***This is a work in progress. The core of the guide is already here, however, so feel free to leave comments about information, clarity, etc.; they are much appreciated.***
So yeah, Fiddles just got remade. A lot of what is in this guide is still good advice; I'm working on updating it. I don't think he's in as bad shape as some people seem to think.
I use a 9/0/21 build on Fiddlesticks. In the Offensive Tree, the important masteries are Plentiful Bounty, Sorcery, and Archaic Knowledge. More Smite is always nice, as is CDR and Magic Pen.
Twenty-one points into the Utility Tree is a standard move on junglers, at least for me. We pick up Improved Ghost, as well as a good deal of sustainability in the jungle with all of the regen masteries. As Fiddlesticks is relatively slow, more movement speed is welcome (movement speed es buff, es gud). The Utility Tree, combined with Sorcery and our runes, gives us ~15% CDR to begin with, which puts a nice dent in Fiddle's fairly long cooldowns. We can max that later with Golem Buff and items.
TL;DR: Caster + Jungler = 9/0/21.
This is a fairly decent change from what you might have used before, so it requires a little explanation.
The magic pen is really important because Fiddlesticks has generally bad ratios; we'll be acquiring more of it in masteries and items.
Armor yellows are more or less neccessary to start at blue; without them (or with a mix of these and mana regen runes) things can get a little dicey. If you're guaranteed help at blue, you can go for mana runes instead, although his mana costs continue to get buffed.
CDR is nice as most of Fiddlestick's cooldowns aren't particularly short; you could feasibly change these, although I wouldn't personally recommend it.
Summoner Spells+ OR
Smite is completely neccessary for jungling. Let me say that again. Smite is completely neccessary for jungling. Yes, you can survive the jungle without it. No, it doesn't improve your leet deeps. It does, however, improve your jungling speed and reliability. Don't let that statement make you think this a risk vs. reward thing, because it's not. This is a completely-screwing-your-jungle-over vs. reward thing. If you have blue sniped at the beginning or you get ganked (or both), you will have to lane for a few levels, which sort of defeats the point of you jungling in the first place. It also means that up to two opponents will have Golem Buff, which is going to piss off your team mates when they get super-harassed during the lane phase.
Ghost also requires a little bit of justification. The main question here is "Why take Ghost when you can take Flash?". This is more of a case of personal preference than Smite; I generally take Ghost because it's more broadly useful. It's been my experience that in situations where Flash is desirable, Ghost works well too. You can use it to Crowstorm from farther away, to keep up with faster opponents during Crowstorm, and also to escape.
TL;DR: Take Smite stupid. Ghost is good, but Flash is also okay.
Nearby enemy champions have their magic resistance reduced by 10.
While not very flashy, Dread is awesome. The important thing to remember is that it has the same range as the blink on Crowstorm. This means that if you're setting up a gank (or just hiding in a bush), your opponent will know you're around if he's being careful because his Magic Resistance will mysteriously drop.
Strikes a target enemy unit with fear, causing it to flee in terror for 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 second(s).
Cooldown 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10seconds
Cost 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 / 125mana
Terrify is arguably the best ability Fiddles has, and somehow also one of the least bitched-about. At max level, a three second disable is huge. They're basically silenced + slowed inside Event Horizon. Terrify is good to ensure a full-length duration Drain, to disable someone inside Crowstorm, and in general useful anywhere crowd control effects are. You'll want this maxed early.
Drains 50 / 75 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+40% of ability power) health each second from target unit and gives it to Fiddlesticks. Lasts up to 6 seconds.
Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120mana
This one is a little more obvious. Drain is your first skill, and allows you to jungle in the first place. You can also use it to push someone out of a lane if you need to gank before level six. Since the last patch, this ability has lost some of its healing capability, so you can't always rely on it for tanking a lot of damage, particularly early on.
E: Dark Wind
Strikes an enemy target and then bounces to a nearby enemy unit. Deals 100 (+35% of ability power) magic damage and silences for 1.2 sec for each strike.
Can bounce up to 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 times and may strike the same target multiple times.
Cost 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130mana
This is more useful for the silence than anything else; it always feels nice to Crowstorm -> Dark Wind -> Zhonya's Hourglass a team. It doesn't really deal enough damage to make it more of a priority than Terrify. Since its rebalance, this skill is basically now a 1-point wonder. Defintely take it at level 2, as it speeds up your jungle a fair bit. Also sweet with Rylai's.
A murder of crows flock wildly around Fiddlesticks for 5 seconds, dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+35% of ability power) magic damage each second to all enemy units in the area. This has a 2 second channel duration and teleports Fiddlesticks to target location.
Cost 150 / 200 / 250mana
Crowstorm, in addition to a lot of CC, is what lets Fiddlesticks gank so hard at six. It has good base damage, but a low ratio, so stupid high AP isn't really what we're going for. The general idea is to channel out of sight, blink to your targets, then CC them hard. There are many prime locations for Crowstom channeling, which will be pointed out later.
Starting with Drain is essential, as it is the reason you can jungle. I grab Dark Wind next for extra leet deeps for PvE, then a second point into Drain right before I grab Lizard Buff. Drain at this point can deal some decent damage; if you encounter an enemy jungler eating your creeps, or maybe even trying to gank you, Drain will be enough to push them out (this may not be true since the patch, although I expect it should be). If you have Terrify already, they may have to blue pill. At levels four and five grab Terrify, as it facilitates ganking, and of course grab Crowstorm at six. From here, I normally max Terrify, then Drain, and finally Dark Wind, taking points in Crowstorm whenever possible.
Maxing Terrify first gives you relatively quick access to a really long disable (3 seconds at five points), which helps you Drain longer and Crowstorm harder. We ignore more points in Drain because, well, people can run away or cancel it fairly easily. Max Dark Wind last.
TL;DR: W->E->W->Q->Q->R R>Q>W>E.
Item BuildsStarting Items: , +
This isn't set in stone. Accidentally grabbing + won't kill your jungle.
These are items I (try to) buy every game. The first time I go back to shop after jungling, I prioritize for movement speed, wards, then starting my build. are a nice early grab if possible, as they will increase your damage output and ensure you're faster than whoever you're ganking. Wards are clearly important in general; however, they are particularly important to you for several reasons:
- You're moving around a lot in the jungle
- You're sneaking around a lot to secure ganks
- You need someone to watch your back if you're taking dragon solo
Another good early purchase is ; other than the nice caster stats, it provides some early health for a particularly squishy caster. You can sell this later for an or .
is generally the first "big" item that I finish. It's in the build primarily for its defensive capabilites; additional armor is beneficial due to Fiddlestick's low range and the active doesn't cancel Crowstorm (once it's already channeled. Don't activate it while channeling anything). For a character that has to be in the middle of everthing, it's simply too good to pass up.
has a really nice synergy with Fiddle's abilities. Primarily, it makes it harder to run from Crowstorm and Drain, and it also is crazy on Dark Wind. The health is also a nice bonus.
Vs. Magical Damage:
Vs. Physical Damage:
These are some more situational items. You will generally always want either or , although more than likely not both. Keep in mind when deciding how much magic resist the enemy champs are buying. If they're stacking it like crazy, you'll probably want a regardless. One of these two items will replace if you decide to buy it. If you're facing a really heavy AP team (think 4 Annies + Galio) then you might want to add either or. Spirit Visage is a good cheap item which provides nice anti-caster stats (MR + Health) as well as CDR and the buff to healing abilities (). Banshee's Veil is probably the better option though, especially if you're maintaining control of Golem Buff; eating a stun right after you Crowstorm blows. It also lets you buy an early , which is never really a bad thing.
As and are core, you shouldn't have problems with AD champions, particularly if they're melee (think + ). However, if need be, is a relatively cheap option that also provides CDR. For the rich and fed, is a surprisingly decent choice.
JunglingThe basic gameplan for jungling is fairly simple: gon' drain sooooo hard.
When you spawn, make sure your team is guarding the entrance to your jungle. As already mentioned, getting ganked or losing blue will ruin your jungle. You want to start at the wolf camp; you have enough time from the point they spawn to drain one of the small wolves to death before Golem spawns. Drain the big golem, Smiting as neccessary, then finish off his friends. Get a point into Dark Wind. Finish off the wolf camp, then head to wraiths. Drain + Dark Wind them all, putting a point into Drain again. Smite should be ready, so head to Lizard and finish him off. Take double golem next, putting your fourth point into Terrify.
Now it is decision making time. You should be at full health or close, as Fiddle's jungle is super easy. If possible, you should try to get in a gank. Top and mid make good choices, as you should be ganking 2v1, making it less likely you'll get CC'd and have drain cancelled. Ganking bot is nice also because at four you can take Dragon, if a little slowly, with their help.
If everyone is pushed at this point, you have a few options. If no one is MIA, you can try and steal some jungle creeps from the enemy jungler; I generally try and take their blue if it's available. You can also just stay in your jungle as creeps respawn. Otherwise, warn the lanes that you're shopping and that you're available to gank soon so they'll let their lane move closer to the tower.
I don't take red after the first time, unless absolutely no one else wants it. Let everyone know you can help them grab it if neccessary. I try and keep blue for the CDR the whole game; if there is another caster on your team that's actually mana hungry ( or for example) let them have it as soon as possible, particularly if you're in position to steal the enemy blue buff.
Starting at blue (well, sort of at wolves) really shouldn't be the only option. I've been trying Wolves -> Double Golems -> Wraiths -> Shop for boots -> Golem buff then proceeding as normal. So far it's been a fair bit slower for me; however, I've heard of others having a lot of success with this and I'm going to be trying it some more.
Team FightsParticipating in teamfights is a three-step process for Fiddlesticks:
- Scout out a location to channel Crowstorm
- Wind up Crowstorm -> Crowstorm into an already in-progress fight
- Crowd Control Everything
You'll notice that you didn't initiate the fight; this is the most desirable outcome. If you initiate and your team is disorganized, you will die. If you initiate and your team is organized, you may still just die. The goals of jumping into an already committed fight is that (hopefully) some relevant CC has been used up, (hopefully) the fight is less mobile (more likely to hit a relevant ult), and (hopefully) the enemy is more engaged in their leet deeps than in their surroundings.
To get to that point, however, you need to find a good place to channel. This is going to be easier the more vision of the map you have, so make sure that you (and everyone else) have been dropping wards in relevant places, and also make sure to communicate with any teammates who have Clairvoyance. Theres nothing worse than finding a good place to channel, only to encounter that MIA Soraka midway through. The next section will have more information about prime locations to ult.
So. You've found your prime location, you've executed the perfect ult, and e'ryone's dying e'rywhere. What next? Well, you prioritize threats and runaways. As soon as you land your ult, you want to drop silence + fear as quickly as possible. Prime targets are carries, as well as any moderately squishy champ that is particularly low in health. Also, don't forget that Terrify and Dark Wind can be used to save your teammates; if an enemy carry is running after your squishy caster, Terrify him. If Nunu (or any champion with a channeled ability) is ulting, both of these abilities will cancel it. Ruin his day.
This is a solid place to channel when ganking bot, and illustrates another important facet of Crowstorm: you want to trap your targets. In the picture above, you're going to land between your target and their tower, effectively making them choose to run through your ult or towards your allies.
Crowstorming over walls is a great tactic in a lot of situations. Here, you would be preparing for your team to dive. However, you can Crowstorm onto your own tower as well. Just be sure you'll survive the engagement (take note of CC on both sides; do you have Zhonya's? ). In general, Crowstorm -> CC -> ZHonya's is the only way you'd want to initiate a fight.
The final pic shows my favorite place to gank mid from. While the sidebrush is also a good place (if you can land behind them, or get a stun), channeling at the enemy wraiths lets you gank when the lane is pushed a bit more. Similar to ganking bot from the brush, you're trying to force them to run through your ult or towards your solo mid. Note that you will in all likelihood be in tower range, so a lot of care is required here.