In case you were not already aware, solo queue and LCS play differ in many ways; LCS teams are far more coordinated and they perform well together. This play style mandates different champions to be required for team play that are not always present for solo queue team compositions.
Darius is the example for solo queue that we will be diving into today!
This series will differ from my LCS meta series because of the different requirements of the game types. This series will probably coincide with Brain Chatfield’s tier list, however we will dive into further detail on WHY the pick is working well and how to maximize its potential.
Table of Contents:
DARIUS, THE HAND OF NOXUS
The top lane meta is similar to the LCS meta; if it’s a tank, it works.
Darius is regarded as the highest performing top lane in Patch 7.17.
Darius is a top lane that builds (usually) Black Cleaver>full tank, depending on which defensive stats he needs. He has high base damage which is the main reason as to why he is able to perform so well in this meta.
Recommended examples of Darius’ builds are as follows:
- Against heavy ad: Ninja Tabi
Black Cleaver> Dead Man’s> Guardian Angel> Gargoyle Stoneplate> Locket/Spirit Visage
- Against heavy ap: with cc Mercurial Treads without cc Boots of Swiftness
Black Cleaver> Spirit Visage> Gargoyle’s Stoneplate> Warmog’s and Locket (whichever first)
There are other optimized builds that you may favor such as Randuin’s over Locket if there is a Yasuo, but these are the generalized builds that work in most situations.
Darius has a kit that many top lane mains either love or despise. There are not a lot of ways to deal with Darius besides getting a few ganks in early game or out playing him with someone who can dodge his Q swing combo’d with his E. Let’s break down some abilities.
Innate: Darius’ basic attacks and damaging abilities apply a bleed effect on his enemies, which deals 10-27 (scaling with levels) +30% bonus ad over 5 seconds. Each stack increases the damage by 100% per stack (each stack deals the same amount).
After hitting max stacks, Darius enrages with Noxian Might. Each damaging ability or auto attack applies all 5 stacks at once on enemy champions, and increases his bonus ad by 30-200 (scaling with level).
His Q ability has a set cast time of .75s which cannot be interrupted when started (not really a cast, but has a set amount of time before it goes off).
This ability deals 40/70/100/130/160 + 100/110/120/130/140% bonus ad. It deals 35% less damage if the shaft of the ax hits your target.
He also has insane sustain with his Q if you hit the enemy with the outer swing, healing for 12/24/36% of his total missing health.
W- Crippling Strike
This serves as an auto-reset for Darius. This ability resets his auto-attack timer and increases the damage his auto attack deals 40% ad more damage, increases his auto range by 200 units, and slows his target by 90%.
If Crippling Strike kills any target, its mana cost is refunded and its cooldown is decreased by half, which makes it a perfect tool for mastering and maximizing your cs skills.
Darius sweeps his ax towards him, pulling enemies towards him and slowing them by 40%. This makes for a great combo with E>AA>W>Q.
R- Noxian Guillotine
Darius brings his ax down on his opponent, dealing true damage scaling by 0/20/40/60/80/100% (scaling with number of stacks of his passive).
The ratio on his true damage is 100/200/300 +75% bonus ad (scaling with ability level).
Gargoyle Stoneplate will NOT reduce the damage of his ult’s true damage.
If he kills his target with his ult, it is reset and available to cast for the next 20 seconds (can happen in succession). At max rank, it is reset altogether. This creates a devastating combo and the infamous “Dunkakill” with the Dunkmaster Darius skin.
Now, I know that the numbers can get really confusing, so here is a general break down of where Darius is useful, and some easy to use combos.
Darius is a great split pusher. His kit is built around fighting multiple people and coming out on top at the end.
His weakness is kiting. Try to either flash on the immobile carries, or try flanking during a team fight for maximum potential. Dead Man’s will help with this eventually, so you will have less to worry about after buying it.
E>AA>W>Q is the basic combo. E brings them to melee range and slows them, which allows for a free auto attack (marked with AA). Then use W to reset your auto attack timer and slow them, followed by your Q. The slow from the W makes it nearly impossible for your enemy to dodge your outer-Q, which allows for you to heal and deal the maximum amount of damage possible.
Should you want to buy Titanic Hydra for stronger wave clear and a stronger combo, a good order of abilities is:
E>AA>TH>W>Q. The increased range and slow from your W will allow for you to get the full combo off even with the extra step. This does allow for the enemy to flash away after your E, but the combo will work if they either do not have flash or if you can still follow them with yours.
Darius is strong in regards of the current requirements of top laners, which makes him an ideal choice. His split push is very strong because he is unmatchable in a 1v1 situation, which requires multiple people to come stop his split. He also serves as a meat shield in team fights for his carries, and has a way to cc incoming assassins and peel for his carries should he need to.
If you like winning lane and snowballing off of your lane, but you hate playing a carry top in a tank meta, Darius is definitely a recommended choice to perform well this patch.