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.
Threats to Darius with this build
|Ezreal||Short range and squishy. It's only his teleport that gives him a chance, and would you want running away to be your strategy?|
Darius is traditionally a strong, easy to play toplane champ who excels in teamfights. He is not considered a support character by many, and is rarely played. I have seen 1 Darius support player so far, but have not been playing all that long. Do not take anything in this guide as the one true way. I'm not that experienced, though I have played a fair bit of Darius. This is just my guide to an exceptionally fun build.
The reasons darius is rarely in a support role are legitimate, and will be discussed more in depth later. Here's a quick overview though:
Darius is really strong. Due to being in a supporting role you couldn't go toe to toe with a toplane Dar, but you nevertheless provide a massive boon to your team by granting a tanky damage dealer.
Staying alive: Darius has health regen and hitpoints aplenty, which allows him to survive long enough to get back under the tower while being focused by the AD and support. His slows and grab let you keep your AD alive long enough to run away, while you flee after him spinning your ax in circles.
Blood and Blades: your slow and grab mean that if the enemy AD gets within your range you can beat him down low enough that the enemy support will have to come in. Then you beat down the enemy support. Then they both hide very deep in the turret (to avoid your grab) for a long time. So much fun.
Hemorrhage: Yes, this is a con. It's a pretty big one in fact. It stops you from being able to auto attack the minions in order to keep the lane back from the tower. The bleed makes you run a risk of stealing the creeper kills.
Noxian Guillotine: In an ideal world, your AD gets all the kills and makes all the money. Darius doesn't live in that world. Darius' ult almost requires you to steal kills.
Dumb AD: Your AD needs to run. When they are focused, you will grab the enemies. If your AD turns around and goes for an attack, they can be caught. That means you have to basically kill yourself to keep them alive. This will probably make you mad.
A little about me: As I said, I'm not super-experienced, which is why I'm dumb enough to break the mold and play Darius support. I have played a lot of Darius, along with Malphite and Soraka. As I said before, if you find another more experienced guide, take it more seriously than this one (and post the link in comments). I wrote this guide primarily because I couldn't find one.
When to Choose Darius
I cannot stress enough how important it is to not choose Darius with a wimpy AD. By wimpy, I mean someone who can't easily kill and play aggressively. Once you slap on the slows, you need the AD to immediately proceed to lash out huge amounts of damage. Together the two of you can freak out your opponents enough to make them keep back away from your minions. Ashe is excellent at doing this. Ezreal, not so much. Always check that your team doesn't need a different role filled blah blah blah. Pick Darius when you can dominate the lane with your AD.
Dealing with the Downsides
As I said, there are two big problems with Darius. The first is his Hemorrhage. Every game I have played with him, the minion wave ends up pushed right up to the tower early-game. Just accept it. In many ways, it's actually an advantage as it opens up ganking opportunities and leaves you a nice long way to chase them.
Guillotine. Oh Guillotine. When your opponents are both close together, Guillotine one for the kill, hit the second and then immediately Guillotine him. This way, you wreck his health, apply vast amounts of bleed, and leave him open for your ally to kill. If there are more than two, kill the first few and leave the last one for your ally. They like to feel included.
No, you should already know what they do. The question is more why are they in this order for leveling? Indeed, Decimate is generally first leveled in toplane Darius. Here, however, you aren't the major damage dealer. Apprehend serves three purposes and serves them well.
1: Punishment. Be aware of how far out your Apprehend reaches. If your enemy carry is dumb enough to get into that range, e,w,AA,a. Apprehend to get him nearby, Crippling Strike to keep him there, and then auto attack and Decimate as he runs. If your carry has fast reflexes you both can dish out a lot of damage. With Guillotine you might want to end him.
2: Saves. Your AD can sometimes get into unfortunate situations. Apprehend works here beautifully to snag your opponents away from him and force them to focus on you instead. Then you run.
3: Survival. Darius has no escape mechanics except Apprehend. If an opponent is to close to you, grab him. There is slight bounce-back and a slow which give you the precious few seconds to get away.
For a Darius Player:
You aren't top lane anymore. That means you have to play nice with your teammates, because you need them. The fact that you run Dead Man's Plate over Black Cleaver shows that. Your Plate will keep you alive while you keep your carry alive with the added bonus of massive movement speed. In late game, remember that you have far less gold and gear than you are used to. You're weaker, so your Guillotine doesn't deal as much damage (you tend to be lower level) and you can't take as many hits.
For a Support Player:
You determine the tempo. It's important that you make this clear to your AD after you've confirmed that they're aggressive. Once you grab you need a response from AD. Warn them that you have a weak early game (lvl 1-3). Warn your jungler about bleed so that he'll save his smite.
If you try this build in any form, please tell me your matchups. I can only get so much data, and any notes from you would be much appreciated. These are for both supports and ADs.
Jinx: This one isn't too bad. You just need to do a lot of poke damage since she has short range to start. Grab her, smack her, and then beat up the support when he comes running to save her.
Ezreal: Once again, a short ranged attacker. He'll usually have to play around you because of your ability to beat him up. He does have a highly annoying flash-like ability that lets him run away. If you're snowballing him, I reccomend building up speed so that he can't get away in time.
Lux: She's really, really hard. Or I'm just bad. Either way, because of her snare it makes beating up the AD really difficult. You can't keep on him that easily and she can burst you just as well as you can her. If she's a bad player dodging the snares is easy. Keep behind a minion wall.
Morgana: Morgan is similar to Lux in many respects, except that she's a bit more defensive. With her snare being blocked by minions, you can just hang out in back and wait for the perfect strike. Her shield only absorbs magic damage, so it's almost useless against you.
Alistar: The big advantage of him is that he has to physically stop you. That means a hit on the AD will turn into another hit on him. The problem is that when he stops you, you'll go up in the air. When you see him coming, activate Decimate so your airtime isn't wasted.
Tristana: Just don't. Play someone else. She's so agile that she doesn't have to fear you, and can plop bombs on you or your AD. She's kind of scary and you just aren't that useful against her.
Taric: He can be tricky, because of his stun effects and channeling from allies. He doesn't have any good escape mechanisms though, and he doesn't usually build for speed, so if you grab him away from the AD, beat him into the ground.
Thresh: I suck against Thresh. He's brutal. His grab is longer than yours, so he can snag you or your AD easier than you can snag his. He has knock-back and teleport to keep his AD safe.
Quinn: she can be a pain, but she's also pretty squishy. Keep the bushes warded and you'll be OK.
Blitzcrank: Surprisingly, you do OK against him. As long as you are ready to dodge his grab, you're on a pretty even field. Stay behind the minion wave and your grab is better than his.
Sivir: She has great range and a bouncy blade. Her ult is weak, since your opponents can't usually go head to head against you, but it's hard to nab her.
On my "difficulty scale" you'll see that a lot of people are highly ranked. That's because my memories skew towards my bad matches. This is maximum difficult, their likelyhood to make you have a bad game. Plus, I'm not an incredible player. Take the difficulty down a notch or two if you're really experienced.
Thanks for reading! Comments are always appreciated, especially with how to format this better (I'm not sure how to insert moves and masteries into the text). Have fun.
If you read this before, note that I've changed a lot after playing some more. Not much fundamental that is new though.
Big thanks to nhumanh96 for his guide. It tells you a lot about playing toplane Darius.
Click here for the guide.