Hecarim Build Guide by corporal courage
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.
Welcome to the Shadow Isles
Hecarim is a beast that is underplayed and not used properly. In this guide you will find out how to use hecarim to his full potential, and be more than just a badass riding around the map super fast feeding. This is my first guide, so I'm not a master coder but I did a pretty good job. Thanks for reading, and leave comments for me to respond to :D
Also, please don't down vote before I can respond to your ideas :)
Top guide now! Thanks everybody for helping me make it better! :D
Why Play Hecarim???
He's a pony
Can jungle very strong after getting some levels
Has the ability to carry even when being tanky as hell
Can snowball hard
He's a pony
Runs incredibly fast
Escapes very easily
Suprisingly he's a pony
His early level jungling can be weak
Easily counter jungled early
Blue dependant early
Hard to gank smart mid lanes pre-6
Is hurt alot by slows
Needs experience to become very useful
Is my favorite summoner spell for hecarim. It gives you a big movement speed bonus for you to get away, and with a giant movement speed bonus comes ALOT of AD. Also, it is on a short CD compared to other summoner spells, so I think it is his clear best option.
Smite is the next spell to take, because you're jungling. You need this for getting blue, red, stealing enemy wraiths, and flying over baron wall with Onslaught of Shadows and stealing that baron like a boss.
Flash is another viable option. It gives good escapes, and is great for distance closing. The reason I prefer ghost, is because when hecarim is tanky, He is able to just run out of a fight, he doesn't need to instantly blink out. Also the AD and shorter CD on ghost makes it a better option. This is a decent option though if you are not comfortable with ghost, or if you are addicted to stealing baron, dragon, or buffs. This will let you use R into dragon to steal, smite it, and flash back out. It's pretty funny.
Exhaust is a great spell on hecarim. If you feel you're good enough that you don't need ghost, this is an amazing option. Later in the game, this will be needed on their carry, and if you can dive past everyone, exhaust their carry, and beat everyone up while living with your W, you can win the game easily.
Ignite is a good spell on hecarim. It allows him to kill his target more effectively, or just kill that person running away at 100 without chasing too far. I feel because of hecarim's tanky play style though, and because of his mass AOE damage, I think it is outclassed by exhaust.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These are great runes for Hecarim because he's all about speed. You want to rush in to a fight, and be able to rush out at any time. These increase your speed with tier 1 boots to surpass most champs with 2nd tier boots. Awesome with red buff.
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These give Hecarim a good starting AD, and will help him clear the jungle effectively. You can also use mark's of desolation but I prefer these.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These give Hecarim a good amount of MR later into the game. They are preferable to flat MR glyphs because you won't need MR in the jungle, and flat MR gets surpassed quickly by these.
- Greater Seal of Armor: These are needed for jungle. They will help the jungle creeps be much more forgiving of the horse stepping from the farm to the jungle.
I run a tanky mastery set-up for durability and sustain during my early jungle.
This gives 10 gold when using smite. If you use smite every time it's up, a 30 minute game nets you 300 gold from this mastery, a nice bonus.
6 Armor is a good amount early since I don't start with cloth armor. Helps those jungle creeps not be so rude to you.
2 less damage from creeps let's you take seriously reduced damage from wraiths/wolves. This in conjunction with Indomitable is -4 damage per hit.
108 HP at level 18 is nice, mainly let's you get to the Veteran's Scars mastery.
This mastery gives 30 health, nuff said.
-2 damage from all sources is fantastic against jungle creeps, and enemies early. This has let me outduel carries early. Vayne hits for 50 per shot, now 48. 4% Damage reduction; nothing to scream OP at but nice nonetheless.
bounces 6 damage back to creeps. Gives slightly faster jungle.
3% movement speed when above 70% HP. More speed boosters, yum.
1.5% damage reduction just helps a bit more. Increases your durability late game.
Juggetnaut is nice. 10 more tenacity raises you up to 45 with merc treads. Now those full map ashe arrows won't make you go OP OP OP OP OP NERF IRELIA.
More mana pl0x. But seriously. After the first blue, your mid lane will be like, /all Plz rport this Hecarim. He took a 2nd blue. Unskilled, feeding, spamming, afk, assisting enemy team. K thx. This way you will have a bit more mana to use your Q in the jungle and not worry about going OOM when you have to initiate or escape. When you get your frozen heart you'll have plenty mana.
I tend to go a little bit HAM when I'm playing Hecarim. I have no regrets about diving both people at bot lane at level 6. When I get out pro stye at 4 health though, I gotta get the hell back to my base before LeBlanc comes and gets her 20th stack of mejai's. In all seriousness this will let you get out ALOT. 1 Second is a long time in LoL minutes.
2% movement speed? Yeah might as well. So much movement speed it makes sense why Rammus taunts everyone EXCEPT Hecarim.
More blue time will let you jungle more efficient all game. More time with red, means that your 400+ MS at level 1 will let you catch a garen trying to escape with ghost. REAL Demacian's don't run.
My skill sequence is pretty basic for Hecarim. Rampage Let's you jungle the fastest right away, so when taking down wolves and blue buff with only one skill, this is the best choice. After I level, I grab my W because it will sustain me a bit more through wraiths, wolves again, and red buff. I grab Q again at level 3 for increased DPS and jungle clear. At level 4, when I finsih my jungle, I grab Devastating Charge for ganking. Q, as my main damage source is maxed first, with W my next priority. I grab one point in E for utility, and take my ultimate whenever it is available.
Too Pro Items
+ philosopher's stone Why take these over a Lantern? The reason is because these 2 items cost nearly the same as lantern, but will generate much more gold, and primarily because hecarim is not an auto-attack champion. You have good clear of wraiths and wolves just by leveling up your Q, so by the time that you get a lanturn, you won't need it.
This is hecarim's best item for sure. You get movement speed from Zeal which is essential, slowing Phage proc's which are nice, but mainly you get the incredible Sheen proc's. Your Q is your best skill, so in fights when jamming that button like playing super smash bro's, your auto attacks will always be enhanced by the Sheen. It's also a good item that you can build piece by piece. Buy the sheen or phage first, and Zeal last. Buy Sheen if you can afford it all right away. Get Phage if you only have 500-1000. The Phage items are much better before the item is built, but Sheen > Phage.
This item is beastly, but why this instead of Randuin's Omen? The reason I take frozen > randuin's is because I prefer the extra armor from Frozen Heart and I prefer the aura of frozen to the on hit of randuin's. Additionly, the mana and CDR from Frozen Heart make it hard to pass up when alot of Hecarim's damage is from skills. The other reason I take this over randuins in build 1, is because you are so tanky, their carry will not attack you unless they have to. So you will not be needing randuin's passive.On my less tanky builds, I take randuin's usually.
This is a great item on hec. The movement speed bonus is a great reason to pick it as your MR item. The passive is also very essential since hecarim usually initiates, takes a beating, but can come back in after regen'ing some health. It is important to build durable on hecarim because his W rewards you more for being resistant to damage than having incredible amounts of health.
shurelya's reverie This item is a personal preference. I really love shurelya's on hecarim because it synergizes with his playstyle. It gives health, CDR, and one of the best actives in the game. Activating this + Devastating Charge will have you running in circles around their melee champ just laughing while spamming Q. It is important to type in all chat when you use all of your speed boosters at once and win a fight. Things like, pwny charge, rolled by pony, or too fast for you will suffice. Or you can just get in sight of them and Ctrl + 4.
This item finishes my build giving you more all-around durability, and giving you a godly passive. If you so choose, you can start the fight by just using Devastating Charge and running into them, and while they kill you and are occupied, use your Onslaught of Shadows to get away safely, possibly winning you the fight and then coming back to pushes towers or just go farm.
Now, the core of my hecarim build is Mercury Treads, Trinity Force, Force of Nature, and Frozen Heart. The last 2 items should be built on what you like. I suggest Guardian Angel and Shurelya's Reverie because they are both fantastic items. If you need more damage, change those to get a bloodthirster or last whisper. Change the build to suit your playstyle.
Other Possible Items
The main build on this guide is a tanky hecarim that lategame in team fights will be pretty much impossible to kill because of the healing from your W. But, other good items ARE out there, hecarim is a versatile champ and lots of items work well on him. I will highlight some of them that are not mentioned in the main build.
This item is another personalfavorite on hecarim. Active speed boosters make hecarim's chasing ability so unpredictable to the enemy. He will use his E, then his shurelya's, then his youmuu's, and as long as you dodge the incoming skill shots, you can hunt anyone. I don't play this is main build because I use it on a more offensive hecarim.
This item is great. If I am trying to carry my tean, I sometimes take this instead of the force of nature. It gives good magic resist, great attack damage, and 2 amazing passives.
Ninja tabi are a good choice when they don't have any champions like morgana or leona, and they DO have atleast 2 auto attack champions. For example, mid lane lux, jungle shyvana, top lane xin zhao, bot lane ezreal, support janna. Most games, 9/10 merc treads are best though.
An Infinity Edge is a great damage item on hecarim. I think he doesn't have a good spot for it though. It should be combined with another crit chance item for best effect though. Usually trinity force. It is a great damage item, but you will sacrifice alot of durability for it.
The blood thirster is the more viable option then infinity edge in my opinion for hecarim. Hecarim isn't a major auto attacker, so the IE's crits will not happen alot. Blood thirster on the other hand will give your Q's a giant boost in damage, and give you more healing when attaking. This is probably hecarim's best non core damage item.
The Gunblade is an interesting item on hecarim. It gives him a suprising amount of damage, and alot of healing from the Lifesteal and Vamp. The active is great for chasing or just initiating and nuking their carry with 300 and a slow. This will let you easily hunt them down. Again, hard to find a spot for an item that gives no survivability.
Aegis is such an amazing item. If you know you will be your team's complete tank right from the begining, I work this in near my trinity force if they have a fair amount of magic damage.
Last whisper is a good, cheap, offensive item for hecarim. If the enemies have some bulky threats, its good to pack this item in your kit. It will help hitting that Lee Sin hard, or that Vayne even HARDER. Pony Swag.
IMPORTANT: How to use Hecarim's skills effectively
Hecarim's passive, warpath, gives him bonus AD for his bonus movement speed. A great passive that gives him alot of AD later in the game. It also lets him ignore unit collision, so you can run through waves of minions to escape.
Hecarim's Q, Rampage, is a very easy skill to use, and is an essential part of his kit. Being that, it is important to discuss the timing of this skill. You cannot perform an auto attack WHILE using Rampage. This means you should get into a rhythm of using this skill. Q, attack, attack, Q, attack, Q, attack, etc. To maximize your effectiveness during the jungle you want to place your Q before or after an auto attack, this is a small thing to do, but it is important none the less.
Next is Hecarim's W, Spirit of Dread. This skill is very easy to use, just hit W. It deals AOE magic damage around you, and heals for % damage of whatthings take. It is important while jungling to always have this while killing the camp. Since hecarim's jungle later is great, I'll just discuss it early. You will only have lvl 1 of this skill for a while. Hecarim can heal a maximum of 60 from minions early, and heals for 10%. This means to get maximum effect you should deal 600 damage after you turn on W. TO do this, activate W after one rampage, and use W when both are off CD. Another way to make this skill very useful is at red buff. at lvl 3 I go to red and I turn on W, then hit it with smite. This will heal you for 10% of Smite's damage.
Ah hecarim's E. Unlike the first 2 skills, this one takes some planning to use correctly. This move gives Hecarim a big speed boost, and lets him run through an enemy on next hit, knocking them back with him. It also gives him bonus damage the further hecarim runs before the contact. One important note about this skill is that by giving Hecarim a speed boost, you are giving him bonus attack damage. So make sure to hit your target with as many Q's as you can before you knock them back. This skill is what will seperate alot of Hecarim's. You want to capitalize on the knock back part of this skill. Sneak into a bush, and when opportunity arises, turn it on and rush them from behind to hit them into the lane farther. Be careful against enemies with blink abilities like ezreal. If they time it right, they can blink to the other side of you, and you will knock them to safety. This spell also works beautifully as an escape, or just to get around the jungle faster. The movement speed bonus you get is gained over time, like rammus' powerball. So if a lane is being kind of careful, charge this in the bush before you go in, for a little extra speed.
Hecarim's R is just awesome. Onslaught of shadows launches hecarim in a straight line to a destination, along with "spirit riders" who will damage enemies. When Hecarim lands, he will deal additional damage to enemies in range, and fear all enemies AWAY from him. It is important to stress that this is a targetted fear, they do not move randomly. The general ganking combo with this skill is to run in using E, then R behind them, fear them towards your tower, and hit them with your next basic attack, to push them farther. If your oponent has flash up, I suggest running in with E, Attacking them till they flash out, and then using R to distance close and fear them away from their turret, but it really is all situational. Also know that if you do not use this to gank, it is a great spell to get OUT of turret range with. You can dive an enemy mid lane with your E, then R out to safety.
I take a pretty normal jungle route as hecarim. Start off at wolves and have your mid and other closest lane help by hitting the wolves while not killing them. Use your Q freely during this. If possible, try to use save the last hit on the final wolf, this way you can use rampage on it, and hopefully sustain max stacks before hitting ancient golem . Have you mid and other lane leash/help you attack the golem, and finish it with smite when they leave. DON'T have them stay around when you kill it. They will get some of your XP, and you might not even hit level 2. After getting blue buff, I run to wraiths and use my Q and W to kill them. After this run back to your wolves. Kill them and at this point I usually use 1 HP pot. I run to red buff now, and kill it using smite while my W is active. Now kill your wraiths again to hit level 4. Put a point in your E and look for a gank mid or top. If neither is available I either gank bot, go B, or steal an oponents wolves or wraiths as I look for a gank opening. Continue to gank and assemble your build. If a lane is having alot of trouble, it is sometimes worth it to just sir around their lane in the warded bush to get them some farm and XP. Remember the times that buffs respawn, after 5 minutes. This means your blue buff should be up around 7:15 and red around 8:20 or so. If you see an oponents jungler for example in a lane far away, and 7 minutes is approaching, you can go counter there blue buff. Hecarim is good at escaping, but make sure to watch other lanes while countering. Lanes are responsible for calling MIA's, but you are responsible for watching to see katarina leaving her lane running to destroy that pesky pony.
You can maintain max stacks of
Hecarim's W works with smite.
If you just auto attacked and your Q is on CD, run a bit from the camp until you can do something again, you are essentially "kiting" the wolves/buff, and will take less damage by doing this.
You're E Devastating Charge applies an on next hit effect, allowing you to double hit if needed.
I have been told that this guide is bad without a warding guide. So now it will be the best guide, obviously.
Wards are very important for your teams success, and just because you have an expensive trinity force to rush doesn't mean you can shrink your duty as a warder.
Now first, when do you buy wards? I Only start buying wards for my team after I aquire both of my GP/5 items, why? I do this because these items will generate enough to buy wards, and because you want these 2 items as early as possible so that they generate money right away. Normally I will go B after a gank or 2and after a full jungle clear and possibly another wolves/wraith clear. I normally grab a GP/5 and a pot or two. More jungling/ganks then I'll get the second one and a ward and another pot. I normally choose to protect my mid with a ward near the enemy wraiths. Place a ward at the connection between the enemies jungle, river, and mid lane. This shows you when their jungler grabs wraiths, and prevents ganks from this side. I can also check to warn my top lane if I see the jungler or enemy mid go past this ward. As jungler you should try to watch the wards around the map while getting farm. Do not go too crazy buying wards, but buy them nonetheless. Also, judge the importance of the character in that lane. If I have a Karthus as my mid lane, against a LeBlanc, I will ward for him and gank more; because I do not want LB to snowball, and because Karthus just wants to farm. If I have a Darius top, it is incredibly important I help him destroy his lane, and make sure he does not get ganked. If your team will not buy wards against aggressive junglers like shaco, get the wards for them.
During teamfights, you will want to be the initiator and damage soak. You should be jumping all heroic like into the middle of the fight and causing chaos. Hopefully some of their team will attack you. At this point, once you lose some health, maybe 20% or so, if you are being attacked turn on that W and let your team wreack havoc on them. You will heal more than enough to keep sustained. Keep focus on their carries but if you can protect your own do that too. I usually like to us my ultimate to split their team in half. Another thing to watch for is champs with slows. For example, a support nunu really hampers hecarim's fighting ability. He is not mobile enough to reach his targets, and he loses his passive bonus while slowed. This sucks. So if you are scared ofslows preenting your mission from being accomplished, you can use your ultimate to drive into their backline.
It is important to always make little jokes to yourself about horses and ponies and such. If they come out even SLIGHTLY funny, make sure to pronounce to the enemy team your great joke. When the legendary unkillable horse keeps saying funny stuff in all-chat, everyones game experience is enhanced.
If requested, I can add a video with sound of how I talk to Hecarim. This is what gives Hecarim his incredibly sky skillcap; you have to constantly think of better pony jokes.
Thanks to JhoiJhoi for letting me cunningly steal the rune template. And for some tips on coding. And for the AS Karthus build, it really raised my ELO. And thanks to all my friends for letting me constantly make annoying pony jokes on skype, but I wouldn't go Legendary without them.
I hope that this guide will help alot of people learn to play Hecarim effectively. I made this guide to improve the random junglers on my team, I don't want to see any more of you hecarim's out there with Zeke's heralds and lanterns. Thanks for reading and have fun riding around the map killing everyone while chanting "pony, pony, pony, pony, pony" in skype.