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League of Legends: Draven Guide

Updated on June 26, 2014

My Draven Guide!

This is my guide to Draven, an ADC on League of Legends. Draven is one of the strongest ADCs for snowballing and, although he is difficult to play, it can be very rewarding to play him if you manage to lay him well. In this guide I will be covering several different aspects of playing Draven including ideal builds, matchups and general tips for Draven, amongst others. Please also note that I am by no means a Draven god! I just have an understanding of the champion and I feel like I could help people play Draven, whether I am teaching a person new to Draven how to play him or giving an expert a couple of tips and perhaps a fresh perspective in some aspects of the Champion. This guide will be very detailed and will contain lots of information so be prepared, this is a long article! This guide is written for the Patch 4.10. For each section there will be a small Summary at the end however this will not give as much depth as the larger paragraphs. If you are skimming through then the summary will suffice but if you want a deeper understanding of Draven then it would be advisable to read the large text.


1. Draven's Strengths and Weaknesses

2. Masteries

3. Draven's Skills and Skill Order

4. Runes

5. Summoner Spells

6. Item Build

7. General Draven Tips

8. General ADC Tips

9. Matchups and Partnerships

Draven's Weaknesses

However, Draven’s high damage is balanced out by several weaknesses.

1) Draven’s Axe catching can really screw you over if you miss an axe because it goes somewhere that you would have no chance of reaching. This makes him slightly RNG and it would be advisable to try and master this mechanic before taking Draven in to high level play.

2) Draven has a complete lack of mobility, with his only mobility being a 1.5s movement speed buff and, although it can reset, this is not a great ability for escaping as you don’t want to have to spend time catching axes when running. This lack of mobility has lots of consequences including being unable to dodge lots of skillshots, being a very gankable target and having a lack of chasing skills, whether this is when you are being chased or when you are chasing.

3) Draven’s axes collection position are telegraphed to the enemy team as well which means that skillshot reliant champions such as Thresh, Nami, Morgana, Leona and Karma can all either deal lots of damage, CC you for a long time or force you to drop an axe.

4) Draven is very snowball reliant due to his passive and if you don’t do well early game you will have to wait until late game to be able to do much damage.

5) Debatably the hardest ADC to play except for possibly Vayne.

Although there does not seem to be a lot of weaknesses here, his lack of mobility is huge and has much more impact than you would first think because League of Legends is currently in a very Mobility heavy meta right now.

Summary: Strengths- High Damage, Very high Snowball Potential. Weaknesses- No Mobility, Can be Snowball reliant.

Draven's Strengths

Draven has many strengths that make him a very strong ADC.

1) He has the strongest level 1-3 all-in of any ADC (debatably, Lucian also has a strong Level 1-3 if uses passive right but his skills are easily dodged and they do less raw damage)

2) 1 for 1 trades will go in Draven’s favour due to his passive

3) The new Doran’s Blade is much better on him than most other ADCs.

4) Great Snowball potential due to his Passive

5) Global Ultimate that can deal huge damage to squishy champions.

6) A self attack and movement speed buff that can be used very frequently

7) Critical strikes are stronger on him than most ADCs.

I am now going to explain these strengths.

1) His Spinning Blade (Q) means that he deals lots of early damage, his attack speed buff on Blood Rush (W) is very strong and Stand Aside (E) provides a small amount of damage, a slow and a slight knockback, which can be used to interrupt abilities or even auto attacks. The fact that he has no abilities dedicated to Utility and all of his abilities provide lots of Damage/fight potential means that he deals more damage than someone with an ability dedicated to Utility, such as Graves with his Smokescreen (W). Another minor point to note that makes Draven strong is that none of his abilities have Animations except for his E, which produces a longer delay for the enemy ADC means he never has a lull in his Damage. For example, Caitlyn has an ability animation on her Piltover Peacemaker (Q) which means that, if she misses an ability, she has a lull in her damage because instead of auto attacking she is doing nothing.

2) Draven’s Passive works by giving him stacks of Adoration when he kills a unit or catches an axe. When Draven gets a kill he gets 50 gold + 2x his Adoration stacks. For example, if you have 100 stacks and get a kill you will get 250 extra gold which means you get significantly more out of kills than anyone else.

3) Because Draven’s Damage with his Q is very high he gets more from the % life steal than he did from the 3 health on every auto attack. However, because his auto attack damage is higher than all other ADCs except possibly Ezreal, because his Q provides lifesteal, he gets the most benefit from the % lifesteal.

4) Because of the Passive, as explained in Point 2, one single kill can turn into a huge lane advantage which can be expanded upon because of Draven’s already high damage.

5) His global ultimate can be used to pick off low health champions that are going to recall and if you manage to land both strikes on the same champion the damage you deal is very high, especially if you are snowballing hard. A trick when using your ultimate is to press r to make it return to you before it actually lands because it means it should hit twice almost immediately, giving little chance of dodging the 2nd strike if they get hit by the 1st. This takes time to learn but if you manage to perfect this move it can deal lots of damage and be a very effective execute.

6) Because of the resets Draven gets on his W (It resets every time you catch an axe) you can have an almost permanent source of Attack Speed and Movement Speed allowing you to trade much more effectively.

7) Because of the huge damage on his Q, Crits on Draven are much more effective because he has high base damage which means the 2.5x multiplier just generally deals more damage, which also makes the new general ADC build of rushing an Infinity Edge much more effective on him than lots of other ADCs.


Once again there is only one real mastery set that I would use for Draven, however you could move some points around depending on the match up. If you need less defence you could take more than 21 in offense however I would never recommend taking less than 21 in offense as the early stats provided by masteries can be very useful, especially for Draven who requires the early snowball.

Summary: 21 points in Offense, 9 points in Defense.

Ideal Masteries

Skills and Level Order

Skill Order

League of Draven, Draven’s passive collects stacks of Adoration whenever you catch on axe or kill a unit. Whenever you kill a champion these stacks are consumed and you gain gold equal to double the adoration stacks + 50.

Spinning Axe, Draven’s Q, makes every auto attack deal more damage if he has a Spinning Axe in his hand. When you use an axe you have to move into a position to catch it otherwise you will have to use your Q again to start spinning another axe.

Blood Rush, Draven’s W, gives him a 1.5 second movement speed buff and a 3 second attack speed buff. The cooldown of this ability is refreshed whenever you catch an axe.

Stand Aside, Draven’s E, throws his axes dealing damage and applying a slight knockback and a long slow.

Whirling Death, Draven’s Ultimate, is a global ultimate that does damage in a line to everything and when it hits a champion, you press r or it reaches the edge of the map it returns, dealing damage to everything in another line.

There is no situation that I have personally found in which you would not follow the pattern R -> Q -> W -> E. Levels 1-3 should be taken Q then E then W however you may want to take E if you get invaded as it is very useful especially for stopping people engaging. If you E someone mid-flight, e.g. Lee Sin in his Q, it will cancel the whole ability. You take E second because it has more impact early than W, its impact just does not really increase which is why it is maxed second.

Summary: Level 1-3 Q -> E -> W. Everything else- R -> Q -> W -> E.

Rune Pages

There are a few different options for Draven’s runes. Your Seals (Yellows) and Glyphs (Blues) are not going to change unless you want some completely different runes. Flat Armour and Flat Magic Resistance are ideal runes for these slots (armour- yellow, magic resist- blue.) Although Armour runes got nerfed and health per level got buffed, in ADC you are almost always together with your support which means you level up slower. This means it takes longer than any other lane to reach the point where the scaling outweighs the flat. This means that you will have an advantage over other ADCs early, giving you an improved chance to snowball. This is the same for magic resistance, especially seeing as every support just now does magic damage so you will block some damage at all times.

Summary: Flat Armour Yellows, Flat Magic Resistance Blues, Lifesteal Quints, Attack Damage Reds Usually.

My Ideal Rune Page

Item Build

There are several good items on Draven, much more than the 6 slots you have available. The only real constant that you will get every game is the Infinity Edge and Berserker’s Greaves. You will almost always rush the Infinity Edge and follow it up with Berserker’s Greaves. Because of the Doran’s Blade buffs and the Vampiric Sceptre nerfs, getting 2 Doran’s Blades from the start is very useful as they provide lots of stats that can help you out early and the lifesteal, along with the other lifesteal you get from runes, adds up to 10.5% which is more than enough for the mid game. After the Infinity Edge you will want to get an attack speed item. Phantom Dancer is usually the better option as it gives the superior stats anyway and the Passive is very useful, especially on Draven, as it makes catching axes much easier as you cannot be blocked by minions. The Statikk Shiv is also a valid option because it does give more Movement Speed, is cheaper and has the added burst but I still almost always buy the Phantom Dancer as your damage output will be higher. I will only buy the Shiv if I am really far behind. After this, you will want to buy either a Bloodthirster or a Last Whisper. This is mainly decided by whether or not at least 2 people on the enemy team have any armour items. If they don’t, Bloodthirster will be superior as it provides more base damage, the shield is nice and the added lifesteal is always good, no matter what stage of the game you are in. The reason you do not rush Bloodthirster anymore on anyone is because the passive scales with levels. The passive no longer gives you 30 extra damage for the early game but gives you a big shield once you hit late game. Specially in Bot Lane, because you share the lane, hitting this high level will take a long time. This means there is no reason to buy it before late game, especially seeing as other items got buffed as well, such as the Infinity Edge. After you have built either the Bloodthirster or the Last Whisper, you will build the other one, meaning you are at your damage peak for items. This is because as a final item you will almost always want to build defensive. This is more crucial on Draven than other ADCs due to his lack of escapes so he needs to be tanky in order to get out of bad situations. For a defensive item you will have to look at the enemy team and decide what you need. If they have lots of poke a Banshee’s Veil will be a good item choice. If they have lots of assassination and dive then a Guardian Angel is very useful and if they have lots of Crowd Control that is blockable (e.g. none of Jarvan IV’s Crowd Control is blockable except for his slow) then you will want a Mercurial Scimitar. Other items that can work are the Trinity Force, Youmuu’s Ghostblade and the Sword of Divine. The Sword of the Divine provides Draven with very high burst damage, the Ghostblade provides lots of consistent damage and armour pierce and with the Trinity Force, the reset on your W means that you can use the passive frequently so, if snowballing, can make you do lots of damage.

Summary: 2x Doran’s Blades -> Infinity Edge -> Berserker’s Greaves -> Last Whisper/Bloodthirster -> Last Whisper/Bloodthirster -> Defensive Item.

Summoner Spells

There really are only 3 main options for an ADC for summoner spells. These are Flash, Heal or Barrier. Flash should always be taken as this allows Draven safety, which he needs due to his lack of mobility. Heal is a better summoner spell than Barrier in general however, if you are in communication with your Support, he can take Heal and you take Barrier. This gives you lots of protection, more than 2 heals since the heal nerfs which reduced more than one heals effect by 50% (first heal does full effect, 2nd does half effect). However, normally, you will take heal and your support will take exhaust.

Summary: Always Flash, Usually Heal, Barrier if feeling crazy with Duo Partner.

General Draven Tips

With Draven the most important thing to learn is how to catch your axes. You can manipulate the mechanics to accurately predict where the axe is going to land and, if you master this, it will make playing Draven much stronger.

To make your ultimate deal its damage in the smallest period of time you need to reactive your ultimate before it reaches its target. Over time you will learn when to reactivate it but, when timed right, the ultimate can hit its target twice almost instantly, giving them much less time to dodge than if you did a normal ultimate.

Before starting a fight you need to have two axes spinning and your Q ready to be activated again, especially in lane phase. This means that when you inevitably drop an axe in the fight you can reactivate your Q to get another axe spinning, guaranteeing at least 3 spinning axe auto attacks hitting.

When chasing, taking the second to catch an axe after auto attacking is often worth it because of the movement speed boost you gain. It more than makes up for the small amount of time wasted. Remember this when chasing or running away.

General ADC Tips

You should always be focused on farming as an ADC. You are required to be a huge late game force for your team and farming will allow you to hit your item peak much faster.

Remember how squishy you are, you cannot afford to be on the frontlines as this will just result in you being blown up. Stay behind your tanks!

Remember what cooldowns have been used in a fight. If they have no gapclosers left you are free to just hit the enemy for as much damage as possible.

Your main goal is to stay alive in fights. If you can do lots of consistent damage then you will have a greater chance of winning the fight. Remember, your goal as an ADC is not to dive on their backlines, it is to do consistent damage, let the tanks dive the backlines. If you manage to kill the enemies tanks without dying then you will be able to kill the rest of the enemy team and, after the teamfight, push objectives as you are the largest tower damage source on your team.

In laning phase, don’t put yourself in danger for farm. Remember that your auto attack has a ‘cooldown’ so you are open to being harassed if you aren’t careful. However, you can also use this to your advantage and harass the enemy whilst they are farming. Don’t harass instead of farm though, farming is always more important.

Draven's Match ups and Partners


Leona, Nami, Morgana and Thresh are all very good with Draven. This is because they all have strong engage. However, Morgana and Thresh are probably the top tier partners, with Nami just behind them and finally Leona is at the end. This is because Leona cannot peel, she can only really just go all in, which is very good in a 2 v 2 but, due to Draven’s lack of escapes, is not always the best option, especially when ganked. Nami is good because she has good poke, good engage and her Wave can be used for really good peel. She also provides a slow on auto attacks and a movement speed buff so can help Draven out a lot. Thresh and Morgana are both better than them though because Morgana’s Black Shield can save Draven from lots of Crowd Control and her Bind and Ultimate provide really good CC. Thesh on the other hand has good engage with his Death Sentence, Flay and Box and great peel with the Lantern, Flay and Box. This makes them both really strong with Draven.

Match Ups

Morgana and Thresh are both very strong against Draven because of the telegraph produced by his Q. They can both aim their skillshots at the telegraph either denying you an axe or inflicting Strong Crowd Control on you. Graves is annoying for Draven to play against because he has lots of Burst which is shot faster than Draven’s and his Passive gives him lots of early tankiness. Caitlyn is also annoying for Draven because she has superior range and a good escape which can deny his early snowball and possibly make him die. The slow from Caityn’s Net affects Draven more than most ADCs because he cannot dash to cover the difference, which would not be impacted by the slow, he is forced to run, taking full effect from the slow.


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Thank you for reading my Draven Guide. If you have any questions about anything in this guide feel free to ask in the comments. I am aiming to start writing more on hubpages with most of my content being mainly League of Legends based so if you have any ideas for things I could write please leave them in the comments. Finally, if you have any comments on how I could improve on my writing or things that you liked about the guide please them in the comments as well, I tried lots of different things for this hub and was wondering which aspects you felt helped you the most. Thanks! :)


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