Thanks to his strong early game potential, Darius is one of the most picked champions on the top lane. His ability kit gives him the ability to melt you at low levels. His passive (Hemorrhage) bleed will prevent you from healing, so it’s essential for you to avoid trading with him in the early game. Don’t risk getting in the trades with him because of that cannon minion on the 3rd wave. There’s a high chance that he’ll kill you, and if he does, he’ll get the advantage he needs to beat you.
When you’re trying to trade with Darius, the most important thing you’ll need to do is to time your W perfectly. Why is this so important? You need to time your W so once he pulls you in and hits you with the slow (his W ability), you will gain an enormous amount of tenacity and damage reduction, and right after that, you’ll need to use your Q on him, which will cleanse the slow and allow you to escape.
In this guide, we’ll cover the best tips, items, and runes to counter Darius with Garen, so continue reading this article if you want to crush every single Darius you face in your ranked games.
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Best Garen Items to Counter Darius in Season 12
If you’ve played Garen before, you’ll notice that this is pretty much the standard set which you use in most of your games. Stridebreaker will allow Garen to do quick trades because it will slow Darius down and give you 30 movement speed for 2 seconds.
We have seen that many Garen players like to rush Berserker’s Graves boots, but that’s just a bad choice when you’re playing against Darius. Trust me, you don’t need that 35% attack speed when you’re playing against Darius.
You need tenacity, so that makes the Mercury’s Treads the best boots for Garen. Another item that I just absolutely love on Garen when playing against Darius is Sterak’s Gage. Sterak’s passive (Lifeline) will provide you with a massive shield that can truly be a life-saver when you’re fighting with Darius.
Best Garen Runes to Counter Darius in Season 12
Conqueror is without a doubt the best rune choice for Garen in most matchups, and it’s the same case when you’re playing against Darius. Even though it will not be of immense help in the early stages of the game, it will turn you into a real healing monster in the mid-game.
You should always take Resolve runes in the second row because they will be of great help to you in the early game. In this matchup, the best Resolve runes would be Boneplating and Overgrowth. Boneplating will significantly lower Darius’s combo damage, and Overgrowth will increase your maximum health.
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When to Trade With Darius as Garen?
A good Darius player will always wait for the perfect opportunity in which you put yourself out of position, and then he will just pull you with his E. Once he pulls you, Darius will do a quick combo: auto-attack, W slow, and Q. You’re in big trouble if he lands his full combo on you because you’ll have 5 of his stacks on you, which will cause you to bleed really bad for 5 seconds.
You should always avoid trading with Darius before hitting level 6 because there’s no potential to outdamage Darius with Garen in the early phase of the game. Trade only if you have no other choice, and farm from a safe distance as much time as possible because your passive will regenerate your health. Darius’s only form of sustain is if he manages to hit you with the edge of an axe swing, so always try to bait his Q as this will drain his mana.
Like I said earlier in the article, don’t forget to time your W perfectly because it will decrease his damage and slow, which will make your life a bit easier. Garen’s E ability is not very useful against Darius in the early game, so make sure to always max Q and W.
How to Counter Darius With Garen? Best Tips:
- If you’re trying to run away from Darius, make sure to try to stay away from his Q because it will give him 5% movement speed and do more damage.
- Try not to get pulled by his Apprehend (E ability).
- Keep the trades as short as possible.
- Always have Flash and Teleport as your Summoner Spells.
- Play safe in the early game.
Don’t forget to avoid fighting with Darius before hitting level 6, but if you’re forced to trade with him, try to keep those trades as short as possible because the longer the trades are, the more damage he will do to you with his passive. Garen’s passive is an excellent sustain tool, use it wisely. Darius’s high damage starts to fall off at around level 11, so make sure to start engaging him once you hit level 11. Countering Darius as Garen will require thoughtful trading and laning mechanics, but everyone can do it. Just follow our guide, and you’ll soon spin your way up the ranked ladder!