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Darius Build Guide by Dystrex

Top [13.10] Darius' Ultimate Guide by Dystrex

Top [13.10] Darius' Ultimate Guide by Dystrex

Updated on May 18, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dystrex Build Guide By Dystrex 1316 92 2,513,645 Views 22 Comments
1316 92 2,513,645 Views 22 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Dystrex Darius Build Guide By Dystrex Updated on May 18, 2023
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Runes: Most Taken Runes

1 2 3
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+8 Magic Resist
+6 Armor


1 2
Almost Always
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

[13.10] Darius' Ultimate Guide by Dystrex

By Dystrex

Hello everyone, and welcome to my Darius guide! Before we get into it, let me tell you a bit about me. I created my League account in 2011 and started off in ranked during season 2. I fell deep into the depths of ELO heck, with my MMR at 700. This was in a time where bronze started at 1100 MMR and Iron didn't even exist. I was unranked, and a steaming pile of trash. Why is this important? Well, by the end of that season, I managed to get to Gold, and then in season 3, to DIAMOND. So I know the struggle of the climb, and what it takes to improve. My peak rank was Challenger in season 7, and that was when I had become a Darius One Trick Pony.

Now, as a disclaimer: I am writing this guide assuming you know NOTHING of Darius. Due to this fact, a lot of things will seem redundant, and I'll try to hammer in the most important parts of mastering Darius, no matter what your rank. A lot more goes into climbing than just knowing your champ, but I can assure you, if you know your champ well enough, you can easily attain Platinum.

Now, onto the guide.
Why Darius?

+ Huge lane bully
+ Strong 1v2 potential all game
+ Easy Pentakills
+ Moderate skillcap to master
+ Can easily splitpush OR teamfight
+ High damage output all game long

Darius excels at destroying all opposition early on in the game. Between Decimate giving massive heals in a 1v2, to Hemorrhage giving him a ton of extra Attack Damage, Darius earns his name as a Juggernaut. Managing to fully stack Hemorrhage in a teamfight will quickly lead any player to a Pentakill within their first few games of playing him, thanks to the moderate skillcap required to know Darius. Once players understand a bit of macro, they can also abuse his massive pressure in a side lane to gain advantages for his team, or group up to run the show in a teamfight.

- Very low mobility
- Easily ganked by the enemy
- Falls off lategame
- Difficult into Range and CC
- Squishier than other similar champs
- High banrate in low elo

Darius has very low mobility. What this means is that you can easily be kited by anyone. It also means that you will be much more prone to ganks than the average toplaner. A big trade off for his oppressive early and mid-game power is that late game when everyone is fullbuild, it's VERY easy to just feel useless and unable to do anything. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that Darius has a lot lower innate tankiness then similar champions, so hitting Decimate when low health is pivotal to your effective tankiness, due to it's massive heal. Finally, Darius tends to have a very high ban rate in lower ranks.

Darius' Abilities and YOU

Passive - Hemorrhage

"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 or killing an enemy champion with Noxian Guillotine activates Noxian Might for 5 seconds. During Noxian Might, Darius gains 20-205 (based on level) bonus Attack Damage and applies max Hemorrhage stacks to enemies with basic attacks or Decimate's Blade."

-Getting Noxian Might is your biggest goal as Darius. The AD boost you get at 5 stacks can completely turn around a 1v1 or 1v2 from losing to winning. Once you have 5 stacks on any target, you apply the full 5 stacks on all other targets and keep the massive AD buff during the duration. Maintaining Noxian Might through a teamfight is essential to crushing the enemy team, instead of being rolled over.

Q - Decimate

Range: 425
Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Cost: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50
"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%."

- Decimate is what gives Darius a massive amount of 1v1 or 1v2 pressure. The heal it gives is pretty large, scaling off of Health, and increases per each enemy hit, up to 3 champions. This is probably what will take the longest to get used to. It’s a very unique skillshot that definitely needs to be played with to use it perfectly. Try not to spam it in lane, as it will make you run Out Of Mana pretty quickly.

W - Crippling Strike

Range: 200
Cooldown: 7 / 6.5 / 6 / 5.5 / 5
Cost: 30
"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."

-A massive part of any Darius combo. Crippling Strike is not only an empowered auto with increased range, it is also an Auto Attack reset. This means, timed after an Auto Attack, pressing W will perform another Auto Attack, giving you 2 stacks of Hemorrhage at once! Another great part of this ability is for farming minions. Using Crippling Strike to last hit a minion will reduce it’s Cooldown by half and refund all used mana. If you struggle farming minions while laning, it is important you utilize this tool!

E - Apprehend

Range: 550
Cooldown: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12
Cost: 70 / 60 / 50 / 40 / 30
"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 very important part of your kit. You never want to fight without it. You can use it to stick to someone you’re destroying, or to peel away from a gank by grabbing the jungler and enemy laner when they might CC you or deal a good amount of damage. You can use Apprehend to cancel jumps and dashes, such as Riven's third Q, Broken Wings, on you, denying the damage AND the knockup. It's also good for initiating a teamfight by using Flash + Apprehend.

R - Noxian Guillotine

Range: 460
Cooldown: 120 / 100 / 80
Cost: 100 / 0
"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."

-The reward for all your other abilities. Play well with the rest of your kit, and bring it all home with a fatty ultimate in their skulls. It’s good to get the last hit with this, especially in fights with multiple enemies, however make sure you do not save this only to last hit with it. Using it early to get the max damage once you have Noxian Might is just as good. Another use is as a small gap closer. Ulting to someone then hitting them with Crippling Strike to keep on them can help secure the kill. You can also use Noxian Guillotine earlier in the fight, at 4 stacks, in order to get Noxian Might off earlier in the fight. Getting 5 stacks is sometimes more important than getting your maximum damage off on your Ultimate. Another use is to use Noxian Guillotine on an enemy so low you don't need to stack off them at all, and in doing so, getting Noxian Might.

Now that we know a little bit about Darius' abilities, lets go into combos, cancels, and other flashy plays we can pull off!

Combos and Cancels

Auto Attack Reset with Crippling Strike

- Auto Attack (AA) -> Crippling Strike - This is one of the most important parts of Darius to master, and it’s a very simple Auto Attack Reset. Auto Attacking then immediately using Crippling Strike is a very fast 2 stacks of Hemorrhage. Any time you use Crippling Strike, try to use it after an AA like this.

Crippling Strike Animation Cancel

- Crippling Strike -> Decimate - Using your Crippling Strike on a target and using Decimate as the Crippling Strike starts to hit will give you an Animation Cancel, which means the time spent casting an ability is canceled out by the use of another ability. Doing this will give you more time to deal more damage. Another benefit of this is that you will slow the enemy as your Decimate comes out, making it easier to hit.

Disengage Combo with Apprehend into Decimate

- Apprehend -> Decimate - This is a combo used to disengage and heal. Anytime you get ganked and both of the enemies are stacked up, grabbing then with Apprehend then landing Decimate will typically get you out pretty safely, as well as healing you from the damage you take escaping.

Example Full Combo

- Auto Attack -> Crippling Strike -> Auto Attack -> Apprehend -> Auto Attack -> Decimate - A basic 5-stack combo. It’s a very strong trading combo, and if you manage to get them low enough, you may be able to execute with Noxian Guillotine. This isn't the only way to combo for 5 stacks, and typically you want to save your Apprehend for Flash or other escape methods, so use your spells accordingly!

Flashy Plays and Engages

- Flash -> Crippling Strike -> Apprehend - This is a combo used on someone with either high mobility, or their Flash is available to them when you go to engage. It's ALWAYS better to Flash Crippling Strike than to Apprehend on single targets. The reason being is that your Apprehend has a range 125 units higher than Flash, so when you Flash Crippling Strike and the enemy flashes away, you have your 90% slow on them, so you can hit Apprehend 100% of the time and insta-kill the enemy.

- Decimate -> Flash - This is usually a move reserved for killing an enemy you just heavily outraded that will survive your Hemorrhage. Use Decimate then Flash right as your Decimate starts to spin in order to catch an enemy off-guard and unable to react to your raw ability to out perform them

- Flash -> Noxian Guillotine - Just a quick execute on an already low target, especially with 5 stacks of Hemorrhage. Using Ghost and Flash with this tactic in a teamfight will easily lead you to a pentakill.
- One thing to keep in mind with this tactic, as well as Flash Crippling Strike as detailed above, is that you need to Buffer whichever ability you're casting. What that means is that you need to press the ability you plan on casting on the enemy BEFORE you Flash. This causes the ability to automatically cast as soon as you're in range of the enemy.

- Flash -> Apprehend - Darius has very little engage power, but once every 5 minutes you can Flash into a group of enemies and Apprehend them, as long as your team is around to follow up!

Runes are the biggest discussion point for Darius in the current patch. I'll detail my thoughts on all the runes and explain why why mine are THE PREMIER runes for Darius. I think it's important to preface this with the fact that you should always be guzzling Hotdog Wawa™ in order to be getting the proper gameplay.

My Preferred Rune Set

My preferred rune set, shown above, is made with the emphasis of Survivability. Darius doesn't necessarily have a problem surviving, but is more powerful the longer he lives. Your main goal is to achieve Noxian Might, and the longer you live, the more likely you achieve this goal. These runes give Darius just the beef he needs to win any 1v1. Now lets breakdown the whole page:

- Conqueror is a very potent rune in its current iteration. It now heals Darius on all parts of his damage, including Noxian Guillotine. Once this is worked up, you win almost any 1v1, as long as the enemy doesn't have Ignite, or you aren't already low Health.

- Triumph has massive synergy with Darius' kit and will help you secure that pentakill! Triumph's heal can turn a death from an enemy gank to an easy double kill for you. This rune is a no brainer for any Darius player.


- Darius' biggest weakness is getting kited and shutdown from heavy Crowd Control (CC) in a teamfight or when just trying to run down an enemy. Legend: Tenacity gives you the tools to prevent that from happening, by lowering all incoming CC (except knockups) from the enemy. This is imperative to Darius' survival.

-Sometimes, though, the enemy may have no hard CC in their team comp, and barely any soft CC, such as slows. In this case, you may find it more beneficial to run Legend: Alacrity, as any tenacity will be a waste.

- Why Last Stand instead of Coup de Grace? Well, when you're dominating an enemy, the extra damage from them being low will not be important to your success, as you've already won the fight. Last Stand increases your damage when YOU'RE low on health, which may give you the increase in DPS to turn the fight around in your favor at the last second.


- Darius likes to fight early and often, and what better way to facilitate this than negating up to 90 damage in a level 1 fight. Bone Plating does tend to be misused/misremembered. If you always fight someone with your Bone Plating up, you should usually come out on top, but that also means fighting someone else with it up may put the fight in their favor. Watch it's cooldown above your healthbar to recognize the best time to fight!

-Some situations may call for less fighting and more passive play. For these situations we take Second Wind. Times that may call for this are when you lane against ranged tops, such as Teemo or Quinn, or maybe even melee champions with an affinity to poking, such Gangplank

- Unflinching is taken for the same reasons described above with Legend: Tenacity. The biggest difference, however, is that Unflinching becomes more powerful the lower health you are, offering you a chance to survive close encounters and to crush enemies.

- I know what you're thinking, "Why not adaptive force?" Well, 9 adaptive turned into AD is 5.4 AD. My reasoning for going double armor or MR, depending on the matchup, is that when you 5 stack Hemorrhage to get Noxian Might , you receive 30 AD at level 1, which is easier to stack if you have more resistances to live with. Getting Noxian Might is literally the difference between a lost or won 1v1.

Classic Phase Rush

My OLD Preferred Rune Set

My old preferred rune set, shown above, was made with the emphasis of Movement Speed (MS). Darius has a lower base MS than most other champions he encounters in the top lane, typically by about 5, as well as being much more immobile. Due to this fact, it's important to get as much MS as possible to make up for the lack of any mobility out of his kit. These runes give +10 MS out of the Magical Footwear, and Time Warp Tonic with Corrupting Potion gives another 2% while Corrupting Potion is active.

- This is probably one of the most controversial parts of my build. The reason we're able to go Magical Footwear is because of our first back item. Hearthbound Axe, in combination with Time Warp Tonic ticking on your Corrupting Potion, will get you to a total of 367 MS when autoing anything, which we can utilize after last hitting a minion. This combo gives us plenty of MS to hold us over for the eventual pop of Magical Footwear, giving us even LARGER gains in MS.

- Time Warp Tonic is essential to this rune set. As detailed above, in combination with Hearthbound Axe you will get a total of 367 MS when killing a minion and using Corrupting Potion. Even before your Hearthbound Axe, early laning is made a lot easier with both an increase in MS to 347, as well as keeping your health and mana topped off.

My OLD Runes for Squishy and High DPS Tops

This page is similar to the above page, but for instances where more damage from Conqueror is unnecessary, or the enemy DPS is way too high. Cases I take this can be Gnar, Illaoi, Jayce, Kennen, Lucian Top, Neeko Top, Quinn, and Teemo.

Summoner Spells
Flash: Always take Flash you ******* monkeys. Buffering your ult and Flashing is some satisfying stuff, and you need that cash. Winding up Decimate and Flashing is arguably more satisfying. Also, you’re a gank sponge. The enemy jungler will probably camp your dumb *** all day. Take Flash so you can either puss out or man up and smash them in the 2v1. You know that Vayne rolling around, Condemning you away? Get 5 Stacks on that dumb tank standing next to you, then Flash on that *****, hit her with a q/w/auto/ANYTHING, and smash her brain in. BAM! You just won the teamfight. The possibilities are endless. TAKE. Flash.

Ghost: This helps you a ton, and gets rid of Darius’ biggest weakness: Getting kited. This lets you stick on anyone, and lets you dodge any skillshots. Ghost + Flash is the combo most people should be going until they are comfortable with cross map awareness. Taking Ghost will get you to diamond as long as you are actively improving and not sitting on your *** and hoping reading a guide on mobifire will magically boost you to whatever rank you’re wanting.

Teleport: This is a difficult spell to actually use at its best. Most people running Teleport tend to just die from a gank or solo, then Teleport in to die again. That is NOT how you use Teleport. Sure, the first usage of Teleport to get back to lane in order to catch a big wave or to match an opponent’s Teleport is fine. After this first use, if you ever use it for yourself again, YOU ARE WRONG (always exceptions to this, but that’s a general league knowledge skill). Once you’re level 6, your ability to completely destroy botlane with a well timed Teleport will increase exponentially. Imagine this: You Teleport top to catch 6 minions, 3 of them die before Teleport completes, and you get half the wave, OR you see bot at the same time in a 2v2 under your team’s turret. You Teleport to a ward in lane/river a bit behind the enemy laners, clean up the mess they started, secure two kills, push the lane, get first tower, and secure an Infernal drake. Yeah, you missed out on those 3 minions top, but instead of only looking at yourself and seeing all the potential choices you had, you just got your team 1.5k gold for a 6 minute CD. BUT AGAIN, this is something you learn. No one has this type of map awareness starting out, and sometimes you may try this and wind up having no team helping you out, and you just suicide. If you’re not at this level yet, you need just focus on yourself. Take Ghost and crush your lane. Once you start developing map awareness, you can start taking Teleport.

Smite: You’re a Darius one trick baby. You’re not trolling taking this, you just got auto-filled Jungle. Gustwalker Hatchling is great on Darius. Give yourself more MS every time you enter a bush, allowing easy rundown on fleeing enemies. Also, you’re Darius Jungle. Stop trolling idiot.

Ignite/ Cleanse/ Barrier/ Heal/ Exhaust: If you take any of these top lane, you’re an idiot. If you’re autofilled ADC/Support and you choose Darius, YOU’RE TROLLING, but you still wanna win. In these cases: AS ADC, take Ghost Flash, have your support take Heal. You need MS to close the gap on that enemy ADC. AS SUPPORT, take Ignite in most cases. NEVER TAKE Ignite INTO THE TOP LANE. Ignite scales poorly compared to Ghost. The most Ignite will net you is a cheesy level 1 kill. But you can do the same with Ghost, as well as smash the whole game later with it. DON’T BE A DUMB DUMB.


There are many Darius builds. The biggest thing for building Darius is learning to adapt. If you buy the same thing every game no matter what, you’re going to lose many winnable games. ADAPT AND OVERCOME! If you built Plated Steelcaps VS a Maokai, Elise, Syndra, Varus, Leona teamcomp, you deserve to lose. Here we are going to breakdown what to consider when you are looking at what to buy, as well as core items and some fun off builds.


Trinity Force: Interchangable with Stridebreaker for top Darius mythics, and currently a very strong item on Darius specifically. The components each have a significant spike for Darius as you complete them, and once completed, you can tear down towers and champions alike. Now it's passives. Spellblade gives your next auto a massive damage buff after using an ability, which means you want to space your abilities out to maximize it's potential. Try not to Apprehend and then immediately Crippling Strike into Decimate without weaving a couple auto attacks into your combo. When attacking towers, you want to keep this in mind and space out your Crippling Strikes to the cooldown (indicated on Trinity Force's icon in your item bar). Threefold Strike will give you 20 Movement Speed on every Auto Attack, and if you are attacking a champion or tower, you can a stacking AD buff, based on Darius's base Attack Damage, which is one of the highest in the game.


Stridebreaker: A strong buy for Darius when facing high mobility. This gives you almost every stat Darius thrives on. Predominately the Movement Speed (MS). Not only does it give 30 MS when dealing physical damage, INCLUDING your passive blood stacks from Hemorrhage on any target, even minions, it also gives you an extra 3% MS with every other Legendary item you complete. However, we haven't even gotten to the final part of Stridebreaker, the active! A ghost of it's former self, the active is nothing more than an AoE slow. The biggest waste of this active is using it right after you use Crippling Strike, as slows don't stack up in power, so you want to try to use it when your Crippling Strike slow begins to fade.

Winged Moonplate: If I go Trinity Force, I'll grab a quick Winged Moonplate to amp up my Movement Speed before building a Sterak's Gage. Decent health, but the 5% Movement Speed feels like night and day for me. And it's only 800 gold!

Sterak's Gage: Lots of HP and lots of AD. The passive it has is very strong VS burst comps, and always good in a 1v1, as it gives you fat shield based on HP. Another bonus is that it's AD is based on how much Base Attack Damage a character has, and Darius has one of the highest in the game. I buy this second (after a Winged Moonplate) ALMOST every game. Times I wouldn't build this until later would be if I bought and early Black Cleaver to counter a Malphite and need to build some sort of resistances, such as Force of Nature or Thornmail.

Other Mythics

Jak'Sho, The Protean: A fun and newer buy that a lot of toplaners are playing with. Great for if you think you will need to be tanking more so than running the fight for your team. Jak'Sho, The Protean offers a stacking Armor and MR buff, as well as a burst of healing and damage after 8 seconds in a fight. It pairs well with a Black Cleaver rush, and can be fun to just change things up in your build pathing. At the end of the day, however, it may just be better to instead buy a third item Gargoyle Stoneplate with Trinity Force and Sterak's Gage to get a similar level of tankiness, with more dps stats.

Divine Sunderer: A decent buy for when you need to frontline for your team and just want a **** ton of extra healing.

Goredrinker: Similar to Divine Sunderer, but when you are fighting a good amount of melee champs, as the active is more powerful the more enemy champions you hit with it.


Plated Steelcaps: One of the most bought boots. Helps you with dueling solos and taking down that pesky ADC. Get this whenever the enemy team has a good amount of Auto Attacking or Attack Damage based champs. For top that would include Riven, Jax, Irelia, Camille, Fiora, Gnar, Kled, etc. Be careful though, and pay attention to the enemy team comp. Even though you’re fighting a Gnar, it may be better to explore other options like Mercury's Treads if the enemy has 3+ forms of hard cc (Stuns/Binds/Charms). Speaking of…

Mercury's Treads: +30% Tenacity. That means any CC (Crowd Control), from stuns to slows, are dropped by .3 seconds to the second. This adds up quick in a teamfight where the enemy doesn’t want you popping off, and has the tools to keep you at bay. If you also took the Unflinching rune, Legend: Tenacity, and buy an Elixir of Iron, you get from 58% to 74% Tenacity (depending on if your health is low). LITERALLY UNSTOPPABLE!

Boots of Swiftness: A bit troll, but the extra +25% MS and reduction in slow effectiveness can be pretty nice if that’s all the enemy has as far as CC. I may go these boots if I want extra help to smash a Gnar in lane. Most the time if I go these boots, I’m really far ahead and am using it to push my snowball even further, or I'm trying to close the gap on some pesky champs, like Kayle. Definitely not the best, but they are some fun. I've actually been building these a lot more often lately too.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Boots of pure memes. As quoted from my stream, "As long as you have lucidity boots, you can keep using ghost and flash to feed.” I’ll do this stupid buy when I’m feeling frisky with Ghost and Flash, and just want to keep forcing a fight over and over. If you aren’t already winning before you get these, they will make SURE you fail. 10/10 prank buy, but I’m still gonna use em!


Dead Man's Plate: A classic for Darius. Armor, health, a slow, and movement speed. Great for getting a fight going, or getting away from a 4 man gank while you’re solo splitting. Buy it whenever you need armor and HP, but don’t need the attack speed slows of Randuin's Omen or Thornmail, or the grievous wounds from Thornmail.

Randuin's Omen: A strong armor item that can help shut down an adc or any Auto Attack based fighters, I.E Jax/ Irelia, due to it’s passive ability to slow the Attack Speed of anyone who attacks you. The activatable AOE slow also grants you extra sticking power VS any slippery champs, like Riven!

Thornmail: Hand in hand with Randuin's Omen. This also gives you an Attack Speed slow when Attacked, but instead of having an activatable AOE slow, you inflict Grievous Wounds, which will lower the ability of someone to heal while fighting you. This is VERY strong vs matchups such as Fiora, where it’s advisable to buy Bramble Vest early in the game to counter her passive heal, her ultimate’s heal, and Ravenous Hydra. Also handy VS anyone that builds Death's Dance, such as Riven. Buying this or at least Bramble Vest when fighting a Soraka is advisable as well.

Knight's Vow: A commonly overlooked item that has decent viability on Darius. Armor, HP, and CDR are all good things, and if you have a fed ADC and you did fairly poorly in lane, this will help your team a ton. This lets you bind to your ADC and heal off of any damage they deal, as well as tanking a bit of damage they would have taken otherwise. You also get extra armor around whoever you bind, as well as Movement Speed when running towards them.

Magic Resistance

Force of Nature: The best Magic Resist item for Darius right now. You get 25% Magic Damage Reduction and %10 Movement Speed when fully stacked, as well as it's massive base stats. I tend to buy this nearly every match after I finish Sterak's Gage, utilizing the earlier bought Winged Moonplate.

Spirit Visage: A very strong item for Darius. HP, HP Regen, Magic Resistance, and CDR, as well has a massive boost to your Q healing and passive Health Regen. A definite go to if you need MR in any situation!

Turbo Chemtank: Not gonna lie, I slept on this for awhile because I saw it as an engage tool, which is ok for Darius if your team has no one else, but then I saw the light. This item gives MR, HP, Haste, and an active that gives you a ton of MS and a slow at the end. The power for Darius in this is that you can stack up Hemorrhage on someone, then either chase them down or use this to bum rush an ADC or other squishy target. A lot of the time I use this after the fight has already started in order to pop off with my passive already going.

Wit's End: Wit's End is a fun item to run down a full enemy team of AP champs, but is in general a pretty poor item to build on Darius. Anything

Quicksilver Sash: This item is almost exclusively for fighting Malzahar, Skarner, or Warwick. Grab this for when you're fed and their primary target. Also useful vs teams with a LOT of CC and magic damage, but opting for an item with Health may be a better option in most cases.

Dual Resistances

Gargoyle Stoneplate: A pretty strong item, but only if you’re grouping and teamfighting with it. If you’re going to be hanging in a side lane splitting, then do NOT buy this item. Most of it’s benefits come from being near 3+ enemy champions.


Warmog's Armor: I haven’t bought this in a LONG time, but it isn’t horrible. Gives you a ton of HP, some CDR, and it’s passive gives you a massive amount of out of combat HP Regen, meaning if you are taken low, you can just stand there for like, 10 seconds, and be completely full HP. Strong for split pushing forever, or sieging and being able to tank a bit of damage then back off to wait for your next minion wave. Not great, but okay.

Attack Damage

Black Cleaver: This is an item I will either RUSH or buy as a last item. With the "Durability Patch" a little while ago, everyone is a bit more tanky, and with the tank items update, there are a lot more stats to burn through. I love to rush this first against something like Malphite top who stacks the **** out of armor, and fast. It's also a nice second item buy if your team has no AP champions.

Titanic Hydra: A very strong offensive and health stacking item for Darius.

Maw of Malmortius: An alright item VS lots of magic damage. You usually don’t want to build past it’s component, Hexdrinker, until later in that game. Better in most cases to build Spirit Visage or Adaptive Helm, but good if you want the AD. Has the same passive as Sterak's Gage, which I find more prevelent to Darius and holds the same anti-burst potential, with many more benifits.

Guardian Angel: A good item for when your team is VERY ahead! Let’s you play monkey and dive hardcore with minimal repercussions, as long as your team follows up sufficiently. Good for ending a short game quickly, but don’t build it if it’s later in the game, unless you are the one solo carrying the game.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: A nice little kick in power with Youmuu's Ghostblade. Lethality + your passive lets you completely disregard an ADC’s stats, and let’s you basically deal true damage. The active is also very strong for sticking on those pesky high mobility champs. A must have in an AD Darius build. Still a pretty inefficient item for a good Darius build.

Death's Dance: CDR and AD are great from this item, but the passive can give you a ton of durability. Mitigating the damage to later means you're able to get your Decimate healing more often, and then once you start killing and resetting with Noxian Guillotine all that damage to you disappears and you get a ton of healing and MS instead. VERY cool. Best to get this item 4th, 5th, or even as your last item, as some others provide way more utility, and ESPECIALLY if you're fighting mostly magic damage.

Blade of the Ruined King: An OK buy when you need something extra to 1v1 someone. I don’t like it too much, as it delays your tank items, but not the worst. OK VS Fiora or someone tanky.

Other Items (aka troll items)

Infinity Edge: Useful when you want to meme with 1.5k crits on Crippling Strike. Who needs to ult to execute?

Ravenous Hydra: Never buy this as long as Titanic Hydra exists.

Hextech Rocketbelt: Whenever you need that extra distance for ult, why not Hextech Rocketbelt? Health, CDR, and a gap closer!

Iceborn Gauntlet: Pretty hot garbage. You might get this VS full AD team, but there are so many better options. This is pure n00b b8.

Zhonya's Hourglass: Ever feel like your Ultimate is flashy enough? Go no further! Using Zhonya's Hourglass while ulting will give you the trophy dunk you’ve always wanted!

~~~ Currently in the Works ~~~

Starting Items

The very first thing you have to do in any game is determine your starting item. Evaluate the enemy top laner and the jungler to determine this. I tend to go the following items:
  • Doran's Shield: If you are VS a good amount of poke, it will keep you very healthy through the laning phase in order to focus on CSing. Also my go to when see the enemy running Ignite toplane.
  • Doran's Blade: A strong starting item VS melee’s, both tanks or fighters. I like this for when I’ll be dueling a lot, usually VS Renekton or Riven, and as long as they do NOT have Ignite.

Not As Good Starting Items

  • Corrupting Potion: When going my old preferred rune set, Corrupting Potion is a must. As stated above in Runes, early laning is made a bit easier with both an increase in MS to 347 while active, as well as keeping your health and mana topped off. It is important to utilize this when fighting as it also gives a bit extra burn damage.
  • Boots + 4 Health Potions: Nice starting items as of VS poke/mobile champs ( Jayce/ Pantheon/ Kennen/Etc.) You get quite a bit of sustain in Health Potions, but the Boots are mostly helpful for trading their poke with your Decimate and healing with it, allowing you to mitigate their poke as well as deal extra damage to them. This also helps you to run from an early jungle gank. If you tend to have problems landing Decimate, it may be better to avoid this start until you’re comfortable with Decimate. This start is also IMPOSSIBLE with my old rune set, due to Magical Footwear, so keep that in mind.

Level 1:

  • Darius' level 1 has many possibilities. My primary tactic is to start Decimate and wait for the first three minions to be low enough to one shot with a single use of Decimate, trying to also hit the enemy laner when he tries to CS (short for Creep Score, a term used to describe last hitting minions for gold). You could also hard shove the wave with Decimate in order to deny the enemy CS by getting it to tower quickly, which is not the best way to do it as having a larger allied minion wave early gives you a massive amount of power if they decide to 1v1 you. I like to simply secure lane priority with the ability to get level 2 first by bullying the enemy laner away without killing all the minions as fast as possible. If you want to fast shove first wave, once the minions get into lane, hit all the minions with Decimate and start to AA (Auto Attack) the caster minions. Spread out the damage evenly, and once Decimate comes off Cool Down, you should be able to clear the whole wave. This may, however, cause the minions to be pushed near his turret, instead of under it. If this happens, you will be very vulnerable to ganks and should try and get a ward out ASAP. The only time I would even try this anymore is if the enemy laner isn't showing up to lane immediately, as it is too risky otherwise.

  • Another tactic you can do is start Crippling Strike and sit in the lane bush closest to the enemy turret. When they come up to CS, ambush them and Auto Attack (AA) -> Crippling Strike -> Walk towards their escape -> AA -> AA. The biggest thing to remember is to move towards their escape between each auto, this gives you more time to AA and to either get the kill or blow the enemies Flash. Sometimes the enemy may know you’re planning on doing this, and will ward the bush. If they do, you can AA the ward twice and Crippling Strike reset to kill it and get that $$$ and xp. #WORTH When starting Crippling Strike you can also attempt to kill the enemy laner when they go to CS as you begin lane normally. Try to be closer to their turret than them, and when they walk past you to last hit, STRIKE!

  • As you begin laning, remember that your Crippling Strike is a massive tool for CSing. It gets a full mana refund as well as ½ of it’s CD upon killing a unit. Utilize this often to maximize your CS. It isn’t a bad idea to get used to this in the practice tool, either. You don’t want to look like an idiot by blowing Crippling Strike on a minion and not getting the kill!

Level 2-5

  • Darius' level 2 and 3 is a massive powerspike, and if you manage to get it before your opponent, then you can easily get a kill out of it. If you started Crippling Strike, getting Apprehend level 2 will give you so much CC that it's hard for anyone to escape you. When starting Decimate, Getting Crippling Strike level 2 is USUALLY what you want to do, especially when lane is slow with farming. Knowing WHEN you get level 2 is very important. In a solo lane, level 2 is acquired during the second minion wave with the first minion killed (melee OR ranged)

  • At level 3, your kit lets you 1v1 almost anyone. Make sure you aren't constantly using Decimate on the wave or to poke as you'll be more and more vulnerable the less mana you have. One Decimate per a wave is enough to keep you from going Out Of Mana (OOM). Also, be sure you're utilizing the free damage from Crippling Strike to last hit. Level 3 is acquired during the third minion wave after the second melee minion in the wave is killed

  • Around this point, you will start to be looked at for ganks. Try to plant a ward in River or Tri Bush around 2:30-3:00 as this is when MOST Junglers tend to start trying to gank. Remember that if you do get ganked and aren't in a position to 2v1 (ie. you don't already have or are close to 5 stacks of Hemorrhage), that you utilize the disengagement combo discussed earlier in the guide. Scuttle spawns in the River at 3:30, so if your Jungler is topside around then, be ready to rotate to the River to help them fight the enemy. A scuttle fight can completely swing the momentum of the game for either side.

  • Level 6 comes with the cannon minion wave that arrives top at about 5:45, assuming you were there for all minion waves and haven't lost XP from roams or gained XP from kills, assists, jungle minions, or even wards kills.

Mid/Late Game

~~~ Currently in the Works ~~~

Look up a proper guide for macro or similar information, and take this with a grain of salt

Play the map, look for objectives, know where the enemy is. Avoid auto piloting, something I still tend to do, by afk pushing. There is a VERY general rule I follow for whether or not I can split. There are "4" states of the game (there are way more, but I'm over simplifying here) as far as how your team is doing. Ally team ahead, ally team SUPER ahead, ally team behind, ally team SUPER behind.

HERE IS HOW TO PLAY ACCORDINGLY (Not 100% true at any time):

Ally team ahead: here, your team is winning the map. They are able to 4v4 no problem, and may even be able to 4v5 if the enemy screws up. You are safe to split here. You aren't too needed, and you're able to draw enough pressure alone to keep it 4v4, or make it 4v3 if you are big enough. Don't play too aggressive though, back off when you can't see key members of the enemy team. Don't over chase or take too big a risk. You're already winning, just let them get desperate.

Your team is SUPER ahead: the game is yours here. Don't waste time, and get your *** grouped. You need to end the game quick, and you can. Don't tower dive 5v5 or anything stupid, but pressure hard and whittle away turrets, or if you get a catch or two, dive and demolish. The only time you want to split here is if the enemy has massive wave clear (ie. Ziggs/ Anivia) and your team can't hit the tower at all. If you can't end by the time Baron spawns, split Bot and let your team control Baron. If you see 5 enemies at Baron free push to the nexus. If 1 person shows up bot, pressure hard if the enemy shows all 4 at Baron. If people are missing or there are 2+ bot, back off and let your team take the free Baron. If the enemy sends someone without Teleport to deal with you, just keeping them bot is free for your team. Honestly, this Baron **** can go for all 4 parts here, but **** it.

Ally team is behind: your team needs you. The second your team is in a fight with fewer numbers, they lose. Focus on picking and taking random advantages, such as stealing enemy jungle camps. Make sure side lanes are snowballing by manipulating the minion waves in your favor. When they send people to deal with them, you have a chance to 5v4 or get picks. Picking here can be done by warding between the lane your team is in and the snowballing lane, and standing in wait for the enemy, just not too far from your team. Here (being a bit behind, not just picking) you need to make sure you're buying control wards like you're a support. Denying and gaining vision is super important in order to turn the game around.

Ally team is SUPER behind: you don't have much to go on here, a 5v5 is a lost cause and splitting can throw the whole game if you're too far up. Sadly, splitting is probably still your best bet. Push safe, stay back, wait for a mistake. One of the biggest things you can hope for is having a high dps carry start getting fed. It this case, you can buy Knights Vow and stick to them like *** on a rag. This whole situation depends on the enemy ****ing up, which they always do, even in masters.
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[13.10] Darius' Ultimate Guide by Dystrex

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