These runes are set for early game top lane domination, while still being able to output high damage to the squishy targets late game with the high armor penetration. For marks you'll see i take all flat armor penetration, this is to go with my 'Q' Decimatewhich completely annihilates any melee bruiser. For seals, flat Armor seals are by-far the best way to go with Darius. Considering 9/10 times you'll fight an AD top, its a must have while top laning. For glyphs, I suggest Magic resist per level, this is for the fact that, you'll most likely have an AD top, so you don't need the high level 1 MR, but late game in teamfights, with the high amount of MR from the glyphs, Maw of Malmortis, and Mercury's treads, you'll be able to plow through any AP carry in your way. Quintessences are sometimes tricky, but i build Darius Tanky, so the 78 health at level one, along with 9/21/0 masteries, pretty much garuntee you to out live any top lane bruiser at a lower level.
TRY TO KILL ME
I Make sure to take all defensive masteries including health,armor,magic resist and movement speed. This allows me to be agressive early game, gain bush control, and last hit, without worrying of getting ganked or harassed by your enemy. Make sure to take
in offense which amplifies both your Ghost, and Ignite summoner spells, along with the flat AD and 10% armor penetration. You can tear through your enemy's armor like butter which these combined runes and masteries, and getting an early game edge, to dominate through the 40 minute mark.
This is my GENERAL build, I DO NOT, suggest this exact build for every single game. The core items don't change, e.g: Maw of Malmortius, Frozen Mallet, Sunfire Cape, Atma's Impaler, Last Whisper.
What i would consider changing in certain situations: If you're versing a heavy AD team, get Ninja Tabi as boots instead, if you're versing an AD kayle top lane, (this is one of Darius' hard counters, will be discussed in pros/cons) get cloth armor and 5 health pots early on.
If you're completely destroying your lane, consider items such as The Brutalizer, but if you're losing your lane, I would consider Heart of Gold, and selling it later on.
As your main damage output being Decimate (Q), you absolutely need to max it first. As i usually level to 2 before my enemy, i get Apprehend (E) second in order to bring my enemy to melee range and use Decimate,autoattacks and Ignite, to hopefully get a quick first blood. keep note if your enemy has Flash, which you shouldn't waste Ignite or Ghost, but instead let them waste their Flash first, then engage them again at a different point. your Crippling Strike(W) should be used in correlation to your Apprehend (E) to slow your foe, and dealing a burst of damage. *NOTE, Darius' Decimate and Crippling Strike both apply his passive Hemorrhage, with is a DOT(damage over time) bleed effect stacking up to 5 times, dealing increased magic damage per stack. Your ultimate, Noxian Guillotine (R) should really only be used with 5 stacks of Hemorrhage on your target and to execute an enemy, for this refreshes the cool-down on Noxian Guillotine if dealt the killing blow.
For summoner Spells, I take Ghost and Ignite, Ignite for the reason that is works great with your passive DOT ability already, and also, to Heal late game, when you put on ad carry's to reduce their healing, which cuts their lifesteal/heals in half. You could honestly take Flash or Ghost, but i prefer Ghost for 2 reasons. 1, I can get away from jungle ganks, if need be, 2 i can initiate team fights very well late game, but charging at the carry. Flash is very good for aggressive play, and you could flash to your target and use your rotation of moves on them fast to get and easy kill.
This is a photo of one of my friends using my build, the game went on almost long enough to get the full build, but you'll see he won the game with what I would say 'ease' Please check out the rest of my build, and I hope that my build helped you out!! Thanks and please comment and rate!!
I've played Darius in Ranked 3 times, and have only won 1 out of those 3 matches. This one match i won was a ranked 3s, with my team, but however, when it comes to solo/duo queue, in my opinion, he really gets shut down easily in high elo games. This is due to the players being more aware, and know what they're really doing, with harassing and last hitting. It doesn't mean he's useless in ranked. If a good job of warding is done, and correct bans are set, and you don't lane against a counter to Darius, you could still do an amazing job of beating your foes to a bloody pulp!
Pros / Cons
1. Darius is amazing counter for many melee AD's, he exceeds in removing AD carrys from fights with his pull and massive damage.
2. Darius deals heavy damage, while being very tanky.Cons: 1. Darius is a high focus target in teamfights
2. Darius falls fast in higher elo games.
3. Darius is bad at fighting champion such as: Poppy, Tryndamere, Kayle, mid and late game, due to their invulnarable ults. If their is a Zilean on the opposing team, that may counter Darius' tactics well too. Jayce in my opinion, is one of the best counters to a Darius. you autoattack him at range, and when he pulls you in, you Acceleration Gate and then Transform: Mercury Hammer away, auto attack him till hes half health, and when he goes for the pull again, Jayce can easily Thundering Blow a Darius along with To The Skies! which will most likely be the end of you.
Creeping / Jungling
Darius, can be a very strong jungler and counter jungler. If you choose to start in the jungle, i would suggest to start with boots and 3 health pots, and gank by level 3. His pull and slow, can secure a kill very easily while ganking.
While he isn't the best counter jungler in the world, if you and your team decide to invade blue or red buff at level 1, you may want to level up Apprehend (E) first to pull the Golems, or Lizard toward you and your team to quickly kill it.
Darius should definitely be one to initiate a teamfight or gank, for his durability, and slows. He can get your team set up very well, and with good warding and positioning, you'll be able to help your team win teamfights, and dominate the late game phase.
Things to know when playing Darius
' passive, along with it dealing damage over time, gives 5% movement speed for every enemy champion a stack is on. using ghost and using a quick Decimate
to initiate a fight, will give you the high movement speed to need to go straight for the AD carry.
(q) deals 50% more damage if it is on the outer rim of the circle. Here is a photo of the two circles.
This being said, wait till the run a little bit away, then (Q) use your (E) then (W) a few auto attacks, (Q) Ignite
and then Noxian Guillotine
(R) to get the full affect of Decimate
's extra damage.
Darius' W slows the enemy's attack and movement speed, which can allow you to win a duel very easily.
Darius' E's passive gives Darius bonus 5% armor penetration, which goes up to 25% by level 5. Use this to your advantage in correlation with your runes/masteries.
***REMEMBER*** Darius' Ultimate (R) deals 20% extra true damage for every stack of hemorrhage on them stacking 5 times, so remember to use your ultimate when they're low health and with five stacks on your enemy.
YOUR ULT REFRESHES ON EVERY KILLING BLOW, KS EVERYONE IF YOU'D LIKE!!
As Darius, you should only last hit, and after every last hit, try going back into a bush. Only push the lane with your (Q) when there is no one in your lane, and you have either river or tri-bush warded, to safely push the lane.
Do this while trying to harass your lane as well, which is discussed previously.
If you're losing your lane, DO NOT push the lane, just last hit, let the enemy push your lane, and wait for your jungler to gank.
*DON'T FEED YOUR LANE OR ELSE YOUR TEAM WILL HATE YOU!*