In the name of the moon, Diana will punish you!
There is no better time to pick up Diana then right now. After her nerfs she is rarely played as far as I've noticed, and everyone seems to have forgotten about her and how to play against her, and some people even think she is bad. But you will show them differently.
If you noticed my builds and are thinking "WHAT?!", regarding the nashor's tooth, all is explained in the section on builds.
Welcome, my name is Shrimpsess and I am an Platinum Elo season 2 League of Legends player. This guide will focus on Diana being played in the lane as a bruiser. Diana was only recently released, and learning all the matchups will take time, in addition, you can't always be so certain as to whether the opponent you are playing is just bad, or if Diana is a good matchup against their champion, so this guide is definitely a work in progress. I will make notes on every matchup as I experience them.
I feel Diana can work in the jungle due to her ability to thrive even with just gp/5s, but she's still an assassin and requires a lot of money so is very gank reliant, and her ganks before 6 are difficult to pull off. So, I do not play jungle Diana unless I have to.
Diana can work great in the mid lane due to her strong roaming ability. Her laning phase is great although she will be punished early for being melee. Once she hits 6, landing a Q on the enemy is pretty much a kill, and if not you will burst them down quite a bit without taking much punishment in return. She pushes the lane very well (particularly with Nashor's), so even if you can't gank you can farm the lane and wraiths. She's great at roaming and counter roaming so that should be a focus, get yourself fed. Mid lane is much safer for Diana than top due to her lack of escapes beyond creative use of her ultimate (and flash). The pre 6 ganks can really, really hurt her as well in the top lane. In competitive matches at tourneys and such a pick such as this does hurt your team's teamfight ability if you can't work a stronger ap top (by stronger I mean providing more deadly AOE and CC such as Cassiopeia or Karthus), but in solo queue snowballing reigns supreme and picking an assassin is a great way to win.
So, why play Diana top lane? Diana has tools to deal with top lane champions due to her strong kill power and her shield, which makes for efficient trades. She has an easier time vs melee pre-6 due to her being melee herself. If Diana goes mid, you are taking that space away from a Karthus, or a Cassiopeia, or an Anivia, all champions that cannot top lane very well (depending on matchup of course). Diana doesn't provide the strong aoe damage and range of those champions. Top laners in general take on an assassin role mid game anyway (Riven, Jax, Darius, Olaf, for example), so assassin's feel very nice up there. Now, Diana is an alright jungler, her clear times are very good and stay that way, and her ganks can be good after level 6, but she can't perform the role of a tanky jungler very well, which is very popular and quite necessary right now. Finally, she is pretty money hungry and snowballs strongly. For all these reasons, I feel Diana is a solid top lane pick IF the matchup is favorable.
As you can see, she remains strong even after the nerfs:
I decided to try my hand at getting plat before the season ended, so I spammed Diana. Now I am Platinum.
Used the Nashor's build in every game.
The Moon Shall Never Die: Patch Examination
Date: August 30, 2012
Date: August 30, 2012
- Crescent Strike damage reduced to 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.7*AP) from 80/125/170/215/260 (+0.8*AP).
- Lunar Rush's cooldown increased to 25/20/15 seconds from 20/16/12 seconds.
- Base HP/5 reduced to 7 from 10.
- Pale Cascade: Damage per orb reduced to 20/34/48/62/76 from 20/36/52/68/84.
These ended up going through, and were necessary nerfs. Exccept for the health regen nerf I feel. Maybe to 8 would have been better. But the health regen nerf really hurt her top lane ability. Her mid lane is about the same in that regard, just a tad bit weaker and more balanced.
In any case the nerfs resulted in her practically disappearing from the scene and she is not a common ban at all anymore - Good news for people like me who will continue to play her. I don't foresee any buffs or nerfs in the future at this point.
21/3/6 Mid Lane
Pretty simple setup, but I will explain it.
21 in Offensive AP mage skills, very basic here. Except I take 3 in AD instead of 4 in AP, both for easier last hitting and greater damage while activating your passive.
2 in MR and 1 in Defence. You want the MR vs most mid lane champions, of course, and I take the 1 in defence just to assist with opponents who will abuse the fact that I'm melee and harass me with auto attacks. Every bit helps in that regard.
6 in Utility, for the mana regen. Diana has strong mana problems, she can spam Q when she gets some mana regen but if she's using her shield and ult she is going to go oom quite quickly. In top lane, the shield is even more important then mid and jungling. You will be using it, and the mana cost is no laughing matter. You can't let go of your armor seals, so this is necessary. Your first items, no matter what, will be focused on rectifying the mana problems as well.
21/3/6 Top Lane
Simply swap the defensive masteries. The 3 in Defence is because top lane champs do quite a bit of damage, but I doubt I need to tell you that. You'll need that 3 armor to aid your shield in efficient trading, as well as for minion damage. You should switch it to MR vs Mordekaiser, Vlad, Swain, Rumble, and any other ap champions going top lane, in most situations. Use your best judgement.
Switching out the 6 in utility for a more defensive setup. This can be ideal in some top lane match ups. You won't have the mana regen so you will need to be much more careful with your mana. Remember to swap the armor and mr depending on lane matchup.
9x Magic Penetration Marks
9x Armor Seals
9x Mr/Level or Flat MR Glyphs
3x Flat AP Quints
You'll need the magic penetration marks, because your opponents will certainly buy MR if you are doing well, and some top laners have MR/level base scaling.
Armor seals are absolutely necessary, you cannot trade this for anything.
Whether you take flat MR blues or MR/level blues are up to who you are facing, personally I usually use MR/level because even against an AP champ, Mr/level evens out at level 9. Usually you'll want to take flat mr if you are frightened of an ap champion's level 6. CDR blues wouldn't be that great because it will just exacerbate your mana problems early.
Flat AP quints for the stronger early game harass.
9x Magic Penetration Marks
9x Armor Seals
9x Mr/Level or Flat MR Glyphs
3x Magic Penetration Quints
Swapping the ability power quints for magic penetration. This page can be used if you know an opponent is going to rush a lot of MR versus you, but your overall damage output early will be lower.
9x Magic Penetration Marks
9x Armor Seals
9x Ability Power Glyphs
3x Magic Penetration Quints
Similar to the previous page, but you drop the MR entirely and go for more ability power. This is an aggressive rune page versus AD champions. I suggest trying to run this vs Lee Sin mid, for example.
These two summoner's are very important. Flash is absolutely necessary, you definitely shouldn't need ghost to chase someone down and the extra escape is very appreciated, plus it will save you from some pre-6 ganks, especially if you are getting camped. Mostly, you will be using it offensively, however. As a champion with only a situational disengage, flash is essential if a fight goes sour. As an early-mid game assassin, ignite is essential for securing kills, and also very useful against champs with high regen or sustain.
This will be useful in surviving lanes you can't handle, or don't have enough experience to handle. If you're team doesn't have one for whatever reason, you should grab it unless you really need ignite for your lane matchup.
This is a very good, underrated summoner spell. If you cleanse ignite it basically evens the playing field except you have the ability to escape a stun as well. I feel this could be very useful in lanes such as . As the game goes on it continues to be useful but you also lose a significant amount of your killing/assassinating power without having ignite.
If you are in an organized team teleport can be really good, but it can be difficult to give up a kill summoner like ignite when being an assassin is so centered around murdering your opponent and snowballing. But hey, if you teleport bottom and get a double kill you'll be pretty set vs your opponent anyway. She's pretty solid at pushing because of her passive, and even more so if you decide to get sheen/lichbane or nashor's tooth.
Passive: Moonsilver Blade
Diana gains 20% additional attack speed. Every third strike cleaves nearby enemies for 20 / 25 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 / 155 / 175 / 195 / 215 / 240 / 265 / 290 (+0.6 per ability power) additional magic damage.
This passive is awesome. It improves your dueling ability, improves your last hitting ability, is a tower wrecker, and does even more damage than your ultimate. Use this to trade vs a melee opponent for a more efficient trade pre-6. When farming or pushing a lane, used once in conjunction with Q can clear a wave once you have an item or two. This passive is the reason that nashor's tooth is a solid choice on Diana. This passive also creates huge tower threat. If your enemy laner leaves lane once you can easily take the tower in most cases, if you want to.
Q: Moon Tiara Magic [Crescent Strike]
Diana unleashes a bolt of lunar energy, dealing 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+0.8 per ability power) magic damage in an arc. Crescent Strike afflicts enemies struck with Moonlight, revealing them for 3 seconds.
Cost: 55 mana
Range to center of AoE: 830
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
This is by far your most important skill. Without Q, your damage output is cut significantly. It is also your main source of harass in both a pre-teamfight/push situation, and in the lane. Basically, the damage in your kit centers entirely around your Q cooldown. So, CDR is very nice on Diana, and it's extremely important that you are able to hit your Qs. Practice, practice, practice.
If you are behind, use this to last hit. If you are particularly fancy you can use it to secure a last hit and harass. Ideally, you'll time it for when an enemy goes to take a last hit for an easy strike.
W: Pale Cascade
Diana creates three orbiting spheres that last up to 4 seconds and detonate on contact, dealing 20 / 36 / 52 / 68 / 84 (+0.2 per ability power) magic damage to all nearby enemies. She also gains a temporary shield that absorbs 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 (+0.4 per ability power) damage. This shield is refreshed if all three spheres detonate.
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Sphere range: 200
Maximum Magic Damage: 60 / 108 / 156 / 204 / 252 (+0.6 per ability power)
This ability is incredible in the top lane. In the middle lane, you won't be able to proc the second shield as easily until level 6, due to the fact that most mid laners are ranged. But in the top lane, this skill is what enables you to trade with strong melee champions. Without this skill Diana would probably not be able to top lane at all. Try not to let the opponent bait you into using this skill as the mana cost adds up quick.
Diana draws in and slows all nearby enemies for 2 seconds by 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 %.
Cost: 70 mana
Diameter of AoE: 900
Cooldown: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 seconds
This ability feels weird sometimes. The range looks and feels better then it is, to me. But the slow can be essential for securing some kills, and this move is great for supporting ganks, as well as defending yourself if you get tower dove.
Later in the game, like most tanky dps (if you are using my tanky dps build, as opposed to glass cannon assassin), you'll be more of a secondary damage output with peel capabilities. This ability is the reason why you can function like this, as a peel.
When using it to prevent an enemy from escaping, try not to use it until the edge of its range. Against some champions, such as , if you time it properly you can cancel her escape (her jump) entirely.
Remember to save it for cancelling channeled abilities when necessary, such as 's ultimate.
R: Lunar Rush
Diana teleports to an enemy and deals 100 / 160 / 220 (+0.6 per ability power) magic damage. Lunar Rush has no cooldown when used to teleport to a target afflicted with Moonlight.
Cost: 50 / 65 / 80 mana
Cooldown: 20 / 16 / 12 seconds
This ability is very fun to use, and has quite a great range. It's essential to both your chase and damage output, and you'll need to combo it with your Q in order to act as an assassin in the mid game. It can also be used as an escape over walls onto a minion camp, as well as to leap to minions if you are fleeing towards a lane from the jungle.
Hitting the target with Q to place your Moonlight on them is essential to maintain a strong damage output. However, sometimes you need to use the second Lunar Rush immediately in order to burst the target down before they kill you. In this case, you will , , and again (using your shield as necessary), performing the magnificent Double Lunar Rush
Remember that waiting for another , instead of double ing, is essential for winning many duels. Only perform the double Lunar Rush if you need it to finish them off and win the fight, otherwise wait for the cooldown to maintain a much higher sustained damage output. One of the biggest mistakes Diana's make is using when they should wait for , and beyond if necessary (using their and when necessary). This cannot be emphasized enough. Don't weaken your damage output by double rushing too early
If you are already in melee range, using this ability will place you behind your opponent. This can be used to skillfully dodge abilities like Cassiopeia's ultimate, giving you a huge advantage in a fight.
Skill OrderYou will always max in that order.
It's very important, as an assassin, to have a strong mid game damage output. So, it is imperative to max Q as early as possible, and to take a point in R whenever possible.
Against a strong early laner such as Renekton or Riven, I will level , in order to survive their damage and ensure efficient trading. If you are top lane, don't use your to harass before you have two levels in it, it's generally not worth it. Keep your mana for .
If you are scared of being ganked early, grab or . If you are counter jungling before minions spawn, don't grab anything until you need to. Use if your team caught someone with CC. Grab at level 3, or even level 2, if your jungler is trying to get an early gank in your lane.
Item BuildsBuild Path 1 (Sailor Moon):
Build Path 2 (Traditonal Tanky AP):
Build Path 3 (Glass Cannon):
Note: Boots are always Boots of Situation
This is the basic information in favorable settings, the order isn't always set in stone -- read the detailed guides below.
This is pretty standard, the best starting items for Diana. In the top lane, you NEED potions because it's very likely you will be one of the first lanes targeted for ganks by the enemy jungler, not to mention you'll need the sustain vs your opponent either way. The boots will help with escaping these ganks, and will reduce the enemy melee laner's damage from auto attacks. It's very important.
In mid lane you obviously want the boots to dodge skillshots and such and to stay out of the enemy's range. The potions are awesome there too.
Remember that if your team is counter jungling, you'll need to recall early in order to get the 4th potion and the first last hit or two in the top lane. If your team isn't counter jungling, just make sure you recall or wait to grab the 4th potion. Don't bother with the 4th potion if you are mid, just leash for your jungler.
Use this if you are worried about surviving till the first recall and plan on rushing ninja tabi. I haven't needed to use it yet, but if you really think you need the extra potion and armor, it's definitely an option.
Remember as always to build as the situation calls for it.
Build Path 1 (Sailor Moon):
There are a few paths you can go with these, depending on your opponent and how well you are doing. In any path, no matter what, your first item needs to be focused on rectifying her mana problems. You will absolutely lose if you do not get some mana/mana regen, vs low cd high damage top laners.
First Buy Goal:
This is my favorite item to get. It provides you with the mana regen you need, some very nice CDR and ap. I build it into Nashor's Tooth, of course.
This is my choice and will probably be the most controversial part of my guide. So, I know what you are thinking. "Why Nashor's tooth?!" Or more likely, "Nashor's Tooth sucks!" Well for most champions, you are correct. However, on Diana...well she loves every stat it gives. AP, Mana regen, Attack speed (for her passive, which she needs as a melee champion), and CDR (!Even more difficult to get after the DFG butchering!) I have tried the other choices, and I've always felt more powerful with Nashor's tooth. For top lane in particular, Nashor's Tooth has enabled me to barely beat out other champions who I otherwise would not have been able to kill before dying, due to the attack speed activating the passive. Again, the passive does more damage then her ultimate. It's important. Plus it will enable you to take the tower if you are winning your lane and your opponent has decided to roam, and then you can roam as well.
The fact is, Nashor's solves her mana problems, gives her a good amount of AP and attack speed (which increases her overall damage amount by a large margin), and gives a whopping 25% CDR. The CDR is just huge, Diana's entire kit revolves around her cooldown, and having a lower cooldown on everything else is awesome too. After the recent nerf that eliminated the cooldown reduction it gives, this is one of the few options Diana has for CDR. I think Nashor's is a great item on Diana, and so far it has not failed me. The item itself is ridiculously cost effective. If there was a champion who could use it effectively and truly benefit from it, why wouldn't you use it?
After this, you have a few options. You can either go for more damage immediately if you are doing well,
if I'm winning my lane or otherwise doing well and my team hasn't fed anyone, I will go straight into deathcap. Deathcap is the strongest pure AP item in the game, and is necessary to have the powerful burst that you need as an assassin. If you aren't winning your lane or the enemy has been fed by someone, now is where you choose your first defensive buy. If you need to build chain vest or negatron into a bigger item, then no matter what get Rabadon's Deathcap after that.
If AD is fed. This item is really good. The health regen is great, and the unique passive that has a chance to lower the movespeed and attack speed of an enemy champion when they hit you with an auto attack, is amazing vs ranged AD carries.
If AP is fed. The magic resist it provides is great, but the unique passive which lowers the MR of enemy champions is great for your assassination capabilities.
After this, continue your build.
The extra tankiness with the health regen will be great later when you transition into more of a bruiser. They both provide a lot of HPregen. FON also gives you some movement speed, randuins gives you an AOE slow, and the attack speed slow for enemy ad carries is essential for any team.
Finally, you must decide whether to keep your abyssal scepter, or sell it for
If they have a lot of MR, this will do better for you late game. If you have a lot of AP on your team and no one else wants to buy abyssal, you should keep yours for the good of the team. In the same vein if someone else has abyssal, sell it for void and make sure to remind them to keep theirs.
Build Path 2 (Traditional Tanky AP):
First Buy Goal:
This is a solid choice if you prefer to go a more traditonal tanky AP route with Rod of Ages. The lane sustain it provides is huge.
This item continues the insane lane sustain and also gives you a nice buildup of mana, ap, and health. You will be a bit beefy in the mid game. After this, choose either MR or armor, and build the option you didn't choose later.
Good to dominate your lane opponent even harder if they are AP, and good if your team has fed them :(
Good to dominate your lane opponent even harder if they are AD, and good if your team has fed them :(
Get deathcap next to keep your damage rolling.
For your final item you can get Lich Bane or Rylais for more tanky damage. Lichbane is a great choice due to her being melee and it provides you with yet another nuke to help you kill the carry. Your tower killing will be even stronger as well.
Build Path 3 (Glass Cannon):
This gives more total mana regen than Codex, the same AP, and 160 health instead of the CDR. It's probably a safer route, but I personally prefer the early game strength that will give.
You can buy either one first, depending on the situation. Late game you must consider selling abyssal for if you need the penetration.
Hourglass is a great item on Diana due to her cooldowns. Just remember to use the active.
Guardian Angel is always a good item. Personally I prefer my tanky DPS to be a little more tanky and provide the utility of Randuins or Frozen Heart. But it's certainly never a bad choice, and if you feel that it will serve you better to sacrifice yourself for the carry and then clean up, get it. Good for the same reasons Hourglass are.
Great for a glass cannon. The passive gives you an extra AP damage nuke, and as a melee champion it is extremely strong. Your tower killing capabilities will also be doubled. The movement speed increase is useful as well.
At this point consider selling for
Please note that these are example build paths, and you should innovate or substitute whenever necessary both depending on how the match is going and on what champions you are up against. Builds are dynamic, and should NEVER be static.
This item is a great buy in many situations, such as when there is a /// on the enemy team, making this the only item to escape their ultimate abilities. Consider it when escaping CC is more important than the extra MR and features of .
This, like QSS above, is a situational pick. Very useful against a champion like . Basically if they have strong CC that you can't QSS out of, or tenacity won't effect, like knockups and knockbacks, this item can be very beneficial.
I don't like this item, I don't feel spellvamp is as strong on her as Akali by far, and it also doesn't proc on her passive. Her Q and W count as AOE for spellvamp/rylais procs, so really your only strong spellvamp ability is your Ultimate. It's not very good on her at all. You should only get it if your team plans on going the double Wota route.
Items to Avoid
After the nerfs that removed the CDR from this item, I no longer feel its worth it to buy on Diana in any situation, even with jungle Diana (if you get , sell it later). The item was butchered, avoid it.
Diana scales only with ability power, so the attack damage isn't very useful even though you must auto attack for your passive. The lifesteal is basically useless with such a small amount of AD. You cannot spell vamp from your passive, and the only ability you have that isn't an AOE is your , so you get the reduced amount for your and . You aren't a hybrid, don't build like one.
This item isn't too bad on its face for a trinity tank bruiser build, but others do it better, especially since Diana's base attack damage (which the sheen effect operates from) is incredibly low. You will do very little damage, and not be an effective tank. You'd be better off getting lichbane.
Ward PlacementAs for in the lane, if you are mid lane, you want to ward your jungle entrances/river. you want top lane warded at the tribrush and baron at all times, and if you get ganked from the lane brush, ward that too. Living is invaluable. You may think that if you spend all this money on wards and potions kills don't count for much, but the important thing in killing your lane opponent isn't just the money you get from the kill. It's the amount of free farming you get after, and the amount of farm you can deny your opponent by pushing to their tower. If you die? You lose that farm, that experience, and your opponent gets it instead. Ward your lane.
For mid lane, you want to ward either the wraiths (both the enemy and yours):
Or the river:
For top lane, keep the tribush and baron warded at all times. If you can only afford one ward or think you only need one, then ward this particular spot:
This spot gives you the most optimal view of a gank coming through the tribush into the river, and coming from the river into the lane. This is best used on the blue team. If on the purple team, ask your mid laner to ward the friendly wraiths for more complete coverage.
JunglingI'm going to discuss this very briefly as I feel this guide should be focused on lane Diana.
9x Magic Penetration Marks
9x Armor Seals
3x Flat AP Quints
Item Build: and then build as tanky or glass as you want or need. I suggest selling and not building (see "Item's To Avoid" in Item Builds chapter).
General Laning Mechanics - Mid LaneFor the first few levels in mid lane, try to take as little auto attack harass as you can. If you must take some to last hit, it is essential that you land a Q on the enemy if you can. You don't want them getting free harass on you. You will almost certainly be behind in last hits at first - that's the nature of melee vs ranged in the lane. If you cannot counter harass with Q, don't fire one. Let them auto attack you occasionally, using your shield if need be, and the lane will push in your favor - ask for a gank from your jungler if you can get one.
In any case, just bide your time until level 6, landing when you can. Once you hit level 6, your combo should be to , , if you need to, and then walk away, or alternatively to a minion to get away. That's assuming they can even survive the first round of harass. If they cannot, go for the kill with another + and your passive .
Take wraiths whenever you can if your jungler doesn't mind (or the enemy wraiths if you can get away with it), the more farm the better, and you are very fast at taking them. However, you have to put yourself in greater risk than other mids because you must hop the wall to do it. To take the wraiths, Q them from over the wall, and Ult the blue wraith. If you have blue buff, you can use your to reduce any possible damage you might take. If not, just use your passive to clear them.
A good tactic for killing the enemy mid laner is to ward their wraiths, and kill them when they go to take them. If they are taking wraiths its likely that the jungler isn't too close by.
It is at this point that you can begin the very important roaming phase. It's very important as a mid laner and a ranked solo queue player to set up plays and kills by roaming. Buy and place them at the friendly and enemy wraith camps, or in another entrances/exits to the jungle, both to protect yourself and your teammates and to keep an eye on the enemy mid so you counter gank when they roam. If the enemy mid laner is or , or any strong mid laner who can burst you down, be very careful about following them. Smart mid laners will trick you by waiting in a bush and bursting you down before you can even respond. This is a very common trap. Abuse this trap yourself if you can, it's very effective for Diana.
If the enemy mid laner is able to roam and you are not for some reason, you MUST punish them. There are several steps you can take.
1. Counter Jungle. Diana is very well suited to this due to her ability to hop over walls and her very good creep killing ability. Be sure to keep yourself warded and safe, and keep an eye on any nearby enemy laners. If they disappear, so should you because they probably saw you via a . Try to work in conjunction with your jungler for great success.
2. Take the tower. Diana is very well suited to this as well due to her tower crushing passive, and all the more so if you choose to buy Nashor's Tooth. In any case you should always push to the enemy tower if the mid laner is gone and you are not in danger of dying to their jungler if he were to come address you.
3. Counter gank. Follow the mid laner carefully, trying not to reveal your presence, and strike when they move in. If your team is supporting you this will usually go very well, if not, just try to get a kill and make do with what you can get.
General Laning Mechanics - Top LaneFor the first few levels in top lane, you'll want to play somewhat safe. Top lane is a hotspot for level 1-2 ganks. You have two options for the most part. Take a level in and use it to last hit from afar (the level one harass is not great), or take a level in and use it when you get ganked or when your melee opponent tries to harass you at level one. Strong level one champions like will probably attempt this.
Once you get two points in , you should begin using it to harass. For levels 1-3, you want to play passive as you have very little in the way of kill power, and its best to conserve your mana. So let the enemy push to your tower and last hit there, this will also set up a gank if your jungler is so inclined. In most lanes, you will need to wait till level 6 to have any hope for a kill (barring a jungle gank), until then use your and to win trades, and to harass.
When the enemy recalls from lane, whether you've killed him or harassed him down to where he cannot stay in lane safely, push to his tower to deny him precious gold and experience. This is essential. If your jungler ganked him, ask him to help push to the tower. Even if you lose some CS, the experience advantage is phenomenal. If you hit 6 before your opponent, a kill is nearly guaranteed.
Once you hit 6, if you land a you should be able to get the kill if you've played the lane right. If they have too much health left, them once after the and walk away, using your if you have to. This is strong harass, as long as they aren't threatening enough to kill you.
Only experience can tell you whether you've harassed the enemy low enough to be able to go in for the kill effectively.
If you return to lane and your lane opponent is low and at your tower, use on minions if you cant hit the enemy, and then to the minion, using your next on the enemy if he is within reach. If he is to far to hit and is low enough that you think you can kill him with just (or he lacks his escape), use on him to catch him.
Once you have a clear advantage you have three options as a top laner:
1. Freeze the lane at your tower by allowing the enemy's minions to push, leashing them right outside your tower's range. You will need to purchase some health potions to do this safely. When the enemy comes to last hit, him and combo him to zero. Warning: Intelligent junglers will gank through the lane sometimes when you set the lane up this way. Try to save a to return to an enemy minion if this happens.
2. Ward up, push to the enemy's tower, and harass them with untill you can safely dive them, stealing the enemy's jungle when it is safe to do so. Warning: This is very dangerous with a or on the enemy team.
3. Recall after pushing to the enemy's turret, and have your team group up for dragon, or gank one of the other lanes and group for dragon after. As a top laner, it's important to remember that after winning your lane, getting the other lanes fed is the key to victory in solo queue.
If you are at a disadvantage in the lane, options number 1 (Plus asking for a gank) or 3 are the best choice. Likely your opponent will not let you freeze the lane at your tower. If they do not, then just get what last hits that you can. If the enemy freezes the lane at his tower, then roam and set up objectives and ganks.
When to take the Tower
When and when not to take the tower is a very important question for top lane, and sometimes it's even more profitable to give up your tower if it means a dragon and some kills in another lane.
Basically, as long as you can deny the enemy exp and/or creeps, it is profitable to leave the tower up. If they are not roaming, you have little incentive to take the tower. If they are failing at roaming, you have little incentive to take the tower. If they start grouping up for objectives and you are still top, take that tower immediately. You must punish the enemy for doing this.
If you cannot stay in lane with the enemy, you also want to take the tower and just give up being in that lane. You can roam and then return when the minions reach your tower. Ask your team to do objectives.
Punishing Your Enemies in the Name of the Moon: Lane MatchupsSUBJECT TO CHANGE.. This section is a work in progress, of course. It will continuously be updated as I learn more. Although the top and mid lane matchups are separated, note that they aren't set in stone, many can switch between them just as you can, i.e. lee sin mid, vlad mid, ahri top, etc. As I get more experience with each matchup I may rate them in difficulty from 1-5.
Mid Lane Matchups
Rise of the Thorns
Well, you lose this lane almost certainly. Not only does Zyra massively outrange you, but she has incredibly CC. In my opinion this champion is still OP. Either way, she beats Diana in lane. Since you're melee, her plants destroy you. If you survive till level 6, and go in on her for a combo, you will lose, because you get snared instantly (similar to brand but even worse due to the knockup and the fact her plants are destroying you, and brand needs things for his ult to jump to do full damage to you). You won't be able to Ult her again and you won't be able to kill her, or escape. The best you have to hope for is she uses her snare on something other than you for some other reason in the lane, and if you can land a Q you can kill her, but against a good opponent this will not happen. My suggestion: Roam. If you are able to kill her, remember her passive, try to dodge it. If your R is not on cooldown dodging it should be easy provided there are enemy minions nearby.
The Sinister Blade
This is a very favorable matchup for Diana, and Katarina is very popular right now, very commonly banned in ranked. Since she is melee, its very simple to land a Q on her if she tries to last hit with an auto attack. You outrange both her Q (bouncing blades) and her E (Shunpo), with your . You will out damage her at level 6, and you can cancel her channeled ultimate with your . Basically, Katarina should fear you.
However, before level 6, an aggressive katarina can be very annoying. You can't really answer her aggression, if she shunpos to you and you shield, and/or E, you will just go oom, so it's rather frustrating since she is a manaless champion. If she is super aggressive though she's an easy gank, so coordinate with your jungler.
A simple matchup. Try not to get hit by his barrels, it's easy to get Q harass on him early when he last hits. You'll out damage him in a fight, be careful about surprise ults from him. Early on, don't feel nervous about using your W to survive his barrel hit, and if he's close to you at the time move in on him for a passive hit and to get the second shield activation. You shouldn't have too much trouble, but it might end up being a passive lane. Push and roam as usual.
This is a lane matchup you want. You destroy him. His last hitting is very predictable due to his range. You can burst him down at any point past 6. I suggest level 6 aggression. A very easy lane. He should never be able to stay in lane with you past 6.
This lane is pretty simple. He'll be really annoying early on with his bomb and auto attack harass, just bide your team till level 6, and watch your mana because it will run out quick. I've found its not worth it really to try and shield his bomb harass, if you must, no matter what you will only shield one of them due to the tick-down of the bomb. Maybe if you timed it perfectly you could get both shields off, testing is needed, but unless you can get it perfectly it wouldn't really be worth it. Buy red potions. Once you hit level 6 you destroy him if you land your q, but if you miss he gets free harass on you. don't bother killin him when he ults and giving him free health back unless you know you can kill him again uninterrupted, which you may be able to. Even if you don't kill him due to his ult, he's basically scared as hell until it comes back up because a single mistake means he is dead. You should never lose this lane unless you get ganked.
The Burning Vengeance
This lane can be annoying because he can stun you as you dash onto him due to your dash being a dash and not a blink. Be very careful and wary of your health levels when you go in on him. His harass is about equal to yours, and you both rely on skillshots so this is a very skill dependent matchup.
The Bestial Huntress
She's a slippery cat. She'll win early on due to you being melee, much like she does when she goes top. Play patiently, try to land what Qs you can. Try to get a gank before level 6. At level 6 you can kill her if you land a Q, but it's very difficult to even land that Q or to E after ulting, due to her cat form. She's very difficult to actually finish but she can't ever duel you, and you don't have to worry about her killing you since she'll probably max her heal first to survive the lane. If she maxes spear first, just dodge it, or shield it. You have the tools. You should never lose this matchup but its a very hard lane to kill.
The Blade's Shadow
This matchup is tricky. In the beginning its a bit rough due to his rake. Try to shield it or harass him back with . Later it remains tricky due to the fact that his blink allows him to avoid your Q, making it very difficult to kill him if he brazenly goes in on you. Ninja tabi will be a good buy if you are not doing well. You are able to fight him if you can land your Q successfully. If his blink is ever on cooldown go as aggressive as you can. Roam if he manages to outplay you, as always.
The Storm's Fury
AP Janna mid was really popular a bit ago and then rightly nerfed. She isn't that difficult to deal with, but if she constantly tries to harass you pre-6 she can be really annoying. Just her bird throw thing and hit her with when you can. At level 6 you can kill her of course, sometimes it can be difficult to catch her due to her ult however.
This matchup depends heavily on how intelligent the Karthus is. If he thinks he can fight you and tries to harass you with his auto attacks all the time, the matchup is an easy one in your favour, you should be able to kill him over and over. If he plays it smart and last hits with you and just stays as far away from you as possible, it becomes a bit more difficult. If you can harass him down enough you can dive him quite easily because he's squishy, but always remember his passive and ultimate is a large threat. If you work in conjunction with your jungler diving him should be easy. You are also a much better roam than he is so abuse that fact.
The Tidal Trickster
I played this matchup only once, Fizz isn't exactly a common pick lately. I destroyed him. There really isn't anything he can do, he's melee range and your Qs hurt him. Harass him with every time he tries to last hit, it should be ridiculously easy. If he goes in on you with Q, you shield it, and if he stays on you you out trade him easily due to your shield. Beware of his ultimate though, particularly if you try to dive him which is incredibly risky and not suggested. He will try to roam, so take his tower / counter gank, and roam yourself.
This matchup is a lot like the Fizz matchup except she is much less slippery. If she's smart she will just roam constantly because she absolutely cannot stay in lane with you. Take her tower early if their jungler doesn't defend it. Harass her with every time she goes for a last hit. You out duel her, buy a pink ward every now and then and place it in the lower or upper river to track her movements for your team.
Top Lane Matchups
Riven is one of my favorite champions and I have spent a great amount of time playing her. With your , you can actually out trade Riven at level 1. The key is to properly manage your mana. If you go oom, you won't be able to stay in lane.
A smart Riven will try to bait your shield to waste your mana. Do not fall for it. If you've been able to harass her and out trade her, go for a kill at level 6. If you are close to being moo cow oom (out of mana), do no attempt it. If she rushes MR like and plays passively, you will find it very difficult to kill her due to her many dashes and stun. But you will be able to outfarm her, and you will be a more powerful champion mid game because she has chosen to delay her .
The Animal Spirit
This lane isn't a killable one. You can't cut through his sustain and he will out damage you in a straight up brawl. Simply farm and try not to get pushed out of lane, save your mana and your health and it should just be a farm lane. Ask for a gank if you can but be careful because his damage is absurd.
Rengar can be a little frightening early due to the burst he pulls out of nowhere. Just watch out for the burst. You can harass him before 6, however. Be wary if he bush camps. He shouldn't give you too much trouble after level 6, but he's hard to finish off due to his Ultimate's Stealth.
In one of my first games vs Rengar, he had a huge advantage because his early burst surprised me and I had to recall after barely escaping with my life, and then when I returned to lane, , so I was in really bad shape. I played it smart, and waited for my Nashor's Tooth, and then I could 1v1 him no problem.
The Rengar I faced most likely maxed Q first, the dynamic might change when they learn to max W first.
The Master of Metal
Mordekaiser is an asshole. Don't bother harassing him pre 6, you cannot burst through his shield. After 6, you may be able to fight him, but you way want to wait till you finish Nashor's Tooth. Remember to fight him in a position that forces him to choose between hitting you, or hitting creeps for the bigger shield gain. If you can, fight him without creeps nearby.
The Crimson Reaper
This lane is simple. Harass him when you can until level 6, and then engage on him. You are much stronger at this point. Once Vladimir hits Level 9, and grabs his gun (), you may not be able to engage him until harassing him down first. Be wary, always ignite.
The Butcher of the Sands
Basically the same as the Riven lane except he has a heal. Grab at level 1 and you should be able to out trade him. Wait till 6, remember that his ult gives him a health boost. Try not to be baited into turret diving him, he is deceptively strong at low health.
The Hand of Noxus
Darius is another one of those jerk champions. Remember that his Q does less damage if you are closer to him, so when he comes toward you to harass, activate W and move straight into him, out trading him early. Basically you want to just be passive until you hit level 6, when he goes in to harass try to make sure you get the double proc on your shield, its important for his bleed. After level 6, just make sure you do not go in on him too early, harass him down with your by predicting his last hitting. You may want to build a in this lane if you are having problems, the health will help counteract his true damage ultimate. Remember to buy . If you are way behind, try building a .
I'd like to reiterate that there is MORE to come as more experienced is gained through playing the matchups. Will likely be updated daily. SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
The Sun Begins to Set: Mid gameTeam fights: Mid game, your main role is, like most bruisers, to assassinate the crap out of the high priority targets on the enemy team. Whether it's the ap carry or ad carry, jump all over them. You will almost always need to land your to do this, try not to compromise your position before the fight breaks out trying to land it. The combo should be enough unless they are super fed. If you cannot kill the target with the second , do NOT use it. Wait for your to come off cooldown.
Remember that it is ok to leave a fight if you are getting hit hard, and go back in later when the focus is off of you. Often, I will find myself with low HP so I flash out, wait for my cooldowns, and then re-enter the fight by placing my on the lowest target. Its easy to hit your on a distracted target.
Roaming: You have strong roaming and jungle fighting capability due to your providing vision, and your ability to jump over walls quickly. Use this to your advantage by taking priorities such as the enemy buffs. Ward aggressively.
Set up ganks whenever you see a champion farming by his lonesome. Remember you can use your and to gank someone through a wall, so use them to your advantage, they will be caught by surprise.
Pushing: Diana has very strong pushing power due to her passive, and her Q can usually clear caster minions with a single strike. While you will, in most situations, want to roam and assassinate, in some quieter situations in the mid game, you will want to split push and take towers if you are strong enough to solo any enemy champion on the enemy team. Make sure you use extensive warding when doing this. A good example of when to split push is if your team can't win a teamfight, but they can defend a tower with only 4. If you have a lot of CC on your team, this can often be the case.
Dusk: Late GameWhen bruisers become bruisers. Late game, when the ad carries get items and so much damage is flying around, you just cannot assassinate effectively. A peel will stay on you and exhaust you, the ad carry can flat out solo you anyway, and may have purchased or , which means you have no hope of being the assassin you laid awake at night dreaming of. Most bruisers are like this, only a select few can remain proper anti carries, the best example being , the Grandmaster of OP
So what do you do? You become a secondary damage dealer peeler. You only have one ability with which to peel, but it can be a pretty damn effective one when used properly. Late game it becomes about which team can protect their ad carry more, remember this. Diana's damage scales well and her sustained damage is quite high among assassins, but you need to be alive to do that damage, and that's why I choose a bruiser build.
In some situations you will want to assassinate the AD carry still, but really only if your team has a main tank that can help you do the job, and if your ADC has a support such as Blitzcrank or Alistar that can really just sit on them and peel for them. If the ADC is a really strong survival carry such as Tristana, all the better.
Here is a video demonstrating Diana using E as a peel ability.
Diana never turns her back on a friend, she is always there to defend.
- Updated Katarina matchup
- Excited for all the changes coming in season three, this guide will be getting a huge update in the weeks to come from that patch. My sailor moon build may even be rendered inefficient due to the new items. We'll have to wait and see.
- Played Ranked, reached Platinum, added information accordingly.
- Added Twisted Fate and Gragas to Mid Lane Matchups
- Added several matchups
- Added QSS and Banshee's Veil to "Other Choices" in Item Build chapter.
- Added DFG to "Item's to Avoid" in Item Build Chapter.
- Added Cleanse summoner spell
- I'M BACK SOLOMID! Refocused guide to be about lane Diana top or mid
- Huge cleanup in item build section, separated choices more clearly.
- Added "General Laning Mechanics: Mid Lane" Chapter
- Added Mid Lane Matchups to Matchups chapter
- Altered Sailor Moon build
- Added "Ward Placement" chapter
- Improved Ward Placement Imagery
- Edited mastery choices, added image
- Updated Patch Evaluation chapter
- Added alternate masteries and runes with images
- Added "Items to Avoid" in Item Build chapter
- Added Darius Matchup
- Added brief Jungling section
- Added "Nerf Examination" section for the incoming nerfs
- Cleaned up Skill Order
- Cleaned up Mid Game chapter, adding information on roaming.
- Removed superfluous videos
- Changed Title
Final CommentsThink about what you are doing. As always, use your best judgement when playing and don't blindly follow a guide, even mine. If your team needs a Frozen heart, get one. If your team needs a glass cannon assassin more then a bruiser, build that way.
In my opinion, Diana is best played as a bruiser. Squishy assassins don't tend to work well because a smart team will defend their carry and peel for them. late game, ad carries don't typically have any problem soloing assassins. Diana is very well suited to the top or mid lane due to her kit, as I've explained. Her creates efficient trades, her maintains tower pressure if the opponent roams, and she has great gank support and roaming potential.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, it's still a work in progress and I will continue updating it as I continue playing Diana top and mid lane, learning the matchups and the best item builds.
Thanks to LoLWiki for number information, thanks to Solomid for hosting the guide, thanks to RIOT for a great game and blah blah blah. Have fun playing Diana!