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All Guides Darius Guides I'm bottom barrel Silver, but I f***ing love Darius
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Darius Statistics for SzGamer227

Author's performance with Darius compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
26
8
Win %
58
42
Kills
8.3
5.6
Assists
4.9
5.7
Deaths
4.8
6.6
KA:D Ratio
2.8
1.7
Gold Earned
11.4K
11.4K
Creep Score
167.8
168.8
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash vs. Ghost

4.png Flash:

 - Standard escape and gap closing tool.
 - Can be used to travel over walls, making it a superior choice when in or coming out of the jungle.
 - Can be used to instantly escape tower aggro if a tower dive ended up closer than you anticipated.

6.png Ghost: 

 - Can be used as an escape and gap closing tool, especially in lane.
 - On a much shorter cooldown than Flash, so you can use it in situations that aren't "do or die".
 - Can be used during laning phase to stick to an opponent without needing abilities.
 - If you are up against a ranged top laner, Ghost is a great way to force them into your kill zone.

Teleport vs. Ignite

12.png Teleport:

 - Standard and safe pick for all top laners.
 - Spend less time out of lane if you have to back for any reason.
 - Provides flexibility and increased map presence late game.

14.png Ignite:

 - Can be used in combination with Hemorrhage to secure unexpected early kills and begin snowballing.
 - Can be used to deny healing to important targets in team fights or pick off stragglers.
 - Not a good pick in unsafe match ups against ranged top laners.

Flash + Ghost

4.png 6.png

 - Lots of escape potential and very useful for getting where you want to be in late game encounters.
 - You can use Ghost for pretty much anything because you can still fall back on Flash for emergencies.
 - You lose the map presence and lane security of Teleport, but it can pay off if you don't lose lane.


TL;DR

4.png 12.png Standard and safe spells for any top lane champion.

6.png Take ghost for lane presence, esp. versus ranged opponents.

14.png A risky pick. Secure more early kills and snowball more.

4.png 6.png Extra flexibility in lane and escape options, but no Tele.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Resolve Tree Keystones

Courage of the Colossus is my personal favorite at the moment. Whenever you land hard cc (for Darius, this means a pull) you instantly get a shield for a percentage of your health that scales with the number of nearby enemy champions. During laning phase, using your Apprehend to initiate a trade gives you an automatic shield to absorb some free damage. Late game during team fights this shield becomes massive, effectively making you 30-38% harder to kill (using the Runic Armor mastery when 4 or 5 enemy champions are nearby, respectively).

Grasp of the Undying is a great pick as well, regularly giving you extra damage and sustain while dueling in lane and auto attacking during team fights. The sustain is relatively weak, and is negligible compared to your base health regen and Decimate heal, but your autos will be hitting for an extra ~20 damage (30 with the Fresh Blood mastery) every 4 seconds or so early game, and an extra 120 late game. It's not as flashy and you won't feel it as much as CotC, but it is viable.

Bond of Stone is useful for the damage reduction, but being 4% harder to kill pales in comparison to the shield you get with CotC. With Grasp of the Undying, you only need to land 3 Grasp-empowered auto attacks during an engagement and you've already outperformed BoS, and Grasp gives you additional damage as well.

Resolve Tree Masteries

I take Unyielding over Recovery. Recovery is made obsolete by the Perserverence mastery, and Unyielding gives you free armor and MR when you build armor and MR. If you take Insight or Fearless over Preservation, then Recovery can partially make up the deficit early-game, but Darius has amazing base health regen, and the flat health regen quickly loses relevance.

Take whichever tier 2 mastery you want. Tough Skin gives you a little extra survivability early game if you aggro a group of caster minions, Explorer gives you a little bit of extra roaming speed, and Siege Master is a good pick if you think you'll be forced under tower by a difficult match-up.

Take Runic Armor over Veteran's Scars. Runic Armor strengthens Darius's strong self-healing power, and if you take Courage of the Colossus, you're getting even more % max health shielding when you engage. Veteran's scars is not useful on champions that are naturally tanky, and that bonus health will quickly become obsolete.

Preservation, Fearless, and Insight are elaborated on below.

Take Swiftness over Legendary Guardian. Tenacity and slow resist are hard to come by, and with minimal ability to escape crowd control on his own, he needs all the help he can get.

Preservation, Fearless, and Insight

Preservation is a very strong mastery to have on Darius. As I said above, the base health regen you have as Darius is phenominal, and Preservation increases it by a hefty amount early game (the equivalent of having 13 points of Recovery mastery at level 1) and scales very well into late game (when Spirit Visage is equipped, the difference is between 22.8 hp/s with Preservation and 19.5 hp/s without). When below 25% max health, the bonus quadruples, giving you a total of 5.6 health per second at level 3 until you reach 25% health again. Late game, this regeneration can reach 32.5 health per second.

Fearless stacks well with the Unyielding mastery, giving you a total of 15% extra bonus armor and MR in combat with enemy champions along with the flat bonus that scales with level. This only amounts to ~10 points from bonus scaling unless you build armor and MR instead of health late game, but the flat bonus reaches 36 at level 18.

Insight seems to be the popular choice as a standard Resolve mastery. If you like the safety of having your summoner spells on a lower cooldown, then this is obviously the mastery to take, but on Darius, Fearless and especially Preservation can have a big impact as well.

Ferocity Tree Masteries

Take Fury over Sorcery. The attack speed bonus makes is that much easier to land five stacks of Hemorrhage early game and get the ball rolling. Ability damage is viable, but you get more damage from the tier 4 masteries.

Take Fresh Blood or Feast over Expose Weakness. Fresh Blood simply provides even more early damage. If you haven't taken the Preservation Mastery, Feast's sustain can help boost your early-game survivability. Expose Weakness is a joke of a mastery for a champion who gets as few assists as Darius.

Take Vampirism over Natural Talent. Natural talent's value is split between AD and AP, and Darius has literally no AP scaling. Lifesteal and Spell Vamp are more valuable than half a mastery of AD scaling.

I take Bounty Hunter over the other tier 4 damage options. It gives you the largest damage bonus, and all it takes is a good roam or a teamfight turning in your favor to get the bonus rolling. Double Edged Sword gives you a good chunk of damage that starts early, but taking 2.5% increased damage for a champion who gets focused as much as Darius does is not the best trade off. Battle Trance requires some time to build up, but is definitely a viable option if you don't want to wait for Bounty Hunter to stack.

18 Point Ferocity Tree

First of all, I don't think this is a great idea. Darius has his best Keystone masteries in Resolve, and Swiftness is also a very important mastery to have because of how valuable Tenacity is. But if you must, go ahead.

Take Battering Blows. Darius doesn't have thoughts to pierce with.

For a Keystone, Warlord's Bloodlust is your best bet. Darius doesn't have the attack speed necessary to make use of Fervor of Battle, and Deathfire Touch only adds damage equivalent to a half-stack of Hemorrhage to Decimate (it adds the equivalent of a whole stack to Noxian Guillotine, but it should be obvious why this isn't helpful).

Abilities Back to Top

Q
W
E
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
4
5
7
9
W
2
14
15
17
18
E
3
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16

Skill Max: R > Q > E > W

R takes priority. This is true for every champion in 99.85% of games.

Q is your highest priority basic skill. It is a crucial source of damage and sustain in your kit.

E third because it's your primary initiation tool and grants bonus armor penetration.

W last because it's useful enough at rank 1 to keep it rank 1 until late game.

Early Ability Leveling

At level 1, you should usually take [Q] Decimate first so you can begin trading immediately. Alternatively, you can take [W] Crippling Strike first in a safe match-up to get a head start on creep score.

At level 2, you take [W] Crippling Strike if you started with [Q] or [Q] if you started [W]. If your lane opponent seems to cozy with you because they don't expect you to have your pull yet, you can grab [E] Apprehend and then pull them into a sticky situation.

At level 3, you unlock your third ability and begin trading as usual.

Quick Ability Rundown

dariuspassive.png (P) Hemorrhage

 - Gives you free extra damage on auto attacks.
 - When you reach five stacks on any enemy champion or execute someone with Noxian Guillotine, Noxian Might activates, granting a large amount of bonus AD and causing all sources of Hemorrhage to apply five stacks to affected targets.

dariuscleave.png [Q] Decimate

 - Darius' bread and butter when it comes to AoE damage and self healing.
 - Hitting with the handle instead of the blade makes the ability a lot less effective.
 - Healing scales with missing health, so building tankiness is more rewarding.

dariusnoxiantacticsonh.png [W] Crippling Strike

 - Stick to enemy champions and increase your farming potential with its increased auto attack range.
 - Applies a brief 90% slow, so you can use it to land an easy Q.
 - Last hitting minions refunds its mana cost and part of its cooldown, so when you're not trading, you can be farming more effectively instead. Just be sure you last hit the minions or you'll either have wasted mana and delayed your trading opportunity.

dariusaxegrabcone.png [E] Apprehend

 - A ranged pull that forces enemy units into your kill zone.
 - Passively grants up to 25% bonus armor penetration. Darius does not mind enemies with armor.
 - Applies hard cc as well as a brief slow, and lines up units for an easy Q.
 - Can be used to put distance between you and someone chasing you if W is out of range.

dariusexecute.png [R] Noxian Guillotine

 - Sudden Death. The Dunk. Total Bull***t. Call it what you will.
 - Leap into the air and dash briefly towards your victim, dealing a large amount of True Damage.
 - Deals more damage when your target has more stacks of Hemorrhage applied, up to double damage.
 - Executing a target temporarily resets the cooldown (a full reset at ability level 3), and combined with Noxian Might, you can apply max Hemorrhage and ult multiple targets in a very short period of time.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    If you're in a melee matchup where you can deal lots of damage, grab Long Sword first for maximum early AD and get a head start on building the Black Cleaver at the same time!
    Doran's Shield is a safer first item if you're in a risky lane. Reduces the damage you take diving past minions and boosts your health regen so you won't need to back as often.

Core Items

    Start building Black Cleaver asap. Phage is a good balance of health and damage and the movement speed passive can help you close gaps with your lane opponent, so I get this first. Caulfield's provides more damage and some early CDR. Also, boots.
    The Black Cleaver is a must-build on Darius. Hemorrhage's damage over time starts Cleaving enemy armor, stacking with the armor penetration from Apprehend. It also provides 20% CDR, and a Darius that Q's more often lives more often.
    Don't forget boots! Mercury Treads are one of the few ways for Darius to fight against crowd control which makes it a high priority buy, but Ninja Tabi can be more useful if you are taking heavy damage from basic attacks.
    Build items that give you lots of health and armor/MR. Spirit Visage is a great standard item to take for its MR, and its healing bonuses work well with your Q's heal and base health regen. It also gives you 10% CDR, which totals 30% with the Black Cleaver. Build Dead Man's if you want more roaming power and Randuin's if you are taking too much damage form basic attacks and want another source of inflicting cc.
    These are optional items that give you lots of health while still providing damage. The lifeline on Sterak's gives you a shield for 30% of your max health. Titanic Hydra deals damage that scales with max health and provides good waveclear. You can also build whichever other armor/health item you didn't build before if you want pure tankiness.
    Guardian Angel is a solid last item if you want yet another chance to bounce back during team fights. Provides even more armor/MR too.
    Don't forget elixirs! When you are full build, get even fuller built with Elixir of Try-Killing-Me-Now or Elixir of Liquid-Death's-Dance.

Situational Items

    Defensive items to build if you are really getting beat up. Thornmail is just pure armor, so be sure to pick it up against a very AD-heavy team. Maw of Malmortius proivdes MR and can be used to hit the 40% CDR cap. QSS/Mercurial Scimitar also provide MR and can be used to remove crowd control if you're riding the cc train to "lolnope" town.
    Sharp, pointy, and excessively deadly things that provide lots of AD and a little extra sustain. Use one as a last item if you aren't dying and want even more brutality. Death's Dance can be used to reach the 40% CDR cap, and Ravenous Hydra gives you waveclear and further increased base health regen.

Most of what you need to know is given above, so read through all of the annotations and decide what items you want to use. Darius excels in dealing tons of damage (even without damage-focused items) and being very hard to kill (especially when you build health and resistances). Build Darius keeping this in mind.


My standard build order to-do list:

1036.png Take a Long Sword for maximum early damage.

1028.png Buy a Ruby Crystal if you have to back early.

3044.png Grab a Phage for health, damage, and gap closing.

3133.png Buy Caulfield's for early CDR if you don't have enough to build the Cleaver.

1001.png Don't forget to buy Boots of Speed!

3071.png Get the Black Cleaver unless you are not actually Darius.

1011.png 3211.png Start building big defensive items (e.g. buy Giant's Belt, Spectral Cowl, etc.)

3111.png 3047.png Start thinking about upgrading your Boots.

3742.png 3065.png Build your choice of armor item (DMP or Randuin's) and Spirit Visage.

3075.png 3139.png 3156.png If you need to specialize your defense, start thinking about that now.

3053.png 3748.png 3143.png Get swole. Sterak's for lifeline, Titanic for damage, or even more armor/hp.

3812.png 3074.png You greedy animal. You're almost full build and want even more damage.

3026.png Reduce your chances of dying during teamfights to all-time lows with GA.

2138.png 2140.png You're out of items to build but thirsty for more stats. Drink one of these.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Garen
    Easy
  • Jax
    Medium
  • Jayce
    Hard
  • Nasus
    Easy
  • Poppy
    Easy
  • Riven
    Medium
  • Teemo
    Medium

VS

Garen

Easy
Your strenghts: You are Darius. You make melee top laners miss creep score just by standing near minions and farming, and attacking from melee range is the type of behavior that Darius punishes. You have superior sustain with your base health regen and Decimate. His spells are hard to dodge, but he has to get close to deal damage with them, which makes him easy to abuse if he goes in for a trade.

How they can (try to) fight back: Garen's Decisive Strike is a silence, so when he engages you with it, there's a period of time where all you can do it auto attack him. He still has to get close to do this, and there's bound to be an opportunity to abuse a mistake and drop a combo either before he gets the silence off or after when he disengages. If you find yourself low on health and tempted to land a Q for a heal, you could be giving him an opportunity to execute you with his ult, so be careful!

VS

Jax

Medium
Your strengths: You are Darius. You make melee top laners miss creep score just by standing near minions and farming. You have superior sustain with your base health regen and Decimate. Jax is a bit more comfortable than mot getting into melee range with you than others though, so don't get cocky.

How they can fight back: You will find that Jax's Counter Strike ability can really get under your skin. He blocks all auto attacks including your Crippling Strike, and he stuns you at the conclusion, giving him an opportunity to disengage after trading with you. This isn't especially devastating, but you'll need to find opportunities to lock him down or he can do a number on you without you getting much done in return. Try to land your Q when you see he's going in, because while it will do reduced damage, it's better than nothing and you still get the sustain.

VS

Jayce

Hard
Your strenghts: Unfortunately for you, you are laning against Jayce, a ranged top laner with insane poke who, even if you manage to grab for a moment, can switch into melee form, pop some quick damage, and then shove you away with ease. You don't have much to work with. The pain you inflict on melee laners by standing near minions and denying them creep score is about to be turned on you instead. Prepare for a rough game.

How to avoid their abuse: Jayce can deal an insane amount of damage to Darius from range by using an empowered Shock Blast, but if you manage to dodge it, you can avoid a majority of his ranged abuse. If you bring Ghost, you can attempt to close the gap between you and him and stick to him when he tries to throw you off. Make sure you have all of your abilities and a majority of your health before you all in, or things can turn against you very quickly. Build armor to mitigate his damage and hope he gives you an opening to make a kill, because if he gets ahead, there is very little you can do on your own.

VS

Nasus

Easy
Your strenghts: You are Darius. You make melee top laners miss creep score just by standing near minions and farming, and attacking from melee range is the type of behavior that Darius punishes. Nasus is one of the easiest top laners to abuse just by existing in lane. He will be tempted to approach minions to earn stacks for Siphoning Strike, and if you punish him for taking creeps, you can starve him out easily.

How they can (try to) fight back: Nasus probably has the nastiest slows in the game. Wither can bring your movement to a halt and also reduce your attack speed, which is bad for landing stacks of Hemorrhage. However, you can still Apprehend him and use Crippling Strike to reset your auto-attack timer, for the most part this will just make you miss Q's if he times it right.

If you get ganked, Wither might put you in a bad situation and force you to pop a summoner spell to escape if you don't watch your river closely enough. Take Flash instead of Ghost just in case worse comes to worse.

VS

Poppy

Easy
Your strenghts: You are Darius. You make melee top laners miss creep score just by standing near minions and farming, and attacking from melee range is the type of behavior that Darius punishes. You have superior sustain with your base health regen and Decimate. It is easy to avoid a majority the damage from Poppy's spells, and Poppy isn't a very damaging champion to begin with. Poppy's ranged attack passive is an important part of her kit, but not against Darius. Apprehend has more range than Iron Ambassador, so you can abuse her for making trades with ease.

How they can (try to) fight back: Keeper's Verdict is Poppy's notoriously strong disengage tool and can knock you back to your turret if she channels it fully, but as it is her ultimate, it is on a relatively long cooldown, and when she uses it, you can expect her to not have it available next time you go all in.

VS

Riven

Medium
Your strengths: Be careful with this one. Just because Riven is a melee top laner doesn't mean she can't cause you problems. Her Broken Wings ability is comprised of four small dashes and brief hard cc, and Valor is yet another dash and as well as a shield. Her Ki Burst is a stun. Her ultimate deals a lot of damage and she can very easily turn around a major trade that way and catch you off guard. Prepare for some risky laning.

How they can abuse you: Riven is hard to pin down with Decimate because of her many dashes, and she has a relatively  safe way to dip in and out of your kill zone with little risk. If she out-trades you or gets a quick kill with her ult, she can snowball out of control if you're not careful, because Riven is a very snowbally champion.

VS

Teemo

Medium
Your strenghts: Unfortunately for you, you are laning against Teemo, a ranged top laner with a literally toxic kit. He out-ranges your pull with his Blinding Dart, and if you are blinded you can't land auto attacks and abuse your stacks. He has a movement speed ability which makes him harder to pin down. He can safely farm creep score and make you think twice about going in for your own. He doesn't have any insane ranged poke, but you'll have to play carefully to win lane.

How to avoid their abuse: Watch what Teemo is building, and if he's building lots of AP, build Magic Resist to counter it. Try to land a Q whenever he gets in range for sustain to mitigate the damage you take and deal damage in return. Buy Control Wards and use them when you can to spot Teemo's Mushrooms and make it safer for your jungler to gank.

About the Author's Ranked Career Back to Top

Hi! As of the time I published this guide, I was in the Silver 5 division and had zero LP. Literally the lowest point a man can be without being Bronze. How I got there? Well, after being placed in Silver 5, my ranked career took a downward dive. 5 wins and 17 losses later, I found myself with 6 LP left, and I refrained from playing any more games in fear of losing claim to my Silver loading screen border.


pM0onMdIb.png

Enter Pre-Season 2017 and I now have my border, the ladder adjustment settled me solidly on 0 LP, and I am hyped to dive back into Ranked games once the season begins, armed with more practice, new Masteries, a mid laner I'm better at playing, and the willingness to go where the tides of ELO take me.
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