Warwick Build Guide by throatslasher
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.
This will be an extremely quick and fairly uncoded guide. I just wanted to test everyone's reaction to a concise and direct approach to guide writing. I'll avoid walls of text at the expense of fewer words in this guide. My coding is trash, and aside from having someone else code it for me which could delay my guide by a week or MORE, I'll just write quick ones from now on. Now, on with the guide.
Hello. I’m throatslasher and I hit diamond 1 in season 3. I enjoy watching streams as much as the next person and I love gleaning new information and builds wherever I can find them. I saw something interesting on dan dihn’s stream the other night. He was totally rocking faces in d1 80+ points with warwick top! Seemed strange as I thought ww top was not even a thing. I took this build to normal and ranked at various levels and had extremely positive results. If you can get the lane rolling in your favor, WW top becomes an unkillable mixed damage monster that’s extremely fun to play. I’ve carbon copied this build from Dan Dihn. I have taken a couple of small liberties here to compensate for all levels of play. I substituted a wit’s end as a second purchase to allow people in gold and below to function as a carry since Dan’s build is tailored for high diamond 1. I’ll explain further tweaks I feel are necessary and also provide Dan’s choices.
I personally prefer MS glyphs as it keeps you a bit safer in lane while Dan chooses AP quints because ww’s main source of harass, hungering strike, has a decent ap ratio. I find the MS quints to be useful all game where as the AP quints fall off after laning phase.
Season 4 masteries are hard. This looks passable, though 21 defense isn't very good anyways.
Flash Ignite is mandatory. Ignite will increase your kill potential and dueling capabilities while Flash opens up a lot of options in lane and teamfights. A well timed flash+ultimate on someone important at the right time can win a teamfight and/or the game. Flash also allows you to escape ganks better than Ghost.
Ghost has some potential, but it doesn't fit my playstyle and Dan runs Flash so...
The most important items in my personal opinion are Sunfire Cape, wit’s end, Frozen Heart, and Spirit Visage. The wit’s end is my personal addition. I feel it gives warwick a huge powerspike and it allows him to nuke people down if he gets a full duration ult off. Dan skips wit’s end and opts for sunfire rush immediately followed by Frozen Heart. You should skip frozen heart if you’re against an AP lane. Here's a breakdown of his choices:
2 X Doran's Ring - Doran's ring is crucial for warwick top. It is the best source of mana sustain for him and they are effective all game. With careful mana management, 2 d-rings will keep your mana full enough. Personally, if I'm against an extremely tough aggro ranged opponent, I will substitute either my first or second d-ring with a Doran's Shield followed by an early-ish Ninja Tabi.
Sunfire Cape - Most of your opponents will be AD and this item will give you all of the early game stats you need. On top of the awesome chunk of hp and armor, it will give you the capability to function as a split pusher, which is neat-o.
Sorcerer's Shoes - Your primary source of DPS in lane will be hungering strike, and if your opponent hasn't purchased any magic resist in his first couple backs, you will start to REALLY chunk him with SS and level 5 hungering strike. These boots fall off late game so I recommend swapping them out late with your choice of Ninja Tabi or tenacity sneakers.
Wit's End - This is my personal favorite item on warwick. It completely tips the scales in your favor in any duel. It STRONGLY improves his mid-game auto attacks whereas Dan's pure tank warwick doesn't really do much with his auto attacks. I feel it balances out your stats in a way the sunfire into Frozen Heart can't. It also FULLY stacks with his ultimate, applying the on-hit damage several times during the duration. If you don't like this item or it doesn't work for you, skip directly to...
Frozen Heart - In the current meta, physical damage is king. This item will give you an INSANE armor spike on top of a huge mana pool and CDR. If they don't have enough AD for you to worry about, pick up just a Glacial Shroud and then work on your...
Spirit Visage - A great item on WW, the healing stacks very well with your passive and hungering strike. With Frozen Heart, you will have max CDR and stupidly high resistances. This item is 100% core on warwick unless they literally have no source of magic damage, and even then I still might.
Now that we've covered core, you have a 6th item slot. I would choose between;
Blade of the Ruined King - This will make you an on hit monster while the active will allow you to flee and chase with ease. This item stacks quite well with wit's end and if you need to start dishing out damage, this is a great 6th item.
Banshee's Veil - This is a standard purchase on almost any champion when you need to absorb a big spell. This will also make your ult slightly harder to interrupt and is a great purchase in the face of excessive AoE or if they have practically nothing to stop your ult. Or, you need more MR.
Trinity Force - Eh. I can't see this being amazing, but if you have a stupid amount of gold, this will really make WW just all around stronger. Better dueling, chasing, fleeing, ulting, everything. I've tried it, and it isn't horrible, but BORK might be better. Worth a shot if you're insane.
Mercurial Scimitar - If you desperately need cleanse, this is your item. It will provide you with MR, AD, and the all important cleanse so you can tell that Malzahar or Urgot to GTFO.
How do I play this dood?
WW top is pretty self-explanatory. Your goal is to deplete your opponents resources without running out of mana. Pretty simple, right? It's advised to concentrate on cs and only go for hungering strikes when you have ample mana and they cannot shield or avoid the damage.
Solo killing someone early with warwick won't typically happen, so it's advised to go for cs and use your Hungering Strike on your opponent when they trade with you. If Lee Sin gets a couple shots on you when you get a cs, pop him with a Q after he's dealt his damage. He'll aggro the creeps and push the lane and you outtrade him. Easy peasy.
The only thing more important than cs with warwick is getting level 6 as quickly as possible. Junglers won't want to gank your lane because WW packs no CC or burst, but once you hit 6, they should die every time to a gank. When your jungler pops out, Ult+ignite, Q, they flash, jungler mops them up.
Once you start to notice that they're avoiding trading with you which should happen around level 4-5, you can zone them. Stand inside their creeps if they're melee and deny them cs. If they step forward to trade with you, retreat slightly, and poke with Q. Continue to cs to sustain your mana from Doran's Ring. If you run out of mana, you probably have to go home, so use Q sparingly.
Freezing the lane is a very important mechanic with warwick. Since you have no waveclear, you're almost guaranteed to get pushed on. When your wave is dying and their wave has 3-5 creeps in it, step just inside tower range and allow the minions to auto attack you until your wave catches up. That's called freezing the wave and it will completely shut down most tops. To learn more about freezing the wave, there are tons of resources available on youtube and other guides. Just know that freezing with WW wins your lane.
Once the laning phase is winding down and you have sunfire and maybe some other items, you can either decide to roam or stay top and split push. As you purchase more and more tank items, they'll be forced to send more and more people top to stop you from split pushing, allowing your team to secure objectives bot and mid. In lower elos, you can get your sunfire+wit's and roam. You should be able to 2v1 anybody in the game if you ult while your ally pounds on them.
DON'T FORGET TO WARD. WARWICK IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DUEL 1V1, BUT HE FALLS APART TO GANKS BECAUSE HE HAS NO MOBILITY. GANKS CAUSE GREAT GRIEF THE UNDERNEATH. PURCHASE AT LEAST 1 WARD EVERY TIME YOU GO BACK TO BASE AND YOU'LL HAVE GREAT SUCCESS.
Teamfighting is stupid easy with warwick. Wait for all the important cooldowns to be blown (even on you), and then ult someone important in their backline when their crowd control is on cooldown. Proceed to then auto attack and Q their squishies to your heart's content.
If you have an extremely fed teammate, it's acceptable to use your ultimate on a tank to peel for that teammate. It's better to stop that renekton from butchering your 10-1 Vayne than for you to ult their 2-5 Malzahar.
CRITICAL: MAKE SURE TO CHECK ENEMY BUILDS CONSISTENTLY TO CHECK FOR Quicksilver Sash. DO NOT ULT SOMEONE IF THEIR QSS IS OFF COOLDOWN. WW ULT CANNOT BE SUMMONER CLEANSED SO DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT, BUT QSS IS BUTTS.
Honestly, that's about it. I'll look for some VODs of DD playing WW (lol nice sentence). Just remember to cs, harass, freeze, ward, wait for them to blow cooldowns, and then ULT.
Playing any character successfully can't really be learned in a guide. This can only point you in the right direction. It will take lots of practice and critical thinking to utilize WW top to its fullest potential. I just wanted to express to everyone that WW top DOES have potential.