Draven is known to be one of the hardest AD carry champions to play. It's quite easy to tell the difference between a dedicated Draven main and someone just picking him up.
With that said, G2’s Botlaner Luka “Perkz” Perković has teamed up with us to help any of you struggling Draven players up your game on the Glorious Executioner – let’s dive in!
Strengths and Weaknesses
Draven’s strengths come from the unbelievable amount of damage he is able to output when piloted well. He is able to win most fair fights and come out ahead in trades that most other carries simply couldn’t. The high base damage on his Spinning Axe allows him to make good use of lifesteal items early, making his trading prowess unmatchable.
You’re able to get push priority in almost every matchup as Draven in the early game due to being able to output more damage onto the minion wave with double Spinning Axes, and because the enemy can’t walk up to the minion wave easily due to being forced to respect your damage output potential.
“The real strength of Draven comes after you have a Vampiric Sceptre. The increased auto attack damage with Spinning Axe makes you lifesteal for a ton allowing you to take more trades with the opponent.”
Like all other champions, Draven has his weaknesses. There’s a lot going on when you’re playing Draven. You have to focus on catching your axes, deciding if you want to auto the opponent when they try to CS, or to focus on hitting creeps on top of looking for an opportunity to all in the opposing botlane.
This can often leave you hyper-focused and tunnel-visioned on your lane and less on the minimap, making you more vulnerable to ganks. This along with the fact that you’ll most likely be pushing the wave and giving your opponents a hard time in lane puts a big red target on your back, meaning you’ll most likely be getting ganked quite often. The enemy team has to shut you down at all costs before you begin to pop off, making you an even bigger target for the enemies. You also have no gapcloser as Draven making it harder for you to kite, which can leave you vulnerable if caught out of position.
“You have to be aware of where the enemy jungler is and not tunnel on your lane. Focus on tracking the enemy jungler.”
“Everyone has their own preferred runepage. Some people like Kleptomancy or Press the Attack, but I prefer Conqueror.”
Conqueror is Perkz’s Keystone of choice. He feels it gives him more trading power and aids you in winning extended fights. Follow that up with Overheal, Legend: Alacrity and Coup de Grace from the Precision tree along with Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm from the Sorcery tree. These runes provide you with a ton of early game and trading power with the added late game insurance of Gathering Storm for more attack damage the longer the game lasts.
"I take double Adaptive Force because it allows you to one shot the ranged creeps a lot earlier than if you were to take attack speed.”
You ideally want to take Flash and Heal on Draven. You can use Flash aggressively to finish off a low health opponent with an auto attack, usually when you have a Spinning Axe available. Cashing in your passive gold is a good way to snowball as Draven, so Flashing aggressively can be the right call sometimes. You can also use it defensively to get over terrain to safety or to dodge a skillshot.
Heal should be used to keep you and your teammates alive during a fight. A clutch Heal can bait the enemy into staying in a fight to finish off a low health target and could end up being their demise. Look for opportunities to save your teammates life, not just your own. Heal also provides a small burst of speed when used, which is good for chasing down or running away from opponents.
Passive: League of Draven
Catching Axes, killing a minion or monster, or destroying a turret grants stacks of Adoration. You can cash in these stacks for additional gold by killing enemy champions. You lose most of your Adoration stacks upon death.
Perkz cashes in his stacks for an additional 1,369 Gold
Q: Spinning Axe
Draven spins his axe making his next auto attack deal bonus physical damage. The axe bounces off of the target and will land on the indicated spot. If you catch the axe, Spinning Axe is reapplied, allowing you to throw the empowered axe again. It’s important to learn where your axe will bounce depending on how you move your champion. This is something that you learn with more time on the champion.
“The axe goes to your target location so where the axe goes depends on where you click. It takes a few games to get used to but it becomes second nature once you know where they will bounce.”
An example of how the axes interact with your movement
W: Blood Rush
You gain bonus movement speed and attack speed for a few seconds upon cast. It’s important to remember that Blood Rush’s cooldown resets upon catching a Spinning Axe. Take this into account when deciding on your next move during a fight.
E: Stand Aside
Draven throws his axes in a line damaging, knocking aside, and slowing all targets hit. It’s also important to note that Stand Aside interrupts dashes and jumps, which can stop enemies from escaping or getting onto you easily. This is your only form of CC and should be used cautiously. A smart enemy will take advantage of poor usage of Stand Aside which can end rather badly for you. Make sure you are using Stand Aside properly when it’s needed.
Perkz uses Stand Aside almost knocking Faker into Mikyx's Dark Binding forcing him to burn Flash
“Using your E properly is the key to success. You can interrupt dashes and slow opponents to keep them from chasing you, or from escaping a fight on low HP. A cool trick you can do is use E before casting R as it has a mini stun.”
R: Whirling Death
Draven hurls two axes in the targeted direction damaging all enemies struck. The axes return to Draven upon striking an enemy champion, hitting the edge of the map, or upon reactivation of Whirling Death, dealing damage to all enemies struck during their return. Whirling Death is a global ability meaning you can use it to snipe opponents across the map. You can combo the knockback and slow from Stand Aside to ensure Whirling Death hits your opponent allowing you to deal a ton of burst damage that they might not be expecting.
“You can manipulate your ult by making it curve on the way back to you. You’ll often see players throw the ult and then move in a different direction to make it come back at an angle. It’s hard to explain in words so you should watch some Draven one tricks and good players if you want to see some flashy plays and learn some of the intricacies of the champ.”
Putting points into Q increases both the bonus physical damage as well as the AD scaling by a significant amount. This is your main damage tool so it’s an obvious choice for maxing first. Next up you want to max W for the increased movement speed and attack speed provided.
The utility from maxing W second is useful and will help you out a ton in fights and kiting. The extra attack speed will also increase your DPS quite a bit. You’ll want to leave E to last because the other two just provide you with too much utility and damage to pass up. E does have good level scaling with a decent damage increase and a larger slow percentage, but it’s not as important as the other two skills.
Starting Items: You want to start off with a Doran’s Blade and a Health Potion. Draven gets more bonus damage from Spinning Axes with more total attack damage, making it pretty important to get AD when you can.
Early Core: There are a number of different options and paths you can take early game to get you to your core items. You have three options. If you base early and cannot afford a Vampiric Scepter, you should opt for a second Doran's Blade as it provides you with strong early game stats. Maybe you get a few cash-ins on your passive and have 1,300 gold or more in the bank, you can go straight for a B.F. Sword, but this isn’t reliable and won’t happen in most of your games.
Generally, you’ll be purchasing a Vampiric Scepter on your first recall allowing you to trade more often and out-sustain your opponents.
Core: Your first core item is The Bloodthirster. BT allows you to deal tons of damage and heavily out-sustain your opponents. Once you have your Bloodthirster completed, you can most likely just walk up and start auto-attacking the opponents without fear (as long as they don’t have a numbers advantage). Follow up with Ninja Tabi as they aid you in tanking and out sustaining the opposing ADC’s damage.
“You always buy The Bloodthirster first item no matter what. After that you can buy Ninja Tabi which allow you to tank your opponents auto attacks and out-damage them easily.”
Perkz gets chunked low but ends up turning the fight for his team due to The Bloodthirster lifesteal keeping him alive
Perkz recommends that you purchase another B.F Sword and then a Dagger. He feels that this Dagger is very important and helps your auto attacks feel smoother. Turn that B.F Sword into an Infinity Edge and from there, go for a Phantom Dancer. PD is good against Assassins or if you’re likely to get hit with some burst damage. If you don’t think you need the defensive stats from PD, Rapidfire Cannon is a better purchase.
“Make sure you get that Dagger, it’s a very important Dagger!”
Situational / finishing: Situationally, you can grab a Mercurial Scimitar for the cleanse effect and because Draven has no gap closer, you are quite vulnerable to getting CC’d. You can use the active effect for the movement speed increase if you really need it to chase someone down or to get out of danger. Maw of Malmortius or Guardian’s Angel are both good options versus heavy AP or AD teams respectively as they provide you with resistances and damage. Do note that Maw of Malmortius and Phantom Dancer do not stack meaning you shouldn’t purchase those two items together unless absolutely necessary.
Laning Phase: During lane, your main priority should be last hitting minions. Draven is one of the easier champions to CS with due to the high AD granted from a Spinning Axe letting allowing you to execute minions at higher health levels. You shouldn’t try to force trades often, but you should take advantage of the opponent’s mispositioning. If the enemy walks into your attack range, you should toss a Spinning Axe at them. The axe will deal a decent chunk of damage and, if they don't respect you enough and end up taking two or three more axes, you can look for a potential kill onto them.
Perkz taking advantage of Teddy being out of position
“Most people try to be hyper aggressive on Draven and look for trades every second. You should instead try to use your power as a zoning tool to deny CS and punish bad positioning. If they try to fight you, then you can take the fight and likely win it with your raw auto attack power.”
Mid/Late Game: Your role in the mid and late game will depend on the state of the game and the team compositions. You usually want to pick up CS wherever and whenever you can without risking getting caught out of position. You want to play around your teammates and not be isolated on the map as you are a squishy target that is quite vulnerable if alone.
If and when a teamfight breaks out, you’ll generally want to focus on targeting the out-of-position members of the enemy team without stepping up too far. If there is no high priority target within your range, your best bet is usually to focus on the frontline. Draven does a hell of a lot of damage and can make the beefiest of tanks melt like butter once he has his core items. Use this to your advantage and keep yourself safe in a fight. You can play more risky and step up to try and take down a high priority target. Sometimes it can be worth to trade one for one with the opponents if your team are strong enough to win the fight afterwards.
“Sometimes you want to stand in the back and hit the tanks so you don't die, but sometimes it’s good to step up and force the enemy to engage. You bait them into a bad fight, and if your team are strong enough to win the fight afterwards, it’s worth it. Don’t just play for the KDA – play for the win.”
Perkz activates Blood Rush to land an auto attack onto Betty, chunking him down and baiitng Flash Wolves into a bad fight
To conclude, Draven is a very strong ADC who can snowball hard and win the game 1v9 if given the tools to succeed early game. Being easy to pick up but hard to master makes every game a learning experience. If you are looking for a new ADC to play, give Draven a chance. Special thanks to G2 Perkz for helping us with the guide! We hope to see some Draven play out of him again soon.
“When playing Draven you have to channel your inner strength. It’s fun to just pop off and one shot people with insane damage when you’re ahead. Learning to be one with the axe is the key to success!”