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Fiddlesticks has a nice set of skills - a decent length disable, a bouncing silence, and the potent life drain channel. They're all very nice to have... which has caused me great trouble in figuring out how to prioritize the skills I'm learning. I tend to max Drain first, but continually flip-flop on Dark Wind and Terrify. You typically have a goal when you decide on a general skill order (best damage improvement, maximizing disable amount, minimizing mana-to-utility ratio, etc.), but the synergy and utility of Fiddlesticks' arsenal has left me rather confused on what goals to focus with. As a result, I never seem to achieve effectiveness in combat.

What are the focus points of building Fiddlesticks in terms of skill learning? Are there certain factors (item build, enemy setup) which would imply a specific skill order, and what factors of those make such implications?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

The biggest question when leveling as Fiddlesticks is whether or not you are jungling. A jungling fiddlesticks needs a maxed Drain to be keep his health up, and should probably level Terrify to give him a stronger gank.

Beyond that, it really depends on personal playstyle. With max CDR (something you should strive for on Fiddles), Drain has a 6 second cooldown and a 5 second duration. It is your "nuke", and your go-to spell, awesome for soloing other champs. You should still max this first.

Your choice comes down to Dark Wind vs. Terrify. In years past, Dark Wind's number of bounces increased with level, meaning that a maxed Dark Wind was a terrifying spell that could bounce 15 times, silencing with each hit, and dealing impressive damage to boot. Now a days, it is limited to only 5 bounces, which makes Terrify the better skill, because it is hard CC, and Fiddles is slow and without escapes.

Max Dark Wind second if you need the help farming minion waves, or want higher burst damage. Otherwise, max Terrify second for the increasingly long CC duration.

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I agree 100%. I tend to focus on Terrify because I find the longer fear more useful in ganks. – Ryre Dec 20 '11 at 22:24
Maybe the part where I'm still playing burst-style/heavy-damage when I try maxing Terrify second is why I've been pretty poor at this so far... – Grace Note Dec 21 '11 at 1:31

Drain(1,3) - almost a basic attack
Terrify(2) - so you can have flee/gank
Dark Wind(5) - jungle/that moment in battle 2 enemies are ganking
Ultimate(6) - because it is ultra strong

From lv.6 on you have to figure out your situation in game

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Or just avoid Fiddle entirely :) – Fabiano PS Dec 31 '11 at 2:15

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