Diana Build Guide by Yamikaze
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Bring Down The Sun
+11 Attack Damage or +18 Ability Power, Adaptive
Buy at Level 9
Standard ROA Nashors Build
Standard Protobelt Burst Build
|Hi! I'm Yamikaze and I have 3000 games on Talon since Season 2. I started climbing in 800 elo in Season 2 and am currently Master I on the NA server. I peaked 280 LP earlier in May 2017 and am currently hovering at around 100 LP. You could say I'm...talonted. I also have over 400 games on Diana in mid-high Diamond from last season (when Talon wasn't as strong) and on smurfs. This build will show you how to play Talon 2.0, or rather, Diana.
Here are links to my stream and discord (yes, these are links!). I'm available for questions on Discord. However, since the current meta strongly favors Talon over other assassins at the highest elos, he's the only champion you will usually find me playing on stream.
Here's a Diana game I played in patch 8.2:
Diana has always been my go-to AP mid laner. Her gameplay consists of deleting squishies, out-dueling tanks and bruisers, and power-farming. Even though she is a melee champion, she is incredibly safe in lane due to Pale Cascade. and scales hard, making her a strong pick into virtually every matchup.
I picked up Diana mid-season 6 as a secondary main when Talon was in a really bad spot. Although the tides have turned and Diana is now weaker than Talon in the current meta, I still find her incredibly fun to play (even after hundreds of games!). With a unique curved skillshot in Crescent Strike and insane teamfight mobility, I think Diana can be picked up by anyone with success.
|Summon Aery - Synergizes well with Diana's poke on Crescent Strike. Not the best rune-champion match you're going to see but since the ROA Diana build does much better with the Sorcery as the primary tree than Domination, it's still better to run this rune than Electrocute.|
|Nullifying Orb - Great into most AP mages that will burst you down when they hit level 6 (and before you have enough tankiness to survive their burst). Manaflow Band is an excellent alternative versus poke mages that you want to farm against.|
|Absolute Focus - Will increase your early teamfight damage (and allow you to quickly burst down squishies, even with the ROA build). Celerity is also an excellent option for catching up to escaping enemies.|
|Scorch - Once again, just some extra damage to finish off enemies. Also synergizes well with your Crescent Strike poke.|
|Mirror Shell - Since this procs on both shields (such as your Pale Cascade) health potions, and heals over 20 hp (such as your heals from Catalyst), this rune synergizes incredibly well with the ROA Diana build. Not only does this make you tanky enough to easily duel most AP mids, but it will also keep you healthy versus poke in lane. Replace this with Iron Skin versus AD mids.|
|Second Wind - Due to Diana being a melee mid laner, she will often get poked down in lane by champs such as Azir, Ziggs, and Xerath. Second Wind will keep you healthy enough so you don't have to waste Teleport too early to heal.|
||Always run Flash on Diana. Otherwise, you will get destroyed by ganks as your kit lacks escapes in lane. For our second summoner spell, we will generally want to take Teleport. There are two primary reasons for this. First, Diana lacks kill pressure in lane versus ranged champions. They will just back off if we try to walk up and trade with them, meaning we want to just farm for the most part. Second, our Diana will be heavily reliant on split-pushing with Rod of Ages and Nashor's Tooth. With Teleport, we can quickly join teamfights from across the map.
However, against many melee matchups Ignite isn't a bad option. The reason for this is that, unlike ranged matchups, Diana actually has great kill pressure in melee matchups. Her Pale Cascade allows her to win virtually every early game trade against melees (except Talon.... Avoid trading against Talon in lane). Thus, bringing Ignite is a viable option as it gives us a much greater chance of solo-killing the enemy laner and building a lead.
|Ah. The classic three-hit passive we see on every other champion in the game! Aside from better melee trading, this passive allows Diana to quickly clear both lane and jungle camps as a mid laner. To make the most out of this passive, be sure to weave in auto-attacks between your abilities when clearing minions or jungle camps. This isn't as necessary when trading versus champions as you'll almost never want to take a trade long enough for this to matter.|
|Diana swings her blade to unleash a bolt of lunar energy, afflicting enemies with Moonlight for 3 seconds and dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+70% of ability power) magic damage in an arc before exploding.|
|Diana's bread-and-butter ability. We want to use this ability to clear waves and poke the enemy laner at the same time. Since Crescent Strike comes out of Diana's RIGHT arm, we want to position ourselves slightly to the LEFT of the minion wave in order to maximize minions hit when pushing the wave. Similarly, we want to stand on the RIGHT of the minion wave if we DON'T want to push the minion wave with Crescent Strike. The hitbox of Crescent Strike expands to a larger circle at the end of its cast, so you'll generally want to aim this portion at the enemy laner. Remember that this ability will NOT reveal True Stealth such as Talon's Shadow Assault.|
|Another important ability for trading as Diana. Pale Cascade allows for Diana to walk up and farm early in the lane without taking much harass from the enemy laner. Further, each orb can help you both secure last-hits and damage the enemy laner if they get too close. Some tips to remember when using this ability are:
|Passive: Increases the attack speed gained from Moonsilver Blade to 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90%. Active: Diana reveals and draws nearby enemies up to 225 units toward her location, slowing them by 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55% for 2 seconds.|
|This abiltiy is one of Diana's key pre-level 6 engage abilities. Although the range of Moonfall is quite large (since it draws in enemies all the way to the edge), there's a slight cast-time and the enemy target must still be in the circle after the cast-time ends in order to pull them in. Thus, we must be careful about when we use this ability so that the enemy target will not simply walk out of the circle during cast-time. Proper usage of this ability will come with experience. Further, the early cooldown of Moonfall is incredibly long (26 seconds at level 1!), so be sure not to waste the cooldown on minions and have it on cooldown when a fight begins. Remember, this ability does NOT reveal true stealth such as Talon's Shadow Assault.|
|The bread and butter of your combos. Allows for insane mobility in teamfights and can be used either as a one-time quick burst or, well, mobility. Check the combo section for how to use this ult.|
|We want to start Doran's Ring into every matchup. Diana is particularly mana hungry early on and Doran's Ring will solve this as well as provide excellent stats for laning.|
|Our “first” component for Rod of Ages. I put “first” in quotations as we don't actually BUY this item first. Basically, Catalyst of Aeons isn't very effective stat-wise in lane. However, Blasting Wand is. The problem is, we can't always back with the 850 gold for Blasting Wand. What we want to do is to buy Ruby Crystal if we back with under 850 gold (and Sapphire Crystal if you can also buy it). However, don't upgrade to Catalyst of Aeons until after your Blasting Wand. Further, if you ever back with 850 gold or more, always buy Blasting Wand.|
|This is the only component you should even consider buying before Rod of Ages. You can buy this component if you have an extra 300 gold before Rod of Ages and you have both Catalyst of Aeons and Blasting Wand. The reason for this is that you will usually have enough for Rod of Ages on your next back anyways, so the Boots of Speed will just be an extra item for laning.|
|Rush this item as your first item every game. You want to get it as soon as possible as the earlier you get it, the faster it will become effective. This item will make us tanky and will be the first half of the “backbone” of our duelist build.|
|This is always your second item after Rod of Ages as it's the second half of the “backbone” for the build. With just Rod of Ages and Nashor's Tooth, we will both be tanky enough and have the sustained damage to 1v1 virtually every champion in the game. Plus, this item synergizes very well with Moonsilver Blade and the passive allows your auto-attacks scale to with AP.|
|Usually, we want to buy this as our third item after Rod of Ages and Nashor's Tooth. Basically, this item gives us TONS of AP, which is necessary to both enhance the auto-attack damage from Nashor's Tooth and the damage in general from all of our abilities and Moonsilver Blade. However, if you are particularly ahead, feel like you're getting bursted down too fast in teamfights, or simply prefer Zhonya's Hourglass instead as a 3rd item, it's also a viable option.|
|Usually, you want to buy these boots against AP mid laners unless you’re really far ahead (see Sorcerer's Shoes below). This means that you will actually be buying these boots for most of your games. This is a good thing as Mercury's Treads synergize very well with Diana. Since Diana is a melee damage dealer, she will often be hit with peel and cc. The tenacity from Mercury's Treads greatly helps to prevent being cc-locked to death.|
|Buy these boots unless you’re really, really far ahead against an AD mid laner. Even when you are ahead against an AD mid laner, they can usually still turn the tides at level 6 and kill you. Thus, you want to buy Ninja Tabi unless you are absolutely certain they cannot kill you. The armor from this will negate any lethality the enemy laner might be building (or, negate virtually all of Yasuo’s damage), giving you the upper hand in trades.|
|As mentioned, I only buy these boots when snowballing and when really far ahead. These boots will help further your burst when ahead and, most importantly, the enemy team is too behind to quickly burst you down.|
|This should be either your fourth item after Rod of Ages Nashor's Tooth and Rabadon's Deathcap, or your third item (replacing Rabadon's Deathcap)As a diver, our role in a teamfight is to dive the backline, kill a squishy target, and not be blown up in the process. The hard part isn't exactly killing the enemy squishy. Rather, it's surviving after your initial burst. Being able to kill the enemy ADC means nothing if you simply die right afterwards. Zhonya's Hourglass helps to solve this with an active that makes you invulnerable for 2.5 seconds after your burst. With Zhonya's Hourglass's active in a teamfight, your chances of surviving go up exponentially.|
|Similar to Zhonya's Hourglass, Diana needs survivability in a fight. However, this item is bought against magic damage threats such as Fizz. This is usually bought as a fifth item as Zhonya's Hourglass's active also functions as a defense against magic damage. However, if the enemy team is primarily magic damage, consider this as a fourth to fifth item.|
|Although I personally run the Rod of Ages and Nashor's Tooth build for a more consistent playstyle, burst Diana is also currently very strong. I won't go into much detail on the item choices and playstyle as I don't have much experience playing with these burst builds. Special thanks to RIP Mcbaze, a Master/Challenger Diana player, for his help on this section. Check out his stream here.
So basically, there are two variations to burst Diana. The first build is the Hextech Protobelt-01 build and the second is the Luden's Echo build. Let's talk similarities before we diverge and discuss differences. For both burst builds, the current best keystone mastery is Electrocute as you will need to secure kills in 1 combo.
An example of a good burst Diana rune page would be:
And these are a few rune choices I'd like to mention:
Second, you will be splitpushing much less often as burst Diana specializes in fast picks and teamfight assassinations rather than splitpushing. You will also have more kill potential in post level 6 in lane as both Hextech Protobelt-01 and Luden's Echo have a much stronger first item powerspike than Rod of Ages.
Now, let's talk builds.
Burst Diana's core items consist of either Hextech Protobelt-01 or Luden's Echo first into Tier 2 Boots (Usually Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury's Treads), then Lich Bane followed by a Zhonya's Hourglass.
|Whether you choose to run Hextech Protobelt-01 or Luden's Echo as your first item is entirely up to you. Protobelt is great for catching up to enemies and can also be used to burst down enemies when used in melee range (a standard combo would be Q-R-W-Protobelt). However, it also has its limitations. Most notably, it has a decently long cooldown. If you prefer a bit more burst but slightly less mobility, you can also run Luden's as an alternative. The extra movespeed makes up for the lack of protobelt mobility and it does a bit more damage than protobelt. I recommend trying both builds to see which one you enjoy more.|
Overall, you will likely buy two out of three of these items. If you don't need Banshee's Veil, feel free to run both Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff.
Personally, I find that the burst build works best under ~Diamond 2 elo, where enemies aren't very good at dodging Crescent Strike. However, once you start to climb higher, I would definitely recommend the Rod of Ages and Nashor's Tooth build for more consistency.
Approaching Teamfights as Burst Diana
You will want to start every teamfight flanking both teams. A flank behind the enemy team is preferable but you just have to make sure the enemy front line isn't between you and the enemy squishies. Once the fight begins, watch and wait for the enemy frontline to use their CC (like Maokai's Twisted Advance or Malphite's Unstoppable Force). Once this has been used, watch for backline CC being used by anyone who can peel for the enemy squishy (usually a support, such as Janna's Monsoon. Although you can go in before the backline CC is used, it will be harder to kill your target. However, never go in before the frontline CC is used, as they will just use that CC on you and you will instantly die.
Target Selection as Burst Diana
Here's a hypothetical situation: You've made it past all the enemy CC. Now you can use your full combo to delete one squishy from the teamfight. Do you kill the 10-3-5 Ryze, the 2-3-8 Lucian, or the 0-1-10 Janna? Well, even I couldn't tell you which one to go for. Your mistake was not picking a target before the start of the fight.
Before a fight starts, you want to first consider which enemies you can even 1-shot. This list will usually include the enemy mid, bot, and support. From this list, you want to find the biggest threat to your team. This is usually the enemy that does the most damage but could also include the Soraka that keeps the whole team alive and makes it impossible for you to 1-shot the enemy carries.
Now, you've narrowed down your list of targets to 1 or 2 (in our hypothetical situation, this would be Ryze and Lucian). First, check for items like Guardian Angel, Stopwatch, or Zhonya's Hourglass. This is incredibly important as a well-timed stopwatch or hourglass often decides a fight. If your target has one of these items, reconsider whether it's worth burning all your cooldowns to pop either the GA passive or force the hourglass. So, let's assume Ryze has a completed hourglass. If you judge that forcing the 10-3-5 Ryze to stasis for 2.5 seconds is worth more than a kill on the 2-3-8 Lucian, then go for Ryze. However, if you judge that killing Lucian then going for Ryze as a team is the better option, go for Lucian.
Another factor high elo players consider are summoner spell cooldowns. This can be a bit overwhelming if you're newer to the game, but timing summoner spells are incredibly important once you get to around Diamond 1 or above. It's actually pretty simple. To do this, make sure to have your chat timestamps enabled. For example, if the enemy Syndra flashes, click on the flash on the scoreboard (lets say, hypothetically, she flashes at 13:30). Then, when you're walking to lane or backing, simply add 5 minutes to the flash timestamp. Afterwards, type something like "mid f 1830," with 1830 meaning 18:30. You can do the same with heal (4 minute cd), barrer (3 minute cd), teleport (5 minute cd), ignite (3.5 minute cd), and etc. Remember that Unsealed Spellbook and CDR boots reduce summoner spell cooldowns.
Laning Phase For ROA Diana
Generally, Diana wants to farm in lane vs most ranged champions. Although Crescent Strike is a strong lane trading tool, you will lose most fights if you walk up to a ranged champion, as they will simply kite back while hitting you. Thus, we can simply use Pale Cascade to last-hit melee minions and and Crescent Strike to last-hit ranged minions. Play safe until level 6 or if you get a jungle gank. If you need to initiate a jungle gank, consider using Moonfall - Flash. This will almost always guarantee a kill if your jungler is in position.
However, against melee matchups, Diana wants to play more aggressive due to the trading strength of Pale Cascade. It is strongly recommended to take a second point in Pale Cascade level 3 versus melee matchups as the point in Pale Cascade is more effective than Crescent Strike against melees. However, we must be wary of the enemy power spikes. For example, never try to trade with Talon at level 2 and respect a Pantheon's Spear Shot and Aegis of Zeonia range. By stepping back, farming with Crescent Strike, and avoiding trades when the enemy laner is strong and taking trades when you are stronger (usually level one and three, when you put points in Pale Cascade), nearly every melee matchup should be a breeze.
Teamfighting As ROA Diana
In teamfights, Diana's goal is to usually to dive the backline. However, this isn't as straightforward as it might sound. To help break down the complex topic of teamfighting as Diana, I will split this section into parts depending on the situation.
When ahead, you generally want to be split-pushing with this Diana build. The reason for this is the enemy team cannot 1v1 you and the attention you draw will allow your team to secure objectives on the other side of map (such as Baron). Once a fight looks like it will break out, use Teleport to a ward and engage the backline after the fight begins. Since the enemy frontline is already fighting your team, there will be little peel and you will be able to quickly burst down the enemy backline.
However, if you don't have Teleport, you should group with the team. You cannot be the one to start a fight nor the first one to enter a fight. If you do either, the enemy will have a chance to quickly focus you and burst you down, leaving your team down their strongest member. Rather, you must sit on the side and wait for the enemy team to blow cooldowns then, after peel and cc have been used, go in and clean up.
When behind, things play out a bit differently. With Teleport, you can split-push just like when ahead. However, you must be much more cautious about 1v1'ing stronger enemies. One death could mean a lost objective or even the game. Further, if Teleport is down or you absolutely cannot be in the same lane as the enemy split-pusher, consider staying back and helping peel your backline by killing the enemy divers in a teamfight. This will keep you relevant in a fight and will help enable the stronger members of your team to carry a fight.
|NOTE: In this section, AA stands for auto-attack, Q W E R are abilities, 2AA is two auto-attacks on minions before the combo for a Moonsilver Blade proc on the next auto-attack, and Wait2.5 is wait 2.5 seconds before using Lunar Rush after landing Crescent Strike to buy time for your next Crescent Strike to come up.|
Standard Trading Combo
Note: This combo is your standard trading combo in lane with ult. Use this when you want to trade with the enemy laner but you don't have the damage to kill them with an all-in combo. Further, if you don't have any minions nearby for the Moonsilver Blade proc, keep in mind that your combo will do reduced damage. Make sure your Crescent Strike is at least halfway to the enemy target before you use Lunar Rush. Then, use Pale Cascade as you approach your target. Once you reach the target, auto-attack to proc Moonsilver Blade and then back off. You want to use Moonfall at max range as you disengage to disrupt the enemy target's retaliation damage. However, if you feel like you can kill the enemy target or will continue to win the fight, continue with the next combo.
Continuation of Standard Trading Combo
Note: Literally the same combo as above except instead of backing off after the Moonsilver Blade proc, we want to continue chasing with Moonfall, sneak as many auto-attacks in as possible, and use the second Lunar Rush to finish them off.
Maximum Damage All-In Combo for Lane
Note: This combo plays out very similarly to the combos previous. However, we hit a Crescent Strike on the enemy target before the engage, wait as long as possible for the cooldown (the mark lasts 3 seconds, so we want use Lunar Rush in at 2.5 seconds), then go in, auto-attack a few times, then Crescent Strike into Lunar Rush, auto attack a few more times, and finish them off with the final Lunar Rush. This combo will often give you just enough damage to kill a higher health enemy. Further, the last Lunar Rush can be used to follow the enemy Flash.
Fast Burst For Finishing Off Lower HP Targets
Note: This combo is used to finish off low health targets in a teamfight or skirmish. Simply use Lunar Rush onto the enemy target, Pale Cascade mid-dash, then use Moonfall and Crescent Strike at the same time to maximize chances of hitting Crescent Strike. A few auto-attacks after this combo may be necessary to finish off targets.
Fast Moonfall Cast
Note: The way this “combo” works is if you cast Flash right after Moonfall, then Moonfall cast will center around where you are AFTER the Flash, not before. Use this combo to initiate a gank for your jungler or to catch out enemies throughout the game.
Fast Lunar Rush Reset
Note: This trick is incredibly hard to pull off. In fact, even very experienced Diana players cannot pull it off consistantly. However, I just want to leave this here in case anyone wants to try it. Basically, the way this trick works is if you use Lunar Rush at MAXIMUM range and press Crescent Strike immediately after, there is a good chance your Lunar Rush will reset. However, due to the inconsistency of this combo, I do not recommend using it.
Full Fast Lunar Rush Reset Combo in Lane
Note: This combo uses the trick mentioned above and applies it in a scenario where it would be useful in lane. This combo is basically the same as a standard trade combo except there's a much smaller risk of missing Crescent Strike (but a much greater chance of failing the Lunar Rush cooldown reset!)
|Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you notice any outdated sections or errors and I will do my best to fix them asap.
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