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Darius Build Guide by shadow211121

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[9.5]Endless War Ω Rhoku's Darius Guide

By shadow211121 | Updated on March 10, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Darius
    9.5 Runes [DETAILED EXPLANATION BELOW]
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    Fleet Footwork/Super Safe/Not Recommended for beginners
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    Conq + Sorcery, Aggro Runes
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    My Favourite/Phase rush
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    Phase Rush Safe runes
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    Default Grasp
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    Aftershock
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    New Glacial Darius by iZeal
  • LoL Champion: Darius
    My Hail of Blades Build NOT TESTED

Runes:

Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Resolve
Bone Plating
Overgrowth
Bonus:

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

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #20 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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

Introduction

Greetings!

I am Rhoku/Mister_Red1(on Reddit). I've been a League of Legends player ever since the beginning of the 6th Season, with me maining and learning the game through Darius. Right now I am a Darius Onetrick and I am currently Master tier in the EUW server.
I do admit that my rank does not really mean that I am a good player. I know that I am simply not as experience as some. However, I have played nothing but primarily Darius ever since season 6. He was the perfect champion for me which was why after picking him up, I immediately started climbing. I have knowledge on Darius specifically that I would like to share with you guys. With him being a popular pick right now, I want people to understand the basics of this champion. I've seen situations where a toplaner simply picks Darius for the first time, thinking he is an easy champ to play, only for them to fail miserably. I want this guide to prevent that. If you play toplane, learning Darius can give you a staple pick that you can use to effectively carry entire games and shut down teamfights. So allow me to teach you how to play as the Hand of Noxus himself.
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Important to those quickly scrolling through for runes.

The important thing I have to tell the person reading this is to use their brain to pick their runes. Don't look at some guide or op.gg/u.gg/whateverthe**** and copy all the runes without taking the enemy team into consideration. They don't know what ur up against. Neither do I. Only you do. Learn what each rune does and think whether it is useful. If ur up against poke, maybe second wind is a good idea. Lot of cc? Unflinching! Can you easily push the enemy to their turret, stomp them and take plates? Take Demolish. Read what each rune does, understand what its good against, then apply it ingame. Doing that will make you a better player, not quickly going through this **** before you get ingame when you've picked Darius for the first time in your life.
ALSO IF YOU ARE NEW TO DARIUS, TAKE CONQUEROR INTO LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Misusing a somewhat more complex rune due to lack of experience is not worth the benefit that they give. Conq is simple to use. If you'd like an even easier time take Grasp.
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Runes

9.4 CONQUEROR CHANGES: Everything I wrote here about Conqueror is true. Keep in mind that it is slightly weaker on Darius though. Tank matchups are a little harder too. Imo, grasp on Darius is pretty good rn. Although it is worse and darius' winrates are tanking in this patch, Conqueror is still a useable rune and the go to if you are autofilled.

With Darius, you pretty much have 3 of the 5 trees as viable options, with the other 2 trees being mostly situational. Darius is somewhat versatile rune wise so you should be able to make any of them work if you are good enough. The keystone is up to your personal playstyle, what you find most fun, and the team comp that you're up against.

Viable Trees

Precision:
This tree is quite possibly the best for Darius. You can take it as your primary tree if you want the damage of Conqueror, or take it as secondary if you prefer a different keystone.
Out of all the keystones, you really want to be taking Conqueror. It is good for Darius and the others pale in comparison. Press the Attack is okay in lane but when you have to fight multiple targets like in a teamfight, it just becomes a wasted spot. Not to mention how lategame, you won't be sitting there, wacking someone with your autos as you will mostly rely on your abilities. Darius could just do a lot more with the AD and the true damage from Conqueror. Lethal Tempo sucks. Period. Attack speed on Darius helps early on in lane but it just falls off quick. Fleet Footwork is possible as it gives you early mobility. I'd suggest it into the most difficult matchups where you really have zero confidence in yourself. Take it if you are not too good with Darius or the sustain is just necessary. Triumph is a must. You can take the stacking attack speed or the stacking Tenacity next depending on your preference. I take Tenacity as I do not like getting stunlocked in teamfights. And for the last rune, Coup de Grace or Last Stand are good on Darius. I prefer Last Stand personally, as if I am killing someone I'll get my noxian might from them anyway so the bonus AD is not that significant. Overall, It is a great primary tree but ever since Riot giganerfed Conqueror, I wouldn't recommend it as strongly as I used to. Still an excellent secondary tree.

Sorcery:
Despite Darius not being a magician, he can really use the sorcery tree as it gives an immense amount of movement speed. And Darius loves movespeed as he is quite immobile. You mostly want to take this tree for Phase Rush. The other keystones are terrible. Nimbus Cloak is great for Darius, with Nullifying Orb being a good choice into bad matchups. Celerity used to be okay but riot killed it so you can also take Absolute Focus. And the last rune, whether you take Gathering Storm or Scorch is up to you. Waterwalking helps roams in river. Darius sucks at roaming but is amazing at early fights due how long and drawn out they are, meaning that if you get to a fight quick enough, you can 2v3 the enemy team's mid, jungle and top(unless you get outplayed/miss your abilities) if you are able to get 5 stacks. Overall, the extra movespeed from the lesser runes are decent if you are running sorcery as your second tree. But I would recommend using this tree for Phase Rush primarily.

Resolve:
This tree is perfect for beginner Darius players as a primary tree. It also makes laning easier to an extent and allows you to run a fairly tanky build. Grasp of the Undying is certainly a good keystone for him as he can have it up very frequently. Aftershock is nice as it gives him extra survivability, provided that he lands his hook. If you know how to play Darius, you can better utilize other keystones meaning that you will mostly be taking this tree as secondary. Shield bash is ***. dont take it. Even if you have aftershock. Its not worth it. Conditioning is nice but I personally do not enjoy it that much. The resistances are cool and all but in terms of laning, the other two runes are superior because they actually DO SOMEETHING in lane. However, if you are up against a ridiculously easy lane like Sion, Conditioning can be a great way to snowball even further. Unflinching allows you to run the maximum tenacity build that helps greatly in lategame. Revitalize is dog****. I personally go for Unflinching as I love stacking Tenacity to counter CC. Overgrowth may work if you are going for a more tanky Darius build or if the tenacity from Unflinching isnt useful against the current team comp. The rune that helps you take the turret is nice ONLY in lanes where you are GUARANTEED to win. Otherwise, it is not worth it. But if you are confident that you can stomp, then it can let you get plates off of turrets with great ease. Doing so will snowball you even harder, as you can safely get 2 plates off every time the enemy laner leaves his turret.

Situational/Difficult to use Trees

Domination:
The Keystones for this tree are not great on Darius at all. You CAN make them work but you have to be incredible with Darius and the game in general. It is possible but not recommended to do a Lifesteal build with taste of blood and ravenous hunter. In all honesty, by taking this tree you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Don't take this as primary OR a secondary tree until you get to the point where you are good enough to do so, this point being hundreds of games. And even at that point, it might be better to wait until you get good at the game in general where you understand the utility of said runes. Hail of Blades is a really good Keystone on Darius however. It lets you insta stack off of tanks in teamfights and allows you to cheese better in lane. Although the rest of the domination tree is sorta weak, with the heals being negligible, I still think you should try it out to see if you can work with it.

Inspiration:
This tree used to be incredible before they changed Spellbook. Now, if you are willing to give up a keystone you can maybe take it. The runes that inspiration gives are quite terrible in comparison with what you get from other trees. Same treatment with Domination really. I wouldn't recommend this tree at all.


PRESEASON RUNE EXPLANATION
Alright. With us now being able to choose the stats we get from runes, we can better adapt to lanes. The example setup I gave above with 2 adaptive and 1 health is just an example. There is no single EZ PZ setup you can run into every damn game. You have to adapt. Are you against a Riven/Panth? Then it might be better to run double armor or 1 armor and 1 health. Are you vs a high cc team? Then take Legend: Tenacity and then take attack speed instead of adaptive force. Are you vs a Rumble or a Swain? Take MR. They basically made the runes a lot more open which is better as we get more freedom. But it also means that you have to think about your choices more and adapt to your enemies. I suggest having a runepage that you change every game in champ select so you can change it based on who ur up against.

Viable Keystones:
Conqueror, Phase Rush, Hail of Blades, Grasp of the Undying, Aftershock
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Pros / Cons

Pros:
+Incredible amounts of damage.
+Very difficult to kill due to his ability to heal back.
+Can win entire teamfights by himself.
+Can be used to win lane against ANYBODY if played correctly.
+Snowballs incredibly hard to the point where he can solo carry a team through early-midgame to midgame.
+Can punish mistakes very easily.
+Able to turn a jungle gank into a double kill.
+Free armor penetration.
+He can go down but he is never out. A feeding Darius can easily get back into the game with a few kills in a teamfight.


Cons:
-Immobile and very easy to kite.
-Missing your E can mean death.
-In higher elos, landing your Q is difficult unless you prep your enemy for it with a W or an E.
-Not the best peeler on the planet.
-Is not as tanky as most tank champions.
-Falls off Hyperlategame.
-The longer the game goes, the more you have to rely on your team which might prove difficult in lower elos.
-While he can win lane against anybody, there are a lot of picks that make life hell for him.
-His teleport ganks are not too great.
-If you are not levels ahead of your enemy, then the game is going to be very difficult for you.
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Ability explanations

Note: If you want a more detailed version of the description of these abilities in terms of game mechanics, then head on over to: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Darius
Passive:
Hemorrhage: Darius' basic attacks and damaging abilities 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 your bread and butter. What your entire gameplay revolved around. Noxian Might. The bleed is nice and it often acts as a way for you to secure kills, even after you've died. But Noxian Might is where it is at. Why is Darius built tanky? To survive long enough to apply 5 stacks for his Noxian Might. Why does Darius love movespeed? Because it lets him stick to people to get his Noxian Might. It is all about Noxian Might. It is like a switch that automatically wins you the teamfight/any fight you are in. If you are ganked and you get Noxian Might before the enemy jungler can get to you, you can very easily get a 2v1 double kill.

Q:
Decimate: Darius prepares 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 the amount of enemy champions hit by the blade) MISSING health. The shaft of Darius' axe will not apply Bleed or heal him.


This ability is vital. Learn to predict enemy movements to hit it in low elo, as people are mostly gonna just suck at dodging your q. Know that if you are up against a lane where you fight a lot, e.g. Renekton, Riven, missing your Q means that they can just dumpster you in a trade and back off, leaving you totally screwed for the rest of the lane. It is a great way to sustain in lane and deliver massive amounts of damage. In higher ranks, people learn to dodge his Q so you might wanna only Q when you've used your w or e on the person in order to guarantee it hits. Also, if you have gotten someone REALLY low, like 100> hp and they are under turret, you can prep your Q and then flash near them when it is about to hit, instantly killing them.


W:
Crippling Strike: Active: 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's autoattack timer.


This ability is very important as it just sews the other abilities of Darius together. It is the ability that you combo with. The fastest way to get stacks on someone is to autoattack, immediately W in order to reset your auto, and then immediately Q in order to cancel the W animation. This leads to you getting 3 stacks on someone in like 1 second. Be sure to practice resetting your autos on Darius with his W, so that you don't wait out the animation of your last auto. This ability is also a nice way to farm. Instead of last hitting normally, just use your w as it will guarantee that you will get the minion due to higher damage and there is basically no downside as you get the mana back and half the cooldown is reduced.

E:
Apprehend: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.


This ability is too important. If you miss this ability, you can die. If you don't, you can get a kill. This ability makes it so dangerous for people in low elo who don't know how to kite Darius as you can just bring them over to you. It is great in lane as well as it acts as a stun and slows the enemy after wards, allowing you to combo them without resistance or even just Q them. With Phase Rush, you can just pull an enemy, w and then do a Q to cancel its animation in order to quickly activate your phase rush. This can lead to you escaping ganks, if you do not have the health to fight them out. If you play enough Darius, you will get a sense to how big the area is and will be able to pull instinctively. One thing to note is that if you get big using Sterak's, Lulu ult or the iron pot, the area that your E pulls in REMAINS THE SAME SIZE DESPITE THE MODEL BEING BIGGER. Your axe will go through people but you won't pull them if you grow in size, simply due to the fact that his E area stays consistent. Just keep that in the back of your head in an intense teamfight. Also the passive armor pen is great too. One might think that it devalues Conqueror but no. The bleed stacks on Darius makes Conqueror too easy to trigger, leading to you getting a LOT of use out of it.

R: ULTIMATE:
Noxian Guillotine: Active: Darius becomes unstoppable for 0.25 seconds and attempts to execute the targeted enemy champion, dealing icon 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.


Oh boy what would Darius be without this ability. This turns you into a teamfight MONSTER. A good Darius will make sure to use this just to execute targets. Keep an eye on the maximum damage number given ingame to have an idea of how low a person might be in order to die to your ultimate. Try to keep heals and shields in mind though. They WILL ruin your ultimate. But if you do get a kill with your ultimate, BOOM. You get noxian might and can just tear the enemy team a new one. With Noxian Might, you can just Flash + W and just ult squishies to oneshot them if you're fed enough. Every stack increases your damage by 20% so try to have an estimate in your mind to work with. The minions running away is just ******ic as you feel so ******* powerful. It also means that if you are in a close fight inside your enemies' minion wave, you ulting and killing someone means that he minions won't attack you, allowing you to safely get away. Also, YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE WHILE DOING YOUR ULT. The only way to stop you is to kill you. Other than that, things that make the target no longer targetable like Zed ultimate will cancel your ultimate but you will still be able to use it. Your ult only gets used up when it hits the opponent. Now, the opponent can be invincible, (kayle) and block it. That will use up your ultimate. But Bard ult and the untargetable **** just gives you your ult back, delaying your enemies' death. Also, one you target the enemy, no matter how far they run, you will STILL kill them. Unless they go invisible/out of your vision though. So if an enemy is running to a wall, place a ward on the other side while ulting really quickly so that their flash does not save them. I've had so many instances where people flashed away from my ultimate, only to die.
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Summoner Spells

Flash: The best summoner spell ingame. Especially mandatory on Darius.
Ghost: A great summoner spell that gives you enough mobility to catch up to most people trying to kite you. It also increases your proficiency in teamfights by a lot.
Teleport: It is great with you being a toplaner. Useful in difficult matchups and if your botlane needs help. But remember that Ghost helps out a lot more as Darius' weakness is not being able to catch up to people and being easily kited. And unless you hit the perfect Teleport, chances are the enemy can reposition themselves in a way to get away from you with you being so slow. Honestly, whether you take Ghost or Teleport is mostly up to preference.
Ignite: Great for cheesing first blood, not so much later on. An early engage with 5 stacks and ignite will most likely end up in your opponent being dead for sure. However, the spell gives Darius more damage, something he already has. His passive is good enough for securing kills as it is, which is why I personally don't take Ignite.
Exhaust: It is not what Darius needs at all. The only use I can see for this spell is trying to catch up to people which you can already to with Ghost on a lower cooldown. Just don't take it.
Smite: Don't. Maybe in normals with your friends, but do not take Darius jungle.
Heal/ Barrier: Nope. If you are considering taking these on Darius then you have just misunderstood the champion.
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Item Set

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KMN4Dmq84JDw2C81-d2YZOcJom8ZNC10

Here is the link. Let me know if its broken.
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Items

Before I start explaining why some items are good/bad, understand that there is no concrete build path you have to take as Darius. You have to learn to adapt to your enemies.

Starting Items:
Doran's Blade: Great item if you are confident in lane. If you get to attack your enemy a lot and if they are melee, you mostly want to get this.
Doran's Shield: Great item against difficult and poke matchups. This, combined with Second Wind leads to you gaining a lot of health back, pretty much negating poke if you wait long enough. Incredibly versatile so if you are a beginner at Darius get this like 90% of the time.
Corrupting Potion: If the lane looks like a farmfest where you have to just stay in lane, this might be a good option. It allows you to spam spells more and gives you a bit more damage in trades. Corrupt pot is also an okay buy if you are looking for an early first blood cheese.
Long Sword: Very greedy item. Only take it when you know that you are getting first blood.
Cloth Armor: Very safe item. Great vs Riven/Panth/AD Poke. Doran is still better though.
Warding Totem: WARD UP. Wards offer more protection than all of the tank items in the game while laning.

Early Rushes:
Phage: Core Item on Darius. Great stats but an even greater passive that gives Darius the movespeed he needs to catch some foes that can get away.

Boots of Speed: While they can be ignored on some champions in favor of more powerful options, Darius NEEDS MOVESPEED. So get it if you have spare gold.

Note for all safe/defensive buys: You are welcome to buy these safe items if you are losing lane but remember that if the enemy makes a mistake and you correctly capitalize on it and kill them, you can just go for Phage/ Boots of Speed and then continue on with the main purchases. Darius is AMAZING at turning a lane around with a single kill so if you found a way to trash that Gnar, just go for a Phage rush instead of Ninja Tabi. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD COMPLETELY IGNORE COUNTER ITEMS. No matter how many kills you have up on Fiora for example, Bramble Vest is a MUST. You have to be the judge of how hard the item you are buying counters the enemy.

Ninja Tabi: Great vs AD Poke. Especially good against Riven, ranged adcs, Gnar and etc.

Mercury's Treads: Not something you should rush immediately in lane but definitely a good pickup after Phage. The Tenacity is sooo valuable on Darius and the MR isnt bad either.

Spectre's Cowl: Tough Ap Matchups. Vlad(if he properly kites you), Fizz(if you died or something), Rumble, Akali

Chain Vest: If you died in lane and desperately need to reduce AD damage. The difference between this and Tabis is that chain vest is more against AD ability damage. Im thinking Pantheon and Jayce kinda people.

Bramble Vest: For fighting autoattacking champions that heal AKA FIORA.

Executioner's Calling: Vs Mundo, Vlad and other healers. Better than Bramble Vest in some ways as it is not only cheaper, but it triggers the grievous wounds by you hitting them. It also does not build into anything useful for you so you just want to hold onto it until your adc or some other champion buys a grievous wounds substitute.

Main Items:
For your main items, you pretty much have to decide between Black Cleaver and Trinity Force as your "Main Item". You can only build one and your choice will determine your playstyle overall. Lets compare them.

Raw Stat wise, Black Cleaver seems better at first. It gives more health which means more tankiness for Darius. It also gives him more AD which is great as everything he has scales off of AD. Not to mention how the Armor Shred passive works perfectly with your passive. This means that you can fully shred someone's armor by just attacking them once. And the biggest advantage Black Cleaver has in my opinion is the cost. Trinity Force is the most expensive item in the game and that 733 gold can mean a lot, especially early on when your gold income is not as high as it is later. If you are playing against 2 or more tanks or you intend on being a more of a peeling, supporting tank who works with his team more, then you should pick this item up.

Trinity Force on the other hand, gives you a much higher carry potential. It does not provide the armor shred Black Cleaver provides and is lacking in the Ad and Health Department. But it makes up for it with everything else. Trinity Force gives Mana which does come in handy when you are spamming your spells on cooldown, Attackspeed which helps quickly stack your passive, movespeed which is one of the most crucial stats to have on Darius and most importantly, Sheen. Sheen turns your W into a nuke and gives you many empowered auto attacks which increases your damage output by a lot. Not to mention how Trinity Force synergises better with Conqueror, as the 20% true damage function of the keystone is wasted when you have the armor reduction that Black Cleaver provides. Get Trinity Force if you are against squishies, have to carry your team and do the most damage, are snowballing/ahead in lane and are against a mobile teamcomp.

Sterak's Gage:
Sterak's Gage is an incredible item for Darius. Although the base damage being changed to bonus damage certainly hurt Darius, the item is still a great pick up. Why you ask? Let me tell you. Firstly, the stats that it gives are incredible. 450 Health is nothing to laugh at and it makes you beefier. But the AD is the more important factor in this item. Darius is known for having one of the best base stats in the game. With Sterak's AD scaling off of base AD, Darius' level ups give him even more AD. this item will give you somewhere between 50-70 AD depending on your level. And I don't know about you but 70 AD for a bruiser item that makes you this tanky is a great deal. The passive of the item is LEGENDARY. It is so useful. It has saved me countless times and thanks to it, I've been able to survive long enough to get my 5 stacks and then continue to destroy the enemy team. The extra Tenacity the item gives is great as well. One of Darius' weaknesses is CC and Tenacity reduces that. It is a great item. Get it.

Tank Items:

Dead Man's Plate:
This is quite possibly the best tank item for Darius. It gives you incredible chase potential, movespeed which is great for Darius along with health and armor which are great as well. However the slow from the auto along with the damage are negligible at times. Even so, it is a great item if you know what you are doing nonetheless.

Spirit Visage:
If this item had no Magic Resist, it would still be a great pickup on Darius. Why is that? The healing. Spirit Visage increases healing by 30%. ALL HEALING. This means that instead of healing 36% of your missing health by hitting 3 people, you heal back 45%. The item increases base health regen, it increases the health gain from Triumph and is just an all round great item. The health and the MR make it great buys against AP opponents and the CDR is just icing on the cake really. Although I personally like Dead Man's plate more due to my personal playstyle, this item is DEFINITELY a worthwhile pick up.

Randuin's Omen:
This item is great if you are against crit AD carries that get fed. But right now in the meta, Crit ADCs have taken the back seat in terms of botlane meta. Although the stats on the item are great, the passive active is a bit redundant as Darius has his w already. But the item is still a good purchase if you are A)Against a fed Yasuo B)Against a fed Tryndamere C)Against a fed ADC.

Thornmail:
This is a somewhat niche item. But it is INCREDIBLE great at what it does. It pretty much stops an auto attack/healing champ in their tracks. Not only does it counter healing, but it also gives a massive amount of armor. Get it if you are up against a healing champ that HAS to autoattack or just anybody really that auto attacks a lot.


Questionable/Risky/Situational Items:

These items are a bit more questionable and massively depend on your playstyle. I suggest that you stay away from these until you get the basics of Darius down. Even so, you are welcome to read them to familiarize yourself with them, should you come across a game where they would be the perfect buy.

Titanic Hydra:
The mother of all controversial Darius items. You might be thinking that this is a great item as it gives you HP, AD and an autoattack reset but it really is not too great at times if I am being honest. I have died so many times because I bought this item instead of a tank item. The amount of AD it gives is nothing to go crazy over. If you were great at dodging and just avoiding damage then you could get this item. It is also an option if you were to not buy Sterak's. But the price tag is just way too much and Darius is a guy who just soaks up a lot of hits because he is really immobile. This is ultimately down to your playstyle. If you are new to Darius, I suggest you stay away from this and just go for Sterak's Gage as Sterak's activate on its own whereas you kinda have to manually activate Titanic which opens up room for a mistake. Again, it is up to how you want to play Darius and if you enjoy playing with Titanic rather than other items, then you are welcome to do so. But trust me when I say that with HOW GOOD Sterak's is on Darius, you won't be doing yourself a favor at times. Know that a lot of people just don't like seeing Darius build this item.

Righteous Glory:
It's cheap. It gives decent stats. And it gives you the ULTIMATE WAY to be just unkiteable. imagine getting your 5 stacks off on a tank and just activating this to rush to the enemy carry to oneshot them with a W and your ult. I do think that there are more useful items you could get. Dead man's might not give as much movespeed but it does make you tankier. Up to your playstyle really. I myself used to build this item once every 3 games or so. Now I just get it when I first picked Darius and the enemy picked a teamcomp that completely kites me out.

Adaptive Helm:
The only circumstance you should build this over Spirit Visage is if you are up against mages that spam spells to do damage. I'm thinking Ryze and Cassio esque champions.

Gargoyle Stoneplate:
This item is a little controversial between Darius players as only some of them are building it. But I do think that it is useful as it is your "OH **** SAVE ME" button. 80 armor and mr while in the middle of the enemy team does not sound too bad. The active which massively increases your health is a great way to survive. Say you got into a teamfight and then you chased someone in order to get your 5 stacks. But oh no, you separated from your team and now the enemy team is starting to focus you. Pop this item, use your E and just waste the enemies' time until your team can come back and help you kill the enemy. However, this item is counterintuitive on Darius as your main goal is to KILL and do damage. Your ult damage won't get reduced but Darius relies on more than JUST his ult. My advice? This item should really be something you are getting when you are playing as a tank who works with his team rather than a carry.

Death's Dance:
It gives you TONS of AD, decent healing and makes you deceptively tanky. But it does not really make you tanky. Only makes you look tanky. I've only gotten this item when I am massively ahead and even then I found myself to be too squishy. Lifesteal on Darius is only for those games where you just want to have fun and don't really care about where the game goes. The price tag of Death's Dance is also quite unforgiving. But if you have no other option and really want AD, then go right ahead. You will have to play more carefully though.

Guardian Angel:
Underrated item on Darius. Although it should not be one of your main items, it should still be up for consideration. There are just those games where you are your team's only hope and your death would cripple your team. It gives a tiny amount of AD and Armor which is great but the revive of this item comes in handy often when there is nobody else in the team who is willing to carry.

Phantom Dancer:
Phantom Dancer. Oh how I love you. This is probably my favorite, **** Darius item. It gives you movespeed, attack speed and the chance to crit. It also gives you extra movespeed when you get close to your enemy. But it gives you no AD or tankiness. If you want to have fun you should definitely pick this item up but if you are serious about winning, just don't.

Frozen Heart:
This item is so niche. You should be buying this once every 100 games. It is basically a great item on top of Thornmail if some AA champion is REALLY screwing your game up. I'm just saying that you CAN build it but you SHOULD only in certain circumstances.

Zz'Rot Portal:
I remember creating a Darius guide on youtube where I recommended this item. I would link it for lols but it just makes me cringe as it is filled with outdated and bad advice. I was gold/low plat at the time anyway. The resistances on the item are great. The movespeed in lane is also great. It is cheap and it gives you a great way to split push. There are better items in the shop that Darius can use and this is just one of those items that you need more game knowledge to use effectively.

Warmog's Armor:
The problem with this item is that it just does not give resistances. And there are few situations where getting more resistances is a bad thing. Massive amounts of health on its own is just not too great. You also have to consider all the percentage max health on hit damaging items/champions there are in the game.

Sunfire Cape:
Get Dead Man's Plate instead. You already do WAY more damage than this item does. You have waveclear. This item is useless
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Early Game

Your early game as Darius is the most important part of the game for you. Your early game will decide whether you are going to be a god midgame who will dominate the entire enemy team, a weak janitor who will clean up after his own team. What makes Darius a great soloq pick is that his laning phase is amazing, with him having the damage to carry a terrible team to the point where you can just solo win a game. Remember that your goal at this stage is to snowball. Get kills, force your opponent to stay back in the lane while you get all farm and if he dares touch the minions you just kill him again. If you play properly, you may even be able to get a double kill against the laner and the jungler. FOCUS ON CS EARLY. Darius' early items are very important for him. Kills won't be enough on their own to give you enough gold for your items. 20 farm is equal to a kill. If you have 0 kills and 0 deaths against a Malphite who also has 0 kills and 0 deaths, don't think of it as being even. If you farm correctly and bully him correctly, you could have like 80 farm up on him which translates to 4 kills. Also, keep your eyes on your jungler to get an idea of how much of the jungle the enemy jungler as cleared. This will help you predict when you are going to get ganked, allowing you to ward up quickly and prevent your death. If you are in a bad matchup, just try to capitalize on mistakes and get some sort of lead.
So in summary, get fed, destroy you laner to the point where they are useless, farm well(more than 8 cs a minute is okay) and ward up.
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Wave Control/Minions

As Darius, you might be tempted to Q the enemy mindlessly. But that is a great way of pushing the wave into the enemy. A smart foe will then try to freeze the lane at a position which makes you incredibly easy to gank. If you are throwing a Q, at least make sure that you hit as little minions as possible. But sometimes your level 2 is just too important. If you are playing against a lane where levels are VITAL, then you should try your best to kill minions as fast as possible. What I am saying here is that the way you should interact with the minions solely depends on your matchup. If you killed your opponent, you just want to make sure that the minions crash at the enemies' turret. That way, the wave will slowly bounce back to you, with you being in a spot that allows you to escape ganks.

This is just an example of the thought process that goes into manipulating the minion wave a certain way. If you have a better control of the minions, you have a better control of where your lane opponent will be. You have to understand why people do the things they do to minions so that you can better make these decisions yourself ingame.

Lets start with the basics of minions.
There are 3 types of minions: Melees, Ranged, and Cannons. Just so you know, "creep" is another word for minions.
Minions give more and more gold as time goes on, especially Cannon minions. While the score may be the same, make it a priority to get a cannon minion as they give the most gold and exp. Then melee minions, and THEN the ranged minions.
Ranged minions do much more damage but the melee minions are a lot tankier.
If the minions hit your turret, you gotta take how much damage they can take into account. Until you get your AD items, a melee minion is gonna die to 2 turret shots and 1 auto attack. A ranged minion will die to 1 turret shot and 2 auto attacks(tricky with darius to do as his bleed will mess with this a bit.) A cannon minion will take 7 turret shots and then an auto attack to kill. With Darius, you have access to your Q and your W in order to assist you with your farming. Not to mention how the AD you will purchase makes your farming a lot easier.
If you auto attack an enemy champion or hit them with a targeted spell(panth Q), the minions will aggro on you and start to attack you. This is why fighting inside an enemy minion wave is a bad idea, especially in the early game. Your Q is great as it is untargeted. This means that even if you hit the enemy with it, the enemy minions will not hit you.

There are 3 types of way you can push the wave:
Freezing, Slow pushing and Shoving.

Freezing:
Freezing is when you only last hit your minions at the very last moment before they die. This leads to you minion wave staying in one position. If the enemy shoves the lane, then your minion wave moves back. This leads to the enemy being in a more gankable position and you being in a less gankable position. Once the lane is pushed towards you enough, then you can start being aggressive and zoning the enemy off of his minions. What I mean by this is using your presence to not let the enemy farm at all. This way, the enemy gets no gold and you get gold. It is a great way to get a CS lead on your enemy. This helps your jungler pull off easier ganks, and denies your enemy farm. This is great in matchups where you have the advantage and is something you should be doing once you've snowballed. Freezing is also great when you are getting slightly camped which means that you can't really push too hard. Freezing is good when you are behind too, as keeping the minions in your side of the lane will grant you more gold, whereas the minions being in the enemies' side of the lane means that HE can freeze the wave making sure YOU dont get farm. But take this with a pinch of salt as the second your laner gets back to the lane, you kinda have to be careful as him killing you while you are freezing will be absolutely DEVASTATING. So if you are ahead and want to capitalize your lead, then Freezing is a good way to do that.


Slow Pushing:
This is where it gets a bit high elo next levely but just pay attention and you are good. What is slow pushing? It is when you kill the enemy minion casters BUT LEAVE THE ENEMY MELEE MINIONS ALIVE. Why? Remember when I explained how ranged minions do more damage but melee minions are more tanky? What this does is that it freezes your minions as they fight the enemy melee minions, while more of your minions are on the way. Once your next wave of minions join the other minions you already have, they will sloooowly push the lane. You will simply have more minions than the enemy. And because of this, your minions will kill the enemy minions faster than the enemy will kill your minions. What this does is that it slooowly builds up a GIANT minion wave that can even take the enemy turret down on its own. This is excellent for the moments where you have to gank or go for an objective/leave your lane for a long time because the slow pushing minion wave will be a threat that the enemy has to take care of, diving up their attention and making it easier for you to take whatever objective it is you want to get. This one is a little tricky to pull off so its okay if you don't initially fully understand it.

Shoving:
This is when you just hit the wave as much as possible. You gotta kill the melee minions first. After that the lane will just auto shove itself. But if you wanna shove it even faster, you can go for the ranged minions too. What this type of pushing does is that it just has all of your minions hit the turret of the enemy. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU ARE AHEAD. This leaves you in a very vulnerable spot in terms of ganking as you will be in the enemies' side of the lane. If the jungler is on the other side of the map then it may be safe to do this. What this does is it A)Makes it more difficult for your laner to farm(not as difficult as freezing but they gotta fight against their own turret for their minions) B)Keeps your enemy in lane/prevents them from going back as they have to stay and clear the wave. C) Gives you an opportunity to Roam/Gank/Back for items as your enemy has to stay and clear the wave. D)Deny your opponent exp and gold and deal damage to your enemies' turret while he is in base (you want to shove the lane after you kill the enemy). E)Force your enemy to TP back to lane. F)Set up a dive that you and your jungler can use to kill the enemy.

But slow pushes are better for dives as more minions just help out. Remember, if the enemy hits you, your minions attack them. So if you have a massive lane under the enemy turret and he attacks you without you attacking him, then your minions will attack the enemy.
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Warding

I am like a broken record at this point. I've said it many times and I will say it again.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD


There we go.
Why? DARIUS IS WEAK AGAINST JUNGLERS.
You have no mobility which means that positioning incorrectly will lead to your certain death. A good gank can mess up a lead you have gotten. Instead of blaming your jungler for not doing anything while the enemy jungler is destroying you, try your very hardest to avoid dying to the ganks in the first place. How do you do this? VISION CONTROL. Well there is wave management that you have to do too but THIS IS THE WARDING CHAPTER.

You mostly want to ward at around minute 3:00 as that is before when junglers will be ganking, with their level 3. There are some junglers like Camille that like to gank at level 2 so you might want to gank at the first opportunity you get.Here is as simple as you can get with warding. If you really wanna go in depth with warding there are better guides for SOLELY that, but this is just like a simple version so that you dont get creamed by a gank. This image is for when you are on the bottom half of the map. The Green wards are defensive. If you are pushed to your turret, placing a ward in the jungle entrance like that will warn you of incoming turret dives the enemy has planned with his jungler. This gives you time to counteract that with the help from your own jungler, landing a sweet double kill. The red wards, the agressive wards, are ones you gotta place when you are ahead and are shoving the enemy. A ward in tri brush is suuper necessary as a lot of junglers route from there. The blue wards are always good. You kinda want that one bush on the left of the river warded, no matter the side you are on. When you are on the bottom side, it is defensive, when you are on the top side it is agressive. Then, if you are kind, you can ward your jungler's blue buff, the one bush that I've marked near midlane, the rift Herald/Baron and even the enemy jungle.

If you are on the top side of the map, its just reversed. The Ward in tribrush is the safe ward. The ward in the brush on the opposite side of the river to the tribrush is the agressive ward. You still can ward Herald, your jungler's buff, enemy jungler's camps and the one bush in midlane. You can also ward the rift scuttler if you just love your jungler. He might now thank you verbally, but know that you helped him out.

The two default warding spots, tri bush and the other long bush on the other side of the river(ill just call it long bush from now on) are very important. You want to be buying pink wards("control wards") and placing one pink ward on the defensive of those two bushes while using your green wards(the yellow trinket ones) in order to ward the aggressive one constantly. Whichever is aggressive/defensive is based on the side that you are on.
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Mid Game

You should be ahead in your lane and fed at this point. Now is the time to transfer your lead to the rest of the map. Your laners turret should be down already. Afterwards, get rift herald and gank your midlaner with your jungler to get an easy turret. If that is not possible try to hit up bot for a gank. Remember to come top every once in a while to shove the lane and to keep your lane opponent behind by killing him or whatever. Do not spend too much time away from your lane as this will lead to you losing your level advantage. At this point you just want to get as many objectives for your team as possible and get as many kills as possible so that your team can just work with you to end the game. By the end of mid game, if the enemy nexus is not down, then you are in a somewhat bad spot as here, you will start to fall off. Another important thing to remember is to NEVER DIE. Pretend that every single death after 20 minutes is going to cost you the game. Unless you are getting 3-4 kills/getting baron, your death is almost never worth it. ESPECIALLY after the bounty changes by Riot. Try to stomp the enemies that will be a problem, get your guys ahead and just knock turrets down.

IF YOU ARE BEHIND, then its no problem. Try to get into a teamfight with your team and clean up. Stealing a few kills in a teamfight will be enough to bring you back into the game.
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Macro

Very important part of the game. Vital even. What should I be doing right now? This question is very important and you should be looking to have an answer to as fast as possible so you do not waste time. By default, you should be staying in your lane, destroying your lane opponent and drawing pressure from the enemy jungler to you, allowing your team to 3v4 the rest of the map while you 2v1 up top. But wait, there is a fight at river. Should you run down there and help your team out? Or just stay in your lane and clear your minions for a vital level up that will get you your ability. The bad thing about macro play is that there is not much you can do to immediately improve it. It is a looong process. You can make it a habit to look at the map and register where the enemy jungler is and so on but with only experience, you get the knowledge on the champion necessary in order to understand who does what, who goes where and what you should be able to do. Just try to play the game and STAY OFF AUTOPILOT. Think consciously about the things you are doing. Do not go in after a teammate if they are stepping into certain death. You will die too.

In order to improve macro, try to watch high elo players. But not just watching them play, watch them explain what they are doing AS they play. The way I improved my Macro was watching the videos from NEACE and the analysis videos from LS. In my opinion, NEACE was a WAYYY better teacher for me but the bad news is that right now he switched to Fortnite so just watch LS. Watch him break down gameplay videos from you favourite streamers and ****. He usually does a few of the popular ones. Say, you are a Hashinshin fan, watch him break down a Hashinshin clip. If you are a Tyler1 fan, watch him look at a Tyler1 clip. But overall, watching the videos of this guy is great as he not only explains whats going on, but he often goes into detail as to why things happen which give you a great idea of how things work. Try to watch some Coaching videos. NEACE has some Darius Coaching videos from much older patches that might work for you.

Just play the game and this should increase on its own, along with your sense for Darius Q size, Darius E range, how his kit works and interacts with other champions and what fights you can win.
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Late Game

Arguably the worst time for you as Darius. Late game is the time where you slooowly start to fall off. You are no longer independent. You NEED your teammates if you got to this point. The reason why you go around stomping the enemy all around the map midgame instead of just staying toplane and killing whoever dares wander into your real is because if lategame, your teammates are worthless, then you will just be destroyed. You have to stick with your team, peel for/divert some attention off of some of the biggest damage dealers you have (fed adc/mid/jungler) and just try to get 5 stacks off of someone. If you got your hands on a squishy, then they are guaranteed to be dead. But getting to them is the problem. More on teamfighting in the teamfighting section.
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Teamfighting

Teamfighting as Darius all depends on how fed you are. But you will mostly want to be doing the same thing. And that is GETTING YOUR 5 STACKS AND ACTIVATING YOUR PASSIVE. Try to be on the look out for either A)braindead idiots who will just let you stack your passive on them or even better yet, B)low health idiots who can be instantly killed by either an ultimate/w+ult/q+ult. You will mostly need a flash to pull of the option B.
Flash is SOOOOOO important on Darius and one of those reasons are teamfights. If you get noxian might, flash+qing into the enemy team will guarantee you the fight as you will just get insane resets off of EVERYONE.
Remember that unless you are SOOO fed and far ahead that the enemy can't damage you, you really shouldn't be the one to start the fights. You just do not have the tools other than a flash+E. But you need your flash for mass applying your Noxian Might 5 stacks so it will just get you like 1 kill. Definitely not the best engage ingame. You gotta be either reactionary or have another champion go in with you. The reason why Rakan is my favourite support to work with is that a good Rakan can just make things SO much easier for you. A champion that dives in and has BUTTLOADS of CC can work wonders with Darius, as with him not being forced to tank the damage and apply the CC, he can focus his efforts on just getting the 5 stacks and destroying the enemy team.
If you are behind though, you should be doing less of hunting for your passive and more of staying with your team and helping them out. Things like using your E to pull that Jax off of your Jhin for example.
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Combos

Apologies for not being able to use videos of my own. My computer is VERY low end which means that it can't quite handle recording gameplay footage.

The thing with Darius is that there is no one concrete combo. This is not a fighting game. As Darius, you have your abilities which you can use in any order, as long as they make sense. Sometimes you E first and sometimes you E last.

The biggest thing to remember for Darius is his animation cancelling with his W.
You auto attack + w + q. Activate Q JUST as you activate your W and start the W animation. This cancels the W animation while applying the stack anyway, leading to 3 stacks in like 1 second or so. Here is a video. Not mine. But it gets the point across.
This is the most important thing you gotta learn mechanics wise. Head into practice tool right now and practice it.

While you are there already, practice these too:

Another thing you can do is to make sure the enemy has no chance to escape your ultimate. If you are in a teamfight and you have spotted a low health enemy you want to execute, instead of flashing and THEN ulting, ult on the champion first while out of range, AND then flash to close the gap.

One more thing you can do is flash Q. Not really a mechanic in terms of animation cancelling per say, but you gotta practice its timing. Really helpful in lane and teamfights. First, buffer up your Q by pressing Q. Then, wait a bit and flash to the enemies JUST as Darius is about to hit with his Q. Get used to the timing, the length of flash and how to position your Q.
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Thanks.

Thank you very much for reading my guide. I know that right now, it is an ugly block of text but I do hope that you were able to go through it and pick up a few things that improved your gameplay overall. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them to me in the discussion section and I will answer relatively quickly.

Special thanks to iZeal for coming up with the new glacial build. It will probably be ruined by the new season due to you not being able to get 20% attack speed anymore but it is relatively fun. He is "Templarius Rex" on op.gg in euw at this moment.