Darius Build Guide

  • Views: 27,140
  • Rating: 0% ( Unknown )
  • Last Updated v1.0.0.140

General Darius' Book: Your Axe and How to Swing It

written by Req-LoL

Darius Build

Starting items

  • OR
  • OR

Core Build

Late Game / Luxury Items

Situational Items

  • OR
  • OR
  • OR

Skill Order

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • Hemorrhage
  • Decimate
  • Crippling Strike
  • Apprehend
  • Noxian Guillotine

Runes for Darius

Masteries for Darius

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    What I have found best while playing him, is that he is best built tanky. The reason for this is smart teams are aware that Darius' ultimate is undoubtedly the biggest reason he is a threat (maximum efficiency for Darius' ultimate Noxian Guillotine is towards the mid to end of a team fight when they are all low hp so that he can execute each one in order) therefore, it would be advisable for them to take out Darius first due to the fact he has a true damage burst ultimate that refreshes. If Darius is too squishy, you will be singled out first and eliminated. Also this is a top-lane Darius guide.


    Simply put, being tanky will afford you to survive long enough to use your ultimate to execute your first target and then subsequent targets. Build too much AD and not enough HP, Armor / Magic Resist and you will be out before you know it.

    One thing I will admit though with Darius, is I do feel he is a little bit overpowered mainly with his Q, which does tremendous amounts of damage. I sense slight adjustments (in the forms of nerfs) to some of Darius' abilities. What I think will happen is the base damage of Decimate will go down but the % damage will go up so that it increases the benefit of landing it skillfully. There could be alot of things that can be done to balance him out so it's all theorycrafting which can go on for pages; but, overall irregardless of the changes made I do think this guide will still be relevant due to his kit.

  • My Record Thus Far

    Tried to get to 20 games, as that seems to be a decent sample size but I have so much other things I have been neglecting I figure 19 is sufficient. That and I just want to get this guide out and published already to get it out of the way. I MAY update it within a week or two.


    Take into consideration that I do not play Darius unless I know it will fit well with my team and do well top with the champ the enemy has chosen. To be honest though, sometimes I do "risk" it when I am first pick and somehow Darius isn't banned. My current record as-is, is a result of playing since the release whenever I felt it would be a good pick for my team and / or wasn't banned.


    External Image

  • Rune Explanation

    Marks: Armor Penetration (even when he does have innate 25% armor penetration) due to the simple fact that Apprehend at max rank gives you 25% will take you a LONG while before you actually are able to get it. It is also considered to be the "utility" ability meaning it is leveled last. Also take note that 25% is always 25% of whatever the armor of your target is, so if it is Ashe with only 75 armor that won't be nearly as beneficial as Shen with 200. The flat 15 Armor Penetration will be far more beneficial to squishy targets, especially early on.


    Seals: Flat Armor Seals for the simple fact that Darius starts out very low in armor, considering he will either be top (majority of top will be AD or at least have some form of it) or jungle - you will definitely need  this to sustain damage. Also considering minions while in top lane. Minions OP. Provides 13 armor.


    Other Seals: Per Level Health. Seeing as there are alot of more armor options that synergize with how I build Darius, you could go this route. However, note that you will suffer early game as even IF your toplane opponent is Magic-based minions still do AD.


    Glyphs: Per level Magic Resist again for the fact that you will either be top or jungle and with my builds Magic Resists are lacking so you will need as much as you can get from runes. Provides 24 Magic Resist at 18.


    Quintessences: Per Level Health, to provide you a good 140 Health from all 3 Quints.


    Other Quintessences: Movement Speed x3. This can help you ensure you can get the harass off and catch up to an opponent for a slow or pull.


    What I use is the one displayed in the guide above; it gives me exactly the same amount of Armor and Magic Resists at level 1, so all you need to do is tailor that with either a mantle or cloth armor, depending on who you are facing. And because Darius starts off with lower armor but scales higher with it as you level over magic resists, it stays pretty even until you get a major armor item such as Atma's Impaler.

  • Mastery Explanation

    This page is built to make him as tanky as possible, additionally going down the Offensive tree for him is somewhat pointless; as the Masteries Executioner and Havoc DO NOT increase the damage from his ultimate. Also, going down this route makes you that much less tanky, which means dead = not executing at least 2 targets = not useful for your team.


    Points into offense tree to get as much CDR as possible for spamming Decimate as much as possible. In addition to the +AD and boost to summoner spells.

  • Summoner Spells



    Ignite: I always take Ignite when I am top lane. It works so well stacked with a full 5 Hemorrhage to provide a very large Damage Over Time. 


    Ghost: This is what gives you the most utility as it is prolonged mobility versus the instant mobility that Flash provides.This can ensure you can reach all targets within 15 seconds timeframe for proper Decimates and then executing them.


    Flash: Can also be used with Darius to on a team that has chanelling or large aoe effect spells. This can allow you to set up some really nice ganks, however it is a one trick pony.




    Exhaust: This spell is redundant. You already have Crippling Strike and you will be getting Frozen Mallet.


    Heal: Can be used to bait but I would much rather leave this to the support. Especially don't like it cause it doesn't fit with Darius' character either.

  • Abilities


    I love this passive. It rewards you for going aggressive which is so in-line with his history and persona. Applies a DoT that can stack x5 which scales with your bonus AD (0.4 AD bonus AD ratio) and applies a buff to Darius of 5% movement increase per stack of Hemorrhage on all enemy champions.


    Damage applied by auto attacks AND abilities add 1 stack. Also keep in mind, you have 3 abilities; if you initiate with an ability and auto-attack in between you will guarantee to have a full 5 stacks.


    This means that if you use Decimate with all 5 enemy champions nearby you gain an instant 25% movement speed buff! For 5 seconds (the duration of the DoT). Note: 25% is max movespeed increase on Darius.

    Decimate (Q)

    A Garen-esque ability. It does one very fast spin which deals damage instantly to all in the radius depending on if they are hit by the axe haft (closer) or blade (farther). This ability is tricky as it makes you want to maximize the damage by letting them get further so you can get them with the full damage with the blade but it also provides them with a greater chance of escape. This + Crippling Strike is you bread and butter burst combo, followed by Apprehend to catch re-catch them.


    Max this out first (Max Noxian Guillotine at 6, 11, 16).

    Crippling Strike (W)

    A very good ability. It applies +% damage for your next attack with the addition of a very useful slow. At rank 5, a whopping double your current attack damage.


    Max this out second.


    Apprehend (E)

    This is the utlity skill, the only benefit you receive from leveling is +5% Armor Penetration per level to a max of 25%. % based armor penetration is only good versus high armor targets as it is relative to the target's armor level. 25% of 200 armor is much more than just a target with 75.


    Keep in mind you will pull ALL targets in the cone towards you.


    Maxed last. However, I take this at level 2 for utility in case jungle decides to gank early.

    Noxian Guillotine (R)

    One of my favorite executes. True Damage (un-mitigatable damage) that has an bonus AD ratio of 0.7. Boss. On top of that +20% damage per stack of Hemorrhage on the target! Refreshes if it slays target. This here is indeed an ultimate.


    Contrary to the graphic, it does not move Darius forward in the game world. It just looks like it during the actual animation, but he moves back to where he was.


    Take at 6, 11 and 16.

  • Items

    Core Items


    Atma's Impaler: Really only worth getting at 2.5k or above (IMO).Great with Frozen Mallet alone or with another minor HP item such as Zeke's Herald. With the nerf, at 1.5% per HP, you get 15 AD per 1000 HP. I usually get this after I complete Frozen Mallet and another minor HP item such as [item_text=Heart of Gold].


    Frozen Mallet: While some may see this item as unnecessary considering that Darius does gain 5% bonus movement speed for each Hemorrhage mark on an enemy champion (and the slow ability), I still think it is a good item to have to slow a target not just for you, but also for your team. The main thing is, it synergizes well with his skills, as it provides a large amount of HP and damage. Lastly, having Frozen Mallet + full stacks on one champion will ensure they will die even if they do flash away.


    Choice Boots: Either Mercury's Treads for magic centric team or 3 or more cc-heavy champs or Ninja Tabi if they got 3 or more auto attack AD champs like Yi, Trist, Ashe, etc. I usally go Mercury's Treads.


    Late / Luxury Items


    Guardian Angel: This item synergizes VERY well with Maw of Malmortius.


    Seeing a Darius with this + Maw + Atmas + Mallet is so disheartening. He'd be hard to kill right off (does more damage the lower his HP is) and he comes back for a second round to potentially execute the shit out of the entire team (at 750HP which can be VERY low considering your probable large HP pool (3k HP usually for me at that point) which would net a large amount of AD from Maw. An amazing item.


    Maw of Malmortius: The best Magic Resist item you can get for Darius. That is, if it is needed. Plain and simple provides magic resist - a shield at low HP levels from magic damage and more damage; including increasing damage as you lose HP.


    The Bloodthirster: If you are going to go for damage cause' your team is pwning face, this is the best for Darius. It increases your damage by a large amount AND provides lifesteal which can sustain you for quite abit in a fight. I usually only get this if my team is doing really well due to the large money investment with BF sword.


    Situational Items


    Sunfire Cape: A good item considering Darius' passive movespeed buff and his need to be in close proximity in fights. Consider this when facing 2 melee ad champs.


    Banshee's Veil: A really good magic resist item for Darius. The only reason this outshines [item_text=Force of Nature] because it adds HP which is good for both increasing survivability from both physical and magic but also increasing your damage via Atma's Impaler.


    Randuin's Omen: A good armor item with a bevy of bonuses; all good for Darius.Consider also the gold per 5 item.


    Last Whisper:This combined with your mastery % armor penetration and your passive from Apprehend gives a whopping 75% armor penetration. Which will be damning to any foe squishy or tank, although especially tanks. This is only really worth getting if you see more than 3 enemy champions with 100 armor or more. Honestly, I have only purchased this once.


    Other Good Items


    [item=Heart of Gold]: Not sure why but I almost always end up getting this item every game. Almost. This plus a Phage provides good amount of HP, not to mention the additional gold generated. I usually get this after I complete boots. Later on (if I am not going to be puchasing Omen) after holding it for at least 15 minutes, I sell it (15 minutes because by that point it would have paid for itself and then some) IF I am at the shop and I feel like it is a critical point in the game and need that extra $$ that selling would provide to complete an item such as Atma's Impaler.


    The Black Cleaver: Good attack damage, above average attack speed buff and armor debuff on target. Good all-around, even with the 25% armor penetration you get. One of my favorite for Darius, considering it is an axe and it fits well with him in all stats it is one of the best items to get, even if you end up getting one of the other attack speed items.


    Zeke's Herald: Health and an added aura that provides you and allies lifesteal and attack speed increase. This plus The Bloodthirster is some major sustain.


    Youmuu's Ghostblade: While not technically an attack speed item considering the attack speed comes after an activate it also adds in a mini-ghost ability which allows you to close the distance - while the attack speed boost allows you to apply quickly Hemorrhage so that you can get % movement, DoT on target and ultimate if neeeded. Also keep in mind the gold generation ability. This can help get gold if bought early.


    [item=Force of Nature]: If somehow you still need magic resistance even when you have already picked up Maw of Malmortius AND Banshee's Veil, then get this. Could be an alternative to Banshee's.


    Items That Seem Good, BUT DO NOT BUY


    Trinity Force This item provides mediocre stats in all categories, not worth it for Darius. Firstly, he doesn't have a single ability that can be cast within a 2 second period to maximize the burst. Secondly, keep in mind that the ability power is wasted as it goes nowhere; all of his abilities scale of off Attack Damage. Thirdly, he doesn't benefit that much from Attack Speed considering abilities also apply Hemorrhage which means you can get all 5 stacks on an enemy in less than 3 seconds (ability then attack between each). Lastly, it is one of the most expensive items in the game, to not be using all it's benefits for it's cost is such a waste.


    Infinity Edge: This item is also an expensive item and not worth the investment. Go for a The Bloodthirster instead, the lifesteal and additional damage you can gain from kills will benefit you even more. Also, it is far less $$. Leave this to the AD carries.

  • Build

    This is my typical build, usually in the order i complete them. Honestly, all you need is the first 5 items which equates to about 12, 705 gold. The Bloodthirster is just the "don't fuck with me" item.


    If you just factor in the first 5 items on it's own then you are already looking at 8.8K EFFECTIVE HP for magic AND 9.9k HP on Armor. With +141 AD and GA with 40% slow every attack, lastly you do more damage the lower you are. With GA you will be coming back and you should have all your abilities refreshed.




    Seriously, for builds; all you need is the core items suggested and then build around what the enemy team is with the any combination of the items I have suggested.

  • Starting Off / Item Order

    At level one, if you have followed my guide you will have even Magic Resist and Armor. As such all you need to do is tailor that to whatever champion you are facing. Rumble? Null-Magic Mantle and Health Potion; Riven? Cloth Armor and Health Potion x3 - 5 and maybe a Mana Potion if you get just 3 HP pots for sustainability in-lane versus a cooldown based champ.


    Also keep in mind Null-Magic Mantle and Cloth Armor build into one of the two boots you purchase so it helps get boots early.


    Basically, Darius already does alot of damage right out the box. He just needs his survivability to be fotified.


    Item Order


    1. Boots (Finish into Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi),

    2. Phage -> Frozen Mallet, and maybe [item_text=Heart Of Gold]

    3. Atma's Impaler

    4. Hexdrinker -> Maw of Malmortius,

    5. Guardian Angel,

    6. Choice Item.


    If you get [item_text=Heart Of Gold], don't forget to sell at some point or convert that into a Randuin's Omen.


    Keep in mind you can get Hexdrinker earlier if you need that extra Magic Resist. Key thing is Phage before any other Armor or Magic Resist. Do whatever you feel is the biggest threat and build that first. This is why building HP is so beneficial as it increases survivability for both Physical and Magic Resist.

  • Teamwork

    Now, keep in mind there are so many champions (and team compositions) out there that it is impossible for me to tell you how to behave and what to do is specific situations. I am merely explaining your role in the team.


    You are going to want to be on the frontlines, while still being wary of the enemy team and the type of abilities they can do (such as grabs, stuns, taunts, AoEs, ultimates, etc). Depending on your team composition you are going to want to get at their squishy - if that means using Apprehend early to pull that person close to you then it is worth it in a team fight due to the fact that that person is pretty much out of commission by that point (obviously there are other factors that can save him/her such as Stand United or taunts, etc) due to the fact that you have Frozen Mallet, used Crippling Strike after you auto-hit and are applying Hemorrhage to that person which means you are even faster - you will be able to stick to that squishy (not to mention your team as well) and take him/her out. Don't forget to Noxian Guillotine!


    By and large you want to always try and get at their backrow which usually means Apprehend if you can get past their line of defense and do this (get either their ranged AD or mid), coordinated with your team, you should come out on top.

  • Tips

    1. When top laning, be careful of using Decimate to harass enemy champ as you might hit minions and inadvertantly push your lane.


    2. Use your abilities with purpose; meaning only for champions (or to clear a mob wave when they are at your turret), just be smart - as it can leave you manaless which effectively neuters Darius.


    3. Standard attack combo I go by when approaching an enemy champ and the coast is clear; Decimate close in, auto-attack, Crippling Strike, auto-attack, Apprehend and execute if necessary. Add in Ignite if needed or simply just back.


    Another way of doing it (although less effective as you use your pull first) is; Apprehend, auto-attack, Crippling Strike, auto-attack then when as they are running away from you (at the right distance) use Decimate. This is more of a harassing combo.


    4. Harass smart with Decimate. It does so much damage if you land it right.


    5. If your jungler signals to gank your lane do not use Apprehend early, use it only as they begin retreat. If they have flash use it as your jungler reveals himself. Apprehend has a long cooldown and wasting it is unwise.


    6. Crippling Strike resets your auto-attacks so you is directly after attacking for a quick 1-2 punch.


    7. Remember that Hemorrhage is applied through abilities and auto-attacks meaning you can quickly apply 5 stack on 1 enemy champion. Using the combo above will guarantee 5 stack in just under 3 seconds if done properly.

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by Req-LoL

Newest Guides for Darius

Top Guides for Darius

New Skins for Darius

Top Skins for Darius