Fiddlesticks Build Guide by Sevresth
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Fiddlesticks was the very first champion that I ever learned how to play, so he really has a special place in my heart.
Fiddlesticks is interesting in that to be truly effective at playing him, you have to not only be familiar with the playstyle of a mage, but of an assassin to launch effective Crowstorms, a ranged carry to have the best use throughout the game with Dark Wind, an AP carry because he is one of the few champions in the game with a truly game changing ultimate, CC because 2 out of his 4 skills are hard disabling CC and a 3rd is area denial, and a nuke.
What this guide does is give a little insight as to how I go about playing the Harbinger of Doom.
To give a little bit more depth, I've provided the 3 builds that I use the most often. Now, with the exception of the Jungle guide, the metagames are the same, so the decisions that I make regarding the builds are personal preference and are dependent on what's going on in the game.
My first build is basically my Nuke Fiddlesticks Build. This is when my main goal for the game is to deal as much damage as possible.
My second build is a more Defensive/Sustain Fiddlesticks Build. This is used whenever I'm playing a more dangerous team and thus require a little bit more durability or if I want a little more cooldown reduction and mana regeneration. But the items in this build are designed to give me this durability without sacrificing any power.
My third build is a fairly typical Jungle Fiddlesticks Build. The basic gist is a Fiddle that starts off the early game in the jungle and migrates through the map picking up easy kills along the way.
The Goals For This Build
My Fiddle Builds are designed to fulfill a few goals throughout the game:
- Fiddlesticks is extremely powerful throughout the mid and late game as well as holding impeccable lane dominance during the early game. But he is relatively easy to shut down if the other team tries to purchase magic resistance. So, the first order of business is to cut through as much MR as I possibly can. This lets me deal as close to true damage as I can.
- My second objective is to get plenty of AP. Fiddlesticks doesn't have any huge ratios (all of his abilities are .45), but it does add a lot to his damage if enough is stacked up.
- My third and final objective is to stay alive long enough to actually deal this damage. This is fulfilled in the first build with Will of the Ancients and in the other 2 builds with Zhonya's Hourglass.
The Magic Penetration Formula
Magic penetration effects are applied in the following order:
1)percentage magic reduction
2)flat magic reduction
3)flat magic penetration
4)percentage magic penetration
So, according to the formula, the order of effects that affect magic resistance are applied in a certain order. This is important because while we do want to get through a lot of magic resistance, we don't want to be repetitive nor do we want to spend a lot of money on items that don't have a lot of impact.
So, in a game with the presented full build (first and second), the magic resistance effects from Dread and Abyssal Scepter are applied first. Then, the penetration effects from your runes and Sorcerer's Shoes and finally, the percent magic penetration from your mastery, Arcane Knowledge to total out to 69 magic penetration and 10% magic penetration.
Laning Mates and Laning Foes
Fiddlesticks works best with champions who either have the necessary CC to keep the enemy team in range of Drain for the full amount of time, or with champions who require hardcore farming and need a good zoning buddy.
Champions who lane well with Fiddle:
Champions with interrupts that disrupt your Drain or with very high DPS that can out last your lifesteal are a very high threat to Fiddlesticks
Champions who lane well against Fiddle:
Just as there are champions who pwn Fiddlesticks, there are also champions who just can not hope to counter a Fiddle. These champions tend to be melee carries who don't have very high DPS early game, but have to get in close to deal damage or squishy ranged champions who are easy prey to Dark Wind pester.
Champions who Fiddle lanes well against:
Explanation to Organization
As I said earlier, my first 2 builds have identical metagames, so I'm going to combine the explanations to them within the next few chapters before moving on to the Jungle Fiddlesticks Guide.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
The other thing that I am sure you have noticed is that all of my other runes give magic penetration. This is VERY important to my early game damage. Let me explain:
Almost every single carry, whether physical or magic, ranged or melee, starts the game with about 30 MR. What this rune setup does is it makes it so that you start the game off with about 19 magic penetration from the metagame. To most AP champions, this is not enough to be worth giving up some of the other benefits that can be gained; however Fiddlesticks has something that is unique and that no other champion in the game has; Dread. This further reduces champion's magic resistance by 10, meaning that you start the game with a grand total of 29 magic penetration. Now add in another 10% magic penetration from Arcane Knowledge and you my friend, are dealing true damage at level 1. This is DEVASTATING. Just think, at level 1, you are dealing 65 damage per bounce with Dark Wind or a maximum of 300 damage with Drain to an enemy with a 500 point health pool.
I typically use 2 mastery page setups for Fiddlesticks:
In the utility tree I take Good Hands to reduce my death timer and improved Flash. I also take Swiftness to make up a little for Fiddlesticks slow movement speed. I take Runic Affinity for the increased time with Blue Buff and I take Greed and Wealth for extra gold generation as well as enough gold in the beginning to pick up another potion of my choice.
In the first tier, I take Brute Force and Butcher over Mental Force because the early game is mostly going to consist of last hitting with basic attacks and these give me a little bit more umph to finish the job. I take more points in Brute Force than Butcher because while they both help me last hit, only Brute Force can also help with killing champions. I like these more than Mental Force because I prefer to have that extra last hit potential than an extra 1 point of damage on all of my abilities.
The rest are pretty self explanatory, mainly focusing on cooldown reduction or spell vamp. I take this whenever I see that my team has plenty of dueling potential, but not a lot of teamfight presence or when my team is mostly carries that require some time to get powerful.
In the overview, I said to start with Dark Wind because that is the most common scenario. After that, I take a point in Drain for the sustain in the lane and then I take a point in Terrify for an extra second head start in case I'm ganked. After that, I take a second point in Dark Wind for the extra damage and leave it until the end of the game because after the first 2 ranks, the damage falls off big time. I take my next point in Drain for the increased ability to 1v1 enemies and then I alternate ranks in Drain and Terrify and end the game by maxing Dark Wind. Always take Crowstorm whenever it's up, levels 6, 11, and 16.
Most other guides focus around maxing one skill first, however this build doesn't. That is because Fiddlesticks has so many different methods and styles of attacking, that maxing one all of the way, leaves him lacking in other ways. For instance, maxing Dark Wind first leaves him at a disadvantage when trying to 1v1 enemies because he can't sustain with Drain. Likewise, maxing Drain first is not the best way to go because without somebody applying a hard CC, it is nearly impossible to get the full damage from it. As for Terrify, it's a very powerful CC ability, however maxing this first means that you have nothing to follow it up with, leaving you free for 3 seconds and then dead after that.
Drain or Dark Wind?
The biggest debate that any Fiddlesticks player has ever had is whether to start the game off with Dark Wind, or Drain.
Well, I contend that they both have their uses and purposes in the lane.
Drain is the ultimate counter to melee champions because it makes any pester or attack by melee champions worthless. It nullifies any damage that was done to you, actually heals you back up, and does a lot of damage to them to boot. So, I typically start with this skill if I'm going to be in a lane with melee champions who have to get in close to me and stay close in order to do any damage.
Dark Wind is a very damaging nuke early game, it silences, and it has a very large range, making it an excellent pester ability or long range barrage. Thus, I typically start with Dark Wind if I'm going to be laning against a champion who uses abilities to deal damage or ranged enemies who don't have to get in close enough for me to use Drain to deal damage.
So, in a game, I don't pick a skill until I have actually gotten out to the lane and have seen who I am laning against.
If you do decide to go Drain first, then here's my suggested level up order:
Items for 1st Build
This build is all about power. An early game purchase gives tons of AP and survivability that gives you all you need throughout the game. This lets you open up your build to purely offensive items to capitalize on your high damage values.
Items for 2nd Build
This build is more about Utility and Defensive ability while maintaining an above average amount of damage. Cooldown reduction and mana regeneration help keep your abilities up and ready while dual purpose items that give both offensive and defensive statistics help balance your relatively fragile form with the DPS expected of Fiddlesticks.
Rod of Ages
Now, Rod of Ages is a pretty good item. It gives health, mana, and AP, which turns a squishy AP carry into something a little bit more durable. But, why don't I get this item?
Looking back at the goals of the guide, I want items that give lots of AP for power, keep me alive for doing this damage, and blow through as much magic resistance as I possibly can. Now, the thing is, Rod of Ages doesn't really do any of this to the degree that I'm looking for.
- It does give some health, but not enough to warrant a 3k gold purchase.
- It gives 80 AP after 10 minutes. Now compare this to an item like Abyssal Scepter that gives 70 AP, 57 magic resistance, and lowers the magic resistance of enemies around me, or Will of the Ancients that also gives 80 AP, survivability through spell vamp, and benefits for the rest of your team, all for less gold, and the attractiveness to Rod of Ages for its power is significantly lowered.
- Now, the only real thing it has to offer is mana. If that's what you're looking for, Deathfire Grasp gives mana regeneration as well as 70 AP, and a killer active for less gold or even Archangel's Staff that gives more mana, more regeneration, and more AP, again for less gold.
So overall, Rod of Ages isn't a bad item, it's just not as good as the other alternatives that are given throughout the builds.
3rd Build: The Jungle Fiddlesticks
In the offensive tree, I take every AP related mastery as well as Havoc for increased damage output. Down the Utility side, I take Good Hands for a reduced death timer, improved Flash, Swiftness for a higher movement speed, Scout because I'm in the jungle placing sight wards, and Runic Affinity for increased buff duration.
This setup is all about getting me as much damage as I possibly can while also improving my usefulness to the team as a jungler.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Seals: I take these to decrease the damage I"m taking from monsters in the jungle and improve the effectiveness of my Drain by decreasing the effectiveness of minion/monster attacks while simultaneously healing myself.
Glyphs: I take these for a boost to my attacks during the mid and late game. The great things about these in particular is that the turnover rate is level 6, meaning that they become just as effective as Greater Glyph of Ability Power at level 6. Which conveniently enough is when I really get serious about my ganks.
Quintessences: This is all about early game power for speed while clearing out the jungle as well as giving me a leg-up in early game encounters with enemies.
This setup is focused around giving me a little bit of resilience during the early game while giving my early game a strong boost and having that boost carry through to the mid and late game.
There are really only 2 summoner spells that are viable for a jungle Fiddlesticks:
ALWAYS TAKE THIS SPELL! You'll find that it's invaluable for taking the Blue Buff during the early game but it's even more effective for Dragon or even Baron Nashor. Because of Smite, Fiddlesticks can solo Dragon at level 7 and with the rest of his team can take down Baron Nashor as early as level 11.
This is the ultimate 'GTFO!!' ability in that one minute you're in danger of dying and the next, you're gone. But it's also very important for Fiddlesticks because with it, you can reblink for a missed Crowstorm.
I elect to level Drain first to make the jungle route as easy as possible. After that, I take a point in Dark Wind for the ability to open up on several targets first followed by another point in Drain and a point in Terrify at level 4 that way if I meet somebody in the jungle, I can get away or if I need to gank, I have a disable to get the edge.
From there, I prioritize Crowstorm, Drain, Terrify, then Dark Wind.
This skill sequence is all about nuking potential, basically launching into the lane with Crowstorm, locking somebody up with Terrify, Dark Wind, and ally support, and knocking them down with Drain.
Items for Jungle Fiddlesticks
Start at the Blue Golem. Drain the big one until it gets low enough, and then use Smite. Finish off the rest of the golems with basic attacks and Drain. After that, run down to the wolves and begin to drain the blue wolf, kill it, and then kill the others with Drain. Move on to wraiths and lead with Dark Wind into Drain on the blue one. Finish the rest. Move down to the small golems and use Drain on the big one and then kill the smaller one in the same fashion. Move onto Red Buff and drain the Big lizard and smite it, then kill the rest. At this point, you can either move back to the wraiths, or walk through the river to pull off a gank at either bot or mid. If this is the case, get the kill and back. Otherwise, continue along with the jungle route, being aware of ganks and using Smite on the big monsters in the jungle.
Overall, the route will look like this:
Under ideal circumstances, you want a strong team that can hold the enemy team that can hold them until you hit level 6 and have Crowstorm. Now, Fiddlesticks has a relatively fast jungle so this is normally not a problem. However if it is, than the best thing to do is wait just outside the lane and wrap around for a gank. Ping to let your lanemates know that you're coming and then open with Dark Wind. This will open with a nuke for damage as well as limit the retaliation that they can use from abilities. Then, if you have it, lock them up with Terrify and kill with Drain and your allies.
If you're level 6, ping to let your lanemates know you're coming. Then, position yourself and start channeling Crowstorm. Ideally, you want to land on the 2 enemy champions, however if you have to, don't hesitate to Flash the remaining distance. Next, launch Dark Wind, lock up the carry with Terrify, and kill them with Drain and your allies.
Your Place in the Teamfight
Fiddlesticks excels as a massive AOE nuke that wins teamfights and is one of the best disablers in the game. During a teamfight, you can instantly kill a champion of your choice by using Crowstorm, Dark Wind, Terrify, and Drain on the same target. But, LoL is a team game, so unless there's just one carry that has to go, use you abilities to benefit the entire team.
Use Crowstorm, and then Terrify the Carry or champion who is dealing the most damage. This will severely reduce the amount of damage your team is taking. Next, launch a Dark Wind at the tank or character who is giving the most CC. This will silence them and stop the other team from stunning/silencing your team. From there, turn around and start to Drain the Champ who has the biggest damage output(this is usually the Carry that you just hit with Terrify). Now, you have wiped out their damage, and blocked out their CC. Without these 2 factors, their team has no choice but to fall back. Now, if they have 2 champs with large DPS, hit the second champ with Exhaust. This will slow and further reduce their damage output as well as making them more prone to die from your Crowstorm or another teammate's attacks.
Unless you are fighting 1v1 or are getting killed, DO NOT Exhaust and Terrify the same target. Dark Wind will hit at the bare minimum 2 champions and silence. Terrify affects another, and your Exhaust should take out another. 1v5 hold pretty good odds in your favor as opposed to wasting a perfectly good ability on a target that is no longer a viable player in the fight.
Tips & Tricks
- When getting ganked, even a rank 1 Terrify will give you enough time to make a break for your turret.
- Likewise, using it on an aggressive laning enemy can catch them off guard and lead to you and your lanemate dealing a lot of unanswered damage.
- Casting Terrify under an enemy turret will not pull aggro, so when attacking the turret, you can give you and your lanemate a few more attacks by using Terrify on the enemy that has tried to come to its aid.
- If you're low on health, Drain a minion
- Channeling Crowstorm from the bush will lead to the enemy not knowing when you're going to attack.
- Using the blink from Crowstorm and then following with a Flash lets you 'double jump'; effectively allowing you to hit a group of enemies with Crowstorm from off of the screen.
- Terrify into Drain is a fairly basic combo that lets you get a few seconds of uninterrupted drain in. However, this only really works around rank 3 of Terrify since the mana cost early game is normally too extravagant for the small time that you buy.
- Dark Wind has a longer range than Terrify, so when chasing, it is sometimes beneficial to launch Dark Wind in order to make it impossible for the enemy to use Flash or any other ability that would allow them to get away.
- Terrify at rank 5 keeps an enemy in place for 3 seconds. It takes 1.5 seconds for Crowstorm to channel; meaning that it is possible to use Terrify on an enemy, and then use a point blank Crowstorm into Exhaust, Dark Wind, and Drain to take on a more powerful enemy.
- Likewise, if you're being chased, running into a bush to break line of sight and then either starting the channel or Crowstorm or waiting for them to get close enough to cast Terrify can quickly turn the hunter into the hunted.
Fiddlesticks is one of the few champions left who can truly impact the game for the better of your team. His ultimate is a guaranteed teamfight victory and his CC makes him a valuable asset anywhere you go.
Basically, get good with him. Truly good fiddle players are an asset to the entire team with their huge damage potential, game changing ultimate, and vast array of CC.
3/1 Build is published
3/2 Changed the name of the build from its editing name(herp da derp) to a publish name(current) 8)