Champion Notes: Darius, The Hand of Noxus!
If we were to make a poll today for the most hated and reviled champion in the league, Darius could very well win. Few champions are as hated as him and for good reason. Darius dumps on so many people in lane every day and is such a basic champion in design that people you think you are better than, will still dunk you. Enter also the best kill-stealing ability in the game and he can troll his own team creating even more frustration. We will go over the binary nature of his design and why despite his great power, he doesn't have the win ratio people think he does. By the end of this, it should be clear why he is really powerful. But also why he can also be so weak.
- Deals Magic Damage
- Makes him capable of dealing sustained damage beyond his abilities and attacks.
- Since it triggers off abilities too, you need to add your passive damage to each ability when hit.
- Attacks will not only add a new stack, but also refresh previous ones.
- This is part of the reason Darius is so hard to itemize against.
- The extra movement speed helps make it so that once Darius is on you, he stays on you.
- Don't forget the target takes damage from your passive too.
- The extra damage on the outer ring makes this an even more powerful poke than it normally would be. It also makes it so that when you run from him, he gets a final sort of laugh hitting you on the more powerful outer edge as you run.
- This is decent for pushing. Most bruisers are bad at pushing towers, but Decimate gives Darius a bit more wave clear to push a tower down if top is away.
- The range on this is pretty good. You can use this to poke against melee.
Crippling Strike (W)
- This is an auto attack reset. Be sure to get one normal attack, then follow with this for maximum damage and faster stacks of your passive.
- Being an attack, attack speed slow and a slow, this ability is brutal. Attack speed slows are among the best things in the game for reducing incoming damage from auto attacks and is part of the reason Darius is such a deadly duelist.
- The slow component, combined with his passive, makes it very difficult to run from Darius once he starts a fight. You either need to blow something to get away, or fight him. Fighting him is normally a bad idea as he wouldn't start a fight unless he was pretty sure he can win.
- The pulls range is 550 at the very tip. Most champions in the game have an average auto attack range of 550. That means that if you are really good with this, you can pull in almost any champion that tries to auto attack you. For this reason alone, some champions that you would think are a really bad math-up (like Kayle) are actually not that bad.
- The armor penetration on this is nice, but never a reason to level it over other abilities. Remember that if you stack with this with something like Black Cleaver, the armor reduction is multiplicative.
- Only try to pull if your pretty sure it will hit. This ability is just about the only thing that terrifies people about Darius. Once down, many champions will laugh as they ranged harass you and dance around your slow behind.
- If you cannot use this in a teamfight to pull in a carry, use it to save yours. This is an extremely effective peel for an AD carry and follow that up with your W to not only give you AD breathing room, but for them to weaken them so you can use your ultimate.
Noxian Guillotine (R)
- Easily the most hotly debated ability in the game. A true damage, single target nuke that resets if it kills someone. That just bloody sounds overpowered and quite frankly, it is. One of the most misunderstood things about game balance is that individual parts of a champion can be straight up broken, even if the champion as whole is not. This ability is what makes Darius terrifying, without it, he would not be nearly as good a champion. This is what allows him to win engagements that other champions could not. The reason this is considered ok, is because he cannot run. Once a fight starts with Darius, he has to stay and fight, death or victory if you will.
- The damage on this is true, making the raw damage of the ultimate even more devastating. Once Darius hits level 6, he is at the most powerful he will be in the game. Often times looking for a fight that he can most likely win. The damage (with stacks of his passive) is similar to other mage damage ults, but being true damage, the damage is even higher (True damage ignores resistances, so while Ahris ult might do 255, it is mitigated by MR. Darius ultimate will do 320 at max stacks and not be mitigated. Scary)
- If you are trying to itemize against Darius, build health, then armor. The health is the only thing that helps against his ultimate. Armor works against everything else but his passive. While is passive is magic damage, it is not significant enough for you to worry about building MR for.
- This skill, is why he is the lord of the dunk in League of Legends.
- Darius is what I would call a highly match-up dependent champion. While he has a lot of champions he does well against, he similarly has a lot of champions that can make his life tough. Due to the lack of sustain and gap closing, certain heavy harass champions can beat him in lane.
- Playing against Darius requires a good chunk of knowledge. You need to know how the match-up against him works, can you take him at lvl 3? Can he blow you up at lvl 6? It is good to know when you can fight him, how you can stay safe and how to keep this monster down.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help against Darius if your not sure on your lane. Darius has no form of escape or sustain, so the damage you do to him will stay and he needs to blow summoners to escape good ganks. Once your ahead of him, it can be exceptionally hard for Darius to come back in lane.
- Even if Darius is shut down in lane, he can come back in teamfights. Because he has a powerful execute, it is very possible for Darius to get back into the game by getting kills in teamfights. So Darius, even when shut down, does not necessarily mean he is out.
- Because of Darius's ultimate, you can kill steal like a boss. But please beware doing this. While it is great to have a lot of gold on one person, Darius is not a hyper scaling champion and the gold needs to go to other people on the team. If someone else is going to get a kill for sure and no one is in danger, consider letting them have the kill. Remember your more a tank and bruiser, not a carry.
- Darius is very weak to kiting. His only way to get to his targets is by clicking on the map and his E. Consider this if your afraid of him hurting you. Ashe for example can kite him for days. This is part of the reason that Darius does not have a massive win rate, despite how many lanes he has likely shut down in his life.
- When thinking about Darius, consider the design I have talked about. He cannot run away, he has no sustain, he has no gap-closer and he is only ok at scaling. So what did they give him? Massive all-in power, a strong early game and an ultimate that breaks rules. Darius is infuriating to play against sometimes but he has some very clear weaknesses, despite his great strengths.
- Darius is the high lord of the dunk. No champion even comes close to being able to dunk people like him.
That concludes our notes on Darius. Now go dunk some people for me!