Darius Build Guide by Defarakka
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Darius, carry us!
Dariusaurus Standard Build
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.
Changes have been made!
Before continuing on to my guide, I would like to cover some of the changes that has been made. After the most recent update on Darius (Patch 5.16) his kit changed quite a lot, but mostly to the better in my opinion.
Darius' passive Hemorrhage, or BLOODY HELL if you like, now deals Physical Damage instead of Magic Damage and no longer gives +5% movement speed for each bloodied enemy champion, but instead gives you additional Attack Damage on reaching Noxian Might which is a 5 second buff (sharing duration with the bleed) gained through either reaching 5 stacks of Hemorrhage or killing an enemy with Noxian Guillotine. This basically means that once you have reached Noxian Might, you deal even more damaged damage (yes, damaged damage) from your basic attacks, abilities and the Damage Over Time from Hemorrhage. Additionally, you apply 5 stacks of Hemorrhage immediately on enemies when on Noxian Might and you can keep this buff going as long as you continue to further apply Hemorrhage on enemy champions while on it, meaning quicker and more deadly dunks AKA multi-kills.
Decimate now has a short delay before activation that lasts 0.75 seconds, but heals Darius for 12% of his missing health if hitting an enemy with the outer circle, up to 36% if hitting 3 or more enemies. This takes some getting used to, but it is much easier to land Decimate with max damage now, since when you activate it, you now get to see the estimated area of effect in the 0.75 second delay. Also, the healing is exceptionally rewarding. The downside is that hitting an enemy with the handle (inner circle) means 50% reduced damage and does not apply a stack of Hemorrhage.
Crippling Strike no longer reduces cooldown based on stacks of Hemorrhage on the target, no longer increases damage per level, no longer slows for 2 seconds and no longer slows Attack Speed. Instead, it now only reduces cooldown per level and slows enemies hit by 90% for 1 second. If you kill the target with Crippling Strike the mana cost and half of the cooldown is refunded.
Apprehend have been changed so that you can no longer pull off those
Apprehend- Flash stunts when enemies flash, but you will still end up being able to pull in the scurry weaklings who tries to escape and dunk the hell out of everyone in a manner so obnoxious that anyone will regret opposing you. Also, when you pull in an enemy, they are slowed for 90% for 1 second, so cross your fingers for early tower dives by the enemy.
Noxian Guillotine haven't changed a whole lot. It now has reduced base damage from 160/250/340 to 100/200/300, but that really doesn't matter much when you enter Noxian Might, since you gain 40-200 bonus AD based on level. Noxian Guillotine now terrifies nearby minions and monsters upon kill and at level 3 it has no mana cost and no cooldown upon kill.
Greetings and welcome to my one and first guide, featuring Darius, the Hand of Noxus
Let me first introduce myself and my experience with Darius.
I have played League Of Legends for about two and a half years now and mained Darius for about one year straight and played about 600+ games with him alone. Before the 5.16 patch when his kit was changed a bit, I tested almost all builds that could be considered effective back then. I have successfully played him against every champion and have played him in every role except ADC. In other words, I have experience with this champion to say the least, both the old and the new Darius and I hope that this guide will prove helpful into making you an experienced Darius player and eventually turn you into the monster that is Dariusaurus! .
Also, I think it's extremely fun to put rhymes here and there, so you'll have to excuse my rhyme-ness.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
The correct selection of runes on Darius is essential to benefit even greater on what is already top notch.
We take 3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed to chase and Ace.
We take 9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage to exceed in bleed.
We take 9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to refuse magic use.
And we take 9x Greater Seal of Scaling Armor to block their co... attack damage.
These runes boost your entire kit even further, with the scaling Armor and Magic Resist runes adding up to making you one of the most disgusting opponents to face post level 6.
These masteries are what makes the difference between a Darius and a Dariusaurus.
Darius has no escapes, neither does he have a gapcloser. In fact, his entire kit is based on "never retreat" as quoted by the top lane king himself. Let's begin analyzing our points in masteries!
The 9 points in Defense are pretty self-explained. You will gain the extra defensive stats needed to prolong fights, but you will need to rely more on damage than defense to gain full effect from Darius' kit.
So in addition to building some defense, building Attack Damage and Stuff-That-Shreds-Armor
(I'm looking at you, The Black Cleaver) is therefore perfect to deal and peel.
Who doesn't love to bleed them faster, survive any disaster and dunk like a master, eh?
In Offense we have 21 points that are also pretty self-explained, on so much steroids it's what makes us Dariusaurus' after all, but now this is where it gets interesting.
Darius exceeds extremely well in melee fights and there are few who can beat him in a 1v1 if played properly, but it is important to remember that the enemy may have Ignite, other forms of Damage Over Time or simply just the pokes from hell which means that while you are busy doing confident all in's, you may end up dying after you pick up that kill if miscalculations are in place. Therefore, a point in Dangerous Game will grant you back that 5% health and mana, giving you the chance to walk out of there with your life still intact even if Decimate didn't do its job already. Also, that mana regain works excellent later when you do the good ol' dunk 'em, skunk 'em.
Besides this, the points put in Offense further increases your entire damage output to a huge degree (thanks Capt. Obvious), who can say no to additional damage on the dunks and passive even further? It's dunkmasteries for true dunkmasters. Bleed 'em dry!
If you want maximum efficiency and deadliness, it is very important to max Apprehend first thing after maxing Decimate as the Armor Penetration from Apprehend basically "levels up" all you are and all you have including your passive Hemorrhage in terms of damage!
Taking Apprehend at level 2 is highly beneficial for three reasons. The first and most obvious is that the jungler will have an easier time ganking if he/she decides to do an early gank when you are level 2 as you can pull the enemy back in when they are about to escape, baiting their flash and maybe even picking up an easy kill.
The second reason is that if you can succesfully bait their escape ability and time the Apprehend properly, you can pull them back to you if they they aren't outside the range of Apprehend when you pull! I personally do this as often as I can. The same rule applies for any escape ability that the enemy may have that does not make them untargetable or specifies immunity to spells, crowd controls, disables etc. like for example Morgana's Black Shield, Malphite's Unstoppable Force, Olaf's Ragnarok, Fizz's Playful / Trickster and so on.
The third and final reason to pick Apprehend at level 2 is that if you can bait the enemy champion to attack you so that your minions will focus them, you can run as much behind your minions as possible and pull them to you when they are about to turn back, kiting them to come too far and taking too much early damage from both you and your minions, giving you a high chance of baiting their Flash or even getting first blood. Sometimes you will also be able to pull them in the tower's range, which is a wonderful sight to be seen.
Take Crippling Strike instead of Apprehend at level 2 if you are against a melee champion that has to stick to you in trades and attempts to do so at level 2. It grants you a basic attack reset, a nice 90% slow for 1 second and that extra damage output for staying dominant. Remember that you can use Crippling Strike to last hit minions as you regain the mana cost and half of the cooldown upon killing the target with it.
Abilities & Tactics
Hemorrhage is the best passive in the game in my opinion. Not only does it deal a very acceptable amount of damage over time (better than Ignite and constantly applied), but it also injects you with additional steroids called Noxian Might upon reaching 5 stacks of Hemorrhage on your enemy. Noxian Might lets you put max stacks immediately on anyone you attack and grants you 40-200 additional Attack Damage based on level which again boosts everything. Dunking with this buff is sensational.
Decimate is a really strong harrassing tool and you must learn the range of Decimate to the extent that you can land it on max range for maximum damage preferably all the time and in all possible angles.
When an enemy is chasing you, either with low health or not you should always use Decimate when you know it will hit them. If they are more than 5% faster than you and are getting too close, you have to do what you can to land a solid Decimate. Sometimes you need to use Crippling Strike to slow them and get time to then land the best Decimate you can. This is your way of kiting enemies, as you make it look like they can catch up to you and kill you, but your Decimate heals you for 12% of your missing health or up to 36% if hitting properly on more than two enemy champions, so if you're low on HP, that heals you for quite a lot!
Fear for your fate? - Just Decimate!
Use Crippling Strike to slow their movement whenever you can, preferably when you have just landed a basic attack since it refreshes auto attacks. Keep this in mind when attacking towers too. If Crippling Strike kills the target, you get the mana and half of the cooldown refunded, so it's more than OK to use it on farming minions.
When it comes to Apprehend, the keywords here are "bait escapes". Most of the time it should only be used when the enemy is about to escape either by using abilities or outrunning you to pull them back in or when you want to pull them over a wall (yes, you can pull enemies through walls). However, you will sometimes have to use it tactically to cancel channels like an enemy teleport or abilities like Katarina's ultimate Death Lotus.
Your ultimate ability Noxian Guillotine, more infamously known as "da dunk".
Hover your mouse over the ability icon to see the calculated max damage with your current amount of Attack Damage. The main thing to keep in mind with this ability is to only use when you:
---> Have reached max stacks of Hemorrhage on the enemy and will kill them with it if used.
---> Have gotten the enemy relatively low on health and applied enough stacks of Hemorrhage to reach Noxian Might if striking at the target one or two more times and that doing so would be enough to kill them with Hemorrhage, but can't reach with other abilities or basic attacks and they are about to escape to safety (this is usually a tower-dive-scenario). Use Noxian Guillotine to leap to them, deal the true damage and apply 1 stack and then land the final basic attack to trigger Noxian Might. Get back and spam /laugh as they bleed to death.
---> Have gotten the enemy down to low enough Health Points to kill them with its flat damage and they are about to escape and survive, but don't have flash and either can't reach them with the other abilities and basic attacks, or the other abilities are on cooldown.
Only ever "waste" it if you:
---> Have gained the 20 second refresh buff from killing an enemy, but it's just about to wear off and you see an enemy champion. In this situation, it's "use it or lose it", so you might as well make the best out of it by delivering that extra true damage in there.
Another thing I will share with you is an awesome little tactic that can work both as an element of surprise and as an escape with the Phage/ The Black Cleaver item as Darius. Hemorrhage deals Physical Damage, and Physical Damage procs Phage's passive, granting +20 movement speed for 2 seconds each time Physical Damage is dealt and +60 movement speed for 2 seconds when killing a unit. So as you attack a minion, several minions, a jungle monster or even champions with abilities and auto attacks, leave the minion/monster/champion when you've applied a stack of Hemorrhage or when you know that Hemorrhage will be able to kill your target(s) for even better movement speed. Start running for/from your opponent already and watch the Rage passive from Phage/ The Black Cleaver kick in and boost your speed immensely so you can easily chase/escape.
The Normal Scenarios
If going against melee champions, the fighting and trading is pretty straight forward. You need to use Decimate at max range as often as you can without taking damage yourself. Even if you take some damage, it still heals you for 12% of your missing health or even 36% if hitting properly on more than two enemy champions, so as long as you land it properly, it's almost always worth. You also need to be confident in your play and land as many basic attacks as you can to stack your passive, Hemorrhage whenever a good opportunity arises. Do what you can to both gain Noxian might and keeping it up.
The Nasty Scenarios
When playing Darius, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when facing any opponent with the potential to counter you, a few good examples would be a good Jayce, Lulu, Swain or Quinn. Basically just someone who can keep their distance with ease and at the same time keeping your HP bar in check. Keep in mind that a good opponent will always try to bait your Decimate and kite the hell out of you whenever you attempt it. Facing against such opponents require confident all in's in order to win a trade. You can do a good engage to these champions in two ways:
1. Use the Surprise m*********er! tactic, as soon as you have gained movement speed from Phage, run towards the enemy and attempt to land a good Decimate, follow up with a basic attack (if you can) and/or use Apprehend to pull them to you and land one basic attack prior to activating Crippling Strike to reset your basic attack and instantly apply an additional stack of Hemorrhage. Either stick to your target and finish them or disengage from them with Decimate once it is back from cooldown depending on your situation.
2. Run towards the enemy champion and use the max range of Apprehend to pull them in when they are briefly standing still during spell activation or auto attack. Then land one basic attack prior to activating Crippling Strike to reset the basic attack and deal extra damage quickly. The enemy will most probably be trying to escape by now, so land as many basic attacks as you can and when the enemy is in range for a good Decimate, activate it and run back to wait for Apprehend to finish its cooldown if you are not already about to kill them. Sometimes, the enemy will decide to counter your engage by going ham back at you. If this is the case, then it can be a better idea to try and run a little back so that Decimate can deal the most damage and heal you and evaluate if you can win the fight. If not, then run back and wait for everything to finish cooling down. If you play successfully like this, you will win every lane.
The love from above
A great tactic, though very situational, is if you communicate with mid or bot lane to place a tactical ward for teleportation when you know that you can kill your enemy on top lane with your ultimate Noxian Guillotine and gain the 20 seconds refresh buff. Quickly teleport mid or bot to the tactical ward to give a really effective gank if your health is not too diminished. Remember to always try and kill with the ultimate as it plays a major factor in your damage potential.
Items of Worth, their order & The Secret Of The Black Cleaver
I have found the items in the Dariusaurus Standard Build to be the optimal items for Darius in a vast majority of games. They provide a naturally perfected balance not only to defense and offense, but to his entire kit as well, boosting your every need to stack bleed, stick like nasty ick, slow with every blow, survive any dive, make them rekt with area of effect and of course redefining the word "dunk". Talking of dunks, remember that when you fight an opponent with Maw of Malmortius, you can use your ultimate as your health reaches a lower rate to deal the true damage they had nightmares about as children.
Boots are very important, but choosing the right ones are even more important.
In games where you face more Attack Damage and/or basic attack-based champions than crowd controls, Ninja Tabi serve you best. Remember to always add Enchantment: Alacrity to whichever boots you go for as it is literally 5 points of movement speed away from being equal to having a 2nd pair of Boots of Speed if they could stack. In games with more Ability Power and/or crowd controls (which is usually the case) Mercury's Treads with Enchantment: Alacrity serve you best. It's worth to mention that Mercury's Treads with Enchantment: Alacrity is the most versatile boots for Dariusaurus, but can be switched with Boots of Swiftness with Enchantment: Alacrity instead if you know that you can afford that extra movement speed over the +25 magic resist. The prize? - Being close to impossible to chase down or escape from!
The Dariusaurus Standard Build order
This build is designed for the majority of games in which you face a balanced team.
1st item:First. Item. Always.
2nd item:Either or depending on if against AD or AP in lane.
3rd item:Build into either or depending on your situation and what you globally need.
Or maybe even if you are having the time of your life dunkin' the whole out of everyone (pun intended).
4th item:Either or depending on which you already built. If already built Dead Man's Plate, your 4th finished item should be .
+50 Attack Damage, +400 Health, +100% Base HP regeneration, Area Of Effect Passive and Active and bonus damage on basic attacks based on max HP. It's important to note that Titanic Hydra's Active grants a basic attack reset, so you can combo: Basic Attack--(reset by) Crippling Strike--(reset by) Titanic Hydra Active means 3 stacks of Hemorrhage and insane damage in just about 1,5 seconds or if attacking a turret, 25% of the turrets health. The answer is quite simply: YES!
Since we already have the properties of one Phage, we can start with to get some very smexy stats and then complete Trinity Force. If you feel rather turned on by the thought of yet another +20 Attack Damage and +200 Health, then by all means go for another Phage instead.
As written on the sidenote of alternative items for Dariusaurus, you need to observe and analyze the enemy team composition and make a tactical decision to which of the items in the Dariusaurus Standard Build that should be switched with one of the alternative items. Remember, need before greed! If the enemy team has made one of the two not-so-smart decisions of either having little to no Ability Power besides the support or little to no Attack Damage besides the ADC, then I strongly recommend this:
Strongest build when going against a full Attack Damage team:
Randuin's Omen, Ninja Tabi, Thornmail, Dead Man's Plate, Sunfire Cape and The Black Cleaver
Ninja Tabi is added into this situation as well as Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape and Thornmail.
These are all great items against any Attack Damage based champions, especially those who rely heavily on Attack Speed. A few good examples would be Master Yi, Tryndamere, Aatrox and of course any ADC.
If it is your own team that is purely Attack Damage based, then The Black Cleaver will not only benefit you, but greatly help your entire team as well in being able to shred off enemy HP as they will build armor against your team. So it's a win-win no matter what. BUILD IT!
Strongest build when going against a full Ability Power team:
Maw of Malmortius, Mercury's Treads, Mercurial Scimitar, Banshee's Veil, Spirit Visage and of course The Black Cleaver
Mercurial Scimitar is added into this situation as well as Banshee's Veil and Spirit Visage as they are perfect when going against a team with a majority of Ability Power and Crowd Controls. Remember that with Mercurial Scimitar's active ability, you can fully escape fierce Crowd Control abilities like the ones from Leona, Thresh, Sejuani, Amumu, Cassiopeia and even Fizz's ultimate Chum the Waters (if you activate it when hit, the ultimate will wear off you and you can run away from that barking shark!).
The Secret Of The Black Cleaver
Here goes the tale of an item worth every single gold penny that you put sweat, blood and hard work into:
It gives you 40 AD
It gives you 400 HP
It gives you 20% cooldown reduction
It has two Unique Passives, one that grants movement speed for 2 seconds upon dealing Physical Damage or killing a unit and another Unique Passive that shreds off 5% Armor upon dealing Physical Damage, stacking up to 6 times, meaning 30% in total. Works 100% perfect with your entire kit.
But this isn't all...
Here is the super sexy "secret" about The Black Cleaver on Darius, the item's armor-shredding Unique Passive stacks each time your passive Hemorrhage ticks, since it deals Physical Damage every second for 5 seconds, this means that you only need to hit them with a basic attack or a proper Decimate once to get 1 stack of both the The Black Cleaver and Hemorrhage on the target and after just 5 seconds of bleeding they will have 30%- Armor for the next 6 seconds! You can easily follow up, keeping their Armor down as well as completely deleting them through anything from your kit. That is so freakin' sweet it cannot even be argued against. Did I also mention how the Armor Penetration from maxing Apprehend 2nd just makes the matters mentioned above SO much worse for the enemy? Well, there you go.
Easy - Medium
The keyword here is: Deny minions!
Laning against Nasus is generally a favorable matchup for you because he has no range whatsoever except for his Spirit Fire, but he can be tricky if you push your lane too much. You can harass him without any problems using your abilities, but you will not be able to keep him in check if you let him attack minions for long enough as he will regain all his health because of his passive lifesteal from Soul Eater. Look at your own minions health and observe which minion he will use Siphoning Strike or basic attacks on, then when he goes in to attack the minion, land a full range Decimate, a basic attack and pull him back in with Apprehend before using Crippling Strike to slow him and land as many basic attacks as possible before disengaging. Keep going like this.
If your minions reach his tower, then he gets exactly what he wants as he can, as mentioned before, regain all his health because of his passive lifesteal from Soul Eater and also gain stacks easily. All of this while you have a high chance of getting ganked in a horrible manner if Nasus has his Wither and at the same time not being able to deny him enough.
So you have to try and always punish him for slaying your fellow minions! Think of them as your cute and tiny friends just trying to bring some color into the League and have done nothing wrong and you'll want to reign vengeance on that Shuriman dog for slaughtering them!
Note: Be very careful about engaging Nasus while he has Fury of the Sands activated.
This ultimate is among the most powerful in the League, and it is highly recommended that you only fight him in this form if you know for certain that you will win. If not, then wait for Fury of the Sands to finish and go back and fight him if it is beneficial and of course if he is still there.
Irelia is a pretty annoying champion, but only once she has her Sheen or Trinity Force. During laning phase, harass her with well landed Decimate's and when she is about to dash to minions to farm, stand close to the minions she will dash to and keep doing well landed Decimate's repeatedly. Use Crippling Strike BEFORE she stuns you and only use Apprehend on her AFTER she has stunned you. Zone her, counter her engages and dodge her ultimate and the lane is pretty much yours.
Ahh, Garen the Baron...
This lane is pretty much defined by skill. Garen has the advantage if you pull him in to engage, since he can just use Courage and instantly activate Judgment and you will take full damage from it. He can also just use Decisive Strike if you slow him and he will release himself from it and still stick to you which will win him the trade in most cases.
The trick here is to hit him with Decimates and keep your distance when he rushes to you with his Decisive Strike. Once he has failed to use it on you, just keep harassing him with Decimate until his health is low enough for you to go all in and take him down.
Try to avoid using Crippling Strike if he has Decisive Strike as he can release himself from slows. Use Apprehend when he uses Decisive Strike to escape and then use Crippling Strike to slow him.
It's very important to keep your passive debuff Hemorrhage on Garen as much as you can so that his own passive Perseverance can't activate.
A good Garen will try to bait your Decimate and use his Courage to reduce the damage if it hits him, so sometimes it's good to try and bait his Courage by just using Decimate as a lure, then wait for it to be over and let him "witness true strength".
If Garen is doing well against you despite your every attempt, then try to roam and get a kill on other lanes, get yourself that The Black Cleaver as soon as you can and you should be good.
Another skill matchup.
When going against Renekton it is important to keep in mind that Decimate's range is much bigger than Cull the Meek's range, so use this to your advantage and harass him while at the same time staying out of Cull the Meek's range.
When Renekton uses Slice and Dice to engage you, you have to try and back a little to kite him while both activating Decimate and preparing Crippling Strike as he will use Ruthless Predator and stun you. If done correctly, you will deal some damage to him on his way to you with Decimate and also hit him with Crippling Strike simultaneously with his Ruthless Predator. It's the best you can do to counter his engage. By the time he has done his combo and disengages, you can try to quickly follow him, use Decimate and pull him in to you with Apprehend once he is in range. Then stack Hemorrhage on him and use what you have before going back to farming.
Note: Do NOT attempt to spam Apprehend when he has you stunned and is disengaging from using a successful combo of Slice and Dice, Ruthless Predator and Cull the Meek as you simply won't pull him in on time and you will waste Apprehend.
Another note: Renekton knows your ultimate, and will use his own to counter yours, so only use your ultimate Noxian Guillotine after Renekton has used his ultimate Dominus and his health gets low enough to die from the chunk o' the dunk.
Medium - Hard
Riven has damage, but only physical so stack armor quickly here!
It will benefit you beyond belief, and will give her only grief.
Tactic-wise, you need to keep your distance when she uses her ugly combo of Broken Wings at level 1. You can dodge it pretty easily and kite her back and forth with it and land a pretty solid Decimate if you just keep your distance properly.
When Riven hits level 3, she will be overconfident and go her fugly combo of Valor, Ki Burst and Broken Wings, this is where you have a huge opportunity.
If she choose to go bursting in, which is something you have to be prepared for, then you can counter this by moving back as soon as you see her rush. Her stun will then fail, if not, it will at least not help her land an extra hit on you and you can start dodging away from her Broken Wings and start hitting her with basic attacks as soon as she has done the somersault that indicates Broken Wings last strike, then land Decimate to heal and deal and use Crippling Strike immediately after landing a basic attack. When she disengages or tries to escape, use Apprehend to pull her back in and continue torturing the Noxian deserter!
Note: Wait for Riven to waste her Valor before using Noxian Guillotine as the damage blocked by the shield of Valor is too damn high, but only lasts 1,5 seconds.
Medium - Hard
Laning against Gnar is pretty much a matter of three things:
1. Dodging his Boomerang Throw.
2. Staying out of his auto-attack range to not let him stack his Hyper passive on you.
3. Disengage him when he is about to turn into Mega-Gnar through his passive Rage Gene and re-engage once it is down.
Mini-Gnar is squishy, and as long as we can land a solid Decimate while still keeping a good amount of health on our side, we can go all in on him. Whenever he tries to escape using Hop, time Apprehend and pull him back in, then stack the required amount of Hemorrhage and dunk the hell out of that annoying Yordle before he can turn into Mega-Gnar!
Note: If you are fighting Mega-Gnar, stay away from walls as his ultimate GNAR! benefits greatly from hitting you into a wall. You will recieve 50% increased damage and be stunned for 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 seconds.
If you happen to be against Lulu, then luck is not by your side, mate.
However, since we can't rely on luck to beat our counters, there is luckily (pun intended) a way to counter your counters!
Lulu is rarely seen top, which is great, but sometimes the enemy knows what's up when you pick Darius in Champion Select and choose to go Lulu to screw you. When this happens, you need to keep a few things in mind:
1. She has extremely high burst with Pix, Faerie Companion.
2. She can keep her distance with great ease with a self-casted Whimsy and get vision of you with an enemy-casted Help, Pix!.
3. She can polymorph you with Whimsy if you try to get too close, meaning reduced movement speed and no access to abilities for the duration of Whimsy.
4. She can and will keep your HP bar low and slow you most of the time with Glitterlance.
5. She will use her ultimate Wild Growth to counter Noxian Guillotine in terms of HP gained contra true damage dealt, so use your ultimate wisely!
Knowing your limits is key to winning lane against a counter.
Mentioned above is what limits us against Lulu, but here is the good news:
Lulu like most other Ability Power Champions is squishy, meaning once you get the opportunity to land abilities and basic attacks on her, it will hurt her quite a lot, so ask for early ganks.
Get yourself Boots of Speed rather early and rush Hexdrinker or Spectre's Cowl as soon as you can.
Try to bait Lulu's abilities by running towards her to Decimate and then run back. She may poke you a little bit, but once she has wasted Whimsy, you can win the trade with a good Apprehend engage.
Since Lulu knows her advantage against you, you have to try and keep your distance as much as necessary. You may also need to farm minions with your abilities in order to not be denied too much.
When you are under your turret and Lulu tries to poke you, use Apprehend to pull her in under the turret, then use Crippling Strike to slow her there. This may even bait her Flash, but will surely turn the tide for you in terms of trade if you aren't too low on health.
A short video demonstrating a few ways of utilizing Darius' kit (Pre 5.16)
Despite the video being outdated in terms of Darius' kit change since patch 5.16, the methods shown in the video are not.
Bonus: Garen vs Darius rap battle.
It's too much fun with a Garen vs Darius rap battle, so I created one. Enjoy!
At the earliest point I'll be in my lane
Getting farm first to drive you insane
While last hitting minions makes my ranks ascend
It's just a matter of time before I'm farming your friends
With my eyes on the prize and decisive strikes
I silence the ones Demacia dislikes
"Blood for Noxus"? Oh yes, you're damn right
The last thing you'll see is a bright f***ing light
With Demacian Justice you'll be easy cash
You'll be ****ting your pants before you waste that flash
Go ahead and harass, I can take all you can bring
I'll just release myself from slows and let my passive do its thing
Please try to shut me down, let's go 1v5
I have my courage active, I can easily dive
The might of Demacia has come to stay
I'll be fighting my enemies through night and day
Go gather your friends and I'll just go all in
Behold my mechanics as I spin to win!
Long Sword, potions, trinket and Q
Beginning like a boss is simply just what I do
I have my fangs out, axe ready
I'm steady and deadly like a fed Lee
Even from the start I will bleed you dry
The time is always right to make you cry
So I Decimate, leaving your fate to my axe's blade
Watching your health being shred while in need of aid
You obviously depend on ganks to survive
You struggle to farm while I am more than alive
As I hit 6 we both know who owns the lane, so run
You can silence me, fear me, root me, slow me, taunt me or stun
My superior kit works like a dominant dream
I pull you in, cripple and delete with Noxian Guillotine
So pray that your day stays free from pain
The hand of Noxus is here and blood is the new rain.
Wether you read the whole guide or mostly just skipped straight to the bottom, I hope this guide proved helpful in teaching you new ways to play Darius and how to "expose every weakness" in your enemies. I also hope this guide provided inspiration for you to try out what you have just spent your time on reading. I thank you for spending that time here, and hope to see more Dariusaurus' roaming Runeterra!
Good luck in mastering Darius, I hope we meet on the Fields of Justice!