Fiora Build Guide by EviLCorsaiR
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Hello! This is my second guide here.
As always, I appreciate constructive criticism on my build. Please don't downvote without telling me why you've chosen to do so.
As Fiora is a very new champion, I'll be adding to this over the coming days and weeks as I fully learn to play her myself. All I can say so far is that she's a great AD carry, and could feasibly be built as an offtank too (something I might try out at some point). She definitely takes skill to play well and come out alive though - the art of a duelist is not an easy one.
Play Fiora well and you can pick up doubles, triples and so on with ease, even without much help from your teammates. You definitely can't go in alone, head on, and win a fight with more than one enemy (unless you're really fed or they're terrible), but going in at the right time and playing well will drop them like flies.
A word of warning to those who are considering buying Fiora: She does seem very powerful and I fully expect a nerf to hit her within the next few updates
Also to note: this is an AD carry build. If you want an offtank/tanky DPS build, look elsewhere.
Pros / Cons
Pros+ EXTREMELY high damage
+ Fantastic duelist (not surprising)
+ Can be jungled
+ Great at chasing
- Not as easy as other AD carries
- Melee range so easily focused
- Vulnerable to CC
- Item reliant (who isn't?)
Great for slowing an enemy to catch up to, before the MS buff from Burst of Speed applies. Also great for turning duels around, as it severely hinders AD champs from doing damage.
If you're jungling, take Smite. End of story. You NEED Smite to be an effective jungler. Can you jungle without it? Yes. Should you? No. Replace Exhaust with it if you're jungling.*
It's Flash. If you know what Flash is, you'd know that it's almost mandatory on carries with no escape ability. Well, not 'mandatory', but it saves lives, or lets you jump in and surprise them.
* = Note that I haven't yet tried out a jungle build for Fiora yet, but it is coming in the future. Try her in the jungle if you want (start with Vampiric Scepter instead of cloth 5)
Viable Summoner Spells
Heal is starting to see more use on AD carries, as it really does save lives and is great in a teamfight situation. It also makes for great baiting early game, and can help you recover if you make a mistake. Still, I prefer Exhaust to shut down the enemy AD in fights (or for chasing).
Ignite is a fantastic summoner spell, however I don't particularly like it on people who can already dish out monstrous damage. Nevertheless, it's excellent early game, and can help you pick up First Blood - something that could tip the balance in what would be a very close ranked game with very few kills. Also great for countering Heal, Soraka and Dr. Mundo.
Can be very useful. Backdoor by teleporting to a ward (wouldn't advise trying it in higher elo ranked games), or set up a better gank. Maybe you're up top, and want to gank mid, but you're worried about your tower? Go gank mid and Teleport back up to defend it. I'm not a fan of Teleport and I don't use it much, but if you want to take it, it's viable.
Non-viable summoner spells
Great spell, and every team needs one. But it's the support that takes Clairvoyance. And you're not support. At least, I really hope you're not playing Fiora as a support. If you are, something has gone badly wrong in your LoL career...
Playing a very mana hungry AP carry might give you an excuse to take this. You're not an AP carry. Don't spam your abilities and you'll be fine for mana. Please don't even consider this.
The unmentioned spells I consider non-viable on any champion. Some niche builds might make use of them, but in my opinion, they're terrible on just about everyone.
Standard AD 21/9/0 setup that shouldn't need much explanation.
Why defense over utility? As a melee AD carry, that extra bit of defense can make the differene in an early game duel. Besides, I don't think the utility tree has much useful for you, definitely not more useful than defense, apart from possibly Runic Affinity if you plan on picking up buffs.
Why Hardiness over Resistance ? Early game you're far more likely to face AD than AP, and any AP you might face early game isn't likely to be as dangerous as an AD champion would be. By the time you're facing dangerous casters, you should have Mercury's Treads which should, along with your runes, provide enough magic resist.
You could put 3 points in Surge in the offense tree for even more damage at the cost of sustainability by taking the points out of Vampirism .
Alternative 21/0/9 setup
This sacrifices extra health, armor and magic resist in return for extra mana, shorter Flash cooldown, extra movement speed, and longer buff duration. Your choice. This could be a better choice for experienced Fiora players who don't need the extra defense.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Another standard AD carry setup. The armor penetration from greater mark of desolation and greater quintessence of desolation will surpass the comparable AD runes quickly as you gain more AD, and we want the significant added damage that 25 APen provides.
Flat armor seals help give us the edge against enemy physical champions early game, whereas the per-level MR runes provide a significant magic resist boost to our build. Why not flat MR runes? Because most AP champions won't be a large threat to you until the later levels, when the per-level MR runes surpass the flat runes.
I don't consider there to be any particularly good alternative. You CAN take Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage however the armor penetration will surpass the extra AD very quickly.
Skills and Skill Sequence
First, here's a quick summary of Fiora's skills:
Gives a nice AD boost passive, which alone makes it a good pick. When activated, you parry the next basic attack targeting you (from anyone except a basic enemy minion) and deal magic damage in return. That extra damage (and the blocked attack) can turn the tide of a battle when used well, especially against something like a Nasus' Siphoning Strike.
I like to take Lunge at level 1, as it provides harassment and chasing right off the start line. You can dash to an enemy, hit them once or twice, and dash to one of their minions out of harm's way. At the same time you could start with Burst of Speed as it gives bonus movement speed, but that's not as good for harassment in my opinion.
Burst of Speed is the obvious skill to max first. 120% attack speed when it's at rank 5 is nothing to ignore. We NEED to drop its cooldown to maximise on damage output. Without this, Fiora isn't going to be hitting hard enough unless she's really fed.
Riposte is maxed next. Its passive attack speed boost is a great bonus, and the extra damage it provides in a fight is great if it blocks an attack. Better yet, you can use it to block otherwise extremely painful attacks that work off basic attacks, like Siphoning Strike, although this requires excellent timing.
Lunge is maxed last. The damage bonus it provides isnice but isn't enough to justify taking it over the other two basic abilities.
Obviously, take a point in Blade Waltz whenever you can.
This is still very much a work in progress. As a new champion, working out the ideal items for Fiora is still going to take more testing. However, below I've laid out what I think is the idea item set for Fiona.
While Fiona is an AD carry (at least this build focuses on that), the very nature of her character and abilities (melee instead of ranged, and with a skill that gives 120% AS) means that her build will be significantly different to a standard AD carry, as you need more sustainability and defense in fights, all while maintaining the ideal damage for a carry.
Recommended Starting Items:
This was Riot's recommended start, and I agree with it. The added 18 armor from Cloth Armor helps to keep you alive in lane, and lets you win early fights in lane. The health potions keep you in the lane for longer.
An alternative that I have considered and tried, that focuses around evasion and harassment rather than full blown fights early game. The Boots of Speed combined with your Lunge lets you easily get in and get out for harassment while taking less damage than you would normally, and also lets you avoid skillshots in lane. I believe it's better if you're doing to be harassing more than fighting early on.
The traditional start for most AD carries that should still work on Fiora, although I have yet to try it out myself. Gives a boost to damage and health, allowing you to win early skirmishes, and the extra lifesteal helps with early sustain (although not as much as armor/boots and health pots). Arguably the ideal item if you know that you can be very aggressive and fight early battles to the death with your lane enemies.
NOTE: If you're doing particularly badly in lane and are having a hard time with your lane enemies, or with farming in general, pick up one or two extra Doran's Blades (whether or not you started with them). These help you stay in the game and propel you into a better mid-game, making them worth the lost time on your main build if you need them.
If you have not already done so at the start, pick up Boots of Speed now before continuing any further.
For your next item, I'd recommend completing Wriggle's Lantern. This is a great early game item whether or not you jungle. The damage, armor and lifesteal all help you in fights even at the end of the game, and really shine early game. The free ward is also nice.
(If you don't have the money for the full Wriggle's Lantern on first recall, I'd recommend picking up Vampiric Scepter before finishing Madred's Razors)
I believe that it's a good idea to pick up Avarice Blade at this point. It builds into youmoo's ghostblade later on, and the extra income from Avarice Blade really helps with our finances - plus the critical chance will make a difference in longer battles, and shorter ones if you're lucky! Don't rely on it though.
Time to upgrade your boots. As a melee carry, you in my opinion are better off with defensive boots rather than the standard Zerkers.
Not the standard on AD carries. But necessary most times on Fiora. Helps to up your MR, but more importantly, it helps to lessen the effect that crowd control has on you.
For teams with piss-poor crowd control and piss-poor AP casters, these give a better damage reduction. I really wouldn't get them unless their CC poses no threat to you though.
CAN be used. I wouldn't recommend it however unless you're really steamrolling the enemy team. This is when they're too stupid to target you at all, so not for most games.
So, why am I picking this up on an AD carry?
It's simple: This is a fantastic item for Fiora in my opinion. Firstly, the cooldown reduction really helps you use your skills more often (particularly Burst of Speed and Blade Waltz) hence increasing your damage output. Second, the extra damage, critical chance, and armor pen all work well to boost your damage. Third, the active can make up for the downtime of Burst of Speed.
Think about it. The enemy, if they know Fiora's skillset, will expect you to deal much less damage when it's down. And they're right. But as soon as it's finished, you can pop the active on Youmuu's Ghostblade and keep whacking them with increased attack speed and movement speed.
The signature item of AD carries. Almost every AD carry will have one, and with good reason. It gives the single highest raw AD boost in the game (apart from a The Bloodthirster charged up with kills). It gives a huge chunk of critical chance. But, arguably best of all, it increases your critical damage from 200% to 250%.
The reasons for getting this are obvious, the question is 'when'. I prefer to get it after Youmuu's Ghostblade, but again, I'm still testing it to try and find the ideal time to pick it up. In any case, as soon as you get this, your damage will skyrocket.
You've now got what I consider to be the most important items in your build. Your damage should already be devastating. It's time to seal the deal by upping our damage even further.
Another classic item for AD carries. It's our only attack speed item in the build so far, but it should be enough for you to be hitting stupidly high attack speeds (beyond what even most AD carries achieve) when you've got Burst of Speed up. Furthermore, the critical chance on this brings our overall critical chance to a massive 70% - this is a huge increase in overall DPS. The movement speed helps even more by allowing you to chase enemies (or run in a tough situation).
Now, if the game goes on long enough, unless the enemy is brain dead, they'll build armor. Which means you need something to punch through the armor. Which means you need Last Whisper or The Black Cleaver.
My preferred choice. The attack damage and attack speed are superior to the boost provided by Last Whisper, and once you've got the stacks on, this reduces more armor as well on most enemies provided they aren't stacking armor.
In a situation when enemies are stacking armor very high - or you can't afford The Black Cleaver - this is a better option. Nevertheless, when you calculate overall DPS, the cleaver is actually better up to around 200 armor.
Okay, I've done the hard maths (and there's a lot of it), and with this build, The Black Cleaver will provide superior DPS up to around 200 armor, provided you hit each enemy more than a few times. So the choice is up to you - and whether or not your enemies are building Thornmail.
Like I said, I'm still working out what works best. So I've collated a list of viable alternative items below. Mix and match, find out what works (although I wouldn't recommend trying anything out for the first time in ranked matches!)
I've left this out as I feel that it's too expensive to stick on the end of the main build, and I think you're better off retaining the armor (and free ward) from Wriggle's Lantern, but if the game lasts REALLY long then you can replace Wriggle's with this.
The Art of Dueling (Early Game laning and small teamfights)
Placing Fiora within the current meta isn't particularly easy. She's an AD carry, which should in theory mean bot lane with support, but your lack of range (even for a melee carry your range is tiny) means that you'll be completely out-harassed and underfarmed most of the time.
For that reason I'd say Fiora is probably better suited to solo top. (This is of course if you're playing in draft/ranked with players who know what they're doing, not in blind normal.) I haven't had opportunity to try her out as such yet, but she should work well in top lane. After all, she's a duelist - and she is one of the best champions in the game 1 on 1. Your only weaknesses should be heavy armor champions and/or those with great ranged harass (at least, ranged harass that you can't regularly block with Riposte - so Parrrley shouldn't be any trouble for you)
Harassing your lane opponent
Your lack of ranged attacks means that you won't be able to harass the enemy like you would with a normal AD carry. However, that doesn't mean you can't. Remember that in short skirmishes, you will almost always come out top with Riposte and Burst of Speed.
So, the idea is to Lunge at your enemy, activate Burst of Speed, hit Riposte when/if they're about to hit you back, and before they can do any real damage, run away - or better yet, if there's an enemy minion behind you (closer towards your turret) then use your second Lunge on it to increase the distance.
This will show problems long-term as it will be very mana hungry. Secondly, it won't work as well against bulky champions, or anyone who can out-burst you. If the enemy can out-damage you quickly then I'd recommend that you Lunge at them, hit them once, and then Lunge out or run away. This should mean they have little opportunity to counterattack. Or, throw a Riposte in there before they hit you, and as soon as they do, retreat.
Overall, although you'll likely take damage in return, this should set you up well as you can heal up with your Health Potions while you continually bring your lane opponent's health down. Just remember to last hit as well; you need the gold more than you need to harass the enemy.
Going in for the kill
When the enemy is down to reasonably low health, you can go in and finish them off. If they've got any crowd control effects then try and avoid using Burst of Speed until they've burnt their cc - wasting those 3 seconds means a huge reduction in damage. It works basically the same as harassment, but stay engaged. Your potential to deal a lot of damage quickly should be enough.
If the enemy starts to run away and they're far enough from their turret, and on low enough health to finish off quickly, then you can pop Exhaust to slow them and catch up again if Lunge is down.
Alternatively, if the enemy fights back and they're also capable of hitting hard with physical attacks, Exhaust them once they've committed to the fight. The damage reduction will shut them down and enable you to crush them.
Mid-Late Game Duels and Small Fights
While this is unlikely to happen (often) in the higher elo ranked games, you will come across smaller fights or even 1v1s in late game. As you continue your build, you get progressively more deadly.
Late game duels will work just the same as early game, but you'll also be able to use Blade Waltz if necessary to finish them off. Try and leave Blade Waltz until they're low enough for it to kill them - and only use it if you need to, the cooldown is long and we want to keep it if possible.
In small fights, make sure you focus on their squishier, valuable team members like supports and carries. They them have a choice to keep fighting and risk you killing them, or to run away and not help their teammates. Either way helps your team. The lifesteal in the build should help to sustain you through these fights, but never get in over your head; remember that you're a squishy as well, although your runes, Wriggle's Lantern and Mercury's Treads should make you harder to kill than the average carry.
The correct timing for use of Blade Waltz can decide a small fight. Use it either when your enemies are all starting to run low on health, or when you're running low yourself. As well as bringing your enemies dangerously low if not outright killing them, the lifesteal from the blows will help to keep you in the fight.
The Art of Squishy Killing (Late Game teamfights)
The late game teamfights are arguably the most important stage in the game, as a single teamfight can decide the outcome of the match.
And, as your team's AD carry, you are arguably the most important champion on your team (or you should at least think of yourself as such). Left unchecked, you can tear the whole enemy team apart in seconds.
Now, in a teamfight, a traditional ranged AD carry would stay on the outskirts of the fight, and engage their squishy targets once they've got the opportunity, taking them down in seconds.
You can't do that. You're a melee range champion. So things start to get significantly harder for you. The enemy team will focus on you if you're competent.
I'll say this now - you should never initiate a fight against a competent enemy team.
Instead, stay behind your team's tank. Wait for your team's tank to initiate, and while the enemy team is focusing the harder targets on your team, Lunge in against their squishies. To get in faster, you can Lunge to an enemy closer to you, and then Lunge again to the enemy squishies, who will most likely be at the back of the fight.
Pop Burst of Speed as soon as you're in range of their squishies, and whack away. Try and save Riposte for a harder hitting ability, or use it if their AD carry starts to focus you. That one attack blocked can make a difference.
Once again, using Blade Waltz at the right time can make all the difference. This time, you want to wait until you're either on low health, and/or being heavily focused. Using Blade Waltz will help you recover through lifesteal, and as you're untargetable, will break enemy focus, giving you a few extra precious seconds before they latch back onto you. Of course, it also hits the enemy team. Hard. As there will be more enemies though, it deals less individual damage than before.
Remember, exit a fight if you're being focused too hard, Flashing away if necessary. You're the most important person on your team, and your death could decide the fight. Never take very risky actions, as that could end up in a loss for your team.
As always, I'm looking for constructive feedback on the guide, particularly where items are concerned. I'll be updating this as I learn more about her myself.
Finally, I'd recommend checking out Riot's Fiora Champion Spotlight. This should show off some good gameplay of her and give you a good idea of how to play her, although I wouldn't recommend following their build.
Thanks to jhoijhoi and her making a guide guide. Her guide really helped me format my guides, and I've used her line dividers as well through the guide.
Help me improve my guide, and get your name in this list! I'm always looking for ways to improve!