Fiora Build Guide by Pelikins
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Fiora bridges the gap
Fiora is what I would consider a melee carry.
Unlike most other melee champions which build tanky dps, Fiora builds items similar to those used by an AD ranged carry, but with more emphasis on life steal for sustaining power.
Since Fiora's ult applies on hit effects, it can be used to refill hp and drop focus in a team fight. It can also be used to apply Frozen Mallet slows to give a good amount of utility in addition to the ult's damage and evasiveness.
While I feel that Fiora is best placed in the Top lane as a solo, she is very versatile and can dual lane bot as a team's AD carry, or jungle as well.
Opening Notes: Some "why?s" Answered
Why: Berserker Grieves over Mercury Treads?
Fiora is more of an assassin than a bruiser. Merc treads are great for bruisers because they can survive through multiple CCs giving the tenacity great value. On the other hand, the grieves complement the AD, crit, armor pen, and life steal that Fiora needs to be effective. In short, merc treds are for tanky dps (bruisers), grieves are for life steal fighter/carries. Fiora is the latter.
With Fiora we will instead run cleanse or a Quicksilver Sash to remove a cc so that she can then use her ult to shed focus or auto attack to regen her hp. Her ult will force the opposing team to team fight while saving their cc until your ult ends to cc you, hopefully this will give your team enough of an advantage to be winning the fight, forcing cc on teammates instead of you. If they do save their cc for you, their team should be heavily whittled at this point. Even if they do cc you, you may live as their damage is probably dead or fleeing.
Why Youmuu's Ghostblade?
The ghostblade is the ultimate assassin weapon. Th active provides Fiora with movements speed to close and additional AS to put the hurt on. When coupled with Burst of Speed the two complement each other as the faster your attack animation, the less of a lead a runner gets while fleeing and the faster your move speed, the sooner you can close to get back in range. When coupled with lunge, you get almost full benefit of the AS from both the active and the Burst of Speed this is a brutal deadly combo. The armor pen, crit, and CDR all also really help Fiora be effective.
Another why about the ghostblade is: Why Youmuu's Ghostblade before The Black Cleaver?
There are two reasons for this. The first is related to building. As a top lane champion, you can't afford to not go back and buy wards to keep the river lit up.
Because you are going back to buy before having 1650 gold early on, you can't afford a b.f. sword you will be able to afford a Long Sword here and an Avarice Blade there to eventually create a Youmuu's Ghostblade without ever going back and not improving your champ by not shopping. This gives you an edge in the lane.
The second reason for doing this is that Youmuu's Ghostblade is more versatile than The Black Cleaver. The move speed bonus of the item helps to chase down targets, to gank, to escape ganks and to get to fight sooner while The Black Cleaver deals damage and only deals damage. In addition, the variety of stats that ghostblade gives actually slightly out performs the black cleaver on the whole (while the active is applied). The 15% crits and 15% cdr are not to be underestimated. As long as the active on the ghostblade is used properly, ghostblade wins between the two items in a dual (with average rng).
Why Frozen Mallet?
Frozen Mallet is an incredible item for Fiora because she can get to a target to easily.
Lunge allows Fiora to get to a carry. The mallet will add a much needed cc to her kit to allow her to stick with even slippery targets and help your teammates catch up as well.
This also makes her ult an AoE slow which can devastate teams.
While we still build Fiora very aggressively, this item gives a much needed buffer against her being bursted down.
Why Executioner's Calling:
First off, they missed this item with the spell vamp nerf. The item gives a lot of crit which is very nice for Fiora and the anti-healing will really help both in duels/skirmishes and team fights. Healing is very powerful, this will cut it's effectiveness in half.
Why Infinity Edge?
First off, Fiora's ult applies on hit effects. This includes crits. Making your ult hit potentially 30% harder is good I hear. Secondly, Fiora is an auto attack champion. Infinity edge is the ultimate auto attack dps item. Third, you already have a decent amount of crit from the ghostblade and executioner's. Items, that improve your existing items are always good.
I choose to get 21/9 masteries on Fiora.
These are great for both her jungle and lane builds as they make her early game stronger.
At level 1 I start with burst of speed in the jungle and lunge in the lane.
Burst of speed will provide you the most extra damage and also mitigation through life steal.
Lunge is your gap closer and harass and potential escape.
In both scenarios I get all my skills by level 3.
I max Burst of Speed first as it is Fiora's damage staple. I max riposite second as it adds extra AD and the defensive element it provides is strong as well. Lunge is the last skill I level, even though it is good, we will be focusing more on being an Auto Attacker and this will be used mainly for positioning purposes.
Blade Waltz should be leveled whenever possible.
For jungling, I grab AS marks and quints.
For laning, I get armor penetration marks and quints.
For both, I get flat armor seals and mr/level glyphs.
The extra AS in the jungle is very helpful as it drastically improves clear times. I allows for an earlier dragon solo and faster early level jungle clearing.
Armor penetration is a great stat on any champion that stacks a considerable amount of AD. Each point of Armor Pen improves the value of each AD which in turn improves the value of AS, lifesteal, crit, ect. Armor Pen also improves the value of the base damage of skills that deal physical damage. For instance, Fiora's ult. Let say that Fiora's ult would deal 1000 base damage to a single target. If that Fiora had no armor pen and that target had enough armor to provide 60% physical mitigation, then your ult effectively did 400 damage to the target. Now say that you had enough armor pen to lower their physical mitigation to 30%. Your ult now did 700 damage to the target instead. The base damage of your ability was effectively improved by 75% because of the penetration. In the same way, your auto attack damage is also improved by stacking some armor penetration.
In both the jungle and lane I choose marks and quints that improve Fiora's offensive ability which in turn allows her to life steal more and have more defensive ability.
Flash is the single most important summoner skill for Fiora. First off, Fiora is a melee champion, her lack of range makes flash very useful. Secondly, Fiora doesn't like being skill shot or caught in AoE ults...this is generally death for her. Flash allows you to dodge these things. Fiora's ult is very strong, but her range on it is fairly short. Flash into ult is a great way to avoid focus, catch a runner, or come back into a team fight at low hp. No Fiora should run without flash.
Anyone who has played Fiora knows that she is a very very fast paced champion that needs absolute speed and control to be effective and life steal to survive. An ignite, an exhaust, or a cc can quickly end Fiora.
Cleanse is often the key to a successful Fiora. It protects Fiora against ignite and exhaust and being locked out of her ult. The absolute most important skill any Fiora player needs to learn is to know when to cleanse/qss. A proper cleanse can allow Fiora to dodge a skill shot with lunge to avoid a cc chain or to ult and potentially change the entire outcome of a team fight.
The only time I would not suggest getting cleanse is when the other team has a suppression ult (Malz, WW, Skarner, Urgot) and very little cleansable cc besides that. Remember to consider silence as CC -silence locks you out of your ult.
If their team has multiple uncleansable cc's (such as knock ups) or multiple suppression ults. DON'T PLAY FIORA! If you are already locked into Fiora, you must play less aggressively to avoid these CCs.
Cleanse is as important to lane Fiora as Heal is to Poppy or Flash is to Alistar. With it, Fiora is slippery, dangerous and effective. Without it Fiora is often a useless corpse.
For jungle Fiora, Flash Smite is the way to go, allowing Fiora to flash out of a bush into lunge range and get immediately on an enemy in a gank. Flash helps Fiora jungle more safely, and allows her to engage or escape more easily as well. Another option is cleanse smite but your ganks will suffer.
Itemizing Fiora is a unique task. Her tool kit and play style makes her an interesting champion to build.
If the other team has a Malz, WW, Skarner, or Urgot (and probably even Mord to be safe). YOU MUST GET A Quicksilver Sash! And you better be quick with it!
I get the QSS right after the ghostblade if I'm going to get one. Having cleanse and a ghostblade isn't a bad idea. You can incite some real chaos if you are fast on the cleansing/qss and know when to use which and your ult.
Don't worry about getting more damage if you still need a QSS...it gets top priority. If no one is feeding, you can afford a qss in the build with a normal amount of farm and still carry the team.
In the lane, I start off with boots and potions or cloth armor and potions. I go the boots route if I'm against anyone with a skill shot or a caster. The boots will allow you to dodge skill shots more easily and will provide more mitigation than any other item early on while also helping avoid ganks and deal damage. Against other melee champs, I get cloth armor and potions.
I then get tier 2 boots. Berserker grieves are the way to go for Fiora. Fiora is an auto attack champion that focuses offensively. Merc treds are for tanky dps bruisers.
My build begins building into a Youmuu's Ghostblade. To achieve this, I find that going The Brutalizer is more effective than first building an Avarice Blade this is because The Brutalizer increases your damage so much that it helps you gain lane control which allows you to get extra farm more than the avarice blade would give. If you get control of your lane early, the Vampiric Scepter isn't needed, but often you'll be trading blows and the life steal is needed to keep presence.
After the ghostblade and calling are complete, I save for a B.F. Sword and eventually upgrade the b.f. into The Black Cleaver. The cleaver is Fiora's first B.F. item because of the armor penetration. 45 additional armor penetration at this point in the game brings her to a total of 90 armor pen against a target after 3 strikes. Most targets at this point will now have negative armor (true damage). I changed this next build from a wriggles to this item because I felt that wriggle's didn't provide enough bonus life steal or damage to really be worth the investment. The extra armor penetration that this item gave made armor pen marks and quints more attractive and hence I changed those as well.
After a BC, I build an Executioner's Calling this item will cut their sustaining power in half and has great synergy with your ultimate. It has a good amount of crit and was untouched in life steal. It's a great anti-support tool and the active can be used every 20 seconds.
I next build Phage. The phage provides AD, HP, and a nice slow that has a chance to proc on each auto attack and during your ult.
I fill my inventory with an Infinity Edge. The IE is great because it improves your crit chance and damage. Crit is an on hit effect, so you ult can crit. A crit on the first strike of your ult is devastating, especially with good armor penetration and an IE. The IE significantly improves the value of your AD and crit. The only reason I get The Bloodthirster before Infinity Edge is because I run out of inventory slots and you don't want to sell the Vampiric Scepter at any point in the game. If you can afford the Infinity Edge when you go back to get The Bloodthirster get the IE first!
I finally upgrade the phage to a Frozen Mallet. This item provides a considerable slow allowing Fiora to keep on to nearly any target. It also provides a considerable health boost to buffer against burst. This item will actually significantly increase your dps in many situations. Since Burst of Speed, The Black Cleaver and the Youmuu's Ghostblade drastically increase your attack speed, what you really need is to keep your target from getting out of melee range. This keeps them from running away which allows your AS to have greater value.
I basically use the same build with a few adjustments.
First off, I build a Wriggle's Lantern before a ghostblade. Since jungle control is your role, it is more necessary to be able to handle a dragon asap.
At any point, if you are being shut down by CC (or think you will be). Invest into a quicksilver sash. It is important for Fiora to be able to ult on command!
We again get a ghostblade early. This helps on ganks and makes Fiora a deadly burst assassin while also very rigid with life steal.
I then again get a phage that will eventually turn into a Frozen Mallet.
An IE will greatly increase your damage (your ult can crit since it applies on hit effects).
I finish the build selling the wriggle's for The Bloodthirster.
Thanks for reading the guide.
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