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Diana Build Guide by Decode Critical

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Decode Critical

Top lane Diana: Full AP is for chumps!

Decode Critical Last updated on August 14, 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: 25

Honor Guard

Defense: 5

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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A few first words...

Hello, this is my first guide so please go a little easy on me =)

My summoner name is Decode Critical and I hail from the EUW server.
I play for a somewhat Semi-professional League of Legends team called Team Decode.
You can find our Facebook and Youtube page here:
(I say somewhat because we're not very known and we're still pretty low in the rankings. We do enter and have placed high and have won tournaments through the ESL Go4LoL ladders)
I am the designated top lane player

I currently main: Diana, Jax and Irelia.

I was sceptical about purchasing Diana with my IP because I was watching players use her with full ability power builds. Their damage was impressive at first, but when I looked closer they seemed to have just stopped dealing damage once they had expended their combo.

From then I thought of a makeshift build that would help her deal continuous damage that still hits hard. After testing it multiple times with different items, runs and masteries, I finally came down to the build I use for her today.

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Pros / Cons of my Diana build.


+ High early game damage!
+ Fantastic Trading!
+ High mobility with ulti!
+ Continuous damage that doesn't drop off!
+ Farming creeps is a breeze!
+ High resists late game!
+ Low gold cost build!
+ Snowballs HARD!
- No escapes at lower levels.
- Thus, prone to ganks.
- Can have a hard time in lane if ganked.
- Squishy early-mid game in team fights.
- If you get focused your screwed.
- Auto attack reliable.
- Needs kills early game.
- Countered by heavy sustain.

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Introduction to Diana.

I play Diana in top lane.

Diana is an ability power assassin. A little like Akali, but without as much survivability through spell vamp and her .
Diana excels in trading and dealing surprising amounts of damage in a short space of a few seconds, then pulling them back in for round 2.

BUT, most Diana's build flat AP. This is bad. Diana's cooldowns are very high once she's used her Q-W-R-R combo. She has nothing left to rely on except Moonsliver Blade. But because they've built full AP, they will have a low attack speed. This causes her damage to drop off dramatically.

The way I play Diana is different. I utilise in conjunction with her regular skills to create a champion that can continuously deal heavy amounts of damage and still not drop off after a few seconds of fighting.

I focus on building her with attack speed, ability power as she progresses, and survivability through tanky items that will still give her ability set a benefit.

Welcome to Attack Speed Diana.

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Items: That's an odd build for Diana!

Attackspeed is the aim of the game here!

and x3 at level one for movement speed and sustain. There is no need for any other item at level 1. Boots 'n' 3 potions is always the best choice for 90% of top lane champions.

vs Ability power or vs Melee.
If you do buy Ninja Tabi then sell them out late game for Mercury's Treads. Late game is when CC is at it's peak for influencing the game.

This is your first item. The extra magic damage on auto attacks benefits Diana greatly because of how many auto attacks she will be pumping out. The magic resist is also great as you scale into late game. I get this item whether I'm playing vs Melee champions or Ability power champions.

This will increase your burst once you begin the trade. + Sheen will cause a large amount of damage in just a few seconds of a trade. This item is almost a 100% must buy.

This will help out in gaining more attack speed as the fight goes on. Faster attack speed means more procs. The reason I get this over items like Nashor's Tooth is because of the progressive ability power buff that scales more than what Nashor's Tooth gives you outright whilst still giving a reasonable amount of attack speed.

This gives a small AD boost to help towards the attack damage side of this build, but it's mainly for the double resists. It's a great item to get on most top lane champions in my opinion. This can easily be replaced with other items if it doesn't suit the pace of your game or if your support would like to buy this item instead.

Finish off this item to maximise the burst potential for late game team fights. Trinity Force provides all the stats a Diana would ever want. From additional Ability power all the way to a debuff that will slow enemies and keep them in auto attack range for more damage!

This is to survive fights if you are focused down once you dash in. It provides good resists all around. This item really does give you a second chance just incase you are instantly focused down... But as Diana charging in first is something you do NOT do.

or can be replaced with if the enemy team has a hard CC like Malzahar's Nether Grasp

or can be replaced with if their AD carry has gone into hyper mode or they have another attack speed heavy champion.

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Runes - Why Ability Power per level?! WTF? AD Runes?!

Diana doesn't need vast amounts of ability power to dish out massive damage. But because her item build doesn't involve large amounts of ability power, It's best to just let her naturally get it through her runes. The ability power she gains from Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is more than enough to keep her damage on par for trading.

In the early game, Diana's main source of damage is her auto attack, and . deals auto attack damage + Wit's End. Early game around levels 1 - 5, auto attacks are a large part in farming creeps and trading with the enemy. This is why I get Greater Mark of Attack Damage.

The build as a whole revolves around a lot of magic resist. So getting early armour runes will help balance things out. Diana's starting magic resist is about 31 so Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is not needed. The early armour will help deal with ranged and melee auto attack pokes and minimise creep damage to yourself. Thus, I take Greater Seal of Armor

Having just above 20 ability power at level 1 is the right amount to make a noticeable impact on 's damage and shield. This also accounts towards 's damage as well due to it's 0.6 ability power scaling. So taking Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is a good choice.

These are just my choices. You can make your own tweaks if you feel that yours will suit you better.

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Masteries: What does she need early game?

Having 25 points in offence will benefit you ability to trade in lane. Because after all, Diana's strong point is that she can trade well.

Getting 3 points in Mental Force , 4 points in Sorcery , 1 point in Arcane Knowledge and 4 points into Archmage will allow for increased early game damage. All of Diana's abilities are ability power based so this will benefit her greatly.

The cooldown reduction from Sorcery will help towards the late game when cooldowns become an issue for most Diana players. This will just help you along to reduce the cooldown on and .

Grabbing 4 points in to Alacrity , 1 point into Weapon Expertise and the 3 points into Sunder will help with auto attack trading at lower levels.

The rest of the offence tree is self explanatory.

When trading with auto attacks, grabbing minion agro is extremely common and most of the time the minions will probably deal at least 30%-50% of all damage dealt towards yourself.

Taking 3 points into Hardiness and the final 2 points into Tough Skin will help towards reducing the damage that minions will deal.

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Skill Sequence - How to get the most out of Diana.

Diana is a viable top lane champion and is a strong pick due to her being able to #1 deal damage and #2 soak up damage.

The fact that Diana's deals 3 sets of damage then refreshes the shield again makes her a fantastic trader, lane freezer and gives her the ability to soak up damage when running away from ganks. These apply to the early game laning phase. This should be taken at level 1 and maxed first.

Her other abilities such as her , allow her to farm creeps if you're ever being zoned or the creep is just of you reach and you don't want the risk of initiating a trade. is Diana's main initiation skill that should be followed up with . This should be taken at level 2 and maxed second.

Diana's E ability, , is a great tool for sticking to a target and keeping them where you want them. This allows you to get a few more vital last hits for trading giving you at least another proc of . should be used as the target is walking away from a trade that he or she has lost to drag them back in to either kill them or send them back to base. This should be taken at level 3 or 4 depending on whether your jungler is coming to gank or not.

Diana's ultimate, , is a fantastic skill that allows you to jump to your target and then time another one with auto attacks to deal out extra damage. Using her ultimate will place you behind them, this is important to remember for champions with skill shots. Timing this is vital to make them miss their damaging abilities and to help you proc more .
This ability is great for initiating a 1 V 1 fight or for escaping to a minion or to a creep camp.

Finally probably the most important part about utilising all of Diana's damage potential is Moonsliver Blade. This ability deals as much as her regular abilities but on a MUCH lower cooldown. This build revolves around getting as many Moonsliver Blade procs as possible. Even with around 300 ability power, this ability will be dealing on average 500 damage. This takes into account Wit's End and auto attack damage.

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Summoner Spells for Diana

Flash is Diana's only escape spell at her lower levels. This almost 100% needed to play Diana well in top lane. If she is ganked early on without Flash then it will most likely result in a free kill to the enemy and an assist to the other. This could result in the loss of your lane.
Ignite will most likely determine who will win the fight for first blood if a trade ever goes as far as killing one another. Ignite deals large amounts of true damage at all of it's levels. Combine this with minions pounding on your opponent to deal tons of damage #Phreak.

Other Summoner Spells you could consider:

Exhaust is a reasonably fine tool that Diana could use to weaken her opponents damage and slow them down through out the fight. But due to her already having 2 dashes with and a pulling slow with , it's not really needed

Teleport is a great tool to use to give yourself a global presence and a serious ganking threat post level 6. Recommended if Ignite is not taken.

Diana is perhaps one of the only champions that could truly benefit from Surge. The fact that it gives Ability power AND attack speed is a fantastic bonus for this Diana build.

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How to play: Early, Mid and Late game.

It should be noted that Wards, extra potions and elixirs can be picked up when ever you feel like they are needed.

Early Game

Trade. Initiate a trade by auto attacking 2 creeps then using your passive, Moonsilver Blade, on your opponent. Activate Pale Cascade just before your opponent begins to retaliate and stick to him landing as many auto attacks as possible. Keep using your Crescent Strike when ever you can. Once your shield runs out after it's refresh either:
#1 Walk away and continue farming
#2 Use Moonfall and keep attacking him or her until they are force to flash away.

If the trade goes wrong, and you come out second. Don't fret. It's not the end of the world. Just go back to farming and wait it out for your jungler to come and gank. Ask your jungler if you can pick up the kill to get a head. Then, if the gank goes to plan and you get the kill, base, buy, return and repeat what's above until you take their tower.

Mid Game

If you have successfully gain a few levels over your opponent through killing him or her, so it's time to go to other lanes. Gank other lanes an help them out as well. Try to help them reach your level and then you can steam roll mid game.

Uh-oh! You've been baby sat by the enemy jungler and nothing's going your way. That douche bag Lee Sin refuses to gank your lane because you've fed the enemy top lane. Well, instead of sitting there like a loony, leave the lane and go help in ganks at mid lane and bottom lane. Gain levels and gold through assists and kills from other lanes and the jungle.

So, you're currently sat at 3/2/2 K/D/A. You're not super fed, but you're not underpowered for your level. The enemy top is doing about as well as you have been doing, in kills and farm wise and trades are pretty much even, so neither tower has been pushed or destroyed. The best thing to do here is call for your jungler. Tell him to come push your lane into the tower and try to destroy it. The second that tower is down, leave the lane and go for team fights.

In most situations, leaving toplane is a good choice for Diana. Either she needs the kills to help her get back on track or she should assist in feeding her other team mates kills by setting up 3 or 4 man ganks. Diana does not only snowball, she also can help her team mates do it too.

Late game

In the late game, your job is to wait for the perfect time to leap onto their carries. Whether it's the AD or the AP carry. You are not a tank, so initiation is not your job. But what happens in a full 5 V 5 fight is that once you have Crescent Striked through their team, you have to leap onto the carry and use Moonfall to keep him or her within auto attack distance. Auto attacks are a huge part of Diana's damage late game, and by now you should be working towards your Guardian Angel. Stick too them and keep using your own League of Legends skills to secure the kills for yourself and your team.

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Summary TL/DR?

Diana utilises her attack speed and ability power damage to initiate heavy trades in top lane. She is a bully and a lane dominator. If you fail at this then call for ganks to get the edge.

Diana requires smart play and timing to help towards her full combos.

The reason that full Ability power builds can fail is because of this:
Q-R-W-R (Or what ever combo a full Ability power Diana will use) has a max damage that it can deal, then you have to wait 6 or so seconds for your next Q.
AA = Auto attack
P = Passive
Q-R-W-AA-R-AA-AAP-AA and so on. It has a continuous damage output that helps towards keeping her damage going and flowing.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my Diana guide.

Thank you for reading my first guide ever.
Please go easy on me because I am new at this. =)

I am open to any reasonable criticism (If you put "Lol, **** build ***" then I will ignore your comment).

Please leave an upvote if you liked it. If you downvote please tell my why so I can improve my guide further.

Lots of love - Decode Critical EUW

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Change log.

I will put changes to the guide below:

#1 The first major criticism that I got were that "It just wont work".
Well, here are the 4 games I played the other day, using this build:
#2 Corrected a few errors with the item coding and after playing around with Diana more I added a new item that could be a possibility towards her final build late game.

#3 Added more to the description of item choices to justify them more.

#4 Added facebook page URL and the youtube page.