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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


By NeeksNaman [1]

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 Fiora makes up for it in Lunge.png raw agility and Burst of Speed.png lightning speed, using a fencer's grace to shred opponents apart and keep herself in the fight. One way she utilizes this is by Riposte.png parrying her enemy's attacks if she times it right. Riposte.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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
Fiora Champion Spotlight06:12

Fiora Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items
Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran&#039;s Blade item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Tiamat item Phage item
Essential Mercury&#039;s Treads item Ravenous Hydra item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Death&#039;s Dance item Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item Maw of Malmortius item
Situational Guardian Angel item Spirit Visage item Mercurial Scimitar item
Consumables Health Potion item Vision Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran&#039;s Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential The Black Cleaver item Ravenous Hydra item
Offensive Death&#039;s Dance item Sanguine Blade item Maw of Malmortius item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item Overlord&#039;s Bloodmail item
Consumables Health Potion item Refillable Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Howling Abyss
Starting Doran&#039;s Blade item2 Boots of Speed item Health Potion item4
Essential Ninja Tabi item Ravenous Hydra item
Offensive Death&#039;s Dance item The Black Cleaver item Maw of Malmortius item
Defensive Banshee&#039;s Veil item Spirit Visage item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item
Consumables Oracle&#039;s Extract item Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item


Playing As Fiora Fiora
Playing Against Fiora Fiora
  • Duelist&#039;s Dance.png 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.png Riposte is available, she can turn their power against you.


Ability Usage
  • Duelist&#039;s Dance.png 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&#039;s Dance.png 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&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance resets and identifies a more easily attack-able Vitals.
  • Lunge.png 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.png Lunge.
      • Activate Bladework.png Bladework before using Lunge.png Lunge for best results; Walk up to your target and use Bladework.png Bladework. The first autoattack will slow your target, allowing you to continue attacking the target, and finally use Lunge.png Lunge to further damage the enemy.
    • Make good use of Lunge.png 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.png Lunge cast.
    • If you're chasing an enemy champion that's too far, use Lunge.png Lunge on an enemy minion, wait for its reduced cooldown to use Lunge.png Lunge catch up.
    • You can use Lunge.png Lunge to dash through walls, allowing an easy escape route.
  • A good harassing strategy is to use Lunge.png Lunge's cast to go in and immediately using Riposte.png Riposte (you can even use it mid-air); an opponent's most normal reaction is to attack you right after you lunge, triggering Riposte.png Riposte damage. Land a basic attack or two, utilizing Duelist&#039;s Dance.png 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.png Bladework as the first autoattack will apply a slow, allowing you to get more autoattacks off.
  • Try to use Riposte.png 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.png 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.png 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 Fiora's ability order is not set in stone, and maxing either Lunge.png Lunge or Bladework.png Bladework (Lunge.png Lunge in most situations) depending on the game can make you much more effective. Maxing Riposte.png Riposte is not a good idea due to the ability barely changing from ranking it up, and the other 2 abilities (especially Lunge.png Lunge) being much better to max.
    • Maxing Lunge.png Lunge is almost always the best option, however maxing Bladework.png Bladework could also be an option. With Lunge.png Lunge being maxed second. This is because Lunge.png 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 Fiora.
    • A well timed Riposte.png Riposte would turn a lost fight in Fiora 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.png Lunge, it's normally a better option to take Riposte.png Riposte second at level 2, however, Bladework.png Bladework could also be taken second depending on the situation.
    • If Lunge.png Lunge is already maxed first, Bladework.png 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&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance or Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge.
  • Bladework.png Bladework gives a huge attack speed boost, so it can be used to effectively push turrets.
  • Grand Challenge.png 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.png Lunge on an exposed Vital and cast Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge to get a new Vital to easily strike.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra 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 The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster, 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 Crescent!
    • Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra 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.
  • The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver will reduce armor with autoattacks and Lunge.png Lunge. In a 1v1 scenario, the armor reduction will heavily increase your damage against armor-stacking enemies, which can complement Duelist&#039;s Dance.png 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.
  • Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge boosts the critical damage from Bladework.png Bladework, so if one manages to rush it early, it can give a large power spike.
  • Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force is a great item; it adds extra damage to Lunge.png 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.
  • Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet 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&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge.png 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 The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster and Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra.
    • However, it may be more effective to just build one of those items, and build Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge because it allows her to do much more damage, while Fiora already has built-in healing with Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge.png 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.
  • Unlike many other attack damage carries, Phantom Dancer item.png Phantom Dancer can be built but isn't necessary on Fiora because she already gets an autoattack reset from Bladework.png Bladework and true damage from Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge.png 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 Mercury&#039;s Treads item.png Mercury's Treads, Quicksilver Sash item.png Quicksilver Sash or a Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png Banshee's Veil good items to consider if you find yourself being CC'd regularly.
  • One can build her as a glass cannon carry with items like Phantom Dancer item.png Phantom Dancer, The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster, and Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge. Or, one can opt to build her as a more tanky DPS type with proc effects using items like Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet and Wit&#039;s End item.png Wit's End.
  • Fiora can be built in a 'critless' manner as well due to her Bladework.png 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 The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster, The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver, and Wit&#039;s End item.png Wit's End can be used to increase her damage output in such a build. It should be noted that Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade's active is very useful in this type of a build, since attack speed is needed. This type of build along with items like Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel and Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet allow Fiora Fiora to be rather tanky.
  • If one is running Armor Penetration runes, it's a good idea to get both The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver and Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade on her, since she can receive the full stacks for the armor shred easily.
  • Bilgewater Cutlass item.png Bilgewater Cutlass can fill a powerful niche in Fiora's kit, granting her good life steal, decent damage, and a slowing active. Upgrading into Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King 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 Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance's % health true damage and allows you to focus the rest of your build on AD.
  • Wit&#039;s End item.png Wit's End 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, Warrior item.png Warrior makes for a good default pick; particularly if you plan on ganking often in the early and mid game. Devourer item.png Devourer is also a good choice if you plan on focusing on jungle farm, though it necessitates an AD heavy overall item build; both Bladework.png Bladework strikes will proc the bonus magic damage.
  • Due to the nature of Fiora's kit, many types of boots are useful on her.
    • Berserker&#039;s Greaves item.png Berserker's Greaves 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.
    • Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity 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 Lunge.png Lunge, Riposte.png Riposte, Bladework.png Bladework and Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge much more often. Remember that out of all melee ADCs, Fiora is the least attack speed reliant of all them.
    • Ninja Tabi item.png Ninja Tabi and Mercury&#039;s Treads item.png Mercury's Treads 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&#039;s Dance.png 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&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance's resets and identifies a Vital in a harder to attack direction.
  • If Fiora activates Grand Challenge.png 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 Fiora is adept at dealing a lot of physical damage quickly, making armor a clear method of protecting yourself. However, note that Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance's deals true damage based on your health and Riposte.png Riposte deals a bit of magic damage.
    • In the top lane, Ninja Tabi item.png Ninja Tabi 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&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance and Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge; combined she can get massive amounts of burst on any target, no matter how tanky they are; and her Riposte.png 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.png Bladework will severely lower her damage output. In addition, if she is unable to autoattack or use Lunge.png 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.png Riposte can block it and make it backfire against you if it is a hard CC.
    • Avoid using your high damage abilities such as Death Mark.png Death Mark When Riposte.png Riposte is available.
    • A common strategy against her is to bait Riposte.png Riposte before going in for a gank.
  • Fiora 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.
    • However, Fiora Fiora must depend on what items should be built on her because it is extremely difficult for her on what ability she needs to max out like for example, if Fiora Fiora builds a lot of critical chance items like Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge, meaning that she maxed out Bladework.png Bladework first, however, if she builds a Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King, it means she depends on Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance & Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge. Which means you have to watch her build carefully in order to counter her.
  • Another good option is attack speed slowers such as Warden&#039;s Mail item.png Warden's Mail, Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart, since these all provide armor and the Cold Steel passive.
    • Keep in mind that most of Fiora's damage comes from Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance and Lunge.png Lunge, which do not require attack speed to work.
  • Fiora can be countered by anti-AD champions, such as Jax Jax, Rammus Rammus and Malphite Malphite. However, all those counters rely on crowd control effects to deal with her, and are tanky, and Duelist&#039;s Dance.png Duelist's Dance is tailored to deal with tanky targets.
    • Jax Jax is a great 1v1 top lane counter due to his Counter Strike.png Counter Strike which can completely avoid her autoattacks. As well as the bonus armor from Grandmaster&#039;s Might.png Grandmaster's Might will reduce the damage from all of her other forms of offense besides her true damage.
    • Rammus Rammus counters her with his anti-AD abilities such as Defensive Ball Curl.png Defensive Ball Curl, and his tendency to build up armor to stack with Spiked Shell.png Spiked Shell.
    • Malphite Malphite can take her on with his Brutal Strikes.png Brutal Strikes granting him incredible amounts of armor and Ground Slam.png 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 Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass 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 Grand Challenge.png Grand Challenge.


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