League of Legends: Darius, the Hand of Noxus, now available

Riot Games released League of Legends newest champion Darius, the Hand of Noxus, today and holy-overpoweredness!  He looks completely ridiculous.  There's really no other way to describe him.

Darius is a "front-line melee fighter who wades into battle, dishing out tons of punishment."  Just when I thought Riot Games was moving away from releasing overpowered champions, they go and show me Darius who not only has an ult that does crazy damage, but upon striking the killing blow, the cooldown is refreshed.  Think Garen's ult, but spammable every time you kill somebody.

Add in a bleed effect passive that stacks up to five times, a AOE-like cone pull, and what looks to be some sick damage with a tank build, and Darius might just be one of the strongest champs we've seen in a while – can't wait to see people play him in ranked! (sarcasm).

First off, here are Darius' abilities.

  • Hemorrhage (Passive) – Darius aims his attacks strategically, causing his target to bleed. This effect stacks up to five times.    
  • Decimate – Darius swings his axe in a wide circle. Enemies struck by the blade take more damage than those struck by the shaft.    
  • Crippling Strike – Darius's next attack severs a crucial artery. As the target bleeds out, their movement and attack speeds are slowed. Crippling Strike's cooldown is lower the more bloodied the target.    
  • Apprehend – Darius hones his axe, granting him passive armor penetration. When activated, Darius sweeps up his enemies with his axe's hook and pulls them to him.    
  • Noxian Guillotine (Ultimate) – Darius leaps to an enemy Champion and strikes a lethal blow, dealing true damage. This damage increases for each stack of Hemorrhage on the target. If Noxian Guillotine is a killing blow, its cooldown is refreshed.

Check out the champion spotlight above to see them in action. Darius, the Hand of Noxus, can be purchased for 975 RP or 6300 IP from the League of Legends in-game store.

Of course, all of my above statements are based on what I've seen from Phreak's spotlight, which we always know isn't a clear indicator of how a champion will play.  With that said, be sure to check back today for our livestream of Darius and initial impressions of the new champion.