Hecarim Build Guide by PortableBanana
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello Summoners! This is my first guide, so please be patient with me while I learn.
My summoner name is PortableBanana and I began playing League of Legends in mid December. My most-played champions cover a wide variety of playstyles. My beefy champs are Nasus, Irelia, Shyvana, and now Hecarim. The AD carries I play are Fiora and Kog'Maw. Occasionally, I dabble into the AP Caster region with Vlad and Veigar. I usually jungle with Nocturne, but Hecarim is growing to be a personal favorite already. And just to sum up my diversity, I play a mean Talon.
With this guide, I will show you how I play with the newest champion, Hecarim, The Shadow of War. The way that I play Hecarim is an offtank jungler who excels in ganking early game and disrupting teamfights. While some people may disagree with some aspects of my build, I have found it to be very successful. Please give me constructive feedback and enjoy!
This guide will be updated in pieces, as I am very busy and don't have too much time to sit down and post everything at once. I will try to get everything together as quickly as I can though!
As a jungler, I hope that I don't have to explain why you should take Smite.
I take Ghost because it provides another movement speed buff. Once activating Devastating Charge to get in to battle and making use of the Boots of Mobility, your movement speed drops dramatically during combat, taking away a chunk of your AD. If you activate Ghost, however, your bonus AD can be sustained as well as your movement speed. Plus, Ghost is a great assistance in escaping.
This rune build is my traditional build for my AD champions. The seals and glyphs establish durability in combat, while my marks and quintessences assist my offensive power. As a jungler, I find that my quintessences help to clear the camps a little faster, although I can understand substituting those for movement speed in order to complement Hecarim's passive, Warpath.
A personal preference for when I jungle (I'll probably get some s**t for this) is a 9-21-0 Mastery Tree. I initially used this build for Nocturne because I found that after going through several camps with a 21-0-9, I had too little health to gank. With the 21-0-9 for Hecarim, he will not have enough health to gank at the end of your first route. Instead, using the 9-21-0 which provides a fair amount more durability, I can clear the camps without worrying about my health and without a leash, leaving my teammates to stick to lane and not lose any farm.
Thank you, Morr33d for notifying me of the improved Ghost option.
As with any guide, the item sequence is completely dependent on the game being played. Therefore, I will discuss each of my completed items individually and then add commentary on other items after.
The first thing I would like to address is the un-highlighting of my Boots of Mobility and Wriggle's in the item sequence list above. I added the Randuin's Omen and Force of Nature at the end to give examples of prime situational items in place of the Wriggle's. Please do not claw at my throat for appearing to disregard boots.
For almost every AD champ I play, I buys Merc Treads for the reduced CC and a little defensive boost in MR. If I am matched against good AD laners, I take the Ninja Tabi, and if I am fairly confident about my ability and not taking much damage from my opposition, I buy Berserker's Greaves. If I were to play Hecarim in lane, I would probably buy the Boots of Swiftness for a more steady damage buff with my passive. However, because I am jungling, my choice of Boots of Mobility provide me with a larger damage boost for ganking, especially if I have activated my E, Devastating Charge. The combination of Devastating Charge with my Boots of Mobility can disrupt a lane by knocking back the opponent to either get them out of position for my teammates to do more damage, or to propel them away from my teammates and save them. The utility of these boots in combination with Devastating Charge create a fantastic initiation as well as great fleeing capabilities.
If you jungle without having this item in early/mid game, either you know something that I don't, or you're silly. An item that grants a passive that can deal extra damage to creeps, lifesteal, and provides a free ward is a must for any jungler.
Atma's Impaler & Warmog's Armor
On any beefy champ, Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler combine to make fantastic durability as well as increased damage output. The survivability created by this combination is a necessity for an offtank AD champion.
Though it is the most expensive item in the game, Tri-Force is easily the item with the most utility. It gives an AS buff, crit chance buff, movement buff, AP buff, more health, damage, and a possible slow.
Maw of Malmortius
The new upgrade to the Hexdrinker, Maw of Malmortius, is a very useful item. The passive shield against magic damage, MR, and damage work well on any beefy champ and greatly increase time spent alive during teamfights.
I have created a list of other viable items for my play style with Hecarim. If you choose to exchange the Wriggles for something more useful late-game, as I usually do, I highly suggest some of these items.
An expensive item, and one of my favorites, Frozen Mallet is a nuisance to play against. The slow can prevent the majority of escapes as well as the huge health pool makes it take much longer to kill a champ with this equipped. I prefer to take Trinity Force over Frozen Mallet because with this build, a lot of movement speed is accumulated as well as Hecarim's Devastating Charge which can easily chase down any opponent. If there is an exceptionally fast Mundo, you can always activate Ghost and chase him down anyway. Silly Dr. Mundo.
Update from comment suggestion:Bluetapeboy says: "i highly recommend frozen mallet over trinity force for hecarim
hecarim simply CANNOT stick to someone that well, and needs the slow, and trinity proc isnt 100%. the extra HP also helps. i would only take trinity if im truly pubstomping"
I can see your preference in the 100% application of the slow and additional health/damage, but saying that Hecarim isn't capable of sticking to an opponent is incorrect in my opinion. With the bonus movement speed from Tri-Force, I believe that it balances out. Also, the double damage dealt from sheen is crucial to Hecarim, especially for a gank. It provides a little bonus oomph. I will try Frozen Mallet instead in my next game and update. Thanks!
Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster
Both providing massive amounts of damage, IE or BT is easily desirable on Hecarim, just like any other AD champ. In my multiple games played as Hecarim so far, I have had to build tanky for my team comp, so I have not been able to experiment with either of these two, but I suggest buying these items as situational only. If the other team isn't dealing much damage, you can always just throw an IE in there for the sole purpose of pooping on them.
A little CDR, a little armor pen, and an active that increases attack speed and movement speed? Yum. This item is very useful for Hec and if I weren't always building tanky, I would most definitely buy this. Like the basis for most items in this guide, the active provides a movement speed buff which increases my damage output. Youmuu's would be a very useful tool in pushing towers.
Force of Nature
If you are facing an AP heavy team, or a team with one or two AP champs who are generally dealing far more damage than the AD, you should exchange the Wriggles for this. As well as offering the greatest amount of MR in a single item in the game, FoN also provides a movement speed buff that contributes to Hecarim's passive.
Randuin's Omen vs Frozen Heart vs Thornmail
All three of these items provide huge armor buffs and have great passives. Let's take a closer look though.
Thornmail (Not recommended) is a specifically counter-AD item. Returning a percentage of their damage dealt can make an AD carry look downright stupid. In my opinion, Thornmail is a pure-tank specific item, or an item to be purchased when the entire enemy team is stacking AD and AS.
Frozen Heart grants the largest armor, along with a tastefully sized mana pool and passive. The passive CDR is desirable for almost any champ, and for Hecarim, I can easily see why somebody would purchase this. I find myself itching for Spirit of Dread to be ready again so that I can activate it in a teamfight for a second or third time. Also, the debuff for the enemy attack speed can slightly increase your team's time alive in a teamfight. As we all know, if our team could have lasted three seconds longer, that 3v4 exchange could possibly have turned into a 5v3.
Randuin's Omen provides a generous amount of armor as long with increased health (to help your Atma's) and mana (also a tiny bit of CDR). RO has a very useful passive that has the chance to decrease both attack speed AND movement speed. The real kicker for this item though is it's active ability. On activation, it drops attack and movement speed by 35% for 2 seconds, along with an additional +.5 depending on how much AR and MR you have accumulated. I highly suggest this item.
One of my favorite items on Nasus, I tried to build this mid-game with Hec and it took away too much from my core build. While the CDR reduction and health and mana regen is very useful and considerably increases survivability in teamfights and an active that boosts movement speed (awesome), Shurelya's Reverie is a very useful tool in Hecarim's arsenal. However, I would not suggest building this before a nearly completed build because before completion, the items do not help Hecarim very much.
Creeping / Jungling
Taking the Cloth Armor and 5x Health Pots, I head straight to blue after choosing my Q, Rampage, first. With my 9-21-0 masteries, I am able to kill for the buff without a leash. While many junglers will take a leash from mid, that pulls your teammate out of position and can cost a few CS for him/her. Don't be that guy. Spam Rampage for some AOE damage on the creeps and make sure that after smiting the big golem, use your Q to be the last hit on a minion. Then, rush to wolves and activate your Q once you're in range. Your Q provides a stack that reduces cooldown if it hits an enemy. Kill wolves, then wraiths, and you should be either at level 2 or 3 (I can't remember). After leveling Q first, take two points in your W, Spirit of Dread, in order to do some AOE damage and health regen while jungling. After wraiths, skip the red and go to the double golems while you wait for smite, then come back up for red. Once acquiring the red buff, you should be able to kill wraiths or wolves one more time (or both) to reach level 4. At level 4, get your E, Devastating Charge. This will be your initiator in most of your ganks. Look for a gank (either for offensive or defensive purposes), and charge in with your E. Once you hit your target, activate Spirit of Dread and spam Rampage. Positioning and timing is very important for a gank. For an offensive gank (as you will hopefully do more often), wait in the bushes BEHIND your enemy. Activate Devastating Charge and wait for Hecarim to "change gears" into his second level of speed. Charge behind the enemy and hit him towards your turret or a wall after Hecarim changes into his third gear (each gear grants more damage as well as the speed buff that provides even more AD with your passive).