Warwick Build Guide by ShameWoW
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.
Hey everyone, I'm ShameWoW, you'll be saying WOW every time! and I've decided to try my hand at making a guide. I'm always helping out my buddies with what to build in particular situations in game and what not, and I've learned a lot from the sheer amount of times I look up others guides and integrate some of other people's play styles with my own, to create the build that allows me to use the full potential of a champ. WITH THAT being said, I encourage you to experiment with other runes/items/and maybe even mastery sets to fit you're own play style. On the path to becoming a better player you're going to find that a lot of times it's not about finding the best static guide, it's about finding how playing a champion best fits your play style. I'm not some well known high elo player but I think if you give my guide a try and utilize all the information I'm giving, you'll start to see why this is one of my favorite solo champs in the game right now. I'm more than open to constructive criticism and feedback tell me what you guys think of my guide!
NOTE: Please do not blindly follow the Purchase Order! Look at the items section!!!
Pros / Cons
-Amazing lane sustainability.
-Harass and self heal in one spell.
-Great team utility between his Infinite Duress and Hunters Call.
-Some of the coolest skins in the game.
-One of the best 1v2 champs out there.
-Can have a good mid-late game even with a poor early game.
-Some people ***** when you try to take top instead of jungling because not all people understand Lanewicks capabilities.
-Has some hard counter champions.
-Well **** having troubles thinking of many other problems.
WARWICK IS THE KING OF JUNGLE!! WHY LANE!?!
Yes, Warwick has one of the fastest and most sustained jungles in the game, with amazing counter jungling and ganking capabilities. But most people who are presenting this argument simply haven't seen what he is capable of in lane.
Warwick is part of a group of champions people are calling Hyper-Sustainers. Meaning, he can stay in lane from level 1 pretty much until he pleases. His basic attack steals health, his Hungering Strike is simply amazing. Powerful early game single target nuke, with a notable self heal combined? Yes please.
You'll see the evidence stack up in Lanewicks favor, as you continue to read the guide.
Rune's definitely do not need to be static. There are plenty of ways to make Lanewick work great, but I'm going to tell you what I use and why I use it, until you get comfortable enough with the concept that you want to experiment on your own.
Greater Mark of InsightIs really the only option I can think of here just compliments your Hungering Strike so much.
Greater Seal of ClarityIs what I use here, there's definitely some other options to help you be a little more bulky, early and late game that can work great. But I really enjoy the extra mana I'm getting to constantly be spamming that Hungering Strike, especially late game when I've gotten a good amount of CDR.
Greater Glyph of CelerityHere I change it around sometimes, but the majority of the time I stick with Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction CDR is just so great on Lanewick for all his spells other than Blood Scent. When you get your CDR to respectable levels the CD on your Infinite Duress is just silly, you can be using it every team fight easy while ganking with it in between. While also getting much more health steal from a faster Hungering Strike, and the ability to push towers amazingly fast with your team due to how much you've cut down your Hunters Call CD
Greater Quint of SwiftnessHere is where I refuse to budge. You absolutely 100% NEED at least one Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed A lot of times I use 3, to ensure I don't get shut down in lane by a hard counter but more often than not I just stick with two Greater Quintessence of Health to just be a tad more tanky. The reason movement speed is so important to warwick is he NEEDS it to be faster than his opponent in order to harass with Hungering Strike if you cant get in range to use it, you might as well be jungling. You're wasting less time trying to harass while your missing farm and ending up not even getting Hungering Strike
Not sure that there's TOO much to be said here. I don't think you can really improve on 9-0-21 no matter how you play him. The cdr and spell pen in offense is just great, while utility offers so many important things to you such as more cdr, movement speed, extra experience, mana regen, and longer buff duration's. Utility tree is simply the perfect compliment to Lanewick.
NOTE: Since the masteries have been redone I've been using 21-0-9 more often now, its slightly lacking in usefullness early on but makes your late game exponentially more dangerous and seeing as ww's early game isn't exactly hurting thats what I've been running. If its a tough lane or your new to lanewick you may want to stick with 9-0-21 though. when going 9-0-21 your gonna grab move speed, cdr, exp gain, good hands. The standard stuff that synergizes with lanewick.
There are a lot of champions that I change skill sequences for on a game to game basis, but I rarely deviate from the skill sequence I've provided.
Hungering StrikeYou're #1 priority, this is why you have one of the best lane phases in the game. It's a nuke and a self heal in one. It can be a little mana heavy so you need to learn when to use and not use it. Proper use of this spell is what separates the goods from the gods.
Hunters CallIs great and very helpful to the team, but since you have virtually no armor pen, I feel it's not a priority for fighting other champions. But it is certainly an amazing tower killing ability, this is where I sometimes deviate. If I'm having one of those silly games where I just get plenty of kill's, sometimes I'll pick up w when I see an opportunity to push and do a hefty amount of turret damage.
Blood ScentAs I've said before, movement speed can make or break warwick. And this is one of the best compliments to his skill set. Even if someone can manage to survive your Q-R-Q-Ignite Combo they're going to be low enough to proc blood scent, and if they've over extended it will generally spell out certain death for them, as they cant shake you to stop those Hungering Strike nukes.
Infinite DuressIs just amazing and always priority when it's available. Suppression, Damage, Extra lifesteal, and x amount of item proc effects. Easily one of the best ganking ultimate's in the game. One of the reason's I love this spell so much beyond its applications to kill people so easily, is how you can instantly change the tides of a 1v1 with it. Bait there spells and make them go in for the kill while your just q spamming and auto attacking, than ult and watch them cry.
The Quick Version
Troll Game where you just got a silly early game and fed way to hard for anyone to stop you should look something like this - The idea here is you've snowballed so hard that you can forgo some surviability items to just focus on killing faster.
Tanky/Tanky DPS Heavy enemy team - The madreds is really going to help you deal with those tanks while the rest of your items are helping you stay in the fight.
AP//CC heavy enemy Team should look something like this - The early banshee's is really going to help deal with that cc and prevent a disable when you ult someone.
Squishy carry enemy team should look like this - Here you get to drop the Bloodrazor since you really don't need extra damage, to focus more on survivability from the carry's.
Now I'm not sure that I would call Lanewick item dependent, because he can do well with Spirit Visage Sorcerer's Shoes Wit's End and pretty much any combination of other tanky items. That's really what the Core Build is here.
But choosing the best build for the situation is obviously going to make you do that much better.
Doran's Ring is my starter item every game I play lanewick, rain or shine. It gives you health, it gives your Hungering Strike more damage and in turn makes it heal more, and allows you to use it more often with the mana regen. This item just synergizes with lanewick perfectly on all fronts. Not to mention being a Doran's item means it has the best stats-for gold ratio. Basically meaning you're getting more benefits from the item than your paying for. With all stats taken into consideration I would say Doran's is worth more in the neighborhood of 600 gold. But due to it taking up an item slot in it's own it's price is cheaper.
Kindlegem Is generally going to be your next item. It gives you more health, always great and gives you the much needed CDR for more Hungering Strike in the lane phase. The only exception to this might be when your facing a long ranged fighter or someone with more movement speed than you, in which case you need to rush you're Sorcerer's Shoes
If that's not the case though you might as well stick with level 1 boots and finish your Spirit Visage, which is just an awesome item on Warwick for obvious reasons. Than finish your boots if you haven't.
The majority of the time I stick with going Sunfire Cape because of the awesome survivability it gives and the synergy it has with your role, start with giant‘s belt, unless your laning against DPS. But when I'm a little more farmed/fed and doing well I'll grab my Glacial Shroud for that glorious CDR and the armor and mana certainly don't hurt either.
If your not making that much gold just stick with your Sunfire Cape and start working on your Wit's End. It has great synergy with your ult and the attack speed really helps make your auto attacks a little more threatening as well as helps you get buffs from the jungle much faster.
This is around the time tanks or tanky dps' really start to get beefy, when dealing with 2+ of these on a team and your farming well you really want to get a Madred's Bloodrazer to help you deal with them because Hungering Strike is simply not going to be cutting it against heavy hitting tanks this late in the game, another item that has great synergy with Infinite Duress.
You can go ahead and finish your Glacial Shroud into a Frozen Heart now and when you have the money to buy another item toss your Dorans for it. This late in the game your next item is going to be all situational and you just need to look at how the games progressing who the dangerous carry's on the enemy team are and what your team is lacking and needs to make a decision. Most of the time I’ll just drop a Force of Nature here for the move speed and extra survivability.
If you have any question's or suggestions please share them with in a comment!
As you can see I use Flash Because its flash.. and Ignite to give you that extra damage to ensure you get a kill when your going for it. I personally feel these are the best summoner spells to compliment this build.
I suppose other options could be considered, but I wouldn't drop flash it's simply too valuable a summoner spell in league right now.
You can consider Teleport to help you snowball in lane dominance and out leveling your enemy's as well as for ganks.
Exhaust Could be another viable spell to use defensively or to make sure enemy's cant get away, although I feel that's unnecessary when you have Blood Scent at your disposal.
I don't believe any other summoner spells are really worth it. I mean you could think Cleanse if your dealing with a heavy cc team but your better off getting a Banshee's Veil because a cleanse isn't going to stop people from interrupting your Infinite Duress anyways.
Hard Counter Breakdown
I'm going to just list who i'm familiar with laning against for now and expand this section as I face more enemy's. I'm also going to leave out enemy's that I consistantly beat and do have much trouble with, but if anyone has any specific champions I don't include please leave a comment saying what champ and I'll give you advice on how to deal with them.
Akali Akali is as a rule, quite dangerous no matter who you're playing. When you come across those Akali's who have both passives up you need to be very weary. Especially when dealing with boots and 3x health pots. She out speeds you which is absolutely wretched. But the idea early game is to try and stay on her side of the creep wave in order to get q's off when she tries to come in for cs. You need to try and widdle away at her health and pretty much don't bother to go in for the kill until all her health pots are gone, unless shes being stingy with them, in which case if you think you can kill her with a flash q ignite combo, do not hesitate for a second because you really need an early advantage against this devil.
NEVER stand near her circle, no matter how low she is, that's what she want's a free combo with amazing burst while walking back into her safety while you may not even have time to get a single q off. Just don't be greedy rush boots if she has them to get more speed than her, and after getting your spirit visage consider getting another null mantle that you'll use in your wit's end later for a little more damage mitigation.
Ashe Ashe is definitely a hard counter due to her slow. Just makes it an absolute ***** to harass her especially when coupled with the fact that she'll just turn tail and run every time you make a move for her. I suggest to stay defensive and try and let her push while focusing on cs and don't be afraid to use some q's on minions to counter her harass if shes focusing on you hard. If you see opportunity's where you can get a q off go for it. If she ever doesn't run when you go for a q on her commit to the fight you can out last her in a man on man fight with your life steal. Otherwise if she's a smart ashe you may just want to wait on a jungle gank.
Caitlyn Might be my single most hated champ to 1v1 her range absolutely dominates you, and if she wants to focus harass on you, you cant do much about it. She has an escape/slow she can use as often as you use your q and you pretty much won't be able to even hit her with your q due to how much time she has to react when you move in for a q. Play defensively as hell, hope your jungler can part with an early blue buff so you can sustain a little better, and ask for an early gank.
Chogath Annoying silence, strong sustainability, and tanky as hell. You gotta play smart and dodge those q's. A smart Cho will silence you before your in range for a q, but if you have decent health just go in for some auto attacks till the silence is up and q him, than back off. Most of the time you wont be able to zone him because of his burst and staying power, but if you can DO IT you don't want him abusing his passive. Play especially smart when he hits 6 because that ult hurts.
Garen Just not very fun to lane against. Silence to **** your **** up, his whirlwind ensures you cant use your passive to go toe to toe with him because its just not worth staying in range of his whirlwind for the lifesteal it does way to much damage. Even with his passive you have a little more sustain then him and hes going to get tired of waiting on his passive for health. Most of the time your q will go off before you silence him but the second you q just book it every time because you know whats coming next. Most of the time you wont be able to kill him till your 6 just try and get him to half health than save up a little over 300 mana so you can q, ult ignite, than chase him down and normally kill him with one more q.
Jarvan Most of you are familiar with the consistant powerful harass Jarv has with that deadly passive. But the problem is theres a decent time in between the procs for it. He also has a terrible mana pool. So most of the time you can commit to a fight because hes just gonna come in for an attack to proc his passive and maybe bust his knockup on you, but as long as you commit and get about 3 auto attacks and your q off you should be in good standing. Early on without his spells hes pretty weak try and get on his case early to make him pop his health potion so you can maintain lane dominance. Otherwise if he farms well and doesn't die early he came become very dangerous.
Will finish the rest of the champions later
WORK IN PROGRESS
As a solo top laner, you shouldn't be to focused about wards but I would like to cover all the basic ward spots anyway since they are invaluable knowledge to any new player.
You can be a tank a caster a carry a support I don't care. Warding is generally left to supports because they're normally not item dependent in ranked games. But a lot of times even when your lucky enough to get a support on you're team, they are not guaranteed to ward. I'm going to start with you're focus if your solo lane warwick.You have a choice to make, if you are not so map aware and don't always have a good eye on your mini map you may just want to toss your ward in that upper bush. Because you will always know when someone is in the bush ready to gank you. But if you are moderately map aware and keep a good eye on the minimap I would definitely urge you to put your ward in the lower area, it shows enemy's entering or leaving your jungle and maintains sight on enemy jungler's leaving there jungle on the upper right to gank you. It just gets more use out of your ward over all. Keep in mind while I say you don't want to focus so much on warding, if there jungler is active or there mid is ganking GET A WARD! It makes a world if difference and it's not a waste of money! Wards have saved my life countless times.
Other Cost Effective Positions.All of these positions are great because they show multiple paths and important areas. Keep in mind you can ward both your jungle and the enemy jungle, generally want to focus on your side of the map when the enemy's are pushing hard and doing a lot of jungle invade, and vice versa if you're team has more map control.
Laning Phase Etiquette
Alright you pretty much have to change your mindset for any different kind of enemy.
1 Vs. 1 Situations
When dealing with a Melee DPS it shouldn't be too difficult to zone them, or even make them zone themselves by getting in their head. A common mistake when dealing with melee enemy's I see is warwicks with full health walking up to a melee q'ing than backing off. But when your at full health, that's a waste go in and hit them a couple times, if they start to run from you just q them as they run for an extra burst. if they turn to fight you let them hit you a couple times than q them to make them understand they cant go toe to toe with you and generally they're going to back off. If they have high sustained damage and they're out doing you in damage and commit to the engagement, just back off till your q is off cd, rinse repeat. A lot of melee dps champs don't want to lose lane dominance early and will maintain aggression early game. Which can net you easy kills. When you get someone around 1/4 hp(depending on champ) from harass, do not be afraid to blow your summoner spells for an early kill, a Flash- Hungering Strike-Ignite Combo Can surprise you in how much damage you do before you even hit 6 to throw the ult into the combo.
When you're dealing with a ranged dps(most of the time going to be your least favorite match up) you cant let them bully you early. When they're sitting back and just harassing you while you last hit, you have to go in for a Hungering Strike if they're silly and overestimate there power and stand there ground just auto attack and you should be able to outdo them with your natural lifesteal. If they have more move speed than you and just run whenever you head their way, you have to sit back and let them push until you get your boots up. If you don't feed early and get your sorcerers shoes and Spirit Visage you should be able to handle the lane pretty well. If you're having an especially hard time grab Chain Vest first when you start building your glacial/sunfire to help negate some damage.
Going against AP Casters is pretty fun, because more often than not, they're going to blow there mana faster than you(when you learn when to use and when to save mana on ww) and when there in phase with no mana, and your not wasting q's on minions to sustain and just auto attacking getting health and mana regen, it becomes exponentially easy to zone them and just make them useless till they blue pill.
Most tanky dps' aren't a problem to lane against either because they have to be up close to do there damage letting you have free health from auto attacks and your Hungering Strike while dropping their health. There are exceptions such as Garen, who is just a douche. You cant really abuse your passive to go toe to toe with him because if he spins it's not worth committing you need to run. Than of course there's that god forsaken silence. The main problem is if you know you wont be able to kill them any time soon, you may not want to be blowing mana because it is easy to run out of mana without doing enough damage. Because a lot of them are going to have decent early game mres.
1 Vs. 2 Situations
When it comes to the 1v2 situation, there are better people for the job sure but you can handle it! You just have to learn all the ins and outs of Lanewick.
CC Is a ***** in a 2v1 situation, and most of the time is going to prevent you from getting a kill because your ult will be interrupted. Ranged AD is going to be a ***** because they're going to be focusing on harass pretty hard. You need to take all this into account. One of the upsides is most people see a melee dps champ when they look at warwick and decide to push the lane thinking you have no way to stop your turret from taking damage.
BUT THEY'RE WRONG!! You're a hyper-sustainer, you get health with pretty much everything you do. Tank some of those minions till your minions get there don't be scared, you have such a great amount of health gain that you can keep that turret safe in most situation's as long as you're avoiding too much harass. And don't be afraid to run up with a quick q and back off if they have like a melee dps or a squishy without much health regeneration. You would not believe how many times I've just gotten like 3 q's off on a squishy within lvls 4-6 and just popped in with a q ignite r and got a kill and walked out.
LANEWICK can 2v1!! You just have to learn the mindset you need to play him with because he's not a caster hes not a melee dps hes not a tank hes pretty unique in how you harass and deal with situations. You may not be amazing your first few games but when you get him down you will be happy you did.
The other day I was dealing with a Jarvan-Kennen. A ***** of a combo because they both have cc. I went in for a Hungering Strike on ken trying to do my thing get him low than blam Jarvan hits 6 and ults me, Kennen flashes in Jarvans ult and ults and I **** myself. Jarvans knock up was on cd so I instantly ulted Kennen to prevent his stuns and ignited him, he was already fairly low and i managed to kill him and keep myself between 1/4 - 1/2 hp and because kennen had red buff from a failed jungle gank earlier I just went straight for jarv while q'ing him to get my health back up and slowing him with red buff scoring a double kill in a complete 2v1.
Recent patch Notes
Note: I know I kind of let this guide die off but after all this time and season 2 starting lanewick was stronger than ever when I became active again.. But than the unthinkable happened. In an attempt to further balance ww they simply made him stronger. His passive has become much more effective with his skillset and the way you build him with this guide. But more importantly as a ww who doesn't focus on ad his changes to his ultimate are mind blowing. Increases the base damage of his ultimate per level is just overly silly. Its not easy but at this time I would say lanewick is one of the very few people that can best shen at top right now, but you will have to outplay them.
Hungering Strike Just got a nerf a couple months back now heals for only 80% of the damage. As opposed to 100% It sucks sure but I cant exactly ***** as even after the nerf I'm not sure I would call him very balanced. He still gets the job done.
A little while ago they fixed some bugs with his ult so that's nice..
2/19/12 Alright I know its been a while but I've become active again and WW is stronger than ever! I've updated some information for masteries as the masteries have changes and added some information on the patch notes as ww just received what most are currently calling a buff(myself included).
8/14/11 Added Recent Matches Section.
8/15/11 Reworked All sections to look nicer and condense information. Added a new section, Warding Basics. Added a banner that looks epic ;-)
8/17 Added Hard Counter Breakdown, still working on completing it.
Well this is my take on Lanewick. I play him often and I win more often than not. Hes a great off tank while still giving good utility to the team and doing a respectable amount of damage. I can't stress enough how much I wan't to hear everyone's feed back, ideas, suggestions, even if its just pointing out grammatical or spelling errors leave a comment guys!