Darius Overview Infographic
We put together a Darius overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Darius. Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates. We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often!
Who is Dragoon
Kishan, 17 years of age. Currently playing with summoner names Dragoon, Naraxas, and BEST DARIUS NA. With over 1.5 Million mastery points on all accounts. He played about 2500 games as Darius and he peaked at 950 LP. He is currently Grandmaster in Season 10 with a KDA ratio of 2.5:1 and a 61% Win Rate working his way back to the ladder. He streams on Twitch where Dragoon battles within the Master – Challenger Elo brackets in NA. His brother introduced the game to him about 5-6 years ago. But didn’t start playing competitively with the game until 3 years ago. Where he started the road to his one-trick champion, Noxian Commander—Darius.
Table of Contents
Why Play Darius
Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Darius we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
- Highest Base AD in the game
- Great at Skirmishes
- Passive Armor Penetration on E
- Does Additional AD with Passive
- Massive Healing on Q
- Low Mobility
- No good CC
- Falls off late game
- Easily Kitable
- Bad when behind
These champions give Darius a hard time in game due to having a kit that can stop Darius from doing what he wants to do. Here are some of the biggest issues and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.
Kled is considered a counter to Darius because of his all in potential. He is an efficient lane bully to Darius as he locks and dashes around the Noxian Commander with ease. With his Q(Bear Trap On a Rope) and E(Jousting), he negates Darius’s abilities to trade fights that are desirable to his kit giving him a hard time to find a skirmish that is optimal for him in the laning phase. You can trade with Kled in the early laning phase before he reaches level 3 to gain a lead before he starts to play around with you. Avoid all in fights with this champion but as much as possible deal a few combos around him. When Kled’s HP drops low and his skills and movements are limited, use this advantage to bleed him out before Skaarl comes back.
Fiora is considered a counter to Darius because she has the ability to dodge and counter Darius’s skills. This feared duelist in Valoran nullifies what Darius wants to do and avoiding major damages to herself by parrying Darius’s ability to gain 5 Passive stacks on his opponent. Her Q(Lunge) and her E(Bladework) allows her to swiftly dodge Darius’s counter potential with his Q(Decimate). You can win against her in the laning phase by potentially outsmarting the cunning movements of Fiora and by landing your E(Apprehend) after her abilities have been used and then use your combo to possibly drop her HP to land the final blow. Play by your abilities cool-down and avoid as much of her Passive(Duelist’s Dance) to gain an upper hand.
Ornn is considered a counter to Darius because he prevents Darius to stacked 5 hemorrhages to himself. Using his combos Q(Volcanic Rupture) and W(Bellows Breath) plus brittle auto, Ornn creates battles that he can immediately walk out of dealing more damage to Darius and avoiding a bad fight. Although tanks are usually not challenging for the Noxian Commander, Ornn seems to be a difficult foe to Darius. He beats Darius at all in trades due to the knock-up abilities of his Ultimate(Call of the Forge God) and E(Searing Charge) hitting walls and creating a wide gap of HP between the two in the lane. You can prevent a troubling late-game enemy like Ornn by harassing him in the laning phase early on to gain a great amount of lead before he becomes a menace. Darius excels in the mid-game that is why having a greater edge early on will provide you a better room to create more skirmishes advantageous to your abilities.
These champions work well with Darius and should be considered being picked alongside him if possible. Here are some of the biggest synergies and how you can abuse them.
Nunu and Willump
Nunu works well with Darius because he passively provides both attack speed and movement speed to Darius. Nunu creates win conditions to where Darius’s skills are being used to its maximum potential. He locks enemy champions for multiple seconds giving Darius the ability to stick to his targets, gain 5 stacks of his passive and deal the final blows of his Ultimate(Noxian Guillotine) allowing him the perfect skirmishes that the Noxian Commander desires.
Morgana works well with Darius because she removes the central weakness of the Commander, which is getting kited. With the help of her E(Black Shield), Darius can freely move to his targeted enemies without the possibility of being stunned or rooted in place. Additionally, her Q(Dark Binding) and Ultimate(Soul shackles) lock enemy champions which creates a viable condition for Darius to stack his Passive and deal some painful damage to the other team.
Zilean works well with Darius because of his ability to hit a 99% slow to enemy champions and give a huge movement speed to his teammates. This lets Darius target his opponents easier lock them down and have that quick easy kill. His Q(Time Bomb) + W(Rewind) + Q Combo stuns the enemies setting Darius for possible multiple dunks of his Ultimate(Noxian Guillotine). Other enchanters that provide movement speed buffs(Nami, Lulu, Karma, etc) works also with Darius.
Darius Summoner Spells
Darius’s recommended Summoner Spells are Flash and Ghost because of Darius requires to stick to his opponents. Flash can close in the distance with your enemy and pull them with your E(Apprehend) while Ghost has a faster cool-down than Flash and can be utilized to maximize your auto attacks and stack your damage to them. This is very effective as your enemy in the lane basically has only Flash as a spell used as an escape or engage that takes 5 minutes to be available while you can use Ghost almost twice as much when your Flash is on cool-down.
If you want extra destruction in the lane that will instantly burn down the HP of your opponent when fighting 1v1 in your lane, you can consider using Ignite and Flash because it provides Darius more killing potential to its opponent in the lane having additional damage combined with its Passive(Hemorrhage).
Darius Runes and Keystones
Darius’s recommended runes are Conqueror, Triumph, Alacrity/Tenacity, and Last Stand on Precision as primary and Demolish with Bone Plating for Resolve as secondary because Conqueror in Season 10 is a great sustainability rune along with Resolve for durability. This helps you effectively keep fighting skirmishes, especially with melee match-ups as you’ll have the added damage with your runes to combine with your Q(Decimate) Healing giving you more edge in your own lane even without the help of your jungler.
If you have match-ups like Riven and Renekton with burst potential, you can consider using Aftershock, Demolish, Bone Plating, Unflinching as primary and Triumph with Alacrity/Tenacity for Precision as secondary because match-ups like those champions are won through great trades and Resolve gives you the ability to do so. It provides you the tankiness Darius needs to survive AD bruisers and peel for your team later on.
Both styles will be using 10 % Attack Speed on Offense, +9 Adaptive Force in Flex and +6 Armor on Defense.
Darius’s recommended items change depending on the situation, however, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.
- Darius starts with Doran’s Blade if he wants to fight early game match-ups.
- Darius starts with Doran’s Shield if he wants to face against poke heavy matchups.
- Darius starts with Corrupting Potion if he wants to have a consistent trading option in the laning phase.
- Black Cleaver/Trinity Force is core on Darius because it creates the best setting when the Noxian Commander wants to fight into skirmishes. When Darius attempts to trade damage with an enemy champion, he wants to stick to the enemy as close as possible not letting the opponent move into a distance where his skills can not reach them. Dealing damage with Black Cleaver at hand gives Darius the ability to chase the enemy with its additional movement speed. When the enemy is caught by Darius’s combos, they will ultimately respond to level the HP that has been dealt with them but this item skyrockets any prolonged fights with Darius. Dealing physical damages to the enemy cleaves them and the item’s passive will be activated reducing their armor. Trinity Force works similarly with Black Cleaver but focus on giving more overall balance stats to help you gain more damage early on.
- Sterak’s Gage is core on Darius because his goal is to pull the enemies as close to him as possible and deal a huge amount of damage to them. Acquiring this item elevates his strengths by using his high base AD stats per level and gaining 50% more AD giving a ridiculous amount of damage to squishy targets and potential bursting them in an instant. When Darius faces heavy blows in team-fights, this item helps him endure and deliver a potential comeback to his opponents giving his teammates a chance to peel the enemies until the fight will be in their favor. Sterak’s Gage provides him a shield when being burned down by his enemies and bestows him a lifeline where he stands bigger and more tenacious(30% to be exact) against his foes leading a charge that smacks down any champions who aren’t worth his time.
- Gargoyle Stoneplate is core on Darius because of its potential defense output when you have a nearby enemies. The item has both armor and magic resist stats that will give you the protection and the survivability in the frontline. It increases both of them drastically when more than 1 enemy is close to you. Upon activation, you increase in size and health which reduces incoming damage to you. This will provide you the best scenario and be the frontline tank for your team.
- Use Mercury Treads for heavy CC composition. This will provide you the tenacity and magic resist in teamfights
- Use Ninja Tabi auto attack or AD heavy composition. This will reduce incoming damages from you and survive better in the front line.
Offensive Situational Items
- If you want to deal damage while having a protection, you can build Guardian Angel because this deals additional damage while also giving you more defensive stats like armor and stopwatch to work with in the game. It also provides the ability to revive yourself when you get killed that will refresh over time.
Defensive Situational Items
- If Darius is being hit with subsequent magic damage from enemy champions like Cassiopeia, Ryze, Rumble, etc you can build Adaptive Helm because this item helps him stay longer in fights with enemy champions that are amazing at kiting you down with their skills. Its ultimate goal is to reduce any burst output from mages that uses repetitive magic damage in their kit. Also, this does not only work with one enemy at a time but is effective against multiple sources and reducing every effect by 20% within 4 seconds assisting Darius on his goal to beat them down with his axe. Having Adaptive Helm on his build will boost the possibility of reaching mages without the fear of being kited with their abilities. Spirit Visage is great alternative when dealing with AP heavy comps as it provides CDR helping Darius cast abilities faster.
- If you want to have a game that becomes stronger against enemies who build crit, you can build Randuin’s Omen as it slows enemies down as they try to auto attack you. It also provides and active that slow movement of enemies which can help you lock down ADCs. A great alternative for this item is Dead Man’s Plate which will increase your movement speed and chase enemies in any fight.
Full Build Example
An example full build for Darius can consist of
- Black Cleaver/Trinity Force
- Ninja Tabi
- Sterak’s Gage
- Gargoyle Stoneplate
- Guardian Angel
- Spirit Visage
This is the most recommended build path to Darius for chasing hyper-carries who position themselves at the back kiting like Jinx, Tristana, Kalista, etc using either Black Cleaver or Trinity Force to burst them out with your combos. His Core items will give Darius the damage he needs to reduce the enemy’s ability to come back to the game. Darius would want to remove champions that he isn’t able to take advantage due to his low mobility that is why Dead Man’s Plate can assist him in taking out those enemies. The movement speed acquired with the item’s passive and the “Crushing Blow” will strengthen your auto shocking your opponents. Hitting them with the heavy auto then a quick E + W combo combined with another auto will stack 4 Hemorrhages instantly and with just a swift windup of your Q(Decimate), you’ll be ready to smack your enemy with a full-stack Noxian Might dealing a killing blow to your ultimate(Noxian Guillotine). Also, Spirit Visage will enhance the healing of his Q(Decimate) supplying the sustainability he needs to prolong any skirmishes. If the carries of the other team are fed and you are approaching into the late game phase, you can focus on items like Thornmail, Randuin’s Omen, Guardian Angel or Adaptive Helm that will help you receive heavy blows for your teammates. You thrive to have extended fights to constantly trying to bleed your enemies, soak CC/damage and setting your own carries for success.
Passive - Hemorrhage
Darius’s basic attacks and damaging abilities cause enemies to bleed for physical damage over 5 seconds which stacks up to 5 times. Reaching 5 stacks on an enemy champion activates Noxian Might for 5 seconds. Darius then gains bonus attack damage and applies max Hemorrhage stacks to enemy champions with basic attacks or Decimate’s blade. Your main goal is to hit as many auto-attacks plus your abilities as fast as possible to quickly utilize the additional damage your passive applies. This is very advantageous when hitting multiple opponents in team-fights as stacking them will deal tremendous damage with your ultimate(Noxian Guillotine) and you’ll literally dunk their heads off!
Q - Decimate
Darius makes a 0.75-second windup and swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemy champions bashed by the blade in the outer circle take physical damage and receive a stack of Hemorrhage. While enemies struck by the inner circle take less damage and will not receive a stack of Hemorrhage. This is the most used ability of Darius that helps him deal the most damage while sustaining his HP in team-fights. Position yourself where you can hit the most enemies in the outer circle granting you healing and that might turn a team-fight in your favor.
W - Crippling Strike
Darius’s next basic attacks slow the enemy champion by 90% for 1 second dealing a percentage of his total attack damage as physical damage. If the target dies, Crippling strike’s mana cost is refunded and the cool-down is halved. After you have hit your basic attack on your target, activate this ability to cancel the animation and instantly add another stack of your passive(Hemorrhage) then use your combos to immediately gain 5 stacks where Noxian Might can be set in motion and deal more damage to them in the lane while they are also bleeding to death.
E - Apprehend
Darius passively grants himself more armor penetration per level of the skill. Upon active, Darius pulls his enemies using his axe’s hook in a cone briefly granting vision in the area around the pull. Enemy champions pulled are slowed by 40% for 1 second. Combine this with Black Cleaver and you’ll be a reckon to mess with. You will be shredding HP bars in the front-line as you make them bleed with your combos. You can quickly get a W(Crippling Strike) off after you’ve hit an enemy adding stacks of your passive(Hemorrhage) instantly. This is Darius’ only CC he can initiate in team-fights so use it wisely and synergize it with other abilities of your team to pile stuns, roots and snares together to avoid escapees.
R - Noxian Guillotine
Darius’s dunks to the targeted enemy champions and deals a lethal strike with his axe dealing true damage. His ultimate’s damage increases by 20% for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target. If Noxian Guillotine is a killing blow to the target, Darius makes minions and monsters around him flee in terror and he can recast Noxian Guillotine for free within the next 20 seconds. He can repeat this multiple times in succession. At maximum rank, the cool-down of his ultimate will completely reset on every killing blow. This is the most notable skill of Darius which gives him amazing Pentakills. Try to deal as many combos as you can to stack your passive(Hemorrhage) and prepare massive damage with your ultimate. Synergize with your team to hold your enemies in one position and you’ll surely dunk all of them to death.
Ability Skill Order
The skill order for Darius is Max R – Q – E – W. The reason is that you want to max R(Noxian Guillotine whenever you can to deliver tons of damage in every finishing blow to the opponent. Q(Decimate) is the bread and butter of Darius’s skills giving him the ability to counter champions that burst him in an all-in trade. E(Apprehend) should be prioritized third as the passive a percentage of armor penetration combined with Black Cleaver deals huge damages to targets with high durability. W(Crippling Strike) main goal is to slow the enemy and reach 5 stacks of his Passive to have that additional AD advantage.
Darius's Power Spikes
A power spike is when a time champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes them a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Darius’ Power spike is when he reaches levels 11-13 because he already has his second point of his ultimate(Noxian Guillotine) and his passive AD is starting to ramp up a lot. When he completes (Black Cleaver/Trinity Force + Sterak’s Gage) which is his core items, he will be at his strongest because of the ability to be a midgame threat. Maximize this time of the game and roam around the map to gain more advantage with your team. Create plays with your composition and deal your abilities to take control of the game.
Auto + W
This combo is used for an auto attack reset that should be used every time you trade. It lets you get to 5 stacks quicker and your abilities go off faster. This will let you win against your opponent in the lane early on and CS lead while you earn gold to buy your core items and prepare to deal damage in the mid game.
W + Q
This combo is used as an animation cancel. Your W(Crippling Strike) damage and slow will go off during the 0.75 second Q wind up. It helps in landing your Q because your W slows by 90%. Similar to the combo above, using this will hasten your ability to stack your passive(Hemorrhage) while also dealing damage to your enemy in the lane. Your Q(Decimate) will heal your HP especially when you are facing a range champion and you are having difficulty in reaching them.
E + Q
This combo is used for opponents that have a flash, dash, or some sort of invulnerability (Kayle, Pantheon, Fiora for example). This guarantees your Q(Decimate) before your opponent can issue any command, regardless of their tenacity, if you do not issue any other command if you cast it immediately after your E(Apprehend). Darius E is technically a CC since the enemy is displaced for about a second.
E + R
This combo is used similar to E + Q. Your main goal is to guarantee your R(Noxian Guillotine) to hit before your opponent can issue any command. Your goal is not to kill shot your target with your ultimate but deal more damage using your best ability and burn them down with your other skills after you’ve softened them up with your axe.
Darius isn’t a mechanical champion and he doesn’t have many combos. You want to be efficient at dodging skillshots from your opponents and use these few combos and maximize their damage to them.
How to Play Darius
When playing with Darius in the early game, one should focus on lane management. Darius’s laning phase should favor his side as he wants the minion wave to be closer to his turrets. When dealing with champions that are difficult to handle, you can secure the minions using your Q(Decimate) pre level 3 especially when you are being harassed more often. At level 2 you can utilize your Auto + W combo to harass any overextended enemy laners. When you are being bullied, using W + Q is a great way to deal damage and sustain the early game. Use this combos to stack your passive to your opponent. When you have set up room in lane and have all 3 abilities, the usual combo is E + Auto + W(Auto reset) + Cancel W into Q then Auto to 5 stacks. You win trades especially when you pull off your passive completely to the enemy. Maintain this style of keeping the wave close to you and taking small skirmishes until you get your Ultimate(Noxian Guillotine) and secure a finishing blow. 1v2 match-ups are winnable as long as you hit your Q on both of them to heal yourself and never forgetting to stack your passive to eliminate both with dunks.
Mid-game is where Darius is the strongest. Acquiring his core items will give him a great lead to constantly fight and skirmish. When you are ahead, you can carry team-fights even if your team is behind. It is extremely important to only fight on your summoner cool-downs. Darius is bad at skirmishing if he doesn’t have at least one summoner up and ready to use.
- Split Pushing – Whenever you are split pushing, be aware of your enemies positioning through collaborative visions with your teammates and yourself. Keeping tabs on where your opponents will provide you a great chance to leave your teammates on a 4-1 split push without the concern of a team-fight that you should have been with. Darius usually runs with Ghost and Flash as summoner spells so timing the perfect split push is crucial to a possible team-fight that will turn into an objective.
- Objective Control – When taking objectives like Dragons and Rift Heralds, your summoners should be up and running as Darius is inefficient without it due to its low mobility. Enchanting supports that give movement speed may also help you lock down the enemy targets. Mid game fight is where Darius shines and you should be ready to ultimately get your team a Baron and win the game around this time.
Late game is where Darius’s effectiveness reduces. When you reach these moments on the game, your ultimate focus is to play fights to keep your carries alive. This can be achieved through peeling your carries or building more supportive items like Gargoyle Stoneplate or Knight’s Vow. Keep in mind that carries have already built items that can drop your HP instantly so work with your team and play with your strengths. Try to pick off face checking enemies and gain an upper hand in an area in the map and place vision to determine your next moves. At this point, your goal is not to split push since you have Ghost as a summoner spell instead of a teleport. If you are the only engage, you should be focusing on flash E’ing the carries and combine CCs with your team to prevent any counters from your combos. Otherwise, play to keep your carries alive and soak up damage. As long as you defeat the carries of the other team and keep your healthy you can take objectives like Baron and Elder easily without any trouble. Try to lock enemies together for your carry to eliminate as fast as possible. This will turn over to more gold, more objectives, structures destroyed and ultimately winning the game.
Darius Tips and Tricks
- Punish mistakes on enemy champions and use Apprehend to gank up on them
- Try to snowball during the mid game phase as Darius can easily 1v9
- Take important fights when you have Ghost/Flash available
- You can proc Crippling Strike while your Decimate goes off
- Always use your W as an auto-attack reset
- Your E will lock the target, take advantage of the timing
- Darius is all about limits testing and decision making
Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps
These are things most Darius players do that shouldn’t be done at a high level ELO.
Mistake #1 – Only using your E, Apprehend offensively. Combining your E with your W can also be used as an escape tool for Darius. Most low players tend to run away with and just spam Q.
Mistake #2 – Not capitalizing your lead. When you have lane advantage at the top, look for ways to spread your lead by taking out the scuttle, destroying blast cones, and removing jungle camps in the enemy side. This will further give you more experience while the minions are pushing the way as well as lessen the jungler’s ability to move.
Mistake #3 – Not flanking in teamfights. Darius is not great at initiating fights in front. He doesn’t have a CC that can lock targets instantly. That is why it is much better for the jungler or support to engage then flank the enemy team at the back and spam your combos.
These below videos are great game play examples for how to play Darius. Coming Soon
Similar Champions to Darius
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Darius. When he isn’t available either banned or picked by the enemy team. This will give you a variety to choose from. Safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome.
Great at 1v1 in the Top lane, Heavy Splitpusher and Late game fighter. Jax is a champion without a weapon but has the ability to smack everyone with a lamp post. He excels that receiving damages with ease and hitting it back his targets. He gets stronger and stronger until you'll regret you never ended the game early.
Great engage, lacks of mana/energy dependences and he's a Tanky fighter. Sett is the brawler that faces everyone head-on. Using his fist to take advantage, he stops your movement and burst you unexpectedly. He loves to show-off and give you an opportunity to hit but still lose at the end of the day.
Highest base HP in game, Gives a huge MS to team and Great at sticking to his target. Kled is a crazy general that rides with Skaarl. He focuses lock you in a rope and drag you back to him. His unending hits will shred your HP. Additionally, he brings teammates with him to play around with you.
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