Darius General Guide by ChronoPoison
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As the title suggests, please give an up-vote for me guide! Darius is lacking a jungle guide and I'm hoping that mine is good enough to get on the front page! Just one click and you'll receive my ETERNAL GRATITUDE! If you have to down-vote my guide, at least give me a comment on where I can improve :)
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Season 3 Changes
Season 3 has changed the jungle and Darius is no longer one of the better junglers. Instead he has fallen down due to his lack of sustain and clear times. Unfortunately I will no longer be supporting this guide due to the immense changes in Season 3. If Darius ever becomes viable again I will update this guide and un-archive it, however for now it will remain in the trash pile. Please see my ZAC Jungle guide that's updated for season 3 and is one of the stronger junglers now.
Thanks for your understanding,
I'm ChronoPoison and I main the jungle! You might think that Darius is an odd jungler, or is not viable, but I can tell you that you would be wrong. Darius' clear times are better than most junglers, he can counter-jungle quite effectively, his ganks are better than average, and he deals Tons of Damage (Phreak Copyright).
Read my guide, and learn how to dominate your opponents by slamming a huge axe right into their face by playing Jungle Darius!
Warning: This guide is still under construction. Currently it's in the most basic form possible. I still have many changes to make to this guide, and it's only a rough sketch of what I hope it will be. Thanks for reading it anyway :D
Pros / Cons
-Good gank potential with a slow and pull
-Tanky damage bruiser
-Getting penta-kills is easy
-Can kill steal quite effectively
-Good for executing low-health opponents
-Super counter-jungler (can pull monsters over walls!)
-Snowballs really hard if fed
-Short range pull
-Move speed is average
-Hard to resist the urge to kill steal
-Often takes the kills when ganking post-6
-Can fall behind if counter-jungled or not enough kills
-No jungle sustain
What is Jungling?
I do not recommend jungling before level 30 and before you have at least a half-completed tier 3 rune page!
If you're reading my guide and saying "Oh my gosh what is he talking about? What is the jungle? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!" then this guide is probably too advanced for you, however I will give you a brief summary on what jungling is.
What is Jungling?
Jungling is the act of killing jungle creeps in the jungle camps to gain experience and levels, as opposed to killing the minions in the lanes. The jungle is the area between the three lanes, and the river separates the blue and purple side of the jungle. However, jungle creeps are significantly tougher than the lane minions and often require a "leash", which is when an ally damages either the Blue Golem or Red Lizard to save some time for the ally to finish it off with the Smite summoner spell.
Can anyone jungle?
Not every champion in the game can jungle effectively, or even jungle at all. Many of the champions are simply too squishy, or do not the enough damage to finish the jungle creeps. Good junglers all have crowd-control effects and either AOE damage (eg. Skarner) or huge early-game single target damage (eg. Gangplank).
What does a jungler do?
Contrary to popular belief, a jungler does not farm and sit afk in the jungle all day long. A jungler's main role is to gank the lanes (as in helping the lanes kill someone). Usually after the jungler has killed the Blue Golem and Red Lizard he looks for a gank. This is why CC is useful on a jungler, so that the lane opponent will not be able to run away because they are either slowed, stunned, snared or feared, resulting in them either dying or using flash to escape (so that you can set up for future ganks because their flash spell is down)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Seals: Use flat armor seals to help reduce early game damage. Do not use anything else but these.
Glyphs: Use flat magic resist glyphs to reduce early game magic damage when ganking mid. Alternative is magic resist per level if you want to reduce magic damage late game.
Quints: Use swiftness quints to help you move faster when ganking. Darius' move speed is average at best, so these will help you earlier in the game, because you start with cloth and 5 potions. An alternative is flat AD quints.
Defense Tree Explanation
Pretty standard bruiser-jungle masteries. I take 21 points in the defense tree to help make Darius' tankier, because without the extra health he would be focused down too easily. Durability and Veteran's Scars help keep Darius healthy, so that he will have more health left over from the jungle to gank lanes (instead of going to the fountain to regain some health back). Tough Skin and Bladed Armor reduce the damage Darius receives from the jungle, and slightly increases the damage he does to the jungle camp. I take the extra movement speed so he can catch up to opponents easier, and the CDR helps late game to deal some more extra damage using his Decimate during team fights (his only AOE damage ability). Juggernaut obviously for the extra health and reduced CC.
Offense Tree Explanation
The 9 points in offense give Darius a better clear time, with attack speed and armor penetration. I take one point in Butcher to get slightly increased jungle clear times.
Level 1: Decimate (AOE Jungle Clear)
Level 2: Crippling Strike (Single-Target Jungle Clear)
Level 3: Apprehend (Use to gank! Make sure you have red buff!)
Darius' basic attacks and damaging abilities cause enemies to bleed for 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 / 36 (+ 30% Bonus AD) magic damage over 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
Darius gains 5% movement speed for each bleeding enemy champion.
Darius deals 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+ 70% Bonus AD) physical damage to all nearby enemies in a circle around him.
Champions in the outer half of the ability are struck by the blade, taking 50% additional damage for a total of 105 / 157.5 / 210 / 262.5 / 315 (+ 105% Bonus AD).
Crippling Strike (W)
Darius' next basic attack deals 120% / 140% / 160% / 180% / 200% additional 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.
Passive: Darius gains 5% / 10% / 15% / 20% / 25% armor penetration.
Active: Darius pulls in all enemies in front of him.
Noxian Guillotine (R)
Active: Darius leaps to target enemy champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing 160 / 250 / 340 (+ 75% Bonus AD) true damage.
For each stack of Hemorrhage on the target, Noxian Guillotine deals an additional 20% damage.
The cooldown is refreshed if Noxian Guillotine kills the target.
Darius' Basic Combo
Darius's combos are fairly easy to figure out by yourself, but if you're lazy, here's what I do!
IF the enemy is out of your auto attack range but in your Apprehend range:
First pull your enemy in with Apprehend. Immediately after that hit them with Crippling Strike to slow them. Wait for them to walk into the outer half of your Decimate range for 50% extra damage. After that, continue auto attacking them to put on Hemorrhage stacks. When they are low enough, use your ultimate! Make sure you have a Frozen Mallet, Trinity Force, or Red buff to keep them slowed so you can apply Hemorrhage stacks.
IF you are in melee range of the enemy:
Use this combo to kill your enemy before they escape. First, hit the target with Crippling Strike. Wait for them to walk into the outer half of Decimate, and THEN Decimate them for the 50% extra damage. Continue auto attacking them and put on Hemorrhage stacks. If they are escaping, pull them in with Apprehend and then use Crippling Strike again (because the cooldown is low if they have enough Hemorrhage stacks). Finish them off with Noxian Guillotine!
Here I will explain my choice of items. Also, the item order is completely up to you. For example, I prefer to build a frozen mallet before the Bloodthirster, however you can build the Bloodthirser first, and then get a Frozen Mallet. Feel free to experiment with different item order and builds.
Darius needs the extra armor from cloth armor to help stay above 50% health in order to gank lanes. Without cloth armor Darius will be too low to gank effectively.
This makes Darius clear buffs very fast, and provides him with enough sustain in the jungle so you'll basically stay at full health at all times if you have this item while jungling. Also useful to ward places like the river or the enemy jungle.
Gives Darius some extra health early game, along with some GP10, which isn't too bad. Enables you to gank more often and not be as behind in gold.
The Phage gives Darius even more HP and some attack damage, with a great slow proc. I build Phage for mainly the slow and the extra health, but the damage isn't bad either. Makes Darius really beefy for the rest of the early and mid game.
Mid Game to Late game
I typically try to get this item first, because of the slow it provides. 40% slow with each auto-attack will make sure your target won't escape.
The Bloodthirster provides Darius with a LOT of attack damage. This item alone will give you enough damage to decimate and destroy your enemies, particularity squishy ones. The reason I take the Bloodthirster and not Infinity Edge is because a) Darius doesn't need to crit and b) Extra lifesteal to sustain yourself on minions if you're low and don't want to waste time going base to heal. If you are EXTREMELY fed you may want to get another Bloodthirster, but I wouldn't recommend it as you need the extra health and defensive stats from other items to survive long enough to deal damage and use your ultimate.
This item builds out of Heart of Gold and helps to shut down their ADC for a short period of time, allowing you to kill them before they kill you. Mainly I build for the health, armor, and health regeneration it provides.
The last item can be your choice, but I typically get a Guardian's Angel. Great defensive stats, and allows you to revive after you die to finish off that last opponent.
If you want more damage, add a Last Whisper to your final build. This will make you less tanky, but you will see the difference because you will shred 65% of your opponents armor (including your Apprehend passive 25% armor pen). I would not replace the Bloodthirster with this item, because Darius is not mainly an auto-attacker and the +30 attack damage on the Bloodthirster will make his abilities hit harder. Mainly get this if your snowballing hard and you are not getting focused.
Get this item if you want to become a super tanky low damage dealer. Warmogs give you a HUUUUUGE amount of health, and health regeneration. This item will make you scary in team fights because you will just soak up all the damage. The trade-off of getting this though, is less damage. Your damage will suffer, because you will have only a Bloodthirster and a Wriggle's Lantern for damage (not much). Don't normally build this because Darius is tanky enough with his Randuin's Omen and Frozen Mallet. I think the point is clear here, but if you want me to clarify more send me a PM.
Will add more situational items soon! So much to do and not enough time :P.
Blue Jungle Path (Gank at Level 3)
Blue Golem > Wolves > Wraiths > Red Buff > Gank
This is the path I use most often. I start with a leash at the blue buff, kill it with smite, then go to wolves and then wraiths. After wraiths I head straight to Red buff. At this point your smite will be down. Kill red buff anyway!. You started with cloth and 5 potions. That's what the extra potions are there for. Take red buff down like a MAN and gank the nearest 2 lanes (you should be level 3 by then).
Red Jungle Path (Gank at Level 2)
Wraiths >Red Buff > Gank
I normally don't go this route unless I want to snowball a lane early (eg. Mid or Top). I would only go this route if you're on the purple side, because the Red Buff is closer to mid and top lane, which are the easiest lanes to gank. Start at your wraiths and get mid to help you. Get a leash on red and use smite to kill it. After that you'll be level 2. Ignore my normal skill sequence and take Apprehend instead of Crippling Strike. This will enable you to gank more effectively.
This is perhaps one of the most IMPORTANT sections of this guide. Team fights win or lose games, and Darius has a big role to play. Your primary objective is to either to keep everyone off your carry with your pull, or to focus down the other enemy carry. If you are not in position of the other carry, protect your carry at all costs and put out some Decimates in the middle of everyone. If you are in range of the other carry, immediately pull them to your team and continue killing them. It's important to note that you can pull people over walls, so use that to your advantage.
Videos and Gameplay
I'm currently in the process of editing and capturing a video. I will post the YouTube link as soon as I get it uploaded (Hopefully before December 10!).
*Edit - I have run into a slight problem. The game I wish to capture lags when I use my Fraps to capture it (damn you LoL Recorder!). I am in the process of finding a new video capture program that will not make my video replay lag. The release date has been pushed back to December 15. If it's not out by then, it'll have to be next year because I am going away for a month :P
In the current meta I feel Darius is very underestimated. His ganks are superb and he has amazing damage throughout the entire game! No one plays him in the jungle because they do not realize or have seen what a jungle Darius has the potential to do. He may not be a top tier fast clear time jungler like Dr Mundo, or a amazing ganker such as Nautilus or Lee Sin, however he does have a place in the jungle and I consider him to be one of my top tier junglers (sorry Elementz you got it all wrong!).
Well, I thank you for taking the time to read my Darius jungle guide, even if you just read the build order and skipped to the summary hoping for some more quick tips (I know that's what I do when I read a guide, because walls of text are not my thing. Unfortunately, my guide is indeed, a wall of text). Please UP-VOTE my guide if you found it helpful, or comment on anything you would change.