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Darius Build Guide by Ravenborne

Top [11.5] Ravenborn's Darius Guide

Top [11.5] Ravenborn's Darius Guide

Updated on March 6, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ravenborne Build Guide By Ravenborne 160 11 426,985 Views 7 Comments
160 11 426,985 Views 7 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Ravenborne Darius Build Guide By Ravenborne Updated on March 6, 2021
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Runes: MY GO-TO

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Nimbus Cloak

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+65 Base Health


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
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Champion Build Guide

[11.5] Ravenborn's Darius Guide

By Ravenborne
My name is Ravenborn and I am a 3 million Mastery Points Darius OTP on the Server EUW. I started playing League of Legends at the end of Season 3 and have been OTP'ing Darius since Season 6. My peak has been Grandmaster 427LP and I am currently Grandmaster Tier. In this guide I will go a bit in-depth on his Abilities and Items and how to play with Darius during the Laning Phase, Mid Game and Late Game.
If you have any questions that are unanswered, be sure to check out my Twitch or Discord and ask me there.


+ Very strong Lane Bully
+ Can outplay very hard during ganks
+ Huge Snowball Potential
+ Can solo-carry a game
+ Can get back into game with just one good fight
+ Has sustain and some tankiness for teamfights
+ Very strong skirmish with Stridebreaker + Dead Man's Plate

Darius is well-known for his strong early game and Level 1 cheese. He is very easy to pick up and quite beginner-friendly. Probably one of the best champions to learn Top Lane on, his Build Path is also very simple and if played correctly can 1v5 games from time to time.

- Might seem like a Tank but is not (can't really peel in teamfights)
- Is very immobile
- Very reliant on his E and if he misses it is a easy target
- Can be kited easily due to his immoblie kit
- Has certain matchups that he can't win and will not get a lead, rendering him somewhat useless
- Heavily dependant on his summoners during combat

As stated, Darius is very easy to pick up but he also has obvious weaknesses. If you are aware of the weaknesses and play around them and be smart about your Macro and Micro choices, you will have great success with Darius.

Hemorrhage (Passive)
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.

Reaching 5 stacks of Hemorrhage is the most important thing to do on Darius. The bonus AD increases the Damage on every other Ability, especially your Noxian Guillotine by 20% per Stack. His passive is why Darius is such a strong Early Game bully. Play around your 5 Stacks by reapplying your Noxian Might onto close targets during teamfights and look to always have it running.

Decimate (Q)

RANGE: 425
COST: 30/35/40/45/50 Mana
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
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%.

Hitting enemies with your outer blade of Decimate is a must so you successfully get off your combos and get in that sweet heal it provides. Since Decimate can heal up to 45% of your Health, it is important to hit as many targets as possible in a teamfight with it. Decimate is also the reason why Darius has so much 1v1 or 1v2 potential.

Crippling Strike (W)

RANGE: 200
COST: 40 Mana
COOLDOWN: 7 / 6.5 / 6 / 5.5 / 5
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.

Resetting your AA with Crippling Strike or using Flash and immediately using Crippling Strike will net you a lot of kills. It deals a lot of damage with Noxian Might running and can also help you farm in some annoying matchups. It's low Mana and CD makes it quite a good Ability.

Apprehend (E)

RANGE: 550
COST: 70 Mana
COOLDOWN: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12
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 probably the most important Ability on your kit. It allows you to stick to your enemies and enable you to escape from time to time. If you decide to all-in a enemy, be sure Apprehend is up to pull him back in. You should never try to trade with Apprehend on cooldown. You can also use Apprehend in teamfights to pull the enemies and immediately using Decimate to get a 3-man heal off. Also try keeping your Apprehend up if you can catch the enemy without it at first (for example you have Ghost and will get to them anyways), and when they seem to be getting away pull them back in.

Noxian Guillotine (R)

RANGE: 460
COST: 100 / 0 Mana
COOLDOWN: 120 / 100 / 80
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.

This Ability is what makes Darius the man he is. This ability enables you to 1v5 the enemy team if fed enough and deals huge amounts of True Damage. You almost always finish your combos off by using Noxian Guillotine. Best way to use it is to go for resets and not just pure damage on the enemies. Getting a reset is what makes Darius strong in 1v1, 1v2 or 1v3 fights. Also using Flash + Crippling Strike + Noxian Guillotine whilst you have Noxian Might going makes some very interesting 1-shots on ADCs happen. You will heavily rely on this Ability on teamfights and using it to win those fights is crucial. You are basically just a useless sack of meat without this Ability up during Late Game.

Flash is a must on Darius. He already is immobile as hell and having Flash to either escape or get close to your target is very helpful. Using Flash to either hit your outer Decimate or to 5-man pull the enemy with your Apprehend is game-changing. You can also do some cool tricks like using Noxian Guillotine and flashing over the wall during the animation to get away. This spell is always needed. It's a no-brainer.

Probably the best secondary Summoner Spell for Darius. It's what makes him a actual threat in teamfights due to his immobility. Having Ghost allows you to also 1v1, 1v2, 1v3, 1v4 or even 1v5! This Summoner Spell in my opinion is a must on Darius when you want to learn him as a Beginner. If you are the Win Condition and you are about to teamfight, you NEED to have Ghost up to win that fight. Ghost allows you to run down enemies at your turret aswell. Most enemies do not expect you to be running at them with ultra light speed, so using Ghost to get into Lane and killing the enemy is a good tactic.

Teleport is good for matchups where the enemy will roam a lot like Kled. But yeah, I'd start using Teleport when you start getting into high elo like Master. Otherwise, just stick to Ghost because it gives you way more Carry Potential.

Ignite is good for Normals. Just do not use it. You have enough Damage and it basically is just a useless Summoner Spell for you when you close in on Late Game. It might net you that Cheese Level 1 Kill, but Ghost is just way better in almost any situation. Can be very good when running Nimbus Cloak. It is probably a must to go Nimbus Cloak if you plan on running Ignite, because the exrta movespeed will net you free kills.


  • Conqueror is probably the best Keystone in the Precision Tree for Darius. The stacks work perfectly with your passive and the healing you receive is very great with your Decimate. You can also heal off of any ability now, including Noxian Guillotine, meaning you heal 150 HP per ult when it is max rank. Just a great rune. Ever since the true damage has been removed, Black Cleaver seems to be more viable than Trinity Force now though.

  • Triumph is a must when going Precision and Overheal or Presence of Mind just can’t beat Triumph because you will most likely not be building Life Steal or have Mana issues when you play correctly. The heal Triumph gives can make for some clutch plays to happen and the extra gold is always needed.


  • Legend: Alacrity is good when going Black Cleaver since you will be missing out on the AS Trinity Force gives. Also good when the enemy team does not have a lot of heavy CC and you already have some tenacity in forms of items or other runes.


  • Last Stand is the best one out of the other two you can choose on the last row. Cut Down makes no sense since you will be building tank-ish and Coup de Grace doesn’t do as much as Last Stand since it starts only at low health enemies and you will be executing them with Noxian Guillotine from like half health anyways. Yes, the AD it gives on a kill is good but the damage you get from Last Stand is far greater. Last Stand also starts giving extra damage at 60% health already. I can’t even count anymore how many times Last Stand enabled me to do clutch plays on the last moment when I made a turnaround on low health.


  • Aftershock is the only viable keystone in the Resolve Path. Grasp of the Undying just can’t compare to Aftershock when it comes to usefulness. Aftershock is good into burst matchups like Riven and perma-poke lanes like Kennen or Teemo. It also makes you very tanky and when you know the enemy is about to burst you, Apprehend them to activate it and let them blow their burst, then turn on them. It also allows Darius to tank the enemies engage due to the huge amount of resistances you get. The damage is also not bad. Aftershock is even better with Conditioning and Gargoyle Stoneplate, allowing you to either engage or tank the enemies initial engage during teamfights whenever Aftershock is up. This keystone is very dependant on you hitting people with your Apprehend. Just keep your distance when it’s on cooldown or your Apprehend is on cooldown, because you basically will not have a primary Keystone during the fight.

  • Demolish is the only viable keystone in the first row and very good to take with you when you plan on split-pushing or are going to be hard pushing into the enemies tower. Enables you to get Plates very early on, giving you a small edge due to higher Gold income.


  • Conditioning is a good keystone when they have a lot of damage on their team and no tanks. Also very great in combination with Gargoyle Stoneplate and Aftershock. You can also opt for it when you will be building another AD item to make up for the resistance stats you are going to be missing out on. But yeah, get Conditioning when you finished your core and will be building tank items only afterwards to increase your tankiness.

  • Second Wind is very great into poke lanes. Darius already has huge HP regeneration and when you decide to go three Rejuvenation Bead it makes it even better. You’re going to be able to heal back any kind of poke in no time.

  • Bone Plating is good into enemy matchups that have multiple abilities in quick succession like Aatrox Q’s or Riven Q’s. Helps you survive their engage a bit and turn on them when those abilities are on cooldown.


  • Overgrowth is very good in combination with three Rejuvenation Bead and Second Wind to increase your sustain during lane and helping you out by giving you health. It's good because you're usually going against a poke lane and will not be able to farm so much, so the extra health can help you out a bit in that regard. If you're not running the three Rejuvenation Bead + Second Wind combo, I'd stick to one of the other two runes you get in this row.

  • Revitalize is pretty good if you get a low HP 3-man Decimate heal off. The healing you receive is insane. But I'd say it is not worth taking this solely for increasing the heal on Decimate. If you have multiple champions that can heal on your team, for example Nidalee jungle and Yuumi support, then this rune is going to pay off really good.

  • Unflinching, just like Overgrowth and Revitalize, is situational. It's really good into hard CC teams and can help you out giving you a smaller edge due to the tenacity you receive. Also very good when you're escaping or chasing, because you activate Ghost and receive 15% tenacity for free to help you out if they try to lock you down with CC. And as long a Summoner Spell is on cooldown you also get tenacity, because Darius, as we all know, is immobile and can be caught out easily with some CC.


  • Phase Rush is a great keystone into champs that are quite slippery or are also running Phase Rush. This includes champions such as Ryze, Vladimir or Cassiopeia. Phase Rush is great for sticking to these targets and getting your combo / engage off before they get away. It's also very great for teamfights where you simply stack up a target and run into their backline with Phase Rush + Ghost and kill their carries.

  • Nimbus Cloak is probably the MOST IMPORTANT Rune you can take on Darius, in my opinion mandatory. It makes your dueling prowess early unbeatable with the level 1 cheese and Crippling Strike. Also works perfectly with Ghost, removing it's rampup and letting you catch up way quicker. You basically outrun any champion in the game with this rune, which is what Darius exactly needs to pop off.

  • Nullifying Orb is really great if the enemy team consists mostly of AP damage or your enemy laner and jungler are both AP, enabling you to reduce their damage outcome and maybe disengage or turn the fight around. What I also like about is you can still build Sterak's Gage and literally have two shields at once. Nullifying Orb is good into enemy toplaners that have a lot of AP burst, like AP Malphite or Akali, giving you that extra small edge on them.


  • Transcendence might be a good option if you know you will not be able to reach 40% CDR with your item build. It's also great into very tanky teams, allowing you to spam your Decimate more often and get those heals in to sustain through the fight. Situational rune.

  • Celerity works perfectly with Phase Rush + Ghost, giving you that extra small speed to stick to people or run away. Pretty self-explanatory. Usually my go-to in the second row.

  • Gathering Storm is probably the best one out of these three, but they are all quite bad on Darius. Gathering Storm ensures you get some damage throughout the game and when you're fed as Darius this can make you a even more dangerous target for the enemy team. Gathering Storm just is not that great because Games in Season 9 rarely get past the 40-minute mark.

This concludes the Runes that I usually run, which are:
Press the Attack (VERY rarely)
Phase Rush
It is important that you try to match your own playstyle and adjust the runes to that. All the other keystones or minor runes left out are in my opinion bad or make no sense on Darius. There is one honorable mention, which is Corrupting Potion + Inspiration, where you take Magical Footwear and Time Warp Tonic. Other than that, I've covered all the runes I run and which ones I do not.

Stridebreaker is the best mythic you can possibly buy. Best mythic passive, best mythic active, best potential on Darius. The movspeed and dash is INSANE to catch out people or to escape / dodge abilities. Works best with movespeed items like Dead Man's Plate and Force of Nature. The faster, the better. I cannot even tell you about all the times I was able to catch out one of the enemies and turn it into a big lead for my team by getting Dragon or Baron Nashor.

Sterak's Gage
Always build Sterak's Gage on Darius. The HP and bonus base AD is very good on you and the Shield you get is a huge life saver. This item allows you to survive engages from Junglers so you have a chance to escape or to tank the enemies engage in teamfights. The more people hit you, the bigger the shield gets.


Plated Steelcaps
Build Plated Steelcaps if they do not have any heavy CC or if they have a lot of Champions who work with AA's. Also a very good item if the enemies team Win Condition is their ADC.

Mercury's Treads
Go Mercury's Treads if they have a lot of CC and not a lot of Champions who work with AA's. Darius already is immobile as it is and getting some Tenacity in so you can reach the enem is a win condition for you. Just know that if you get for example Legend: Tenacity or Elixir of Iron that the Tenacity will stack multiplicatively. Every CC also caps at 0.5s, so do not overbuy on Tenacity you do not need.

Guardian Angel
Pretty okay item on Darius. Get this if you are REALLY fed and are certain you close the game out before it gets to Late Game. The stats are not good but also not bad.

Black Cleaver
The new Black Cleaver is great, as it now grants extra movespeed on it's passive when hitting enemy champions. Also very good if the enemy team consists of three tanks or more. The extra ability haste also helps out alot.

Titanic Hydra
Same as Guardian Angel: Get this if you are really fed and will 100% close the game out before it gets to late. This is a strong offensive item for Darius giving you a free AA reset to stack your Hemorrhage quicker. Problem is, it costs a lot and getting your core ASAP is way more important. Getting Defensive Items are way cheaper and better to get than a Titanic Hydra that costs 3500G.

Chempunk Chainsword
Very good item if the enemy team has alot of healing but they do not have alot of AD / no AD at all or if their ADC is very behind. The increased 60% healing reduction when they are under 50% HP helps out alot so they do not heal back up if you go in for the Noxian Guillotine reset.

Death's Dance
Death's Dance is a great choice on Darius if you need that extra survivability and movespeed during teamfights. The passive heal is also quite good to keep you sustained throughout the fights. On another note: if you have Yuumi on your team, this is a MUST BUY. You both can 2v8 the game. Good item if ahead, and the movespeed on a Ult reset sure comes in handy.

Dead Man's Plate
Dead Man's Plate is in my honest opinion a must-buy on Darius now, as it works great with Stridebreaker. Allows you to escape more often and give you some free catches with the Stridebreaker active. Allows you to catch up to your Enemy Toplaner since you will be running Ghost instead of Teleport most of the time. Also gives a small slow on AA hit. Very good to catch people out aswell or follow up on their disengage.

Gargoyle Stoneplate
In my opinion, Gargoyle Stoneplate is a must have item on Darius currently. There's multiple reasons. One of them is that you are quite squishy because you are most likely running the Conqueror + Nimbus Cloak setup, making you quite squishy. Secondly, Gargoyle Stoneplate has great value on Darius as you will most likely be on top of the enemy during fights and want to survive as long as possible to get your Noxian Might off. Gargoyle Stoneplate allows you to engage for your team and tank the enemies engage aswell. Works well with Sterak's Gage. Overall just a good item and quite cheap, making it probably the best tank item you can get.

Randuin's Omen
Randuin's Omen is great if the enemy works with AA's and has a lot of Critical Strike Damage. It's stats are better than Dead Man's Plate and the slow helps you catch up to people.

Pretty good item on Darius if the enemy has a lot of AD and healing. Low HP but tons of armor. Helps you fight champions like Fiora or Draven. Makes you very tanky and if they are full AD and you stack armor can make you very beefy against their composition.

Spirit Visage
Very good item on Darius. The extra heal makes your Decimate heal OP as hell and the HP Regen is great into poke lanes like Kennen since Darius has one of the highest HP Regens in the game. A good buy if they have any kind of AP.

Force of Nature
Very great buy on Darius if they have over-time AP damage like Cassiopeia or Ryze. Has 100HP less than Spirit Visage but it's Passive is great. Good buy if they are also AP-Heavy. The movespeed also works very great together with Stridebreaker + Dead Man's Plate

Phantom Dancer
Good item to get if you plan on split-pushing alot. Also helps you chase the enemy a bit better because of the extra movement speed and it's passive.

Maw of Malmortius
Very situational item. I would only get Maw of Malmortius if the enemy team is full AP. Otherwise Sterak's Gage is just simply better.

Silvermere Dawn
Very situational item. I would only get Silvermere Dawn if the enemy team has a Malzahar in order to cancel out his Ultimate. You will 100% need this if you are the win condition on your team and Malzahar is a threat.

How to play the Laning Phase
Before starting the Laning Phase, you need to know if you can win against your Matchup Level 1 or not. If you can, either stand in Tribush if they are Red Side and the enemy Top Laner is leashing or if they are Blue Side stand in the first Bush closest to the tower. Level Crippling Strike first and try to cheese the Enemy Top Laner. When he shows up, activate Ghost and force his Flash right away. Ta-da! You just secured yourself a safe lane until Level 3 when the Enemies wave starts pushing you back. The cheese is even better if you have Nimbus Cloak.

If it is a matchup you can't win early, level Decimate and farm until Level 3, then look for a opening to catch your opponent with Ghost and Apprehend.

Now you might be wondering how you can help your team during the Lane Phase. It's pretty simple: if you have priority in your Lane (a.k.a you pushed the wave to the enemies Tower and he needs to farm the wave to not miss XP) and there is a skirmish going on top-side, join in right away. You have a very strong power level early on and can win a 2v2 or even a 2v3 easily with your Jungler. Be sure to also deep ward the enemies jungle if you have priority on your lane and there aren't any skirmishes going on. You can also look for some Mid Lane ganks with Ghost up and maybe force a Flash or even get a kill.

If you are in a matchup that you can't win and you still want to help, the best thing you can do is run Teleport and help out on Bot Lane Ganks or answer Early Game Drake calls. Just be sure to not die so you do not fall behind too much. If you get out of Lane safely you only need one good fight and you will be very strong throughout the game. Just be sure to keep your **** warded because you are a very easy target to gank since you are quite immobile as Darius. You could also run Aftershock to protect yourself from tower-diving Junglers like Elise.

As another tip, do not mindlessly keep using your Decimate on the Enemy Wave as that will always push the Wave into the enemies Tower. Just freeze the wave and use Crippling Strike to farm. This is especially important since the mana cost on both your Crippling Strike and your Apprehend were increased. If you spam too many abilities or go for too many trades, you will run out of mana very quick. Force the enemy to walk up and maybe catch him with Ghost and Apprehend or slow-push it so the enemy wave builds up and slowly bounces back and forces the enemy to walk up, maybe giving you another opportunity to run him down.

On a last note I also wanted to add that if you are ahead and both your enemy toplaner and the enemy jungler are behind, you can start proxy farming the enemy top wave inbetween the enemies tier 1 and tier 2 turret. They will not be able to 1v2 you. Do not do this permanently, as you will get to low health after the third or fourth wave. It's just there to deny your enemy toplaner two waves of XP gaining you a even huger lead on Darius. Just be sure to watch out for the enemies midlaner who might come to roam.

How to play Mid Game
The first thing you need to do is get the Tier 1 Tower up top. If you did that, you can start caring about carrying your lead over to your other Laners.
The first thing I look for is to see if my Bot Lane is struggling or not. If they are, go Bot and get the tower with them. If the enemy is close to your tower, simply Ghost into their lane and either force their Flash or get a kill or two, then take Tower together and start up Drake afterwards if it is up.

If Bot Tower has already been taken, try to look for a gank on Mid Lane or take Rift Herald with your Jungler to go for a hardpush on Mid Lane.

If the enemy jungle is ahead and you have taken the Tier 1 Tower, you can start pressuring Top by permapushing the wave and taking the enemies Jungle Camps. Just be sure to keep their Jungle warded so you do not get caught out since Darius is quite immobile and easy to catch.

This is the time where teamfights are crucial for winning the game and you will be needing to answer most Drake Calls and Baron Calls since Mid Game you will be at your strongest point. You can also try and split push for your team on Bot Lane and maybe force the Enemy Team to come down to release some pressure Mid and Top or even get a Baron. Best way to go about split-pushing is getting Dead Man's Plate and keeping their jungle warded so you can escape at the right moment to get out and waste their time. Just be sure to keep the enemy Top Laner busy if he has Teleport and you do not. He will be able to answer on skirmishes easier than you since you will be running Ghost most of the time. Just do not give him a opportunity to Teleport, keep him pressured.

How to play Late Game
This is where you slowly fall off as Darius and become a meatshield. Best way to still be strong is to either split and force one of them onto that lane since your 1v1 potential is still very big or to stack up your Noxian Might on their engage champions during teamfights and Flash + Crippling Strike + Noxian Guillotine on one of their squishy carries to one-shot them or force their Flash. What you can also do is buy Gargoyle Stoneplate and just tank for your team or play around your win condition / carry by getting a Knight's Vow. This is where respawn timers will be very long so you have to be there every fight as one kill on either side decides the outcome of the game. You can also try and go for a good engage by Flash + Apprehend their team and giving your team a great engage to follow up on. Gargoyle Stoneplate allows you to do that because you can get out safely after using it's active and tanking their damage. Just be sure to also peel for your ADC since he is going to be in primetime during Late Game and will decide on who wins the fight or not. It doesn't matter if you are 20 / 5 / 8, you will not be doing anything as soon as everyone is full build and on equal level.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ravenborne
Ravenborne Darius Guide
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[11.5] Ravenborn's Darius Guide

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