Fiddlesticks Build Guide by Khurzon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khurzon

The Full Guide to the King of Terror

Khurzon Last updated on July 1, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Last Updated: 06/11/2011

This is my second build for Fiddlesticks. The first one was written over 18 months ago and focused on helping people who were just learning the champion and having trouble with survivability. It didn't get much attention and I have since archived it. He continues to be my favorite champion and I feel it is time to share a more in-depth guide that has the potential to help all play levels.

6/11/11: - I finally found some time (while on vacation at the beach) to update the guide to reflect a lot of the changes I have been testing out - especially after the last 6 patches, in particular.

Thanks for continuing to enjoy and support the guide. I am glad it has been helpful to so many people.

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This is a guide - not a set-in-stone build for Fiddlesticks. Nor is it a guide for jungling with Fiddlesticks. He is a fantastic jungler, but that is not how I play him. I'll leave jungling guides up to those players who are more experienced at it then I am. The build as it is shown is my standard setup and progression for normal games and soloing the middle lane. The skill progression specifically matches my preferred play style, and is not necessarily the most effective progression for everyone. Each section of the guide will address the various options for changing the build, and how to evaluate situations and play style to help determine what changes should be made.

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The runes for Fiddle are pretty cut and dry. His damage output is maximized through synergy with his passive and focusing on lowering his opponent's magic resist (hopefully into negative numbers) so getting both Marks of Insight and Quints of Insight are important. He is also a mana hungry mage who struggles with mana early and mid-game unless he can get the Golem buff. So Seals of Clarity are also important and help tremendously with this issue. And finally, he struggles with long cooldowns and needs all the help he can get in reducing them, so Glyphs of Celerity are the best choice there.

*Note: I used to get Glyphs of Clarity to help even more with mana regen in the early to mid-game, but since Patch they aren't really needed and the Glyphs of Celerity are much more effective.

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9/0/21 is the most effective mastery build for Fiddle. Why? Simple:

  • Nine points in Offensive is just enough to give you Archaic Knowledge for 15% MP - as stated above, this is definitely something you want to have!
  • In offensive you also get an AP boost per level and +3% reduction to cooldowns. Awesome!
  • In utility you have everything we already know is really needed: Perseverance and Meditation for increased mana regen, Quickness for +3% movement speed, and Intelligence for 6% cooldown reduction.
  • You get to specialize in both of your summoner spells (if you are taking Flash and Teleport) and reduce their cooldown times significantly. Since these spells are important to our success, having them available more often is optimal.
  • You max Utility Mastery, which plays into the strategy (see below) of having Golem buff as often as possible. This makes it last 30% longer.
  • Awareness gives you a 5% experience bonus. It may not seem like much, but it is, especially when you are 1v1 in the middle lane. Getting your Ult or another level in a core skill first can make it much easier to get the kill against your opponent. Even just having the ability to push your opponent back and deny them experience, gold, or call back for health is a huge advantage early on. Good, aggressive play with the 5% experience boost can put you at least 1 level above your opponent before level 10. Even if you are only a slight bit ahead of your opponent, hitting the next level first can give you the health and mana that you need to turn the tide of a tough 1v1 battle.
This last item, a seemingly tiny edge, has meant a huge difference for me time and again. In fact, some of my friends who play with me have started switching their masteries to get the 5% experience boost. (Especially after watching me one game where I went link-dead at the very start, and finally came back when everyone was already levels 5-7. I caught up in level with the side lane champions within 15 minutes, and had out-leveled everyone within 30 minutes.)

I used to run with Expanded Mind for extra mana, but it wasn't enough to make a difference. Rod of Ages gives you plenty of extra mana to cast with, and it's your mana regen that makes the difference. The experience boost gives you an actual edge that you can feel when playing. Expanded Mind might be more beneficial if you used an Archangel's Staff in your build.

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Items - (Core Build)

Again, the items that I list are just a standard build and can (and should) be changed as needed depending on the situation. Here are the basics:

Doran's Ring
I have tried many different starting items, with my second and third favorites being a Ruby Crystal or a Meki Pendant and 2 Healing Potions. But in the end I am convinced that Doran's Ring is the key to dominating the early game. It gives you everything you need in useful amounts: Health, Mana Regen, and AP. Your laning ability with this item is awesome! You might think (like I used to) that the money is better spent on building towards one of your first two major items, but the extra power that Doran's Ring gives you will enable you to farm experience, gold, and get early kills that will get you the levels and money you need for your items. My primary basis for believing this is from careful observation of early game purchases. Since I switched back to starting with Doran's I can usually purchase a full Rod of Ages (RoA used to be in my core build) an average of 2 minutes earlier than I used to when starting with a Ruby Crystal. (At 18-19 minutes into the game if you were wondering.) I don't think my play has improved that much since I made the switch, so obviously Doran's is helping me be more effective during the early and mid-game.

Sorcerer's Shoes
This build is all about MP. But in general, pure mage champions shouldn't use any other footwear than these. Boots of Swiftness or Mobility would be really nice on Fiddle and help him get around the map, but that extra 20 MP is too powerful to give up. Period. What's that you say? What about Mercury's Treads? Honestly, you are going to get more magic resistance from your Abyssal Scepter. That should help you combat other mages, and if you are in a situation where you are hit first by CC, then reducing its duration by 35% isn't likely to make the difference between life and death. At least not reliably enough to gimp your damage capability for it. It just isn't worth it. I don't subscribe to the 'glass canon' method of mage building, but I'm not going to gimp my champions main strengths either. Pure mages should be damage powerhouses. Anything that doesn't help them do that isn't wanted.

Morello's Evil Tome
Since this item was introduced in patch and then buffed in patch, I have used it in almost every single game I have played. Mana regeneration, 20% cooldown reduction, and 75 AP make this a great Fiddle item. I don’t usually build it fully right away, as just a Fiendish Codex is extremely helpful in all of these areas for just over half the price.

Abyssal Scepter
If you have bought into the idea of building Fiddle's damage by ensuring that most opponents have negative MR, then this is a no-brainer. It does 3 wonderful things for you: it gives you 70 AP, +57% MR, and lowers the MR of nearby enemies by 20. Like your passive, this also helps allies do more magic damage. As long as you are in range, everyone benefits from your AoE effects that reduce MR by 30! No Fiddle should be without it!! (OK, if you're in a premade and someone else always builds it early, then I could see skipping it, but that is a very specific situation. I personally wouldn't count on that happening in non-premade games. Even if another player does build an Abyssal Scepter, can you really count on them being there and staying alive during every battle you are in? Nope, not really. The safest thing is to just build your own. Not to mention it is the only item in the core build that gives you +MR.)

Rabadon's Deathcap
Rabadon's Deathcap is all about boosting your AP, and while I miss having the Zhonya's Ring active available to me all the time, this item is simply more consistently effective in most situations. The vast majority of the time you are going to want to be casting Dark Wind, Terrify, and Drain when you pop into an opposing team - not using an active ability that immobilizes you while you are invincible. So now you have to carefully weigh whether you need Rabadon's or Zhonya's Hourglass first for each game you play. (Zhonya's Hourglass is talked about below.)

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
I have agonized over this item for the past year and a half, but keep using it successfully. Obviously +80 AP, +500 Health, and slowing enemies hit by your spells is great, but it is best when the magic only effects a single target. Then enemies are slowed by 35%. Multiple target spells only slow them 15%, and both Dark Wind and his Ult hit multiple targets. So why do I keep taking this item, and before other items that are obviously very powerful? It all comes down to play style and strategy. Here is how Rylai's helps me out:

  • I don't like to die, and I get focused a lot in team fights. There are also a few situations where I will actually initiate for the team. Having more health is very helpful here. Especially when combined with Fiddle's powerful heal from Drain.
  • Even a short 15% slow is often enough to keep enemies within range of your Ult for one more second of damage. An extra 485+ damage is fairly significant in a team fight.
  • When you pop into the middle of a team with your Ult, you usually have to choose just one champion (usually a carry or other high damage champion, but not always - see below) to fear so they stay in range and take enough damage to kill them. But Rylai's gives you the ability to almost ensure 2 kills. You can fear one enemy and hit a second with Drain. As a single-target spell it will now slow them by 35% and keep them close long enough for both your Ult and Drain to kill them.
  • The 35% slow when using Drain is also useful during running ganks and team fights when your Ult is on cooldown or otherwise unusable because of the situation. In combination with Terrify, you can use it to separate individual champions from the rest of the pack, gimp those that rely on maneuverability to fight effectively, and slow and kill fleeing enemies.
Zhonya's Hourglass Zhonya's Hourglass isn't just about boosting your AP. It also has 50 armor and gives you a very helpful active ability that makes you invulnerable for 2 seconds. Good teams will focus and try to take you down fast when you pop on them - especially after you wipe their team a couple of times. Once this starts happening and you have Zhonya's, just pop your Ult into the middle of them and immediately use the active. If you can get a Dark Wind off in-between that is perfect. If not then just wait until the active wears off. You are still helping your team because you are the focus for at least the first second or two. The primary CC and damage abilities of the opposing team have been wasted on you while you were invulnerable, and now you and your team can work on tearing them apart.

*Note: Obviously, if you run into a situation where you know you are going to have to initiate fights for your team, OR the opposing team is really good and focuses you down the instant you pop in, then you will want to get Zhonya’s before you purchase your Rabadon’s.

$$$$ - Is this an expensive build? Absolutely. But a well-played Fiddle can usually make enough money to support it. Solid farming + kills keeps the cash rolling in throughout the game, and purchasing these items in a timely fashion usually isn't an issue. Besides, games usually end long before you even think about purchasing Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, let alone Zhonya’s Hourglass. |

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Items - (Situational)

Rod of Ages
I am a good player and have tried Mejai's Soulstealer and other snowball items. In the end, I found that even a fully stacked Mejai's is inferior to a fully charged (after 15 minutes) Rod of Ages(RoA). The extra cost is well worth it. RoA gives you 100 AP plus 630 Health and 725 Mana. So you are tougher, can cast more spells, and still hit hard. AND no one can kill you and take your AP away. There are situations where you need to initiate fights, (yes, really - don't worry, I will go over this in the Strategy section as well) and if you are too scared of losing your precious stacks then you are far less useful to your team. And if you do lose your stacks then you are far less useful to your team. So most of the time Mejai's is lose-lose. Again, as stated above, this is not a game that you want to gamble in. You want a solid build that will be highly useful in the vast majority of situations. No mage item is more solid and consistent than a Rod of Ages, and it used to be in my core build. I still strongly suggest that newer players, or even newer Fiddle players, get it immediately after Boots of Speed so it has time to fully charge before the major team fights start. And I still do the same on very rare occasions where I am struggling against really tough opponents. If I know that either A) I am going to be playing catch up against the other team in terms of money and power, or B) I am going to have to do a lot of initiating for my team, then I will get a Rod of Ages early in the game.

*Note: It is seldom that you will be able to afford your RoA (in addition to your Boots of Speed) the first time you call back. If you want to jump back in with more power, then buy a Blasting Wand first. Otherwise, purchase a Ruby Crystal and work up to the Catalyst of the Protector. It will add to your survivability and give you additional health and mana every time you level. This will help sustain you while farming the rest of the gold you need.

Banshee's Veil
Extra Health and Mana is nice, but this item doesn't directly help you deal damage. So why would you take it? Simple. If you find yourself interrupted every time you pop into a team fight, then you need Banshee's to prevent it from happening. It blocks one negative spell every 30 seconds. Tanks such as Alistar and Blitzcrank can ruin your day with their interrupts, and Banshee's let's you ignore them and continue tearing their team apart.

Deathfire Grasp
This is actually a really good item for Fiddlesticks. It gives 60 AP, 10 Mana Regen, and reduces cooldowns by 15%. So it is a great option for replacing Morello's Evil Tome when you are up against a really tanky team with tons of health. With Deathfire's active ability you can start a fight by taking them down by 37-42% of their current health, depending on how much AP you have. One of the champs that I will almost always be looking to use Deathfire against is Vladimir. Not only does he have a lot of health, but he uses it to fuel his abilities. So quickly reducing him to almost half health gimps his fighting ability and overall survivability during a fight. It also does a minimum of 200 damage, so it can be used as a finishing attack when all of your abilities are on cooldown.

Frozen Heart
If you are facing a melee-heavy team that is doing too much DPS, then a Frozen Heart is very useful. Not only does it give you 99 Armor protection, 500 extra Mana to cast spells with, and reduce your cooldowns by a whopping 25% (which, with your runes and masteries will max your cooldown reduction), but it also has a very useful passive aura that reduces the attack speed(AS) of nearby enemies by 20%. Even if your tank is using Randuin's Omen, this should stack another 20% AS slow on top of it and really gimp the opposing team's damage capability. It can help turn the tide in a game where you previously thought the other team was too fed and powerful to fight. (Even on just a personal level, think about it... if you reduce the damage you are taking by 20%, then you live longer and increase the damage that your opponents are taking by 20%. And 20% when using your Ult and Drain is a huge amount of damage output!) Since you are maxing your cooldown percentage with this item, it should replace Morello's Evil Tome.

Haunting Guise
For only 1485 gold you get 20 AP, 180 Health, and 20 MP. So it is definitely useful to Fiddle. So why not get it as a main item? Because the items in the core build are much better in the long run, and in a decent game you can afford them. However, if the game isn't going well and you are hurting for money, then this can be a solid alternative to try and give you a much needed advantage at a more affordable price.

Lich Bane
I used to buy this when I needed more lane pushing power, but with this AP heavy build you can take down towers without much of a problem. Still, it's easy to see how helpful it is for Fiddle. It gives 80 AP, 30% MR, 350 Mana, a wonderful 7% movement speed boost, and every 2 seconds allows you to follow up use of a skill with a physical attack that adds 100% of your AP in damage. With Fiddle's long cooldowns this last power is very useful in fights. But I would only get it if I really felt I needed even more MR against a mage heavy team (especially one with Veigar in it!)

Spirit Visage
As discussed in the Patch Notes section, this item has seen severe nerfs in and, and I haven't used it since. With Morello's Evil Tome I no longer need the extra CDR, and the small boost to healing just isn't worth it. (Drain is only boosted by 12% of it's total damage at max level.) And the extra MR and health can be gotten from more useful items in this list.

Void Staff
Sometimes the opposing team only has one member who is stacking MR against you, which isn't much of an issue since they are usually leaving themselves more vulnerable to physical damage (hopefully you have some on your team.) But if there are 2 or more with a lot of additional MR, then getting a Void Staff might be worth it. It gives you 70 AP and 40% MP.

Will of the Ancients
I have to admit that I do love this item, but its usefulness compared to the core build, or even the other items in this list, is very situational. 80 AP is nice, especially when 30 of it is shared through an aura. And the shared 25% spell vamp is pure gold for you (and brings your healing amount from Drain just above where it used to be.) But unless there are at least 2 other high AP teammates who can benefit from it, it just isn't as valuable as the other items you can buy.

*Note: Thanks to Jebus for making the math clearer on how MP/MR reduction items work. (See his reply posts below.)

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Dread _
This is Fiddlestick's passive ability, and reduces nearby enemy champions' MR by 10. It can take it negative, and is the synergistic focus of this build. Note that it effects all nearby champions, and is very effective when Fiddle is on a team with other magic-based champions.

Terrify _
I almost called this guide "I Hate You Fiddle!" because of this skill. That is what I get told in chat all the time by opposing team members. When maxed it causes 'Fear' and makes one enemy walk around aimlessly for 3 seconds. It is a powerful CC skill that can help kill even the most powerful and best played champions. Once team fights start I never bother with Vision Wards or Oracle's Elixir. I am always ready with Terrify and will fear champs like Evelyn when she pops, or Master Yi when he rushes in. And then they go down fast with 3-5 people focusing their damage on them. With this build even the sturdiest of tanks can be brought down by a group of 3-4 in conjunction with Terrify + Drain. It is simply a powerful skill in team fights. It is also useful for escaping ganks. I will go into more detail about the use of Terrify in the Strategy section.

Drain _
Drain saps the life force of an enemy and uses it to heal Fiddle. It lasts for 5 seconds and deals damage/heals for up to 5 seconds. It can be interrupted, but once cast will continue working through several forms of CC such as Exhaust and silence. The only way to stop it without an interrupt is to run outside of its range.

Dark Wind _
A 'wisp of wind' (I like to it a 'bat') hits an enemy and then bounces to nearby enemies - continuing to do so until all enemies are either dead, out of range, or it bounces 5 times. Every hit also silences the target for 1.2 seconds. It can hit the same target multiple times, but will first seek out a new target until there are none left in range, and then it will hit a previous target again. If there are only 2 enemies in range then it will bounce between them, hitting the first enemy 3 times! Enemies can be champions or minions.

Crowstorm _
A 'murder of crows' (I love that term) fly around Fiddle doing damage to all enemies in the area. There is a 2 second channel period and then Fiddle teleports a short distance and the Area of Effect(AoE) damage starts. It lasts for 5 seconds and damages enemies every second that they stand within the storm. It also moves with you, so you can control the area of effect and chase down enemies to ensure they take maximum damage from it. This is considered one of the game-changing Ults in League of Legends, and can result in Triple, Quad, and even Penta kills.

I will go into more detail about skill progression and use in the Strategy sections.

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Skill Sequence

I used to focus on Dark Wind for harassment and minion kills, but with the changes in patch I had to completely change my play style and skill sequence to match it. So what you see now is more or less an equal leveling of all abilities. When in mid I will start with Dark Wind (because no decent player will get close enough to Fiddle in the beginning and let him use Drain), and then take 2 levels in Drain to keep my health up and zone out my opponent (push them away from the minions) - denying them experience and gold. And when I lane with a partner in the top or bottom lanes, I will start with Drain and threaten enemies from the bushes. But I am most often leveling Q, W, and E fairly equally, and keeping myself versatile for all situations.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is an absolute must for Fiddlesticks. I keep reading that they are going to remove it from the game, and honestly, if that is done then Riot needs to reevaluate Fiddlesticks and buff him up to compensate. Here is why Flash is so important for this champion:

  • His Ultimate(Ult) pops a short distance and is only effective (against decent or better players) if he can immediately cast Dark Wind and Terrify. There are few places on the map where this short jump puts him in the middle of a battle damaging all, or at least most, of the opposing team, and Flash is required to get him that extra distance immediately and with some element of surprise.
  • Surprise is very important - often the difference between success and failure, and even if there are bushes right next to an ensuing battle, Fiddle needs to get into those bushes without being seen. The two facing bushes in the side lanes are a perfect example. Flash is the only way to jump the distance without being seen, and allows Fiddle to attack with his Ult, Terrify and Dark Wind with complete surprise.
  • He is very squishy (even when built with extra health) and needs a quick escape mechanism. Flash is by far the most effective summoner spell for this purpose.
The second summoner spell is really a matter of preference. I take Teleport because Fiddle is one of the slowest champions in the game (even after patch and this allows him to get where he needs to be quickly. Examples are:
  • During the early game, getting back to your lane quickly to farm gold and experience is critical for overall success.
  • Fiddle is an excellent tower defender. He can easily defend off 2 champions amidst a large wave of minions using his 3 core skills. But he has to get to the tower first. By the time Fiddle runs even halfway across the map a tower will be long dead.
  • Fiddle is also one of the champions you (and your teammates) want in every team fight. But again, it could all be over by the time he runs there, or valuable game time will be wasted if your team is constantly waiting for you. Teleporting to nearby towers, minions, wards, etc, gets you into the battle before it's too late.
  • One of the key strategic elements to this game is map control. Need I say more?
*Note: There are items that you can take to mediate how slow Fiddle is, but that only gimps his killing power. Definitely not a desirable trade-off.

My third favorite summoner spell for Fiddle is Exhaust. It pairs nicely with his Terrify skill to ensure he has the advantage in most 1v1 battles to either kill or escape. And of course it is very helpful in team battles. If you take this skill instead of Teleport, be sure to change your Masteries and take the 1 point in Deadliness and put it in Cripple instead. Reducing an opponent's magic resistance by another 10 points is huge for a high damaging mage like Fiddle. (Several times I've tried taking Exhaust, but always find myself wishing I had taken Teleport instead. So now I just stick with Teleport.)

The only other summoner spell I ever see mentioned or used by some Fiddle players is Ignite. And while there are some rare occasions where I wish I had it (such as when fighting Swain and his Ult in the middle lane - or 1v1 against DPS champs with a lot of lifesteal), those times are few and far between. If you are going to kill an opponent, they are usually VERY dead. Few are the times that an opponent escapes and Ignite would have gotten you the kill. It's anti-healing debuff is the most useful thing about it. It can help you get First Blood(FB) and maybe another kill early game, but then it is really fairly useless after that except against champions that rely on heals. It is very situational, and while I like to gamble I also like to win - all the time! (You really don't need the slight boost to your killing power early game. I talk about this more in the sections below.)

I do have lower accounts that I occasionally play too, and the newest ones aren't level 12 yet - so Flash isn't an option. I use Ghost instead, which only works because most of the opponents aren't very good. A good player will prepare and use his Crowd Control(CC) abilities on Fiddle as soon as he is in range. And fearing or silencing them first while you are running into them isn't plausible. You have lost the vital element of surprise and are far more likely to fail (and die) during the battle.

The rest of the summoner spells are very sub-par for Fiddle, and should be left for other champions to take.

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Strategy - (Introduction)

Strategy is a very broad term in a heavily team-based game like League of Legends. So while I will touch on a few of the general strategies for effective play, I will primarily focus on Fiddle's role within the team and the individual tactics that facilitate success.

Determining Build Variations
I almost never follow the set skill progression listed. It changes from game to game. Here are the primary things I look at to determine what changes I need to make:

What are the strengths and weaknesses of my teammates?
During champion selection you should be looking to see how balanced your team is. Hopefully you will see a tank with good CC like Alistar, Amumu, Chogath, Ramus or Shen, an off-tank with CC and high damage capability, a ranged AD-based carry, and a support champion such as Janna, Kayle, Morgana, Sona or Soraka. If there isn't a balance, then you should first look to fill out whatever role is needed. A balanced team is of utmost importance. So if there is already an AP carry and no tank, then you should consider playing one. However, if you can’t (or really suck at all tanks like I used to before finding ones that match my play style and seriously practicing with them) then you need to consider how you need to build and modify your play style with Fiddle to help your team be successful. If your team is short on CC, then you need to boost your levels in Terrify early on to make it more useful in team fights during mid-game. Drain becomes tertiary as you should also be maxing Dark Wind to enable you to silence and damage the opposing team at the start of the fight or as soon as you pop in with your Ult. If you don't have a tank then you should consider boosting Drain so that you heal more during fights, and can help initiate. You should also be buying those items that give you health and protect you from opponents, such as RoA, Zhonya's, Rylai's and Frozen Heart. In fact, if I thought that I would need to initiate fights early on, I might rush getting a Zhonya's (immediately after my RoA), and use it with my Ult to make myself a focal point for the fight where my team would start with a distinct advantage.

I am also evaluating how much AP damage my team does. If I am the only hard-core AP damage dealer, then it is likely that opponents won't bother stacking MR, and I can plan on burning though them. It supports a slightly more aggressive play style. Of course, I will still keep an eye on their items during the game just to be sure that this is what they are doing.

During the game I am looking to see how good my teammates are and how well they work together. It doesn't matter if you have a couple of champions on your team with great CC if their players don't know how to effectively utilize them. So then you have to consider your team as being CC-light, and build accordingly. And if your tank or carry aren't at least decent players, then you have to consider working towards helping them with their group roles. The main problem is that often you are well into the mid-game and starting team fights by the time you realize how good or bad your teammates are. But even slight changes to skill progression and changing a single build item can help you and your team.

Who are my opponents and how good are they?
During the loading screen you should be looking to see what champions you will be facing, how balanced they are, how much team synergy they have, how much CC they have, what their summoner spells are, and what the likely ratio of MR vs physical damage vs magical damage they are going to build into. And, of course, if there are any stealth champs to worry about. Here's a simple break down:

  • There are very few champions that can run over Fiddle 1v1 in the middle lane, and even then it takes a really great player to pull it off. Mordekaiser and Caitlyn are two of them, and if you see them, or others that you have trouble with, then evaluate if you should let another champion who can more easily counter them take the middle lane. Or at least warn your teammates that there 'could' be an issue and to be prepared to help out or switch if necessary. Against most champions in mid I use the skill progression listed above, but against high health or shield champions such as Vladimir and Mordekaiser, I will often level up and work on maxing Drain first. They are usually more willing to get close, and Drain is a great equalizer in those circumstances. If they don't get close then I will use Flash to close the distance and keep them within range of Drain longer.
  • If the opposing team has a jungler, then you have to be prepared for unannounced, early ganking attempts as they cross over the middle lane. Terrify and Flash are your best defenses, and Flash has too long of a cooldown to save you more than once or twice during the early game. So getting an extra level or two of Terrify is important for your safety. You might also consider calling back early to get the first level of your boots (and a Ruby crystal if you can afford it) for more movement speed (and health), which can also make a difference.
  • Stealth champions should be dealt with the same way. Level Terrify early. In addition, you should be very careful when engaging at the start of the game. I like to either wait until I see the stealth champion in one of the side lanes, or am prepared to Flash to my turret if they appear for an early gank in the middle lane. Nothing sucks more than dying in mid at the very start of the game, and having to play catch up.
  • Stealthy junglers (Shaco) are especially dangerous for you after level 4, and can necessitate an early call back for a Vision Ward. I will talk more about this in the Early Game Domination section below.
  • If the opponent you are laning against has Ignite, then you can't rely on Drain to scare them off from an early 1v1 confrontation. Reducing your healing by 50% is huge (especially after patch, where level 3 Drain only gives you 70% life steal), and gives many champions the edge in such a fight. So you need to play a little more defensively unless you are sure that you have the advantage even if they Ignite you.
During the game you should evaluate how effectively the opposing team works together. It is usually fairly obvious what team members are pre-made and likely coordinating through Ventrilo. (This is why asking your teammates for information about who is pre-made during character selection or the beginning of the game is important. Since teams are usually matched up by their pre-made groupings, you know that if 2-3 people on your team are pre-made, then there is most likely the same sized group working together on the other team.) Identifying who these teams are can be helpful in combating them. You can guess that they will be working together for most of the game, and will have to fight them as a group. The synergy of their chosen champions - how much CC they possess, damage potential they have, types of damage, defenses, and likely strategies they will use. Keep this information in mind because usually these pre-made pairings or groups are the most dangerous opponents on the field - especially in a game where teamwork is so important.

Also watch for what strategies the opposing team uses. Knowing how they think is important for developing an effective counter-strategy. Here are some examples:
  • Grouping together and pushing straight down a lane in force. This is fairly common, especially in the middle, and the easiest to take advantage of. Popping in from the side with Fiddle immediately after your tank initiates is a common and usually effective tactic for Fiddle.
  • Running in groups through the jungle and waiting in ambush in the bushes between lanes. This is where wards and map awareness is important. You have to know where they are at all times. (I talk more about wards in the Wards section below.) What is nice is that once you know where they are at and the direction they are travelling, the jungle is an easy place to set up an ambush. You can come at them from multiple directions and even tear apart their squishy champions (who usually stand behind the tanks) first. Fiddle, in particular, has an easy time since there are many good spots to jump into the battle from that are outside of the opposing team's view.
  • Splitting into separate groups and pushing multiple lanes. It is difficult to defend unless you know exactly who is going to be pushing what lanes, and can coordinate how to split up your champions to effectively defend. So good communication is key here. Hopefully your teammates will listen and follow directions for the good of the team. The plus side is that it is usually easier to defend towers than to take them. So perfect matching against the attackers isn't as critical. Of course, you really want to be on the offensive, but we are focusing on defending against opposing team strategies here.
  • A variance on the last one is where all but one of the opposing team pushes a lane, while their carry pushes a side lane by themselves. Treat this the same as above, and just make sure that an effective defender is in place to keep the tower alive.
  • There are some champions who make great solo gankers. They run around the map by themselves and kill almost any champion they run into. Jax, Master Yi, Shaco, Vayne and Warwick are great examples. Keeping track of where they are allows you to counter-gank them. Or better yet, take down their teammates when they are too far away to help. Sometimes you will have a champion on your team who can take them down - so send them out to hunt down the hunter.
*Note: You should constantly be evaluating how the game is going and adjusting your skill progression, items and play style accordingly. That is one of the core things that differentiates a good player from a mediocre one.

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Strategy - (Skill Use)

This is like any other CC skill, and is useful both offensively and defensively. At level 5 it lasts for 3 full seconds. Opponents hit with it wander around randomly and unable to do anything. There are many simple, and fairly obvious, uses for it:

  • Any situation where you believe you are going to die, you can fear the closest, most threatening enemy and give yourself time to run away. Except for the long cooldown, Terrify would be the perfect escape mechanism vs. a single opponent.
  • When you are defending a tower and an opponent tower-dives or gets too close trying to attack you. Hit them with Terrify and attack them while the tower hits them too. Champions will often tower dive thinking they have plenty of health for 1 or 2 hits. That is a big mistake and equates to them being overextended when you can force them to stay within range even longer and attack them while they can do nothing to you for the duration. If there are opposing minions in the vicinity, make sure that the opponent hits you first so the tower will switch to attack them.
  • When initiating an attack against an opponent – this is your standard CC ability to use.
  • When using your Ult to pop into the middle of a team fight. Your first priority target will usually be their highest damage champ, but if there is a particularly nasty skill you want to avoid, such as an interrupt by Alistar or Blitzcrank, then fearing them first is more important. Having your Ult interrupted is a huge blow to you and your team. Don't let it happen! Another consideration for use of Terrify at this time is how much MR and health opposing champions have. If there is a glass canon champ like Ryze, Twitch, or Evelynn, and you aren't too afraid that they will kill you before you can kill them, then make sure that you hit them first with your Dark Wind so they are silenced and can't use their abilities, and keep them in range of your Ult. That allows you to use Terrify on a more sturdy, but still dangerous opponent.
Use of this skill is fairly cut and dry. You choose a target and hit them with it, and deal damage while healing yourself for a percentage of the damage you do. The main thing to keep in mind is that its range is fairly short, so you need to make sure that whoever you use it on is either engaged in fighting (hopefully not you), Feared, or otherwise immobilized. Otherwise, you want to position yourself between your target and where their escape route. Of course, this means that most of the time you need to put yourself in a precarious position that would usually be considered

Dark Wind
This used to be my favorite and most-used skill on Fiddle, and it had incredible versatility and usefulness in all aspects of the game. But after it was seriously changed and slightly nerfed in patch, it became more of a utility skill, although still very useful. Here are some common scenarios and ideas on how to use it effectively:
  • Fiddle isn't usually good at tower diving, but he doesn't really have to be. When two champions are defending a side lane, they will hug the tower when their health gets low. And many players will stand too close together. All you have to do is run in after the tower begins attacking your minions and hit one of them with Dark Wind. Then Flash or run out of range of the tower while the 'bat' bounces between them until one of them is dead.
  • Shaco and the new champion LaBlanc both split into two characters. The first can be done at full health, and the second is when her health is low. Either way, it makes it easy to kill them. As long as there are no minions or other champions around, you just hit one (preferably the original) with Dark wind and watch it bounce between them until they are dead. Choosing the original and hitting them with Terrify + Drain ensures the kill.
  • Another fun tactic is to surprise enemy champions when they are in the jungle trying to get a buff, or killing the Dragon or Baron. Ulting into the area just before the monster is dead is the most effective way of getting the kill, but just throwing in Dark Wind will often get it too, and damage the enemy in the process. For buffs you can often fear and drain them at the same time, and then take the buff from them when they die. (If you are alone when you encounter the opposing team taking Baron, just throw Dark Wind and then Flash over the nearest wall to make your getaway. At least you have a chance of stealing the buff or getting a kill in the process.)
  • When your team is pushing a lane and you have to travel down the center with them, always throw Dark Wind into the opposing team to damage and silence them. This gives your team the initiative while the enemy is temporarily silenced. This is where the recent changes to the skill actually help, as it will bounce around to 5 different targets, or as many as it can find before hitting the same target twice. This maximizes the number of opponents that will be silenced (and the little bit of extra damage they take certainly never hurts.)
  • Even if there is only one enemy to fight, don't hesitate to use Dark Wind to silence them. The quicker and more effectively your team kills them, the better shape you will all be in for the next battle.
Crowstorm (Ult)
"CawCawCaw - KillKillKill..." This is your game-changing Ult. There are many ways to use it effectively, and easily as many ways or more to fail with it. Proper use takes practice and careful timing, but here are some general guidelines and tips for how to get the most out of this skill:
  • Unless you're playing against complete novices, you do not want them to see you initiating your Ult. Giving them time to run or prepare to hit you with CC abilities and focused damage is step #1 towards failure. You want the element of surprise on your side. popping in with your Ult and then getting off your other 3 skills in quick succession before they react is not easy against good players, and impossible if they have any warning that you are coming.
  • In general, like any Ult, you want to hit as many opponents as possible to do the most harm. But you also don't want to die in the process, so knowledge of you team's abilities and commitment, the situation and careful evaluation of the opposing team are critical for deciding when and where to pop, and how many opponents it is safe to fight.
  • Only pop into the middle of the opposing team if they are fully engaged with your teammates. At least until you have more health, Zhonya's, or are sure that you can control the next 5 seconds of the battle enough so that your odds of survival are good. But even if you know you are going to die, it is often worth it if you can take 2 or 3 of them down with you, or are sure that your team will be there and able to mop up the pieces when your screen goes gray. There is no shame in dying without a kill if the result is being able to watch your teammates waltz down a lane and destroy a vital tower or two.
  • If A) you aren't comfortable in the knowledge that you will survive a full commitment or that your team will take advantage of the situation, or B) they aren't fully engaging the enemy, then popping just into the edge of the opposing team can be a better choice. Hitting just 2-3 champions, casting Dark Wind so it bounces between them and back into the rest of their team, and hitting the nearest non-tank with Terrify + Drain while your teammates hopefully rush in can be a solid initiating attack. It almost always gives your team the incentive to commit to the engagement, and leaves you on the edge of the battle or close to it, and with at least one kill. Let the battle move past you until and stay on the edge until your abilities are off cooldown. You are fairly useless as an auto-attacker, so do what you can to help, but not if you are getting attacked back.
  • There is one situation where tower diving with Fiddle is very effective and relatively safe. Once you have your RoA and the extra health it provides, you can withstand a few hits from a tower. (Not too many, as you do not have much armor, and towers increase the damage they do to you with each hit. Also keep in mind that the closer you get to their spawning platform, the more damage the towers do.) Any time there are low health enemies hugging their tower trying to defend, you can stand on the other side of a wall, or in nearby bushes, and pop right onto the tower and run past it. Your Ult does so much damage that they will die very quickly without any additional attack being necessary. Of course, if they have an interrupt, stun, or hold, then you will have to fear them as soon as you pop so they can't use it on you. (Note: Having Flash available during these runs is helpful - just in case you need to get out of range of the turrets or incoming reinforcements quickly.)
  • In addition, once you have Rylai's and have almost 3K health, then you can be even more aggressive at the first 3 levels of towers (but don't try it at the 4th - both of the final towers hitting you results in a very quick death!) It is now possible to pop your Ult near the tower and Terrify + Drain an enemy. When you are done you might need Flash at the 3rd level of turrets to avoid dying, but can walk away fairly easily from the first 2. Also, remember how useful Dark Wind is when there are just 2 champions to bounce between? If that situation happens at the base of a tower, then it is a good time to jump in with your Ult and cast Dark Wind. Fear any champion with the best CC ability, and Drain the one with the most health.
  • Work with your team to set up ambushes. The center lane is the most common battleground, and there is a great spot to jump from safely. The semi-circle to the right of your first tower (with the 4 Wraiths in it) gives you the ability to jump into the lane from the edge of the river to the front of your second tower. So you can engage enemies pushing hard to take down the first tower. And if it is down, then you can hit them on their way to the second tower. The bushes on the other side of the wall on the left side of the center lane is another good spot, but is further from the lane and just barely lets you pop into it.
  • In the top and bottom lanes, the two bushes on the side are optimal hiding spots to jump from. they also give you plenty of room and options for positioning. The bush in the river is also a great spot, but there are often wards in it that can give you away.
  • The bushes on the sides of the center lane are also great jumping spots, but they too often have wards in them. Enter them with care (and with Terrify at your fingertips in case there is someone lying in wait) and if you see enemies break from the middle and rush towards you then run away unless your team is there and rushing to meet them. But don't think you have any chance at surprise, as the chances of there being a ward in the bushes are very high.
  • OK, I could go on and on about specific jump spots, but the important thing is to make sure that you are not seen when initializing. Use the bushes, walls, and the game's Fog of War (players can only see parts of the map that are a specific distance around their own towers, minion, teammates and themselves. So often you can see them because they are fighting your minions, but they can't see you because from their perspective you are within the Fog of War.) to choose spots to initiate your Ult from.
  • An example of standing in plain sight, but out of sight of your opponents, is when they are attacking the first top tower, you can stand around the corner in the river - in plain sight but within the Fog of War as long as there are no minions walking by - and pop behind them. Just run into them and do your thing.
  • Because of the Fog of War, distance is a great tool for hiding. This is where Flash comes in handy. You can initiate well out of sight and then pop + Flash into the enemy team. You have fully committed yourself to the fight, but the element of surprise (this can be done from almost anywhere, including spots where even good players will not be expecting it) gives you the advantage.
  • But this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be completely out of sight. Think about the map in terms of your opponent's viewpoint. The game's graphics are reversed for them, so it is possible to hide the majority of your champion's animations behind a tower too. If opponents aren't paying close attention they won't notice that you are initiating your Ult from behind the tower they are rushing to assault.
  • Try to vary your choices of jump spots. Using the same spot over and over can work, but it loses some of the element of surprise that you need. Of course, good teams will be expecting you to jump from the more common spots, and you can't avoid that. Knowing your opponents' potential strategies is something every player should aspire to.

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Strategy - (Early Game Domination)

Soloing the middle lane as Fiddle is sometimes challenging, but very rewarding and almost always successful. He doesn't have the distance that some champions do, or the burst damage output of others. But his early game power is still very formidable, and his ability to heal himself let's him stay in the lane indefinitely. You can't spam spells, but your Mana Regen from your runes and masteries gives you plenty of power during the early game.

The key is to be aggressive while respecting the abilities of your opponent. Wait until the minions engage, and then run in and hit them with Dark Wind + auto-attack. Most champions will not have much health, and this will be a good start at chipping them down so you can either kill them or make them call back. Any damage you take can be immediately healed with Drain. Use the same tactic to keep hitting your opponent. Never use Dark Wind to kill minions at this stage (unless you are forced to play super defensive and are hurting bad for minion kills and gold), as it is a waste of mana. In-between attacking your opponent you should be focusing on last-hitting minions. This is really tough with Fiddle because of his really slow attacks and low auto-attack damage. But it can be done with a little practice. (I still have the occasional off-game where I struggle to time my hits right, and other games where I rake in the gold. It all comes down to timing.) You should also be constantly moving in varied patterns and keeping your minions between you and your opponent (some opponents you don't have to do this, but many champions harass with line-of-sight attacks.) There is no substitute here for experience and knowledge of the opposing champion (see Champion Knowledge within the General Knowledge section below.)

Often these simple attacks alone will bully your opponent into a retreat. If not, evaluate the safety and potential effectiveness of the following tactic: (Your evaluation should take into account your remaining mana, their CC skills, if they have Ignite, and their damage potential in a toe-to-toe fight. All you really care about is how successful you can be without dying. Not much else matters when you are trying to bully your opponent and gain the upper hand in the lane.)

  • Start by hitting them with Dark Wind + auto attack, as usual, and then Flash close to them and Drain until they are out of range. You should have taken them down a huge chunk of health and scared them a bit.
Once your opponent is afraid of you and running every time you approach, keep the pressure on. Let the minions engage and then stand next to their minions. Keep them far back and deny them the experience from minion kills. This also allows you to build up a wave that can assault their tower. You aren't going to do much damage to the tower early on, but every little bit helps. You should also keep harassing the enemy at their tower. When they try to defend and last-hit your minions, you should get close enough to hit him with Dark Wind. But don't allow the tower to hit you more than once, and immediately heal the damage up with Drain at the first opportunity.

Once you hit level 6 and get your Ult, walk back to your tower and then around into the top bushes on the left. Sometimes your opponent will think you either called or went top to gank, and you can Ult into them and finish them off for your first kill. At this level, and usually while they are still level 5 (you have been denying them experience while getting +5% from your masteries), Ult + Drain will easily finish them off. Good job! Now keep killing minions for gold and experience, and damage their tower some more.

OK, so what if it doesn't go as planned and you are struggling for health and having to hug your tower? Here are some tips on how to stay active in your lane and defend against troublesome opponents:
  • If you need health then walk into the jungle on the left and hit the Wolves. Drain the largest one and then Dark Wind the remaining two. Now you have a little more health to defend with, and have gained some experience and gold for your time out of the lane. The same can be done with the Wraiths on the other side. If you are desperate for health then Drain the caster Wraith and cast Dark Wind. Save the Wraith with the most remaining health for last and Drain him too.
  • As long as you have the mana and health, stand in front of the turret and let the minions hit you instead of the tower (keeping it alive and strong while you level and make gold is your primary defensive objective) cast Dark Wind and then Drain the highest health minion that isn't being hit by the tower. Watch the minions with around 80-85% health, and be prepared to last hit them for gold immediately after the tower hits them.
  • If you can't stand in front because of low health or an extremely dangerous opponent, then stand behind and help the tower as much as you can in killing minions. This is not where you want to be, but it sometimes happens. As soon as you make enough money for some items, even if it is just Boots of Speed, call back and get it, and some health and mana, and then Teleport back with a plan for turning the tables. (Popping on them with your Ult and fearing them within range of your tower + Dark Wind + Drain is certainly a great way to do this.)
If the opposing team has a jungler or a stealth champion, then you should seriously consider buying a ward. I will often rely on my Terrify + Flash skills to keep me alive, but there are some champions that you shouldn't take a chance with. The main concerns are immobilizing stuns/taunts and surprise burst damage. Warwick, Rammus, Shaco, Evelynn, etc. Putting a Vision Ward in the center is usually good enough for stealth champions. You just need to be able to fear them before they attack you, and give yourself a head start to run back to your tower. Jungling attacks usually come from the top, so a Sight Ward in the top bushes should also give you enough warning.

It isn't always easy to leave the center lane for a side gank, but you have to make it happen somehow. Especially when your teammates are struggling and in desperate need of help. Fiddle's Ult can easily get 1-2 kills at a time on the sides in the early-to-mid game, and that is usually worth letting mid beat on your tower just a little. Use the strategies mentioned above, and coordinate with your teammates. Let them know that you are coming and to not push too far. One of the biggest mistakes made in these situations is when your teammates know they are getting help and push too early. They might force the enemy to retreat out of range of your Ult while you are channeling.

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Strategy - (Team Fights)

Most of the information that would go here has already been detailed in previous sections, so I will just add one previously referenced item and some examples of poor Fiddle play:

Initiating Fights
As mentioned above, there are times when Fiddle can pop in first and initiate the fight. It isn't optimal, but certainly possible. There are also situations where Fiddle can take out 3+ opponents all by himself, but don't count on it. You need to carefully consider what the pros and cons are of initiating, and whether it is worth it. Here are some of the things I consider and the situations where I will initiate:

  • Who else on my team can initiate and are they willing to do it? If either answer is negative then there isn't much of a choice.
  • Are we pushing to take an important objective? (i.e. Take down a tower) And will initiating the fight with Fiddle result in success?
  • Is it possible for me to kill at least 2 opponents? If I haven't died for a while and have many kills, then this is no longer a consideration. Giving the opposing team free bonus gold is not worth a couple of kills. If it can result in a huge push by my team to take down towers and/or an inhibitor, however, it is well worth it!
  • Communicate with your team and use your Ult to either confuse the enemy of get them to focus on you while your team enters the fray. If nothing else, Fiddle's Ult will scatter all but the best teams and make it easier for your teammates to focus a couple of them down before you die.
  • There is also the option of just popping in and running towards your teammates. Bring the fight to them and then cast Dark Wind + Terrify + Fear. It diminishes some of the effect of your Ult, but if it successfully initiates the fight then it's worth it.
  • One other option that I use on rare occasion is to catch a champion alone and use my Ult to gank them. Turning the next team fight into 5v4, and the confidence that situation can give your team can be worth it. Otherwise, using your Ult on a single opponent mid-to-late game is really a waste.
  • Finally, if you already have Zhonya’s Hourglass, then you can pop in and initiate the fight much more often, as the active will protect you just long enough to survive through the death of 1 or more enemy champions, and severely damage anyone who stays within range of the maelstrom. You want the opposing team to focus you while you are in stasis so your teammates can tear them apart. This one item makes initiating with your Ult a valuable option even when you have 1 or more teammates who are capable of doing it themselves. Especially if they are Alistar, Amumu, Cho’Gath, Galio, etc. Why? Because the enemy CC gets wasted on you, and then they are frozen in place by your tank as your Stasis wears off. Immediately hit them with Dark Wind + Fear (on their AD Carry if they’re close enough) + Drain and ensure your team’s domination. That’s a pretty sure team wipe right there!
What Not To Do
I have seen many terrible Fiddle players, and I cringe when they do certain things. Here is a short list of the most offensive ones:
  • Initiate their Ult in plain view of their opponents.
  • Refuse to use their Ult unless the fight is completely engaged in by 3-4 teammates and their tank is still alive.
  • Refuse to use their Ult unless they can safely get into very specific hiding locations around the map.
  • Run around using Terrify + Drain to try and gank single opponents. Seriously? Fiddle is one of the most powerful team fighters in the game. Why gimp his potential by trying to make him into a 1v1 ganker???
  • Run around using their Ult to gank single opponents. Yes, this is viable for early-mid game, but later on you should be with your team and using your ult to help kill multiple opponents.

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Strategy - (General Knowledge)

Unless you are playing a pure support champion or a tank who is baby-sitting one of the team’s carrys, you should always be focused on last-hitting minions. Getting First Blood and other kills is great, but you can get 3-4 kills in your lane by level 10 and still not have made as much money as someone who is focused and really great at last-hitting minions. Too many times I see a champion (especially Carrys) focus solely on getting kills, and then wonder why their opponents are keeping up with them in items, or even able to purchase more than them even though they don’t have a single kill. That is because it only takes 20 minions to match a kill. So if you can kill at least 4 minions out of every wave, and prevent your opponent from getting more than 1 or 2, then you will easily out-farm them and dominate your lane. Not to mention feed yourself and boost your ability to get kills and be even more fed throughout the game. The same goes for getting Dragon and Baron more often than your opponents. It means more gold for the entire team!

Golem Buff
In Masteries we have 2 points in Utility Mastery, which increases the duration of neutral monster buffs by 30%. This is to take maximum benefit from the blue Golem buff, which helps Fiddle in two vital areas. It regenerates mana like crazy, and reduces cooldowns by 25%. Getting the buff is easy once you have level 2 Drain, but I like to wait until it is at level 3 before I go for it. Otherwise it takes too long. Or just have a teammate help you with half of its health. The benefits at any stage of the game are tremendous, and even if there are other champions who benefit from it you should try and get it as often as possible. The best option is to steal it from the other side of the river and prevent the opposing team from getting it too.

*Note: I might say ignore other champions who need it and always get it for yourself, but in truth I will evaluate who will be most effective with it. There are the occasional times when someone else is doing really well in the game, fed or otherwise, and is helping my team push hard and tear our opponents apart. If they need the buff I will let them have it. It's just smart play to do what's best for the team. We all want to win, right?

Map awareness and effective use of wards are the responsibility of every player. I can't stress enough the importance of map awareness. If you don't know where your opponents are, then it's like running through a large, pitch black room with 5 deadly snakes in it. If you can't see them they can strike and kill you at any moment. You may not think much about it when you are controlling an avatar in a game, but stop and consider what you would do if it was really you in that dark and dangerous room. Your first priority would be to place lights around it so you knew exactly where the snakes were at all times. The same should be done when you play League of Legends - except that the lights are called wards.

Champion Knowledge
OK, I can't help myself. I have to talk about this as well. One of the things that has helped me tremendously in improving my game is taking the time to get to know all of the other champions. You can read about them and their abilities, and study what they do when they are played by teammates or your opponents, but nothing gives you the depth of understanding that actually playing them yourself does. I don't torture other players by playing them all in live games - I don't believe in playing champions live that I am not comfortable with (and those of you out there that are doing that.. just stop it!) - so I play them in practice games with bots and friends. I'm not trying to master them, just get a really good feel for how their abilities work, what they can and can't do, and specific strategies they tend to use. And, of course, what works well against them - what their weaknesses are and how I might exploit them when I play Fiddle. I start by reading the 2 or 3 most popular guides for a champion here on Mobafire, and then spend time playing them. A simple and effective way of gaining valuable knowledge about the enemy.

There is a lot more to good team play, so while I seldom reference other guides, this one is so awesome that everyone should read and internalize all of the information in it:
SryImBad’s guide on [How To] Become A Better Team Player:

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That's not everything, but all that I have time for right now. I hope I have covered most of the important stuff and will revisit this guide periodically to try and revise or add to it in meaningful ways. Please comment and let me know if you find errors or have ideas/suggestions for improvement, useful strategies I forgot to mention, etc. Please don't down-vote it without some explanation and willingness to discuss it. It should be obvious that I put a lot of time and thought into this guide to try and help others, and expect any criticism to be equally well thought out and constructive.


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Patch Notes

Patch Notes
Doran’s Ring cost increased to 475 from 435 – this doesn’t affect Fiddle very much, since he has the ability to heal himself very effectively without potions. It only means that you have to be slightly more careful when laning, as you can’t recover as easily from bad play that results in loss of health and having to retreat beyond the range of opponent minions.
Mana regen per 5 seconds increased to 5 from 4
Clarity Runes reduced in effectiveness by about 33%
All champions with mana had their base mana regen increased by 2.5 mana per 5 seconds and mana regen per 5 seconds per level increased by .02
– all three of these together resulted in an increase in mana regeneration for all champions, and for Fiddle it means that against most opponents you will not run out of mana quickly enough to warrant the need for mana regeneration Glyphs (which is what I used to use before this patch.)

Patch Notes
Fiddle’s base MR reduced to 30 from 35 – this build has a good amount of magic resistance anyway, and reducing it by 5 points only makes Fiddle more squishy during the early laning phase, and careful play and judicious use of Drain easily avoids or overcomes the extra damage you might take.
Spirit Visage CDR decreased to 10% from 12% – This change was so minor I didn’t even notice it. You don’t even have to max out your cooldown reduction to see a huge improvement on Fiddle’s abilities, and 2% less is neglibile.
New Item = Morello’s Evil Tome:
+75 AP
+12 MRegen
15% CDR

This item just screamed “Fiddlesticks!” to me when I saw it, and I have used it in almost every game since it was introduced.

Patch Notes
Morello’s Evil Tome CDR increased to 20% from 15% - What’s this? Take one of my newest core items and make it even better? Thank you Riot!
Spirit Visage healing and regeneration effects reduced to 15% from 20% – Obviously, Riot saw my apathy towards the 2% reduction in cooldowns and decided to further reduce the effectiveness of this item. And they were successful. I used to use it fairly often before this patch, and now I don’t use Spirit Visage unless I really need the extra MR against powerful AP-based opponents such as Akali, Annie, Brand, LeBlanc, Ryze, and especially Veigar (or even an MR reducing, need to out-heal them, opposing Fiddlesticks.) There are also times when the entire opposing team has Ignite or similar heal-reducing abilities in addition to some heavy hitting mages and I will get a Spirit Visage to help increase my healing and survivability. But most of the time I can find another item that does more for Fiddle than a Spirit Visage.
Melee minion MR increased by 150% – While it has always been tough to last hit minions with Fiddle in the early game, by late game Dark Wind was decimating waves before this change happened. You have to build up a good amount of AP now to get the same effects.

Patch Notes
Hextech Revolver spell vamp increased to 20% from 15%
Will of the Ancients spell vamp increased to 25% from 20%
– These two changes makes these items very viable for Fiddle, especially after seeing Spirit Visage nerfed. And if you have multiple mages on your team, or even AP based tanks/off-tanks/assassins/etc then someone should definitely have a Will of the Ancients. Why not you so you can be sure you are always getting the benefits from it?

Patch Notes
New Fiddle Me Timbers skin – Honestly, I have tried other Fiddle skins and seem to have a mental block when I play with anything other than the normal or Spectral Fiddle skins (meaning I screw up bad – especially with the large pumpkin head that I swear makes Fiddle off-balance!) So new skins mean nothing to me.

• Base armor increased to 14.5 from 8.25
• Armor per level increased to 3.5 from 3
– Can’t complain about some extra armor!
• Movement speed increased to 310 from 300 – Finally! Fiddle’s run animation makes him feel 50% slower than he already is, and any additional speed is more than welcome.

• Range increased to 575 from 525
• Mana cost decreased to 65/75/85/95/105
– A little extra range and lowered mana cost makes this ‘often-called OP’ ability even more deadly in team fights.

• AP ratio increased to .5 from .48
• Life Steal amount reduced to 60/65/70/75/80% from 100%
• Leash Range decreased to 650 from 700
– So you do .02 more damage per AP, which is far from making up for the reduced life steal and leash range. The latter is the important piece in terms of game play, as it makes it more likely that opponents will make it out of range in time to avoid the one more second of damage they would have taken in the past. So overall, this patch made Drain much less effective.

Dark Wind
• Damage adjusted to 65/85/105/125/145 from 100
• AP ratio increased to .45 from .35
• Now bounces 5 times at all levels
(and, not noted in the patch notes, no longer seeks out lowest health targets first, and will spread itself out to hit all targets regardless of health)
• CD adjusted to 15/14/13/12/11 from 14
• Projectile speed decreased to 1100 from 1200
– The change to doing increased damage-per-rank is nice for mid-to-late game, but really nerfed Fiddle’s ability to harass and kill in lane early game. Not that I didn’t think a flat 100 damage at level 1 wasn’t OP, but as a Fiddle player I didn’t mind at all ;) The AP ratio increase is also nice for boosting late game damage, but bouncing just 5 times at all levels was the biggest change to my former favorite ability. It drastically changed the way Dark Wind is used in team fights. Especially since there was another change that wasn’t documented – it no longer seeks out the lowest health enemy. NOOOOOO!! I cried a river of tears when I found this out. Again, a serious nerf to Fiddle’s ability to harass and kill. It does make it more reliable as an early silence during team fights, since it hits a different target each bounce, but I would still love to have the old Dark Wind back. Lowering the cooldown was nice, as it now refreshes 2-3 seconds faster depending on your CDR (just 6.6 seconds at max CDR.) And while I would like to complain about the reduced projectile speed, I honestly don’t notice the difference. So overall I would say that Dark Wind went from a great silence and damage spell, to just a good, or even just OK silence and damage spell. (Also note that the silence duration stacks when an opponent is hit more than once, which is less likely to happen now.) The subsequent strategies for how to use this ability in its new form are covered within the rest of this guide, as I have rewritten all related sections.

• Damage decreased to 125/225/325 from 150/250/350 (by 25 per rank)
• CD adjusted to 150/140/130 from 150
• AP ratio increased to .4 from .35
– While the overall damage was reduced by 25/sec, and it takes 500 AP to make up that difference with the increased AP ratio, the damage output is still very significant. So it’s tough to complain too much about it. What I really love is the reduced cooldown. It now refreshes from 12-20 seconds faster depending on your CDR (just 78 seconds at max CDR.) Since this can really be a game-changer in team fights, having it available more often is excellent!

Patch Notes
Rod of Ages now retains Catalyst the Protector’s passive when upgraded – I had stopped using the Rod of Ages except against really tough teams where I needed all of the survivability I could muster, and this change makes it that much more valuable as an early item.

Patch Notes
Hextech Revolver’s Spell Vamp component is now Unique – I never stacked them to begin with, so it meant nothing to me, but I could see where it could have allowed Fiddle to dominate some mid-game matchups. Still, why buy the same item twice when there are other items that could help you more?

Guide Top

Change Log

With all of the updates this guide is going to receive, I figure it should have a change log.

Per the catch by Peakreaper, I corrected the name of the skill "Drain" in the Strategy - (Skill Use) section.
Somehow several sections got deleted, so I rebuilt everything from scratch (it’s a good thing I keep copies of all text in Word documents.)
Added rewritten Strategy sections.
Updated to new format (split single posting into sections), and rewrote all sections except for strategy. Changes were primarily to reflect all of the changes to how I build and play Fiddle since the last 6 or so patches – especially
Changed one last incorrect reference to Zhonya's Ring
Removed Zhonya's Ring and added both Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass
Updated all sections that referenced Zhonya's Ring to reflect the new changes
Added a quick comment about today's patch changes in regards to Zhonya's Ring
Created a Table of Contents with links to numbered sections
Reformatted and reordered some sections to make numbering clearer
Corrected title of first tangent area to say 'Ability' Power
Added Change Log
Added lines in-between sections to help separate them visually
Began adding in some images (and will do more in the near future)
Moved Void Staff from the core build into situational items