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Fiddlesticks Build Guide by Sevresth

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sevresth

My Scarecrow and Me: An In Depth Guide

Sevresth Last updated on February 11, 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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Fiddlesticks was the very first champion that I ever learned how to play, so he really has a special place in my heart.
Fiddlesticks is interesting in that to be truly effective at playing him, you have to not only be familiar with the playstyle of a mage, but of an assassin to launch effective Crowstorms, a ranged carry to have the best use throughout the game with Dark Wind, an AP carry because he is one of the few champions in the game with a truly game changing ultimate, CC because 2 out of his 4 skills are hard disabling CC and a 3rd is area denial, and a nuke.
What this guide does is give a little insight as to how I go about playing the Harbinger of Doom.

Warning: This is a fairly long, in depth guide, but it is full of information. I've made an effort to keep any superfluous comments out to keep it as short as possible, so please bear with me while reading it. Thanks!

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The Method to my Madness

Fiddlesticks is extremely powerful, however he is VERY easily shut out by anybody building up any kind of magic resistance.
Also, Fiddlesticks AP scalings are less than stellar, so instead of building up tons of AP, I build up magic penetration. What magic penetration does, is allow me to bypass all of the potential damage mitigation that might be built and allow me to deal 'true' damage.
I have tried to build up a lot of AP before, however this leaves him very vulnerable during the early and mid game and really leaves him susceptible to snubbing if he does not get fed very early.
What this philosophy does, is it allows me to have a lot of power throughout the game; early, middle, and late and it lets me have the ability to produce that game changing Crowstorm that turns the entire team fight into my team's favor.
In summary, a Crowstorm from a Fiddlesticks with 500 AP will deal 550 flat damage, however against an enemy with 30 magic resistance, you are actually dealing 385 points per second. Now, under this build, with an Abyssal Mask and a Rabadon's Deathcap, you have 324 AP but have a very strong chance of dealing 'true' damage, meaning that in effect, you are dealing 454 points per second, a 130 point differential per second and a 650 point differential for the full 5 second duration.

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The Magic Penetration Formula

Magic penetration effects are applied in the following order:
1)percentage magic reduction
2)flat magic reduction
3)flat magic penetration
4)percentage magic penetration

So, according to the formula, the order of effects that affect magic resistance are applied in a certain order. This is important because while we do want to get through a lot of magic resistance, we don't want to be repetitive nor do we want to spend a lot of money on items that don't have a lot of impact.
So, in a game with the presented full build, the magic resistance effects from Dread and Abyssal Mask are applied first. Then, the penetration effects from your runes and Sorcerer's Shoes and finally, the percent magic penetration from your mastery, Arcane Knowledge to total out to 69 magic penetration and 10% magic penetration.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
The first thing that I want to talk about are my seals. The main reason that I choose these instead of greater seal of replenishment is because of Drain. Not many players are going to stay near long enough to completely heal me every time I get low, so utilizing Drain on minions is very important. What Greater Seal of Armor does is make it so that these minions do a lot less damage to me, meaning that I can get more health regeneration while using my Drain on them.

The other thing that I am sure you have noticed is that all of my other runes give magic penetration. This is VERY important to my early game damage. Let me explain:

Almost every single carry, whether physical or magic, ranged or melee, starts the game with about 30 MR. What this rune setup does is it makes it so that you start the game off with about 19 magic penetration from the metagame. To most AP champions, this is not enough to be worth giving up some of the other benefits that can be gained; however Fiddlesticks has something that is unique and that no other champion in the game has; Dread. This further reduces champion's magic resistance by 10, meaning that you start the game with a grand total of 29 magic penetration. Now add in another 10% magic penetration from Arcane Knowledge and you my friend, are dealing true damage at level 1. This is DEVASTATING. Just think, at level 1, you are dealing 65 damage per bounce with Dark Wind or a maximum of 300 damage with Drain to an enemy with a 500 point health pool.

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I use 2 mastery page setups for Fiddlesticks:

This is a pretty standard 9-0-21 mastery setup that focuses on getting up to Arcane Knowledge through Sorcery and Mental Force in the offense tree.
In the utility tree I take Good Hands to reduce my death timer and improved Flash. I also take Swiftness to make up a little for Fiddlesticks slow movement speed. I take Runic Affinity for the increased time with Blue Buff and I take Greed and Wealth for extra gold generation as well as enough gold in the beginning to pick up another potion of my choice. The rest are pretty self explanatory, mainly focusing on cooldown reduction or spell vamp. I take this whenever I see that my team has plenty of dueling potential, but not a lot of teamfight presence or when my team is mostly carries that require some time to get powerful.

This is a 21-0-9 setup that lets Fiddlesticks really open up on his damage potential. I take improved Flash, Good Hands , Swiftness , and Runic Affinity in the utility tree and every AP related mastery in the offense tree. This setup is to make sure that I can deal the most possible damage with my abilities, particularly Crowstorm and Dark Wind during the early game. I take this setup whenever I feel comfortable with my team's composition and want to ensure that I can fill the role of AP carry by ensuring a win every time that my ultimate is up.

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Summoner Spells

I take Exhaust because it's the ultimate in utility. It can be used to slow down enemies so that you can either get away, or get the kill by keeping unwary enemies in your Drain for those extra few seconds. It also further weakens your enemy since I take a point in Summoner's Wrath in the offense tree.

This is the ultimate 'GTFO!!' ability in that one minute you're in danger of dying and the next, you're gone. But it's also very important for Fiddlesticks because with it, you can reblink for a missed Crowstorm.

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Dark Wind or Drain?

The biggest debate that any Fiddlesticks player has ever had is whether to start the game off with Dark Wind, or Drain.
Well, I contend that they both have their uses and purposes in the lane.
Drain is the ultimate counter to melee champions because it makes any pester or attack by melee champions worthless. It nullifies any damage that was done to you, actually heals you back up, and does a lot of damage to them to boot. So, I typically start with this skill if I'm going to be in a lane with melee champions who have to get in close to me and stay close in order to do any damage.

Dark Wind is a very damaging nuke early game, it silences, and it has a very large range, making it an excellent pester ability or long range barrage. Thus, I typically start with Dark Wind if I'm going to be laning against a champion who uses abilities to deal damage or ranged enemies who don't have to get in close enough for me to use Drain to deal damage.
So, in a game, I don't pick a skill until I have actually gotten out to the lane and have seen who I am laning against.

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Skill Sequence

In the overview, I said to start with Dark Wind because that is the most common scenario. After that, I take a point in Drain for the sustain in the lane and then I take a point in Terrify for an extra second head start in case I'm ganked. After that, I take a second point in Dark Wind for the extra damage and leave it until the end of the game because after the first 2 ranks, the damage falls off big time. I take my next point in Drain for the increased ability to 1v1 enemies and then I alternate ranks in Drain and Terrify and end the game by maxing Dark Wind. Always take Crowstorm whenever it's up, levels 6, 11, and 16.
Most other guides focus around maxing one skill first, however this build doesn't. That is because Fiddlesticks has so many different methods and styles of attacking, that maxing one all of the way, leaves him lacking in other ways. For instance, maxing Dark Wind first leaves him at a disadvantage when trying to 1v1 enemies because he can't sustain with Drain. Likewise, maxing Drain first is not the best way to go because without somebody applying a hard CC, it is nearly impossible to get the full damage from it. As for Terrify, it's a very powerful CC ability, however maxing this first means that you have nothing to follow it up with, leaving you free for 3 seconds and then dead after that.

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Early Game
I start the game with an Amplifying Tome so that I get plenty of power to capitalize on my early game advantage with true damage and a Mana Potion. I take a Mana Potion over the Health Potion because as long as you have mana, you have an infinite amount of health thanks to Drain. My next purchase is usually Sorcerer's Shoes in order to further my advantage with magic penetration because by this time, the enemy has either scaled into some MR, or they have started building it up. However, if you're having severe mana problems, or if you feel uncomfortable with the amount of mana that you're using, go ahead and rush a Tear of the Goddess, that way your mana is fixed and you can always build it into an Archangel's Staff later. Next on the shopping list is Zhonya's Hourglass. This gives me AP, lots of armor as well as a killer active that makes sure that I can stay alive for as long as possible in the middle of teamfights.

Mid Game
Morello's Evil Tome takes all of the awesome benefits of Fiendish Codex and buffs them to give excellent bonuses to the mid and late game. The last item that I make sure to get is Abyssal Mask. This finishes the complete depletion of the enemy's magic resistance and builds up some immunity of my own to magical attacks and gives some nice AP.

Late Game
My final items are to enhance my damage output. Rabadon's Deathcap is the perfect item to do just that and Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives me plenty of health and AP to keep me alive and damaging and a slow to keep them in range of my abilities or help my team catch up if they decide to run. Now, if you bought Tear of the Goddess during the early game, go ahead and upgrade it to Archangel's Staff to get more mana and benefits from the mana that you've already accrued and skip the Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

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Items That Aren't In My Build And The Reason Why They Aren't Included

-This item does give a lot of early game AP, however during the late game you only increase you AP by 80 and get a passive that is extremely repetitive since you have Drain and, in order to maximize its effects, you have to get it during the early game. Doing this decreases the availability of other more important items in the build like Fiendish Codex that give cooldown reduction, mana regeneration, and very comparable AP, or the easy purchase of Zhonya's Hourglass. So, in summary, the stuff that you give up is just too valuable in order to get a passive that you get anyway from one of your abilities.

-This is a very valuable item since it gives several bonuses for a very cheap price. My biggest complaint for this item is that it doesn't build into anything. Normally, this is acceptable, especially for carries, since they require early game benefits in order to last long enough to build into their more important items. However, since Fiddlesticks becomes 10x more powerful at level 6 without any item contribution, he can afford to give up that early game benefit in order to build more into his mid and late game.

-Referring back to the section The Magic Penetration Formula, we know that since Void Staff gives percentage magic penetration, it is applied last. And, since we already get through so much magic resistance, the purchase of Void Staff is almost useless since by the time its effects are applied, the magic resistance that it has to work with are almost gone, severely lessening its effectiveness.

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Some Other Builds That I Like To Use

Cooldown Reduction:

The Deathfire Grasp and Ionian Boots of Lucidity combined with a 9-0-21 mastery setup give you the max 40% cooldown reduction. From there, I get lots of mana regeneration and flat mana from Archangel's Staff so that I have plenty of resources to keep the spells coming and accentuate it with lots of AP from Rabadon's Deathcap. I get Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the extra health and the slow to my abilities.

Tank Killer:

I take a Deathfire Grasp in order to immediately blow through a 3rd of the enemy's health and Ionian Boots of Lucidity to keep my abilities up as much as possible. Next, I take Void Staff to get through as much MR as possible. I take this approach when facing mostly tanks because with the provided build, you get through 69 MR, however most tanks will build more than this. So instead, I take Void Staff and Arcane Knowledge to get through a full 50% of their MR in conjunction with the 29 magic penetration from the meta game. After that, I take Moonflair Spellblade and Banshee's Veil to deal with CC and Rabadon's Deathcap to increase my damage output.


When I find myself having to play more defensive than offensive, I typically lean more toward this build. The Deathfire Grasp helps me level the playing field by blasting away a full 3rd of their health and the Mercury's Treads help reduce incoming CC to keep me alive. From there, I cover my bases of resistances by getting Abyssal Mask for magic resistance, Zhonya's Hourglass for armor, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter for health. Spirit Visage helps by increasing the effectiveness of my Drain, thereby increasing the chance that I can walk away from a duel alive.



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Your Place In The Teamfight

Fiddlesticks excels as a massive AOE nuke that wins teamfights and is one of the best disablers in the game. During a teamfight, you can instantly kill a champion of your choice by using Crowstorm, Dark Wind, Terrify, and Drain on the same target. But, LoL is a team game, so unless there's just one carry that has to go, use you abilities to benefit the entire team.
Use Crowstorm, and then Terrify the Carry or champion who is dealing the most damage. This will severely reduce the amount of damage your team is taking. Next, launch a Dark Wind at the tank or character who is giving the most CC. This will silence them and stop the other team from stunning/silencing your team. From there, turn around and start to Drain the Champ who has the biggest damage output(this is usually the Carry that you just hit with Terrify). Now, you have wiped out their damage, and blocked out their CC. Without these 2 factors, their team has no choice but to fall back. Now, if they have 2 champs with large DPS, hit the second champ with Exhaust. This will slow and further reduce their damage output as well as making them more prone to die from your Crowstorm or another teammate's attacks.
Unless you are fighting 1v1 or are getting killed, DO NOT Exhaust and Terrify the same target. Dark Wind will hit at the bare minimum 2 champions and silence. Terrify affects another, and your Exhaust should take out another. 1v5 hold pretty good odds in your favor as opposed to wasting a perfectly good ability on a target that is no longer a viable player in the fight.

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Tips And Tricks

  • When getting ganked, even a rank 1 Terrify will give you enough time to make a break for your turret.

  • Likewise, using it on an aggressive laning enemy can catch them off guard and lead to you and your lanemate dealing a lot of unanswered damage.

  • Casting Terrify under an enemy turret will not pull aggro, so when attacking the turret, you can give you and your lanemate a few more attacks by using Terrify on the enemy that has tried to come to its aid.

  • Channeling Crowstorm from the bush will lead to the enemy not knowing when you're going to attack.

  • Using the blink from Crowstorm and then following with a Flash lets you 'double jump'; effectively allowing you to hit a group of enemies with Crowstorm from off of the screen.

  • Terrify into Drain is a fairly basic combo that lets you get a few seconds of uninterrupted drain in. However, this only really works around rank 3 of Terrify since an extra .5 seconds is very rarely worth the extra mana cost early game.

  • Dark Wind has a longer range than Terrify, so when chasing, it is sometimes beneficial to launch Dark Wind in order to make it impossible for the enemy to use Flash or any other ability that would allow them to get away.

  • Terrify at rank 5 keeps an enemy in place for 3 seconds. It takes 1.5 seconds for Crowstorm to channel; meaning that it is possible to use Terrify on an enemy, and then use a point blank Crowstorm into Exhaust, Dark Wind, and Drain to take on a more powerful enemy.

  • Likewise, if you're being chased, running into a bush to break line of sight and then either starting the channel or Crowstorm or waiting for them to get close enough to cast Terrify can quickly turn the hunter into the hunted.

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Fiddlesticks is one of the few champions left who can truly impact the game for the better of your team. His ultimate is a guaranteed teamfight victory and his CC makes him a valuable asset anywhere you go.
Basically, get good with him. Truly good fiddle players are an asset to the entire team with their huge damage potential, game changing ultimate, and vast array of CC.