Table of Contents
About the Author
Hi, I'm H4xDefender, a competitive player of some renown in this game and formerly of some others. I unofficially hit platinum last season and sat around 1700-1800 ELO this season until the change to leagues. I am now Diamond V which is the equivalent of 2200 ELO/LKS, and have been as high as Diamond III this season. I don't claim to be the best player around, but I certainly know the ins and outs of this game, and I definitely know what i'm doing. My item, mastery, and rune choices are a result of rigorous testing at my own elo, higher elo through friends and teammates, as well as tournament play and lane tests. Note that this is strictly a top lane guide.
This guide assumes you know the basics of LoL, and are level 30. I try to explain as much of the basics as I can, but I'm sure I didn't cover every little thing. My contact information will be at the end of the guide if you wish to contact me.
Why Play Darius?
He is a fun champion, that played correctly can STOMP 95% of all lanes he goes against hands down. His actual counters are very limited, and no matter who they pick against you, one mistake by them can win you a lane if you capitalize on it correctly. He excels earlygame, but has an above average lategame as well.
Yes he isn't the BEST teamfighter, but he ISN'T a terrible one compared to a good number of bruisers, and can offer utility with his MS and AS slow on Crippling Strike and displacement/catch ability with Apprehend, not to mention his absurd damage output with Noxian Guillotine, Decimate, and Hemorrhage, that FORCES him to be focused.
If you like tanky champions that can impact a game either with massive damage or tankiness, I suggest you give Darius a whirl.
Marks: Standard flat AD (Attack Damage). Armor Pen is also acceptable if you can last hit without the bonus AD, but that is a BIG if. AD > ARP (Armor Pen) early game, and not just because it is easier to last hit with. Darius's passive is magic damage and his ult is true damage, which means they don't benefit from armor pen. Don't take anything else, you need damage to bully lanes.
Seals: Armor. Nothing else. Not health regen, not mana regen, not AD, not MR (Magic Resist), not anything else. Just armor. Even if you are vs an AP (Ability Power) top, armor mitigates auto attack harass, minion damage, everything.
Glyphs: Few different choices here. IF you are vs an easy lane you can take AD, in a hard lane you can take armor. Normally this will be flat MR though, scaling is fine if you are vs an AD top with little to no AP damage, i.e Riven. The reason for this is that magic resist is usually not bought until later, these runes give you enough MR to mitigate magic damage until you do buy some.
Quintessences: Biggest range of choices here, AD, Armor Pen, Health Regen, Movement Speed, Armor, Magic Resist, all are fine here depending on the lane. It is standard to take AD which is what I prefer. If you want to mix AD and Armor Pen runes, usually you should take armor pen marks and AD quints. Health regen is super situational, movement speed is a preference thing, armor and MR are also super situational. You really only need 2 runepages to play Darius effectively, although one is enough for 90% of lanes.
I'll go over why I don't go for more of a standard setup of 21-9-0 or 14-16-0, as well as why I DO take 9-21-0. Not using utility tree is a no brainer, Darius wants to kill people and he wants/needs to be tanky to do it.
9-21-0. Better then 21-9-0, 9-12-9, and 14-16-0 a little bit. You get a little bit tankier at the cost of some AD and raw damage from Havoc compared to 14-16-0. The main reason I take this setup now is because Honor Guard really helps and the CC reduction from Tenacious works with tenacity which is a godsend on Darius. The reason I take the CDR over the attackspeed is because Darius is an AD caster, meaning he relies on abilites more then autoattacks to do damage.
21-9-0. This is almost completely inferior to 14-16-0 AND 21-9-0 because the tankiness you lose is substantial, and the damage boost is pretty negligible. Darius doesn't really buy much if any crit so those masteries are pretty wasted on him, and while the armor pen is nice, it isn't worth giving up the bonus hp from Juggernaut, and the damage reduction from both Honor Guard and Block.
14-16-0 or 19-11-0. I used to run one of these every game, but I started noticing the loss of tankiness so I switched back to 9-21-0. I'd say use one of these in easier lanes where you will not be traded back against, or against teams with a noticeable lack of damage, and 9-21-0 in harder lanes or against team comps with a lot of burst or just damage in general.
Skillset Order and Explanation
Order to skill below. (Numbers represent level obviously).
|Crippling Strike (W)||X||X||X||X||X|
|Noxian Guillotine (R)||X||X||X|
Hemorrhage (PASSIVE): This passive is very noticeable and is usually just added damage to trades or your burst combo. You can't really NOT use this as it applies on all DAMAGING spells and autoattacks (it doesnt apply on Apprehend) so try not to worry about it too much.
Since it gives a small movement speed boost, (5% per enemy champion to be exact) you can land a Decimate while running to give you a bit of extra speed in an effort to escape. Try to get five stacks of this before dunking somebody with Noxian Guillotine for maximum damage.
Decimate (Q): This is your bread and butter damaging spell. Try to learn the range of it well, landing a max damage Decimate, especially several of them in a row can quickly turn a lane, as it has a low low cooldown for such a high damage spell. Since it is your only AoE (Area of Effect) damaging spell, you should try to land it as many champions as possible in teamfights so you gain a large movement speed boost from Hemorrhage to maneuver around with. It also is very effective in pushing lanes when needed, two spell casts will destroy entire creep waves when maxed. Max this first always.
Crippling Strike (W): Crippling Strike is one of your two CC (Crowd Control) abilties, this one being the "soft" cc of the two, meaning it doesn't disable enemy controls, only hinders them, in the case with a slow. Crippling Strike does a lot of damage at early levels and when maxed, to both towers and enemy champions. When in melee range always trade to land an auto attack followed by this spell, as it resets your auto attack animation, granting you a quick burst of damage and two Hemorrhage stacks on your opponent.
Remember this spell provides a movement speed slow AS WELL AS an attack speed slow, so landing it on an AD carry will be devastating on fights, as they rely heavily on both auto attacks and kiting. Another thing to keep in mind is that the cooldown is lowered based on how many Hemorrhage stacks the champion you hit this with has AT THE TIME WHEN IT IS APPLIED. This is usually up twice or more in longer fights, use it whenever it is up.
Apprehend (E): This is your hard CC of the two CCs built-in to Darius's kit. This is mainly used to catch people to kill them or force an engagement, engagements that Darius wins against almost everyone quite handily.
This spell has many uses being a hard CC, whether it be forcing teamfight engagements, putting carries in unfavorable positions, or cancelling channeled abilities such as a Katarina Death Lotus or a Nunu Absolute Zero. There is no "right" way to use this spell every game, it is something you need to make a judgment call in based on the situation. This is usually only up only once per fight, and remember it gives PASSIVE armor pen per level, meaning don't worry about, you just do more damage.
Noxian Guillotine (R/ULT): The famed "DARIUS DUNK." This ability is immensely powerful, dealing massive amounts of true damage throughout the game. Always use this as a "finisher" or execute type of move, as getting a kill with it gives you twelve (count 'em twelve) seconds to use it again before it going on cooldown. (The cooldown starts ticking from the first dunk, not when your twelve seconds run out.) If you dunk just TWO people lategame, that is TWO-THOUSAND POINTS OF TRUE UNMITIGATED DAMAGE.
Always look to finish people off with this, the twelve seconds resets back to twelve if you score a kill with it. If there is nobody to kill and your time is almost up, just cast it on whoever it will do the most damage on before it goes on cooldown. This does max damage with five Hemorrhage stacks, refreshes the tick on Hemorrhage, and applies one stack of Hemorrhage itself. (Although if you have four stacks and dunk this will do damage of four stacks not five). This spell also shows its maximum damage when you hover over it, something to keep in mind.
Summoner Spell Choices
Flash: I fleyish. You fleyish. Everybody fleyish. If you don't know how good Flash is overall, then I just don't know what to tell you. Flash Apprehend combos are super powerful for catching people off guard for initiates. Check the matchup section below to know whether you should take ghost or flash, and read the section about ghost below.
Ghost: Take Ghost against champions that generally kite you hard, or take Ghost themselves like Jayce, Elise, and Olaf. When you hit level 6, you can generally pop Ghost, run up to someone like a Jayce or Elise, force their Flash to be burned, and then keep chasing them with the movement speed from Ghost for a kill. The reason you don't take Flash in these lanes is because if you Flash aggressively or defensively, they will just respond with their own Flash. Ghost has a much lower cooldown then Flash, and covers much more distance overall.
Ignite: When combined with Hemorrhage, the kill potential Darius has with Ignite is just off the charts. You can literally dunk (Ult) someone with max stacks from half hp and Ignite them, and 9 times out of 10 they will die from the sheer power of DoTs (Damage over time).
Teleport: Since Darius has the power to crush his lane super hard even without a kill summoner like Ignite, you can take Teleport to try to make taking Dragons easier for your team, or simply teleporting in for a gank bottom lane if they are struggling to try to turn the game around. Taking TP (Teleport) over Ignite is largely based on preference.
Barrier: Nope. You win all-ins vs everybody and Ignite gives you better kill potential.
Heal: Nope. Same reasons as above.
Exhaust: This isn't bad vs bursty champions like Kennen, or for dropping it on champions with executes like Riven or Garen to make sure you survive, but you need to time it correctly which is the problem. Judgment call on this, although I never take it myself.
1X Elixir Of Fortitude
1X Sight Ward
4X Health Potions
This is the best setup to start with. The elixir of fortitude gives you either extra power or survivability, depending on how you choose to use it, the ward gives you the all important protection from ganks, and the health potions give you a good amount of health sustain.
CORE ITEMS: (IT MEANS YOU ALWAYS GET THESE ASAP)
1X Warmog's Armor (Giant's Belt is your first item on your first back if possible. If you don't have the gold, get a one or two ruby crystals, or one ruby crystal and a long sword).
1X The Black Cleaver
1X Mercury's Treads
These are usually your early game to mid game goals. Cleaver provides you a ton of damage that keeps you relevant in damage for a good portion of the game, warmog's armor gives you a ton of tankiness, and mercury's treads gives you a nice bit of MR as well as the all-important tenacity and movement speed. Always try to get these as soon as possible.
FINISHING YOUR BUILD:
1X Randuin's Omen
1X Guardian Angel
1X Trinity Force OR Last Whisper OR One of Holy Trinity (See Below)
Since Darius does absurd amounts of damage without many damage items, there isn't much point to stack damage on him, which is why two more of your last 3 items are tank items. Guardian angel makes you a humongous threat, and randuin's omen discourages the always threatening AD carries from focusing you. As your final item, you will get one more damage item to put your power level through the roof, and there are many different options for this item, explained below.
FINAL DAMAGE ITEM, ONE OF:
Trinity Force - Buy this if you need more mana to spam more in fights, and you need the movespeed to not get kited.
Ravenous Hydra - Buy this if you need to do more sustained damage in fights and you know you can stay alive.
Last Whisper - Buy this if everyone you need to kill is stacking too much armor.
The Bloodthirster - Buy this if there is a lot of HP stacking on the enemy team, and you need more fight sustain.
Infinity Edge - Buy this if you need to burst squishies quickly.
Play aggressively, land Decimate, and make sure you WARD UP. Darius has a strong earlygame, you need to abuse it so that you get your items before champions who are strong lategame get theirs, or the game will get much more difficult. You aren't as bad in teamfights if you lost lane as someone like Teemo per se, but you generally don't want to fight until you have at least both warmog's armor and brutalizer.
You have IMMENSE kill potential at level 6, especially if you hit it before the enemy laner. Try to get close to 6, go back and buy, come back and kill a few creeps, hit 6, and then immediately go for a kill. This works a lot in lower ELO, and even sometimes in higher ELO, if you are smart about it.
If the jungler ganks you and you are level 6, check if he is squishy or not full hp, you can usually grab a quick kill and try to run after. Gauge situations carefully before choosing to run or go aggressive! If you are losing lane but it is relatively close, or if you are fighting a champion with an execute such as Riven or Garen, you can bait them with an Elixir of Fortitude because it is an instant burst of hp, (as well as an AD boost!) similar to Renekton's Dominus or Nasus's Fury of the Sands.
IF you know the enemy laner has gone back, always push the lane into the enemy tower to deny creeps. (BUT DON'T MISS CS EITHER OR IT DOESN'T WORK). Always make sure to have what you want to buy queued up while you are backing so you buy quickly and get back to lane fast as to not miss any CS of your own.
BIG TIP: IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO ROAM INTO THE ENEMY JUNGLE AND APPLY PRESSURE, ROAM MID LANE FOR KILLS, OR EVEN DRAGON WHEN YOU PUSH TO THE ENEMY TOWER INSTEAD OF SITTING THERE TRADING A HIT OF DECIMATE FOR A TOWER SHOT, UNLESS YOU ARE POSITIVE YOU CAN KILL THEM WHEN THE NEXT WAVE HITS THEIR TOWER.
Once the first tower goes down or it is around twenty minutes, try to break your tower at any opportunity if you haven't already. You should be finishing your first couple big items at this point. Group up with your team to collect all outer turrets, and start getting wards around the map, as well as Dragon if you haven't already. Darius is great at pushing towers as Crippling Strike absolutely destroys them.
Remember, breaking mid outer is the most important turret of all the outer towers to break. Why? Breaking it gives unparalleled map and jungle control compared to the other towers. Once all the outers go down, your team has two choices.
If you have good siege/poke? Go down middle lane, and poke/siege the enemy tower down, trying to get a pick/cheese kill if possible.
If you have bad siege/poke? Get pinks all around Baron Nashor and bait the enemy team into facechecking into a terrible team fight. This can turn a game around extremely quickly if the fight goes very well.
In midgame teamfights as long as you aren't behind, you are an absolutely menace. It is a judgment call whether you peel or go for the ADC, but at this point of the game, you doing things in teamfights is incredibly influential on the outcome of the game and fight. ADCs usually aren't all that dangerous, and mid laners aren't 100-0ing most people yet either, but you can. And you are tanky to boot.
If the enemy team doesn't have much CC, its usually better for you to just dive the squishy targets or just focus down whoever is most fed, whether he is squishy or tanky. Nobody is particularly tanky to Darius at this point in the game. (If you are level 11 and have level 2 ultimate at least, which you should have).
If the enemy team is packing heavy CC, just sit with your squishies and kill anyone who comes in the same area code as you and them. You do plenty damage at this point to kill anyone, factoring in a teammate's damage makes kills happen within mere seconds.
This is where things are tricky. If you have a downed inhib, you can't really push, and you are pretty confined to your base. Travel as a team as much as possible if this is the case, do NOT overextend to farm lanes and get caught, it will probably decide the game if someone is caught. If one inhibitor is down only, you can probably contest Baron Nashor if you have been repelling creep waves, but if you haven't you can't even do that, except maybe the jungler going solo for a steal attempt.
If YOU have an inhib kill, push all the lanes you DON'T have the inhib killed in, and put pressure there. The lane with the downed inhib will always push favoring you, eventually forcing the other team to commit a champion to stop it, which is when you fight with a numbers advantage. I CANNOT stress this enough. DO NOT KEEP PUSHING THE LANE WITH THE DOWNED INHIB IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AT LEAST ALL INNER TOWERS YET. You can bait/rush Baron Nashor as well.
You should almost definitely be sitting back with your squishies at this point, namely your team's ADC. You aren't as tanky at this point, but most champions who dive the back line aren't usually looking to kill because they don't build all that much damage, only soak damage and disrupt. Focus these targets down quickly, so the enemy team has no tank line and is forced to retreat.
If CC is incredibly light on the enemy team, and or the squishies on the team don't build any defense items, you can probably Flash in and try to burst them quickly, forcing you to be focused and (hopefully) allowing your team to mop up after you die. If you care about winning you shouldn't care about your KDA.
REMEMBER, DRAGON MEANS NEXT TO NOTHING AT THIS POINT. DO NOT GO FOR IT AT ALL UNLESS IT IS COMPLETELY SAFE,GOD FORBID YOU GIVE UP BARON FOR FREE AND THROW THE GAME.
General Matchup Info
Darius has pretty standard gameplay overall. Poke people down with Decimate, go for all-ins with Apprehend, and add Crippling Strike as well as Ignite to the combo somewhere, all while trying to get five Hemorrhage stacks to finish them off with a dunk from Noxian Guillotine. Most people will know to stay out of your decimate range, but a lot of the players who play ranged champions tend to play sloppy and misjudge your decimate range, which can easily turn a lane you are supposed to lose quickly. This is a tl;dr of how you play 90% of lanes. I will cover the in-depth the lanes you do not/cannot play like this, and the controversial lanes as well. (The ones people have massively differing opinions on).
Because Darius has immense damage output and is melee, obviously playing against other melee champions is easier. This makes him have a lot of favorable lanes overall because of the nature of top lane being a melee bruiser sent up there.
Read the section above before reading this one if you are looking for a detailed matchup that is not here. If you still want to hear about it PM me and I will add it in here.
Jayce (Take Ghost In This Lane Over Flash)
Ah, Jayce. The standard counterpick for 90% of league players to Darius for the longest time. I've played this matchup around ~100 times with about half of those being challenger tier/diamond players and I used to nearly always get my face stomped in to the point where I gave up playing this lane. One day though, I was counterpicked (as always) with a Jayce. I decided to try ghost cuz yolo and I ended up crushing him. I quickly experimented running lanes with some high elo top lane maining friends of mine and I actually won a good amount. It doesn't make this lane easy to the point where you should pick Darius into Jayce every game, but it isn't a bad matchup with Ghost instead of Flash.
The thing about Ghost is that once you hit 6 you can simply run up to him with Ghost if he pushes past the middle of the lane and dunk him even if he flashes, since Ghost covers way more distance over the duration of the spell. All you have to do is sustain through his auto attacks and poke with his shock blast and gate combo until level 6. When you hit 6 or are close to it, go back and buy your items and then come back and immediately force an all in, hopefully killing him, resulting in a snowballed lane. There is NO way Jayce can match a Darius's raw damage matchup in a 100% hp to 100% hp fight, always try to force all ins. If he jumps on you and doesn't immediately knock you away, you are probably getting ganked. One thing you ALWAYS want to do, is after a successful apprehend, IMMEDIATELY WALK BEHIND HIM AS LONG AS HE IS NOT BEHIND TOWER. MOST JAYCE PLAYERS WILL PANIC WHEN THEY REALIZE THEY CAN'T USE THEIR HAMMER FORM E AS A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.
Elise (Take Ghost In This Lane Over Flash)
Elise is a huge pain, and extremely frustrating to play against, although a little less after her repeated nerfs. She has stupid amounts of poke with her Q, and there is almost no counterplay to it. It has lowish mana costs, is extremely spammable and hurts like fk. She also doesn't need to build big AP items, she has percent of max health and percent of missing health damage, making sure she just needs magic penetration to make that percent damage really count. Unlike other difficult champions for Darius to lane against, she actually can stand a chance in some all ins.
To make matters worse, she is ranged and can generally stay away from your pull. Try to hit her with free Decimate casts if she gets overconfident and go in with an all in with Ghost. If she switches to spider form her Q changes to percent of missing health damage, effectively making it an execute, and basically telling you she is going to try to kill you. She has no hard CC in spider form thankfully, her stun is limited to human form. In spider form she can also heal up and go untargetable, landing right back where she jumped or to a targetable ENEMY unit. Most Elise players will use it to escape and juke over walls and such. She DOES take damage from DoTs such as Hemorrhage and Ignite will in the air though.
Teemo (Flash Or Ghost Is Personal Preference)
Me as well as 99% of the league community hate teemo for a specific reason. He is super annoying. Teemo has 2 main builds, an AD and an AP one. The AD one is generally quite tanky and usually builds Frozen Mallet to kite. The AP one relies on Noxious Trap and auto attacks as well as Blinding Dart to harass with. The AD build is usually the easier to deal with, although it can be very irritating to fight as well. Make sure you play accordingly to how he builds. If he his AD make every Apprehend combo count. If he is AP, try to force all ins constantly, and avoid Noxious Trap.
There is 0 chance that Teemo, AD or AP can win a 100% to 100% HP all-in fight with you, so use that to your advantage. Your Apprehend is actually greater then his auto attack range, (550 to 500) so try to use that to your advantage as much as possible. Just know if you are fighting Teemo whether it be AP or AD, if you miss an Apprehend he will absolutely destroy you with harass until it comes back up, so try your very hardest not to miss any. Your best chance is to destroy him when he has no kiting abilities, which is usually levels 1 and 2. If you don't first blood him early, be ready for an obnoxious yordle constantly shooting you with darts.
Kayle (Usually Ghost, But Flash Is OK too)
Another ranged champion that will harass and kite you to death. Seeing a trend? :P Kayle is extra gay because she has a massive slow in Reckoning not to mention a speedup that doubles as a heal. To top it all off, Intervention serves as a massive counter to your ult, not only in lane if you go for a kill, but in teamfights when you try to dunk low hp targets as well. Contrary to popular belief, you can win a level 1 fight if you hit a good Decimate, and you can win level 2 as well easily with Crippling Strike. You can win with Apprehend as well, but make sure you don't fight with creep disadvantage. At level 6 if you go for a dunk try to dunk early so she doesn't completely nullify it with Intervention and turn around and destroy you. Be wary she can go AP or AD as well.
Yorick (Take Ghost)
Yorick vs Darius is the prime example of a few high elo people spreading the word that Yorick beats Darius and everybody else simply agreeing. I'm here to say that is COMPLETELY WRONG. As in many other "difficult" lanes for Darius, taking Ghost is a godsend. Yorick CANNOT 1v1 Darius unless you accidentally target all your autoattacks, Ignite, Noxian Guillotine and Crippling Strike on his ghouls and or his goddamned clone. He doesn't have the mobility to kite a Darius with the bonus movespeed from Ghost, just destroy him at level 6 while trying not to get utterly destroyed with his poke before that. If you don't kill him though, you will get outsustained and raped, but this goes with pretty much any lane Yorick is in.
Nidalee (Flash or Ghost Both Fine, Usually Flash is Better)
Nidalee is more irritating then dangerous because she kites you to death, but that doesn't mean you won't lose this lane, or neccesarily should pick Darius against her. She doesn't really have the damage to challenge you unless you play really stupidly after her armor and mr nerfs, so just go for hooks whenever possible which isn't too hard because her range isn't so good. All you really have to be scared of is eating 10 spears in a row if she goes ap, or getting harassed down 1-5, her hitting 6 before you, and then you getting cheese executed by a quick flash combo from her. If you don't get ahead before she finishes tank items such as Sunfire Cape, Warmog's Armor, and or Iceborn Gauntlet, you can't really kill her as you will just kited all day, not to mention she will be tanky, but she can't really kill you. Sustain through the spear storm early if shes AD and just farm up enough to be a threat in teamfights. If she goes AP just start wrecking her from level 1. Just beware of her kiting through bushes if shes AP and you getting chunked hard followed by being swiftly executed if you hit a spear and a trap. (not necessarily in that order). You have better teamfight then her no matter what build she goes.
Garen (Either Flash or Ghost are fine).
Garen isn't really a counter to Darius despite what people claim, at best I would say it is a skill lane, but I personally feel this lane should never be lost by a Darius who plays correctly/with a brain. Avoid Garen at level one, since Decisive Strike gives him one of the best level one trades in the game. At level two you can win trades against him with Crippling Strike and Decimate, do not take Apprehend level two if you plan on trading with him, you will lose unless he does not have either Cloth Armor or an Elixir of Fortitude. If he does not start either of these, you should be able to win trades handily no matter what skill you take level two, assuming you started with one of the aforementioned items.
The thing people don't realize about Garen is that he loses the lane if at any point you can outdamage Judgment which honestly isn't that hard to do. Tank it like a man and auto attack him to stack up Hemorrhage, hook him with Apprehend when he tries to run, (which 99% of Garen players will do after their cooldowns are burnt) and then either dunk him if you are level six, or just back up when his cooldowns are back up if you do not have dunk. YOU WIN ALL-INS AT LEVEL 6, PROVIDED YOU DON'T RUN LIKE AN IDIOT FROM JUDGMENT WHILE IT IS INEVITABLE THAT YOU WILL BE GETTING HIT WITH IT ANYWAY. ALWAYS try to force trades on him if he uses spells to farm, his damage in straight up auto attack fights cannot hold a candle to yours. Even if you fall a bit behind, it isn't hard to come back in this lane. Avoid trading with him when he has Courage active whenever possible, and it's always nice to have an Elixir of Fortitude handy to survive execution attempts from Demacian Justice.
Tips and Tricks
Your ult does true damage, your passive does magic damage, and everything else does physical damage, with Apprehend giving you passive armor penetration. Thats why people say its impossible to itemize defensively against Darius :P.
Remember your ult applies one stack of your passive, but you still need to have five stacks on the target you are dunking to get max damage.
Hemorrhage does NOT apply a healing debuff, so it can be mitigated by a health potion rather easily.
Apprehend does NOT apply a stack of Hemorrhage, only damaging auto attacks and spells do. When you are blinded, you do not apply stacks of your passive on auto attacks.
Learn the range of Apprehend well. It is slightly deceiving. Remember you can hook over walls if people are close to them, but most of the time hooking people who flash over a wall will be unsuccessful.
Crippling Strike applies an attack speed debuff AS WELL AS a movement speed slow. ALWAYS try to land it on the enemy AD carry lategame.
Darius is very good at sticking with the AD carry lategame and killing targets that try to dive them. This can win you many more fights lategame as opposed to diving the enemy AD carry as Darius is seriously hampered by crowd control, even with tenacity.
Darius is a counter to pretty much all melee bruiser top laners, it is usually safe to pick him vs anyone with a melee auto attack, refer to the matchup section for more info.
Pushing with a creep wave and then hooking someone in with Apprehend with minion advantage is very beneficial for winning trades, and can be used to reclaim a lost lane.
Remember to always get as many Hemorrhage stacks as possible in trades, even if your Noxian Guillotine is not up, the damage is immense.
If someone with a built-in dash/escape tries to run away from you after you have tagged them with your passive and a Crippling Strike, try to just walk up to them and save your Apprehend until they flash as well.
REMEMBER, you do a TON of damage, but you are NOT the AD carry! You do NOT need to be the main source of damage output, and this is something you need to keep in mind when building, it is certainly something I kept in mind when I created the standard item build.
Closing and Contact Info
Darius is a fun champion with a lot of potential as one of the hardest counterpicks in the game. In my opinion he is definitely worth the 6300 to new players because of how dominant he is in top lane, and of course his fun factor. He isn't a bad jungler per se, but being a jungle main myself, I can't say he is quite up to snuff with other top tier junglers at the moment. If this changes somehow, I'll be sure to add a jungle section, have no fear. Until then, happy dunking!
LoL IGN: H4xDefender