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How To Counter Darius With Ornn

Welcome to How To Counter The Infamous Darius With Ornn.

You’re here for a good reason

According to, Ornn wins 63% of his games against Darius in the top lane in the Master tier. That sounds a bit ridiculous. 63%! What do they know that you don’t? Why would he be so painful for you to play against, but easy for them? We’re here to give you the answer to that question.

Darius is as big of a lane bully as he seems. He screws with Ornn’s vibe. All Ornn wants to do is have some good self-isolation in the top lane till all this business passes over so he can go see his friends. Darius hates social distancing. We’re going to discuss how you can use your laning mechanics, items and late game strategy to counter Darius with Ornn, and stop him from being such a meanie.

Darius vs Ornn: Laning

Despite Ornn’s utility in the late game, he doesn’t fare badly against most top laners early on. Darius is a special case. There aren’t many champions who have as high damage potential as Darius at level 2. Many people tell themselves that this will be the game they don’t die to Darius early on, only to find themselves doing the same old teleport back to lane at level 3. He just seems to do so much damage. If you understand his kit, you’ll know the secrets of his damage. If you don’t know what people are saying when they talk of the dreaded 5 stacks, check Darius’s kit out here.

There are two secrets to reducing Darius’s damage in the early game.

Working around his passive

The longer a Darius fights you, the more in trouble you are. Each time he damages you he applies a stack of his passive. If he gets 5 stacks you’ll regret not dodging in champ select. Don’t ever keep a fight going against Darius. He stacks up Conqueror and his passive easily. What you thought would be a quick easy Grasp of the Undying proc will turn into a slow and painful death.

So how do you keep fights short? Save your E. It’s the only way you’re going to be able to escape. The only trade which could be in your favour would be a swift W AA then E out. Anything longer and Darius will leave you bleeding to death.

Dodging his Q

Dodging his Q. There are two sections of Darius’s Q. Being hit by the handle instead of the blade when Darius Qs makes a huge difference. Getting hit by the blade deals a ridiculous amount of damage and heals Darius for each champion hit, while being hit by the handle reduces the damage by 65% and cuts off the healing. You can guess which you want to be hit by.

Dodging the blade is easier said than done, but being hit by the handle instead could turn the tides of a fight. Only use your E to get close to him if you are positive you will be able to kill him quickly once you do so. Otherwise it’s not worth it and you should save it for escaping.

Ganks can be risky

Getting your jungler to gank is dangerous against Darius. If you play it wrong Darius could easily end up with a double kill. There are two ways you can approach ganking Darius. Which one to go for depends on who your jungler is and how deep Darius is into your lane. If you have a jungler with a bit of range like Elise, poke Darius down as walks back to his tower. Don’t give him the opportunity to get 5 stacks on either of you. If he gets 5 stacks he can make short work of your jungler especially if they’re a bit squishy.

His passive is the root of his double kills. Rather just slow him down with your Q, get a stun off with your W and back off enough for him to be unable to get stacks off you. Then let your jungler poke continue to poke him down as you follow on the sideline, waiting for your cooldowns to come back before you can engage again. Hopefully you will be able to get a kill but if you don’t just settle for a flash. You don’t want the jungler leaving him stronger than he found him.


The alternative is if you have an all in jungler like Rammus. Rammus can’t poke a Darius down. The only way you can get a kill off a gank is if you both use all your CC and hope that Darius dies before it runs out. This isn’t going to work if Darius is near full health or is ahead. Again, try to finish him off before he can get 5 stacks off on either of you. Once he has 5 stacks he becomes empowered. Take a good look at his passive. You don’t want a Darius with 5 stacks.

When level 6 hits…

Try to trade only when Darius’s Q is down, to prevent the risk of getting hit by the blade. After level 6 his kill potential is unfathomable. Stay away from him. If you have to just use your Q to farm. When you see an opportunity shove the wave and look for a teleport gank. Going even in this lane will put you a step closer to winning the game.

Building as Ornn against Darius


For your keystone run the usual Grasp of the Undying. It will help with putting trades in your favor. Aftershock would be the alternative, but it’s not a good idea here. Aftershock deals damage 2,5 seconds after you’ve stunned, but you should already be out of the trade by then.


Rush a Bramble Vest to stop Darius’s Conqueror and Q healing. Don’t build it into Thornmail, you need to get an upgradeable item before level 12. After Bramble, grab Sunfire Cape. Then if you’re having mana problems grab a Catalyst of Aeons. Your first two completed items need to be upgradeable or you are wasting your passive.

Countering Darius as Ornn in the late game

In the late game Darius’s power fades and your light begins to shine. Your teammates and their upgraded items should be able to kite Darius. Use your CC to help them in that process. Play your usual role of a heavy tank with a valuable ult. Nothing fancy needed here.

Final thoughts

Are you one of those people who complains about Darius and his damage? Use these tips to counter Darius with Ornn and you’ll see how Master tier players have such a high win rate in this match-up. You don’t see them complaining.

Do you prefer playing Garen to Ornn, but still want to know how to take Darius out? Check out How To Counter Darius With Garen.

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