Fiddlesticks Build Guide by ModoTheGreat
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.
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.
What build is which/introduction
Hello to everybody reading this! This is my second build on Mobafire, so please don't expect something graphically impressive. This is just what I hope to be useful advice on how to build an effective Fiddlesticks, and to show you the many things you can do with him.
My three builds are for Jungling Fiddlesticks. The first two of them are also viable in (mid)lane. I will go into the specifics in their respective chapters.
I would appreciate any comments, good or bad; I'd be happy to improve this guide if there's things lacking.
When to Jungle/Lane Fiddlesticks?
- An ultimate that dominates team fights
- Ridiculous sustain thanks to the 80% base vamp on his Drain
- A 3 second fear and a silence, the latter also being great harass and good for farming/pushing if you're laning
- The perfect counter-pick for Vladimir, as Drain keeps going when he uses his Sanguine Pool.
- On that note, other skills that make you untargetable also don't stop your Drain if it already started. I haven't tested this to be true with Elise, but only Zhonya's Hourglass seems to stop it.
- Good magic DPS and capable jungler/counterjungler: that 40% AP scaling is offset by the fact you can get 5 hits out of each spell.
- Drain is a channeled spell which can be interrupted by any stun, suppress, silence, knock-up and knock-back(a.k.a. gets destroyed by Alistar, Riven etc)
- His ultimate, Crowstorm, requires a 1.5 second channel which can be interrupted by the same things, making you waste your ult
- Heavily affected by Ignite
- No real escape mechanism, although Crowstorm can sometimes be used as one.
- You will be focused in team fights if you're doing well (not really a drawback, but yeah)
- Considered a slow jungler and poor farmer, although Smite helps your jungle speed and the Blue Golem buff is great in and out of the jungle.
In general, I pick him when my team is low on AP and/or when the AP characters we do have are burst-oriented (like Veigar), since Fiddlesticks provides a more continuous magical threat. I jungle him whenever my team is low on AP and lacks a jungler. I also pick him against Vladimir whenever my team composition lets me.
How to Jungle Fiddlesticks
Always start at Blue Buff, or you will regret it when you're standing at your second camp and realize you're out of mana. Fiddlesticks is strongly Blue Buff-dependent when jungling, because most of his damage and sustain comes from his rather expensive Drain spell. Ask for a leash if possible, although you should be able to solo it.
Upon reaching lvl 2, use your Dark Wind when it's off cooldown to kill the small creeps. The big Wolf, Wraith and Golem should be drained.
Don't attempt to grab Red Buff until your Smite comes back up. Also remember that Red Buff is pointless if you don't gank with it, and even Fiddlesticks can't hope to gank at critical health. Besides, you should be ganking after you get your Terrify for better results, anyways.
You could give your first Red to someone else, but I don't recommend doing so; you can really use the experience, and red buff helps you kill the small wraiths and stuff.
Ganks should consist of you jumping out at the enemy, using Terrify on them and then Draining them to death. If the enemy has a strong escape mechanism ( Lee Sin comes to mind), you might want to use Dark Wind on them first, giving you time to get closer and fear them. Else, save it; you might be able to secure a kill with it if the enemy is getting away.
In early levels, if you have red buff, try to land a single autoattack for the damage and slow before starting your Drain.
Post-6, you can choose to initiate with Crowstorm, but make sure you get the timing right; the 1.5 second channel means you might miss your target altogether, and the cooldown is quite high.
Fiddlesticks can solo the Dragon very early. I have tried and succeeded in killing it solo at level 6 with only a Doran's Ring and Blue Buff. I am not entirely certain at which level Fiddlesticks can first solo Dragon, but I would recommend for you to wait until level 9 or until you're certain no enemy will interfere. For safety's sake, gank bottom lane first at level 5-6 and then claim Dragon with the two champions there, with you tanking it if you have enough health.
Placing wards around the map provides you and your team with sight in the massive Fog of War that is the jungle. Knowing when an enemy is attempting to take Blue Buff, Red Buff, Dragon or Baron Nashor makes it possible for your team to steal the kill, and perhaps even kill the enemy. On top of that, wards can be a great boon when fighting in the jungle or to predict enemy ganks.
Usually, each lane will ward their own brush to prevent ganks, but warding all key jungle positions is supposed to be your task. If you have a Support champion like Soraka or Sona in your team, they might ward Dragon and Baron Nashor for you, but Blue and Red Buff are always your responsibility.
Since Fiddlesticks is fairly item dependent and has an expensive build, it might be hard on you to purchase Wards. I'd advice to get Sight Wards whenever you have the money to spare, though; you won't regret it.
Pretty much every nook and cranny of Summoner's Rift can be a good place to ward depending on the situation, as you'll probably discover after a few games against stealth champions. This map shows the main warding spots I believe everyone should know, however.
Credits for making it go to Apostheosis' Jungle Tryndamere Guide.
Baron/Dragon Wards: place these near the middle of the river, so you can see Baron/Dragon and still overlook the river in full.
Buff Wards: Secure your buffs and possibly steal theirs. Try to place these in the nearby brush so that they overlook the Buff monster and a large part of the brush.
Defensive Wards help predict a gank closer to your base and grant vision for team fights in the jungle. More useful late-game.
Offensive Wards grant vision in the enemy jungle. Use Vision Wards here to make sure no enemies or hostile wards are nearby, and your team should be able to gank quite nicely. More useful late-game.
River Brush Wards: enemies sometimes like to ambush you from the brush near Dragon or Baron, these wards make that impossible (until the enemy kills them or they time out…) Also most useful late-game!
Lane Wards: Putting wards in the brush near your lane helps prevent enemy ganks! These wards are not made obsolete by Dragon/Baron wards, because they grant vision inside the brush where most gankers will hide, giving you a big advantage. You're jungling, though, so these spots aren't your concern.
Why those summoner spells?
Jungle Fiddlesticks wants Smite because his sustained damage is both a blessing and a curse. It makes stealing his buffs very easy for anyone with a sense of timing, and you don't have the burst to prevent it. Smite grants you that finisher to secure Buffs, Dragon and even Baron Nashor! On top of that, Smite also improves the somewhat low jungling speed Fiddlesticks suffers from.
I pick Flash because it allows me an escape mechanism and the ability to Terrify> Drain an enemy that was formerly just out of reach. The basic reasons, really. It's up to you whether you take this or Exhaust when jungling.
Exhaust is great on Fiddlesticks, because it weakens an enemy's damage (giving you time to heal up by Draining them) and makes them slower at fleeing Drain's range. If you're going to get this summoner spell, however, get it on laning Fiddlesticks or even over Flash.
Teleport is situational, so please read my description of Build 3.
Any other summoner spells are, quite frankly, poor picks on Fiddlesticks; they just don't synergize with him at all. Clarity, perhaps, but if you're having trouble with your mana for some reason you should build Archangel's Staff instead.
I will not take responsibility for scarecrows that were torn apart because they didn't have a Flash or Exhaust; I offered you the choice.
Build 1: Did that hurt?
This build is the one I use most often. Thanks to his Drain ability, Fiddlesticks has exceptional sustain in jungle, meaning I can build offensively without losing any jungling capacity (in fact, it makes me a faster jungler and makes Drain's vamp count for more!). This makes me a more powerful ganker and fighter in general, since I need less time to obliterate the enemy.
This build makes Fiddlesticks VERY painful, but leaves him somewhat vulnerable to other champions with good damage until very late on. A fed AD carry might be able to kill you 1v1, and anything with hard CC can give you a rough time because of your channel-based spells.
You may want to build your Abyssal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass sooner as it says in the build, depending on what type of damage is coming your way. Take note of Zhonya's active: it can make you invulnerable while your Crowstorm ultimate is active, but remember the enemy will (try to) escape the area!
If an enemy builds Banshee's Veil, the answer is simple: chuck your Dark Wind their way and pop it, hopefully dealing some damage to them with the bounces. If multiple foes are building stuff like Force of Nature, you must really be getting to them! Good job, build a Void Staff instead of whatever item you can spare and send them deeper into despair!
When laning with this build
You will want to level your Dark Wind once at lvl 1. This spell is great for harassing, having the greatest range of your spells and a bounce effect! It also allows for easier farming thanks to the bonus damage, but try not to use it too much either way. If you're up against 2 enemies, try getting it to bounce between them for huge damage. Use Drain on the cannon minions if you're injured (they have the most health for you to steal), and you should outlast most champions in lane (darn you Soraka!). Don't be afraid to ask for Blue Buff if the enemy has really strong harass and you need it, though.
Of course, Smite isn't very viable in lane, so don't take it.
As a final note, you can build your Sorcerer's Shoes a bit later when laning, since you don't need to get around as much. You can also grab Catalyst the Protector earlier to improve your sustain in lane, since you don't need much AP for last-hitting minions.
Build 2: Draining you dry
This build is based around survivability. Between masteries, runes and items, your Drain should be healing you for 109% of the damage dealt at max level, and your other spells for 29%! This build does sacrifice some of the damage you have with Build 1, but grants considerably improved survivability and has a spell bubble from Banshee's Veil to prevent interruption during your channels. Banshee's Veil is far superior to Cleanse and Quicksilver Sash on Fiddlesticks! After all, only Banshee's Veil can keep the enemy from interrupting your channels.
This build gives you a slower jungling speed and less potent ganks as compared to Build 1, but since you're still building your Rabadon's Deathcap fairly early on, you're still a potent jungler, just less so as before. Again, replace Zhonya's Hourglass with an Abyssal Scepter or Void Staff if you're up against AP heavy or bulky teams.
When laning with this build
You will want to grab that one level in Dark Wind right away, just like before. Actually, your laning behavior should be pretty much the same as with Build 1. I imagine you'll be getting slightly less kills in the laning phase with this build, but you also won't die as easily.
Despite the numerous nerfs on the [Will of the Ancients]] item, it's still very much worth its price, especially if you have other champions in your team that can use the AP and spell vamp aura.
There seems to be some confusion about this, so just in case:
- Spell vamp is reduced to 1/3 of the normal values for Area of Effect and Damage over Time abilities. Crowstorm is AoE, but Drain and Dark Wind should fully utilize the spell vamp.
- Smite and Ignite are spells, and all spells trigger spell vamp. Ignite is affected by the Damage over Time clause, though.
- All spell vamp items have their spell vamp as a "Unique Passive", meaning it won't stack. However, spell vamp does stack between different items, and the aura from Will of the Ancients can apply to you twice if both you and someone else in your team have the item. Theoretically, you could get up to 72% spell vamp from items by building a Gunblade, a Revolver, a WotA, and having a teammate build another WotA.
Build 3: I know where you are
This build is weaker at jungling, but superb at warding and counter-jungling. This is probably the closest Fiddlesticks can get to being a support champion. I'd almost include the Philosopher's Stone in this build, but its stats don't do anything for a drain machine that lives off Blue Buffs.
This build is weaker as the sustained Build 2 until very late on, and provides less sustain as Build 1 early game (although the 250HP can be a boon sometimes). So, I hear you asking: Why would I consider this build? The answer is twofold. Firstly, this build lets you ward like a madman without running out of gold, which means your teammates won't have to and can focus on their builds. Secondly, if you ward the enemy Blue and Red Buffs, you'll be able to counter-jungle very effectively. This is what your Teleport is here for: when you see a sole enemy attempting to take their (or worse, your) Buffs, you can teleport to a ward you set up nearby and either Smite and steal the Buff, kill the person trying to take it, or do both!
If you can pull this off, you'll be sitting on a tidy profit from killing them while they lost their Buff, experience, gold and time! Just please remember that enemies can see you teleporting onto wards if they're paying attention.
When laning with this build
Don't. Period. Some people seem to be playing Fiddlesticks as a support, but I object.
Archangel's Staff provides a pretty large amount off AP, especially if combined with a Rod of Ages and a Rabadon's Deathcap. Since Fiddlesticks is a priority target in team fights, though, you're probably better off using that slot for an item that also provides some defensive bonuses. If you always find yourself running out of mana, you might consider a Tear of the Goddess. If this Tear has around 500 bonus mana accumulated and you can spare the slot, feel free to build the Rod of Ages.
Mejai's Soulstealer is a cheap item that can provide up to 180 AP if you're doing well. Building it can be useful if you're not dieing too often and expect the enemy to get tougher as the game goes on. I never use it on Fiddlesticks, because it's hard for him to get out of sticky situations and death lowers your stacks.
If, for some reason, you want early spell vamp: build a Hextech Revolver. This item is quite good, even if you don't plan on buying a [Will of the Ancients]] later on. Just don't hang on to it forever.
Mercury Threads are a waste of your time. If your channels get stopped, they're stopped; an AP carry can't do much when their skills are on cooldown, so who cares whether enemy CC stops you for one second or two?
I hope these builds can help you discover the potential of Fiddlesticks. I realize I did not go into detail on Fiddlesticks' playstyle outside of jungling, but that should be something for you to figure out for yourself. If you really want to know how to, please view a Fiddlesticks laning guide. Once again, I'd appreciate any comments or constructive criticism. Haters will be haters, but please don't downvote my guide without any reason.
Give credit where credit is due: I wish to express my thanks to Apotheosis' Jungle Tryndamere Guide for the awesome map and JHoiJHoi's Guide to making Guides for teaching me most of the coding I used.