Fiddlesticks Build Guide by HidetheCamel
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello all, and welcome to my guide to Laning Solo-mid as Fiddlesticks, my personal favorite champion. Now, this is not a set-in-stone map and legend to becoming the greatest LoL player ever. This is a guide to how I play Fiddlesticks very effectively, at least in solo-queue. If you are Summoner Lvl 30 and looking for a Ranked Game guide this is not for you. Now I have never been the best and Junglesticks, nor as a duo lane Fiddle, so basically all my games with Fiddlesticks are in the middle lane. Now, I'm a relatively new player, having played for only three or four months, but of the characters I've seen so far, Fiddlesticks is by far my most effective. There will be a lot of tl;dr's and walls of text for now, but that may change soon. Just wade through it and hopefully you'll find the answer to your most aching issues with this champion.
Your goals as Middlesticks:
1. Stay in lane and outlevel your opponent through health and mana survivability.
2. Harrass, deny, and overall shutdown the enemy's solo-mid, often their carry.
3. Force the enemy into a surrender, before Fiddle's effectiveness starts to slowly wane.
Let's start with some pros and cons of this strategy and build, shall we?
Pros / Cons
-You have great survivability in lane, because your DRAIN ability allows you to keep your health up by draining life out of the high-health siege minions.
-You are a wonderful harasser. Against any kind of AD/DPS, you have your drain ability which first negates their damage and also damages them in return. Any AD carry dumb enough to 1versus1 you early game deserves to have their brains sucked dry. Against casters, you have your DARK WIND, which is a 5-bounce, 1.2 second silence.
-DARK WIND is a 1 point wonder, allowing you to level up your other two basic abilities unhindered.
-You have a 3-second hard-CC. For your uses TERRIFY technically a stun, because the opponent can do nothing whilst you drain his/her life away.
-Your Ult, CROWSTORM, is IMO the greatest Ultimate in the game and will devastate the other team in teamfights if you know what you're doing. I'll explain this in detail later.
-MULTI-KILLS!!! This goes with CROWSTORM, but really there is nothing more satisfying than a double or triple kill to add to your ridiculous kill-streak.
-Also a good jungler, though I do not cover that in this guide, unfortunately, because I don't have the experience to teach others about jungling with Fiddlesticks yet.
-Really scary and bad-*** backstory.
-Ganking is really good, and a good Mid-laner should know when to gank an over-extended enemy Top or Bot.
-You can also solo dragon very soon, having levelled up in a solo lane.
-The most important Pro is Fiddlesticks' early game Near-OPness. A huge portion of the games I've played involve the enemy surrendering right at the twenty minute mark because I've shut down their mid so hard. Trust me. I know Fiddlesticks is a good jungler, but from what I've seen he is exponentially more devastating as a Solo-Mid.
-Very squishy. If your drain is on cooldown during a teamfight, you are dead. If you are ganked by multiple enemies with CC, you are dead.
-Very slow. This goes hand in hand with squishy.
-Poor AP ratios, though I will show you how to counter that extremely effectively with Fiddlesticks.
-You reach your peak at lvl 16, at which point your effectiveness and overall domination dies down a bit, but if you've been well-fed then your ULT will still be a huge threat to the enemy.
-Pretty counterable if the enemy knows what they're doing. Don't give them a chance to start buying MR. ;)
My Rune Setup:
9 Marks of Insight for almost 10 MPen. Standard on casters.
9 Seals of Focus for CDR. Don't flame just yet. I know people usually get Mana Regen here but you'll see soon you don't need it as much with Fiddlesticks. You could MRegen Seals of course, I'm not mandating anything here. It's just that with this build Mana should not be a problem. Also, with Fiddle, CDR is very important. If you can get the cooldown for DRAIN to near or under 5 seconds, you're pretty much set in health early on. Also, you need every last bit of CDR from non-item sources to let your items be more damage oriented. You also need CDR to help minimize the cooldown on your Ult.
9 Glyphs of Celerity for CDR. Now added to your seals and plus masteries, this should be enough CDR for you.
3 Quintessences of Force for AP. Trust me, 10 MPen from runes is enough, if you're doing things right.
For masteries, I go 9-0-21 like most casters. In the utility tree, make sure to put points in the spell you will use that game, obviously. In the offense tree, just remember to go Archmage's Savvy and Archaic Mastery for the 15% Mpen.
Q= TERRIFY. Fears the enemy for up to 3 seconds. This is your main CC and used in conjunction with your drain does massive damage for at least the 3 seconds the enemy is feared. Level it up whenever your Drain can't be levelled.
W= DRAIN. Damages the opponent over 5 seconds, and healing Fiddlesticks for a portion of the damage. Fiddlesticks would be nothing without this spell. Insane max damage, short cooldown, automatic spell vamp! This spell, next to his ult, makes him the powerhouse he is. Max this out ASAP. It will keep you alive in lane as well as piss off your opponent who can't kill you while suddenly half their health is gone.
E= DARK WIND. A useful skill, however in a lane I do not believe it has much use. Farming with it is pitiful, and besides you shouldn't be cleaning out waves. You should be last hitting, so as not to over-extend your lane and get GANKSTIFIED. Level only one point early on, as drain WILL do more damage in lane, and Dark wind only scales damage, so leave it be and level up your other abilities first. The only time I suggest levelling this up equally with the other abilities is against a really great CASTER harrasser like Kassadin, who also has a silence. Okay, only Kassadin. Even against a Lux, arguably the greatest zoner in LoL, Drain is much more potent, especially in a TERRIFY+DRAIN combo.
R= CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW!!! The whirling CROWSTORM of death that ravages enemy health and makes solo QQ n00bs go "OMG FIDDLE OP!!!" Used with its innate blink from the bushes, this ability almost ensures a kill early on. Don't be too afraid to use it before mid-game starts to try and net a kill. Afterwards, though, watch out. I'll explain more about all his abilities in the strategy section.
My first priority spell is FLASH. Never NOT get flash. For so many reasons. Flash can help you survive a gank. Flash can help you gank yourSELF. Flash can help you re-try your ult if your positioning is not great. Flash is a game-changer on Fiddlesticks.
The second spell is debatable. The two most common are GHOST and TELEPORT, followed by IGNITE. I, however, use a less common spell quite a bit. CLARITY (*wince. don't flame) provides the much needed extra mana you need to stay in lane and outlevel your solo mid opponent like crazy. Don't even worry about spamming drain with this.
TELEPORT is also very effective on a solo-mid competing to out-level and out-itemize his opponent. Teleport provides the benefit of clarity by allowing you to teleport back to lane after blue-pilling back to base to regain all your mana, PLUS an added bonus of letting you buy an item while you're there, if you have the gold. POOF, fiddle is gone. POOF fiddle is back again, with freaking SORC BOOTS out of NOWHERE! Also, there is a trick which is to plant a ward in either the middle of a lane or in the bush, and to teleport to the ward BEHIND the enemy when he is overextended/pushing your tower in your "absence." GANKSTIFIED. The main pro I see about CLARITY vs TELEPORT, though, is that the mana regain is immediate, and does not require you to leave lane at all.
Between CLARITY and TELEPORT, I have a hard time deciding. Ghost, however, I've never found too useful. You really should need to run away like that, because you should never walk around solo after teamfights start. And if you're running to go save a tower, how much does 23-30% movement speed compare to a 4-second channeled TELEPORT. Yeah. Plus, you can't get ganked on your way to the turret with TELEPORT.
I have never used any other spells of Fiddlesticks, though, so I cannot say about the others. I've looked over them though, and besides IGNITE being a part of your Damage over Time combo I don't see any use for the other spells.
Again, these are all your choice, though. I personally just found that the spells I use have helped me dominate the middle-lane as Fiddlesticks.
Usual average game item order: Doran's Ring > ROA > Rabadon's > Abyssal Scepter > Rylai's Crystal Scepter > Zhonya's Hourglass
I always start off with a Doran's Ring. The 100 Health is amazing, the 15 AP is only 5 less than a 20 AP Tome which doesn't build into anything in my build anyway, and the almost noticeable Mana Regen should cover you, especially combined with your masteries and summoner spells.
I then have a choice. My first two items are almost always Sorcerer's Shoes and Rod of Ages. Sorc Boots for the 20 MPen, and ROA for the survivability and over-time passive. HOWEVER, if things are going extremely well, I honestly suggest a Rabadon's. You. Will. Rape. If you are in a game where you have enough confidence (not arrogance) that you can skip over your ROA to go immediately to a Rabadon's, that game is already a surrender waiting to happen anyway.
Anyway, those should be your first three items in a theoretically perfect build. Next should be your Abyssal Scepter. Here's what happens. You already have 30 MPen from runes and Sorc Boots. Abyssal + your Passive makes for 60 TOTAL MR reduction. If you have an opponent dumb enough to not buy an MR, they now have -30 MR when your spells hit them, doing MORE damage than you should be doing. This is what makes Fiddle great. People spit on his mediocre AP ratios, but they underestimate his passive. Have other MR-lowering champs (Amumu, Karthus, Morgana, etc.) on your team and you could potentially be doing double or more damage to glass-cannon-building players.
Next, in my opinion, is Rylai's. 500 Health, 80 AP, and a slow proc'ed by three of your spells, two of which need that slow to keep enemies in range for some crazy damage.
Your luxury item is Zhonya's Hourglass, which provides 50 Armor, 100 AP, and a 2-second invincibility active. If you're lucky you won't even get to this point, or even your Rylai's, in a majority of your games.
Now, this is not the concrete item order for every game, though these for the most part, are the items.
If you encounter a heavy AP team, rush your Abyssal after the boots, then continue. If you encounter heavy DPS, go Zhonyas, or even a Frozen Heart or a Thornmail in the most extreme cases. Just understand that this guide is a GUIDE, not the eleventh commandment. Remember to always use your brain...though it is straw for the most part. Observe the enemy team during loading, and observe their KD's. Observe, observe, observe. Blindly following a guide will get you nowhere. Remembering to use your own instincts is what wins you games.
There are other items that seem pretty nice on Fiddlesticks which I have been on and off about. They are situational items, which I would pick according to the situation.
Will of the Ancients give some nice aura AP and 25% spell vamp, easily pushing you over 100% drain and letting crowstorm sustain you a bit, even.
Morello's Evil Tome provides 75 AP, nice mana regen, but the sexiest part has to be the 20% CDR. If you feel like it's ages until your next CROWSTORM, then squeeze this is your build.
Deathfire Grasp is slightly less than Morello's in terms of stats, but its active is amazing at destroying tanks, or any high hp champ. If you're playing against a pretty tank team, this might be just the item for you.
Archangel's Staff is a huge source of potential mana, and even turns that into AP, though its utilities just aren't worth the spot that I could use for another item.
Lich Bane will solve Fiddlesticks' movement speed issues, and provides MR as well as a proc for a hit that does your AP in damage. That's pretty sick, especially if you stack AP. Fiddlesticks usually has a 500 to 600 AP, so that's like a mid-combo nuke, so it's all about your playstyle. Personally, my favorite part of this item still must be the extra movement speed. The spell-proc'ed passive just doesn't fit my playing style though, which is why I tend to stay a bit away.
This is the part that many guides for many champs slack on. Just because a person can follow a build and learn what icons to click, doesn't mean they know how to play that character.
In the queue before the game, ask your team for solo mid. Usually they're okay with it, though some may be hesitant, thinking that Fiddle in the jungle is the ONLY possible way to play him.
At the loading screen, check out the enemy team. Try and guess their solo mid. Try and see their overall AD to AP champ ratio and think about what item order to go by.
Right as the game begins, grab your Doran's Ring and immediately start walking to your Outer Turret and chill there. Do NOT, I repeat do NOT level up an ability. The first ability you level should be either DRAIN or DARK WIND. However, this varies depending on the opposing champ. If they are AD, level up DRAIN. If they are another caster who is pretty powerful (not zoning, actually powerful. like you) like another fiddlesticks or a kassadin, level up darkwind. Biggest mistake I've ever made was levelling drain first against a fiddle with dark wind. This was before I started really thinking about correct strategies. I got my straw-covered *** handed to me. Remember, again, do not level up your ability before you see who your opposing solo mid is.
Now, for laning.
Only last hit. ONLY last hit. I know it's hard, but with Fiddlesticks early game domination is key, and to do so you must have better early-game items. You getting your first sorc boots before the oppo gets their Tier 2 boots usually = your first kill. Remember that. Now, to harrass, use dark wind quite often to use its range and zone. However, a well-executed terrify and drain will do tons more damage. Just watch out for early-game minion aggro. Early on, that stuff will definitely sting. Also, to keep you health up, try and drain the highest health minion. This usually means the siege minion. That guy will heal you to the BRIM. Remember what I said about levelling up drain first over dark-wind? Drain scales it's spell vamp with level, so the higher your level, the more spell vamp you get. That is key to surviving your lane. Dark Wind is used to ZONE, not to do crazy damage.
Pretty soon your opponent will fear (Lulz) you. Just go behind HIS minions when yours are low enough to last hit. He will run back to his turret, cowering in fear. THAT right there is the ultimate deny. Just watch out for a gank. Also, fiddlesticks is a horrible pusher. I don't suggest pushing. I suggest last hitting minions at the enemy tower. Or Dark Winding the enemy and backing out of turret range. The opponent will HATE you for that.
Honestly, if you play just like this, you will be A-okay, and will be levels ahead. Pretty consistently I have hit level 16 before ANY other champion in the game has even hit 12. It's honestly a bit lonely being that high. Remember the costs of your items and their recipe items. Go back to shop when you think the time is right. But don't go back too often without a teleport back to lane or else you will miss out on XP and Gold.
A good way to net kills during this phase is to, when you're about half or less in mana, go back towards your turret to seem like you are about to blue pill, but go around to one of the sides of the lane, to the bushes. Your ult has a teleport range of 800. Your ult also has a radius of damage of 600. Your fear has a range of 550, about. Basically if your enemy is within 1400 range of you, they are dead. Just make sure they are relatively pushed and just ult in, fear, and, getting between them and their turret, start draining. Remember, for a single target assassination like this, the target does NOT have to be INSIDE the range of your ult's teleport. Remember that! But know the radius of your ult and don't have the enemy be TOO outside your range. Duh.
So that's pretty much laning with Fiddlesticks. Pretty awesome, really.
OH! Ganks! Remember to GANK a lane that may not be doing as well as it could. If they have a fed enemy champ in a side lane, kill him. Too many times have I concentrated on shutting down the enemy carry that a subtle carry emerges from the side lanes, fed by my over-aggressive side-lane teammates. OOPS! Remember, Fiddle is a wonderful ganker. Don't waste his potential! Ult, fear, drain. You have slain an enemy. For multiple targets, remember to throw in a Dark Wind. I'll get more specific about this soon.
Once teamfight time starts, help your team push towers. Follow them around, not staying too far behind that you could get 5v1'd or too far to get to the action before your teammates get 5v4'd, but also not so close that you get focused. Team fights should go like this for you. Stay close to teammates, but behind them. They engage the enemy. You stay hidden, then, while hidden, or from a distance, charge up your ult, jumping to where you think will do the most damage and land you closest to their biggest damage dealer. FEAR that champion, so that the opposing team's strongest character does nothing but pee his pants for three second, while your crows your teammates shred the opposing team. However, before you fear, you should send a dark wind to a clump of enemies. The extra little bit of damage and the silence will keep you and your teammates alive. Now, after your fear, immediately find the highest priority target to KILL. Sometimes it may just be the same guy you just feared, so as to take care of their carry. I don't suggest using your fear or drain on a tank, though if the tank did not build MR you could DRAIN but not TERRIFY them for max health regeneration. So it goes ULT > DARK WIND > FEAR the CARRY > DRAIN someone important. R>E>Q>W.
Make sure when you ult that most of the enemy CC has been blown and is on cooldown, and also that the enemy team is for the most part clustered. Go for the spot with the carry. Fiddle gets up and personal, despite his abilities technically having range. That's what it's high risk to use his ult, yet so high reward when you're doing 600 damage a second for five seconds to multiple enemies. Just don't be too stupid.
Remember to try and grab blue buff. CDR works really well on Fiddle so you can have his ulti up at every team fight.
Many times people save their ult for the absolute PERFECT moment. For now, if you're new, don't. Conditions for ulting are almost never completely perfect. And the best way to learn how to use CROWSTORM, after all, is to use CROWSTORM.
So, team fight phase: Stay near team, ult when CC is mostly blown and enemy is fully engaged with your team, and R>E>Q>W!!!
Here's a taste of what the strategy and build guide of Middlesticks can give you:
People all have varying opinions on builds and strategies for characters, so I don't expect anyone to follow me guide to the letter. However, I personally have achieved quite some success with this strategy and wanted to share what I know with the community. Speaking of the community, I'd like to give a shout out to KHURZON whose top-rated guide on Mobafire was...my Bible for a while. His guide truly is something to see. That guide helped me by being not only a newbie crutch for me but also the platform from which I launched my own custom strategy and build. Thanks, Khurzon!
I hope you all enjoy my guide and somehow gleaned some new ideas about Fiddlesticks.
Please leave any comments below. I'm sorry about the pretty much pure wall of text. I'm not sure how to put icons in here yet. Could someone possibly teach me how to do that in a comment here? Any feedback is appreciated!
Oh, and if you've read this far, thank you and congrats for having the patience!
Until next time!