|Champion||Background||Strategy||Skins & Trivia|
|"Submit to my designs."
By NeeksNaman 
It's been quite a while since we've had the opportunity to explore the design space of a true melee carry in League of Legends. Fiora, the Grand Duelist, is our first all-out take on this type of champion since our initial launch, and our new addition to this role has let us really focus on a particular aspect: speed.
Not content to leave melee to the guys with oversized weapons, Fiora makes up for it in raw agility and lightning speed, using a fencer's grace to shred opponents apart and keep herself in the fight. One way she utilizes this is by parrying her enemy's attacks if she times it right. Parrying returns damages in the same swipe, making enemies think twice before directing attacks at her.
A melee carry must consider how to engage a fight, such as when to attack and how to stay on important targets with stuns, slows and snares flying around the battlefield. Fiora doesn't deal with these by being immune to crowd control, or being too stubborn to lose that last bit of health - that would be uncouth. Instead, her Blade Waltz moves her from target to target at light speed, making her so fast that no spell or weapon can lay a hand on her during its duration. Popping Blade Waltz early will give Fiora some additional up-front burst, but will leave her vulnerable to burst damage and counter attacks. This 'de-aggro' timing is an important choice that can result in either a swift death or a Pentakill.
While all carries have a boost to help their auto attacks get the job done, Burst of Speed has a high effect, very short duration, and a moderate cooldown. To compensate this higher opportunity cost, it refreshes when Fiora runs an enemy through. This not only makes Fiora players consider their timing as when to use this powerful buff, but her enemies can also deny her the opportunity by saving their escapes and disables for when this is up, suppressing her massive damage increase.
Being a melee carry is no longer a boy's club - Fiora adds grace, class and a rapier wit to the group. While she may not be as large or overbearing as her contemporaries, underestimating her is an often fatal mistake.
- Champion Spotlight
- Recommended Items
- Playing As Fiora
- Thanks to Duelist's Dance, Fiora excels at quick trades. Use the movement speed boost from striking a Vital to escape unscathed or set up for the next one.
- Grand Challenge allows Fiora to take down even the most durable opponents and then recover if successful, so do not hesitate to attack the enemy's front line.
- Playing Against Fiora
- Duelist's Dance shows you where Fiora will try to attack from, so be ready to punish her when she tries.
- Be careful when casting immobilizing disables on Fiora. If her Riposte is available, she can turn their power against you.
- Ability Usage
- Duelist's Dance applies true damage to champions, and gives a heal and a burst of movement speed if you can hit their Vitals, so don't be afraid to engage in small skirmishes.
- Duelist's Dance will reset upon exiting its range, so if the identified Vital is facing their turret, walk back a little towards your own turret so Duelist's Dance resets and identifies a more easily attack-able Vitals.
- Lunge is a mechanically simple skill, but it has a lot of nuances to its usage.
- To maximize damage output, apply as many autoattacks as you can before using Lunge.
- Make good use of Lunge's cast to stick to your target; if the enemy has their own mobility or escaping skills, try to force them to use it prior to your Lunge cast.
- If you're chasing an enemy champion that's too far, use Lunge on an enemy minion, wait for its reduced cooldown to use Lunge catch up.
- You can use Lunge to dash through walls, allowing an easy escape route.
- A good harassing strategy is to use Lunge's cast to go in and immediately using Riposte (you can even use it mid-air); an opponent's most normal reaction is to attack you right after you lunge, triggering Riposte damage. Land a basic attack or two, utilizing Duelist's Dance to hit their vitals, then use the burst of movement speed to escape. This is only effective against melee champions, as ranged can still counter after you retire.
- Use Bladework as the first autoattack will apply a slow, allowing you to get more autoattacks off.
- Try to use Riposte when an enemy attempts to apply a hard CC effect on you. If successfully blocked, the first enemy champion hit will be stunned, allowing you to strike a Vital or two with little or no retaliation.
- The hitbox of Riposte will change colors from blue to yellow if an immobilization effect was blocked, indicating that it will stun the target.
- Be careful about using Riposte early game. The ability's short duration and extremely long cooldown will punish you especially for using it in a sub-optimal manner. Use it to deflect CC-reliant all-ins, since you can easily make trades in your favor if you parry their attack, especially if the target would be stunned and/or if you blocked a high amount of damage, forcing the enemy laner to play more safely and thus making you need to use Riposte less often.
- Fiora's skill order is not set in stone, and maxing either Lunge or Bladework ( Lunge in most situations) depending on the game can make you much more effective. Maxing Riposte is not a good idea due to the ability barely changing from ranking it up, and the other 2 abilities (especially Lunge) being much better to max.
- Maxing Lunge is almost always the best option, however maxing Bladework could also be an option. With Lunge being maxed second. This is because Lunge is Fiora's main poke/harass and leveling it will significantly increase it's damage but more importantly heavily reduce its cooldown. This can make all the difference in chasing opponents, especially those with mobility skills that could otherwise evade and kite Fiora.
- A well timed Riposte would turn a lost fight in Fiora's favor while providing a situational defensive move. This ability will block ALL crowd control and damage for 0.75 seconds flat. This should usually be maxed last as only the base damage (the ratio scales off Ability Power, which is unlikely to be itemized for) and cooldown is increased and decreased respectively. After taking Lunge, it's normally a better option to take Riposte second at level 2, however, Bladework could also be taken second depending on the situation.
- If Lunge is already maxed first, Bladework should definitely be maxed second. It is a potent steroid when maxed out, and most champions will be unable to keep up with Fiora due to the slow on the first hit. Allowing the player to get Vitals from Duelist's Dance or Grand Challenge.
- Bladework gives a huge attack speed boost, so it can be used to effectively push turrets.
- Grand Challenge will allow you to have kill pressure on your opponent and hitting all 4 Vitals will apply true damage and give a heal zone around your enemy champion's area, heavily turning the fight in your favor.
- For a viable combo try using Lunge on an exposed Vital and cast Grand Challenge to get a new Vital to easily strike.
- Item Usage
- Cleave active!
shines on Fiora, giving her a significant boost to damage, out-of-combat sustain, in-combat sustain, and waveclear. It's also easier to build than , as its individual components are cheaper; build early if you plan on using it, as this will be your core AD stat item. Don't forget to use the
- can be useful when used to speed up Fiora's wave clearing. This can turn Fiora into a very effective split pusher; if you're at the point where you can destroy any single enemy champion 1v1 in a duel regardless of tower proximity, this can force the opposing team to commit numbers to counter you, allowing your team to secure other map objectives.
- Lunge. In a 1v1 scenario, the armor reduction will heavily increase your damage against armor-stacking enemies, which can complement Duelist's Dance's anti-tank effectiveness. The additional health is welcome too, as Fiora needs some defense as a melee autoattacking champion. While its 20% cooldown reduction is very effective if playing as an AD caster. will reduce armor with autoattacks and
- Bladework, so if one manages to rush it early, it can give a large power spike. boosts the critical damage from
- Lunge (which boasts a short cooldown), and after every other ability she casts. Additionally, the Rage passive gained from landing autoattacks helps Fiora stick to her targets and maneuver around them to hit Vitals. is a great item; it adds extra damage to
- will slow Fiora's targets, hindering their escape and increasing her ability to hit their Vitals even more.
- Building life steal is very important for Fiora as it allows her to regenerate large quantities of health while she is proccing her true damage from Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge.
- Building more than one lifesteal item allows Fiora to recover her health much more quickly during and between fights. For this reason, many players choose to build both and .
- However, it may be more effective to just build one of those items, and build Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge. Be wary that crit-dps relies on Fiora actually hitting for a critical strike, which means that having more than one critical item is recommended. because it allows her to do much more damage, while Fiora already has built-in healing with
- Unlike many other attack damage carries, can be built but isn't necessary on Fiora because she already gets an autoattack reset from Bladework and true damage from Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge. However, the Spectral Waltz passive to ignore unit collision and the increased movement speed are invaluable in positioning to hit Vitals.
- Crowd control directly counters Fiora's usefulness, making , or a good items to consider if you find yourself being CC'd regularly.
- One can build her as a glass cannon carry with items like , , and . Or, one can opt to build her as a more tanky DPS type with proc effects using items like and .
- Fiora can be built in a 'critless' manner as well due to her Bladework's inability to crit on the first attack and guaranteed crit on the second attack; both wasting any other critical strike chance. Items like , , and can be used to increase her damage output in such a build. It should be noted that active is very useful in this type of a build, since attack speed is needed. This type of build along with items like and allow Fiora to be rather tanky.
- If one is running Armor Penetration runes, it's a good idea to get both and on her, since she can receive the full stacks for the armor shred easily.
- Duelist's Dance's % health true damage and allows you to focus the rest of your build on AD. can fill a powerful niche in Fiora's kit, granting her good life steal, decent damage, and a slowing active. Upgrading into further improves the life steal and active while also granting just the right amount of additional base attack speed Fiora needs. Consider buying this item early against teams with high-health champs and keep away comps, as it complements
- is also useful as it further bypasses enemy armor. Along with the magic resistance and AS that it provides, the item is very useful on Fiora, especially if the opponent team is AP heavy or if an AP heavy champ constantly focuses you.
- When jungling Fiora, Bladework strikes will proc the bonus magic damage. makes for a good default pick; particularly if you plan on ganking often in the early and mid game. is also a good choice if you plan on focusing on jungle farm, though it necessitates an AD heavy overall item build; both
- Due to the nature of Fiora's kit, many types of boots are useful on her.
- are overall the most common choice, as they provide more attack speed which is overall useful to Fiora, especially when combined with other attack speed items, as Fiora is very auto-attack reliant.
- Lunge, Riposte, Bladework and Grand Challenge much more often. Remember that out of all melee ADCs, Fiora is the least attack speed reliant of all them. is an equally good choice, especially if you are building Fiora more as an AD caster than a melee ADC. The cooldown reduction allows her to use
- and are effective choices if Fiora is losing the lane, the latter is also effective if Fiora is being focused by all enemy crowd controls, which is usually very likely.
- Duelist's Dance will reset upon exiting its range (1250-1500~?), so if your identified Vital is facing Fiora, walk back a little towards your own turret so Duelist's Dance's resets and identifies a Vital in a harder to attack direction.
- If Fiora activates Grand Challenge and she manages to hit all vitals (or kill her target) NEVER try to duel Fiora and her allies inside the victory zone because that heals for massive amounts of health.
- That victory zone can turn the tides of entire teamfights, so it is important to protect her target from being killed. Thankfully this is not very difficult during teamfighting situations.
- It is recommended to ask your jungler to gank Fiora very often, because she has decent early game damage but snowballs very quickly and deadly should she get a kill; however, her only escape is short ranged. Babysitting Fiora is a great way to shut her down. Even if she starts to play safe (to avoid feeding her opponent) she will fall behind and will be useless during mid-late game.
- Fiora is adept at dealing a lot of physical damage quickly, making armor a clear method of protecting yourself. However, note that Duelist's Dance's deals true damage based on your health and Riposte deals a bit of magic damage.
- In the top lane, is a highly effective way to become deceptively hard to kill to Fiora.
- Fiora is one of the best duelists on the entire game and it is extremely difficult to 1v1 her due to Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge; combined she can get massive amounts of burst on any target, no matter how tanky they are; and her Riposte can block crowd control effects and potentially make them backfire against their user. It is strongly recommended to take her down as a group, because she isn't the best champion at dealing with 1v2 or 1v3 situations.
- A crowd control effect applied on Fiora when she activates Bladework will severely lower her damage output. In addition, if she is unable to autoattack or use Lunge to hit her enemy's Vitals, she will not gain bonus movement speed.
- Be careful when using a crowd control effect because a well-timed Riposte can block it and make it backfire against you if it is a hard CC.
- Fiora is considered a late game AD hyper carry; as such, she must be shut down at every given moment, as she snowballs deadly and quickly.
- Another good option is attack speed slowers such as Cold Steel passive. , and , since these all provide armor and the
- Fiora can be countered by anti-AD champions, such as Jax, Rammus and Malphite. However, all those counters rely on crowd control effects to deal with her, and are tanky, and Duelist's Dance is tailored to deal with tanky targets.
- Jax is a great 1v1 top lane counter due to his Counter Strike which can completely avoid her autoattacks. As well as the bonus armor from Grandmaster's Might will reduce the damage from all of her other forms of offense besides her true damage.
- Rammus counters her with his anti-AD abilities such as Defensive Ball Curl, and his tendency to build up armor to stack with Spiked Shell.
- Malphite can take her on with his Brutal Strikes granting him incredible amounts of armor and Ground Slam reducing her attack speed considerably.
- In general, long range harass, zoning, and running go a long way to controlling a Fiora at the top lane, because she has no reliable short cooldown ranged attack.
- Purchasing a Grand Challenge. is a great option for AP champions that want to take down Fiora, as this item's active helps shorten the already time-limit she has to hit all Vitals during