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All Guides Darius Guides FEAR: What Separates Men From Lesser Men (Darius 7.11 Guide) (WIP)
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Darius Statistics for Malvoliar

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

Value
Average
Games Played
52
5
Win %
58
43
Kills
10.8
5.3
Assists
5.1
5.2
Deaths
8.4
6.1
KA:D Ratio
1.9
1.7
Gold Earned
13.8K
10.8K
Creep Score
180.2
171.7
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Welcome to FEAR. Here you will learn all you need to use Darius, the greatest basketball player in all of League of Legends, to devastating effect. Starting with your basketball tactics.

4.png is a must-have on most champions, and Darius is no exception. Especially due to how immobile Darius is, flash is necessary as a gapcloser, escape tool and repositioning tool. Also, winding up your Q, then flashing as it hits is an amazing burst tactic. I don't think I need to go over all the different ways it can be used - Just take my word for it that you need it on Darius.


Options for second summoner spell:


6.png is my personal favorite second summoner spell on Darius, and is one that often falls underappreciated on him. Darius's main weakness is his lack of mobility, and Ghost really helps with this. Unlike Deadman's Plate, this MS also works in combat, so it even provides extra stickiness! The dealbreaker for me is how low its cooldown is compared to the others. If you want another offensive/defensive summoner spell like Flash that works well throughout the game, take Ghost.

12.png is the most common summoner spell on Darius, and not without good reason. The amount of map control it offers, especially with proper team coordination, is very powerful. That said, Darius's TP ganks are not the greatest, and its high cooldown means you've lost a lot if improperly used. If you're looking for map pressure, a safe summoner spell for getting back to lane faster, something to group with quickly or are just in doubt of which spell to take, go with Teleport.

14.png is mainly for the level 1 cheese. I don't think Ignite is that good on Darius since its usefulness falls off late unless you're against Mundo or something, and it really doesn't fix any of the Dunkmaster's weaknesses. The reason one takes ignite is for the pre-6 first blood attempt to start your snowball. If you desperately need the early damage and must snowball, go with Ignite.

32.png Ooooh... Actually just take this...

30.png Woahhhh...

31.png AWWW YEAH

17.png FOR CHALLENGER DARIUS OTPs ONLY

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

"What about my runes? What do I have to do?"

YOU AIN'T GOTTA DO NOTHIN'. YOU'RE DARIUS. YOU'RE A FREE MAN.

Listed above is the page I personally use, but here I'll go down each tree and each tier.
Go 18/12/0.
Go 18/0/12.
Go 12/18/0.
Go 0/18/12.
Go 12/0/18.
Go 0/12/18.
It's really up to your own playstyle and what you prioritize on the Dunkmaster.

Resolve

The tree for immortality. Take 12 points for an early game boost via tankiness, or 18 for a safe investment.

Tier 1: Recovery
Most people like to go with undying on tanks due to the added resistances, but Darius is a fighter, not a tank. Most games you'll end up with almost 200 armor. That's... Less than 10 extra armor at full build. Much more important is HP regen for the early game. It keeps you in lane, lets you continue applying pressure, lets you recovery from trades.

Tier 2: Tough Skin
This is basically out of noticing how bad the other two are. Explorer is meant for roamers. Darius, with his utter lack of mobility is not a roamer. Even worse is Siegemaster. IF YOU'RE PLAYING DARIUS UNDER A TOWER, YOU SHOULD BE 1V5ING IN THE ENEMY NEXUS TURRETS! NOT YOUR OWN!
That leaves Tough Skin. In the first few levels, every auto counts, and a bit off each is always something. You'll never notice it, but trust me, it's hidden power that will save your life once in a blue moon. If you really think it's useless and disown it, go with Wanderer instead.

Tier 3: Runic Armor
The choice between Runic Armor and Veteran's Scars is basically always just asking "Does my kit have innate sustain?" And guess who has innate sustain?

Tier 4: Insight
Well, look at the other two. Fearless only gives you a tiny bit of extra resistance for 2 seconds. Darius specializes in prolonged fighting, and that won't help you at all. It especially doesn't help against poke champions like Pantheon. Perseverance is a little better, but your innate tankiness, starting with a Doran's item, plus your other runes and masteries in the Resolve tree should be enough. If you really need more sustain, just be sure to put 12 or 18 points into red for Vampirism. You don't need perseverance.
Insight is lower summoner spell CDs. This is awesome. Darius has so much more power while flash is up. Insight is the best choice regardless of your summoner spells, but is especially great if you're taking TP, since it cuts a great deal off its cooldown.

Tier 5: Swiftness
Top lane is called an island by many for good reason. You're alone up there with the other laner. Or rather, the enemy laner is trapped up there with you. Legendary Guardian is fine late when you're grouping, but the Tenacity and slow resist is good both early and late. CC can sometimes give Darius a hard time since he's vulnerable to being kited... SIKE, TENACITY!

Tier 6: Grasp of the Undying
Stoneborn Pact is a mastery for tanky people who want to support their team, but don't have enough reliable hard CC to trigger Courage of the Colossus. Darius is not a tanky support. Courage of the Colossus used to be awesome on Darius back when it was awesome enough to take on literally anyone who could trigger it, but nowadays its shield just isn't enough as a keystone.
Grasp of the Undying is your friend. It's the best of the Resolve keystones for trading. Darius likes trading. Darius also likes gaining life, and dealing damage based on his own max HP. Take it, you won't regret it.

I only take 12 points due to considering Grasp to be outclassed by keystones in the other trees, and finding the 15% Tenacity to not be super impactful. Especially since one can get tenacity with boots or elixirs anyway. Due to the multiplicative nature of Tenacity, this sort of makes those less efficient anyhow. That said, if 18 or even 0 in Resolve works for you, then feel free.

Cunning

The tree for C H E E S E. Take 12 points for a midgame boost via utility, or 18 to make your snowball harder to stop.

Tier 1: Wanderer if you're a god, Savagery if you need to git gud.
Basically just take Savagery if you're still getting used to Darius and want easier last hitting. If you can already last hit consistently on him, might as well take Wanderer for a little extra movement speed. You may not be a roamer, but movement speed is never a bad thing.

Tier 2: Assassin
Runic Affinity is for junglers. Sure you'll end up with a buff or two when the enemy jungler ganks you and you inevitably double kill them, but other than that, you don't really get much from it. Biscuits aren't bad per se, and if you like to back for 4 pots then feel free, since they can stop early mana shortages. I personally don't like buying potions beyond the single Gatorade I buy at the beginning to keep my energy up early in the game, so I take Assassin to increase my damage during my early-game smashing and I advise most to do the same.

Tier 3: Merciless
Extra mana regen sounds nice on paper, but in practice it's really not that much at all. 3% increased damage will secure a lot more kills than that tiny extra mana ever will.

Tier 4: Dangerous Game
The Cunning Tree is gimmicky, and this may be the gimmicky-est tier in the whole mastery system.
Greenfather's Gift sounds nice for the current HP damage, but the times you'll be able to get at someone with an AA coming out of the brush isn't super high, and requires a Garen-like playstyle where you can the lanebrushes the entire laning phase to get good use out of it. This isn't worth it to me. Bandit isn't super useful since you're not a support and will be getting nearly all the minions in your lane. Its component for hitting enemies does give extra gold, but rarely does this extra bit of gold make a difference. Dangerous Game on the other hand has been called the strongest non-keystone mastery in the game by pro players, and for good reason. This lets you claim first blood and still have enough HP to survive the last round of minions hitting you. This lets you fight a 2v1, kill the first guy and have enough mana to still dumpster the other guy.

Tier 5: intelligence
Precision is best used on either assassins who have a fetish for lethality, or on hybrid champions. You are neither of these, and the extra 5% CDR will let you get more healing with Qs, get stronger lockdowns with Ws, engage more often with E, and overall improve your sustained fighting significantly.

Tier 6: Stormraider's Surge
Q ISN'T ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY WINDSPEAKER'S, SON. AND YOU DON'T NEED THUNDERLORD'S.
I USED TO GO 12/18/0 BECAUSE STORMRAIDER'S IS SO STRONG, AND IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW THAT PATH I DON'T BLAME YOU. PEOPLE WILL LAUGH AT YOU FOR TRYING IT, BUT I PROMISE THAT THEY'LL REGRET IT WHEN YOU CLEAVE THE ENEMY LANER FOR A THIRD OF THEIR HEALTH, ENGAGE, THEY TRY TO FLASH AWAY BUT REALIZE YOUR KEYSTONE LETS YOU CATCH THEM ANYWAY. THEY TRY TO SLOW YOU, BUT YOU GOT THAT 75% SLOW RESISTANCE.

Real talk. I don't go 18 in the Cunning tree anymore because the rest of the tree isn't great for Darius, or at least not as great as the other two trees. Stormraider's may be the best keystone for him, but it takes more than a keystone to justify 18 points in a tree. That said, both Stormraider's and the rest of the tree are good for taking your pre-existing snowball and pushing it harder. When you already have enough damage, your HP gains upon kills, extra CDR and speed boosts will give you the utility you need to carry yourself to victory.

Ferocity

The tree for murdering people. Take 12 points for hidden lategame damage, or 18 to snowball every game.

Tier 1: Fury
It can be a hard choice. On one hand Darius loves attack speed to faster apply his bleed, but on the other hand so much of his damage comes from his ability. The deciding factor here is that your ultimate deals true damage, and true damage is not increased nor decreased by anything - Not even your own runes. Your better off stacking your bleed faster and getting your damage from your Noxian Might.

Tier 2: Fresh Blood.
YOU DON'T NEED EXPOSE WEAKNESS, YOUR ALLIES DON'T NEED DAMAGE. YOU'RE ENOUGH DAMAGE FOR 5 PEOPLE.
Feast is really for more passive laners who want to resist their losses from trading by last hitting. Good for them, but you're not one of those guys. Take Fresh Blood. You should be AAing them about every 6 seconds anyway, and the damage from this mastery adds up.

Tier 3: Vampirism
Natural Talent is literally wasted stats. Unless you wanna go with my patented AP build consisting of Sorc Boots, Nashor's Tooth, Hextech Gunblade, Lich Bane, Luden's Echo and Liandry's, you don't use the AP for anything. Vampirism gives you lifesteal and spell vamp. 2% isn't really a lot, but Qing a big minion wave to gain 600 HP back late is always satisfying, and makes the mastery worth it. It's offensive sustain, just like Darius's Q. It's everything he loves.

Tier 4: Battle Trance
Bounty Hunter isn't bad obviously, but it takes awhile for you to dunk every single person on their pathetic team. Darius wants to snowball early. Double-Edged Sword eats into Darius's tankiness. Trust me, you do not want that. Battle Trance is Darius's best option due to his stickiness. You can easily be in combat for more than 3 seconds, and will always get good use out of this mastery.

Tier 5: Battering Blows
Unless you're against 5 tanks that all built Thornmails and thus decide to go with my AP build, Battering Blows is just the strictly better option. If you do need the AP build though, do switch to the other one. And don't forget to take Poro Toss and Garrison as summoner spells on that one too!

Tier 6: Fervor of Battle
YOU DON'T NEED DEATHFIRE TOUCH, YOU ALREADY BLEED THEM FOR HALF THEIR HP.
Warlord's Bloodlust is best for skirmishers or ADCs who want lategame sustain. They can run around like a headless chicken for awhile until they energize the mastery, then go in and use their extra HP and speed to fight. Darius doesn't run around like a headless chicken, he just reduces his enemies to them. Fervor of Battle is amazing on Darius because using a combo of AA>W>Q>AA>E>AA both gives them 5 stacks of passive and maxes out Fervor. The early damage you get from this is disgusting, and makes up for the passive nerf. It's that passive nerf which made me switch to Fervor as my keystone  and I've never regretted it. Darius specializes in prolonged fights, and you'll get plenty of use out of the extra AD this gives you.

18 in Fervor gives Darius tons of damage and it's the most fun to me (Except for Stormraider's Surge triggering, zooom), and also probably the most effective. Darius is the representation of pure Noxian Might, and this tree is nothing but mighty. 18/0/12 gives a billion damage to claim your first blood while also giving you enough lane sustain to stay there after getting it. Obviously the enemy toplaner will TP back in and try to fight you because you're low despite being a level lower, and die again. You've won the entire match at that point. 12/18/0 is probably the second best just because Stormraider's is so godly. Again though, I reiterate: runes were meant to vary depending on playstyle rather than objective champion synergy, and that's how they truly play out. Find the one that's right for you, and you'll be rewarded with extra 1% crits from RNGesus.

Abilities Back to Top

W
Q
E
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
2
4
5
7
9
W
1
14
15
17
18
E
3
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16
Alright, let's go over what makes Darius so great.
First of all let's look at these ability icons. Awesome. Amazing. Worth playing just for those.
dariuspassive.png dariuscleave.png dariusnoxiantacticsonh.png dariusaxegrabcone.png dariusexecute.png

dariuspassive.png
P: LET NOXUS FLOW THROUGH YOU
You look at that icon and can feel the relentlessness that defines Darius.
I consider Darius's passive to be among the best passives in the game. This is what lets Darius win all his early prolonged fights. Your attacks and damaging abilities (except the inside of your Q) apply a bleed that scales with bonus AD and stacks up to 5 times. Over the course of a long fight, this adds up to a huge amount of damage, and you'll have many games where an opponent flashes away from you only to die to the bleed. It's awesome, especially when you imagine how tilted it must make them feel.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE
WE GOT NOXIAN MIGHT FELLAS

When you have 5 stacks on someone, you gain 30-200 Bonus AD. This is what lets Darius do as much damage as an assassin with just one damage item. It also makes all your attacks and abilities immediately apply 5 stacks of your passive to any other targets you hit. This is what lets you 2v1 so easily - Once you kill the first guy, you can immediately apply 5 stacks on the second.
It's all so satisfying. Seeing that sign that you're ready to dunk, the red tint that takes over the screen like blood raining from the sky, your calling to your destined rampage.

dariuscleave.png
Q: DECIMATE THE WEAK
You look at that icon and see the swift execution that Darius brings.
This is your bread and butter, the godly skill that lets Darius turn fights around. After a 0.75 second windup, you swing your axe around yourself, dealing a tiny amount of damage to everyone hit by the shaft, but a ton of damage to everyone on the outer part of the Q, the blade. This also applies a stack of your passive, or 5 stacks if your passive is on. Plus you heal when you hit champions with the outer part, which is nice to say the least.
This is your poke, your harass, your waveclear, your sustain, your set up for teamfights.
People never learn to anticipate teamfights in which Darius attacks an enemy frontliner until he has 5 stacks, winds up Q, then flashes into the backline and unleashes it, then starts raining death from the heavens. Even if in the laning phase you already wound up your Q, then flashed to kill them under their tower after they thought they got away from you.
You take this level 1 in certain matchups and always max it first. No exceptions. IT'S TOO GLORIOUS.

dariusnoxiantacticsonh.png

W: CRIPPLE THE MIGHTY

You look at that icon and see the vicious brutality in all of Darius's strikes.
Darius's W has been described as a stacked Nasus Q that also applies a slow like his W. That comparison isn't far off.
It's a simple ability. It resets your AA timer, and your next AA deals additional damage and slows them by 90% for one second. It's crucial for stacking your passive. A lot of people think Darius is bad in high elo because people can dodge his Q, but your W's massive slow stops them from getting away and guarantees that you can land your Q.
You take this level 1 in most of your favorable matchups, but max it last. Only the cooldown is lowered by ranking up, while the other two basic abilities benefit both in their cooldowns and damage output.
Also:
YOU CAN ANIMATION CANCEL YOUR W WITH YOUR Q. YES YOU CAN.
You can AA>W and press Q immediately after you W, and the windup will start before your AA finishes. It'll look like you didn't even AA, but you'll hear the awesome sound of your W hitting. This is a very fast way to get 3 stacks.
But how do you keep them in front of you after the slow wears off?

dariusaxegrabcone.png

E: APPREHEND THE COWARDS

You look at that icon and can hear the sweet sound of Darius's slashing through the ground and pulling some poor soul to him along the way.
Darius's E is a defining ability. It doesn't matter if you're against some ranged coward who tries to pull you, or some skirmisher who dashes away after spilling their hot combo all over your face. Just pull 'em back in and murder 'em!
Each time you rank it up, its cooldown is lowered and you get more and more armor penetration. Awesome. This skill is what makes you an awesome tank-buster, and you max it second for that sweet armor pen as you come into mid game.
A lot of Darius's gameplay revolves around whether or not he has his E up. It's his only hard CC (Though it does also slow by 40% which is neat) and his engage tool. It allows him to peel for carries in late game teamfights.
Do not waste it. Its cooldown is high at low levels and you need it, especially against ranged champions.

dariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.png

When the time is right.
When you have 5 stacks of your passive, when the enemy is in kill range.
When they realize that their 6 Thornmails cannot save them from Darius's true power.
SLAM

Darius's ultimate is his defining ability. The Dunk. The Hellstorm of Glorious Violence. The Noxian Guillotine.
This is Noxus, basketball and dreamcrushing all combined in one unholy skill.
Darius's level 6 powerspike is ridiculous. This lets him 2v1 early, and if he falls behind, this is what lets him group up and KS his teammates to get back into the game. Never feel bad about this - You only need a few to become the carry.
The exception is if you're literally full build. In that case only kill when your teammates can't.

HERE'S SOME FUN TRIVIA FACTS ABOUT YOUR ULTIMATE:

IT'S A TRUE DAMAGE NUKE.
IT SCALES WITH BONUS AD.
IT'S A DASH SO YOU CAN TECHNICALLY USE IT AS A GAPCLOSER IF YOU NEED TO.
(ONLY DO THAT IF YOU NEED TO CHASE THEM OVER A WALL AND YOUR E IS DOWN, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.)
IT DEALS 20% MORE TRUE DAMAGE FOR EACH STACK OF YOUR PASSIVE ON THE TARGET.
IT APPLIES A STACK OF YOUR PASSIVE IF IT DOESN'T KILL THE TARGET.
IF IT DOES KILL THE TARGET, YOU CAN RECAST IT FOR FREE WITHIN 20 SECONDS.
FOR FREE.
IT LETS YOU 2V1 SUPER HARD BECAUSE OF THAT.
IF IT KILLS THE TARGET HE ALSO CAUSES MINIONS AND MONSTERS TO FLEE FOR 3 SECONDS FROM HIM.
THAT'S HOW SCARY IT IS. EVEN THE GOD-MADE-MAN KNOWN AS GROMP FLEES IN TERROR.
MINIONS RUNNING AWAY SAVES YOU FROM GETTING KILLED BY THEIR AGGRO,
AND IT MAKES THEM FLEE IN A PERFECT CIRCULAR SHAPE TO Q THEM ALL FOR AN EXTRA 200 GOLD.
IT APPLIES SPELL EFFECTS.
IT CAN'T BE INTERRUPTED BY ANYTHING EXCEPT YOUR DEATH OR BY BARD
Not his ult, just by Bard existing in the match.
ENEMIES CAN FLASH AWAY FROM IT, BUT YOU STILL LAND IN THE SAME SPOT AND THEY STILL DIE.
IT MAKES ENEMIES RAGEQUIT.
KILLING AN ENEMY WITH IT TURNS ON NOXIAN MIGHT EVEN IF NOBODY HAD ENOUGH STACKS.
MY RECOMMENDED BUILD WILL EASILY GET YOU TO DEALING 1000 TRUE DAMAGE TO 5 ENEMIES IN TEAMFIGHTS.
AT RANK 3, IT COSTS NO MANA AND RESETS ENTIRELY WHEN IT KILLS.
LIKE THE REST OF HIS KIT, IT'S SO DAMN SATISFYING TO GET KILLS WITH IT.

It's an amazing ultimate, and is what keeps Darius relevant in the lategame. Unless you build a second damage item (which you probably should but in case you don't) your damage falls off late, but this true damage nuke will make sure you're still a threat lategame. Plus you're unkillable by that point.

TIME FOR WOMBOS

In each of these combos, a long sword represents an autoattack and your passive symbol means you now have Noxian Might active. Got it? Gud.

The Level 1 Cheese:
1036.png dariusnoxiantacticsonh.png1036.png1036.png4.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuspassive.png1036.png > If you took it, 14.png

Assuming your opponent isn't an idiot who tries to fight back at level 1 and just runs, this will be enough to kill most opponents at level 1. If you took Flash/Ghost, you can use ghost instead of flash. Ignite isn't necessary, but can help you get the kill in a lot of situations in which you wouldn't have. If you took Stormraider's, that can also take the place of Flash, but due to your lower damage output you might need one more AA.

The Level 1 Cheese (DJ Q-Start Remix):
1036.png1036.pngdariuscleave.png1036.png4.pngdariuscleave.pngdariuspassive.png1036.png > If you took it, 14.png

Pretty much see above. You can start Q in matchups which might match your kill potential level 1 like Kled, or against matchups that don't give you much opportunity level 1 to land a W, like Pantheon. This will work less often as a level 1 cheese since you lack any CC, and you need to land both your decimates here to get the kill. Try the previously-mentioned wind up Q > Flash technique.

The Level 2 Curbstomp:
dariuscleave.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuscleave.png1036.pngdariuspassive.png > As many Ws, Qs and AAs as you need for the kill.

Darius's level 2, like the rest of his early game, is very strong. You can use Qs to harass, and a few seconds after one lands don't shy away from following up with a juice AA>W. Sometimes you can fit in an AA between W and Q, so feel free to do that when possible. This applies to all the future combos as well.

The Level 3-6 Deathbringer:
dariuscleave.pngdariusaxegrabcone.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuscleave.png1036.pngdariuspassive.png1036.png1036.png dariusexecute.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.png

If pre-6, just ignore the dunk at the end. If the dunk kills them, obviously no need to AA or W afterwards.
Darius's combos are pretty simple. It's all about getting 5 stacks on them, then punishing them for letting you get 5 stacks on them.
Now it's time to decide how to spend your 300 gold.

The 2v1 That Makes the Enemy Jungler Abandon Top:
1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuscleave.png1036.pngdariusaxegrabcone.png1036.pngdariuspassive.png1036.pngdariusexecute.png
1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuscleave.pngdariusexecute.png1036.png

Basically imagined fighting an enemy Renekton and Kha'Zix while putting that combo down. Adjust according to situation. (You might want to wait until a little later in the fight to Q for maximum health restoration.) The point is to get 5 stacks on one opponent, get them low enough to kill them with dunk, kill them with dunk, then focus the other until you can dunk the other, with an extra AA at the end if you prematurely dunk on the second one. Even if you mess up and dunk the first guy and don't kill him, another AA will still kill them and the AD from Noxian Might will let you finish off the second opponent, possibly with bleed.
Glorious.

Micheal Jordan's Teamfighting Adventure:
dariuscleave.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.png1036.png1036.pngdariuspassive.png4.pngdariuscleave.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusexecute.png1036.pngdariusexecute.pngdariusaxegrabcone.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.png1036.pngdariusexecute.png

I like this one. If you want to play Darius as a backline annihilator, you stack your bleed on the frontline tank until you get 5, wind up your Q, flash into the back and let it rip. Start dunking all the backliners who you can kill with ult, AA the ones who didn't get hit with your flash Q and then dunk them afterwards, and be sure that for any who could survive the nuke that is your ultimate, hit them once or twice to get them low enough. Tanks will take awhile and likely need an Apprehend to keep them in place. But hey, that's why you have it.

Micheal Jordan Peels Scrubs Off the Bench and Crushes Them Underfoot:
dariusaxegrabcone.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariuscleave.png1036.png1036.pngdariuspassive.pngdariusexecute.pngdariuscleave.pngdariusaxegrabcone.png1036.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.pngdariusexecute.png
If you want to serve as a peelbot for your ADC, that's equally effective. It doesn't make you any less manly, since with your team's help you annihilate that pesky assassin even faster - You might not even need any AAs after your first Q if they get 'em low enough for your ult to kill them, which secures your Noxian Might. After that you can either flash into the backline like in the Teamfighting Adventure, or you can start pulling more enemy frontliners into your team and dunk them all one by one like a living meatgrinder. With basketballs.

Alright, let's move on to your accessories.


Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    This can be playable in certain matchups. If you're against Pantheon and would rather rush a Chain Vest or Tabis than start with Doran's Shield, or if you're against a Riven and don't feel confident. I advise starting with a Doran's item anyway, but you do worse than a Jersey + 4 Energy Drink start.
    WHAT'RE THOOOOOOSE?! Basically just against Cho'Gath if you feel like it.
    Some people hate that Doran's items can't upgrade into later items, so if you're one of those weirdos just start Sword 3. Or refillable if you want, it's your life.
    Against heavy poke like Pantheon, Teemo, Jayce or Kayle this is a strong start. Sometimes you just need your jockstrap.
    The most common start, take it in all winning matchups where you don't need Doran's jockstrap. Doran's Fisting Machine in its place will give you some AD, HP and lifesteal to get you snowballing from the start. It even leaves room for a gatorade.

Core Items

    Boots options. As a famous basketball player there are lots of companies that want you to wear their shoes. You got options, dude. In most cases go with Tabis. The armor and damage reduction is significant, even if you're already tanky. Mercury Treads is great against mostly AP comps with lots of CC. If they have some weird comp with literally no hard CC at all except slows, feel free to take Swiftness. Sorc boots for the cheese AP build. BERSERKER'S GREAVES FOR MADMEN ONLY.
    The most important item on Darius, this cursed enchantment on your basketball hoop gives everything he needs. 400 HP to become a tanky boi, 40AD to smash enemies into the ground, 20% CDR to make you a god. The movement speed passive triggers on all ticks of the bleed making your notable immobility nonexistant, and the armor shred goes up to max just from one tick. Too good to pass up, the games in which you shouldn't take this are very few.
    The newest state-of-the-art basketball jersey. Your most important armor item, get it right after cleaver and tier 2 boots if against an ad laner. A hunk of HP to be tanky, a hunk of armor to be an adc's nightmare, a hefty scoop of movement speed to make you catch anyone you want and an on-hit slow to stop them dead in their tracks. Unless the enemy is full AP build this item every game, and even then you should build it sometimes if some of those AP champs are AA reliant like Teemo.
    Find inner peace in the middle of your basketball game. Your most important MR item. Build a Cowl early if against an AP laner and finish it into Spirit Visage after Cleaver and tier 2 boots. A bunch of health and MR, more health regen, 10% CDR and healing amplification for your awesome Q. Unless the enemy team is literally full AD, buy this every game.
    Here's a final build to go with when in doubt. Consistent, deadly, tanky as hell, works in nearly all situations.

Situational Items

    If you're against an AP laner and the enemy team is literally entirely AP, you'll be building a mAW. So get this instead of Cowl for your early MR, but still build a Cleaver before you finish an MR item.
    SWITCH YOUR BASKETBALL POSITION AWAY FROM CAPTAIN. GOT COMPLETELY DUMPSTERED THE WHOLE GAME, BUT GETTING CARRIED BY YOUR ADC AND WANT TO GO FULL PEEL, staying at their side the whole game? HERE.
    COVER YOUR JERSEY IN SPIKES, THAT LITERALLY CANNOT END BADLY. Enemy team is literally full AD? Thornmail works wonders.
    PAY 2400 GOLD FOR A GOOD COACH, WHO GETS YOU TO WORK OUT FOR MORE AD AND ARMOR, AND GIVES YOU A PEP TALK WHEN YOU FALL TO GET BACK UP. it's both gold and slot inefficient, but if you're on a huge killing spree with a ton of gold to spare and just want to not die and give shutdown gold at all costs, you can pick up a Guardian Angel. Should not be in a lategame build unless sold another item for it, and will sell this again to buy the other item back after the passive is used. Yes I know an item with both AD and armor sounds core on Darius, but new GA is for squishies. Guess who's not a squishy?
    wear a basketball outfit made of concrete, because screw it, you're here to win. If you're not completely ahead and want to go on Micheal Jordan's Teamfighting Adventure, this is your item. Extra armor and MR to make you unkillable, and if you can get the active off when ina 5v5 teamfight, you'll be tanky enough to survive all onslaught while you stack your passive on the enemy tank. By the time you have 5 stacks it will have worn off and you can flash to the backline and start dunking people. Even if it's still active at that time, your ult does true damage, and isn't reduced by the Stoneplate's active! I don't think it's quite the build-every-game some Darius players make it out to be, but in the right playstyle and situation it's godly.
    LITERALLY A COCAINE PATCH. You have enough resistances, you wanna go fast but didn't take ghost? Here's a righteous glory to catch up to that Zilean and murder him in all his timelines.
    Against a comp of 3 or more tanks, consider this as your second damage item, but don't get any besides this and Cleaver. WHEN AGAINST A BUNCH OF FAT GUYS, COAT YOUR BASKETBALL HOOP WITH VEGETABLES TO CLEAVE THROUGH THAT FAT TANKINESS.
    Against a Mundo but didn't take ignite? Enemy team a full lifesteal/regen comp? Take this and counter them all with one item. some guy was once banned from the nba for secretly covering the ball in this substance to drip acid into any cuts in the other team's hands, stopping them from healing. Darius is too awesome to get banned for it though.
    WARNING: RISKY TECH FOR FIGHTER BUILDS. IN THE SUPER LATEGAME, AFTER YOU HAVE ALL YOUR ITEMS FULLY COMPLETED AND STILL HAVE ENOUGH GOLD TO PUT YOU AT 2600 IF YOU SOLD BOOTS, SELL THEM FOR PHANTOM DANCER. THEMATICALLY, I GUESS IT'S A SURGERY TO MOVE MUSCLE FROM YOUR LEGS INTO YOUR ARMS? THE MOVEMENT SPEED FROM THIS AND DEADMAN'S STILL MAKES YOU FAST, AND ITS DUELING STATS ARE RIDICULOUS. EVEN IN THOSE BIG TEAMFIGHTS, YOU STACK YOUR PASSIVE FASTER THROUGH YOUR AUTOS.
    BOOM. HEADSHOT. ONLY BUILD THIS IF YOU JUST LIKE IMAGINING DARIUS WITH A GATLING GUN.
    JUST BECAUSE YOUR DUNK APPLIES SPELL-HIT EFFECTS DOESN'T MEAN THIS IS GOOD. FROZEN MALLET WOULD BE BETTER, AND EVEN THAT ITEM IS AWFUL ON DARIUS. YOU HAVE W, YOU HAVE E, YOU HAVE CLEAVER, YOU HAVE FLASH, YOU HAVE TIER 2 BOOTS, YOU HAVE DEADMAN'S, YOU MIGHT HAVE GHOST AND MIGHT HAVE RIGHTEOUS GLORY. IF ALL OF THAT CAN'T GET YOU TO CATCH SOMEONE AND KEEP THEM DOWN, FROZEN MALLET WON'T MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. RYLAI'S IS ONLY WORTH IT SITUATIONALLY ON YOUR AP DARIUS.
    Work out and learn to harness your rage. Some people don't like this item because the base AD increase doesn't add damage to your dunk, but due to how high your base ad is you're nearly obligated to build this item. 400 HP and 40AD is awesome for the same reason it is on Cleaver, The passive often catches people by surprise, and in total gives you 80 AD, which that ad alone makes this item gold efficient while active, let alone the massive shield. This item is an awesome mixed offense/defense item, and having just this and cleaver will be enough to send your damage through the roof.
    SOME MEN JUST WANT TO WATCH THE WORLD BURN.
    PAY THE REFF 2700 GOLD TO BRIBE HIM, MAKING HIM ALLOW YOU MORE ARMOR AND MR, AND TO LET FANS TO RUN IN FROM THE SEATS AND HELP YOU. IT'S AWFUL SINCE ITS MOST RECENT CHANGES, BUT IF YOU HAVE A SPLITPUSHING FETISH AND JUST FEEL A NEED TO BUY IT, FEEL FREE.
    THE LATEST IN JERSEY TECHNOLOGY, WITH PORES TO STOP SWEAT AND CRITS FROM EVER BOTHERING YOU AGAIN. A GREAT ITEM IF THE ENEMY TEAM HAS SEVERAL CRIT CHAMPIONS, LIKE HAVING BOTH A YASUO AND A JINX.
    WORK OUT, AND BECOME SO TANKY THAT JUST BEING NEAR YOU MAKES ENEMIES FAINT. ANOTHER ARMOR ITEM OPTION AGAINST HEAVY AD TEAMS. dOES LOTS OF DAMAGE IN LONG FIGHTS.
    YOU DON'T NEED THIS. IF YOU WANT DAMAGE AND CDR, GET A DEATH'S DANCE. IF YOU WANT SPEED, TAKE GHOST OR GET RIGHTEOUS GLORY. SO YEAH, DON'T GET THIS ON DARIUS ANYMORE. YOU'RE NOT A GHOST, YOU'RE A MAN!
    YE BE WORTHY IF YE BE 20/0
    take a 3500 gold course to study the art of basketball combat. since the buffs, this item is really good on Darius, giving 80 AD for his true damage dunk, cdr, sustain off both spells and autos, and the damage reduction can be recovered with q healing. plus the healing from this item is buffed by spirit visage, so you got some wombos going on there.
    IF ALL YOU WANNA DO IS BE TANKY AND SPLITPUSH, THEN PUT ON SOME GLOVES THAT MAKE ALL YOUR ATTACKS SHOOT FORCE FORWARD. GREAT WAVECLEAR, AND THE ACTIVE IS PRETTY DAMN GOOD IN DUELS, ESPECIALLY SINCE IT'S AN AA RESET TO STACK YOUR PASSIVE FASTER.
    YOU DON'T NEED IT, BUT I KNOW YOU WANT IT ANYWAY. SEE INFINITY EDGE.
    HERE'S YOUR CHEESE BUILD AGAINST LITERAL FULL AD COMPS. YOU HAVE LITTLE DAMAGE, BUT SO MUCH TANKINESS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER DIE. NOTE THE FROZEN HEART FOR THAT SWEET 40% CDR.
    HERE'S YOUR CHEESE BUILD AGAINST FULL AP. PRETTY TANKY AGAINST THEM, AND VERY OFFENSIVELY CAPABLE. YOU NORMALLY SHOULDN'T GO THAT OFFENSIVE ON DARIUS, BUT IF THEY WERE DUMB ENOUGH TO GO FULL AP IT SHOULD BE FINE.
    FOR THE CHOSEN ONE ONLY.
    WARNING: TOP SECRET AMPLIFICATION. THE TRINITY FORCE IS A LEGENDARY BASKETBALL MADE OF GOLD AND ENCHANTED WITH A HUNDRED CURSES AND A THOUSAND BLESSINGS. WEILD IT IF YE BE WORTHY. ALRIGHT HEAR ME OUT ON THIS. TRINITY FORCE IS AVAILABLE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CLEAVER, AND IT ACTUALLY WORKS. ALL THE STATS ON THIS ITEM SUIT DARIUS, AND THE SHEEN PROCS ARE AMAZING WITH DARIUS'S ENORMOUS BASE AD. ESPECIALLY IF YOU GET STERAK'S TOO. ONLY TAKE THIS ITEM UNDER ONE OF THE THREE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS: 1. THE ENEMY TEAM HAS NO TANKS. 2. THE ENEMY TEAM HAS ONLY ONE TANK WHO ISN'T TOP. 3. THE ENEMY TEAM HAS ONLY ONE TANK WHO IS TOP, BUT IS ALSO BEING DUMPSTERED BY YOU. IF ONE OF THOSE CONDITIONS ARE MET, YOU MAY USE TRINITY FORCE. ALTERNATIVELY, A FEW PLAY IT EXCLUSIVELY, AND STILL HAVE GOOD RESULTS. USE WHICHEVER YOU LIKE, BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW BLACK CLEAVER WAS MADE FOR DARIUS. THIS IS BETTER IF ALL YOU WANNA DO IS SPLITPUSH.
    MY USUAL FULL BUILD, PERSONALLY. LESS TANKY THAN SOME, BUT AWESOME AT SPLITPUSHING AND DUELING.
    GOING EVEN FURTHER INTO DUELING AND SPLITPUSHING. I CONSIDER THIS THE MOST OFFENSIVE BUILD PLAYABLE IN RANKED. WHETHER IT'S WITH CLEAVER OR TRIFORCE, I SELL BOOTS FOR PHANTOM DANCER.
    when it comes to the super late game, boots have been sold for another item and all items finished, there's nothing wrong with taking steroids. Iron is generally better, unless you both took Mercury Treads and don't have any lifesteal. Go for Wrath in that case, but in most cases Iron will be better.
    Basically just get this if you're going with a full tank build, but really want 40% CDR. This much extra HP is hard to come by after the tank update, and will greatly boost your Gargoyle Stoneplate.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Aatrox
    Medium
  • Akali
    Easy
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Ashe
    Medium
  • Bard
    Easy
  • Caitlyn
    Medium

VS

Aatrox

Medium
There's only five of his race? MAKE IT FOUR.

Old Aatrox, believe it or not, was one of the few champions who could 1v1 us early if he outplayed us hard enough. New Aatrox still can, but with overall higher strength.

Take ignite if you feel like it. It's not the necessary summoner spell against Aatrox it used to be. He still heals a decent amount, but due to not paying his own HP for Blood Price anymore, (SO WHY'S IT STILL CALLED BLOOD PRICE, HMM?) he's less heal-dependent. If he's dumb enough to build another lifesteal item beyond Blade of the Ruined King, then your ADC can build Mortal Reminder to apply Grievous Wounds, or your midlaner/support who took ignite can shit on his face with that.

Start Doran's Blade. You need the lifesteal to keep up with his sustain early, and frankly, the early dueling it gives as well. The good news about the rework is that they turned him into one of these "DAE OBVIOUS WINDOWS OF POWER" champs, like Darius. In essence, just like enemies should stay away from a Darius with Noxian Might, you don't try to fight an Aatrox with Bloodrush. His revive's on a way lower cooldown now, and dunking him while it's up gives you no reset.

That said, he's likely to get it while in mid-combat with you. That's fine - As long as he didn't start the fight with a full or nearly full bloodwell, he won't be able to use enough of its advantage. He'll still revive, but you'll have Noxian Might, and enough HP to slash down his second life too.

Later in the game he's about as useful in teamfights as you are, and he's probably equally strong when it comes to 1v1s. As long as someone on your team has Grievous Wounds though you'll just outclass him as a toplaner throughout the game.

Early Ninja Tabi is a smart idea. He is an AA-reliant champ after all. Other than that, just build your Cleaver (Or Trinity Force?) into Deadman's Plate with your normal/situational build and you'll be fine.

Fun Kit Abuse: You can E to cancel his Q. Pull him down from the heavens and strike him down. Even in combat, if he tries to 1v1 you without initiating with Q, save your E during the fight for when he either tries to use it for more damage or as an escape. If you're one of the weirdos who likes to max W second, I know I can't convince you to change your ways permanently, but at least do it in the Aatrox matchup since he'll build armor if he's smart, and you want a lower CD to cancel all his Dark Flights.

If you see him first picked though, pick Teemo instead. The little yordle just dumpsters him in so many ways.

VS

Akali

Easy
She wishes to restore balance. Too bad she's against an unstoppable dunking machine.

Doran's Blade versus Shield is pretty much up to preference. I take Doran's Blade out of habit.

Levels 1-3, you own this place. W-start level 1 cheese recommended. Top-lane Akali basically wants to play poke/farm and hope you're low enough to all in the instant she hits 6. So you need to punish her every time she tries this stuff. When she Qs you, Q her back. She goes melee to farm, yank her in and smash her upside the head with a basketball made of bedrock. Level 2 is the perfect time to to do this since she won't have her W yet. At level 3 she'll probably take it to try to use it as an escape in case she gets caught. No matter. Pulling an Akali out of her shroud is pretty satisfying, not gonna lie.

The sustain from her passive is okay, but the problem is that she needs to whack minions to make it work, which puts her in range of your Q. You'll do more damage than she healed for and you'll get a nice heal for yourself too. You really want to freeze the wave here. If you shove it under her turret, that lets her hit minions for sustain, and due to her second half of her passive, her Q and E, she's pretty good at farming under tower, even early. Simply because you're Darius your lane will slowly push no matter what, but that's okay. She can have a little bit of farm. If she tries to melee farm caster minions, pull her in and AA-W. She'll panic W away if she's smart.

Levels 4/5 are still like 1-3, but her Q procs can do some genuine damage. On one hand, this means she can actually bite you back if you pull her in and fight her. On the other hand, you can be baiting her into thinking she can 1v1 you in a long fight. She can't. Leveled Q is too much damage for her to deal with and she won't yet have the MS to dodge it. If she dodges it with W, pull her out of it with Apprehend and bring the pain.

Level 6 is when Akali hits her powerspike. I'd argue she has the strongest level 6 powerspike of any champion in the game. If you're at anything less than 75% HP she'll jump you, and just might win. I mean this, play carefully at 6. You won't yet have MR. If you're still level 5 while she's 6, definitely don't try to fight her. If you do have your dunk, you should be fine unless you mess it up badly. Good Akali players will save a charge of their R to dodge your Q with, so be wary of that.

I recommend rushing Cowl. I know it sucks to not immediately be going for Phage, but remember: Akali is an assassin. All she's trying to do is get one or two early kills, then roam and kill everyone else. You get Cowl, she can't do that. She'll still think she can though,and suddenly you have 300. Whether you start building Cleaver after that or finish Spirit Visage is probably up to preference, personally I finish SV if their jungler is AP, otherwise leave it as a Cowl and go Cleaver > Tabi > SV.

Lategame you have way better teamfighting, so you pretty much stomp her the whole game as long as you don't give her an early kill. If you do, play safe, and when teamfights come around you might wanna act as a peelbot for carries if she got fed.

Fun Kit Abuse: Your bleed is a DoT. She gets revealed while in her shroud whenever she takes damage. Do the math.

VS

Anivia

Medium
You're on your last life. I promise it'll be short.

Yes, toplane Anivia is a thing. A tiny, fringe thing. BUT GOD-DAMNED NASTY.

Theoretically she shits on Darius, so I might normally put her as hard, but I'm leaving it on medium on a simple ground: she's so damn easy to gank. Plus if you E she has no way to get out unless she can stun.

Unless you're gonna try for an early kill to win the lane, start Doran's Shield. If you just wanna charge in there while autistically screaming for the First Blood, totally start Doran's Blade. You glorious bastard.

Start Q, then either take W level 2 to help with CSing or E to go for the kill if she mispositions.

Her Q > E chunks you. Seriously. You're gonna wanna rush MR here. At least a Cowl. At most, rush Spirit Visage with Mercury Treads. You don't need to go that far unless the jungler ignores you.

The jungler really shouldn't ignore you though. Anivia's such an easy target, especially in top lane where the lane is longer. Her W isn't big enough early to stop your jungler from coming in through the river. Any jungler works against her! Assassin? Great, burst her down. Tank? Great, lock her down while Darius brings havoc.

You actually have an advantage at 6. She'll use ult to farm/push. Just farm using your Q while not going inside her ult zone. When she pushes the wave, you can set up a gank super easily.

Lategame she has more utility and better teamfighting than you, but if you do this right, she should have a negative score and not actually do enough damage.

Fun Kit Abuse: You can pull her in through her wall. Tilts them super hard, especially since their own wall is now preventing their escape.

VS

Annie

Easy
Refugees who fled Noxus. Punish them with the murder of their firstborn child.

You'll usually only get this if the toplaner feels so screwed that they demand a laneswap with mid. But trust me, this happens sometimes.

Annie's fairly short-ranged, but she is ranged. Start either Doran's Blade or Shield, and level 1 start Q. Slash her with it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Her MS is slow and she has no mobility, so you're getting free kills level 1. Abuse that. Especially since she can't stack her stun fast enough.

Her stun being up isn't even super relevant. Especially if you took Ghost, it often won't be enough to save her from getting dunked at 6.

That said, do be careful if she hits 6 first though, her burst is pretty damn impressive. Get an early Cowl and you should be fine after that.

If she zones you by holding her stun, get the jungler to come over there and murder her. Say it's a free kill. Junglers love free kills.

She literally cannot kill you once you have Spirit Visage, especially since you poking with Q gives you more healing. If you're still worried about the CC, Mercs are viable as long as they have multiple AP champs.

Abuse their lack of tanks. Trinity Force bursts her hard, but you might want Cleaver for the longer Phage procs. Up to you.

Fun Kit Abuse: Her E doesn't lower true damage. CHOP THAT JAILBAIT IN HALF.

VS

Ashe

Medium

Basically just see Anivia if ever run into one. Obviously a pain if you get no gank, but easily gankable, and if you do manage to pull her into melee you can easily win trades.

VS

Bard

Easy

BWOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

VS

Caitlyn

Medium

Ever played against a Caitlyn top as a champion with no gapcloser or long-ranged CC?


I'm putting this one at a medium. It's hard in a vacuum, but if the Cait is dumb enough to push, which most are, it's a bit easier. That combined with the fact that she is still fairly easy to gank makes her a medium.

I haven't played against her a ton in top admittedly, she's a rare anti-juggernaut.

TAKE GHOST. Take ghost and you'll be fine. Get early Tabis and you'll be able to resist poke, catch her out when ghost is up and murder her. Whenever you don't have tier 2 boots and ghost up it can be risky. If you have both though, you can shit on even god Caitlyns.

Fun Kit Abuse: You can cancel her E with yours. Lul.
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