How To Play Darius In League Of Legends
Last Updated: November 1, 2021
Looking for a champion to easily dominate in the top lane no matter what the meta is? Do you like facing your opponents head on and dueling to the death? Then we have the perfect champion for you. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing Darius, the Hand of Noxus.
Darius is hands down the strongest duelist in the early game. It’s not even close. Thanks to his passive, Darius can get ahead as early as level 1 and snowball that lead into a winning lane. He’ll win nearly every auto attack battle he’ll find himself in and extended trades work extremely well in his favor. He’s also relatively easy to play and can hard carry games to victory. So what exactly makes Darius a juggernaut of a champion?
Darius kit revolves around dealing sustained damage. His abilities reward players for being super aggressive and fighting in extended trades. Although he does fall off a bit in the later stages in the game, most games tend to end before Darius has to reach that certain point.
Passive – Hemorrhage
Whenever Darius damages an enemy with the axe’s blade, they bleed physical damage (deals 175% damage against monsters) over 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Whenever an enemy champion reaches max Hemorrhage or dies to Noxian Guillotine, Darius gains Noxian Might for 5 seconds, gaining bonus Attack Damage and applying max Hemorrhage to enemies hit.
This is the reason why Darius deals so much damage and why he wins every extended fight. The longer you fight with Darius, the more you get punished. Really, the only way to win against Darius is to out damage him or deal damage from a safe distance. In a way, Hemorrhage works like a mini Ignite.
Q – Decimate
After a short delay, Darius swings his axe around himself, striking enemies in its path. Enemies hit by the axe’s blade take physical damage. Enemies hit by the handle take 35% damage. Additionally, Darius heals for [+15% his missing] per enemy champion or large monster hit by the blade (max: 45%).
Darius’ main offensive ability. This is what you’ll be spamming most of the time as it deals great damage, has a wide area of effect, and excellent sustain. You’ll be using this whenever it’s available during a fight and is an effective tool for clearing minion waves.
W – Crippling Strike
Darius’ next basic attack deals physical damage and slows the target by 90% for 1 second. Crippling Strike refunds its Mana cost and half of its cooldown if it kills the target.
Crippling Strike is a very good ability especially when used in conjunction with a spellblade item. It can also be good for last hitting siege minions since it has a refund on both cooldown and mana. When used with a spellblade proc, Crippling Strike can deal massive damage and slows your enemy long enough for you to follow up with some of your other abilities.
E – Apprehend
Passive: Darius gains Armor Penetration.
Active: Pulls in all enemies in front of Darius and slows them by 40% for 1 second.
Apart from his passive, Apprehend is probably the most important ability on Darius. It is your best Crowd Control ability and landing it can be crucial in a lot of situations. Darius doesn’t have any mobility spells in his kit so he is vulnerable to getting kited when against ranged opponents. This essentially gives him a fighting chance against ranged champions by bringing them closer to him for his abilities and auto attacks to hit.
R – Noxian Guillotine
Leaps to the target enemy champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing true damage. For each stack of Hemorrhage on the target, Noxian Guillotine deals an additional 20% damage. If Noxian Guillotine kills its target, nearby minions and monsters will be feared and it may be re-cast at no cost within 20 seconds. At Rank 3, Noxian Guillotine’s cooldown now resets entirely on kill and no longer has a Mana cost.
Darius’ ultimate is the main reason why a lot of people fear him during team fights. If executed properly, Darius can absolutely kill everyone on the opposing team all by himself. Whenever he gets a kill using Noxian Guillotine, the cooldown is refreshed and can be cast again with no cost at all. Apart from Katarina, Darius is probably the easiest champion to score a pentakill with.
Runes and Item Builds
For items, your focus on Darius is to build damage and increase your survivability. There are plenty of items that both have offensive and defensive capabilities so you should have a wide array of items to choose from.
Since you’ll want to be aggressive as early as level 1, you’ll need both sustain and damage to start off the game. Your starting item should be Doran’s Blade and a Health Potion. This gives you everything you need to assemble a lead and snowball your way to victory.
When playing as Darius, the best Mythic item is Trinity Force. This item boosts Darius’ DPS and overall damage. The spellblade passive from this Mythic item can instantly make each of your abilities and auto attacks to hit like a truck. You should be buying this item 90% of the time. However, if you feel like you need some more sustain, then by all means go for Goredrinker. This item increases your sustain and overall survivability by ten fold. It has damage, health, and a great active ability that restores your health. When paired with the heal from Decimate, you’ll watch your opponents get frustrated when you just heal back the damage they deal. Another good choice for your Mythic is Divine Sunderer. This item also gives you a spellblade passive but works better when against a tanky team composition.
After purchasing your Mythic, go for Sterak’s Gage immediately. This gives you both health and damage plus it has a passive that gives you a shield when you’re low on health. For boots, take Plated Steelcaps when against an AD opponent or Mercury’s Treads when against mages or AP heavy opponents. Next, build Deadman’s Plate for armor, additional damage, health, and movement speed. Thornmail comes next for even more armor plus its passive gives you additional DPS during duels or trades. Finish off your build with Gargoyle Stoneplate for even more shields and a great mix of resistances.
Other Viable Items
Like we’ve mentioned before, most items that give both offensive and defensive stats would work well on Darius. Titanic Hydra is one of the first items that comes to mind when talking about items that give damage and tank stats. It can be a great alternative to some of Darius’ core items. Hullbreaker is also a good option especially if you plan on being a split pusher and exerting lane pressure on the enemy team. Anathema’s Chains can be great in certain situations especially if you fell behind against your opponent. Force of Nature works similar to Deadman’s Plate minus the passive. It’s a great tank item to pick up if the enemy has a lot of magic damage dealers. Randuin’s Omen is a great all purpose tank build that severely counters champions who have a lot of attack speed and a lot of critical strike chance. It also has an active ability that can shake up a team fight or a duel when used correctly. We encourage you to mix and match items on this champion to see which ones work best for you and your situation.
For runes, you’ll always take Conqueror from the Precision tree as your keystone. Since you’ll want to be in extended fights a lot, this rune can greatly increase both your survivability and your damage. Next take Triumph for the sustain, Legend: Tenacity to build your resistance against CC, and Last Stand to give you an edge during all-ins. For secondaries, take Bone Plating for the reduced spell damage from your opponents, and Unflinching to help you stick to your targets better. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- Noxian Guillotine does more damage the more attacks you can land prior to using it. Take advantage of Noxian Might to deal maximum damage.
- Apprehend is a very powerful crowd control ability. When used at the perfect timing, it can even cancel suppression abilities cast onto you.
- For summoner spells, always take Flash and Ghost. Since Darius is prone to getting kited, you’ll need all the mobility you can get. Teleport and Ignite are also good alternatives to Ghost depending on your matchup and preference.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Darius in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!