Fiddlesticks - Strategy Guide - by Pious Fly

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Fiddlesticks is my favorite hero by far, and I've played numerous games with him. He is effective in low-, mid-, and high- skill level games, although the way you play him is different for each.

1) Pregame: Champion stats and Summoner build

Fiddlesticks' stats are as follows:

Attack [||........]
Health [|||.......]
Spells [||||||||..]
Difficulty [|||.......]

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Passive: All nearby enemies have a 10% chance to miss on attacks.

[Q] Terrify: 
Fears the target for [1.5/2.0/2.5/3.0/3.5] seconds. Costs [100/110/120/130/140] Mana.

[W] Life Drain: 
Drains [50/75/100/130/160]+(AP*0.4) hp/second for 8 seconds. Costs [80/100/120/140/160] Mana.

[E] Dark Wind
: Deals 115+(AP*.35) damage and bounces [3/5/7/9/11] times, may hit the same enemy multiple times. Silences for 2 seconds with the first hit and 1 second with each bounce. Costs [60/80/100/120/140] Mana.

[R] Crowstorm
: Channels for 2 seconds, then deals [170/250/330]+(AP*0.4) damage per second to all nearby enemies for 5 seconds. Costs [200/300/400] Mana.

Fiddle works well with a variety of Rune and Mastery builds. About the only thing that is non-negotiable is Spell Penetration in all blue runes and Quintessences. Feel free to use whatever you want for red and yellow runes. I am still undecided about HP runes versus magic resist or armor runes.

Fiddlesticks is viable with most Mastery builds. As long as you get 9 points Offensive for Archaic Knowledge (spell pen) it doesn't really matter what else you choose. Again, spell pen is key with Fiddle. Defensive spec is great for early game survivability, while pure offensive gives burst damage and utility gives much shorter CDs.

Summoner spells

Everyone knows that Flash is mandatory for Fiddle. The second summoner skill is entirely your choice. I've had success with Teleport, Boost, Heal, Rally, and pre-nerf Clairvoyance. What's more important is the enemy team's summoner skills.

Make note of anyone with Flash. In a competitive game, write it down on a sticky note on the side of your monitor. This is uber important, because if you blow Crowstorm + Flash to kill someone, you want to be sure that he cannot escape.

Make note of Cleanse, Morgana, and other spellshields. If the enemy team has a lot of fear-canceling effects, any investment beyond 1 point in Fear becomes a waste. Otherwise it is usually a good idea to get Fear to 3 points asap.

Make note of how many stuns/silences are on the enemy team.
Make note of the overall melee vs ranged balance on the enemy team.

Then of course, note any gimmicks they may be running (multiple heals? multiple promotes?) and any champions that are good at countering Fiddlesticks. (Cho'gath, Veigar etc)

2) Game start and initial build: pre6

Fiddlesticks is one of the better solo lane Champions in the game right now. Dark Wind can keep enemies at arms' length and help keep enemy minions off your tower. Being overlevel means you have a better chance of scoring Crowstorm instagibs. As long as your team will let you solo, you should solo. Otherwise, group with another burst-DPS champion such as Ryze, Annie or Evelynn and try for earlygame kills.

Choose a starter item from among Doran's Ring, Boots or Tome. The ring gives you the best earlygame survivability and power, but they delay your midgame build. The boots are best for trying to grab midgame kills with sorceror's shoes + mejaj. Tome first means you are planning for a long game with Kage's.

You also have a choice between going with Dark Wind or Life Drain as your primary nuke. Dark Wind is better in 95% of cases. However, against a non-stunning meleer such as Yi, Life Drain can harass and destroy them earlygame. The build below is my generic Dark Wind build - drain builds will go Drain + Fear and generally ignore Dark Wind or get just 1 point for spell interrupt.

Dark Wind lv 6 build:
1 - Dark Wind
2 - Fear
3 - Dark Wind (2)
4 - Life Drain
5 - Dark Wind (3)
6 - Crowstorm

Dark Wind is an amazing multipurpose spell. It deals very good damage and can be used to harass champions or kill minions. Dark Wind's AI preferentially seeks out low-HP minions or champions. This makes it EXTREMELY strong for farming last hits, as well as scoring killing blows.

In order to farm gold effectively as Fiddlesticks, you want to wait for a group of enemy minions to get low on HP, then unleash dark wind. This will easily get several killing blows. Using this tactic you can often farm decently even while being pushed back by 2 champions in your solo lane.

In a duo lane you should be able to score an early killing blow or two. Dark Wind works like a mini Ryze ult. Whenever two enemy champions are grouped up far away from minions, you can dish out frightening amounts of damage with a Dark Wind.

3) Crowstorm ownage

As you get close to 6 you should start to think about how to set up a Crowstorm gib. A level 1 Crowstorm, with no AP, deals 875 unmitigated spell damage over its duration. Throw in magic resist and most champions will take 600-700ish. This is your crowstorm "kill threshold".

Enemy-ability awareness is key. If the other guy silences or stuns you while Crowstorm is winding up, you've just wasted 200mana and a 150sec CD, and may die. If the other guy has Flash he will get the hell out of dodge. Either make him waste his flash first, or target someone else with Crowstorm.

There are three obvious ways to kill with Crowstorm:
1) Wind up Crowstorm from far away, Flash in and kill.
2) Run close to an enemy, Fear him, wind up Crowstorm while he is Feared.
3) Bait the enemy into attacking you. After they have used up their stuns/silences trying to kill you, wind up Crowstorm and kill them.

#1 and #2 can be avoided by a smart enemy who stays far away from you, and #3 risks getting killed. None of the above are foolproof. There are two more advanced crowstorm tactics however.

4) Get enemies to chase you, go into grass and immediately start channeling CS.
5) Channel CS in the middle of a huge team battle after enemies have used stuns/silences on other people.

This is the most effective use of Crowstorm against very skilled players, as they will typically be able to avoid #1/#2/#3.

Crowstorm is much like Ryze Ult. It is so unbelievably lethal in the midgame that the entire enemy team's playstyle will change because they know your ult is up. Skilled use of Crowstorm will maintain this psychological advantage.

Crowstorm itself is a psychological game. If your enemies expect you to use Crowstorm they will play very conservatively. Chasing them aggressively trying to get kills may well be suicidal, exploiting their cowardice to kill towers with your team is much better. On the other hand, an enemy team that thinks they have the upper hand and charges recklessly into battle can often be humbled by Crows.

4) Polishing up your build

Unlike many Champions, your skill build with Fiddle should vary a lot based on the circumstances.

The standard Dark Wind build maxes Dark Wind first, gets a single point of Life Drain, then maxes Fear. Even a single point of Life Drain scales fairly well with Ability Power, there's no excuse to skip it.

The standard Life Drain build maxes Life Drain, then Fear, ignoring Dark Wind. You may want to pick up 1 point of Dark Wind just for the silence.

The double-nuke build gets only one point of Fear and maxes both nukes by level 13. This is useful for fighting a spellshield heavy team, where Fear is less powerful.

The key to playing Fiddlesticks is enemy-CD awareness! If the enemy has a Stun or Silence up you should not start casting Crowstorm, and might think twice about casting Life Drain. If you know that someone doesn't have Flash or Boost up, feel free to Fear/Crowstorm and get a cheap kill. Dark Wind can be used to harass at any time, but it bounces like a Ryze ult and is also a good source of damage.

5) Gear

0) Doran's Ring: Purely a starter item. You can sell it later if you need the space.

0) Kage's Pick: A different choice of starter item, it is a great source of income in long games but a liability in short games.
You can skip both of these starter items if you want. If you are ganking early you may want to rush sorceror's shoes and a tome, giving yourself 45 AP and movespeed before some people have even gone back to shop.

1) Sorceror's Shoes: The obvious choice, 25 AP in the super early game is huge.

1) Boots of Swiftness
: Compared to Sorc's shoes these give 22.5 more movespeed (roughly 6%) but no spellpower.

2) Your item choices branch out here. Against a very caster heavy team I go straight for Abyssal Scepter for the spell resist. Otherwise go Mejaj if you are confident in your killing ability, Rod of Ages if you are not.

3) Mejaj if you didn't get it already.

4) Lich Bane. It is overall ownage. Movespeed, AP, and the proc are all amazing.

5) Scepter if you didn't get it already. Against an enemy team that is nearly all physical DPS (very rare) you may replace Scepter with Frozen Heart.

6) Zhonyas until you run out of bagspace. I've stacked nearly 700 AP in very long games. Unlike some casters Fiddle does not get any weaker in the endgame. An enemy player who stacks massive Spell Resist will be unkillable but he'll be super weak against DPS carries. Anyone else will remain well within the realm of killability by Fiddle.

Optional gear:

Banshees Veil if enemy team has tons of silences/stuns.

Rylai's Scepter if you really love slows, but honestly it's not the best for Fiddle. The slow only applies for 1.5 seconds every time you cast Life Drain or Dark Wind, and channeling lifedrain does not keep up the slow.

Wardens Mail is amazing tank gear for a tanky fiddle. It is cheap and may slow down Jax/Warwick DPS to the point where you can outheal it with lifedrain.

654days since
Season One launched

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