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Draven Build Guide by Logarithm

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Logarithm

[S3] Draven for Dummies

Logarithm Last updated on March 22, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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Archive Update Information:
- Restructuring majority of guide
- Cutting superfluous text
- Re-evaluating item build

You've finally purchased Draven. You looked at his glorious Fu Manchu while he was on sale, you saw that giant red Attack Damage bar, etc. Why you've bought Draven doesn't matter (since he's Draven), but how you'll play Draven does.

Draven is an interesting champion. He lies somewhere between a Carry and a Caster, and is probably considered the most difficult but most rewarding champion to play in the league. Easy to learn, but tough to master, a good Draven player can deal insane amounts of damage in any situation.

There are two different builds on this guide, the Advanced build, and the Basic build. The Basic build is more similar to a standard AD Carry, where the Advanced build is closer to an AD Caster. The Advanced build is much harder to use, but can deal incredible amounts of damage if used right. Sections pertaining specifically to the Advanced build are separated in each category.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Laning Partners/Opponents sections are incomplete, since I update those based on my personal experiences. I apologize for the inconvenience, but promise to be constantly updating it.

Also, be sure to provide your insight on this guide.
Do you want to tell me whether my build guide helped you in any way? Comment.
Do you hate the Manamune with the power of a thousand suns? Comment.
Do you have a funny picture of Draven's face photoshopped onto another person and you want to show me? Comment.

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Runes & Masteries


Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

There are no Attack Damage marks here at all. Why? Because, Draven already has awesome damage given to him by Spinning Axe. Last-hitting is a breeze. The early Armor Penetration is helpful because you will usually be CONSTANTLY poking your laning opponent with the Blood Rush/ Spinning Axe combo, and they scale nicely into the late game, which is where Draven begins to drop off a bit.

These runes are pretty standard with every carry. The flat armor is helpful with negating early game damage from your laning opponent, and the scaling magic resist is useful as the majority magic damage you'll usually encounter will be by mid to late game, at which these runes begin to outclass the flat magic resist ones.

If you can afford it, it would actually be more beneficial to grab a Greater Quintessence of Life Steal (or three). Since Draven's damage is so high early game, the lifesteal is utilized a lot more effectively than with other traditional carries, such as Ashe. You'll be able to stay in lane a lot longer, however, you might want to grab a few Greater Mark of Attack Damage to compensate.


Not much can be explained about our choice of masteries. Draven is built to dish out damage, meaning that a full 21 points into the offensive masteries is necessary to maximize damage output. The remainder of your points are allocated into armor and health, necessary to get you through the laning phase.

Feel free to stick a point into Summoner's Wrath if you think you'll need it.



The only difference between the Advanced masteries and the Basic masteries is that points are removed from the critical strike tree and allocated into Sorcery for the cooldown reduction. Since dropping a Spinning Axe means you just lost tons of potential damage, making sure you can get another one up as fast as possible is essential.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is absolutely essential for ANY player, noob or pro. The amount of things you can do with Flash is so useful, especially since Draven has barely any escape mechanisms. It may be a short distance, but that's all the distance you need after flashing over a wall.

Ignite is very helpful in securing those kills at both early and late levels. As you probably already know, a lot of champions have ways to evade you, so igniting them before that happens can usually grant you the kill. Unless you're certain you can do without it, you'll need this.

Exhaust is a little different. It can be more effective than Ignite in some situations, but can be completely useless in others. For example, Exhaust can, apart from helping secure a kill, give you a secondary escape mechanism. But it is still highly situational.

Heal is, in my opinion, a useless spell to get. The amount of health it gives you is paltry, and although it is instant, that health is really only helpful in the early game. This is more an item for supports, if they don't have any innate heals. You could also get this for baiting, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Cleanse is another situational spell that can be both useful and useless. I only recommend getting cleanse if the enemy team is just packed to the brim with CC. The ability to remove all debuffs and disables is really helpful, but only if it CAN be utilized. This is more important on the advanced build due to your dependency on your Spinning Axes and your increased squishiness.

This is bad.

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

Get Spinning Axe and Blood Rush as early as possible, you'll need the two to poke as Draven has a relatively short range compared to other carries. However, if you are playing hyper-aggressive (maybe your support is Leona), you might want to add a point to Stand Aside instead.

Once you max Spinning Axe, put the rest of your points into Blood Rush, ending with Stand Aside and adding a point into Whirling Death whenever you can.

Passive - Wicked Blades

Draven's passive is a little bit lame, but useful if used right. If you critically strike or hit with a Spinning Axe, your attacks will also deal DoT (Damage over Time). Because of the situational proc and relatively low damage, it isn't very helpful by itself, but it goes together nicely with Ignite and has a fantastic synergy with The Black Cleaver.

Q - Spinning Axe

This is what defines Draven. When you activate this ability, Draven gets a Spinning Axe. His next autoattack throws that Spinning Axe, and it ricochets off his target. If you catch it, he keeps the Spinning Axe, and Blood Rush is refreshed.

That's nice and all, but the real thing that just makes this ability freakin' awesome is the fact that Draven's attacks deal 85% bonus damage at max level. This allows you do do insane amounts of damage, especially paired with the fact that he can run more than two Spinning Axes at once.

The way Draven's Spinning Axes ricochets is based on his movement. Standing completely still before it hits his target makes it land near where he is. Moving ahead or backwards before it hits his target makes it lead him. Remembering this and using it in tandem with Blood Rush will allow you to deal damage quickly and efficiently.

W - Blood Rush

Draven's Blood Rush steroid nicely compliments the rest of his kit. It is made to work perfectly alongside Spinning Axe, lets him hunt enemies down with Stand Aside, and gives him a quick little boost to escape from being chased. The attack speed increase is a little bonus as well, and can be used to get a normal axe in between catching and throwing Spinning Axes.

E - Stand Aside

The utility part of Draven's kit, not essential but still useful. It is a little mana-hungry and doesn't deal too much damage, but is great for checking bushes since it knocks enemies aside. Also, the slow is great for both chasing and escaping, and is helpful in teamfights when enemies group up.

R - Whirling Death

Now, this skill certainly fits its name. Using his amazing muscles, Draven spins his axes to incredible speeds, and shoves them into the ground. They then begin to move across the map in the direction you fired them off, they hit his target, and then being repulsed by having touched a champion of lesser skill, return back to Draven hitting more enemies along the way.

This is an absolutely fantastic 1v1 tool, because you can deal the damage twice. You can literally cut an entire enemies' health bar in two just by using this. It can pass through several champions as well, although it begins to return after its first hit and deals less damage per champion hit. You could also activate the ability again to return it, or let it hit the edge of the map, where it'll eventually return by itself.

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Starting Items

The basic starting items for most champions. Alongside the early game mobility and sustain they give, the mobility is important for catching axes and poking with your Blood Rush, making this a must-have where other carries could get a Doran's Blade start.

Early Purchases

Buying a Doran's Blade is smart. They help give you a good early-game advantage, but put you behind in items later in the game. If you're having difficulties maintaining your lane, or you just want that edge, be sure to grab one or two of these.
An important part of your early game. Since Draven deals a very high amount of damage in the early game, the life steal is used more effectively than with other traditional carries. It builds into The Bloodthirster, which you will be rushing, so there is no reason not to get it.
Gives a good amount of damage early on and builds into The Bloodthirster. There's literally nothing else about this item I can explain.

Standard Build

The only boots that Draven should get. The extra attack speed and movement speed are both more useful on Draven than any other pair of boots you can get, so this is a no brainer. You COULD get Mercury's Treads if you know you'll be going up against a lot of CC, but I wouldn't recommend it (you should get Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash instead).
One of the best major items to get on Draven first. It offers the highest semi-consistent amount of damage from a single item, and grants great sustain as well. If it's fully farmed, you'll be doing a lot of damage at this point.
Makes Draven super stronk. The critical strikes that Draven can throw out can deal massive amounts of damage, and it works alongside his passive ability nicely.
Will allow you to throw out normal axes inbetween your catching and throwing. This seriously amplifies your damage output, since it not only offers attack speed but critical strike chance as well. The bonus movement speed is nothing to cough at either.
Important to get since every source of damage from Draven is physical. This is especially helpful in taking down really armored-up champs (which there is usually at least one of), and works nicely with your armor penetration runes.


It's always important to get at least one item for survivability. Unless you have snowballed out of control, you're going to want one of these.

Get this if you're doing well. It offers all the stats you need and allows you to recover from a death once every five minutes, which means you can come back to secure a kill or two if you got bursted down.
Get this if the enemy team has a good amount of crowd control. This item in particular is great since you can activate Blood Rush the second you escape from any CC. As another bonus, it gives you some damage as well. Sweet.
Get this if the enemy has an ability that completely destroys you. We all have those games where mid has fed and the enemy Lux's ult deals 1000 damage. Simply pop this item and spam your laugh in her stupid, Demacian face.
Get this if you don't know what to get. It's the most cost effective source of health in game, and will make you harder to kill overall.


Early Purchases

Gives a good amount of damage early on and builds into The Bloodthirster. There's literally nothing else about this item I can explain.
If you prefer the early armor penetration and cooldown over the lifesteal, grab The Brutalizer. Otherwise, just go with the Vampiric Scepter. Both items are good on Draven and build into better items, so this is up to personal preference.
This makes you do tons of damage. Every time you activate your Blood Rush after catching a Spinning Axe, this procs, and you can deal your base damage twice. Since you're using Blood Rush constantly, you'll be doing hefty damage.

Standard Items

The only boots that Draven should get. The extra attack speed and movement speed are both more useful on Draven than any other pair of boots you can get, so this is a no brainer. You COULD get Mercury's Treads if you know you'll be going up against a lot of CC, but I wouldn't recommend it (you should get Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash instead).
One of the best major items to get on Draven first. It offers the highest semi-consistent amount of damage from a single item, and grants great sustain as well. If it's fully farmed, you'll be doing a lot of damage at this point.
Makes Draven super stronk. The critical strikes that Draven can throw out can deal massive amounts of damage, and it works alongside his passive ability nicely.
If you thought the Infinity Edge makes Draven super stronk, this is the stronk singularity. Just the fact that you can deal 150% of your base damage again makes this absolutely amazing, and nicely compliments your Spinning Axes.
Not only does this synergize superbly with your passive, this gives you some extra-safe cooldown reduction, armor penetration, and some extra health for survivability. Oh, and the 55 damage is great as well.
If the majority of your enemies are stacking armor, get the Last Whisper. Also, since catching axes is extremely important in your advanced build, and crowd control can easily break that, getting a Mercurial Scimitar might be the best choice against a CC heavy team.

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Although catching axes is a lot easier than it seems, knowing when to catch an axe is a lot more important. For example, trying to catch that axe that is falling right in front of that cute, cuddly Darius is not the smartest idea, nor catching it in range of a Blitzcrank that hasn't thrown out a Rocket Grab in the last minute. Always be wary of your surroundings.

In your early game, you'll be aggressively poking the enemy carry. To do this, you'll activate your Spinning Axe, then your Blood Rush, and dash into autoattack range of the carry.

Once you throw your Spinning Axe, you'll want to move backwards right before the axe connects with the targets squishy face. It'll then lead your movement and give you a safe spot to grab your axe, refreshing your Blood Rush and allowing you to poke again if you want.

Always focus on last hitting minions as well, which is super easy if you keep at least one axe up at all times. This also allows you to segue into going into an all-out attack on your laning opponent.

When you think you can deal enough damage to kill the enemy carry, go ahead and activate a second Spinning Axe. Pop Stand Aside towards your target, and begin to wreak havoc. If the target runs away, just chase him, your axes should lead you and you can pop your Blood Rush to catch up. Finally, if the target gets behind a turret or you are just unable to catch him, and he/she is at really low health, just throw down Whirling Death and watch your kill count go up by 1.

In teamfights, just hang back and focus down the enemy. Be sure to start out with Stand Aside, using it to break your opponents abilities, and if anyone tries to run away, or the enemy has grouped up, throw down your Whirling Death. Always coordinate with your teammates to ensure everyone comes out positive.

Also, if you happen to miss your Whirling Death, you can readjust its return trajectory by just moving and reactivating it.

Again, don't just save your Whirling Death for when someone tries to escape. It works great alongside giant AOE initiates from champions like Amumu and Leona.


The reason why this build is called Advanced is because you are heavily reliant on your Blood Rush/ Spinning Axe combo. Whereas the Basic build is made to be useful even if you don't have a single Spinning Axe running, the Advanced build is dependent on catching your axes, proccing your Trinity Force with Blood Rush, and splitting your enemies in two.

If you happen to drop one of your axes, you won't be able to proc your Trinity Force until you either throw and catch your next axe or use another ability, meaning you miss out on a lot of potential damage. If you also happen to drop BOTH Spinning Axes (getting caught by CC, for example), you lose a serious amount of your burst potential. Making sure you have a dedicated team and support will ensure that you get through the game without a scratch.

Oh, and if you want, try and run three axes at once. You get enough late game cooldown reduction (masteries, The Black Cleaver) to activate your Spinning Axes at a good rate, and activating it procs your Trinity Force, so you can imagine the amount of damage you can deal in a couple of seconds by doing this.

Here is a video explaining what I mean:
It's a little hard to see, but you get it.

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Laning Partners

In Testing...

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Laning Opponents

Draven's main counters are champions with good CC and powerful skillshots/poke. Since the majority of his damage output is reliant on his axes, finding ways to use that against him are the best ways to counter him.

The Laning Opponents listed here are only the ones that should prove a threat to you. This list is also partially incomplete, so some really important champions may not be there. In general, you easily shut down most squishies, which a lot of AD Carries and Supports fit into.

Enemy Carries

Always remember that the difficulty of the enemy carry (Aside from Varus) is highly dependent on the enemy support as well. For example, an Ezreal/ Leona lane will be much more difficult than an Ezreal/ Soraka lane.

Difficulty: Hard

Varus is a powerful counter to Draven. He easily outranges his autoattacks, outpokes him with Piercing Arrow and Blighted Quiver, denies his ability to poke with Hail of Arrows, and cripples him outright with Chain of Corruption. His early game closely rivals yours, and his late game is better, so you essentially lose this lane without a good support to back you.

However, Varus isn't idiot proof. He can only outpoke you if he's smart, so if you are going up against a Varus sufficiently stupid enough that he misses most of his abilities, you should be able to burst him out of lane.

Difficulty: Medium

This is more of a null lane than an actual counter, to be honest. Caitlyn is similar to Varus in many ways; she outranges Draven's autoattacks, has good poke with Piltover Peacemaker, and can mess up your pokes with Yordle Snap Trap, but you can easily outdamage her overall. The difficulty of this is more reliant on the support rather than the carry (especially regarding Ace in the Hole), but you will generally have moderate difficulty winning this matchup.

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Changelog & Other

(11/02/2013, v.1.0): Creation of this amazing gem.
(13/02/2013, v.1.1): Repetitive use of the word "Early On" annoyed me to no end. Fixed. Also, general spellchecking and formatting fixes all around.
(14/02/2013, v.1.2): Removed Manamune, restructured items. Advanced build is now a little more safer to play.
(14/02/2013, v.1.3): Added a few Laning Opponents.
(01/03/2013, v.1.4): Small update. Fixed skill sequence and added some unnecessary superfluous text thanks to an incredibly kind comment.
(20/03/2013, v. The best update ever.

I really do recommend jhoijhoi's manual, Making a Guide, for new Mobafire users.

I also recommend Laggermeister's Ten Commandments of Writing a Guide, as it is equally as useful. Hell, even moreso.

Anyways, thanks for reading my guide. Again, rate and comment, give me your hugs and slaps. I'm always open to criticism as long as it's constructive.