Fiddlesticks Build Guide by Piradus
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.
Early Game - Read notes!
Example Final 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.
Hello everyone and welcome to my first guide ever! (yeah that's right its on mobafire!)
I feel like I have to give back to Mobafire for all my days as a beginner relying on it for picking items and general character tips.
Since Fiddlesticks is the sole reason I made it to platinum, I felt like making a guide for him would be a great way to give back.
This guide is dedicated to helping out beginner and experienced players to reach the next level of playing fiddle middle. If your familiar with fiddlesticks and want to get even better, go to the game play chapter. It is a must read chapter for anyone wanting to improve with fiddlesticks!
And yes, Fiddlesticks middle is completely viable. Even in Platinum ranked games. He is consistently underestimated, and his utility in mid game team fights is exceptional. Also the early laning phase is strong with experience on character matchups.
The good and the Bad
Great Single Target CC
Surprise! AOE Ult
Often Under rated
Squishy against drain disrupters
Enemy Warding = hard to land ult
Runes + Masteries
The Runes I use are what I prefer for most games. That being said, it is definitely not the only way to go.
If there is no magic champion on the enemy team, more attack power or magic penetration may be more effective.
The masteries I feel are pretty set in stone at this point for a middle fiddle. The extra buff duration, CD reduction, and mana regen provide more utility than getting some armor or MR and health overall.
I use the above combination for 99% of games with great success, thus I recommend sticking to it. Experiment with other combinations of runes and masteries if youd like (let me know how it goes).
Flash is a must have, because of its instant gap closing ability, which comes in handy very often when using Crowstorm. I use flash with my Crowstorm most often, because setting up a good 4 to 5 person death on the other team is often better than escaping (most of the time you don't end up escaping anyway). You have to think about the team, and setting up your team to win is better than saving yourself. That being said, if you know you can survive with flash, then use it (not trying to confuse you I promise).
Ignite works great with fiddle, as it can help shutdown other opponents lifesteal, which when you get ignited yourself, can balance the battle. Also, its a great finisher when the are fleeing. The extra damage output will very often get you a kill when they would have lived otherwise.
Teleport can come in handy for some team composition situations, like if the enemy team has a shen or twisted fate, and you want to keep up with where they are heading. Or if you want to surprise gank by teleporting to wards. But for the most part I prefer ignite because it gives you a great edge on 1v1 fights early game, which dominate the lane.
Ok, here we go, into the real meat and bones (or souls? = bad drain joke) of this guide.
Some people argue dark wind or fear is better to max out before drain, I would say this is absolutely false. The only time this would be beneficial is if your not used to playing fiddle and don't time your drain correctly (remember to always use drain after the enemy uses his CC!). I cant tell you how many times having a lvl 3 Drain at lvl 5 has saved my life and got me a double kill on the mid and jungler for going in too hard on me.
Drain is the first skill to max, after getting Dark Wind at level 1 and Terrify at level 3. Sometimes, but not often, you can get level 2 Drain at level 3 if your opponent is pushing into you hard and the extra damage and hp regen will be well used and your confident you wont be ganked by jungler. Most of the time however, the fear is saved for a gank attempt by the jungler as your get away free card or if your opponent does a hard engage on you ( Kha'Zix jumps on you..) Learning when to use Drain properly is not easy, but the most important thing to remember is never use it to start a gank on an opponent who can disrupt it (which is a lot of opponents). Try to bait out their disrupt spell by having them try to engage you, then start the drain. Also, with champions who can quickly jump away Gragas Kha'Zix, either make sure their jump spell Body Slam is on cooldown, or use Terrify first to ensure damage will be done.
Dark Wind is your spam spell for laning, and is especially devastating when opponent is below level 1 or 2. Try to time this spell to bounce off a last minion and your opponent to force the bounce onto your opponent instead of having luck decide where it will bounce when you cast it on your opponent with a full wave of creeps next to him/her. This spell is a life saver when the jungler comes out of nowhere and both the jungler and the mid opponent start charging you, cast dark wind on them and it willl bounce between them, doing good damage to deter them and silence them so they have a harder time catching you. Remember, use this spell as often as you can on the opponent to keep the pressure on them, but be careful about how much you push because you become a great target for ganking by the jungler!. (Don't blame your own jungler for not helping your lane when the enemy jungler is ganking you alot, because it usually means your pushing too hard and setting yourself up for the enemy team to gank! I know were not all perfect!)
Terrify is the most dominant single target fear in the game unless I'm mistaken, and is very well suited to the rest of fiddles kit. This spell is another difficult one to master the timing of. This spell is great for locking down single enemies and catching them out of position, starting surprise ganks with friendly team mate from brush on unsuspecting enemies, usually in their own jungle, stopping adc or apc from melting your face and buying time for drain to get hp back. There are just so many uses for this spell, but make sure you don't waste it at a bad time, as you will be much more vulnerable when its on cd. This spell is a must cast when ganking with ultimate, usually I cast it right off the bat so the enemy cant react and Flash away, then you can Drain, and try to cast dark wind when the Terrify fear runs out to keep them silenced. Rank this up 2nd because the extra fear time is way more valuable than leveling dark wind because it keeps them from escaping you!
Crowstorm ahhh the bread and butter. Ever want to completely change a team fight and melt everyone out of nowhere? then look no further. This spell is the main reason fiddle is viable to play middle and is feared by opponents in mid or late game, because one good ult can change a team fight and for that matter a game. To use it effectively, the enemy must not know your lurking behind the wall or in the brush next to them (that means get Oracle's Elixir or Vision Ward!!). The tried and true move is to stay a bit ahead of your team off to the sides, start channeling on the enemy team as they advance, ping for your allies so they know what your doing, and plop down on the enemy team with Crowstorm doing massive damage. Cast fear on the AD or AP Carry, send out Dark Wind, and use drain on the enemy feared or use Zhonya's Hourglass if the enemy team reacts fast enough to endanger you.
Starting off with Doran's Ring and a sight ward is absolutely critical. This is because Doran's ring gives us all the essential extra boosts fiddle needs with the mana regen, ap power, and health, to stay in the lane longer than your opponent. A sight ward as any experienced player can tell you will save your hide 100% of the time against a jungler, especially when your dark wind is pushing hard (as always).
When I first recall, usually if everything is going good, I have at least 1100 gold. I pick up Sorcerer's Shoes when this happens and if I have extra gold I stack up on sight wards. This is critical because it allows you to get around with your ult to keep up with people, dodge skill shots, and so many more things extra speed is helpful for, on top of more +15 magic penetration.
If you have over 1600 gold, sometimes picking up the Needlessly Large Rod can keep you snowballing.
If you have less than 1100 gold, then buy either Cloth Armor, Amplifying Tome, Boots of Speed, or Ruby Crystal depending on if your against an AD champ Zed Kha'Zix, squishy champ Vladimir, skillshot champ Lux Ahri, or burst champ Annie Kassadin respectively.
On 2nd recall, you now have a choice between Seeker's Armguard, Haunting Guise, and Hextech Revolver. Id say I go with Seeker's Armguard 90% of the time to build a Zhonya's Hourglass as soon as possible, but when there is little cc the Hextech Revolver can work wonders on keeping you alive (to the surprise of the enemy!), or when the extra burst is needed the Haunting Guise may come into play.
I have found that building fiddle with as much burst as possible is the way to go. This is because it synergizes much better with his play style. Which is to land your ult on top of their team, fear and dark wind, and then zhonyas while everyone dies or starts running away. Building him with items like Rod of Ages, while it can be useful, don't dish out the damage that you really want when you land the ult on them. If your ult doesn't do face melting damage, you don't make an impact (useless)... This gameplay style requires you to have map awareness so you don't get caught out, but when played right will drastically increase the deadliness of fiddlesticks.
Always build Zhonya's Hourglass as first end build item (besides sorcerers shoes), because of just how useful it is to be able to be invincible while your ultimate destroys them. Without it first, you can get bursted down right after you ult on top of the team, and your ultimate damage will be a fraction of what it could have been if youd live for the whole duration. I really do not see any exception to building this after any other item with fiddlesticks.
The 2nd end build item is now situational, If there are many beefy characters on the team, you may want to go with Deathfire Grasp, if there are quick champions and you want that aoe slow, go with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and lastly, if the enemy team is stacking magic resist, go with Void Staff.
The 3rd major item I buy the majority of the time is Rabadon's Deathcap, to get crazy high attack power.
I then look at the current situation to decide what the last two items will be. This can very dramatically, and I think the situation items I have displayed above have their time and place against certain team compositions or to synergize with your team composition.
For boot augments, I highly recommend either Enchantment: Distortion or Enchantment: Homeguard. The flash cd reduction is huge for fiddle since so often you need to use flash to situate yourself right in the middle of the enemy team after using Crowstorm. And homegaurd is great for being able to move around the map and spread your presence better.
Up to this far, its been relatively generic information and build guides about fiddle, if you want to learn how to actually implement all this and win games, read this section!
This is the most important start of becoming a good mid player! YOU need to buy wards often to put around your lane to protect yourself from the enemy jungler. This needs to be done during the whole laning phase with no exceptions!. When you are behind and don't have much gold to go around, you may not think you have the cash for the sight ward, but that's the biggest mistake you can make. Usually you've gotten behind because of poor map awareness. Every time you go back you should pick up a sight ward!. I know this seams drastic for people not used to shelling out the money for it, but being able to dodge a gank is way more valuable and allows you to get that 2-3 creeps you need to pay it off when your not dead, plus retaining all the exp.
If the enemy team is doing a great job of warding, it is almost essential to pick up Oracle's Elixir if no one on your team has it already. Without this, they will be able to know where you are and your greatest strength - the element of surprise - will be gone, allowing them to easily walk away from your face melting ultimate.
Refer to this picture to see where to place wards during the beginning and as the game progresses!
And always remember!
As I have said prior if you've been reading everything thus far, Fiddlesticks main weapon of strength is unpredictability and surprise. Mastering these two things are what makes you a great fiddlesticks player. People don't expect you to start channeling Crowstorm back into them when their whole team is chasing your team, people don't expect you to pull ahead of a 2v1 because you can outlast with a powerful drain, people don't expect you to caw caw caw all over them! You need to maintain this at all times, when you become predictable, even if fed very well, you will get shut down!
During the early game your main objective is to get a creep score advantage over your opponent. I accomplish this by harassing my opponent hard enough that they cant easily cs. I tend to spam dark wind a lot early game, but be very careful not to get ganked when past the half way point of the map. A winning lane can turn into a losing one real quick with one or two ganks on you. That being said, I usually play safe but somewhat aggressive early game, not necessarily going for the kills (unless there is a good opportunity) but harassing the opponent hard enough. Once I get to level 6, I try to go around to the side bushes or behind the wall perpendicular to the side bushes, then ult on top of the unsuspecting opponent. If the opponent is playing much more carefully and not coming into range, its okay to wait until 7, so your drain will be even more powerful. Once you land an ult on them, make sure to Terrify immediately so the don't flash away, since the Dark Wind crow is slow and can be flashed out of before it reaches them. Then Drain immediately to do as much burst damage as possible, pop the ignite on them and if they are still living throw out the Dark Wind right before they are out of reach.
This is when it becomes really fun to play fiddle. Your team starts grouping up to do objectives and the enemy team is grouping up to contest. This is perfect for you ultimate to get the whole team at once! Try to encourage team fights of 3v3 or greater and land your ult on them when they don't know your there. This can either be due to great positioning on your part or a courageous team mate baiting them into it. The main objective for fiddle in mid game is to land the Crowstorm on the team in the beginning or middle of a team fight to dominate the fight, then use Terrify to pick off any fleeing opponents.
Why havnt you won yet? Well, Late game is much like mid game, but the adc does much more dmg normally by late game, so using Zhonya's Hourglass after landing a crow storm on a team is a must. One decisive team fight is all it takes to make or break it, and your team will be depending on you not to blow your ult. Make sure you have good map awareness and don't get caught out! Save your ult for when the enemy team commits and punish them.
Using this ability at the right time ultimately makes all the difference, it definitely takes time and practice to use it right, as you need to be able to predict the enemy's movement so you can land on top of them after the channeling. It is VERY important to start channeling this when they cant see you, otherwise they can either interrupt the channel (most sad thing ever) or run away (also sad). To accomplish this, usually having a wall to jump over is a great help. Also, Flash is a great tool when the enemy has jumped away or your just not close enough to them after you cast Crowstorm and need to close the gap. But be careful not to cast flash as your channeling, or you'll interrupt the ultimate and waste your flash!
Here is a map I made to show you some of the most classic places to ult over walls, including a few good mid gank ult spots for early game.
Notice how most of the spots to ultimate are either on a tower or an objective, this is because the enemy team conveniently groups up at these points, maximizing the potential of your ultimate. Don't be afraid to inititiate a fight by tower dive ulting on top of their whole team, if you have zhonyas (which you should by mid game) and your team is behind you, it will succeed 95% of the time.
Juking players with your ult is super fun as well, try flashing into a bush or over a wall, then immediately channeling back onto the opponent who thinks you are now in full escape mode.
- Watch out for ignite, you will get much less healing when draining, I usually try to disengage if its still possible to survive, otherwise you may just have to stick it through and hope you can out damage the opponent.
- Remember to use Flash to do unexpected things with your ult to catch them off guard!
- When level 1 invading, dark wind does massive damage to enemy team, especially if two of them are right next to each other (does about half hp usually to both).
- Most opponents think your an easy target for skill shots when you use Drain, get the last laugh by being on your toes for the skill shot and dodge it! Its sometimes worth it to dodge than continue draining, especially when the skill shot would interrupt the channel
- Try to chain your CC, which means if other players on your team have hard CC as well, don't blow it all at once on one target, but rather wait for their CC to finish, then use Terrify to keep your poor enemy locked up for as much time as possible
- Don't Forget that Dark Wind Silences! So often people (myself included) think of it as just a bouncing damage spell, but its just as valuable (if not more in some situations) as a silence. For instance, you just used Terrify on the enemy adc, and katerina jumps out of nowhere and uses Death Lotus, well, CAW CAW her! (that means cast dark wind)
Extras and Summary
As I stated in the introduction, carrying games as middlefiddle is why I am in Plat II right now. At one point when I started playing ranked and catching on to fiddle, my win rate with fiddle was 80%, and I flew through silver and gold.
If you have amazing middle fiddle carry stats as well you want to show off, send them to me and ill put them in.
Shoutout to jhoijhoi for the BBC coding guide!
This is my first draft of this guide, and I am planning on adding champion matchups and more helpful tips.
Thank you for reading my guide, if you have any questions, comments, or criticism don't hesitate to lay it on me. SURPRISE!