Dark Harvest LoL Guide

Dark Harvest LoL Guide

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When you first play League of Legends, you’ll be introduced to a unique mechanic called runes. These keystones increase your champion’s stats or provide unique buffs during the game. Selecting the correct Runes for your character is essential for defeating your opponent as they often provide an extra source of damage.

Dark Harvest is perhaps the best rune keystone for finishing off low health opponents as it does huge bursts of damage depending on how many stacks you’ve collected. Unfortunately, many players utilize the rune incorrectly, leaving them at a massive disadvantage. This Dark Harvest guide will cover essential information regarding the best time to use it and how to make it effective.

Bottom Line Up Front

Here’s a TLDR about Dark Harvest if you’re in a hurry. Dark Harvest is a Domination keystone that procs when hitting an enemy with low health, dealing damage. It scales off Dark Harvest stacks, attack damage, and ability power.

To acquire Dark Harvest stacks, you need to hit an ability or auto-attack on a low-health opponent. Also, the enemy will have a red glow on their body, indicating that you can receive a stack. Afterward, you’ll see their soul come towards you, and your stack number increases.

Dark Harvest is perhaps the best late-game keystone because it can obliterate opponents if you have a decent number of stacks. Also, enemies can’t see if they are marked with Dark Harvest, so you can quickly go in for the kill with a surprise attack. If you’d like to know more about the rune, continue reading this Dark Harvest guide.

What Is Dark Harvest?


Dark Harvest is one of the more interesting runes in League of Legends since it was added to the game. It’s an offensive rune that infinitely scales with stacks, like Nasus or Veigar. The keystone is viewed as a highly offensive buff potentially overpowered in the late game.

Dark Harvest does bonus damage based on the missing health of the enemy. In other words, you can deal more damage to low-heath champions to finish them off. This rune is perfect for assassins are mages because it will help ensure a kill if you lack damage for the final blow. 

However, Dark Harvest relies on you getting many takedowns throughout the game, so the rune becomes useless if you feed or don’t participate in kills. Also, if the game duration is sub 25 minutes, you won’t have enough time to stack Dark Harvest points for it to be helpful. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid the rune when playing League of Legends minigames that finish quickly.

Let’s take a look at how Dark Harvest mechanics work:

  • How It Works: Damaging a champion below 50% health deals adaptive damage and harvests their soul, permanently increasing Dark Harvest’s damage by 5.
  • Dark Harvest Damage: 20-60 based on level, +5 damage for each stack, and +0.25 AD with +0.15 AP
  • Cooldown: Dark Harvest has a cooldown of 45 seconds after acquiring a stack. However, after a champion takedown, the cooldown is 1.5 seconds.

When To Use Dark Harvest?

Dark Harvest isn’t compatible with most champions, so you’ll need to know when it’s the best time to use it. Moreover, the rune is ideal in niche situations, making it difficult to decide whether it is the correct keystone to select. However, there are multiple variables for when Dark Harvest is suitable. Let’s take a look at when Dark Harvest is ideal:

  • Assassins: Assassins are ideal for utilizing Dark Harvest because they deal significant damage in a short time frame. Therefore, they can gain lots of Dark Harvest stacks during the game.
  • Junglers: Some junglers can take advantage of Dark Harvest’s mechanics by staking the rune from ganking lanes. Statistically, Junglers receive the most Dark Harvest points because they have more roaming potential than other positions.
  • Mages: Veigar, Zoe, and Xerath are a few champions that can use Dark Harvest effectively. This is because they have long-range and burst damage, making it effortless to stack points. 
  • ARAM: Most champions can equip Dark Harvest when playing ARAM because of the narrow map. This makes it much easier to stack since the game mode is constantly a 5v5.
  • URF: Ultra Rapid Fire is another game mode where all champions can take Dark Harvest due to the constant fighting and pace of the match. Since all champions gain 80% cooldown reduction, you can constantly spam abilities to proc Dark Harvest.

What Runes Synergize With Dark Harvest?

Those who want to use Dark Harvest should enable runes that compliment your champion’s playstyle. Often you’ll want to grab runes that focus on mobility and killing to take advantage of Dark Harvest’s burst potential. Let’s go more in-depth about specific runes that synergize with Dark Harvest:



  • Sudden Impact: You’d want to take Sudden Impact on mobile champions since it adds lethality on all dashes, blinks, and teleports. Ideally, the rune effect will align perfectly with the Dark Harvest effect, dealing significant damage.
  • Eyeball Collection: This rune is the best choice in the Domination skill tree because it adds power to your late game by increasing AD or AP.
  • Relentless Hunter: This goes perfectly with Sudden Impact and Dark harvest because you gain adaptive movement speed when out of combat. Therefore, you can quickly roam around the map farming kills and Dark Harvest stacks.


  • Triumph: After every assist or takedown, your champion receives 12% missing health and 20 gold. This is brilliant for Dark Harvest as you’re likely to take damage when in combat, and the healing afterward can potentially save your life.
  • Legend – Bloodline: This rune provides lifesteal after securing a takedown. The rune is weak early but effective late game, making it synergize well with Dark Harvest.
  • Coup De Grace: Perhaps the best rune with Dark Harvest is Coup De Grace since it provides more damage to low health targets.


  • Nimbus Cloak: After casting a summoner spell, gain movement speed and the ability to move through minions. This makes it easier to chase down enemies to get the finishing blow.
  • Absolute Focus: While above 70% heath, gain adaptive damage. This rune can provide the extra damage you need to finish kills in combination with Dark Harvest.
  • Scorch: Your first damaging ability deals 10s burns to champions that can proc Dark Harvest.


  • Font Of Life: Every 4 seconds, your next attack deals bonus magic damage and heals you. Font of Life synergizes well with Dark Harvest by dealing burst damage when combining the two.
  • Second Wind: After taking damage from an enemy champion, heal some missing health over time. The rune is ideal after taking damage during combat and sustaining afterward.
  • Unflinching: Gain tenacity that increases with missing health. Although this doesn’t compliment Dark Harvest, it’s great for negating crowd control effects.



  • Hextech Flashtraption:  After using Flash, you’ll receive a temporary summoner spell called Hexflash. This blinks you a short distance after charging for a few seconds. It’s amazing when you need that extra distance to proc Dark Harvest.
  • Future’s Market: This lets you enter debt to purchase items. Now you can buy items faster and have a competitive edge against opponents.
  • Approach Velocity: Gain bonus movement speed towards nearby enemy champions that are impaired. If they are low health, it’s the perfect rune to chase down targets whilst gaining Dark Harvest stacks.

Best Rune Pages For Dark Harvest

Selecting the best runes for your character is essential to give yourself a competitive edge against your opponent. Below you’ll find tailor-made rune pages that fit most champion playstyles:

AD Assassins

Keystone – Dark Harvest

Keystone - Dark Harvest

Primary Runes

  • Sudden Impact
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ravenous Hunter

Secondary Runes – Precision

  • Triumph
  • Coup De Grace

AP Assassin

Keystone – Dark Harvest

Primary Runes

  • Cheap Shot
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter

Secondary Runes – Sorcery

Secondary Runes - Sorcery

  • Scorch
  • Absolute Focus


Primary Runes

  • Cheap Shot
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter

Secondary Runes – Inspiration

  • Biscuit Delivery
  • Cosmic Insight


Primary Runes

  • Cheap Shot
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ravenous Hunter

Secondary Runes – Inspiration

  • Overgrowth
  • Second Wind



Primary Runes

  • Cheap Shot
  • Eyeball Collection
  • UltimateHunter

Secondary Runes – Inspiration

  • Gathering Storm
  • Manaflow Band

How To Use Dark Harvest

Dark Harvest is a fairly simple keystone to understand since a red mark will appear on an enemy. This indicates that any attack from you will proc the rune and deal a huge chunk of damage. The opponent cannot see that they are marked, allowing you to initiate a surprise attack.

Once the red mark appears, you’ll have multiple strategies to retrieve the stack. Let’s examine what to do in each situation.

  • All-in: Look at your cooldowns, summoner spells, and health bar to determine if you can go all-in to finish your opponent. Once they step too close, go in by launching a combo to proc Dark Harvest and finish the kill by using summoner spells if you need to.
  • Long-range: Maybe your low-health opponent is staying back, so you don’t kill them. In this situation, you’ll want to use a long-range ability to poke them and gain a stack. You probably won’t get the takedown since they are running away, but you’ll have more damage next time with the extra stack.

Best Champions That Synergize With Dark Harvest

Dark Harvest is a burst rune, so naturally, the keystone is oriented towards assassins. However, various champions can utilize Dark Harvest to their advantage by farming till the late game. Let’s analyze the best characters that can benefit greatly from the rune.

AP Shyvana

AP Shyvana

AP Shyvana is widely known as a toxic playstyle that opponents hate playing against. She is infamous for one-shotting enemy champions, making them rage as there is little counterplay. The one-shot potential comes from Shyvana’s draconic form, with her E becoming a massive AoE damage dealer. Additionally, her E scales of ability power synergizing well with Dark Harvest since you have plenty of damage to proc the rune.

Moreover, Shyvana has epic range in her draconic form, letting you get stacks that would have been out of reach for most champions. Once she does stack Dark Harvest and gets some AP going, she’ll obliterate enemies like there’s no tomorrow. At level 6, she instantly gains a huge power spike, so it’s ideal to seek team fights and ganks immediately.

However, Shyvana is a bruiser that strives from being tanky, so going full ap is a double edge sword. This is because you can deal significant damage but are susceptible to being focused without resistance. Therefore, full AP Shyvanas are usually left weak, squishy, and often defenseless in a 1v1 situation. If you want to try out Dark Harvest Shyvana, consider going for an AP tank hybrid build.


Kha’Zix is one of the best junglers due to his ability to utilize any rune and be totally overpowered. However, this OP status is at its highest level when he uses Dark Harvest with his evolved Q.

Kha’Zix’s best playstyle is as a prowler, where he will creep around the jungle, always staying close to lanes, ready to pounce at any moment. His one-shot potential comes from combining evolved Q, passive, Dark Harvest, and core items. With his prowling nature, he can quickly jump into the lane and use his W to gain many stacks.

The champion already had huge killing potential before the release of Dark Harvest, but now he has an extra damage tool that will obliterate opponents. Along with Duskblade and a few auto-attacks, he has enough damage to 1v1 any champion early and mid-game.

Furthermore, Kha’Zix is perhaps the most enjoyable jungler because he has a short jungle clearing time, serious damage, and excellent mobility. Also, he is always viable in any meta as his main targets are squishy mid laners and ADCs.



Kayn has been a viable jungler for a long time due to his versatility and adaptability. Most of Kayn’s adaptability comes from his passive that lets him choose between two forms – Tank or Assassin. Depending on how the game develops, Kayn can select the most appropriate form to fill his team’s needs.

While blue form is excellent for tanking during team fights, Dark Harvest is perfect for his second form. This is because it scales nicely off pure AD and allows Kayn to shred through champions like paper with his high burst.

Dark Harvest will only help Kayn by complimenting his burst kit with extra damage. As for stacking the rune, he can do it by using his medium-ranged E. Moreover, Kayn requires constant fighting to complete his passive final form. Therefore, Dark Harvest synergizes well with his kit as you will often go out of your way to kill enemies.


Ever since Dark Harvest came out, players immediately noticed how well he scales with the keystone. This scaling comes from Karthus’ ultimate, which often finishes off low health enemies. Since Dark Harvest procs on any source of damage, it adds to his ability to deal the final blow.

In addition, Karthus is perhaps the easiest champion to acquire stacks because of his global ultimate. The only skill required of this strategy is map awareness and constantly looking at lanes for ultimate potential. Moreover, he can quickly deal lots of damage with his Q and Dark Harvest during the early game. Afterward, he can continue to finish the kill or go back to safety using his wall.

With these powerful stacks, he can do significant damage using his ultimate in the late game. Karthus can reduce the health of all five enemy opponents with a press of a button. However, Dark Harvest will only proc on a single enemy. The likelihood is you’ll always receive a Dark Harvest stack after casting ultimate, which adds to his damage next time.

Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune is a lethality ADC that scales well with Dark Harvest. Picking any Domination rune is ideal, but Dark Harvest is undoubtedly the best choice for her playstyle. Since Miss Fortune’s best role is in bot lane, she always has two targets to gain stacks. From level 1, she will gain extra damage against low-health opponents, which helps deal the final blow. 

Once Miss Fortune reaches level 6, she can use her ultimate to shred through opponents like it’s nothing. Stacking lethality on top of Dark harvest will allow you to decimate team fights in seconds. MF is currently the queen of lethality builds among ADCs and is likely to remain so until the League of Legends team dedicates a character to compete with her.

Furthermore, Miss Fortune is ideal for beginners because of her straightforward abilities. However, Miss Fortune’s kit lacks mobility, so perhaps buying Galeforce can minimize the threat of dying.



Jhin is a powerful ADC that focuses on AD rather than attack speed. He scales insanely from critical strike, and luckily most ADC items provide a combination of AD and CS. As a result, late-game Jhin can have anywhere between 700 to 1,000 attack damage, letting him demolish health bars and win the game.

Now you can imagine how powerful he can get when he incorporates Dark Harvest into his build. During the early game, he has two targets to farm stacks, allowing him to scale nicely into the mid to late game. Also, his ultra-long-range W lets him snipe opponents out of range and receive free stacks.

Jhin is often referred to as a pure executioner as he provides insane damage from a long distance. Adding Dark Harvest to his kit provides an extra source of damage, helping him finish off low health champions.

Moreover, he is a fairly simple champion to play with no complicated combos. Jhin is considered the perfect ADC because he has a unique kit, powerful auto-attacks, and amazing range. I definitely recommend playing Jhin if you want to main ADC but have little experience playing the role.


Dark Harvest works well with burst champions, but rarely can they utilize the keystone as well as Veigar. He is perhaps the best scaling champion and embodies the 1v5 playstyle. Veigar has multiple playstyles and can make the most out of many rune builds. However, Dark Harvest is best for those who want to destroy health bars on this devious little Yordle.

Veigar focuses on stacking his passive with Q, which increases his ability power. By 20 minutes, he reaches a huge power spike by acquiring additional damage, giving him one-combo potential. Moreover, even if you feed or don’t participate in any kills to receive extra gold, you’ll never lack behind due to his passive.

Dark Harvest helps Veigar by adding that extra damage to his kit, which can be the deciding factor of obtaining a kill. He can stack the rune without much effort, as he can trap his enemies with E and spam abilities upon them. Also, he is great at roaming because you can run into any lane and trap opponents with little counterplay. 

Veigar is one of the oldest champions that remains viable in today’s meta. Although he lacks mobility, he can deter enemies with his insane burst potential with his ultimate and Dark Harvest. After building Luden’s Echo and Rabadon’s Deathcap, Veigar becomes a nuisance to face because of his instant killing potential.



Viktor is a lane control freak who can dominate opponents with long-range abilities. He is a perfect candidate for using Dark Harvest because he can bully opponents and poke them down until Dark Harvest procs.

Moreover, his E ability has insane range, letting him farm safely while slowly killing his enemies. Opposing players are usually stunned since staying under the tower isn’t safe from Viktor’s laser. Viktor’s whole kit allows him to control the lane and avoid ganks by using his force field, making him a nightmare to deal with.

However, Viktor is a difficult champion to pick up because of his versatile kit with a high-skill cap. Nevertheless, he is an extremely fun character who can adapt to most situations.

Champions That Should Avoid Using Dark Harvest

Dark Harvest is a situational keystone that isn’t compatible with all champions. Using the rune inefficiently will leave you at a significant disadvantage. For example, going Dark Harvest Jinx is ridiculous because she doesn’t do burst damage. Below are criteria that you can analyze for which champions should avoid using Dark Harvest.

  • Damage Over Time Champions: Champions like Jinx, Twitch, Fiora, Gwen, and Nunu should avoid using the rune because there are better options. They rely mostly on auto-attacks to deal damage, making Dark Harvest not a viable rune for them.
  • Tanks: Generally, you want to avoid using Dark Harvest on tanks because it’s a burst damage rune and doesn’t provide sustain. Grasp of the Undying, Aftershock, and Guardian are far better options for the tank class. Also, tanks rely on being chunky to initiate fights, and the Domination skill tree provides no resistance to stay alive longer.
  • Bruisers: The bruiser class relies on being somewhat tanky with damage output. Therefore, going Dark Harvest leaves them vulnerable because they don’t receive sustain from the Precious and Resolve runes.

Dark Harvest Tips And Tricks

Tip 1 – Lethality Items: Lethality builds work best with Dark Harvest because you can slice through any armor the opponent is building. Also, they provide a great deal of AD, making auto-attacks hit heavy. However, this build is exclusive to ADCs and AD assassins.

Tip 2 – Poke, Poke, and Poke: During the early game, you want to poke the enemy as much as possible to get them low enough to proc Dark Harvest. Getting a good amount of stacks early will help you transition to the mid and late game.

Tip 3 – Long-range Abilities: Make sure to take advantage of your champion’s long-range spells by casting them when you can proc Dark Harvest. Opponents may think they are safe and be unaware that you can deal significant damage by simply using a utility spell.

Tip 4 – Synergize Your Runes: We’ve mentioned a few builds that go well for various playstyles that you can try out. Coup De Grace is a brilliant complimentary rune because it allows you to deal more damage to low health champions. Also, Ultimate Hunter is ideal for most characters because it lets you cast your ultimate more frequently.

Tip 5 – Adapt your playstyle: To make Dark Harvest work, you’ll need to adapt your playstyle to be more poke orientated. It’s essential to farm a few stacks before entering the mid-game to give yourself the best odds of finishing enemies. 

Dark Harvest LoL Guide:Summary

Dark Harvest is an excellent keystone if you want to go with a burst-orientated build. It provides significant damage to low health targets and often gives the edge to finish them off. Stacking the rune is straightforward since a red mark will appear in their body. This indicates that any damage towards them will proc Dark Harvest, dealing adaptive damage.

Junglers are perhaps the best utilizers of Dark Harvest because they can roam around the map and collect stacks faster. Consider playing champions like Kha’Zix and Kayn because they have excellent 1v1 potential, burst, and mobility. Eventually, you’ll perfect the rune, and hitting abilities to proc Dark Harvest will come naturally.

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