Warwick Build Guide by Sadaraine
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 my first guide covering my favorite champ Warwick. I started playing Warwick at level 10 (tough) and have been playing him ever since. I've gotten a good feel for how to use him as you grow in levels and I hope to share that with you all in case you wish to follow a similar path to mine.
I regularly have been playing with friends who are 30s and have been just as effective against opponents at 30 as I have been people my own level (currently 28 and climbing).
So if you dig you some werewolves, like the idea of jungling, or love the idea of being the surprise gank that makes the opponents cringe, read on.
Pros / Cons
Superb Jungling speed around player level 20
Safe jungle for the newer players
Lifesteal late makes you practically unkillable 1 vs 1 (there are exceptions of course)
Intimidation - if you play him decently, the other team will fear you
Warding - you already roam, so warding makes sense for you
Dragon and Baron boss - these creeps are key and you can greatly sway a game by taking them for your team
Inept at most 1 vs 2 fighting
Dependent on Blue buff until late game
Dependent on good jungle early
Surprisingly squishy early to mid game
Difficult time defending towers against multiple enemies
First and foremost: Don't buy any runes until you hit summoner level 20. It is a waste of IP to buy runes that aren't the most powerful. You can get rank 1 runes right out of the gate, rank 2 runes at level 10, and rank 3 runes at level 20. The rank 3 runes give superior bonuses and are the only thing you should buy. I still was able to rock Warwick through level 20 without runes...your jungle is slower and your ganking early requires a little help (weak champ, friend champ in the area to help keep the enemy stunned, etc).
I honestly haven't experimented with other rune combos, but I plan to as time goes on to see what other rune builds work. Here's what make sense to me:
Greater Mark of Alacrity - Attack Speed is to help you with your jungle and auto-attacking. Contrary to popular belief, you will be auto attacking minions often as well as champs...your burst isn't big enough to off champs without it unless they are super squishy or already crippled.
Greater Seal of Evasion - this gives you a decent dodge chance that consistently saves you health in your jungle. Against AD champs it will save you some damage as well.
Greater Glyph of Focus - Cooldown reduction rocks for almost any champ. Warwick's ult is your linchpin and should be used as often as possible to help maim or kill the enemy champs.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation - Armor penetration helps you supremely against the creeps in the jungle and it certainly helps against champs as well.
To the extent that I am able, I have done every viable build that I could think of for Warwick. I've gone defense, offense, utility, and mixes of the three. Here's what is supremely important:
Utility Mastery- remember where I said in the cons how reliant you are on that blue buff? I was serious...your abilities take so much mana to use and you can't afford to buy up your mana pool with this champ (I tried and it doesn't work well). This makes your buffs last 30% longer...it is invaluable and should be the #1 thing new Warwick players spec for their masteries.
Awareness- Your jungle NEEDS the extra experience. With it you can start with the small golems and get level 2 right away. This is very important for the young Warwicks out there.
Plentiful Bounty- Smite to me is just a requirement for Warwick. If you don't want to use it, don't jungle and if you aren't jungling, then you aren't using Warwick to his best potential in my opinion.
Blink of an Eye- Flash is required because of Smite (people KNOW you will be in the jungle). Once you get around summoner level 15 - 20 people start getting clever and try to counter-jungle you. Flash gets you away from that and keeps you alive. Also, Flash can be used to jump out of the bushes and then ult a champ who is a little out of range and will run to tower if you just run at them.
My other masteries are listed above but don't think that is the only thing you can do. As a matter of fact, if you are a low-level Warwick, do this and shuffle around points with my suggestions above:
Hardiness- Extra armor
Resistance- Extra magic resistance
Infinite Duresswhen it is available...it is called Ultimate for a reason!
Hungering Strikeis your main source of damage and life. It is also ranged so you don't have to be next to the champ to hit.
Blood Scentis just incredible - you don't have to get boots with extra movement speed because of it. Also, the intimidation factor of it is just fantastic. Used wisely you will help control the enemies with it because they hear a howl and have a special icon floating over their head when they are 1/2 health or below and within range of it. Turn it off if you want to sneak up on someone (but remember to turn it on after you hit your Ult!). Keep it on when approaching a team fight so that the enemy starts to flee. This happens all the time and it helps your team win because the other team is afraid of you ganking them.
Hunter's Callis required to make your jungle work early. It saves you from taking as much damage in my experience, so I take it at level 1. I buy Attack Speed items throughout though, so I don't find buying this up early to be important...leave it at 1 until you have no other choices.
I touched on this in the Masteries but here it is again:
Creeping / Jungling
Let's start with some hints for those of you jungling before you have runes, because it is a completely different world once you can buy runes and increase your AP, AS, Dodge, and CDR.
1. Don't start blue. You will die level 1. Even with a leash you will probably die. This is me speaking from experience. The risk isn't worth it to me. Even if you do kill with help from a teammate, they are losing time in lane to help you for minimal gain.
2. Once you have the masteries for increasing your experience, start at the small golems. Once you kill them both, you will have level 2. Use smite as soon as possible.
3. Go take down the wolves. It is a long walk, but this route is safe and it is fast enough for making Warwick viable as you are gaining summoner levels. Don't use Hungering Strike more than once.
4. Next up take down the wraiths. Start by smiting the blue one as otherwise he will make your life miserable and may even kill you. Once he is down, focus down one other as fast as possible with Hungering Strike to reduce the damage done to you.
5. Rinse and repeat. At this point you do have about 10 - 20 seconds to kill until the small golems spawn again. Check the lane close to the golems and see if you have a gank opportunity...sometimes I've been able to wipe someone out by flashing out and Hungering Striking them. If nothing else, you can help weaken them, but only if they have your team pushed back by the tower.
6. Once you have finished two cycles of the jungle you should be level 4 or 5. Go blue now. Make sure you have a health potion left to use as that golem hits hard. Use your abilities until you are out of mana as the blue buff will fill you back up fast enough.
7. Get the red buff. I do suggest you wipe out some more jungle between these two so your Smite will be available. By this time you should have Madred's Razor so it will proc a time or two to help take down the monsters, but the smite helps move the kill along.
8. You should be level 6 with both buffs. Peek at the opponents using the mini-map and go gank someone - look for guys with low health...if there aren't any pick someone squishy.
9. Go Take down the dragon. This gives you and your team gold. It is a huge benefit. Communicate with your team to let them know you are doing it...that way they can watch your back. If you are only level 7, ask for someone to help. You can do it solo, but you will have very low health.
Tips / Tricks - What to do with the rest of the game
Let's talk a bit about Warwick first. Much of this I've hinted at in my descriptions of his abilities, etc, but if you haven't read the whole guide let me make some basic blanket statements about him:
1. Warwick is a Jungler. To have him in lane is a complete and utter waste of the team's time in my opinion. He is a liability in lane until he gets his Ult. I know he CAN lane...I'm saying he shouldn't. Yes, you can put a Sona with him and rock, but why do that? He's great in the jungle...let Sona babysit someone else and help them get experience early. You get yours from the jungle. Let someone else get lots of exp top solo.
2. Every time a Warwick is played that doesn't buy a , a kitten, puppy, and baby lamb die. Don't kill kittens, puppies, and baby lambs...that's just wrong. Think about it for a second: Warwick's Ult lands 6 hits and any "on hit" effects are added in. Madred's Bloodrazor has an "on hit" effect of dealing 4% of the target's health in magic damage. 4 x 6 = 24% of the target's health from just that effect!
3. Warwick is NOT a Tank or an Off-Tank. I've had people tell me that in game and it just kills me every time. His forte is to assassinate a target...early game that is by ganking. Late game he can solo almost any champ 1 vs 1 and win. Because of his life gain abilities, he has good endurance for staying on the map, but he can't take focus for more than a second or two. Yes, you can buy tank items for him and shove him in that role, but again, to me that doesn't make any sense...you are losing one of his greatest assets: "On hit" Ult proc.
4. Warwick isn't a carry. I've played games were you can say I carried the team, but it wasn't because of Warwick's abilities...it was because the other team made awful decisions about their composition, how they tried to deal with me, and how they team fought. Warwick doesn't need the team to help him get through early game...he can jungle just fine on his own. He also doesn't have a "team-fight winning" Ult. It is a fantastic CC ability, but it only controls one champ...and it doesn't kill them quickly.
So first off, once you get your Ult, you immediately look for a gank target. Park yourself in the nearest bush, and go look at the enemy targets on the map and see who is begging for you to gank (I especially love teams that are pushing our towers...they should know better than to put themselves at so much risk). This is your main priority for the rest of the game...who can you kill? Who is over-extended? Who is wandering jungles solo and needs to be eaten?
Next, you need to keep buffs on WW...both of them. The blue is more important, but the red helps you be successful. Steal the other team's buffs as well and let your team get the ones closer to home. But make sure you have flash off CD...and be aware of the situation...were there enemy champs on the mini map close by? Were they heading towards the buff you want? Don't risk it without flash!
If you are buffed and there are no gank targets close by, go eat that Dragon. Also, late game if you build a or you can solo Baron. You need to be at least at 5 items...and level 18. Send the rest of the team on a distraction mission...keep the enemies at thier tower defending it. They will be completely demoralized when they see the four champs in front of them get the Baron buff.
Also, note that the item suggestion I gave above will lead you to a very dangerous and offensive Warwick...you have to play him like a glass cannon a bit especially early. He is surprisingly squishy. If the other team has lots of CC or if you are getting owned by one champ's ability in game, adjust the item build to address it! Build a Banshees Veil. Enemy Tryn just ruining your day 1 vs 1? Build and turn that around. My item build works great for me...but you may need to tweak it a bit to fix your playstyle. Don't hesitate to try different things out!
Finally remember that this is a team game. Warwick is great at killing champs, but kills don't win games...destroying the enemy nexus wins games. The only way to destroy the enemy nexus is to take down towers. Warwick is great at taking down towers because of his attack speed (how I build him + ). Conversely, if a lane is having trouble, leave the jungle and help them get their feet back under them. You can't always gank, but just going to the lane and pushing back the minions can help greatly.