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Darius Build Guide by Sporkintahn

Top [12.1] Lord of Top Lane; A Darius Guide

Top [12.1] Lord of Top Lane; A Darius Guide

Updated on January 8, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sporkintahn Build Guide By Sporkintahn 11 1 32,921 Views 6 Comments
11 1 32,921 Views 6 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Sporkintahn Darius Build Guide By Sporkintahn Updated on January 8, 2022
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Runes: Primary Runes

Lethal Tempo
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Go To
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[12.1] Lord of Top Lane; A Darius Guide

By Sporkintahn
Welcome to my Darius Guide. I have been playing since Season 1 and Darius has been my main go to in the Top Lane since his release in Season 2. I've played league on and off over the years. Seasons 2 and 3 then into early Season 4 I played quite a lot of League when I was younger before I stopped for nearly a year and a half.

Since coming back in Season 6 then I've hovered Silver I to Mid-Low Gold. I would take brief breaks here and there in the process. One of which I took a break for most of 2020 and came back too late in October to reach Gold only getting in about 40 games before ranked ended. I haven't taken this game too seriously over the years and have mostly watched the LCS and other international leagues in my spare time. This time around I'm looking to really improve my play in the game and learn all that I can. There is always room for improvement!

Darius is by far my favorite champion in not only his play style but thematically as well.

As I continue with updating this guide as time goes on I will upload videos to YouTube to which I will link in various parts of the guide.

This Guide so far is more or less a rough draft and is obviously not as flashy or good looking as others but I hope you enjoy and please leave feedback!
Early Lane (Levels 1-6)
This Chapter will be divided into VS Melee and VS Ranged sections.


Laning with Darius can be rather satisfying. He is a champion that punishes enemy mistakes and thrives in situations where he is in an extended fight.

Early laning with Darius is all about positioning, gaining advantages by being a natural lane bully and forcing mistakes out of your lane opponent. You are in control of the lane against most champions right from Level One so you must use that to your advantage to gain a foothold in the lane.

As easily as it is to be kited on Darius, one of his historical weak points. You yourself as a Darius actually look to kite the enemy a lot in lane and position yourself with your Q harass and short trades with an Auto+W. You want be trying to force them to either make a mistake and look for windows of opportunity to catch them into bad / extended trades or all-ins.

All the while you are harassing and forcing your enemy into bad trades you want to be mindful to play around your power spikes in lane. Darius while being quite strong at level One also has a very strong Level 2, 3 and 6 Power Spikes. He also has another one at level 11.

It is common for a Darius to look to have an extended trade or All-In at levels 1-2 against an opponent with Q and/or W up. Your Q will deal a lot of damage initially and your W will slow them, and give you a valuable auto attack reset and allow you to stick to them often forcing a flash. Not very many champions can fight Darius Levels 1 or 2, even up to level 3.

Again at level 3 you will have all three abilities available which can give you all the tools you need to keep a fleeing enemy close to you extending the trade / All-In.

Finally at level 6 is your huge power spike as you will have your Ultimate to deal a lot of damage and attempt to execute your enemy laner.

Level One VS Melee: Right from Level One (if you are stronger than they are) you want to literally force the enemy champion off of the wave so you can dictate the lane and keep them away from getting any CS. They should respect your level early power over them otherwise they will get punished.

Cheese Strat: Often times if you know your Level One is far superior to theirs you can start W and subsequently hide in the furthest most bush and wait for them to enter lane as the minion waves crash into each other. Walk up behind them and get a quick Auto+W+Auto combo on them to chunk them out quickly. You want to walk them all the way back to their tower hitting them along the way. If they don't immediately disengage or subsequently flash away from you, just pop ghost and look to all-in them and either kill or force them out of lane early. Once done you should have complete control of the lane at this point.

Level Two and Three VS Melee: If you haven't already this is the point where you start becoming more dangerous. Keep exerting your pressure on your opponent; if you are able to freeze the wave on your side of the map it will be huge in extending any lead you have and forcing your opponent to play overextended. Often times if they are overextended in such a long lane you will be able to use Ghost to your advantage to run them down and kill them if they misplay or you get a good trade against them. (Few Exceptions)

Level Six VS Melee: This is where you become your most dangerous. You can now completely annihilate the enemy champion and are able to easily 2v1 ganks if played well enough. This is Darius' first major power spike and every champion should show you respect at this point.

Level One VS Ranged: Depending on the champion you will take harass and poke when you attempt to CS and you want to stand behind your wave instead of in front. Certain ranged matchups you can attempt to cheese or abuse early but it's not many. Look for a Decimate (Q) start and harass as such, which can also heal back some of their harass if you land accordingly.

Level Two and Three VS Ranged: You really don't gain any level of control in most ranged matchups until level 2 or 3 where you have your full kit, minus ult, available to you to punish them if they get too close or misposition in lane. If they are pushing the wave onto your side of the map, which you should always do as it forces them to play extended, this is where you can attempt to either freeze or you can look to run them down with Ghost if you are able to do so, provided the enemy minion wave isn't massive.

Level Six VS Ranged: This is where you become your most dangerous and if you are able force the enemy to play extended your All-In becomes far more lethal. Just run them down with Ghost to net an easy kill. Most ranged champions are extremely squishy and are easy to kill once you're on top of them.

I will be uploading videos to YouTube which I will link here detailing early game and levels 1-6 in many different situations.

Wave Management
As Darius you are a natrual lane bully and often times as such you will find yourself in control of the lane and the wave. Wave management requires patience; a lot of it. If you find yourself impatient and just mindlessly shoving lane, csing minions and constantly at the foot of their tower. It will attract even more jungler attention and put yourself at risk to dying.

One thing worse than just dying in lane; is dying in lane as a massive wave crashes into your tower and you lose all of that gold and EXP. Not only at that point are you a kill and 300 Gold behind, but you are even more gold depending on the size of the wave and . So wave management is extremely important.

Ideally in almost every matchup you want to look to freeze the wave on your side of the map as much as possible. Against ranged opponents this is much more difficult to do but is equally important.

If you want a full guide on how manage waves and freeze them as well, here is a link to one below. It was published in 2018 but all of the same rules apply.

With freezing the wave this gives you many advantages.

One: It forces the enemy laner to play extended and often over extended in a long lane. It makes them more susceptible to ganks and dying to your all-ins as they have farther to walk back to the safety of their tower.

Two: It allows you more safety in lane vs ganks and their own all-ins as you are closer to your own tower.

Three: Allows you to easily zone them off the wave so they lose more CS and EXP if you are able to keep them far enough away. This is how you can further build upon a lead against them early without entirely needing to just kill them. Aside from gold, XP is also extremely important.

Four: If the enemy wants to break the freeze often times they will need to look to play into you more, opening themselves up to harass, taking bad trades or a potential all in.

Five: If you are behind in lane it will allow you to be able to catch back up in CS and EXP.
Team Fights
Darius is a team fighter, straight up. His biggest strengths are being in the thick of fights, dishing out damage, locking down a target and executing them. Although he can be very dangerous in a 1v1 he excels in team fights and skirmishes far more.

With that being said, Darius is not the one to initiate most team fights. Smaller skirmishes (e.g. 2v2, 3v3) he can be the one you can rely on to catch an enemy to initiate but full 5v5 fights unless you have no other option he isn't the best at doing so.

Darius' role in a team fight is to kite around the enemy as much damage as possible and attempt to lock up a single target to which he can gain 5 stacks of his passive on to proc it, then spreading that passive to other more valuable targets, if he isn't on his desired target initially, for him to spread his 5 stack passive to Ult and execute them.

As a Darius often times you want the fight to already be engaged and ongoing before you make your move; you want them to use their initial abilities and CC if possible to reduce the likelihood of you getting locked down. Often times you look to flank the enemy in a fight and catch them off guard.

In order to effectively play your part in fights you want a team comp that has some reliable engage and other beefy front line champions, preferably a tank Jungler or Support with good engage tools. If you're the only tanky member on your team and they have tanks with engage and subsequent follow up, you might not have a good time in team fights come the mid and late game, unless you and/or your team were able to snowball early.

Mythic Item Breakdown
Trinity Force With Stridebreaker's nerf and Tri-Force's changes a few patches ago it has become the Go-To Darius Legendary again. It provides you with burst on your W with Sheen proc, ramping AD from the item passive, attack speed, HP, and a nice Mythic bonus. You can become extremely strong early if ahead with this item as a Sheen Proc'd W can annihilate squishy targets.

Stridebreaker: This was your number #1 Mythic that you would get 95% of the time, but it got nerfed into the ground and you lost your dash, upside is you gained some HP but it is negligible. It still gives you everything you could possibly need as a Darius: attack damage, attack speed, health, move speed, and a move speed Mythic Bonus but its nowhere as strong as it used to be. You're often best served going Tri-Force now in most situations.

Turbo Chemtank: An underrated item on Darius but it's great for survivability and being able initiate and chase down enemies in team fights. Only take this if you're going tank and looking to front line for your team.

Goredrinker: This is a good item but it isn't as good on Darius as some would believe. This item should be rarely taken and you only really have a good use for it if you're gonna be a frontline tank and are building a lot of tank items and you're looking to stay in extended fights to make use of it. Also it's best when the enemy team doesn't have a lot of damage either as it will allow you to stay in the fight longer; get low use the active in a fight and heal back up.
Typical Legendaries Breakdown
Sterak's Gage: This item is amazing on Darius and it helps you out tremendously in team fights. Sterak's gives Darius more HP and AD and allows him survive longer in said team fights with its healing passive and lifeline shield that lasts 5 seconds. It is a very strong item on Darius.

Take Sterak's 2nd 95% of the time.

Gargoyle Stoneplate: An underrated item on Darius. It is very strong as it gives you Armor and MR and a massive shield when in the middle of team fights. This item will give you a lot of survivability in fights where you can stay long enough to get your 5 stack passive and start dishing out a lot of damage.

You definitely want to take this early on, after Streaks, if you really need that extra survivability in fights. This combines extremely well with the shield you get from Sterak's Gage. This item really shines when you have a lot of bonus HP and resists to take advantage of it's passive and active most effectively. Often times you can also take this as one of your only resistance items as well as it's so good at keeping you alive.
Situational Legendaries Breakdown
Deadman's Plate: This gives you much needed armor against AD enemies and extra HP. But most importantly it gives you move speed to be able to catch up to enemies quickly to either initiate or chase down along with its passive that deals extra damage and slows the enemy when you first hit something.

Titanic Hydra: Titanic really shines once Darius gets other defensive items afterwards. If you’re already ahead early it helps him snowball the game too.

Flat 500 HP from the item effectively increases your survivability more than resists when you buy it if you’re ahead or even early. As a Darius you should more than likely be ahead of your lane opponent early on. The HP and the subsequent AD it provides is more valuable than getting any resistances at that point in the game.

Because of this the high HP you gain along with the increasing AD as you build more HP as the game progresses when you build straight tank afterwards, it maximizes your survivability. You will gain increasing AD as the game goes on from this item further increasing its value.

Anathema's Chains A new item introduced several patches ago. It has one purpose, to reduce damage taken by up to 30% from one specific target. This item is bonkers and extremely underrated, especially on Darius. It gives you so much survivability and dueling potential against almost any enemy you're bound to come across. I often find myself building this on Darius quite often, especially if the enemy has a problematic carry, tank or split pusher that is just melting me or causing a lot of problems in fights or 1v1s later into the game. It's extremely effective when going up against enemy tops that outscale you hard late, such as Fiora.

Death's Dance: A good item that gives you AD and Armor and allows you to continue your snowball in fights where you are able to kill/ult enemies as the passive gives you move speed along with a heal. You really only want to get this item if they're almost all AD, like 4 to 5 champs that are AD. It does work very well when combo'd with a Sterak's Gage.

Force of Nature: This item was reintroduced back into the game for Season 11 and has had some changes. It is actually pretty underrated on Darius as not only does it give HP and MR it gives Move speed as well which again is a great stat for Darius to catch enemies. It's passive additionally grants you extra move speed and MR when being his by abilities.

ONLY take this if they have a lot of AP you need the movespeed to catch them. But right now with Stridebreaker, Deadman's Plate and the reworked Black Cleaver, after 11.5, it might not be needed to have the extra movespeed unless you really need it so Spirit Visage would be a great pickup instead.

Spirit Visage: Great stats to survive against AP damage. The healing bonus is also amazing when you hit with your Q. If you need straight up MR it's either this or Force of Nature. Just a preference if you feel you need the extra health regen or the movepeed of FoN. Spirit Visage is generally the better MR item due to it's extra healing and regen and Darius' has a lot of movespeed from other items now.

Black Cleaver: The rework of BC is pretty good and it's a great anti-tank/anti -armor item especially if you find yourself in extended duels with an enemy tank and teams with a lot of armor. Black Cleaver was just had a pretty nice change with patch 11.5, it now gives you 5 movespeed per stack of it's passive. This gives you much more sticking power to enemies in a fight as you continue to hit them and your passive bleed stacks on them continue to proc the Black Cleaver passive. This will net you up to 30 bonus movespeed. This change is pretty nice for Darius.

Is this item now a must build? Maybe? It shreds armor so its mostly good into tanky team comps but the extra movespeed is very nice.

Thornmail: Yet another staple Anti-AD and heal cut Item; this item is good but really only take it if you need a heal cut and they have lot of healing and AD on their team. Otherwise your money is best spent on Chempunk Chainsword instead if you need the healcut and don't have to worry much about their physical damage or don't have a lot of enemy champs that will Auto you consistently. Often times you will go Bramblevest early into some matchups but not finish it until very late or ditch it for another item if you built Chempunk Chainsword.

Silvermere Dawn: This is a very situational, underrated and often last item to be built. It is actually amazing. It provides you with AD, HP and MR and a quicksilver effect to remove all disables. The huge bonus it provides other than the Remove CC is that it will increase your tenacity and slow resistance for 3 seconds afterwards. This is a very useful item if the enemy team is heavy CC and you're having trouble against them in fights.

Chempunk Chainsword This Item is amazing against healing heavy teams or teams with a lot of lifesteal or omnivamp. A lot champs are building it nowadays. This is a great pickup if you don't go Thornmail.

Ravenous Hydra: A great AD item with omnivamp. This is strictly a damage item for Darius to increase his damage output; the AoE is nice as well for team fights and the vamp will give him sustain in prolonged fights but this item isn't that great on Darius and its an Either/Or choice with Titanic Hydra. This is relegated to a snowball pubstomp pickup when you're massively ahead of the enemy.
12/28/2020: Created

12/29/2020: Updated Items and Early Lane section.

01/08/2021: Updated Matchups, Items, etc.

01/25/2021: Updated Matchups.

1/29/2021: Updated Items.

02/05/2021: Updated Early Lane and Wave Management chapters.

02/10/2021: Updated Matchups.

02/18/2021: Updated for 11.4, Updated Matchups

03/01/2021: Updated Matchups, Added Viego Matchup

03/07/2021: Updated for 11.5, Updated Matchups and Items

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide