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Darius Build Guide by RRobot

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author RRobot

Darius the Dashing

RRobot Last updated on July 25, 2012
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Tank / DPS

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction to Darius



Darius is a melee solo top champ who is very versatile. I have seen Darius played as a support, jungler, and solo top. I prefer to go top with him seeing as how he has no sustain for the jungle and Blitzcrank does the same thing as Darius, but better. There are many ways of playing Darius, but I will give the two ways that I play him. The first is a full tank build, and the other is a melee AD carry. I'll get into the builds a little later, lets first look at his pros and cons.


Guide Top

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Tanky Champion Throughout The Game
  • Great Gap Closer With Apprehend
  • Great Harasser
  • Deals Damage When Built Tanky
  • Ult Deals True Damage
  • Possible To Get Pentakills With Noxian Guillotine
  • Dunks!!
SPACE Cons
  • No Sustain
  • No Escape
  • Item Dependent
  • Mana Hungry Early On


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Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
4/1
1/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/




I take the 9-21-0 masteries no matter how I play Darius. Going with this tanky set up works very well at the beginning of the game when you want to get ahead in your lane. The offensive tree is pretty basic, it is possible to go with Sorcery instead of Alacrity , but that cool down reduction will go to waste by the end of the game after getting your items. And the only other change depends on what Summoner Spells you take. I(f you don't get Exhaust or Ignite then take the point out of Summoner's Wrath and put it into Butcher .




The Defensive tree is a fairly basic set up. The main thing I want to point out, are the ones I didn't take.

  • Evasion might seem like a good pick for team fights in the late game, but normally this small percentage will do you almost no good. Instead of taking 400 damage you would take 391, if you put three points into Evasion .
  • Honor Guard is similar to Evasion , but stops half as much as Evasion which is why I didn't take it either.
  • Mercenary is a decent mastery if you are going to be in a lot of fights, but since you are in top lane you are pretty isolated from any of the fights. Yeah you can get a couple kills top lane, but even if you get five kills/assists, you only get an extra 120 gold.
  • The last ones I am going to point out are Tough Skin and Bladed Armor , these masteries belong on a jungler only.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3




The first thing I want to say about Runes is that I always go to this guide when looking at what I should use. I try to use only S and A ranked runes, like in this guide. Now let's start with the Runes that I picked with detail, and I'll go over some of the other options after.



Greater Glyph of Shielding


In both builds I do not build up all that much magic resistance. The main reason is that against most top champs you have to deal with physical damage not magic damage. However, once the laning phase ends you will need magic resistance. That is why you get the per level instead of flat, you need more magic resistance at the end then at the beginning when you play top lane.



Greater Seal of Resilience


Even though I just talked about needing magic resistance in the late game, you need armor in the early game. An extra 12 armor at the beginning of the game can stop quite a bit of damage, especially against someone like Lee Sin. In general, you want to have these runes on almost any champion you play top lane, the only time you wouldn't is against someone like Vladimir or Nidalee.



Greater Mark of Desolation

Greater Mark of Desolation
If we were to look only at the rune rankings, this would be your best option, because magic penetration would be a waste on Darius. I enjoy being able to actually deal damage to someone who starts off Cloth Armor and five health pots at the beginning of the game. So with armor penetration you burn right through that cloth armor, and if they start off with boots and 3 health pots, then you deal more damage with each hit and make them use their pots a lot faster than they want to.



Greater Quintessence of Strength


I like having more AD at the beginning of the game for two reasons, easier to farm and harass hurts more. After getting Decimate to level 2, you can deal quite a bit of damage to the other champion with AD quints. The one thing I hate about Darius is at the beginning of the game his basic attack has a long animation so it is quite hard to farm. With Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage I have more room for error.


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Sick Skills

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18



Hemmorrhage
Darius causes his target to bleed whenever he deals damage to it, stacks up to 5 times.
Great passive that deals damage over time to enemies after being hit. Scales with bonus AD. Darius also gains 5% bonus movement speed for each enemy champion that is bleeding.


Decimate
// Darius swings his axe in a wide circle.
// Your main source of damage until you hit level 6. You want to max out this ability first and use it whenever the enemy gets in range. Make sure to have the enemy in the outer ring of the circle to deal more damage. This skill can also help you kill multiple minions at once.


Crippling Strike
Next basic attack deals more damage and slows the target.
Max this ability second after Decimate. It deals bonus damage to the target and slows them down. Usually you pull the enemy in with Apprehend then slow them with Crippling Strike to stop the enemy from running.


Apprehend
Passively gives armor penetration, but when activated Darius pulls enemies towards him.
Get a point in this at level 4, but max it last. Apprehend gives passive armor penetration, but the main reason it is such a good skill is the active. Being able to pull enemies in and then following it up by Crippling Strike and Decimate deals a lot of damage fast. Apprehend can also pull monsters and champions through walls if they are both touching it.


Noxian Guillotine
Jumps up and deals a lethal blow, damage is increased by blood stacks on the target champion.
This ult is one of my favorite in the game, you jump up and slam down on enemy champions. There are three reasons why this is such a good ultimate. The first is that it deals more damage based on how many stacks are on the enemy. The second is that it deals true damage, so there is no need to worry about armor or magic resistance. And the last reason is that it resets if you get a kill with it. Getting double kills with Noxian Guillotine is extremely common and even triple kills aren't that rare. Just make sure that you kill the enemy with this abilty, and that they have 5 blood stacks on them for max damage.


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Summoner Spells

There are only five Summoner Spells that I am going to talk about. The other summoner spells aren't viable for a number of reasons, but you can probably figure them out on your own. The five that I chose are:



Exhaust is an offensive and defensive summoner spell. It allows you to slow your target down enough so that you can use your skills and take them down. Or if you are being chased by a single target you can Exhaust them so they can't catch you. The offensive is much more viable, because if two champions are chasing you exhaust is fairly useless, Ghost would be better in that situation.


Flash is almost a must have summoner spell for when you overextend and get ganked. Darius has no escape so without Flash he is a sitting duck. Flash can also be used to get that final hit on a champion that you didn't finish off with Noxian Guillotine.


Ghost can replace Flash if it fits your play style more. Whichever one you pick, it is essential that you have either Ghost or Flash. Having both is an option, but it doesn't help you out as much in the late game.


Ignite is a purely offensive summoner spell. Now you might wonder why I put this in here if you are saying that Noxian Guillotine should be the finishing move to your enemy. That may be true, but there is an interesting situation where you can't finish them with Noxian Guillotine. What you do is get there health low enough so that the combination of ignite and your passive will cause your opponent to die just after your ult goes off. Even though you don't get the reset you get the kill, and you maximize your damage output.


Teleport is something that a lot of top laners like to use so that every time they go back to buy they can come right back and not miss any cs or exp. Teleport can also be used to gank other lanes when you see a fight break out. If there is a gank bot so that your team only has 2 people bot to there 3, then just teleport in and even out the fight. You will immediately be the strongest person in the fight because you were getting all the exp top lane.


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Tank Build Items



If you see that you are going against a heavy AD team, then you should try out follow this build.



Item Sequence











Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Boots of Speed
300

Heart of Gold
825

Ninja Tabi
1100

Glacial Shroud
1000

Phage
1250

The Brutalizer
1337

Frozen Heart
2700

Frozen Mallet
3100

Warden's Mail
1000

Randuin's Omen
2900

Youmuu's Ghostblade
2900

Guardian Angel
2400



cloth armor
Gives 18 armor
A great defensive item to start the game off with. Due to your masteries setup, Initiator should give you a good bonus, plus Darius has a fairly quick base movement speed. Also, lets you buy 5 health potions to stay in the lane longer.


Boots of Speed
Gives 50 movement
Just your basic tier one boots that allow you to run much faster. With tier one boots Darius will be faster then some champs with Tier 2 boots.


Heart of Gold
Gives Darius 250 health, plus 5 gold every 10 seconds.
A great item for the early game since it just keeps giving extra gold. It might not completely pay for itself, but remember you are using it to build into Randuin's Omen.


Ninja Tabi
Provides defense against basic attacks and even more speed.
Depending on how the game looks, you either want Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads. If the other team has a lot of Crowd Control or just AP in general, then go with Mercury's Treads otherwise get Ninja Tabi.


Glacial Shroud
Gives 425 mana, 15% cool down reduction, and 45 armor.
This is one of my favorite items to get for Darius early game. It gives him three things that he can use: cool down reduction, armor, and more mana. Not only that but it also builds into Frozen Heart which slows the attack speed of enemy champions.


Phage
Gives 18 attack damage, 225 health, and a chance to slow enemies.
This item is great for taking enemies down. It gives you more damage, and also if you are lucky it slows the enemy without even having to use Crippling Strike.


The Brutalizer
Gives 25 attack damage, 10% cool down reduction, and +15 armor penetration.
Even more Attack Damage and cool down reduction, this allows you to deal even more damage in the early game. I like getting The Brutalizer because it is the only item that gives armor penetration except for Last Whisper.


Frozen Heart
Gives 99 armor, 500 mana, 20% cool down reduction, and makes enemy champs attack 20% slower.
What is not to love about this item? I don't care how you build Darius, this is a must have item. Darius needs to spam his abilities to do damage as a tank, and this gives you more mana to do that, while also giving you more armor to be that tank.


Frozen Mallet
A Phage that gives more health, attack damage, and a 100% chance to slow.
Instead of building some magic resistance item like Force of Nature, Frozen Mallet allows you to survive burst damage and be able to chase them down. If you get them with Apprehend, you got a good chance that you will kill them due to the slow from Frozen Mallet and Crippling Strike.


Warden's Mail
Gives 50 armor, 20 health regeneration per five seconds and a chance to slow enemies if they hit Darius.
This is actually a good item, but the down side is that you have to build it into Randuin's Omen. Since you got Heart of Gold, you might as well not let it go to waste and just build it into Randuin's Omen, because let's face it, Locket of the Solari is not a good item.


Randuin's Omen
Gives 75 armor, 350 health, 25 health regeneration per five seconds, 5% cool down reduction, a chance to slow enemies when hit, and an active to slow enemies around Darius
This item has so many stats that it would be crazy to not get it when building a tank. By the end of the game you should be able to use the active of Randuin's Omen to slow enemy champs for somewhere between 4 and 5 seconds. This is great for chasing up to them or running away.


Youmuu's Ghostblade
Gives 30 attack damage, 15% crit chance, armor penetration, cool down reduction and an active that allows Darius to move and attack faster.
Since we got The Brutalizer as a mid game item, it isn't all that necessary to upgrade it to Youmuu's Ghostblade. The only addition that helps Darius is the active abiltiy.


Guardian Angel
Gives 68 armor, 38 magic resistance, and most importantly an extra life.
You know what is the most annoying thing in League of Legends? It's when you kill someone but they come right back to life and kill you. That is what Guardian Angel allows you to do. Not only do you get that extra life, but you become even more of a tank in the process.


Guide Top

DPS Build Items



If you want to do more damage, but not be able to absorb as much damage, then follow this build.



Item Sequence











Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

The Brutalizer
1337

Phage
1250

Mercury's Treads
1100

Glacial Shroud
1000

Sheen
1050

Trinity Force
3733

Frozen Heart
2700

Youmuu's Ghostblade
2900

Guardian Angel
2400

Last Whisper
1300



Boots of Speed
Gives 50 movement
Just your basic tier one boots that allow you to run much faster. With tier one boots Darius will be faster then some champs with Tier 2 boots.


The Brutalizer
Gives 25 attack damage, 10% cool down reduction, and +15 armor penetration.
Even more Attack Damage and cool down reduction, this allows you to deal even more damage in the early game. I like getting The Brutalizer because it is the only item that gives armor penetration except for Last Whisper.


Phage
Gives 18 attack damage, 225 health, and a chance to slow enemies.
This item is great for taking enemies down. It gives you more damage, and also if you are lucky it slows the enemy without even having to use Crippling Strike.


Mercury's Treads
Gives 25 magic resistance, more speed, and 35 tenacity.
This item does not give a ton of magic resistance, but more importantly it gives you tenacity. This makes it so that all forms of Crowd Control don't last as long on you.


Glacial Shroud
Gives 425 mana, 15% cool down reduction, and 45 armor.
This is one of my favorite items to get for Darius early game. It gives him three things that he can use: cool down reduction, armor, and more mana. Not only that but it also builds into Frozen Heart which slows the attack speed of enemy champions.


Sheen
Adds 250 maan to your mana pool and adds 100% base damage to your next attack after using an ability.
If used correctly this item can deal out quite a bit of damage. Every time you get within Decimate distance of your opponent, use it then follow up with an attack that is buffed by Sheen.


Trinity Force
Gives 30 ability power, 30 attack damage, 30% attack speed, 15% crit chance, 250 health, 250 mana, and 12% movement speed.
Combines Phage, Sheen, and Zeal, whilst giving you all of their unique passives. Trinity Force is a great item because it allows you to build the pieces to it and they aren't useless. Trinity Force is the perfect item for Darius, the only problem is that he doesn't scale off ability power at all, so that is the only waste.


Frozen Heart
Gives 99 armor, 500 mana, 20% cool down reduction, and makes enemy champs attack 20% slower.
What is not to love about this item? I don't care how you build Darius, this is a must have item. Darius needs to spam his abilities to do damage as a tank, and this gives you more mana to do that, while also giving you more armor to be that tank.


Guardian Angel
Gives 68 armor, 38 magic resistance, and most importantly an extra life.
You know what is the most annoying thing in League of Legends? It's when you kill someone but they come right back to life and kill you. That is what Guardian Angel allows you to do. Not only do you get that extra life, but you become even more of a tank in the process.


Youmuu's Ghostblade
Gives 30 attack damage, 15% crit chance, armor penetration, cool down reduction and an active that allows Darius to move and attack faster.
Since we got The Brutalizer as a mid game item, it isn't all that necessary to upgrade it to Youmuu's Ghostblade. The only addition that helps Darius is the active abiltiy.


Last Whisper
Gives 40 attack damage, and 40% armor penetration.
This item gives you that extra damage you need near the end of the game. When the other team start having over 200 armor each, you need a way around all of it, and Last Whisper is the best choice. Now, if you happen to play against a team with like 4 squishy champions, the The Black Cleaver would be a better choice, but we are going to assume that this is going to be more realistic.


Guide Top

How to Play Darius



Darius is a very simple champion to pick up and play. His skills aren't complex, he deals tons of damage, and is quite hard to kill if given the smallest amount of effort to play.




Just make sure to max Decimate first and use it whenever the other champ comes in range and you should win the lane easily. When you max out Decimate with 40% cool down reduction, you can spam it every 3 seconds and it only costs 40 mana.


Initiating A Fight


If you think you can take down the enemy champ in a 1v1 fight, the first thing to do is look at your mini map. If you don't have the river warded, I would suggest not fighting unless it is on you side of the lane. If you have the river warded and don't see anyone you can initiate wherever it seems most relevant. To start the fight use Decimate, if they start running use Apprehend to pull them in, followed by Crippling Strike to slow them. just keep basic attacking and using Decimate whenever you can and finish them off with Noxian Guillotine when they are low enough.

If they fight you, there are three things that could happen: first they could think they can take you in a 1v1, second they are about to get some support from there jungler or mid lane, or third they are just stupid and don't realize how strong Darius is.


Darius can surprise other champs by pulling them through walls using Apprehend. The main issue is that both Darius and the other champ basically have to be touching the wall. However, you can sometimes sneak in a good grab if you are out of the other teams sight.



This map shows which walls you can pull enemy champs over with Apprehend. It is also thanks to NoxAeternum for letting me use the map, check out his guide here if you want to see his guide.


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Farming

I wanted to put in a very short summary of farming with Darius. At the beginning of the game his basic attack has a slow animation that makes it somewhat hard to time. But as the game progresses he becomes a much better farmer. What I like to do is hit the ranged minions once or twice each, depending on how much damage I need to do, then use Decimate to finish them off. you have to make sure though that the blade hits them, otherwise it won't kill them. Other than his 'Q' he really doesn't farm huge creeps that fast. The best thing to do is if you are playing another melee champ is to just you Decimate whenever they get close enough so you can zone them and farm with ease.


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C'mon and Slam



There is nothing more satisfying than hitting that 'R' and watching Darius jump up to finish off the enemy. Except for when you play the Space Jam Theme Song while doing so. I don't know if you like playing Jarvan IV so you can ult people into the Cataclysm, but Noxian Guillotine is better because it can be used in rapid succession if done correctly.


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Final Words

Darius is a strong solo top champ no matter how you build him. After a couple games you will learn what you need to do so that your team can win. Whether it be absorb damage, or dish it out, Darius can do it all. Even though these builds work for me, try them out on your own, change them up if you need to and get back to me. The same build will not work for every game. If you are going against someone like Vladimir, neither of these builds will do very well, but you can still learn enough from this guide to figure out what you need to do to win the lane. The one thing you have to watch out for is taking all of the kills so that in the late game your ranged ad carry is not useless, otherwise you will lose.


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Future Additions

I'm going to put my list here of what I want to add

  • Gameplay Videos
  • Screenshots of games with this build
  • Section on other items
  • Section on match-ups
  • More Pictures


Guide Top

Thanks

I would like to thank jhoijhoi for his guide on how to make a guide. Also, took his spacers which make the guide look a lot better.


Thanks to NoxAeternum for the map showing which walls Apprehend can go through.

If you have anything you want to say please leave a comment and I will try to get back to you.