Fiddlesticks Build Guide

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A 7k Fiddle core for soloqueue

written by Dithnir

Fiddlesticks Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Update
    13.7.11

    Revamped items to give a core plus options, while adding and amending details throughout.

    ----------

    Welcome to Soloqueue!

    Are you like me?

    * You have always tried not to feed and you've bought wards regularly because you feel not dying and map visibility are minimum necessary (if not sufficient) conditions for victory.
    * You recognise nobody else is going to buy wards, let alone pick a support character.
    * You rarely get above 10k in gold farmed except now and again, so you need good bang for buck for the majority of soloqueue games where it's not going really well.
    * You still hope the girl sat opposite you on the bus thinks 'he's not bad looking' because even though you're 41 you still wear Converse and roll with an expensive haircut.

    You are? Great, then perhaps you'll agree with me on what Fiddlesticks brings in particular:

    * Fiddle's CC is the one constant threat regardless of farm, regardless of game phase. Therefore it defines him. With his tick damage meaning he's not a burst or hard carry, and with only average AP ratios, he is more of a cc/magic damage champ.
    * Nobody is that scared of Crowstorm late game if they're fed/got cc. Initiate with this and you'll usually die if your team isn't with you. Build some defensiveness given this puts you in melee range of their whole team and you need to survive long enough for the ticks to rack up ;D
    * You can't build all out AP because Fiddle's spells put him either in melee range in the case of his ult, or close enough to cc the oppo that he's always at risk. He needs some survivability itemisation.

    This build acknowledges these points, right or wrong :) Let's get stuck in.....

  • Wards

    "Wards? They're for Soraka and besides, this isn't tournament play."

    You're right, who would want a cheap maphack?

    If you ward the ends, midpoints between the ends and the mid lane, as well as the midlane river brush, plus your jungle buffs, then as far as your half of the map is concerned, the enemy cannot move anywhere without you knowing about it.

    That's 8 wards. Cost=600 gold.

    If that saves your team from being ganked once, you've denied the opposition both a levelling advantage as well as at least 1500 gold, if not more if you have any guys on a killstreak.

    Sure you can't buy 40 or 50 wards in a game, but sticking a ward in the small river bush midway between lanes at the least shows the oppo moving towards baron or dragon, across to your Golem or up and down the river.

    Just buy a couple when you go back for the next item. Drop them along the river if in doubt, or just ask your team where you should drop a ward. If you have guys running the buffs regularly, or the enemy are stealing them, it never hurts to put them there, hopefully you can gank one of their opportunists. That is worth way more than 75 gold :)

    Also, if the game isn't going well, but your team aren't complete retards, forego that you can just about afford and get 5 wards. Map your jungle, stop your team from constantly getting caught out in a confident oppo's ganks.

    The way this game works is that teams will eventually even out in terms of damage output, there's only 6 items you can have, so if you last long enough their kills advantage will become meaningless.

    With wards you can slow down their ganks and give your guys the info they need to farm and keep an eye on the enemy's movements.

    With patience you can bring the match around, or at least give it a bloody good go and take some pride playing well.

  • Abilities

    Dread
    A good passive throughout the game. It gives you and your allies' magic damage that bit more bite. No harm in that, but it does further the case that you are a cc support damager that can maximise the benefit of this by being near your team mates whenever possible.


    Terrify
    A great spell. The range has improved, it's the only reason I now fear Fiddle when he's in the oppo. I level this spell a fair bit early in the lane as it shuts down any incoming attack as well as helps initiate a poke 'Drain'.


    Drain
    This is simply not that effective beyond a health topup unless you go full on levelling it in your lane. I usually level this and Terrify equally through to level 10, as it's at the least free health pots, meaning you can spend more on wards ;)

    You need a reasonable amount of AP for this to be effective, but if their health isn't dropping faster than yours (they have resistance or just more hitpoints) then you'll be fleeing if Terrify is on cooldown. Don't push their tower without a partner, not without your Flash / Cleanse up.

    Furthermore they just have to drop any sort of silence or stun to stop it and get out of range.

    My recent success with this has been mainly as a poke/zoning tool in the lane phase, it still has some psychological impact.


    Dark Wind
    An AoE silence plus a regrettably smallish amount of damage. Take it at level 1 for that brush skirmish you end up getting dragged into while waiting for minions, because it'll silence the oppo pair and deal damage as they back off.

    Despite the recent damage buff this spell is not helpful with farming, nor is it doing much damage when you do break it out, even were you to level it to 3 or 4 by level 10, but that's because of it's rather random nature when targetting near a minion crowd.

    The AoE silence component means it's a must have early for at least one point. It can really break up any moves from your oppo.


    Crowstorm
    A great ganking tool early to mid game, but be cautious about it's use lategame unless you're very fed or you co-ordinate well with your team mates. It's a strong dot, but not if you're rooted or burst to death by a decent oppo team before the ticks build.

    Always try to use this from the brush, using Flash to reposition it if necessary. If the gank is right but they're a bit too far away from brush, then Flash doubles its range. You should otherwise try to save Flash to save your own ass. Dying is hugely punitive in LoL. Avoid it where possible.

    The induction has been reduced, so this becomes something you can more easily just use and jump in before the oppo have time to react, but NEVER initiate. Bring this in when the battle has begun and people are wasting abilities. Time and again I Crowstorm in then Dark Wind. The oppo have a full 1.5 seconds of not being able to hit a spell, so with your team around you taking advantage it can turn the tide of a fight.

    Of course, you're in melee range and they usually like to target you. Try to cleanse any debuffs if you've taken that, or have a QSS and Terrify/Drain the most dangerous carry. It's worth dying usually to save your own well farmed carries, chances are they're on a bigger killstreak.


  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries: 9-0-21.

    The magic penetration is vital to early damage and harrass when you have very few items.

    The utility line is a 'whole game' line, the Defensive line is an early game line only. I recommend the former. Just, you know, be careful out there.

    Make sure you take the [mastery_text=Utility Mastery], Greed and [mastery_text=Good Hands] over spells like Perseverance and [mastery_text=Expanded Mind]...you'll want the blue buff and it'll last an age with the Utility mastery while Greed and Good hands offer more, erm, utility than the very marginal benefits of Expanded Mind and Perseverance. Their buffs even when maxed offer negligible improvements to your health and mana. I googled it and found it to be so after reading a number of threads relating to them.

    Runes:

    Quints: Greater Quintessence of Potency x 2 / Greater Quintessence of Clarity x 1
    Marks: Greater Mark of Insight
    Seals: Greater Seal of Clarity or Greater Seal of Replenishment
    Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Potency or Greater Glyph of Force

    Fiddle needs as much AP as he can get in order to force his presence on the lane and poke the oppo to allow him to get some last hits and farm, because he won't farm hard like pure carries.

    I've gone with the Potency quint because the core build and suggested upgrade paths do not give Fiddle much in the way of mana regen. It's another reason Fiddle should be seeking the Golem buff and taking the Utility Mastery for extra duration. If you don't get it though, you want that bit more regen to keep you going and I think it has as much whole game utility as the AP quints.

    The mana regen goes well with the early Doran's Ring to give you reasonable laning regen. If you find you're getting low on mana, it is probably because you're trying to harrass the oppo rather than focus on last hitting. If this is because they're harrassing you hard and you're just trying to respond, let the fight get nearer to your tower to force them to be more cautious and keep it there.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Flash / Cleanse / Ghost

    These three spells save your life over and over. Cleanse means escaping from cc heavy oppo more often, and cc really kills Fiddle. Flash is the eponymous escape/reposition Crowstorm spell :)

    You could take Smite for more effective jungling, but not necessary. My further thoughts on this below. Also, with Ghost you have another useful Crowstorm positioner if your Flash is on CD, or another 'leg it' spell if you're being chased.

    Remember to take the right masteries for these spells to reduce cooldowns further.

  • Skilling Order and laning with Fiddle

    I like Dark Wind at level 1 because the 5 bounces plus silence help you to break up the oppo attacks and aggression.

    I would suggest getting Drain next then Terrify so that you can top up your health and put that Terrify->Drain combo together if your oppo lets you.

    After that I think you just ought to see how the game is going, but note that the bounces stay at 5 with Dark Wind so getting Fear and drain going will help with champion killing and survivability.

    The thing with Fiddle in lane is that he can fairly easily keep his health up but his harrass is a bit hit and miss. The Dark Wind bounces don't hit the oppo enough to hurt while they damage the minions meaning a pushed lane.

    The Fear->Drain combo is fair enough as a poke but the oppo are usually quite cautious around Fiddle anyway or they'll try and burst him down while he's draining, and if their dps exceeds Fiddle's even with his regen then he's all of a sudden on the run but with no Fear to help him flee. It never bodes well for him.

    Also, Fiddle's farming just plain sucks, his auto attack is really weak. You need to work hard to get his last hitting right but with his non ult spells Fiddle is not easy to get near while he's doing it, especially in a duo lane where you have a decent partner.

    In solo lane you really have to last hit well. You won't kill the enemy champ unless you spec differently to what I've outlined in this guide....or they're just crap. Many solo lane specialists have great range which means Fiddle just can't get control. Keep the fight near the middle or towards your tower if possible by only last hitting the minions and keep at least a third of your mana bar for if their jungler or a fed mid comes into the lane to try and push your tower.

    You have to be able to respond with a reasonable burst if possible, all the while pinging for help if you think the next 30 seconds are going to be challenging:)

    If you're having a hard time solo lane and you're getting zoned out and taking damage, consider getting a second Doran's Ring. It'll delay your main build of course but you shouldn't worry about that, you should worry about getting a decent short term boost to help you keep your tower up and keep you from feeding the oppo. The worst thing you can do is feed their oppo carry because it hurts your whole team later in the game when the teamfighting starts.

    Rather you'd be underfarmed a bit on CS but your tower is in good shape and you've not died and given them any extra gold or as importantly, level advantage.

    "What about jungling? what about when I get my ult?"

    I personally don't recommend jungling at level 1 anymore, because the health regen from Drain is reduced, which means it's trickier, and if you have an oppo jungler or a well organised oppo team, you are open to be ganked while taking down the Golem. One way to do it without Smite is suggested on my comments thread:

    "- Get AP Seals
    - Be level 30
    - Get Doran's Ring as 1st item
    - Stand in max range, pull the 1st small creep with life leech => run away
    - Stand in max range, pull the 2nd small creep with life leech => run away
    - Stand in max range, pull the 3rd big creep with life leech => run in a circle while shooting at the big one while you try to kite him around, meaning you shouldnt be hit too often and leech whenever you can
    "

    At about level 3 or 4, if you've taken a couple of points in then you could get the blue buff for the regen and cooldowns or do the jungle if you don't have a jungler. It gives you some gold as well as makes your oppo think you're off for a gank.......which you might be, depending on how pushed the lanes are :)

    Either way one of them is going to say 'Fiddle SS' in their chat, so they've got one more think to think about.

    Once you've got your you should seriously be looking to gank. Again, it depends on how the fight is going.

    If you're struggling in lane, because the oppo are playing well, or your partner's crap/gone afk/jungling/ganking etc. then don't moan, just keep the tower going till it's clear you can shift out of lane. Ask your lanemate or team that because your ult is up you're up for a gank. If your team say nothing, because this, after all, is soloqueue, defend your tower.

    A tower is worth 750g to the oppo, and makes your lane easier to push, your jungle/the river more dangerous as they can leave their lane and go wandering etc. etc. This is a tower defense game. They're hugely important.

    If your team are ok though and you have the opportunity then go for a wander. Your ult works best coming out of nowhere, like brush. You can instantly reposition it with Flash and hit Terrify and Dark Wind to stop your main target and neutralise the rest into panic.

    I question whether to at this point on your feared target because it depends if you think it's a finisher or not. You are locked into place with Drain, whereas you might want the mobility to run after the oppo with the damage tick from Crowstorm.

    This comes down to playstyle and the situation. However, bear in mind what I said earlier:

    "* Nobody is that scared of Crowstorm late game if they're fed/got cc."

    Do not initiate with this lategame. Unless you have massive AP and high survivability. You will get mullered in seconds by their team otherwise. The damage isn't bursty enough. Sure you can co-ordinate with your team to do it when they push and launch their own CC, but diving in ahead of your team will leave them a man down, while your oppo won't have lost that much health because at endgame you might get one possibly two ticks of your storm off before you die.

    A decent oppo will cc and burst you down within two ticks or less of your crowstorm dropping in. Perhaps Zhonya's Hourglass can help here but then you're not going to get a chance to Terrify if you think you'll get instantly targetted because you'll hit Zhonya's active immediately to protect yourself.

  • Items

    Summary

    The full build

    In a nutshell...

    / or / / / /

    Cost = 6900 gold with the Tabi, 7250 gold with the Merc Treads, plus whatever for wards throughout.

    Rationale
    This build gives Wards...and some other stuff...yes, I can't stress Ward value enough :D

    This 7k core gives Fiddle 218AP, health, mana, aoe penetration and build options for both a lot more AP, health and mana through Rod of Ages, defensiveness through Banshee's Veil while off the NLR you can build out your raw AP with Rabadon's Deathcap or more armour and some AP through Zhonya's Hourglass.

    See how the game is going, this core lets you make decisions that give you good AP and survivability options as you get more gold. If you don't get more gold I think there's a core here that maps excellently to the kinds of situation Fiddle finds himself in.

    Suggested:

    Doran's Ring
    Because you can regen health, the Ring gives you 3 much needed stats out of the gate. With your AP runes you can start to hurt early. In recent games it's starting with Doran's over boots that changes the oppo's mindset due to my better harrassing and more damage from the Dark Wind bounces. Drain also eats their health more so stops them from being so aggressive.

    Ninja Tabi / Mercury's Treads
    Choose whichever based on the damage type of the oppo's carries. If you press 'Tab' periodically early on you'll get a feel for which way their champs are going. If their damage is mixed, get the Ninja Tabi as you have other Magic Resist items...if they instead have loads of AP types, stick to the Treads.

    Don't be afraid to go back and just get Boots of Speed plus some Wards before getting these, especially if your oppo are showing themselves to be well organised, and are using the brush to outzone you.

    Abyssal Scepter
    This gives you AP, Magic resist plus reduces the oppo's magic resist, synergising with your runes and your passive Dread. It's well nigh perfect for increasing damage and building resistance to the damage you risk taking with your spell ranges. Also, it's even more effective, like your passive, if you're with magic damage dealing team mates :)

    It has a range of 1000, so you will always be getting its benefit when engaging and casting spells. It's not something I'd say was core on many casters, but with Fiddle's need to be in and around the action, he's a ranged damage target, where most ranged damage is magical, while also he needs to be putting the hurt on, so it's perfect.

    Needlessly Large Rod
    This item gives you a good boost to damage while allowing you to then choose two distinctly beneficial upgrade paths out of this core. If you have dangerous AD carries in the Oppo, go Zhonya's Hourglass, but if you feel like you can go for more pure damage, perhaps because the oppo aren't really well organised and constantly threatening, then you can just go Rabadon's Deathcap and really hurt them.

    Catalyst the Protector
    If you happen to get this early enough because you want the boost to health and mana, being aware that the Rod of Ages takes time to charge, you can benefit from free health and mana regen each time you level. Keep an eye on your xp bar to see when the boost kicks in. This helps lane sustain a little, no bad thing.

    As mentioned above, it builds out into either a Rod of Ages or a Banshee's Veil, the latter an excellent defensive item, if not the best.

    Some games you just need to mitigate damage in order to be able to do some back. If you can get your Fear and Silence off without dying immediately then you can help your team to really turn a teamfight.

    Personal favourite items to consider additionally

    Quicksilver Sash

    I love this item, but that's because I'm not a great player, just an earnest one. I'm not always out of range, I'm sometimes caught out, either by an unwarded lane or brush or just not zoning consistently pro...hey, shit happens.

    Apart from a good chunk of resist, this item's active clears more stuff than your summoner spell Cleanse.

    There's so much in the way of crowd control on so many champs in this game and if more than one of them is with the champ that snares/roots/stuns you then you've probably had it. However, if they can't hold you in place for that second or so to reach you and unload, then you might just get out of trouble, particularly if your summoner spells and/or your fear and silence are up.

    Chalice of Harmony

    If you're against an AP heavy team, the extra Magic Resist on this will help nicely for just 890 gold, but given your Mana regen the multiplicative boost off it's passive (plus it's additive of course) will give you sick mana regen if you're running at about half or less of your total pool. I've run with this on the core build and it's spamtastic, I felt a great deal more useful throughout a long rolling team engagement.

  • My older more tanky builds - for reference

    My older builds, left in for reference as they've been useful to at least one of my correspondents in relation to this guide :)

    Build 2

    Build 1

    These builds are far more 'support'.

    The AP is limited in favour of survivability, CDR and regen. I've not had much success with Fiddle and taken some criticism for building him these ways, but the philosophy behind these builds is that your ranges and your really strong cc mean you have to soak up some damage but can more frequently crowd control the oppo and spam your spells, in theory leading to respectable average dps.

    I found it hard to farm much because I struggled to zone out the oppo on the games I tried these builds due to not having much AP during the lane phase, but late game I found I was constantly harrassing and fearing initiates when the oppo had the upper hand.

    Perhaps with better or more co-ordinated teams that would be cool, but beyond the cc I wasn't offering much at all when it came to contributing damage, especially given the ult is so much more situational than many damage ults. I think a better balance is needed.

  • Summary

    I've itemised a 7k core for what I think Fiddle best brings to a team - CC and good tick damage, with the survivability to maintain it and support the team, while offering upgrade paths that fully synergise with my philosophy on Fiddle's playstyle.



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