Darius Build Guide by 22theavenue
Starting (Summoner's Rift)
Starting (Twisted Treeline)
Hi everyone, I'm 22theavenue and welcome to my second guide so far (the first one was about Xerath, and it didn't have much success, it seems).
I'm trying again, this time with Darius. Although i started playng more 5v5, i'm still a mainly Twisted Treeline Player, and so keep in mind that my guide works in that map (although I've been effective as solotop as well).
Now, on with the show!
- Added a note about Noxian Guillotine's recent nerf in the "skills description" chapter;
- Tweaked a little the "warding" chapter
- Changed some outdated parts in the "Items" section
- Changed a bit the mastery setup
- changed some of the pros/cons
- tweaked Shen's chapter in the "opponents" chapter
- Reworked the itembuild in the preview
- In the items chapter, changed the final part of the HP/offense build, removed the Aggressive variant and added a part in the end of the chapter about Grez's Spectral Lantern
- Added Kha'Zix in the "opponents" section
- Made some major changes to the "items" chapter (tweaked the upgrade order and replaced Zeke's Herald with Ravenous Hydra from the hp/offense build and made changes to the rock build according to Force of Nature's removal)
- Removed the "Zeke's Herald" chapter.
- Added Ravenous Hydra's usage in the "Skills usage" chapter
- Modified the "rune" chapter according to the new rune names.
- Upgraded the guide with the new masteries
- Tweaked the "warding" and "creeping/jungling" chapters
- Added Teleport in the "Summoner Spells" chapter
- Added Vladimir and fixed some grammar errors in the "opponents" section
- Tweaked the "Creepling/jungling" part by adding the description of the new Twisted Treeline.
Although this guide is old, it's still solid. The build may vary a bit for the new twisted treeline.
- Added upsides and downsides on Darius' skills and tweaked the skilling order in the "skills description" chapter
- Added a small part at the end of the "Zeke's Herald" chapter
- Tweaked Irelia and Shen paragraphs in the "Opponents" chapter
- Added Shen in the "Opponents" section
- Tweaked Fizz's paragraph and added a Warwick one in the "opponents" section
- Added Lee sin and Poppy strategy in the "opponents" chapter;
- Added a "Zeke's Herald" chapter after the "Items" one to explayn Why I've chosen that item for my main itembuild
- Added a "Warding" chapter
- Made the guide more aesthetically appealing
- Split the "Skills, Skill sequence and how to use them" section into two: "Skills description" and "Skill usage";
- Added an "Opponents" section
06/06/2012: Added a note in the items section
05/06/2012: Guide released
Pros / Cons
+ Lots of damage
+ Great harass power with his Q and passive (which deals magic damage)
+ Can come back after being denied thanks to his ultimate
- No escape mechanism
- Vulnerable to kiting
- Mana hungry
Here I will explain which runes I use.
Since I have only 2 rune pages (and I'm fine with it), I use the same runepage as every other of my AD champs:
- 9 Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: more Armor penetration that stacks up with Apprehend's passive. He may benefit more from 9 Greater Mark of Attack Speed attack speed marks for faster passive application or 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage flat attack damage marks for more early game damage.
- 9 Greater Seal of Armor: Flat armor is always good, expecially since you're solotop where your opponent will probably be physical, or in TT where you'll be focused a lot because of your damage.
- 4 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and 5 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I take a mix of flat and per level MR to get a good compromize between early and fullgame magic resist. The reason is the same as the seals: you WILL be surely focused because of your damage. If you're not going to play TT, go for 9 scaling glyphs instead, since you're likely to take magic damage mid/late game where the two kinds of glyph will give at least equal benefit.
- 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Flat AD for more damage, especially early game, pretty obvious as why. Move speed is also a good choice.
My masteries are 9/21/0, taking every possible talent in the defensive tree for damage reduction, since as I said he doesn't have any escape mechanism and he gets focused easily. Complete the build with the offensive summoner spells increase and the obvious traits down to the armor penetration bonus.
Why 1/4 in Fury and 2/2 in Butcher and not 3/4 on the first one?: Simply put, you will trade only 2$ attack speed (which is not really needed on Darius) for an easier last hitting and creeping in general, which is a very good reason in my eyes, especially when you're forced to play defensive.
Last but not least, you can neglect the offensive tree for mana, mana regen and neutral buff duration in the utility tree (which is good also for jungling) if you can't handle Darius' mana issues.
I've found two different viable itembuilds: the HP/offense one (which I use) or the "rock" one (more focused on armor/mr), which is viable if you're getting hard denied, trading your offense for more tankyness and presence; I will illustrate them both.
- Start with Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potions and 1 Mana Potion. At first recall, try and buy a Crystalline Flask or, if you can't, buy health and mana potions so you will have at least 1 of the first and 2 of the second, then work on Phage (taking Ruby Crystal first) and wards (see the end of the chapter)
- Follow with one or two Rejuvenation Beads: they offer more health regen (thus more lane presence) and are very very cheap, making them extremely useful; also, you will update them in Ravenous Hydra, a newly added item that's awesome on Darius.
- After that, upgrade your boots either into Mercury's Treads if your opponent deals magic damage or has lots of CC or Ninja Tabi otherwise.
IMPORTANT: you don't always have to upgrade your boots at this point: considering the situation, you may need tenacity or autoattack damage reduction earlier.
- To complete your core build, buy a Crystalline Flask if you haven't got it already and go for Hexdrinker.
- This should be your core build by now:
It's time to start upgrading your items: Phage in Frozen Mallet, Hexdrinker in Maw of Malmortius and the Rejuvenation Beads in Ravenous Hydra. This way you will have tons very good stats on Darius, not to mention the shield from Maw and the extra offense from Hydra's active. I'll leave the upgrade order to you, see what's happening and buy according to it.
- Your final items vary depending on the game: The Bloodthirster would often be the way-to-go, since it adds up a more survability via lifesteal and tons of attack damage; Sanguine Blade is a little less performant, and can be neglected for more survability when you're in 3v3; Guardian Angel is still great, since it boost your resistance and grants a resurrect passive that's as useful as underrated, but with the season 3 meta aiming towards health stacking it may not be an always have anymore. With its nerf, Atma's Impaler dropped to the bottom of our viable items list, and I wouldn't suggest picking it unless Warmog's Armor an Frozen Mallet are or will be in your itembuild (the upside is that one of its components is Avarice Blade, you can buy this early in the game and save up money).
The Black Cleaver has become hands down the best item out there for AD bruisers. There isn't a single stat in this baby that's not useful on Darius; it got nerfed, but not too heavily (you may want to buy brutalizer and upgrade it to BT on a later stage).
Other viable choices are Mercurial Scimitar for tenacity if you went for Tabi and want to keep them, Randuin's Omen for survability and an AoE AS slow active which is awesome against the new AD bruiser mid meta, or Warmog's Armor for more flat health. With its rework, I think Blade of the Ruined King went out of our alternatives, since attack speed isn't really needed on Darius (HUrricane is a much better choice for LS).
Not as tasty as the first one, but still viable, this build is focused on armor and magic resist.
- Start with Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potions and 1 Mana Potion just like the other build.
- At first recall buy a Negatron Cloak or Warden's Mail considering who you're against in your lane.
- Upgrade your boots following the same criteria as the other build then buy a Crystalline Flask, a Phage and a Zeal, reaching mid game.
- At this point, I suggest to upgrade your defensive item either in Randuin's Omen for armor or one between Mercurial Scimitar, Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage depending on what you bought earlier. Then, complete your Trinity Force and buy the other defensive item of the two I mentioned.
NOTE: Although not the best item, Trinity force gives Darius lots of good stats that he needs and can't obtain elsewhere in this build (such as movement speed and a slow with autoattacks).
- Complete your build with a classic Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler combo for more sustain and lategame damage, or Infinity Edge + a defensive item (either Thornmail, Mercurial Scimitar, Banshee's Veil or Guardian Angel, depending on enemy team composition) for a damage boost while keeping your defense high.
NOTE: With Force of Nature being removed from the game, we had to find a good Magic Resist item to replace it. Some would consider Spirit Visage as it is now, but I don't think it's that good. What made Force of Nature so great for Darius was the mix of magic resist, health regen and movement speed. Right now visage isn't as good because it only gives cdr, a little health and an increased effect from heals, regens and drains, none of them in Darius' arsenal.
Right now 3 items are worth taking on Darius: Mercurial Scimitar, Banshee's Veil and Mikael's Crucible. The first one is great since it gives a movement speed buff as well as a debuff-removing active (that works on any kind of debuff, from slows to DoTs like Swain's Torment); the second gives a nice mana and magic resist boost, as well as some health and a spell removing shield which isn't great, but not bad either. Mikael's gives a ranged slow effect, but gives Ability power, which is not really needed on Darius. So, If I have to choose, I'd pick mercurial most of the time, leaving banshee's veil as situational option.
If you're playing a Twisted Treeline match, always ALWAYS rush Grez's Spectral Lantern as your first item right after the base boots. With the removal of wards and an upcoming upgrade path, this item has become a mandatory first item for every AD bruiser in that map, no exceptions, no questions. Its low cost together with its Wriggle-like stats and clarvoyance-like active makes it hands down an OP item in that map.
Always, ALWAYS buy a Sight Ward that you will place at the end of river bush and/or in your or your opponent's tribush (i.e. the bush next to the relative turret) if you're top lane, or on the rock or bush on the opposite side (and on the opponent's tribush) if you're botlane in Summoner's Rift.
Unfortunately, the new TT forbids wards so you have to be very cautious to the enemy team positions, as you have no way to know when they're about to gank you. For this reason, Grez's Spectral Lantern is a strongly recommended choice as first item because of its clarvoyance-like active.
Warding is the key in Summoner's Rift (as it was in the old TT) because it allows you to see when the enemy jungler is going to gank you, and to keep an eye on important sposts, such like Nashor and Dragon.
It may be a good idea to buy a Vision Ward as your second ward, so you can destroy the enemy solo top's ward, thus helping your jungler.
My favorite Summoner Spells on Darius are Ghost and Ignite.
--> The first one helps me fleeing or chasing enemies to apply my slow or finish them with ultimate;
-->the second grants unsuspecting kills together with your passive and is a precious tool against self-healing enemies like Nocturne, Warwick and Fiddlesticks.
Other viable spells are:
- Flash as an escape tool or to position myself for a good Apprehend,
- Exhaust to keep up with enemies with an high escaping ability
- Teleport: It has a fairly high CD, but, once mastered, it's the favorite spell of roamers. Imagine the enemy AD carry looking to you as you just enter the top bush , and his surprise when you suddenly pop out from the river bush near him (because you just used teleport to the ward placed by your support). Also, teleport's good when you're being harassed or ganked often, allowing you to return to base and quickly be back in your lane.
Whatever combination you will pick , at least one of your summoner spells has to be either Ghost or flash.
To know how to use Darius' skillset, first you must know what it is:
- Hemorrhage (passive): Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed for 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 / 36 (+0.3 per bonus attack damage) magic damage over 5 seconds. This effect stacks up to five times.
Darius gains 5% movement speed for each bleeding enemy champion.
Description: This is your main and more subtle harass tool: each autoattack will apply on your opponent a magic damage dealing dot. This means that, if your opponent wishes to counter you, he has to buy both armor and magic resist to mitigate all your damage. Keep an eye on your opponent, because if you manage to apply all of your stacks, you become deadly. It is also good to hit a few minions once to rank up movement speed.
+ The DoT deals magic damage, meaning if your opponent buys armor to counter your damage, he can't counter your dot
- Its damage becomes not noticeable mid/late game
- Decimate (Q): Darius deals 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.
Cost: 40 mana; Range: 425; Radius of Shaft: 270; Radius of Blade: 15
Description: This is your most damaging ability and your main harass tool together with your passive, and for those reasons I max it first. Remember to always use it so you will hit your opponent from the maximum range. Also, I don't know if it's intended or it's a bug, but Decimate applies you hemorrhage stacks as well, meaning that if you hit all the enemy minion wave with it, you instantly gain a heavy move speed buff.
+ High early game damage + passive application
- Low damage if used at melee range
- Crippling Strike (W): (Active): Darius' next basic attack deals additional damage and slows the target's movement and attack speed for 2 seconds.
Crippling strike's base cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target.
Cooldown: 8 seconds; Range: 145
Description: This skill is used mainly to keep up with your opponent without having to use Apprehend. It works on your next autoattack, and this means 2 things: 1) it will reset your aa animation, this means you can autoattack and then W for a quick one-two double attack, and 2) it will apply an hemorrhage stack as well. At 5 stacks of hemorrhage, this skill will have 3 seconds cd without CDR, meaning noone can escape you unless he uses a gapcloser or even better a summoner spell.
+ Good to keep up with your opponent or stop him chasing you
- You have to be melee and its damage isn't high unless you build carry, which you shouldn't
- Apprehend (E): (Passive) Darius gains 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25% armor penetration.
(Active) Darius pulls in all enemies in front of him.
Cost: 45 mana; Range: 550 ; Cooldown: 24/21/18/15/12
Description: This skill will be your best friend as Darius: not only it gives a passive ArP boost (more damage!!!), but, although it has a lower range, it's Blitzcrank's grab, but AoE. Great initiator for ganks, it's an awesome tool to pick your opponent by surprise or prevent him from fleeing.
+ Excellent tool to stop your opponent's escape and boost your damage due to its ArP passive
- Very high cooldown and most Darius don't realize sometimes you have to level it over crippling strike
- Noxian Guillotine (R): Darius leaps to target enemy champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing 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.
Cost: 100 mana; Range: 475
Description: this is why lot of people hate Darius (and his users love it), and why he's considered OP: a jump-on true damage blow that refreshes its cooldown as long as it kills an enemy champion, meaning you can easily get triple to pentakills by just spamming this and jumping around like a kangaroo. Since it's true damage, noone except Gragas can stop it. Of course, you should try to use it on someone with 5 stacks of your passive to deal the maximum damage (and it's A LOT).
+ It's true damage and it's spammable as long as you kill people with it
- It drains your mana and you'll end up with none if you overuse it
Note: With a recent patch, Noxian Guillotine's been nerfed so if it's not re-used within 12 seconds after its first use, it goes on cooldown. This may seem a major nerf, but it's not because our ability to jump from a target to another getting pentas hasn't been touched. There just can't be anymore the case when you kill your toplane opponent, then the jungler comes and you kill him as well with another ulti. Also, it will be harder for us to come back after being denied. Harder, but not impossible.
Myskilling order is R>Q>W>E, taking a second point in E when W is rank 3 and either a third one when W is rank 4 or max E last. This is because Apprehend has a high cooldown, and you may need to use it more often than once every 24 seconds before level 13.
You may want to change the order to R>Q>E>W for more armor penetration and less apprehend cd if the situation requires it.
I've seen lots of Darius apprehend their enemy and then decimate immediately at close range. This is wrong: you will blow your chance to immediately apply a passive stack, deal low damage with Decimate and give your opponent room to escape before taking a crippling strike.
The best way I've found to use his skillset is to harass with Decimate and autoattacks: come closer enough to hit your opponent with the edge of Decimate, Q him then retreat or go further in and autoattack him basing on his reaction.
Another good harass way is to simply walk in and autoattack him until he flees, then pretend not to follow him and Decimate when he's at the right range for a great damage harass + a dot. If you do those things well, your opponent will be down to half hp very quickly, meaning you should expect a gank soon.
Retreat and repeat this procedure another time. At level 2 you will have your Apprehend, meaning you can complete your harass combo by grabbing him, Ignite and a couple more autoattacks to apply full hemorrhage. This will almost always grant you a kill.
At level 3 you will have your Crippling Strike, but your playstyle shouldn't change much. Use it as an autoattack reset for faster hemorrhage applications, your apprehend is still more reliable to get kills.
Crippling Strike is also a good tool to stop your jungler to gank you: go to the top bush, wait for him to come to you then W him and immediately escape. He will be slowed and luckily won't reach you, meaning you got to safety without having to use your summoner spells, and his gank will be a fail.
When you'll be 6, things will start to be fun. Keep an eye on your enemy's health and consider two things:
1) "Will my ultimate kill him?"
If the answer is no, then keep attacking him until he's in the right health level and ulti for the kill; if the answer is yes, then question 2;
2) "Will he die anyway even if I don't ult?"
If the answer is yes, then keep using Decimate and Crippling strike for the kill. Remember that your ulti drains lot of your mana,and if you can avoid using it, it's better. Also, it has a fairly high cooldown, meaning you should use it only when you're sure you will get the killing blow.
FULL SKILLS USAGE
When you have your full skillset, the best rotation I've found is: Decimate from max range, then Apprehend, autoattack then immediately Crippling Strike. At this point your enemy will have 3 Hemorrhage stacks and is slowed. you can follow two paths from here:
- You can do this if you open with Apprehend instead of Decimate: make a step back after your Crippling Strike hit and immediately Decimate, and after that return autoattacking your opponent and Crippling Strike him whenever you can; this path is more effective than the first one, because you will most likely be able to Decimate him again before he goes out of reach, bot it's more risky because you give your opponent room to flee. Like the first path, close the fight with Noxian Guillotine.
Ravenous Hydra's active comes in handy in your combo because of its short cooldown (only 10s) and no cost. The best time to use it is to quickly clear a creep wave ( Decimate and this should be enough) when the lane needs to be pushed, or immediately after Apprehend against an enemy champion.
Creeping / Jungling
As for laning, last hit as much as possible without pushing your lane. If needed, autoattack a few minions to both level the lane and gain movement speed from your passive.
Jungling with Darius in SR is simple: start with wolves then go blue (asking for a pull): your decimate and hemorrhage will be more than enough to kill it quickly; follow with wraiths and Red. At this point you have 3 choices:
1) Gank mid or do wolves again then gank mid
2) Gank bot or do golems then gank bot
3) Recall and then gank top/do wolves and gank top.
Open up with apprehend, autoattack, Crippling strike. If he doesn't flash away, decimate. This will grant a kill if your lane partner has good reflexes, or at least will force your target to recall.
Another good idea after blue is to invade your enemy's jungle and take their wraiths/red: Darius, as a jungler, has a very strong early game, meaning you have good chances to kill the enemy jungler. Be careful for his teammates, though.
If you decide to do this, go to the bush near red; if the enemy jungler is there, wait for him and/or the red creep to get really low, then kill both.
If the enemy jungler is still not doing red, do his golems and, considering your health, recall or check his red again.
As for the itembuild, I suggest to start with Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions to update to Wriggle's Lantern, which you will later sell for a better item (see the Items chapter for more details).
The new Twisted Treeline requires you to change your playstyle radically compared to the old one.
First off: altars are the key. They give a huge and uncounterable buff to all your team, so you have to constantly check their status on the minimap.
Personally, I think they're the worst thing ever added to the game because they unbalance the teams by give all 3 of one an uncounterable buff that cannot be shut down in any way for at least 9 seconds, and for that reason they force 90% or more of the teamfights near them.
Aside from altars, your playstile should be always aggressive. Jungle as much as you can, by buying Grez's Spectral Lantern as your first item with boots. The creeping order should always be wraiths --> wolves --> golems. Use the absence of wards to your advantage to gank often. Remember that altars grant vision to the enemy team when you're capping them, so avoid them in your ganking route.
The "rock" build" may be more effective to counter the damage boost from the enemy team having both altars. Also, Grez's Spectral Lantern is a nice starting item, as it allows you a fast jungling between ganks.
AS for vilemaw, he's harder than the old dragon, and not as gamechanging, so I usually just ignore him. It would be good to do him just once before a big push, or the final one, much like SR's baron nashor.
(WORK IN PROGRESS)
Here I will describe how to deal with usual solotop opponents:
- Renekton (HARD): His early tankyness is better than yours, and he has a gapcloser and a stun. Renektons usually like to Slice and Dice to you and hit you hard as soon as you come close, and you can't deal with that because Slice & Dice has more range than you Decimate. Stay in bush as much as possible to avoid this, coming out for a surprise decimate and some last hits, and ask for a gank.
- Galio (EASY/MEDIUM): Upgrade your boots to Mercury Treads as first priority (even before Phage), and keep moving sideways to avoid his Q and E. Eventually, if he still doesn't have a chalice, he'll run low on mana, and that's when you must go for a heavy harass. Don't bother applying passive stacks at all cost, Galio's point is to build up Magic resist, and your hemorrhage deals magic damage.
- Fizz (MEDIUM): His playful/trickster allows him to dodge your decimate and apprehend, but he's rather squishy and runs low of mana easily early game, so be super aggressive from the start and force him to Q/E often. Watch out for his W/Q combo, if you see his trident glow, stay away. Your dot is better than his, but becomes worse if you're at low health, so if he managed to harass you often, swtich to a defensive playstyle.
- Alistar (MEDIUM/HARD): His constant CC / throwback can screw you up and his heal counters your hemorrhage just fine. Play defensive and wait for his mana to run low to try a serious harass. Let him push your lane (lure him to Q you between your minions to force the push) and ask for a gank.
- Darius (EASY): Change you early items order to Hexdrinker->Tabi->Phage. If he comes for harass, go towards him so his decimate hits you at close range, then walk back and counter hit with your decimate, but at range. An early hexdrinker makes you win an hemorrhage war.
- Mordekaiser (VERY HARD): His shield blocks your harass and his continuous skill spam will both push your lane and harass you. This is also an advantage, because he can't help but push and he doesn't have any escape mechanism, so he's weak to ganks. Deploy his shield and harass him hard early, when he can't generate his shield well and his health costs are an issue.
- Wukong (MEDIUM/HARD): Same as Renekton. He doesn't have the same tankyness as the croc, but compensates with more damage, especially with his Q, which lowers your armor. An early Tabi and Warden's Mail (to later upgrate to Ralduin, in place of Atma or Zeke's) is advisable. Like Renekton, stay in bush as much as possible to avoid his dash and harass him from there. He'll either have to expose to it or stay in the lower part of the lane, exposing himself for ganks.
- Akali (EASY/MEDIUM): She is very weak to your harass and can't farm as well as you with Decimate. Just keep playng offensively. If she uses her shroud, just walk a little into it and Decimate: either you'll hit her, or she'll be far from you. Watch out for her sudden burst when she'll have her double passive. I suggest to buy a Vision Ward to place in the middle of the lane or in one of the top bushes, together with your usual anti-gank ward.
- Cho'Gath (VERY EASY/EASY): His damage isn't that high, his throwup ability is predictable by a particular animation of his, and his silence is countered by early Mercs. He will suffer your harass badly, but his skillset makes it hard to escape from a gank so always ward and try to stay near the top bushes.
- Garen (MEDIUM): His silence and E damage are annoying, but your hemorrhage is too for him. Early mercs to counter his silence, and harass as much as you can, keeping him close with Apprehend whenever he tries to escape after blowing his skills. Hexdrinker will also prevent his ult to kill you. Don't play too aggressive because of his early game damage, but not too defensive either, since +3 boots and some health makes him a threat to you. Luckily, his damage falls off mid and lategame, while yours doesn't.
- Fiora (EASY/MEDIUM): Her healing is annoying and she has a good harass power; the upside is that she's squishy and to harass you she has to go melee. Wait for her to initiate then apply as much stacks of hemorrhage as possible. If she plays defensive, take the lead, apprehending her keeping Decimate as the last tool of your harass combo.
- Irelia (HARD): She can harass you pretty badly, and can dish out good damage while building fully defensive. Your priority is to not let her farm, so be aggressive, decimate her everytime you can, don't let her stun stop you; at the same time, keep a way to retreat and be ready to run to your tower if she's winning a skirmish. She usually last hits with her dash, so try and stay near a low hp minion: she has to choose between last hitting and expose to your harass or leave the minion. Trick her to harass then apprehend her to your turret: even with her defense, she can't handle both your passive and the turret. Being defensive and towerhug also works, but only if you have a good jungler, because this way you give her a chance to farm. Prioritize levelling Apprehend to Crippling Strike for more Armor penetration if her defense becomes a serious bother. Also, a well timed ignite cripples her Hiten Style badly, turning a fight she thinks she can win in one she will almost surely lose.
- Fiddlesticks (VERY EASY): Rare, but it can happen. The strategy is: let him harass you. Yes, you read it well. Fiddle's only harass combo is fear->drain. Fall for it so you make him think you're noob, and harass as usual. When he'll be low on health, he'll go for a fear+drain combo once again because you made him think he can stay and heal himself this way: just when you get feared, use ignite on him (you can use it while feared) and watch as his draind gives him almost no health, and then eat him alive once you get out of his fear. Early mercs are advisable because of his silence, though.
- Lee Sin (HARD/VERY HARD): He has insanely high mobility and literally stops taking damage when he has enough farm. Stay behind minions so he can't hit you with his Q (and then can't dash), use every chance you have to Q him from max range, and try to isolate him from his minions so he can't W and dash to them. If he's having the advantage, make him push hard, wait for your jungler and apprehend him under your turret as soon as the jungler starts moving.
- Poppy (EASY/MEDIUM): Her point is to build tanky, and harass you by smashing you to the wall, so stay in the middle of the lane and move according to her to prevent her from connecting her stun. Harassing her should be easy as long as you keep a close eye to her positioning. She's not that easy to face, though, because if she manages to connect her stun (maybe if you get distracted by her jungler) she can hurt you badly.
- Gangplank (HARD/VERY HARD): His entire skillset counters you: he has a ranged harass that deals lots of damage, a heal that also removes your crippling strike and a movement speed steroid, as well as an AoE slow, and his dot deals the same damage as yours. Play very aggressively early, taking advantage of his squishyness, rush Tabi as your first item, if needed buy a Warden's Mail that you will later upgrade to Randuin's Omen instead of Atma, and stay in bush as much as possible to prevent him from using his Parrrley. If he uses his Raise Morale to get away, decimate to hit all of his minions to gain a movement speed buff and try to keep up with him, to continue your harass as much as possible and maybe even kill him.
- Warwick (EASY): He doesn't have a good damage early game, and his only harass tool is his Q. Remember that his main sources of damage are his Q and ulti, which both deal magic damage; Warwicks also use to buy Mardred's Bloodrazor, which makes their autoattack deal magic damage as well, so rushing Hexdrinker followed by Tabi or Mercs (depending on his itembuild) against WW works like a charm. Play aggressive and harass him badly early, he can't react to it (beware of ganks because of that). It would be wise to buy a Quicksilver Sash whose active stops his ultimate. WWs usually like to go to their or your jungle, because they need farm to become dangerous, so it's advisable to check your jungle or the opponent one together with your jungler if WW is missing. Mid and lategame, his survability becomes a serious bother, so you may have to level your apprehend to counter that. A well timed ignite cripples his lifesteal making him an easy prey.
- Shen (VERY EASY/EASY): Early game, when he doesn't have much HP, his damage is kinda low, and the vast majority of it comes from his passive. He'll try to use his Vorpal Blade's heal effect with his passive to harass you and recover your damage. Rush Mercury Treads and be aggressive, and stop attacking him when his shield is up. Despite having no mana, his skillset isn't much spammable so he should be easy to handle with in lane. Don't follow him under his turret because he will taunt you. When he's 6, take every chance you have to push hard to his turret whenever he uses his ult to go help an ally of his (remember to tell your team when he's 6). Things start to be a little harder when he gets a Sunfire Cape and so his farming capability skyrockets, but you should still be able to deal with him. Shens almost always build health/resistances, so you may want to level Apprehend over Crippling Strike, and maybe build a Black Cleaver or a Last Whisper (which is NOT an AD carry only item).
- Vladimir (MEDIUM): His lack of mana and the range of his autoattacks are both a way for him to easily harass you, especially considering that his Q heals him. On the other hand, he's a late game champion and the amount of health he gains from his Q is low when it's not ranked to max, so you should be able to hold the lane once you have Hexdrinker. Try and harass him as much as you can, or at least zone him out from his minions (bushes help with this). Beware for ganks when he'll be 6, because of his ult that amplifies both his and his jungler's damage.
- Kha'Zix (EASY/MEDIUM): His early damage is very high, but to successfully harass you he needs his passive and you being isolated. Stay always near your minions to prevent his Q to deal a lot of damage and harass him whenever you can to take advantage of his squishyness. To refresh his passive he has to go in bush, so when he does follow him (unless you get isolated) and keep on harassing. Don't follow him if he flees as it's a bait to get you isolated. Buy hexdrinker as the last item of your core build (see itembuild chapter) and tabi as defensive boots. I've chosen medium as difficulty because if he can kill you a couple times (maybe thanks to his jungler) and gets fed his damage can become deadly.
I'll add more / correct the present ones as soon as I'll have more info.
Darius is a fun yet controvert champ to play, with lots of damage coming from different ways and a skillset that must be used continuously, and a strong presence in lane. Although he's best at sololane, he does wonders in TT partnered with a Nunu, a Nautilus or a Leona (so don't get cocky and pick a solo lane at all costs, put the team before yourself).
That's it. I hope you enjoy my build. Please, feel free to leave a comment if you like it and/or have a constructive criticism.
Competitive Solo Top Darius V3 (S3)
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