Darius is one of the safest top laners in League of Legends, and as such is one of the most favored picks for the role. What makes Darius particularly good is his potential to solo carry a game while not being that difficult to master.
That being said, the juggernaut needs to be properly built and have a fitting rune page in order to truly shine. Players should focus on utilizing his high damage output, but still have in mind that as top laners they have a specific role to play. Darius also needs to be able to take hits while he’s dishing them out.
Conqueror is the prefect keystone for Darius as it provides him with healing on each of his damaging abilities, also giving him more damage for easier duels and trades. The rest of the Precision path will grant him even more of the health and tenacity stats Darius needs to make sure the enemy doesn’t burst him down before he can go off on them.
The Demolish rune from the Resolve path ensures quicker takedowns of enemy structures, something Darius players should be taking advantage of given how strong the juggernaut’s early game is. Bone Plating is here for more sustain and easier trades.
Darius has an early game advantage for most matchups thanks to his high damage output, Hemorrhage bleeds, healing from Decimate, and the set runes. This is why Doran’s Blade is a great starting item. It will help with the last hitting and give more survivability. But Doran’s Shield is always an option for those who want to stay back.
With around 1,600 gold ready, it’s time to return to the base for a refresh and the first set of items. Besides increasing Darius’ health and damage, Phage’s passive helps to cover his weak mobility with a movement boost. It also builds into both Trinity Force and Black Cleaver, one of which should be a player’s first finished item.
In cases where the enemy team is tanky, Darius needs Black Cleaver to burst them down with the item’s armor reduction. Otherwise, Trinity Force proves to be a better pick since each of its stats boosts Darius’ strong points. Sterak’s Gage can make Darius into an almost unkillable beast.
Depending on if the enemy team is dealing more magical or physical damage, players should opt for either for Dead Man’s Plate for more armor, health, and movement speed, or Spirit Visage for magic resistance, health, and high health regeneration.
Darius needs to present constant pressure in the lane. His ability kit allows him to keep punishing an enemy from the first Decimate, forcing them back to a safe distance. In most cases, fighting against Darius’ blade both heals him and damages opponents isn’t a good idea.
If a matchup is hard, safe farming generally shouldn’t be a problem.
If an ally team has a lead in the mid game, Darius should be present in team fights, especially those for objectives. If that seems unnecessary, one of Darius’ big positives is the fact he also does well pushing out lanes. Destructing the enemy top lane will separate the enemy team, letting allies take objectives while Darius takes down those who come from him.
Towards the late game, players need to assess the situation. If they don’t have a problem outliving enemy champions that could potentially attack them while they’re split pushing, and trust their team to understand what they’re doing, they should keep split pushing.
On the other hand, if allies are struggling to move ahead without Darius by their side, he needs to be on the front lines. Darius’ passive allows him to take down tanks, and a few attacks finished with a Noxian Guillotine will take down the rest of the enemy team.