[12.1] Lord of Top Lane; A Darius Guide
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Runes: Primary Runes
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Standard
Threats & Synergies
DANGEROUS!!! --- This is a skill matchup in your favor. --- His Q is what you really need to watch out for. It is extremely similar to Riven's Q as it has three charges.---You want to avoid the tail end of his first two Qs and the very center of his third Q as they deal massive damage and knock up enemies. The animations are very telegraphed and can be dodged easily if you're quick enough.---Be careful of his dash which he can cast during all of his other abilities animations, especially on the third cast of his Q as it deals a lot of damage and can allow him to quickly reposition himself to hit you with a Q .--- If he hits more than one of his max dmg Q's on you then you lose the trade or fight almost every single time.--- Avoid his W as it will slow, tether and pull you into the center after a short period of time which will allow him to be able to combo all of his Q's onto you. Just run out if you do get hit before it goes off.---Take Steelcaps and Executioners or Bramblevest early as they will counter him very well and cut down his healing. I prefer Bramblevest at the armor provides you extra survivability.
DANGEROUS!!! --- Akali is very strong and can deal a lot of damage as she has some insane burst, her poke is deadly as well. ---She has to get close to deal her damage which is good news for you.----You can win early but be careful of her all in at 6. Do not underestimate her damage and try not to take her Q poke in lane or let her get free empowered autos on you.--- Do not fight her in her smoke as it will allow her to deal free damage.---Do not miss your Q's and don't take bad trades. Build some MR and HP early to negate some of her burst if you're having trouble.
EASY LANE!!!--- She can't fight you 1v1 in all ins as you will out damage her.--- Kite her and harass with Q, her E is very telegraphed but can be hard to dodge or kite away from.--- Don't underestimate her gank assist and ability to gap close or escape with her Hookshot (E).--- If you are good enough you can Apprehend (E) her out of her Hookshot so look for those opportunities.--- Do not Apprehend (E) her if her Hookshot is available as she will always get away from you. Again you want to save it to cancel her Hookshot whenever she does try to escape.
Fairly easy lane.--- He can't fight you early, avoid his Q's and Kite away from his E procs where he has to Auto you.---Once he reaches 6 he becomes dangerous as his ult is an execute like yours that deals a large amount of flat true damage. So do not get below half hp around him if you aren't actively trying to all in him.--- Should be an easy lane but he does scale very well into the late game and can get very tanky. --- A Cleaver wouldn't be a bad option against him if you're struggling and he's stacking armor.
ANNOYING.--- This is a fairly easy lane as long as you aren't braindead. --- Don't get hit with Cleaver spam, so stand behind minions and make sure to position properly, He can't fight you early either so harass him with Q and pull him in and force a fight if he walks up to farm or mispositions in lane. Freeze lane as his wave clear isn't the best. You want to run him down with Ghost and kill him.--- He can outscale you very well and can be a problem to deal with once he gets tankier and has more items later on in the game. If he's fed he can 1v9 and be impossible to kill but you win this hard early which is why you want to crush him before he becomes a problem.--- If his healing is a problem, get an Executioners.
Skill Matchup.--- Do night fight her levels 1 and 2. You want to freeze lane against her and trade with Q.--- If a vital appears that is facing her, look to get out of vision to reset it to another direction. Fiora will look to do the same to you if the vital isn't in a good location relative to her so follow her a bit but don't overextend so she doesn't reset it and get a good vital location.---Don't get poked down by her with Vital procs. Look to punish if she goes in with her Lunge (Q ) to proc a vital trade back with a Q but you have to be quick as procing a vital for her gives her MS for a short duration to be able to kite away.---Be very careful of her Riposte (W) as she will be able to stun you with it and block your E. Try and bait it out of her if you can. Even if you are stunned you don't want to fight after she Ripostes (E) because it applies an Attack Speed slow as well which will allow her out trade you.---Again try to punish her mistakes.---Go Steelcaps and even a Bramblevest in lane to be able to out fight her and win all ins.---She does outscale you late and can 1v9 the game if fed. So look to get ahead early and close out the game.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!!
Garen can be a fairly easy lane. But if you ever get too far behind he can dominate you. --- You have better poke and trade potential wtih your Q. If you're looking to all in try and save your W and/or E until after he uses his Q as it removes all slows. You want to trade against him with Q whenever he walks up to CS as you can out range him in the regard. He has to walk into you to trade which is to your advantage. Extend the trade if he tries to walk away to come out on top. --- Both of you want extended trades and can ramp up damage quickly till your opponent is low enough to execute. Like your ult his deals true damage so building HP and Armor for the rest of his kit is the best defense against it.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!! --- Gnar can be an annoying lane and his Mega form is deceptively strong. He is able to kite you very well as he has a slow, a hop/dash and move speed procs in his kit. --- Play safe early, avoid his Boomrang (Q) and look to punish when he makes any mistakes. His Mega form has a stun and so does his Ult in Mega form if you collide with terrain so try not to fight him near any walls when he's in Mega. --- You can win this lane if played well but more often than not you may not get a kill or any clear advantage and just look to scale and team fight. --- Best time to fight him and all in him is after he comes out of Mega form as he won't be able to get it for a period of time. You don't want to fight him too much before then as he will gain HP, resists and damage when he does change over.
ANNOYING!!! --- Gragas has been and off and on Top lane pick since his rework into more of an Tanky AP Bruiser several seasons ago. --- Recently in Season 11 due to the item changes and incremental buffs to him throughout Season 10; he's seeing a lot more play in the Top Lane now. --- Gragas is extremely annoying to lane against as he can lock you down and neutralize you in lane and then later on in team fights. His base damages and even his AP Ratios are fairly high so he can hurt, but also his innate tankiness and kit make it very hard to lock him down and kill him in lane as well. --- If anything this is a farm lane so just look to play safe and don't die to ganks. --- Also do not try and all-in him on his side of lane or near his tower as he can use his Ultimate to knock you into tower.
DANGEROUS---Illaoi like you is a lane bully. She will look to E you to take your spirit out and start whacking it with abilities and her tentacles to deal a portion of damage to you. If she does this walk out of range to negate the damage. It will slow you and spawn a tentacle when you do this so dodge those nor go near any other tentacles as they will try and slam you while under the debuff.---DO NOT FIGHT HER when she has a clone of you up as she will out trade you every single time. Just run out of the radius before she can deal too much damage to it.---Again watch out for tentacles and their slams, her W will proc a slam. Tentacles will slam Clones and her ult will make more tentacles and proc slams too.---Play heavily around her cooldowns and wait for mistakes. Don't take too many extended trades especially if she has tentacles around or creates a clone of you.---If she ults near you, flash away to either avoid the initial tentacle proc and subsequent hits or to miss the ult completely. If she misses her ult on you it fizzles out and deals no damage. There is a split second as her Ult casts you can flash away to avoid all the damage but it is hard to time.--- If you avoid her Ult this is also a good time to all-in her as most of her damage will be gone.
DANGEROUS!!! --- This is a skill lane in Darius' favor but Irelia can still beat you easily if you make dumb plays. ---Like you she thrives in extended trades or fights where she can stack up her passive. Her passive stacks off of autos and ability hits to champions and it gives her extra AS and at max stacks an additional flat AS proc along with extra on hit damage. --- She will more than likely zip around lane with her Q that refreshes CD when it kills or hits anything that was recently hit by her stun or ult. This makes her hard to lock down, especially in the middle of a minion wave so be mindful of when you want to go for Q harass as she can just dash away or right into you negating it. --- Dodge her Stun; if you don't you'll probably lose the trade and the all-in. Play around her cooldowns and punish any mistakes she makes.
ANNOYING and DANGEROUS!--- Jax can be a very rough matchup if not played properly and is one of the few champions that can beat you at levels 1-3. If you let him get a kill on you or get too far behind it's over and you won't be able to 1v1 him or even trade against him period.--- Many Jax will want to rush BotRK and is heavily auto-attack based so you always want to get Steelcaps and Armor, usually a bramblevest to negate some of his damage and healing.--- What you want to do is contest the first wave but be careful. If he reaches 2 before you he can jump on you and stun you and win the trade and all-in.--- KITE HIM!!! Kiting him and utitlizing your range against him is the best way to play around Jax and to beat him.--- Whenever you Q many will jump onto you or away to avoid the outer edge of your Q so be mindful.--- You can win against him at 6 but do not fight or all in him if you are low hp as he will more than likely kill you before you can reach 5 stacks and ult him.--- Also whenever he looks to Counterstrike into you, you can Apprehend (E) him to displace him briefly and slowing him allowing you to walk out of his range to stun you but look to do this only after he has used his jump or right at the end of his counterstrike otherwise you will have wasted your Apprehend (E) and he jumps right to you anyway---If you do get stunned immediately W and Q him as you walk out to trade back damage and heal.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!! --- This is a Skill Matchup. --- Jayce is a glass cannon; he can dish out a lot of damage very quickly and poke you down but he is extremely fragile. --- If you can get on top and stick to him you can run him down and kill him in an all-in. --- The problem is avoiding a lot of his poke and being able to put yourself in a position to all-in him in the first place. --- Avoid his Q poke and don't take free autos. (Run Second Wind and a Dorans Shield to cut down the effectiveness of his Poke, rush Steelcaps also) --- He is very mana hungry unless he builds a tear early so try and use his mana costs to your advantage. --- Be wary of his knockback in melee form so try not to use your Apprehend (E) until after he does so. --- A good way to negate the knock back is to walk up Crippling Strike (W) him for the slow, he should then proceed to use his knockback if he switches to or is in melee form and as he's slowed get in range to Apprehend (E) him as he will not have any escapes or gap closers afterwards unless he uses Flash.
You can Crush this lane pre-6 as she is weak early before she has range on her autos. --- Best strategy is to let her push to your side so she's overextended; then proceed to freeze and you can run her down with Ghost for a kill if you're in position to do so. --- You want to absolutely shut her down early and dumpster her in lane and get as far ahead in CS and Kills early as she will outscale you late and become a 1v9 monster. --- After 6 when she has her ult, obviously wait until after she ults to use yours. You can try to burst her early in the all-in before she ults with your own ult as most will expect you to use it as an execute but it isn't always reliable. Often times you Just have to extend the all-in and kite her with Ghost if she's getting you low.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!! --- I haven't seen Kennen much lately but he can be rather annoying to lane against. --- Good thing is that in the current meta he is generally weak in all phases of the game. He's just not that strong at the moment. --- Start Doran's Shield and take Second Wind to minimize any poke you take. --- With that being said just avoid his Q poke and try not to take free harass from him. --- If you're having trouble you can go Merc Treads for the additional Tenacity for his stuns and to cut down on his damage; further still a Spectre's Cowl is a good buy too. --- This will most likely be a boring lane as he shouldn't look to get anywhere near you if he can help it. --- But If he does manage to walk near you or Phase Rushes around or into you just Crippling Strike (W) to slow and Apprehend (E) him in if he's attempting to getting away; this will usually result in him blowing flash otherwise he's dead. --- He's very similar to Teemo but his poke is nowhere near as oppressive. If you can get on top of him and lock him down he's dead. Just be careful of his stun and his Ult as gives him tremendous gank assist and the ability to kite and get away from you if you're not careful. --- Later on in the game his team fighting and skirmishing with his Ult is good but once he expends his combo he's more or less useless afterwards. ---
DANGEROUS!!! --- Although rarely seen, I've only played against a handful top ever. Yet she has been picking up some play in the top lane as a cheese pick into certain matchups. --- Fair warning she will wreck you in lane and kite you. Do not attempt to fight her or get too close to her at any point in the lane phase without jungler help or a massive misplay by her. She will more than likely keep you under tower, DO NOT let her freeze lane on her side of the map. --- Her Q allows her to be mobile and hard to lock down, Whenever she W's you, get out of range of wolf as he deals extra damage to you. If she E's you back away immediately as she will deal massive amounts of damage to you after the 3rd Auto and if she has PTA as many will take it's a near death sentence for you if you stay too long. Early on she will out damage and out trade you and kill you in all-ins unless she is somehow low on HP already.--- Level 1 you can maybe fight her and bully her off the wave but it isn't recommended. Levels 2-6 it is her lane. Her Level 3 spike is ridiculous and if she is able to get her full combo and multiple autos off on you and is able to proc her E on the third auto she can kill you very easily and very quickly. --- This matchup gets much easier the later in the game as you get items and get tankier. --- Steelcaps and Armor is a must as is Stridebreaker to be able to slow her and prevent her from kiting you. She can still kill you later in the game but you have the advantage when on even footing, but if she has gotten ahead or you've fallen too far behind in the mid-late game it's over for you. --- As per usual you want to bait out her Ult before using yours.
DANGEROUS!! --- Kled is extremely strong. --- Do not take extended trades with him unless his W passive is down. So either let him use it on minions, etc or bait it out of him. It deals a large portion of his damage. --- His Q is a skillshot that will latch onto and pull you into him. If he does just walk away from him before the pull in. It deals a fair amount of damage. --- You'll want to play around these cooldowns to beat him. --- Also DO NOT ULT SKAARL. You want to force him off Skaarl before you ult otherwise he will still be alive. --- He is extremely immobile while on foot but still dangerous. If he fills up his passive bar by attacking he can remount and gain HP with Skaarl but only once. You want to avoid this if at all possible so you want to kill him or force him out of lane before that happens.
DANGEROUS!!! --- He deals a lot of damage early, especially with PTA. --- Start Doran's Shield and take Second Wind. --- Avoid standing directly behind your minions as his Q goes thru them and it can hit you. You will more than likely get shoved in early and get denied CS and will get kited but if he missplays you can get onto him and kill him. --- Bait out his dash before you Apprehend (E) him back in. and DO NOT stand in front of his Ult for any extended period as it will melt you. --- This is an oppressive lane early but it gets easier as time goes on, it's similar to Quinn.
Regardless if he's AP or AD he's very annoying to deal with. His Mana costs are high early so abuse that if he tries to poke too much or is wasteful with it. --- You can't avoid his Q poke unless you stay far out of range or play the Brush so just look to last hit and avoid his other abilities. --- Do not walk up unless you're looking to fight or he is low on mana. --- His Gound Slam slows your attack speed considerably so look to use your Cripping Strike (W) as an Auto reset after he does so to maximize your damage against him in a trade. --- At level 6 he becomes extremely dangerous so be careful. If he's AP he can deal an extreme amount of damage. --- Most Malphites will look to poke you down with Q before just Ulting onto and comboing killing you. Easiest way to avoid this is just to all-in him early and crush him in lane. His Q slows you and grants him MS so Ghost is a must if you want to win lane, so kite him. --- If he's tank Malphite he will be extremely hard to kill the longer the game goes on so build items accordingly if you're looking to be able to kill him in a 1v1 situation.
ANNOYING!!! --- You won't see many Top in the current meta as he is a pretty OP support at the moment. --- If you do find yourself against one he is extremely annoying to deal with, is very tanky, has lots of sustain and a lot of CC that will lock you down in fights. His gank assist is extremely high so don't overextend too much in lane so keep tabs on the enemy jungler. --- He doesn't deal a lot of damage overall throughtout the course of a game but his base damages are still very high early in lane. Most will go tank which will make him very hard to kill as the game progresses and on top of that his sustain with his passive will make him even harder to kill in lane when trading regularly, many times he will just sustain back up any harass or trades you get into him. Be careful of the Brush as he can still deal a surprising amount of damage with his Saplings when they are placed there. --- You can win in lane by playing smart and around his cooldowns, don't take bad trades, be mindful of the brush and his saplings and don't overextend. You should be fine but you may not get ahead.
DANGEROUS!!! --- Like you he is a lane bully. Also like you he thrives in extended trades and fights. where he can ramp up damage with his own Passive. --- Avoid his Q slams especially isolated one as it will deal massive amounts of damage especially since it was recently buffed. --- KIte him 24/7 as you do not want to stand in his passive or eat isolated Q's. --- You do not want to fight him inside his ult period; just kite him and stay alive. You can kill him after his ult ends. If you are having serious trouble against you can build a QSS which will completely negate his ult.
You win hard against Nasus early. ---Just walk up and force him out of lane as he cannot take any extended trades against you pre-6. --- The only problem is that he will eventually outscale and absolutely destroy you in the mid to late game. So if you want to win you need to absolutely demolish him and be as oppressive as possible early. --- Only problem is if you're extended in lane his jungler can gank you easily. --- If you can at any point freeze the lane on your side it will go a long way to getting you ahead. Some will look to max their AoE early to poke you down and clear waves so be mindful.
DANGEROUS!!! --- Not many Olaf tops around but I see it occasionally. DO NOT FIGHT HIM LEVELS 1 or 2.--- Like you he thrives in extended trades as he deals more damage the lower HP he is due to his passive increasing his AS the lower he is. He also has Lifesteal from his W so he can heal up quite a bit. --- Just make smart trades, avoid his Axe (Q) harass and at level 6 you can All-In him. --- Build Steelcaps and Bramblevest. --- Once he gets Goredrinker you may not be able to fight him anymore unless you're ahead and have a heal cut. It is absolutely busted on him at the moment.
ANNOYING!!! --- Ornn is deceptively strong and can get very tanky and hard to deal with. --- DO NOT stand in front of his Bellows Breath and do not get hit by the last tick as it will proc Brittle on you. --- Once you have Brittle on you back away as it will deal a large amount of damage if he autos you. --- Make short trades early, at Level 3 you can start winning the lane. His trading is extremely strong but his All-In is a bit lack luster while yours is much stronger. So do not go for short trades against him; at 3 and after force all-in's or extended trades to force him out of lane. --- Asidd avoiding his Bellows Breath and Brittle Autos avoid getting his by his Q and stay away from any terrain to not get knocked up. If you can avoid most or all of his abilities this lane is pretty free. But if you every get behind he will snowball on you extremely hard.
DANGEROUS!!!--- Pantheon deals absurd damage and with his recent buffs he doesn't fall off in the late game nearly as hard anymore.---Try and bait out his Aegis Assault (E) that blocks all damage from a give direction for 1.5 seconds before going in.--- You want to heavily play around his cooldowns to win lane. Never stay in lane with low HP as his Q acts as an execute dealing massive damage to low HP enemies.---- Good new is you can win this lane, just trade with Q and avoid his own Q poke and thrown spears. Spears aren't as dangerous when thrown as they deal much less damage after going thru any subsequent enemies after the first so hide behind your minions when he is looking to thrown one at you. He can also thrust with his Q in melee as well and this will deal full damage so be careful.---- A common trade combo for Pantheon is to get max passive stacks, W to stun, use his empowered Auto from W, then Q you and finish up with his E to block most return damage to him as he backs away.--- Whenever he is MIA after 6 PING IT. His ult can allow him to get to almost anywhere on the map extremely quickly so let your team know when he's gone from lane.
ANNOYING!!! --- Poppy is a fairly easy lane but she can get pretty tanky and has good disengage and utility. --- Don't stand between her and terrain as she can stun you by knocking you into it. --- You can cancel her R with your Apprehend (E) so try and save it for when she charges it up. Don't stand in her Q AoE either so keep moving. --- Just run circles around her and kite with Ghost.
DANGEROUS!!! --- Quinn is extremely dangerous and is often used as a counter pick against melee tops; especially Darius. --- Take Doran's Shield and Second Win to minimize poke. --- Don't take free poke, let her shove the lane into you and make her play overextended. If you can lock her down you can kill her after 6; just play safe and don't get poked down too much before then, often you may have to give up CS. --- Use your E on her Vault dash. You want to use your E as soon as you see her dash into you to negate hers. It's tricky to pull off and requires quick reflexes and often times you just want to predict it as it is extremely difficult to time correctly.--- You can't E her after she Vaults into you as she will be out of range after the knock back. If you do manage to land your E and cancel her Vault then it's usually a free kill. Blow your Ghost and run her down like the dog she is.
DANGEROUS!!! --- This Croc means business. He has a dash, a stun, an AoE that heals and an ultimate that can negate yours. --- This is winnable but trade accordingly. He does fall off harder late game than you but his early-mid game power spike is just as powerful as yours. --- He can deal a lot of damage very quickly with a few combos of his so be careful. --- Many Renektons will rush BotRK. It along with his empowered W will deal massive amounts of damage so BEWARE! --- Steelcaps and Bramblevest are good buys into him.
Kitty in Top? Rare but it happens. Don't take early fights when he has his Ferocity stacked. Don't let him take short trades against you. You want to punish him for coming into melee range so extend the trades to where you can out damage him; don't let him just abuse brush against you either. --- This lane is pretty easy; you can often times just run him down with Ghost.
This is a Skill matchup in your favor. --- She has tons of mobility and can dodge your Q and E easily so play heavily around her cooldowns. --- Watch for her third Q which is very telegraphed as to how she will use it. It has a knock up. --- She also has a short dash and a stun. She can't take extended trades or fights against you early. --- A common way for her to trade is usually Q/Auto > Stun > Auto > Q/Dash away to deal a lot of damage quickly when trading. --- DO NOT let her trade for free. --- Her Ult is extremely strong so be careful. Do not stay in lane if you are low hp, period. Her burst damage with or without ult is very high and a good Riven can combo you very quickly. --- Later on in the game she outscales you in damage heavily but you can get ahead early to mid.
ANNOYING!!! --- Don't stand in front of him and eat the entirety of Flamespitter (Q) as will deal tons of damage to you, especially when he's high on Heat (His Passive). --- You want to play back off of your minions and avoid his Harpoons (E). --- Make short trades with Q and punish his mistakes. --- If you can close the gap on him and all-in him you can beat him most of the time. Use your Ghost to kite him. --- DO NOT FIGHT in his Ultimate!!!
DANGEROUS!!! --- Sett is one of the few champions that can fight and win against Darius level 1-2. This is a skill matchup --- Avoid getting hit by his Stun so don't let him stand between you and one of your minions. --- Side step his W; especially if it is fully empowered as it will deal a massive amount of true damage in the center. You want to play around it heavily in lane. It has a long cooldown early so look to abuse him if he's recently used it. --- BE CAREFUL as he can reposition himself with Flash before he W damage goes off to be able to hit you when you think you've avoided it. --- You want to kite him and use Ghost to your advantage to beat him. --- Do not stand between him and his tower post-6 as he can ult you right into it and after that you're probably dead. --- You don't want to outright fight him early; just trade with Q and make short trades and kite him around. --- Whenever he does use his W just wait or his shield to fall off otherwise you're just wasting damage on it. It falls off quickly so no need to wait that long; just against make sure to avoid the center. --- One thing to not about his W is that it CANNOT be canceled with your Apprehend (E) it just repositions him so don't try it unless you're trying to avoid him hitting an ally perhaps. It's just something to note. --- Build Steelcaps early and get HP to counter the true damage if you happen to get by a W.
ANNOYING, DANGEROUS, ELO BOOSTER DOG!!! --- Shen is deceptively strong and his W will negate all auto attacks from you. --- Do not let his Spirit Sword go thru you when he recalls it to him with Q as it will buff his three Q autos to deal extra damage and give him an attack speed buff . He can deal a lot of damage very quickly with this. --- You can fight him Level 1 if he is bad but it isn't recommended. --- His Level 2 can be disgusting so play off minions and away from him if he's going to reach Level 2 first. If you walk into him he will just dash Taunt into you in the middle of a minion wave and get off three quick Q autos and half your health will be gone. --- Look to poke with your Q and try to dodge his Taunt (E). Sometimes you can tell when its coming depending on how he walks at or around you. Try and stay a good distance away to increase your chances to dodge it. --- Use Ghost to your advantage and kite him! --- You want extended trades against him as he will deal a lot more damage in short trades but try and bait out his W early and his passive shield then walk away before walking back in. Try and save your Apprehend (E) for his Dash away if you are winning the trade or fight. --- You can cancel his Ult with your Apprehend (E) so stop him from making cross map plays but a smart Shen will look to be far away from you when you do. --- You can win early into mid game but once he gets tanky he can be a handful to deal with late if you don't have the right items to go against him in a 1v1 situation.
ANNOYING AND EASY!!! --- He's annoying and can't fight you at all at any point in lane. --- You want to go Nimbus into Singed to be able to run him down. Don't mindlessly chase him unless you know you're going to catch him and kill him. --- Late game he can be pretty fast and annoying to deal with but still not an issue unless you're way behind for some reason and he is ahead. --- Don't stand too close to his tower with his Fling up as he will just fling you into tower. You can Crippling Strike (W) or Apprehend (E) him when he's going in for a Fling.
ANNOYING BUT EASY!!!--- Very Tanky and annoying to play against but this is a free lane. --- Don't let him free farm as his W passive grants him free health with every minion he kills. Make him earn every CS in lane. BULLY HIM!!! --- Avoid his E harass, he can also E a minion which knocks it in the direction he shouted and can hit you. It slows and reduces armor. His Q is a channeled knockup that renders him immobilzed. Your Apprehend (E) will cancel it while he's charging it up. If you don't want to use your E you can avoid it by moving away, often to the side, or even right thru him if you're right in front of him.--- He can additionally cancel it early to deal less damage and slow, there is a point where it will always knock up and this is telegraphed as his Axe will be right above his head and glows red. --- His W Shield is annoying as it can shield for quite a bit, after several seconds he can reactivate it before it expires or is destroyed to deal damage to all enemies around him. --- Avoid his ult if you can, if he gets off an ult where he has a long stun he can hit you with a max channel Q to deal a massive amount of damage.
Relatively easy ranged Top to lane against; you can dodge most of his abilities, he's short a ranged mage and you beat him in an all-in. You can sidestep his root and even if he does root and pull you it often times puts you in range to Apprehend (E) him pulling him right to you. --- As with any other ranged top, go Doran's Shield and Second Wind to minimize poke. --- Get executioners if he's giving you trouble with his healing. --- If you can freeze the wave on your side of the map it can set you up to run him down with Ghost.
DANGEROUS CHEESE!!! --- Tahm Kench will wreck you in lane if you aren't careful! Trade with Q from behind minions and don't trade autos or fight him straight up as he will always win. KITE HIM!!! --- If you lose to him early and die then lane is over at that point unless you get jungle help; the same is vice versa if you can get an early kill and are ahead then it's a free lane. --- This lane can be an extreme coin flip. His entire kit counters yours and he can't be fought straight up at almost any point early. He will outlast you in almost any fight. --- His Passive makes his auto attacks deal damage to you based his own max HP, the more HP and tankier he is the more damage he will deal to you. Also it stacks up Acquire Taste. Once at 3 stacks his Q will be empowered against you and it will allow him to use his R against you. --- His Q has a slow and will stun once empowered. --- His E is a shield he can create based on how much damage he has recently taken which can counter your ult if you're not careful. Additionally if he doesn't use his E his Grey Health will partially heal back any damage taken. His R will allow him to eat you to deal a large amount flat and missing % hp damage, if you're below half HP and you're not close to killing him you're probably dead. --- You can try to All-In him at 6-8 if you play right and trade well against him but he can be extremely difficult to deal with at all phases and especially post 6-8 and he gets items and levels.
ANNOYING!!! --- Not as hard as some people think. Yes he can harass you easy, yes he's mobile, yes he has a blind, yes he's got shrooms. --- Sadly for him he's squishy and once you're on top of him and have him locked down you can kill him. The problem is not taking too much poke or getting far behind first.--- Buy Doran's Shield and go Second Wind. Spectre's Cowl early is also an amazing buy into him to be able to survive his poke and sustain up. --- Don't take free poke and you will want to let him shove in your tower so you can run him down with Ghost when the time is right. He can get free poke on you under your tower as well so be careful when going up for last hits. --- Often times if you can get a gank from your jungler early on and kill him the lane becomes much easier. He usually plays overextended in lane so it shouldn't be too hard to get a gank from your jungler as he will be a free kill more often than not, especially Pre-6. But until then be prepared to play under tower. --- Post-6 make sure to alter your pathing and don't follow him in a straight line because of his Shrooms. BUY A SWEEPER! --- Once you have Stridebreaker this becomes easy to get on top and kill him, especially if you're ahead.
You can beat Urgot but he is dangerous when you're low HP as his ult is an execute just like yours. --- Keep kiting and moving away from him, watch for his dash (E) that also shields him. If you are able to dodge this just back away until his shield expires. --- Be mindful of his shotgun legs he will look to kite you and move in a circular pattern around you to maximize his damage. --- This is winnable just play smart.
Some people think Vayne is a hard counter to Darius but that isn't true. This is a skill matchup tho. She can kite you fairly well early so just look to minimize poke and try and farm up. If you can just let her shove lane into you so she will be forced to play extended. Avoid standing near walls. This matchup can wildly go into your favor once you hit 6 with ult, ghost and flash at your disposal. It can go even more so in your favor after you get your Stridebraker, especially if you get it early. If you hit 6 in lane before her and are in a position to, just all-in her to kill or force her out of lane. You can win this from 6 to 11 but after that once she's got levels and items it goes back into her favor as she scales harder than you and will be very difficult to 1v1 at any point. But that doesn't mean you can't win its just heavily favored for her late game.
Dangerous!!! --- Viego is deceptively strong and can deal a lot of damage. --- He can poke you down with his own Q repeatedly as he uses no mana, his Q outranges yours and is instant cast with no wind up. ---KITE HIM!!! --- He's similar to a Fiora where you want to grab Steelcaps and even a Bramblevest early to survive his damage as he will deal a lot. --- If you dodge his stun you can go in for a trade or all-in but you have to utilize your Ghost and kite him. This can be a difficult match up but its winnable. --- I'll post more as I familiarize myself with the matchup. As of now I've only played against Viego top a handful of times.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!! --- Vlad is extremely annoying in lane and can be very hard to lock down and kill. He's got a lot of sustain and great wave clear too. A good Vlad will be near impossible to kill or generate a lead on. So the lane is pretty much a farm fest most of the time. --- Don't take free poke and let him whittle you down cause he can kill you. --- Take Dorans Shield and Second Wind to negate his poke along with some MR. If I'm having trouble in lane sometimes I'll grab a Spirit Visage early to sustain better as well and negate his damage. --- If you can, try and freeze lane on your side of the map but it can be difficult as he can break freezes easy with his wave clear. --- Vlad shouldn't be able to beat you in a straight up all-in so again make sure you're not getting poked down. He can 1v9 late so don't let him get there. Once you have Stridebreaker this matchup gets easier.
DANGEROUS!!!---This matchup is not in your favor early. You want to try and freeze lane on your side. You want to be landing your Q's perfectly and KITE him as much as possible. You will need to utilitze Ghost in this matchup to be able to beat him.--- Do not stay in lane against him at low hp as he deals massive amounts of damage quickly, even if you're under turret as his Ult disables turrets.--- BE CAREFUL HE WILL LOOK TO FIGHT YOU AT LEVEL 3 AND SMASH YOU!!! --- Most Voli's will play back and just try and whittle you down with their E poke and once they hit level 3 they often times will look to all-in you with their full combo. If you do not kite back and dodge his E initially, you will lose the trade and even lose your life. Volibear is extremely strong early on and you have to play super crisp and utilitze your Ghost to it's fullest extend to beat a good Volibear. --- If you are behind at any point in lane you will not win against him. Period. He is just too strong and too tanky. Just look to play safe and scale. Ask for jungler help.---Get Steelcaps and Cleaver to help cut thru his armor and HP as he can get extremely tanky. If he is fed he can 1v9 the game, he'll be near impossible to kill and dish out tons of damage while doing so.
BAN OR DODGE!!! --- Monkey > Darius. This is a true counter pick to Darius. Wukong is extremely strong level 1 thru level 6 and beyond. --- He snowballs extremely hard and deals a ton of damage at almost all points in the game if he is even or ahead. --- The last thing you want to do is let him get a kill on you or get too far ahead. --- He is even worse than Jax when it comes to falling behind or giving up a kill as there is no way you can 1v1 him or do anything in lane other than stay under tower after that point and there is little counter play to him as Darius. --- His entire kit is suited perfectly to minimize and negate yours. --- He can dash into you avoiding Q, this dash also provides him with an attack speed steroid making him deal a lot of damage quickly. --- His own Q increases his auto range slightly, is an auto attack reset and deals a ton of damage and shreds your armor. --- His W generates a clone that autos you and mimics all of his abilities and makes himself invisible for a few seconds. --- His Ult can be cast twice and is a knock up that deals a ton of damage over a short period of time. --- Many Wukongs will look to try and trick you with their clone by using the stop command to sit in place and act as they used their W to generate a clone, as clones will stand in place and do nothing if not next to you or anything else. His Clone will always attack his most recent target so it can be hard to tell if he uses it right next to you. --- One saving grace is that your Bleed will reveal him when he does go invis. --- Overall just avoid this lane, seriously. Just dodge or Ban this champion
ANNOYING--- This can be an easy lane but if he gets too far ahead of you its over.---Don't fight him levels 1 or 2 as he will out damage you.---Don't take free harass so Avoid his Q knockups, unless he dash-Q's into you that isn't avoidable. If he has his Tornado up and Q or Dash Q's into you then immediately use your Apprehend (E) to pull him in which will briefly displace him and prevent his Ult from being cast during the knockup.---He can't fight you after 3 as you will out trade him and out damage him, so run him down and kill him if it goes in your favor.---He will often look to dash right thru or away from you to avoid Q so be mindful of that. He can deal a lot of damage very quickly with his knockup, auto, ult combo.--- You can get ahead and win lane against him but he does outscale you and 1v9 the game if he's fed or its gone too late.--- Go Steelcaps into him to cut down a lot of his damage as it is mostly Autos.
ANNOYING AND DANGEROUS!!! --- In the mid to late game Yorick can 1v9 and absolutely wreck you. So it is your job to punish him early and get ahead of him to be effective once the mid-late game arrives before he becomes a split push monster. --- You beat Yorick straight up at level 1, use it to your advantage. You want to force him off the wave and keep him out of EXP range and away from cs. He knows he can't beat you at level 1-2 so if he tries to walk up to you; make him regret it. If you are able to get a kill and/or freeze the wave keep it in that position as much as possible to maximize your lead and help it grow over him.--- Aside from outright abusing him early you want to avoid his E spam, which if he has ghouls or maiden will make them jump to you and begin beating on you. You want to avoid getting caught in his cage which is buggy and render you unable to move and allow him and his ghouls to damage you for free and keeps you in his range. --- You want to constantly be moving and kiting Yorick; he is very immobile. -- If he has ghouls and/or Maiden alive; he has priority in the lane, period. You cannot fight him 1v1 with all of them up. You just have to kite and hope to outplay him and punish any mistakes he makes.
Champion Build Guide
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!
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.
MORE TO COME!!
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.
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.
MORE TO COME!
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.
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.
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.
12/29/2020: 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