going to save you from focusing or anyone determined to kill you. However, ending them in seconds, or scaring them away when a single attack nearly drops them (and they know Noxian Guillotine isn't far behind)? That's a pretty good way to survive. Just don't go tower diving or rushing solo into team fights, and you'll be fine. I very rarely think "Gee, I wish I had more HP" as Darius--if I'm getting hit too hard, Ninja Tabi, Maw of Malmortius, and Frozen Heart are all I ever seem to need. Obviously, Mercury's Treads, as explained below, are great against heavy CC or being laned against hard-hitting AP. Mitigation beyond 50% or so is wasted itemization, and the only HP item you'll need is a Frozen Mallet, late game, at worst.
Where's all the crit?
Crit's nice, don't get me wrong. The math would say that you get more DPS out of crit than straight AD... if you were auto-attacking everyone, and using your Crippling Strike every CD. However, in team fights and harassment, Decimate is king, and Noxian Guillotine will dominate later. Neither move benefits from crit, while all (including Crippling Strike) benefit from straight-up AD. That said, if you want a little crit late game, buy an Infinity Edge, starting with the B.F. Sword.
My rune choices are pretty straightforward.
Greater Mark of Desolation Armor Pen marks are very strong, especially early and mid game, letting you hit many champs for nearly-True damage early on, which makes all the difference in the world. It also helps a little with tanks, and negates the Cloth Armor you might find on some champs (like many junglers).
Armor is incredibly useful, at all stages of the game. Especially when soloing top, or having to square off against another hard-hitting AD champ, this can give you a pretty huge edge (or make things fair) when trading blows or just trying to survive.
Magic Resist is important, especially late game. These can be just enough to save your *** once the enemy's AP characters start getting meaner.
I use two of these, early-on, almost out of superstition and habit. They provide a tiny bit more MR early-game, but aren't really worth much later game. You can go with 9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist if you prefer.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor pen is king, and these are pretty great, especially compared to most other Quints.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Greater Quintessence of GoldSwapping one of the Desolation quints for one of these isn't a terrible idea, but it's really up to you. Most of these are early-game benefits, and the Avarice quint will really only net you about 300-500g over the course of a game (but hey, that's nothing to scoff at).
The masteries are pretty straightforward.
Straight-up AD tree, plus Cooldown Reduction (since Darius is damn near a caster with how much he relies on abilities). If so inclined, you can drop the CDR for more points in MR or health regen.
The items listed with this guide are only a base. Please don't follow this build exactly, every game.
(Or: Why the hell should I buy these items?)
Boots are pretty standard, they let you move fast, have a slightly better chance of escaping or dodging skillshots, and either give you an edge, or take away the opponent's edge, when it comes time to chase. Without boots, you'll be boned.
The health potions give you that much more sustain early game. Hopefully you'll have some lifesteal or be dominating too much to care shortly after they run out, but until then, they'll let you keep in the lane, which is important.
This item won't be built up until later, but this is much more affordable than the B.F. sword you'll be getting later (letting you become intimidating much sooner), and more efficient than Longsword.
Without this, you'll need to recall much more frequently.
Combined with the passive ArPen from Apprehend, and your runes and masteries, you'll be hitting most champs for nearly True damage, and hitting tanks much harder than they'd expect, often sending even a Rammus running after a few swings.
A nice source of AD (especially the passive on Maw, when things get tight), and plenty of MR with a magic-absorbing shield? Yes, please. This will save you from all kinds of nukes, and lessen annoyances like Teemo shrooms, poisons, or effects like Karthus's ult.
This is nearly just a convenient way to get your Vampiric Scepter and some more AD to take up only a single item slot, but the snowball effect can get mean once you're on a roll. Don't skip this item just because you're dying--the 900g to turn your Scepter and B.F. Sword
into this item also nets you 15 AD and 2% lifesteal, and you can always just farm minions or jungle to charge it up.
The build above is going to serve you well most of the time. However, here's some alternatives or supplements, and when to buy them.
Obviously, if you're laning against enough magic damage or CC to threaten you, go with Merc's instead of Ninja Tabi.
These items are great if you're going against heavy AD, and CDR is pretty awesome on Darius. The AoE attack speed reduction of Frozen Heart is nothing to laugh at, especially against an annoying Kayle, Teemo, [[Tryndamere, or Ashe.
700 HP, and a guaranteed slow? This will ensure more kills than you think, and if you think about it, an Ignite is only 400 damage, so that health makes at least that much difference.
If the enemy team is building Thornmail, adding some more lifesteal (especially for your whole team) can make it much less painful for you. Additionally, your team has that much more of an edge in teamfights. Don't worry about this until later game, or if Thornmail is becoming a problem.
Buy this earlyish, if laning with someone who also needs a ton of gold (like most AD carries), or if you're finding yourself getting zoned easily. The health regen and mana regen are great early-game, too. Wait to sell it until you have to, but it'll be obsolete by the time you really need the slot.
Ehh. I'm not so sure on this one, but it'd let you spam abilities much more often, and in the end, hit a little harder. I'm really not sure when you'd buy this, but feel free to experiment.
Some items just aren't a good choice for Darius. At least, not the way I play him.
Basically anything with crit is a waste on Darius, in most cases. Most of your damage comes from ability use, with maybe a handful of auto-attacks landing on enemy champs at best per encounter. You can buy an Infinity Edge late game (starting with BF sword), if you're absolutely dominating, as just a little extra "**** You" to your enemy. Though, at that point, another Bloodthirster would probably do best.
Same as crit items... you just won't be doing all that much damage with autoattacks. Just pump strength and let your ArPen do the talking to tough targets.
You're not a tank, and you'll never really be that much of a tank. Sure, you're capable of building like one, but you give up so much of your raw damage--which you need more, even in situations like solo top.
More to come...
The following combination works best for me, with just about any AD champ:
Heal is nearly a must, it allows you to be seriously aggressive, and suddenly turn the tide when it comes to trading blows (this is especially effective early game, moreso if your unobservant opponent didn't realize you had heal). Later, it can save a teammate's life or turn the tide of a teamfight.
Ghost is one of the most flexible, and all-around useful summoner spells available. You can use it to chase, you can use it to catch up with your teammates when they're in danger, you can use it to run when you're in danger, you can use it to get to a critical location (defending a tower, finishing off an unattended tower, dragon, Baron, etc.) just in time. Just... try it, and remember to use it. I used to think Flash had a clear advantage over Ghost, but while Flash can move you instantly, Ghost can move you for a long, long time.
Very mean, very effective. Almost always ensures a kill with Varus, will usually get you First Blood. However, 2v1, it loses effectiveness, and its usefulness drops to near nothing in team fights unless used to shut down a strong AD carry.
Really, someone else should be taking teleport. However, if nobody on your team has it, you might take it instead of Ghost--it can let you prevent backdooring, do some stealth action yourself (try TPing onto a ward or Teemo shroom in the bushes for a gank), and generally save the day... At the cost of a more useful spell. Try to convince your Mid or Tank to get this.
This can let you finish off a champ that's being healed, or that has an innate healing effect (like Volibear), when otherwise they would have taken you. It's also a nice little surprise in a teamfight, for sending someone who's already low on health into a panic. Occasionally, you can secure a kill with this in early game, but your Hemorrhage should really be taking care of that, and will have them watching their health anyway.
Flash is alright. Not as useful as Ghost in most cases, but some may find it worth taking for the odd chance where disappearing through a wall is more useful. Personally, not a fan, but ain't gonna judge you for it.
Darius' basic attacks and damaging abilities cause enemies to bleed for 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 / 36 (+0.4 per bonus attack damage) magic damage over 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Darius gains 5% movement speed for each bleeding enemy champion.
This is very strong. Early game, it's like getting a free ignite off on anyone you hit. Stacking it up is very, very mean. Keep in mind, your abilities apply and refresh Hemorrhage, so you don't need to worry too much about attack speed or trying to melee everyone. The movement speed bonus you get from a few bleeding champs is pretty nice, and should be considered when trying to escape or overtake a fleeing enemy.
||Crippling Strike (W)[/u]
The next basic attack deals (12 / 59 / 106 / 153 / 200) % damage and slows the target's movement and attack speed by (20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40)% for 2 seconds. Crippling strike's base cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target.
This work's kind of like Talon's Noxian Diplomacy, only in my opinion, it's more effective and scales better with AD. In a solo, toe-to-toe battle, this is what'll put the hurt on them, and why I keep it levelled. It's also great for finishing an enemy who's low on health (if your ult isn't available), or chipping away at structures (some may not realize that), Dragon, or Baron.
Early, you'll need to rely on positioning yourself well and using Decimate, followed by a few auto-attacks, to do your farming. Later, you can generally farm well with auto-attacks alone, allowing you to conserve mana and (admittedly short) cooldowns. When dipping into the jungle, don't be afraid to use Crippling Strike.
It's simple. Once you've got a little confidence, or items ( Ninja Tabi, and that early Pickaxe make all the difference, though you can do this with just boots), just dive in, get in range, hit Q, and run away. You'll hit surprisingly hard, and the aggression will often intimidate your enemy. Just don't go over-extending or getting too cocky, you're far squishier than your armor makes you look.
Go For the Kill:
Once you've got a lead on your opponent, or their health's low (especially much lower than yours), or your jungler's in position to gank, lure your enemy close if at all possible (without being too obvious), and initiate with Q, like usual... But this time, follow it up with E, popping W and auto-attacking almost immediately. Try to keep hitting them with auto-attacks, while chasing (using Ghost if you think it will be worth it) and Q if it cools down. If you have R, the kill will be trivial--once they're at about 1/4 (or 1/3, if you're confident of their weakness), nail them with it. If they have a teammate nearby, start in on them, or get the hell out of dodge. Don't be afraid to pop Heal to ensure you survive.
Same as above, but make sure to communicate with your team, and find a good place to hide or sneak up from. Instead of using your E to pull toward you, you may wish to ensure that it pulls toward your team mates (unless you know you've got the kill). You should really have a feel for this by the time you've played the game enough, but I felt it was worth saying.
SPIN TO WIN. Just dodge in and out, spamming your Q whenever you can. If your team's focusing someone, use your W on them, and your E to prevent escapes. Your E is also excellent for disrupting positioning, and pulling stragglers into the fray (quickly stepping toward that Ashe that's running around at the edge of the fight, and pulling her that little bit closer is often enough to ruin her day).
Then, there's the fun part: Once your team's whittled their health down, get to work with your R, and watch the heads roll (remember to pop Q and E as often as possible, often getting someone low enough for another Ult). Try for a Penta if you must, but if you start taking too many kills (especially if they were secured anyway) your team will get pissed, and starved. Yes, you having 20 kills may be awesome for you, but if the rest of your team's left with less than 5 kills, they can't afford to keep up with you, or the enemy.
Kill Monsters and Structures:
With monsters, such as Golems, Dragon, Baron, and others, just position yourself so that the blade of your axe passes through them with your Q, and spam your E as often as possible. That's really it. With towers and inhibitors, just spam E.
More to Come...
As I said before, this guide is hugely incomplete. There'll be more to come, as this brand-new champ is explored by both myself, and the community, and as I have more time to work on this guide (which, again, is my very first for Mobafire).
Thanks for reading, and any advice, questions, comments, concerns, death threats, and hate mail are welcomed!
5/26/12 - Guide Created!
5/27/12 - Added "Explanations, Justifications"
5/26/12 - Minor formatting errors corrected. (Still in-progress.)