IntroductionFirst thing I want to say is that this is a jungle guide! There is already a fantastic approved Lane Darius guide written by Fenixreborn called "A Cut Above". I highly recommend checking it out.
Hey! My name is KungFuAsparagus! Forgive me if this guide seems totally noobish to everyone, it is my first one after all! I've been playing LoL since Vayne came out (not a very long time lol) and I love this game. People may call it broken and too easy or whatever but I love it. I love the art style of LoL, I like the champs and it's a great game to play with my buddies. Anyway, enough about me, let's talk about Darius! Now a lot of people have been saying he's OP and broken. Well, I don't really think so. Think about it, he may to a lot of damage but he's got weak points too, major ones even. He doesn't have any escapes making him a high risk high reward type of champ. This guide will be focusing on a very aggressive counter jungling and invading style of play. I aim to exploit Darius' high damage and dueling ability and his ability to rapidly kill buff monsters. I will be focusing on showing you cost effective items to help you be aggressive and deny the enemy jungler.
I play mostly bruisers and junglers, so I will be referencing many other champs throughout this guide. In my opinion, Darius has very similar mechanics to many other jungler/bruiser type champions. He has a slow that involves an AXE which can be spammed through a cooldown reduction mechanic (Olaf/Skarner). He can pull people into himself Blitzcrank/Nautilus). He can deal some brutal burst damage with his combo (Jarvan/Renekton).
For those of you somehow unfamiliar with Darius, here is the Champion Spotlight with some insight from Phreak.
Also, since this is a jungle guide, it's only natural that I include Stonewall008's video on jungle Darius.
And with that introduction done, let's get to the rest of the guide!
Changelog06/06/2012 June 6th 2012 - Guide Released
09/06/2012 June 9th 2012 - Guide Approved
11/06/2012 June 11th 2012 - Added Bloodthirster to item build as a luxury item.
13/06/2012 June 13th 2012 - Added links in the Jungle + Early Game chapter for tapobu's guides.
20/06/2012 June 20th 2012 - Fixed some typos, edited masteries chapter, added chapter "When to pick Darius"
Updates (Buffs/Nerfs)Draven Patch 06-04-2012, June 4th 2012 05:24 PM :
Hemorrhage (Passive) bonus Attack Damage ratio reduced to 0.3 from 0.4
Noxian Guillotine will now only refresh its cooldown when it deals the killing blow
Apprehend pre-pull animation modified to be more readable for enemy Champion
Fixed a bug with Hemorrhage applying Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow and Spell Vamp effects
- High Damage Bruiser
- Deceptively high damage DoT
- Extremely proficient at finishing people off
- Has access to all 3 forms of damage (Magical, Physical, True)
- Has the highest level 1 base armor in the game (23.5)
- Good duelist
- Good Clear time
- Can snowball extremely well
- Can invade well
- With his W you can perma slow + a DoT
- Mini Blitzcrank pull (very easy to land)
- Can do a lot of damage even with little AD
- While he may rely on allied CC to initiate ganks, he has great follow up CC.
- Ganking is similar to Shyvana or Udyr in that you rely on your allies CC to set up your ganks
- Can deny your own carry kills if played to greedy
- Has a lot of difficulty recovering from an invade
- Easily crippled by CC
- While he can snowball extremely well, he can also flop just as easy (similar to Master Yi)
- Must be played very carefully, Darius is all about picking the right fights, know when to fight.
- NO ESCAPES, ABSOLUTELY NONE. If you get caught out of position you're toast
- Very easy to play badly
- Lacks any form of steroid ability
Darius has his flaws like every other champ. He is a high risk high reward champ and must be played very carefully. Warding is essential and you should be doing it anyway, but map awareness is essential for Darius in particular since he CANNOT escape. It's even in his lore, he doesn't believe in retreat. He is the Hand of Noxus! Noxus is known for being cunning and meticulous and ruthless in their planning and execution of those plans. As the Hand of Noxus you must do the same. Know where the enemy is, know where to strike, show them no mercy and look on as they crumble to the might of Noxus.
When to Pick DariusYou've got to play to Darius' strengths. He his a high damage bruiser with great dueling potential and great follow up CC for ganks. Darius fits best in teams where the lanes have great initiation on ganks such a Blitz grab or Ali's knockup. Darius can also jungle against the top tier junglers and still manage to beat them. Just be careful and bear in mind who you are up against. A lot of the top tier junglers like can out duel you early game. So, you have to indirectly f*ck with them by denying them buffs and the likes. I expand more on this in the Early Game and Jungling Chapter.
So, Darius is best picked when you're laned have initiation CC and can help out with your early jungle aggression. An example of a good team to put Darius in is :
- Mid Lane, great stun and burst
(Insert AD carry here) - Bot lane, pretty much any Kill Lane will work out well
- Bruiser Top Lane - Burst and stun. Just like Veigar, very easy to capitalize on.
The enemy jungler doesn't matter too much when picking, but it should influence your playstyle. You'll want to play on the safer side and stick to indirect aggression like counter junglering rather than direct confrontation with junglers like Udyr and Olaf. However, against these junglers you should consider early invading to try to gimp them.
When against farming junglers like , you'll want to be in their face a lot of the time. Bully him in his jungle. Ward up his jungle (you should be doing that anyway) and steal his stuff.
So, Darius is a pick that is mostly reliant on his team comp, not so much the enemy. Just be aware of the enemies strengths, and poke at their weaknesses. Example: Shyvana might be fast, but her ganks are really lack luster. Counter gank her and make sure she never gets to see her red buff. Then she can't really help her lanes. Advantage to your team. (I have personally shut down a shyvanna like this. She never got to have a red buff, not even the first spawn)
Who Counters Darius?
I would say Darius has no direct counters, but I can say who he has a hard time against. There are only 2 junglers that I can say Darius really struggles with even when played properly.
In lane or in the jungle, this guy is hard for any AD based champion but as Darius you do have one trick up your sleeve! Your ult! With Maplphite you have 2 "windows of opportunity" and those are level 1 and 6. Darius has a better level 1 than Maplhite and with your ult you can get past his natural tankyness with dat true damage! Be very careful with Maplhite once he gets his combo though. He will take your movement speed and your AD making it easier for him to 1v1 you or stall until his team gets you. The biggest thing with Malphite is that even if you manage to kill him in the jungle a few times and take his stuff, come late game he still becomes a great tank and initiator. He is hard to beat, and when you do beat him it really doesn't make a difference.
Coincidentally, Maplhite is one of my favorite champions and I like to play him top lane. I can say that in the time that I have played Solo Top Malphite, I have NEVER, EVER lost my lane to a Darius. Maplhite is among the most difficult champions to face as any AD bruiser. Even Darius.
Difficult to beat and even if you do it makes no difference
Olaf is a champion who MUST BE SHUT DOWN EARLY and if not, shut down his lanes. He is simply unstoppable once he starts snowballing. People are complaining about Darius being an OP snowballer? Olaf was all over that before Riot even started thinking about making Darius. He can out duel you early because of his passive. The only window of time you have an "advantage" on him is if you can reach level 6 before him. This pretty much circumvents his passive because of your ultimate.
Dealing with Olaf should be a team thing, because if you don't deal with him come late game HE will DEAL with your TEAM... And by deal I mean brutally slaughter. A good Olaf is a very formidable opponent. If you steal his red buff he will give exactly 0 f*cks because if he is good he will land ALL the axes and perma slow anyway. Taking his blue early game doesn't really slow him down either. The only thing that can put him behind is to straight up kill him, which is very difficult. My advice is to not focus too much on shutting down Olaf, but shutting down his lanes. It doesn't matter how good or how fed the Olaf gets if the rest of team barely has their first item finished. If you see a chance to fight Olaf in his jungle with your team, try to kill him but if you can't just try to pressure the lanes as much as you can.
Advice: If you can't shut him down shut down his lanes. If you're going to early invade, try to KILL him! If you're on purple team and you can want to steal blue while Olaf is donating it, get your top and middle lane to help and try take him down a few notches.
Difficult to shut down, snowballs hard, and gives 0 f*cks about CC
Runes and MasteriesI would just like to say first that for the most part, runes and masteries are personal preference and are made to optimize and enhance the players prefered playstyle. I am sharing my personal way of doing it because I believe it is pretty good, but feel free to change them around.
Recommended Mastery Page
This is the same mastery page I use for Skarner and Udyr. It gives me some great defenses and utility. Everything is pretty self explanitory since it's pretty straightforward. The only thing I can see people harking over is the 2 points in extra magic resist instead of 2 points in Indomitable. This is because, like I will say a few more times later in this guide, I like to gank middle lane. Mid lane usually houses the AP carries. I explain why I prefer ganking mid lane further in the guide. Believe it or not, that small little extra bit of magic resist helps.
Alternate Aggressive Mastery Page
I personally believe that as a Jungle Darius you don't need to take points in offense but I can see it being viable. If you prefer the offensive tree then by all means, take it. Remember, runes and masteries should compliment your playstyle, the choices I have outlined in this guide are my own preference and playstyle.
I am currently testing at 9/12/9 mastery page on Darius
Alternate Mastery Page 2
This mastery page is still in testing. In theory it should give a good balance between offense, defense and utility (You don't say?).
Attack Damage Marks: I believe that attack damage marks work very well on Darius. Makes his auto attacks and his Q do more damage early on. The only other Mark I can see running besides flat AD is Attack Speed.
Viable Substitutes : Attack Speed
Flat Armor Seals: These are the only one I would say is non-negotiable. You need flat armor seals to jungle.
Flat Magic Resist Glyphs: I take flat magic resist because I like to gank middle often. That is my personal preference. Per level glyphs become better than flat at around level 7, however I try to shut down the AP mid before level 7. That's how I get the most use out of my flat MR glyphs. Per level glyphs are great too. For the most part, glyphs can be whatever you want.
Viable Substitutes : Anything
Movement Speed Quintessences: I love movement speed quints. They are my favorite quint because I find they are useful through the entire game. Every time you get an item that gives you any move speed, you will end up getting more. This makes you great at chasing, makes you roam faster and in general be more mobile. I love these, but I could see replacing them with AD Quints.
Viable Substitute : Flat Attack Damage
: Essential for Jungling, Smite stealing, Securing objectives. Must have
: I personally prefer flash instead of ghost on Darius. Maybe it's a habit I have from playing Jarvan and flash ulting people, but I flash ult to secure some kills as Darius. Could easily be replaced by Ghost though.
I consider flash ulting someone who's low a very viable thing if they are an extremely mobile champ like Ahri, Ezreal, Kennen, Master Yi etc. If you seem then low in a teamfight and they are about to get away, do not hesitate to flash ult them.
: Exhaust has always been one of my favorite summoner spells ever since I started playing. Great at shutting down AD carries in teamfights and for early ganks. If you want to go total balls the walls no turning back no escapes, pick up exhaust. : I personally don't think Darius needs ignite, even when laning. I think your passive does enough DoT. But hey, it's still a good spell and some people can't live without it
: Back when I first started playing, heal was seen as a sight of a bad player or a troll. In the current meta, heal is much more viable and heal baiting is super popular. Watch out for this when ganking bottom lane. As for running it, I don't I would take heal over an escape or smite. Besides, at least 1 person on your team (either your AD or your support) should have heal.
: More of a top lane spell. You could try to do some sneaky plays like teleporting to a brush ward but personally I like have flash/ghost.
Darius' basic attacks and damaging abilities cause enemies to bleed for 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 / 36 (+0.3 per bonus attack damage) magic damage over 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
Darius gains 5% movement speed for each bleeding enemy champion.
So this here is what I would like to call a brutal passive. It's basicly GP's passive minus the slow (which can be applied with your W) but with more damage. As Darius, you should never get to experience that feeling of someone you're ganking and dueling get away with but a sliver of hp. With your ult being an amazing finisher and your passive dealing a heafty DoT, the only way people that have a chance at walking away from a fight with you is if they are Galio, Jarvan, Kayle, Karma, Lee Sin,Lux, Nautilus, Orianna, Riven, Shen, Skarner, Udyr, Urgot,
(If you don't catch the trend, it's basically everyone with a shield ability or a negate all damage spell)
This passive procs Hexdinker and the Maw
Darius deals physical damage to all nearby enemies in a circle around him. Champions in the outer half of the ability are struck by the blade, taking 50% additional damage.
Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds
Physical Damage: 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage)
Maximum Physical Damage: 105 / 157.5 / 210 / 262.5 / 315 (+1.05 per bonus attack damage)
I max this first but not for the damage, but for faster jungling (AoE damage + bleed) and utlity. In terms of raw damage, W does more. Why I max your Q first is because it is the only ability you have with some range that can apply your passive. When ganking someone, you must know the range of the blade of your axe for maximum damage(It's approximatly the outer range of Garen's ). Walk up to them after your ally has set up a good situation (bait, cc, etc) and open up with Q. You will get your first stack of Hemo and get a movespeed boost. Then proceed to wail on them until escapes/summoners are burned and feel good when you hear "You have slain an enemy" because they bled to death.
W: Crippling Strike
(Active): Darius' next basic attack deals additional damage and slows the target's movement and attack speed for 2 seconds.
Crippling strike's base cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target.
Cost: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 mana
Total Physical Damage: 120 / 140 / 160 / 180 / 200%
Slow: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
Your main source of damage and CC. It has a similar mechanic to Olaf's Undertow and Skarner's Crystal Slash because it can perma slow and has a way to reduce the cooldown. When jungling, use this ability after your current target has 5 stacks of Hemo and you can cast it about every 2 seconds letting you clear buffs and dragons very quickly. When ganking, after the initial Hemo stack applied by Q, try to sneak in as many Auto Attacks (up until 5 of course) and then use this skill. Most of the time you will only be able to get off 1 or 2 attacks after you use Q and then they are already getting close to their tower. In that case just use your W (Use your judgement!) to slow and deal a lot of damage. If they flash(or use another form of escape) they will still be slowed and you can use your to bring them right back into the beatdown. It should also be noted that this skill is really good for shutting down attack speed reliant champs as it slows down attack speed too, has a resemblance to Lee Sin's Tempest/Cripple.
*Note: The extra damage gets applied to towers too, but since towers can't bleed you will not get any cooldown reduction. So make sure to spam this skill whenever it's up to cut down towers as if they were itty bitty trees.
This ability also slightly increases your range
This ability can also CRIT (think about that for a moment)
Darius hones his axe, granting him passive armor penetration. When activated, Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook and pulls them to him.
(Passive): Darius gains armor penetration.
Armor Penetration: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25%
(Active): Darius pulls in all enemies in front of him.
Cost: 45 mana
Cooldown: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12 seconds
Taking a point early really helps your ganking and the bonus armor pen doesn't hurt either. I believe leveling it up last is the best possible way to do it because it is end game where penetrating their armor is most effective because almost everyone will have some form of defense. When ganking it works like a mini Blitzcrank Rocket Grab . I say this because you can pull something (minion or champion) towards you. I call it "Mini" because it has a smaller range than Rocket Grab , but in exchange it pulls EVERYTHING in front of you. If their whole team happens to be standing in a line in front of you and you use your E you will pull ALL 5 OF THEM towards you. This is what makes it such an easy skill shot to land. Also, it has a deceptively long range. Even if someone is a little bit outside the cone you use to aim, they will still be pulled in.
The animation of this ability was slightly changed in the Draven Patch to make it more readable to the enemies.
R: Noxian Guillotine
(Active): Darius leaps to target enemy champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing true damage. For each stack of Hemorrhage on the target, Noxian Guillotine deals an additional 20% damage.
The cooldown is refreshed if Noxian Guillotine kills the target
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 100 / 90 / 80 seconds
True Damage: 160 / 250 / 340 (+0.75 per bonus attack damage)
Maximum True Damage: 320 / 500 / 680 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage)
This is the reason behind all the QQ for Darius. It's like farming(last hitting) champions lol. Seriously though, this is really good and maybe even overpowered ult. I wouldn't be surprised if they toned down the damage on it. I personally don't think it's that overpowered. It does less damage than Cho'Gath's Feast and is only spamable if it's the killing blow whereas a CDROlaf can spam his Reckless Swing even if he's not landing death blows. So I think it's an Ok skill, maybe it should do more damage in exchange for not having a refreshed cooldown, I don't know I'm not champion designer. However, I am writing a guide, so here is the rundown of your ultimate. This skills lets you put down stragglers from a fight with low HP easily and then keep fighting. It's a great skill, very straightforward. See someone who is low on health and your carry (Who needs lots of kills) isn't nearby, go cleave him in two. I want emphasize to not constantly KS your carry and think you're all that cause you take all the kills. Darius snowballs really well, but that does not give you an excuse to cripple your AD or AP carry by denying them every kill. Use your judgment and common sense, don't be that guy. Don't be that guy....
Unless your carry can't play to save his life and you must be the carry an main damage (less optimal btw). Then. and only then are you allowed to be that guy.
This ability has a slight casting delay, meaning it doesn't happen right away. If you start the casting animation and your target flashes away, you will still deal the damage.
This ability now only refreshes if it is the killing blow.
This skill order is pretty straightforward. So, you will want to prioritize your controversial R for dat true damage. It lets to secure kills on would-be escapees and because it has a slight casting delay, you can kill people even after they flash with this. The next priority will be to max your Q. It gives you a faster jungle and a way to apply Hemo stacks at a distance. Then we max our W because it does the most damage, can have a very low cooldown, can CRIT, and can perma slow. Our final skill is our E which is best maxed last because it is late game where the effectiveness of Armor Penetration is highest.
Your Skill Combo!
That's right folks! Your skill combo is Q-W-E-R! Easy right? Well, it's a tad more complicated than just mashing buttons. So, when ganking you want to open up with your Q to give you the initial stack of Hemo giving you a movement speed boost. Then you want to get as many auto attacks in as possible (red buff helps a ton), but sometimes this simply isn't possible. Follow up with your W to get some nice damage, and a slow. Use your to secure kills. What I mean by this is if your target has blown his summoners or escapes, you can still catch up because you will move faster. You can then pull him back into the beatdown, therefor securing the kill.
Sometimes, knowing the right time to elixer up can decide who has the advantage in a teamfight. I usually get a red pot whenever I feel the first dragon teamfight is coming. Use your judgement
Recommended safe start
Recommended safe start
5 HEALTH POTIONS AND CLOTH ARMOR
Gives you enough sustain to jungle until level 4 if need be. Lets you gank with high HP and with movespeed quints you'll move at a decent pace, not too far behind people with boots. Cloth armor also lets you invade well and duel better when counter jungling. One of the things I like to against blue starting junglers is to get a hard leash on blue so I do it smiteless and immediately go take their red. You can then go for a confrontation with the enemy jungler or gank or go back to jungling.
I get this the majority of the time, especially against junglers who can out duel you early game such as Lee Sin, Riven, Trundle etc.
Recommended aggressive start
BOOTS OF SPEED AND 3 HEALTH POTIONS
With boots and movespeed quints and masteries, you will have 400 movespeed. That's really good for lv1. I recommend starting at red if you go boots and immediately gank middle. This works best if your mid laner has some early hard CC like a stun or snare or a good baiter. I also consider this the snowball route, it's riskier but the reward is greater.
I get this when I plan on being a total asshole to the enemy jungler, always being up in their grill(jungle) taking all their stuff. I consider this to be the better pick when against slower junglers like Warwick, Amumu, Rammus etc, or very poor duelists like Blitzcrank andAlistair. I also highly recommend invading when getting boots and pots. Seriously, do it. It pays off more often than not.
I don't recommend this, but if you have a team composition that can pretty much guarantee a First Blood when you come to gank, then by all means go and ruin their day. Be warned though, this can easily backfire and ruin your day. Very risky.
This gives you decent sustain, but you will be lower on health if you decide to do anything but clear your jungle. I wouldn't recommend this either. I think it could work if you had Life Steal Quints, but I don't believe that Darius should be played as a sustain jungler. He should be an aggressive counterjungling/ganker.
Early Game Goals/ Core
WRIGGLES LANTERN + BOOTS OF SPEED + HEART OF GOLD
Upgrade BOOTS OF SPEED into either
MERCURY THREADS :
VS heavy AP and/or heavy CC (I buy these most of the time)
NINJA TABI :
VS heavy AD damage. If I do buy these, I usually swap them for Mercs late game anyway
Optional: X number of DORANS BLADES if you're doing very well. In the words of Artosis (StarCraft II Progamer/caster)
"When you're ahead, get more ahead"
A little bit of AD goes a long way on Darius. You will find that with only a wriggles you will be doing quite a bit of damage because you're abilities have a lot of percentage modifiers. Some extra Dorans Blades don't hurt either. They might not build into anything, but they are quite cost effective. I would only consider picking up some Dorans if I'm doing very well and want to push the advantage. The boots for more movement speed obviously, and the appropriate level 2 boots for your game situation. I find that a HoG gives you sufficient tankiness for early game and the Gp/5 is good too. It can also be build into a Randuins which is an extremely good item.
Mid Game Additional Items:
I'm not a huge fan of the brutalizer but some people seem to like it and use it very well. If you think it'll be good, go for it. It has some nice stats but honestly I don't think you need it. I have gotten it once or twice while getting used to Darius and I usually sell it later because of the passive armor pen you get.
Gives you tons of extra HP and makes you very tanky mid game. You can build it into a for late game. You can also build it into a if your team needs more CC or if you simply prefer the chasing power granted by the Mallet.
This item is really good for chasing and gives you some tankiness. A great early/mid game item. If you're doing very well (For First Blood for example), consider rushing this and a few dorans blades to gives you a huge early game lead. (I personally have destroyed a Lee Sin jungler by pushing my advantage and staying ahead)
Gives you decent armor for a cheap price. Can be build into a in order to complete your . You can also build it into a and then into a . Glacial gets rid of any sort of mana issues you may have been having and the frozen heart helps shut down the AD carry and other Auto-Attackers.
This is a relatively cheap component of Randuins Omen and I believe that it is highly under utilized. What most people don't realize it that the passive "X% chance that upon being attacked you slow the attackers attack speed and movement speed" comes from Wardens Mail! I like picking this item up early midgame because it makes you much less kitable. Is there an Ashe being a dick a perma slowing you? OOPS! She proc'd your Wardens! Now she's slowed and can't attack as fast, which means you can waltz up to her and W + AA her to death ;). You can build from the above mentioned Chain Vest. It gives you some nice armor and health regen and coupled with that passive I think it is a very useful component of the mighty Omen.
A cheap piece of Magic Resistance as well as some AD. The shield is really good for dealing with extremely bursty mid laners like Veigar, Annie and Xerath. Can be build into a which is very good late game.
Another piece of Magic Resistance, but instead of AD like the Hexdrinker gives you, you get attack speed and stacking extra magic resistance! Personally, I love this item and build it on pretty much every auto attacking jungler I play. Wits end is superior on most champions mid game, however Hexdrinker is better late game because it builds into the Maw. I usually pick up a Wits end because I personally like it, and we are entitled to our preferences.
If you really need some magic resistance, pick one of these nifty cloaks up. You can build into either a or a .
WARMOGS ARMOR AND/OR FROZEN MALLET
Both are great items for Darius. I don't usually pick them both up, but if you do somehow manage to build them both, a great compliment to the HP would be to build an Atmas Impaler.
These 2 items give you some good beefiness and the Mallet lets you stick to targets very well.
Lol, Wardens Mail only builds into this. This item is honestly one of my favorite items in the game. It lets the holder be highly disruptive in team fights, and make people think twice about focusing you because of the passive. The active effect can legitimately turn the tide of a losing game. I always pick up an Omen when playing bruisers or tanks. Always. The tankiness to waltz into a teamfight and slow ALL the baddies and slow them even more if they decide to hit back is just too good to pass up. The components are also really useful.
(The only time I would consider not getting a Randuins is against the infamous Double AP Double WoTA)
If you build a Glacial Shroud midgame, this is a good item to get. Coupled with a Randuins you will stomp all over AD carries and auto attackers.
I consider Thornmail to be the cheaper alternative to a Frozen Heart. It gives good armor and returns some damage. It also has good synergy with Randuins Omen.
I think it comes down to personal preference when choosing between Thormail and Frozen Heart. One if more expensive but has an aura debuff and gives some mana, the other is cheaper and has a damage return. All up to you, but I don't see why you would ever consider building both. One or the other, THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE
QUICK-SILVER SASH (QSS)
I almost always get a QSS because it's not very expensive, gives decent Magic Resistance and have an awesome active! People in lower levels of play will sometimes blow their CC on the bruiser in attempt to get them out of the fight early. with a QSS you can quickly get out of it. I will add a section below of all the abilities you can QSS away.
FORCE OF NATURE (FoN)
Gives some beastly regen, great Magic Resistance and some extra movement speed to boot! The components are cheap and the item itself isn't all that expensive. Only about 600 gold more than a thornmail. I usually don't pick this up unless I feel that I really need some MR and our main tank isn't soaking up enough of it.
MAW OF MALMORTIUS
If you built a hexdrinker, you must consider upgrading it into this at some point in the game. The passives are great for a bruiser type character.
THE LUXURY ITEMS
This is one of the only Luxury item I consider getting on Darius. It's stats are all useful to him just as they are for pretty much every other bruiser. The problem is that it is expensive. Really expensive. I don't rush a Trinity unless I am pubstomping hardcore. I also do not build a trinity if I am already planing to build a Frozen Mallet. It's a good item, if you can afford it and you're snowballing hard, trinity all the way!
I think that late game this would make a suitable replacement for a wriggles lanturn if you can afford the swap. The stats are all good. I would consider this a fed mid game item or a late game item.
GUARDIAN ANGEL (GA)
GA = Extra Life. Nuff said. Seriously, it is that straightforward. If you feel you need another life and have the extra gold, yay!
Here is a list of a lot of the prominent abilities that can apply debuffs that can be cleared with a QSS
QSS can completely remove ignite
QSS can remove the slow of exhaust
QSS can remove the debuff that comes from using heal.
QSS can remove the suppress but the damage will continue as long as you the weird void tether thing remains on you.
QSS can completely remove his ultimate.
QSS will awkwardly stop the animation but not the damage.
QSS will clear the vision debuff for you but he can still jump at you
QSS will clear the debuff that gives the enemy team vision of you but TF can still teleport near you
QSS can break the suppress
QSS can break the suppress
QSS can break the suppress
QSS will completely remove his ultimate
QSS will remove the extra damage but will not remove her buff.
QSS will remove a debuff or CC caused by nearly every other ability. It will also remove nearly all DoTs.
Contrary to popular belief, you CAN QSS out of knock up abilities
Jungling + Early GameI highly recommend reading tapobu's guides on jungling in general if you want to become a truly great jungler.
Jungling: a Beginner's Guide : http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=12408
The Psychology of Jungling : http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=27085
Darius boasts high damage even with little damage items. Abuse this by being an aggressive asshole to the enemy jungler. Constantly be counter jungling and taking timers on his buffs. Ward his jungle too, I constantly ward the enemy jungle during early and midgame to see where he is going and know when I can go in and steal his stuff.
I always try to get my team to invade. It really sets the tone for early game. This is much easier when you are with an organized team of your friends because you can co-ordinate better since you'll most likely be talking over Vent, Teamspeak or skype. Usually, I try to force a fight at their starting buff. If not, I take the other buff. Trust me, invading pays off more often than not. You can cripple the enemy jungler in multiple ways. You can get first blood off him, take his blue or his red (or both!).
There are 2 paths I personally take playing Darius. One I call the "Safe-Aggressive" path. I use this one mostly for soloqueue versus faster junglers who start primarily at blue (Olaf, Udyr). The starting items I use for this path are Cloth Armor and 5 Pots. The second one I call the "Balls to the walls aggressive as F*ck" path." I use this one against slower junglers no matter where they start. I use Boots and 3 Pots for this path. There is also a lv2 gank path that I have used, but I tend to favor to be up in the enemy junglers face. The lv2 gank path works like most lv2 gank ones lol. Start wraiths and red and gank Mid lane right away. Start Boots and 3 Pots.
THE FOLLOWING MAPS SHOULD BE LOOKED AT FROM THE PURPLE TEAM'S POINT OF VIEW
Safe Aggressive Path (Recommended for Soloqueue)
You'll notice that I do not hold your hand through the jungle like some other jungle guides with pictures. This is because the pathing is not really dependent on Darius, but the enemy junglers path. This is the Safe Aggressive Path which involves the following :
- 1) Get a hard leash on blue and do it smiteless
- 2) Steal their red buff before they even get there. If the enemy decided to lv 2 gank top, take some wraiths too.
- 3) If you see the chance to gank bot, now would be great since you got a very fast double buff
- 4) Go check your red buff to see if the Enemy Jungler took it or not. Most likely they didn't. Take your red buff.
- The numbers coming after this are basically saying go back to jungling until you see somewhere you should go.
I'm not a huge fan of using 'set' jungle paths. 'Set' jungle paths are for farming junglers. and Darius is not a farmer, he's a killer lol. I can't tell you when to go pick fights with the enemy jungler because I can't see every single game you play. Every game is different, you have the use your Judgment!
Balls to the walls aggressive as F*ck path (Most effective with premades)
That is seriously it! JUST GO FIGHT! BE AGGRESSIVE!
Ok, this requires the knowledge of knowing where the enemy jungler is going to start. Which is easy. Do they have Mana? 90% Chance they will start at blue. Do they have no mana? 90% chance they start at red. Be wary though, this requires Team Coordination. A well coordinated charge can give your entire team a massive lead but an uncoordinated charge might throw the game right there. I tend to do this mostly with pre-made teams such as 5 man queuing with my friends or I will try to convince people to chose good level 1 fight champions in solo queue champion select. This one move, one fight, sets the tone for the entire game. You can demoralize the entire enemy team by first blooding their jungler. I know this is a bit dirty, but if you play with cross team chat on, taunt the enemy jungler for being behind. Ask him why he's not helping his lanes by ganking, point out every mistake he makes. This is playing dirty, but it demoralizes the enemy team so much and they will usually put all the blame on the jungler who had a gimped jungle because of your invade. So invade people, it pays off more often than not. This is my favorite "path" to take as Darius.
Level 2 gank path
This is pretty straight forward:
- Do wraiths before red spawns. Get your team to help kill them but to not last hit them.
- Get a leash on red buff and take it.
- Gank Middle Lane
It's that simple. Do wraiths, do red, gank middle. After that go back and jungle and look for opportunities to gank and pick fights.
Early Game Goals
Your goal early game is to f*ck with the enemy jungler as much as possible. Counter jungle often, ward up his jungle. A good way to think about this is to set a goal such as "I will not let the enemy Udyr ever have his red buff" and then follow through by trying to deny or contest his red constantly (wards and timers help). By the way, from personal experience and using that exact goal of never letting the enemy have his red, I have personally shut down jungle Shyvanas, Udyrs, and Lee Sins. Know exactly where he is so you know where you can strike to the most damage. Another priority would be to try to shut down champions in lane that can snowball very well like Olaf and Tryndemere or champions with extremely dangerous mid games like Leblanc.
So, your job is to be an asshole to the enemy jungler, pick the right fights, and bring your mighty axe down on potential problems.
Mid Game + Teamfight RoleMid game is where I believe AP carries and Bruisers have the biggest game presence. This is also when bruisers chose what subclass of bruiser they want to be. The archtype of a bruiser type character branches into more offensive builds and defensive. Offensive Bruisers are referred to as Anti-Carries and defensive ones are called Offtanks or Peelers. Depending on how early game went, you will become one of the 2.
If early game went great for you and your team and you got reasonably fed you should build as an Anti-Carry. This means that you will be building more offensive items and your job in teamfights is the kill or force the carries out of the fight as well as mop up teamfights. Darius excels at being an anti-carry and this is how I aim to play him the majority of the time. I try to be as cost effective as I can be with my item choices though.
If early game didn't go so hot for you OR it went absolutely wonderful for your carries, consider building a bit more defensive to fill the role of Offtank or Peeler. Your job will be to keep the opposing Anti-Carries and Assassins off your carries by doing what Darius does best... Beating the sh*t out of them. Talon appears to try to kill your Caitlyn? Q-W-E-R and he's gone.
Other than knowing your role in teamfights, midgame now revolves around fighting for Dragons!
You should always have dragon warded, preferably with a pink.
There is an entire guide dedicated to defending the first dragon (rules will apply to pretty much all dragon fights) written by ranix. You can read it at http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=21857. I highly recommend it.
Late GameLate game is similar to midgame in that the majority of teamfights will be over map objectives. By now you should have completed some of your big items and can dish out a fair amount of damage and take quite a bit too.
Vision is extremely important in late game, but it's also risky to go obtain vision. Don't let your support go in alone to ward, back them up or stay close and carry come wards yourself if you have room. Always have a pink by baron so you can deny the enemy vision.
A lot of late game teamfights come down to positioning. Positioning is key! You as Darius can seriously impede your teams victory if played badly. You might be going to pull their carry in after your main tank initiates, but in the process also pull their main tank allowing your team to get counter initiated. You have to be careful with your pulls and you have to be careful with your movements in vision less lands. Like I've been saying this whole guide, Darius is all about picking the right fights, exploiting weakness or bad positioning of the enemy.
Your teamfight role from Mid Game is still in effect. If you are the Anti-Carry, you should be chopping the opposing carry in two. If you're the Offtank/Peeler, you should be keeping your carries, especially the AD carry, alive by doing what you do best... Beating the sh*t out of people.
Also, be sure to capitalize in the enemy teams mistake, if you encounter their tank alone warding, KILL THE TANK. Why? Becuase, if you kill that tank and then decide to push, guess what? THE ENEMY TEAM HAS NO TANK, and most likely NO INITIATOR meaning that you can FACE STOMP them! It doesn't have to be the tank, as long as they are down 1 man, capitalize on the mistake and either push or take an easy baron.
Final CommentsFirst off I would like to thank turbOpun for making his guide about making a guide lol! You can read it at http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=7495 if you feel like writing a quality guide as well.
I feel that Darius will be one of my main jungling champions for a while. I love how gritty and in your face I can get while playing him. I love it when I accomplish my early game goals such as never letting the enemy jungler have his own red buff. I love the feeling I get when I picked the right fight and decimate my opponents. Darius is powerful, but he is not invisible. He has his flaws and must be played cautiously. Darius exemplified what Noxus stands for. He is cold, calculating, meticulous in his planing and ruthless in his execution. He is the Hand of Noxus and should be played like he is. He hates cowards and crushes them. Darius is an extremely fun champion to play, maybe even a bit overpowered, but he's in the league now so you can bet I will be playing him. It might be his free week at the moment too, why don't you all give Darius a try? You might even find some success using my guide :)
Thank you for reading my guide, I really appreciate it!
Good Luck in your games! Have fun chopping people in half!
Please leave any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns in the comment section below! I may even put a question and answer section in the guide.
Fenixborn for giving me inspiration in his A Cut Above top lane Darius guide.
turbOpun for writing his Creating a Quality Champion Guide on SoloMid which showed me how to structure and write my guide to be best of my abilities
To League of Legends Wiki for having all the important information I needed
Daniel "JusticeMop" G. for being my best friend and test dummy while testing things out and helping me write this guide
Guides Linked to/referenced
A Cut Above by Fenixborn
Defending the First Dragon by ranix
The Psychology of Jungling by tapobu
Jungling: a Beginner's Guide by tapobu
Guides Linked to/referenced
A Cut Above by Fenixborn
Defending the First Dragon by ranix
The Psychology of Jungling by tapobu
Jungling: a Beginner's Guide by tapobu
And I would like to personally thank anyone who does good in their games by reading and following my guide! I worked really hard on it! Now go do what Darius does best... Beat the sh*t out of them!