Introduction: Hybrid AD________________________________________________________________________________
Caster and Carry
For the longest time, AD casters have been asking an AD item that provides spellvamp on Summoner's Rift. It seemed a bit unfair that building AD encourages buying lifesteal but because their damage was spell based, it sustained off spellvamp. The New Black Cleaver has helped, however the fundamental problem with AD casters is that building AD without crit or AS doesn't scale into late game.
Fiora is the answer to both those issues. She can be played as an AD caster assassin with good base damage and AD scaling on her and . However unlike other AD casters, her triggers on-hit effects, meaning it sustains with lifesteal. Additionally her is one of the largest AS boost in the game, making it beneficial to build crit which lets her scale into late game when other AD casters fall off.
Fiora is one of the few AD casters that benefit from building crit and lifesteal. She is an unique hybrid in the sense that she is both an AD caster and a melee carry.
Masteries: Defensive Tree is stronger
Why 9/21/0 Masteries?
Fiora is going to get camped by the enemy jungler. Any jungler with decent cc will want to gank her. 9/21/0 masteries will help you survive that rough early game better as well as providing some nice late game perks. The crucial masteries you get from the defensive tree are:
- Health, Armor, MR
- 15% CC and Slow Reduction
- 2 flat champion damage reduction
- 3 flat champion auto-attack damage reduction
- 3% overall damage reduction
5 flat auto-attack damage reduction from champions is extremely powerful for trading damage, especially in conjunction with or . Minor perks like 10% death timer reduction and 10% Crit Damage reduction could be potentially be amazing late game and are better than the alternatives. Legendary Armor's 5% boost to armor/mr is a trap as it only counts for bonus armor/mr. 5% reduction of tower damage is situational and could be taken as well. Overall the defensive tree is stronger than the offensive tree.
21/9/0 Masteries are fine as well however they are mostly late game focused as you won't have enough levels, items, or crit chance to make use of some of the masteries. The important masteries it gives you are:
- 8% armor pen
- 3 AD
- 5 ArmPen
- 10% Crit Damage
- 5% damage amp when target is under 50% health
The offensive mastery tree for season 3 is on the whole weaker than in season 2, especially in comparison to the new defense and utility trees. Crit won't be built on Fiora until late game so the 10% crit damage and its 10% AS boost masteries are largely a waste until you buy a crit item.
This mastery set up dips into the utility mastery for more mana regen while still keeping crucial mid-tier defensive masteries like block. This setup is ideal for players who like spamming abilities and is a good balance of offense and defense, especially good for early game.
Runes: Optimized for Trading
Reds: Armor Pen. This is the best option considering almost everyone runs armor runes on top laners. AD is superfluous with 's passive AD. Attack Speed is not required early game and Fiora has . Armor Pen increases Fiora's damage potential the most at every stage of the game. 1 crit chance rune provides .93% crit chance which probably won't matter but you never know, especially if you took 21/9/0 masteries.
Yellows: Flat Armor. Against Bruisers you need to have enough armor to trade damage. Fiora can regenerate health from her passive and lifesteal but that won't matter if Renekton is chunking large parts off each time. If you are facing AP casters you can take HP per lvl instead.
Blue: Flat or Scaling MR. Many bruisers have abilities that also deal magic damage so this simply helps mitigate that. Flat CDR is a decent alternative if you like using skills more often.
Quints: Lifesteal. Lifesteal outside of is hideously overpriced in season 3, making lifesteal quints extremely cost effective. This will help you sustain health in lane with auto-attacks as well as when you use . They are rather pricey so good alternatives are Armor Pen, AD, or MS quints. Armor Pen is explained above while MS quints help you escape or chase better, both of which are helpful. AD Quints are more efficient than AD reds and help with last hitting better than ArmorPen.
Summoner Spells: Ignite Ghost________________________________________________________________________________
Ignite along with Blade Waltz secures kills. Almost every single popular top laner has some form of sustain so Ignite's healing reduction is necessary.
There are two reasons why I take Ghost over Flash on Fiora. One, Fiora has no real escape ability, meaning she'll probably get ganked often. Ghost's shorter cooldown helps ensure you can escape more often. Also Ghost's mastery point is the same as ignite, while Flash's is in the utility tree. Two, she's a melee auto-attack champion without cc which means you are prone to getting kited or just out-ran. Ghost helps with both of those issues. An example of ghost getting you out of situations where flash would is if you tower dove the enemy laner but the enemy mid/jungler is behind you. Pop ghost to run through the enemy jungle to escape out through middle lane.
Of course you can just take flash since its the savior of the universe and for wall jumping but know that the enemy probably has flash too and can also flash over. It's also getting another cooldown increase.
Exhaust is good for dueling and scales better into late game but ignite allows you snowball harder and counters the extreme sustain in top laners. Exhaust is also good for its slow as Fiora has no cc. Taking Ghost/Exhaust or Flash/Exhaust is the safest setup as they can be used both offensively and defensively.
Every other option is not as useful. Fiora must have an escape summoner spell and must be able to duel to be effective.
Duelist: Calcuating Fiora's Passive
Fiora regenerates 7 + (1 × level) health over 6 seconds each time she deals damage. Striking champions will cause this effect to stack up to 4 times.
- Duelist will proc whenever Fiora auto-attacks or lands Lunge or Blade Waltz.
- Duelist will proc from damage dealt to minions, neutral monsters, champions, turrets and other structures.
- Duelist cannot have more than one stack when attacking minions and turrets. Attacking champions will cause it to stack up to 4 times.
- Continuously attacking minions and turrets will refresh the duration, unless it is stacked.
- Only attacking champions will refresh Duelist's duration when it is stacked.
Duelist can be thought of as a conditional health regen item. You want to always have a stack of duelist if you are at less than full health. Its primarily a laning tool as the values at later levels are insignificant. One stack is comparable to at lvl 3. Here is a chart of how much heals. Since only striking champions will cause Duelist to stack, look to the one stack column to see how much it heals from attacking minions.
Contrary to its name, Duelist is most useful in winning mini exchanges, not full on duels. You want to keep 4 stacks on Fiora as much as possible, however once you have 4 stacks you should retreat to let your health regenerate. Duelist also procs when Fiora uses . This fact is key to starting these exchanges. Here are some combos to get more stacks:
Assume you have zero stacks: + AA + + AA
Assume you have 1 stack from minions: + + AA OR + AA +
Assume you have 1 stack and don't want to take damage: + to a far away minion to escape.
You can vary when and how many auto-attacks you use. Fiora doesn't have the health and resistances of a bruiser but properly utilizing her passive helps her win trades and increases her effective health over time.
[Q] Lunge: Fiora's Mobility________________________________________________________________________________
Fiora dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. Fiora can perform the dash a second time within a couple seconds at no mana cost.
Cooldown: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 seconds
Physical Damage: 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)
Cost: 60 mana
- Lunge does not proc on-hit effects.
- Fiora's unit collision is ignored during cast allowing her to dodge skill shots.
- Fiora will not attempt to attack her Lunge target after closing in.
Lunge is Fiora's primary chasing and lane control ability. Lunge is synergistic with and as it gives stacks of Duelist and stacks of E's movement speed boost. Note that Fiora will not automatically attack the lunged target afterwards. So auto-attack click on your target before lunging to prevent auto-attacking a different target.
The fact that Lunge procs is extremely helpful in lane. Those passive stacks is key to winning small exchanges. Lunge's base damage and scaling seems mediocre at first however since it is can be used again at no extra cost, you should view it as a 280 damage gapcloser with 1.2 bonus AD scaling. Note that Q has a very long cooldown at low levels. At rank 1, its 16 seconds, extremely long for a gapcloser. However its cooldown scales dramatically down with rank to 8 seconds at level 5, reducing the cooldown by half.
It's also important to note that Lunge procs 's movement speed stacks. When you use lunge to start combinations, activating E first will give you 1 MS boost stack per lunge. This extra movement speed can be useful for retreating after an exchange or for chasing.
Here are some combinations using Lunge. I have to give credit to http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=19508#chap8 for this section. You should read his Fiora guide as well, its quite good. Thanks wisej12.
Double Hit: +
This is very simple, treat Lunge is a single ability by using both charges at once. This is most easily done by smart casting. This gets Fiora 2 stacks of but you want to have one stack already active from hitting a minion first. Either walk away after this or AA once more to get full stacks. You can activate before you Q+Q so you can retreat faster.
Chase Combo: + AA(s) + + AA(s)
When you are chasing a low health target, assassinating a squishy target, or picking a fight you know you will win, this is your general combo. Fiora's double gapcloser and large MS boost makes her very hard to kite alone. Don't use the second Q charge until they are out of range so that you can close the gap again. The big question is whether to use before, during or after your Q charges. I suggest activating E first to gain a MS buff before your first Q if the target doesn't have a dash, knockback, or cc. If they do then wait until they use it then use E + your second Q charge reclose the gap without wasting E's duration.
Long Gapcloser: a minion + the target
This theoretically increases Lunge's range to 1200. This is especially helpful in attacking ranged champions who stand behind their minions. The disadvantage of this combo is that you have no Q charges afterwards to chase and will only have 2 stacks as the first target was a minion. In teamfights you can do the same thing by lunging to the enemy frontline then to their carry. Same with the previous combos, you can use beforehand to gain additional MS when you lunge.
Mind Games: + (AAs) + to a minion
If you don't want to take too much damage but want to harass the enemy then this combo is a safe way to do both. The damage isn't very high but it gets you another stack of Fiora's passive. Its generally not worth using with this combo as you are retreating.
As you can see Lunge has a variety of uses and allows Fiora to be very mobile. Lunge is the glue that holds all of her abilities together. Next, lets look at Fiora's defensive ability, Riposte.
[W]Riposte: Auto-Attack Defense
(Passive): Fiora's Attack Damage is increased by 15/20/25/30/35.
(Active): Fiora parries the next basic attack within 1.5 seconds and reflects magic damage back to the attacker. Works on champions, large monsters, and large minions.
Bonus Attack Damage: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Magic Damage: 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+1.0 per ability power)
Cost: 45 mana
- Riposte negates the damage from the next auto-attack directed at her, excluding attacks from turrets, regular minions and small neutral monsters.
- Riposte does not block physical spells like 's
- Riposte does not block on-hit effects like Frozen Mallet's slow or the true damage from Hiten Style.
- Riposte does not block on-hit attacks that convert physical damage to magical damage like 's and 's
Riposte negates only one auto-attack including spells that deals multiple strikes. It will negate only the first strike from 's (but not the stun), 's , and an enemy 's .
The passive bonus AD is why I take Armor Pen runes over AD ones as it is enough to easier last hit under a tower. Also note that the damage scales on AP and deals magic damage. Riposte also has the shortest cooldown of all of Fiora's skills however this is not very useful in lane. Its rare that the enemy will harass you once with an auto-attack then wait another 6 seconds until 's cooldown is up again.
Because Riposte is a conditional on the enemy auto-attacking you, its not reliable as a damage source. If your enemy doesn't use auto-attacks to harass you then leveling Riposte is only good for the passive AD. Since so many popular top-laners are AD casters or AP casters, they may not even give you a opportunity to counter an auto-attack. Nor does it help your chasing ability unlike and which are synergistic as a gapcloser and a MS boost. Riposte is only good in auto-attack duels.
While it doesn't help much in lane, it is extremely useful as a late game assassin. Fiora's main goal is to kill the enemy ranged AD carry. They usually lack the cc of mages and deal most of their damage through auto-attacks. This is perfect for Riposte as each block could have been a 500+ damage critical. Additionally, its very easy to Riposte a ranged auto-attack as you can see it flying at you. Ironically, Fiora duels best against ranged champions thanks to Riposte.
[E] Burst of Speed: How is a spider faster than me?
E: Burst of Speed
(Active): Fiora gains additional Attack Speed for 3 seconds. Each basic attack or Lunge she lands during this time increases her Movement Speed for 3 seconds, stacking up to 3 times
Killing a champion refreshes the cooldown on Burst of Speed. Assists reduce the cooldown by half of the base amount.
Cooldown: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 seconds
Bonus Attack Speed: 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120%
Bonus Movement Speed: 7 / 9 / 11 / 13 / 15%
Cost: 55 mana
- Burst of Speed's movement speed bonus will not proc when attacking turrets.
- Burst of Speed's movement speed bonus will proc off of the damage from Blade Waltz.
- Burst of Speed resets Fiora's attack timer.
Burst of Speed is a very fitting name. Fiora's is one of the largest AS steroid in the game at 120%, matched by Evelyn and beat by Elise. However it also has the shortest duration of any AS steroid. It deals auto-attack DPS yet it deals high damage in a short period of time like burst spells do. Combined with , Fiora has amazing chasing abilities. Because it has such a short duration and a relatively long cooldown, you don't want to be cc'ed for its duration. Wait until the enemy has used their cc abilities before activating .
Note that Burst of Speed's movement speed boost's duration is separate from its AS boost duration. Fiora will continue to have an MS boost 3 seconds after the last auto-attack or Lunge during the initial 3 second AS boost. Fiora can potential have 45% additional MS for almost 6 seconds. However because it requires you to lunge or auto-attack, this is not reliable as an escape. If a jungler comes from behind to gank you, activating then to the jungler can act as a defensive retreat as well as giving you MS to run away.
Burst of Speed also lets you play Fiora as a split-pusher however the problem is again that she does not have a reliable escape or wave clear. The best way of using burst of speed remains as a way to assassinate squishy targets along with and . Burst of Speed is like a non-ultimate version of 's . It can either snowball very hard if you get a kill, or it can fizzle away while you are cc'ed if you don't time it right.
When in lane, remember that Burst of Speed resets your auto-attack animation. So AA once without it then activate it for a quick second AA. This auto-attack reset is less fluid than other ones in the game, if you mistime pressing E, you will cancel your initial auto-attack without its damage. This is a minor mechanic but one to keep in mind.
[R] Blade Waltz: Fire Emblem much?________________________________________________________________________________
R: Blade Waltz
(Active): Fiora dashes around the battlefield striking random champions 5 times, dealing physical damage. Successive hits against the same target deal 25% damage. The first and last attack will be against the same target. Each strike applies on-hit effects.
Cooldown: 130 / 120 / 110 seconds
Physical Damage per Strike: 160 / 330 / 500 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage)
Total Minimum Single Target Physical Damage: 200 / 412.5 / 625 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage)
Total Maximum Single Target Physical Damage: 320 / 660 / 1000 (+2.4 per bonus attack damage)
Total Maximum Physical Damage: 680 / 1402.5 / 2125 (+5.1 per bonus attack damage) [must hit 4 targets]
Total Maximum Possible Physical Damage: 800 / 1650 / 2500 (+6 per bonus attack damage) [must hit all 5 targets, only possible if the targeted champion dies before the last dash]
Cost: 100 mana
- Blade Waltz cannot be used when immobilized.
- Blade Waltz does not break Fiora free from tethers like Fiddlesticks's Drain or Swain's Decrepify.
- Blade Waltz does not prevent damage over time from spells used on Fiora before cast.
- Fiora loses tower aggro when she activates Blade Waltz.
Blade Waltz is Fiora's execution move, her defensive disengage, and her team-fight winner. Late game, you do not want to fight without her ultimate ever. Unfortunately its on an ungodly long cooldown. Additionally note that its range is rather short at only 400 units. While it does make Fiora untargetable for about 2 seconds, there are numerous counterplays to it that deserves its own section.
When not to use Blade Waltz
- You never want to use Blade Waltz as an opener. Fiora's last strike will land you right next to the target you first hit, if you do this in a team fight you may find yourself in the middle of the enemy team.
- Don't use it when you are blinded, during 's Every strike will not deal any damage.
- Don't use it against enemies who have abilities that make them untargetable or stealthed such as 's , 's or anyone with a . It will fizzle out and go on cooldown.
- If you are ignited or hit by a tether spell and about to die, don't bother using R. The damage will still tick down and kill you before you can lifesteal enough health back. You'll just be left with a long wait on Blade Waltz's cooldown.
- If the enemy has a suppression like 's , they can knock you out of Blade Waltz before the first strike lands. This is extremely frustrating and may just come down to luck. The mana cost and cooldown will be refunded, thankfully.
When to use Blade Waltz
- When you are about to be bursted or under 50% health. Blade Waltz procs on-hit effects, which importantly includes lifesteal. Don't wait too long as the enemy could ignite you and reduce your healing.
- In AOE team compositions, Blade Waltz works extremely well if the enemy is clumped up. Blade Waltz deals over 2000 total damage with a 5.1 bonus AD ratio to 4 targets.
- Blade Waltz can be used as a finisher along with which can be cast in Blade Waltz's duration. Its especially helpful when tower diving as the tower can't hurt you and will shift targets when you come out until you attack the enemy champion again.
Calcuating Blade Waltz's damage
Blade Waltz's damage potential can be rather confusing so let me explain how much damage it can do. The key fact to understand is that each strike to the same champion after the 1st hit to them only deals 25% of the damage and at 25% of the AD ratio. On-hit effects such as from items like still deal the full damage. Lifesteal will be based on the physical damage done as it normally is.
Physical Damage per Strike: 160 / 330 / 500 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage)
Each individual strike to a target that hasn't been hit before will be dealt this much. Each additional strike deals:
Physical Damage per Additional Strike 40 / 82.5 / 125 (.3 per bonus AD)
Therefore if you used in your ultimate against at least 4 enemy champion, the damage you would deal to the initial single target would be:
Total Minimum Single Target Physical Damage: 200 / 412.5 / 625 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage)
The total damage you would deal to the their entire team would be:
Total Maximum Physical Damage: 680 / 1402.5 / 2125 (+5.1 per bonus attack damage) [must hit 4 targets]
However if the first target is dead before the final strike then Fiora will attack the fifth enemy champion. (If he isn't there then Fiora will attack the second target she hit with reduced damage)
Total Maximum Possible Physical Damage: 800 / 1650 / 2500 (+6 per bonus attack damage) [must hit all 5 targets, only possible if the targeted champion dies before the last dash]
This is all fine and good for teamfights, but you probably are going to only use Blade Waltz against one target in the laning phase as well as when you attempt to assassinate the enemy carry. So let's look at Blade Waltz's damage against a single target.
Total Maximum Single Target Physical Damage: 320 / 660 / 1000 (+2.4 per bonus attack damage)
The first strike deals the full damage with each additional hit dealing 25% of the damage. 25% * 4 additional strikes = 100%. Essentially Fiora deals 2 full damage strikes when only using Blade Waltz against one target. Fiora loses 2 and 1/4 strikes worth of damage if she uses it against a single target. Still, a 1000 base damage at max rank to a single target is enormous. But the inefficiency of the 4 additional hits leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There should be a way to increase the single target damage, no? This is where the on-hit effect of Blade Waltz comes in.
Why on-hit items work on Fiora________________________________________________________________________________
This is where the fact that Blade Waltz triggers on-hit effects is key. Whereas the base damage and AD of each additional strike is reduced by 25%, the damage from on-hit items is not diminished. This makes on-hit much more effective when the there are fewer targets. Here is an example:
- take 's 70 AD * 2.4 bonus AD on a single target = 168 additional damage.
- take 's on-hit 42 magical damage * 5 strikes = 210 additional damage.
Obviously there are other factors such as Fiora building armor pen instead of magic pen, crit chance and damage when she auto-attacks, etc; however the point is clear. On-hit items deal more individual damage with Blade Waltz then pure AD items due to 25% damage reduction on each additional hit.
Its another story if Blade Waltz hits more targets though.
- take 's 70 AD * 5.1 bonus AD on 4 targets = 357
Building on-hit items is extremely useful on Fiora if you intend on dealing maximum single target damage with where as AD will deal more damage over the entire team.
Advantages and Disadvantages of On-hit
- Higher single target damage on
- On-hit items provide armor/mr to make Fiora tankier
- Works well with Fiora's
- On-hit items provide Attack Speed, has a short duration and is easily disrupted
- Deals Magic Damage, which counters enemies who stack armor against Fiora
- Deals Magic Damage which I do not itemize penetration for.
- Falls off damage wise late game compared to crit builds
- Less lifesteal
- Worse multi-target damage on
- Few good on-hit items
Ultimately, I think on-hit items are a viable alternative to a normal carry build. They provide a good measure of resistances without losing out on damage. It is inferior late game due to less synergy from lifesteal and crit.
Skill Order: Why max W last?The reason why I max W last is two-fold. One, because W isn't that useful in lane. And two, because Q and E are much better with additional levels than as one point wonders. But I want to emphasize that Fiora has no set skill order, it is dependent on matchup.
Why W isn't that useful in lane.
First off, its a conditional damage spell that requires you to play reactive instead of dictating the situation. Relaying on the enemy auto-attacking to deal damage is making a lot of assumptions. One, that they can't harass you with just abilities all day. Two, that you can press W in time to block it. Three, that they won't fake you out by baiting it. Putting all of your damage on how your opponent acts is a gamble I'm not willing to risk.
Secondly, the damage is magical and scales with AP. While I like the idea of dealing magic damage to bypass armor stackers, the damage isn't really so great that I'm willing to max it first. It doesn't have any penetration behind it and procs spellvamp instead of lifesteal.
Third, It doesn't get much better with additional levels. Most enemies are cognizant of Fiora's parry and will work around it with either baiting it or by using abilities. Most won't engage in long auto-attack duels which make its cooldown decrease irrelevant. The damage increase per level is not bad, but again it's dependent on the enemy making a mistake. The general reason for maxing W is for the passive AD boost. While more AD is always good, the 1st level of W already provides 15 AD and each additional level only provides 5 AD. That is not worth it in my opinion.
Four, It doesn't make sense against common lane match ups. Top lane is full of AD casters, bruisers, and manaless casters. Just about all of them can harass Fiora without auto-attacking. Even against bruisers that relay on auto-attacking, maxing W first is not necessarily a good idea as the mobility Q and E give Fiora are generally more useful outside of lane.
I think W is primarily a defensive skill that works best as a one or two point wonder vs. most matchups. The AD boost at level 1 is good enough to farm with. Its primary purpose is blocking an auto-attack, which it does fine at level 1.
Why I max Q first
For one, you can use it to deal damage whenever you are in 600 range and doesn't depend on the enemy. The damage itself is actually 20 base damage higher than W's if you count it as a single ability. If you max W first, you do get 20 additional AD.
Secondly, the cooldown at level one is ungodly long at 16 seconds but scales down to 8 seconds at max rank. Having Q on a shorter cooldown is far more helpful in lane as it helps you reposition, farm, harass, and chase the enemy.
Additionally, Q is synergistic with the rest of Fiora's kit. Q procs stacks of and 's MS boost, which lets Fiora get in range to auto-attack and . Q holds her entire kit together.
Lastly, Q is the closest thing Fiora has to an escape. She can't lunge to allied minions but she can to enemy minions, champions and jungle creeps.
Why I max E second
Simply, more movement and attack speed on a shorter cooldown is a good thing. The cooldown at level 1 is 15 second which is too high for the short duration it lasts. Don't max it first as early game attack speed is not as useful as damage from abilities due to not having items yet.
You could max E last and W second as E refreshes on kills and halved on assists which makes the cooldown reduction per level irrelevant.
Why I level R whenever possible
Not a question. The damage from Blade Waltz doubles at level two and then by 50% at level 3. The cooldown decrease per level is also extremely key.
Remember, Fiora has no set skill order. It is dependent on matchup.
The skill order of R>Q>E>W is only the default option because it plays to Fiora's strengths of snowballing and mobility. However none of her skills are good enough to always level first. In fact they depend heavily on match-ups. Here is a general guide on what to level first and why. For a specific champion, see the match-up chapter.
General Skill Order and vs. Casters
This lets Fiora snowball extremely hard with Q's double gap-closer and E's MS and AS boost. Casters generally rely on distance as defense so getting close to constantly trade stops them from poking you to death. If I am winning against a different type of matchup I will also level this way to snowball further.
vs. Auto-attack Heavy Melee Champions
This is an increasingly rare matchup as auto-attack bruisers without ranged harass have generally fallen out of favor. Because they are only melee auto-attackers, you do not need to close the gap as they are only melee as well. W's CDR per rank would actually be helpful and E's AS would be useful in melee trades.
vs. Melee Champions with ranged harass, dodge, AS slows
If they have some kind of stealth, dodge, block, or AS slow then you have to rely on non-auto-attack damage to trade. These are generally the worst match-ups so this is damage control at best. This also assumes they usually use auto-attacks in conjunction which is why W is leveled first.
vs. Auto-attack Heavy Ranged champions
Fiora will generally win trades with ranged auto-attack champions due to better stats that's only if she can get close. Q is leveled first to do so but W is leveled second to block harass. If the lane is going well, level E before W to maximize Fiora's chasing ability.
Item Build: Melee AD Options
OR OR OR OR
Starting Doran's Blade is possible due its great sustain as long as you are auto-attacking. You would need 167 AD with old Doran's Blade's 3% lifesteal to equal new Doran's Blade's 5 health per hit. And that is before armor calculations. Start with this if you can bully your enemy early. Get 2 if you are especially in need of early game sustain.
Starting Cloth Armor is best against AD lane bullies like and . Make sure to use all of your potions, along with Fiora's to keep your health up.
Starting Boots is best against ranged squishy targets. The Season 3 nerf to boots made this start less ubiquitous, but it is still an option to stick to targets. Squishy ranged targets are the ideal Fiora matchup and starting boots lets you dominate them early while being able to escape ganks more easily unlike starting Doran's Blade.
Starting Crystalline Flask is not as attractive as it used to be due to the gold cost increase. Fiora isn't that mana intensive but the mana regen it provides is nice. Its a very safe start against most matchups which doesn't have too many drawbacks.
Starting Double Rejuvenation Beads means you are rushing Tiamat and intending on trading early and often. I haven't fully tested this build but it certainly could work. It's probably better against AP or mixed damage opponents than full AD opponents in which case you should start with cloth armor. 10 hp/5 is equivalent to a potion every 75 seconds.
Early Game Items
Optional Laning Items
Doran's Blade as stated before has amazing sustain in lane. It's far more effective then an early vamp scepter while costing 325 gold less. If you are in a dead even or losing lane, it is better to buy a Doran's Blade then saving for a high end item.
Doran's Shield has an amazing passive that blocks 6 auto-attack damage from champions. Along with masteries, that's 11 damage blocked! Against auto-attackers, this is very useful for trading. Unfortunately this also works well against Fiora.
Avarice Blade is a good item in farm lanes. Fiora benefits from crit as much of her damage is from auto-attacks. It can be kept for a long time and then be upgraded to Statikk Shiv during late game.
Vampiric Scepter is necessary for sustain and later items such as and . Season Three changes to its cost and formula has made lifesteal more expensive and rare. If possible, finish more expensive items first such as which builds into or which builds into . These items are more helpful in lane and increase the effectiveness of lifesteal with their AD. Besides you already have lifesteal if you took lifesteal quints as I recommended.
First Offensive Item
IF Enemy buys HP THEN Blade of the Ruined King.
IF Enemy buys Armor THEN Black Cleaver
IF Passive Lane or Losing THEN Hydra
IF Enemy buys Armor THEN Black Cleaver
IF Passive Lane or Losing THEN Hydra
Blade of the Ruined King, from here on abbreviated to BORK, is almost the perfect item for Fiora. As of patch 3.03 it is over powered. It builds from which has an easy build path and provides a much needed slow to Fiora's kit. BORK counters HP stackers as it deals 5% percentage damage of their current health per auto-attack. Note that its 'current' health and not total, so its effectiveness will decrease as you damage them. Nevertheless, Fiora makes great use of BORK's on-hit effect due to her 's AS and her 's 5 applications of it.
Additionally BORK's active has a silly amount of beneficial effects, its slows the enemy and hastes the user so Fiora stay in range. It deals 15% of the champion's maximum Health in physical damage and healing you by the same amount. BORK's weakness is that all of its damage is physical so it is vulnerable to armor stacking. However its great utility and overall strength definitely makes it amazing on Fiora.
The Brutalizer is an excellent early game item for snowballing due to its Armor Pen and CDR. However it is not an answer to armor stacking but rather makes damage dealt to low armor targets more effective.
Its better to buy Last Whisper first if the enemy is stacking nothing but armor. Black Cleaver's next 1663 gold cost after Brutalizer is painful to get against a pure armor enemy. Last Whisper is cheaper at 2300 gold and doesn't require a ramp up time like Black Cleaver.
From LoL Wiki: "Last Whisper becomes more effective at penetrating armor than The Brutalizer when an opponent has more than 28.6 armor. It becomes more effective than Youmuu's Ghostblade at 57.1 armor. It becomes more effective than 4 stacks of the Black Cleaver's debuff (+ flat pen) at 100 armor. It is to be noted though Last Whisper can penetrate more armor at those values, it is important to remember that the overall DPS may or may not be higher due to factors like runes, items stats and cost."
Ravenous Hydra is a great team-fight item for Fiora as it lets her deal AOE damage while healing off of the damage done. Additionally it provides an active which is essentially another AOE auto-attack on a short cooldown. The speed of this active is dependent on your attack speed so activating it during Fiora's will lower the cast time. Try to weave the active in right after an auto-attack as it resets the auto-attack timer.
Getting Tiamat early either means you need a wave clear as soon as possible or you are losing lane and need the hp/5 to survive. Building Tiamat unfortunately takes up a lot of inventory space. The active is useful for trading as it is essentially an auto-attack that is not affected by blinds or dodges. Getting Tiamat for its wave clear prevents Fiora from getting stuck farming under her tower.
Get Hydra middle game if 5 on 5 team-fights are happening or if you want to split-push, its great for both. Unlike BORK and Black Cleaver, Hydra doesn't counter defensive items but the AOE damage potential of it is worth buying. One important change to note about the Season 3 change to Tiamat/Hydra is that the splash damage is based on the user's AD and not the damage dealt. This is a nerf to splashing on targets and well as Tiamat/crit builds.
Middle Game Items
Second Offensive Item
Ravenous Hydra See above, for split pushing or team fights.
Blade of the Ruined King See above, for health stackers.
The Black Cleaver was remade for season 3 and has been continuously nerfed. Nevertheless its a valuable item on Fiora as it lets her counter light armor stackers while providing CDR and health. Her ultimate lets her gain full stacks if used on a single target, or you could + AA + + AA for 4 stacks. CDR is useful as Fiora has long cooldowns on her most of her skills. I would not rush Black Cleaver as armor isn't usually rushed and Last Whisper does a better job against those armor stackers. Instead, Black Cleaver is best bought for middle game team fights if your team has a lot of physical damage.
Getting boots early is less necessary due to the global MS buff to champions and nerfs to boots. That being said, they are still necessary around middle game.
Ninja Tabi's scale well into late game because auto-attack damage reduction works multiplicative with armor and health. By late game most of the damage will be from ranged carries, so reducing auto-attack damage by 10% helps Fiora close the gap to kill them first. Its unknown how its percentage auto-attack damage reduction works in order with the block mastery and Doran's Shield.
Mercury Treads is much less cost efficient, you only get 5 additional MR from a however its the tenacity that counts. Fiora is very susceptible to cc so reducing the duration is helpful for surviving burst. However tenacity does not reduce the effects of knockups, knockbacks, suppression, and persistent AOE slows. Also tenacity stacks multiplicatively with cc reduction from masteries so it would be .65 x .85 = .5525, 1-.5525 = 44.75% cc reduction instead of 50% cc reduction. The combo cost is higher at 450 gold so you'll probable have to buy it on the second trip back. If you need more straight MR, get two instead of upgrading to Merc Treads.
Boots of Swiftness were buffed in Season Three by adding slow effect reduction. I've been playing around with these and think they are quite good late game for catching up to ranged AD carries that have built MS items like Phantom Dancer and have Red Buff. If you are snowballing a lane, buying these further help chase the enemy down to snowball it further.
Furor is the best choice as it procs on Fiora's and , letting her stick to opponents even better in conjunction with 's MS boost.
Homeguard is best when your team is losing and defending your base. Even if your team loses the fight, this enchantment lets to catch enemies that lingered too long.
Captain is bought for split-pushing. The MS boost to allies is of questionable worth but it could be good for engaging/disengaging. I think having at least one captain enchantment is good for the entire team, so buy it late game if no one else does.
Late Game Items
Third Offensive Item
Last Whisper is an end game item against armor stackers because Black Cleaver is slightly better early on. A common misconception about the Season 3 armor pen changes is that it made armor irrelevant. Actually, it was a nerf to armor pen builds early game because Riot nerfed the armor pen on Runes, masteries, and the Brutalizer. Armor is only worse off(ignoring the armor items nerf) when a champion buys Last Whisper along with Armor Pen runes/items. Because of the calcuation order change, Black Cleaver and Last Whisper work together more effectively now then in Season 2. For further information, read http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Armor_penetration
Statikk Shiv is an AOE version of Phantom Dancer. Crucial, it charges up with movement abilities as well as with auto-attacks. This works well with Fiora's Q dashes, E's AS steroid, and R's 5 hits. I think these factors, its lower cost, and easier build path makes it a better option than Phantom Dancer. Avarice Blade can be bought early for more gold. It is unknown if it charges with R's teleports as well or if it charges if the target moves during her channel.
and are a good armor shredding combination. While and are a good AOE/split push combination. But you can mix and match as needed.
Frozen Mallet gives Fiora a slow to stick even harder to targets while providing health which is the best defensive stat in Season 3. Buy giants belt first as Phage is overpriced for its passive. Fiora's ultimate could potentially slow the entire enemy team with Frozen Mallet.
Randuin's Omen is kind of a forgotten gem among defensive opinions. It is amazing against AD carries which is Fiora's main objective to kill in team fights. It gives Fiora a slow in its active while its AS slow lets her duel better against other auto-attackers. You could either buy Warden's Mail first if they have heavy physical damage or giant's belt first for health.
Guardian Angel despite its nerfs is still a strong defensive option for Fiora. Fiora mostly relies on lifesteal for defense, so GA's resistances will make that health regained more effective. You can bait enemies by dying with GA, then using to heal yourself but this is risky if they have hard cc or a snare. Get this against AD enemies as you'll need to hold on to a Chain Vest for a long time due to the combine cost.
Mercurial Scimitar takes QSS's great cleanse and combines it with more AD for an amazing MR carry item. It even has a melee only passive which provides MS so you can get away. Obviously great against mages with cc.
Situational Laning Items
If the enemy laner is stacking so much armor that building Black Cleaver will take too long then consider getting a Last Whisper. I don't recommend rushing a LW unless there is no way you can farm safely without killing the enemy laner first. This is because rushing LW deals less damage than a normal build to squishy targets.
Other Items Discussion: Mostly Suboptimal
While Fiora is a hybrid between AD casters and a melee carry, she doesn't have enough spells that scale with AD to justify building a Bloodthirster. Look at Riven or Talon. They both have 3-4 spells that scale with AD. Outside of Fiora's ultimate, most of her damage will come from auto-attacks. BORK and Black Cleaver deal more auto-attack damage due to their passives which also applies to her ult. Getting BT for its additional AD makes Fiora even more reliant on her ultimate then she already is for damage. Also if you die, you'll lose half of the stacks.
The other reason people get BT on Fiora is for its lifesteal. However I believe running 6% lifesteal from runes is enough to not need BT. Getting Ravenous Hydra would provide more lifesteal if you can hit multiple enemies and is more useful in teamfights. It's not that BT is bad, its just that Fiora has better options.
Wit's End is best against double AP comps. It also somewhat bypasses armor stacking while providing defense and great single target damage for Fiora's ultimate. Don't buy Wit's against a physical damage dealer or someone with an AS debuff. Additional attack speed is not wasted on Fiora as Burst of Speed has too short of a duration and too high of a cooldown to be reliable. The reason I moved Wit's End from my recommended items to here is due to its long combination time due to Recurved Bow. It requires you to hoard 950 gold for 30% AS which provides less of a power spike then other mid-tier items. The combine cost is also high at 850 gold. It's still a great item on Fiora that provides a good mixture of offense and defense.
Fiora doesn't have low enough cooldowns to make Trinity Force effective. Sure, Q + AA + Q + AA is impressive burst but TF's stats are too widespread for its expensive cost.
Fiora's problem early game is not her attack speed but her squishyness. Ninja Tabi's armor/damage reduction and Merc Tread's tenacity is too good to pass up for Berserker's Greave's AS.
Phantom Dancer is not a bad option, especially since it ignores unit collision now but I prefer Statikk Shiv for its AOE damage.
I used to recommend rushing Youmuu's Ghostblade, but I think the newer AD items slightly outclass it now. Youmuu's still a great item with a great build path since you can either build aggressive with Brutalizer first or passively farm with Avarice first. As is, Youmuu's depends too much on its active to be cost efficient. However it is excellent at going all in if you can constantly hit an enemy during its active. I would buy this either as jungle Fiora or against squishy targets. Its very good on Jungle Fiora as it provides a cheap damage core that gives every multiplicative AD stat (AD, AS, Armor Pen, Crit) for 6 seconds which is all that is necessary for a gank or jungle skirmish.
If you are fighting against a squishy target, Youmuu's gives Fiora the MS boost to counter kiting and its flat penetration is more effective than Black Cleaver or Last Whisper. See this article for more details: http://www.reignofgaming.net/blogs/a-different-view/oldmaneyebrows/23015-the-black-cleaver-vs-youmuus-ghostblade
Infinity Edge provides the best auto-attack damage, however the cost is too high for its risk. Fiora needs lifesteal or defense to survive, especially so in top lane . Fiora is a hybrid AD caster and carry, while IE is a pure auto-attacker's item. Items with on-hit effects or higher AD are better fits. IE is better suited for ranged auto-attackers who can attack from safety, unlike Fiora who is melee.
Wriggle's Lantern had its AD reduced but its monster damage proc increased; making it a much better jungle item. Its still a useful item in lane against AD lane opponents if losing lane for its armor, free ward, and lifesteal. Wriggle's and BORK make a great baron killing combination.
Hexdrinker is an excellent option against magic damage as the shield and mr work together for more effective health. Maw of Malmortius, on the other hand, is not great stat wise and should not be bought until late game.
Riot completely gutted my favorite mid-tier item. Executioner's Calling is now extremely weak for its gold cost. I would only consider buying it if at least 3 of the enemy team has heavy sustain. Fiora's ultimate could potentially apply grievous wounds to the entire enemy team, but it would only last 1.5 seconds. At least it builds out of Avarice Blade which is useful.
Early Game: Insert French JokeAn important thing to understand about Fiora is that she is not a duelist in lane. She loses against numerous bruisers in a duel. In lane, she's a cowardly skirmisher who hits and runs. She wins exchanges by relying on and lifesteal to regenerate health while protecting herself with and retreating with 's movement speed. The idea is to slowly whittle down the enemy's health while regenerating your own. Fiora is not as tanky as other champions but she can win the battle of attrition if properly played.
Start if your lane opponent is squishy or ability dependent. This is usually against casters and ranged champions but can work against bruisers that rely on abilities. Your + AA + + AA combo is generally stronger than their level 1 spell. If you are invading, take Q first as well for mobility.
Start if the enemy has an amazing level 1 like or primarily use auto-attacks like . Play defensively, but trade auto-attacks if they get close enough. Farming should be easy with W's increased AD. Since you both are level 1 this increases the likelihood of them using auto-attacks for you to counter.
Either way, check out who the enemy jungler is. If they start at blue when you are the purple team or start at red when you are the blue team then play cautiously in case they attempt a level 2 gank.
Harassing as Fiora
Try to always keep a stack of up if you are not full health by attacking minions. This not only sustains Fiora's health but also makes it easier to get more stacks when harassing an enemy champion. When attempting to the harass the enemy, keep the engagements short, you want to get full stacks of and then retreat. Utilize the combos I showed you above.
Once you have all 3 skills, the standard harass goes like this: (Optional) + + AA + + AA(optional) then retreat. If they attempt to auto-attack at any point, use . E's movement speed boost is triggered by Qs and autoattacks, getting the max 3 stacks which helps you retreat before the enemy to counterattack. If you are both melee, you can start this off by walking up to them first. Hit them with an AA then activate E to reset Fiora's AA for a faster attack.
When you autoattack enemy champions, this aggros the enemy minions. This is both good and bad. The bad part is that it pushes the lane as the enemy creeps are attacking you while your creeps are still attacking the enemy creeps. The good part is that when you retreat, the enemy melee minions will follow you. When they stop pursuing you (break line of sight by going into the bush), they'll attack the closest target which will be your caster minions.
This will make it harder for the enemy champion to cs your caster minions while making it easier to cs their melee minions. Having their melee minions closer to your tower is useful as you can them as an escape. This also sets you for a + AA + retreat combo.
Notes and a Matchup SectionDisclaimer
I have always dreaded writing match-up sections as they tend to be wildly inaccurate. League of Legends does not have real hard counters. There are certainly are difficult match-ups but the concept of counters is misleading. It is not an instant win if you pick a counter to a champion. Skill is always a better determiner of who wins a lane. A match-up section does not take into factor jungle ganks and ganking other lanes. This promotes a very selfish view of League where only your lane matters. You would probably learn more about a match-up by reading a guide or the wiki article of the champion you are facing than a match-up section here. Additionally, I have not extensively played every single matchup so it will rely on theorycrafting for matchups I haven't faced. Because of all these misgivings, I will use the admittedly euphemistic terms of favorable, skill based, and unfavorable for describing lane match-ups.
About Snowballing and Junglers
Fiora does not have many good matchups, she's frailer than all bruisers and offers zero cc. If she gets killed early, the enemy can easily snowball against her because she relies on melee auto-attacks to farm. However the reverse is true as well. Fiora snowballs extremely hard if given an advantage. Her double gap closer, good steroids, and tower diving ult allows her to stick to a target. This means that even against bad matchups, Fiora can still win lane or at least break even.
What this also means is match-ups are more decided by the junglers than the enemy laner. Make your jungler camp top lane because if the enemy jungler is smart, he'll recognize that Fiora is an easy gank. You want tanky but strong early game junglers on your team. Examples: , , , , , and . They preferably should have cc or red buff as Fiora has neither.
If your jungler doesn't camp lane, don't fret, you just have to play more defensively especially if the enemy laner has hard cc. Fiora's passive is noticeable early game and allows you win auto-attack trades.
, , ,
Ranged AD Carries top generally have jumps to deal with gapclosers. That does not matter to Fiora due to her Q. Activate E before using Q for additional MS. W is easy to land as you can see the projectile coming towards you. Their frailness makes them easy targets to kill. Build normally. Killable at 6? Yes
Vladimir is very weak early game. Once you close the gap on him, his only defense is pooling. You should win every trade until he gets level 5 of his Q. Don't let him Q poke to death by breaking vision through the bushes. Please note that his pool does cancel and put on cooldown Fiora's R. So force him to pool first then use it. Build Hexdrinker if losing. Killable at 6? Yes
Similar to Vladimir in that once you close the gap, Fiora should easily win trades. Unlike Vlad, Kennen's Q does not require sight which makes bush camping harder. However he does use auto-attacks for his W which you can block with your W (only the physical damage,damage will still apply, should still apply a mark). Once you gap-close, try to sidestep his Q before reclosing the gap with your second Q. His escape is basically Ghost but E's MS should help you stick you to him. Ult when he ults to prevent the damage and another mark. Build Hexdrinker or Wit's End if losing. Killable at 6? Yes
Nidalee relies on her range and mobility to constantly poke down an enemy. Fiora's W counters her auto-attack pokes (and cougar form's Q), while her Q and E lets Fiora stick to Nidalee. This is especially easy against AD Nidalee. If against AP Nidalee, just watch out for her javelins. Ward her side of the bush so you can Q to her. Level E over W if you are crushing her. Killable at 6? Yes
Fiora's W can obviously block Gangplank's Q (his passive applies) but this depends on your reflexes. His Q's cooldown is always lower than the cooldown of Fiora's W so this is only a soft counter mechanism. However Fiora's passive counters Gangplank's DOT passive as well as having a better AD and MS steroid. Unlike Gangplank she also has an AS steroid. Fiora has no CC so his W is only a heal. Fiora's ult avoids most of the damage of his ult. Level W first to block the majority of his damage. Build whatever you want offensively but buy Ninja Tabi or Doran's Shield to reduce his Q damage. Kill at 6? Yes
Will write the skill dependent and unfavorable matchups later, she has a lot of them.
Mid Game: Don't Fight Without ROnce you get your ultimate, your kill potential increases dramatically. However the cooldown is rather long at 130 seconds at level 1. Never pursue a kill without your ultimate, you are significantly weaker without it.
Buying wards is extra important on Fiora as she is squishy and has no escapes. Always ward the tribush and the enemy blue entrance if you are purple team. Always ward the tribush as blue team and hopefully your mid will ward the enemy wraith camp.
If the enemy laner is constantly bush juking or you suspect a bush gank then ward their bushes as well. Playing Fiora requires even more attention to map awareness then usual.
Tower Diving as Fiora
Fiora is extremely good at tower diving. The optimal tower dive is with allied minions pushed up to the tower. Enemy towers deal increased damage with each successive hit. Assuming the enemy has no cc, you should soak the first hit of the tower as it shouldn't deal too much damage. While the second hit is coming towards you, use to dodge it and disengage from the tower's priority of attack. If allied minions are near, the tower will attack them instead. If the enemy champion isn't dead yet, you can continue attacking them. Save or if you can for your ultimate or last auto-attack as it gives Fiora an MS boost to run away faster.
I recommend you tower diving mid rather rather than top as enemy mid-laners tend to be squishier and mid-lane offers multiple escape routes afterwards.
Ganking as Fiora
There is a current tread in top lane to never leave the lane and play as an isolated 1 v 1 away from the rest of the game (besides jungle ganks). I don't think that's a good idea. Specifically Fiora's high damage and high mobility makes her a decent ganker around mid game. Since you are top lane, you only have the option of ganking mid lane. If the enemy jungler is ganking bot, you know that you have an opportunity. If the enemy top is freezing a pushed top lane and you can't farm, try ganking.
Mid lane tends to be full of squishy mages that pack some kind of hard cc. The key is avoid their cc with (if they use skillshots) or . Tower dive with R as stated above. Make sure to always have and up to secure the kill and run away if the enemy jungler comes.
The Approach: As Purple side
Middle blue players will typically ward here:
Whereas top blue players usually ward here:
That means the river path from this brush is to the middle brush will have no vision, allowing a free ganking path.
The blue top player can warn the blue mid player if they see you though. To discourage this, you want to pop in and out of the bush lull them into thinking you are just brush juking. Make sure to have a ward at the blue side blue buff entrance so the enemy jungle doesn't catch you in the middle of the river.
The Approach: As Blue side
This is harder and more dangerous than the purple side approach. Mid purple players typically ward here:
Top purple players will typically ward here, but some are lazy and ward closer to the lane. If they do that then you will be seen unless you enter near the top purple tower.
Blue side's ganking route takes you their the purple side's jungle which is extremely dangerous. Make sure to spot the purple side jungle near bot lane before trying this.
Against ranged champions, always utilize the bushes to reduce their zone. This is especially useful against champions with only targeted abilities like .
Fiora can easily take down towers with her but its not necessarily always a good thing to do so. If you take their tower, they could freeze the lane next to the inner tower, which makes it easier for Fiora to get ganked. The benefits of taking the tower would be helping your team push down middle and killing dragon. Its very situational and depends heavily on who your enemy laner is, who is winning the lane and how your team is doing.
Late Game and TeamfightingFiora has two roles late game. One, Fiora is an assassin who specializes in killing AD carries due to 's double dash and 's parry. And two, Fiora is a melee carry who can clean up teamfights with 's cooldown refresh on kills. Regardless, you do not want to be the first one in.
Wait until most of the enemy cc has been blown before dashing it in. Ideally, you don't want to approach from the front. Flanking the enemy team or attacking from behind is the ideal approach. That way you can get closer to the AD carry and away from the enemy peelers. Wait until they blow their flash or escape ability before using your second lunge. Shurelia has a great rule about playing assassins: "Assass(in), Assass(out)" don't stay and get gibbed by the enemy team.
Fiora is extremely relent on her and lifesteal for survivability. Any cc that disrupts your ability to auto-attack will spell death for Fiora. Until she gets into very late game Fiora will probably lose duels to especially tanky bruisers. However if lefted unchecked, she can dish out amazing damage with 's cooldown refresh on kills. Fiora should focus on killing the squishest targets first due to this mechanic. It sounds incredibly obvious but its still worth mentioning.
Its honestly not a bad idea to continuously press and in late game team fights as the cooldown is very low and one can forget to press it. I've won close duels due to the enemy killing themselves by autoattacking a riposte. Similarly keep an eye on 's cooldown. It doesn't have to be active during a kill or assist to receive the refresh/reduction. In hectic teamfights, you might have it up all of the time.
Split Pushing as Fiora
Fiora can be an effective late game split pusher but remember that her MS boost is conditional on auto-attacking or lunging. Unlike , she can be caught easily so keep the jungle paths warded. Vision on jungle creeps also gives Fiora mobility in the jungle by using them as lunge targets through walls or as auto-attack targets to get an MS boost. The time it takes to auto-attack is generally made up for by the enormous MS boost afterwards.
Useful ResourcesI highly recommend watching Shurelia's guide to middle lane Fiora. I think mid-lane Fiora is extremely viable and Shurelia has a great understanding of the champion. Even if you've played Fiora before, I think you can learn something new by watching her tutorial. Pay attention to her combo section, its very well done.
If you don't know how to top-lane or want a refresher, I suggest watching HowToTopLane's videos. He goes into good detail about how to counter certain champions and general laning tips.
Much of the statistical info and skill descriptions is from the LoL wiki. Its a excellent resource for clarifying how game mechanics work. The champion comments can be a great place to discuss a specific champion. I check those comments every so often as well.
You should read the other approved Fiora guides here on solomid. While I disagree with their skill-order and item builds, they do provide good insight on Fiora. Specifically this section is helpful: http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=19910#chap15
I even encourage you to read guides from other websites; whether it be mobafire, lolpro or lolking. Ideas can come from anywhere, but use your own critical thinking to analyze them. Here's a good example of one by the1banana at http://www.lolking.net/guides/37526
Final CommentsFiora is an underplayed and under-appreciated champion. I hope to change that. I do think Fiora could use some buffs such as negating on-hit effects with , decreasing 's cooldown, or increasing 's numbers. Regardless, I think this is a better way to play Fiora than the commonly accepted path. Disagree in the comments if you'd like, I'd be happy to answer any concerns. Remember to play Fiora with "Precision and Grace!"
Jungle Fiora and Justifying it________________________________________________________________________________
Before We Begin
Jungle Fiora is a lot better in Season Three than she was in Season Two due to item changes and increased difficulty of large monsters. Unlike most junglers, Fiora brings no cc nor does is she tanky. Therefore the first question to consider before picking jungle Fiora is whether your team has enough cc and tankiness to teamfight effectively.
The second question to consider is whether you want to play jungle Fiora as a farmer or a ganker. The benefit of Fiora jungling is a safer early game but less gold overall. You can either continuously farm the jungle for more gold or gank, Fiora is neither amazing nor terrible at either.
Fiora in the Season Three Jungle
Fiora is a decent jungler in Season Three mainly due to one reason, the addition of:
Hunter's Machete's 10 true damage per auto-attack and convenient upgrade to Madred's Razors which makes Fiora clear speed relatively quicker than before. These two items work well with Fiora's attack speed steroid from E. The buffs to larger monsters is a good thing due to Fiora's strong single target clearing. Weaker smaller monsters helps with Fiora's nonexistent AOE clearing. Jungle Fiora is as good as Lane Fiora is now, but with the benefit of an easier early game. However I don't suggest you upgrade Madred's Razor's into
The first problem with Wriggle's Lantern in Season Three is that you have to pay 800 gold for Vamp Scepter early game when you can skip it if you have Lifesteal Quints. The second problem with Wriggle's is that the damage upgrade from Madred's Razor to Wriggle's is not significant enough to justify rushing it. That is because Madred's loses its Rend passive which Basic attacks deal 10 bonus true damage to monsters.
Therefore the difference between the 25% on-hit passive isn't 500(Wriggle's) - 300(Madred's) = 200. But instead 500 - 340 = 160, and is less affected by RNG(random number generator). I believe skipping Wriggle's Lantern lets you rush core items quicker at minimum opportunity cost. I recommend waiting to upgrade Wriggle's until your team decides to do Baron.
Two Modes Gank(no crit) or Farm(crit)
Fiora has two modes in the jungle, either she focuses on farming or she focuses on ganking. Farming relies on your team surviving the laning phase without you so that you can build more items. I don't recommend that you farm without ganking unless you trust your teammates. If you intend on farming, I recommend building
Avarice Blade both provides 3 gold per 5 seconds and 2 additional gold per kill. Crit goes well with Jungle Fiora as she is auto-attack heavy and has passive AD from her W. A safer approach, which I recommend instead is rushing
Bilgewater Cutlass not only provides lifesteal but also gives a much needed ranged slow active for ganking. The range of the active is quite short so Fiora has to lunge first to get in range. Bilgewater Cutlass is cost effective and upgrades to Blade of the Ruined King, which has a percentage health on-hit effect that is great against Dragon and Baron.
Jungle Fiora Runes
I believe this is the optimal jungling page for Fiora because she is reliant on auto-attacking to clear the jungle.
Quints: As mentioned above, Lifesteal Quints allows Fiora to skip rushing Wriggle's Lantern as 6% lifesteal is enough to maintain high health in her first clear and subsequent ones as well. AD Quints would work as well but you would need to get Wriggle's Lantern for sustain.
Reds: Attack Speed runes escaped the Season Three overall nerfs to attack speed and are thus even more cost efficient. Additionally more hits of Hunter's Machete's 10 true damage per hit is more important damage wise than AD or Armor Pen Reds. You can mix armor pen and AS as less well.
Yellows: Armor is mandatory on almost every jungler to maintain high health, especially for your first clear.
Blues: Fiora's E, Q and R are on long cooldowns which is why I take CDR blues. E is especially is key for clearing. This is a personal preference, you can replace them with MR blues if you don't have CDR blues or wish to be more tanky.
Jungle Summoner SpellsAND OR
Smite is necessary for buff control, clearing the jungle quicker, and is of course mandatory.
The argument made for flash being better in the jungle is due to being closer to walls to jump, though I sometimes take ghost anyways because I'm more comfortable with its shorter cooldown and ability to run fast to help a lane. Either is fine.
Jungle MasteriesYou can choose to either run offensive or defensive masteries. 21/9/0 clears faster but at slightly lower health. I tend to run 21/9/0 unless the enemy jungler is tends to invade a lot.
Crit masteries are decent in the jungle for its 10% attack speed buff if a crit occurs. I put the rest of the points into the defensive tree for additional armor and health instead of mana regen and flash cooldown reduction but either works. I like using Ghost with this page which is why I take its mastery point.
This is a balanced mastery page that is a mixture of all three trees. Fiora tends to clear the jungle with decent health, especially with lifesteal quints so additional defense isn't necessary. I prefer the utility tree over going deeper into offensive tree for its mana regen and increased buff duration. You could put points in defense instead for 14/16/0 masteries as well.
Jungle Skill Order
General Skill Order
My setup for jungle Fiora is different than most that I've seen but I'll justify my choices. Fiora's initial clear speed is dependent on her until your first back in which you buy Madred's Razors. Razors in combination with is the main source of Fiora's clear speed. I choose not continue leveling W past level 2 as it is less useful for ganking and teamfights. I put 2 points in Q and W by level 5 to make the mana cost of each skill cost effective for the damage it provides. While one could level E for additional attack speed and chasing potential, I choose level next instead. Q provides the largest boost to damage and CDR per rank. The ability to use Q to gap closer more often is more useful for ganking and teamfights.
Farm All Day Skill Order
This setup levels E before Q for maximum clear speed with Razors. Not leveling Q hurts Fiora's teamfighting but leveling E is still good for ganking as the MS boost lets her stick to targets with E + Q.
How to use Fiora's Skills in the JungleThere was several minor details about Fiora's skills that can increase your clear times. Let's go through each of her skills.
Use both of its charges at once in the jungle. Why? The cooldown of Fiora's Q starts cooling down when the second charge is used, not when the first charge is used. I originally thought it reset Fiora's auto-attack but I'm not longer sure that is the case. Don't use Q during E's duration when just farming. E's AS steroid duration is only 3 seconds so you don't want to waste those .5 seconds using Q instead.
Fiora's W only reflects on large monsters so attack the smaller minions first. This maximizes the amount of times W can be procced. Otherwise, you are wasting W's active on small monsters that won't proc the riposte. The exception to this is the double golems which both proc W's active. Try to time your W to the auto-attack animation of the monsters to ensure it is procc'ed. W does not interrupt Fiora's auto-attack animations so it can be used during E's AS boost duration.
If you are running the Bladed Armor mastery, and the smaller monster's health are low enough that an auto-attack is overkill, and Bladed Armor could finish them within several seconds, attack the larger monster instead.
Fiora's E is a very awkward auto-attack reset that will rob you of an auto-attack if mistimed. Do it too quickly, and it will cancel your auto-attack, do it too late and you'll see a lull between Fiora's first (no E) auto-attack and her second (using E) auto-attack. This is more noticeable at earlier levels of E.
If you have mana and are moving from camp to camp, saving E til near the end lets you use the MS boost to run to the next camp faster. Remember that the MS boost is separate from the AS boost, it will continue to be in effect for up to 3 seconds after the AS boost expires.
Fiora's ultimate will stop if the enemy breaks line of sight, this can be problematic in the jungle with brushes everywhere. Either save it until you reach an open area, are inside of the brush itself or have a ward.
These are all relatively minor details but worth mentioning. If nothing else, remember to not save the smaller minions til the end. Fiora clears the jungle at a relatively high health so damage taken is not a big concern.
Changelog7/17/12: Finally finished Fiora guide. That took forever.
7/18/12: Approved! That was fast.
8/24/12: Ionic Spark moved to other items. Sometimes situational items are too situational to be kept.
9/18/12: Added ganking mid section in mid-game chapter. With pictures.
9/22/12: Clarified Skill Order and added Last Whisper and Wriggles to situational. Moved EC and Doran's to main build.
9/24/12: Added BC and Ult vs. BT chapter. Lots of math
9/26/12: Added Rincent masteries
10/2/12: Wrote explanation to skill order match-ups and started match-up chapter. Need to do skill based and unfavorable lanes.
10/24/12: Added 9/14/7 mastery option.
11/15/12: Removed Wit's End from recommended items. Added Hexdrinker instead.
Explaination: On-hit items like Wit's End are great damage wise when completed. I realized each piece of the recipe cost a lot of gold but little return value in power spike. Wit's End requires you to buy a Recurved Bow at 1050 gold which is a lot of gold to sit on. Then you have to get 775 more gold for the combine cost. The power spike from getting Executioner's/Brutalizer/Double Doran's is much larger. Since Fiora has such a volatile laning phase, I think getting these strong mid-tier items helps her survive in lane better.
12/19/12: Started rewriting for Season 3.
12/21/12: Finished basic rewriting for Season 3. Will add Blade of the Ruined King and Black Cleaver specific analysis later. Also, I'll finally try to finish the match ups section.
1/15/13: Attempting to finish Jungle Fiora sections.
1/16/13: Added Boots of Swiftness
1/17/13: Changed balanced masteries, added full AD runes, changed crystalline flask cost
2/11/13: Added Hydra to 1st items, changed jungle items and masteries, updated Youmuu's.
2/20/13: Added Jungle Skills section
3/4/14: Added Randuin's Omen, removed second rune page, tweaked jungle sections.