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Darius Build Guide by Gjhallarhorn

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gjhallarhorn

Darius: I must Axe you a question.

Gjhallarhorn Last updated on May 29, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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5/29/2012* 1.0.1 Guide is updated. Added Atma's Impaler / Changed some rune mistakes.

5/28/2012* 1.0.0 Guide is Published on MobaFire.

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Chapter 1: Intro

This is my first guide, therefore I ask that your criticism be accurate and polite. I have thick skin but I will not respond to disrespect. For everyone else, upvote and enjoy this terrible source of information.

Darius is a melee AD brawler that if built correctly can be a formidable tool for your use. In this guide I will show you how I have been successful in team fights and ways to help you end them quickly, and how I think he should be played. Darius in this guide is described and built as a Tanky DPS. Not a tank. He was made for one thing by Riot: Killing ****.

Keep in mind there is more than one way to skin a cat. This is my way. I'm sorry for lack of flashy pictures or videos like most guides. I will counter this by using walls of text and witty humor.

Enjoy the Music

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Chapter 2: Pros/Cons


  • Good early game unless met with strong ranged
  • Excellent damage dealer and solo top
  • Can initiate team fights if played correctly.
  • Decimate is well suited for pushing and farming
  • Pure Sex Appeal.
  • excellent for singling out an enemy champ during team fights and separating their team.

  • Can be difficult to recover with if you don't play smart early
  • Limited Mobility: Easily kited throughout the game.
  • Mana Intensive early on if played aggressive
  • Primary in team fights very often

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Chapter 3: Summoner Spells

Summoner spells can be many different combinations based on your play style. I'll list a few here that I agree as viable.

Flash This is actually the only one that I never leave queue without (on any champ actually, but speaking strictly Darius). I always have it no matter what. It has both delivered me from ganks and gotten them for me. You can use it to flash over terrain or out of a team fight, allowing you to survive to re-enter and turn the tide. Never compromise for this.

Exhaust Again, both offensive and defensive. This ability is my second go-to. Reason being that if you have someone like Nunu about to let off an ultimate, you can use this on them right before it goes off and mitigate a decent amount of damage to you and your team. Oh right, it's awesome for killing someone running away too. It is, however; important to remember that at the endgame you shouldn't have too much of an issue keeping enemies locked down or slowed with Apprehend or Crippling Strike and your passive Hemorrhage should offer some speed to either engage or fall back if things turn sour.

Ghost Ghost is nice if you need to get away and you've already used your flash or you really need to get somewhere like defending a turret or saving an ally/killing an enemy. I don't use it very much but it is definitely viable, especially considering his movement speed.

Teleport Some people dont like this spell, or discount it. However it's excellent for map presence and backdooring an enemy lane that they left snowballed. Don't forget you can spawn on a Teemo shroom or a ward in the bushes for an easy and usually funny gank. Ensure your team utilizes this well.

Ignite This spell is very straightforward. I use this for Darius often depending on my team make up, and I have to say that it's just as good as Exhaust in a team fight. If your enemy has a support healing their team you can pop this baby on the primary target. Best time to do it is under 50% health, this will help mitigate any healing they receive until they bite it and assist in burning them down as well. This spell is often used to secure kills early game if the enemy only has a sliver of health left. Excellent way to get an edge.

I wouldn't use anything else but what I've shown you. I'll admit they all have their places, but they don't belong on Darius.

Always adjust accordingly to what your team has and what your enemy brings. You can seriously give yourself an advantage switching from say exhaust to ignite after your last enemy picks his/her champ.

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Chapter 4: Abilities

This is Darius' passive. It is a magic based or DoT (damage over time). It stacks five times and for each champion bleeding your Movement Speed stat is boosted by 5% Don't forget the damage stacks up for every auto attack and strike you do (movement speed bonus does not stack with the number on each Champ just the number OF champions bleeding). This ability's damage is increased with AD.

A two sectioned 360 degree Area of Effect attack. The inner ring does 50% less damage than the outer area. This ability is excellent for clearing a lane or getting a last hit on an enemy trying to run. Everything you strike with this will apply a stack of Hemorrhage. Decimate will deal significant damage early game and then will drop off in the later phases. When I say drop off, I don't mean become useless. Simply that once you max it, until you get closer to 18 you will be taking large portions of health from those with low armor.

This is an excellent ability throughout the game, only getting better as time progresses. A two second slow is a great way to allow your team to lock down a carry or support and power them into an early gray screen. Every level makes the slow more intense and the hit deadlier, up to double damage on your next basic attack.

Similar to a Blitzcrank grab or a Nautilus Anchor, this actually pulls ALL enemies (except dragon and baron) in a skillshot cone right to your face and in range of that naughty wicked axe of yours. This WILL go through terrain provided it's thin enough. Keep in mind whatever you pull in will bounce off of you at a random range, not very far but it is noticeable. Don't forget you can interrupt casts with this.

Ah, the insane ultimate. A nice leap in the air and a swing down to relieve your enemy of his head. If you miss you might also take his shoulders too. Who knows. Either way, this bad boy does true damage up to about a thousand depending on your build, allowing you to take thirds (or more) off of peoples health. Use caution; if you miscalculate and they do not die within .5 seconds after you use this it is going to be on cooldown. Don't forget to stack hemorrhage. it will go a long way into securing the kill whether or not you use your finisher. Don't be afraid to use this and not get the cooldown refreshed. Just make sure you have 5 stacks of Hemorrhage up, and they should go down like a submarine taking on water.

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Chapter 5: Runes


Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

There are a lot of excellent rune choices, but these are the ones I go with and I'll explain them and a few substitutes.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage Because more damage is always better.

Greater Seal of Defense Armor is nice to have with Darius, he's a melee champ and there are plenty of ranged and other melee AD to worry about. This gives some balance for him when the team fight phase hits. (Yes, I know he has a higher Armor base than Magic Resist, this i feel is still the best rune for the job within this guide.)

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Darius is meant to last, not get focused down and put to shame. Magic resist is the best for me in this slot.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Darius needs plenty of AD to boost his abilities. Armor penetration seems like a good idea here, but his ultimate deals true damage and his passive bleed is magic. They are both boosted by AD.


Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Pretty self explanatory. If you fancy a rune here that isn't in my personal build runes, I approve of these. I have personally used the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction and I found it to be helpful in some instances. Apprehend has a long cooldown early to mid game, and can be needed in rapid succession in late game team fights and ganks. But I preferred that extra Magic Resist from the Shielding Glyphs.

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Chapter 6: Masteries


This is my build seen at the beginning of the guide. It's geared toward keeping Darius alive and dealing the most damage possible to the target. Never sacrifice your 21 points in the damage tree. You can fiddle around with some of them, like the life steal going into the Havoc mastery... but I feel that that life steal is much more beneficial throughout the fight. If it means surviving only 2 seconds longer, that means you can land another ultimate or pop your ignite/exhaust before going down.

Basically, even though your Noxian Guillotine does not benefit from the Executioner mastery, any other kind of damage that you do will. You may not always have the time to use your ultimate they die so fast. (It may also be down already due to a miscalculation. Don't talk to me about not doing this, because you will.)

Here's another alternative you may be able to make do with. I may even test this, as being dead 6 (or more) seconds less in a late game phase can mean the difference between losing an inhibitor and pushing the enemy out to turn the tide.


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Chapter 7: Items

Starting items

I feel that movement speed is imperative to Darius. You will need your boots and potions to keep yourself in the lane as long as possible. If you play smart you will not need more than one health and mana potion. I only really take the mana pot to help defend myself if the lane isn't holding. You are a mana based champ so keep in mind you do need to keep an eye on it from time to time.

Darius has a slow starting speed for melee and is easily kited until you can catch up to your target. I have Darius utilizing Boots of Swiftness as a result, and it has served me well. I don't always use them, however. When I need more protection from CC, I substitute with Mercury's Treads for the Tenacity if the enemy team has a lot of CC and/or are AP heavy, but you need to keep in mind you will be a bit on the slower side.

From what I know about Darius thus far; it is that he doesn't rely heavily on ArPen, attack speed or Life steal. He uses them all slightly and they are all useful stats, but he doesnt focus in on them similar to other champs. What he needs is AD. A lot of it. Build to your situation, build to what your team needs and make sure you can hold your own. Don't be afraid to pick up an extra tank item or drop one for extra damage if you find the enemy team to be too weak. That being said, I'm now going to go over Itemizing in detail.

Picking items with Darius can be really easy. You need to balance survival with stopping power. After my boots, I either buy a Giant's Belt or a B. F. Sword depending on how the match goes. I rarely stray from this, and I usually get my Warmog's Armor about the same time I finish my Infinity Edge. Try staggering your offensive pieces with defensive, to keep you balanced throughout the game. But as always, try to make the most of your trips home.

You need to pay serious attention to the enemy. If your team is primarily AD and the enemy is building Thornmail, you need to build Armor Pen items like Last Whisper or The Black Cleaver. Don't over do it. Remember you have a few masteries, a passive ArPen from Apprehend and your ultimate ignores armor. (Your Hemorrhage is magic damage too. Just saying.)

I like having Warmog's, + one other for defense by endgame. Generally if the enemy team is balanced well between AP/AD I go Frozen Mallet. Health is a universal defense and good for dealing with true damage too. Don't forget that. Maximizing effective hit points is vital to survival. Effective hitpoints is how much damage you mitigate and then weighed against how much health your champion has. You'll lose more health per hit but you have a larger pool to work with.

They will also be less likely to primary you on the fly if you have a hundred health bars each with the thickness of a hair, although you do look dashing in your armor and that will make them hate you.

Ive been in too many matches where people act like complete ninnies rather than playing smart. Do not follow the items in the sequence in the beginning of the guide like sheep. Think for yourself. (Although I will state that boots are imperative to start. Number and combination of health/mana pots are up to you.)

I'm going to list some items I would approve of seeing on Darius. It will be a full list, including items in the main build. I will not include anything but finished stage items.

Warmog's Armor Excellent defensive building block. I always take this unless I'm up against a full AD or full AP team.

Frozen Mallet My default second defensive build. It's great for keeping enemies where you want them and as I've stated, health is excellent for not dying. Who'd've thunk?

Force of Nature This is great for dealing with AP heavy teams. It is also great for after a team fight and you need to go push a lane, this gives you plenty of sustainability.

Mercury's Treads Tenacity and Magic Resist. Great for any team that locks you down and has a serious AP carry. I usually pair this with a phantom dancer to make up for the loss in movement speed.

Thornmail Got a pesky Master Yi? Tryndamere giving you problems? One of these will help make dealing with them easier.

Atma's Impaler This works excellently when building Warmogs and Frozen Mallet + Infinity Edge. If you are doing the main build, don't discount this.

Infinity Edge Buy this. Don't compromise ever.

The Bloodthirster Buy this. Don't compromise ever.

Last Whisper If your enemy stacks armor build this and you wont ever have to worry again.

The Black Cleaver Don't like Last Whisper? Ok. Buy this. It's a more than suitable alternative

Madred's Bloodrazor I personally don't use this very often. But it is an effective way to deal with enemies using Thornmail and high amounts of armor.

Phantom Dancer Movement speed, attack speed and crit chance rolled into one cool looking package of death and... death. This is excellent for some extra movement speed if you need it or for back-dooring turrets. Don't forget that AD champs are ideal for tearing turrets down. Combine this with some high damage items and Teleport and watch chat as your enemies rage at each other.

Zeke's Herald Health, cooldown reduction, a nice little aura for your buddies that gives attack speed and life steal. It's great if you know you will last long and your team can benefit from this. There are better options if not.

Boots of Swiftness Standard Darius boots. Buy them.

Ninja Tabi If you have a bad start to a game against AD champs this is a solid build i won't fault you for. Just make sure you get some form of movement speed increase mid to late-ish game.

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Chapter 8: Team Work

After you've figured out your second to last build or so, don't forget to keep a slot open for wards. You don't need to do this the entire game. But information on your enemy can be more important than any item you can plug in. Don't hesitate to blow money on a stack of Vision Wards either if you have a nasty Twitch or Evelynn to deal with. They also prove useful for anti-warding which can be just as, if not more important than looking for invisible pests if your enemy is aggressive.

Here are some vital areas to ward. Pick the ones you feel will benefit your team most. I tend to go with areas that team fights occur often and near Baron/red and blue, etc.
  • Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team
  • Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
  • Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
  • Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle

Early game, you need to hold your lane and get kills to stupid moves by whoever you're against. If you play aggressive that's fine but if you slip you may screw your game up. Recovering from a bad start can suck with Darius if your opponents don't let you live it down.

If your turret folds you have no protection from ganks for the other 75% of your lane. Don't forget you are one of three lanes and you need to hold that turret at all costs for as long as possible until the laning phase is through. If your lane is doing well the more power to you. Ward the grass and the water to protect from ganks especially if you're solo.

You are the rock for your team to stand on in a fight. You need to grab the weak *** holes hiding in the back, and slow them for your ranged to be able to hit them without being as susceptible to the enemy tank/heavy dps. You need to use your Noxian Guillotine when the enemy is low to secure and get kills. Chain it as much as you can.

If your team is anywhere near a year above 14 they won't care about a so called "KS" or two. The objective being completed is more important than any ego or k/d ratio. Competitive play rewards the victor not the team of lone wolves out for Youtube praise who lose with a 20/1/0. That being said. Don't be a **** and grief your teammates by intentionally using your ult to get kills. Just don't do it. That's not what Darius is for.

Just to touch on this, don't ever whine about kill stealing unless the person is being a complete troll... and at that point why whine? LoL is a team based game which means there's no such thing as a killsteal. There's definitely a dead enemy. Never back off to let someone get a kill. The enemy dies, you take your objective and that's it.

If... excuse me. When you get primaried, get out with flash. If you used it already, well, do whatever you can while you can and coordinate with your team. Staying alive is better than dying for over a minute at a time. If you put an enemy out of business for a short while because he needs to run home, do the same and come back and put him into a gray screen the next time. Am I saying you should run like a little b*tch? No. All i'm saying is play smart. Because if there are 5 deaths for 4 kills, you could lose a tower or inhibitor before your team can come back. But if you are alive you can prevent that.

I'm going to quickly touch on buffs. Red is great and Blue can be quite useful. don't take it over your Support late game though. If they don't need it, make use of it. Some of Darius' cooldowns can be long in team fight standards.

Know your enemy. When you play against a champ you find to be a pain in the *** read their top build and play against others who know how.

Know your team. If you play with the same people often, you know what they do and who they use. Take the initiative, learn your comp and win.

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Chapter 9: Unique Skills

In this section I'll give you some tips. Most of them will involve what to look for and when to use them.

As an opener I usually Apprehend followed by Crippling Strike. I hold off my Decimate until they try to run. Applying 50% more damage can go a long way even if they manage to flash away or outrun you. Applying a full stack of hemorrhage and an ignite to a target with low health is a death sentence unless they get a serious amount of healing quickly. Be careful with heavy melee or tanks though. They sometimes have nasty surprises and usually friends waiting in a bush or running to their rescue. Finish fights quickly or disengage and make yourself useful elsewhere.

Apprehend really is your champions most valuable move. It deals no damage but allows you to shape the battlefield. Terrain is your friend and wards are your lovers.

If your enemies are pressing your turrets and your 4 teammates are competent and successful engaging, any enemy champion who is low on health from the fight and running back, you can be waiting for them between them and their turret. Make them pay by cutting them down one by one. Don't leave your team out to dry though. This is one tactic that is good if you already have the upper hand. Darius excels at this. You can also have your team push them into you, catching your enemy by surprise with Flash or Ghost. If they don't see you coming you're that much deadlier.

Looking at the warding guide picture, good places to sit and wait are beside the middle lane in the bushes, and in the through ways of the jungle near Red/Blue and the entrances nearest the fight. Ask for pings on directions or through voice comms. Mmm... voice comms.

Using Decimate to stack your hemorrhage up if you know you'll need to pull out soon is an excellent way to keep yourself alive.

I can't tell you how to play. I can't tell you that this will work for you. All I know is that these tactics work for me and are absolutely devastating when executed correctly. Please help me expand this guide with any tips you picked up and I will have you credited.

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Darius is a high damage, moderately defended brute that will just power right through anything in the way. I have had a lot of fun playing Darius and I don't consider myself an expert with him, but he seems to fill a niche within the game.

I'm almost positive he'll be balanced out soon, as I'm sure the forum gripers are hard at work. But I am confident he will stay formidable and will likely remain on the bannable scale when it comes to draft and ranked play. I hope you enjoy this guide and hope it helps anyone having trouble playing Darius. For any questions please ask them with a comment on this guide and vote with your feelings, whether they be positive or constructively negative.

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Jhoijhoi's Guide on making a guide helped me exponentially.

Apotheosis for the excellent map of Summoner's Rift's great warding positions

And League of Legends for the Stock Photo's I used for my own banners.