Darius Build Guide by KaijuAKD
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
This is my first guide, and since english is not my native lenguage, i hope you can forgive all my desing flaws and all my grammar mistakes. I've been trying Darius almost since he came out and playing with him is extremely fun. It's not hard to master (i must admit i'm not one of the greatest LOL player...) and his ulti is just AWESOME.
In items section you will find the reasons why I chose these items and not others, please read them before judging the build, or better yet, try it.
I'll try to keep it short and simple. Hope you like it.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Full Build Final Stats
This guide does not show the true final statistics after completing the build, leaving behind masteries bonus and some item's passives bonuses. Once completed, your Darius should look something like this:
Pros / Cons
+Great survivability mid/late game
+Good amount of damage
+Balanced for almost any enemy team
+Not an expensive build
-Weak autoattack on start
-You'll get focused in team fights
-Hard to come back from a bad start
-Weak against stuns
- HEMORRHAGE: Great passive, each of the five stacks does magic damage that scales every two levels plus 30% of your bonus attack damage. In addition, each stack of Hemorrhage gives you 5% movement speed. They can run, but they can't escape their fate.
- DECIMATE (Q): Your main harras tool in lane phase and AWESOME damage dealer in a team fight. Decent damage in the inner ring, insane 50% bonus damage in the outer ring. Using it early game, with all that armor penetration you'll take aproximatly 1/3 of their current HP, applying one stack of Hemorrhage.
- CRIPPLING STRIKE (W): Excellent ability for 1v1 combat. Maxed out, it doubles the damage of your autoattack, slowing the enemie's movement and attack speed. Each stack of Hemorrhage reduces it's cooldown 1 second, so you'll be spamming this like there is no tomorrow. Crippling Strike + Exhaust = Inminent death.
- APPREHEND (E): DAT HOOK! The enemy'll fear you so they'll try to keep a distance. If they don't come, you bring them to you. Passive: 25% Armor Penetration + greater mark of Desolation +
shatters any armor the enemy gets.
- NOXIAN GUILLOTINE (R): Darius trademark. Almost everyone has suffered the deafening thunder falling on our heads. Each stack of Hemorrhage adds 20% damage, so at full stacks you double it. Doesn't matter how much armor or magic resist the opponent has, Noxian Guillotine does TRUE DAMAGE, and the best part, if it kills the enemy, it's cooldown is refreshed, so let the axe fall and the heads roll...
Greater Glyph of Warding: I preffer flat MR runes, playing solo top you can face a Yorick. Shen or other magic damage based champions.
Greater Seal of Resilience: Basic off-tank armor runes.
- greater mark of DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation: It took a lot of time and experimentation trying to resolve wich combination of marks and quints suits Darius best. Most guides use flat AD for both, and they are not bad at all. Stronger autoattack and passive, but Darius is not an autoattacker. Your main weapon at early game is Decimate, and the bonus ad is not that much. Using greater mark of Desolation +
+ one level of Apprehend , Decimate does almost true damage, especially if you hit with the outer half of the circle. Furthermore Darius benefits from armor Penetration all the match, not only early game.
Greater Quintessence of Strength: Going full Armor Penetration was tempting, but you need to do some damage with your autoattack, either for last hitting minions as to hit your opponent when mana is depleted.
This is my masteries set, focused in the defensive tree because Darius is a melee fighter and you need to endure damage in order to survive the fight. Sure, a full offensive Darius ravages any enemy, but if you die before getting five stacks of Hemorrhage, Noxian Guillotine won't land at full power. Some choices are obvious, others need a little explenation.
I give three points to Vigor because combined with a couple of Health Potions, you can stay longer in lane to farm and harrass your enemy with Decimate.
Two points to Indomitable instead of Evasion helps a lot to fight early game surrounded by a pack of minions. Late game is useless but if you got a couple of kills or a good farm, you won't need other protection than the items in the build.
This is why i recommend a defensive tree:
NINJA TABI: They are cheap so you'll get them pretty fast, movility is essential for your hit and runs with Decimate. Most damage early game comes from autoattacks so the armor and the passive of Ninja Tabi are just what you need to engage 1 vs 1. Moreover, 25 armor gives enough protection for a little turret diving.
FROZEN MALLET: I tried to avoid expensive items when developing this build, but Frozen Mallet is impossible to leave behind. A lot of health helps you stay alive, but the best part is the passive. One slow per autoattack + Crippling Strike will grant you all the hits needed to land Noxian Guillotine at full damage.
FORCE OF NATURE: I build this item mid game for the health regen, but it also helps a lot the magic resist it provides, added to the 30 poits you get from Hexdrinker. At this moment of the match, the enemy mages start dealing serius magic damage, so you'll be prepared for them. It also give some nice movement speed.
MAW OF MALMORTIUS: Another expensive item that can't be avoided. Sometimes i think Riot created Maw of Malmortius especially for Darius, the more you stay in a battle, more damage you make. Landing Noxian Guillotine with 5 stacks of Hemorrhage and just 1/4 of health left... GLORIOUS.
SUNFIRE CAPE: Health, armor and a little magic damage aura (free asissts!). Maybe not the best option, i think Randuin's Omen is a better health/armor item, plus it has more health regen and a cool active, but sunfire cape is cheaper and has more health for Force of Nature's passive.
- ATMA'S IMPALER: With Durability + Veteran's Scars + Frozen Mallet + Sunfire Cape + Juggernaut you have an excellent amount of health, and since Darius it's an AD champion... why not capitalize that health into attack damage? Atma's Impaler turns it in 50 AD. Full build you reach 250 AD, plus you get more armor and a little critical strike chance.
- +3X : Together with Initiator you get enough movility to make last hits on minions or harras the enemy with Decimate and cover fast behind minions or shelter inside turret range. Health Potions and Vigor will let you farm long enough so you get your Ninja Tabis.
- + + : Once you get this three items your Darius is ready to give some serious headaches. Armor, magic resist, health and damage, all what you need. Since you still have no sustain, after Phage get a couple of Health Potions just in case you get some damage, this way you delay the next trip back and farm a little more. If the enemy team has a jungler get a Sight Ward too.
MERCURY'S TREADS: I trully think Mercury's Treads are a must for almost every build, just for the tenacity they give. But you are Darius, they want you dead, and all stuns, snares, slows, taunts, etc. the enemy has will be targeted to you, so tenacity will be of little use. You get the magic resist you need early game from your Greater Glyph of Magic Resist runes, mid and late game the shield of Hexdrinker / Maw of Malmortius will compensate (and save you a couple of times too). Mercury's Treads are really justified against a fed Veigar, combined with
you can walk away his stun before the sky falls upon your head. After completing the build, and if the game continues, replace Ninja Tabi with them.
GUARDIAN ANGEL: I'm not the biggest fan of this item. It's passive is most useful mid game, building it instead of Force of Nature. Late game in a team fight you'll just die and the enemy team will be there waiting to finish you again. Also, five minutes is a long wait to use it again.
RANDUIN'S OMEN: Excellent item for Darius and this build. Good stats, nice passive and SUPERB active, it even synergizes perfectly with Crippling Strike. The thing is, my top priority was making a cheaper, most balanced build so i think Sunfire Cape compensates the lesser armor with more health, and more health feeds better your Force of Nature and Atma's Impaler. After completing the build, and if the game continues, replace Sunfire Cape with it.
INFINITY EDGE: Insane damage, critical chance and it's passive makes it even deadlier. I don't recommend it because of it's excesive cost and because i think it's wasted on Darius. With no attack speed bonus, the chances of landing a critical strike are slim.
WARMOG'S ARMOR: Insane health and health regen, but this item is suitable for a full tank.
- TRINITY FORCE: Is there any AD champion that doesn't benefits greatly from this item? It's passive is triggered with Crippling Strike doing bonus damage every 4 seconds (if you have full stacks of Hemorrhage). Most expensive item in the game and, in my opinion, offers too little defense for a melee offtank like Darius.
- I realize that some items can be replaced for better ones. I tried to come up with a build that has balance between damage and resistance, but at the same time is affordable. Some builds include Randuin's Omen, Trinity Force or Infinity Edge, great items but extremely expensive. Those, builds are imposible to finish because you need +18k of gold, amount that is achieved only if the game lasts an hour and a half and/or if you get more than twenty five kills. This build cost less than 15k.
- I came to the conclusion that life steal doesn't suits this build or any Darius build you could find. Think about this, in order to heal you need to land hits (a minion, a monster or an enemy champion), and is most efficiently combined with items that give attack speed. Darius is not an autoattacker like Xin Zhao, Graves, Vayne, etc. Health Regen suits Darius best, because you heal less but constantly. That's why I build Force of Nature mid game, with the health of Frozen Mallet, Sunfire Cape and this masteries you'll heal 25HP per second. Getting low on health in a team fight? Just walk away, wait a couple of seconds and jump right back in.
- One build writer (wish I could remember his name for credit) once posted that he hated doran's items because you can't use them to build something better, and i agree with him. Some guides recommend two Doran's Blades, with them you get 20 AD, 6 life steal and 160 HP. Eventually you'll have to sell them, and those items refund just 50% of their value, so you end up losing 1425 gold that you could have used to buy a Phage, getting 18 AD, and 225 Health, item needed to build Frozen Mallet. Doran's items just delay your build.
- Give priority to the defensive parts of the items you are building over the offensive ones. When building Phage get Ruby Crystal first, when building Hexdrinker get Null-Magic Mantle first, etc.
The main difference with other builds is that I prefer giving Apprehend one point in level 2 instead of Crippling Strike. The 5% armor penetration passive helps increasing the damage Decimate does, and the hook is a very versatile tool. You can use it to bring and enemy into turret range, delay their escape after a dive so they get more turret hits and if your jungler ganks, it will prevent the enemy from escaping and ensure the kill. I give Crippling Strike it's first point at level 4, at that moment you should already have your Ninja Tabi, so you'll be ready to start 1 vs 1 fights.
Flash: Not only for escaping, Flash combined with Apprehend is a great gap closer to catch those elusive enemies. One off the most used summoner spells, no need of further explanations.
Exhaust: I think this is a key spell for any melee fighter, the slow is great to finish an escaping enemy champion, the damage reduction gives you the edge in 1v1 combat, and with Summoner's Wrath , your attacks and passive do increased damage.
Ignite: Don't get me wrong, i love Ignite to last hit from afar and to reduce that anoying healing, health regen and life steal. But Exhaust suits better for that full frontal combat style of Darius. Great combined with Hemorrhage.
Ghost: Nice spell for chasing enemies or getting fast to aid a team member, but since you don't build Mercury's Treads, it's useless to escape when ganked with strong cc, Flash is better that way.
Videos and Pictures
Here i'll be posting some videos.
This one is my first quadrakill with Darius. Credits to Tehariel (that's why i'm red).
My first PENTAKILL!!! I only have a picture of my score.
I came for the ArmPen, but stayed for the HOOK.
Well, I think my promise to keep this guide short and simple was fulfilled. Thanks again to jhoijhoi for his awesome 'guide to make guides' and his templates. Hope you try this build and give me some advice how to improve it.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
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