Hecarim Build Guide by KmancXC
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Best of Jungle Items
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 guys! My name is KmancXC, and I'm a jungle main in solo queue and for my ranked team PoleXC. I've been playing since the Spring of 2012, picked up Hecarim in the winter of 2012, and he clicked with me right away. At the time I was at about 1200 ELO (this was before the new rank system), and now I'm at 2150(ish) ELO, in Plat 1. I encourage you to see my Hecarim stats, as I think they are pretty impressive, and I hope they convince you of my ability to play with him. I do stream pretty often, in fact all of the video clips below are just footage of me streaming Hec in Plat 1 games. You can check that out here. If you do make sure to say hello! I always interact with viewers when I can, because I feel that hearing reasoning behind an action is the best way to gain a better understanding of the game.
If you like this guide, please let me know by liking it! If you have questions, leave a comment and I will answer to the best of my ability. I will be updating this with new videos as I continue my road to Diamond, so stay tuned!
Pros and Cons
Pros / Cons
This section serves to give a little rundown on Hec's abilities, in case you are not too familiar with him.
- Hecarim's passive. This gives Hecarim damage based on his bonus movespeed. It also gives him the ability to run through minions without experiencing unit collision, which can prove very handy. My only note on this is that you shouldn't fall into the trap of building all movespeed for the extra damage...it isn't worth it
- Hecarim's Q. Hec's Q is a small AoE AD based ability that he generally maxes first, because it is his main source of sustained damage when clearing and ganking. This can be used immediately after an auto attack to maximize its damage.
- Hecarim's W. This is one ability that I think is very underrated. It heals you based on damage any team associated unit deals within the circle. This means that if you are being tower dove, and you have your W activated, the damage that the tower, yourself, and all allies are dealing is factored into the healing. Fighting people in a group of minions with W on is a great way to surprise an opponent with sustain.
- Hecarim's E. This ability, though maxed last, shouldn't be overlooked. It gives you a great burst of movespeed (increasing your AD) and does damage to the first unit you run into based on how far you traveled with the ability activated. This does work on towers and champions alike, so to maximize your damage, use this a few seconds before you expect to make contact with your target.
- Hecarim's R. This is the reason Hecarim is such a nightmare. It is basically a Malphite ult, except it also pushes people in a direction away from Hecarim. Using this, you can ult slightly past someone, forcing them to run back towards your team. Below I show a few clips that demonstrate how the ult should be used to set up (and win) fights.
Creeping / Jungling
I like to start blue pretty much every time I play Hecarim. I know the whole "3 min top gank" thing is a fad right now, but I think that the benefits of starting blue are too good to pass up. After blue I generally go to wraiths, then red, then gank. Farming is pretty easy with Hecarim, I usually end up hitting 100 farm around 16-18 minutes, and that's really important; you need to be making big money to carry your team.
Explanation of the Core Items
Mobility boots are great for Hec, but not for the reason you might originally think. See, the extra damage you get from the speed isn't what we are looking for. When I jungle, I expect my teammates to be god awful and require ganks pretty much constantly. Mobo boots allow you to get around the map so quickly that you can balance ganking and farming.
Tri force is great for Hec because he benefits from all of its parts. The zeal gives him a little boost in speed, for better gank setup. The sheen gives him mana, which can sometimes be a problem, but also a burst of damage on ganks, and when taking towers. The phage makes him just a tad beefier, and aids in sticking to your enemies.
Randuin's is awesome on Hec because it makes him better at diving towers, better at fighting ADCs, and better at keeping people out of position. With this, you can fairly safely dive into most situations, pop the active, and move on to whatever else you need to do. You now have tankiness, as well as utility in your items as well as your kit.
So one great advantage of Hecarim is his ability to gank (and gank well) at all phases of the game. I have included a few videos that highlight using your kit for ganks.
Hecarim is great at teamfights because he does mostly AoE damage, has a potential 5 man fear, and is incredibly tanky when built the way I do. My general strategy is to dive in with my ult to spread their team out and or push a high priority target to my team. After that, I chase their most fed player until one of us dies. I do this for two main reasons: one, 90% of the time the one that dies is them, meaning I killed their most dangerous champ, and two, even if I am not able to kill them, it essentially removes them from the fight. Often times the person I try to kill is an AD carry or an AP carry, meaning they have to focus me (the tank). That allows my team to 4v4 in a favorable match-up. Below are a couple of examples of me ulting and setting up fights.
Check this video out in which I force the enemy team to blow all of their big cooldowns on me, before going back in to help clean up the fight
Here is yet another example of a good Hecarim ult turning the tides of a teamfight. I record my thoughts on the clip, so if you can I encourage you to listen to the audio that goes with it.
This last clip showcases a few of Hecarim's best features. First off, notice my score and farm (this is a Plat 1 ranked game). I shove bot out to avoid minions pressuring our towers, then leave to prevent baron. Hec's speed allows him to get to the fight on time to stop baron, and then I slow the video down to give some insights as to what I did and why I did it.
Split Pushing and Baron Control
Though many people don't realize it, Hec is actually an incredible split pusher. He is way better at 1v1's than people think, losing to only a select few duelists. His with the sheen active clears waves in no time, and the low cooldown lets you spam it for the extra sheen damage on towers. If you ever find yourself in a situation that you shouldn't be in, just run.
Another aspect of Hec's game is his ability to steal/tank baron. If your team is attempting to baron, use to heal for a percentage of the damage your entire team is dealing. If however, the other team is trying to baron, no worries. Wait until it has about 1,500-2,250 health, ult in to the pit and smite. Ulting into the pit fears their jungler 99% of the time, as they usually stand close to tank baron. While feared, he can't smite, giving you the perfect chance to steal it. I probably have an 80% steal rate when we have vision of baron, and 15% steal rate when ulting in blind (not too bad for a blind ult-smite)
The Few Challenges
By now you probably understand that Hec is a monster and can turn any game into a slaughter, whether it be by soloing their carries, or using the utility of his ult to demolish teamfights. There are however, a few people Hec cannot 1v1, and a few people that he should be wary of if he sees as the opposing jungler.
Nasus is very tanky, and his cripples your speed and damage, making him tough to fight if he gets ahead
Jax is just tanky enough to make his damage output a problem. I recommend fighting him in larger teamfights, where you are actually better than him
Vi is mobile enough to stay with you, and does more damage than you can heal off, making her tricky to take down alone
Ponies don't like dragons, and Shy is no exception. Shy is too tanky to kill, but again, in teamfights you have more utility
Xin is very similar to Vi, he just does a little too much damage for you to shrug off
Trundle is the ultimate tank buster. He gets as tanky as you with his ult, so even though you'll likely not be killed by him, you definitely won't kill him either
Lee is like Vi and Xin; he has a slow, gap closer, and good damage, so avoid fighting him in the early stages. Later on you should be fine
Playing Hecarim isn't just about winning games and doing well...have fun with it. If you put in the time to learn him, you will be rewarded with a speedy horseman of death, but don't forget that you need to show off your abilities.