League of Legends – Fiora: Guide & Review
The following is my experiences playing Fiora. I will give a detailed breakdown of her abilities and my preferred setup as well as some advice on how to get the best out of her.
I do not profess to being the best League of Legends player, nor do I say my choices are perfect. What I can say is that they work well for me. Feel free to use this as a template and add your own flavour.
The effect of this passive is rather negligible. Fights with champions are generally resolved quickly and no player will allow you to get close enough to attack and refresh the stacks without retaliation. Do not expect this to give you lane sustain.
This is your range closer. While not as good as Master Yi’s it allows you to single out and pounce on a champion within range. Try not to initiate a fight with this ability save it for when your opponent uses an ability or flash to escape your onslaught. Do not spam the ability; you have a few seconds in which to use the next lunge. I have seen too many people use the ability as an opener then immediately use it again because they can, at which point their prey dances away with whatever resource they have it hand leaving you rather red faced. Save this for as long as you can, you will always be glad you did.
The source of much of your opponent’s frustration when laning against Fiora. This is very much skill and timing based. Watch for visual effects and signs that your opponent is about to attack, does he stop to line up a shot or stops moving from left to right and instead takes a step forward? Chances are they are about to attack. Players get into habits after thousands of mouse clicks and it can be difficult for them to stop making it so obvious when they are planning a strike. If you time it well you will not only negate there attacks but punish them for attempting it. This sounds very OP but the timing is strict and has an element of skill associated with it, at least when simply laning. During fights you want to fire this ability off as much as possible.
Burst of Speed – Fiora temporarily gains additional Attack Speed. Each basic attack or Lunge she lands during this time increases her Movement Speed. Killing a champion refreshes the cooldown on Burst of Speed.
This ability is where most of your unexpected burst damage comes from. Use this ability at the very beginning of a fight to flip out and tear your opponent to shreds. Usually this short burst of attack speed freaks an opponent out. They begin to feel less secure in their ability to kill you and make a break for it. Allowing you to either return to the lane for farm or if you feel confident chase them down. Players are terrified of feeding especially early game Think of this ability as more of a psychological tool than an insta-win button and you should do well.
The other component of this ability is Fiora’s boost to movement speed. This part is important. To stop Fiora being truly OP they have made “Burst of Speed” an ability that kicks in only after it has been used against a target. This is to stop Fiora firing off the ability and getting a free escape from unfavourable fights. Remember this! So that when you are chasing or escaping from a player you can activate this ability and hit a nearby target as you run past. The sudden burst should see you catch your quarry or escape to fight another day.
I both love and hate this ultimate. First, why I love it. The damage it can achieve is very significant and despite what the description says, regarding dealing less damage to a single opponent, it is against single opponents that this ultimate shines. I tend to use this ability immediately after the buff from burst of speed has run out. Hit your ultimate and you immediately begin dancing around them, for its duration you are completely un-targetable.
I do not like the ultimate in team fights the damage is somewhat lacklustre as its spread out amongst all enemies present. You also have no control over where Blade Waltz ends meaning you can potentially be positioned away from your allies, alone and vulnerable.
The ultimate also follows the player it has been cast on. This is obviously good when laning however if you are not careful you can find yourself far from your compatriots surrounded by enemy champions and a tower. Care must be taken when using this ability. It is best used early game to add surprising amounts of burst damage to force a player to leave there lane or die. Mid game it can be used to tower dive lower health champions. In late game it can be used to avoid the inevitable incoming damage in team fights.
I tend to max Riposte first over Burst of Speed as you will see a greater difference in damage from the parry than from the extra speed. Lunge is also underrated as it has a high initial damage as well as 65% of your attack damage. I know Burst of Speed is everyones favourite but some math will show that you don’t gain extra attacks until you max it. Keep it at level 1 for as long as you dare.
Due to the high attack speed from Burst of Speed I believe that Critical Strike chance runes are better than flat armour penetrations This is one reason why I rush The Black Cleaver to more than make up for the loss of armour penetration. The Critical Strike chance can surprise both you and the enemy with its sudden proc.
x9 Greater Marks of Malice: +8.4% Crit Chance
x9 Greater Seals of Resilience: +13 Armour
x9 Greater Glyphs of Shielding: +19 Magic Resist at lvl18
x3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation: +10 Armour Penetration
I chose the standard 21/9/0 affair. However to give Fiora some much needed survivability I would not be averse to giving her 9/21/0. Although she is a mana user I have never found myself low on mana. The utility tree will not benefit any Fiora build that I can forsee.
Flash: There are strong arguements for using the Ghost spell as your utility escape and chase. After using both I have came rely on flash more. It is personally preference but I urge you to choose one or the other.
Exhaust: When I am going toe to toe with another champ I want to be sure that I can hinder there damage as much as possible while halting any escape attempts. Exhaust does all this for me. Ignite may get you a kill or two as a champion limps off. Exhaust however will always be useful, during fights, catching a champion and escaping. I find its uses far outweigh the offensive only Ignite.
Context is everything, what works for one champion will not work for another. Take this advice with a modicum of common sense and you should be coming out on top.
When laning do not be afraid to bully your opponent, walk in close last hitting minions and then use burst of speed to begin pressuring the enemy champion. If they stand their ground and fight back use riposte. Usually your opponent will back off because your burst of speed dishes out a very scary amount of damage, particularly at low level. If they do run with 50% hp, fight the urge to chase them, allow your abilities to cool down and continue last hitting minions. Making sure your presence amongst the minions deters them from gaining any gold themselves. This is a psychological attack more than anything. You are putting the fear of god into them to ensure that they do not attempt to push you from the lane. You want this early lane dominance more than anything; these first few minutes are surprisingly crucial and help shape the rest of the game. If they are forced to return to base for HP or to buy what little they can from the gold they managed to scrape together, you are much better suited for late game.
Eventually they will come close enough for you to apply the same tactic. Repeat the tactic above. If they did not return to base after your first attack they may have lower health and may be weak enough for you to get a kill however if they do run away with a 30% or more hp let them. Your job here is to get last hits and completely control the lane. If you chase after an enemy you can be subject to a death at their tower or ganks from the jungle, undoing all your hard work and giving your opponent the advantage. For the time being last hitting minions is your priority. Time your aggressive spurts of sword swinging when there are no low health minions around.
If your opponent comes in again with even lower health get ready. One of two things can happen from here. They are either incredibly stupid or they have an ace in the hole or in the bush as the case may be. If they get in range to auto attack go in for the kill. If they back off not allowing you to close the distance, dash towards them using lunge. If at this point an enemy does appear from the jungle immediately use dash again on an enemy minion to return. This alone should put a large enough distance between you and at least one of the champions allowing you to get out of trouble. If a gank does not appear kill the silly champion.
Save your exhaust spell for those moments you can guarantee a kill. If you save exhaust for when the enemy comes in too close you will ensure a kill before he can get to safety. Likewise if a gank is descending on you from the jungle the before mentioned lunge away and an exhaust on the enemy ganker will see you sail past them. Save your flash spell as long as you can it has a longer cool down than exhaust and gets you out of sticker situation later.
Optimally at this point you will have a few damage dealing items and be around lvl8-9. There is a switch at this point as any fights that you initiate with Fiora can kill an enemy. A typical fight will see you getting close enough to use burst of speed and riposte. When burst of speed runs out, immediately use your ultimate. When your ultimate runs out exhaust the enemy and continue hitting them. There health at this point should be dangerously low and they may attempt a flash. Being Johnny on the ball you are expecting this and have your lunge ability saved. Lunge after them once, twice and at this point your other abilities should be coming out of cool down. Providing you had a good head start and you aren’t fighting them under their tower you will kill them.
If an enemy champion is under his tower with low health you can go in for the kill at this level. With the tower hitting your minions walk in close and use your ultimate. Being invincible to the tower while your ultimate is active should give you the time to kill him. If they do not die to Blade Waltz quickly follow up the ultimate with a combination of your abilities to put an end to them. Only attempt this if you have full health and they are 40% or less. Save lunge for either escaping an unforeseen problem (Shen’s Ultimate) or for chasing down the enemy if they make a break from there tower.
You are desperate for gold at this point. Almost every item you want has a high ingredient cost. If your lane is going particularly well push it hard, bullying the other champion. Immediately leave the lane to try counter jungling. A ward here or there will greatly aid your other lanes in locating the enemy jungler. You should also be strong enough to stand head to head against the enemy jungler providing they have not been fed or have a high CS score.
Keep a close eye on the lanes if you do plan on counter jungling. You can arrive behind the mid tower and co-ordinate a tower dive against the enemy champion there without any difficulty. This is powerful as there are no wards to warn of your approach nor is there any way for them to escape. Blade Waltz should be used here to gaurentee the kill. If it is on cool down do not attempt the gank. Return to your lane when it has began reaching your tower and again push it back. You can co-ordinate with your jungler on these counter jungling roams. This adds greatly to the success of any gank and puts the fear of god into the enemy jungler. Would you like roaming alone through the jungle if you knew two enemies were in there somewhere?
Unfortunately I think Fiora’s skill set fails her late game. More suited towards one on one encounters, she should be used to close the distance on enemy carries and obliterate them. In amongst the thick of battle she cannot compete with late game AoE’s and focused attacks from multiple champions. Try entering a battle a little later than your team and single out those ranged champions that are causing the most harm to your team. Try to get close enough to force them away from the group before lunging in close and Blade Waltz’ing. You should be able to take their ranged carries out of the fight with relative ease. All things being equal you should have enough time to re-enter the team fight to turn the tide. If the enemy are obliterating your team before you can return your team has more problems than Fiora can fix.
Ninja Tabi: If you are laning against another AD champion who relies on the strength of their auto attacks then these boots are for you the added armour and damage reduction makes fighting you an even scarier prospect.
Mercury Treads: If you are against a team with a lot of crowd control abilities or laned against an AP opponent, these boots are better suited. They are expensive however so do not rush the final recipe as they will not see a great benefit until mid to late game.
Black Cleaver: This is my first damage dealing item. If your lane is going well try not to go back to base until you can afford to buy the B.F. Sword. It is tempting to buy a Vampiric Scepter to give you greater lane sustain but without the extra damage you will a) not see the benefits of the sceptre and b) become less of a threat in lane. The passive effect of the Black Cleavers armour reduction decimates any attempt your opponent may have made in buying armour to negate your damage.
Executioner’s Calling: Why not Bloodthirster?! I can hear the wails already. The choice is simple. Most games do not go the full distance. If a game does go the distance then by all means sell the Executioner’s Calling and buy a Bloodthirster. However for the extremely cheap recipe cost this item is incredibly powerful. It frees you up to buy survivability items which you will desperately need by the time you have enough gold for the Bloodthirster. In my mind the fight should be Bloodthirster vs Executioners Calling + Phage/Giant’s Belt. The debuff EC inflicts upon using its active reduces your enemies healing and regeneration by 50%. As a solo top this is incredibly powerful as most champions in this lane rely on their healing for lane sustainability. Every other champion who relies on their Bloodthirster for life steal will find their 15% lifesteal reduced to 7.5% while you enjoy a full fat 18%. Buy this and thank me later.
Frozen Mallet: Fiora is rather soft. She relies on her lunge and burst of speed to get her out of danger. She is however very susceptible to stuns and slows. She needs all the health she can get. This item fits her perfectly since Frozen Mallets on hit slow effect ensures that your opponent cannot escape your sword waving antics.
Infinity Edge: Late game it is essential that Fiora can catch any ranged champion. Phantom Dancer’s speed increase as well as the raw attack speed and critical strike chance is beautiful. However you need as much Attack Damage as you can and Infinity Edge makes you hit like a freight train. The onus is on you to use Fiora’s Burst of Speed intelligently to catch ranged champions. When you do catch them this item will melt there squishy face.
Final Slot: Survivability & Personal Preference
This is very situational and you should weigh up who you are playing against, who you have in team and how well your team is performing.
Frozen Heart: Again if you are doing well the combination of extra armour, mana and cool down reduction makes this an offensive choice for the last slot. Who doesn’t want the abilities come out of cooldown faster.
Shurelya’s Reverie: If you are doing ‘very’ well then this item is amazing at turning your already incredible speed into the flash. Nobody will be able to escape you when you activate this item. More fun than anything.
Fiora is a melee attack damage champion. Primarily a one vs one orientated character; her abilities are all geared towards tackling a single opponent. Early games have shown that she can be devastatingly deceptive and can net you some kills from players who under-estimate how much burst damage she can produce. As time progresses your opponents while become more accustomed to her high burst and limited invincibility.
Fiora is not as versatile as the previous new boy on the block Nautilus. She has very limited resources as a jungler. With no natural crowd control abilities, securing a kill can be difficult. There are many better options if you wish to jungle. Bottom lane can be difficult as ranged champions can pick at her from afar without fear (as long as there support is on the ball). If laning bottom I would suggest a champion such as Alistar would be ideal due to his heal and strong crowd control. A headbutt/pulverise combo with a well choreographed lunge/burst of speed can decimate a ranged carry.
Fiora is a fun champion to play if you enjoy playing aggressively. She has some fantastic abilities that allow a quick turn-around in her damage output. She is however rather bland in terms of design and role fulfilment and does nothing to introduce new play styles into League of Legends. She can be described best as a Master Yi variant, rather conventional and one dimensioned. Saying all that. To appear from nowhere to cut Fiora into your opponent’s chest like the mark of Zorro can be fun. Just don’t expect her to carry a game like other champions can, her late game presence is somewhat limited.
Fiora: 5/10 Opeeness Scale.