Darius Build Guide by LoLReal
[10.3] (S10) Real's COMPLETE Darius Guide (All Match Ups)By LoLReal | Updated on February 7, 2020
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Runes: Darius vs. melee
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Q Start - Primary Build Order
Threats & Synergies
Pretty easy melee match up. Dodge his Qs and punish him since he has no escapes. Tabi before phage is good here too.
This match up is Darius favored. Be careful of her double Q at level 1 it does deceptively high damage. Trade heavily if she tries to harass you in your wave. Shroud is annoying.
This match up is Renekton favored assuming he plays it correctly. Renekton wants short trades, try to position yourself where you can pull him back in to trade once he uses his cooldowns on you. Don't allow him to use his rotation on you and get out for free, or you'll lose the lane. Tough match up. Early tabis are very good here.
Enjoy farming under turret because that's all you'll be able to do in this lane. Ungankable champion too, obnoxious to play against. Build early cowl and focus on farming well for mid-game.
This used to be a Darius favored match up, but in his current state Garen is just too strong. Early levels Garen wants to just Q you and get out. Make him pay for it with E and punish him with extended trades while his spin is at low ranks. Be smart about going for CS. Again, make sure to take extended trades not short ones when you do go in.
This is a surprisingly annoying lane if the GP is good and takes grasp. He can poke us down early without us being able to answer. Wait for him to make a mistake and walk up too far and punish him with E. Early tabis is essential. You'll have to be patient in this lane.
Free lane. Incredibly easy to deal with.
Stronger than other tanks but still a very manageable match up for Darius. Once he fully commits to you with E just beat him down, 5 stack and kill. Pull him back in if he procs W on you. Easy match up he should be under his turret for most of the game.
We counter Mundo hard. Not only is he a tank, but our ult directly counters his. Very easy.
Extremely difficult. Thankfully he is not meta right now (let's keep it that way). We lose early, mid and late to Gnar in the side lane. He's also just as good of a team fighter as we are. Hope he makes a mistake in lane, can pull him if he walks too far up, but he can jump out. He has to misplay badly to lose. This lane will usually be farming under turret, get tabis first.
Jayce is difficult for us. He can poke us out and has a pretty strong early game. When we get low his all-in potential is also very strong in hammer form. Take second wind + dorans shield and farm safely.
No threat at all if building tank. If building AP we have to respect his burst. Look for extended trades and punish him when his cooldowns are down. Pretty easy lane.
Punish him hard early and mid game before we get outscaled in the side lane. Jax has no real response to our trade pattern. Be careful over commiting level 1, Jax E is deceptively strong. After that we can take almost all trades and punish him hard.
Camille is an easy match up for Darius. Her trade pattern is predictable and she has to commit to trade. Try to dodge her E (or pull her out of it) and then punish her for it. Darius wins all extended trades.
I was on the verge of being between minor or even match up, but decided on even. I don't think this is truly Darius favored anymore. We win early but once Fiora gets 2 items this lane is actually quite difficult. Try to punish her early and snowball the lane. Don't pull until Riposte is down and try to take smart trades. Hug walls when she ults so she can't full proc R. Don't let her farm evenly with you or it will not be good.
A little easier with Klepto out of the game but still a nightmare lane if the Kennen plays it properly. We have to bank on him making a mistake, otherwise farm under turret. We get outscaled too and Kennen team fights better than us. Not fun. Get d shield + early spectres cowl to stabilize.
Hecarim top gets destroyed by Darius. He has to get on top of us to trade and is unable to burst us down. Hecarim wants extended trades but can't hang with Darius. We do what he does but better in this lane.
Hope they don't play this. Farm under turret and hope your jungler ganks as well. Get an early spectre's cowl too. We're more useful mid game.
Kayle's range is abysmal at low levels and we should abuse this. When she walks up to CS pull her in and trade. Be careful not to take too much damage at levels 1 & 2 so we can afford to trade with her later in the lane. She inevitably outscales us so we are on a timer to abuse her in lane early.
I'd say slightly Kled favored now with the grievous wounds buff he received (thanks, Riot) but ultimately a skill match up still. We can out trade him. Make sure to dismount Kled prior to ulting or our ult is effectively wasted. We have to hit Q in this match up or we won't win. Careful for him dodging it by going into you.
Probably the biggest Darius counter in the game. First item tabis. We cannot do anything vs. Lucian early and mid, he also scales better. Worst of all he builds BotRK. Farm under turret and call for jungle pressure. Lucian is vulnerable to ganks.
Very easy match up. Slightly more dangerous if he builds AP but still manageable for us. He can't walk up.
Easy match up. If he tries to trade with W + Q and walks away, pull him back in and punish hard.
Mordekaiser surprisingly does very well into Darius. This is one of the few match ups where you will want to take Ignite instead of Ghost. You have to snowball in this lane. Punish him early. We win before 6, and if we've established a lead, should win after 6 too. When he ults ignite and fight him. Very hard lane if we go even or get behind, he'll simply kill us on cooldown with R.
Easy tank match up. Poppy isn't a threat to us.
Minor threat ASSUMING WE PUNISH EARLY. If you mess up in this lane it becomes unwinnable. Keep him on his feet and punish him when he goes to CS. You have to set Nasus behind early (and you should, we trade into him very well) and use our mid game to carry. If you die once, he'll build armor, and you will not be able to do anything. If it goes late good luck.
Trades decently for a tank but at the end of the day still a very easy match up for us.
One of the few champions that can trade with us level 1 and win. Respect Olaf's early game and we will be stronger mid + late game. This is mostly a skill match up. Play smart and don't overcommit.
Pantheon shouldn't be a problem for Darius. He can't trade with us efficiently and will end up under his turret. If he goes in to trade, pull him back in and punish. Alert your team as he will try to roam in this lane. Demolish is a good option vs. Pantheon to punish his roaming with strong siege.
Another nightmare match up for Darius. We can't get into her range unless she makes a mistake. She will roam after shoving us into turret and put a lot of pressure on the map. She'll usually get fed. Get early tabis. Hard lane that needs jungle pressure.
Rengar relies on cheese to lane. Darius is a hard counter to him because Rengar cannot take short trades to burst us down, we just pull him back in and trade better. Easy lane. Beware of level 1 though.
Nothing we can do in this lane, horrible match up for us. Get early cowl and farm under turret.
Hard lane and bad match up, she's just not as strong as some of the other champs that give us a hard time. Spectre's cowl and CS here.
This is realistically a skill match up. We have to hit Q to win. Whoever snowballs wins this one. Get early tabis and trades become more one-sided.
Darius conventionally counters Rumble. Rumble wants close quarters, quick trades but can't against us. Get an early cowl and destroy him.
Very difficult match up. Rush cowl and farm under turret. Slightly shorter range than a couple of our counters, so you may be able to get a pull off on him in lane. Spectre's cowl + CS focus. Ryze is OP currently and overdue for nerfs. This could be a 5.
Very easy lane. Weak tank. He can block our hemorrhage stacking with his W briefly but it's not enough to be a concern.
Easy match up. Moderately annoying because of proxying, but if he ever gets close he is free. Don't overextend to try and kill if you get him low and he runs. Force him out of lane. If he proxies kill him.
Avoid bush cheese with Q. Easy match up. He does OK damage but should not be a threat.
We should lose lane to Swain. Not picked often top in this meta, has shifted to a support. Early cowl + farm under turret if you're against one and look for windows where they misplay and pull them in. Try not to take too much damage going for CS.
Fairly easy tank match up. This champ is terrible now and you probably won't see him played top, or if at all. Stand in minions to avoid his Q and out trade him.
Teemo's auto range is less than your pull range. This is a very winnable lane contrary to popular belief. Try to not take too much damage going for CS and trade into him if healthy with your E. Tough match up if he builds bruiser, but if he does we outscale. D shield + cowl are essential in this match up. Get these before phage.
Strong level 1 with his Q but otherwise a straight forward and easy match up.
Skill match up. You can win early, respect his early all-in capabilities. Early tabis and bramble vest are essential here. One of the few match ups where ignite is arguably better than ghost. Punish him when he trades with you and make use of your mid game before he outscales you in the side lane.
Probably the only somewhat tough tank match up for Darius. He has reasonable range on his Q and can poke us down. Try not to take much damage and pull him in when you're healthy, you'll win an extended trade easily if you're both at 100%. If you're low it's tougher because he can execute us. Play it smart.
Extremely difficult. Kite queen. Concede early CS, rush tabi, and farm under turret, this lane needs jungle pressure unless the Vayne makes a lot of bad errors. Look for misuse of condemn or tumble and try to capitalize if they aren't good.
Vlad is tough. They run phase rush against Darius and we can never truly get into their range if the play the lane properly. Try to punish a misplay and farm. He outscales us and is also a good team fighter, though. Executioners Calling is great in this lane along with the usual early cowl vs. AP threats.
Pretty easy lane. We out trade him, don't get baited by his passive early.
Wukong can't do anything against Darius. If he goes in to trade, pull where you think the clone is. If you guess right Wukong dies.
Yasuo shouldn't be much of a problem. He's reasonably strong level 1 & 2 but we can out trade him and punish him hard. Don't fall behind in this lane.
Darius wins early, but the longer the lane goes on the harder Yorick gets. He'll probably build Tabi + Trinity and trade very well into us. He does deceptive damage. Skill match up.
Illaoi is a skill match up. You have to dodge her E, if you do, you should win the lane without too much of an issue. You outdamage her if she misses E. Depending on the situation fighting her in her E early is not bad before she has levels in it. It allows us to not get hit by the second part of the spell and we can often out trade her early. Respect her 6, especially if she gets an E off, never fight her post-6 when she gets a soul rip. Ignite is not bad in this lane, or executioners calling after trinity.
Irelia doesn't pose much of a threat at all to us. Her level 2 is pretty strong with her passive stacked, but Darius out trades her at all points in the game. Be mindful of her passive and don't overplay into minion damage and you should easily take care of her.
Jarvan top just isn't what it used to be. His trade pattern is bad. If he E+Q's onto you, we can E him back in and beat him down. He just doesn't have enough to damage to out trade us at all points in the game. He does have decent gank set up though so beware of enemy jungler in this lane.
Not a big threat, the Sylas lane is pretty straightforward. He can't trade with us efficiently as a melee caster. Executioners Calling is very good in this lane because his W does heal him an annoying amount. Don't take too much poke from his Q and if he's spamming it let him push the wave and freeze under turret. This lane shouldn't be a problem, play standardly.
Not much of an issue at all for us. He can't fight us at any point in the game. Don't get baited by W shield when you're both low HP. We win pre-6 and post-6 and should snowball this lane hard.
Great synergy with Darius. She sets up ganks very easily with her CC, and since you have an auto reset she procs it fast. Probably my favorite jungler to play with as Darius.
Good synergy. Hard CC and can keep you alive while you do serious damage.
Good jungler to have with Darius. Hard CC and good damage. One of the better 2v2 tops in the game for you.
Hard CC and high damage. Another extremely strong 2v2
Champion Build Guide
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+ Strong early game
+ Massive lane bully
+ Strong mid game
+ Big team fight threat
+ Can 2v1 in lane
+ Tanky with damage
+ Adaptive build paths
+ Strong carry potential
- Predictable trade patterns
- Easily kited
- Vulnerable to ganks
- Reliant on summoner spells
- Lots of counters in lane
- Falls off late game
Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed for 12 (+1 per champion level) (+0.3 per bonus attack damage) physical damage over 5 seconds. This effect stacks up to five times.
Darius' passive is an integral part of his kit and a big part of what makes him such a powerhouse in lane + team fights. Our goal should always be to get our Hemorrhage 5 stack whenever possible in fights. Not only does this give us a massive boost in AD but it also allows us to quickly reapply our 5 stack bleed to new targets with Noxian Might. This leads into Darius' combos, such as getting 5 stacks on a front line target and using Flash onto the back line to apply Hemorrhage to a carry for an instant Noxian Guillotine.
After a 0.75 second delay, Darius swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemies struck by the blade take 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+1.0 / 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 per attack damage) physical damage and receive a stack of Hemorrhage. Enemies struck by the shaft take 35% damage and do not receive a stack of Hemorrhage.
Darius also heals himself for 15% of his missing Health for each enemy champion hit by Decimate's blade, up to a maximum of 45%.
Darius' Q Decimate is his strongest trading tool. Also very useful for punishing multiple targets in team fights and bringing Darius back up to a full health bar from low HP. Decimate is also what makes Darius such a strong laner. This ability is capable of chunking out the enemy and setting Darius up with a low HP target with 5 stacks of Hemorrhage to finish off with Noxian Guillotine. It's also worth mentioning that this ability, when used after his E Apprehend, is a true combo. Meaning if you use it right your Decimate afterward will not be dodgeable.
Darius's next attack severs a crucial artery, dealing 150 / 155 / 160 / 165 / 170% of his total attack damage as physical damage and slowing his target by 90% for 1 second.
If the target dies, the mana cost of Crippling Strike is refunded and the cooldown is halved.
Darius' W Crippling Strike, while basic, is an excellent ability. Most importantly, this is an auto attack reset, meaning you are able to instantly cast it after an auto attack and reset the animation, resulting in 2 quick attacks in succession. This helps us quickly stack up our Hemorrhage or quickly reapply it to a target with Noxian Might to set up for a Noxian Guillotine. A common combo you will be wanting to use is Flash Crippling Strike to quickly apply 5 stacks of Hemorrhage with Noxian Might to a back line target for an execute.
Passive: Darius hones his axe, granting him 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% armor penetration.
Active: Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook, pulling them to him while briefly granting vision in the area around the pull. Enemies pulled by Apprehend are slowed by 40% for 1 second.
Apprehend is the utility that we need in Darius' kit. Apprehend lets us pull in carries towards us to close the distance, or even defensively to evade a gank. A tip for Darius players out there, Apprehend has a mini-stun like effect on the end of the pull animation and it can be used to briefly disarm targets on top of you to give you a moment to keep running away. This is perfect for when you are being ganked and need an extra .5 seconds to escape. Also, the armor penetration on this ability that you passively get is very underrated. 35% armor penetration is a lot of extra damage mid-late game.
Darius leaps to an enemy Champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing 100 / 200 / 300 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage) true damage. This damage increases by 20% for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target up to a maximum of 200 / 400 / 600 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) true damage.
If Noxian Guillotine is a killing blow, Darius causes all nearby minions and monsters to flee in terror and he can recast the ability for free within the next 20 seconds. This can occur multiple times in succession. At maximum rank, the cooldown will completely reset on kill.
Noxian Guillotine is the most iconic ability of Darius, and for good reason. This ability alone gives Darius his 1v5 potential. Your objective in team fights is to proc Noxian Might by getting 5 stacks of Hemorrhage up and chain Noxian Guillotine on low HP targets to get resets. Use Flash and Ghost to close the gap between the carries in team fights, apply 5 stack instantly with Noxian Might and let it go. This is your most important ability in team fights so it is crucial that you learn to use it properly. Darius does not have an execute indicator like other champions when enemies are low, so you will need to learn how much damage you do in order to not mess up your reset. Noxian Guillotine allows you to turn 2v1s when you are ganked fairly easily in lane too.
Always take Flash, no exceptions. It is strictly the best summoner spell available in the game.
Ghost is the most optimal second summoner to take on Darius. Ghost allows you to push leads, team fight better, and synergizes incredibly well with Darius' kit. Your biggest weakness is easily being kited, so this shores up one of the largest problems you'll have in fights.
Ignite is an OK summoner spell and useable in certain match ups currently. Lanes where you can use Ignite as an option are: Mordekaiser, Illaoi, and Tryndamere. These are all match ups where the enemy will be trying to all-in you frequently, have strong healing, and the need to snowball is necessary. A common misconception is Ignite is a garbage summoner that should never be taken on Darius. It allows you to snowball lane more efficiently than Ghost in certain all-in match ups. It has its niche, but Ghost is certainly better overall.
Don't take this summoner on Darius unless you're playing competitive (aka, never).
I have run many different pages testing keystones + secondary trees on the new patch and I've come to conclusion that this is one of the best in general. Conqueror is OP on the current patch and should be used. The amount of damage and healing it gives you is unmatched.
Triumph is the best here and self-explanatory, this rune will often save you in team fights or 2v1s with its effect. The bonus gold is nice too. Overheal and Presence of Mind are very underwhelming and borderline useless on Darius.
Legend: Tenacity, is, in my opinion, significantly better than Legend: Alacrity. Alacrity feels better in lane and in the split but ultimately does not translate too much mid and late game, where Tenacity shines. Your team fighting and 2v1 potential with Tenacity is unmatched. The only time I would switch Tenacity out for Alacrity is in the odd case where the enemy comp has virtually no CC.
Last Stand is a bit better than Coup de Grace. As a front line champion you are soaking a lot of damage in fights, and will generally be low in fights when you're on the back line. Both are OK options but I find Last Stand optimal.
Bone Plating is fantastic in melee match ups where you're trading frequently.
Unflinching is one of the MOST OVERLOOKED RUNES in the game. It is very powerful and, with Mercury's Treads and Sterak's Gage, can effectively push your tenacity to the point where you have 70%+ tenacity. CC is the bane of most champions and Darius is no exception.
Switch the flex rune from armor to MR if vs. AP
Darius vs. Ranged Top
The only significant change in this match up is we switch Bone Plating for Second Wind. This allows us to sustain through the poke a bit better to farm under harass.
Again, switch the flex rune from armor to MR if vs. AP
Some Darius players run Aftershock or Phase Rush pages in certain match ups, but the fact remains that Conqueror is the best team fighting rune for Darius by far. Most of his weaknesses in lane can be alleviated with good itemization (Early Ninja Tabi vs. hard AD lanes, early Spectre's Cowl in hard AP lanes.) For that reason I think the Conqueror pages are optimal overall and the superior choice.
These items were made for each other. This will be your core itemization nearly every game. Trinity Force synergizes so well on Darius due to the fact that he makes great use of all the stats, and it helps him in the split push. It makes the already strong lane of Darius even stronger. Sterak's Gage gives you 50% of your base attack damage as bonus attack damage. This also works with the Sheen proc from your Trinity Force, making these two in combination an insane 2-item power spike. You will run this in 99% of games.
Know how we said 99% of games you'll be going Trinity Force and Sterak's Gage? Well, the other 1% of games we'll be getting Black Cleaver and Sterak's Gage instead. The one condition that we go Black Cleaver instead of Trinity Force is when the enemy team has 2 or more tanks, not including support. For example, if the enemy has tank top and tank jungle, OR tank top and tank mid, go Black Cleaver. That is when it is more efficient to run Black Cleaver than Trinity Force. On the even rarer occasion that the enemy comp has 3-4 tanks, Black Cleaver becomes insanely cost efficient. That's it, should be pretty easy to remember. Otherwise Trinity Force is more efficient every time. Even if you're laning against a tank. Unless top and jungle or top and mid are tanks, skip this one.
Dead Man's Plate
Arguably the best of the 3 armor items Dead Man's Plate is always a good pick up. The movement speed is great on Darius and we find this useful in all scenarios.
Randuin's Omen should be your first armor pick up if the enemy has a fed AD/crit user like Tristana, Yasuo, Xayah, etc. OR if the enemy team has multiple (2+) champions that are building crit. Otherwise stick to Dead Man's Plate.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is an interesting item, but should only really be considered if your team has no front line or primary engage. This means that you will likely have to soak the damage for your team in fights (something that Darius doesn't want to be doing.) If you are surrounded by a team without engage and squishies, consider opting for Gargoyle Stoneplate first or second. Otherwise I'm of the opinion that Dead Man's Plate and Randuin's Omen are more useful armor options.
Our most common magic resistance pick up. This synergizes great with Decimate and allows us to heal more. We will always get this unless the enemy has sustained damage casters such as Ryze or Cassiopeia. In that case we will first get Adaptive Helm.
Get this before Spirit Visage if the enemy has sustained damage casters such as Ryze or Cassiopeia, as Adaptive Helm becomes much more efficient then.
Thornmail is very gold inefficient if you don't get good use of its passive. If you need it, holding onto Bramble Vest is almost always the best call until late game. Exceptions to this are maybe if enemy team has 3 healing autoattackers (ex: Trynd, Yi, etc.) but this is pretty rare. In general Thornmail is a trap and you shouldn't build it. Just hold onto to an early Bramble Vest in match ups where it is needed (ex: Tryndamere)
Early game as Darius you should first ask yourself how the match up is level 1 at the start of each game. Can I trade hard level 1 and win, vs something like Maokai or Pantheon? Or are they a strong level 1 champion that could potentially out trade me level 1 like Olaf? Always ask yourself about the game state and match up before you get into the game. It helps you plan out your lane a lot.
If we can trade hard level 1 we have a couple options. We can cheese in a brush, common spots include tri-brush if you're blue side, or river brush if you are red side. You can also use the lane brush to cheese behind minions too.
If you can't fight them level 1 easily, or are unable to cheese, then we should focus on getting our CS in lane. If it is a winnable melee match up, something like Camille, make sure to take heavy extended trades when possible. This is where Darius shines. We can translate this to an early first blood or early first turret. If it is a difficult ranged match up like Kennen, we want to farm and get as much CS as possible to transition into a successful mid game.
Tip: Every single time you have an extra 75g on a base pick up a Control Ward. Get in the habit of doing this on every recall. Good spots to place control wards early for top are in the top river brush, tri-brush, or pixel brush. Increasing your vision game is one of the best habits to get into in order to climb.
For the mid game, Darius should be primarily focused on using his 1 and 2-item power spike to skirmish/team fight when possible. If you have been farming decently, or better yet if you have a lead, you are exceptionally strong at this point in the game and we need to take advantage of it.
If you have a lead at this point, you can stay top and continue to apply pressure and try to draw the jungler to you. At this point you should have the potential to 2v1, and if you are successful, it can really turn the game in your team's favor.
You can also leave top and help your jungler secure Rift Herald or help your team secure Dragon . A lot depends on the game state and how your team is doing. If your team is struggling on the bot side of the map it might be wise to roam down for a team fight and Dragon . If they are doing well it is unlikely you need to roam down to help and are better off pushing your lead top and continuing to draw jungle pressure.
Towards the 20 minute mark and onward you want to maintain baron control with your lead top if you have it. Help your jungler secure and clear vision around baron at this time. If you get a pick or two while they try to get vision you can look to take an early baron if the game state warrants it. Vision is everything and can't be understated. If you don't have a lead top help your team establish baron vision without getting picked off.
Late game isn't Darius' strongest point. At this point you have played out your power spike, and while you can still be very useful in team fights, you need to be careful for the 5-6 item ADC's late in the game. You have two options late game. You can either split push and try to draw pressure in the side lane, or force fights with your team. If you are stronger than all enemy champions in the 1v1, splitting is a very good idea. If you are not, or have been outscaled by something like Jax in the side lane, then you are best off grouping and forcing objectives with your team.
Assess the game at this point as well because it will change how you need to play team fights. Is your ADC stronger than theirs? If so, you are likely going to want to front to back. Kill the tanks and enemy front line attacking your carries first. You can also pull them off with Apprehend as a form of soft peel. You can get 5 stacks of Hemorrhage on tanks and melt them with Noxian Guillotine so your carries kill the front line quicker. You can also get 5 stacks of Hemorrhage on the front line and look to close the distance on enemy carries depending on the fight.
If your ADC is weaker than theirs, it is usually worthwhile to try and close the gap with Ghost and Flash and attempt to kill their carries on the back line.
It's hard to recommend an "all-in-one" approach to team fights since they are so dynamic and always different. Try to assess them on a case by case basis and close out the game.
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