Udyr Build Guide by Pelikins
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Udyr the powerhouse
I just recently got back into playing ranked. I mainly used Udyr to get back to gold; using this build. I had a ton of success and lost very few games with it.
Udyr is extremely strong right now. His damage and survivability, when build correctly are extremely high. What's even better is that Udyr's damage is mainly AoE, allowing him to melt entire teams simultaneously.
Udyr will out scale everyone and anyone with this build in terms of damage and survivability. I've taken out late game Hecarim with this build, no problem.
The key is ability power and resistances. Getting these 2 in combination makes your damage and shield powerful with AP and the value of your hp and shield higher with resistances.
The key to your early game is efficiency. Doran's blade grants you a lot of clearing speed and sustain, as well as more potent level 1 and early game ganks against players.
RoA is a very cost effect item to build. The item grants a ton of hp, solves all your mana issues, and gives a solid 80 AP. You end up with over 3200g worth of stats and only pay 2800g.
The seeker's armguards are much the same way. You get about the same amount of stats as buying a blasting wand and chain vest, but you only pay 1160g rather than over 1500g.
Buying these 2 items is like getting two kills that you didn't get. You net 800g worth of stats out of nowhere.
Zhonya's Hourglass is extremely important to your late game. Your shield grants you a Giant's Belt worth of hp every 6 seconds. You can easily sustain gradual damage, but one extremely large burst can be problematic. So you build the Zhonya's and you can use it as a cleanse, as a super turtle stance, to dodge skill shots, as an aggro shed, the uses for this extremely powerful item are endless. But the biggest is to just give time for your cds to reset.
Think of Zhonya's on Udyr like a Guardian Angel except with a shorter CD and with the ability to mitigate damage rather than reviving you after taking the damage (which is strictly better btw).
I don't know why any AP champion would ever buy GA when this item exists to be perfectly honest. Zed's deathmark on you? Zhonyas. Lux lazor gonna smash your face? Zhonyas. Did you dive balls deep and now have both carries focusing you? Good! Zhonyas, now they either have to find a new target or you effectively cc'd them both for 2.5 seconds either way you just wasted a ton of their time.
The new Udyr:
In the old days, you were either a Tiger Udyr or a Phoenix Udyr. Phoenix Udyr was heavily penalized for stance switching so you'd pretty much just use Phoenix stance and could get no use out of tiger.
The change to front-load phoenix stance's damage changed that however. You are now immediately rewarded with a phoenix proc for switching into the stance. That means you can freely stance dance to optimize damage, using both tiger and phoenix stance.
The changes to turtle have made it a lot less useful for jungle clearing however. It used to be a free spell essentially in the jungle as the mana vamp made the spell pay for itself. Since they removed the mana vamp, turtle stance is not longer worth getting for jungle clearing. I've gone to instead starting with a doran's blade and running spell vamp quints for jungle sustain. Udyr is able to maintain 100% hp in the jungle with this setup since he can vamp both tiger and phoenix's damage and both have solid base damages.
You're better off just killing things faster using Q>R and using the aoe from R to save you time and mana by just killing the smaller mobs passively.
You'll still want to build Udyr with durability in mind. You don't want to be an easy focus target. If anything, building tank becomes more important. Your damage is free, you build you survivability.
AP on Udyr? Dafuq?
Yeah... I've gotten that a couple times... more from my enemies when I destroy them and they look at my build to try to figure out what just happened than anything.
Basically, the bird is the word and the word is four.
Phoenix stance + four auto attacks = 2.15 AP ratio on phoenix.
That's freaking redonkulous considering the 6 second base cooldown.
Now you don't want to build too much CDR because the ratio is over 5 seconds. You don't want to build a ton of AS because only .45 of that ratio is connected to the auto attacks.
You just want to build nice flat AP. And a good amount of it.
You use tiger stance to steroid phoenix to get you 4 auto attacks as fast as possible. Then rinse and repeat.
Tiger will still deal a good amount of damage because it's damage based off an AD ratio (not a bonus AD ratio) so it will scale with level considerably and it has a nice AS% and base damage increase per rank as well.
The second huge benefit of AP on Udyr is sustaining power. AP bolsters his shield strength as it has a .5 AP ratio. This is very important because it allows Udyr to soak a lot of poke without it sticking to him. You'll find that most Udyr builds can easily get poked out, even ones invested heavily in life steal have to hit creeps which is difficult at times. But with AP your shield is up every 6 seconds and will absorb more than a giant's belt of damage each time. It's great anti-poke.
Why start doran's blade?
The Doran's Blade makes Udyr an extremely strong jungler early on. The bonus 10 AD allows him to melt through anything that he can close into melee of. While the 5 hp return per hit is enough sustain coupled with spell vamp and life steal to keep him full hp. The blade also provides Udyr with additional hp for tankiness.
Don't forget that Udyr has a massive 1.5 AD ratio on Tiger Stance and that the skill grants a sizable AS steroid.
If you think of how many auto attacks you perform over the course of a game... not matter what stance you level first, you begin to realize how much this tiny investment gives.
Dueling Strength, Clear Speed, and Map Presence
These are the true strengths of Udyr.
There isn't a jungler out there that can go toe to toe with Udyr early game.
Even early game bullies like Mundo and Shyvanna and can't start with the Doran's blade and can't maintain 100% hp while clearing and hence have a huge disadvantage.
This allows Udyr the option to go where he pleases. You can't wall hop, except with flash, so be mindful of that while invading, but as long as you keep an eye on the lanes and bug out if the nearby lane comes towards you, you can invade just fine.
Udyr has an insane clear speed, tiger stance melts single targets while phoenix melts the AoE camps. Udyr is very well setup for fast clearing.
Boots of Mobility, Bear Stance and even Phoenix Stance and Tiger Stance all give Udyr map presence.
Mobility is key. If they are ganking, you get there and counter gank, or you can go take a global objective.
Udyr's enormous attack speed steroid on Tiger Stance allows him to knock down turrets like no other. Watch their movements. If you can get ahead of their play and turn it around on them, do so. If not, then go tit for tat and make them pay for their success.
Udyr's enormous objectiving power gives him huge huge map presence, especially when good vision gives you the foresight to position for the right counter play.
The level 3 gank:
IMO, Udyr is at his absolute strongest at level 3.
His level 3 gank is what should set the tone for Udyr.
This is how it should play out. You invade level 1, take their blue for level 2. Clear your jungle for level 3. Then immediately look to gank.
When ganking, prime Q, then go into bear stance, then hit R for that up front phoenix proc and constant AoE damage. Now Q should be off CD. You just dealt about 500 damage in 3 auto attacks, and they were stunned for 1 second of it. This absolutely melts people.
Basically, you level phoenix over tiger over turtle over bear.
Turtle is only useful once you have your mana pool situated. But it's pretty important once you do. I stick 1 point into turtle at level 8. By level 8 you should have Rod of Ages and that takes care of your mana issues that turtle stance can create and also grants turtle stance 40 extra shield strength through AP.
Bear is the worst skill to level now... you only get a pathetic .25 sec duration increase. The 5% MS per rank is very small, especially considering the duration. I wouldn't waste points ranking it any more.
Phoenix ends up out valuing tiger on average as the base value is considerably higher and it helps your clear speed more. Also, staying in phoenix stance gives more benefit than staying in tiger currently. So, we max the form we use the most, which is phoenix.
Skill priming is the single most important thing to learn if you want to be a good Udyr.
There are two skills in particular that you need to prime: Turtle Stance and Tiger Stance
Priming Turtle Stance will grant you a beefy shield as you run in to engage. This way the initial spell or two that you are hit by gets mitigated and you don't start looking like a good focus target.
You'd be amazed how many times priming turtle stance has allowed me to survive a team fight. And I can say for a fact that this simple tactic has in fact been the determining factor in winning a team fight.
Tiger Stance priming is also very important. Many people don't realize that you don't need to be in Tiger Stance any more to get the big first hit that tiger stance activation grants. It's actually a buff that you apply on yourself for 5 seconds.
It's actually possible to prime tiger stance and switch to phoenix stance and then hit them with an ultra nuke as both first hit bonuses are applied in one auto attack. You'll startle, confuse, and scare people breaking their will to fight doing this many times. This also nets me a lot of kills because you'll get cocky players that have their Flash cd up who think the summoner skill is a free escape. So they'll stick around with low hp to try to nuke from range. You prime tiger, you switch to phoenix and you flash and instantly auto attack them and they flash away, but your tiger stance (and red buff) will apply their dots. You kill them and make them waste flash and they sit there and wonder what just happened.
You can also prime tiger stance and then switch to bear stance to shread their hp and stun them in one attack. This is what I use in ganks to give my solo laner time to react and support the gank.
How best to use the Doran's blade advantage:
How best to use the advantage you gain by starting the doran's blade is different depending on the enemy jungler.
Many junglers have slow but safe starts. You can use the doran's blade start to safely invade and steal one of their opening buffs.
Many junglers are well known for their early game ganking. Counter ganking proves to be a very effective counter against these because your early game damage makes it easy to turn ganks around on them.
Some junglers have extremely unsafe starts. You can pull a shaco and simply walk into their jungle and kill them often times.
A doran's start makes Udyr good at everything. That's why its a huge advantage. He has just as much sustain as a machete+pots start, but doesn't waste money on the pots. He is sturdier due to the bonus hp, he deals almost exactly the same amount as damage to jungle mobs has a clear speed identical to the machete start, and he deals an extemely high amount of damage to players, especially when wearing double buffs.
This is very important to Udyr. Know when to use which form.
There are two spell rotations that you should use, one is for ganking, the second is for team fighting.
Rotation 1: The gank rotation.
The gank ration is pure offense. You use tiger and phoenix for damage and bear stance for closing power and CC.
The rotation goes QER-QER-QER-QER-QER.
Q primes tiger stance so that your first hit applies the debuff, E applies the stun and grants that closing power. Then R melts them. Then back to Q for a second tiger debuff. If they haven't died yet, they should be close to it.
Second rotaion: Team fighting
The second ration goes WQR-WQR-WQR-WQR-WQR.
You don't really use bear stance in team fights except to catch a focus target, interrupt a channel or peel someone. It's something you toss in to make a play, not part of the rotation anymore.
Turtle stance and Tiger stance are to be primed before you reach your target, then phoenix stance and 1 or 4 auto attacks, then toss up another shield, another tiger debuff/AS buff, back to phoenix stance for 1 or 4 auto attacks.
Notice I say 1 or 4. This is a judgement call on your end. Do you wait out 4 or switch after 1? That's going to depend on the scenario. Just remember, you deal no damage if you are dead... don't get greedy trying to get an extra proc and miss out on the shield that would of saved your life.
This rotation will optimize your AP. You get the most turtle stance shields and phoenix stance procs using this. It's also late game and your tiger stance currently scales off your base AD, so it'll still end up dealing a fair amount even without AD built.
I run a couple odd runes on Udyr.
I run spell vamp quintessences and hybrid pen marks.
I run the hybrid marks to help Udyr jungle. Jungle mobs don't have MR but they do have armor, so magic pen doesn't help but armor pen does. I make the compromise and help both my jungle and pvp with these marks.
I run the spell vamp quints so that I don't have to buy potions specifically to jungle clear. I can maintain 100% hp without turtle stance and without potions with these quints.
I run armor seals (standard jungling seals)
I run mr/level or flat MR glyphs (these make Udyr more tanky). If you want you can also run AP glyphs for a squisher, but more aggressive setup.
Which to run between these two really depends on how much you plan to gank middle. If there is a lot of kill potential in the middle lane, you'll want the early MR to gank it more safely.
It's also a great idea to go flat MR glyphs if the enemy jungler is an AP jungler. Chance are that you'll encounter each other before level 6 at least once and the flat MR glyphs may be the deciding factor of who comes out on top in that gank.
I've had a couple of good questions about masteries that I'll address.
My philosophy about runes and maasteries has always been to give myself as many advantages as possible early on and that allows me to makes plays and snowball my self and my team from there.
So if I'm picking between something stronger early verse something stronger late, I almost always go with the early game choice.
I go 17/13 masteries on Udyr.
This is by far the best setup I feel.
I grab the standard jungle masteries of Tough Skin Bladed Armor and Hardiness . I continue on through the defense tree grabbing 2 in Resistance , Tenacious Unyielding 1 point in Juggernaut and 1 in Defender . I've had a couple people question why I go with a point in defender over the other options. First off, defender gains me up to 5 MR and 5 armor as early as level 1. This is substantial, especially since I like to invade and since Udyr occasionally gets invaded.
I picked up 1 in Juggernaut over block because Block doesn't really shine at any point in the game, especially for a jungler. Block reduces damage from basic attacks only but base skill damages tend to be much more powerful than auto attacks early on. But since it's a flat amount, by the time auto attackers are dealing substantial amounts of damage, 3 damage is nothing. So I feel the mastery is fairly useless all around for a jungler and opt for a small health buff that will scale with gear, levels, and resistances.
You'll notice that I'm fairly invested in the utility tree.
The utility tree offers a lot to Udyr. Meditation is very important for Udyr. Udyr is very mana hungry, especially at level levels when his stances cost the most and his mana pool is the smallest.
This skill makes it possible to jungle without blue buff. It also will allow you to spam bear stance more in the mid game for mobility and clear speed.
You'll also notice I pick up Mastermind this is a great skill for Udyr all around as it serves a ton of functions. First off, it gives you more Flash and Udyr needs flast for ganking in escaping. Second it gives more Smite this helps your clear speed and income.
The third tier of the utility is the real milk and honey of Doran's Udyr. Vampirism is the real key to the doran's start success. Vampirism makes Udyr with a Doran's Blade a full hp jungler by allowing him to heal substantially off tiger stance's debuff and life stealing off each auto attack. It's because of this skill that Udyr can safely start Doran's blade.
buicuteer is the second half of this. It allows Udyr the little extra breathing room. He can chug this consumable on his first gank/skirmish for some extra beef, or chug it in the jungle if he gets a bad start.
Of course, Runic Affinity has always been a very strong mastery for junglers that is very helpful to sustain Udyr through the early game and make his ganks more brutal.
Itemization: The meat and potatoes of Udyr!
Doran's Blade this is the huge advantage that Udyr has over all other junglers. You start a doran's blade and they start a machete. guess who wins if you bump into each other in the jungle. Udyr is a really strong invader level 1. I'd highly recommend invading them at the start of the game. prime tiger stance before checking the brush and follow right behind your CCer. 2 tiger stances will take over 60% of a players life level 1 leaving only 40% hp for your auto attacks and team mates. Invade and rip things up! That's the beauty of a doran's blade start.
Boots of Mobility Udyr requires these to roam the map quickly. The base MS they give is amplified by the %MS bonus bear stance gives. It allows you to close on targets really fast and allows Udyr to position for counter ganks and counter jungling.
Now we beef up Udyr. The base damages on Udyr's skills give him all the damage in the world. But dead damage deals no damage. First I bulk up Udyr's hp and armor picking up an early Ruby Crystal and a Cloth Armor or two (based on how much gold I have on each return).
Then I builk up my mana pool upgrading the crystal in to catalyst the protector if my mid is going to want the blue buffs. I hold off on catalyst, if I am going to get the blue buff and buy the seeker's armguards or Blasting Wand before catalyst.
I next transform the Cloth Armors that I bought into seeker's armguards this is another cost effective source of AP.
In general, for late game, you want to be building resistance+AP items because they are doubly effective. They increase the strength of your shield and the value of each hp/shield. Your high AP ratio on phoenix also makes them strong offensive items. So they are highly efficient. Extra HP is also very good. You have to have enough flat HP to discourage being focused.
Twin Shadows and Abyssal Scepter are strong AP+MR items.
Zhonya's Hourglass is very helpful on Udyr. It makes you a poor focus target and allows you too avoid heavy spikes of damage from ultimates or and other powerful CDs. I would say that Zhonya's is a core item on Udyr and I'm sure people will flame me for it. But you have to dive balls deep into the back line to be effective, and that will tend to get you focused. This single item makes you a lot harder bring down, it's a more effective focus deterrent than any defensive item I've found. Udyr's phoenix stance will still emit AoE bursts while he's in Zhonya's too, so he can still be dealing strong damage in there. The extra 120 AP on the item adds 60 shield also. The item garauntee's that you'll contribute heavily to a team fight. They're either going to ignore you because you have it and hence you're a ****py focus target, or they are going to spend a lot of time and energy killing you through it. It has just the right stats to make you continue to be a threat, but be a fairly immovable on.
For your final item, I'd recommend Randuin's Omen, but it is very dependent on how the game is going. If you return and don't have enough for a RO but have enough for a Warmog's Armor and don't think you'll shop again, go ahead and pick up the mog's for the extra HP.
Bird is the word and the word is four.
Phoenix is going to be your most damaging skill.
To optimize your kit you want to complete exactly four auto attacks in phoenix stance and than switch stances, provided that you have enough mana to do so.
Early game you'll use tiger phoenix tiger phoenix tiger phoenix back and forth. You don't use turtle at all at the early levels because it's too draining on your mana pool and you simply don't have the skill points to justify it. Make sure to max phoenix, have 1 point in bear, and 2 points in tiger. They are the priorities.
But later in the game you'll be able to go QRWQRWQRW and at that point you'll have enough AP where your shield is substantial.
You want to take advantage of the extra proc on the 4th swing, but you don't get any additional rewards until the 7th, and by that time you'll lose your passive AS/MS and the tiger active steroid at the lower levels. You're better of stance dancing to keep you attack speed up and gain the extra damage from tiger.
Late game, you'll want to toss in turtle even though you will lose a phoenix proc over it. A .5 AP ratio on a shield is much stronger than a .45 ratio on a damaging skill as your MR boost the value of the shield, while their MR reduces the damage substantially. It ends up being something more like 100% of your AP in effective hp for you or 45% of your AP in effective health damage to them. Plus rank 5 turtle has 20 higher base value than the phoenix proc.
Keep an eye on your gold.
When you have enough for a key item, go get it.
Remember that seeker's armguards and Rod of Ages need time to get stronger, the earlier you purchase them, the sooner you get the benefits of those free stats.
Counter play is key. At the load screen, identify who the enemy jungler is, look at their summoner skills and try to figure out what their strategy is going to be. If its someone who is very mana reliant, such as Hecarim or Amumu, consider invading.
When your looking at doing dragon, if your support has a pink ward, have him place it at dragon. Otherwise, buy one yourself. If you plan to solo it, it will bring you fairly low. Make sure you know where everyone is, so they don't stumble upon you for an easy kill or steal or both.
If you have the top nexus, it is best to steal dragon right when your blue buff respawns. Their jungler is most likely at their blue giving it to their AP carry middle. This allows you to snatch the dragon uncontested!
If you have the bottom nexus, hang around dragon until their jungler shows up somewhere else on the map. Then go for it.
Make sure to ward aggressively in the enemy's jungle. This will really frustrate your enemy jungler as your team can easily avoid his ganks knowing where he is. It also allows you to know when you can safe go in and steal his camps and buffs. It also lets you know if anyone on their team is doing something unsafe. This is incredibly strong if you have global damaging ults on your team. I've had my aggressive wards lead to free kills for my Karthus or free buff steals for Lux and Ezreal.
Make sure to prioritize the "distortion" upgrade. Flash is extremely important for your effectiveness in gap closing since you don't have much gap closing inherently in your kit. With distortion along with masteries you can Flash fairly often.