Draven Build Guide by Berzerk
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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.
Welcome to the League of Draven
NOTE THIS GUIDE IS ONLY FOR DRAVEN AS A TOP LANER, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GUIDE OF HIM AS AN AD CARRY BOTTOM THIS IS NOT THE GUIDE FOR YOU.
Draven is a one man show, meaning he is strong without needing a support (Allowing him to go solo top). Draven is a ranged AD champion, who has good lane matchups as well as an amazing scaling into late game as an AD carry. His kit is very strong to counter many of the popular top laners, and does it all with style. Draven has hands down THE FUNNEST laning phase in the game =D. When you play Draven top lane and last hit with your Q, it feels like a completely different game.
Draven's early laning phase power, allowing me to easily pick up FB on a Teemo.
Unlike his brother Darius, victory in battle was never enough for Draven. He craved recognition, acclaim, and glory. He first sought greatness in the Noxian military, but his flair for the dramatic went severely underappreciated. Thirsting for a method to share "Draven" with the world, he turned his attention to the prison system. There he carved out the celebrity he desired by turning the tedious affair of executions into a premiere spectacle.
At Draven's first execution, he shocked onlookers when he ordered the doomed prisoner to run for dear life. Just before the man managed to flee from sight, Draven brought him down with a flawless throw of his axe. Soon, all Draven's executions became a gauntlet through which Noxian prisoners raced for a final chance at life. He used this trial as his own personal stage, and turned executions into a leading form of entertainment. He rallied onlookers into a frenzy, while desperate prisoners scrambled to evade him. They never succeeded. Rejecting the solemn, black uniforms of Noxian executioners, Draven donned bright outfits and developed flashy signature moves to distinguish himself. Crowds flocked to see Draven in action, and tales of his performances spread quickly. As his popularity grew, so did his already-inflated ego. He belonged at the center of attention. Before long, the scope of his ambitions outgrew the population of Noxus. He decided that the glorious exploits of Draven should be put on display for the entire world.
"The "best" is wherever I decide to set the bar each day."
Phreak's Champion Spotlight
(First Spotlight ever not about Phreak)
Cidehelm's ability Preview video, information is all good and factual about Draven.
These Videos for the most part gave you an idea of Draven as an AD carry, Now you are going to get my style of playing him as a top laner =D.
Why make a Draven guide?
I wanted to make a Draven guide to show players what they are missing out on. Many players have mindsets with the notion "AD CARRIES MUST BE BOTTOM LANE, DRAVEN IS AN AD CARRY HE IS A BOTTOM LANER ONLY!!!!!!!!" I have met people with this attitude before and I can say that I think it is entirely false and NOT the kind of attitude you want to have when looking at a champion.
I only currently have 3 Draven games on my record so this is all I have to show you for how it works, but 2-1 is not that bad for something that "Doesn't work". In all 3 games I won my lane rather easily (And had fun while doing it).
Draven is a strong AD carry, but you should not overlook the aspects he can bring the team if he is in another lane (in this case the Top Lane).
Pros / Cons
+ Gives team a second ranged carry.
+ Fun to play
+ Laning phase FLYS by catching all of your Qs.
+ Nice Poke
+ Has very good matchups
+ Global Ultimate
+ Enemies will think he is AD carry and try and counterpick.
- No real "Hard" (Lockdown) CC.
- Catching his axe can put you in bad position.
- Certain laners are to tanky for him to kill.
- Does not get tanky (Team needs a tank from somewhere else).
- Easy to gank.
- His ult will stop if it hits a champion before reaching the intended target.
- Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: Gives you some sustain while last hitting. With masteries you will have 8% lifesteal level 1 which is essentially a Vampiric Scepter right off the bat. This passive will keep you healthy while juggling around your axes.
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These runes give you early damage for trades and help you last hit.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: These runes are useful for if you enemy has any magic damage moves and to help you in early fights vs the enemy teams mid laner (Either if she ganks or you go down to help at dragon).
- Greater Seal of Armor: These runes are crucial to being able to survive against AD champions early on. These runes also help block some damage the minions deal to you.
Other viable rune options are Greater Mark of Desolations , Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resists , Greater Quintessence of Attack Damages , Greater Quintessence of Desolations, or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speeds.
Explanation of Mastery Tree set-up here
Makes your Ignite give you some AD (Also allows you to run Ghost or Exhaust if you want).
Gives you some more AD early on to help with last hits and trades.
Tier 2: Alacrity More attack speed for last hitting and trading early on. Demolitionist Allows you to kill towers easier in the end game when you are pushing with your team.
Tier 3: Deadliness The AD per level is ok and you need it for Lethality . Weapon Expertise Gives you 10% armor pen, this is a must when going vs any tanky teams (An it is just generally nice as well).
Tier 4: Lethality the 10% crit damage will help you late game when you will be critting for alot of your damage. Vampirism Gives you some lifesteal which is useful since you attack from afar and will not get harassed as often when last hitting as a melee range champion.
Tier 5: Sunder Armor penetration is helpful.
Tier 6: Executioner Well you are the GLORIOUS EXECUTIONER, so its only fitting that you have your mastery. This skill works very well with your kit, as it will make your passive do so much damage and actually allow you to pick up kills with it you would not have gotten. this effect also goes with ignite.
You need the armor early vs most AD top laners, sub for
if you are fighting an AP top laner (the extra point would go into
This skill helps ALOT in trade offs when your enemy minions turn and hit you, this will make you able to harass more effectively.
Tier 2: Durability Makes you slightly tankier allowing you to survive some enemy champions bursts and win closer fights.
Tier 3: Veteran's Scars The base health helps your squishy problem a little bit during the early game.
Flash- Gives you the positioning you need as an AD carry, this skill also is a nice setup for ganks if you flash E the enemy.
Ignite- Gives you damage as well as a healing debuff, this spell allows you to pick up alot of kills in lane if you flash, burst combo, ignite.
Ghost- Useful for mobility vs champions top lane like Nidalee who are very mobile and can chase you for long periods of time.
Exhaust- Useful spell to engage a fully committed fight. Use this when the enemy champion makes it to you as it will severely hinder their damage and allow you to kill them even in a close range fight.
Heal- Useful for heal baits, and it is a strong spell in teamfights as you can heal your team.
Teleport- Good spell if you are ORGANIZED with your team. You can use this spell to coordinate plays, go back and buy without missing any xp, or to split push and still aplly pressure on the enemy team. This spell also allows you to help your team with dragon and other objectives early on.
Cleanse- Useful if the enmy team has alot of CC.
What Are The Skills?
Draven's critical strikes deal 30 + (4 × level) bonus physical damage over 4 seconds. Spinning Axe also causes this effect even if it does not critically strike.
Draven's next attack will deal an extra 45 / 55 / 65 / 75 / 85% of his attack damage as bonus damage. This axe will ricochet off the target high up into the air. If Draven catches it, he automatically readies another Spinning Axe. Draven can have two Spinning Axes at once.
Draven gains 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60% increased Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds and 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% Attack Speed for 3 seconds. The Movement Speed bonus decreases rapidly over its duration. Catching a Spinning Axe will refresh the cooldown of Blood Rush.
Draven throws his axes and deals 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+ .5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage by throwing his axes. Enemies hit are knocked aside and slowed by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 2 seconds.
Draven hurls two massive axes dealing 175 / 275 / 375 (+ 1.1 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to each unit struck. Deals 8% less damage per unit hit, down to a minimum of 40%. This resets when Whirling Death changes direction. Whirling Death slowly reverses direction and returns to Draven after striking an enemy champion, or upon reactivation, or upon reaching the boundaries of the map. 110/100/90 second cool-down and costs 120 mana at all levels.
Wicked Blades: This passive is good for all points of the game. In lane this passive will do that extra damage you need to last hit a minion when you misjudge the amount as well as offering more damage on your Qs to enemies. Late game this passive is still very helpful, but you will be relying on it more from plain crits then your Q.
Spinning Axe: THIS MOVE IS SOOOOO FUNNNNNNN. This is a game to play while you CS. This skill costs a single mana cost to start up and as long as you are catching the axe, your mana will stay high. If you are running out of mana, that means you are spamming W too much or you are missing too many Qs. This skill makes your early lane damage really strong.
- Where the Q lands is determined by an invisible cone in front of you as illustrated below. In lane I find the best way to use this knowledge is to throw your Q then turn around as it hits to be able to catch your Q backwards to avoid most enemy retaliation (The bleed will do even more harass).
- Your Q goes by a different landing range when you are standing still and is more of a cricle around you like below.
- Your Q does not bounce off towers, however the period the buff (Of having the Q stack/s) stays on you, meaning while attacking a tower you can easily reach 2 stacks of your Q without ever having to catch it.
- If you are in position to catch your Q (In the circle) and it is still in the air, throw and auto attk for extra damage, you are wasting time waiting for a Q as an AD carry.
- You should always try and keep 2 stacks of your Q up if there is a possible engage, when you have 2x Q stacks on and you have another one off CD ready, you can avoid having to worry about catching one if it goes to a bad positioning and just activate a new Q effect instead.
- In teamfights later in the game you should not be trying to catch your axe if it will put you out of position, a common mistake I see Draven's make is they forget they are an AD carry and go for there axes like they NEED to catch it to do damage, instead of just throwing autos. (The tip above this tells you how you can try and avoid this problem.)
- When using this move while blinded (And probably against a target who can dodge/block it) the blade WILL still bounce off the target and apply your passive, you Auto attk damage will not go off though.
Blood Rush:This skill (In my opinion) is one of the harder things to do when playing Draven. Being able to manage catching your Qs while renewing blood rush constantly will separate the good Draven's from the pros. With 2 Qs up you can keep this skill permanently on IF you are able to catch you axes and keep this skill up, all while auto attking for your damage as an AD carry.
- Remember this skill DOES give you attk speed as well as movespeed, a pro Draven will be able to be using auto attacks with the Attack Speed while catching axes.
- Remember to use this skill everytime you catch an axe, proper management of this skill makes a HUGE difference.
- You can use this ability before you throw your axe to get distance on your enemy, once you throw and catch it, it will be back off cooldown allowing you to chase even harder.
- Use your Q on a minion if you want to get this skill quickly off cooldown.
Stand Aside:This skill amazing and is highly underrated. This skill is a nice CC, people do not realize that aiming it in different ways makes the enemies fly in different directions. The image below shows the path enemies take when they get hit by either of the blades, if they get hit in the center it is more of a knockup that will either bring them closer or further away from you.
- This skill can knock enemies with "Fly-Time" gap closers such as Irelia, Wukong, or Akali out of the air and not let them make it you, learning how to use this component of the skill is ESSENTIAL to being able to play draven against top lane Bruisers.
- When your jungler comes to gank use this skill as if it were a stun.
Whirling Death: Draven hurls two massive axes dealing 175 / 275 / 375 (+ 1.1 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to each unit struck. Deals 8% less damage per unit hit, down to a minimum of 40%. This resets when Whirling Death changes direction. Whirling Death slowly reverses direction and returns to Draven after striking an enemy champion, or upon reactivation, or upon reaching the boundaries of the map. 110/100/90 second cool-down and costs 120 mana at all levels.[/color]
This ultimate is useful for damage, stealing buffs, dragon, and baron, and securing kills globally. This skill is one of the hardest to aim and master in the game due to all the details you have to factor in for its use (I will say them in the notes). Below is a video showing a good use of his ultimate.
- This skill has 2 parts, a going there and a coming back. The coming back can happen one of 3 ways: Hitting an enemy champion, reaching the end of the map, or being manually clicked off. When aiming this remember DO NOT hit any champions before you reach your intended target, if you end up hitting a full hp champion on the way to your target the ult will begin to return to you making little effect, this part of the ult is both a curse and a blessing (More often a curse), it can be helpful if you do not notice it hit and enemy or are trying to kite and enemy and do not have time to activate it a second time (Which is still not really worth the forced come back, but that just adds more skill requirements to this skill.
- This skill can essentially be used as a double hawkshot, if you use this skill, and it does not hit an enemy champion you can reangle it so that on the way back it can give sight of a key area.
- Make use of a missed ultimate, if you miss your ult and your enemy is in lane try and get between them and your coming back ultimate so that it can at least do some damage to them on the way back and offer some harass (WTF!!! NINJA ULT WHERE DID IT COME FROM)!
- Ward an enemies jungle buffs so that you can use this skill to steal them from the jungler, a Draven with good timing can EASILY deal enough damage with his ultimate to steal alway a jungler's buffs (Especially blue buff when he is trying to donate it to mid).
- You need to learn the timing of this ultimate. You need to have a feel of how long it will take to get to a location, and how much the locations of allies and enemies will have changed by the time it gets there.
Skill Order/ Combos:
Take a point in your ultimate whenever you can.
Max your Q first as it will always be up if you are catching.
Max your W second because it will be a key skill for fighting when you are catching your axes.
Max E last because it is mostly a "One point wonder meaning you can learn the skill and get a great benefit from it. The damage is ok, but you will get more out of Draven if you max it last.
Q (And all the mechanics with it)- W(use again whenever you catch a Q)- (E to peel off the enemy or slow them down)- R(to burst for damage/ want to kill enemy).
Starting Item Choices
The following are the starting item choices you can use with Draven top.
Boots of Speed + (3-4) Health Potions- (Get 4 if you are on the side of the map away from where your jungler needs leashing at. To get 4 pots simply wait in base until you have enough gold then quickly run to lane with it). Get this in a standard top lane game. This start lets you be very aggressive with you spinning axes while being safe from ganks and close range champions with your speed as well.
Doran's Blade- Makes you tankier, you will be a very strong damage threat in lane, and with the lifesteal it gives you will have 11% lifesteal in lane making you very sustainable with your damage. Get this item vs lanes you want to kill early on.
Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions- This makes you survivable. Get these items if you want to just go and farm the lane, the potions will make you sustainable from the enemies harass. Get this vs strong early game AD champions, Start with this if you will not be able to kill the enemies and just have to hope to farm into late game.
If you are having an Average-Good Early game I would recommend buying 2x Doran's Blade as they make you tankier and allow you to solidify your lane advantage.
Berserker's Greaves- Gives you more attack speed. This item is useful if you are needed to be your teams main source of physical damage.
Boots of Mobility- Ok if you can roam and gank.
Boots of Swiftness- Meh, they let you kite better. Not recommended though.
Mercury's Treads- Get if the enemy team has a decent amount of CC.
Ninja Tabi- Good if you started cloth 5 and are fighting vs an auto attack heavy enemy.
Trinity force- This item is really good on Draven as your W procs the sheen component for your Q throws, The slow allows you the mobility to easily kite enemies, and the movespeed helps you for catching axes.
Phantom Dancer- This item gives you movement speed, crit chance, and attack speed. This item is useful once you have an infinity edge and trinity force as it lets you crit very often and you will move insanely fast.
Infinity Edge- This item is probably THE BEST ITEM on an AD carry in this game. This item makes you crit and makes your crits hit REALLY HARD. Once you have this item you will have the ability to DPS an enemy down very fast without even having your Q on. (In case you are not able to go pick it up).
Bloodthirster- This item is really strong. With your runes you have ALOT of sustain. The damage on this item is also very nice if you are able to farm it up, But do not abandon your team to farm this.
Last Whisper- YOU NEED THIS ITEM to be able to hurt enemies with armor late game.
Black Cleaver- The attack speed on this item is decent, the main use is the armor decrease. To decide whether to buy this item look at the enemy team, if the majority if them have less then 120 armor this item is actually a better choice then a last whisper.
Maw of Malmortius- This item is AMAZING if you have to lane against a magic damage champion. The Hexdrinker makes your laning safer and stronger against them. In late game if the enemy team leaves you alive at low hp (You flash out after going to 1/2 hp) you will be doing really high damage.
Guardian Angel- This item is a good final item. This item allows you to revive after you die, in the time you are reviving you get your cooldowns back and your team can position themselves to better defend you.
The point of this section is to give you an idea of how you will play Draven (Like in the videos BUT with my logic and choices explained).
Early Game/Mid Game
So, the first thing you do when you spawn is look at the enemy team, buy your starting item based on who they are and what YOU need against them (Use this guides starting item section to help make that choice). Once you have your item and are going to lane it is time to decided what to start with. If the enemy team has a champion like Nautilus or Shyvana who can take one buff and try and gank you, I would play passively the first few levels and start off with my E. If the enemy team has a standard jungler or one who is a weak ganker at early levels I would take my Q and begin harassing my enemy. Once you have a point in your Q begin to spin your axe throw it around and catch it a few times until you get 2 axes, harassing the enemy whenever possible. Once you hit 3 take your first point in W and begin to max Q. When the enemy gets to about 60% hp start getting more aggressive with your axes, but not to the degree you get ganked and killed. When the enmy starts dipping below 1/2 hp you can try and force a full on commit with them, if they try and fight back you can throw your Qs (If you have 2 spinning you do not even need to go catch you axes until the last one). There is about a 50% chance the Q comes back to you if you are standing still, so in a direct fight with 2 axes on you should be spamming your W catching the axes as they come to you. If the enemy did not try and fight and instead tried to run away, use your E in a direction that shoots him closer to you and use your Q catches to keep your W up as you chase. At 6 you will get your ultimate, once this happens go into 110% map awareness mode watching for any skirmishes that may happen. If a direct full out fight happens and it looks like anyone on the enemy team could die throw down your R. Worst case scenario you miss. Best case scenario you get free assist or kill gold. The most important time to watch with your ultimate is if anyone on your teams bottom lane dies, or the enemy bottom lane goes missing. That indicates that they are probably attempting to slay dragon. If you know it is happening try a blind ultimate to steal it, as it is better to make an attempt then do nothing at all. Your ultimate is part of your damage combo in close range fights as well so remember if you use this skill to aid somewhere else on the map you will not have it to aid yourself top lane. Continue to farm and follow this routine until you have some items and the Baron dance begins.
Late game it is your time to shine. Yo have played all game waiting for this point lategame. When all the enemy champions are waiting on cooldowns and relying on mana to do their damage you just need to right click. Catching your axe at this point in the game is nice, but only if it is CONVENIENT FOR YOU. Do not run to the right to catch your axe if the enemy AP carry has 10% hp left, kill them. Do not run into the enemy team in an attempt to catch your axe, play like a normal AD carry should and be safe. In fights POSITIONING IS KEY. If you are in a position to get bursted down the enemy team WILL DO IT. Find a good spot to fight from (The best spot to shoot enemies is from over a ramp where they can not easily retaliate on you from. At this point in the game the enemy team will be having to deal with 2 AD carries, which is a complete pain in the *** if they both got farmed and have your items. Stick with your team, position smart, and build right. If you do these things you will have a much greater chance to win the game.
Draven has a strong early game. His Q poke in lane does alot of damage and his skill set favors showing someone up ^.^ . Draven can farm very well with his Q on and he has the ability to harass enemies out of lane if they do not have any long ranged abilities to counter him. Draven receives ganks nicely and can aid his team all over the map from top lane.
At this point in the game everyone will be centered around dragon. Most top laners can't participate due to the distance from top to dragon, but Draven can provide some support with his ultimate. You will mostly want to farm through this period and rush to your late game.
Draven (Like all AD carries) has AN AMAZING LATE GAME. At this point in the game you become a monster, and your team gets a huge advantage. If your team had another AD carry bot then your team will be extremely well off. Late game catching your axe will not be as important as maintaining your auto attacks and just catching the ones that come to you to keep your W up.
Cho'Gath (Bully him in lane all day long)
Darius (The Little brother is stronger then the older brother Hue.)
Fiddlesticks (You can burst him down so fast, save your stand aside for his drain)
Fizz (You can E him out of his dash)
Galio (Poke him out,note that he can sustain off your passive with his shield, when he looks like he is going to ult E
Garen (Kite all day long)
Hecarim (You have stronger early damage and can E him out of his charge, Still need to test if you can E him out of his ultimate)
Irelia (You have higher early damage, and can E her out of her dash. This lane quickly becomes hard if you do not abuse your early advantage)
Katarina (You have a better trade, and you can E to cancel her ultimate)
Nasus (Zone him from farm)
Nidalee (You do more damage pre 6 and your E and W can keep her away in cat form)
Olaf (Out range all day long)
Riven (You can poke her with range and E-W to escape. Once you get a Phage you gain a considerable advantage)
Rumble (Poke from a distance, E him when he tries to shield at you with his Q on)
Shen (Need to test if you can E his taunt off, You get free farm when he ports, and you have range to poke him down well when he is there)
Shyvana (You can kite her all day)
Singed (Destroy him early on, dont let him get in the game)
Skarner (Kite him all day)
Swain (Out range him and poke him out of lane)
Teemo (Even with his blind factored in you win trades.)
Udyr (Kite him all day)
Tryndamere (Avoid his shout, kite him, E him out of his spin)
Vladimir (beat him out earlier)
Volibear (E when he Qs at you, kite him all day)
Warwick (Poke him out of lane, you out damage his sustain. Care after lvl 6 if he gets a phage OR if you ever get low).
Wukong (E him out of his dash, avoid him after that).
Akali (You can hardcore beat her pre 6, if she is able to safely make it this lane is hell.)
Fiora You can't peel her off of you. NOTE: Your E has the ability to END HER ULTIMATE if you hit her right)
Jarvan IV (You have range advantage and can E him out of his flag-Q combo, BUT you have no escape from his ultimate aside from your flash, which is a longer CD then his ult)
Jax (He can dodge most of your damage, he scales well into late game,You can stand aside him out of his leap strike.)
Kayle (Your best bet here is to play safe and wait until he uses her E to farm and then go in for some trade, if you confront her head on she will win)
Kennen (He has a longer range, and his burst damage is really high)
Lee Sin (Has mobility, His cripple wrecks you, you can knock him out of his Q at you AND you can knock him out of the air as he is flying to shield an ally, both still get the shield)
Malphite (To tanky, he receives ganks to well)
Nautilus (He can ignore you and farm, he does more damage then you in the early game, he can CC lock you in a fight or for a gank)
Pantheon (He wins in trade offs)
Poppy (Has alot of armor and will destroy you late game
Renekton (He can 1 shot you early game if he gets close enough)
Sion (AP sions combo hits yo to hard to fight)
Talon (Bursts you down hard)
Yorick (Poke and sustain all day long)
A decent game of me as Draven, this game gives a good show of how Draven plays at all stages of the game.
Draven vs Darius, a brotherly duel to the DEATH! This game mostly shows how you should receive ganks as Draven.
7/4/2012- New Video Draven vs Darius, Gameplay section, banners, and other viable rune options.
7/3/2012- Guide Released
This was my top lane Draven guide. I hope that others learn that Draven top is actually a strong pick and will be more open minded to try it out and play it. Draven is (in my opinion) the hardest champion in the game to master due to everything you need to know how to do to use him effectively. I hope you all enjoyed my guide, have fun playing Draven, and have a nice day =D.
This is my complete guide on Draven. I hoped you enjoyed and that it helped you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments =D.
All the videos are from my Youtube channel Here.
Many thanks to my fellow mobafire members who commented/supported my top facts series =D.
Many thanks to my friends who played with me while I tried all of these different top laners.
If you have any questions/suggestions feel free to either message me on the site OR come talk to me in the mobafire chat room in the game client.
A thanks to JhoiJhoi's Guide on making a guide for a big help with coding and by having the templates for us to use =D.