Darius Build Guide by RSG Dyros
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+15-135 Health (at levels 1-18) and +9 ability power or +5 attack damage, adaptive
Threats to Darius with this build
|Cho'Gath||Pre 6, you eat him instead. go very agressive and freeze|
|Gangplank||Lane is very easy, go aggressive|
|Yasuo||Avoid his level 2 and farm until 6. I have never lost this match-up in my life. You absolutely rek him after that. Let him push and grab him under turret for free trades.|
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My name is Dyros and I hereby present you a guide of one of my favorite champions: Darius. Please note that this guide is completely my own play style and I do not claim this guide to be the best or so in any way. Everyone has their own preferred way of playing and this is mine.
I play him in lane as a bully for both toplaner and jungler. I ward a lot and back off if I can't win the 2v1. It makes jungler tilt easy and this results in stupid engages in which you come out with at least one kill.
Late I play him as a sustain tank. I focus on not dying and on applying max charges of passive on my opponents. The Noxian Guillotine deals a lot of damage without high-damage items so as long as I not die, I can ult. Once one enemy executed with the ult you can snowball a team fight from there. I do this by helping the AD carry with taking down their front line with my true damage R and sprint for the chase once this is done.
This has resulted in a 61% win rate over the entire season.
Please keep in mind that I want to keep it simple and don't post huge pages full of text. Everything regarding pages and skills has notes, hover over them with your mouse to see my motivations.
I think that the new season will have a lot to offer for Darius. He is a very aggressive and snowballing toplaner and this is exactly what this meta is all about. The only problem would be that AD carries will do this a bit more easier than you.
I think that the new runes will definitely give him a lot of option, especially in the trees I mentioned above. Almost all things are useful for him.
Furthermore, now the ardent meta is over, I think that Darius will find his place back in the meta as in last season. And I definitely think that he is easily abused in matches early on in the season.
Lastly I would like to point out that the new Sterak's is extremely strong on Darius, it gives you everything you need in a fight. I would definitely put it as a near-core item.
Patch 7.24 buffed Hamorrhage significantly, making him more stronger in this patch. His small trades are stronger at all stages of the game, but also his all-ins.
The bonus AD he gets when achieving 5 stacks in increase with about 5 (at level 1)
to 30 (at level 18) extra attack damage. This does not change his play style but just makes him stronger in general. I also changed his rune patch as well, please read the updates in the designated section.
Pro's & Con's
Just like any other champion, Darius is very solid in certain situations and finds himself having a harder time in others. This briefly highlights a few of these:
+ Natural sustain
+ Extremely high execution power
+ Once reached his target, there is little escape
+ Extreme snowball potential
+ Shuts down tanks early
+ Enemy ganks often result in a double kill
+ Is a force to be reckoned with
+ E and Black Cleaver result in so much armor penetration
- His known pre 6strengths often result in a lot of early ganks
- Peel supports makes him sad
- High mobility enemies are often a problem
- GA or Zilean ult stops his teamfight snowball
- Is forced to build tanky, even though having good scaling on damage
- Does not provide as much cc in teamfights as other toplaners do
Press the Attack felt okay on Darius but after a while into the season and the indirect nerf to it I decided to go for Grasp of the Undying instead. The primary tree gives you extra health which greatly helps during the first few levels. And it allows you to make better trades. Please note that Grasp of the Undying also triggers Iron Skin's extra armor.
Unflinching allows you to be a bit more slippery in fights and chases. Little much to be said about it, it just improves your overall mobility. Iron Skin is the choice if I play vs an AD champion such as Riven or Renekton. It triggers on Grasp of the Undying, Decimate, Taste of Blood and Corrupting Potion. If you play vs an AP champion such as Vladimir or Rumble I suggest you go with Mirror Shell instead. It works the same but with magic resist instead. Second Wind gives you some extra lane sustain and makes you come on top after a trade in lane (which you will look for anyway because of Grasp of the Undying).
Taste of Blood gives you even more healing on top of the other options, making you very hard to kill in a 1v1. Eyeball Collection is the best option of the remainder options. It allows you to profit a bit more from snowballing. It is not a must have though, feel free to change this up to Zombie Ward for example if you feel like getting ganked a lot.
Decimate is usually my first ability because it is reliable damage, heals and the best method of pushing lanes if necessary. And I max it first (after R off course) for the same reason.
Apprehend is my second max. Ever since the rework I have discussions with people saying that Crippling Strike would be the best to max. The fact is, maxing Crippling Strike adds so little value. The ONLY thing it does is lowering its base CD. Leveling it doesn't even increase its (base) damage or scaling rate. Maxing Apprehend results in a lower CR, less getting kited, it also slows, and there is build-in armor pen in there! There is no arguing that maxing Apprehend over Crippling Strike is always the best choice.
Flash is a must, no arguing that. Unless you know your match-up and are completely comfortable with the champion you might consider Ghost.
Teleport is 90% of the time my preferred choice. It increases your gold per minute and it increases global- and lane pressure. It also gives you opportunities to split push and it makes sure you are as mobile as possible.
If you are relatively comfortable with the champion you could go for Ignite as well. Although you should only do this vs high-snowball reliant champions such as Riven. It shuts them down completely and gives them a really hard time getting into the game and keep up.
Another good alternative is Ghost it boosts your mobility and it helps you down to chase enemy champions. But do note that my personal experience is that Teleport or Ignite give you more overall benefit.
Obviously you want to get as much farm as possible.
Try to bully, and if they are 75%-50% hp go in for the kill.
Don't farm with Decimate, enemies are likely to engage if on CD and you fail to trade back properly
Use Crippling Strike to take minions, it restores some CD and completely refunds mana when a unit is killed. Note that this also works on turrets!
And please, for baron's shake, ward!. There is nothing so frustrating than dominating your laner and getting rekt by a jungler. Always buy pinks and keep an eye out. People tend to shut him down before 6. And honestly, you can barely finish a kill if you don't have your Noxian Guillotine. So care fore ganks and only fight once your ult is up.
Unfortunately for your teammates, Darius' Teleport ganks are not so solid. It takes a long time to get there in the first place and your lack of mobility often results in an awkward situation. Try to use it for top to out-scale your opponent.
In teamfights, try to defend your backline for you are not a solid engage in an all open teamfight. You get kited and have no hard cc. Break down their tanks with 1k true damage ulties and use your Black Cleaver, Storm raiders, Deadman's and/or Glory to hunt their backlines down after. Just make sure you can sustain their damage in the process.
As I said, I like to keep it simple. Nobody likes or reads entire pages of text that everyone knows already. I tried only to tell the things that are not always straight forward while learning this unique champion.
I am no pro, I still learn. Feedback is much appreciated and I love a good discussion if any of you disagree on something. Love to hear your thoughts!
Hope to encounter you all at some point on the rift.
Best regards from top,