Introduction**[S3]**: This guide is still undergoing updates as of 5/11/13. I expect the updates to be completed by the end of this weekend. I am planning to rewrite the jungling section. This is the only remaining significant update.
This is a jungle fiddlesticks guide. I will assume that the reader has a fair level of knowledge about the game. Thus my terminology may not be intelligible to a reader who lacks a fair bit of experience with this game. If this applies to you, I suggest that you play more League of Legends before attempting to read this guide.
If you can master fiddle, you will have a lot of control over your games. He is a strong jungler(although he is mana dependent) with great dragon control and unbelievably strong ganks after level 6. With his ultimate he is incredibly strong in team fights and without it he still brings a lot of utility to his team. Fiddle also has great control of baron nash. Once you have a deathcap, a blue buff, and ~ level 12, you can grab an ally and 2-man nash really effectively. He brings a lot to a team.
Fiddle is a really difficult champion to learn. He is fairly easy to master mechanically, but a great deal of decision making skill goes into playing him. You have to learn to make a lot of decisions very quickly. It takes awhile to develop an intuition about how to play him, but the result is extremely rewarding.
Hello friends, I am Entheomancer. I reached a top elo of 2240 elo season one using fiddle(and nocturne). In season two I reached a top elo of 2278 playing jungle. I haven't done too much in season 3 other than reaching diamond 5 on a smurf, but I recently got a request to update this guide while ingame as fiddle. Moreover I noticed that the other featured fiddle guide differs greatly from my own playstyle. So here is my method of playing fiddle.
Are you afraid?
Shoutout to Honver, my fiddle sensei. I love you gurl!!!
MasteriesTake 21 offense, it's really good for closing kills when you gank. The 21 utility approach allows for more ganking, and thus more opportunities to push towers, but I've found that I close the kill much less frequently using 21 utility; and that pisses me off.
For the 9 points in utility, obviously you take the buff duration mastery for your blue buffs. I also get 2 in the activated item cd because your hourglass cooldown is extremely important, even when you don't have your ult.
RunesReds - Mpen is standard for casters. It will make you scale a lot better with AP.
Yellows - Need armor for the jungle!
Blues - Cdr blues are far and away the best choice for fiddle. I think flat cdr is a better choice than scaling because they help a lot with early buffs/dragons and allow you to gank more frequently with your ultimate. Alternatives are: flat AP, scaling AP, scaling cdr.
Quints - Flat AP quints give you a good early game balance in conjunction with cdr blues. They are really good at boosting your damage for early ganks. There are a lot of Alternatives for quints, since quints are versatile. To list a few: Move speed(if you feel like being really cute), Magic pen, health, % exp gain.
Smite: Every jungler should take smite, even if you do not need it to clear the jungle. You need it for buff control and dragon/baron control.
Flash: Flash is essential for escaping certain situations and re-positioning your ultimate. Sometimes you can use it offensively in conjunction with your basic abilities(ie. flash then fear/drain), but mostly you want to try to save it for your ultimate or for escaping.
Nearby enemy champions have their magic resistance reduced by 10.
Explanation:If you are bushed and standing close enough to an enemy, this passive will give the enemy a debuff, which they can see above their skill bar. That is about as far as you have to think this passive through. This rarely creates an issue though, as most players would not notice the debuff quickly enough to react. Also, the debuff shows on nearby enemy minions if you click on them; this is relevant if you are ganking through a lane bush, although again, most people are not observant enough for this to matter.
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 / 10 seconds
Cost 65/75/85/95/105 mana
Explanation:This is essentially a 3 second stun at max level. If you can manage to sneak into an enemy squishy's zone(eg. maybe because they feel safe on their tower), this skill becomes a kill button as long as you have 2 or more allies around. When you are using this skill offensively in a team fight, you want to try to fear valuable targets, such as carries. Use this ability IMMEDIATELY after using your ultimate. This will allow you to isolate and kill a valuable target while zoning(or killing) the rest of their team.
Drains 50 / 75 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+50% of ability power) health each second from target unit and gives 60/65/70/75/80% of it to Fiddlesticks. Lasts up to 6 seconds.
Cooldown 12 seconds
Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana
Explanation:Drain is not about when you start channeling drain. Drain is all about when you stop channeling it. You need to learn when to cancel a drain. Enemies like to punish you for standing still. Watch them, and cancel the drain right before they can get you. Obvious things to note: Try to channel drain while you are waiting for your fear and dark wind to come off cooldown. drain gives you good dragon/nash control. Drain allows you to sustain yourself. Drain gives you really strong 1v1 presence. Drain can be a good followup to your opponents using their cc (as they will not be able to cancel your drain until their cc is up again). Try to drain valuable targets in team fights because drain does a lot of damage.
E: Dark Wind
Strikes an enemy target and then bounces to a nearby enemy unit. Deals 65/90/115/140/165 (+45% of ability power) magic damage and silences for 1.2 sec for each strike.
Can bounce up to 5 times and may strike the same target multiple times.
Cooldown 15/14/13/12/11 seconds
Cost 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 mana
Explanation:Use this whenever your opponents give you the chance. Damage is damage, and the cooldown is short enough that you will not need to worry about not having it. Use this ability after fear but before drain when you use your ultimate. The silence will help keep them from insta-killing you and can prevent them from flashing away if they are really slow with their flash. This skill is a 1 point wonder.
A murder of crows flock wildly around Fiddlesticks for 5 seconds, dealing 125/225/325 (+45% of ability power) magic damage each second to all enemy units in the area. This has a 1.5 second channel duration and teleports Fiddlesticks to target location.
Cooldown 150/140/130 seconds
Cost 150 / 200 / 250 mana
Explanation:CACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACAWCACA. This ability is your bread and butter. Try to use it on clumps of enemies when they are not expecting it. Usually you do not want to initiate with your ult. You want to allow your tank to initiate so that you can dps the enemy team after they have used their initial burst. Otherwise you risk getting insta-killed by the enemy team. A lot of times it is okay to use this on 1 to 2 opponents during the teamfight phase. If you can isolate and kill one opponent with it, your team should be able to win a 4v5 afterwards. Don't be too hesitant to use this ability. The best way to learn how to crowstorm is to use crowstorm.
Item BuildsStarting items:
(follow up with ASAP)
gives you the highest overall damage boost on your first trip. I've heard from a few sources that gives you more damage at levels 1 and 2. However, you will not stop jungling after level 2. Typically you will jungle through to level 4 or 5 on your first trip, sometimes much longer. Moreover, the amp tome start doesn't allow you to buy a sight ward or a mana potion, which will come in handy if your blue gets stolen. If the enemy team has a strong invade, you should expect an invade and tell your team to expect an invade. In this case, use your ward to scout for the invade and instruct your support to ward your blue if they invade.
The optimal item build for any given game is going to depend on a huge number of factors (such as: how much gold you are getting, which enemy damage dealers are threats, what utility your team needs, etc.). I will provide an example build that will be applicable in most games. Variations from this item build will be solely at your discretion. As such, I will provide analysis of an extensive list of viable items for fiddle, so that you can gain a foundation for itemizing on fiddle. I strongly encourage variation and experimentation.
: USE THE ACTIVE. I recommend getting this item every game. It is extremely cost effective on fiddle if it is used properly. If you bait your enemies into attacking you while you have this active, you can essentially nullify their dps for 2 full seconds, allowing your team to clean them up. One suggestion that I have relating to mindset: when you buy this item, plan to use the active in advance. You should visualize your use of this item while you are channeling your ult. Thinking about using it in advance is infinitely better than simply remembering to use it. USE THE ACTIVE.
I recommend getting this item every game, since it builds out of spirit stone. The main question is: when should you get it? Generally this item should be completed first or second depending on the game. You can delay it if you need magic resistance after getting hourglass. If you are doing very well in exp and you want to try a sneaky early baron, then this item as your first item and a helpful top laner can enable you to do that.
Prioritize this item based on how much of a threat opposing magic damage dealers are.
Usually you will have at least one other magic damage dealer on your team. If that is not the case, then you should skip this item. That being said, magic resistance is the essential stat on this item.
Prioritize this item based on how much of an effect your ult is going to have in team fights.
Fiddle has extremely potent AP scaling(given that his ratios are all applied 5 or 6 times). As such, this item will make you an offensive powerhouse. I wouldn't recommend this item if you are having trouble hitting your ult(or if your enemies have good mitigation, such as janna, for your ult). This item is much more cost effective when you are able to land your ult.
Prioritize this item when your team has 2 other casters.
If your team has two other magic damage dealers, this item can be extremely cost effective. However, if both of the other magic damage dealers on your team are getting this item, you should skip it, since it will not be as cost effective, and you don't really need the sustain. WOTA does have defensive application, in that if you deal a lot of magic damage, it will heal you a lot. In particular, it can provide quite a bit of healing during your ult. WOTA also helps with baron control. You can easily tank baron with the extra healing from WOTA. Ultimately, though, this item is nonessential.
Prioritize this item when team fights are long and you are not an offensive threat(ie. you are having trouble landing or resolving your ult).
This item has two essential considerations: firstly, it does not give you any offense, secondly, it mitigates opposing CC very well. If you find that you are not an offensive threat or you are getting focused down, this item is an ideal choice. There is no sense in scaling your offense when you will not be able to help your team with it. Instead, you should get a defensive item and help your team by being tanky. Defense is good when team fights are long, since fiddle is a really efficient self sustainer and defense keeps him alive.
Prioritize this item when you are an offensive threat and your opponents have high magic resist.
Be aware of your opponents' magic resistance. This item is very cost effective against enemies with high magic resist. Thus you usually do not want to get it until the late game, and you should only get it if your opponents are stacking MR. Similar to deathcap, you only want to get this item if you are able to be an offensive threat.
There are other viable items on fiddle, and I will leave you to experiment and figure out when it is reasonable to prioritize them.
One notable item that I excluded from this list is Rylai's Crystal Scepter. I have not done adequate testing with that item to provide effective analysis. Furthermore, I think that Rylai's is less cost effective on fiddle than all of the items I have listed here. I have provided an explanation for that in the comments.
Jungling and Early GameBasic Path
I am going to divide the path into larger categories with explanations and step by step instructions. I will summarize the path initially without explanation in order to give the reader a quick reference. Execute the path in the order that it appears in the summary(top: first; bottom: last).
(1) Blue Buff
(2) Red Buff
(1) Blue Buff
A) Wolves: Your team needs to auto attack these so that you can clear them in time to start blue. It is ideal for you to draw the agro yourself, since wolves run quite fast, meaning that you can waste time trying to chase them down. If your team does not give you any help, simply clear the large wolf and come back to this camp after blue.
B) Blue: Allow your team to leash this for you. If your team does not attack the buff several times, it could require a second drain. Use smite to last hit the blue. This prevents blue from being stolen by an enemy smite. Skill dark wind (E) as soon as the blue dies, and use it on the small creeps to clear them more quickly. You may want to activate your potion during this fight if your team did not give you a very good leash(or no leash at all).
Starting at blue is necessary as fiddle, since buffs are much more valuable than basic camps in terms of exp and fiddle is extremely mana dependent. In order to optimize efficiency, you have to clear the wolves before you start blue. This will generally require you to communicate with your team and instruct them to help you with wolves and then leash blue(At higher elo, this can be done with a simple ping. At lower elo, you may have to type in chat.). You will get counterjungled at blue from time to time. I will summarize how to deal with that later in this section.
(2) Red Buff
A) Red: Lead with E and stand in the bush near red while you drain. I like to pull the red entirely into the bush, so that my opposing jungler will have a harder time spotting red if he/she comes through while I am taking it. If you do red immediately after blue, you will not have smite. But smite is unnecessary if you started with an hp potion and have correct runes. You may decide to skill Q and gank at this point.
B) Golems: You will hit level 3 here.
C) Red: In this case, smite will come off cooldown in time for red and you will be level 3, so your red is a bit safer in those regards.
I suggest taking red first because, even though you will not have smite, the timing at which you would take red is really unconventional, and is thus protected from counter jungling(ie. no conventional counter jungling path would put your opponent at your red at that time). Furthermore, red will put you to level 3 and allow you to skill fear (Q) and gank immediately afterwards. This allows for a very fast level 3 gank with red and blue while still being the fastest way to farm exp. Option 2 allows you to take red more safely, with 2 points in drain and smite off cooldown. If you don't have the right runes, Option 2 might be preferable.
You will have to option to gank after each camp once you have put one skill point into fear(Q). You have the option to skill fear at level 3, and you need to decide whether or not do so while you are taking the camp that will get you level 3. To do this, you need to be aware of the lanes. Watch the laning that is taking place in nearby lanes, and decide whether or not a ganking is possible.
I will state the obvious here: you need to strike a balance between jungling and ganking. Generally, you should not gank while you have a buff up, since buffs are extremely valuable, although this is not always true. Because basic camps become more valuable over time, it is usually okay to let the 3 basic camps sit there while you gank knowing that you can clear them afterwards.
There is a lot of variation that goes into a solid jungle fiddle style. As such, in order to jungle fiddle properly, you need to be acutely aware of the status of all of your lanes. If you don't trust your map awareness or your ability to judge whether or not a gank will be successful, I encourage you to simply rely on the path that I have prescribed. But keep in mind that in order to jungle fiddle at an extremely high level, you will have to develop a good sense of when you should gank.
Tips on pre-6 ganking execution(copied from comments): WALK TOWARDS YOUR OPPONENT'S RETREAT PATH, not towards your opponent. (Walking towards them would be like sending a pass to a retriever's current location, rather than towards where they are going). Lead with fear, use auto attacks(assuming you have red buff) and dark wind while you position yourself DIRECTLY IN YOUR OPPONENT'S RETREAT PATH (ie. move, attack, move, attack, move; this takes a little bit of mechanical precision). Then use drain when you are DIRECTLY IN YOUR OPPONENT'S RETREAT PATH. If you couldn't get great positioning, you can drain them as they are getting away just for the hell of it. Also, PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING to alert your allies. Make sure your allies are capable of going aggressive before you move(ie. there is not a big snowball of creeps for your opponents).
Dealing with the Counter Jungle
Fiddle is a blue dependent jungler. Thus counter jungling can really shut him down. I will give a few suggestions about how to deal with counter jungling:
1) Ask your teammates to scout, so you know if your opponents are coming in.
2) If you feel like the opposing team has a strong level 1, you can use your ward on the small brush in river near your blue. This will let you know if your opponents are coming without putting your teammates in danger.
3) If your opponents come in and you feel like your team is capable of fighting them off, you can use your ward on your own blue brush. Vision of that brush will make it very easy to force your opponents to retreat.
4) If you feel like you can defend your blue, but are worried that your opponents could steal your red, you can ward your red. Alternatively, you can ward an entrance to your jungle that an opponent might take on the way to your red. I have afforded my team first blood this way in high elo.
5) If your opponents invade your blue and there is absolutely no way to scare them off, you have three new starting options: (A)their blue, (B)your red, and (C)their red. Decide quickly which one you will do:
5A) Usually they will expect you to try their blue, but often times they cannot stop you if they are stacked at your blue. Ask your team for help if you go for their blue, but remember that it is dangerous and, so be ready to flash away if your opponents come.
5B) Its is very safe to start at your own red in this case, but of course, this is the least rewarding action, since your opponents would probably not have tried your red anyway, so you aren't taking anything away from them.
5C) Your opponents will not expect this at all, but you have to be sneaky, and you should not do this unless you are sure that your opponents are staying for your blue. If you do this, base immediately and sprint towards your own red so that it does not get stolen. Remember that your team can give away your position on this one if they are careless, so encourage them to be careful.
If you went with B or C, you need to get 2-3 mana potions when you go back to spawn to sustain your jungling. Extra mana is costly, but you will need the sustain in order to jungle effectively.
6) Do not panic. This is paramount. Remember that when your opponents do steal your blue together, they are sacrificing lane exp in order to do so. Don't think that you are losing horribly if you lose blue. Just relax and think clearly about how you can farm exp as efficiently as possible.
~The ability to play through a disadvantage is essential for playing fiddlesticks well.~
GET A PINK WARD AND PLACE IT DIRECTLY AT THE ENTRANCE TO DRAGON BEFORE ATTEMPTING DRAGON
Dragon and nash are a huge part of fiddle's potential. He can solo both of them extremely effectively in comparison to most other champions. So lets start with the dragon:
Fiddle can solo dragon starting at level 5 with rank 3 drain and a blue buff. Whenever you take dragon, you want to make sure that you take it from an optimal position. That usually means that you need to leash it out of its cove before you start spamming drain. Having good positioning while you are taking dragon will allow you to retreat if enemies come to terror you.
So there are 4 positions from which you can take dragon:
Position 1: Only use this position when you are on the top right(aka purple) team. If enemies come from either mid or bot, you can simply run back up the ramp towards your blue camp. This is generally a really safe position, and is the reason why purple side has an advantage on dragon.
Position 2: Only use this position when you are on the bottom left(aka blue) team AND HAVE FLASH UP. You would use this position if both mid and bot are pushed for the enemies, but you do not think that your enemies have not warded the dragon yet (maybe because they haven't based or because it doesn't seem like they bought a ward). If enemies come, you can simply flash over the wall towards your red jungle. Be careful if you see both lanes leave immediately though, as your opponent from mid might know what you are doing and simply go behind the dragon cove to terror you after you flash over. Sometimes it is worth it to just flash right away if both mid and bot enemies react immediately. If you take dragon from this position, you are basically betting your flash that your opponents did not ward dragon yet. A lot of times, that bet will pay off.
Position 3: You can use this position when you are on either team, although if you are on the top right(aka purple) team, you can position yourself farther from the wall to put yourself closer to your retreat path. You can use this position if your ally is pushed up in mid(thus preventing mid lane enemies from coming to terror you). If enemies come, Use the retreat path towards wraiths if you are on the blue team, otherwise use the northward retreat path.
Position 4: Only use this position when you are on the blue team. You can use this position if your allies are pushed up in bot lane(thus preventing bot lane enemies from coming to terror you). If your mid lane enemy comes, you can simply take the retreat path towards down your triangle bush.
If you have allies helping you with dragon, stand directly next to it so that you are tanking it.
Fiddle is really good at taking nash. If you have a deathcap and a blue buff, then your team is capable of taking nash as 5. If you are level 12 with a deathcap and blue buff, then you can 2 man nash with any sustainable or tanky champion on your team(to list a few: nidalee, soraka, vladimir, any tank in the entire game). If you are going to 2 man nash, try to bring a damage dealing sustainable champion, as that will allow you to take nash more quickly. Also make sure to tank nash for your ally most of the time, only letting your ally take damage when you go below half health. Nash selects his target based on who is closest to him, so you need to make sure to drain from "inside" of him. You can do this by clicking to move on the other side of him, then starting the drain when your are right on top of him. I would definitely encourage you to try soloing/2-manning nash as much as you can, so that you can learn to judge when it is a possibility. You will almost always need to have a blue buff to do this. Generally though, you should try to kill some opponents first and then take nash with your team.
VideosHow to play fiddle like a man:
Keep in mind: fizz and I were both extremely fed during this attempt.
Mid GameI define early game as presix game. Thus I have already covered that part of the game in the Jungling Section.
So I will define the mid game as ~6-14. This is the phase of the game where you want to be using your ultimate to get your lanes an advantage. Fiddle ganks extremely well, and you can use that to turn losing lanes into winning lanes for your team.
Typically, the order in which I place ganking priority on lanes is: bot, then mid, then top. This means that ideally, I want to gank bot first. Then I worry about mid. And last, I worry about top.
I really want to ensure that bot is winning, so that my team can have better dragon control. Also, bot is the easiest lane to gank, as the enemies are lower level and 3 players can burst one player down more effectively than 2 can. Mid gets priority over top because it is closer to dragon. Remember that this prioritization is for an ideal situation. Most of the time, you need to prioritize ganks based on which lanes need them, and which lanes can actually get a kill if you gank. I can't really tell you how to judge whether or not you can kill opponents with a gank, you have to learn to do that on your own.
Everytime that your ult comes off cooldown, you need to start looking for a gank. If an ally calls for a gank and your ult is on cooldown, tell them the cooldown time. Gank timing does not only depend on your ult, though. You want to keep your jungle as clear as possible at all times, especially buffs. If your jungle has 4 or 5 creep camps up, ganking is probably not the best idea. Ideally, you want to have two or fewer basic camps and no buffs up when you gank. Jungling is a lot like playing whack-a-mole. You need to keep your moles down, otherwise you will fall behind(or fail to pull ahead) in exp.
How to gank:
It's simple. Get on top of your opponents with your ultimate. Learning how to do this effectively is probably the biggest part of learning fiddlesticks. You need to find a position from which to ult where they will not see you, and then ult onto them. When you are ganking lanes, these positions are more formulaic. Try to find good positions from which to ult the lane. Be creative. Remember that you can jump over walls and that flash extends your ult range. Make sure to move towards them and use fear immediately after resolving your ult.
Late Game and Team FightsLate game typically starts from level 14+. This is the phase in the game where players stop adhering to their lanes. It starts at different times in different games, and you need to be aware of when it is starting.
During this phase, you want to be constantly aware of baron nash, your team's positioning, and the other team's positioning. Be very careful about clearing jungle spots during this phase. If a team fight starts while you are taking wolves, then you just messed up REALLY bad. Try to stay with your team if they are grouped up, and don't let the other team catch you. You are really soft.
Find a good position:
You want to find a good position to ult from before a team fight starts. A good position is one from which you can get to the enemy team, but at which they cannot see you. You have to be creative here. Sometimes it works to just stand with your team, move out of sight range, then channel your ult and flash onto your enemies. But usually it is best to find a position behind a wall or in a bush. This is something you have to do on the fly. There is no way I can list every possibility, because your enemies will constantly be trying to re-position. Just be aware of what they are doing, and when they start dpsing, ult onto them.
Ult your opponents:
Sometimes you can initiate with your ult, especially if your enemies are not all together. Picking off 1-2 enemies during the team fight phase is almost always worth your ult. Usually though, you want to wait until your opponents use some of their cooldowns or start dpsing. Once they start fighting, they will usually remain stationary, and if you get on top of them during a teamfight, the only way they will win is if they are already WAY ahead. If your team is ready to followup on your ult with CC such as amumu or sona ult, then initiating with your ult is ideal. But try not to go rambo with your ult. You need your team to win teamfights. The other team can usually kill you 1v5.
If you kill 3 or more opponents in a fight, and have your entire team up, it is usually safe to take nash. Make sure to tank it for your team unless you are really weak(ie. have not been doing so well). Nash is worth about 5 player kills, plus a really nice buff, so you want to encourage your team to take it if you can.
Final CommentsOkay well there it is. I wish you all success if you try to use this guide(and failure if you do not ^.^). I am looking forward to your feed back. Don't hesitate to let me know if you run into any problems using this guide. Also, make sure to troll Honver and take his fiddle if you are ever in champ select with him.
Okay, that't all guise.
If you like this guide, you should check out my stream at http://www.own3d.tv/Entheomancer#/live/56760.
Thanks to TSF Sherman and Team SF(at www.teamsf.net )for hosting the images for this guide.
Congratulations to my ultrabro CRUEL42 for reaching 2k elo. WE DID IT. WE DID IT. WE DID IT.
Valkrin es #1 Talon world.
BlackLancer is the sirknight of Maokai.