Darius is one of the best bruisers to carry a League of Legends solo queue game. He punishes immobile champions and is a nuisance to deal with, even if he is behind, due to his True Damage on his ultimate. He scales great into the mid-game and becomes unstoppable with a couple of core items.
As with all League champions, specific items are going to be more effective depending on the situation. But there are certain items that work well on Darius in all games. These core items are going to ensure that you have the best possible experience with this champion.
Conqueror: A perfect keystone for Darius. It will grant you additional attack damage when auto-attacking enemy top laners. Today’s meta in solo queue is full of tanks in the top lane, and Conqueror will bring you superiority while trading.
Triumph: As Darius, players should aim to solo kill the opponent’s top laner as many times as possible. With Triumph, you’ll get an even better snowball and will at the same time receive some sustainability to stay in lane.
Legend: Tenacity: With Darius not being a mobile champ, players are going to need some tenacity in order to not be CC’ed all the time in late-game teamfights. Legend: Tenacity helps you to be more effective as the game goes on.
Last Stand: While playing Darius, you will be approaching enemy champs and unleashing your damage onto them. Well, most of the time it comes with a cost of taking some hits here and there as well. Last Stand will make you even more dangerous while low on health.
Bone Plating: Pretty self-explanatory rune. As mentioned, the Hand of Noxus likes to trade, however, there are some champions that can match him in one-vs-one scenarios. Thus, pick Bone Plating to decrease the damage you receive, which is going to be pivotal in the earlier stages of the game.
Unflinching: Picking Unflinching is a great idea for the same reasons as choosing Legend: Tenacity. With it, you’ll be more mobile in the crucial skirmishes.
Bonuses: +10 percent attack speed, +nine adaptive force, +six armor
Darius can go for solo kills as early as level three. Therefore, picking Doran’s Blade is often your best bet since you want to influence your chances of dominating the enemy top laner. Although, if you find yourself countered, especially by a ranged champion, you may go for Doran’s Shield instead.
During the farming phase, you are most likely going to take damage from enemy champions. Health potions heal back 150 health over 15 seconds and will give you extra time before having to base.
Trinity Force is a must-have item for plenty of League champions, and it’s no different for Darius. It boosts your key statistics, like attack damage, ability haste, attack speed, and health. It also gives you additional movement speed while attacking opponents. Frankly speaking, there’s no scenario in which you shouldn’t be building this item.
Another extremely important item for Darius. Since you’re a deadly bruiser, which doesn’t have any escape mechanisms, you’ll be one of the first targets for the enemy team. Sterak’s Gage will not only enhance your damage but will also grant you a little survivability, which will come in handy on many occasions.
Dead Man’s Plate
In today’s meta, players will often find themselves facing an AD top laner. And with the hypercarry AD carries being in the spotlight as well, Dead Man’s Plate is a great choice for Darius. Additional armor, health, movement speed, and helpful passive will allow you to deal more damage in battles and possibly come out of them alive.
Black Cleaver is a great choice if you’re in an AD-based team. With the item’s passive, you will reduce the armor of your enemies, which they will be probably stacking. It also boosts your crucial statistics, like ability haste, attack damage, and health. A massive pick-up in the late game in many cases.
While Hullbreaker’s unique passive has been nerfed recently, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a great option for top laners, especially those that like to split push. Therefore, choosing it is mandatory when you’ll find yourself in a game in which you are forced to stay on the side lanes. Due to great stats (+50 attack damage, +400 health, and +150 percent base health regeneration), Hullbreaker remains as one of the best items for top lane bruisers either way.
As mentioned before, in today’s meta there are a lot of AD champs, especially in the top lane. Therefore, Plated Steelcaps are compulsory when facing such team compositions.
There are a lot of optional items for Darius, due to the versatility of today’s meta. The options mentioned above will be your most picked build, thanks to the popularity of AD champions. Nevertheless, players are going to meet AP-based champions here and there, and in this instance, Spirit Visage is a must-have.
It comes in handy with a great deal of magic resistance (40), ability haste (10), and health (450), while also increasing your base health regeneration. When it comes to countering ability power-dealing opponents, there’s really no better alternative.
Spirit Visage also enhances all healing you’re getting from all sources. Thus, it’s worth thinking about picking even when facing only one enemy that deals magic damage.
Force of Nature
Force of Nature is an item similar to Spirit Visage. It costs the same (2,900 gold) and greatly boosts your magic resistance. Its passive, however, is much different. When you take magic damage with Force of Nature, you get stacks of Steadfast. With six of them, your movement speed and magic resistance will become even greater. Hence, it’s an item versus heavy AP-based compositions, especially those that kite really well and seem out of range for Darius.
When facing full attack damage-based squads, Thornmail should be one of the first items. It not only gives you 60 armor and 350 health but also has one of the best passives that an item can have. Once struck by an attack, you apply Grevious Wounds to your opponents. The same happens when you immobilize them, which you can do with Apprehend.
Darius isn’t a great initiator, but sometimes can be found in the middle of the enemy squad, or trying to drag off opponents from his teammates. In both instances, if you need additional help with slowing opponents down and buying your team a few seconds to catch up or escape, Randuin’s Omen is a way to go. It also increases your armor, ability haste, and health by a large amount (80, 10, and 250, respectively).
A rare item to be seen on Darius, but there are some situations in which he might need it. Gargoyle’s Stoneplate is an amazing choice for tanks that want to survive as long as they can in teamfights. And while you should be going for more damage on Darius, sometimes it’s better to give yourself more time to deal it, especially versus mixed compositions.
There’s not much to explain here. Found yourself against a team with many crowd control tools or with a lot of magic damage dealers? Buy Mercury’s Threads.
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