IntroductionHello, and welcome to my Darius guide - The Hand of Noxus. I've played Darius since the start of PBE and I also instabought him right when he came out. I feel he's one of the most awesome champions out there now and decided to make a small guide about him.
I like to build Darius as a bruiser, but build more towards damage than tank. This of course depends on the rest of your team. If you're jungle is more squishy, I tend to build more tankish than what I generally would do.
In one chapter I will also cover a part about him jungling, because he can do that as well. But beware, his home is at solotop, but you can of course jungle with him.
Darius is a really strong solotop champion. At the moment he can snowball out of control pretty hard. His ultimate got decent range and is awesome to clean up running enemies after a teamfight. His utility with both slow and pull makes him a great chaser.
So let's continue to the guide shall we?!
PS: If you found my guide helpfull, please give it a thumbs up =)
Pros & Cons
- Can carry
- Snowballs hard
- AoE pull
- Decent at pushing towers
- Decent splitpushing with his Q
- Truefriggin damage ulti
- Many ways of building him
- Great passive which will finnish off wounded, running enemies.
- No escape mechanism
- Countered hard by ranged at top
- Itemdependant. He needs to farm well to build his expensive build.
- Very manadepandant. His ulti sucks his whole mana pool.
I use aggresive 21/9/0 masteries to maximize Darius's damage throughout masteries while giving him some defense as well. You can also run 9/21/0 for a more tankish build, but I will not be covering that because I find these masteries the best.
Going Lethality is worthless for Darius, as you're a bruiser not a AD carry. You will not be building crit items, so that's why I did not pick it up.
I find these runes the best. Armor Seals are pretty standard runes for solotops, they give you the early advantage you need.
AD marks can be changed for ArP marks instead of you feel like it. However, I feel AD marks gives you the early damage advantage. And with Darius's already decent early damage you boost this even more, making you a true bully in the lane. His E also gives him passive ArP, so AD marks are better.
I run MR per lvl glyphs to give him the endgame boost towards strong ap champions. You can change these for flat MR glyphs if you prefer that over per-lvl.
AD quints. Boosing his damage even more. They will fear you. Nothing more to explain.
Flash is always great to have. You're always in danger of getting ganked, flash is a great tool for getting out of both incoming ganks as well as when you take too much damage in teamfights. Darius lack escape mechanisms, so flash is almost a must-have for him.
Exhaust is a great spell to stick to your target while decreasing their damage. You can stack up those Hemorrhage bleeds and dishing out greater damage. It's also a great spell to prevent someone from escaping.
Other viable choices
Ignite counters champions like Vladamir. It's a great spell to dish out theat extra damage for running enemies so you can pick up the kill. Teamed up with his passive they will sure be afraid to stay too long face-to-face with you.
Can be usefull. This is a viable choice, but I prefer either exhaust or ignite when I build Darius. The reason for this is that I build him more towards dishing out damage than bruiser-like with warmogs-atmas-frozen. He's not the one who should be taking all the damage, low escapemechanism. Get out of there fast with flash is a better solution.
It's great for dragon/baron control, ganks and fastbuying items in lane. But try to have either exhaust/ignite instead as it boost your laning even more.
Darius lacks escape mechanisms, you can pick this up over ignite/exhaust/teleport to be more secure during the laning phase, as well as escaping if you're cought out of positioning.
Sometimes, but no. Better choices. Also hardcountered by ignite, which 80% of every solotop champ runs these days.
If jungling. (I'll cover the jungling part later)
Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed. This effect stacks up to five times.
This passive is awesome, and it's also the key to your ultimate. I'll cover that later.
This passive stacks bleeds on your target, making them take damage over time. It's almost like a little ignite. You'll get a lot of kills of enemies running away in the last moment, just to be picked off by your passive.
Darius swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemies struck by the blade take more damage than those struck by the shaft.
This deals decent poke damage early game and great damage late. Max this first.
Also remember to stay out of the first circle so you deal maximum damage.
W: Crippling Strike
Darius's next attack severs a crucial artery. As the target bleeds out, their movement and attack speeds are slowed. Crippling Strike's cooldown is lower the more bloodied the target.
A great ability. This lets you stick to your target to stack up those Hemorrhage bleeds. It also resets your attack, so use it properly. While jungling, remember to stack up 5 stacks so you get the lowest cooldown timer as well as the most damage. 5 stacks are the max.
Darius hones his axe, granting him passive armor penetration. When activated, Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook and pulls them to him.
Great passive. Pick it up at lvl 4 and leave it there. It got a pretty long cooldown, so use it smart. Use this when your target it running away from you and if you cannot reach with you W. You can if you wish level this up second for it's passive ArP if they're stacking early armor.
R: Noxian Guillotine
Darius leaps to an enemy Champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing true damage. This damage increases for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target. If Noxian Guillotine is a killing blow, its cooldown is refreshed.
Now, the true terror. His ultimate. This is one of the sickest animations of the current ultimates. Lategame it shreds trough those defense stacking tanks, and all that resistance they may have. The cooldown is reduced by 100% if you deal the final blow.The more stacks of Hemorrhage, the more damage it deals. Also, remember that early game it uses a lot of mana, be carefull.
Skill OrderDepends on the situation.
If you're already close to your target:
(Try to keept auto attack as many times if he's slowed, if chance of him running away)
Q - AA - W - AA (As many times as possible before he gets out of range) - E - R
Keep those stacks of Hemorrhage, and depening if it's lategame or early game, you can keep attacking with AAs and W after you've used E to get him close again if the cooldown of W is ready.
-> -> -> -> ->
This gives you great damage, a chunk of hp to make you more tankish.
I run Frozen for the hp, extra ad and great passive so you can stick to your target!
TBC is a sweet item for Darius because he can stack his passive faster. The Armor reduce is also good so you deal more damage.
Bloodthirstier is a standard good item for a great deal of damage with great lifesteal. Lategame this item is the changed item of Wriggles if you met a AD top.
You will also need some defensive options because you're a brusier, not a ad carry.
Frozen Heart is a great item for Darius. It gives a great amount of armor and CDR so you can spam your abilities more. The increased mana is great as well, because Darius's ulitmate uses a huge amount of mana. If you want to keep doing damage, you will run OOM fast.
If you're having problems with fed AP carries, pick up Force of Nature. Good passive and the highest MR item ingame. Don't let them burst you down.
GA is a standard good end-game item. MR, defense and it's passive is what the item is all worth for.
You picked up HoG early game because you had a hard time and needed the extra GP5, build it into a Randiuns Omen. A very sturdy item.
If you need some more ArP because they build heavily armorish.
A great item to finnish if you needed some extra dmg and Mr earlier game against a ap at top. Not a bad item, viable choice. The passive is also great against those pesky AP carries.
Great item. Good emount of MR and it's active is of course lifesaving.
A great item. A stats heavy item, lot's of usefull stats. But do not get this if you're not far into lategame and have gold to spend. It's a extremely cost item and there's item items you should get before this
A very good item, if your team haven't picked this up yet, consider it. An aura which gives nearby allies a great amount of attack speed and lifesteal. It also reduces the enemy champions armor.
Extremely fed ad carry or ad champion who deals damage through auto attacks like Trynd or Master Yi. Pick this up if you cannot survive against them, but only if. Not good item for Darius if you can live without it.
If your the tank role of your team. Pick this up as well with Frozen Mallet.
Against a AP top? Want to stick to your target and stack those Hemorrhage bleeds up faster? Consider this. This is also a good item to change for Black Cleaver if you're more afraid of their AP champs.
Early GameEarly game focus on farming and harassing your opponent hard. Get those ranged Qs of to punish them for lasthitting. You deal a chunk of early damage, don't be afraid to go into a head-to-head battle with another enemy.
If your minions have pushed too far, try to gank midlane after lvl 4 (Picked up your E). Even tho if you do not manage to kill him, at least you should be able to blow his flash.
Also, Darius snowballs hard. If you get a kill at top, use the advantage you have.
If you're having problems, play defensive and maybep pick up a Heart of Gold, focus on farming until you get stronger.
Getting a earlier against a AD champion is not a entirely bad choice if you're having a hard time. The extra armor and mana will do you well. However, you should mostly dominate your lane, so picking this up while having the advantage is not good. Focus on getting phange and wriggles so you can dominate even more.
Try to gank mid as often as possible if your lane is pushed.
Mid GameBy mid game you should have some of your core items. Choice of boots, phage and wriggles/hexdrinker.
You should be on the road of snowballing now, keep that advantage. If you haven't already, take down the enemy turret and start to roam like crazy, snowballing even harder. Your Slow + pull is great skills to pick off enemies + the insane damage you deal.
Be there for teamfights and dragonfight. Try to take control of the enemies jungle and help out your teamates. Remember that being fed of farming is also very dangerous. Still focus on picking of the small minion camps and the minions you can.
Late GameNow you're a real bully. You should have finnished your core build and if you contiued your snowballing from earlier, be even more ahead of your enemies.
Remember that Darius have bad escape mechanisms (none at all, almost) without his summoning spells so be carefull. You're not immortal.
Control the enemies jungle, dragon and baron throughout the game with wards etc.
If can get allowed to, get redbuff/bluebuff. They are great on Darius. However, you cannot depend on his, try to steal the enemies buffs.
Team FightsIn teamfights you should not be engaging first. Your job is to pick of those carries and/or wounded enemies. Wait or the fight to break out, and use that momentum to catch the ad/ap carry offguard while they try to take down your teammates. You're basically the one to clean up. Your ultimates deals a chunk of true damage, finnish of the wounded enemies and keep your ad/ap carry safe. Your E can be used both ways, to kill a enemy, but also get them away from your teammates.
With my build you're not a tank, a bruiser builded more towards damage. If the heat is too hot, get out of there. Pick off running enemies and focus down their heavies damage dealers.
Darius is stronk, maybe too stronk atm. Punish those who are out of position with your E+W combo.
Remember that if their ad carry is fed, you may not be able to catch them on your own. Try to catch them out of position. They are squishy, be fast, be furious, be Darius.
Darius got no escape mechanism, if you engage you will be punished. You will be CC'd to death.
CountersEven though Darius is a really strong solotop champion, he gets countered by some champions.
His passive really cuts down Dariu's Q. Even tho he can't really kill Darius in the lane he can easly zone him, making you underfarmed. Darius is really farm dependant, you need those items. And a lot of them are very costy. Lategame you can beat him, but earlier he will beat you. Try to hit every Decimate against him.
Darius got problems with ranged champions like Kennen. His attacks deals a great amount of damage, and he can harass him from safe distance. His E can escape Darius easly if he get's too close. Don't go Darius against Kennen. If you happend to be against him, call for early ganks to get him out of lane.
Kite. Seriously, you'll never reach Kayle. She will beat you in lane, but lategame you have more damage. Try to farm safely, picking up HoG for GP5 and get your jungler to gank so you have the advantage.
Same as kennen. Can autoattack harass you out of lane. At lvl 6 she cannot really trade with you, but her ranged harass is painfull. If AD you may beat her later, but earlier game she's a pain. Pre-6 try to Apprehend her into range and harass her hard, she cannot escape before lvl 6 without using flash, use that advantage.
He's a pain. Try to stay passive, you cannot really trade with him. Lategame you deal a chunk more damage than he does. Farm safely and do not engage in trades before lvl 6. Build Wriggles lanter fas for sustain and hp to counter his insane truedamage low-cooldown E.
Yorick is a counter to most toplaners. His ranged harass is annoying and he got good sustain. You need help against this one (or just dont choose Darius against him at all). Try going passive building philo stone and ask for early ganks.
Teemos constant harass is a pain in the ass. His increased movementspeed skill will get him safely out of your engage. Every skillset of his is just annoying. Call of ganks and hope that he's a completely newbie. Try to pull him into range and slow him down, he's pretty squishy and if you manage to do so it will hurt. However, blindshot counters you and if he's good, he wont let you get even close. Definitly get exhaust against him.
Darius is countered by ranged champs in general in the laning phase.
JunglingNow for the jungling part. You can jungle with Darius, even though he does better at toplane.
Start with +
Start wit your W and go Wolfs -> Blue -> Wraiths -> Wolfs -> Red - Golems.
Level up your W first, then Q and finally E. Of course level you R every time you can.
I run the same runes as I've described in toplane. AD quints, Armor seals, Mr per lvl Glyphs and AD marks. Shown in the video below AD and Attack Speed Marks is very similar in clearspeed, it's basically up to you what you prefer. I prefer AD marks though as it's a bit better, you will most likely not be able to stack too many Hemorrhage bleeds before your enemy flashes out of your gank, so AD works better.
When ganking with Darius, you should do so after lvl 3-4. Get off your Q, some auto attacks and W. Pull him back when he gets out of range. If you're afraid he will flash, get off your Q -> W fast so you can reach him with you E again.
Finnish of boots depening on the enemy team. Get Wriggles and follow the standard build I've described earlier.
Here's a video I personally made showing two different rune-builds. AD marks and Atk Speed marks.
Final CommentsI hope you enjoyed my Darius guide. Feel free to comment.
Darius is a really strong toplaner, an amazing snowballer. The enemies will fear your insane damage, and utilize that. Any questions, feel free to ask ;)
(I will update this guide frequently)
Changelog24/5/2012: Fixed grammar errors, added "Counters" and "Pros&Cons" chapters + runepage/masteries pictures.
25/5/2012: Added more counters info.
26/6/2012: Finnished making my video showing Darius Jungling with AD Marks, Attack Speed Marks and Armor Pen Marks.
31/05/2012: Fixed the broken Masteries picture.