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Darius Build Guide by skippy12

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author skippy12

Darius the Decapitating Tank [Complete Guide]

skippy12 Last updated on August 21, 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: 13

Honor Guard

Defense: 17

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Darius the Hand of Noxus, from the beginning always tagged as the big dog, OP from the start. Well I can not always disagree, but for some people who can not exactly figure out how to reach the 'OP' tag that goes along with this amazing champ, heres a build to help you along the way. In this we will go through not only his advantages, but also the reason for each item and spell order, along with what champs this will be exceptionally well against, and some champs that will still put up a good fight.

To make things shorter I added in 'spoilers' to close everything up, click the spoiler top to show everything inside.

Running 3v3 K/D: 124/96/114
Running 5v5 K/D: 4/2/0

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Pros / Cons


  • High stats across the board
  • Almost un-killable after build is complete
  • High health regain from Life Steal
  • Playable in any lane
  • Super Tanky


  • High gold amounts needed near end of build list
  • little squishy start of game
  • risk of high assists if your playing with rangers or mages

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For most builds, the masteries will be set up so that one group will have the majority of the points since they have a lot of features in that section that will help the champion out while the other sections do not have as many features that will help him. This becomes a slight problem when trying to create a mastery sheet for my build. Yes I could just create different masteries for every situation, but at the moment I do not have the time, so instead I created a Masteries page that would balance out the slots in the offensive and defensive sections that would create the best armor and attack bonuses for Darius.



  • +3 Attack Damage
  • +4 Ability Power
  • Basic attacks get +10 Damage to towers
  • Increase Ability Power and Attack Damage by 5 while ignite is cooling down


  • +6 Ability Power
  • +6 Armor
  • -2 Damage from Monsters and Minions
  • +6 health per level
  • -3% Damage from Area Effects
  • Return 6 Damage against Minion and Monster Attacks

All of these powers will increase your resistance from any attacks and give you more stopping power behind each of your blades swings

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Another strong point to a champions build along with the masteries is your champions rune page. For this build I chose to set up my runes to give Darius strong base stats in both Magic Resistance and Armor.

Greater Mark of Resilience: For this rune I chose to put in 5 of these marks. For one of these there is a +.91 armor increase, with the 5 runes total that gives you a nice chunk of 4.55 armor before you get into any of your other runes. This will give you a nice start with Darius because you will be taking less damage in the starting gank due to the increased armor.

Greater Mark of Shielding: For this rune I chose to put in 4 marks to finish off your set of 9. For many matches you are going to be going up against many people that will have effects that carry magic damage along with them, to help Darius along the way giving him magic resisting items will help, but in some cases many magic resisting items are not the best way to go since some of them only have the magic resist and will just fill your item list up with semi useless items. To assist with a need for higher magic resist, and in term lower your damage taken not only from magic spells but also from turrets, adding in the 4 shielding marks will give you a bonus of +.07 Magic Resistance per level, totaling a bonus of 1.26 per rune and an even bigger bonus of 5.04 once you reach level 18.

Greater Glyph of Warding: For this rune I chose to throw in 5 runes to start off the Glyph section. With only one of these runes you get a high bonus of +1.34 Magic Resistance, when you throw in all 5 runes your walking into your first fight with a staggering Magic Resistance of 6.7, with your starting magic resistance of 30 you now have a nice total of 36.7 Magic resistance at level 1

Greater Glyph of Warding: For this rune I put in 5 to give you your 9 rune total in the Glyph section. Following suit with the 5 armor runes put into the marks section, these runes give you a bonus of +.7 per rune adding up to a total of 2.8 Armor just with the Glyphs and adding into the starting stat of 20 meaning you are starting your game with almost 23 armor. This is a very good start for your soon to be Tank Darius and will prepare you for any starting gank that might be coming your way.

Greater Seal of Intellect: For this Seal I chose to put in 1 rune. The reasoning for only 1 is simple, this one rune is giving you a huge boost of +6.89 mana. Put that in with your starting mana of 200, you now have a grand total of almost 207 mana. With this you will be able to throw out a lot of your Decimate spells and have to worry a little bit less about running out, given yes it is only 7 more mana (207/40 = 5.1 times give or take with the 6mana regain a second and the starting 9 second cool down)

Greater Seal of Potency: For Darius sometimes ability power is a very needed thing, and with these 8 runes adding up to a bonus of 4.58 AP which while he is leveling up with quickly add up to complete destruction as soon as all of his spells are unlocked.

Now with out going into the quints you are starting your game with 6.98 Magic Resistance, 7.35 Armor, 6.89 extra mana & 4.58 AP. Plus your Quints which are giving you a massive boost of +8MR and +4.26 Armor (coming to a grand total start of 17.98Magic Resistance & 11.61Armor) [/spoiler]

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Summoner Spells

While picking spells for any champion you have to look into the champions weaknesses and use your summoner spells to help play around them. For Darius he has a few weaknesses early game but manages to bring it all back by the time his build is done.

His primary weakness early game, and into the middle of the game, is his high health loss. It does not matter if you are playing a match of 3's or a match of 5's your primary goal should be to keep Darius in his lane as long as possible with out recklessly playing. But due to how quickly some champions can bring down his health bar (especially in starting game ganks) it is important to make sure you are ready to counter this. In this build I recommend that you always keep the Heal spell in your spell list every game.

The second weakness to Darius is his slower speed. Due to his tankiness he does not have much of an ability to chase enemies down. When it comes down to your choice in your second summoner spell there are now a few choices on how to fix this and I will go through the Pros and Cons of each item to potentially make your decision a little easier.

Ignite: casts small fire on enemy hurting them for a period of time


- Increases amount of damage done as the game progresses and enemies get stronger
- Finishes an enemy off if they manage to run away after high damage attack
- Allows for more focus on killing other champion in gank situations


- Longer cool down then some spells
- Easily negated by heal spell and potions
Exhaust: Unlike Ignite that allows extra damage to targeted enemies. Exhaust allows you to slow an enemy down and cause their attacks to do less damage for a short time


- Targets can not run as fast
- Lowers multiple stats


- 2 second active period
Flash: Allows your champion to teleport a short distance where you are pointing.


- Allows Darius to get a second chance at a fight
- Can be used to help Darius escape from fights


- Longest cool down
- Does not work very far

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Unique Skills

While Darius is normally considered to be a Solo Top or a Jungler, this build likes to take that idea and turn it completely around. While playing as Darius I have of course received comments that I am playing him wrong, but with this build you change Darius from the high attack damage champion that he is into a power hungry tank.

Unlike a normal Darius build where you will be focusing on his attack speed and damage, this build requires high armor. This is very unique for a Darius build, with all his armor he takes little damage from turrets, enemies and minions/monsters. This will allow not only Darius but also the rest of his teammates to take down enemies with ease since they will have to focus all of their attacks on your Darius leaving your allies free to go recover if needed or come in to help take the enemy down.

Along with the decreased damage, it also as stated above, makes him use able in every lane and in any play type (except ranger for obvious reasons) He can still solo top because he has his 120+ attack damage with Bloodthrister, he can assist in ganks and bottom lane due to his armor, or he can jungle and help get the buffs for allies.

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Hemorrhage (Passive): Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed. This effect stacks up to five times. Whether its farming or attack an enemy, Hemorrhage is an amazing passive to go along with the rest of Darius's spells. For each spell strike that he hits with the enemy will get a bleed effect which makes them lose health until the effect wears off, whats even more fun about this besides that they stack, each Hemorrhage effect has its own count, so if you get all 5 stacks, the last stack will be on for a long time but will be increasing the health loss even before its removal count starts.

Decimate (Q): Darius swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemies struck by the blade take more damage than those struck by the shaft. Darius's only AOE attack, Decimate makes Darius take his ax and spin it around dealing damage to everyone in his range, most damage as stated being taken from enemies being hit by the blade and less damage from the enemies up close. Due to the faster cool down of this attack, it allows Darius to quickly build up the stacks of Hemorrhage

Crippling Strike (W): Darius's next attack severs a crucial artery. As the target bleeds out, their movement and attack speeds are slowed. Crippling Strike's cooldown is lower the more bloodied the target. For every good tank, they need a spell that increases the damage of their attacks, in Darius's case that spell is this. Crippling strike not only increases the damage of his attack on enemies but also increases the damage of his next attack on turrets. This spell also deals 2-3 stacks of Hemorrhage and can set up a perfect combo for his Ultimate.

Apprehend (E): Darius hones his axe, granting him passive armor penetration. When activated, Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook and pulls them to him. The perfect combo starter or finisher for any of Darius's spells. When an enemy, or even all the enemies are in range of this spell, they will be drug in close to Darius, dealing a small amount of damage to them, allowing a lot of options to open up for your team. In some scenarios, after using Apprehend it is a perfect time to go into a Crippling Strike, or for another teammate to run in and use one of their close range spells. It also can be used to pull the enemy in, adding the 1 stack of Hemorrhage, then letting them run away and get hit by Decimate, putting on another 2 stacks putting them at 3, and then going into a quick shot with his Ultimate to finish them off before they ever had a chance of getting away.

Noxian Guillotine (R): Darius leaps to an enemy Champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing true damage. This damage increases for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target. If Noxian Guillotine is a killing blow, its cooldown is refreshed. The creation of the 'OP' tag that seems to always follow a comment about a good Darius match, Noxian Guillotine is the perfect spell to put into a combo for Darius. When all 5 stacks of Hemorrhage are reached the damage of his Ult is increased majorly, or when you only have in a few stacks the damage is still increased but not nearly as much as a full stack count. Along with the changing damage amounts with the stacks, it also stuns the enemy if they are still alive afterwards, and if they are not alive, well then you just get an instant refresh and get to use it on the next enemy champ that gets in your way.

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While the masteries and base stats of every champ are a standard start of the stats of any champ, your items are usually pretty set as to what you want to put in to make he best product. But if you are a player who likes to change things up, or the standard items are not working for you this item set does come with some other options. But for now I am just going to explain each item and an alternative for some in a later section.

Boots of Speed- +1 Movement speed 350 gold from your starting amount of 475. A good starting item because you will later use it to make your boots, it will also give you the added edge on enemy champs that do not take boots as their starting item and will then be a little slower then you and easier to pick off

Health Potions- always a good tag along for starting game ganks, you never want to end up stuck in the middle of a gank and being so close to a kill to end up being killed your self because your heel spell did not recover as much as you needed

Cloth Armor- +18 armor 300 gold. Like your boots, also a very versatile item. Since you will later be building a few items that will require armor items as the building blocks, cloth armor is a good early game pick so that you can then quickly upgrade it into your Thornmail if you need a lot of armor early game or you can turn it into your Guardian Angel first if you keep getting into fights were you are dying but your enemy does not have much health left and you did not have the time to get that last hit in

Vampiric Scepter- +10% life steal 450 gold. Darius starts his game with his Hemorrhage effect, that when his Q (Decimate) hits the enemy they will have a bleed effect added that stacks up to 5 times, along with this he also gains back a small bit of health. When adding a Vampiric Scepter you will gain back more health. This also becomes very useful when you get a lane to yourself and a huge group of minions to farm, they keep hitting you and you just get to keep healing your self without ever having to use a spell or potion

Chain Vest- +45 Armor 700 Gold. Like your cloth armor, Chain Vest comes in play with a couple of your later building items, but unlike the cloth armor it is a bit more expensive yet so worth the price for almost 50 extra armor points.

Thornmail - +100 Armor Unique Passive: On being hit by basic attacks, return 30% of damage taken as magic damage 2000Regular/1000Build. An exceptionally high armor item, which will start to make you a very Tanky champ and start the process of you becoming almost turret proof if you keep playing right

Ninja Tabi- +25 Armor Unique Passive: Reduces the damage taken from non-turret basic attacks by 10%. UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement 2 (does not stack with other Boots) 850Regular/200Build . Yet another armor giving item along with even more movement speed, and to make the deal even better you receive less damage from those pesky minions, which is going to be very nice when your picking off the inhibitors and nexus come the end of the game and they keep swarming onto you off of the spawn.

Ruby Crystal- +180 Health 475 Gold. A little boost in your health for your early to mid game by now depending on your match up with the enemy team.

Phage- +225 Health +18 Attack Damage UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks have a 25% chance to slow your target's Movement Speed by 30% for 2.5 seconds 1315Regular/425Build. Almost doubling your amount of health from your starting Ruby Crystal, Phage will be the start of your increasing attack along with stunning your enemies to make them even easier to smash to bits with your Ultimate (Noxian Guillotine)

Sapphire Crystal- +200 Mana 400Gold. Even with Darius not exactly being the biggest mana hog in the game, the boost this gives him can take you a long way if you need to stay in your alley for a long time and can not recall back to refill your mana and health

Sheen- +250 Mana +25 Ability Power UNIQUE Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to your base Attack Damage (2 second cooldown). Does not stack with Trinity Force or Lich Bane 1260Regular/425Build. Extra +50 mana from your Sapphire Crystal, but also makes your abilities strong which will then lead to more health being recovered from your Q and making your bleed effects build up faster for a stronger Ult.

Trinity Force- +30 Attack Damage, +30 Ability Power, +30% Attack Speed, +15% Critical Strike Chance, +12% Movement Speed, +250 Health, +250 Mana, UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks have a 25% chance to slow your target's Movement Speed by 35% for 2.5 seconds. UNIQUE Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to 150% of your base Attack Damage (2 second cooldown). Does not stack with Sheen or Lich Bane 4070Regular/300Build. The power house of all items, giving you a boost in almost every stat you have, it also gives you the effects of Sheen.

Bloodthirster- +60 Attack Damage +12% Life Steal Passive: Gains 1 stack per kill, up to a maximum of 40. Each stack grants +1 Attack Damage and +0.2% Life Steal (max: +40 Attack Damage and +8% Life Steal). Half of the current stacks are lost upon death 3000Regular/900Build. Blood Thirster, a great mix of attack damage along with life steal. To make this an even better item then it all ready is, it also increases the damage and life steal amount with each kill. This will be an easy stacking item since all you will have to do is either start farming or keep farming and killing what ever enemies dare step foot in your range.

Guardian Angel- +68 Armor +38 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Revives your champion upon death, restoring 750 Health and 375 Mana (5 minute cooldown) 2600Regular/1200Build. While the time it takes to build if you chose to start the game with Thorn mail is a little time consuming, unless obviously you are now exceptionally fed or you racked up huge amounts of assists and your bank is now flowing with extra gold, heres definitely where you should be putting it tho. Besides the +68 armor, that +38 Magic Resist (with that stacked onto your 110 MR at level 18) will boost your resistance to turrets even more.

Ionic Spark - +50% Attack Speed +250 Health UNIQUE Passive: Every fourth basic attack unleashes a chain lightning, dealing 125 magic damage to up to 4 targets 2100Regular/575Build. Increasing your attack speed is not always a needed thing, but the extra health and Passive that this gives you will make it a fun and interesting item to add.

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Item Alternatives

Bloodthirster into The Black Cleaver: +55 Attack Damage +30% Attack Speed UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks reduce your target's Armor by 15 for 5 seconds (effect stacks up to 3 times) 2865Regular/795Build. With different enemies comes different item situations, when it comes to the Black Cleaver it could be the decision maker it duels with champs that are running away or haves spells that allow them to disappear. While your losing your life steal bonus and a little over half of the attack damage that comes with Blood Thirster at full stacks, you are gaining a big chunk of attack speed and the ability to smash your enemies armor away temporarily making them easier kills for your teammates or yourself.

Ninja Tabi into Mercury's Treads: +25 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement 2 (does not stack with other Boots) UNIQUE Passive: +35 Tenacity (Tenacity reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes. Does not stack with other Tenacity items.) 1200Regular/450Build. While Ninja Tabi gives you a help with building up high amounts of armor, Mercury Treads helps you by giving you the same increased movement but also gives you increased Tenacity. This would be a big help if you are playing against a team that has high taunting champions or champions that are known for stunning (ex. Rammus or Alistar)

Ionic Spark into Zeke's Herald Zeke's Herald: +250 Health UNIQUE Passive: +15% Cooldown Reduction UNIQUE Aura: Grants nearby allied champions 12% Life Steal and 20% Attack Speed 2145Regular/425Build. Ionic Spark gives you small bonus attack speed and the electric shock passive every 4 hits, but Zeke's Herald makes up for the loss with the 15% cooldown reduction to his already fast q and e cool downs. It also allows you to assist your fellow champs by giving them a higher attack speed and an added life steal bonus.

Ionic Spark into Infinity Edge: +80 Attack Damage +25% Critical Strike Chance UNIQUE Passive: Your critical strikes now deal 250% damage instead of 200% 3830Regular/375Build. You give up your attack speed but stack up even more attack damage which will allow you to push harder and give you an upper hand if the game turns into a base defense when your critical hits could be hitting into the 300+ marks

Ionic Spark into Phantom Dancer: +55% Attack Speed +30% Critical Strike Chance +12% Movement Speed 2845Regular/400Build. For this change out you are only losing the extra health and the passive from Ionic Spark. But in return you are gaining an extra 5% attack speed and a 30% increase on your critical hit, and like the Infinity Edge will allow you to play a stronger Defensive if the need bes but will not make you lose the attack speed that the Spark gave you.

Ionic Spark into Eleisa's Miracle: +25 Health Regen per 5 seconds +20 Mana Regen per 5 seconds UNIQUE Passive: +35 Tenacity (Tenacity reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes. Does not stack with other Tenacity items.) 1300Regular/500Build. For situations where you need the armor from the Ninja Tabi but do not feel that you need the effects of Ionic Spark, trading that in for Eleisa's Miracle is a safe bet. While you are losing the health and attack speed from Spark, you are gaining +25 health regeneration and you are gaining the +35% Tenacity that you would have gained from the Mercury Treads.

Ionic Spark into Madred's Bloodrazer: 40 Attack Damage +40% Attack Speed +25 Armor UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks deal bonus magic damage equal to 4% of the target's maximum Health. While giving a nice boost in Attack Damage, Attack Speed and Armor, the Bloodrazer comes with a very useful passive that deals more damage to enemies the higher your health is (Most games will finish with about 2100+ health depending on if you changed other items so with Bloodrazer you will deal a bonus 84 magic damage)

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Items more in depth

Early Game (level 1-8)
- Boots of Speed <start of game>
- 3 Health Potions <start of game>
- Cloth Armor <after first couple kills>
- Chain Vest <6minute mark if possible>
- Vampiric Scepter <10minute mark>
For this section you should be playing an extremely safe game, if your soloing the top make sure your not overly pushing and make sure your watching the mini map in between the enemy champs pushes so that you can keep an eye on the bottom lane incase your teammates are not calling their MIA's. If you are having a very fed game, easy to tell since you will have enough for your B.F.Sword or your Thornmail already built, you can be a bit more egressive if you weren't already doing so because honestly what could you have to lose besides 10seconds to buy all your items.
Mid Game (level 9-12)
- Ninja Tabi <10minute mark>
- Ruby Crystal/ Phage <12/14minute mark>
- Sapphire Crystal/ Sheen <17/19minute mark>
- Thornmail* <21minute mark>
By mid game you should be able to tell how long of a game this is going to be. In terms for Darius this is going to be where you need to decide what Items you will be buying to finish your game off, or in some cases what items will you be starting to build but will not have time to finish. To decide this you need to look at a few things, for starters how many pushes did your lane get, if you had a lot of match ups where you weakened them to near death and they just got away you might wanna think about planning your Bloodthirster instead to the The Black Cleaver so that you will have more attack speed and armor reduction. You are also going to need to look at how your teammates are doing, for instance if you are assisting the bottom lane, weither you are high kills or high assists, and your top lane seems to be feeding the top lane you might want to think about upping your Ionic Spark into either Infinity Edge or Phantom Dancer
End Game (level 13-18)
- Trinity Force
- Guardian Angel
- Bloodthirster
- Ionic Spark
If you manage to finish this entire build and the game is still going, you must be playing in the professional circuit and I am honored that you chose to use my build as your guild for the game. But in most cases you will probably not finish the complete build, and in some cases you might not follow the items exactly, and also in most cases you will not be getting the exact times that I put, they were based off of the times I normally get my items but I push a lot and kill a lot of minions. Your end game is where Darius should be able to shine, this far you will be reaching all your top spell levels allowing him to do major amounts of damage with any of his hits, weither its one of his spells or just a regular base attack. Nothing should be able to stand in your way, as long as you have the right team backing you up, turrets are no longer an issue if they even exist in your game that is. All you have to do now is go into the enemy spawn, kill some champs, push the inhibitors and the nexus and you should have the game over before an hour passes by.

*if you weren't fed early game and rushed for it

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Item Rushing

On here and a few times while in game I have been asked why I rush my Thornmail/ Guardian Angel. The collected average of people's comments twords this is simple, that it should not be done. I completely understand why, both items are high armor and magic resist, if your playing against a team who has a champion that is situational and has items and spells to counter high armor then they would also start rushing those items hurting not only your Darius but also your teammates since those items are normally high Attack Power as well.

Yet even with the comments I have chosen to not move the item and hold my ground on where I have it in the build, as a full explanation it is because of the rest of the items. If you were to completely move the build around and change the items so that you purchased both items late mid-game or early end game Darius would suffer, without starting early with one of those two items Darius is squishy. But when one, sometimes even both (that being an extremely fed game) items are purchased early game allows you to push further into confrontations and feel a bit safer that you will safely escape and be able to go heal. An equally as important reason for pushing for the Thornmail is its passive ability, with Thornmail purchased early game your ability to farm increases tremendously since the only attack a minion has is a basic attack and Thornmail returns 30% of damage taken from basic attack back to the attacker.

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Frozen Heart

Frozen Heart: While playing matches I ran into the first, and hopefully the last, item that will shut down Darius Game. That item being as the chapter says, Frozen Heart. For those who do not remember the stats of every item here is Frozen Heart's item description, +99 Armor +500 Mana UNIQUE Passive: +20% Cooldown Reduction UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the Attack Speed of nearby enemies by 20%. Now for the most part when you first start reading it does not seem to bad, little extra armor, little more mana, faster spell cool down so what. The aura effect is what is going to be the problem. Thankfully Frozen heart is a little bit on the cheaper side and you should be able to figure out when they are building it and change the build to fit what is needed.

If your game is turning into a high damage high death scenario for Darius, I would advice keeping both Thornmail and Guardian Angel and changing Ionic Spark into a high health item, such as Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet. It also might be useful to change Trinity Force into either a health regain item or another high health item depending on who you are playing against.

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For every good match, there is going to be down time. This can come as a good or a bad tide, on the bright side it gives you time to recover your health since there is not any champ confrontation but at the same time you are not going to be gaining the large chunks of experience you gain from killing the enemy champs. To fill in this time, besides healing, you should be
focusing on local minions.

Darius can kill who ever he needs to by end game, but early and mid are a little different, come the first 6-8 levels jungle monsters are pretty much off limits, yea you can get your team to come and help you but if your going for a buff there is the chance of them stealing it from you, and if it is just a regular monster you are not just blowing your health but also your teammates.

By mid game, roughly levels 9-12, if you are having a really good game with decent amounts of action you probably have most of the base parts of your later build or if you are a rusher you probably have 2 or 3 of the items completely built. Once you hit level 9 you should be safe either way to start taking jungle buffs.

Come your late game, levels 13-18, it is either time to take the defensive or put in one strong push to finish them off. Many matches will come down to a strong Darius, due to his versatility he can be used to fit in where he is needed, that means he is chilling back at the base getting all his gold from minions, or if its him leading the charge with a teammate into the spawn to take out the inhibitor. After your mid game tho, unless your on the defensive, minions are just a waste of your time so just run by them if you can and only kill what you need to save your teammates from getting that last chance minion spell bomb on their backs.

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While in play there are many key decisions you have to make while playing as any champions, one of the more important things is when to go into the jungle to get a buff. For Darius the use of buff is almost (and I do want to focus on that word there) useless. In the situations tho where it becomes useful for you to but tho heres somethings you might need to know.

Twisted Treeline 3v3

In Twisted Treeline there are 8 Jungler Areas. The Red mark being the Blessing of the Lizard Elder (a slowing buff that causes slows movement speed and adds extra damage), the Light Blue mark being the Crest of Flowing Water (increases movement speed by 30%), the Green make being the Crest of Nature's Fury (increases attack speed 20% and reduces cool down by 10%), and the White mark being the Crest of Crushing Wrath (increases the damage of a champion)
Now getting more in depth with each one so we can get a better understanding as to when and why you would want to obtain these powers for Darius. The 4 Gray marks are standard jungle minions, by slaying them no buffs are given just standard gold and experience.

Lizard Elder

With the Blessing of the Lizard Elder Darius would be able to make targets easier to hit than ever before, and since it is ment to be the first buff obtained in the game Darius has no problem getting it from the Lizard from about level 4 on meaning that he will start with the slowing effect at the lowest total (the buff increases movement loss every 5 levels 1/6/11 changing the percentages like wise 8/16/24%) The damage increase tho will be starting at an increase of +16 (starting at +10 at level 1 and increases by 2 every level after meaning the totals will go as followed 10/12/14/16/18/20/22/24/26/28/30/32/34/36/38/40/42/44 * 2) Next choice of buffs will go to either Crest of Flowing Water and Crest of Nature's Force would be your next choices.

Crest of Flowing Water

With the Crest of Flowing Water you would get an increase of 30% so if you were to obtain it after you buy your level 2 boots, and any situations in the game did not cause you to change out the Ionic Spark into a different item that has movement speed with it, your new speed with the buff would be at 409 from the 315 total before.

Nature's Force

Now for the Crest of Nature's Force you will have 20% increased Attack Speed and your cool downs will be faster by 10%. This will become a very useful buff when playing a very defensive game since it will make it easier to defend your base with a higher attack speed and since it re-spawns back in the same spot every couple of minutes you should have enough time between enemy pushes to go and kill the monster again.

With these three buffs there are two ways that you can obtain it. The first being you can run into the jungle yourself and kill them or the second way is to be the person that kills the enemy that has the buff. When obtaining the buff the second way the length of the buff is refreshed and changes to match your level.

Crushing Wrath

The last buff option is the Crest of Crushing Wrath, the most valuable buff in the game obtained by slaying the Dragon gives you an increase in damage that varies with your level. Unlike the other buffs that change by giving a standard increase of +2 per level, this one changes by giving you a percentage that equals your level, so if you were to slay the dragon at level 18 you would get an increase of 18% putting you at 133 (this is not counting in the stacks from Bloodthirster) Unlike the other 3 buffs, this one is not transferable to the enemy team if they slay you while you have it active, but also unlike the other 3 the rest of your team does not have to attack the dragon to get the buff but will not be given to any teammate that is waiting to re-spawn while the dragon is slain. There also is a bonus +150 gold when the Dragon is slain given to the slaying team.

If you want to get a buff put your focus on the Dragon with Darius, while the other buffs all have features that are tempting for Darius to get in the long run they are not worth the effort and time unless the situation seems fitting to have them. But with the Dragon the increase in damage is worth it since most champions will not be able to slay the dragon until level 14 and with that along with the rest of Darius's power behind his attack his kills and assists are sure to jump along with the rest of the teams.

Summoners Rift 5v5

Now for the 5v5 buffs there are a few changes that make jungling and buff obtaining even more useless to Darius that of a 3v3 game. As you can see the map for 5v5 is bigger then your average 3v3 game, which with that there are also more jungle creatures throughout. The Buffs on this map are The Blessing of the Lizard Elder, the Crest of the Ancient Golem (increase mana regain) and the Exalted with Baron Nashor. The Blessing of the Lizard Elder is the same as the 3v3 match, but unlike in 3v3 I would not say that it is ever worth Darius's time to go into the jungle to obtain it. Unlike in 3v3 there is actually a need for a jungling champion, and this champion is normally one faster champs to reach a higher level since their only job is to obtain the buffs, clean up lanes of minions, and to assist in ganks and 2v1s. Since this fact is a constant in games of 5's the risk of going in to obtain a buff that will only last you 2 minutes and most likely will get you killed and end up just giving the buff away I recommend that you stay clear of the jungle as much as possible.

Ancient Golem

The next buff is the Crest of the Ancient Golem which gives you a base increase of 20 mana regain every 5 seconds and then another .5% of the maximum mana is regained every second. Along with the mana regain there is also a 20% cooldown reduction to go along with it. Now with this buff it is normally obtained by pushers, rangers and mages due to the mana regain. With this known also do not go for this buff, besides the fact you will probably end up pissing off a teammate because they need it more than you, you will be wasting the majority of the buff since Darius is not a very mana hungry champion after Sheen is purchased to build the Trinity Force.

Baron Nashor

The last available buff in Summoners Rift is the Exalted with Barn Nashor ability. With this you will regain both health and mana while it is active + you will have increased attack damage and ability power. Like the dragon buff from Twisted Treeline the buff is given to the whole team not just the slayer/slayers and a gold bonus is given to the team and is nontransferable, but unlike the dragon the Baron is a harder buff holder to kill and will require more than just 1 champion to kill, usually it is more like 3-4 champions to slay the Baron. Since so many champs are needed to slay the Baron I can not exactly say to go for it or not go for it, if your team is requesting help and you are near them definitely help but do not go running across the map if you are in the bottom lane to help get a buff when you know there is a champion already in your lane.

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An important part to most players is warding. Wards allow you to do a few things to help your entire teams game, in 3v3 they are mostly used to keep an eye on buffs and parts of the jungle that are not always ran through, in 5v5 they are used not only to keep an eye on the buffs but also to help protect anyone that is jungling so that the rest of the team can go assist them before they get attacked by a stronger enemy.
This picture shows you a few things. In gray you have the turrets, blue is location of grass, purple is the nexus and red is good ward locations. For the ward locations here you want to keep in mind that you normally will not have 1 person focusing on jungling so you do not have to worry as much about the small buffs they are put in the upper part of the map more as a watch for the dragon. Along with the wards that will go through the grass around the dragon it might be a good idea to put a ward on the sides of the dragon's entrance. As for the wards on the bottom, they have 2 uses, the smaller use is to watch the red buff. More importantly the lower section of the maps wards are there so that you do not get stuck in a gank in the middle of the lane and so that if you think an enemy can kill you quickly so that you have more time to turn around and know which lane entrance they are going to pick.

Here we have another map of our 5v5 play ground, the blue marks again are our turrets, fuschia is our inhibitors, purple is our nexus and pink is our ward locations. Unlike 3v3 where the wards are not important, they play a very important role in 5v5. As stated above, they are used so that the jungler can be saved by teammates and also so that the jungler has time to get to a buff if he thinks he can take the enemy down. They also play an even more important role of protecting the Baron, unlike the dragon in 3v3, the Baron is a even crucial buff and can change the tides of a match more then the dragon does in 3v3. With all of the wards set you will know sooner when a turret is being attack, if someone is waiting in bushes to gank/ambush and to know what buffs are being taken ahead of time.

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Team Work

With so many champions out now, the options of whom to put Darius with are outrageous.
Obviously with a champion like Darius it is possible to play him as a Solo Top if your team needs you to, I just want to start with that.
As for lane buddies

Good partners

Draven- Not just because they are brothers, between Darius's Noxian Guillotine and Draven's Whirling Death putting those two moves together and with Darius being able to keep enemies away from Draven while he is juggling his ax's when it comes down to a 2v1 or a 2v2 these two when played right by both players will create a deadly duo.

Ashe- If your going into a long game and all players are maxed out, Darius can move into his high attack speed mode and change his item sets around, or if you feel this is going to happen and you have an Ashe on your team, Ashe can take her ionic spark and come up behind you while Darius goes and searches the bushes with his Decimate ready to move anyone into Ashe's range so she does not need to waste her volley spell

Nasus- When it comes to people who enjoy AOE spells, Nasus is probably one of the highest ranked champs in that group. With not only his Spirit Fire but also his Fury of the Sands, Nasus is a fast moving tank that deals as much damage as he does recovering health. When teamed up with the right Nasus tho, Darius can come in and easily get kills using his own ult or can go and pull people back into Nasus's Fury of the Sands to get them even more damage

Corki - For a tag team that is going to allow you to push your lane while knowing both you and your partner are going to escape, having a Corki at your side is one of your best bets. While both Darius and Corki have a high attack power rating which will allow both to deal high amounts of damage to enemies, when both champs spells are mashed together correctly the finishing marks are remarkable. When putting together Corki's Gatling Gun with Darius's Apprehend causes stacks from both champs to become active on the enemy. Another strong mix for the two is Valkyrie and Decimate, first using your Darius to strike the enemy to stun them then having Corkie shoot over Valkyrie which will cause the enemy to be stuck in the trail longer then usual and cause even more damage.

Rammus- Like Darius Rammus is a melee and tank champion, and when both are put in the same lane this can equal to many great things. For both champions they have a very strong stunning spell, for Darius that is his Decimate spell and for Rammus it is his Powerball spell. When both of these spells are used in a combo with each other it will allow both champions to get a clean and easy hit following on the enemy. Following the use of this tag team combo, Darius can tho go into a Crippling Strike followed by Rammus to use his Puncturing Taunt Puncturing Taunt to lure the Champ back into the fight against Rammus, then once that is over follow through with Darius’s Apprehend and then into a Noxian Guillotine to finish off the skirmish and rack up Quick stacks of gold for you and your fellow Rammus.

Ok partner

Alistar: The Cow, yes even one of the tankiest champs ever can play a decent game with a fellow tank. Due to Darius ability to change what lane type he is playing the combo of Darius and Alistar will allow you to pop enemies into the air with Alistar's Pulverize then have Darius pull them in with his Apprehend then have Alistar headbutt them back further with his E and if the enemy has any health left combo Darius's Decimate and Noxian Guillotine along with Alistar's Unbreakable Will to make the power house combo hit that will either finish them off or leave them with only enough health that any minion attack will finish it. But even with that great combo pair, they are only getting marked as Ok because Alistar is good at stopping and knocking back, while Darius is good at stopping and smashing into the ground, the last thing you want is Alistar to be head butting everything out there and knocking things out of Darius's reach then leaving both champs susceptible to a retaliation and potential death if the enemy has strong enough spells.

Jax- For Jax I have many mixed emotions. In many cases the tag team of Jax and Darius can be a good mix, but due to Jax’s nature of being a harder to play champion having a good Jax on your team could be a hit and miss. Now while this can be the same for any champion, it seems to be especially true for Jax. There have been games where he has been the changer of the game, he is either the leading killer or a feast for the enemy team. Now if you have a Jax that know what he is doing then your enemies most likely will be surrendering before you ever step foot near their nexus. One good combo that comes from Jax for Darius is the Leap Strike spell, most people’s attention will be drug to Jax while he is in leap and can allow Darius to charge up and throw a strike or two in while the enemy is stun from the strike.

Bad Partners

Kassadin: Darius and Kass in some ways are a lot alike, both are two champs that can push into the center of a fight and get out, only problem with that tho is if you have both champs stuck in that fight only one is getting away safely the other is going to be chased down and shut down and drag the other down with them. Kass has many strong features, but he doesn't have many features that allow him to be a good assist

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Champion match ups

Here I will after a while put in every champ and rank them from Easiest to Hardest with a subcategory of 1-10 on their difficultly to play against with Darius. Based off of well played Champions


Sejuani: Easy Difficulty Level: 5
In my opinion Sejuani has many weaknesses to her that stop her from being a better champion then she is. In many cases she plays an extremely good pusher/tank. This allows her to charge into a fight using Arctic Assault, normally with a fellow fighter with her, and do a lot of damage quickly using her Northern Winds spell to stun the enemy and set them up to kill you quickly. Luckily for Darius he can stop this from happening with ease, when she starts to use her ice storm attack she becomes slower and easier to hit. Plus even if she gets her health extremely high she still gets cut to pieces by Darius’s Decimate and then if followed with a Crippling Strike she becomes a very easy to strike with Noxian Guillotine that will put her at little health or dead by the time the skirmish between the two of you is over allowing you to focus on who ever she is teamed up with and take them down as well.

Tristana: Difficulty level:8
Tristana is possibly one of few rangers I would put into the easy to fight category against Darius. For starters even though she is put into the ranger grouping, her playing sets her more in her carry grouping, maybe even a melee fighter due. Now some of you’s are probably reading that and thinking ‘all of her rangers are over 600 how does he get that?’ my thinking is like the build, different. Whenever I play her, and from what other people have seen as well, her attacks are done close range anyway. When someone plays her they have a tendency to rush at you fire off her Explosive Shot or even her Buster Shot and follow that with a Rocket Jump to get away from you while you are blown back or stunned by her spell still, but while she is rushing at Darius she is weak, almost squishy the entire match and becomes an easy target to strike down. So through it all unless she becomes exceptionally fed early game before you can manage to build your armor up till about 100, you will have no problem taking her out and will not have to worry much about health loss.


Ashe: Medium Difficulty Level:2
Ashe is one of the better ranged champs in the game. For most situations Ashe will most likely not cause a problem for Darius when she is playing solo. When your game moves into more single lane push for either team she become a bit scarier of an adversary. With her ability to hit you long range she becomes harder for Darius to kill due the fact that Darius is a Fighter styled champ, he has no real range and her high stun rate stops you from getting close to her quickly. So in closing, when it comes down to a 1v1 against an Ashe do not worry about it you will be fine, but if she has some friends with her, particularly an enemy with high health or attack damage then the fight might become a little harder for you.

Fizz: Difficulty Level: 6
A fed fizz will cause many problems for you, more so if he is the one killing you but that shouldn’t be happening too much. For playing against a Fizz the biggest thing you have to worry about is Fizz’s fish throw shark attack, soon as he gets that it could be the tide changer in any skirmish you have against him, but due to his squishy status until he has level 13 usually it is very easy to suppress him and keep his levels at low. Another trait you have to look out for is his jumping trident attack, this causes a small amount of a problem since it stops most of Darius’s spells from hitting him, but even with that Fizz should be no problem for a well played Darius, even less of a problem for a well played tell since there will be little to no way for Fizz to level up and become over powered compared to you.


Kog’Maw: Difficulty Level:4.5
Kog’Maw is a very different champion from the rest of the champs in his grouping. For starters he is a carry range, which when his spells are used becomes a very clear fact that it is where he belongs. The reason that he is sort of outcast from the rest is his passive, which against a Darius can be a very devastating turn to Darius’s over all game in the match. With Kog’s Icathian Surprise, after Kog’Maw is killed he is able to chase his killer for 4 seconds and deals up to 550 true damage (at level18), and to his advantage if he can shoot off any of his other spells before death, especially his Void Ooze will slow Darius down and make him an easier target to get to before his reanimation has to implode and do some serious damage to Darius if Kog’Maw is a high level. In any case that you are playing against a Kog’Maw, I would advise that you push for your Guardian Angel instead of your Thornmail so that in the chance that he weakens you enough before his passive goes off you will be revived and can continue your lane push or defense.

Teemo: Difficulty level:9.5
When playing against a Teemo it sometimes becomes a giant pain for a Darius. For starters Darius is already a slow champion, and come late game it sometimes becomes needed to chase people down. In these situations if the enemy team were to have a Teemo on their team then chances are you are going to be losing a lot of speed due to his Noxious Trap spells that he probably will have scattered across the entire map in and around every bush. Along with losing enemies because of this spell, it also puts Darius into a lot of trouble in the jungle. Since Teemo can place as many traps as he wants as long as me has 1 stored (but with a 7 second cool down chances are he will have that to the max amount of 3) he has the option of putting them in an order that if you walk into one your next step could hit another and when you try running walking into a 3rd, this will drop Darius's movement speed to nothing and allows the enemy team to gank you and kill you with little if any at all fight from you.

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Ionic Spark

While going through this build the question of 'Why did he choose to put Ionic Spark into the build' probably became a question at least once. Ionic Spark was not a hard decision making item to put in, to be honest it was a filling item. Yes I could have sat down and thought of probably 20 different items to put in there, but I felt that by putting it there that it gave players more options.

Since it is not a decision maker in the build it allows you to make this build different every time. Yea you can follow through and build it exactly as I have it, or you can switch the Spark out for any different item to fit the situation that you are in. Because that is what it is, it is a situational item, it can be turned into anything that your team needs at that very second. For example, if you up against a Warwick he is known for having high life steal. Now if you were to get through the rest of the items in the build, or you at least have a starting item for each one that you need at the moment, and you do not feel that you need Spark because you need more health then that is given or you need more attack damage to enable you to shut out Warwick faster and not have him be able to regain health from you. In this situation it would probably be better to put in Infinity Edge for the higher critical hit damage to go along with Darius's already high attack damage.

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Ranked Play

As a usual 3v3 player, and having Darius as one of my top 3 champs to play, he is a very versatile champ in this game mode. While unlike 5v5 there is no need for a Mid player but a high need for CC/Tanky champs along with Fighter and rangers, Darius can play a mix of pretty much all of them. I do want to state that he is not a huge range fighter, his E (Apprehand) allows him to have a short range pull back on his enemies as they are running away, or if you just want to keep them up close in personal and give them a nice armor bound hug (but we will cover more into that later in the skill section)

As for Darius in Ranked play, for 3v3 I will give him a 100% thumbs up, for 5v5 I doubt that if you are playing right that you would like wise have any problems moving your away down the lane weither your just assisting your fellow champs or racking up the kills and filling your lane with blood. The only down side to Ranked matches is that Darius is 1 of the top 10 people banned from matches, so if you manage to get him in good luck and enjoy.

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Wall of Fame

Both pictures from the same game, Possible upload of the video in a little
Complete language barrier and no team communication we pulled off a win
Bad start but an amazing finish
Just to show how little healing is done compared to damage taken
testing out the Bloodrazer, really liked the outcome and made a good comeback to end positive
With GangPlank being missing from the start this shows the full power and potential of this build

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Thank Yous

Thank you for choosing my Guide as your go to for your Darius needs, lots of time and thought was put into this guide and will be kept up to date as long as possible.

If there is anything that you feel needs to be added to the page, or if you try the build out your self and have a good game send me screen shots and I will gladly post them up. Positive and Negative criticism is except, but anyone who is just posting about how OP Darius is and how unfair it is to play against him is not acceptable.

  • For starters thank you for the comments that have made me want to finish and keep editing this till I get it exactly how I want it and 100% Finished and Accurate
  • Thank you to jhoijhoi and for her how to make a guide guide and for her words of advice <-amazing guide
    *more to come as they turn up*
*accurate up until Diana patch