Diana Build Guide by tehfr0g
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Diana is one of few true AP fighters in League of Legends. Others include Nidalee, Vladimir, and Fizz. Of these, Diana is most similar to Fizz as she relies on quick entrances into combat with massive burst damage, but can be crowd controlled and killed. As far as mechanics go, she is similar to Kassadin. She relies on harassment with her Crescent Strike and moves in with Lunar Rush to secure kills. This is very similar to Kassadin's harassment with Null Sphere and quick entrance into combat with void walk. The key to Diana is to capitalize on an opportunity to engage once you hit with Crescent Strike and being confident that once you engage you'll come out with a kill.
Take note that this is primarily a solo lane guide (either mid or top) but the final item build is the same whether you jungle or not.
- Very high damage
- Quick, lethal initiation
- Great pursuit with Lunar Rush
- Effective jungler because of Pale Cascade. Diana can also secure blue for herself even if you choose to play her in mid lane.
- Not easy to play, especially if you aren't familiar with AP fighters.
- Her escape isn't very good, especially in team fights. She can get in, but can't get out.
- Prone to being crowd controlled. She has to be close to fight, so she can be focused easily.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I take all of the AP related offensive masteries along with points in Resistance and Hardiness for a little extra survivability. At this point, there are 3 points left to be allocated. If you are jungling, I would suggest either putting them in Butcher or Tough Skin . If you are laning, putting them in Summoner's Wrath , Demolitionist , or Brute Force will help you push towers and give you a little extra damage. Not surprisingly, these are the masteries I take when playing Fizz too.
Skill Introduction and Sequence(Q) Diana sends our a curved skill shot which damages enemies along its path and afflicts them with moonlight, revealing them for several seconds. This is your primary damage tool as well as your best harassment tool.(W) Diana shields herself and conjures three orbs which detonate to deal area of effect damage to targets surrounding her. If they all detonate, then the shield is refreshed.(E) Diana pulls in all enemies and slows them.(R) Diana Diana teleports to a target enemy champion dealing damage. If the target is afflicted with moonlight, Lunar Rush has no cooldown.
When laning, I suggest you max Crescent Strike as soon as possible, because it is your one ranged damage tool. Since Diana is a melee champion, it is crucial that you exploit your one ranged ability (excluding your ultimate) to deal damage before going in for the kill.
After taking one point early, you should max Pale Cascade second. It does damage and helps you survive team fights since you have to get in close. It is also a great farming utility since it damages all enemies in an area. Try to position yourself in between the most minions/neutral monsters possible to maximize its damage.
NOTE: If you're jungling Diana you will likely need to place an extra point or two into Pale Cascade early.
Moonfall will help you secure kills because it prevents and enemy's escape. You should take a point early (level 3 or 4) for utility, but don't max it until level 18.
Your ultimate is what makes Diana the champion she is. As usual, take points at levels 6, 11, and 16. Since it has no cooldown if you first hit with Crescent Strike, always try to hit with it before initiating.
When playing Diana, having a little bit of early game damage and mana regeneration coupled with the added survivability makes a Doran's Ring a great choice for Diana. When playing her for the first time, you may want to try Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions until you get comfortable with her, so if you make a mistake (and you likely will) it doesn't ruin the rest of your game. If you need more damage, or if you're running low on mana you can always buy another Doran's Ring before starting your Rod of Ages. I would recommend getting your Boots of Speed before getting another Doran's Ring because Diana relies heavily on her ability to chase, and you can't chase very well without boots.
You can start with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter instead, but Diana burns through mana so quickly that the extra mana from the Rod of Ages is a huge help early.
Next I recommend the Lich Bane. When building it, prioritize the Sheen first, then the Blasting Wand and the Null-Magic Mantle last. This way even before you finish the Lich Bane, you get the Sheen's passive early on. Also, the extra mana from the Sapphire Crystal used to build it helps a great deal, especially early on. Also, when you feel it's become necessary, trade your Boots of Speed for Sorcerer's Shoes.
Your build should now look like this:
Another item you may wish to consider in your early game is the Hextech Revolver. It isn't very expensive and allows you to stay in your lane longer. It usually isn't an issue because Diana isn't prone to long, drawn out fights. If it fights your playstyle, it's a great item and it can be built into a Will of the Ancients later in the game.
Here is where your build becomes somewhat game dependent. With these three items you should have the damage you need to get kills.
If you're doing well I recommend that you move into a Rabadon's Deathcap for additional AP and a Rylai's Crystal Scepter for additional health and ability power.
You have some leeway with your final item, but I generally go with a Guardian Angel for the armor, magic resist, and the passive, since you already have about 3.2k health at level 18. This is especially useful for Diana because she must jump in the middle of fights to get her kills, and is thus prone to being crowd controlled and bursted down. The Guardian Angel's passive helps prevent this.
Another great choice is Zhonya's Hourglass. It serves the same purpose as a Guardian Angel protecting you in team fights, but because it's stasis is an active ability, you have to remember to use it. Zhonya's Hourglass will give you additional damage and armor, but it lacks the magic resist that the Guardian Angel provides. Therefore, your endgame is just personal preference, but either way, you'll do a lot of damage and be difficult to kill.
Thus your endgame should look like either this:
If you're not doing so well, I still think Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a good choice, because it gives you a good deal of health and ability power. Get this instead of a Rabadon's Deathcap for your fourth item.
Here are some good options for your fifth and sixth items:
Frozen Heart - Diana burns through mana quickly, so having some extra is definitely a help. The armor will help you if you're having problems fighting AD carries. Abyssal Scepter - If you finish with this, along with the Frozen Heart, you'll receive additional armor, magic resist, mana, and ability power. The aura from the Abyssal Scepter also will help your team secure kills, so if you're not carrying, you can help a teammate carry. Void Staff - If you're having trouble doing damage, it might be because the other team is stacking magic resist. The additional 40% magic penetration will help you recover your effectiveness in dealing damage. Will of the Ancients - If you're having trouble with sustain, the extra spell vamp can be a life saver. It help you farm more without having to recall as often.
An end game build (if you're not carrying) might look something like this:
Interesting note: With the Frozen Mallet build, if you proc your Lich Bane's extra damage by using Pale Cascade and Crescent Strike, you can solo a lane tower.
With any AP carry, you should ask yourself whether Mejai's Soulstealer is a worthwhile item for the champion. The ability power is obviously very beneficial to Diana, and if she is well played, Diana should get a lot of kills in a game. However, because of the nature of Diana, it is necessary for her to leap into the middle of team fights to do her damage and use her crowd control effectively. This means that inevitably you will die some, regardless of how well you play her. This means that, while you will get stacks, it will be very difficult to get to max stacks. If Mejai's Soulstealer is not fully stacked, then you might as well go with an item like Rabadon's Deathcap and not waste your precious early game gold on it.
I don't recommend it.
In almost every game, I take:
Ignite - To kill those enemies that you can't catch up to for whatever reason, or if you feel like a pursuit with Lunar Rush is too dangerous.
Other good choices:
Ghost - Ghost and flash have similar purposes, but ghost also has the added benefit of initiation. It is less effective at getting you out quickly though. Exhaust - I would only take this if you solo top because you'll likely be fighting an AD carry.
Choices that are neither here nor there:
Teleport - You can take Teleport if you're going to solo a lane, but I prefer just asking my jungle to cover for me. Surge - Ability power and attack speed are both great for Diana but she doesn't fight for long periods of time, so its benefit is somewhat wasted.
When jungling, I do recommend you take Smite as it speeds up the process a great deal and can help you get/steal Dragon or Baron Nashor later in the game.
Gameplay and Tactics
First we must consider her passive Moonsilver Blade. Since this bonus damage becomes very significant later, and has no real cooldown or cost, we want to exploit it whenever it's up. The way to do this is by attacking the strongest minion in a group of minions so that the bonus damage will hit the smaller, weaker minions around it. This way, you don't ever waste any of the bonus damage, and you will often kill targets without ever attacking them directly. This approach goes for farming in lane as well as jungling.
One of the most unique things about Diana is her curved skillshot, Crescent Strike. While it does take a little getting used to, it isn't much harder to hit with than a straight skill shot. The easiest way to hit an enemy champion with it is by placing your cursor where you want the skill shot to end and ignoring the curved path. After all, as long as it hits somewhere along the path it will deal its damage and appy moonlight.
When farming or jungling, you have a little bit more time to aim the shot. Since it passes through all enemies dealing its full damage, try to hit as many minions along the path as possible. Once you have about 200 AP, you can hit the caster minions with Crescent Strike and immediately kill them. Follow this up with Pale Cascade to clear the rest of the minions.
This ability is relatively straightforward. It is extremely useful though so don't doubt its effectiveness at doing damage or getting you out of battle. I recommend saving it until you have jumped with Lunar Rush to ensure that all three orbs detonate and your shield is refreshed.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with Moonfall is not waiting to use it at the right time. This ability, above all of the others requires the most timing and finesse. It has a very long cooldown (26 seconds) and so you can't count on it more than once per fight. It does not do damage, so don't use it upon initiation. Instead, wait until you see an enemy start to run away to pull them back. It can also disrupt an entire teamfight. For instance, if Warwick or Malzahar are suppressing a teammate, you can use Moonfall to break Infinite Duress or Nether Grasp. There isn't really a bad time to use it, but there are definitely very good times to use it.
As I've said, your ultimate is your best tool as Diana. It has huge range, a short cooldown (~15 seconds) and allows you to pursue enemies that are a long ways away. Whenever possible, open with Crescent Strike, because when you do, you have a free gap closer which does good damage. Upon entry into combat do not use your Lunar Rush consecutively. This may seem rather obvious, but Diana is a very fast paced champion who relies on her ability to do massive damage quickly. It is much easier than it seems to accidentally start spamming abilities and lose your target or even die to their return damage.
Another cool use of lunar rush is quick jungle entry. If a wall is between you and the jungle monster you're trying to get to, simply Crescent Strike the jungle monster and follow with a Lunar Rush to avoid the long walk around. Since you attacked a target stricken with moonlight, you don't have to wait for your ult to cool down if a team fight breaks out while you're trying to jungle.
- Don't make Diana harder than she needs to be, use her skill shot like you would any other.
- Take your time when using her abilities. You are a great chaser, so don't freak out if another champion takes a step away.
- Save Moonfall until it will make the difference between getting the kill and not getting the kill. In almost every case, it's better to use this ability later rather than sooner, as it has very little effect if you open with it.
- Be creative! Diana has good damage, good maneuverability, and can fulfill almost any role. Don't hesitate to experiment with her item build and skill sequence, especially once you've played her a few games.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact me! I appreciate feedback, just head on over to the Discussion Section of the guide.
Change Log: (Dates given yy.mm.dd)
- (12.08.08) Guide published
- (12.08.08) Added Hextech Revolver and Will of the Ancients to Items section
- (12.08.09) Removed Randuin's Omen from suggested non carry items in Items section
- (12.08.09) Added second non carry end game build to Items section
- (12.08.12) Changed Greater Mark of Ability Power to Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
- (12.08.12) Changed Greater Seal of Ability Power to Greater Seal of Armor