Former RANK 1 Draven Guide

Draven laugh

First off, welcome to the Kryzlx Draven guide. If you are currently a Draven main or an adc main aspiring to be a Draven main, then you are in the right place. If you haven’t even touched adc, then the journey to maining Draven will be hard, but hopefully you learn a lot from this guide. Be sure to join Shadows Discord for any of your Coaching needs. When learning Draven, we always recommend testing everything out on a fresh, unranked LoL account from GooseSmurfs

What Makes Draven Good

As many of you know, Draven is rarely in the current meta, so the people that still do play him are OTPs (myself included) or just people that main the champ pretty heavily. People that abuse meta adcs will often have more impact in the game than draven, unless you are able to secure an early advantage. 

Draven is an “Attack Damage” based champion, which is why his build revolves around maxing attack damage stats throughout the game. All of his abilities have AD scaling, meaning the more AD items you buy, the more damage your abilities will do. I will go more in depth into each of his abilities in the following section. 

Abilities

Passive – League of Draven

Draven’s passive is the reason why many consider Draven an early, aggressive champion. His passive states that for every spinning axe he catches and minion he kills, he gains 1 adoration stack. Not many people know about the second part of his passive where if he kills 6 minions in a row without dropping a single axe, 2 extra adoration stacks are awarded. When Draven kills an enemy, all adoration stacks are consumed, and Draven “cashes in”, meaning he receives 25 gold + 2 gold for every adoration stack consumed. 

If Draven dies, he loses 75% of his adoration stacks that he had at the time before death. Many players often tilt when dying before “cashing out”, but in order to avoid dying before redeeming adoration stacking, just safely ward the bot brush or deeper down the river/tribush if they have long distance engaging champs, such as zac, rek’sai, etc. 

Q – Spinning Axe

Draven’s Q is an integral part of his kit. He gains 35/40/45/50/55 + (65%, 75%, 85%, 95%, 105% bonus AD) per Q auto. Once a spinning axe is thrown and hits the selected target, it will come back in the direction you were moving to shortly after the axe is thrown. (NOTE: This is extremely important for draven players to understand!) The spinning axe will fall towards the direction you were moving towards after the auto animation is finished. Knowing this tidbit of information allows people to properly manage catching/positioning their axes based on the state of the lane. 

Other helpful tips for Draven’s spinning axe: 1) You don’t ALWAYS have to catch the axe. The enemy bot lane will take advantage of your axe positioning and focus on sending their skillshots to the indicated location. It is ok if you drop a few axes during lane, but don’t keep dropping them because this is a primary source of your damage for lane trading and cs’ing. In teamfights, as well, when things are hectic, there is no point trying to catch an axe unless you position your axe well, otherwise you will just get jumped on and die. 2) Good draven players are often able to keep 2 axes spinning for the majority of laning phase without dropping a single axe. After a good amount of practice, you will slowly start to get the feel of axe-catching and will be able to juggle two axes mindlessly. Some more advanced draven players are able to balance 3 axes, usually for pushing waves into enemy turret as fast as possible but this requires for you to have 2 axes spinning at all times in your hands, while one axe is in the air. While the axe is in mid-animation, you must throw the other axe to keep all 3 spinning at once. Before you ask, yes it is possible to juggle 4 axes, possibly even 5, utilizing your w for attack speed, but this is primarily used as a gimmick, so it’s not necessary per se. 

W – Blood Rush

Draven’s W is also key when it comes to draven’s kit. His w allows him to gain decaying movement speed equal to +(50, 55, 60, 65, 70)%. This ability is extremely good for early engages but has a large mana cost at 40 for level 1 w. Each time a spinning axe is caught, his w refreshes but given that Draven’s base mana is 360, you are essentially using up 11% of his entire mana pool per single w cast. 

Some helpful tips for his w is that his w on top of movement speed gives him the ability to ignore unit collision. A lot of Draven players do not know this but when you are trying to run someone down in lane and find yourself blocked by creeps, if you press w, all unit collisions are ignored. Another major tip is running someone down using your w. When running someone down as any adc, you just run straight at them, but as Draven when you throw an axe at them and the axe lands in front of you, it is more time efficient if you stop, wait for your axe, and then move again pressing w. This may seem a little bizarre at first but waiting that tadbit of time for your w reset allows you to recast and refresh your decaying movement speed and run people down more swiftly.

E – Stand Aside

Draven’s E is the only cc the champion has to offer. His ability acts as a knockup, so champions like yasuo can capitalize off it and ult, and on top of the knockup, champions which are hit by his e are also slowed for two seconds. His e does have a cast time which is why when you are being approached by enemy champions with dashes, you must use your e proactively instead of reactively to interrupt their damage output.

R – Whirling Death

Draven’s R is his global ultimate where he hurls two axes in a targeted direction until it strikes an enemy champion or hits the edge of the map. This ultimate is used either to make a bot lane fight in your favor by the massive bonus damage it adds in a skirmish or to snipe someone across the map. You can recast your r which recalls his ultimate to where he is at the moment. The recalling of his ultimate can be very useful and why that is will be explained later in this guide. 

Abilities Level Up Order

Level123456789101112131415161718
QXXXXX
WXXXXX
EXXXXX
RXXX

Summoner Spells

This should be pretty straight forward. Most of the time you will be taking heal and flash, but this can change depending on what summoner spells your support takes or if you are versus a heavy cc support like leona. For example, if your support is a champion that runs heal (EG. yuumi), you need to take barrier here because double heal does not stack due to heal’s passive, as in every subsequent Heal is reduced by 50%. For heavy cc supports like leona, you need cleanse to remove all CC plus debuff effects. Cleanse essentially works as a heal in this case because when leona ccs you, she will e+q you then ignite. When you take cleanse, you will remove the q stun plus ignite essentially making your cleanse more worth than a heal in the first place. If you get autofilled to mid or top lane and still want to play draven, take barrier since barrier does offer more than heal in a solo lane. 

At the current state of the meta, Exhaust on Draven is actually better than heal because it mitigates their damage done onto you meaning you essentially “heal” for more than actually taking heal. Also Draven’s kit relies on him running enemies down, and the slow it provides with your empowered move speed allows Draven to utilize exhaust better than heal. Even though Heal does give movespeed, with Nimbus Cloak and w empowered move speed and a slowed enemy bot laner, you will be able to catch up to them with ease making the given movement speed from heal seem insubordinate.

Draven Build

Starting Items

  1. Dorans blade + Health pot (most common)
  2. Dorans shield + Health pot (against poke lane)

Core Items

Your core build on draven should consist of 3 primary items and boots: 

Infinity Edge+Bloodthirster+RapidFire Cannon+Berserker Graves

With these items, you will have enough AD to be a major threat to the enemy team provided you are even/ahead of the enemy adc. 

  • Infinity Edge is crucial on draven due to the surge in AD stats it gives, plus the unique passive of empowering damage for critical strikes.
  • Bloodthirster is also a must on draven given the amount of lifesteal from the item it gives, and since lifesteal scales with attack damage as well, when draven autos, his lifesteal health regeneration is huge. If you are versus a lot of heavy burst damage and you need survivability, you can go death’s dance here instead of bloodthirster.
  • RapidFire Cannon is also a nice item to have due to the enhanced range it gives once at 100 stacks, to throw in a nice empowered auto. But note, this item can be interchanged with Phantom Dancer if you find yourself in a situation of taking a lot of burst damage, especially vs assassins such as talon, zed, leblanc, etc. 
  • Berserker Greaves is a no brainer. The amount of attack speed it gives is equivalent to a whole attack speed item completed. You can go ninja tabis instead in rare cases if they have many AD threats on their team or mercury’s treads if they have a lot of AP, or a lot of CC.

Situational Build

Draven’s build past his core items depends on the game state. 

  • If they are stacked with armor, you can get lord dominik’s regards.
  • If they have a lot of healing, you can get mortal reminder.
  • If you lack damage, you can get essence reaver for more bonus AD, giving you a triple bf sword build.
  • If you are getting cc’ed, you can get mercurial scimitar. 
  • If you need more crit and survivability, you can get phantom dancer.
  • If you need to be alive in fights longer and you are one of the sole win conditions, you can get guardian angel.
  • If they are all squishy, you can go duskblade of draktharr for extra bonus physical damage against squishies plus the lethality stats it gives. 

Elixirs

Usually on Draven you want to get elixir of wrath for the bonus AD stat it gives, but sometimes you can go elixir of iron for the tenacity plus extra health if you find yourself getting cc’ed to death.

Examples Of Potential Final Builds

Draven Build
Great Draven build
Safe build
Lethality Draven

Runes

Draven Runes

The two main keystones for draven are Conqueror and Press the Attack. Press the attack simply does not offer the value that conqueror offers in my opinion. First off, press the attack is single target so you will be able to do bonus damage to the marked target, but conqueror offers so much more because of the adaptive fervor stacks you get when you use an ability or auto. Per auto on draven, you get 1 conqueror stack and per ability hit, you get 2 conqueror stacks, up to 10 stacks total. 10 stacks of conqueror is equivalent to 20-50 bonus AD, depending what stage of the game, which is significantly better than the utility that press the attack offers. On top of this, conqueror offers percentage healing against champions you damage once at full stacks (8% of the damage you deal). Note: I am not saying press the attack is bad, I am simply saying conqueror has many more practical uses. Press the attack is actually better into a full squish comp just due to the burst the keystone offers, but against a more tanky team where it is easier to stack your conqueror easily, conqueror is just better. 

The rest of the precision tree should make logical sense. For example, triumph gives you healing plus bonus gold per kill which Draven thrives off of because it just increases the amount of gold he gets per kill. Alacrity is the only precision rune that is up for debate because all three of the “Legend:” runes are fine with draven. I use alacrity for the surge in attack speed per takedown and in my opinion, it is just more optimal than the other two since bloodline offers lifesteal which you already get enough of with bloodthirster and tenacity is only good against crowd control comps, so if they have a leona support then you can take that rune just to shorten the duration of CC. 

In terms of secondary, sorcery is the most common tree because of the extra AD you get with absolute focus and gathering storm. Absolute focus gives you bonus AD when you are above 70% health, which is often good for short trades early on to give you the upper hand against other adcs. Gathering storm allows draven to scale better the longer the game goes because if ahead on draven you will reach your full build faster than most other champs since bonus gold from your passive, so you need to take this rune to ensure more AD throughout the game so you don’t fall off hard.

Lastly, the shards are pretty standard for most ADCs, one attack speed, one adaptive force, and one armor. You should change the last armor shard to an MR shard if you are going versus an APC, but in most other cases, armor is the rune shard to take. 

Best Draven Playstyle

Draven is a champion that relies on aggression, but not too much aggression to the point of incessant feeding. The concept of playing aggressively while maintaining a slight bit of awareness to enemy jungle ganks/mid lane roams is what separates the good draven mains from the newer ones. 

As Draven you will find yourself pushed up quite a bit since you are doing a lot of damage to minions, hence pushing your minion wave faster than the enemy. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, it makes you much more prone to ganks by the enemy mid and jungler. You can often win 2v3 matchups but this is really support dependent and often works only with heavy cc supports.

As a draven main, you should be able to consistently not drop an axe throughout all of laning phase unless necessary or to avoid free poke. For many draven players after a lot of practice, wielding two axes simultaneously without dropping a single one just becomes second nature, but for new players, it takes a lot of practice. Wielding two axes while cs’ing and trading in lane makes draven one of the hardest, if not the hardest adc to play in the game. 

Your early power spikes on draven are levels 2, 3, and 6. Level 1 is up for debate but the reason why I believe level 1 is not a strongpoint for draven is because he only has his q and no ability to rundown another champ. Your autos level 1 may be stronger, but in order to get in auto range you would have to take loads of early damage from minions and enemy laners making the trade not worth. You can potentially win a level 1 all in if you have a support like nautilus who has two forms of cc at level 1. Level 2 is a guaranteed power spike since you have your w which can reset on axe catch which helps draven run down the enemy laners. Level 3 grants draven his e which lets him cc the enemy laners so he can throw in an extra couple autos. Level 6 is an obvious power spike because of his ultimate and the bonus damage it adds to trading. Just because levels 4 and 5 were not mentioned does not mean draven is weak here, it just means draven’s stats do not drastically increase but you can still take trades with enemy laners.

Mechanics

Draven’s q is an empowered auto attack and grants him a spinning axe that he can keep reusing without burning mana as long as he catches it. Draven’s axe can be positioned in a similar manner of how kalista’s movement passive works. If you execute a movement command shortly after your auto attack animation, the axe will gravitate towards where you clicked to move. See pictures below:

Draven Axe
Axe

Note: This axe location movement is not exact, for example, it might not end up directly on top of where you moved to, but it will end up in that target vicinity.

Draven’s w is an ability that helps draven players run down enemy champs to secure kills. An important note about this ability is that if you cast your w mid auto animation, your w will cancel your auto attack making you miss out on one auto worth of damage and on draven that is a really big deal which can change the fight from being in your favor to against you.

Draven’s e is a displacement tool but many new draven players use this ability to simply knock enemy champs aside without thought. Positioning his e correctly is vital the higher elo you go because it can be used to set up easy follow up from your teammates. For example if you use your e to the right of the champs and push them to the left near a wall as shown in the picture below, it can allow your support, and possibly jungler to collapse harder on enemy champ. See picture below:

League Displacement

As you see, I position my e on the right side of the enemy champ, so they get pushed towards the wall away from their turret, allowing my supp and I to capitalize on their displacement and throw in some more extra damage. The e flash is a mechanic for more advanced draven players since the e has a cast time meaning u can flash and the e will go off from where you flashed to.

Draven’s r is a global skillshot as many know and it can be recast after a short buffer range to call the axes back. Many dravens simply throw out the ult and wait for the ult to come back allowing enemy champs to dodge the returning ult which adds extra damage, but more experienced draven players will recall the r as soon as it hits the enemy champion for extra guaranteed damage. I would recommend going into practice tool and getting the timing right for his instant r recast upon enemy champion hit because it makes trading a lot more in your favor.

Draven can also reposition his r using his flash on first cast. Since draven’s ultimate also has a cast time, if you flash during his ult cast time, your ult will originate from the placed you flashed to but change directions to the point you flashed from, then return back to you. The white arrow in the first picture is the direction of flash once I cast my ult. 

See pictures below:

Draven R

As you can see by the white arrows in the second picture and the trail of my ultimate, the ult follows the path of the white arrows, even though I pressed r from where the dashed white lines began. This can be used if you are in trouble, but already pressed r and need to wait the cast time but want to flash away from whatever may be happening during the cast time. 

You can also use your flash to reposition yourself after throwing your ultimate out so it can hit someone on the way back. See picture below. 

Draven Flash Ultimate

Once the ult hit the first target, I flashed to make my champ reposition itself so that the second part of the ult would hit the second target on the way back. The ult will always come back to you so as long as the second target is between my ult and myself, the second part of my ult will always hit and the flash allows me to reposition myself quicker or just simply an element of surprise. 

The final mechanic that often helps players through early stages of the game is starting with two axes in laning phase. As you know your q runs out if you don’t empowered auto attack something soon after, but it is possible to have two spinning axes as soon as you go to lane so you can apply early pressure. When you are giving your jungler a leash, if you can kite the buff towards your lane and catch your spinning axe, you can recast your q right before the river brush to have two spinning axes walking into lane. See pictures below:

Double Axe
Triple Draven Axe

Note: You can even do this when not leashing, in fact it’s easier since you can kite as far down as you want and just have the blue buff reset. Also, this is possible to do with red buff but it is harder.

Best and Worst Draven Matchups

Strong versus (ADC)Weak versus (ADC)Strong with (Support)Weak against (Support)
VayneCaitlynBlitzcrankLeona
JhinLucianNautilusBraum
Kai’saYasuoPykeNautilus
TristanaMiss FortuneLeonaBrand
JinxVarusAlistarXerath
KalistaApheliosYuumiSwain
Kog’mawXayahBraumAlistar
SivirEzrealNamiLulu
TwitchAsheSwainZyra

Note: You might say, aren’t ezreal and ashe easy matchups because of their low base damage early? Yes, it is true they have low base damage, but in order for draven to win lane, he must run a champion down to secure a kill. Against ashe and ezreal, he outdamages them per auto sure, but ezreal has poke damage with q and a get-out-of-jail-free card with his e, allowing him to easily scale while outputting damage. Similarly, ashe has empowered slows on each of her auto attacks and a large auto range which doesn’t allow draven to get an even trade with her, which puts the advantage early for ashe unless your support can cc her long enough but that is fully support dependent. A lot of the adc matchups can go either way pretty easily since adc is a role that is heavily support dependent for cc and poke.

To summarize the support matchups listed above, any cc works well with draven as well as any support that gives him AD or empowers his auto to give him bonus AD which is why supports like yuumi and nami also work well with draven. CC supports are good with draven because locking an enemy champion down while draven gets free empowered Q autoes can often guarantee a kill or at least summoner spells blown. This also works in the reverse manner, cc supports can screw draven over because draven realistically is a low mobility champion with no dashes and his only mobility coming from his w reset, but if you cc draven and he can’t catch his axe, he gets no w reset, rendering him completely immobile. Poke supports also can beat draven in lane because smart poke support players will often aim their skillshots to the axe location so draven has the choice to either miss the axe or catch it plus take free poke.

Manamune Draven Build

Ok let’s think about this logically… You get a few kills in lane and are up a good amount of CS and you have 2600 gold, what do you buy? OK, based on what you have learned in the guide, you know how important AD is for draven because of his %AD scaling on his Q, so with 2600 gold you can get a manamune + 2 control wards for 35 AD, or two BF swords for 40 AD each, equaling 80 AD. Is this even a comparison? 35 AD vs 80 AD. The manamune build takes longer to stack and sure the argument can be given that at level 18, manamune offers 85 ad which is greater than 80 AD labelled earlier but that is level 18. Games often end quicker making that statistic absolutely useless. In terms of reliability, manamune plus lethality build peaks in mid game only if you are ahead, so if you are behind the build is rendered useless, while normal draven build has consistent damage throughout. Even when behind on the normal draven build, you can still do a significant amount of damage when you have accrued enough AD stats. 

About Me

I’m a Challenger Draven OTP (meaning, yes, I don’t play every other ADC to a Challenger level but can play them fairly well). I have been Masters+ since season 7, and in season 10 have had accomplishments such as Challenger with a 60% win rate, and Grandmaster with a 75% win rate. I have been playing draven for around 4 seasons now and have mastered a lot of the mechanics there are to the champion allowing me to play him at such a high level. If there are any other questions you may have regarding the champion that were not addressed in the guide above, feel free to message me on Shadows Discord, and I would be thrilled to help you out. 

Kryzlx Draven