Diana Build Guide by thegimboid364
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I'm thegimboid364, and this is my guide to mid-lane Diana. In this guide, I aim to show you how to succeed playing Diana the way she is meant to be played, as an assassin/fighter hybrid. Whether you're just looking to get started, or want to improve, I hope my guide can help you.
So Whats Diana All About?
At her base level, Diana is an AP carry assassin/fighter Hybrid. She has enough burst to assassinate high priority targets, and then the dps and durability to continue the fight. When executed correctly, her combo gives her not only the damage output, but also the tools needed to apply the damage to the correct targets at the correct time. Her skill-shot Q ability, Crescent Strike, is critically important to her, and must be used well to maximize her effectiveness.
So Why Play Diana?
Diana is a somewhat uncommon mid-lane pick, the reasons for which I will discuss later in the guide. She has many strengths though and should not be overlooked just because of her unpopularity. Her kit is well rounded, she has excellent damage, and can be a menace to lane against once she unlocks Lunar Rush. She has strong roaming/ganking, is a pretty good duelist, and does well against most other assassins. Her Crescent Strike and Lunar Rush combo offers an extremely rewarding play style where mistakes are punished, but skill is rewarded, and success can be devastating. If this type of play sounds interesting to you, then please, read on!
Pros / Cons
1. High burst damage
2. Good sustained damage from Moonsilver Blade
3. 0 cooldown ultimate when Crescent Strike lands
4. Easy to farm/push with Moonsilver Blade and Crescent Strike
5. AoE CC/interrupt from Moonfall
6. Chasing and sticking from Crescent Strike and Lunar Rush combo
7. Surprisingly tanky from high base stats and Pale Cascade
1. Weak pre level 6
2. Quite mana heavy
3. Relies on landing her Crescent Strike to execute her combo
4. Crescent Strike can be dodged easily by opponents with a dash or blink
4. Lunar Rush not reliable as an escape
5. No hard CC
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
The only real options for marks. Increases your damage output considerably all game. I can't imagine ever taking anything else.
This is down to personal preference, and the lane matchup. Health is better early game or against a magic damage lane opponent. Armor scales better and is good against an AD lane opponent. Also consider a mix of the two.
You're going to want the MR most of the time to give you more durability. Use the AP if you're against an AD opponent and are confident enough to ditch the MR
Hands down the best Quints for you to pick.
Explaining the Build
First things First
In order to plan out an effective build for any champion, we first need to look at their strengths, their weakness, and what their role will be in the team. Once we've got a general idea of what Diana can do (and by do, I mean do well), we can start to look at the best way to maximize her potential and cover her weaknesses.
What Diana can do well
Diana's kit has a high damage gap closer from her Crescent Strike Lunar Rush combo. She has some range from her Crescent Strike, but her Pale Cascade, and Moonfall both only work from being in close range of a target. On top of this, her Moonsilver Blade enhances her (melee range) auto attacks. This means that whilst she can contribute during sieges and poke wars, she is obviously going to have to get stuck into the thick of a fight to have any real impact. Diana's high base stats and her Pale Cascade give her good durability in a fight; she is clearly not meant to be a tank, but neither is she a squishy mage.
In summary, Diana is good at: closing the gap with a target, dealing lots of damage, catching fleeing enemies, and tanking some damage in return.
What Diana can't do well
The biggest weakness in Diana's kit is her lack of a reliable escape. Her Lunar Rush can be used as an escape in certain circumstances (when enemy or jungle creeps can be targeted) but most of the time this isn't going to cut it. This means once she has engaged, she has a lot of trouble disengaging.
Diana does have some good upfront burst damage, but she also needs some time for her Moonsilver Blade and Pale Cascade to proc for her full combo. This leaves a small window of opportunity for her to be cc-ed and her target to escape before taking lethal damage. Diana can still chase with another Lunar Rush, but will obviously be taking heavy damage at this point.
Basically, Diana cannot delete enemies quite aswell as a LeBlanc or an Akali, and cannot jump in and out of combat like a Zed or a Kha'Zix.
So What Does This Mean?
Now, you might be thinking: "Why would I play Diana instead of Akali, LeBlanc, Zed or Kha'Zix?" She doesn't have the greatest burst damage for an assassin, and she can't escape once she's assassinated her target. Well, you'd be right. If you want to play a pure, totally burst focused assassin, then Diana might not be for you.
Diana has other strengths though: her combo is on a very low cooldown. Her ultimate, Lunar Rush, essentially has the same (6 second!) cooldown as her Q, Crescent Strike. In combination with her passive, Moonsilver Blade, this allows her to put out high levels of damage again and again, as long as she can stay alive. Diana has good base stats, and a pretty good shield on her Pale Cascade, letting her absorb much more damage than other assassins.
This is where the "fighter" part of the assassin/fighter hybrid comes in. Diana needs defensive stats as well as offensive ones in order to stay alive. She can't jump in, assassinate a target, and jump out like other assassins. Once shes in, shes in, and will die quickly without some defense. In return for this though, she has amazing dps for an AP carry, and will keep doing consistently high damage throughout a fight.
So What Do I Build?
As an AP carry, Diana's main focus will always be on doing as much damage as possible, as quickly as possible. For this we need AP.
2. Armor and Magic Resist
These give Diana the suitability she needs to maximize her damage output, and compensate for her lack of an escape. Bear in mind that armor and magic resist scale with her Pale Cascade's shield whereas health does not.
3. Attack Speed
Attack speed is very good on Diana because of her passive, Moonsilver Blade. More attack speed means more Moonsilver Blade procs, which means more damage.
4. Magic Penetration
A must on any AP carry. Enemies will build magic resist, so magic penetration helps negate some of this.