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Darius Build Guide by OgreSamanosuke

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League of Legends Build Guide Author OgreSamanosuke

Darius - Cold Blooded Killer

OgreSamanosuke Last updated on June 8, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello friends, I'm Ogre and this is my first real crack at a guide. Why a Darius guide? Well, I'm usually of the mind that week one guides are a bad idea, but after looking over the current trend in guides for Darius, I felt that too many of them were based on a fundamentally flawed belief, that Darius is an AD carry. Of course, I view this as very wrong, as he works best as an AD fueled skill champ/bruiser, much like his Demacian counterpart Garen or Urgot.

So I sumbit for your approval the method I have been using since Darius's launch to great effect, what I call the Ice Cold Killer. I ask that the comments keep to constructive criticism if you have any for the build. Also as such, may be a little bit of a WIP currently, as this is my first guide, and still getting used to what needs to go up here.

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Pros / Cons


+ Easy to farm with using Decimate
+ Very tanky while dishing out high damage
+ Exceptional lane bully at top
+ One of the best kill securing abilities
+ Ult can sweep a team fight if used correctly
+ Apprehend works through minions
+ Best sounding ult ever

- Very weak sustain
- CC spam will ruin your game
- Can become mana starved if not careful about ability usage
- Effectively using Decimate takes practice
- Commonly called overpowered and 'new' Tryndamere.

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Fairly standard tank/bruiser setup, using mostly Defense tree for bonus health and health regen through Veteran's Scars , Durability , and Vigor . Initiator for bonus move speed to help with your role of bully and team fight starter. Juggernaut lastly for the CC reduction and bonus health.

From Offense we take Summoner's Wrath to improve both our Ghost and Exhaust, and Brute Force plus Alacrity to lead into more armor pen through Weapon Expertise .

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Alternate Runes
  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These quints are more of the long view angle. Early game they won't be as useful as they are late game, when you can become a freight train of move speed.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Ghost: I prefer Ghost on Darius as it lends it self better to charging in and out of fights, and as a bruiser you should be less dependant on Flash. With increased speed due to Summoner's Wrath you should be able to catch up to most anyone, short of maybe Hecarim, to land an Apprehend on and resume your pummeling.
Exhaust: A very simple choice, as you should always have Exhaust or Ignite, and Ignite is mostly pointless on Darius as you have the best execution in the game currently.
Flash: A viable alternative to Ghost, but due to already having Summoner's Wrath , I feel it's inferior on Darius as your reliance on positioning is fairly loose, and Ghost will get you into fights faster.

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Ability Order / Explanation

Ability Explanation

Noxion Guillotine

  • HEMORRHAGE: Hemorrhage applies a stacking magic damage over time debuff on the target whenever you hit them with melee attacks or abilities. Can stack up to 5 times and the damage scales with AD. Additionally, every target currently afflicted with a bleed grants Darius a 5% movespeed increase. This makes for effective chasing during team fights when you can hit 3+ targets with Decimate.
  • DECIMATE (Q): The bread and butter of your actual damage output in most fights. Can be difficult getting used to using though, as it's damage is better at the edge of it's range instead of close up, encouraging you to use it when closing the distance instead immediately after using Apprehend. Max this by 9 for optimal lane harass.
  • CRIPPLING STRIKE (W): Welcome to your very own Sheen 2.0. At rank 5 this makes your next attack do double damage and apply a 2 second snare, though it's not a terribly strong snare. The real strength lies in the bonus damage and cooldown reduction based on stacks of Hemorrhage, which becomes 2 seconds with a full set of stacks. You want to get this damage steroid maxed second, after Decimate, when the team fights begin to go down.
    +Tip: Like most 'on next hit' abilities, using Crippling Strike with reset your swing timer. So if you melee the enemy, then hit W, you'll queue up another melee attack instantly.
  • APPREHEND (E): Apprehend is an interesting skill, to say the least. It's a short range, coneal, version of Blitzcrank's grab. But the real handy part is it works on anything in the cone, meaning it can be used to grab champs hiding behind their creeps. Much like Blitz's grab, it can be used as a form of interrupt to stop channeled ultimates, such as those by Miss Fortune, Katarina, and Karthus. Never forget this, a quick Apprehend to break an ult will save lives. Additionally you gain percentile armor pentration for each rank, making this a prime target for taking one point and leaving last.
    +Tip: Apprehend can be used through walls as well, this is particularly useful to steal blue buff from the enemy jungler if you have it warded.
  • NOXIAN GUILLOTINE (R): And thus we come to the previously aforementioned "best kill securing ability." Noxion Guillotine deals true damage, multiplied by 20% for each Hemorrhage stack up to 100%, and is led into by a short leap to the target. It is worth pointing out though that you should not fall into the trap of always tossing your ult at a target to score the kill, this is bad teamwork. If your carries are not present or have died, use it. If the target looks like they are about to escape, use it. But if it's a 3v1 and they are sure to die, do not waste it to steal the kill. Just because it comes back doesn't mean you deserve to be the fed one. You are not a carry.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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Starting Out:

Pretty standard start up kit, grabbing early boots and pots. I recommend a slight derivation from the usual three Health Potion to include one Mana Potion to help supplement your early harass with Decimate.

The other starting option may seem a little strange, but works surprisingly well. If you're pretty sure to be put up against a champ without any skill shots that you can bully out of the lane easily, taking Sapphire Crystal works well to get you extra mana and builds into your Glacial Shroud easier. Examples of good champs to take this route against: Singed, Hecarim, and Tryndamere

Early Game:

By the time of first recall you want to have enough for your Glacial Shroud. We take Shroud first because of Darius's immense dependance on mana but exceptionally shallow natural pool. It will also build later into a Frozen Heart for more tankiness and to annoy those pesky AD carries. After that we go for our Mercury's Treads for magic resist and tenacity, which synergizes well with our early armor from our Shroud.

The next three will have a variable order, depending on what you really need first. If you need more sustain early on, grab your Vampiric Scepter next. If your lane has an AP champ like Kennen, Akali, or Fizz get your Hexdrinker next to help deter being bursted down during a gank. And lastly prioritize the Giant's Belt first against champs like Gangplank that can do potentially big damage harass from range.

As an alternative to Giant's Belt you can take your Phage early for life and the proc. I personally don't typically do this, as my luck is notoriously bad with procs, but if this is not a problem with you go Phage first.

Mid/Late Game:

Again, the exact build order should depend on what team comp you are up against. An AP heavy team will have you making the Maw of Malmortius above all else. I will recommend however that The Bloodthirster should usually be held off till late game unless you are getting very fed and have already turned into Brock Samspon: Swedish Murder Machine.

With that said, I'll explain the logic behind each core item choice:

  • : Being susceptible to CC such as he is, there is pretty much no other boots choice for Darius. Unless the enemy team is 4 out of 5 AD carries, in which Ninja Tabi may not be a terrible idea, Merc Treads will work in nearly every case, giving you a bit more MR to work with, and much needed Tenacity.
  • : The early Glacial Shroud for mana and armor makes a perfect transition late game into a Frozen Heart helping your role as a bruiser/offtank. It gives the second highest armor in the game, short of 1 point from Thornmail, much needed additional mana to work with, and cooldown reduction for more ability usage.
  • : Since the Hexdrinker got this upgrade, it's been one of the premiere bruiser items. A very powerful anti-AP carry shield every minute to help survive, a minor flat AD boost, and a scaling AD boost based on health. It's this last part, along with the shield of course, that makes the Maw irresistable on Darius. As team fights go on and you take damage while applying Hemorrhage stacks, it fuels up your Noxian Guillotine to more obnoxious levels.
  • : This is when Darius becomes the Little Engine that Could. Along with Apprehend, you should be able to stick to runners like glue and drop the hammer on them. The additional health is an obvious boon for any bruiser as well, but the real strength is having a baseline slow, so you can now reserve Crippling Strike for it's double damage effect more than it's slowing potential.
  • : Now I know this seems to go against the whole "You aren't an auto attack champ" as that's what most champs use it for, but I stand by that. You take The Bloodthirster because it's the highest AD item in the game, and Darius has an exceptionally easy time clearing waves of minions to farm it up crazy fast. The Life Steal will still come in handy after team fights, allowing you to dive into a lane or jungle and smack a few minions around to full heal quickly.

Your Sixth Item:

The last item you should big up is not part of any core setup, and as such is your free situational choice to help counter the enemy team. I will cover some of the ones I'd recommend, and the criteria you'd generally want to select it based on.

  • : A wise choice against an AP heavy team, giving you additional MR, a great health regen rate bonus, and some additional movespeed to close the gap to those pesky AP carries you want to butcher.
  • : While not my favorite item to recommend, it goes without saying how good Banshee's Veil is. I would recommend this on CC heavy team, or if you have one of that nastier CC champs on the enemy team, such as Morgana.
  • : A pretty vanilla choice for all seasons. If there is no particular stat you need, you can't really go wrong with a truck full of more health to allow you to be the vanguard of a team fight.
  • : Enemy team have Swain, Vladimir, or Dr. Mundo? Grab an Executioner's Calling to ruin their day.
  • : If the enemy team has a lot of AD carries, in particular ranged carries such as Caitlyn, Graves, or Ezreal, this is a good choice. It synergizes well with your Frozen Heart giving you gobs of armor to resist their attacks, and punish them for trying to hurt you.
  • : This can border on a bit of overzealous, due to your built in armor penetration percent from Apprehend, but it's still a good choice if the enemy team has a few bruisers and one of the nastier tanks like Shen or Rammus.
  • : Yes, another The Bloodthirster. Why? Because there is no kill like overkill. Should only take this if your team is already on a blood fueled rampage and just trying to make that final push to victory.

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Special Thanks

Thanks to my handful of friends for helping me brainstorm some of the ideas used in this guide.

Extra thanks to Jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here and her colored dividers.