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Darius Build Guide by Skullsunderer

Top S8 Guide to Darius. Rule the Top Lane [W/ Match ups]

By Skullsunderer | Updated on December 2, 2018
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Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #20 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies


Darius is my absolute favorite champions. His sustain, toughness, and damage makes him one of the best top laners of all time. I started this guide a while ago and sort of forgot about it. You might remember it as AD Darius with Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster. The thing is I wasn't impressed with how it turned out. So I went back and made a Darius guide with parts of AD Darius but better. Please leave your thoughts and comments about it. I might make a full AD Darius guide again later on if this turns out well and I have time. Thank you.
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Why play Darius or his skins?

The simple answer is he's an almost perfect bruiser. Sustain, Easy to play, Hard to kill, and Dunks. I know you probably expected to see a bunch of dunks and Micheal Jordan memes. While I think those are cool and Darius is definitely the Dunkmaster, there is a lot you need to learn to be at the top of your game. Darius can easily carry a game, no matter how much everyone hates Darius, sometimes you need a Darius player that is determined to win his Promos.
Darius is what some people call a brain dead champion like Garen and Pantheon. The truth is Darius is really easy to learn but he does have room to show skill and experience with Darius, aside from flashing your Mastery. He offers so much to your team that even if everyone on your team is AD, Darius is still an ok choice. He has a true damage execute, the resets on kills. Imagine a Garen running around screaming JUSTICE! to everyone, or Cho'Gath eating everyone. Darius does this and Riot thinks it's ok.
Some people think using just any skin on Darius is ok. Those people are right, but not really.

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Hail of Blades

Hail of Blades
When you need to get 5 stacks but without abilities Hail of Blades out classes Lethal Tempo, by giving you the attack speed instantly. It's not my first choice in runes but it's better than most Domination keystones for Darius.


Can work, if you're going for an even more oppressive early game than you already have then take Electrocute. Make sure to time your trades with the cooldown of Electrocute.


Darius isn't an assassin but you don't need to be one to use this, if you believe you are gonna be able/need to roam take Predator. In addition using Predator allows you to negate the enemies kiting like a Kalista or Ashe.


Dark Harvest
Take this rune if you want to have fun. It doesn't give too much to Darius, however you can make use of it should you choose to go for a more aggressive, AD heavy build. Darius can proc Dark Harvest very easily in lane with your bleed and reset the cooldown in teamfights with your ult. All you have to do is get 5 stacks, AA and Q a squishy then ult and they'll probably die.


Press the Attack

Press the Attack
One of the better runes, you can easily proc it with an AA, W, AA, or you can add Titanic Hydra to the combo for even faster damage. All damage is increased, including your ult, making this top 3 runes for dueling.


Lethal Tempo
This can work but I don't find this the ideal rune to take. You'll not be auto attacking enough late game to use the steroid as you'll have enough CDR to spam spells. Take Fleet Footwork if you'll have trouble with the lvl 1 bush cheese, start W and you'll get them to 5 stacks fast. Also the cooldown will make it so you'll have mini power spikes when it's back up and a good enemy will take advantage of that.


Fleet Footwork
The sustain will aid you in poke lanes like Pantheon and Gangplank. The additional movespeed combined with Phage and you'll just have to auto once and you'll be faster than they expect.


Now the best keystone for Darius taking Conqueror almost guarantees a free lane. You can keep it stacking on minions with your passive then auto the enemy and you gain AD an even more true damage.



Taking Aftershock relies on you landing your E, if you miss you'll not be able to get the armor and magic resist for another 20-10 seconds. The damage at the end helps in laning although the damage it outputs is way less than if you were to go into Domination or Precision.


Grasp of the Undying
The best from Resolve, Grasp allow you to trade and fight with relative ease, as you'll apply another DoT and heal for a bit. Better for lanes where the enemy is into sustained fights that you can't out damage like Illaoi and Aatrox


Don't take Guardian. It's usless untill your Jungler ganks and team fights were the shield won't do anything.



Arcane Comet
Not the best, you'll poke with Q but the little comet gets out shined by other runes that Darius can take.


Summon Aery
You'll proc the damage a few times in a fight sense you're melee but it's more used for poke and supports. I wouldn't recommend this rune in almost any situation.


Phase Rush
Many high tier Darius mains take this rune. The added movespeed makes you stickier and helps in dodging skill shots. Combine this with Phage and Celerity you'll be the fastest guy on the rift.



Darius has never had a real issue getting his items and he can sustain during laning phase pretty well but if you really want to take be my guest. You can easily get the gold with your W. Darius also doesn't have the greatest late game scaling so taking this limits your early to mid game.


Unsealed Spellbook
You can lvl 1 cheese with Ignite then switch to Teleport or Ghost. the CDR on summs can surprise the enemy jungler if you Flash and have it back up before they thought it was.


Glacial Augment
It's like your W but just on the first auto or Q. For extra stickiness and utility for your team take this. If you purchase Randuin's Omen or Turbo Chemtank you'll have more slows than you know what to do with.

Secondary Runes





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Pros / Cons


+ Sustain
+ Good Crowd Control with Apprehend
+ High AD
+ Easy to Learn
+ Execute Resets
+ Team fight Capabilities
+ Strong in Melee Combat
+ Wins most trades
+ Strong Early to Mid Game

Darius is strong in melee combat and in long drawn out trades. Is granted a high amount of AD if you get Noxian Might. No skill shots makes Darius easy to learn and pretty easy to master. High damage executes that resets allowing you to execute multiple targets in a fight.

- Weak Against Ranged Champions
- Slow
- Easy to Focus
- Low Attack Speed
- Falls off late game
- Long cooldowns Early Games

Super easy to kite. Really slow without items. If focused and crowd controled enough, you are killed pretty easily. Late game most other champions out damage you unless you are really fed. Early game your pull has a 20 second cooldown, making an opening for the enemy.
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Summoners on Darius

Teleport: Helps you get around the map for ganks, dragon secures, and just getting to lane faster. Grap this if the enemy pushes the lane fast or pushes turrets easily like Yorick, Yasuo, or Jax.

Ignite: Just that lil' bit of damage to finish them off. Really good for an early game kill to get yourself snowballing. Grab this if the enemy has a lot of heals like Aatrox, Dr. Mundo, or Trundle.

Ghost: Great for getting around. This is my favorite of a few reasons, you get it if they have a heavy kiting team, they have slows or they are just straight up faster than you. It has also has a low cooldown.
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Match ups

  • Aatrox Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Akali Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Camille Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Cho'Gath Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Dr. Mundo Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Ekko Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Fiora Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Galio Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Gangplank Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Garen Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Gnar Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Illaoi Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Jarvan IV Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • jax Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Jayce Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Kayle Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Kayn Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Kennen Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Kled Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Malphite Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Maokai Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Master Yi Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Mordekaiser Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Nasus Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Nautilus Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Nocturne Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Nunu Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Olaf Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Ornn Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Pantheon Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Poppy Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Quinn Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Renekton Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Rengar Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Rumble Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Shen Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Singed Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Sion Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Swain Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Teemo Hard
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Trundle Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Tryndamere Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Urgot Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Vladimir Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Yasuo Easy
    Spoiler: Click to view

  • Yorick Medium
    Spoiler: Click to view

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Items on Darius

I'll explain every item I put in the build above.

Starting Items

Blade is what I use to always start. With the life steal I could stay in lane longer and trade even better with it too. When they changed shield however I only buy this item if I am 100% certain I can win and afford taking more damage. Also life stealing up with only Doran's Blade is hard and takes a long time, especially if you are melee, and don't have much attack speed like Darius.

After the changes making it a mini Spectre's Cowl I buy this in most matchups, instead of lifesteal you just take less damage and heal more. The CSing aid it gives you works wonders if you mess up and miss a bunch.

Corrupting Potion is a weird start. However it enhances the bleed and gives you mana, the draw back is you can only use it 3 times before you have to back and refill it, while the enemies starting item (assuming they started Doran's) doesn't have to be refilled and can sustain way better with it. My advise is to buy Corrupting Potion later if you have extra gold, or after buying it buy one of the other 2 starting items.

Full Items

Your Passive applies armor shred. The Rage passive allows you to orb walk easier and catch up to enemies by hitting minions. Health is a really good stat for Darius and he thrives off of it. This is just such an amazing item, giving speed, health, damage, armor shred, and 20% cool down reduction is ridicules. This is a match made in heaven for Darius and Black Cleaver, they go way too well together not to get it.

Magic resist isn't the only reason you buy this item, the heals it gives you really help you with your Decimate. Health again is a good stat. I always buy this for the heals, maybe not directly after Black Cleaver but I will get it. Later in the game your healing from your Decimate won't be enough to stop the enemy from doing 12% of your health in another 5 seconds. So the healing allows you to stay on top of the fight and healthier than ever.

Reduced crit damage is amazing against ADC's, Yasuo, Master Yi, and Tryndamere. Armor allows you to double up on your sustain. Remember the long the team fight lasts the stronger and stronger you get. In this world were ADC's crit items are cheap and can start to snowball easily and only a select few ADC's can build anything other than crit,, buying this saves your life and you teams life if you play it correctly.

Death's Dance is situational, only get it if you can go without the health, armor, or MR. The reduced damage as a bleed and the heals from abilities can make up for the loss. While you can turn into a sort of raid boss with this, don't expect to be healing everything and tanking to much with this as opposed to a Titanic Hydra or Sterak's Gage. It's not something you buy your first time playing Darius. Get some time in and understand his kit, before you start buying it.

Maw of Malmortius is if you are against a heavy AP team comp or you are going against an AP top laner, in that cases it may be best if you get the Hexdrinker and build it into Maw of Malmortius later on. The benefit of building only the Hexdrinker is it allows you to finish your first or second full item and not be in total fear of the enemy. Building the full item is something you really should do if you had to get Hexdrinker in the first place, it gives you damage and cool down reduction, and a pseudo tank stat with the Life-line proc.

Same deal as Death's Dance. No health or Armor. The Life steal and damage are an OK trade. While having over double the damage from Titanic Hydra, the 450 health deficit is greater than 12% life steal. Buying Ravenous Hydra means you are way ahead and missing out on health for life steal doesn't matter.

Sterak's Gage is an amazing item. A bit of health and a bit of damage. The huge shield if you get bursted down. Don't stack it with Maw of Malmortius, because the Passive shields don't stack. Buying this with Death's Dance ensures you won't get bursted down by any assassin. Before you finish the item, sit on Jaurim's Fist for a while and stack up the health, it'll help.

This item is in my opinion better than Ravenous Hydra, the active is an Auto reset and stacks your passive even faster. The Health, health regeneration, and damage are greater than the life steal. While yes Ravenous Hydra also has health regeneration, regenerating health doesn't matter if you don't have any health to regenerate. I'm not bashing Ravenous Hydra while it looks like I am. I have built both and have loved both, Titanic Hydra is better from a mechanical stand point Ravenous Hydra is just more robust and satisfying, bottom line, Titanic Hydra while your new and need the stats, Ravenous Hydra when you understand Darius and are ahead in the game.

Essential to most all Darius players. Chasing is hard on a slow moving champion like our friend here, but if you combine the move speed buff and your Apprehend, all you need to do it get in range of the pull and kill them. Speed is a problem Darius has and is his biggest weakness, Dead Man's Plate helps this issue. It doesn't always have a speed boost but it does when it matters like walking in range to start a team fight or just pushing their base, speed is everything.

Frozen Mallet if you have an issue sticking on to your enemy, allowing you to finish them off, the passive is like your Crippling Strike every auto attack. Granting 700 health and only 30 damage, you get more than you think. Combine this and Dead Man's Plate and no one is escaping you. The huge amount of raw health it gives you buys you time while your getting in range to slow them with every auto attack you do.

It looks better than it is. The Health is alright but health doesn't do anything if you don't have Armor of Magic Resist. Health regeneration is good if you are going to be fighting in and out. By the time you get to Warmog's Armor you'll probably already have full 40% CDR, the immense amount of health and regeneration it grants is well worth it, not to mention the Warmog's Heart passive, letting you stay out of the fountain and in the fight as long as possible.

Armor and Magic resist, if you are the only tank on your team and act as the CC and engager grab this. Beware the Active reduces damage so be prepared to not do much than absorb all the damage. Don't activate it to late or you'll just end up dying a little bit slower than you would without using it. Make sure to have enough health so that when you buy this the defensive stats are worth something.

If you don't have the ability to push, this is perfect. Good for chasing through a lane with the Point Runner passive. The actives portal will help you end the game with a good push. It's a pretty simple item, I don't think I have to explain much about it.

New Thornmail is amazing. The Bramble Vest is all you have to buy unless you really need it. If you are against a Aatrox or Dr. Mundo, or just an laner with a ton of healing this saves you from having to buy Executioner's Calling. Which always sucked because Darius doesn't really buy anything that doesn't make him tankier in someway or another.

Not my favorite item but a good one nonetheless, helps with your CS and push. Nice tank stats too. It'll aid in prolonged fights and just give you that little bit of extra damage in the fight.

If the enemy happens to be high AD or have attack speed this is a nice grab. Along with maxing your CDR assuming you have Black Cleaver. High amounts of armor and the extra mana helps you to spam abilities and not have to worry as much about managing your mana pool.

Situational, like most of these items, this nice for many reasons, Health, Armor, CDR, and Mana. Allows you to spam abilities with the mana and CDR. Coming out of a bush with this active and running at the enemy at the speed of sound will give them a heart attack. An amazing item to get if your team lacks a good engage and you need initiate them.

Be careful when you buy Trinity Force. You have to be familiar with Darius and solid with your combo before you start buying this. Attack speed, CDR, damage, Rage passive, and the Spell Blade passive sound too good to be true. It is, in buying this you lose on defensive capabilities and are way easier to kill. Buying this and Black Cleaver is a bad choice because, You have full CD which makes all the other items you buy with CDR less useful, and Rage doesn't stack making the other item less cost efficient.

Grab this for Teemo, Singed, Dr. Mundo's Burning Agony, or Cassiopeia. Nice stats but only good in very specific situations. If they stack AP then consider picking this up, don't hesitate to buy one of the best MR items in the game because they don't have damage over time or spam some ability. Side note, if you don't know where Teemo is and step on a shroom, a little indicator will show you the direction he's in, this only works on damage over time that deals magic damage, so Darius or Twitch passive won't show their direction.
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Skill Sequence

Skilling Order

> > >

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Ability Sequence

  • Hemorrhage: Your passive is really strong, and your kit revolves around it. After you reach 5 stacks you gain the second part of his passive called Noxian Might. Noxian Might grants you 30-200 AD based on level, and you will instantly apply 5 stacks of Hemorrhage with anything that would otherwise apply 1. Your passive is what makes it easy to win trades and even get kills if they bleed out.
  • Decimate (Q): Decimate is your huge harass tool. The axe handle does 35% reduced damage and doesn't apply your passive. If they are struck by the axe blade you are healed for 12% of your missing health per enemy champion hit, up to 36% or 3 enemies. Max this first always, it'll reduce CD and increase damage, this is one of if not the best harass in the game.
  • Crippling Strike (W): Crippling Strike is an auto attack reset that's CD and mana are halved if it kills a unit. Slows enemies by 90% for 1 second dealing extra damage. Max this last as it is used for anything other than to apply another stack and a small slow.
  • Apprehend (E): Apprehend is a cone pull/knockup helping you stick and chase down the enemy, this is the only ability Darius has that doesn't apply a stack of Hemorrhage. Slows the enemies by 40% for 1 second and has a passive armor penetration. 5/10/15/20/25%. Max this second for the armor pen and more frequent pulls and CC. Unlike Blitzcrank or Thresh this is a cone, this allows you to pull more than 1 person for a large CC. If you think you can constantly pull more than one Aftershock is on option for your rune.
  • Noxian Guillotine (R): Noxian Guillotine is a true damage execute. Classified as a dash so you can't use it while grounded from Cassiopeia or Singed. For each stack of Hemorrhage it does 20% more damage, up to 100%. If Noxian Guillotine kills its target it's cool down resets for 20 seconds letting you kill more than one person with it. At rank 3 it "unlocks". After it's "unlocked" the cool down resets completely on kills.
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Creeping/Wave Management

CSing with Darius can be tricky at the start with his passive messing up the damage the minions take. CSing under tower is hard as well, because caster minions you Auto/Turret shot/Auto. The passive can sometimes mess this up. Refrain from using your Decimate for CSing, instead us your Crippling Strike. The Crippling Strike's CD is halved after it kills and doesn't drain you as much for using it.

Wave management. Try to only last hit unless you kill them or the back. At lower ranks the enemy will just mindlessly shove the wave, let them. When they are in front of your tower, in between tower and brush. Once there they won't expect you to try and kill them and that"s exactly what you do. Reason you do this is to let push so that they have a longer time to get to safety under tower, letting you stack your passive, also the enemy jg is unlikely to gank if you are pushed in.

After you have gained a lead start pushing in towards their tower and remember to ward. Get tower and start to roam if your team needs it. If not just push in another tower, giving you more control over Baron and a gold lead.
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Team Work/Team Fighting

As a Juggernaut your job is to be in the middle of the fight sustaining up and damaging. However a different and perfecly viable way to start a fight is to get 5 stacks on the tank and move on to the rest of the enemy and us your ult to kill them. Or you can just go full tank and act as the CC. Darius wrecks in team fights, and the longer they fight the better you are, because you have heals and are really hard to kill. Just try not to get kitted or you can be in big trouble. Your Decimate and Apprehend have a large area of effect use those to aid your team. After the fight don't try and pick off stragglers just push objectives.

Objectives are the only way to win the game. After the fight push, don't think to fight again, just take objectives. Some objectives are more important than others. Mid, Bot, Top towers are first in their respective order. Then Dragon if you can't take a tower or Rift Herald if you really want to kill a tower. If their base is open and you can win don't try for Baron just end. Baron is the best buff to win the game so use it to take Inhibitor Tower and/or Inhibitor.
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You'll use this most of the time, it catches them off guard so you'll usually win the trade.

With your passive you win most trades. If you are looking for a kill you have to walk front of the enemy, this is in between them and their tower, making it unsafe and allowing you to stack and Ult.
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Unique Skills/Tips with Skills

Darius's Q or Decimate. This unique you other abilities similar to it like Illaoi's Q, Tentacle Smash and Camille's W, Tactical Sweep , because it is a complete circle and heals for a lot more. You can make the healing even greater by buying Death's Dance and Spirit Visage. The healing is for 12% of missing health remember that, this has saved my life many times and will save yours too if you time it and actually hit with the blade.

Darius's W or Crippling Strike. The different from some other auto attack resets is the huge slow for a second and it's cool down is halved if it kills, letting you CS with it without draining all of your mana. Interupt your auto with it for maximum damage as fast as you can. Also use Crippling Strike to push towers down faster. Side note it increases your auto attack range by 25 units, not much but it helps.

Darius's E or Apprehend. I've said this before but it's a cone. pulling more than one enemy towards your team and killing them is always a smart thing to do. It's a knock up so Yasuo can ult on it. The pull bounces them back into Decimate range and easy reaching for your Crippling Strike.

Darius's R or Noxian Guillotine. This is what your kit builds up to. This huge amount of true damage, scaling with AD and resets. This is the dunkmaster ability that makes Darius, Darius. 75% AD scaling into True damage. Building up damage with your passive. What makes it different from other executes like Garens, Jhins, and Cho'Gaths is that the cool down resets for 20 seconds if it kills someone, Also if you kill someone with out 5 stacks on them you instantly gain Noxian Might, making it way easier to kill more and more enemies. Also it fears minions and monsters, this isn't used for anything its just cool.
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I hope this was of at least some help to you. If you made it to the end good job, not many people can focus on one thing at a time. Making this took quite some time and your feedback is much appreciated. Darius is my favorite champion and I just wanted to share my take and style of play on Darius. I will try and keep this guide up to date with item changes, buffs and/or nerfs to Darius and the current meta. Right now it is the tank meta again and Darius can fit into this meta perfectly, being able to shred tanks and be a tank. Unlike most Darius guides I didn't use the word dunk much, I had to get it out early on with the Why to play Darius, chapter. I tried to be serious without losing your guys attention. I might not have accomplished that. Thank you for reading this and spending your time on my guide.

If you want some extra help you should follow these people:
I main Darius

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