Fiddlesticks Build Guide

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Hourglass Fiddle

written by ScrambledYello

Fiddlesticks Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    22,000 VIEWS!!  Thanks for everyone's support! It looks like Surprise Party Fiddle also generated a lot of interest, almost 2K views in the four days since it was out xD.  Please continue to leave your constructive feedback/questions and if you enjoyed my guide, upvotes are always appreciated. You can show your support at the forums at

    This guide is a work in progress and I will be constantly adding more as time allows. I will try to keep it updated after patches and make necessary changes after any buffs/nerfs/tweaks. For most sections I will try to have a summary at the top and an in-depth discussion afterwards but I recommend serious Fiddlesticks enthusiasts to read everything. Most of my ideas wont be silver bullets or auto-win tactics but strategies that took many games to develop and may take you many games to learn to apply. However, if anything, I hope that you can at least take your game play to new levels if you stick with it. All feedback and suggestions are welcome and I hope everyone can provide their input. Please enjoy! :D

  • Revision History

    11/18/2011 - I've updated the to a new mastery set and added a video showing how to solo the Blue buff
    10/30/2011 - Added a rune set option to allow solo'ing the blue buff or with just a soft leash and also updated the jungling section to reflect the change.
    10/8/2011 - Added a section for playing Fiddlesticks in mid lane.
    9/3/2011 - Added a video for my "Option A" jungling route. 
    9/1/2011 - Finished every section and added more videos. Now I will work on adding more videos, polishing the guide, and responding to feedback/critiques.

    8/31/2011 - Videos!! Lots and lots of videos! Well not quite but I am adding them as fast as I can record, compress and upload them. You will see many more added over the next few hours.

    8/30/2011 - First edition! The guide is up to date with the latest patch. I have to finish writing a few sections but the most important parts in place. I plan to add some videos once I figure out how to reduce their file size.

  • Pros / Cons

    -His ultimate is by far one of the most terrifying (no pun intended) and when executed properly, can ensure victory in every team fight
    -Has a great toolbox of support skills including one of the best disables in the game
    -Great jungler (in fact this is the only way to play him that I will discuss in this guide)
    -Decently reliable escape mechanisms

    -When not executed properly, his ultimate is basically useless and will render Fiddlesticks mostly useless for the duration of the cooldown
    -Highly team dependent, mainly because he needs a good setup to execute his ultimate most effectively
    -Relatively weak farming ability

  • Abilities

    Not much to say about this passive. It makes all of your AP skills as well as those of your allies more damaging.

    Other than his ultimate, this is Fiddlesticks's best skill and one of the reasons why people hate playing against him so much.

    This is essential to jungling but other than that I will not be focusing on this skill very much. Even though lifesteal is a good skill, most people will not stand around for every tick of Fiddle's drain so it is definitely not something you want to invest too heavily in or rely on for damage.

    Dark Wind
    This skill is more useful for its utility as opposed to its damage (at least for early/mid game when you play Fiddle the way I do). I will try to go into the different tricks you can do with it and how/when you should use it in the in-depth portions.

    Crowstorm + Hourglass = GG. Well, not always. But as the title of this guide suggests, I will be discussing the many ways in which you can use the Zhonya's Hourglass's stasis ability during Fiddle's ultimate. When executed properly, you can GREATLY disrupt an enemy team's team fighting capability and force them to run or fight with a severe disadvantage.

  • Masteries + Runes

    External Image
    Greater Mark of Insight x 9

    Greater Seal of Resilience x 9
    Greater Seal of Clarity x 9

    Greater Glyph of Shielding x 9
    Greater Glyph of Force x 9
    Greater Glyph of Focus x 9

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x 3

    The new season 2 masteries give casters a leg up and you can basically solo the blue golem without any AP runes now.

  • Summoner Abilities


    I hesitate to say that this spell is a must have on Fiddle since you really should not be depending on it but it really helps you to position his Crowstorm so as long as they have not removed it or nerf'd it beyond usefulness, there really is no reason not to get it.


    This is of course for jungling/counter jungling. Back when drain was stronger, you did not have to take it but now you might as well take advantage of the faster jungling speed that it provides you. Of course a well positioned ward can also lead to good buff stealing and/or ganking opportunities.

  • Items

    Your first big item is going to be Zhonya's Hourglass. That is essentially the crux of my build and beyond that everything is situational for the most part. 

    Boots of Speed Health Potion x 3

    Why boots first and not 
    Doran's Ring or  Elixir of Brilliance or  Amplifying Tome?

    1) It helps you gank. Some people may not have  Boots of Speed within the first 10 minutes and the extra movement speed may just be enough for you to reach them and use Terrify or keep them within your Crowstorm.

    2)  Doran's Ring and  Elixir of Brilliance don't build into anything.

    3) I don't build anything that uses  Amplifying Tome until late game if at all.

    1st Item: 
    Zhonya's Hourglass

    As soon as you can you want to pick up a 
    Needlessly Large Rod. An example of a first buy might be  Needlessly Large Rod and  Sight Ward x 2 (I will get into when to buy wards later). After that, finish off the  Zhonya's Hourglass asap. 

    2nd Item: 
    Sorcerer's Shoes or  Mercury's Treads

    Some may argue that [item=Sorcerer's Shoes] are a waste considering Fiddle's passive but for the most part you will still be doing more damage with them than without them.

    You should pick up 
    Mercury's Treads if you happened to get focused a LOT, especially with CC. However, when you engage in fight properly, you will usually not be the first target and even if you are,  Zhonya's Hourglass will help keep you alive.

    3rd Item: 
    Abyssal Scepter or  Banshee's Veil

    Pick up 
    Abyssal Scepter next if the other team has a decent amount of magic and or MR and no crazy initiation skills (e.g. WW ulti, Malzahar ulti, Blitztak Rocket Grab). If they do have one of those, pick up  Banshee's Veil.

    4th Item: 
    Abyssal Scepter or  Banshee's Veil or  Rabadon's Deathcap or  Rylai's Crystal Scepter  or  Void Staff

    These are situational and you will buy them according to how the game is progressing and the other team's build.

    Rod of Ages

    Many people who play casters swear by 
    Rod of Ages. I agree that it is generally a good item since it increases your damage AND gives you health/durability. However, if you will notice, having a  Zhonya's Hourglass and a  Abyssal Scepter or  Banshee's Veil will already make you quite tanky. You will already have nearly 100 Armor as well as MR. Truthfully, I'm often one of the tankiest champions on my team at this point. In addition, these items all give you some kinda of extra effect (lowered MR, negate spells) that just add to your utility. I LOVE things that have multiple uses, champion and items alike. If you feel that you need just a little more health later on, I prefer to grab  Rylai's Crystal Scepter as once again, it has secondary functions (slow).

    Sight Wards

    When should you buy wards? Always! After just about every buy, I have enough gold for at least 1 or 2 wards and I almost always buy them. In the course of a game, I may buy 15-20 wards. This may seem a bit overboard but well placed wards and constant map coverage at key locations can really make a big difference. I will admit one of the reasons I buy so many is because noone else does xD but I really encourage everyone to get in the habit.

  • Skilling Order

    External Image

    This is the skilling order that you will use if you are to get the blue buff by yourself (I will get into the different jungling paths later).  As I mentioned before, Terrify is one of Fiddle's most important skills and you will be maxing it first.  At the early levels though, you need to set yourself up for jungling so two points in Drain and one in Dark Wind will be just enough for you to sustain yourself.  By level 4, you will get your first point in Terrify and you will be ready to gank.

    External Image

    This is almost identical to the first skill order except you take your first point in Terrify at level 3 instead of level 4. You can do this if you see a good ganking opportunity at that time and/or you already have the blue buff.

  • Creep Jungling

    If you really want to you can start with Doran's Ring or Elixir of Brilliance or Amplifying Tome but I think you will appreciate the advantages of starting with a boot when it comes time to gank. Below I discuss two paths that have proven to be successful for me.

    Option A (if the blue buff is closer to the TOP lane or if starting at blue is too risky)
    1) Smite the blue wraith -> drain one of the small wraiths -> auto attack another small wraith while drain is on CD -> drain the small wraith that has full life -> auto attack the last small wraith until it is dead -> pop a potion
    2) drain the blue wolf -> auto attack one of the small wolves -> drain and kill the blue wolf -> level up dark wind -> use dark wind once and kill the two small wolves with auto attacks
    3) Head to the enemy Wraith camp. Your smite should be about off CD and you should have enough mana for one drain and one dark wind. Once you get to the camp, IF AN ENEMY JUNGLER IS THERE, use dark wind on him and immediately start draining him. Usually he is low from doing blue buff and/or other creeps and you can very likely pick up first blood right here as well as a free blue buff.

    NOTE: This is where you have to use your judgement and make smart decisions. If you are not able to kill the enemy champion and he starts to fight you, you should probably run away as their mid lane champ will probably be heading towards you. In this situation, depending on how much life your mid lane champ and their champs have, you may be able to win a skirmish. However, you really have to be able to assess the situation quickly and when in doubt, just get out.

    If the enemy champion is NOT at the Wraith camp and the Wraiths are still there, smite the blue wraith and kill of the rest in the same manner as you did the first camp.

    4)If both the enemy champ and the Wraiths were not there OR after you clear out their Wraiths, head towards top lane (if the blue buff is near your top lane) or mid lane (if blue buff is near your bottom lane). Inform the laning champ that you are NOT going for a gank (unless there is an actual ganking opportunity. Once again, use your judgement.)

    5)Leech just enough exp from lane to reach level 3 and put a second point into Drain. While you are doing this you may or may not want to last hit the creeps for gold. You're really not up there to steal the top lane's farm so you may want to just hang around in the brush or something. You can harass/scare the enemy champs a bit but try not to use any skills unnecessarily since you are saving up mana to get the blue buff.

    6)Get blue buff. Make sure that smite is up or about to be up and that you have at least 250 mana. It takes 3 Drains and one Smite to kill the Ancient Golem. With at least 250 mana, you should have enough for the third Drain by the time you've used it twice.

    7)Clear the rest of the jungle as you please, ganking whenever there is an opportunity.

    Here is a video of the route:

    Option B (if the blue buff is closer to the BOTTOM lane)
    1) If possible, have a teammate leash the Blue golem (althogh it is not required) and then kill it using the method shown below:
    2) Clear your jungle using any standard jungling path (ganking when you cant).

  • How to Gank (Prior to Level 6)

    Once you are in position, you want to use Dark Wind and Terrify on the enemy you are trying to kill and then position yourself so that they are forced to take as much damage from Drain as possible.

    In Depth

    Once you are ready to gank, let your teammates know and have them pull-back. However, I want to stress that in any game with a jungler, your teammates should always be trying to keep the creep line at or behind the river (towards your base). Once you are in position, you can let one of them initiate on an enemy (if they have some kinda snare/taunt/root ability. If you are going to initiate, you want to flash in, throw Dark Wind followed by Terrify. Now, you DO NOT necessarily want to use Drain right away. First, you want to position yourself so that you are BETWEEN the enemy champ and their point of escape. This way, when you use Drain, they are forced to either walk past you and take more ticks of damage, stop to attack/disrupt you, or run away from you and towards your allies. Remember, you really don't have too much DPS at this point so you want to try and keep the enemies within range of your allies as long as possible.

    The reason I tend to lead with Dark Wind is because usually when the enemies spot you, they are not expecting a gank and have a split second delay in their reaction. Since your Dark Wind has a longer range than Terrify, you can toss it out and hopefully prevent them from using Flash or other escape skills long enough for you to get in range for Terrify. However, depending on the situation, if you can get into range to use Terrify right away (for example by using Flash then you may decide to use Terrify first.

    Here are some examples:

  • How to Gank (After Level 6)

    Once you are in position, Crowstorm onto the enemy champs and DO NOT USE Drain right away. Walk with them after using Dark Wind and Terrify and try to keep them inside your Crowstorm and use Drain once you are in a position to dish out maximum damage (see the previous section).

    In Depth
    Once you are setup and your teammates know you are ready to go, cast your Crowstorm. Depending on where you manage to land in relation to the enemies, you may NOT need to use Flash right away and if it is possible, you may decide to save it to chase them later on. Next comes the important part. Time and time again, I've seen players use Crowstorm and IMMEDIATELY cast Terrify and Drain. True, this will give you maximum dps, but probably only for a second or two. In the early stages of the game, your Terrify is not high enough level to really keep the enemy champs around very long so they will just start running away as soon as the effects wear off. Additionally, depending on your position after casting Crowstorm, the effect of Terrify may actually cause them to RUN OUT of your ulti. Since your Crowstorm is your most damaging spell and there should be at least 1 or 2 allies with you anyways, your goal should be to keep the enemy champ inside your ulti for as long as possible. After you've used Dark Wind and Terrify, you want to start walking WITH them while trying to keep yourself between them and their escape path. This is similar to the tactic above with Drain where you are forcing them to walk towards you or towards your allies. You can cast Drain once
    A) Crowstorm is almost over,
    B)One of your allies manages to further hinder the enemy with a stun/root/slow/etc..
    or C) the enemy champ is about to die.

    Here are some examples:

  • Fiddle in the Middle

    Level 2-3 Dark Wind makes Fiddlesticks basically un-laneable against.
    In Depth
    The reason I wrote this section is because after playing jungle Fiddle in ranked, I found that often times my teammates in the lanes are just too unreliable.  If our team gives even a small  number of deaths early game, the advantage of having a jungler is basically lost.  What's more, Fiddles early game ganking ability amounts to mostly CC and support so if your allies are already at a disadvantage from dying, they simply wont have the damage to make the gank successful.  Having said that, here is how to carry your team by playing mid:
    1) Take Ignite instead of Smite
    2) Get a Doran's Ring
    3) Rank Dark Wind to level 2
    4) Spam Dark Wind at the enemy champ.
    5) Profit
    That's it, really.  The amount of harass that Dark Wind puts out at early levels is insane.  Sometimes you may get lucky and get the crow to bounce between the enemy champ and a minion for a total of three hits for a huge amount of burst damage.  Once they are at low life it is easy to deny them while continuing to chip at their life.  At some point if they stick around, you will be able to Flash in, then use Terrify, Ignite, Dark Wind and Drain for the kill.
    Once you hit level 6, you can go gank one of the side lanes asap.  Hopefully, you had previously killed/forced your opponent out of the lane.  Otherwise, you can call for your jungler to cover your lane.

  • Working in the team

    Fiddle is not always all about damage. As I mentioned before, he has a great toolbox of skills that can both be used offensively to ensure a kill as well as saving your teammates. Depending on the enemy team composition, you have to make informed decision as to when/who you should cast Dark Wind and Terrify on.

    In Depth
    I won't go into much detail about using Crowstorm and Zhonya's Hourglass since the next two sections are dedicated to them. I will just list a few things that you should try to keep in mind during a teamfight.

    1)Generally speaking, you should never initiate a teamfight unless you are doing a Crowstorm tower dive (see below). The enemy should not even be able to see you until the fight has broken out.

    2) If the enemy has a strong channeling spell such as Katarina or Nunu's ultimates, you want to save your Dark Wind or Terrify to interrupt them. If they have Banshee's Veil, you want to save both and use Dark Wind first.

    3) Once the primary target has been identified (someone with huge burst such as Annie or a hard carry like Ashe), try your best to disable them with Terrify as soon as possible. You will likely be using Crowstorm possibly in conjunction with Flash to position yourself.

    4) Once you have cast Drain, don't be so set on getting the most out of it that you leave vulnerable. You should constantly assess the situation changes unfavorably for you (incoming skill shot, your allies are retreating), break off your drain and move.

    5) When your Crowstorm is down or after you have used it, stay in the outskirts and just focus on throwing CC into the crowd. You should still auto attack or use Drain if you can do it safely or the enemy is about to die but otherwise, you are much more useful staying alive and providing support.

    6) Get the enemy team's attention! And then stay alive! (See "How to use Hourglass" section for details)

  • How/When to Crowstorm

    The three most important aspects to a well executed Crowstorm are:
    1) Position - You want to cast the spell from a spot that allows you to appear (or Flash to) a position such that the enemy champions are within your AOE. This will also mean they are most likely in range of Terrify and Dark Wind.

    2) Timing - Because of the channeling time that Crowstorm requires, you want to wait until the fight is under way before you start charging up.

    3) Activation - If your Crowstorm gets interrupted before it comes out, you might as well be level 5 again. Not only have you lost most of your damage potential, you've lost out on your intimidation factor. DO NOT let this happen.

    In Depth
    The key to a successful Crowstorm is the element of surprise. 90% of the time, your opponents should not even be able to see you during the channeling phase. There are a few exceptions to this and I will discuss them later in this section. When setting up for an encounter, you should NOT be the one leading the party. Instead, you want to hang in the back or to the side, preferably in some brush. Then, from the moment the fight begins to the moment you actually blink in, you need to constantly assess the situation and make some decisions based on a few factors.

    1)If the opposing team has any champs that can disrupt your channeling (stun,knock-up, displacement, suppression), and you are not in a hidden location, YOU MUST know that they are either out of range, have already used the skill, or are disabled. Many smart teams will give this champ the SPECIFIC TASK of interrupting you. If you let this happen, the fight has for the most part been ruined and it is TERRIBLE. This means that you sometimes have to wait quite a long time but it is just too great a risk to take otherwise. However, if their champ is waiting for you, that means they are also not in the fight so it should balance out.

    2) Should you use Flash? This depends on what kind of positioning you can achieve without it. If you started your ulti from over a cliff or from a brush nearby and you can place your AOE directly over the enemies you may not need to use Flash. Furthermore, it would be best if you can be in range to disable the primary target with Terrify. Saving your Flash is good for ensuring a kill on an escaping opponent or for securing your safe escape. However, when in doubt, go ahead and use Flash right away since you want to deal maximum damage with Crowstorm.

    3)Has an enemy used some kind of channeling and/or suppression ultimate (e.g. Katarina, Warwick, Malzahar)? If so, you want to immediately disrupt them with Terrify or Dark Wind upon arrival. Below is an example:

    In this video, I cast Terrify on Malzahar to stop his ulti and since he is almost dead, I immediately move up to kill Lux. Notice that I did not use my Flash right away so I am able to use it to catch up to her.

    4)Should you use Drain right away? That depends on how the fight is going and the enemy team's reaction to your arrival. If they stay close by because they are too committed to trying to kill one of your allies or if they are trapped by some kind of stun/slow/root/etc., feel free to cast Drain right away on the most appropriate target. However, even in this case it may be too dangerous to do so and you will want to activate Zhonya's Hourglass. See the next section for details about this. If the opponents attempt to flee, you will to walk with them to keep the highest priority targets within your AOE (possibly after having cast Terrify and/or Dark Wind).

    Here is an example that applies these principles:

    In this video, I am not quite in position when the fight initially starts so I cast Terrify on one enemy champ and walk to the brush to setup. Notice again that I do not use my Flash right away but use it after a bit to ensure a kill on Karthus and Lee Sin.

    As I mentioned earlier, there are a few instances where you can use your Crowstorm even if the opponents may know that you are about to.

    1) Tower diving. See the next section for details.

    2) Saving your own tower. This works well because you can clear out the entire enemy creep wave and thus cause your own tower to start focusing on champs. Depending on the situation, you may need to use Zhonya's Hourglass.

    3) During small skirmishes, you can cast Terrify on an opponent and immediately cast Crowstorm. Unless you are below level 7 (assuming you follow my skilling order), the effects of Terrify should last as long as or longer than the channeling time. This allows you to effectively turn the tables in your favor and force them to back off or fight at a severe disadvantge. If there are multiple opponents, you would want use Terrify on either a champ that can disrupt your channeling or if there isn't one, the one that is easiest to kill. Below is an example:

  • How to use Hourglass: THE MOST IMPORTANT SECTION

    Zhonya's Hourglass Zhonya's Hourglass Zhonya's Hourglass Zhonya's Hourglass
    This is it, the single most crucial part of this guide and the secrets behind Hourglass Fiddle. I will discuss a number of tricks and various examples of how to apply them. For each one, I will try to post one or two videos.

    In Depth
    1) This is the most basic concept. In the middle of a team fight, once you've made your appearance with Crowstorm, competent players will tend to focus you. Your ulti has 5 ticks of damage and if they can kill you within 2 seconds, you've lost more than half of your damage potential, not to mention you can no longer support your teammates. This is where Zhonya's Hourglass comes in. The 2 second stasis is VERY disruptive to the enemies fighting ability in a similar way to Zilean and Kayle's ultimates. This is because it forces them to collectively shift their focus fire. Unless they have god-like coordination, they will likely be left in disarray. Additionally, you may cause them to waste abilities on you since they will pass right through you. Finally you have forced them to make the decision between staying and taking damage or run. If they run, they are not attacking and are vulnerable to being picked off by your teammates.

    MOST of the time, you do not want to use Zhonya's Hourglass right away. There are a number of factors you should consider. You typically want to use Crowstorm AFTER the team fight has begun (this will help to keep the FF off of yourself) so a lot of the enemies spells should have been used. In that case you want to use your best judgement and cast Terrify and Dark Wind on the most appropriate targets. A good example would be champions with channeling skills. Is there a Nunu, Kat, Warwick or Malzahar ulting someone else? Disrupt them! Squishy carries close by to you? Terrify them!. You get the idea. This part really comes down to experience and I will try to show some examples by posting videos.

    If you are already fairly low on health or you are afraid of being chain stunned/silenced and killed asap, feel free to use Zhonya's Hourglass right away. However, in my experience, you will 99% of the time at LEAST be able to cast Terrify on one target prior to activating the stasis. This is because when you all of a sudden appear in the middle of a fight, you have the speed advantage since you should have already picked out a target as you are charging up.

    2) Tower dive!! I know, this is almost never encouraged but Zhonya's Hourglass actually allows you to do it quite safely under the proper conditions. These conditions are:
    a)You have creeps at their tower
    b)You can position yourself to Crowstorm directly onto their tower without being seen.
    c)You outnumber their champs or they are all very low health
    If these conditions are met, go ahead and Crowstorm in. At this point you have a decision to make. If you are at risk of being chain stunned/silenced, activate the stasis right away or cast Terrify first and activate the stasis immediately afterwards.

    Note that this tactic is not ALWAYS done to get kills (although if they are guaranteed, go ahead and take them. Rather, it can create an opening for your team to push the tower. Your Crowstorm will mostly likely kill all of the enemy creeps.

    In the next example, I think I actually fizzle Annie's stun!! O_O

    3)Avoid displacement spells, e.g. Tristana's ulti, Janna's ulti, Alistar's headbutt. Because your Crowstorm lasts only a short time, being knocked out can basically render it useless. In these cases, you basically want to use the stasis right away. If you can land in range to immediately cast Terrify on said offending champion, then you may want to try and do so first. However, do this at your own risk since due to lag and/or mis-clicking, they may be able to knock you away before they are disabled. In some cases, the Terrify may take effect AS you get knocked out, which is still bad.

    In this example, notice that Lee Sin walks up to kick me away from Lux but the stasis makes me un-targetable so he is forced to turn back.

    4)Avoid dot damage such as ignite, poision, Morde's ulti. While the stasis of Zhonya's Hourglass only lasts 2 seconds, that may just be enough to save you from dying. Of course, you are hopefully out of range of any enemy champions at that point so they can't just pounce on you right after it wears off.

    5) Avoid fatal blows and skillshots such as Karthus's ulti, Kogmaw's passive, Ashe's arrow (I've done this at point blank range!), etc. This should be self explanatory.

    6) Wait for cooldown on your skills, especially in 1v1 situations. I don't know how many times I've been in a fight where I can kill someone with two Terrify/ Drain combos but I would not survive long enough to use it twice. A two second stasis not seem like a long time but there have been MANY times where it has been enough for my skills to come off cooldown (especially with CDR such as from blue buff) and then I kill them. Of course, they may not always stick around once they see you turn gold but that is fine too. If they run away, you will live to fight another day. If they hesitate or stick around, not realizing that you were just waiting for you skills to come back up, then you can finish them off. Even if you CAN't kill them on your own, you may buy enough time for allies to come to your aid.

  • Conclusion

    In conclusion, Zhonya's Hourglass has many, many, many, many uses. It can be used both offensively as well as defensively and really cause enemies to have to make/remake tough decisions at key moments. When utilized properly, you will cause the enemies a lot of frustration and help to ensure your team's victory. I hope you have enjoyed reading my guide and will be able to put it to good use. Once again, all feed back is always welcome and I will be happy to answer questions. Happy gaming!

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