Introduction to the Dunk MasterMy name is Addicted and I will be guiding you to master Darius the way he should be played.
Facts about Darius:
- Darius didn't choose Dunkin', Dunkin' chose him
- Has one of the best ulties in the game which gives him Penta Kill opportunities
- Hemorrhage stacks drains a lot of HP and works very well with ignite
- Darius is not a Tank
- Darius should not be used as an initiator in a team fight
- Darius is a Heavy Weight Bruiser who can bully most top laners if played well
- He can turn a game on Summoners Rift in to a NBA game - ''You gotta Dunk Son!''
Why should YOU play Darius?
He is one of the most bursty bruisers there is. When you land your combo and continue to hit Q because it has such a low cooldown you can easily finish your opponent off with Noxian Guillotine.
Darius is very useful in team fights for a lot of reasons. His ultimate grants him Penta Kill opportunities and he can burst carries down before they realise what's happening.
In a team fight you should always try to focus the AP and AD carries and finish them off with your ultimate after hitting a few stacks of Hemorrhage that way they won't really be able to impact the fight in any way.
Another big reason why you should play him is because of the fear factor. After laning phase is over and you start getting involved in team fights enemy team players will back off and try to avoid contact with you as much as they can because they know you can burst them down quickly. You can literally drive players away from a fight and zone them out with just your presence.
- A lot of Burst Damage
- Can chase players down as he gains movement speed from foes who have Hemorrhage stacks and can catch them with Apprehend
- Noxian Guillotine grants Multi Kill opportunities
- His Q: Decimate is low on cooldown and does a large amount of damage you can spam it and bring players down to nothing aswell as you can farm with it
- Super strong mid game
- Red Buff + Hemorrhage + Ignite = Unavoidable death
- Can dominate most lanes
- No natural escape mechanics so has to rely on flash
- CC is his biggest enemy. Players will try to get you out of a team fight quickly by CC'ing you and bursting you down before you get any dunks.
- His late game sucks if you don't build the correct items
- Early game before level 6 you can get bullied a lot in your lane
I would strongly recommend you play Darius in a team composition which already has good initiation. Darius is not an initiator, he benefits from coming in the fight and going after the carries first to eliminate them quickly. Darius is most effective mid game so try to roam and get your team mates to snowball.
9/21/0 are the masteries which work very well on Darius. He isn't the most durable bruiser so It is essential you invest in Defense points to help him sustain in a lane better.
Investing a point in to Summoner's Wrath is a common choice for most top laners as it buff's champion while it's on cooldown. Sorcery is not maxed instead chose to put 3 points in to it for 3% cooldown reduction so that you can spend 5 points in to other things. The last 5 points I spend on Deadliness to receive attack damage per level and 1 point in to Weapon Expertise for the extra armor pen.
These small buffs help Darius to dish out a little bit more damage and the cooldown reduction is always a nice addition.
Like I mentioned earlier Darius needs a lot of points invested in to Defense to help him improve his sustain. Durability and Perseverance will help you a lot during the first few levels the extra hp regen and flat HP will allow Darius to trade from time to time without suffering much HP loss. You can switch between points on Hardiness and Resistance depending on who you are facing top. Also make sure you invest two points in to Relentless, it reduces the slow effects and that will become useful when the enemy team attempts to gank you. The rest of the points put in to resists and damage reduction.
Greater Marks of Attack Damageand
Greater Quintessences of Attack Damage
Extra damage on a bruiser is always welcome, it will help you last hit better and trade harder against your lane opponent. Since Darius is such a bursty champion extra damage from Marks and Quintessences will further that damage output and top laners will always be wary when you are looking to harass them or trade.
Greater Seal of Armor
A lot of the times you will be facing a strong AD bruiser top lane and this is where the armor runes come in handy. You want to get the armor Seals so that trading can become much easier and you receive less damage from your lane opponent. A lot of top lane bruiser have shields or stuns true damage or life steal those mechanics help them sustain better in lane. Darius has none of these this is why it's important to build some resists and HP through the rune page and mastery page.
Greater Glyphs of magic Resist
From time to time you will face some heavy AP based champions top which can dish out a lot of damage to you. Teemo is a good example, champions like him will try to harass you and zone you early game investing in to magic resist will help you sustain a little bit better so you don't get completely zoned out and lose your lane in the start.
Darius has no escape mechanics, with that being said flash is what you need to take and it's a must! It will help you escape from a nasty gank or any other sticky situations.
Ignite works really well with Hemorrhage! Unleash your combo on your opponent ulti them and even if that doesn't kill them then ignite + Hemorrhage will! REMEMBER bleed out + ignite will make their HP bar disappear!
If you feel confident that you will do well in your lane and win then ditch and go for . Make sure you have good communication with your team so you can help bot snowball with a few ganks. Later in the game is useful for split pushing lanes and also that way you can get a lot of farm aswell.
Don't take the following:
Barrier isn't really viable for Darius as he benefits from ignite much more which can help him secure a kill a lot easier. He doesn't really need barrier to protect himself with as he should be able to burst opponents down before they can kill him.
Useless. It's a spell which supports don't even take these days and there is no reason why a bruiser should too.
You won't need clarity on the Dunk Master, he is not a mage. Even if Darius doesn't have mana he can still output a devastating amount of damage thanks to his passive with auto attacks.
Again it's more of a role specific summoner spell which ADCs take. There are other much more useful spells for Darius over cleanse.
Good for stopping opponents from escaping but Darius already has such mechanics. Your W slows them and you have Apprehend to pull them towards you so there is no need for exhaust.
It's a nice spell but works much better on Darius. If you ever get caught in a tough spot Ghost won't be enough most of the time for you to escape and that's why Flash succeeds where Ghost fails.
Nope. In laning phase you can benefit much more from other skills and later in team fights it will barely heal you so it's not worth it.
If you die in a team fight then your team either won or lost the fight. Either way it will take you a long time to get back in to the fight. Overall its not a skill you should ever take on Summoners Rift with this guy.
Will make any champion think twice before trading with you! It does so much damage, even the champions with the best sustain will have trouble trading with you.
Also you gain 5% movement speed for every bleeding champion near you. If you are getting chased you can hit your opponents with Q ability while you are running away so you can activate your passive, gain some more movement speed and escape.
Low cooldown a lot of damage and easy to clear waves. Max it first!
During a team fight or a duel spam your Q if you have the mana it's your second most damaging ability after your ultimate.
W: Crippling Strike
Slows your opponent, make sure you always hit Crippling Strike when you start a fight in your lane that way if they change their mind and try to run for it you can get in a few extra hits.
You're trying to escape my grasp? Oh no you don't! Also you can create nasty surprises for enemy players by pulling them from higher/lower ground forcing them to bust a flash or GET DUNKED!
It also gives you a passive armor pen %.
R: Noxian Guillotine
''This is my Ulti there are many like it but this one is mine. My ulti is my weapon without me my ulti is useless without my ulti I am useless.'' Bottom line get your passive stacks and DUNK! You will make your opponents mad and they will call you OP but they are just jealous because they can't dunk.
Skill OrderI normally play a passive Darius pre level 6 unless I see that my lane opponent has blown away an ability then I will try and engage.
Early on if you feel confident in your lane and you want to trade try to hit them with the edge of your as it does extra damage that way. After level 4 you will be able to do a lot more as your combo widens. then slow them with then Auto Attack to apply extra stacks if they run hit them with your .
Thanks to his passive, Darius gains 5% movement speed for every bleeding opponent near him so it's really useful for chasing down injured enemies and finishing them off with . If you're not sure that they will die to make sure to .
After level 6 combo - - - Auto Attacks - - Auto Attacks - - finish them with .
Item BuildsAgaints heavy AD Bruisers make sure you rush
Againts AP and or CC heavy champions and
It is the item which gives you a lot of everything and benefits Darius in many ways. It will give you HP, mobility and attack speed aswell as other vital stats. Make sure you build it first and then follow up with and . The Cleaver will bring in some more HP and Damage while the GA will buff your resists and help you trade better in team fights thanks to it's unique passive.
It will bring you up to a lot more HP and give you the necessary armor you need to be able to sustain in fights. Not to mention the active slow you can lay down if you need to chase opponents down or escape yourself.
I really like this item because not only does it provide a shield that absorbs magic damage and gives you magic resist in general but it gives you damage. I highly recommend you make space for it in your final build so that you are well protected from AP carries and you can still dish out a lot of damage.
Your Full Item Build should include a fair balance between damage items and items which give you resists and HP to help you sustain in the thick of a team fight. Darius is a champion that gets stuck deep in to battle.
REMEMBER Always to buy at least a 2 wards when you go back! They will save your life multiple times. If you are zoning your opponent and you're being annoying then they will frequently ask for ganks so ward the river and the tri bush and you will see them a mile away.
Base Stats and Scaling
Health - 426(+93)
Health Regen - 8.25(0.95)
Mana - 200 (+37.5)
Mana Regen - 6 (+0.35)
Range - 125
Attack Damage - 50 (+3.5)
Attack Speed - 0.679 (+2.6%)
Armor - 20 (+3.5)
Magic Resist - 30 (+1.25)
Movement Speed - 340
Difficulty - 4/10
Stay sharp against him on your toes, you have to dodge his Q. If he screws up and misses it or you dodge it then force an engagement. After level 6 try to zone him out stop him from Feasting minions and growing.
Never engage a Cho if you know he has Feast up and you are low.
Difficulty - 4/10
Her Q does a lot of damage because it's HP based. She will try to poke you as much as possible early game and take your HP down so try to avoid it and farm. After level 6 if she gets caught she will try to resort for something desperate like stunning you to run away or going on the sealing in spider form. Remember she can only jump to minions or yourself so stay sharp and finish the job when she comes back down.
Difficulty - 2/10
Your passive is too strong for her so you can trade with her from the start. Zone her make sure you farm better take complete lane control and harass her with your Q if she tries to last hit. Don't be cocky or greedy after level 6 because if you are low she will take the first chance she gets to ulti you.
Difficulty - 3/10
It's rare but you can see him top from time to time. His Q is strong you will take a lot of damage from it so you can build quickly to negate it. After level 6 try and avoid his ulti. If you can unload your E + W + Q combo on him he will most likely try to use his ulti on you to slow you and escape before he because a Dunk victim.
Difficulty - 6/10
At all costs must you avoid his Q because it will silence you and then my friends you will enter a dark world of pain where Garen spins to win and follows up with an ulti. Avoid the Q, if you know he has it on cooldown go in and trade other than that wait for him to make a mistake and pay attention when he blows his abilities.
Difficulty - 6/10
She is a solid bruiser because she has true damage and life steal. She will trade toe to toe because of that so play passive farm pre level 6. After you get your ulti become more aggressive. When she ulties you must try and side step so she doesn't hit you with all the projectiles REMEMBER you can dodge her projectiles she can't dodge your ulti! ;)
Difficulty - 8/10
Jax must be shut down early game because if he is not late game is where he becomes unstoppable. He can then dodge a ton of damage thanks to his Counter Strike ability and dish a ton back to you. In lane I advice you to farm well try and bully him when he tries to last hit and when he starts dodging attacks and activates counter strike move away and try to avoid it if he wastes it move in and unload on him.
Jax is annoying because if he is low he will try to jump to a minion and escape from you or from an incoming gank.
Difficulty - 9/10
Another great top laner, he will harass you and zone you with his range as much as he possibly can and when you are low he will change to hammer mode to finish you off. Try to avoid his ranged E + Q combo at all cost as it dishes out a lot of splash damage. If he hits that he will try to trade with you as much as he can so try to side step and avoid it.
Difficulty - 4/10
Early game Olaf will be strong to tackle. His axe does a lot of damage and his true damage HURTS A LOT. He will try to hit does when you go and last hit the axe toss can sometimes push the lane so that way he can open himself to ganks. Even if your jungler doesn't see the opportunity just stay pasive and farm until you hit level 6. Then your ultimate will make the difference because it's so much more useful in battle.
Difficulty - 5/10
Early game he will spear you non stop and it will be most annoying. Try not to get zoned farm get some armor and hp. After 6 once again your ulti will be much more useful compared to his so try to trade with him.
Difficulty - 7/10
She has a lot of mobility, I have seen a lot of Riven players skip boots and get more HP pots and ad items at the start so that they can trade more and better against you. If that is the case farm and don't get stunned or else she will unleash her combo and you will lose too much HP. Only engage her when he Q is down and remember to run away from Riven when she activates her ultimate as it gives her extra attack damage. Once it has finished go back in to the fight.
Difficulty - 5/10
Most players will pick Teemo to face a Darius top. Pre 6 Teemo will destroy you no doubt so don't trade with him. His toxic shots and blinding darts can get you killed. Stay calm stay focused farm and once you hit level 6 look for a good time to engage, Apprehend him unleash your combo and ulti him. Teemo is very squishy so it shouldn't be hard to burst him down with Darius after level 6.
Difficulty - 7/10
Like you will read in most top lane guides. Yorick is one of the most annoying champions you can face in lane. He will spam ghosts all game long and after the first time he goes back and buys he will spam some more. Try to avoid the ghosts from attacking you, use the bushes to your advantage REMEMBER that you can lose ghosts agro when you step in the bushes. Wait for him to blow away his abilities and engage him.
Difficulty - 5/10
A good Lee Sin will max his shield first and buy a which will grant him an amazing amount of sustain. So early levels play passive and farm because in a fight he will trade better. Don't allow him to poke you with his Q because if he does he will try to trade with you and force you out of the lane. After level 6 when you build a and gain some more hp and damage try to trade with him. Every time you try to ulti him he will kick you away with his ulti to avoid death. What makes lee sin a decent top lane champion is the mobility and sustain.
Difficulty - 4/10
Early levels his sustain will be better so just farm and avoid engagements. When you hit level 5 and your Q does a lot more damage then you can afford engagements. Your Hemorrhage passive will significantly decrease his sustain and help you win a 1vs1 fight. If you're HP is quite low and that trigged his E don't fight him as he gets bonus movement speed and attack speed it will make him life steal a lot better. You're ulti is a lot stronger than his provided you have stacks on him. Remember Warwick has no escape mechanics so if you trade well and he doesn't have flash up you should be able to finish him off easy either by chasing him down if he is bleeding or Apprehend him.
Difficulty - 3/10
Its a lane you should win. He will try to poke you down and escape with his decoy but you can land a Q before he does decoy away. You are a lot more bursty than he is but against Wukong you can make silly mistakes which can change the outcome of a fight. Try to spot when he decoys so that you don't ignite it or ulti it by mistake. Try and avoid his ulti as it deals a hefty amount of damage, try and Apprehend him after he used the decoy ability so you can finish the job.
Update Log- 30/12/12
Added Summoner Spells explanation and more Lane Matchups
Added explained skill order combo and Item builds
Added Base Stats
Final CommentsBasicly against champs who can poke Darius and zone him early you will have to farm and play safe until level 6. When you learn Noxian Guillotine you can reclaim the lane bully your opponents and start being very aggressive and the Dunkin' can begin. Build Resist items accordingly and make sure you have enough sustain for later in the game.
I hope you found this guide useful, I will update it as regularly as I can with more Matchups! :)