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Diana Build Guide by Khazem

Assassin Struck by Moonlight - A Competitive Mid Lane Diana Guide

Assassin Struck by Moonlight - A Competitive Mid Lane Diana Guide

Updated on January 17, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem Build Guide By Khazem 324 43 1,674,826 Views 136 Comments
324 43 1,674,826 Views 136 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem Diana Build Guide By Khazem Updated on January 17, 2013
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Chapter 1

1 - Basic Champion Information
2 - The Build
3 - Gameplay
4 - Wrapping Up

1 - Basic Champion Information

Hello! I am Khazem, a platinum ranked mid lane player. In this guide I will be talking about Diana, a newly released AP assassin.

Diana is a strong champion that works in various roles, such as jungle, top lane and mid lane. In this guide I will be focusing mainly on mid lane, where I think she belongs.

Diana is a very bursty, very snowbally AP assassin with a very strong gap closer. This is why she works so well in the middle lane. She has the power to assassinate any mid lane opponent and use that advantage to roam around the map and snowball the game. If you get one kill in lane, you instantly become a huge threat to everyone on the enemy team and even if you don't, you're still a huge force to be reckoned with.


+ High Burst. Her 2 main damage abilities have high base damages and good scaling, combined with a nuke on her passive this makes for very high burst damage.
+ High mobility. Very important for an assassin. With the low cooldown on her ultimate (ideally a cooldown equal to her Crescent Strike she can dash around teamfights and assassinate fleeing targets with ease.
+ Strong snowballer. Once she gets going, she's very hard to stop and she gets really strong really fast.
+ Tanky for an assassin. With her Pale Cascade, she's much harder to kill than the avarage assassin, making her much safer than Akali or Katarina while still having the same assassination power.

- Mana issues. To use Diana effectively, you need to make good use of all of her abilities, which can cause some mana issues.
- No escapes. Diana has plenty of ways to get in a fight and onto key targets, but doesn't really have a reliable way of getting back out.
- Weak early laning phase. Being a melee champion in the middle lane means she has some trouble laning before she hits level 6. A lot of champions can bully her out of lane if played aggressive enough.

Moonsilver Blade: Diana gains 20% additional attack speed. Every third strike cleaves nearby enemies for 20 / 25 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 / 155 / 175 / 195 / 215 / 240 / 265 / 290 (+0.6 per ability power) additional magic damage.

Very strong passive that adds to her burst. Becomes very nasty late game and is not hard to land either due to the attack speed she also gets from this.

( Diana starts to glow as her passive is ready and will be procced on the next auto attack)

  • Moonsilver Blade does not proc spell vamp, lifesteal or Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow.
  • Moonsilver Blade pops spell shield.
  • Moonsilver Blade will damage Black Shield.
  • All targets hit by the cleave will take the magic damage, including Diana's main target.
  • Moonsilver Blade's magic damage will affect turrets, inhibitors, and the nexus, but the inhibitor and nexus will only take the magic damage if you are close enough (Closer than your AA range).
  • Moonsilver Blade's counter will reset after 3.5 seconds of not auto-attacking, there is no counter displaying the amount of auto attacks until the passive proc.
  • Diana's blade will begin to glow with each hit. It will glow pure white to indicate that the next hit will proc the cleave.

Crescent Strike: Diana unleashes a bolt of lunar energy, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+0.7 per ability power) magic damage in an arc. Crescent Strike afflicts enemies struck with Moonlight, revealing them for 3 seconds.

Cost: 55 mana
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds

Diana's main damage ability. Can be quite tricky to land and will definitely take some getting used to, but learning how to land this ability is very important as it's her bread and butter and she needs the moonlight to make her combo work properly.

( Crescent Strike always curves as shown in above picture)

Pale Cascade: Diana creates three orbiting spheres that last up to 4 seconds and detonate on contact with enemies, dealing 20 / 34 / 48 / 62 / 76 (+0.2 per ability power) magic damage in an area per orb. She also gains a temporary shield that absorbs 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 (+0.4 per ability power) damage. This shield is refreshed if her third sphere detonates.

Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana
Cooldown: 10 seconds

This ability is what makes Diana better than any other assassin in my opinion. Makes her deceptively tanky and much harder to kill than the avarage assassin. Make sure not to spam this too much in lane unless you really need it or are about to take a lot of damage because it does cost a lot of mana.

Moonfall: : Diana draws in all nearby enemies and slows them by 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 % for 2 seconds.

Cost: 70 mana
Cooldown: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 seconds

Strong ability that helps you stick to your targets. Also goes well with your passive as the slow makes it easier for you to get 3 melee hits off.

  • Moonfall pops spell shield and the pull and slow will be negated.
  • Black Shield will negate the pull and the slow.
  • Don't use this ability in lane unless you're going for a kill.

Lunar Rush: Diana becomes the living embodiment of the vengeful moon, teleporting to an enemy and 100 / 160 / 220 (+0.6 per ability power) dealing magic damage.
Lunar Rush has no cooldown when used to teleport to an enemy afflicted with Moonlight.

Cost: 50 / 65 / 80 mana
Cooldown: 25 / 20 / 15 seconds
Range: 800 (estimate)

Amazing gap closer and also the reason why you really want to hit your Crescent Strike. Has a huge range and deals a nice amount of damage as well. Make sure to use this to its full potential with Moonlight whenever possible as it is important to be able to stick to your target, despite escape abilities.

Pretty straight forward and doesn't really have a lot of exceptions. Max Crescent Strike first in lane as it's your main damage output and poking ability, max Pale Cascade second for better survivability and higher damage and put a point into Lunar Rush at 6, 11 and 16.
If you're really having trouble in lane, getting a few extra points into Pale Cascade will help, but remember not to overuse it as you'll go oom in no time.

2 - The Build

I choose to go for a 21/9/0 setup, favoring the survivability from defense over the few points in utility because Diana is a melee assassin that has to put herself in a dangerous spot to do work, hence the points in defense.

Offense tree

Tier 1 - - Summoner's Wrath for that small boost every time Ignite is down, Butcher is gotten over points in Havoc further down the tree because of how insignificant it is. 4 extra damage to minions is much more valuable.

Tier 2 - - Extra ability power and gets us down into the next tier.

Tier 3 - - Magic penetration to increase Diana's damage output.

Tier 4 - - More AP and a nice little bonus damage on your auto attacks.

Tier 5 - - Another small AP boost, gives you a decent amount by lategame.

Tier 6 - - To secure kills. Great thing to have as an assassin.

Defense tree

Tier 1 - - To get down to the next tier and to make sure we can pick up Veteran's Scars later.

Tier 2 - - Split 4 points between these 2 masteries depending on what kind of damage protection you need in lane.

Tier 3 - - Let's you take a little more damage in your pre-6 laning phase, allowing you to stay a little longer. (and hopefully hit 6 before having to go back)

These are the 2 main runepages I use for Diana.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: 99% of the time your marks of choice. Magic penetration increases the damage of all of your abilities.

Greater Mark of Magic Resist: Can be used against AP champions with a very strong early game presence. Your main goal in the laning phase is to get to level 6 without falling too far behind. Take these when you feel you're gonna need them.

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: I choose these over flat mana regeneration because before level 6 you won't really be casting too many spells as you're just trying to survive. Around when you do hit 6, you'll usually get a blue buff and by the time that's over these runes will be outscaling the flat regen runes.

Greater Seal of Armor: Useful when facing AD champions like Talon or Pantheon in mid lane.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: The main glyphs I like to use. These will help you take some more harass so you can hit level 6 more safely.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Usually the quintessences you want to get. Diana has good AP ratios so you want a lot of ability power to do more damage.

Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist: Against those bursty, difficult lanes like LeBlanc, Kassadin, maybe even Veigar. Always make sure you have a runepage with these quintessences ready.

Flash: A must have in every game for managing your position. Allows you to make more aggressive plays and also often used to escape.

Ignite: Finishes people off, reduces healing taken on your focus target, supplements your burst. A must have on an assassin.

Starting items

Crystalline Flask: The starting item you're gonna want pretty much every game. Allows you to also buy a ward and a nice combination of potions for all the sustain you'll ever need to reach level 6 unharmed.

Cloth Armor: Being a melee champion, you might sometimes need this item against certain opponents just to be able to stay in lane.

Core item build

This is the core of my Diana build and are the items you'll always want to get.

Sorcerer's Shoes: Increases your early game damage quite significantly, especially if your opponent isn't rushing magic resistance, get these early. (preferably after your double Doran's Ring

Haunting Guise: A good mix of strong early game stats. Gives you some good mid game presence.

Abyssal Scepter: The best source of both magic resistance and ability power. Being a melee, Diana also makes very good use of the passive on this item. Get this before Rabadon's Deathcap if you're having trouble in lane or are facing double AP, get this after the deathcap in any other case.

Offensive Items

Rabadon's Deathcap: Because Diana has some very nice AP ratios on her abilities, a deathcap is needed to significantly increase your damage.

Liandry's Torment: Upgraded from Haunting Guise and a pretty strong lategame item due to its % damage. Goes well with an item like Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Lich Bane: Goes very well with your already big burst combination. Allows you to pretty much one shot squishy targets with enough AP. Doesn't proc off of any of Diana's abilities but since you're going to be auto attacking a lotwhen jumping on people, this item is definitely worth it.

Void Staff: Once people start stacking magic resistance, pick up one of these.

Deathfire Grasp: Good final item to set up for a strong burst.

Twin Shadows: Another very nice item if you need some MR and AP. The active can be very useful when trying to chase someone down.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Very strong item for a melee AP assassin. The health stops you from getting blown up instantly when you jump in, and the slow allows you to stick on your targets with ease.

Athene's Unholy Grail: Makes you less reliant on blue buff. Allows you to constantly use your abilties to waveclear/farm.

Defensive Items

Zhonya's Hourglass: Great defensive AP item if you're getting focused hard. A life saver in many situations.

Guardian Angel: Another good item to get if you're getting focused hard. Often discourages the enemy from blowing everything on you and gives you a little more freedom to jump in fights.

Quicksilver Sash: If you're getting focused by heavy CC or supresses, this is definitely worth picking up.

Mercury's Treads: Good to get when laning against Veigar, or to replace your Sorcerer's Shoes with once you have a Void Staff if the enemy team has a lot of CC.

3 - Gameplay

Laning on Diana is mainly about making it to level 6 without falling too far behind. Being melee and pretty mana hungry, her pre-6 is pretty weak and you won't be able to really go aggressive against a ranged opponent. Try and avoid harass as much as possible and last hit with your Crescent Strike if you have to.

Once you hit level 6, you become a serious threat in the lane. Try harassing your opponent down by landing Crescent Strikes. Once your opponent is down to 60~70% health you can go for the kill. Once you land another Crescent Strike and you're sure your opponent is affected by Moonlight, rush in using Lunar Rush and finish the job with auto attacks and Ignite. If your opponent is still not dead or uses an escape ability (or Flash), use your refreshed Lunar Rush.

Always make sure your target is affected by Moonlight when going in for a kill with Lunar Rush, as shown in the above picutre.


Another very important part of the laning phase is warding. Mid laners are, despite what some people seem to believe, definitely no exception. In fact, mid lane wards are often the most important ones as they reveal enemy mid lane ganks and enemy jungler invades. Here are the ward spots you should look to cover.

Defensive ward that will reveal any jungler gank from that side, does not reveal enemy mid lane movement so only use this ward if you can't push further up.

More aggressive ward and preferred to the one above mentioned. If you can afford to place this ward without putting yourself at risk, go for it. It reveals any movement the mid laner might have towards your tower lane and/or blue and also keeps you safe from jungle ganks from that side. A nice little bonus you get is that you can catch your enemy from the brush when they go for wraiths or top lane.

And the usual ward for the other side of the lane. Also reveals everything you need to reveal for that side.

Note: When laning on purple side, make sure to mirror those ward spots rather than copy them.


Difficulty: MEDIUM

Not too difficult, but not that easy either. You will have some trouble making it to level 6 in one piece so you need to play pretty defensively. Always make sure you are either out of range or have friendly creeps between you and Ahri so you can't get hit by her charm. When you hit 6, try and harass her down slightly lower than normally before you jump in, because she has more dashes than you have gap closers so you're gonna want to kill her before she gets the chance to dash out.

Difficulty: EASY

In this matchup, it should be fairly easy to make it to level 6 alive. Just make sure not to get too close to her so you can easily dodge her stun. Once you do hit level 6, you can go aggressive on her quite nicely. Her lack of mobility makes this matchup rather easy.

Difficulty: MEDIUM-HARD

Cassiopeia can be quite hard to deal with. Pre-6 she's got a huge advantage because of her high sustained DPS, which is not hard for her to land on a melee champion. After 6, she has her ultimate which she can use whenever you jump in and you'll most likely die if you get stunned by it. When trying to farm, make sure to only go in for melee last hits when her Q is down. If you get hit by any poison, activate your shield and move back as fast as possible. Past level 6, if you do go for a kill, make sure to turn around immediately after you rush in. Juke the ultimate and kill her.

Difficulty: MEDIUM

Due to Gragas also being a melee champion (when it comes to last hitting early game), you can actually start bullying him from the start. Try and proc your passive on him as much as possible when he goes in for a last hit. Make sure you stay away from your own caster minions as much as possible as that is often the target for Gragas barrels. At level 6, watch out for his ultimate. Don't get ulted into his tower and you should be fine. Make sure to spot enemy jungler ganks on time by warding properly because a good Gragas ultimate can mean certain death when a jungle gank is coming.

Difficulty: EASY

Karthus is a free win. If you lane against Karthus, you kill him over and over and over again. If he goes into passive farming mode, dive him.

Difficulty: EASY - MEDIUM

Try and force her Black Shield by aggressively jumping in on her. Make sure to dodge her Dark Binding because she does hurt. Once her Black Shield is down, play very aggressively. Morgana is pretty weak in showdowns so this lane isn't very difficult usually.

Difficulty: HARD

Definitely one of the hardest matchups for Diana. Orianna will usually build a lot of magic resistance and if they know what they're doing, they'll put some extra early points into Command: Protect, making your assassination job really hard. She can also bully Diana really hard pre-6 with strong auto attacks and zoning tools. Play the lane extremely safe pre-6. When you do hit 6, try and move around as unpredictable as possible. If she does miss her Q on you, try and land yours. If you do, go in for a little burst combo. If you miss, back off and wait for the next oppertunity.

Twisted Fate
Difficulty: EASY

Another very squishy, immobile champion. The pre-6 levels can be pretty annoying due to Twisted Fate's range. Play it safe untill 6 and you should always win this lane. Make sure you ward both sides of your lane in case he wants to roam and follow up as best as possible.

Teamfighting for Diana is quite similar to most assassins. Your goal is to assassinate squishy targets. With her massive burst, you have the potential to take people out of a fight instantly, especially late game. You're usually gonna want to aim for either the enemy AD carry or AP carry (usually depends on who of the 2 is the biggest threat to your team and/or has the highest kill streak).

Now, remember, you're not a tank. You cannot initiate teamfights and you shouldn't unless a high priority target is very much out of position. Wait for your teams main tank/initatior to initiate a fight properly or wait for the enemy team to do so on your team. Use the confusion of the teamfight to get in position and jump on the enemy carry. Always make sure you land your Crescent Strike before going in. This can get quite tricky but with practice, this'll become much easier.
Make sure to also activate your shield when going in for increased survivability and damage. Always save your Moonfall untill AFTER your target has used their escape abilities so that they have no chance of escaping you.

4 - Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading this Diana guide! I you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask in either the comments section, PM or feel free to add me in-game for more complicated questions.
If you liked this guide, please leave a vote and a comment.
If you disliked this guide, same thing! I'm always looking to improve my guide.

And finally, thanks to GrandmasterD and Mowen for all the artsy stuff!
League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem
Khazem Diana Guide
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