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Darius Build Guide by E61K

Top [9.5] Absolute Domination - A Guide to Darius

By E61K | Updated on March 16, 2019
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Runes: Go-To

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Resolve
Unflinching
Bone Plating
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3
Go-To
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #20 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Items

Core (Trinity Force or The Black Cleaver)
Against Heavy AD/Low CC
(Almost) Always get this unless against full AD
Lacking engage? Feeling kited too hard?
Crits hurtin'?
DPS MAGES CAUSING HEADACHE?

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[9.5] Absolute Domination - A Guide to Darius

By E61K
Introduction
Hello, I am Nostalgiz and welcome to my Darius guide. I am a Master EUW Darius main trying to teach You the ways of this awesome champion. My op.gg: http://euw.op.gg/summoner/userName=nostalgiz . Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/nostalgiz/ . I've been playing Darius for nearly 3 Seasons now. I have played him in every elo from Bronze to Master in every role and I can safely say that I am now worthy of writing a Guide about him.
Who Is Darius? Back to Top
Darius is super snowbally Bruiser and a lane bully who thrives in prolonged fights due to his passive Hemorrhage and his ultimate Noxian Guillotine. His kit is packed with damage and pain. Due to Darius' immobility Darius offers a sickening amount of damage in return which let's him take over games and literally 1v5 an entire team on his own. Because of Darius' kit he excels best as a counter-pick against tanks and mainly melee champions but can be played against anything with the right amount of experience.
Pros / Cons Back to Top
Pros


+ Insane Amount Of Damage
+ Great Scaling (Damage-Wise)
+ Built-In Armor Penetration Apprehend
+ Built-In Sustain Decimate
+ True Damage Ultimate
+ Noxian Guillotine Can Reset
+ Fun To play
+ Able To Solo Carry
+ Noxian Guillotine Can Be Game Changing
+ Hemorrhage Is Extremely Strong
+ Can Fight Multiple People
+ Good Waveclear Decimate
+ Snowballs Hard
+ Natural Tank Destroyer
+ Exceptionally Strong Duelist
+ Can Turn Trades Into Fights
+ Decent CC
+ Great Teamfighter
+ Strong At Abusing Mistakes
+ Low Elo God Carry
+ Down But Never Out
+ Apprehend Can Cancel Abilities

Cons


- Zero Mobility
- Super Prone To Getting Kited
- Squishy Compared To Other Bruisers
- Very Weak Against CC
- Struggles Against Strong Poke
- Feast or Famine
- Negative stigma
- Struggles Against Big Health Pools
- Struggles Against Peel
- Exponentially Harder To Play The Higher The ELO
- Useless When Behind
- Prone To Ganks
- Item reliant
- Abilities Can Be Missed Easily
- Becomes Team-Reliant Late Game
- Easy To Mess Up Noxian Guillotine
- Requires Strong Mental From Time To Time
- Predictable Abilities And Gameplay
- No Escapes
- Banned Often In Low ELO
Trinity Force VS The Black Cleaver? [My Take On The Debate] Back to Top
Before we really get into the Guide I wanna get this out of the way. This is hands down the biggest debate when it comes to Darius. In this chapter I will be comparing the advantages each of the 2 items have over one other.

Trinity Force
VS

The Black Cleaver
- More Burst
- Better Dueling
- Stronger Split Push
- Faster Stacking Of Hemorrhage
- Allows For A Harder Carry
- Permanent Movement Speed Increase
- Mana Is Very Helpful
- Better Synergy With Conqueror
- More Usage Out Of Apprehend Armor Penetration
- Scales Better
- A Lot Cheaper
- Insane Synergy With Armor Shred Passive
- Much Better Build Path
- Increased Survivability
- Better "Rage" Passive
- Stronger 1 Item Power Spike
- Better Synergy With Sterak's Gage
- Better Against Armor Stacking Opponents
- More AD (Higher Ability Damage)
- More Useful In Teamfights
My Opinion: As you can see both have very clear advantages over each other. As a result it's up to You to find out what you prefer over the other. Both have drastic differences in playstyle. Before the changes to Sterak's Gage there was no question that Trinity Force was the superior choice. However now that Sterak's Gage went from being +50% base AD to +50% of base AD as bonus AD Black Cleaver has somewhat risen from the ashes again. Trinity Force is more independent and better for carrying, splitting and dueling, while Black Cleaver shines more in teamfights due to the armor shred it provides. If you find yourself splitting often and being a carry for your team then Trinity Force is a better choice than Black Cleaver. If you're more of a teamplayer and group often then Black Cleaver may be a better choice. It's up to your playstyle which item will work better for you. For me it's clearly Trinity Force since the buffs to Darius and the 10% conversion into True Damage from Conqueror make the Armor Shred of Black Cleaver close to meaningless. Even if I don't go for Conqueror I still go for Trinity Force because it suits my playstyle much more. Here is what https://www.reddit.com/r/Dariusmains/ thinks about this debate:.
Abilities Back to Top
Hemorrhage [Passive]
Darius' basic attacks and damaging abilities that strike with his blade cause enemies to bleed for 5 seconds, dealing 13 − 30 (based on level) (+ 30% bonus AD) physical damage over the duration. The bleeding will trigger every 1.25 seconds, and can stack up to 5 times, for a maximum of 65 − 150 (based on level) (+ 150% bonus AD) physical damage over the duration.

Upon applying full Hemorrhage stacks to an enemy Champion or killing one with Noxian Guillotine, Darius gains Noxian Might for 5 seconds.

Noxian Might: Darius gains 30 − 230 (based on level) bonus attack damage and instantly applies full Hemorrhage stacks through his usual means.



This is what defines Darius. It's what makes him so deadly in prolonged fights and let's him deal obscene amounts of damage. When playing Darius it's crucial to always play around this passive because it's where all the strength of Darius comes from. Noxian Might is the key to success as Darius.


Decimate [Q]

Effect Radius: 425
Inner Radius: 205
Cost: 30/35/40/45/50 Mana
Cooldown: 9/8/7/6/5
Blade Physical Damage: 40/70/100/130/160
(+ 100/110/120/130/140% AD)

Shaft Physical Damage: 14/24.5/35/45.5/56
(+ 35/38.5/42/45.5/49% AD)
Darius hefts his axe for 0.75 seconds, then swings it around himself, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies, reduced to 35% against enemies hit by the shaft.

Darius heals for 12% − 36% (based on enemy champions hit by the blade) missing health. The shaft of Darius' axe will not apply Hemorrhage or heal him.


Darius' bread and butter ability. It's his waveclear, his sustain, his highest damaging ability and the deadliest distributor of Hemorrhage. Decimate is always maxed first.

  • Decimate has to be used with caution against enemies who are in possession of mobility or abilities that can deny Decimate from hitting its targets with the blade. In cases where you absolutely need to make sure Decimate hits its target(s) and have Apprehend off cooldown you can use Apprehend to hard CC your targets so they can't use said abilities to dodge Decimate.
  • Decimate is a relatively high risk high reward ability. Using it the lower you are and the more targets you hit will result in a more significant heal. Therefore it's sometimes better to stall out the usage of it until a more gainful opportunity arises (comes with experience).
  • Decimate can be used to somewhat farm safely against ranged match-ups or used to bully melees who are trying to CS.
  • The mana cost of Decimate is fairly high. Using it mindlessly will quickly drain your mana pool.
  • Missing Decimate will, more often than not, put you into a position where your lane opponent can trade with you or even all-in (depending on match-up) you and come out on top. Therefore it's crucial to always hit the blade of Decimate.
  • The shaft of Decimate deals miserable damage and gets outdamaged by normal AA's. If you can't hit your targets with the blade of Decimate then don't use the ability.
  • Decimate is a predictable ability because of its 0.75 second delay. Using Flash after casting Decimate right before the delay ends will catch your enemies off guard and can result in some clutch moments.


Crippling Strike [W]

Cost: 30 Mana
Cooldown: 7/6.5/6/5.5/5
Bonus Physical Damage: 50/55/60/65/70% AD
Darius' next basic attack within 4 seconds gains 25 bonus range, deals bonus physical damage and slows the target by 90% for 1 second.

If Crippling Strike kills its target it refunds its mana cost and half of its cooldown.

Crippling Strike resets Darius' autoattack timer.


A very nice and simple ability. This ability is basically a tool to turn trades into fights and is a crucial part of combos. It's also one of the main reasons why Darius is so sticky when he gets into range. Despite Crippling Strike being sort of a jack of all trades it is maxed last every time.
  • Crippling Strike makes last hitting a breeze. You can use it to last hit in lane but you can't do it against everybody. Against even+ match-ups, especially those who are strong in trades, it's best to only last hit using AA's.
  • It's crucial to use Crippling Strike to cancel your AA animation. Do it every time you can. AA and instantly use Crippling Strike. The faster you can do it the higher your DPS will turn out to be.
  • Crippling Strike can be used to setup a target for Decimate due to the heavy slow it provides. It's worth noting that some champions, especially those who are mobile, are still able to dodge the blade of Decimate. So keep that in mind.
  • Combining Trinity Force with Crippling Strike will result in a nuke that will destroy squishy champions.
  • Crippling Strike is great at taking towers and inhibitors, especially when combined with Trinity Force.
  • Against immobile champions it's almost always better to AA twice before using Crippling Strike since you usually open up with Apprehend. By auto attacking twice before using Crippling Strike you chain your slows as best as you can.


Apprehend [E]

Effect Radius: 535
Angel: 50°
Cost: 45 Mana
Cooldown: 24/21/18/15/12
Passive: Darius gains armor penetration.

Active: After a brief delay, Darius pulls in all enemies in front of him, slowing them by 40% for 1 second, and briefly grants sight of the area around the pull.


I can't put into words how important this ability is. It's basically the ability that dictates what your opponents can and can't do against you. What you can and can't do against them. It's your only ability to get your opponents into melee range. Missing this ability can downright get you killed or net you a pentakill if you hit it. Yes it's this important. Use this ability to bully your lane opponent by forcing them into a trade, get a ranged champion into your range, turn trades into fights or use it to disengage. Apprehend is a versatile ability that cannot be used mindlessly. We max this ability second because the armor penetration literally amplifies all of our damage since Darius only deals physical and true damage and it has too big of an importance to skill after Crippling Strike.
  • Apprehend let's you cancel many abilities, mainly dashes and leaps but also channeled abilities. Examples for these abilities would be Leap Strike, Requiem, Broken Wings (3rd instance) or even Hookshot.
  • Apprehend is cone shaped. Therefore it has the highest reach in the center with less and less range on the sides. To get the most out of Apprehend's range it's important to always use the center to aim at your opponent. You'll get better and better at the more you play Darius.
  • It's very important to be mindful about the usage of Apprehend against mobile champions or champions who have abilities which they can use to dodge the blade of Decimate. Therefore it's crucial to only use Apprehend to start a trade when you can instantly use Decimate.
  • Using Apprehend will always put opponents into can guarantee you a hit with the blade of Decimate to all those caught in it. However it's important that you instantly use Decimate instead of doing the usual combo.
  • Apprehend allows for some crazy synergy with Yasuo's Last Breath.
  • Apprehend can be used to disengage since it's unique in the way that it's a displacement and slow at the same time.
  • Apprehend can be used to deny champions from using abilities that can save themselves from for example: Noxian Guillotine. Such as Fiora's Riposte


Noxian Guillotine [R]

Target Range: 460
Cost: 100/100/0 Mana
Cooldown: 120/100/80
True Damage: 100/200/300(+75% bonus AD)
Maximum True Damage: 200/400/600 (+150% bonus AD)
Active: After leaping unstoppably for 0.25 seconds, Darius attempts to execute the targeted enemy champion, dealing true damage , increased by 0% − 100% (based on Hemorrhage stacks).

If Noxian Guillotine kills its target, Darius causes all nearby minions and monsters to flee in terror for 3 seconds during which they are rapidly slowed by up to 99% over the duration, and is able to recast the ability within the next 20 seconds at no additional cost. This can occur multiple times in succession.

At rank 3, if Noxian Guillotine kills its target, its cooldown resets completely.


What would Darius be without this ability? It's the ability he is most known for and, along with Hemorrhage, the reason why he is able to fight so many people at once and come out on top. It makes him a force to be reckoned with in teamfights and gives him the ability instantly acquire Noxian Might. Besides that it's the most important ability when fighting multiple people and the ability that has the power to give you a pentakill. Not to mention that it's the bane of every tanks existence because of the massive amount of true damage this ability can put out.
  • Noxian Guillotine does significantly more damage at 5 stacks of Hemorrhage compared to 4 and below stacks due the bonus AD scaling it has to it.
  • Noxian Guillotine instantly grants you Noxian Might if you land the killing blown on a champion.
  • Noxian Guillotine can only be canceled by Darius' death, his targets death, untargetablility or loss of sight of the target. It will not be put on cooldown or consume mana if it get's interrupted.
  • Since Noxian Guillotine deals true damage it will ignore any form of damage reduction.
  • In teamfights it's crucial to keep the enemies abilites in mind such as heals and shields or abilities that can deny you resets like Zilean's Chronoshift.
  • Noxian Guillotine exceeds Darius's AA range by quite a bit. Therefore it can be seen as a small gapcloser. When you're chasing somebody but you're just a tad bit too far away from them you can use Noxian Guillotine to get into range if you have to.
  • If you level up Noxian Guillotine during its rank 2 recast time it will be off cooldown once the recast time ends.
Runes Back to Top
This chapter will cover all runes which are worth talking about when referring to Darius.
Keystones

Conqueror
  • Riot hard ****ed this rune but it's still the rune that has the best synergy with Darius. Giving you a small amount of AD and Converting 10% of all damage dealt to True Damage + healing for the same amount once procd', having Conqueror and Hemorrhage active will result in a disgusting output of damage. Despite this it's not always best for Darius to take it. Darius is one of the few bruisers who can take another keystone and still do a respectable amount of damage. The drop in damage will be noticeable but in games where you needs are different than just outputting more damage such as when you're against a team full of squishy champions the utility from Phase Rush outweighs the extra damage from Conqueror. It is never wrong to take Conqueror though.

Phase Rush
  • Another keystone that works well on Darius if used in the right games. With Phase Rush you trade a respectable amount of damage for more utility and stickiness. Phase Rush is great against teams or match-ups where the utility you get from it is far more valuable than the extra damage Conqueror provides, such as against a team with a lot of ranged champions or when in a match-up where you need extra sticking power (some mobile champions or ranged champions). The drop in damage will be seriously noticeable once people start to stack armor but Phase Rush is undeniably the king keystone for abusing mistakes of your opponents due to the sheer amount of additional sticking power it provides. Phase Rush will not get rid of the problem of getting to people but it will help you to make you even stickier than you already are. One thing Phase Rush can give you, when combined with Unflinching depending on when you cast your Summoner Spells and trigger Phase Rush, is 100%+ slow resist to the point where slows even speed you up instead of slowing you. Aside from that it's very easy to proc on Darius a simple Apprehend into an auto attack into a Crippling Strike will let you proc Phase Rush in roughly 1 second.

Aftershock
  • Such a niche keystone for Darius but it's powerful when you can consistently land Apprehend and you want to be a frontline for your team. It does also prove to be viable against match-ups which pack very strong all-ins like Renekton. What's also worth mentioning is that if you decide to take Aftershock is that you can build more damage because Aftershock will compensate for your lack of tank items. You will still deal respectable damage whilst being able to pack a huge punch and when combined with Gargoyle Stoneplate you can tank an entire team's damage for a brief moment.

Grasp of the Undying
  • The good old rune I know and loved until it got completely overrun by Conqueror. Despite this Grasp of the Undying is still a great Keystone for the laning phase. Makes trades insanely strong and makes you tankier at the same time. Grants some sustain as well. Has good synergy with Demolish and Overgrowth. The keystone is practically useless out of lane though and gets hard outscaled by the other ones in the list. Would only recommend to people who are new to the game and Darius.


Hail of Blades
  • The changes to this rune made it viable on Darius. It gives something other Keystones don't give which is power on demand. Allows for the fastest possible stacking of Hemorrhage. I have only tried it out 2 times but those times felt really nice. The downside of taking this Keystone is that it forces you into going into the Domination tree which sucks hard for Darius. Try it out to see for yourself.
Minor Runes

Triumph
  • A no-brainer on Darius. Allows for clutch moments and let's you turn and win fights you would otherwise lose. Great for teamfighting and just overall on Darius. The heal can and will save your life very often. Oh and the 20 gold is neat too. If you're going into the Precision tree always take Triumph.

Legend: Alacrity
  • Great overall rune on Darius to make combos more fluent and to stack Hemorrhage quicker. Absolute must have when going for Black Cleaver otherwise combos will be way too clunky.

Legend: Tenacity
  • Godly rune against heavy CC comps. This rune alone grants +30% Tenacity. Useful against heavy CC comps. Tenacity is harder to acquire than attack speed by a mile. But it's less useful in lane.


Last Stand
  • This is by far the best rune in the 3rd row of the Precision tree. Since Darius thrives in prolonged fights you are almost always guaranteed to fall below 60% HP often even lower than that which makes Last Stand the best choice, especially considering that this % increase in damage does not affect True Damage. Meaning that Noxian Guillotine doesn't benefit from it.[

Coup De Grace
  • Pretty lackluster rune on Darius in my opinion but it has some uses to it. You might think this is better than Last Stand but there is 1 big catch to it. The 7% increase in damage doesn't apply on True Damage. As Darius you almost always execute enemies below ~40% of their HP with Noxian Guillotine anyways so there is hardly a use for this rune. The AD on takedown is really nice though. I can only say that this rune is worth it when you're playing a very favorable match-up. Other than that it's always Last Stand.

Demolish
  • Ever since the introduction of turret plating Demolish has changed from a situational split-pushing rune to a staple rune. With how much gold you can currently get off of 1 turret with all its plates you should always try to make use of this rune. Unless you're in a bad match-up where you're most likely not gonna be in a position to make use of it.

Bone Plating
  • This rune got nerfed over and over again and is currently best used against burst heavy melee match-ups such as Renekton. Makes you a lot tankier in early trades. The best way to make use of this rune is to take trades when it's off CD. The damage reduction makes you take nearly no damage early game. The CD is fairly long though so make sure to use it wisely.

Second Wind
  • Underrated rune. Great against heavy poke lanes like Jayce or Pantheon for example or simply when looking for more sustain in lane. It's not only useful against ranged champions it's also useful against melee champions who can trade well such as Renekton. 4% of your missing HP over 10 seconds each time you receive damage from an enemy champion is great. Probably one of the best runes in the Resolve tree.

Unflinching
  • Another underrated rune. This runes let's you acquire even more tenacity. If you don't want to take Legend: Tenacity because you want Legend: Alacrity this rune proves to be a great alternative. Or you can just use it to stack even more tenacity. You can never have enough tenacity. One thing a lot of people forget about this rune is that it grants slow resist which is super useful and the main reason I personally use it often. Combining Unflinching + Phase Rush will temporarily grant you +100% slow resist where slows speed you up instead of slowing you.

Overgrowth
  • Only recommended in favorable match-ups. The change to this rune made it a lot nicer than it used to be. It now takes a lot less time to give a reasonable amount of health. Has great synergy with Demolish and Grasp of the Undying.

Conditioning
  • Only viable to take into favorable match-ups. Not much to say about this other than that it gives you a tad bit more tankiness during the mid-game and is best used against full AD or full AP comps.

Nimbus Cloak
  • Great rune for chaining multiple Noxian Guillotine's. Helps a lot to get those penta dunks.

Nullifying Orb
  • Basically a mini Hexdrinker. Great against magic damage burst. A really important thing to note is that the shield will be significantly bigger when you have Noxian Might running before it get's triggered.

Transcendence
  • CDR is a mandatory stat to have on Darius. This rune helps to reach maximum CDR and gives you AD should you exceed 40%. Would only recommend taking it when you're going for Phase Rush.

Celerity
  • This rune used to be so good but it got nerfed into the ground. It's still alright when you go for Phase Rush. Other than that I don't recommend taking it.

Gathering Storm
Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash is the best summoner spell in the entire game. It can be used both defensively and aggressively and is way too good of an overall summoner spell to trade with anything else. Always take this no matter what.
Ghost is the best summoner spell for Darius next to Flash. It helps him deal with one of his biggest weaknesses which is getting kited and getting to his enemies. It makes his 1v1 stronger, his split push stronger and makes his teamfighting so much more threatening. It has to be used with caution though because an early death in lane can outright lose you the lane in certain matchups. Takes experience to use optimally and is hard to make work into poke match-ups.
Teleport is the standard summoner spell for Top Lane. Gives more global presence and objective control. It has been hit by heavy nerfs recently like increased cooldown or the removal of being able to cancel it. It is now even more outperformed by Ghost but still has its place. It's still good against though ranged match-ups or when not confident in a match-up since it can be used to just TP back to lane when you just wanna farm it out.
Ignite is overkill IMO since Darius is definitely not lacking in the damage department. What it can be used for though is when you are in need of Grievous Wounds against champions like Fiora, when you want more kill pressure in lane or when you simply wanna match the "No TP 2 combat summoner spells" META. Ignite is great early on Darius and good in the laning phase but it falls off super hard compared to Teleport and Ghost.
Here is what www.reddit.com/r/DariusMains/ runs on Darius:
Combos/Animation Canceling Back to Top
There are no crazy combos or animation cancels when it comes to Darius. Matter of fact there are only 2 animation cancels on Darius that I know of. However they are numerous combos for different scenarios. In this chapter I will present You a number of combos to use in different scenarios. Remember that in the end You will have to be the judge when to use which abilities as no combo will be "The Best" or "The Worst" overall. You will have to work with what the situation presents you.

Animation Cancels

->

This is a simple yet effective animation cancel that roughly saves you ~0.75s of animaton time. If done correctly Darius will not spin during Decimate.

Here is a video of how it looks.


-> AA

I don't even know if this classifies as an animation cancel. Basically you use Decimate a split second before Your auto-attack hits. This causes the "Spellblade" passive of Trinity Force to be consumed by that auto-attack even though you didn't really use an ability beforehand. The main use of this is to push towers faster. However if you can pull this off in a fight your DPS will severely increase.

Here is a video of how it looks.



Combos


AA-Reset

AA ->

Nothing fancy here, just a standard auto-attack reset. Press W instantly after auto-attacking to stack Hemorrhage quicker and get Your damage off faster.

Bread and Butter Combo

AA -> ->

This is the bread and butter combo. It combines the AA-reset with the animation canceling of Crippling Strike for the fastest possible stacking of Hemorrhage. Using this combo properly will apply 3 stacks of Hemorrhage in roughly 1 second. Use it to bully your lane opponent but be mindful about opening up with Apprehend against mobile champions or champions who can dodge the blade of Decimate.


Example Extended Combo

AA -> -> ->

Extended combo that can also be used as an all-in if you have Noxian Guillotine ready. If you don't then your target is gonna suffer massive bleed damage from Hemorrhage. Again be mindful about starting your combo with Apprehend if your target can juke Decimate.


Example All-in Combo

AA -> -> -> -> AA -> AA

An example all-in combo. This will kill most champions who aren't a tank, especially when ahead.


All in all these are some example combos for Darius. As you get more experienced it will become clearer and clearer when to use which abilities in what succession against all the different champions. And you will learn to adapt to your situation and work with what you get the more you play Darius.
Items Back to Top
Itemization is an important part of being a great Darius player. This chapter will explain when to buy which items, what they are good for and what their purpose is. If you're not running Teleport always start with Corrupting Potion or Doran's Shield (depending on match-up). If you want You can still go with Doran's Blade if You're confident.

The hardest snowballing starting item (aside from Long Sword). This item is best used against melee match-ups. But it can also be used in ranged match-ups who don't have strong or avoidable poke like Urgot, provided that you can dodge.

Great against match-ups where you will be poked a lot, such as Pantheon or Jayce. Gives regeneration based on missing health and a passive which helps with last hitting. It shines the most when it's used against ranged match-ups who have some sort of DoT like Teemo or users of Corrupting Potion (so basically 80% of all Top Lane match-ups). It's sort of like an alternate version of Second Wind. Combining Doran's Shield with Second Wind makes most poke lanes easy to manage. Great overall item.

Even though this item is overtuned in my opinion right now it simply doesn't feel that good compared to the other starting items. It does give you the highest sustain out of all starting items, gives you a tiny bit of damage and also a lot of mana to use which is really good since Darius can get quite mana hungry. There is a reason nearly all top laners start with this item. However for Darius the other items just feel better.

Extremely greedy starting item but can work into favorable matchups. Be careful with it as you will be very squishy. What's good about starting Long Sword is that it allows for 3 Health Potion's and it allows for a much earlier purchase of Phage. I would only go for it when smurfing or in a ultra favorable match-up.

This is the most important item component for Darius. Giving him nearly everything he wants early game. Damage, tankiness and movement speed. Always look to get this item on your first back if you can unless it's better to rush another item in your match-up like Ninja Tabi against a Renekton. You can use the "Rage" passive of this item to catch opponents off guard with the sudden movement speed you get from it.

Not much to say here other than to always get this if you have enough gold for it even when you're ahead. This item is incredibly gold-efficient.

The only time when you should get this item is when you're against Fiora, Dr. Mundo or Soraka. This item is miles above Bramble Vest in terms of applying grievous wounds as having 1 stack of Hemorrhage on somebody will result in 8 seconds of grievous wounds (10 seconds with Mortal Reminder).

Great against burst heavy AP match-ups like Kennen but the enemy teamcomp has to be perfect for building it into a Maw of Malmortius later on. Only get it when the enemy comp is perfect for Maw of Malmortius and you're facing a burst heavy AP match-up.

A holy item among Darius mains. This item grants a lot of things Darius is interested in. Those being Tankiness, Sustain and Movement Speed. Get this item when you're against strong AD poke in lane and can't afford to build Ninja Tabis due to the enemy comp or squeeze it between Trinity Force / Black Cleaver and Sterak's Gage.

Check out the chapter: "Trinity Force VS The Black Cleaver? [My Take On The Topic]".

Check out the chapter: "Trinity Force VS The Black Cleaver? [My Take On The Topic]".

A core item and an absolute must have on Darius unless the enemy comp is absolutely perfect for Maw of Malmortius. Should be bought right after Trinity Force / Black Cleaver. Can be stalled out as a 3th item but never longer than that. Always get the Jaurim's Fist component first.

Hands down the best armor item on Darius. Dead Man's Plate is great for overall mobility as it gives constant movement speed and helps you get around the map much quicker. You sacrifice some tankiness by building Dead Man's Plate for mobility. But it's well worth it since it takes ages to move around the map as Darius even with a Raptor Cloak. Great overall best used against kite-heavy/mobile comps.

Unless you are against a full AD comp you should always have this in your build. The only exception is when this item is severely outclassed by Adaptive Helm due to the enemy comp and you don't need more MR. Spirit Visage has great synergy with Decimate and Death's Dance.

Ever since the change to Death's Dance to heal off of all damage instead of only physical damage it has become a much more viable item for Darius. It used to be viable before that but now it's even better. I build it as my 5th or 6th item nearly every game now. Death's Dance is a pseudo damage item that makes you "tankier" therefore you can afford to build over another pure damage item without getting instantly blown up. It's basically an item that lets you live long enough to endure burst that would've otherwise killed you already, letting you "dance" at the edge of death and heal up with all damage you deal to keep living. Darius hates burst because it makes it hard to survive until you acquire Noxian Might and kill your opponents. Death's Dance helps out with this problem by stalling out damage.

Turbo Chemtank is a, sort of, solution to one of the biggest problems Darius has, which is reaching his opponents. While it doesn't completely get rid of the problem it is a great way to close a gap on demand. The downside of the item is that it gives poor tank stats compared to other tank items and you might experience that more experienced players will "block" the active it so you can't reach your intended targets. Nonetheless this item is really good at pressing leads since it basically acts like a scuffed version of Ghost. Best used against kite-heavy comps or when wanting to press a lead.

Chances are if you're doing well and you're a carry for your team the opposing team will prioritize killing you. Guardian Angel gives you another chance should you mess up. Get this item when you are a big source of damage for your team and can't afford to die. Best bought as a last item.

Great against teams who deal a lot of Critical Strike Damage. I wouldn't recommend taking this over Dead Man's Plate unless you're against 2+ champions who deal Crit damage or a very fed troublesome crit ADC.

Great against heavy AD comps where you're against a lot of AA-reliant champions. Can be rushed against AD match-ups who pack a very strong all in like Renekton.

CC is one of Darius's biggest weaknesses since he is already very immobile and has no abilities that can help him to dodge CC and tank it out considering he is squishier than other bruisers. Get these boots if you're facing a heavy CC comp. Do not get them for the MR only. These boots can be rushed against certain ranged magic damage match-up who have some sort of CC in their kit like Teemo. The early movement speed will prove sufficient at abusing positional mistakes.

Only good against Viktor top and against teams with disgusting amounts of slows. Bad otherwise.

The main reason you should get this item for is for the effect "Grievous Wounds". This is simply an item meant to deal with champions who want to drain tank with lifesteal. Prime examples for whom this item is useful against are: Fiora, Olaf or Warwick. I am more of a fan of going for Executioner's Calling/ Mortal Reminder since it's cheaper and only requires 1 stack of Hemorrhage to apply Grievous Wounds for 8/10 seconds, which is longer than the fight is gonna last. What Thornmail has over Mortal Reminder is that Thornmail makes you tankier and provides a 15% cripple, which will further decrease the amount of sustain such champions as listed above bring to the table.

Good Late Game option if you will be the main target soaking up the damage. Other than that it can act as a panic button whenever you get focused and it buys you time to get your stacks. While it does reduce damage it doesn't reduce True Damage meaning Noxian Guillotine will do the same amount of damage. Overall solid late game item but shines the most when trying to fit in the role of a Frontliner or when being the priority target. Also combining this with Aftershock basically makes you invincible for the duration. Also the active is most effective when activated at full health. Activating it at the brink of death is nearly useless.

A great MR item which often gets overlooked. It has to be very effective against the enemy team comp to make it worth getting over Spirit Visage on Darius. Here is a list of Champions Adaptive Helm is useful against http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Adaptive_Helm#Show. If the enemy comp is very magic damage heavy you can just build both items.

Actually really great item on Darius but it get's destroyed by the fact that it denies you from building Sterak's Gage. Therefore it's only viable when you're against at least 3 magic damage threats. This item is simply put an offensive-defensive option to deal with AP threats. Generally you want to pick up the Hexdrinker component against burst heavy match-ups it is the best item component at fighting such champions in lane. Depending on how much magic damage the other comp has you want to upgrade the Hexdrinker to a full Maw of Malmortius either directly after the core items or hold onto the Hexdrinker and upgrade it later. Darius has insane synergy with the "Lifegrip" passive as Hemorrhage constantly keeps him in combat, effectively making this passive last longer than any other champion.

You'll basically only ever find yourself buying this item if you went for that glorious raptor claok. This item is best used for split-pushing, for slow-pushing and creating pressure. Allows you to murder towers and inhibitors even faster.

Very niche item on Darius. The only time where this item is worth building is when You're against at least 2+ auto-attack reliant champions who are causing trouble. Also before building it go for another item that grants a cripple first like Randuin's Omen before you get Frozen Heart. Combining these 2 items together will gut your opponents' attack-speed.

The only time you should get this item is when you're against no counterplay CC. Example for this would be Malzahar's Nether Grasp or Lissandra's Frozen Tomb. It's generally bad to build pure damage items on Darius but in some games you're just forced to get Quicksilver Sash. Get the Quicksilver Sash first and stall out the rest until you're full build.

Not much to say here other than to build this last after having bought Executioner's Calling.

If you've got a fetish for AA-resets and fast stacks then this is an item for you. I don't really recommend building it unless you're really into that sort of stuff.

The sole purpose of this item is counter strong late game poke. Get it when the enemy team is in possession of strong poke such as Zoe, Ezreal or Caitlyn. A nice side effect this item has is that it makes the shield from Sterak's Gage much stronger.

Pure snowball item. This is the only viable Lethality item on Darius due the the active and the 2 passives. Let's you zoom around the map and have a mini Ghost on a low CD. Basically if you're like 4/0 in lane and fed out of your mind to the point where you could almost instantly buy this item with a single purchase then go for it.

" Blade of the Ruined King on Darius?" That's probably what you just asked yourself. Yeah it sounds crazy but this item can be build against comps where you're dealing with at least 3+ champions who have a super large health pool. Nothing aside from a very large amount of health is safe from Darius' damage when he has Noxian Might running. Well with Blade of the Ruined King actually nothing is safe from your damage. This item is only viable in like 1 out of 50 games if you're "lucky". It has big downsides to it though, those being that the build path is garbage, the cost is high, it gives no tankiness and the components are nearly useless until the item is fully complete. Only ever build it if the situation calls for it and only as a 5th or 6th item.

Not much to say here other than to only get this when you're either full build or the game deciding fight is about to happen. If you need to output more damage in order to carry your team get this over Elixir of Iron.

It's only worth buying this against CC heavy comps or when you really, really need to be tankier. Also only get this when you're full build or the game deciding fight is about to go down.
Wave Management Back to Top
Wave Management is a big topic on its own and is relentlessly hard to perfect. It becomes more and more important the higher of an ELO You're playing in due to the fact that You are less and less likely to get ahead as Darius via kills because your lane opponent knows to respect You or counter-pick You. Therefore You have to gain leads via Wave Management. Proper Wave Management allows you to acquire more CS than your lane opponent, even zone them off of XP if Your match-up allows it, setup ganks, setup dives and much more. Ultimately granting you a bigger and bigger lead without You having to kill your lane opponent.

This topic is way too big for me to explain by myself. Instead I will link you this: https://mobalytics.gg/blog/league-of-legends-guide-everything-you-need-to-know-wave-management/#ideallanephase. It's an outstanding wave management guide by https://twitter.com/PicklePantsLoL . All credit goes to him. I recommend looking at chapters 3;4;7;8 and 9 to get a solid grasp on how wave management works. If you're at a point where your ELO requires you to know more go ahead and learn the other stuff as well. Or you can learn all of it if you're willing to dedicate yourself to it. The topic is frustrating to learn because it's hard and requires a lot of time. But you will feel every progress you make regarding wave management in your games.
Teamfighting Back to Top
Teamfighting is one of Darius' main strengths due to Noxian Might and resets from Noxian Guillotine. The general approach as Darius in teamfights is simple. Acquire Noxian Might from the champion who engages on you or on your team (a tank most of the time). Get to the enemy carrys via Ghost, Flash, Turbo Chemtank or any means necessary and murder them. After that proceed to clean up if you're still alive. The important things to watch out for in teamfights are abilities that deny you from acquiring Noxian Might or can deny you a reset from Noxian Guillotine such as Zilean's Chronoshift and your positioning. There is 1 extremely important thing to keep in mind when you're teamfighting as Darius and that is to NEVER EVER be on the front or engage unless you went for the "Frontline" build and have Gargoyle Stoneplate. Otherwise never engage. Only exception is if you have like a nasty guaranteed wombo combo on your team like Darius' Flash + Apprehend + Yasuo's Last Breath.
Split Pushing Back to Top
Split Pushing is the act of pushing a side lane on your own to create pressure for your team which they can then use to get objectives like Baron, Towers, Inhibitors and Drakes. It depends heavily on team compositions. You always split-push the lane opposite of the objective you're looking to get (Bot lane for Baron, Top Lane for Drake etc.).

There are certain requirement that have to be fulfilled for you to be able to pull of a successful split-push.

You can split-push when

1. Your team is in possession of strong waveclear and disengage.

2. Your team can fight without you.

3. You are able to 1v1 anybody on the enemy team.

You can't split-push when

1. Your team is severely behind.

2. Your team is dependent on being grouped to be strong.

3. The enemy team consists of a comp that can easily dive your team if you're not there with them.

It's a form of art that requires a long time to pull off well but its rewards are immense. This is what I used to help me hone my split-pushing skills. Excellent guide by NEACE
Early Game Back to Top
Darius is one of the strongest early-game champions in the game due to his ability to output more damage in a sustained fight than anybody else with his passive. Early game is the time when everybody is in their lane, farming, getting stronger, trades are being made or the first few kills start to happen. Not much aside from a gank here and there and an occasional skirmish (most of the time when fighting over the scuttle crab) happens aside from that. It's by far the slowest part of the game and the most forgiving in terms of making mistakes. What you should do at this point in the game is dictated by your match-up and the enemy jungler you're against. The most important thing in the early game are level advantages, especially level 2 - level 3. The reason for that is that not only do these levels increase your base stats but they also give you 1 ability more to work with than your opponent, letting you zone them, trade with them and come out on top or even all-in them. By level 3 most champions will have a point in each of their basic abilities, aside from a few exceptions. That's the point where level advantages are still extremely important but not as important as from level 2 to level 3. Generally it is best to push for a level advantage if possible but there are cases where it's better to only last hit and get shoved in. Here are some examples:

1. Your lane opponent leashed for his Jungler and arrives later in lane (he can also fake a leash keep an eye out for the opposing botlane, if they arrive later too don't push for a level advantage) and he has a Jungler that is known to level 2 gank. Prime examples for this would be: Camille, Xin Zhao or Jarvan IV. Especially when not running Teleport these Junglers will basically always look to level 2 gank you if they start top.

2. You're against a ranged champion like Jayce or a champion who has strong poke in general like Pantheon and you want to avoid poke as best as possible.

3. You aren't comfortable in a certain match-up and you want to set up a gank.

The goal for the early game when playing Darius is simple. Get ahead or stay at least even and avoid falling behind. It does not matter what kind of lead you establish it just matters that you are ahead. If you cannot kill your lane opponent because they play passive gain a lead via wave management. If you can't get ahead because you're in an unfavorable match-up try to stay at least even. If you are confident that you can kill your lane opponent by all means, go for it.
Mid Game Back to Top
Mid Game is the time where the first tower has already fallen, rotations are being made and small team fights (skirmishes) happen. Most champions will already have 1-2 items at this point.

Despite what a lot of people think. Darius' early game is not his strongest point in the game. It's his mid-game. When ahead and right at the moment of hitting level 11 and unlocking rank 2 of Noxian Guillotine Darius reaches the level of a mid-game monstrosity. Reason for that being is that once he hits 11 and unlocks his rank 2 Noxian Guillotine he gets such a huge damage boost coupled with the facts that at this point in the game skirmishes, rather than fully blown out teamfights, are bound to happen at which Darius excels at because he is bound to take less damage than in a fully blown out 5v5 which leads to people not being able to kill him fast enough before he get's his stacks and can proceed to go ham. Not to mention champions having little to no additional health/armor for them to tank Darius.

The goal for Mid Game depends on the situation. If you're ahead press your lead by getting objectives such as Herald, Drakes and Towers. You can split-push if possible. If not group with your team to get objectives. If you're behind you want to play passively and cautiously and farm your way back into the game or group with your team and "secure" a few kills.
Late Game Back to Top
Late game is the time where champions are getting close to full build, max levels are nearly reached and fully blown out 5v5 teamfights over major objectives such as Baron and Elder Drake happen. Dying at this stage of the game has severe consequences such as losing said major objectives or even losing the game. This is the time where you fall off a bit because carry champions will have enough damage to kill you really fast. You still deal a ****ton of damage but you become more team-reliant because of all the damage that will be coming at you at this stage. At this point of the game you should be grouping with your team and peeling your carrys as best as you can (or split-push if possible). Remember that you're not a frontline and that there are worlds between you and a true tank in terms of tankiness. You will die instantly if you get focused down. Generally you either want to wait for somebody on your team to engage or wait for somebody on the enemy team to engage and then work from there. Check out "Teamfighting" for that.

The goal of Late Game is to either group with your team or to split-push (depending on situation and teamcomps) to then get major objectives and end the game.
Turning Around/Provoking Ganks Back to Top
This chapter is for Intermediate+ Darius players only. It requires you to have a great understanding of utilizing Darius' kit optimally and requires to have a basic sense of wave management.


Turning Around Ganks



When it comes to turning around ganks I have my personal "Rules" that I stick to which give me the ability to come out on top if I stay true to those "Rules".

The Rules are:

1. Don't panic, ever. Doesn't matter if it's the entire enemy team coming for You or only 1 person.

2. Get 5 stacks on the person who has the least amount of possibility to escape from You (usually the person who engages on You, most of the time a tank who engages on You). You can determine that by knowing what abilities a champion can use to disengage or deny you from acquiring your 5 stacks.

3. Make sure to use Decimate after using Apprehend or Crippling Strike. If a champion has some sort of ability he can use to dodge Decimate don't Apprehend AA Crippling Strike Decimate otherwise they will be able to dodge Decimate with said ability, use Decimate right after using Apprehend. If you don't have your Apprehend up use Crippling Strike first then Decimate.

4. Know your priority targets. There is no point in hammering down a 5K HP Cho'Gath for 10 seconds while their ADC is shredding you. Get your stacks from the Cho Gath, get to the biggest threats by any means necessary (usually some sort of Carry), take them out and proceed to clean up if you're still alive.

5.CC is your Death Sentence in most situations. Avoid it as best as you can.

6. Remember that Apprehend is a displacement ability. Therefore it can be used to interrupt a lot of movement abilities or other abilities which get canceled by hard CC.


Provoking Ganks


You might be asking yourself "Why should I ever provoke a gank when I can simply freeze the wave and get a lead that way?". Good question. First of all by provoking a gank I mean getting intentionally ganked by overextending or proxying the wave behind the turret(extremely risky, only ok if very experienced). There are several reasons why you can set yourself up to getting ganked. Please remember that this can backfire really bad for you and should only be done if the situation allows it and you're confident in your ability to pull it off.

1. Your team is getting crushed and you want to draw the Junglers attention to your lane. This will result in your team getting more breathing room, your Jungler can counter-jungle or take objectives or make a play.

2. You're greedy, confident and you think you can 1v2 to majorly shoot ahead and snowball out of control. This will not only trash the mental of your opponent (should you succeed in turning it) but also cause insane pressure since the enemy now knows they cannot even 1v2 you. The Jungler will most likely abandon that lane and look somewhere else for the entirety of the laning phase.

3. Your Jungler knows what he is doing and sees that the enemy Jungler is about to gank you (counter-gank) and you want to lure a passive lane opponent to engage onto you with his jungler to then 2v2.

There are a ton of questions that You should be asking yourself when You want to determine whether You can or can't 1v2 Your lane opponent and his Jungler or not. Such as:
    What type of Jungler/Match-up is it?
    Which summoner spells do they have up, which summoner spells do I have up?
    Do they have CC?
    How long can I tank their damage?
    Are they able to kite me?
    Any abilities that can prove to be difficult to deal with?
To name a few important ones.


Underneath You can see a flowchart that can help You determine. It's completely dependent on the situation and who you're facing.
Tips For Climbing Back to Top
Solo Queue is purgatory and it takes a lot of willpower to climb high.

Underneath are my personal tips that also got me to where I am now.

- Seek improvement not wins. Losing is fine, what matters is that you improve.

- Look at your own mistakes not your teammates' and actively try to iron out your mistakes and weaknesses.

- Don't blame anybody but yourself.

- You're getting griefed/inted/trolled? Ignore it and move on.

- You're tired? Don't play.

- You've got a headache? Don't play.

- You're tilted? Don't play.

- You're not feeling healthy or you don't want to actually play the game but you queue up again? Be smart and exit that queue, my friend.

- You/your team is getting held hostage by an unpleasant player? Don't risk your sanity and your MMR, be the smart player and run.

- Your team composition is utter trash and has nearly unfulfillable win conditions? Be the smart player and run.

- Dodging is a big part in climbing the ladder. Do it more often. It protects your sanity it saves your MMR and it saves you time.

- You're on 3+ game losing streak? Take at least a day off.

- You want to learn a new champion and bring him to ranked? Hammer down a lot of normal games with that champion before attempting to bring him into ranked.

- Try to be as consistent as possible by sticking to comfort picks and a small and simple pool of champions. Consistency is the key to climbing.

Solo Queue is a dark place and the way to the top of the ladder is hard and brutal but where there is will there is a way.

YOU can do it YOU have the POWER to DO IT!

NOW GO OUT THERE AND GET THAT ELO!!!
Final Words Back to Top
I thank You from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of Your day to read my guide. Salute to https://www.reddit.com/r/Dariusmains/ and to everyone who has helped me in the past.

If you want to ask me something my Discord is Notalgiz #2878

Good Luck on the Rift!

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide